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Monday, June 12, 2006

Ministering Angels of Mormonism


At last April's General Conference, President James E. Faust (Second Counselor in the First Presidency) talked a bit about ministering angels (see "A Royal Priesthood").

To understand President Faust's comments, it's important to first recognize that the LDS view of angels is different from the historic Christian understanding. According to the Bible, angels are created by God as angels--a specific created creature (see Psalm 148). Mormonism, on the other hand, teaches that angels are the spirits of human beings. Generally speaking, according to Mormonism, the angels who interact with people on earth are the spirits of human beings who have died and now reside in the Spirit World (see LDS Bible Dictionary, "Angels"). For example, in Mormonism the angel Michael is Adam, and the angel Gabriel is Noah.

With that background, let's look at President Faust's General Conference talk. He spoke about ministering angels (deceased human beings) and how they have appeared in both ancient and modern times to give "instruction, warnings, and directions, which benefited the people they visited." President Faust continued by quoting sixth Prophet of the LDS Church, Joseph F. Smith:
"In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the Divine Presence messages of love, of warning, or reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh."

President Faust then commented to his LDS congregation, "Many of us feel that we have had this experience."

Indeed, there are many stories within Mormon circles that relate appearances of the dead to the LDS living. Many of these experiences take place in Mormon temples; Latter-day Saints consider each one sacred.

Christians have long been concerned over the way Mormons welcome and treasure communication with their deceased friends and loved ones, for God makes it abundantly clear that we are to have absolutely nothing to do with communing with the dead. He calls this behavior--and anyone who practices it--an "abomination" (see Deuteronomy 18:9-14). He says that by engaging in this forbidden pursuit people "prostitute" themselves, become "defiled," and cause God to set His face against them (see Leviticus 19:26, 31; 20:6).

So the Mormon belief that it is a good thing to communicate with the dead raises red flags for Christians. But wait; there's more.

As expressed above by President Smith, Mormons are taught that the dead who appear to them are sent by God, to complete a God-given mission; to bring them messages from the Divine Presence, messages of warning and instruction. Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16:19ff) casts doubt on God's willingness to allow visits between the dead and the living. The parable says, "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them." Nevertheless, Mormon doctrine continues to encourage communication between the living and the dead.

But wait; there's still more.

In his conference talk, President Faust went a bit further. He said,
"Many of us feel that we have had this experience [communicating with dead loved ones]. Their ministry has been and is an important part of the gospel."

For Bible-believing Christians, this raises the question: What "gospel" is this?

How can something so emphatically denounced and forbidden by God in His Word be promoted as "an important part of the gospel"?

A bit further in the sermon quoted by President Faust (but not included in his conference talk), President Smith said,
"These are correct principles. There is no question about that in my mind. It is according to the Scriptures; it is according to the revelation of God to the Prophet Joseph Smith;…" (Gospel Doctrine, page 437)

The Scriptures say,
And when they say to you, "Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter," should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:19-20)

So is communing with the dead an "important part of the gospel"? Is it a correct principle according to the Scriptures? You be the judge.

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2 Comments:

  • At June 14, 2006 1:30 PM, Blogger rick b said…

    I quote So is communing with the dead an "important part of the gospel"? Is it a correct principle according to the Scriptures? You be the judge.

    The Bible is very clear, we are not to seek counsel from the dead.

    1Ch 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, [even] against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking [counsel] of [one that had] a familiar spirit, to enquire [of it]

    That was one of many verses. Read also the accout of the Rich man speaking to Lazarus.

    Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
    Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
    Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.
    Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
    Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
    Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
    Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
    Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.


    Once we are dead we cannot return.
    Hbr 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment

    Your on dangerous Ground if you seek to speak with the dead, and deny what Scripture teaches. Rick B mormonismreviewed.blogspot.com

     
  • At June 14, 2006 1:50 PM, Blogger rick b said…

    I quote Mormonism, on the other hand, teaches that angels are the spirits of human beings. Generally speaking, according to Mormonism, the angels who interact with people on earth are the spirits of human beings who have died and now reside in the Spirit World (see LDS Bible Dictionary, "Angels"). For example, in Mormonism the angel Michael is Adam, and the angel Gabriel is Noah.

    If angels were once humans that became angels after death, then How do The LDS handle these verses here. Hbr 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
    Hbr 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
    Hbr 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
    Hbr 1:7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
    Hbr 1:8 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom.


    God is clear, man was not and never will be angels. Otherwise God lied, because he never exalted one of his angels to become his son.

    Add Job Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
    Job 38:2 Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
    Job 38:3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
    Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
    Job 38:5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
    Job 38:6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
    Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?


    God asked Job where he was when He (God) Did all of this. God points out in verse 7 that the angels were with him, but not man. God created angels before man. Man was not first, then turned into an angel. Also if mormonism teaches their are 3 levels to heaven, then where do human/angels fit in?

    What I mean is, the three levels are clear as to who will be their and if you get married and sealed in the temple, you should be able to attain Godhood correct? Well we know from Scripture Adam and noah were both married. So why are they angels and not Gods? Unless of course the temple marraige sealing did not exist back then. Rick B mormonismreviewed.blogspot.com

     

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