Minister Gerald A. “Doc” Thomas, Westside Baptist Church
I'm gonna be a mighty King, so enemies beware! I've never seen a king of beasts with quite so little hair. I'm gonna be the mane event; like no king was before; I'm brushing up on looking down; I'm working on my roar. Thus far a rather uninspiring thing; Oh, I just can't wait to be King! The prodigal son wanted to do things his way and left his father's house with his inheritance. We must understand that in doing, he was acknowledging his father's death, since that's the only way to claim the inheritance. This is the plight of the religion we know as Mormonism. We, as Christians must understand their terminology compared to our terminology, to be effective witnesses to them. Our first and foremost dilemma is to show them that we care for them and that their salvation is of the utmost importance to us. I learned early on in the ministry that:“People don’t care how much you know; until they know how much you care.”
Let us pray:
Lucifer stated: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation. On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’--Isaiah 14:13-14. In Mormonism, this is their school of thought. They refer to line of thinking as exaltation. We are taught that Christ alone is exalted. Furthermore, the exalted character of the Son of God is the theme and dynamic of the New Testament. Jesus is the heir of all things; He is the Creator and also Reflector of God's glory. He has the stamp of God's nature, He upholds the universe with His power, and He is seated at the right hand of God-The Father.
Our desire is to understand the work of our Lord, see how His qualities shine as the noonday sun, to know what He is really like and the magnitude of what He has done, is doing, and what He will bring to pass! We must understand that Godhood is the ultimate goal of the Mormon. Still today, one of the first things Mormon children learn is the couplet: As man is now, God once was; As God is now, man may be. (The Life and Teaching of Jesus and His Apostles, p. 59). Spencer W. Kimball, quoted in the D&C Student Manual on page 358: “Brethren, 225,000 of you are here tonight. I suppose 225,000 of you may become gods. There seem to be plenty of space out there in the universe.”
Gospel Principles 2009, page 16, states: “By following His (Jesus') teaching, we can inherit a place in the celestial kingdom. He did His part to help us return to our Heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation.” This is a direct contradiction of Ephesians 2:8-9 which states: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. The way they are contributing what they must do, takes away all that God does. This gift that God provides does not exist in their doctrine. Our part is to bring our sin to the table however; that's also a gift that Christ provides for us. The perfect righteousness and holiness that God expects from us; He provides for us. Everything is done for us in Christ.
Mormons talk about exaltation much like we, as Christians, talk about salvation. If we want to get to the heart of the matter with a Mormon, we need to talk about how they think they will be exalted, not how they think they are saved. “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”--Matthew 23:12. We must also address:“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”--Philippians 2:9-11.
The Mormons, with their belief that they will become Gods, don't believe in this verse. If they will ascend to the celestial kingdom and be a god, what place of honor does Jesus have then? Isaiah 44:6 states: “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.” If they can become gods, they must be false gods since Yahweh will never share His glory with another. He stated: “for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”--Exodus 34:14. Mormons, although they claim to be Christians, don't see Jesus as equal with the Father; they see Him subservient.
Mormons, according to Gospel Principles 2009, pages 275-277, explains exaltation in this manner: Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father ofspirit children. He is creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation. Then it goes on and states: If we prove faithful to the Lord, we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. We will become exalted, to live with our Heavenly Father in eternal families. Exaltation is the greatest gift that Heavenly Father can give his children (see D&C 14:7).
Furthermore, it addresses some of the blessings given to exalted people: 2) They will become gods according to D&C 132:20-23; 5) They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus have....all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge IAW D&C 132:19-20. This directly contradicts the Bible which states: “I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I willnot give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.”--Isaiah 42:8.
Now I will segue to another important topic to be discussed. I will start with the following: “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “ I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”“ I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.”--2 Corinthians 6:16-18. The temple of God, True Christianity and idols idolatrous, demonic, false religions, are utterly incompatible. Here is Mormonville, we witness firsthand how totally opposite our two belief systems are; or do we have opposite views? We use the same theological terms however these terms have different meanings to the members of the respective houses. We must look at the etymology which is the origin and historical development of a linguistic form as shown by determining its basic elements, earliest known use, and changes in form and meaning, tracing its transmission from one language to another, identifying its cognates in other languages, and reconstructing its ancestral form where possible. This is one area where believers in Christ differs from the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and other cults.
We must read our Scriptures, the Bible, to find the correct meaning to our terms and not the BOM, D&C, Gospel Principles, NWT, Studies in Scripture Series, etc... Like the great Sovereign Grace Preacher, the Apostle Paul, we must support our statements with Scripture. Other Scripture that supports the above statement are as follows: “I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.”--Leviticus 26:11-12.____“Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”--Jeremiah 24:7.____”But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”--Jeremiah 31:33-34.
Even a cursory reading of the Bible reveals that repentance is important. Therefore it is also important to define it carefully and accurately. This is not a place to be slipshod or careless. The Greek word translated repent literally means to change your mind. That is also an accurate description of repentance. In modern terms, it is a change of mindset, a changing of your paradigm. Biblical repentance is the gigantic shift from trusting in your own works to be right with God to trusting in Jesus’ works to make you right with God. It is rooted in the recognition of two important facts: 1) how utterly unable I am to do anything to make myself right with God; and 2) how fully and completely Jesus made me right with God. Repentance is seeing the light – it is nothing less than a new birth.
There are a number of things that naturally follow repentance. Once our eyes are open to the ugliness and seriousness of sin, we abhor it. Even though we abhor it, we see that we are still very weak in the face of it. Therefore, even though we try not to sin, we know we will sin. Down through the centuries, millions of repentant people have joined Paul in saying, “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”--Romans 7:19.
But not only does repentance open our eyes to our sinfulness, it also opens them to the greatness of God’s forgiveness.“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”--Psalm 32:1. A repentant person doesn’t think he has to quit sinning to remain in God’s good graces–he knows he can’t. Rather he remains trusting 100% in what Jesus has already done for him. Repentance, through and through, is turning completely away from trust in one’s goodness and works to trust in Jesus’ works.
That, however, is not the message of Mormonism. Its Inspired Version (JST) translates Psalm 32:1 this way: “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and who have no sins to be covered.” Consistently it describes repentance as a long process– a process that focuses not on a change in thinking but a change of action.
One part of the Mormonism’s process of repentance that startles many Christians is the “abandonment of sin”. “Maintain an unyielding permanent resolve that you will never repeat the transgression. When you keep this commandment, you will never experience the pain of that sin again.’ (True to the Faith, page 135). Over the years, I have had Mormons expand on this in two different ways. I have had some echo what this says and say that repentant persons will never repeat the sin again. If they do, that shows that they weren’t truly repentant. More often, however, are the Mormons who say that all this means is to try – but they don’t have to actually abandon the sin. I, however, have never found any official statement that watered it down in that way.
The second part of Mormonism’s process of repentance that strikes many Christians is the requirement of full obedience.“President Kimball said: ‘First, one repents. Having gained that ground he then must live the commandments of the Lord to retain his vantage point. This is necessary to secure complete forgiveness.” (Gospel Principles, pages 11-12) Again, many Mormons insert the word “try’ – in “try to live the commandments”. But that is not what it says. Consistently it says obey the commandments. In fact, I have read official statements which say to try, is a statement of weakness.
I, for one, would despair if I believed that I would have to not only abandon sin but keep all the commandments in order to secure God’s forgiveness. That is way, way, way, beyond my capability. That is why I am so glad that this is not what biblical repentance is. I am so glad that true repentance is abandoning not sin but all thoughts that I can do something like that and instead placing all trust in what Jesus has done. Because of Jesus, I am truly blessed as a repentant, forgiven man.
Now, I want to focus on the most is Doctrines & Covenants 132:19-20. At the beginning of verse 19, it explains what the requirements are to be married correctly to their standards. Then, it says that they will be given all sorts of things from powers to thrones and so on. What I have a problem with the most is at the end of 19 and most of 20. ”…and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. 20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.”
Okay, now when you read this, I’m hoping something sticks out to you. If it hasn’t let me give you a hint, it says: “there are other gods!” Dr. B. Grant Bishop stated on page 5 in his book 'The LDS Gospel of Light': “We also were “in the Beginning with God.” “We are 'intelligence, or the light of truth, [and we were] not created or made, neither indeed can be.”
Now, I don’t know about you but there’s only ONE God; Jesus is the Light of Truth and we were indeed created by Him and made in His image. The problem is that D&C and other LDS propaganda is wrong in what it’s teaching. Actually, I believe the correct term is heresy. The bible says that there is only one God: 1 Corinthians 8:4 states: “Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one,” while 1 Timothy 6:15-16 states: “He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen”. Not only that, but even the demons know that there is only one God as demonstrated in James 2:19: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!”
My last topic I would like to touch upon today is the so-called“Aaronic Priesthood.” This belief in continual revelation is rooted in the LDS concept of the priesthood. There are two different priesthoods in Mormonism: the Aaronic and the Melchizedek. The Aaronic is the lesser priesthood. The Aaronic Priesthood administers the temporal matters of the church and the Melchizedek Priesthood administers the spiritual. The Aaronic brings a person into the church of God upon the earth and the Melchizedek brings a person into the presence of God through the gospel and ordinances restored to the church. (Church News, June 24, 1989.) I will not address the three offices of this so-called priesthood right now but will concentrate on the wording.
The “Aaronic Priesthood” holders are not considered priests but priesthood holders. They are boys who are said to be“worthy” boys who enter this calling at the age of twelve when they first enter into what is known as the Aaronic Priesthood. While older male converts also enter into the Aaronic Priesthood, they quickly progress to the Melchizedek Priesthood. There's no biblical foundation for an Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood therefore, it is safe to say, that the Mormons add to the Word of God. The Levitical Priesthood, which belonged to all of the male descendants of Levi, Moses and Aaron's linage, was established by Jehovah God, to bear the iniquity related to the sanctuary and associated to the priesthood. Numbers 18:1-3 states: “Then the LORD said to Aaron: “You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear the iniquity related to the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity associated with your priesthood. Also bring with you your brethren of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may be joined with you and serve you while you and your sons are with you before the tabernacle of witness. They shall attend to your needs and all the needs of the tabernacle; but they shall not come near the articles of the sanctuary and the altar, lest they die—they and you also.”
Aaron and his sons from that point forward were responsible for any offense against the holiness of the tabernacle or violations of the rules of the priesthood. It is here especially, that the Mormons get it wrong. They fail to see the responsibility this priesthood was given. The Mormons leaders should repent and come to the Lord and lead their congregations to Him....the real Jesus. They fail to look at and realize the real penalties for violating priesthood ordinances. Numbers 18: 7 says:“Therefore you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything at the altar and behind the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood to you as a gift for service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”
No Mormon can legitimately claim or has ever claimed to my knowledge, to be in the Levitical or Aaronic linage thereby, violating the Levitical or as they claim, the Aaronic priesthood statutes. Coming near or claiming to be a priesthood holder would immediately bring forth death for the violator. According to Numbers 16:3 Korah and his men: “They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” These obstinate men wanted to control things, do their own thing and was brought before the Lord by Moses. The Mormons fail to understand this very dangerous claim they make which is similar to Korah's group. They believe that THEY are holy and can become gods!
Now pay close attention to their fate after Moses finished speaking to the children of Israel. In Numbers 16:31-34, it reads: “Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!”
Mormons must realize that “restoring the church” that was found upon the Lord Jesus as the “Cornerstone,” could not have happened because Christ never changes. They must look at Korah and his followers' fate and come to the realization that they cannot be holders of the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood because Jesus still and will always reign as the High Priest. They must also come to the conclusion that the penalty of such heresy is death which can be either or both physical and spiritual.
Bottom line is this: The Doctrines & Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, the Gospel Principles, the Ensign, and other publications such as the LDS Gospel of Light, are all Mormon books that are used to teach and indoctrinate. The D & C is to be used with the Bible from what the Mormons say. However, this book as well as the others mentioned, contradicts the Bible. How do you follow a religion that is based on something that is not only unbiblical, but also contradictory to God’s Word?