Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Six

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

As Smith’s church slowly grew, he sent out missionaries (a euphemism for reconnaissance scouts) to Ohio, then in 1831 led seventy five followers to Kirtland, Ohio, where they joined a preacher named Sidney Rigdon and his congregation of one hundred.

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind.  And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.  Matthew 15:14

There Smith utilized the basic and effective psychological ploy of telling his congregants what they wanted to hear.  To this end he started referring to them as ‘latter day saints.’  Again, Smith usurped God’s authority when he sanctified others.

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
  1 Corinthians 4:3-5

Once settled in Kirtland, Smith sought to grow his church by sending missionaries to fan throughout America seeking converts.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.  Matthew 23:15

The church grew gradually in Kirtland, and in December of 1832 Smith convened nine priests in prayer, and they claimed to have received a revelation that spanned two days in which they were told the only way into the presence of God was through the temple.  Very true...

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  1 Corinthians 6:19

...yet Smith's understanding of that seems wildly misinterpreted.  Instead he and his followers constructed not a Christian church in Kirtland, but a temple inspired by the Old Testament, 'a house of God and a school for the Prophets, dedicated unto the Lord from the foundation thereof, according to the order of the priesthood.'  Comprised of a lower and upper court spanning three stories, the edifice was a combined place of worship, school and Mormon office, as well as a place of secret rituals of anointing and blessing that connected the latter day saints to God.  Following consecration of the temple, Mormons claimed to have experienced three months of miracles within its walls, which they likened to Pentecost.  They heard rushing of wind, and angelic choirs; they witnessed angels fly in through the windows, and God standing beside Joseph Smith.

In the Bible, New Jerusalem appears in Revelation. 

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  Revelation 21:1

Joseph claimed to receive all knowledge through revelation, and proclaimed to his followers that new Jerusalem, or the city of Zion, was to be located in Independence, Missouri, where one of his followers had purchased a tract of land.   In a vision he saw it as the gathering place of saints in the last days, and that he was to build a temple there. 

He also began teaching his followers that the garden of Eden was also on the site in Independence, which begs the question: where are the rivers? and Assyria and Ethiopia?

And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and onyx stone.
And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria.  And the fourth river is Euphrates
.  Genesis 2:10-14

What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part One
What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Two
What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Three
What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Four
What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Five
What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Six
What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Seven

What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Eight

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