President Heber J. The “Lectures on Faith” comprised the “doctrine” part of D&C until it was removed starting with the 1921 edition. Therefore the question you opened with Brother Featherstone is that which most occupies the minds of Mormons. 5:1; 8:21). Ask the minister if he pays a tithing. However an examination of these verses finds not one which says there is to be a complete or total apostasy. Beggars sharing the bread that they've so freely and graciously received. At the time we finally concluded that we could no longer continue attending the Mormon church, Deon and I held current Temple recommends. To say that our decision was without doubt the most trying that we have ever gone through would be to say too little. Having never been in such a store I was unsure what to expect, but the Spirit’s prompting to go there was unmistakable. I praise the Lord Jesus with all my heart and soul for His ongoing work in and through me. I was almost beside myself with joy, for I actually believed their intentions were honorable and above board. Just as promised He came to dwell in me by God’s Holy Spirit, and has remained with me from that moment on. I had no way of knowing it at the time, and grandfather offered no further commentary on the subject, but I had been introduced all in the same day to the crux of the controversy that would ultimately provide the spark setting ablaze our desire to learn the truth about Mormonism. Of course not. Nevertheless I feel your suggestion is valid if you are intending by use of the word “ponder” that one engage in a carefully considered study which employs the complete mental faculty of the student. Ask yourself how someone who knows little or nothing about the realities of the pre-historic Americas, who is not familiar with the body of well developed “common knowledge” of Joseph Smith’s day respecting the native inhabitants of these continents, and who is ignorant of the fact that Ethan Smith produced two publishing’s of his “View of the Hebrews” during the eight years preceding the Book of Mormon (which publishing’s had considerable impact in Joseph’s locale, and which are shown by Brother Roberts to so closely parallel in so many suppositions and details the story line later written into the Book of Mormon), ..how anyone who is unaware of these vital background facts could possibly pick up the Book of Mormon as you suggest and “ponder” over it in the true sense of the word? 7:24-25; John 14:6). Why had my grandfather, a Seventy and a well-respected missionary for the local church, been taught that “God is a Spirit,” if in fact Joseph Smith had learned that God is not a Spirit being but a “glorified man” many years before the Mormon church was founded? Have you faithfully paid your tithing? Have the pastor explain and teach you the church’s concept of God, the Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. After looking through that bright and well appointed store, all the while quite sure that others were aware of how out of place I felt, I headed at last for the door thinking God somehow hadn’t been notified and what I’d been directed to had been moved out prior to my arrival. Please, my wonderful Latter-day Saint friends, this is a test. 9:2-3) and went on offering sacrifices that were only figures of what Jesus Christ had already completed (Heb. After reading the book through twice in two weeks, saying little about what I was learning because I still wasn’t ready to admit to the impact it was having, I turned it over to my wife suggesting that she read it. All eternity is hanging in the balance. From the depths of my soul I cried, “Lord Jesus, I’m wrong, I’m sorry, forgive me, take away my sin, be Savior and Lord in my life. I found myself driven by my sense of loyalty to the church, and also by a growing desire, fostered I suppose out of the sense of disorientation I felt and the panic I knew to be lying just beneath the surface of our still outwardly normal approach to life and living, to “prove” that in the face of all I had now examined the church was somehow still true. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”. As you know, we do not have a paid ministry. (Acts 20:28). Yet even if the LDS were to offer such Levitical sacrifices today, they would be of no value because the Levitical or Aaronic Priesthood was replaced or superseded in the Church by Jesus Christ, the Great Eternal High Priest. For the next three weeks we waited anxiously to be called and told by Elder Simmons, our contact at the Mission Office, that my appointment with Brother Ron Brown was set. Dwell with me and make of me what You will.”. What did we find when we put Joseph Smith to the God’s test? Isaiah 29:4 & 11-14 The Angel Moroni delivering the Book of Mormon. Surely if the Spirit of the Lord could baptize Adam (see Pearl of Great Price, Moses 6:64-65), John the Baptist could have first baptized Smith and Cowdery. When lo! Yet I know many who simply look the other way when confronted with God’s Word in this matter, and refuse to submit Joseph’s claims to God’s test. His Priesthood is declared to be “unchangeable” (literally, “untransferable” or “passeth not from one to another” Heb. I testify to you, in the name of Christ, that there is no other church on the earth that has sealing powers that can seal a man and woman together for time and all eternity. Since the doctrine of the “one true church” is part and parcel with the LDS claim to “priesthood authority,” such a review may allow us to bag two birds with one stone. How we managed to stay so uninformed so long is now a puzzle to me! Joseph Smith’s book is a product of the times and circumstances surrounding its production, and of Smith’s ability to utilize what he had at hand in the way of schematic materials. Whitmer adds, “They received the answer just as they had it fixed in their hearts.”. It was the spark that set ablaze our desire to know the truth, but it was only the spark. No longer do I look to other than the Lord Jesus Christ as the Rock of True Authority in my life. Living is the Southern United States this part caught my eye: 16:18). 27:50-51). Over rough trails, through creeks and streams, across meadows and up steep, narrow trails, always the challenge is ahead. We invite your careful and prayerful consideration of our response and look forward to further dialogue if such should be your desire. In our case I believe that had we failed to come across the 1903 D&C, that we would doubtless still be engaged in unquestioning local LDS doings. Since the “total apostasy” Mormons depend on to demonstrate a need for such a “restoration” never took place, we find in that alone enough to refute the claim of “priesthood restoration.” But to those who will not believe that the true Church of Christ has since New Testament times been found on the face of the earth, who find themselves clinging to the false hope offered in the “restoration” story dutifully repeated by those who look to Joseph Smith for salvation, once again I say, “look to God’s Word.”. 1, pp. Abstract: In this essay, I examine a letter written by Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone in 1983 and deposited in the cornerstone of the Atlanta Georgia Temple. The label on that rack read “CULTS”, and prominently displayed were a number of books dealing with “Mormonism.” “What?,” I thought, “We’re no Cult!!”. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without Nephi, Jacob, King Benjamin, Ammon, Alma, Samuel, Mormon, and Moroni. The disciple of Christ by Vaughn J. Featherstone 1 edition - first published in 1984 Not in Library. Opening my heart to the saving Truth of God’s word, I ask Christ into my life as Savior and Lord. The Book of Mormon, in 2 Nephi 26:33 and Jacob 2:21, declares that God sees all mankind alike, whether they are black or white, male or female, bond or free. These discoveries did however help us understand why the doctrine of God found in the Lectures on Faith is so contrary to current teachings, as later we studied the development of that doctrine in the early LDS church.
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