This Site

Entire Web

 

 

 

Home > Issues > Questions Regarding the LDS Church (Mormons)

Questions Regarding
The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)
by Daniel Newby, May 26, 2005


Foreword: As primary sources, I attempt to rely upon those accepted by the LDS church and its members, and that can be found with relative ease. I have also tried to keep opinion to a minimum.  I do believe that it is both healthy and essential to publicly challenge and rigorously debate all religious philosophies, claims, and assertions.  If you do not concur with this belief, then you are probably not ready to read this.

Topics:

PART I: Questions of Legitimacy

  Regarding Scriptural Alterations

  Regarding Multiple Wives

  Regarding Spiritual Gifts

  Regarding the Book of Mormon

  Regarding the Name of the Church

  Regarding Objective LDS History

PART II: Questions of Loyalty & Trust

  Regarding Loyalty to Mortals

  Regarding Loyalty to an Organization

PART III: Questions of Authority

  Regarding Melchizedek/Aaronic Priesthoods

  Regarding Offices

  Regarding Baptism

PART IV: Questions of Occult Relationships

  Regarding Masonic & LDS Temple Origins

  Regarding Blood/Penal Oaths

  Regarding Masters & Titles

  Regarding Clothing

  Regarding Work for the Dead

PART V: Questions of Moral Character

  Regarding Boasting

  Regarding Honors of Men

 

 

PART I: Questions of Legitimacy

Regarding Scriptural Alterations

We will provide two of many examples of the type of alterations found throughout LDS scriptural and historical records.  Following each passage, we will attempt to ask one or more questions from the perspective of someone seeking truth and consistency.

The first example is found in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 10, which discusses Joseph Smith's loss of many transcribed pages from the Book of Mormon. The words in bold strikethrough were deleted from the original version of this account found in the Book of Commandments published in 1833. The words in red bold underline were added to the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants (a few minor changes were made in later translations):

"NOW, behold I say unto you, that because you have delivered up so many those writings, which you had power given unto you to translate by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them, . and you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened. nevertheless it has been is now restored unto you again: therefore, see that you are faithful and go continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun. Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate, but be diligent unto the end. Pray always, that you may come off conquerer; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and those that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.

"Behold they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted, has sought to destroy you. and for this cause I said, that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been intrusted entrusted; and he has also sought to destroy your gift, and because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold they wicked men have taken them from you: therefore, you have delivered them up; yea, that which was sacred unto wickedness. And behold, Satan has hath put it into their hearts to alter the words which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated, which have gone out of your hands; and behold I say unto you, that because they have altered the words, they read contrary from that which you translated and caused to be written; and on this wise the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work; for he has hath put it into their hearts to do this, that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate.

"Verily I say unto you, that I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing, for behold he has put it into their hearts to get thee to tempt the Lord their thy God, in asking to translate it over again; for And then, behold they say and think in their hearts, We will see if God has given him power to translate, if so, he will also give him power again; and if God giveth him power again, or if he translate translates again, or in other words, if he bringeth forth the same words, behold we have the same with us, and we have altered them: Therefore, they will not agree, and we will say that he has lied in his words, and that he has no gift, and that he has no power: therefore, we will destroy him, and also the work, and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end, and that we may get glory of the world.

"Verily, verily I say unto you, that Satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to do iniquity against that which is good, And their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations; and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; therefore they will not ask of me. Satan stirreth them up, that he may lead their souls to destruction, and thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God; but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment. yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against the this work; yea, he saith unto them, Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy: behold this is no harm, and thus he flattereth them and telleth them that it is no sin to lie, that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him, and thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare; and thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men.

"Verily, verily I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to deceive, because he supposeth that another lieth to deceive, for such are not exempt from the justice of God. Now, behold they have altered those these words, because Satan saith unto them, He hath deceived you, and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to get thee to tempt the Lord their thy God.

"Behold I say unto you, that you shall not translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands; for behold, they shall not lie any more accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words; for behold, if you should bring forth the same words, they would will say that you have lied; and that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted your words yourself; and behold they would will publish this, and Satan would will harden the hearts of the people, to stir them up to anger against you, that they might will not believe my words: thus Satan would thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work might may not come forth in this generation: but behold here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation." (Book of Commandments 9:1-7 and Doctrine and Covenants 10:1-34. Unfortunately, the Book of Commandments appears to only be found on anti-LDS websites. The following site appears to be the most innocuous, at least in presenting the book: http://www.2think.org/hundredsheep/boc/boc_main.shtml)

Questions: Again, the above passage purports to contain a direct revelation from God, and discusses the loss of 116 pages of the first translation Joseph Smith attempted.  God appears to be telling Joseph Smith that they cannot re-translate and re-publish these same 116 pages because, in essence, those who captured those pages would alter the original and cast doubt upon God and his work.

Yet, if God is so particular about having his words altered, why do some of these revisions significantly alter this very revelation?  In other words, why would God be so concerned about how his enemies would alter his words, and how that might look to the world, when his servants were also altering his words?

The second example is Book of Commandments, Section 4:5-6, wherein God purportedly stated the following:

"And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hearts, I will work a reformation among them, and I will put down all lyings, and deceivings, and priestcrafts, and envyings, and strifes, and idolatries, and sorceries, and all manner of iniquities, and I will establish my church, like unto the church which was taught by my disciples in the days of old.

"And now if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold, I will deliver them up unto Satan, for he reigneth and hath much power at this time, for he hath got great hold upon the hearts of the people of this generation; and not far from the iniquities of Sodom and Gomorrah, do they come at this time; and behold the sword of justice hangeth over their heads, and if they persist in the hardness of their hearts, the time cometh that it must fall upon them...."

These verses were permanently removed in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants without any clear explanation.

Questions: Is it reasonable to believe that God, without any explanation, would take such a warning out of his word, which had already been shared with the world?  Would not such significant deletions and alterations illicit confusion and even charges of fraud and tampering from those seeking consistency and truth?

Back to Index

Regarding Multiple Wives

The Book of Mormon states:

"For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son. Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph. Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes. For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things. For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands. And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts. For they shall not lead away captive the daughters of my people because of their tenderness, save I shall visit them with a sore curse, even unto destruction; for they shall not commit whoredoms, like unto them of old, saith the Lord of Hosts." (Jacob 2:22-33, bold added)

Joseph Smith introduced the doctrine of polygamy as follows:

"Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines... David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me... David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord."  (Doctrine and Covenants 132:1,38-39, bold added)

Questions: Were David and Solomon abominable for taking multiple wives as the Book of Mormon appears to state, or were they given multiple wives by God as the Doctrine and Covenants appears to state?

One hypothetical justification for this apparent discrepancy is that, when the Lord told Jacob: "Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord," he was only referring to the wives the Lord did not give David and Solomon (including perhaps the case of Uriah, where David committed adultery and murder).

But is it reasonable to assume that God is such a poor communicator that he would overlook such details and potential confusion when teaching such a core doctrine?  Again, as mentioned previously, God purportedly went to great lengths to avoid potential issues regarding the transcribed pages Joseph Smith lost.

To continue, the header for Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132, states:

"... Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831."

LDS President Joseph F. Smith also claimed that:

"The great and glorious principle of plural marriage was first revealed to Joseph Smith in 1831, but being forbidden to make it public, or to teach it as a doctrine of the Gospel, at that time, he confided the facts to only a very few of his intimate associates." — Joseph F. Smith, Deseret News, May 20, 1886

Yet, this admission appears to contradict a purported revelation given in 1831 and published in the aforementioned Book of Commandments in 1833:

"And again, I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry, is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man: Wherefore it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation; and that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made." — Book of Commandments 52:16-17

Questions: Is it reasonable to assume that God would indicate one wife for every man when his servants were taking multiple wives?  Would he not be more clear so as to avoid confusion and claims of illegitimacy?

Next, consider verses 1-3 of Section 132:

"VERILY, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines... Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter. Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same." [bold added]

Now examine verses 51-52:

"Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice. And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God." [bold added]

Joseph Smith apparently inquired to know God's stand on polygamy after he had already taken other wives. Yet, the Book of Mormon appears to assert that no one is to take more than one wife unless the Lord first commands them to do so:

"For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things." (Jacob 2:30)

Question: Why would God command his servant to seek permission to practice plural marriage and then ignore the fact that permission had not been sought prior to taking additional wives?
Note: Also, early LDS church leaders had many wives, and yet there was never a command recorded, either in Doctrine and Covenants 132 or elsewhere, to "raise up seed," as per the Book of Mormon's purported purpose for this practice.

In addition, Section 132 was not included in the Doctrine and Covenants until 1876, and was not widely circulated until long after Joseph Smith's death in 1844.

Question: Is it reasonable to assume that God would hide Section 132 from the world, particularly when observers were wondering why his servants were taking multiple wives without any explanation?

An "Article of Marriage" was added to the 1835 version of the Doctrine and Covenants, however. This article was deleted in the same year that section 132 was added. Here is part of that original "Article on Marriage":

"Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again." [bold and underline added]

The word "but" appears to possibly be significant as it appears in the case of the woman's partner(s), but not in the case of the man's partner(s).

Questions: Would God phrase such a document in this fashion if his followers were indeed already taking more than one wife?  Would not those seeking consistency and truth be discouraged to read a document such as this and thereafter learn that LDS leaders were already taking multiple wives?

Other declarations are equally puzzling:

"Do the Mormons believe in having more wives than one? No, not at the same time. But they believe that if their companion dies, they have a right to marry again. But we do disapprove of the custom, which has gained in the world, and has been practiced among us, to our great mortification, in marrying in five or six weeks, or even in two or three months, after the death of their companion. We believe that due respect ought to be had to the memory of the dead, and the feelings of both friends and children." — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 3, p. 28, see also Elder's Journal, cited in vol. I, no. II, pp 28-29, bold added).

Consider this public notice in the Times and Seasons 5:3:423, apparently written after Doctrine and Covenants 132 was given:

"TIMES AND SEASONS. CITY OF NAUVOO, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1844. NOTICE.

"As we have lately been credibly informed, that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching Polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, state of Michigan.

"This is to notify him and the Church in general, that he has been cut off from the church, for his iniquity; and he is further notified to appear at the Special Conference, on the 6th of April next, to make answer to these charges.

"JOSEPH SMITH,
HYRUM SMITH,
Presidents of said Church." [bold added]

Here are additional examples:

"CERTIFICATES OF WILLIAM AND HENRY MARKS. Inasmuch as John C. Bennett has called upon me through the Sangamo Journal to come out and confirm the statements which he has made concerning Joseph Smith and others, I take this opportunity of saying to the public, that I know many of his statements to be false, and that I believe them all to be the to be the offspring of a base and corrupt heart, and without the least shadow of truth, and further that he has used my name without my permission. I believe him to be a vile and wicked adulterous man, who pays no regard to the principles of truth or righteousness, and is unworthy the confidence of a just community. I would further state that I know of no Order in the Church which admits of a plurality of wives, and do not believe that Joseph Smith ever taught such a doctrine, and further, that my faith in the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and in Joseph Smith, is unshaken." — William Marks, given in Nauvoo on July 26, 1842, Times and Seasons, 3:19:875 [bold added]

"We are charged with advocating a plurality of wives, and common property. Now this is as false as the many other ridiculous charges which are brought against us. No sect have a greater reverence for the laws of matrimony, or the rights of private property, and we do what others do not, practice what we preach..." (Times and Seasons, 4:9:143, October 1, 1842, or pp. 939-940, bold added)

"...[F]or the information of those who may be assailed by those foolish tales about two wives, we would say that no such principle ever existed among the Latter-day Saints, and never will. This is well known to all who are acquainted with our books and actions, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants; and also all our periodicals are very strict on that subject, indeed far more so than the Bible." (Millennial Star, vol. 111, p. 74, bold added)

"What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers." — Joseph Smith, May 26, 1844, recorded in History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 411

Questions: Can it reasonably be argued that God is the author of such contradictory messages?  Does this not seem deceitful, which appears to be condemned by the Old Testament?

"Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully..." (Jeremiah 48:10)

To add to these questions, when President Gordon B. Hinckley was asked on Larry King Live about polygamy, he responded:

"The figures I have are from between two percent and five percent of our people were involved in it. It was a very limited practice; carefully safeguarded. In 1890, that practice was discontinued. The president of the church, the man who occupied the position which I occupy today, went before the people, said he had, oh, prayed about it, worked on it, and had received from the Lord a revelation that it was time to stop, to discontinue it then. That's 118 years ago. It's behind us... I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal. And this church takes the position that we will abide by the law. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, magistrates in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law." — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Larry King Live radio program, September 8, 1998

Question: Why would God's current prophet appear to philosophically and universally denounce the practice? Couldn't he perhaps openly declare that it was correctly introduced to raise up seed to the Lord as per the Book of Mormon's apparent directive, but was no longer required, and therefore the practice was ended? Why would God's servants speak in such a confusing fashion?

Back to Index

Regarding Spiritual Gifts

According to the Book of Commandments, Section 4:2, the following apparent revelation from God was given in March 1829:

"And he (Joseph) has a gift to translate the Book and I have commanded him that he shall pretend to no other gift, for I will grant him no other gift." [bold added]

One year later, on April 6, 1830, Joseph Smith presented the following purported revelation:

"BEHOLD, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou [Joseph Smith] shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ, Being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith. Which church was organized and established in the year of your Lord eighteen hundred and thirty, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April. Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith. For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name's glory. For thus saith the Lord God: Him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good, and his diligence I know, and his prayers I have heard. Yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen, and I will cause that he shall mourn for her no longer; for his days of rejoicing are come unto the remission of his sins, and the manifestations of my blessings upon his works. For, behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing, and they shall believe on his words, which are given him through me by the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world, yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart." (Doctrine and Covenants 21:1-9, bold added).

Questions: Are the callings of a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church, and the founder of God's church additional gifts?  If so, is not this inconsistent with the previous apparent revelation?

In the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 5:4 in 1835, the aforementioned passage from the Book of Commandments was altered to read (the words in red bold underline were added and the words in bold strikethrough were deleted):

"And he has you have a gift to translate the Book plates; and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you; and I have commanded him that he you shall should pretend to no other gift, until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto him you no other gift until it is finished." (This wording is the same in the current edition of the Doctrine and Covenants 5:4)

Questions: Is it consistent to believe that: 1) God would provide such apparently contradictory revelations and allow them to be publicly disseminated to the world, and, (2) that God's authorized servant would only correct the first revelation after he had assumed additional gifts? According the King Benjamin of the Book of Mormon:

"...He never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless and prosper you." (Mosiah 2:22)

Is it reasonable to assume that, with regard to the question of legitimacy and who ultimately holds power over God's church, God would allow his authorized servants to portray him in such a fashion?  It should be noted that these alterations are attributed to the same God that refused to allow Joseph Smith to re-translate the pages he lost because, again according to the official LDS record, God's enemies would attempt to change his word and discredit his entire work in this age of mankind.

Back to Index

Regarding the Book of Mormon

A revelation purportedly given to Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer in Fayette, New York, June 1829, in the Book of Commandments, Chapter 15, reads:

"Behold I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written; for in them are all things written, concerning my church, my gospel, and my rock. Wherefore if you shall build up my church, and my gospel, and my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you." [bold and underline added]

God appears to be stating that the things that were written up to that time — June 1829 — contained all that was necessary to build God's Church and proclaim his gospel to mankind.

In the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 16, however, this scripture has been altered to read the following (the words in red bold underline were added and the words in bold strikethrough were deleted):

"Behold I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written; for in them are all things written, concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock. Wherefore ; wherefore, if you shall build up my church, and upon the foundation of my gospel, and my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you."

Question: Is it reasonable to conclude that both of these revelations are consistent and authored by the same God?

Let us look in the Book of Mormon again to attempt to clarify this question. Jesus Christ [i.e. "the Lamb"] purportedly tells the prophet Nephi:

"For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb. And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation. (1 Nephi 13:35-36)

The Book of Mormon is apparently to come forth from the seed of the Nephites, and it is supposed to contain God's gospel and rock just as the aforementioned Book of Commandments originally stated. Speaking again of the Book of Mormon, God purportedly said:

"For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel." (3 Nephi 21:6, bold and underline added)

Questions: The wording states "the true points of my doctrine," not "some" or "many" true points of God's doctrine. Why then are the numerous books and other publications produced after June 1829 considered scriptural or canonical by the LDS Church, such as the Doctrine and Covenants, the Ensign, the Pearl of Great Price, etc.?  None of these are the sealed records of Lehi's seed and none are alleged to be written by Lehi's seed.  These additional works contain numerous references to doctrines that are apparently core to the salvation of mankind and seem not to be discussed — even remotely — in the Book of Mormon (examples: polygamy and temple work for the living and deceased). Is it reasonable to assume that God is the author of this apparent confusion or lack of clarity?

Back to Index

Regarding the Name of the Church

According to the Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ revealed the name of his church to the Nephite people: the "church of Christ".

"And they who were baptized in the name of Jesus were called the church of Christ." (3 Nephi 26:21, bold added)

"And they said unto him: Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter. And the Lord said unto them: Verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing? Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day; And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day. Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake. And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses' name then it be Moses' church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel. Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you; And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it. But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return." (3 Nephi 27:3-11, bold added)

On April 6, 1830, LDS church leaders met together presumably to fulfill the requirements of the laws of the land, and they named their church consistent with the admonition of the Book of Mormon, "The Church of Christ."

On May 3, 1834, Joseph Smith, as moderator, made a motion to change the name of the church to, "The Church of the Latter Day Saints," which was adopted by unanimous vote (The Evening and Morning Star, vol. 2, no. 20, p. 160, May 1834; History of the Church 2:62).

Four years later, on April 26, 1838, it was again changed to "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" and has remained thus since.

Questions: Is it reasonable to assume that God would periodically change the name of his church?  If Jesus Christ is the central character of God's religion on earth and all things are to be done in his name, is it reasonable to assume that God would instruct his church leaders to entirely leave out the name of Christ from the period of May 3, 1834 to April 26, 1838?

Back to Index

Regarding Objective LDS History

Apostle and Elder Boyd K. Packer, at the Fifth Annual Church Educational System Religious Educators' Symposium at Brigham Young University in August 1981, stated:

"I have come to believe that it is the tendency for many members of the Church who spend a great deal of time in academic research to begin to judge the Church, its doctrine, organization, and leadership, present and past, by the principles of their own profession. Oft-times this is done unwittingly, and some of it, perhaps, is not harmful...

"You seminary teachers and some of you institute and BYU men will be teaching the history of the Church this school year. This is an unparalleled opportunity in the lives of your students to increase their faith and testimony of the divinity of this work. Your objective should be that they will see the hand of the Lord in every hour and every moment of the Church from its beginning till now...

"Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer...

"There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not...

"Some things that are true are not very useful...

"That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weaknesses and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith. A destroyer of faith — particularly one within the Church, and more particularly one who is employed specifically to build faith — places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities...

"The final caution concerns the idea that so long as something is already in print, so long as it is available from another source, there is nothing out of order in using it in writing or speaking, or teaching. Surely you can see the fallacy in that. I have on occasion been disappointed when I have read statements that tend to belittle or degrade the Church or past leaders of the Church in writings of those who are supposed to be worthy members of the Church. When I have commented on my disappointment to see that in print, the answer has been. 'It was printed before, and it's available, and therefore I saw no reason not to publish it again.'

"You do not do well to see that it is disseminated. It may be read by those not mature enough for 'advanced history,' and a testimony in seedling stage may be crushed... Do not spread disease germs." — Elder Boyd K. Packer, "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect," available through BYU Studies, vol. 21, no. 3, p. 262

Questions: Is it reasonable to assume that God would take such an attitude with regard to the history of his single, true organization on the earth? Would not God be prepared to conduct all historical debates in the open and to satisfactorily confront any apparent doctrinal or behavioral inconsistencies perpetrated by imperfect mortals?

Many historical documents are available only through those who openly profess to be antagonistic to the LDS church.  The website at  http://www.2think.org/hundredsheep/boc/boc_main.shtml, for example, contains the 1833 Book of Commandments. The website http://www.concordance.com/mormon.htm, as another example, has a search engine for early publications such as History of the Church, Journal of Discourses, Times and Seasons, Evening and Morning Star, and Elder's Journal. The website at http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/pub1.htm contains several documents, including interviews and letters from David Whitmer, William McLellin, and William Law, the actual text of the Nauvoo Expositor, speeches by Brigham Young, and what remains of the end of the John Whitmer journals.(see http://www.2think.org/hundredsheep/boc/boc_main.shtml)

Question: Is it reasonable to assume that God would leave it to individuals and organizations antagonistic to his church to discuss these types of issues and historical events?

Back to Index

PART II: Questions of Loyalty & Trust

Regarding Loyalty to Mortals

According to the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma stated:

"Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another... Even so I desire that ye should stand fast in the liberty wherewith ye have been made free, and that ye trust no man to be a king over you. And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments." (Mosiah 23:7,13-14, bold added)

The prophet Nephi from the Book of Mormon stated the following:

"O Lord, I have trusted in thee and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." (2 Nephi 4:34)

"He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion. Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing..." (2 Nephi 26:29-30)

"They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." (2 Nephi 28:14)

"Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost. Wo unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me..." (2 Nephi 28:31-32, bold added)

The Biblical prophet Isaiah is quoted in 2 Nephi 13:12:

"And my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the ways of thy paths."

"For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed." (2 Nephi 19:16)

From the New Testament scripture that purportedly had great influence on Joseph Smith to scrutinize the religions of his day:

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5, bold added)

And from Corinthians in the New Testament:

"Ye are bought with a price; be ye not therefore the servants of men." (1 Corinthians 7:23, bold added)

Compare these passages with statements by modern LDS prophets. For instance, the LDS 12th Article of Faith, purportedly written by Joseph Smith (and contained alongside the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Coventants, Pearl of Great Price, and Bible in their canonized scriptures) states:

"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

Question: Is it reasonable to assume that God would instruct his people, the Nephites, to "trust no man to be a king over you," instruct modern men and women to follow the Nephite teachings, and simultaneously expect us all to "be subject to kings"?

Note: To examine how Mormon leaders apply this doctrine of subjection in the past and present, see a related article, under Topic 4, "Mormon Leaders Schmooze East German Dictator," as well as the article's "Appendix 2: Mormon Territorial Legislature Enacts Slavery".

Wilford Woodruff, the third President of the LDS Church, also stated:

"The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty." (Excerpts from Three Addresses by President Wilford Woodruff Regarding the Manifesto, Doctrine and Covenants, under Declaration 1)

The April 2002 LDS General Conference provides another example:

"One of the sneaky ploys of the adversary is to have us believe that unquestioning obedience to the principles and commandments of God is blind obedience. His goal is to have us believe that we should be following our own worldly ways and selfish ambitions. This he does by persuading us that 'blindly' following the prophets and obeying the commandments is not thinking for ourselves. He teaches that it is not intelligent to do something just because we are told to do so by a living prophet or by prophets who speak to us from the scriptures.

"Our unquestioning obedience to the Lord's commandments is not blind obedience. President Boyd K. Packer in the April conference of 1983 taught us about this: 'Latter-day Saints are not obedient because they are compelled to be obedient. They are obedient because they know certain spiritual truths and have decided, as an expression of their own individual agency, to obey the commandments of God. . . . We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see' — Elder Boyd K. Packer, "Agency and Control," Ensign, May 1983, 66).

"We might call this 'faith obedience.' With faith, Abraham was obedient in preparing Isaac for sacrifice; with faith, Nephi was obedient in obtaining the brass plates; with faith, a little child obediently jumps from a height into the strong arms of his father. "Faith obedience" is a matter of trust. The question is simple: Do we trust our Heavenly Father? Do we trust our prophets?" — Elder R. Conrad Schultz, "Faith Obedience," April 2002 General Conference Report, Ensign)

From President Ezra Taft Benson:

"President Marion G. Romney tells of this incident, which happened to him: I remember years ago when I was a Bishop I had President [Heber J.] Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home....Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: 'My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.' Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, 'But you don't need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.'" — Elder Ezra Taft Benson Fourteen, "Fundamentals in Following a Prophet," given at the Marrriott Center at Brigham Young University, February 6, 1980; see also Ensign Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78 [bold added]

From the LDS-owned and -operated Deseret News newspaper and Improvement Era magazine:

"Any Latter-day Saint who denounces or opposes whether actively or otherwise, any plan or doctrine advocated by the prophets, seers, revelators' of the church, is cultivating the spirit of apostasy. One cannot speak evil of the lord's anointed... and retain the holy spirit in his heart. This sort of game is Satan's favorite pastime, and he has practiced it to believing souls since Adam. He [Satan] wins a great victory when he can get members of the church to speak against their leaders and to do their own thinking.

"When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan — it is God's Plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give directions, it should mark the end of controversy, God works in no other way. To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God." (Ward Teachers Message, Deseret News, Church Section p. 5, May 26, 1945; also included in the Improvement Era, June 1945)

From Heber C. Kimball:

"In regard to our situation and circumstances in these valleys, brethren WAKE UP! WAKE UP, YE ELDERS OF ISRAEL, AND LIVE TO GOD and none else; and learn to do as you are told, both old and young: learn to do as you are told for the future, And when you are taking a position, if you do not know that you are right, do not take it [—] I mean independently. But if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong... you and I want to live our religion and do as we are told, not questioning a word for a moment. You have got to stop that. It is enough for others to do that, without our meddling with those things. I am speaking to the Elders of Israel." — Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, pp. 32-33

Finally, LDS members who receive their temple endowment ceremony make a solemn covenant to avoid "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed," i.e. the LDS leaders.

Questions: How can the LDS-endorsed scriptures previously cited be consistent with any of these statements by LDS leaders? Is not the implied and reinforced message that a member who speaks negatively about modern LDS leaders has engaged in "evil speaking" — regardless of whether the statements are true?  Is it reasonable to assume that God would supply and endorse such seemingly contradictory messages? 

I must add my subjective experience as a freedom advocate in Utah to illustrate additional questions I was forced to consider. I have publicly taken the LDS church to task for some of the political activities of its direct corporate subsidiaries (such as the Deseret News and various Utah radio stations). Regardless of whether my scrutiny is accurate, I have been considered heretical and evil for merely stating what I perceive and have personally witnessed.

If one risks eternal damnation by merely questioning or scrutinizing the words or actions of other mortals, how can one determine whether the course one is following is the correct course? Is it reasonable to conclude that God would command us to question the actions of some organizations, but not the very organization and servants he holds up as "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14, New Testament)? Does it seem consistent and just to believe that some mortals are more equal than other mortals — in that they are inherently less subject to public (and private) scrutiny?

For more discussion on the Judeo-Christian origins of the doctrine of loyalty to men in certain positions of power, see "The 'Refined Racism' of a 'Chosen People'".

Back to Index

Regarding Loyalty to an Organization

Current LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley stated:

"The strength of this cause and kingdom is not found in its temporal assets, impressive as they may be. Faith underlies loyalty to the Church." ("The Miracle of Faith," Ensign, May 2001, bold added)

"Now, brothers and sisters, let us go forth from this conference with a stronger resolve to live the gospel, to be more faithful, to be better fathers and mothers and sons and daughters, to be absolutely loyal to one another as families, and absolutely loyal to the Church as members." ("Good-bye for Another Season," Ensign, May 2001, bold added)

Questions: Is it reasonable to assume that God would require mortals to exercise faith and loyalty in an inanimate object: an organization?  Are not organizations mere groupings of individuals that comprise them?  This personification is confusing.  Does this mean that individuals are to have faith and loyalty in the leaders of organization?  If so, then the previous questions regarding loyalty to mortals may also be asked here.

Back to Index

PART III: Questions of Authority

Regarding Melchizedek/Aaronic Priesthoods

Several details surrounding Joseph Smith's purported reception of authority — be it Melchizedek, Aaronic, or otherwise — are unclear based upon historical LDS records.  First, the exact date of the reception of the supposed Melchizedek Priesthood is not known.  Second, accounts of the reception and bestowal of this higher priesthood are confusing.  According to the Doctrine and Covenants:

"And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you [note: this apparently refers to the Melchizedek Priesthood, as John the Baptist purportedly came alone to confer the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery], by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you [i.e. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery] to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them; Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; And also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world. Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you..." (Doctrine and Covenants 27:12-16, bold added and notes added in brackets)

Oliver Cowdery, who claimed to be present when Joseph Smith received the Melchizedek Priesthood, wrote of one angel rather than three angels:

"I was present with Joseph when an holy angel [note: purportedly John the Baptist] from God came down from heaven and conferred on us, or restored, the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood, and said to us, at the same time, that it should remain upon the earth while the earth stands. I was also present with Joseph when the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred by the holy angel from on high. This Priesthood, we then conferred on each other by the will and commandment of God." (History of the Church, vol. 1, p. 40 footnote, bold added and note added in brackets)

Questions: Is it reasonable to conclude that God would allow the exact date of the restoration of the most important power on earth to be forgotten and not recorded?  Is it reasonable to accept that God would permit the only two witnesses of such an historic event to appear to contradict one another on the matter of the number of angels present at that crucial occasion?

Back to Index

Regarding Offices

The LDS church teaches that the great order of Melchizedeck is unending; therefore this priesthood order, along with offices such as high priest, must exist in Jesus Christ's Church today. The heading over the original Book of Commandments is as follows:

"The Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ, given in Fayette, New York, June, 1830."

The revelation then goes on to describe the duties and offices of an "elder," "priest," and "teacher" — the three offices mentioned in Moroni 3 of the Book of Mormon. Two paragraphs were later added to the middle of this revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants in 1832 in Kirtland Ohio, which introduced — for the first time — other "higher" offices: "high priests," "president of the high priesthood," "high counselors," etc.

Question: Is it reasonable to conclude that this was an oversight on God's part and that his restored church was not cognizant that these offices existed until 1832?  As several of these additional offices are not mentioned in the Book of Mormon, the questions asked in "Part I: Questions of Legitimacy & Altered Scriptures, Regarding the Book of Mormon" may also be asked here.

The titles of offices such as "elder" appear to have been interchangeably used in both the lower and higher priesthoods.  Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107:7 states that:

"The office of an elder comes under the priesthood of Melchizedek."

According to various LDS historical sources, however, it appears that the office of an elder was not originally part of this Melchizedeck Priesthood. Apparently, men who had already been ordained to the office of an elder were later given the Melchizedek Priesthood:

"...The authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood was manifested and conferred for the first time upon several of the Elders." (History of the Church, vol. 1, pp. 175-176, bold added)

"It was the privilege of every Elder present to be ordained to the High Priesthood." (Joseph Smith, Far West Record, October 25, 1831, over two years after the "High Priesthood" was supposedly restored, bold added.)

"A general conference was called and... the Lord made manifest to Joseph that it was necessary that such of the elders as were considered worthy, should be ordained to the high priesthood." (John Whitmer's History, Chapter VII, June 3, 1831, bold added)

"The Melchizedek priesthood was then (June 4, 1831) for the first time introduced, and conferred on several of the elders." (John Corrill, Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1839, Chapter 10, bold added)

"On the sixth of June, 1831, a general conference was convened at Kirtland, consisting of all the Elders, far and near, who could be got together. In this conference much instruction was given by President Smith, who spake in great power, as he was moved by the Holy Ghost; and the spirit of power and of testimony rested down upon the Elders in a marvelous manner. Here also were some strange manifestations of false spirits, which were immediately rebuked. Several were then selected by revelation, through President Smith, and ordained to the High Priesthood after the order of the Son of God, which is after the order of Melchizedek. This was the first occasion in which this priesthood had been revealed and conferred upon the Elders in this dispensation, although the office of an Elder is the same in a certain degree, but not in the fullness. On this occasion I was ordained to this holy ordinance and calling by President Smith." — Apostle Parley P. Pratt in Chapter 10 of his autobiography [bold added]

"...Neither did I ever hear of such a thing as an angel ordaining them until I got into Ohio about the year 1834  or later. Oliver stated to me in Joseph's presence that they had baptized each other  seeking by that to fulfill the command. And after our arrival at fathers sometime in June 1829, Joseph ordained Oliver to be an Elder, and Oliver ordained Joseph to be an Elder in the Church of Christ." — David Whitmer, David Whitmer Interviews, p. 154 [bold added]
Note & Disclaimer: David Whitmer wrote this account after he had left the LDS church. Therefore, some might take issue with the objectivity or accuracy of this statement.

Question: Is it reasonable to conclude that God would, without explanation, empower members of his church to hold an office in a priesthood that had not yet been bestowed upon them?

Back to Index

Regarding Baptism

According to the Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ instructed the Nephites to use specific language when performing baptisms:

"On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying:  Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water... And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been." (3 Nephi 11:22-26, 28)

LDS leaders now utilize different baptismal language.  They state the following:

"[Stating the person's name], having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Question: Baptism is, according to Christian and LDS philosophy, a prerequisite to entering heaven in the hereafter.  Is it reasonable to conclude that God would command one group of his followers to state the baptismal utterance one way without any deviance there from, and then change that verbiage for another group without any explanation?

Back to Index

PART IV: Questions of Occult Relationships

Regarding Masonic & LDS Temple Origins

In March 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois, Joseph was purportedly initiated into the Freemasonry, part of the worldwide Masonic Order:

"In the evening I received the first degree in free masonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office." (Joseph Smith's History under the date of March 15, 1842, History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 551)

"I was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the Sublime Degree." (Joseph Smith's History under the date of March 15, 1842, History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 552)

Two days later, Joseph Smith commenced the Relief Society in the Masonic Lodge:

"[17 March 1842] [I assisted in commencing the organization of "The Female] Relief Society of Nauvoo" in the "Lodge Room." (An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, Edited by Scott H. Faulring, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1989, p. 244)

On May 4, 1842, less than two months after becoming a Mason, Joseph Smith introduced the LDS temple endowment ceremony:

"Wednesday, 4. I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office (so called because in that room I keep my sacred writings, translate ancient records, and receive revelations) and in my general business office, or lodge room (that is where the Masonic fraternity meet occasionally for want of a better place) in council with General James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys, pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedek Priesthood..." (History of the Church, vol. 5, pp. 1-2)

Joseph Smith's journals contain many references to performing LDS temple ceremonies and other matters in the Masonic lodge in Nauvoo:

"Saturday, June 24[th] Celebration of St. Johns [Day] in Nauvoo Laying the corner stone of the Masonic Temple on Main St[reet]. [rest of page blank]" (An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, Edited by Scott H. Faulring, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1989, p. 388)

"Thursday, 11 April 1844 In council [with Council of Fifty] in the Masonic Hall A.M. and P.M. [rest of page left blank.]" (An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, Edited by Scott H. Faulring, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1989, p. 470)

"Thursday, Feb[ruary] 9[th] 1843 Was at the Masonic Hall some time in the forenoon...." (An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, Edited by Scott H. Faulring, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1989, p. 300)

"Monday, 11 March 1844 At home. 9 A.M. in council [with Council of Fifty] in Lodge room. Henry Miller's. P.M. in council same place. [rest of page blank]" (An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, Edited by Scott H. Faulring, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1989, p. 459)

Mormon historian B.H. Roberts wrote:

"A photogravure of the 'brick store' in the upper story of which were instituted these sacred ceremonies accompanies this chapter. In addition to its use as a 'temple' it was also the place of meeting for the Nauvoo Lodge of Free Masons." (Comprehensive History of the Church, vol. 2, pp. 135-136)

Wilford Woodruff, the fourth President of the LDS church, testified in court:

"I do not say there were any washings in the Masonic Temple, but there were meetings held in the Masonic temple. There were certain ordinances performed there at the start, because there was no temple built at that time." (Temple Lot Case, which regarded a dispute over property on which a LDS temple was to be built, p. 299)

Some legends claim that modern Freemasonry was handed down from the time of King Solomon.  Solomon, along with Hiram Abiff, the head mason for the temple of Solomon, purportedly passed on many mysteries and secrets of the workings of God.  Masons claim to have maintained that information through the ages in the form of secret rites and rituals. These activities are, therefore, clearly based upon religious philosophy (though Masons sometimes downplay the religious foundation/underpinnings of their origins).

The Book of Mormon appears to speak against secret societies that are very reminiscent of the worldwide Masonic Order:

"He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion. Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing..." (2 Nephi 26:29-30, bold added)

"For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man... Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be. Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up. For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people...." (Ether 8:19, 23-25, bold added)

"And it shall come in a day when the blood of saints shall cry unto the Lord, because of secret combinations and the works of darkness... Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?" (Mormon 8:27, 40)

The Book of Mormon also describes a character named Gadianton, the first significant leader of a Nephite secret society, as one who was,

"...Expert in many words, and also in his craft." (Helaman 2:4)

Joseph Smith also made statements like the following:

"We further, caution our brethren, against the impropriety of the organization of bands of companies, by covenant, oaths, penalties, or secresies, but let the time past of our experience and sufferings by the wickedness of Docter Avard suffice, and let our covenants, be that of the everlasting covenant, as it is contained in the holy writ, and the things which God has revealed unto us; pure friendship, always becomes weakened, the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penal oaths and secrecy." (Times and Seasons, 1:9:133)

Joseph Smith shared the following opinion of Freemasonry in particular:

"In the diary of Benjamin F. Johnson, an intimate friend and associate of Joseph Smith, it is recorded that 'Joseph told me that Freemasonry was the apostate endowment, as sectarian religion was the apostate religion.' Elder Heber C. Kimball, who had been a Mason for many years, related that after Joseph Smith became a Mason, he explained to his brethren that Masonry had been taken from the priesthood." (Mormonism and Masonry, by E. Cecil McGavin, Salt Lake City, 1956, p. 199, bold added)
Note: E. Cecil McGavin appears to have remained an LDS member in good standing and been very supportive of official LDS doctrine and positions.

Yet, despite these statements, the number of Masonic initiates continued to explode in Nauvoo:

"Meanwhile, large numbers of Nauvoo citizens were inducted into the fraternity. Soon the Nauvoo Lodge had more members than all the other Illinois lodges together. It became the largest in the state. In this rapid growth, some lodge errors appear to have been made." (Evidences and Reconciliations, John A. Widtsoe, 3 Volumes in 1, p. 358)

And, again from the popular book, Mormonism and Masonry:

"At this time there were only two hundred twenty-seven Masons in Illinois outside of Nauvoo. These were distributed among eleven lodges, making an average of twenty-one members in each loge. The largest lodge was in Springfield, with a membership of forty-three.

"Within five months, the Mormons initiated two hundred eighty-six members in Nauvoo, and forty-five in the Rising Sun Lodge at Montrose, Iowa.

"Thus there were more Masons in Nauvoo in a few weeks than there were in all other lodges in Illinois combined." (Mormonism and Masonry, E. Cecil McGavin, Salt Lake City, 1956, pp. 89-92)

Pro-LDS sources report that, in a letter to Parley P. Pratt on June 17, 1842, apostle Heber C. Kimball wrote the following:

“We have received some precious things through the Prophet on the priesthood that would cause your soul to rejoice. I can not give them to you on paper for they are not to be written. So you must come and get them for your self. We have organized a lodge here of Masons since we obtained a charter. That was in March. Since that there was near two hundred been made masons. Br. Joseph and Sidney [Rigdon] was the first that was received into the lodge. All of the twelve apostles have become members except Orson Pratt. He hangs back. He will wake up soon, there is a similarity of priesthood in Masonry. Bro. Joseph says Masonry was taken from priesthood but has become degenerated. But many things are perfect."  — Heber C. Kimball, included in Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer, by Stanley B. Kimball, Univ. of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois, 1986, p. 85 [bold added]

Heber C. Kimball reportedly stated later in 1858, that:

"We have the true Masonry. The Masonry of today is received from the apostasy which took place in the days of Solomon and David. They have now and then a thing that is correct, but we have the real thing" — Heber C. Kimball, included in “Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer,” by Stanley B. Kimball, Univ. of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois, 1986, p. 85 [bold added]

Questions: If Joseph Smith believed that Freemasonry was the "apostate endowment," why did he and his followers continue to participate in Freemasonry?  Why did they build the Masonic Lodge of "an apostate religion" in Nauvoo?  Why did they continue to recruit and hold Masonic meetings in that Lodge, and restore — and continue to perform — the sacred new LDS temple endowment in that Lodge?

Is it reasonable to assume that God would allow his credibility to be questioned by authorizing Joseph Smith to set up his women's society two days after he had been initiated into the "apostate endowment" (and had likely been introduced to the concept of various Masonic orders specifically for women)?  Is it likewise reasonable to assume that God would authorize the true endowment to be restored less than two months after his servant had been initiated into the "apostate endowment"?  Is it reasonable to conclude that God would not have warned Joseph Smith away from all such secret societies?

Back to Index

Regarding Blood/Penal Oaths

Masonic oaths involved blood penalties, such as slitting your throat, chest, and abdominal region (though Masons claim that these penalties are merely symbolic). Without going into additional detail or reference material that might offend LDS members, Joseph Smith incorporated these three penalties into the LDS temple endowment ceremony. These penalties were removed in approximately 1990.  Compare this with the purported words of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon and New Testament:

"And again it is written, thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths; But verily, verily, I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair black or white; But let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever cometh of more than these is evil." (3 Nephi 12:33-37; see also Matthew 5:24, bold added)

And consider the words and actions of two evil secret society founders in the Book of Mormon, Giddianhi and Akish:

"And behold, I am Giddianhi; and I am the governor of this the secret society of Gadianton [referenced above]; which society and the works thereof I know to be good; and they are of ancient date and they have been handed down unto us." (3 Nephi 3:9, bold added and note added in brackets)

"And it came to pass that they all sware unto him, by the God of heaven, and also by the heavens, and also by the earth, and by their head, that whoso should vary from the assistance which Akish desired should lose his head; and whoso should divulge whatsoever thing Akish made known unto them, the same should lose his life." (Ether 8:14, bold added)

The Pearl of Great Price, which Joseph Smith purportedly translated, also postulates that such blood penalties are of ancient date and of Satanic origin:

"And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it; and this day I will deliver thy brother Abel into thine hands. And Satan sware unto Cain that he would do according to his commands. And all these things were done in secret. And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness... For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother." (Book of Moses 5:29-31,51, Pearl of Great Price, bold added)

Again, as cited in the previous section, Joseph Smith spoke against penal oaths:

"We further, caution our brethren, against the impropriety of the organization of bands of companies, by covenant, oaths, penalties, or secresies, but let the time past of our experience and sufferings by the wickedness of Docter Avard suffice, and let our covenants, be that of the everlasting covenant, as it is contained in the holy writ, and the things which God has revealed unto us; pure friendship, always becomes weakened, the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penal oaths and secrecy." (Times and Seasons, 1:9:133)

Question: Is it reasonable to conclude that God would be pleased with leaders who affiliated with a secret society that taught blood and penal oaths?  Is it reasonable to conclude that God would command men at one time to refuse to participate in blood oaths or swearing that involved body parts, and then completely reverse that command without any satisfactory explanation?

Back to Index

Regarding Masters & Titles

Upon achieving the "Sublime Degree," or third degree, of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Joseph Smith also took upon himself the title of "Master Mason." Compare this with the words of Jesus Christ in the New Testament:

"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:8-12, bold added)

In the Pearl of Great Price, Cain also takes upon himself the title of "Master":

"And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness." (Book of Moses 5:31, bold added)

Questions: Is it reasonable to conclude that God's servant would freely take upon himself the title of "master" when the presumed author of his faith, Jesus Christ, appears to have specifically commanded mankind not to do so?  Is it reasonable and healthy for a mortal to view himself, and be viewed by others, as a "master" who is somehow above the standing of other mortals?

Back to Index

Regarding Clothing

The following Book of Mormon passage is used to support the concept of a man-made temple garment:

"Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean." (2 Nephi 2:8; see also 3 Nephi 20:36; Moroni 10:31)
Tangential Questions:  Does this scripture refer to an actual garment, or a more traditional Christian reference to Jerusalem's symbolic marriage garments to Jesus Christ?  When the prophets of the Book of Mormon referred to their garments, why does it always appear that they do so in the spiritual sense of a possession they did not yet have — as though a garment awaited them in heaven? See the following Book of Mormon passages: 2 Nephi 9:44; Jacob 1:19; 2:2; Mosiah 2:28; Alma 7:25; 13:11-12; 34:36; 46:21-27; 3 Nephi 27:19; Mormon 9:35.

LDS clothing has much in common with the Masonic Order. Masons traditionally don a lambskin or white apron and, again without going into additional detail that might offend LDS members, an apron is involved in LDS temple endowment ceremonies.  The Book of Mormon informs us that the aforementioned Gadianton robbers wore "a lambskin about their loins." (3 Nephi 4:7)

The LDS ceremony includes a cotton strand attached to the hat, or cap, and secured to a robe.  The Masonic candidate has a rope called a Cable-tow around his neck. Again, according to the Book of Mormon:

"And there are also secret combinations... according to the combinations of the devil... and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord...." (3 Nephi 26:22)

In the LDS temple endowment ceremony (this portion of the ceremony has been publicly discussed by pro-LDS sources outside the temple), the character Adam asks the character Satan, "What is that apron you have on?" Satan replies, "It is an emblem of my power and priesthoods."

Up until recent years, this same Satan character wore a black apron containing the symbols of a square, compass, and line on it. These symbols were removed in recent years, but remain important elements of LDS articles of clothing (which I will also decline to discuss further out of sensitivity). These symbols are identical to those used by Masons.

Questions: Is it reasonable to conclude that symbols of the Satan character, as well as those of secret societies apparently condemned by the Book of Mormon, would be used in a similar fashion on clothing God instructed mankind to wear?

Back to Index

Regarding Work for the Dead

Joseph Smith stated:

"The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead. The apostle says, 'They without us cannot be made perfect'; for it is necessary that the sealing power should be in our hands to seal our children and our dead for the fulness of the dispensation of times—a dispensation to meet the promises made by Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world for the salvation of man." (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 313)

Question: If work for the dead were our most important and paramount obligation here in mortality, then why does not the Book of Mormon, which, according to aforementioned LDS scripture, contains the fulness of the Gospel, make any overt or direct mention of it?  Again, the questions asked in "Part I: Questions of Legitimacy & Altered Scriptures, Regarding the Book of Mormon" may also be asked here.

Back to Index

PART V: Questions of Moral Character

Regarding Boasting

The LDS History of the Church records the following quotes by Joseph Smith:

"Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet... When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go." — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 408, 409

Question: Does any individual have sufficient reason and justification to boast of his/her spiritual accomplishments, and to compare one's self to others in this fashion?  And is it reasonable to believe that God would approve of such comparisons?

And consider this quote by Joseph Smith:

"...The whole earth shall bear me witness that I, like the towering rock in the midst of the ocean, which has withstood the mighty surges of the warring waves for centuries, am impregnable, and am a faithful friend to virtue, and a fearless foe to vice,no odds whether the former was sold as a pearl in Asia or hid as a gem in America, and the latter dazzles in palaces or glimmers among the tombs. I combat the errors of ages; I meet the violence of mobs; I cope with illegal proceedings from executive authority; I cut the gordian knot of powers. and I solve mathematical problems of universities, with truth-diamond truth; and God is my 'right hand man.'" — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 78

Question: Is this attitude reasonable?

Consider this quote as well:

"God made Aaron to be the mouth piece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don't like it, you must lump it." — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 319-320

Question: Is it reasonable and healthy for a mortal to view himself, and be viewed by others, as a god to other mortals?

Prior to these quotes, in the 1833 Book of Commandments (again, this was the LDS predecessor to the Doctrine and Covenants), God purportedly warns Joseph Smith in July of 1828:

"Remember, remember, that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men: for although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at nought the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will, and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengence of a just God upon him. Behold, you have been intrusted with these things, but how strict were your commandments; and remember, also, the promises which were made to you, if you did not transgress them; and behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men: for behold, you should not have feared man more than God, although men set at nought the counsels of God, and despise his words, yet you should have been faithful and he would have extended his arm, and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble. Behold thou art Joseph, and thou was chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall, but remember God is merciful: Therefore, repent of that which thou hast done, and he will only cause thee to be afflicted for a season, and thou art still chosen, and wilt again be called to the work: and except thou do this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no more gift." (1833 Book of Commandments, Section 2:2-4; see also Doctrine and Covenants 3:3-11, bold added)

Questions: If this passage is an accurate representation of God's counsel to Joseph Smith, based upon Joseph Smith's previous quotes, can it reasonably be argued that Joseph Smith became a boastful person?  If so, then what should one think of the legitimacy of his continued spiritual gift or gifts?

Other LDS prophets spoke of Joseph Smith in a similar fashion:

"Well, now, examine the character of the Savior, and examine the character of those who have written the Old and New Testaments; and then compare them with the character of Joseph Smith, the founder of this work... and you will find that his character stands as fair as that of any man's mentioned in the Bible. We can find no person who presents a better character to the world when the facts are known than Joseph Smith, Jun., the prophet and his brother Hyrum Smith, who was murdered with him." — President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 14, p. 203 [bold added]

"...No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith.... Every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance... I cannot go there without his consent.... He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven." — President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289 [bold added]

"When brother Joseph Smith lived, he was our Prophet, our Seer, and Revelator; he was our dictator in the things of God, and it was for us to listen to him, and do just as he told us. Now that appears very absurd in the eyes of the world; but they all say, if they had lived in the days of Peter, Moses, or Jesus, they would not have done as the people in those days did to them; but at the same time they would take their lives if they could, and do just like them." — President Heber C. Kimball, delivered at the special conference in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, August 13, 1853, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 106 [bold added]

Questions: Is it reasonable to assume that God would appoint a man to be a dictator over his children? Does not the LDS account of the War in Heaven discuss the defeat of Satan, who aspired to be a dictator over mankind?

A popular LDS hymn, "Praise to the Man," endorsed in the official LDS hymn book, also states the following:

"Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah! Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer. Blessed to open the last dispensation, Kings shall extol him, and nations revere. Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven! Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain. Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren; Death cannot conquer the hero again.

"Praise to his mem'ry, he died as a martyr; Honored and blest be his ever great name! Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins, Plead unto heav'n while the earth lauds his fame. Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven! Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain. Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren; Death cannot conquer the hero again.

"Great is his glory and endless his priesthood. Ever and ever the keys he will hold.

"Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom, Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old. Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven! Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain. Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren; Death cannot conquer the hero again.

"Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven; Earth must atone for the blood of that man. Wake up the world for the conflict of justice. Millions shall know 'Brother Joseph' again. Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven! Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain. Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren; Death cannot conquer the hero again." ("Hymns of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," by William W. Phelps, p. 27)

Question: Is it reasonable to conclude that God would have us celebrate a mortal's "fame" and "great glory"?

Back to Index

Regarding Honors of Men

The last question from the previous section is amplified by current President Gordon B. Hinckley's public statement:

"Be humble. There is no place for arrogance in our lives. There is no place for conceit in our lives. There is no place for egotism in our lives. We have work to do. We have things to accomplish. … ‘Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers’ (D&C 112:10). People ask me what is my favorite scripture, and I say I have many of them. But that is one of them. ‘Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers’ ” — Gordon B. Hinckley, from a meeting in Spokane, Washington, youth and young single adults, 22 Aug. 1999, as found in "Latter-day Counsel: Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley," Ensign, March 2001, page 64

Compare this statement with the fact that there exists a bronze bust of President Hinckley in the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. His portraits and pictures are prominently displayed in LDS buildings all over the world. There exists a 54,000-square foot Gordon B. Hinckley building on the LDS Brigham Young University-Idaho campus and the past president of that campus stated to the press that the building is "a perfect tribute" to President Hinckley and,

"... a legacy and impact on this campus that will last forever." ("BYU-Idaho building gets Hinckley name," Deseret News, August 29, 2002)

President Hinckley also frequently attends banquets and ceremonies hosted in his honor and continually receives the highest honors, awards, and praise of mankind. Yet, according to the Book of Mormon and New Testament, Jesus Christ purportedly stated:

"Verily, verily, I say that I would that ye should do alms unto the poor; but take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father who is in heaven. Therefore, when ye shall do your alms do not sound a trumpet before you, as will hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest thou shalt not do as the hypocrites, for they love to pray, standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." (3 Nephi 13:1-6; see also Matthew 6:1-6)

"Ye are they that justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:15)

"Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets." (Luke 6:22-25)

"And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God." (Luke 18:18-19)

"For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil, are they who need fear, and tremble and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble...." (2 Nephi 22:23)
Note: See also 2 Nephi 26:29.

Question: Is it reasonable to assume that God finds it humble and acceptable for mortals to accept recognition, honor, and fame for spiritual services performed in his name and by his power?

Back to Index

 

For more information on LDS political involvement, see "Identifying Political Popery: A Decade of Reflection".

 


Sign up!

Receive free e-mail updates and

share this information with others.

 

Copying Permission: Permission to reprint articles and material in whole or in part is hereby granted provided that The Helmsman Society is cited.  Feel free to share this information with others.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is for educational purposes only.  If there are mistakes, let me know so I can correct them at info@helmsmansociety.com.

Comments or questions?  Email info@helmsmansociety.com.

Copyright © 2005 The Helmsman Society.

Home | Archives

E-mail: info@helmsmansociety.com  |  Website: www.helmsmansociety.com