Thursday, June 28, 2012

What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Three

Read What The Bible Says About Mormon revised and in its entirety here.  

Although Joseph Smith received his first ‘revelation’ when he was fourteen, he never recorded a final account of it until 1838, when he was 33.  The Mormon church had existed for eight years, and he’d had plenty of time to tailor the event to his needs.  So did his second momentous encounter have years to incubate in his imagination before he offered a final version of it.

After money digging for a couple of years, Smith claimed he realized he’d gone astray and lost his way.  In 1823, when he was seventeen, he repented, and one night in his room offered up to God a prayer for forgiveness.  It was answered that night by the appearance of the angel Moroni.  He was the last prophet of a race that had vanished from ancient America.  He revealed to Smith the existence of a collection of golden plates containing a history of the religion of his people.  Moroni explained that he and his father, Mormon, had engraved them with Egyptian hieroglyphs many centuries before.  Moroni told Joseph that he was chosen to go get them.

Moroni appeared three more times that night and the following morning, and directed Smith to the location of the plates that very afternoon.  Smith went to a hill ‘convenient to the village of Manchester,’ and on the slope found a round stone beneath which was hidden a stone box containing the golden plates and an instrument for translation: two transparent stones fixed like eyeglasses to a breastplate that Moroni identified as the Urim and Thummim used by ancient Israelite prophets.  He tried to remove the objects from the box but could not, and was chastised by the angel for ignoring the commandments of God and intending to use the plates to get rich.  Moroni commanded him to return to the hill once every year “until the time should come for obtaining the plates.”  Then the angel departed.

Most Mormon temples have huge golden statues of Moroni mounted atop their spires.  Here is a good link for a few photos and more information about how the statues fit into the LDS tradition.  And here is a picture of the one at Hill Cumorah, where Smith claimed the original plates were found.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God
.  Exodus 20: 4-5

Furthermore, it is also written:  The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.  Deuteronomy 7:25

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