Greetings! What another great month to preach the gospel!
I was in Baton Rouge with Eric Johnson of Mormonism Research Ministry and John Kauer of Think About Eternity at the rededication of the LDS temple. Some people question why we attend temple openings. One of the primary reasons is because Mormons often state that they are Christians and we like to dialogue with them about that claim.
This outreach was extremely different than the outreach in Raleigh. It was unusual to not have any police called to warn us about being on or near the property! The LDS security also never came out to love bomb us or to offer water. Eric has done 23 temple openings and he thought it was weird to have no interaction with the police or security officers. Before we held up our signs saying “sacredorsecret.com” we toured the temple.\
At the beginning of the tour, the guide encouraged us to ask the missionaries in the reception any questions that we might have. So, I went and asked a sister missionary what I would consider a pretty basic question. I asked where in the Bible or The Book of Mormon it teaches that marriage occurs for time and eternity. She said she would be right back and she would find an answer for me. She came back a few minutes later and said, “We are not allowed to answer that question right now. If you fill out a card a representative will come over and visit you.
I wanted to say, “If I lived in the area you would be the representative coming to my house. Why can’t you answer it now? Is it because it is not in either of those books?” Before I could even say something like that she told me to have a good day and she went and talked with another person.
If I had been able to talk with her I would have brought up Matthew 22:23-30 and Mark 12:18-27 where the Sadducees come and ask Jesus about which husband a woman will be married to in the next life. Jesus says that the lady will not be with anyone in the next life. These are good passages to bring up with your LDS friends when you talk to them next time about marriage occurring for time and eternity.
We were also able to hand out over 1200 of the temple newspapers in the area.
This was a pretty slow temple open house. Not many people came to it. One thing I do want to mention is that the missionaries were the parking attendants. They were not readily available to talk to people at this opening. It amazes me that they go on missions for two years and they don’t interact very much with hardly any of the people who attend the temple openings. They had the perfect opportunity to come talk with John, Eric and I about the restored gospel. I wonder if their LDS leaders instructed them not to interact with us.
We traveled over 1200 miles to preach the good news to the Mormon people. We would not be out there if we did not care about them. Why do the missionaries not care about us enough to come and tell us what we need to do to have the best of what their religion offers? In the LDS religion one of their core beliefs is that families are forever. Why would they not come and tell us what we need to do in order for us to be with our families forever, since that is their belief! Do they not love us enough to tell us the good news of their religion?
Eric brought a church group with him from the area. They got a chance to talk with the mission president’s wife. Eric’s group questioned where baptism for the dead occurs in the Bible or The Book of Mormon. The mission president and his wife kept saying, “You are nice people. We love you.” While that might be true, their deflection of the topics was quite interesting to us. We all find it amazing that LDS members put such an emphasis on the doctrine of baptism for the dead, but they don’t know where to find it in their holy scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:29 is the passage that Mormon’s typically use to defend the practice of baptism for the dead which says, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:29 KJV). In this passage we see that Paul is neither condemning the practice nor condoning it. It amazes me that the LDS church will only use one passage to support this doctrine that occurs inside their temples. For a further explanation on how this practice is unbiblical please see here.
I would like to thank Carlton and Sharon Jones for allowing us to stay with them while in Baton Rouge. They have a great ministry which gives out guitars to less fortunate people. Their ministry is called Guitar Dreamers.
I am still talking with my good friend Sam whom is a Baha’i. We discussed the subject of false prophets. He was telling me that people can still worship the true God if one follows a false prophet. I brought up the passage of Deuteronomy 13:1-10 which says if you follow a false prophet that automatically means you are following a false God. He did not believe that passage at all. He believes that “by their fruits you shall know them.” While that passage is true; there are two kinds of good fruit. There is a good fruit of living a good life. There is also the fruit of having sound doctrine. Baha’u’llah did not teach sound doctrine.
There are many erroneous doctrines of the Baha’i faith that bother me. I think the one that concerns me the most is their belief that all of their messengers of God are considered to be equal. So, Jesus is not greater than Moses or Buddha in their beliefs. See Hebrews chapter three for more detail on this topic. See here for more of an explanation.
Baha’is teach that Baha’u’llah taught a message of peace. While that may seem like a good teaching; does Baha’u’llah practice this teaching? The answer is no. Baha’u’llah states, "The righteousness of God! Our withdrawal contemplated no return, and Our separation hoped for no reunion. The one object of Our retirement was to avoid becoming a subject of discord among the faithful, a source of disturbance unto Our companions, the means of injury to any soul, or the cause of sorrow to any heart. Beyond these, we cherished no other intention, and apart from them, we had no end in view" Bahá'u'lláh the Kitab'i-Iqan (p.251).
Here we see that Baha’u’llah is advocating violence. For a further look at the atrocities of the Babi (1844-1863) and Baha’i faith see here.
· Mid July for the Hill of Cumorah Pageant Dates TBD
· Early to mid-August to Independence, Missouri to the many Mormon denominations
· Salt Lake City, Utah for General Conference beginning of October 2020· Washington D.C. LDS rededication Dates TBD