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August 29, 2020 11:21 am
.1 humanism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint or normative 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. How many only and true churches can there be welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM. If you live in Utah and you converse with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in downtown Salt Lake City. You may be given the impression that they alone represent true Christianity and that no one else does. And this is what you've probably been told if you've ever spoken to a member on a one-to-one basis in the next several broadcasts we are going to be looking at a number of what are called splinter groups of the restoration movement founded by Joseph Smith and this can get a little bit confusing can it Eric because what were going to see is there are a lot of individual groups spread throughout the United States. Many of them primarily in the Midwest who claim to be carrying on the legacy of Joseph Smith, even though they don't always agree with all the other groups out there that also claim to be carrying on the legacy of Joseph Smith.
I think you're right about that and it's interesting when you look at seven of the largest splinter groups and they have a variety of teachings and some might suspect that these are all going to be polygamist groups less than half of these are polygamist grapes and the other half are just regular groups that are all over the United States and they all claim Jesse Smith is their profit. So I think this is going to be an interesting series for us to be able to better understand where these groups are coming from a little bit about their history, all of them saying Joseph Smith was true, at least in the beginning and that they are the true followers of Joseph Smith now in the series were going to be emphasizing the importance of language and in doing so I probably should say right up front that using the word splinter group probably will offend several of these groups because they don't see themselves as a splinter group that came from another true organization.
They are the true organization. Now not all of them feel that way.
Certainly the community of Christ, which was originally known as the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They don't hold to this exclusive position of being the only true church on earth, but the group that we are going to be looking at today certainly does and it is known as the Church of Christ. That sounds pretty generic, but more specifically they are known as Hendrick Heights or the Temple lot and we should mention upfront Eric that you have done and study of a lot of these groups and we have the results of your study of these groups on our website.
Where can people find those well if you want to look at all seven of these grapes with links to each one you go to MRM.org/splinter groups and there's a hyphen between splinter and groups but the one were to talk about today. As you mentioned Temple lot you go to our website, you can look email@example.com/temple-lot were knocking to be able to tell you every single thing about this religion impact these articles are also a cursory glance, but at the same time we want to give you some of the major ideas of the history as well as the doctrine I'm going to suggest to you that you could use this information when a latter-day St. says oh what about your denominations which church do you belong to and you tell them which denomination and they say well we don't have that in our church because we have the one true church, but you can say well there are other groups that all claim to have the authority that you don't have, and they all claim to be followers of Joseph Smith. So I think there's value in this series that were going to do that you can actually talk about these other groups and you might run across somebody one of these groups you can never assume that they believe, like the Latter Day Saints because you will be very ineffective in your witness. If you make that assumption that when we use the phrase temporal lot. We should explain what that means. According to this group. This comes from section 84 of the doctrine and covenants which Joseph Smith claim was a revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith Junior and six elders as they united their hearts and lifted their voices on high that phrase six elders also has significant in this Temple lot organization.
But in verse two it says gave the word of the Lord concerning his church established in the last days for the restoration of his people as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of new Jerusalem, which city shall be built, beginning at the Temple lot which is appointed by the finger of the Lord in the western boundaries of the state of Missouri and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith Junior and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. And then we need to read verse four verily this is the word of the Lord that the city, new Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place. Even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. Now the church's official title is Church of Christ.
Yet, they like to throw in Temple lot so that you know who exactly you are referring to. Now it was founded by a man by the name of Granville Hedrick Hedrick lived between the years 1814 and 1881, and even though the church claims that Joseph Smith Junior is the church's true founder, it was Hedrick who was the one who began this movement in 1863 built today. They have about 7300 members. Not very many. Of course it still a sizable number and mailing the United States. They have seven congregations in Missouri which is where independence is a have three in Michigan into a Minnesota but there represented in over a dozen different countries, including Africa, the Philippines, Mexico, Honduras, so this is a group that you might run across on a plane someday and sitting next. He was somebody from this group, but not very many of them still a group that I think we need to understand because it is a very historical group that you and I have had experience talking to one of their apostles. He was a man by the name of William or Bill Sheldon. He was an interesting guy. I recall at least on two occasions I've had conversations with Bill Shelton that he has since passed away. He was pretty elderly at the time I had my interview with him, but he was very fascinating and that he would start telling you the story of his movement, and you couldn't interrupt them because if you did, it was like he lost his train of thought. He'd have to start over again.
So you just let him do his spiel any way of explaining his church, and I wish I had recorded it because it was a very methodical, we are not this this this or this, which of course was a slam to all the other restoration movements as they are known that allegedly have Joseph Smith as the founder Bill, this is a group that does hold to the great apostasy just like the LDS church does state this falling away from historic Christianity on their website they say it came because over time, ideas and doctrines were introduced into the church by men instead of relying upon the established doctrine of Jesus Christ.
The apostasy was complete in 570 A.D. they give an actual date, 570 A.D. when the Lombard invaders destroy the last vestige of the Roman Empire and allowed the rise of the power of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.
The result was the removal by God of the authority of the priesthood and the world entered into a period that is called the dark ages spiritually if not physically. So from 570 A.D. all the way until 1830. There was no Christianity and Mormonism. They don't give us a specific date, but in this religion.
They do right.
If you were to ask a latter-day St., when did this complete apostasy actually come to fruition.
The answers that I have often received had to do with what probably around the time of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., but there is no official date given by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as to when this apostasy actually took place.
Though they they believe in this church that there was a complete restoration with the authority of the priesthood that took place between 1829 1830, so they're very similar to the LDS church concerning Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey receiving the priesthood and having the book of Mormon translated but this is what they write on their website they said the tempter use the same lies in an attempt to destroy the church from without and within. And what were some of the problems will they write some members of the church were confused because they knew the truth of the gospel, but confused by the new doctrines introduced by ministers. They trusted they were not found in the Bible or the book of Mormon. These doctrines included the consolidation of power into the hands of one man is profit the offices of a high priest in the first presidency. The practice of baptism for the dead, the belief and unchangeable God celestial marriage plural marriage and exultation. The name of the church had even been changed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
It's interesting that a lot of their complaints against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City are very slow compared to some of the some of the complaints that we have.
They can't even find a lot of these doctrines, let's say in the book of Mormon and they also talk about this belief in a changeable God.
Certainly a slam against the LDS church and we said that to even though the book of Mormon claims of the God mentioned in the book of Mormon isn't unchangeable. Being and so they use a lot of the same language that we would probably use in our criticisms of the LDS church, but they not only talk about the apostasy of the Christian church at large.
They even teach that Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet, what are they say about that right when the church was first organized in 1830, God had directed that there should be 12 apostles call to have the oversight of the church. Just as in New Testament times. Instead Joseph Smith had allowed himself to be set up as the head of the church and as a result, when he was removed. There were many who provide for the leadership of the church that is an important line when says when he was removed. There were many who provide for the leadership of the church. What is being said here folks is that God himself removed Joseph Smith out of that position that he had set up as they think for himself. What is this a reference to this is a reference to his death at Carthage jail that God himself was instrumental in taking Joseph Smith out because he had denied things that the book of Mormon were supposed to clarify or that the Bible was supposed to clarify which I find is an interesting take on this that they would even hint that somehow Joseph Smith could have made such a severe mistake is that that's not something you normally hear Latter Day Saints admitting to you on the streets. They are very reluctant to try and pin any blame on Joseph Smith that all but here according to the church of Christ the Temple lock group. They seem to have no problem with what they do believe in the Bible. The King James version, as well as the book of Mormon, but they reject the pearl of great price and the doctrine and covenants so that would make sense when you think about that because there holding to these early scriptures that have nothing to do with what Joseph Smith said later in his life.
Tomorrow were going to continue looking at some of the research that Eric has discovered regarding this group. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information is research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is You ever wondered what life is like for women and children to attracting polygamy. If so, you're invited to hear from ministries aimed at reaching those in polygamy, as well as testimonies of former polygamist were now Christians. This event will be held in Sandy, Utah on Saturday, September 19 from 830 to 2:30 PM registration is $20 per person includes a continental breakfast and lunch for questions or to register, call Chris at 801-754-3636 again that's 801-754-3636