Sunday, August 12, 2012

Straight Talk - Straight Up

What are the Similarities and Differences in Mormon Doctrine vs. Other Christians?

Everyone knows the SIMILARITIES between Mormon Doctrine, and Other Christians.(Christian meaning someone who follows Christ and His teachings.)

Jesus Christ is the Son of God.(John 5:19, Luke 1:35)

Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.(1 John 4:14, Job 19:25)

Followers of Christ have been instructed to have Faith in order to be saved.(Matthew 14:31, Mark 9:23)

Followers of Christ have been commanded to Pray.(John 16:26)

It is a Commandment to only have sex with your spouse, who is to be of the opposite gender.(Leviticus 18:22, Ephesians 5, 1 Timothy 3:2)

"Thou shalt not Steal"(Exodus 20:15)

"Thou shalt not Kill"(Deuteronomy 5:17)

The Bible contains the Word of God.

As well as several other points of Doctrine.

So what are the DIFFERENCES between Mormon Doctrine, and Other Christians.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christian but is neither Catholic nor Protestant. Rather, it is a restoration of the original church established by Jesus Christ."

Unlike Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christianity, Mormonism does not include belief in the Trinity, in which the one God consists of three persons. Instead, Mormons believe that the "Godhead" is made up of three distinct beings who are "one in purpose" but not in being.

Faith is more than Belief.  Faith is an Action word.  If we have true Faith in Jesus Christ it will lead us to take Action to live His gospel.

"Faith without Works is dead."
-- James 2:26

Faith leads us to Repent.  The first fruits of Repentance is Baptism.  Baptism also includes Receiving the Holy Ghost by the Laying on of Hands.  Only those who hold the Priesthood can perform these ordinances. (If you are still confused about Mormon views on Priesthood Authority, Click HERE)

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, also Believe in an open Canon.  Whereas most of the Christian world believes that the Bible, and the Bible alone, contains God's word, Mormons believe the the Book of Mormon is also an ancient text of Scripture.  We also believe in a Modern Prophet, just as was had among the Jews from Moses until Christ.  They 'added' scripture all the time as the spake Prophecy and gave instruction to those who were alive at the time.  These ancient Prophets never taught contrary to their predecessors.  We DO NOT add to the Bible, we have separate books of Scripture that give further Light and Knowledge about Christ and His Church.

The statement given in Revelation 22:18-19 pertains only to the Book of Revelation, or the Revelation of Saint John.  If one was to claim that these verses spoke of the entire all 'Scripture', being the Bible, as a whole, they would of necessity have to believe that Moses spoke of 'all Scripture' when he said the same thing in Deuteronomy 4:2:

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."

Therefore all scripture should have ended with Deuteronomy 4:2 under this understanding, which is clearly not the way of God.

"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
-- Amos 3:7
Most Christians believe in Heaven or Hell and that's it.  We believe that the common understanding of Heaven and Hell is not accurate.

Mormons believe that the Plan of Salvation answers the questions of Where did I come from, Why am I here, and Where am I going? 
So Where DID we come from?

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
-- Jeremiah 1:5

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God."
-- John 1:1-2

We lived with God before we were born into mortality.  We learned the Gospel and chose to come here to Earth and gain a body so that we might become more like our Heavenly Father.  We also understood that we would not remember anything from before when we were born, causing us to live by Faith.

Why are we Here?

"And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."
-- Luke 10:27

This life is a probationary state.  We are to Keep the Commandments of God, which includes having Faith in Jesus Christ, Repenting of our Sins, being Baptized by someone holding the proper Priesthood Authority from God, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End of our life.

"Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God."
-- Mormon 9:28

"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."
-- Alma 34:32

Many say that you only need to declare Jesus as your Savior, this however means He doesn't require anything from us be to speak the word once.  Why then did He say to 'Keep My Commandments'?

"I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."
-- John 9:4

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had ended these sayings he said unto his disciples: Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it; but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death, and many there be that travel therein, until the night cometh, wherein no man can work."
-- 3 Nephi 27:33
Where are we Going?

Most Christians believe that when we die we go to either Heaven or Hell.  This is not exactly right.

Mormons believe that when we die our body goes to the grave, but our Spirit goes to what is called the Spirit World.  The Spirit world has two divisions, being Spirit Paradise, and Spirit Prison.  This Prison could be considered a Hell.

However this perspective explains why Christ told the Thief on the Cross that he would see Him that day in Paradise.  It also explains why the Gospel was Preached to those who already had their time on Earth.

"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
-- Luke 23:43

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;"
-- 1 Peter 3:18-19

"For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."
-- 1 Peter 4:6

This is where Catholicism gets the idea of Purgatory.  However the idea of praying for those who have passed on is not correct.  We here on the Earth cannot simply Pray for those who have died and have their sins be 'purged'.

The Bible does however declare what is to be done about those who have died without the Gospel of Christ.

"Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?"
-- 1 Corinthians 15:29

Mormons also believe that After Resurrection and Judgement, which come after the Spirit world, that there will be several 'Heavens'.

"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven."
-- 2Corinthians 12:2

"There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory."
-- 1 Corinthians 15:40-41

This is to show that God will have mercy on everyone, but to those who have kept His commandments He will give the greater blessing.

Only those who have a complete knowledge of truth, and then Turn against it and deny the Gospel of Christ will be condemned to Outer Darkness.

"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men."
-- Matthew 12:31

This picture depicts everything except Outer Darkness.

With an Open Canon and a Modern Prophet, many things which have not been understood in the past have been clarified.  Every six months we hear the words of a Prophet, General Conference is the first weekend on April and October.

There are few differences of Doctrine, and those that try to point out flaws in Scripture have not read the Book of Mormon with Honesty in their Heart.

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
-- Matthew 7:15

Why should we Beware of False Prophets, if there will not be any more True Prophets?

I know for myself, by the Power of God, that Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet on the Earth today.  He speaks with God like a friend.  He then declares God's word and His will to all people of the Earth.

"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
-- Amos 3:7

"And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend."
-- Exodus 33:11

Seek ye Truth, and ye shall find that I LIE NOT.
Proverbs 14:5, Galatians 1:20, 2 Corinthians 11:31

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

How to 'Unlearn, what You have Learned'.

I want to be a U.S. Marshal.  This means I have a very firm mindset.  I know exactly what I need to do and then I do it.  It leaves very little room for error, and I often tell others what bothers me.   In order to do what I want, I must first become who I want to be.

Unlearning a way of thinking is often very difficult, possibly the most difficult thing anyone would ever do.  With something that is hard physically, you simply go work out and build up strength until you can accomplish the task.  But when your obstacle is Mental you must be able to break it down, and yet not remove the wall.

Black Wall

I have wondered . . . How is it possible to build a Blue wall in the place of a Black wall without removing the Black wall?

Blue Wall

Then a good friend helped me to see that the wall doesn't have to be all one color.  Both colors can be part of the wall.  So all I have to do is figure out which bricks need replaced from the Black, and then remove it and insert a Blue brick.

"And according to his faith 
there was a mighty change wrought in his heart
Behold I say unto you that this is all true."

Knowing what to do is only the beginning, the actually doing it takes time and effort to change not only the way you act, but also the way you think.  Rethinking things and changing your mind is usually not all that difficult, but having a permanent change in how you see things is often a very hard struggle.

Black Wall with Blue Brick 'upgrades'

"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, 
if ye have experienced a change of heart
and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, 
I would ask, can ye feel so now?"

I have one year left on my Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In that time I hope to assimilate all the Blue bricks I need to in order to make my wall balanced as it should be.

"And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, 
have ye spiritually been born of God? 
Have ye received his image in your countenances? 
Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?"

"The bricks are fallen down, 
but we will build with hewn stones; 
the sycamores are cut down, 
but we will change them into cedars."

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Hercules - Resurrection and Eternal Life

What happens After we Die?

When we die, our bodies go into the Ground, but our Spirit lives on and goes to the Spirit World.

Meg's body is still outside against a rock, but Hercules comes to the Underworld to retrieve Meg's Spirit from the grasp of Hades.
2 Nephi 2:27
Jesus Christ also came to make the 'Resurrection' possible.  He is the 'First Fruits of them that Slept'.
Because of the Resurrection of Christ we shall all be Resurrected.
Alma 12:24-25

Hercules (the Son of Zeus) was willing to give up everything, even his own life, to save Meg.

Christ (the Son of God) was willing to give up everything, even His own life, to save us all.
Alma 7:12, John 15:13
After having reunited Meg's Spirit with her Body, the two of them are 'called up' to mount Olympus.

During the Millennium, After the Second Coming of Christ, the Resurrection will take place, and After the Resurrection we will all be 'called up' to be Judged before God.

This Judgement is the Final Judgement.  Our Eternal Destiny will be decided on the Choices we made in Mortality.  Alma 12:27

Only when he is with Meg is Hercules Happy.

Even if he had stayed at Olympus, Hercules would not have been a God.  Only because of Meg had he learned where he belonged, and it was wherever Meg was.

We often refer to our Spouses as our 'Better Half'.  Then why should that 'Better Half' of us be separated from us in the Eternities?

Even Zeus has Hera.

See 1 Corinthians 15 for more information.