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Splinter Groups Temple Lot Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
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August 29, 2020 11:25 am

Splinter Groups Temple Lot Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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August 29, 2020 11:25 am

Many churches (as many as 200) have claimed to be the true restored church of Christ returned to earth through Joseph Smith. This may surprise many Latter-day Saints who complain to Christians about the many denominations. Yet these churches all claim that THEY are the one true church and The Church of Jesus Christ of … Continue reading Splinter Groups Temple Lot Part 2 →

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Mormonism 101, a book by Mormonism Research Ministries, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, has helped many who want to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith.

Mormonism 101 is available at your favorite Christian bookstore or online at Viewpoint on Mormonism, the program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a Biblical perspective. Viewpoint on Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism Research Ministry. Since 1979, Mormonism Research Ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism. Welcome to this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry, and with me today is Eric Johnson, my colleague at MRM. We're looking at some of the groups that claim to be a part of what's known as the Restoration Movement, though they do not believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth, as it says in Doctrine and Covenants Section 1. Many of the groups that we are going to be looking at feel that they are the only true church on the face of the earth. And yesterday, we began looking into a group known as the Church of Christ, otherwise known as the Hendrickites, or the Temple Lot group. This organization was founded in 1863 by a man named Granville Hedrick.

He lived between 1814 and 1881. They have a church building on the corner of what they believe is the spot that Joseph Smith predicted a temple was to be built. And you can go in and talk to their leaders. In fact, yesterday, I mentioned how Eric and myself have years ago went in and talked to an apostle of this organization, a man by the name of Bill Sheldon.

He has since passed away. But what's fascinating about a lot of these groups, what we affectionately call splinter groups, and as I mentioned yesterday, probably wouldn't like that title being attributed to them, but I don't know of any better way to explain them. They do tend to hold to some of the teachings of the LDS Church based here in Salt Lake City, but in many areas, they differ substantially. And so today, we're going to be looking at some of the doctrines of the Church of Christ, known as the Temple Lot organization. Bill, Joseph Smith, as we mentioned yesterday, is considered to be the actual founder of this church. And he's called, though, a quote unquote fallen prophet. And the reason they say that he's a fallen prophet is because he led his church into apostasy when he accepted doctrines that were not divine.

Let me just mention a few of them. These are basic doctrines in Mormonism. Any work for the dead, they don't believe when they build a temple, they're going to do any work for the dead. They don't believe in a changeable God. They didn't believe in masonry. These are all elements which are included in LDS temple rituals.

Yeah, we should make that clear. Joseph Smith did become a mason prior to his implementing the temple rituals that are unique to Mormonism. The Temple Lot group would certainly denounce that. So what they have done on their website is they list 25 articles of faith. Now, these are very much based on the 13 articles of faith that the LDS Church has, except they have added a lot of different things and are much different.

In fact, I'm going to say these articles of faith, while the writing might be similar, have more differences and similarities. And we retrieved these various points from their own website. Now, you tried talking to someone from the Temple Lot group recently. Yeah, I have tried in this series to talk to as many people as I could who were authoritative. And I tried hard to talk to some of the apostles. I made phone calls. I wrote emails. I also wrote the organization and I never did get any kind of response back.

So it seems like I'm being ignored. And you would think that an organization that puts up a website and spells out what they believe, that they stand behind what is on that website. Unfortunately, sometimes you find words being used that aren't clearly defined.

And we've always said on this show, you want to be very careful about that. So we're going to try and understand as best we can what is on their church website regarding some of these beliefs. The first article of faith, they write, we believe in God, the eternal Father, who only is supreme, creator of the universe, ruler and judge of all, untangeable and without respect of persons. Now, what's interesting, Bill, is they list verses from the Bible and the Book of Mormon to support their case. And they use verses that we will use when we're talking about the unchangeable only God. Isaiah 45, 15 to 21, Malachi 3, 6, which says that God does not change.

Revelation 20, 11 through 13. They do use one Book of Mormon verse. They call it Moroni 819. But I think they really meant Moroni 818, which talks about an unchangeable God.

Right? I think that's just a bit of a typo to be sure. But when it starts off, we believe in God, the eternal Father, we know with the LDS group, they say the same thing, but yet their God, according to Joseph Smith's later teachings, certainly do not support the idea that Elohim is the eternal father. He was once a man that lived on a planet similar to earth. So having that title of eternal father becomes very confusing when it's attributed to someone that they believe was once a man like us. Those in the temple lot though, Bill, do not believe that God once was in another world as a human.

They don't believe that he has a body of flesh and bones. Those are later teachings of Joseph Smith. So again, they reject that, which is interesting because they do claim to be followers of Joseph Smith, but they reject his later teachings. Now we certainly don't have time to go through all of these 25 points, but we do want to examine some of them.

Right now, Eric, I think it's important that we look at article five. We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all men may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. That is faith in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins laying on of hands for a ordination, be blessing of children, see confirmation and gift to the Holy Ghost, D healing of the sick.

Now that first part, we believe that through the atonement of Christ, all men may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinance of the gospel. That sounds very similar to what the LDS church has in their 13 articles of faith, but do they really explain what they mean by obedience? That was going to be one of my questions to any of the apostles who would have responded to me is ask the question, how much obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel are necessary? Because I'm going to tell you in the other groups that I did get to talk to, they have very similar language and they normally would just say, you just got to be a good person. So in their mind, I think they're saying obedience is what gets you to the best state after death.

So again, we could probably ask the same question of a member of the church of Christ, temple lot, as we would a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. If you're going to be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, how much obedience is involved and what exactly are those laws and ordinances that you think belong to your version of the gospel? And that's related to number six, the six article of faith.

This is what they say. We believe in the literal second coming and millennial reign of Jesus Christ. That's a big part of what this church is about in the resurrection of the dead and in eternal judgment that men will be rewarded or punished according to the good or evil they may have done. So bill from that and the verses that are used, I think very clearly it's based on your performance here on earth and how well you keep the commandments of God.

Now, if I was a Muslim, I might think that sounds pretty similar to what Islam teaches. Do my good works outweigh my bad works? If there's not a specificity here explaining how much we are required to do, how could you ever know if you've done enough as a member of this group? So you see the same problem, whenever works are involved, the same problem seems to arise.

Your ability to know whether or not you've done enough goes right out the window. And unfortunately that happens with all groups that claim that works have something to do with you being justified before an all holy God. The 11th article of faith I found to be interesting. It says this, we believe that where there are six or more regularly baptized members, one of whom is an elder, there the church exists with full power of church extension when acting in harmony with the law of God. And this reminds me of the Jewish minion, which says you have to have 10 people who are over the age of 13 in order to have any kind of a public worship. Well, in the church of Christ temple lot, you need to have six. Do you think perhaps that that number six goes back to section 84 that I read in yesterday's show in verse one, where it says a revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant, Joseph Smith and six elders as they United their hearts and lifted their voices on high. We know historically that the LDS church began with six members.

Could there be a correlation between these two? It doesn't say specifically, but it certainly looks like it could be. Let's skip all the way to the 21st article of faith. Again, they have 25 total. So number 21, and you can read the rest of these articles of faith by going to our website, slash temple lot with a hyphen between temple lot and the 21st article of faith shows that they are pacifists. This is what it says. We are opposed to war. Men are not justified in taking up arms against their fellows, except as a last resort in defense of their lives and to preserve their Liberty.

I don't want to sound too critical, but it sounds a little self refuting to me, doesn't it? I mean, if you are opposed to war, why would you even have a clause in there referring to a last resort in defense and to preserve your Liberty? It sounds like you would be in favor of war in those two categories. And I think it's based on how you define what does last resort mean.

I mean, is last resort the beginning of a war or it really is at the end of the war when maybe it's too late to do anything. The 23rd article of faith, I think this is probably the most important of all the 25 articles. And it says this, we believe a temple will be built in this generation in Independence, Missouri, wherein Christ will reveal himself and endow his servants whom he chooses with power to preach the gospel in all the world to every kindred, tongue and people that the promises of God to Israel may be fulfilled. Now, Bill, there is no temple on the temple lot today. And the members are not in a rush to get this done because they have this idea that if it gets done before the millennium, great, but they're okay building it during the millennium.

But it's very important to them to expect the imminent return of Jesus and that he would come to Independence, Missouri. I remember one of my conversations with Apostle Bill Sheldon from the temple lot. He very proudly pointed to a model of what this temple was going to look like. And I mentioned to him, I says, it kind of looks like the US Supreme Court building.

He gave me a look that made me think he wasn't too appreciative of that comment. But here again, we have a problem with a word. We believe a temple will be built in this generation in Independence, Missouri. That sounds very similar to section 84 verse five in the Doctrine and Covenants used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, where it says, for verily, this generation shall not all pass away until a house shall be built into the Lord. What is a generation? Even Mormon leaders have been confusing as to what a generation entails. How many years is that? And if this church was founded in 1863 by Granville Hedrick, hence the phrase hendricites, why hasn't that temple been built if you're going to use the word generation? Will be built in this generation.

What generation is that? It tends to be confusing. Again, we're going to continue looking at some of these groups that still maintain Joseph Smith is their founder, though they may not agree with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding Mormonism Research Ministry, we encourage you to visit our website at, where you can request our free newsletter, Mormonism Researched. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-23 12:03:53 / 2024-03-23 12:09:28 / 6

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