Ann speaks to the women encouraging them to seek Holy places in their lives. Whether that be a physical place, ie, the temple, or a prayer room, or a moment in time where they recognise the spirits presence. This was an encouraging talk and scripturally there was nothing to disagree with, although I did notice a distinct lack of Jesus being mentioned! The women were admonished to be like Joseph smith in finding their Holy place, he found his sacred grove and even managed to have intimate times of prayer in his bedroom that he shared with his brothers. But where were the examples of Jesus Drawing away to pray alone? His 40 days in the wilderness? His intimate prayer in the garden? His life of intimacy with the Father? All of these examples were strangely missing.
Mary tells the story of a virtuous young girl called Kate, who after being brought up by devout LDS parents, lived exemplary, goes on to follow their example. Even in the face of trials, including the loss of her Father at 14 and then her Mother receiving a diagnosis of cancer just before she was due to go on mission.
Having had solid foundations from her family, and her faith and her family’s faith, Kate was able to make good decisions in the face of these trials and she is rightly commended for her good decisions. Avoiding the pitfall that hardship can bring, choosing to push further into her faith rather than let her troubles pull her down.
It’s all very admirable but, as I read Mary’s comments I am left wondering what Gods part was in all of this?
Mary’s story very much emphasises Kate and what she did and the choices she made. But why is the emphasis on Kate and her works, instead of on the Goodness of the Father? Surely it is God she has to thank for providing her with such a solid foundation in the first place? God, who provided her with Loving parents, who brought her up to love the Lord and be strong in faith. God, who saw her through the hardest times of trial. Who helped her to have the faith to keep going. Who put friends around her to strengthen and encourage her. Why is Mary telling us how wonderful Kate is, instead of praising God for giving her the strength, encouragement and provision to get through it all?
This is one of the key differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity. Biblical Christianity seeks to glorify God and never man. The praise should always be of God and not of man, of His works and not of our own. The Bible tells us to live lives that Glorify God and not ourselves, our motto should always be, ‘To God be the Glory.’
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
“Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I haveformed him; yea, I have made him.” (KJV)
We are created for His glory!
The theme continues of standing in Holy places, Elaine admonishes the Women to,
They are to do this by making right decisions and through remaining virtuous and sexually pure.
“Your choices now not only affect you, but they also affect others. They are of eternal significance. Be not moved!”
She goes on to say..
Your body is a temple. Why? Because it has the capacity to house not only your eternal spirit but also the eternal spirits of others who will come to the earth as part of your eternal family.
Here Elaine is speaking of the LDS belief that worthy male Mormons can obtain Godhood, and that together with their worthy wives they will have spirit children, who will go on to receive body’s just as they did, on their own ‘ earth.’ I know Bobby has already addressed this issue in his general conference post so I won’t go into it too much I just wanted to point this out.
The theology that is being spoken out by the church is that of eternal progression, of men becoming Gods, and of God once being a man. I know that some LDS try to back away from this now and say that’s not what they believe, but that is what the LDS church clearly teaches from prophet to Young Women’s President.
Elaine goes on to tell the story of Isaac and Rebekah from Genesis.
I found this point interesting…
“Prior to her departure from her family, she was given a blessing, and the words are stirring to me, for she was promised that she would become “the mother of thousands of millions.”
The exact scripture says…
Genesis 24:60 (KJV)
60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
I can see from Elaine’s remarks of this being ‘stirring’ that she is most likely linking this blessing of Rebekah to the LDS belief of eternal progression. I imagine her to understand that Rebekah would be the Mother of thousands of Millions through becoming a goddess wife. However that is not the intended meaning of this blessing, in fact the blessing of Rebekah echo’s the blessing that was given to Abraham only two chapters earlier…
Genesis 22:15-18 (KJV)
15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Notice that both the blessing of Abraham and the blessing of Rebekah both state, “…and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” Both blessings are one and the same. The blessings speak of physical and spiritual seed. The spiritual seed of Abraham are those that believe on Christ.
Know you therefore that they who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
We can make the bible fit in with our ideas or we can let the bible speak for itself. The Bible can easily be read with LDS tinted glasses. I challenge any LDS reader to take off those glasses and take a fresh look at the Bible.
As always I welcome your comments and will get back to you as soon as I can.