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One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when 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. So glad you could be with us for this edition viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Johnson. My colleague at MRM this week we've been talking about Eric's trip to Memphis Tennessee for a Temple open house that was actually held in Bartlett, Tennessee. But it's called the Memphis Tennessee Temple and we are explaining that this temple because of a mold problem had to be completely torn down and rebuilt and we are also explaining why we go to temple open houses to to minister to the people, hopefully to get into conversations and hopefully also to hold some website signs were people and get more information on the teachings of Mormonism but Eric, you were talking about some of the people that you talk to and as we finished yesterday show you were on a tour with other pastors and there was a gentleman and his wife that were taking you through the temple and it was very emotional for the wife to talk about how her family was sealed to her in this temple, although it really wasn't that temple because as we mentioned that Temple was completely torn down. So it's the thing that was the same was the foundation but I'm sure it had sentimental value and I understand that one we go back to the question that you asked on this tour in front of this small group of pastors that were invited on this tour. My question was, you have mentioned. I said to Mike a number of ceremonies that will take place in here including baptism for the dead and marriage is for time and eternity. Do you believe these were regular practices in the temple in Jerusalem. And he basically blew me off and said that's not a question I really want to get into here.
Wait until the reception hall and then I can address that. So we eventually get to the reception hall after he said goodbye to the other pastors they pretty much all left, there was hardly anybody in this reception hall because there was only one sewer per hour and Arturo only had eight or nine pastors so I'm kind of by myself looking at some of the pictures and he comes up and says let's talk about this and so we did for the next 45 minutes. We talked about some of the differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity and we started with the temple. We spent a lot of time of the 45 minutes talking about what the Old Testament temple as well as the temple during the time of Jesus was all about the sacrifices that went on there versus what the LDS church says the temple is supposed to be about mainly work for the dead, as well as getting married for time and eternity. He brought up.
For instance, to support the idea that marriage was for eternity. He brought up the woman who had seven husbands and they all died and then the Sadducees asked Jesus which husband will she have.
And Jesus says marriage is not for for heaven and he use that to say see we have to get married in this life, in order to be sealed for the next life.
You can't do it in the next life and that's why it's so important which I felt was a different aspect of the interpretation of what has been traditionally understood by that passage that heaven is not just for this life to be able to be continued into the next life because we been sealed here, but that it won't be the same kind of situation that people will be in heaven and Morgan a recognizable were knocking to be married in the same sense as we are in this life. I think with Miss by a lot of Latter Day Saints.
When that verse is brought up is that Jesus made it very clear that our state in heaven is going to be like the angel exactly and there's nowhere in the Bible that mentions anything about angels being married and that's I think the point that Jesus was trying to make because this is a woman who whose husband died, she ends up marrying his brother. He dies ends up marrying his brother and that was really the story that they were explaining to Jesus and the story that he responded to that. I've heard some Mormon say well yeah but he was a Sadducees they didn't believe in the resurrection anyway.
And that's why Jesus answered that way if you say that I think you're making Jesus out to be somewhat of a deceiver. I think his answer was couched along the lines of what they believe regarding the resurrection I don't think that's the case at all. He was merely stating look, you're going to be like the angels. Angels art married. That's the point he was trying to make.
We continue talking about the temple and I said will you have to be considered worthy to be able to enter into this temple, but in the biblical times, it was the unworthy who are bringing their sacrifices and so we talked on that for a little while and he felt it was biblical and I said well you know the story of the publican and the Pharisee that Jesus told the Pharisee he was saying this grandiose prayer and how righteous he was and then you have the publican had a center who was beating his chest and I said Mike which one are you when you come to the temple and he looked at me and he said well I'm the publican I said with your temple recommend and hand the one that says that you are worthy because you did everything that Bishop said you were supposed to do in order to be able to get in here I said isn't that difficult to be a publican. When you have this idea that you are righteous and everyone knows your righteous because nobody goes the temple unless you have that recommend that I should bring out Eric many times when you ask a Mormon if they been to the temple. The phrase that is used even among Latter Day Saints is being temple were the addresses were the that's the word and they are supposed to be worthy as you said, in order to get that recommend that little card that gets them permission to get past the recommend desk showing that they have qualified to be in this particular temple, or really any temple that the church owns. I could not argue that he thought that he was a publican when he came, but then I asked this question, I said what you think most your people who come to this temple. What would they be classified as the publican or the Pharisee and he stopped.
I he kinda looked at the ground and he said well there's probably a number who come in here is Pharisees, so he acknowledged that even if he came in as a publican that there were many who felt that card earned them the right to be able to go and do the special ceremonies this church as so this goes right along with what I mentioned yesterday that there really is no significant similarity between the Mormon Temple in the temple that we know of an ancient Israel the same temple that was functioning during the time of Christ. There is not only a difference in the ceremony, but a difference in the purpose you bring out the story of the Pharisee and the publican Pharisee certainly felt like you'd qualify any actually made clear in his prayer that he was not like that publican that he was a step above that he had paid his ties and he had done everything that he was most interesting type pain is one of the questions at your ass in order to get recommend you have to make sure that you're a consistent target. Really is church. So here again, the purpose for going to the temple is different, this person, the publican goes feeling unworthy and I think if you had a proper understanding of what the ancient temple ceremony was all about. That would be the proper thought process that you would have. I'm going here because I'm unworthy, even the sacrifice of the animal was an act of faith on the part of the participant to show that something else had to die in your place.
That's basically what we believe as Christians. Jesus died in our place on our behalf for our sin so that we might not have to pay that sin, penalty, our conversation was winding down, and as it was the PR man for the entire region came walking up. His name was Richard and he and I had a great relationship throughout the duration of the Temple open house because he's the one that made sure everything was right with us that he was taking care of us and so he came and talked, so Mike excused himself, so I ended up with a one-on-one conversation with Richard found out that he was a former Southern Baptist who had been heavily involved in masonry and when he started to think about joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He wasn't quite sure, but then he realized he said that there were many similarities from what masonry was all about which he was a very high-ranking member and what Mormonism is all about. In fact he said when he went through the temple.
The first time he knew that this was the right church. He said he'd never seen it after this time, but the first time he went through the man who was behind the curtain in the terrestrial room right before you go to the celestial room, you have to do handshakes there called tokens and this man's hand came through the veil and he saw Masonic ring and he said that was God telling him that this church was true because of the connection with masonry and we should mention that Joseph Smith himself admits on March 15, 1842 and you can look this up in the history of the church, its volume 4, where he says, I received the 1st° in Freemasonry in the Nauvoo Lodge. This would be Nauvoo, Illinois, which at that time was the headquarters of the church assembled in my general business office.
I was with the Masonic Lodge, and rose to the sublime degree. Smith himself was a Mason. Brigham Young was a Mason. A lot of the early leaders of the Mormon church were Mason Smith merely incorporates some of the ritual into his temple ritual. This is why Richard can see the similarity between the two. It's similar to masonry folks not similar to the temple in ancient Jerusalem right not similar to the temple that was in existence when Jesus was alive.
It's similar to masonry and of course Mormons believe that there some ancient significant Samaritan, but certainly we find that there is no similarity to what went on anciently in Jerusalem.
Our conversation was coming to an end after maybe about 20 to 30 minutes and another person came walking up sister Williamson. She was just a regular layperson and Richard introduced her as she was a African-American woman and she was the second longest African-American in the South belonging to the church and then he left us so I could talk to sister Williamson and I asked her.
I said well, so how long have you been a Latter Day Saints. She said since 1979 my civil that's a year after the 1978 Priesthood Change Took Pl. where African-Americans Blacks could now do the work in the temple, and she says why would joined earlier. Had I known about this church, but I didn't find out until 1979 she was a very nice lady, a former Baptist another person who had a religious background and ended up joining the church and so we talked a little bit about the revelations that supposedly took place in 1978, and I asked her did it bother her that her relatives, her grandparents and great-grandparents would not of had a chance to go through this temple, and she said well that's what the work here in the temple is all about. I said, but they didn't have that chance and there was it's a racist policy… Be honest with that.
Then I brought out Joseph Smith uses no it's all about Jesus here.
She pointed to a portrait of Jesus on the wall. I simple don't you have a problem with Joseph Smith having 30 to 40 wives. She denied that and she said that's not true. When I explained that that fact is actually in a gospel topic essay that can be found on the Mormon website.
She said well maybe it is true, but she said it doesn't matter because polygamy was necessary for the 19th century because that was what they did to be able to take care of all the women who did not have husbands because there were fewer men than there were women and so she justified it in her eyes a couple points I want to bring out or one I find it especially troubling.
So many Latter Day Saints when you present some of this information to them and they're unaware of what you just said they will somehow deny that what you said was true. But then when you make your cases.
In this case. This lady seems to back off a little bit and now she starts making an excuse for why did she outright deny it at first and then try to backpedal afterwords. I find that happened so many times when you bring something up to a latter-day St. the just flat out denied it as if they 40 done their study on this. And they're proving that you are saying something that is absolutely untrue, but yet when you make your case.
Then they start backing off as if it somewhat okay. Tomorrow I want to talk some more about your conversation with sister Williamson.
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