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MORMONS IN SHOCK
"Love warns of danger"
This site is intended to be a loving warning of spiritual danger regarding LDS teachings, and an offer of hope. The primary messages are:
1. There are no telestial or terrestrial "glories", (worlds or
destinations) in the afterlife.
We PLEAD with you, for your sake, to study this out carefully. We do not want you to be in shock on the judgment day to learn these things then.
1. THERE ARE NO TELESTIAL OR TERRESTRIAL GLORIES. The proofs
presented are from
A. The Bible. All of the scriptures below teach two destinations generally. But Rev. 20:15 and 21:24-27 teach ONLY two destinations. They state that if your name is NOT in the Lamb's book of life your destiny will be the lake of fire, and that if your name IS in the book of life, you will be in God's presence, with access to His very throne. Think about it: what other options can exist besides "name in book" and "name not in book"???
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Rev. 20:15
"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it (the city)... and the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; ... and the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there... And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." Rev. 21:22-27
Other Scriptures (King James Version)
The entire Bible speaks only of God's KINGDOM (singular); it never speaks of more than one heavenly kingdom! ( In Rev. 11:15b, the one exception, the plural form in King James is italicized, meaning it was supplied by translators, thus not in the original)
B. LDS Proof Texts:
I Cor. 15:40
Joseph Smith added the word telestial to that verse. (Note: there is no manuscript evidence for the addition). Study of the King James Version verse in context shows that the verse refers ONLY to earthly (terrestrial) bodies and heavenly (celestial) bodies, not to any destinations. In other words, the verse merely speaks of the kind of body humans have before and after death.
The LDS view of word terrestrial as relating to the future does not agree with its true meaning. The word TERRESTRIAL as used throughout the New Testament, simply means 'earthly', and in II Cor. 5:1-4 the Greek word for terrestrial (epigeios) was translated as "earthly" (verse 1): "For we know that if our earthly (terrestrial) house of this tabernacle (i.e our present body) were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. It goes on to speak of wanting to be clothed with our new body in heaven. Now think what it is saying. My terrestrial body has to be dissolved before I get a new one in heaven. In other words, there will be no terrestrial bodies in heaven because my terrestrial body is my PRESENT, earthly one!
II Cor. 12:2 refers to the third heaven. The "first" usage in the Bible of the word heaven has the meaning, sky; the second, outer space, and the third, the presence of God... these are the 3 ways the word heaven is used in the Bible. It is illogical to jump to the conclusion that there are other "heavens" that exist as destinations for humans, when the clear statements in God's Word indicate otherwise.
John 14:2 speaks of many mansions... but those mansions are in the FATHER'S house (I.E. where the Father lives). We can agree that "Celestial Glory" (God's kingdom) exists. No other place for mansions or dwelling places is mentioned in the Bible.
B. LDS Writings
BOOK OF MORMON VERSES:
II Nephi 15:34-35 kingdom of God or
an awful, filthy hell
Note that D&C 20:9, 27:5 refers to the Book of Mormon as the FULLNESS of the gospel. This makes "3 heavens" a significant omission!
DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS
D & C 76, 88 and 131 are the only places that teach the three heavens theory.
BUT... see the rest of the story:
D&C 29:27-28, 43-44 eternal life or
PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
Moses 6:29 and 59 kingdom of heaven
or death and hell
C. Summary and Additional Evidence
1. No Bible verses teach more than 2 destinations for mankind. Its consistent story is the traditional heaven/hell, although it could more precisely be referred to as hell followed by the lake of fire vs. the new heaven and earth as the two choices (There will be free access between the new heaven and earth, and all have access to the throne of God. See Rev. 21:24-27)
2. The Book of Mormon does not teach the 3 heavens theory.
3. Nor does the Pearl of Great Price teach three heavens, but two destinations.
4. While the Doctrine and Covenants does refer to the 3 heavens in 3 places... other places in D & C say the opposite. And the most significant revelation (D&C 88) was a part of a larger revelation, a part of which was proven to be false. Church History, Vol. 2, pp. 380-381. Joseph Smith said he saw in a vision of the CELESTIAL kingdom ďthe (current) 12 apostles of the Lamb who are now upon the earth.Ē Did these apostles ever inherit the Celestial kingdom? History of the Church later records the apostasy and final excommunication of 5 of the 12 apostles referred to in this vision:
Johnson Vol. 3:20
Since part of his Celestial glory vision was false, dare we believe any of it?
5. Apart from the change in I Cor. 15:40, the Joseph Smith Translation does not support or correct the Bible so as to support the 3 heavens teaching. It consistently upholds the two destination view. The JST reads the same in the key passages in Rev. 20 and 21. Some have suggested that Smith did not finish the Joseph Smith Translation, but the Church Chronology entry for July 2, 1833 states: "Joseph the Prophet finished the translation of the Bible."
6. I have had pages on line for over 10 years and dialogued with well over 1500 people (perhaps as many as 2000) about these issues. NO ONE has been able to give me an answer that even comes close to refuting what I am warning you about. If you can refute this information ... be my guest. I'm listening. If not, I beg you to believe it!
God is not a God of confusion... if the Bible (and even the JST) is true, the vision of the 3 degrees of glory is false, and if the vision is true, the JST is not of God. You can't have it both ways. One way or another, Smith lied! We urge you to come back to the Bible. Its message is cohesive, not contradictory, start to finish.
PART 2. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE CELESTIAL GLORY?
We can agree that the Kingdom of God exists, and I have no objection to the name Celestial Glory. So what are the requirements for attaining that destination? According to the standard works, it is not easy... but if one takes into consideration ALL of the standard works... well... judge for yourself.
Let's start with Matt. 5:48 This passage suggests we are to be as perfect as God is. ! ! ! How about James 2:10. Whoever breaks ONE part of the law is guilty of breaking ALL the law. Evidently with God it is not a matter of levels, but it is all or none. Rom. 3:10... there is NONE righteous, no, not one. That was written at a time when many many thousands of Christians existed. The same conclusion is evident no matter how you cut it as we look at the LDS requirements. See my article entitled "Mission Impossible Salvation" (Click here to read it).
3. THE HIDDEN TRUTH. I would not be wasting my time with this warning unless I could offer you something far far better. The Bible's plan of salvation is do-able and guaranteed. Celestial Glory can be easily attained - - easily!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintsí plan of salvation has a missing KEY - the true key to celestial glory. I am aware that Mormonism offers A solution to the problem of the extremely difficult requirements for Celestial Glory, (you are to repent and try again). But throughout the 4 standard works I find no reference to the concept of trying to obey! Instead, we read dozens of statements to obey, and keep all of the commandments. Please understand: break-repent, break-repent, break-repent does not = keep/obey. Certainly God knows how to say what He means.
As I have searched within Mormonismís writings I find that the only solution that will work, the Biblical solution, is nowhere taught. At least I didnít find it in the Book of Mormon, D & C, Pearl of Great Price, Articles of Faith, Gospel Principles, Missionary Lessons, Mormon Doctrine, or The Miracle of Forgiveness. I am saddened by this to say the least.
The key relates to HOW to be RIGHTEOUS. Matthew 5:20 speaks of our righteousness exceeding the righteousness of the religious leaders of the day. Matthew 5:48 indicates that in some sense of the word we must be perfect (note this is a present tense command). And it says to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. I think that means no sins now. And I KNOW it does not mean "break-repent, break-repent, and try harder". In Romans 3:23 the literal rendering is that we have all sinned and keep on coming short of the glory of God. There were about 633 laws in the old (law) covenant God made with Israel. That sounds like a manageable number, but when Jesus was on earth he said (John 7:19) that no one was keeping the Mosaic law. No one! I see this as our universal human dilemma. (There are about 1050 commands in the new testament... what chance have we got to do better than those folks did under the old covenant?) None! But this is not a dead-end street.
Here is the key: there are two kinds of righteousness described in the Bible. The first is the one we are all familiar with ó related to what we do and do not do daily. Letís call it personal righteousness. But remember, according to Romans 3:10, "there is none righteous". So this type of righteousness (apart from Christ himself) is actually nonexistent. But another kind is mentioned in Romans 10:3 and Philippians 3:9. Letís look at those verses.
"For they (the Israelites), being ignorant of Godís righteousness and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God."
"...that I may gain Christ, and
be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law,
but that which is through faith in Christ,
the righteousness which is from God by
Letís find out more about this righteousness which becomes ours through our faith. Look with me at Romans chapter 4. As we do, keep in mind that the same root word that is translated as righteous / righteousness is also translated as justified / justification in the New Testament.
"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.. (Romans 4:6).
A person who is ungodly (i.e... no personal righteousness) is declared justified (righteous) in some sense. Note the word counted. The same concept is found several times in this chapter. Verse 6 speaks of David having had righteousness imputed to him. There is an amazing truth in these words. Imputed reminds me of computed. The concept here is similar to a transfer from one bank account to another. God is saying He will put into our spiritual record His Sonís actual record of righteousness and transfer out all our sins in this divine transaction. (Note that to be righteous means no negative balance of sin, and also a full level of goodness ó thus we are saved by both Christís life and His death - Romans 5:10.) The same thought of a spiritual record is seen in Rom. 4: 9 where it speaks of a legal reckoning and in verse 11 (imputation) and in verse 24-25 (imputation). I would suggest you read the whole chapter to get the full picture. But what this second kind of righteousness does for us is give us a permanent perfect record with God so he can justly qualify us to enter His presence. This imputed righteousness is based on believing in what Christ did (His perfect life and death to wipe out our sins) and not on our personal righteousness.
Imputed Righteousness is the key to Celestial glory! Have you, as a Mormon, ever heard this before? I didnít think so. My guess is that you are questioning whether it can even be true. So let's look at more scriptures.
"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation... For He (God) hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (II Cor. 5:19-21) See the transfer here? No more sin put on our record, instead righteousness put on it.
Let me clarify that this is not a matter of our believing that Christ can enable us to have a good enough performance to make it or earn this "computer entry". The basis upon which this kind of righteousness is offered is faith. And the object of that faith (to be a valid faith) must be the shed blood of Christ, not our blood, sweat and tears as we try to obey. We already know that wonít work. Nor is it a combination of trust in Christ plus our obedience. He SAID on the cross, "It is finished" -- literally "paid in full."
Hebrews 10:14 clarifies that this record God gives us is a permanent one: "For by one sacrifice He hath perfected forever them who are being sanctified. " Donít let the word sanctified throw you. Verse 10 spells out that sanctification is a work done by Christ through HIS sacrifice. There is a sense in which sanctification is progressive, but not in the context of this passage. Isnít a perfect record forever a glorious promise? (See also Romans 4:16 where the promise is said to be "sure".)
Think about it: that is guaranteed celestial glory! That is worth shouting about! Shouldnít the LDS church be telling you this? Why has the key been hidden?
Here is another passage: I John 2:1-2. This one answers the question, what happens when I sin? Chapter one speaks of confessing the sin and being forgiven. But what if I neglect or forget to confess it? That in itself could be considered a sin, right?
"My little children, these things I write to you, that you sin not, If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He is the propitiation for our sins, and not ours only, but also for the whole world."
It doesnít say, "If you sin, YOU had better do this or that. It says you have an advocate. Advocate means lawyer. If you sin you have a lawyer to plead your case with the Father and his argument is based on the value of his shed blood. The word propitiation means a fully satisfactory sacrifice.
Further, I read elsewhere that the Father is ultimately going to give the son the right to judge, so... you could say your lawyer is also your judge. And His blood will cover every sin.
More verses to study: John 5:24, 6:47, Acts 10:43, Romans 10:9-10, Titus 3:5. The fact is there are over 125 places in the New Testament that tell us we are saved, justified, or gain eternal life by FAITH! Click here for list. God has made it pretty clear, hasn't he?
OK, let me second-guess a reaction: "Isnít that just a license to sin?" So good works donít matter? Answers: NO it isnít; and YES they do.
TEN REASONS TO BE A DO-GOODER
Now letís talk about the place of good works in the Bible. It does not teach that it is OK to sin. God is portrayed in Hebrews 12 as a father who disciplines his children. (But he does not disown them.) To put faith and works and salvation in their proper perspective, I offer two formulae both based on what Eph. 2:8-10 does and does not say.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them ."
It is not Faith plus works = salvation
It is Faith = salvation plus works
The passage indicates that works are not the means or cause of salvation. That comes through faith in Christís life and death which brings that gift of imputed righteousness to you. But Ephesians 2:8-10 spells out that even though works donít save us, they are in the picture. We are "created unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them". They are to be the natural result or effect of salvation. So James 2:10 is true: a genuine faith will result in good works (faith without works is dead). James never says "faith without complete obedience is dead" but he is saying we will be do-gooders.
I like to think of it this way: Because Iím saved and its guaranteed, I WANT to do all I can to say thank you. That is where good works come in. A part of the salvation package is the entrance of the Holy Spirit into our life, and He is there to change our want-to and to grow us. Genuine salvation changes us; real faith works. Further, obeying Godís commands can spare us a lot of harmful consequences in this life. And finally, obeying Godís commands will bring reward both now and later. So here, in a nutshell are the reasons I choose to obey God:
1) The Holy
Spirit in me pulls me in that direction.
Another possible objection: "What about Jesus' words to the rich young man in Matthew 19 (about keeping the commandments to gain eternal life)? Click here to see a study on this
LDS have been told the road to exaltation and forgiveness is a long, hard road with spikes and thorns along the way. (Kimball in Miracle of Forgiveness) It is worse than that. If it depends on full obedience in practice, it is simply impossible. But look at the words of Jesus on this subject (remember He was talking to religious leaders laden down with the Mosaic law plus hundreds of human additions to it).
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matt. 11:28
Do you need soul rest from the impossible requirement to be as perfect as God is? It is found by trusting in the value of Christís atonement to give you His imputed righteousness.
I John 5:13 says we can know (for sure) that we have (present tense) eternal life. ONLY through a principle such as imputed righteousness could such a statement be made. I have told you the truth, and my prayer is that you will receive Christís offer by faith. If you do, not only will the door of Celestial Glory be open for you (guaranteed), but the Lord of that glorious place will enter your life as you have not experienced before, He will change your life, and someday, I will see you in the Heavenly Fatherís presence.
Please, please do not ignore this information and warning. If you do, you may well hear these words someday: "You were warned; you ignored the warning; you ignored my offer; you are without excuse; depart from me!" There is no middle ground here. To fail to accept this offer is to reject it. Will you accept God's gift of imputed righteousness to secure your relationship with Him? If so, TELL HIM SO, and see what happens!
If you have questions or comments, Iíd love to address them.
Sincerely, Sharon Doty
Please write to Sharon
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