I’ve written on a number of different topics here on the blog. One of the brief series I did was entitled “Crazy Mormon Beliefs” and focused on different aspects of Mormonism and put them into context. Since that time, the majority of people who come to this blog are those searching for “weird” or “crazy” Mormon beliefs.
So to those of you who are searching for that and coming across this blog, I’m curious. Are you looking for information about specific Mormon beliefs that you’ve heard are “weird”, “crazy” or “strange”? Or have you just heard that Mormons believe differently than traditional Christianity and want to find out what the fuss is all about?
Are there specific beliefs that you’ve heard that you would want to hear more about from a believing and practicing Mormon that I haven’t already written about? If so, I’d be interested in writing more about the topics you suggest because they are probably the same ones shared by many of the other visitors who come to my blog.
Please leave your thoughts and comments (as always, I trust that you’ll be thoughtful and respectful).
This video is a follow-on to the first video that helps explain the LDS (Mormon) temple ceremony.
This video may help answer some of the questions about the LDS (Mormon) temple ceremony, its importance in Mormonism, and its focus on Jesus Christ.
Have you ever been interested in attending a Mormon Church Service? Even just curious to see how the meetings are organized and what is taught there?
I’d personally invite you to attend. Visit the website http://maps.lds.org and find the nearest meetinghouse by you. You might be surprised how close the nearest one is!
Think Mormons are crazy? Not sure if Mormons are Christians? Wondering if the Mormon Church might be true? Whatever your questions may be, come visit and worship the Lord with us. Here is a video that you might be interested to watch before going so you know what to expect:
Have you ever heard Glenn Beck’s story of how he converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (”Mormonism”)? Since he’s one of the most popular talk-show hosts in the United States, you’ve probably heard Beck talk about politics, the economy and social issues. Now listen in as he discusses a far more important topic–his religious journey that brought him to the truth.
A very common question that I get from my friends is “What are the rules of Mormonism?” This question usually comes in a situation after ordering a soda or water when my friends are drinking a beer or wine.
As a Mormon, I don’t drink alcohol. I actually don’t smoke or drink coffee/tea as part of my religion as well. These specific commandments (”rules”) came through a revelation to the prophet Joseph Smith in 1833. One of the greatest gifts that God has given us is our physical bodies and He expects us to take care of it. The Apostle Paul recognized this when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
One of the most interesting things is that this commandment was given long before the scientific or medical community had documented the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, etc. In fact, many of these harmful effects are still being discovered today. Just last month, I read about a study published in the Archives of Neurology, an American Medical Association publication. The group performing the study had hypothesized that moderate alcohol consumption would actually slow brain shrinkage–the opposite turned out to be true. While the average brain shrinks at a rate of 2% per decade, the brain of those consuming alcohol shrinks at a much faster pace.
In any event, I’m grateful for this “rule of Mormonism”. It’s helped me lead a very healthy life and respect this “temple” of a physical body that the Lord has given me.
If you read the earlier post about the 17 points of the true church, you noticed that the last point was a bit vague in saying merely, “By their fruits ye shall know them. (Matt 7:20).” We also discussed this passage in an earlier post referring to Jesus’ method to discern between true and false prophets. This brings us to the question–what are the fruits of Mormonism?
The obvious first answer is the Book of Mormon. The line of logic is clear–if the Book of Mormon is the word of God, then Joseph Smith was a divinely-called prophet, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. By similar logic, if the Book of Mormon is not the word of God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not the true church of Christ.
Knowing that, does it make more sense why Mormon missionaries are always trying to get people to read the Book of Mormon? Everything depends on it! There is no middle ground–either the LDS Church is all it purports to be or else it’s just another Christian denomination with some false teachings. With such weight relying on this book, one would think that every religious (and non-religious) person in the world would be anxious to read the Book of Mormon and find out whether it’s true or not. Instead, most rely on the word of their preacher or pastor and never even read a page. What a tragedy.
What was the last book you read? Was it one that could ultimately answer the question of salvation? If not, I’d encourage you to read the Book of Mormon. And as I have encouraged countless times already on here, find out for yourself whether it’s true by praying and asking God.
There is a story occasionally repeated on websites about 5 friends who were searching for the true church of Christ. Together they compiled a list of 17 points that this church would embody based on the Bible. After going their separate ways in life, they caught up years down the road and found that each one of them had independently found the church that they had been looking for: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Now whether this is truth or fiction, or some blend of the two, is irrelevant. If true, it is indeed a remarkable story of faith and dedication on the part of these individuals. Even if it’s fiction, it provides a nice backdrop for the list below, while not affecting the veracity of the points outlined.
17 Points of the True Church of Christ
- Christ organized the Church (Eph 4:11-14)
- The true church must bear the name of Jesus Christ (Eph 5:23)
- The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets (Eph 2:19-20)
- The true church must have the same organization as Christ’s Church (Eph 4:11-14)
- The true church must claim divine authority (Heb 4:4-10)
- The true church must have no paid ministry (Acts 20:33-34; John 10:11-13)
- The true church must baptize by immersion (Matt 3:13-16)
- The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17)
- The true church must practice divine healing (Mark 3:14-15)
- The true church must teach that God and Jesus are separate and distinct individuals (John 17:11; 20:17)
- The true church must teach that God and Jesus have bodies of flesh and bone (Luke 23:36-39; Acts 1:9-11; Heb 1:1-3)
- The officers must be called by God (Heb 4:4; Ex 28:1; 40:13-16)
- The true church must claim revelation from God (Amos 3:7)
- The true church must be a missionary church (Matt 28:19-20)
- The true church must be a restored church (Acts 3:19-20)
- The true church must practice baptism for the dead (1Cor 15:16&29)
- “By their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt 7:20)
These are important points and Biblical verses to consider. While this list is certainly not exhaustive of every characteristic that the Church of Christ will have, it does provide an excellent starting point. In addition, there are numerous churches which meet one, five, or even ten of these criteria, but I have found none that fulfill all 17 except for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church.
Don’t take my word for it. Take the list above and use it as a starting point to begin your study of the characteristics of the true church of Christ. Once you have studied and pondered about it, I would then invite you to pray and ask God whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is indeed the true church. He will answer.
If you ever talk to a Mormon missionary, they will likely invite you to read the Book of Mormon and to pray to know whether it is true or not. Mormons believe that the Holy Spirit will testify to you that it is true when asked with faith and sincerity. How can you know it is the Holy Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23 teach us that the “fruits of the Spirit” are things like love, joy, peace, gentleness, etc. Some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints refer to the confirmation that they receive through the Spirit as a “burning in the bosom”. However, each person may receive this confirmation differently through the Spirit.
But wait a minute, is this really how God expects us to seek confirmation of the truth? Before Jesus left, He taught in John 14:26 that “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.” Jesus clearly taught that the Holy Ghost can teach us all things–certainly this applies to questions about God’s word and truth!
Through my interactions online, I have even heard other Christans counsel each other not to pray about the Book of Mormon. Now this I definitely don’t understand. Why would you ever tell somebody not to pray? Especially when it’s to ask God for direction. With Latter-day Saints, the invitation is to not accept the word of anybody else, but rather to find out for yourself by asking our Heavenly Father. He will answer through the Holy Spirit and can teach us all things, just as our Savior taught near the end of His mortal ministry.
Did you know that Mormons believe that there are different “levels” in heaven? These are the Celestial kingdom, the Terrestrial kingdom and the Telestial kingdom.
The Celestial kingdom is for those who accepted Jesus, received the necessary ordinances (e.g., baptism) and followed the commandments. The Terrestrial kingdom is for those who lived good lives but did not accept Jesus in their lifetimes. Finally, the Telestial kingdom is for those who did not accept Jesus nor live good lives.
Some might ask whether this belief is really Biblical or not. In 1 Corinthians 15:40-41, Paul refers to these different glories and compares them to the sun, moon and stars, respectively. In addition, Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:2 says, “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.” This verse is another Biblical verse referring to the different levels of heaven.
From a theological standpoint, this is not surprising either. We will be judged according to our works and therefore, each one of us will be judged differently. Even if two people both live good lives, they will be judged differently and therefore receive a slightly different level of glory. Remember the “many mansions” that Jesus referred to?
Again, this “crazy Mormon belief” does not appear to be so crazy after all–it is supported specifically by the Bible, generally by the teachings of Jesus, and furthemore by modern-day revelation.