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God Vs Religion – LDS- Latter Day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also knows as LDS, is nontrinitarian, meaning it rejects the doctrine of the Trinity of God. The LDS Church considers itself to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ Himself. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, it has established congregations and built temples worldwide.

The LDS movement, also called Mormonism, traces its origins to a religion founded by Joseph Smith, 1830. The term Mormon, often used to refer to members of this church, comes from the Book of Mormon, which Smith also published in 1830.

When And Who Founded The Church?

Joseph Smith (1805 -1844), in 1823, had a vision while in New York, an angle named Moroni told him about engraved golden plates buried in a nearby hill. According to Smith, he received instruction from Moroni how to retrieve the plates, and four years later, excavated the plates and translated them into English. The result, the Book of Mormon.

The text recorded on the plates was said to recounts the history of a family of Israelites who migrated to America centuries before Jesus Christ and were taught by prophets similar to those in the Old Testament. The religion Smith founded originated amid the great fervor of competing Christian revivalist movements in early 19th-century America, but departed from them in its proclamation of a new dispensation.

History of the Church:

The LDS Church, sometimes called the Church of Christ, was formally founded by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830, in western New York. Smith later changed the name to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after he stated he received a revelation to do so. Initial converts were drawn to the church in part because of the newly published Book of Mormon, a self-described chronicle of indigenous American prophets that Smith said he had translated from golden plates.

Smith, taking his revelation from the Book of Revelation in the Holy Bible, intended to establish the New Jerusalem in North America, called Zion. In 1831, the church relocated to Kirtland, Ohio, and began establishing an outpost in Jackson County, Missouri.

1833, Missouri settlers brutally expelled the Latter Day Saints from Jackson County. Remaining in Kirtland, Smith published new revelations and the church built the Kirtland Temple, in a dedication of the building written in the Book of Acts, similar to the day of Pentecost. The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after a financial scandal caused widespread of members to leave. Smith later regrouped with the remaining church in Far West, Missouri, but tensions soon escalated into violent conflicts with the old Missouri settlers. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the Missouri governor ordered that the Saints be “exterminated or driven from the State.” In 1839, the Saints converted a swampland on the banks of the Mississippi River into Nauvoo, Illinois, which became the church’s new headquarters.

Nauvoo missionaries sent to Europe and elsewhere gained new converts who then flooded into Nauvoo. Meanwhile, Smith introduced polygamy to his closest associates. He also established ceremonies, which he stated the Lord had revealed to him, to allow righteous people to become gods (joint heirs with Christ in the afterlife, and a secular institution to govern the Millennial kingdom. He also introduced the church to a full accounting of his First Vision, in which two heavenly “personages” (God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ) appeared to him at age 14. This vision would come to be regarded by the LDS Church as the most important event in human history since the resurrection of Jesus.

On June 27, 1844, Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered by a mob in Carthage, Illinois, while being held on charges of treason. Because Hyrum was Joseph’s designated successor, their deaths caused a succession crisis, and Brigham Young assumed leadership over the majority of Saints. Young had been a close associate of Smith’s and was the senior apostle of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Two years after Smith’s death, conflicts escalated between Mormons and other Illinois residents. Smith had predicted that the church would go to the West and be established in the tops of the Rocky Mountains. Brigham Young took Smith’s advice and led his followers, known in modern times as the Mormon pioneers, to Nebraska and then in 1847 to what became the Utah Territory. As groups arrived over a period of years, LDS settlers branched out and colonized a large region now known as the Mormon Corridor.

Young incorporated the LDS Church as a legal entity, and initially governed both the church and the state as a theocratic leader. He also publicized the practice of plural marriage, a form of polygamy.

1857, Tensions had again escalated between Mormons and other Americans, largely as a result of accusations involving polygamy and the theocratic rule of the Utah Territory by Young. The Utah Mormon War ensued from 1857 to 1858, which resulted in the relatively peaceful invasion of Utah by the United States Army, after which Young agreed to step down from power and be replaced by a non-Mormon territorial governor, Alfred Cumming. The LDS Church still wielded significant political power in the Utah Territory.

At Young’s death in 1877, he was followed by other church presidents, who resisted efforts by the United States Congress to outlaw Mormon polygamous marriages. In 1878, the United States Supreme Court, in Reynolds v. United States, decreed that “religious duty” to engage in plural marriage was not a valid defense to prosecutions for violating state laws against polygamy. Conflict between Mormons and the U.S. government escalated to the point that, in 1890, Congress dis-incorporated the LDS Church and seized most of its assets. Soon thereafter, church president Wilford Woodruff issued a manifesto that officially suspended the practice. Although this manifesto did not dissolve existing plural marriages, so that families would not be split apart, no new polygamous marriages would be performed. Relations with the United States markedly improved after 1890, such that Utah was admitted as a state in 1896. Relations further improved after 1904, when church president Joseph F. Smith again disavowed polygamy before the United States Congress and issued a “Second Manifesto”, calling for all plural marriages in the church to cease, as they were already against church doctrine since Woodruff issued the Manifesto. Eventually, the church adopted a policy of excommunicating its members found practicing polygamy and today actively distances itself from “fundamentalist” groups still practicing polygamy.

What Does The Church Believe?

The church’s core beliefs, come from circa 1842, and are summarized in the “Articles of Faith”, and its four primary principles are; faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sin, and the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

The church has an open canon which includes four books, the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. The majority of the LDS canon comes from the Book of Mormon, which Joseph Smith accounts to having been given by a revelation he received from God, through an angel, named Moroni, recorded by his scribes which includes commentary and an exegesis about the Bible, texts described as lost parts of the Bible, and other works believed to be written by ancient prophets.

Under the doctrine of continuing revelation, Latter-day Saints believe that president of the church is the modern day prophet, and that Jesus Christ, under the direction of God, leads the church by revealing who that president will be. Individual members believe that they can also receive personal revelation from God in conducting their lives. The president heads a hierarchical structure with various levels reaching down to local congregations. Bishops lead local congregations. Male members, beginning in January of the year they reach the age 12, may be ordained into the priesthood, provided they are living by the standards of the church.

Both men and women may serve as missionaries and the church maintains a large missionary program that conducts humanitarian services worldwide. Faithful members adhere to church laws of sexual purity, health, fasting, restrictions, Sabbath observance, and giving ten percent of their income to the church in tithing. The church also teaches about sacred ordinances, which adherents make covenants with God, including baptism, confirmation, the sacrament, priesthood ordination, endowment, and celestial marriage.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

Our faith in Jesus Christ is what brings repentance and baptism of the Holy Spirit into our soul. When we admit we are sinners, believe that Christ, who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to redeem us of our sin, was buried, then three days later arose from the dead, and confess that we need Jesus to save us, that is when we receive the Holy Spirit. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10.

No person can physically touch us and we receive the Holy Spirit, our faith alone in Christ baptizes us with the Holy Spirit. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” – Colossians 2:12.

Water baptism does not remove sin, our faith in Christ alone removes sin. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” – Acts 2:38.

As for this angel, Moroni, there are only three angels written in true Scripture that were mentioned name, that is Lucifer, who was cast from heaven because he wanted to be God, Michael, and Gabriel. There are a multitude of angels, none of them were ever recorded as having given anyone revelations or prophecies, these were given by God Himself to the one He chose. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” – II Peter 1:20-21.

About Sin:

To commit sin is to willfully disobey God’s commandments or to fail to act righteously despite a knowledge of the truth. The Lord has said that He “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:31). Sin results in the withdrawal of the Holy Ghost. It makes the one who sins unable to dwell in the presence of Heavenly Father, for “no unclean thing can dwell with God” (1 Nephi 10:21).

Other than Jesus Christ, each person who has ever lived on earth has broken commandments or failed to act according to knowledge of the truth. The Apostle John taught: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, [Jesus Christ] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9). Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, each person can repent and be forgiven of these sins.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

While sin does separate us from God, once we are saved, and receive the Holy Spirit into our soul, it does not leave us. “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” – Romans 8:10-11.

There is only one way that a saved soul can lose the Holy Spirit in them, that is if they lose their faith in Christ. “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” – Matthew 24:13.

About The Bible:

The LDS Church uses the King James Bible as its official Scriptural text of the Bible. While Mormons believe in the general accuracy of the modern day text of the Bible, they also believe that it is incomplete and that errors have been introduced. In Mormon theology, many lost truths are restored in the Book of Mormon, which Mormons hold to be divine scripture and equal in authority to the Bible.

In addition to the King James Bible, and the Book of Mormon, there are two more books, Doctrine and Covenants, said to contain revelation, doctrine, and prophecy fro God, and a book called, Pearl of Great Price, also called the Book of Moses and Joseph Smith, which is said to address issues from the Books of Genesis and Exodus from the Bible. These books, as well as the translation that Joseph Smith Translation had written himself, have varying degrees of acceptance as divine scripture among different denominations of the LDS movement. Smiths translation it is only used in conjunction with the King James.

The church accepts the Holy Bible as the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Joseph Smith wrote, “I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers”. Smith did work on his own translation, but

The Book of Mormon, was published by founder Joseph Smith in 1830. It is believed to be “another testament of Jesus Christ” and bears that subtitle as of 1982. Smith stated that, under divine direction, he translated the Book of Mormon from metal plates having “the appearance of gold” found buried near his home. Eight men signed a statement as witnesses that Smith possessed the plates and that they had seen them. The introduction printed with the book says that it is a history of the ancestors of the “American Indian” peoples.

The church’s Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of modern revelations, declarations, and teachings, primarily written by Smith. The Pearl of Great Price consists of five separate books, including two portions of Smith’s translation of the Bible. These five books are Selections from the Book of Moses (corresponding to a portion of the Old Testament), the Book of Abraham (Smith’s translation of an Egyptian papyrus, which includes an account of the creation), Joseph Smith—Matthew (corresponding to a section of the New Testament), Joseph Smith—History (an excerpt from Smith’s 1838 autobiographical writings), and the Articles of Faith (an excerpt of one of Smith’s 1842 letters describing church beliefs).

What Does The Bible Say About This?

There is only one book that was written by the inspiration of God, and that is the Holy Bible. King James is the only modern day English translation that is written from the original transcripts that are inspired. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” – II Timothy 3:16-17.

Yes, there are Books mentioned within the Bible that are not in the Bible, these are not lost books or missing from King James, they were simply not put in there because they were not inspired or had anything to do with Christ, who is the Word made flesh. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” – John 1:1-2,14.

As for the rest of these books penned down by Joseph Smith, they were not inspired, otherwise, they would have been in the original transcripts, by which King James was translated from. These were man made books written by Joseph himself.

As for these gold plates he found that was said to contain the inspired books that King James was missing, when he wrote the Book of Mormon, these were clearly some that was man made also, it was probable that the Indians wrote it themselves. Why do I believe this? God is the one who told the men who penned His Word what to write, God Himself, they were not writings found by someone else, if anything, this Moroni angel that Joseph claimed led him to the gold plates was the devil as he is the one known to deceive the people. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” – II Corinthians 11:13-15.

About Jesus:

LDS, uses both the Bible and Book of Mormon for their understanding of who they believe and teach who Jesus is to be. According to the Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ is “the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.” As the Creator, he is at times referred to as the father of heaven and earth. This is one sense in which he shares the title “Father” with God the Father.

The church also teaches that Jesus is the LORD Jehovah of the Old Testament, and the Holy One of Israel. Because he has the “Divine Investiture of Authority” from the Father, teaching that Jesus Christ often speaks in the scriptures as though he were God the Father, because in so doing he is representing the Father. Early leaders taught that Jesus had multiple wives and children during his mortal ministry in promotion of Mormon polygamy, but this is no longer a widely held belief or teaching in the church.

The church teaches that those who accept Christ and are baptized are symbolically born again and become the children of Christ. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. Christ’s divinity enabled him to take upon himself the penalty for sin and to endure the consequential suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross that paid for the sins of humanity since the Fall of Adam and Eve.

Having satisfied the demands of justice, Christ offers mercy to mankind in two general forms: unconditional (all will be resurrected), and conditional (those who believe in Christ, repent of sin, and are baptized, “the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God”). This Atonement is also believed to cover not only sin, but all pain, suffering, heartache, or hardship experienced in this life.

LDS believes that Jesus, as son of a mortal woman gave him the ability to suffer temptation (yet he did not succumb to it), and experience physical death; while his status as Son of God gave him the power to lay down and take up his life again at will. The church also believes in the physical resurrection of Jesus’ body. Because of its emphasis on Jesus’ resurrection and his status as the living head of the church, the church does not use the symbol of the Christian cross except on the uniforms of military chaplains. Instead, the church tends to focus on the belief that Jesus overcame suffering and death and that he lives today.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

Jesus, who is part of the Godhead, being the only begotten Son of God, was born of a virgin, who was Mary, being conceived of the Holy Spirit. “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” – Luke 1:34-35.

By her being conceived of the Holy Spirit did not mean that Jesus was never tempted nor that He was not capable of sinning, it means that He was not born with the sin nature that we were born into. Therefore, should He remain sinless, He would become the unblemished, sinless sacrifice promised to save all who believe in Him. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:16-18.

While all will be resurrected, there is no such thing as unconditional mercy, if you were saved, meaning received Christ as your Saviour before your last breath on earth, then you will resurrect again once Jesus returns. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – I Thessalonians 4:16-17.

If you were not saved before you took your last breath, you will resurrect as well, but to be judged. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” – Revelation 20:12-14.

Once we are saved, we become born again, meaning we receive the Holy Spirit into our souls. “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” – John 3:5-7.

Becoming one with Christ, and that enables us to be joint-heirs with Him. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” – Romans 8:16-17.

About Salvation:

The plan of salvation or gospel of Christ is a series of steps, a continuum, or means to come to God through the mediation of Jesus. It comprises those teachings of Christ which enable a mortal man or woman to overcome the fall of Adam and Eve in his or her life, and ultimately return to the presence of God, to enjoy the kind of life lived by God the Father, or, more succinctly, “exaltation”, also known as “eternal life”.

The specific teachings include the fact that Adam and Eve fell, becoming subject to the temptations of the devil, bringing upon themselves and their posterity both physical death and spiritual death, separating themselves from God. As a remedy for Adam and Eve’s predicament, consistent with God’s nature and objective to produce divine heirs, God gave Adam and his posterity the moral agency and choice to either (1) follow and serve Christ, or (2) follow and serve Satan (Mosiah 16).

To overcome the lasting effects of the fall, Christ offered himself an infinite sacrifice for the sins of all those willing to repent and enter into a covenant with him, trusting in his righteousness or merits for salvation (Alma 22:14; Moroni 6:4), while all the rest must depend on their own good works for salvation, or answer the ends of the law themselves, falling short of the glory of God (2 Nephi 2:22–26; Romans 10:4).

Furthermore, Christ brought about the universal resurrection of all men and women, as they were not responsible for the fall, leaving them to account only for their own deeds in the flesh (Articles of Faith 1:2; Alma 11:41–46).

What Does The Bible Say About This?

Each person is responsible for their own sin. There are no series of steps to take for salvation, there is only one way to be saved from the punishment of death and hell for sin, and that is by accepting Jesus Christ as your Saviour upon your faith in Him. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” – Titus 3:5-7.

Our faith in Jesus Christ is what brings repentance and baptism of the Holy Spirit into our soul. When we admit we are sinners, believe that Christ, who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to redeem us of our sin, was buried, then three days later arose from the dead, and confess that we need Jesus to save us, that is when we receive the Holy Spirit. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10.

About The Trinity:

According to LDS, the Godhead has the following attributes:

They are three separate and distinct beings, collectively “one God”, meaning that they are united in spirit, mind, and purpose.

According to LDS theology, Jesus is “one” with the Father in the same way as he asked his disciples to be “one” with him and each other.

Jesus and the Father have physical “bodies of flesh and bone”, while the Holy Spirit does not, though the Holy Spirit has a “spirit body”. God the Father is understood to be the literal father of the spirits of humanity, as well as the literal father of both the spirit and physical body of Jesus.

The church’s view on the Godhead of God being three individuals untied as one God, arguing it is self-evident in the Bible that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are separate persons—three divine beings as illustrated in Jesus’ farewell prayer, his baptism at the hands of John, his transfiguration, and the martyrdom of Stephen.

In addition to the Godhead, at least the possibility of other divine entities exist. However, these other “gods” and “goddesses” are not considered to be objects of worship, and have no direct relevance to salvation. Official church materials refer to “Heavenly Parents”, implying to some the existence of a Heavenly Mother.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

There is plenty of evidence from the Bible that proves that while God is one, He lives though three individual persons, God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.” – I John 5:7-9.

The Word is Jesus. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” – John 1:1-2,14.

God is not flesh and bone, He is a Spirit, we worship Him in the Spirit. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” – John 4:24.

God did come here as flesh and bone through His Son, Jesus to be the sacrifice to save mankind, should they believe in Him. “I and my Father are one.” – John 10:30.

There is no such thing as heavenly parents, or a heavenly mother. We have our heavenly Father, who are only His children upon our faith in His Son. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” – Matthew 6:9.

As for John the Baptist, baptizing Him, it was for a purpose, and He explains that it was to fulfill the Law. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.” – Matthew 3:13-15.

And as for His transfiguration, that too was for a purpose, to show the disciples that there was only one person to worship. “And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.” – Mark 9:4-7.

And there are NO OTHER GODS, the gods and lords mentioned in the Bible, referring to them as being in heaven, are the rulers and prices of tribes and nations, not actual gods like God.

The meaning of an earthly god; A prince; a ruler; a magistrate or judge.

As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” – I Corinthians 8:4-6.

About Heaven:

LDS teaches that where we go after this life depends on the degree in which Christ was accepted, this goes back to those steps taken. The highest realmof three heavenly kingdoms is called the celestial kingdom, this is where the Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit currently life.

Before we lived this life, we lived as spiritual children with our heavenly parents before coming to this earth through our earthly parents in order to progress into Godhood. The goal in this life is to make enough progress so that we can reunite with the Heavenly Father. This comes in the form of steps, 1. Believe in Jesus Christ. 2. Be baptized in the LDS church. 3. Continually repent. 4. Support the LDS prophets. 5. Receive the LDS ordinances, such as baptism for the dead and eternal marriage in a Mormon temple. 6. Live according to God’s commands. Should we be able to do all these things, or at least attempt them, we will be given grace for any shortcomings and granted entrance into the celestial kingdom.

As for those who never heard of the LDS gospel in their earthly life, may be able to accept it in the afterlife, providing that faithful living Mormons follow the ordinances on their behalf. This is the basis for the well-known LDS practice of baptism for the dead.

The second realm of heaven is the terrestrial kingdom. This is where honorable people go, those who were deceived into rejecting the LDS gospel in this life. This gives them the opportunity to accept the LDS gospel in the spirit world. This is also where those who have accepted the LDS gospel, but did not live “valiantly” go. Jesus will visit them in the terrestrial kingdom, but the Heavenly Father will not.

The third realm of heaven is the telestial kingdom. This is the destination of the innumerable multitudes of wicked people who reject the LDS gospel, both in this life and in the afterlife. Before anyone goes to the telestial kingdom, they are sent to “hell,” where they suffer for their sins before being released after the end of the Millennium.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

All of this is so wrong on so many levels. First of all, there is the first, second, and third heaven, The first heaven is the sky. “And God called the firmament Heaven.” – Genesis 1:8a. The second heaven is the universe. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.” – Genesis 1:14-15.

The third heaven is where God, Jesus, the angels, and the saints live. “Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?” – Acts 7:49.

Anyone who dies in the flesh, being saved, goes directly into heaven. “Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” – II Corinthians 5:5-8.

The Holy Spirit is lives within the saved souls on the earth. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John 14:26.

There is no process to get saved so that you can get to heaven, there is only one, repeat one Gospel, and that is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The LDS gospel is a false gospel, and I am sure Joseph Smith is paying dearly for what he has done. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” – Galatians 1:6-8.

We do not become gods ourselves, while our earthly bodies are sleeping in their graves awaiting Christ’s return, our souls are with Jesus. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” – I Corinthians 15:50-53.

No one can save someone who has died by working on their behalf. Once you die without receiving Christ, that is it, you are in hell. There is no spiritual world, there is no other realm, there is only hell. “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” – Luke 16:22-24.

About Hell:

LDS speak of hell in two ways, First, it is another name for spirit prison, also known as the third realm of heaven, the telestial kingdom. This would be the temporary place those who died without the knowledge of the LDS gospel or the disobedient. Second, it is the permanent location of Satan and his followers and the sons of perdition, those not redeemed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Spirit prison is a temporary state in which spirits will be taught the LDS gospel and have the opportunity to repent and accept ordinances of salvation that are performed for them in temples (Doctrine and Covenants 138:30–35). Those who accept the LDS gospel may dwell in paradise until the Resurrection. After they are resurrected and judged, they will receive the degree of glory of which they are worthy. Those who choose not to repent, but who are not sons of perdition will remain in spirit prison until the end of the Millennium, when they will be freed from hell and punishment and be resurrected to a telestial glory (Doctrine and Covenants 76:81–85).

Those who are not redeemed by the Atonement will be in outer darkness, which is the dwelling place of the devil, his angels, and the sons of perdition (Doctrine and Covenants 29:36–38; 76:28–33).

Sons of perdition are those who receive “no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come, having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves, and put him to an open shame” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:34–35; Doctrine and Covenants 76:31–33, 36–37). Such individuals will not inherit a place in any kingdom of glory; for them the conditions of hell remain (see Doctrine and Covenants 76:38; 88:24, 32).

The term hell, then, according to LDS teaching, does not refer to a place of eternal punishment. The Holy Ghost will visit the residents of the telestial kingdom, but neither the Father nor the Son will do so.

What Does The Bible Say About This?

Hell is a spiritual prison, one of utter darkness, pain, torment, and weeping and gnashing of teeth. Hell is not in the heavens, it is below the earth. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” – II Peter 2:4.

Paradise was where people went before Christ’s passion, He was in paradise when He died, after He arose, paradise was no more, and all the saved souls in paradise went up to heaven. “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:42-43.

There is absolutely no escape from hell except by receiving Christ as your Saviour before you die the first death. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” – Hebrews 9:27-28.

Neither Satan, his minions, or the angels that followed him are in hell. Satan walks the earth, his minions walk the earth, causing havoc on the saints and unsaved. “And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” – Job 1:7.

The other angels that followed Satan are reserved for judgment, until Christ returns. “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” – Jude 1:6.

About Baptism:

Baptism by immersion in water by one having authority is the first saving ordinance of the gospel and is necessary for an individual to become a member of the LDS church, and to receive eternal salvation. All who seek eternal life must follow the example of the Savior by being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Joseph Smith claims that Jesus Himself revealed the true method of baptism to him, making clear that this ordinance must be performed by one having priesthood authority and that it must be done by immersion of water: “The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented himself or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by 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. Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:73–74).

Immersion is symbolic of the death of a person’s sinful life and the rebirth into a spiritual life, dedicated to the service of God and His children. It is also symbolic of death and resurrection.

Those who are baptized enter into a covenant with God to take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end (see Mosiah 18:8–10; Doctrine and Covenants 20:37). Church members renew this covenant each time they partake of the sacrament (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79).

Those who keep the covenants they made at baptism are blessed by the Lord for their faithfulness. Some of the blessings include the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, the remission of sins, and the privilege of being spiritually reborn. If they continue faithfully, they are promised eternal life (see 2 Nephi 31:19–20).

We know that little children are redeemed through the mercy of Jesus Christ. The Lord said, “They cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me” (see Doctrine and Covenants 29:46–47). They are not to be baptized until they reach the age of accountability, which the Lord has revealed to be eight years of age (see Doctrine and Covenants 68:27; Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 17:11). Anyone who claims that little children need baptism “denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption” (Moroni 8:20; see also verses 8–19, 21–24).

What Does The Bible Say About This?

There is no, I repeat, no need to get water baptized after you ask Jesus to save you, it is a public profession of your faith in Christ only. Water baptism is a profession of our faith in Christ, it does not save us nor is required in addition to our salvation. However, we do need a spiritual baptism. The second we believe in and receive Christ as our Saviour we are baptized in Him, redeemed forever. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” – Colossians 2:12-13.

This is proved by the thief on the cross next to Jesus, He was being crucified along with Jesus, and He saved him right there on the cross. “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:42-43.

There is no need for works, salvation is by grace alone, through our faith in Jesus Christ Himself. And there is no water baptism need to receive the Holy Spirit, this happens the second they receive Christ as their Saviour. “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” – Acts 19:2-6.

 

Resources: churchofchrist.org, britannica.com, wikipedia.com

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