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Featured What Mormons Believe--according to a Former BYU Professor

Discussion in 'Unorthodox Doctrine Forum' started by Prayer Warrior, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    Hi, everyone! It’s been a long while since I’ve posted; although, I have lurked a little here and there. Some of my last posts were on a thread concerning Mormonism (and, I think, maybe Buddhism).

    When I was a child, I had an aunt and uncle who became Mormons (also called LDS, Latter Day Saints). As far as I knew, it was just another Christian denomination with a few unusual practices, like abstaining from coffee and storing two year’s worth of food.

    A few years after I became a Christian, I read a book cowritten by an ex-Mormon, and I was shocked to learn that this group that calls itself Christian has very few beliefs that strictly line up with the Bible. I saw that this especially applies to their beliefs about Jesus Christ.

    Consider what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-5

    I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom: Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.​

    The gospel according to Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was certainly “something new” and is based on what Paul would call unsubstantiated “myths.” In fact, Mormons believe that Joseph Smith preached a “restored” gospel, but it's clearly a different gospel from the Christian gospel found in the Bible.

    This is what lds.org has to say about it:

    After the deaths of the Savior and His Apostles, men corrupted the principles of the gospel and made unauthorized changes in Church organization and priesthood ordinances. Because of this widespread apostasy, the Lord withdrew the authority of the priesthood from the earth. This apostasy lasted until Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 and initiated the Restoration of the fulness of the gospel.
    Source: lds.orgApostasy

    Discussions about Mormonism on this forum led me to look into this organization again. But I found that it’s very difficult to get ahold of all of their beliefs partly because some of their major beliefs and practices are cloaked in secrecy. This alone sets off alarm bells in my mind. As a Christian of over forty years, I have attended churches of many different denominations, but I have never attended a church that hid any of their official beliefs or practices from anyone.

    A couple of months ago, I was blessed to find a book by an ex-Mormon who had converted to Mormonism in her twenties and spent thirty years as a devout Mormon, even serving as a tenured professor at Brigham Young University. The title of the book is Unveiling Grace: the Story of How We Found Our Way out of the Mormon Church by Dr. Lynn Wilder.

    Since I don’t have a background in Mormonism, I decided to let this ex-Mormon explain some of the many unbiblical doctrines and practices of the Mormon religion. As a “temple-worthy” Mormon for many years, she is certainly qualified to do this, so I will be quoting directly from her book. It is important to note that the author’s husband served in various leadership positions, including that of high priest. They also have three sons who served as Mormon missionaries.

    One of the things I loved about this book is that it clearly was not written to hate on anyone. In fact, I saw the love of Jesus Christ in the heart of the author, and I found this to be very uplifting. I highly recommend this book!

    The love of God compels me to speak the truth about this to anyone who has ears to hear. It is my earnest prayer that Mormons and seekers who read this will see the truth and come to know the true Jesus Christ of the Bible as their Savior and Lord.

    Jesus said in John 8:32, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    ***Please note that I have obtained written permission from the author to quote her work. (All emphasis in bold in the quoted text has been added.)

    Lynn Wilder’s bio: Lynn K. Wilder is a former tenured professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She and her husband Michael left the Mormon Church after thirty years of devoted service to the church. Throughout those years, they held leadership positions and worked inside of the temple. In addition to raising their four children, the Wilders taught Mormon seminary, while Lynn went to doctoral school. Lynn’s previous experience teaching moved her into an instructor position at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana before being offered a prestigious professorial position at BYU, the Mormon “School of the Prophets.” As a result of their journey out of Mormonism and their desire to help others, the Wilders have formed Ex- Mormon Christians United For Jesus and their children are involved with a musical ministry, Adam’s Road, that work together to keep Christians safe from the pernicious false christs, false apostles, and false prophets, desiring that a veritable flood of Mormons will come to proclaim the Christ of the Bible and that Christians will avoid joining the Mormon Church. More information can be found at Ex-mormon Christians United For Jesus | Sharing Biblical truth in love | Home and www.adamsroadband.com.

    The following excerpt is from Chapter 3 of Unveiling Grace: the Story of How We Found Our Way out of the Mormon Church by Dr. Lynn Wilder:

    The LDS Church teaches that before the creation of the world, Heavenly Father had sired and Heavenly Mother had borne millions of their spirit children. After the world was created, these spirits eagerly waited to come to earth to receive physical bodies. Only the righteous spirits who had followed Jesus (not Satan) in the pre-existence war in heaven were allowed by Heavenly Father to come to earth. They longed to be born into a “righteous” family (Mormon), in which they could learn the “true gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mormonism).

    Wilder, Lynn K.. Unveiling Grace (p. 45). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Emphasis in bold was added.)

    The following excerpts are from Chapter 14:

    In Mormonism, the three members of the godhead are separate gods. The Christ I knew was an exalted man who worked his way to become a god. Some even believed he had once been a sinner. He had a body of flesh and bones and could be in only one place at one time. His blood alone did not wash away all sins. I related to this Christ because he was like me, and I thought of him as a kindly brother. Michael and I, as a temple-attending couple, were on the same path to godhood that this Christ had taken (well, I would be a queen or a priestess to my husband in his role as god); this Mormon Christ was just farther ahead.​

    The Heavenly Father of Mormonism also had a body of flesh and bones. He could not be in more than one place at a time either. He lived near the star Kolob. I thought of him as a merciless judge.​

    The Holy Ghost of Mormonism could be in only one place at one time as well. I received the gift of the Holy Ghost after Mormon baptism by the laying on of hands, and the Holy Ghost’s influence remained with me (shining down like the sun), but only until I sinned. If I did anything wrong, his influence left me, and I would experience trials until I repented. We took the sacrament every Sunday to have the sin janitor — the Mormon priesthood, who represented Jesus — sweep away these sins so the Holy Ghost’s influence could again shine down and we could be delivered from our sin-induced suffering.​

    In the pages of the Bible, however, I found a different God. This was a much bigger God whose words challenged my Mormon godhead. “Biggie-size your God!” a Pastor Shaw later told us. And that’s just what happened…. This bigger God has a message that conflicts with Mormonism. As I read the New International Version (and checked with the King James Version used by Mormons), I came upon blatant contradictions between teachings in the Bible and Mormon Church doctrine. Even though I’d taught the Bible in Mormon seminary, I had never paid attention to these contradictions…. We had been taught that we could read the Bible, but since the Bible was corrupt, we could not interpret it in any way that opposed Mormon doctrine.

    Wilder, Lynn K.. Unveiling Grace (pp. 194-197). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Emphasis in bold was added.)

     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  2. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    ***Please note that I have obtained written permission from the author to quote her work. (All emphasis in bold in the quoted text has been added.)

    The following excerpt is from Chapter 21 of Unveiling Grace: the Story of How We Found Our Way out of the Mormon Church by Dr. Lynn Wilder:


    The Mormon version of the old law includes temples, which seem like a judicious Old Testament biblical concept. God gave his people only one temple, in Jerusalem. In contrast, LDS temples are proliferating, 141 of them at last count. What the Jews did in the temple and what the Mormons do in their many temples are in no way similar. Jews gave tithes to support the priests, yes, but also to demonstrate their thankfulness to God and reliance upon him for their sustenance. The Mormons tithe to support their church organization and as a prerequisite to attend the temple, where they receive the saving ordinances (baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek priesthood [for men], the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing). Performed by the authority of the LDS priesthood, these ordinances are essential to LDS exaltation. With each ordinance, the godly few temple-worthy Mormons enter into solemn covenants with the Mormon Lord. The result is that they learn how to be elevated to the highest rung of heaven, where they can achieve godhood and live with the Father and the Son and have plural wives (or be one). They pay and work their way through the Mormon Jesus’ representatives to exaltation in the celestial kingdom.​

    The purpose of the Jewish temple was not to exalt one to godhood but to demonstrate that one needs a Savior. At the Jewish temple, Jews offered animal sacrifices to demonstrate sorrow for their sins and to seek God’s forgiveness. Jewish temple attendees placed their hands on the unblemished lamb to transfer their sins to it. In exchange, they received the righteousness of the lamb sacrificed. All of this is a likeness of the Messiah, Jesus, the perfect sacrificial Lamb. The sacrifices conducted in the Jewish temple were a representation of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross (Rom. 8:3 – 4). That’s why Paul says the old law has passed away — temples included (2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Peter 2:5; Acts 7:48; Jer. 7:4). Jesus fulfilled the law (Heb. 7 – 10).​

    At the moment of Jesus’ death, when he atoned for our sins on the cross, the Jewish temple veil was rent from top to bottom to give us direct access to God. In the Mormon Church, the temple veil is still up. Worthy church members must progress through a literal white veil by giving the signs and tokens and handshakes of the Mormon priesthood to access God. While working in the temple, Michael and Micah [author's husband and son] both have played the role of God behind the veil. I was a temple worker who helped the women give the signs and tokens that allowed them to pass through the veil and enter God’s presence. This Mormon version of an Old Testament system of laws and ordinances kept me veiled from the real Jesus.​

    In performing LDS temple work, I was in subjugation to Joseph Smith and his god, since Mormon temples were their invention. Jesus himself warns in Matthew 24:26, “If anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness [desert, in the King James Version],’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.” We were once told a story of Christ appearing in the inner rooms of the Salt Lake Temple.(50) And Brigham Young said of Brother Joseph, “Every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, Junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are”(51) and “if we live so that Joseph will justify us . . . we will pass into the celestial kingdom.”(52) Even today in order to join the Mormon Church, the baptismal interview requires one to accept that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through the Prophet Joseph.(53) I no longer want to go where Joseph Smith is the gatekeeper!​

    Who blinded me? Second Corinthians 4:3 – 4 explains, “Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” It was the god of this world whose demons had visited me and who had watched over me before I knew Jesus.

    Wilder, Lynn K.. Unveiling Grace (pp. 316-318). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Emphasis in bold was added.)
    Footnotes:

    50. As Mike and I were leaving the Salt Lake Temple celestial room (which represents the highest rung of heaven) with Micah, an elderly temple worker invited us into a back office that once belonged to temple president Lorenzo Snow. Near the Holy of Holies, the man whispered this story to us that, in 1898, Lorenzo Snow was in line to be the next Mormon Church prophet. As the current prophet lay dying, Lorenzo Snow was burdened by taking on the mantle of prophet, so he prayed. To his surprise, Jesus Christ himself appeared to him right there, standing three feet above the floor by the stairs exactly where we were standing. See LeRoi C. Snow, “An Experience of My Father’s,” The Improvement Era (September 1933), www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=bb9555faa5cab010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=21bc9fbee98db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD.​

    51. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses (October 9, 1859), 7:289.​

    52. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses (March 8, 1857), 4:271.​

    53. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, A Guide to Missionary Service: Preach My Gospel (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2004), 206.​

    Wilder, Lynn K.. Unveiling Grace (p. 366). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  3. Jane_Doe22

    Jane_Doe22 Well-Known Member

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    PrayerWarrior:

    I'm going to be direct here: I'm an actual member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, nicknamed "Mormon". What you are pointing here does not remotely match up to my or other LDS Christians beliefs.

    Now, I'm going to directly state this: I don't give a rat's tail what you believe. Both about what your personal beliefs about deity, and whatever it is you want to believe about what I believe.

    If you want to learn and get your facts straight from a person who has zero conversion agenda (like I said, I don't give a rat's tail about what you believe), then you can ask and I will answer the facts about what I actually believe.

    If you want to believe that mountain of false info given by axe grinders, you can believe that and you can shout it from the mountain tops. Doesn't change anything for anyone. But no, I shall not be adjusting my beliefs from any conversation with you, and will view any such ill-founded prostlzing attempts as personal attacks and place you on "ignore".
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  4. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    It is a case presented by an ex-Mormon, now if you look, you can find testimonials from ex-Christians that have converted to Islam. Of course they denounce Christianity. Those that believe in Christ are part of body of Christ. Now that body today, has been fractured into tens of thousands of denominations. Which on one hand means you have an endless supply of people to condemn. But is that the Christian way, even if they do not believe as you do. Is this how Christ would think......John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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  5. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    Just curious. Are you related to the person posting as Jane-Doe22 in any way?
     
  6. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Hello Pray Warrior, No not related to Jane. I am a Christian that fellowships with many denominations. I believe in freedom of religion, if you do not, you should visit a communist country, so you can see and feel their approach to religion...lol I don't mean leave the country, I mean on vacation. The facts are that the wolves are circling Christianity today, so we should have some form of unity.
     
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  7. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I'm well aware that you are LDS, and as a temple-worthy member, I seriously doubt that you have no agenda here. I mean, we all have an agenda, right? So, I'll carry out my agenda, which is to inform anyone interested about unbiblical LDS doctrines, and you feel free to carry out yours. After all, we're all adults (I think ;)).

    I trust that God will make the truth evident to all who seek the truth.
     
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  8. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    And your denomination is? Before you tell me, do you think Jane or I will condemn it?
     
  9. Jane_Doe22

    Jane_Doe22 Well-Known Member

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    I'm hear because I enjoy chatting with other folks who love Christ.

    If you agenda is to tell other people what you think I believe (whether or not you have your facts straight), then you can spend your time doing that. I don't care.
     
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  10. Jane_Doe22

    Jane_Doe22 Well-Known Member

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    If you or anything else wants to know anything; you can just ask. It's not remotely hard. Just ask.
     
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  11. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    Anyone should be ashamed and embarrassed of going to a disgruntled ex-member of ANY organization to get "supposedly" accurate, unbiased information about that group.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  12. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    I'm concerned that you perceive anything I've written as a personal attack against you. That was certainly not my intention.

    And the author of Unveiling Grace, Lynn Wilder, is not interested in attacking anyone either. She is a very meek person who shares what she was taught as a Mormon for 30 years. When I was reading her book, I never had the sense that she was attacking anyone.
     
  13. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    On the other hand, it is important to listen to what those who have been saved out of cults have to say about their previous history. As pointed out by the OP, the person being quoted is not *disgruntled* at all. But even if they were, facts are facts. As long as there is no misrepresentation.

    Sandra and Jerald Tanner came out of Mormonism many years ago and wrote an expose about the LDS Church called Mormonism: Shadow or Reality? (which I own). It was worth reading, and naturally, it was attacked by those who did not want any exposes of Mormonism.

    Here is what one reviewer had to say:
    This book is widely acknowledged and referenced as one of the best (though critical)source books on the Mormon Religion. The book was compiled by Sandra Tanner and her late husband Jerald: I say compiled because a large part of the the book is quotation, though, of course, with commentary. Both Tanners were brought up in Mormonism (Sandra is a direct descendant of Brigham Young, the Second Prophet of the church), but they left it in their early 20s and were subsequently excommunicated.
     
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  14. Jane_Doe22

    Jane_Doe22 Well-Known Member

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    What is your intention?
     
  15. Jane_Doe22

    Jane_Doe22 Well-Known Member

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    By this logic: if I want to know about Christianity, I should ask an ex-Christian whom has embraced Islam "what do Christians really believe?"
     
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  16. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    Does it make any sense that if a person was lied to in order to get them to join an organization... that they would stay there for even a day more if they were suddenly made to now know all sorts of things that had been kept secret from them when they were recruited? I sure would on the first bus outta there.
     
  17. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    LOL, it doesn't matter if you condemn me. My conscience doesn't condemn me.

    I'm nondenominational at this point in my Christian walk, but over the last 40 something years, I've attended these denominations/churches:

    Presbyterian, Baptist (Southern and Free Will--go figure), Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, Assemblies of God, community churches, Bible churches, etc. I don't even remember them all. (I'm no spring chicken. :()

    I've also used various translations of the Bible--Revised Standard, New American Standard, KJV, ESV, HCSB, NIV, Amplified Bible, etc. I use paraphrases very sparingly and completely avoid The Message (not to offend anyone) because Peterson replaced the portion of the Lord's prayer "on earth as it is in heaven" with a common occult phrase, "as above, so below."

    Hope this answers your question. I realize that this is more info than you asked for. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  18. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    It actually doesn't make sense, but it happens. Why don't you read the book?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  19. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    Did you block me, LOL? I openly stated my agenda up above.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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  20. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    Hey, @Nancy

    Long time no "see." Glad to see you're still posting. I had to take a break. Too much going on in life for a while. Hopefully, things are more settled for a little while. :)

    Been playing a lot of guitar these days. How about you?
     
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