Post Number 600

Today’s  post is number 600 on Cracked-pot.

Thanks for reading/commenting

 

 

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The Cross

post number 599

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Church hosting heresy, falling for trap: Liberty Counsel

A prominent evangelical church in Florida is receiving criticism for hosting a seminar that was sponsored by a group that aims to reform Christian teaching on sexual orientation and “gender identity.”

Northland Community Church in Orlando recently hosted the event, which was titled: “Elevating the Dialogue on LGBTQ Inclusion and Understanding of the Church.” It was sponsored by The Reformation Project, founded by Mathew Vines, author of the book God and the Gay Christian.

Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland Community Church, told Charisma News his church hasn’t wavered on the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. But he said he invited Vines “because his organization helps churches – including churches that do not agree with him – have a conversation to increase understanding between the two normally adversarial groups.”

Hunter also told The Orlando Sentinel: “It’s not about our church’s position about homosexuality. It’s about how we treat each other when we’re different in our perspectives.”

However, a litigation, education and policy organization based in Orlando has some concerns about the event. Roger Gannam is assistant vice president for legal affairs for Liberty Counsel.

Gannam

“It’s one thing to host a conversation, a panel discussion, or a debate where different sides of an issue are presented,” says Gannam. “But for a church to invite into its walls an organization led by a man who espouses basically heresy – something that is not biblical at all – it’s very disappointing and it’s very alarming.”

The founder of Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver, believes Pastor Hunter has fallen into a trap. “For him to host that pro-LGBT event is heresy,” he adds.

Liberty Counsel argues that the purpose of the event was todistort the Bible and change theology to affirm an alternate sexual lifestyle as normative.”

According to Gannam, attendees were asked to fill out a survey regarding their personal sexual lifestyle choices and their views about LGBTQ inclusion in the church. He explains that after Liberty Counsel’s press release was put out – which had a link to the survey – the link was taken down. But Liberty Counsel created the PDF link above using a printout that had been saved.

 

Manny speaks : Well what’s wrong with these folks attempting to change the Word of God, After all if the pope can do it why not Gay Christians? ——-spoiler alert ****Gay Christians is an oxymoron.

Do you consider yourself Evangelical?

Less Than Half of US Evangelicals ‘Strongly Agree’ With Core Evangelical Beliefs: LifeWay

A new survey has found that less than half of Americans who identify as evangelicals actually “strongly agree” with core evangelical beliefs, while nearly one-third of Americans who hold evangelical beliefs don’t identify as “evangelical.”

LifeWay Research released a representative survey on “evangelical beliefs and identity” on Wednesday that featured responses from over 1,000 U.S. adults 18 or older that were collected between Nov. 10–12 with a +/- 3.1 percentage-point margin of error.

Among those surveyed, only 24 percent considered themselves to be an evangelical Christian, while 12 percent were unsure and 64 percent said they were not evangelical. Meanwhile, 29 percent considered themselves to be a “born-again” Christian.

Although 24 percent of respondents claimed to be evangelical Christians and 29 percent claimed to be born again, the survey found that only 15 percent of respondents actually agreed with evangelical beliefs defined by LifeWay.

As previously reported, LifeWay, with the help of the National Association of Evangelicals, defines true evangelicals as those who believe in four basic thoughts:

  • The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe.
  • It is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.
  • Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
  • Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.

Each respondent was asked to which degree they agree with the four thoughts highlighted above. Only respondents who said they “strongly agree” with all four ideas were categorized as having “evangelical beliefs.”

Top of Form

The survey found that among respondents who self-identify as evangelical and born again, only 45 percent of them were categorized as having evangelical beliefs.

Among respondents who said that they would identify as evangelical if it were not for the current political connotation of the word, only 43 percent of them were categorized as having evangelical beliefs.

The survey also found that only about 69 percent of respondents who actually hold core evangelical beliefs actually identify as evangelical, meaning that about three in 10 people who hold evangelical beliefs don’t identify as “evangelical.”

“There’s a gap between who evangelicals say they are and what they believe,” LifeWay Research Executive Director Scott McConnell said in a statement.

The research also found that those who said they hold core evangelical beliefs are more diverse than those who self-identified as evangelical.

Question: Will you share your beliefs? 1-4 Yes/No —- Come on step out from obscurity. Fess up!

 

Mind Control: How Satan Dominates the Human Mind.

  Mind Control:  How Satan Dominates the Human Mind.

By Michael w. Smith (not the singer).

In II Cor. 4:4 the Word notes that “The God of this world (aion/age) has blinded the minds (noema/thoughts) of those that believe not (apistos/unbelievers).  I have been a counselor for decades.  Twenty-five of those years were spent as a secular counselor and since retiring in 2005, I have been a Christian counselor exclusively.  I frequently provide counseling services to mentally ill Christians.  Since retiring as a secular counselor, the Lord had to re-train my concept of how the brain operates and human psychology.  I had to see people and the profession from a spiritual perspective to understand the root cause of why people are in mental and emotional bondage.  I wrote a study guide on this subject called “Planos Spirits; The Root Cause and Cure of Mental Illness”   that can be obtained off this web site http://www.hardcorechristianity.com

Science explains that the mind is located inside the brain.  The brain is the hard drive and the mind is the software, so to speak.  Satan uses evil spirits and fallen angels to control humanity and his main target is the human mind.  If he gains control of the mind he can control the rest of the person.  The mind is the only thing in the world a human can control 100%.  The legendary heavyweight boxing champion, Joe Louis once said; “Kill the body and the head will fall.”

In Christianity, it is the opposite; “Kill the head and the body will fall.”  Satan uses two types of spirits (lying spirits and fear demons) to control people (saved or unsaved).  They almost always work in the same order; the lying spirit strikes first and the fear demon attacks second.

(1)  The lying spirit injects a thought (usually negative) into the mind from his hiding place in the unused portion of the brain (Mt. 9:32-33, 12:22).

(2)  The fear demon usually hides in the stomach or chest area and waits to see if the person will receive and believe the lie or negative thought.

(3)  If the person receives the thought, the fear spirit attacks the soul (creating negative emotions) or body (creating pain) which reinforces the lie as truth.

If the person takes the thought given to them captive, the fear demon will strike the soul or body first giving the person negative emotions, feelings or pain.  Once the person labels them, it becomes true to that person.  For example; a negative thought is emitted into the mind from the lying spirit in the brain such as “You will always be alone.  No one likes you.”  Once the person receives and believes the injected thought, the fear spirit attacks the soul and the person “feels” loneliness, fear, rejection, etc.  They are now in bondage.  If the fear demon strikes the soul first and causes the negative emotions to arise in the body, the person labels it “I feel so alone.”  “Everyone rejects me.”

They are now in bondage.  Jesus said “You will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.  If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”  Once the person learns thru discernment, to reject the lying emotions and thoughts, the spirits lose their power and can easily be cast out.  The person can be cured of mental illness and chronic negative thinking patterns.  This is the root of what I call an Obsessive Compulsive Negative Thought Disorder.

They must be mentally renewed (Eph. 4:23).  Only by receiving and believing truth can a person be loosed from the power of darkness (Lk.11:36).  I have seen the Holy Spirit heal a wide range of mentally ill patients including schizophrenia and severe bipolar.  I am one of only a handful of Christian counselors and ministers who have seen these type of mental illness miracles.  Understanding Satan’s methods of mind control is a major key to restoration.

 Repentance is the key (Acts 3:19).  You can be free of Satan’s destructive control of your mind if you repent of receiving negative thoughts and emotions as your own, go through deliverance and re-new your mind on the Word of God (Eph. 4:23, I Cor. 2:16, II Cor. 10:4-5, Phil. 2:5, I Pet. 1:13, 4:1).

 

13 shocking similarities between Islam and Mormonism

13 SHOCKING similarities between Islam and Mormonism.

By Desiree M. Mondesir.

You may have heard me say this before, but for the benefit of this post, I’ll say it again: there are some SHOCKING similarities between Islam and Mormonism. And apparently, I’m not the first one to come to this conclusion. Kinda makes you wonder where the (false) prophet, Joseph Smith, REALLY got his stuff from huh? But let’s just jump straight to the truth about these two great deceptions that are Islam and Mormonism. Diving in.

1) Angelic Deception

Both Muhammad and Joseph Smith claim to have been called to create their respective faiths through a divine or angelic deception. This alone is basis to disqualify both religions because the words and nature of the deities or angels do not align with the Word of God.

Muhammad claimed that the Angel Gabriel came to him.

Read! In the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is Most Bountiful. He, Who taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not. (Qur’an 96:1-5)

Nowhere in the Bible does God come on the scene demanding things, especially not from those He is specifically calling to serve Him. There’s a saying that says,

God guides; the devil drives.

Muhammad was driven.

Joseph Smith claimed that Elohim (Father God) and Jesus…or just Jesus…or a host of angels…or a single angel [Moroni] appeared to him. Seriously, if he couldn’t even get his story straight, how could anyone honestly be expected to believe him?

I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other-This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! (BYU.edu)

As he prayed that evening that he might know his standing before God, an angel appeared at his bedside, saying that he had been sent from the presence of God and that his name was Moroni. He explained “that God had a work for [Joseph] to do; and that [his] name should be had for good and evil among all nations” (JS-H l:33). (BYU.edu)

I think my friend Jennifer LeClaire says it best.

It grieves me to see how many people point to angels in false prophetic revelation. Angelic encounters can certainly be authentic, but too many people in the Body of Christ as claiming angelic revelations outside the boundaries of Scripture. And it is dangerous. Paul warned, “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). (The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel pg. 78)

I will add some further words of the Apostle Paul.

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)

Everything that glitters ain’t gold.

2) Christianity is Wrong

These angels of light deceived both Muhammad and Smith into believing that no sects of Christianity were right. The visitor(s) that supposedly came to Smith told him all other Christian sects were an “abomination.” So why then would God allow the people before them–including those Christ preached to in Abraham’s bosom and the Pit of Hell during His descension into the earth between his death and resurrection–to all be wrong and die in their sins, never knowing the “true” Gospel? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob always left Himself a witness, even creation itself. At least the Mormons one-upped the Muslims on this one with their baptisms of the dead.

3) Prophetic Call

Both Muhammad and Smith were said to be called as the one true prophet of God. Only, they weren’t. It follows that if the visages they saw were 1) demonic apparitions, 2) imagined/hallucinated, or 3) made up (take your pick), then no supposed calling could be given them. None save a conning call to false prophecy.

And the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.” (Jeremiah 14:14)

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15)

4) Christian Counterfeit

While Islam certainly did not start out as a Christian counterfeit, it certainly is being presented by many these days as one. Ever heard the term “Chrislam”? If you’ve ever read Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle, you’ve seen the danger–even in the imagined world of Narnia–of combining the true God with a false one. How much more so in the real world?

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)

Mormonism is also and more so guilty of being a Christian counterfeit which leads me to my next point…

5) Intentionally Misleading

Everything from the expensive LDS commercials to the wording of the Mormon Missionary propaganda in recent years is INTENTIONALLY done to make unsuspecting individuals THINK Mormonism is Christianity. Just look at the change of methods this cult has displayed over the years.

Christians–those poor miserable priests Brigham was speaking about–some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on earth.

What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing…. [S]o far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things of God.

O, blush for modern Christianity !–a pious name for Atheism.

to…

“Mormonism is Christianity; Christianity is Mormonism; they are one and the same, they are not to be distinguished from each other in the minutest detail.” (LDS apostle Bruce McConkie)

*all four quotes from Cults, New Religious Movements, and Your Family: A Guide to Ten Non-Christians Groups Out to Convert Your Loved Ones by Richard Abanes.

translating the golden plates by examining a seer stone in his hat

 

6) Belief in the Bible’s Fallibility

The Bible tells us that It is the infallible Word of God. In fact, it’s the Word made flesh.

As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven… (Psalm 18:30)

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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:16-17)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…. And the Word became 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)

Yet even with all this, Muhammad and Smith–and their followers–insist the the Word of God is fallible, full of error.

The Muslims believe that we Christians have corrupted the Bible. Mormons believe “the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.” So basically, they don’t believe the Bible.

Believing in the Bible isn’t something that is done on a percentage basis like grades in college. There’s no, “I believe 30%, 57%, or 89% of the Bible.” It’s pass or fail, either you believe it or you don’t. Anything else is a direct or indirect attempt to undermine and discredit the Word of God.

 

7) Polygamy Based on Abrahamic Model

I’ve sadly actually found myself saying this quite a few times recently: just because a thing is in the Bible, does NOT mean that God approved of it. Now hear me out before you stone me.

Murder is in the Bible, but God never approved of it. Incest and rape are in the Bible, but God never approved of it. Witchcraft and divination are in the Bible, but God NEVER EVER approved of it. And so it is with polygamy.

God never approved of sin, but He used its entrance into the world as a reason to send His Son, redeem us from our sin-sick state, and thus, return custodianship of the earth to humanity.

Similarly, God never approved of polygamy, yet He allowed it to serve His purposes since it was done. But never once does the Bible favor polygamy. Never once does the Bible show polygamy in a positive light. Neither does any biblical model (godly pattern) or instruction for marriage display/condone polygamy. In fact, you see the dangers of polygamy from the violent, raping, usurping, murdering direct offspring of David to the anti-bliss of sister-wives like Rachel and Leah as well as Hannah and Peninnah not to mention the problem in the Middle-East we are STILL dealing with thanks to the polygamy Sarah introduced into her marriage with Abraham. Polygamy is NOT of God.

Polygamy in the Bible is a product of the societal norms of ancient times. Nothing more.

 

8) Heavenly Reward

The sexual appetite of these cult founders is completely out of order!! In fact, it’s often a trait you see in many founders of cults, big or small. In this particular situation, both Muslims and Mormons (men) are promised eternal, ethereal sex.

We all know about the Muslims who get their mansion with their 70 regenerate virgins. Here, the Mormons one-upped them again. Instead of a mansion, the Mormons get planets. Instead of only 70 virgins, you get countless goddess-wives. Instead of being single, you get to stay married to your wife and your family remains intact and you can have sex and babies and babies and sex for all the length of eternity. The only real difference is that if you’re not a good little Muslim, you don’t get your mansion (at least mansions are in the Bible) while not-good-enough little Mormons get castrated upon entrance into Heaven. All that striving for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

But the “funny” part is, Jesus ENTIRELY refuted the concept of marriage and sex in the afterlife. And trust me, even though I wish He was wrong about this one, I can’t twist His words to suit my fancies!

For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:30)

 

9) Strict Dress Codes

I don’t go around spouting “modest is hottest” or any of those annoying cliches, but I do believe in appropriate coverage. Especially in certain environments like, I dunno, church. But forcing women to dress drably or covering them completely is not a sign of piety, but of male domination and hatred of women.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the hijabs and burkas Muslim women are expected to wear. And I know you’ve also heard about the super-secret “magical” underwear (garments) Mormons are supposed to wear AT.ALL.TIMES.

Let me tell you something: the only thing you should do at all times is 1) bless the Lord and 2) pray!

These special Mormon garments–reeeeally ugly I might add–are meant to be a guide for dressing. If what you wear shows (i.e. the top of the camisole or the tip of the “biker shorts”) your garments, then you’re not covered up enough. This is obviously MUCH more problematic for the women than it is for the men.

And by the way, I know a lot of Latina women down in Miami who have a VERY Latina way of dressing who are A LOT more Holy Ghost-filled and sanctified than some of the holiness preaching saints with the skirts down to their ankles. Jezebel is not confined to a certain clothing type.

 

10) Dealing with Radical/Other Beliefs

Muslims ostracize those “infidels” who turn from the faith. Like in the God is Not Dead movie, many are thrown out of their homes and in Islamic nations, they could even lose their rights as a citizen. Also, Islam beheads people who are infidels. Just watch the recent news. Need I say more?

Mormonism also absolutely ostracizes those who leave their faith. And what I’ve noticed in my own experiences as well as in the testimonies of others is that if someone leaves the LDS Church, that person’s character is most likely attacked. False witness is borne. Slanderous accusations loosed. Reputations destroyed. They try to discredit the witnesses against the LDS Church in hopes that no one will believe in or follow them.

 

11) Militant Nature

While contemporary Mormonism does not display violent tendencies as a whole, the founders sure as heck were militant just as the Muslims were and are. Joseph Smith had his own personal militia of 2,000 men known as the Nauvoo Legion. And I don’t think I need to go into detail about the Islamic armies that have stretched from the time of Muhammad to the time of the Crusades (and also the reason for them *ehem* Mr. President!!) to modern-day including ISIS/ISIL and other jihadists.

In fact, some of the vows of both religions reflect this violent nature.

You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will pray and never cease to pray to Almighty God to avenge the blood of the prophets [Joseph and Hyrum Smith] upon this nation[America], and that you will teach the same to your children and to your children’s children unto the third and fourth generation. (Oath of Vengeance, Nauvoo Endowment)

I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers. (Quran 8:12)

Those oaths are scary enough as it is, but not nearly as scary as the next similarity…

 

12) Religious Bloodshed

We all know thanks to the not-so-random terrorist attacks, honor killings, and beheadings, that Muslims believe absolutely in killing people. After all, who needs salvation if you can just cut off someone else’s head to get into Heaven?? But maybe because we’re more used to Muslim attacks, it seems all the more harrowing to realize that Mormons too believe in shedding blood and I’m not talkin’ ‘bout no paper cuts!!

Similar to honor killings, Mormons are given free rein to practice blood atonement on those they feel are traitors to the faith.

…[B]lood atonement, which teaches that some sins were not dealt with through Christ’s death. For these sins, said [Brigham] Young, a person must be executed and have his or her own blood spilled. (Cults, New Religious Movements, and Your Family pg. 187)

This obvious act of violence is actually stated to be an act of love, to save the victim’s eternal soul. And guess what? It still happens.

Just let that sink in.

In one interview, a young woman who questioned the LDS faith stated that her own father had given her name along with that of her husband’s name, brother-in-law, and little niece to the Mormon authorities and all of the relatives she listed were shot dead. She went on to say that she absolutely believed that if something were to happen to her or her family, then the LDS Church was behind it. She didn’t lie. Shortly after the interview was live, she was found in her home, shot to death.

Look, I don’t care what reason you have. If you seek someone out who has done nothing dangerous to you and KILL them, it doesn’t matter if you chop off their head or blow them up, use a shotgun to shoot them or a knife to slit their throat on an altar, you are a MURDERER.

God does not now, nor has He ever, required human sacrifice for the atonement of sins. In the Old Testament, under the Law, animals were ritually slaughtered at His command. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, no other sacrifice was needed. His was the ultimate sacrifice. He was the Ultimate Passover Lamb. And when He said, “It is finished!” on the cross, it was. And that blood covers everything from little white lies to mass murder. The blood of Jesus covers it all. All we need do is receive it.

 

13) Prophets Trump Jesus

While there may be more similarities I am unaware of, I’ll leave off with this one. Muslims and Mormons both believe their prophets were greater than Jesus the Christ

Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet and revere Him as such, but they also believe that “Allah has no son.” But Muhammad is the greatest prophet.

Mormons believe that Smith also shed his blood for the remission of their sins. They put him on the same level and greater than Jesus. Like, for real. But then, what could be so special about Jesus if he is just one god among many, like Jo Smith, born to the Heavenly Father and a Celestial Mother? Even Lucifer received that undue honor in Mormonism. And on the Day of Judgement, it will be God the Father, Jesus, and–not the Holy Spirit–but Joseph Smith judging us all. But because of the “revelation” of Mormonism, Joey thought he deserved to trump Jesus. The utter arrogance is disgusting.

Just read this narcissist’s words:

[The Lord] will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be [a] mouth[piece] for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it…. 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…Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did. I boast that no man ever did such work as I. (Cults, New Religious Movements, and Your Family pg. 185)

When I first purposed to write this post, I thought there were about, maybe, five similarities between Islam and Mormonism. But the amount I came up with is simply staggering! I don’t care how whitewashed (pun intended) a religion is, would you REALLY want to join a religion–even if they do profess to be Christian–that shares so much with Islam? Like Islam, Mormonism is more than just a religion; it’s a way of life; it’s seeps into every area of your life; dominates every area of your life. Neither of these counterfeits lines up with the Scripture. And to borrow the words of the Apostle Paul, “from such, RUN AWAY!!!”

Mormons and Masons: 5 fascinating Connections

Mormons and Masons: 5 Fascinating Connections

By Jamie Armstrong

Why did Joseph Smith become a Freemason? What is the relationship between Masonic lodge rites and LDS temple ordinances? Here are 5 fascinating facts about Mormons and Masons.

  1. The first five Latter-day prophets were Freemasons.

Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow all were members of the fraternity. All joined while living with the Saints in Nauvoo.

 Brigham Young wearing a Mason pin on his shirt

  1. Joseph Smith joined the Masons in Nauvoo in March 1842.

Why would the Prophet join the Masons? In his essay “Freemasonry and the LDS Temple Endowment,” as found in the new book A Reason for Faith, Stephen C. Harper writes, “Joseph likely pondered the fraternal ceremony as he contemplated how he could prepare his followers for what awaited them in the new temple, how he might best teach them what he had learned over time from angels, from translating ancient records by the power of God, and from what he called ‘time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts.’”

He continues, “Joseph knew that preparing hearts and minds to receive all that God had in store couldn’t be done easily. But he was not one to conclude that it couldn’t be done at all. So, as angels had done with him, and he had done with his followers before, he started with what he had and used what the Saints found familiar to lead them to further light and knowledge.”

  1. Mormonism and Masonry use several of the same symbols.

Though the same symbols are used, there are many references to these symbols in LDS history occurring well before Joseph Smith became a Freemason. In fact, Matthew B. Brown, author of Exploring the Connections Between Mormons and Masons, has found several references prior to 1842. For example:

All-Seeing Eye

1828–29: “I pray the God of my salvation that He view me with His all-searching eye” (2 Nephi 9:44).

May 1836: “God is not mocked with impunity. His all-seeing eye beholds you at all times. . . . His all-seeing eye surveys the whole of His vast creation” (remark by John Whitmer).

Handclasp

27 June 1839: Joseph Smith taught the members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles one of “the keys of the kingdom of God,” which was how to detect the nature of an otherworldly visitor by means of a handclasp.

22 July 1840: Joseph Smith Jr. had a scribe write in a letter to William W. Phelps, “I shall be happy once again to give you the right hand of fellowship.”

Holiness to the Lord

April 1830: “walking in holiness before the Lord” (D&C 20:69).

25 June 1833: The First Presidency of the Church wrote in a letter that each of the 24 temples in Jackson County, Missouri, was to be adorned with the inscription, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” (History of the Church, 1:359).

Bees

1829: Honeybees called “deseret” (Ether 2:3).

November 1832: The disciple of Jesus Christ is to have “industry” like the “bees” (Evening and Morning Star, vol. 1, no. 6).

  1. There are similarities between the Masonic and temple ordinances. However, the relationship between the two should not be oversimplified or overstated.

“Some people reason that Joseph Smith initiated men and women into the endowment ordinances after he was initiated into Freemasonry; therefore, the temple rituals derived from Masonry. One problem in this theory is that Freemasonry itself borrowed much of its ritual and ceremony from elements preserved since antiquity,” Harper explains in his essay “Freemasonry and the LDS Temple Endowment,” as found in A Reason for Faith.

He continues, “It may be that some ritual forms were adapted from Masonic traditions, but the endowment teaches a divine plan of creation, Fall, and redemption through Christ—promising those who covenant to keep God’s laws that they will gain power over the effects of the Fall.”

Similarly, Brown writes, “And there was no mistaking that there were some resemblances between the two rituals for, as Heber C. Kimball wrote just a month after being endowed, ‘There is a similarity of Priesthood in Masonry. And yet, no incredulous cry about bootlegging or fraud rang out from this group against the Prophet.’”

  1. Early Church leaders agreed that Freemasonry could be traced back to the priesthood.

In his book Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons, Matthew B. Brown includes several statements from prominent Latter-day Saints in the early Church. He writes:

“[Such quotes] establish the viewpoint of some 19th century Mormons about the origin of Freemasonry. The first statement comes from Joseph Smith’s scribe Willard Richards and was written by him on or very near the day when the Prophet was raised to the degree of Master Mason. The statements by Heber C. Kimball (a contemporary record) and Benjamin F. Johnson (a reminiscent account) reflect the thought of Joseph Smith on the matter.

“The message behind these statements is consistent—there are similarities between Freemasonry and the Mormon endowment because Masonry is a product of apostasy or degeneration from a priesthood-based prototype. Latter-day Saints possess the authentic version.”

Consider the following examples:

Willard Richards (16 March 1842): “Masonry had its origin in the Priesthood. A hint to the wise is sufficient.”

Heber C. Kimball (17 June 1842):“ There is a similarity of priesthood in Masonry. Brother Joseph [Smith] says Masonry was taken from priesthood.”

Benjamin F. Johnson (1843): Joseph Smith “told me Freemasonry, as at present, was the apostate endowments, as sectarian religion was the apostate religion.”

Joseph Fielding (December 1843): The LDS temple ordinances are “the true origin of Masonry.”

Heber C. Kimball (9 November 1858): “The Masonry of today is received from the apostasy. They have now and then a thing that is correct, but we have the real thing.”

BONUS FACT: Mozart, Napoleon, Walt Disney, and 13 U.S. presidents were also Freemasons.

Tomorrow: Shocking similarities between Islam and Mormonism. The American Muhammad Joseph Smith daddy of Mormonism.

 

 

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