Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cult Savvy Devotional 3

Cult Savvy Devotional 3

For the next little while we'll be covering the cult of Mormonism and today I thought I would start with some Joseph Smith quotes: "I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole stood by me. Neither Paul, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the latter day saints never ran away from me yet."

"No man knows my history."

"The Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth."

Well, I don't need to tell you that from a Christian standpoint these quotes are insulting, dishonest and downright blasphemous. In the first place, the followers of Jesus were tortured and martyred for their faith save John. I wouldn't call that running away, but quite the opposite. Secondly, people actually do know Joseph Smith's history. It includes many improprieties including dabbling in the Occult, treasure digging with seer stones, and adultery before his revelation concerning polygamy. Joseph Smith was just a man. This isn't to say that we aren't all sinners, but the point is that Christ was not a sinner...because He was the only perfect man that ever existed. Joseph Smith, and other sinners like him, are not who we should put our trust in. We worship and trust in the Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit....not sinful man. I find that leaders of cults never claim to be God, yet followers put all of their faith in these sinful people by trusting in their supposed revelations. Jesus is the only one who walked this earth, claimed to be God, and showed Himself as God through His miracles and life-giving crucifixion.

So, where did the book of Mormon come from? It was given to Joseph Smith in 1823 during a visitation by an angel of light named "Moroni." Joseph was 17 years old. Moroni told the young Joseph that there was a book written on golden plates by a former inhabitant of the continent that would contain the full gospel.

Four years later at the age of 21 Joseph used his seer stones to find the plates and dug them up. He then used his seer stones in his hat to look into the plates and was given the text of The Book of Mormon. Using seer stones is still prominent today used by people who are involved in contemporary witchcraft. Experts of the day recognized that the symbols used in the writing of The Book of Mormon as Egyptian.

In 1830, Joseph Smith published The Book of Mormon and founded the Mormon Church. Joseph continued to receive revelations and in 1833 these were published in a book called Book of Commandments. By 1835 a second such book would be published called Doctrine and Covenants and would go on to be considered divinely written alongside The Book of Mormon. Smith's revelation concerning polygamy came in 1843 while married to his first wife Emma who was threatened that she would be destroyed if she didn't acquiesce. Non-Mormons were shocked by the practice of polygamy and wrote newspaper articles exposing the cult. By then, Joseph had become arrogant and he decided to destroy the town newspaper. He was thrown in jail. The jail was surrounded by about 200 people who wanted to kill him. Mormon's claim that he died a Christian martyr, but the truth is that he died fighting with a six-shooter someone had smuggled into him and managed to kill at least two of his assailants.

Following his death, Brigham Young won the struggle for leadership and led his fellow Mormons west. They settled in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Mormons expanded their practice of polygamy with Brigham Young having 20 wives and 57 children. Joseph's wife Emma started a branch of the cult in Missouri. Mormons practiced polygamy until 1890 when pressure from the federal government made it illegal. Utah was denied statehood 6 times due to the practice of polygamy. It was rescinded as a practice of the cult, but not as a doctrine.

Let's leave off right here and take this up next week. Great study! So much information!

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