Every day of every calendar year, there is, at least, one meeting occurring somewhere in the USA in which one-or-more non-Mormon Christians, or non-Christians, are being courted for membership into the LDS Church by LDS full-time missionaries through systematized presentations that the LDS Church calls discussions. There are five of these standardized discussions that are given to non-Mormons over a period of time of generally six weeks, one, usually, per week, which provide what the Mormon Church hierarchy wants non-Mormons to know about LDS theology, doctrine, and history. These verbal discussions have been professionally formatted in persuasive syntax by professional psychologists working for the Mormon Church corporations (Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Deseret Management Corporation) in order to give the many men and women contacted by full-time Mormon missionaries, called investigators, a view of Mormon theology, doctrine, and history that will most positively persuade them that the theology and doctrines of the LDS Church are basically Christian and biblical in essence, and that the historical facts about the Mormon Church that the missionaries present are true and correct. By establishing and maintaining this complex corporate veil that supposedly shields the religious part of the Mormon Church conglomerate from civil liability, the 400 billion dollar ecclesiastical entity attempts to forestall any lawsuits filed against it.
The Institute for Religious Research, IRR, a Christian Internet-based research organization has produced a webpage that contains a summation of the content of the five standardized missionary discussions. This summation follows:
The Mormon Missionary Lessons
The Bottom-Line Guide to Mormonism, Part 13
Robert M. Bowman Jr.
August 26, 2013
Mormon missionaries all follow the same teaching plan for proselytizing people for possible conversion to the LDS religion. This teaching plan consists of five lessons published in a manual called “Preach My Gospel”: A Guide to Missionary Service.
Mormon Missionary Lessons
Evangelical Christian Response
1. Restoration: Christianity became apostate; Christ restored true Christianity through Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.
There was no complete apostasy (1 Tim. 4:1; Jude 3). Joseph Smith is not a true prophet of God and the Book of Mormon is not Scripture.
2. Plan of Salvation: God sent us here from heaven to die and rise to immortality through Jesus, God’s only literal son in the flesh, so we would have the potential to become like God.
We did not come from heaven; only Jesus, God’s unique, divine Son, did (John 1:14-18; 3:31; 20:28). Christ came to save us from hell, not to make us like God (Matt. 20:28; 25:46).
3. Gospel of Christ: Converts must believe the LDS view of Christ, stops sinning, be baptized as a Mormon, and fulfill LDS religious duties.
Converts must repent and believe in the biblical Christ; baptism is a sign of faith in Christ, not loyalty to a religious organization.
4. Commandments: Members should submit to the prophet, tithe to the LDS Church, and refrain from alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee.
Christians are expected to obey the teachings of the Bible, especially to love one another (Rom. 13:8-10).
5. Laws and ordinances: Mormons are expected to participate in the LDS Church’s ministries and rituals, especially in the temple.
The LDS Church’s ministries are based on an unbiblical view of priesthood and temple (Heb. 7-8).
Lesson One: The Restoration. Mormon missionary lessons begin with a lesson on the Restoration—the LDS belief that true Christianity disappeared from the earth for about seventeen centuries and was restored through Joseph Smith. Mormonism teaches that God sent Jesus to atone for the sins of all people and establish the Church. (This much sounds orthodox, but the second lesson reveals that it is not.) After Jesus ascended to heaven, wicked people killed off the apostles and the true Church soon ceased to exist on earth. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 to tell him that all of the churches were wrong. Angels and other heavenly beings appeared to Joseph and God enabled him to translate the Book of Mormon and start the LDS Church. The key to this message is the Book of Mormon; the missionaries encourage prospects to read it and to ask God for a personal revelation that it is true.
Mormon missionaries bring a different gospel (see Gal. 1:6-9). Although there has always been some apostasy (falling away from the faith) within Christianity, the New Testament makes it clear that the church was never going to become completely apostate (Matt. 16:18; 28:20; Eph. 5:25-27; 1 Tim. 4:1; Jude 3). Christians should pray for wisdom and discernment when reading the Book of Mormon (or anything else), but there is no biblical basis for asking God to provide a spiritual revelation that the Book of Mormon is true. Rather, we should search the Scriptures to determine if the claimed new revelations agree with what God has already revealed (Acts 17:11).
Lesson Two: The Plan of Salvation. The second lesson presents an overview of cosmic history. We were originally spirit children of Heavenly Father, living with him in heaven before coming to earth. Adam and Eve did not sin, but nobly chose to eat of the forbidden fruit so they could become mortal, have children, and exercise their ability to make choices. Then God sent Jesus to earth as his only literal Son in the flesh to die and rise immortal from the grave so that all people could also become immortal. Depending on how we respond to this message and how worthy we prove ourselves in this life, we will live forever in one of three kingdoms of glory. In the highest of these, the celestial kingdom, we will have the potential to become like God.
Although it retains the truth that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, almost everything else about the Mormon plan of salvation is unbiblical. Adam and Eve sinned when they ate the forbidden fruit (Rom. 5:14-19). Jesus is the only human being who previously had existed in heaven (John 3:31; 16:28). He is not God’s literal son in the flesh because God the Father is infinite Spirit, not an exalted Man (Num. 23:19; John 4:20-24). Rather, Jesus is the Father’s unique, eternal Son and as such is himself God (John 1:1, 14-18; 20:28). Depending on whether people receive God’s gift of salvation in Christ alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:8-10), they will receive either eternal life in the new heavens and new earth or eternal punishment in hell (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20-22).
Lesson Three: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Despite the title of this lesson, its focus is really on becoming members of the LDS Church. Missionaries teach that converts need to accept the LDS view of Christ, repent (stop committing known sins), be baptized into the LDS Church, and participate in its meetings and other obligations. By contrast, evangelical missionaries focus on leading people to faith in Christ and do not present their church organization as necessary to the convert’s salvation. “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord” (2 Cor. 4:5).
Lesson Four: The Commandments. One might think that this lesson focused on the Ten Commandments; they are included, but “the commandments” to which the lesson refers are all of the LDS Church’s requirements. These include studying the LDS scriptures, “following the prophet” (accepting the current LDS Church President’s teaching), abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee (a prerequisite for baptism), and tithing to the LDS Church. That a convert must accept the LDS President’s authority and agree to tithe to the LDS Church before being baptized confirms that baptism means something different in Mormonism than it does in evangelical Christianity, where it is simply a sign of commitment to Christ, not to a particular organization (Acts 2:37-41; 16:31-33; 1 Cor. 1:13-17). Evangelical Christians are expected to live according to the Bible’s teachings, and especially to love one another (Matt. 7:12; 22:36-40; Rom. 13:8-10), not to submit to manmade religious rules (Col. 2:16-23).
Lesson Five: Laws and Ordinances. After converts are baptized, missionaries teach them about specific religious obligations and expectations within the LDS Church. Mormon males twelve and up receive the Aaronic priesthood, authorizing them to assist in performing baptisms and “the sacrament” (LDS Communion). As they get older, males receive the Melchizedek priesthood, qualifying them for church offices. Women and younger children are to participate in “auxiliary organizations,” notably the women’s Relief Society. LDS couples should pursue “eternal marriage” in a Mormon temple, and all worthy members should participate in temple ceremonies, including baptisms for the dead. The Mormon view of the priesthood radically departs from what the New Testament says about priesthood (notably in Hebrews 7), and from a New Testament perspective the temple is an outmoded institution (Hebrews 8).
This brief overview of the Mormon missionary lessons demonstrates that the lessons are focused on proselytizing people, especially people of a Christian background, into the LDS religion. Belief in Jesus Christ is part of these lessons, but in large measure the lessons assume some sort of belief in Christ and are intended to persuade those with such belief to join the LDS Church
The Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has also published its own webpage regarding the generalized content of the five formatted missionary discussion lessons, which have been modified to some degree since 2013, and follows through the provided hyperlink:
Yet, the same basic theology and doctrines contained in the Mormon Missionary Manual are still presented in the five formatted missionary discussions that were used prior to 2013, but do the formatted LDS missionary discussion presentations currently include every essential aspect of Mormon theology and doctrine, to which the investigator will be later exposed as an active Mormon, after he, or she, is persuaded to accept what the Mormon missionaries present and is baptized into the Mormon Church? Have the Mormon missionaries, since around 1950, made it a practice to fully-disclose to investigators of all the theological doctrines which define the complete theology of Mormonism, or have certain salient doctrines and practices been omitted from the missionary presentations in order to make it seem that Mormonism is Christian, in essence, and totally biblical?
The best way to make this determination is to compare and contrast what has been, and is currently, taught to the Mormon LDS Melchizedek Priesthood, in stake, ward, and temple meetings, as canon Mormon theology, scripture, and commandments which have been designated by presiding Mormon prophets as the will and mind of the Mormon (G)od. Specifically speaking, published LDS Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guides constitute the theology and doctrines to be studied by all of the members of the LDS Melchizedek Priesthood (elders, high priests, seventies, patriarchs, apostles, and prophets), supposedly world-wide, for a particular year, and remain as canon theology, scripture, doctrine, and commandments for all time. In other words, the missionaries of the Mormon Church will tell investigators that the basic theology (the nature of God) of Mormonism, which was taught in 1835 to the elders of the LDS Church, is the same theology taught in the year 2018, for according to the Book of Mormon, God does not change, and a god that changes is not a God of miracles.
Hence, a salient question rises. Would disclosure of the basic principles of Mormon theology, which are not routinely disclosed to investigators by Mormon full-time missionaries during their discussion presentations, make a significant difference in the way Christian investigators of Mormonism perceive the LDS Church as Christian and biblical? Well, let’s pursue a comparison and contrast of such undisclosed theology. In 1984, the LDS Church published the official Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guide for that particular year, which was entitled, “Search These Commandments.” http://richkelsey.org/lesson21.html In that 39-lesson study guide, there was one particular lesson, “Lesson 21-Man May Become Like God,” which was the last 20th Century published proclamation and veneration of the Mormon theology taught by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founding prophet of Mormonism, in his 1844 King Follett Discourse, which was refined by Mormon Prophet Lorenzo Snow in the late 1890s in his couplet, “As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become.” This theology was taught publicly and openly by Joseph Smith, Jr. until his death in 1844, and, later, by his immediate successor, Mormon Prophet Brigham Young, in the Utah Salt Lake Valley Mormon Theocracy from 1850 until his death in 1877, and then by two other Mormon prophets until Utah was annexed as a state in 1896. Let’s, therefore, examine the basic similarity of the content of “Lesson 21- Man May Become like God,” and what is contained in the missionary discussions pertaining to Mormon theology. In sum, there is no real comparative similarity, but a complete and stark contrast. The theology contained in the missionary discussions about the nature of the Mormon heavenly father-god, with a capital G, only describes the father-god, as allegedly seen by Joseph Smith, Jr., in 1820, as a resurrected personage of flesh and bones, but does not mention the following information, which is the crux of “Lesson 21:”
1. “Lesson 21” deals exclusively with the ultimate destiny of every worthy Mormon Melchizedek Priesthood elder, or the purpose for the continuous work done by an elder of the Melchizedek Priesthood to achieve the highest degree of Mormon heaven, exaltation, and what a Mormon elder may expect in exaltation as an reward if he keeps all of the commandments of Mormonism and endures to the end. “Lesson 21” states, as an answer to the hypothetical question posed by a hypothetical Mormon elder, “Why am I required to do all of this work on the earth?” that the ultimate destiny of all worthy Mormon elders is “to be as great as the Mormon heavenly father-God,” by doing everything that the Mormon heavenly father-god has done. The only statement about the purpose of life, provided by the full-time missionaries to investigators, is that “the ultimate reward for keeping the commandments is getting to exaltation, or heaven, where God the Father and Jesus Christ reside.”
2. “Lesson 21,” which is completely different from the theology presented in the LDS missionary discussions, states Mormon Prophet Lorenzo Snow’s couplet, “As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become” as a totally unbiblical preface to the changing origin and development of the Mormon heavenly-father-god; and the lesson goes on to quote from Joseph Smith, Jr.’s 1844 King Follett Discourse that, “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we can converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth.” Mormon Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith is also quoted in “Lesson 21” to say, “Our Father in heaven, according to the Prophet (Joseph Smith, Jr.) had a Father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through eternity, each Father had a Father. “ You will notice that the word “Father,” was used twice and capitalized by J.F. Smith, indicating “Father-God” in both instances.
3. The principles of Mormon theology as revealed by “Lesson 21,” therefore, dramatically underscore the premise that each and every Mormon elder may eventually become exactly like, or as great as, the Mormon heavenly father-god by becoming, each and every one of them, Mormon heavenly father-gods, with a capital G. Without directly stating that Mormon theology is basically polytheistic (a belief in many gods), “Lesson 21” directly implies, and the Melchizedek Priesthood elders of the Mormon Church understand from it that, if any man and his wife investigate Mormonism, accept the version of Mormon theology taught by the full-time Mormon missionaries, and subsequently become members of the Mormon Church, that man and his wife will eventually learn about the theology stated in “Lesson 21” and will, either, become an elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood after a year-or-so of ward and stake activity, and will then take his wife to the Mormon temple to be married and become, through temple endowment, a Mormon god and a goddess in the embryo, or, else, he and his wife will reject the Mormon theology as unchristian and unbiblical and resign from Mormonism. Had the investigating man and his wife known upfront about the theology contained in “Lesson 21” at the time the full-time Mormon missionaries had represented Mormon theology to them as Christian, they could have rejected it then without wasting a year-or-more of their lives paying tithing to the Mormon Church and worshiping a false god.
4. “Lesson 21 – Man May Become like God,” is, then, incontrovertible proof that the scanty theology taught by Mormon full-time missionaries to investigators from their scripted discussions does not represent the sum-total of real Mormon theology, but a fraudulent misrepresentation of it. The doctrinal history of Mormonism has, since around 1838, been completely predicated on this polytheistic theology.
5. Moreover, the necessary inference in “Lesson 21” of the procreative state and responsibility of the Mormon heavenly father-god, and his wife-goddess carries with it the physical presence of the wife, or wives, of the Mormon heavenly father-god, or the “heavenly mother” as defined in the essay, “Heavenly Mother” presently on the LDS.org website https://mormonessays.com/ In that essay, the Brethren (Prophet and Apostles) of the Mormon hierarchy have collectively stated that “heavenly parents,” meaning a heavenly father-god and a heavenly mother-goddess, are necessary for a Mormon elder and his wife to become as great as the Mormon heavenly father-god and heavenly mother-goddess by becoming the same type of heavenly parents.
6. The substantial absence from the Mormon missionary discussions, from 1950 until the present day, of the necessary mentioning of the specific material details of Mormon theology to investigators of Mormonism, create the blatant nondisclosure that makes those discussions so very fraudulent. “Lesson 21 – Man My Become Like God” allows reasonable and literate Bible-believing Christians to completely understand that Mormon theology is not based to any degree upon the Christian gospel of grace contained in the New Testament, without having to go further into a convoluted study of Mormon theology and doctrine.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR BELOW LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE AS A MEMBER OR VISITOR
Norton Nowlin or search for other articles by topic below.
Main Site Articles
Most Read Articles
Highly Acclaimed Challenge Articles.
New Release Christian Books for Free for a Simple Review.
NEW - Surprise Me With an Article - Click here for a random URL
God is Not Against You - He Came on an All Out Rescue Mission to Save You
...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
LEARN & TRUST JESUS HERE
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
FaithWriters offers Christian reading material for Christian readers. We offer Christian articles, Christian fiction, Christian non-fiction, Christian Bible studies, Christian poems, Christian articles for sale, free use Christian articles, Christian living articles, New Covenant Christian Bible Studies, Christian magazine articles and new Christian articles. We write for Jesus about God, the Bible, salvation, prayer and the word of God.