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Exploring the differences between Biblical Christianity and the doctrines, practices, and beliefs of our LDS friends.
Culture Within A Culture
- Week Five – LDS WOMEN & CHILDREN
Families Are Forever Gateway International Bible Institute
4445 W. Olive Ave. Glendale, Arizona 85302 602-993-5353 Presented by Karrie Browning
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Primary – LDS Teaching organization for children ages 3-12. Main theme “Choose The Right” Young Women’s – LDS teaching organization for young women ages 13-18. Theme: We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will 'stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are: Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works and Integrity. We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation. Relief Society – Women’s organization within the church that teaches home making, personal enrichment, gospel principles, and does acts of service, Visiting Teaching, ward activity planning. Motto: Charity Never Faileth. Temple Work – Baptisms for the Dead; Ceremonial “Endowment” Oaths & Covenants, Signs, Names & Tokens for the living and dead, and Celestial Marriages for the living and the dead. Main Themes: Law of Consecration, Law of Obedience, WORTHINESS and SECRECY. Only Temple Worthy LDS “members in good standing” are Misleading Children? Families are Forever? Temples? allowed in the Temple. If anyone causes one Jesus came to divide God does not dwell in child to sin (stumble, based on belief in Him. temples built by human stray, lose faith in Whoever LEAVES father, hands… Him) it would be better mother, sister, and Acts 17:24-27 for them that a brother to follow Him… millstone be tied Marriage – LEAVE & Baptisms for the Dead? around their neck and CLEAVE. Paul was not saying what be cast into the sea. Matt 10:34-39; Matt do WE do who baptize Matt 18:6; Luke 17:2 19:4 for the dead… it’s what do THEY do. It was NOT Contrast with teaching Eternal Marriage? for Believers. 1 Cor The Law (Biblical) to No marriage in heaven… 15:29 Children. Deut.4,6,11 Matt 23-33 All rights reserved.
What Does The Bible Say About…
A FEW WORDS about a “4-LETTER C-WORD” THAT IS HIGHLY OFFENSIVE TO MORMONS
• NEVER use the label against the person. They’ve heard it, they have a response to it, and you won’t like it. Your conversation will end before it began. If you’re going to use the label, know what it entails. Labeling doesn’t justify NOT witnessing Christ. Examples: Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, pagans, homosexuals, atheists… It’s better to discuss an equally offensive “5-letter C-word” that you can defend with the Word of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit… “CROSS.”
• • •
What does applying this “4-LETTER C-WORD” ENTAIL ??
• • • Understanding the definition and characteristics in the religious context. What is the label describing? Addressing the person based on the characteristics instead of based on the one-word label. Understanding the HUMAN, EMOTIONAL, and SPIRITUAL toll of bearing these characteristics, the difficulties in breaking free of the characteristics, and that the person may not even see that these characteristics apply to them. Understanding that the characteristics OF THE GROUP have become the root of the INDIVIDUAL’S CULT-URE. • LANGUAGE BARRIER • PRACTICES • DOCTRINE • HISTORY • SALVATION REQUIREMENTS BELIEVERS are now responsible for this knowledge and under obligation to handle it as Christ would. TRUTH IN LOVE. Jesus, and learning a new identity In Him is the key to successful recovery. Some of these effects are overcome by leaving the cult and deliverance from its control. Not all former members encounter all problems, but are atAll rights reserved. various
How to identify a cult…*
(LDS NOTES below definitions)
1. Is the group reluctant to reveal all its doctrines on request? Do the missionaries tell you the complete doctrines? Do the members hedge when you ask specific questions? (But, it is all on the lds website, in almost-Christianese) 2. Is it closed to inside and/or outside criticism? Does it manage the info received by the outside? 3. Does it try to promote itself as Christian when major doctrines and practices are not Biblically supported? The Church of “Jesus Christ”…, “A Second Witness to Jesus Christ” 4. Have its teachings been publicly questioned or opposed by recognized Bible Scholars? How many ministries? How many Christian leaders? 5. Has it been called a cult? (If so, why?) Since the beginning, for any number of reasons from polygamy, to the golden plates story, from the blind following, to the anti-Biblical doctrines. 6. Have mistakes by past and present leaders been covered up instead of repented of? Where can you get a copy of the “History of the Church“? “Journal of Discourses”? Original “Doctrines and Covenants” (D&C) or original “Book of Mormon”? 7. Do leaders live a lifestyle inconsistent with the Bible or their own message to members? No… they’re perfect, almost godlike, they’re so close to perfection. How rich are those “unpaid ministers” at high levels that only live on a “small stipend” from the church? See #18. Bible: See “Pharisees” and what Jesus had to say about them. 8. Have its doctrines changed significantly over the years? (and if so, why?) Two words: “Continuous Revelation”… ok, two more words: “Public Pressure” 9. Are members prevented or discouraged from reading other religious literature? Would that be “anti-Mormon” literature, “non-Faith-Promoting Literature”, or just The Bible which isn’t completely correct because of the missing “Plain and Precious Truths”? 10. Do they believe that there are other books or magazines necessary besides the Bible to learn the truth? Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price , D&C, Ensign, Church News, Conference proceedings, etc. 11. Does it deny that complete truth can be obtained just by using the Bible? Complete without the missing “Plain and Precious Truths”?! 12. Has the leadership claimed special direction from God not available to others in the organization? Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, The Voice of God on the Earth. See #18 13. Do they believe that all other Christian groups are false? Or, just “apostate” and “an abomination“? 14. Is all dissent seen as evidence of pride, sin, or rebellion? Or “inability to live up to The Standards of The Church, or just “apostasy”? 15. Can the Bible be interpreted correctly only by members of this organization? Joseph Smith gave it the good college try in the “Joseph Smith Translation”, but in this case, they don’t usually bother interpreting the Bible, more like picking pieces of it to support their doctrines. The LDS are busy with their own books. This one applies more to the JW’s. All rights reserved.
How to identify a cult…*
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16. Have they misrepresented the Christian churches and their major teachings? Hmmm… those pastors that are teaching the doctrines of Lucifer? The “sectarians” that believe other than LDS and in a “false christ” or “unknown god”? …back to the idea of “the great apostasy” and being “abominations,” missing “plain and precious truths,” and lacking “the organization of Jesus Christ” on the earth, and His “power and authority” through the LDS priesthood. 17. Are members required to sever all ties with the past? Not really, but severing family ties a little bit at a time through especially exclusive Temple Marriage is close. This is more an unspoken consequence to membership than a requirement. 18. Does it have an authoritarian structure? It’s all about “the authority” to act in the name of god, to “judge Israel”, and to manage the membership… Auxiliary Presidencies, Bishop, Stake President, Seventies, High Council, General Authorities, The 12 Apostles, The Prophet and Church Presidency 19. Are people regimented by threats or bribes and disciplined to conform? Is striving (from age 3) to be worthy to obtain a Temple Recommend from the bishop, and thereby access to eternal life and godhood, considered a bribe? Is “disfellowshiping” and “excommunication” a threat or just discipline to conform? There’s always feeling compelled to confess to leaders and submitting to “church discipline” in general. 20. Are members obviously exploited financially? Two words: “Tithing Settlement.” What about the Law of Consecration – everything you own, your time, talents, and posterity TO The Church. 21. Does it deny the unconditional acceptance of all Scripture? No, just the unconditional acceptance of The Bible. 22. Does it deny the nature of Christ as fully God and fully man? Being a spirit son of Heavenly Father (HF) & Heavenly Mother makes one “fully Heavenly”, maybe, or physically “begotten” by HF and Mary is still not “fully God”. 23. Does it deny the Trinity? That would be Three In One, not “three separate ‘personages’ who are one in purpose.” 24. Does it deny the salvation through personal acceptance of Christ’s death on the cross as payment for all our sins? Personal acceptance, not a “we believe”; the payment ON THE CROSS, not in Gethsemane; for ALL sins…ALL… no shedding of one’s own blood required. Paid in full, finished, all Him/zero You for salvation? Yep… it denies that. 25. Are the people completely isolated from accurate Judeo-Christian beliefs and information? In spite of the fact that they carry a KJV Bible… COMPLETELY!
Compiled from several sources, secular and religious, published and online, With LDS commentary by K. Browning All rights reserved.
What does RECOVERY FROM A “CULT” ENTAIL ??
After-effects of participation in a cult: • GRIEF over betrayal, and SURVIVOR GUILT over friends/family still in • SHOCK – RE-defining everything in the belief system • Guilt/Shame, Self-blaming attitudes • Fears, paranoia, nightmares, panic attacks, depression/suicide • Loneliness, sense of alienation, complete loss of social network, friends, and family • Fear of joining groups or making a commitment • Distrust of professional services • Distrust in self & personal choices • Identity & role confusion • Problems defining a Value System (systematic rebellion… going “wild”) • Re-evaluating past experience (keeping good, discarding bad) • Un-learning practices, discarding cult language, redefining terms • Overcoming “aversions” ingrained by cult and re-evaluating “normalcy” • Lack of satisfaction – no longer “chosen”, “elite”, “saving the world” • Sense of being “under the magnifying glass” or “in a fishbowl” • Embarrassment in telling about past involvement, fears rejection • Loss of prestige, position, group purpose, participation • Fear of retribution for leaving or exposing practices • Culture shock in other religious environments.
…bottom line… help them get help from people who understand.
Compiled from several sources, secular and religious, published and online. All rights reserved.
The Book of Mormon Must Be True, Or it Must Be Wholly False The Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt —regarded by many LDS as the greatest mind of Mormonism put it this way:
"This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God to man, affecting both the temporal and eternal interests of every people under heaven to the same extent and in the same degree that the message of Noah affected the inhabitants of the old world. If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world; calculated to deceive and ruin millions who will sincerely receive it as the word of God, and will suppose themselves securely built upon the rock of truth until they are plunged, with their families, into hopeless despair. The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such that, if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it, if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it. …."If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, it should he extensively published to the world as such. The evidence and arguments upon which the imposture was detected should be clearly and logically stated, that those who have been sincerely, yet unfortunately, deceived may perceive the nature of the deception, and be reclaimed, and that those who continue to publish the delusion may be exposed and silenced."Introduction to "Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon." Pages 124-5.
Books: Out of Mormonism by Judy Robertson Understanding My Mormon Friend’s Faith and Mine by Judy Robertson The Mormon Scrapbook by Daniel G. Thompson Websites: www.utlm.org (Utah Lighthouse Ministries – the premiere & exhaustive Christian LDS resource. Known to LDS as anti-Mormon, but they were first to expose using all LDS documents. ) www.MormonismResearchMinistry.org www.WatchmanFellowship.org www.EvidenceMinistries.org www.MormonInfo.org www.JosephLied.org, www.YRULDS.org www.CARM.org (Christian Apologetics Research Ministry) www.ConcernedChristians.org (Local ministry & bookstore) www.helpingmormons.org www.IRR.org (Institute of Religious Research – extensive easy-to-read articles) Videos: DNA vs. The Book of Mormon The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon (highly recommended!) All rights reserved.
The lds “ARTICLES OF FAITH”
The Articles of Faith are a vital part of the LDS canon and are published in the Pearl of Great Price. They were composed by Joseph Smith to concisely represent key elements of LDS doctrine. They are memorized in Primary. (Commentary of implications in parenthesis)
We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. (God – a glorified man, Jesus – the spirit-brother of Lucifer, Holy Ghost – another “personage” 2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression. (Jesus atoned for Adam’s transgression in Gethsemane. There is no innate “sin nature” in man. 3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. (Saved = universal resurrection, the Gospel = Mormonism) 4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Ordinances of the LDS gospel, Jesus Christ (see #1) Baptism & Laying hands by LDS Priesthood, the only authority of god on earth.) 5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. (LDS Priesthood, prophecy is for The Prophet to give continuing revelation to the LDS church.) 6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth. (not spiritual gifts, but assigned jobs) 7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth. (Tongues = ability to learn and speak foreign languages, the rest is for priesthood & prophets) 8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. (And there-in lies the rub.) 9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. (Continuous Revelation, Kingdom of God = LDS church.) 10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. (They are “Israel” all others are “Gentiles” until they join The Church, New Jerusalem…in Missouri, Renewed Earth = Telestial Kingdom.) 11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. (Leave us alone, and we’ll leave you alone, unless you’re trying to leave, in which case, send us a legal letter in triplicate to get your name off our records and avoid church discipline proceedings including but not limited to a church court, disfellowshipping, excommunicating, character assassination, labeling you “apostate,” and pressure from leaders, family, and friends.) 12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. (The law of the land… But someday we’ll be in charge & you’ll be sorry.) 13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. (Well, Paul wrote it first.)
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Witnessing to mormons
Know their story ~ TELL YOUR STORY SHARE HIS STORY!
• PRAY – it’s Spiritual Warfare • Don’t debate, witness Jesus. • Understand that to them there is security in the discipline and structure of the LDS church. We see it as a burden. They may not admit to burdens until breakdown. • Find the problem that Mormons have with Mormonism… Reach them at the point of STRESS versus the point of COMFORT
Example: The simple answers provided by the LDS church give COMFORT. (Who is God? A glorified man.) Striving for Perfection (a requirement) and Worthiness (a requirement) is a point of STRESS. All Blessings are conditional upon obedience = STRESS.
• Some don’t believe what the church teaches. So ask if they really believe what they say. • INVITE, INVITE, INVITE!
– HYMN SING!!! – Youth activities! – Missionary Banquets
Mark 10:29 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields – and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last and the last first.”
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