Tag Archive: worthiness


(Original post by Mikeutah on Life After Mormonism)

MormonBeliefs.org does a pretty good job presenting the official beliefs or doctrines of the LDS church, which is a nice presentation to lure unsuspecting investigators over to their thinking via a “milk before meat” approach so as to ease new investigators ever so subtly into the weird or ultra conservative beliefs that are learned or discovered once a confirmed member, and which would otherwise scare most investigators away.  Let’s take this thread and turn it into a compiled list of unwritten or less publicized mormon beliefs and cultural expectations so as to arm unsuspecting investigators from being tricked into buying undesirable”meat”.  I’ll continually update this main post with all the varying beliefs we come up with from our own experience and time in Mormonism.  If beliefs you add stem from official doctrine or leaders, please include a source reference.  You may also include brief descriptions that expound how particular beliefs play out in Mormon culture.  Not all of these are followed or believed by all active Mormons, but are often used as a gauge by the more self-righteous Mormons to judge the righteousness of others.

Unwritten or Nonpublic Mormon Beliefs

  • Polygamy is still doctrinal in heaven and included in LDS scripture.  See D&C 132
  • Sports should not be played on Sunday
  • TV or movies should not be viewed on Sunday (except Church or “happy” media)
  • Children should not be allowed to play with friends on Sunday
  • Working on Sunday is strictly discouraged and really only not looked down on if you’re an emergency response personnel, or other on-call emergency type jobs (doctors, police, firemen, nurses etc)
  • Rated R movies should be strictly avoided
  • 10% of your gross income (tithing) needs to be paid to the bishop/church before you pay for any other financial obligations, bills, food or other purchases
  • Coffee and tea are prohibited even though they aren’t specifically referenced by doctrine
  • For some families, all caffeinated drinks and sodas are prohibited
  • If you have dark skin and convert to Mormonism, your skin will begin to lighten/whiten
  • You become a God/Goddess and are given powers to create your own worlds without number
  • You should not be alone in a room or car with a member of the opposite sex to “avoid even the appearance of evil”
  • Beer is prohibited even though it is scripturally allowed (D&C 89:17) “…and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain”  Beer was openly consumed in Utah by Mormons until Prohibition made it unpopular and the practice ceased.
  • The Garden of Eden was in Missouri when Adam and Eve were kicked out
  • All saints are to return to Missouri before the final arrival of Jesus for the Second Coming.  Some believe this exodus back to Missouri would be on foot.
  • Two LDS Elders or Missionaries will stand and protect the city of Jerusalem during Armageddon, as spoken of in Revelations and D&C 77:15
  • Native Americans are the descendants of the Lamanites spoken of in the Book of Mormon
  • The LDS Temple marriage is considered superior to all other religious marriage ceremonies and must be obtained if you want to be with your spouse in the after life.  Not married in the temple?  Too bad, no spouse/partner in the after life.
  • Love isn’t as strong between couples and families who are not LDS
  • Follow the prophet or leaders even if you think they are wrong
  • Criticism of prophets or leaders will lead you towards apostasy
  • Don’t use Ouija boards, face cards or tarot cards.  They are of the devil.
  • The US Constitution will hang by a thread and be saved by LDS Elders before the 2nd coming
  • Women were discouraged from wearing pants up until the late ’60s or ’70s
  • 3 Nephites still rome the Earth from Christ’s visit to the America’s, blessed by Him to not experience death until his second coming
  • The moon will literally turn to blood during second coming crisis
  • Heavenly Mother/Goddess exists, but she/them are too sacred to discuss and cannot be worshiped or prayed to
  • Only Mormon’s can go to the highest degree of heaven, which is why proxy ordinances are done in LDS temples for as many dead people as LDS Inc can get their hands on
  • Kids or babies who die before reaching 8 years old are perfect and automatically get into heaven
  • Missionaries can curse people by dusting their feet off as a witness to them rejecting the gospel
  • Satan has power over the oceans, lakes and rivers which is why LDS Missionaries are not allowed to swim
  • Satan can’t read your thoughts so praying silently can help keep some of your secrets from him
  • Dating is strictly prohibited until you’re 16 and then only group dating is allowed or encouraged until you can marry after your mission or marry a return missionary
  • Doctrinal polygamy gives the 1st wife authority to reject any prospects she doesn’t like.  This was never really practiced though.
  • Women who fail to marry in the temple during their life will be assigned a worthy spouse in the hereafter and likely as a sister wife with a harem of women
  • Black people bear the curse of Cain and were born black because they were less valiant in the pre-existence (pre-Earth life) and sat on the fence as to whether to follow Satan/Lucifer or Jesus
  • Cremation will make being resurrected harder, having to recollect all of your atoms/molecules from where ever they were spread
  • God the father is only one of millions or endless Gods who are all basically relatives, fathers, brothers, grand-gods and so forth to our own God.  If we’re worthy, we get to join the God club too.
  • From the polygamy days, a man had to have at least 2 wives to get into the highest degree of heaven
  • A woman’s purpose in heaven is solely to birth endless babies to populate the worlds created by their husbands.  Billions and billions of babies!
  • Gestation is still 9 months in heaven
  • You are better off dying trying to fend off a rapist than to survive as a victim of rape, your virginity forever stolen from you
  • Temple garments or underwear will protect you from physical harm or the grasp of Satan
  • Girls can only have one piercing in each ear.  No piercings allowed by boys/men.
  • Tattoos are a big no-no and should never be allowed to defile your bodies.  If you have tattoos when you convert, you may be encouraged to pay for laser removal at your own expense.
  • Flip-flops are not to be worn in the church building
  • All forms of birth control (condoms, pills, etc) are discouraged and the couple should allow as many children into their home as God decides to send them
  • The Earth was not created by God, but by Jesus and Michael/Adam as taught in the LDS Temple endowment ceremony
  • Secret hand shakes, keywords and signs are provided in the Temple endowment as passwords and keys to get back into heaven, like a kids club where only those with the secret passwords can get in
  • The church partners with Boy Scouts of America for the development of males but does not endorse nor partner with the Girl Scout programs or similar female development programs
  • The Holy Ghost is threatened or turned away by bars, clubs and “dirty” places so will not protect you or guide you if you choose to enter such filthy places
  • Mormon Garments must be worn day and night, only removed for sex, showering and some sporting activities
  • Women must wear their bras and panties over their garments, as the garment should be the layer closest to the skin for maximum protection
  • If you’re not a Mormon, or are unworthy without a temple recommend, you get excluded from the Temple wedding ceremony of loved ones, kids, siblings or best friends
  • Mormon’s do feel there is something special about them, or that they are better than non-mormons.  Having the ultimate “truth” does that to people.
  • Masturbation is a sexual sin/transgression and seen as cheating on your existing or future spouse
  • Sexual transgression is a sin next to murder in God’s eyes
  • Jesus atoned for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, not on the cross
  • Jesus wasn’t born of a virgin.  God had natural sex with Mary to impregnate Jesus
  • You can’t get into heaven without Joseph Smith’s permission
  • You can visit loved ones in lower kingdoms, but you cannot visit higher kingdoms of heaven if you didn’t merit it yourself, though they can visit you (see D&C 76)
  • You can tell the difference between a good angel, bad angel or resurrected being by their willingness or ability to shake your hand
  • No rainbows shall appear during the year before Jesus’ second coming
  • If you’ve had a sex change, you cannot ever hold any callings/jobs in the church and only get baptized at the express permission of the First Presidency/prophet
  • Role playing games, like D&D, are also evil
  • Dinosaur fossils are to test our faith, and likely came from matter left over from past destroyed planets that were used/recycled to create Earth
  • When a prophet or leader errors, it was because he was acting as a man and not as a prophet.  There’s no indication until after the fact as to whether he was acting as one or the other, so you should always presume he’s acting as prophet until proven otherwise
  • Free agency and choice is revered, but don’t make the wrong choice or we will judge, look down on and guilt you until you either stop making said wrong choices
  • Once the prophet or brethren have spoken, the thinking has been done.  Don’t question it.
  • When someone leaves the church, it is God’s way of separating the wheat (good mormons) from the chaff (bad, evil apostates)
Advertisements

Why do we as humans seek first external verification of our self-worth before we can learn to love ourselves? Is is because we come into the world as helpless infants, completely dependent upon our parents? Why is it that this external love must come first before we are able to love and accept ourselves unconditionally? This is my general impression of humanity, one which, I’m sure, does not include all individuals. There may be those who escape or are immune to outside forces on their own self esteem, but I believe they are rare indeed.

Religion is such a big part of the external verification by which so many govern their own self worth. As created by man, God’s will can be twisted into a standard by which we measure our own worthiness for love and acceptance. In my experience, religion does far more damage than good in this regard. At an early age, many of us humans are taught strict guidelines for earning not only our parents approval but also the thing that matters most, God’s love. Unfortunately, sometimes these criteria reach far beyond simple behavior into what makes up the fiber of our souls. When this happens, we learn to push down our true selves. The longer we do this, the more distant we become from not only knowing ourselves but also being true to ourselves and living in peace. Guilt, rebellion, and self-harm are all by-products of the self-loathing religion can instill.

Now that I’m out of a legalistic church, I can clearly see that man-made religion is at the root of much of what is wrong in the world today. Much violence and hatred is perpetrated with the belief that one is doing God’s will. Likewise, there is much less visible suffering that is woven into the daily life of many who are striving for perfection in God’s eyes. In Mormonism it may look like a housewife juggling 6 kids, 2 church callings, being the perfect wife, and shouldering guilt for falling short with her temple attendance and visiting teaching. It may be a young gay teenager living with self-loathing and fear that he’ll be rejected by his family if they know the truth, or a middle-aged, single woman or man living with the feeling of ostracization from his church community simply for enjoying being single.

What would the world be without religion? I think it would be a better place. I find it ironic that Jesus went about his work, taking every opportunity to criticize organized religion. He left behind a simple concept: all we need is love. He taught that God loves us unconditionally and that salvation is a free gift for all. Again and again, he shot down the Judaic concept that salvation comes only after strict obedience to multiple laws. Although Mormons claim to follow Christ, the LDS religion is even more legalistic than Old Testament Judaism. Not only do you have the multiple laws to obey, but you have ritual upon ritual to complete as well. So many rituals and works, in fact, that the work does not end at death. I wonder what Christ would have to say about the frantic efforts of church members today.

Is religion really a good thing? Is it of God’s idea or man’s? I believe that God and religion are independent concepts, and that many will be surprised that Heaven may actually be a place devoid of religion.

June 1, 1844 – Drank a glass of beer at Mooessers [2]

This entry was written in the personal journal of Joseph Smith eleven years after the Word of Wisdom was revealed to the Prophet. Instances like this may surprise some members of the LDS Church who, perhaps, remain unfamiliar with the “line upon line” process in which the Word of Wisdom developed over time. Other members, learning about the relaxed approach to the Word of Wisdom common during the early period of Church history feel history vindicates current disobedience to the Word of Wisdom, as well as other commandments as taught by the Church. Today the Word of Wisdom is taught as a commandment, and a requirement for entry to the temple, though this was not always the case.

Even at Carthage Jail the brethren, according to John Taylor, sent for some wine:

Sometime after dinner we sent for some wine. It has been reported by some that this was taken as a sacrament. It was no such thing; our spirits were generally dull and heavy, and it was sent for to revive us. I think it was Captain Jones who went after it, but they would not suffer him to return.

I believe we all drank of the wine, and gave some to one or two of the prison guards. We all of us felt unusually dull and languid, with a remarkable depression of spirits. In consonance with those feelings I sang a song, that had lately been introduced into Nauvoo, entitled, ‘A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief’, etc. (History of the Church, Vol. 7, p.101).

These incidental occurrences are slight in comparison to Joseph Sr.’s struggles with alcohol; an aspect of the prophet’s father I was unfamiliar with until I read Richard Bushman’s biography of Joseph Smith. Fortunately he seems to have eventually put this habit down.[3]

Outside influences (temperance movements the opinions of physicians etc.) likely helped the Word of Wisdom along. Today it may be claimed that the Word of Wisdom preceded medical knowledge regarding the substances mentioned therein. Some scholars have argued otherwise. For example, in the 1830s temperance societies flourished, including one near Kirtland, helping to shut down a distillery. In New York, a society spearheaded by Sylvester Graham of “graham cracker” fame, spoke out against tobacco, alcohol, tea, coffee and harmful substances. It is very likely Joseph would have been familiar with the movements. Other influences included common physician opinions on temperance in eating habits, etc.[4]

This brings us to 1833 when, in the School of the Prophets, Emma had complained about the smoke-filled room and was tired of cleaning up tobacco juice. She importuned Joseph, who importuned the Lord, and Section 89 was born. [5]

The Word of Wisdom was instituted as counsel and “breaking” (in our modern understanding of the Word of Wisdom) was not extremely uncommon. Still, members of the Church were often called before a High Council over various offenses, the Word of Wisdom among, but not the chief, reasons. One such example was David Whitmer, who was excommunicated based on 5 different charges, one of which was breaking of the Word of Wisdom.

The Journal of Discourses occasionally contains references to the Word of Wisdom. On March 18, 1855 George A. Smith related the story of a particular family who apostatized after seeing what they believed was inconsistency in the application of the Word of Wisdom:

I know persons who apostatized because they supposed they had reasons. For instance, a certain family, after having traveled a long journey, arrived in Kirtland, and the Prophet asked them to stop with him until they could find a place. Sister Emma, in the mean time, asked the old lady if she would have a cup of tea to refresh her after the fatigues of the journey, or a cup of coffee. This whole family apostatized because they were invited to take a cup of tea or coffee, after the Word of Wisdom was given (JD 2:211).

In 1842 a small controversy over part of the Word of Wisdom led to an editorial written at Nauvoo by Hyrum Smith delineating tea and coffee as the specific substances referred to as “hot drinks” (see Times & Seasons, 3:800) indicating that the revelation was still being understood differently by various members of the Church.

The revelation was still seen as ‘non-binding’ to the Church as the Saints prepared to migrate from Iowa to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 the Word of Wisdom was still seen as non-binding; on the list of required items for the journey tea and coffee were present. Because of the poor harvest of 1849 in the Salt Lake valley, a regulation prohibiting the use of corn in making whiskey was passed, any corn intended for that use was to be “given to the poor.” (Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900, p. 59.) By 1850-51 overland travelers headed for the gold in California were stopping off in Utah, where the Saints accommodated them by establishing, or allowing for the establishment, of “a great many grog shops,” selling locally brewed whiskey, a “valley tan” rum, green tea, and a “very light and wholesome beer.” (ibid., 70).

At a conference of the Church September 9, 1851, John Smith, Patriarch to the Church and uncle of the Prophet, spoke on Word of Wisdom. Brigham Young stood during the address proposing that all Saints abstain fromall things mentioned in the Word of Wisdom.[6] With a “unanimous vote” the Word of Wisdom became binding on the Church. Still, even after that Pres. Young recommended tobacco be grown in the southern part of the territory to eliminate giving money to outsiders for the product, in addition to wine being manufactured in St. George (some for use in the sacrament) as late as 1861. The precise alcoholic content of wine prepared there is not known, as far as I have learned. In the 1860s especially, use of coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol were strongly discouraged. In several sermons by Brigham Young he tended to emphasize the economic aspect above the health aspect; using such products, which were usually imported, was wasteful and the money should be better used elsewhere.[7]

For years President Young and others struggled to adhere, and to get all Saints to adhere to the principle. Because the Word of Wisdom took time to implement fully, Brigham encouraged youth not to follow the bad example of those who broke the Word of Wisdom (additionally, he indirectly clarifies the commandment given through Moses, “Thou shalt honor thy father and mother, etc.”):

“Why,” say you, “I see the older brethren chew tobacco, why should I not do it likewise!”


Thus the boys have taken license from the pernicious habits of others, until they have formed an appetite, a false appetite; and they love a little liquor, and a little tobacco, and many other things that are injurious to their constitutions, and certainly hurtful to their moral character. Take a course that you can know more than your parents. We have had all the traditions of the age in which we were born to contend with; but these young men and women, or the greater part of them, have been born in the Church, and brought up Latter-day Saints, and have received the teachings that are necessary to advance them in the kingdom of God on earth.

If you are in any way suspicious that the acts of your parents are not right, if there is a conviction in your minds that they feed appetites that are injurious to them then it is for you to abstain from that which you see is not good in your parents (July 4, 1854, JD 2:16).

In April 1855 President Young discouraged mothers from using alcohol:

Some mothers, when bearing children, long for tea and coffee, or for brandy and other strong drinks, and if they give way to that influence the next time they will want more, and the next still more, and thus lay the foundation for drunkenness in their offspring. An appetite is engendered, bred, and born in the child, and it is a miracle if it does not grow up a confirmed drunkard (JD 2:266).

In December of the same year, apostle Amasa Lyman, in his typically blunt and animated prose, gave this secret to success regarding the promise in the Word of Wisdom that those who obey will walk and not be weary, run and not faint:

…if you want to run and not weary, walk and not faint, call upon me and I will tell you how-just stop before you get tired…

Elder Lyman said the Word of Wisdom ought to encompass the entire gospel, or that the gospel encompasses it:

The Word of Wisdom was given for a principle, with promise; as a rule of conduct, that should enable the people so to economize their time, and manage and control themselves, as not to eat and drink to excess, or use that which is hurtful to them; that they should be temperate in all things, in the exercise of labor, as well as in eating and drinking. Clothe yourselves properly if you can. Exercise properly if you can, and do right in everything…

Do not stay the work of improvement and reform to pay attention to small things that are beneath your notice, but let it extend through the entire circle of your being, let it reach every relationship in life, and every avocation and duty embraced within your existence…

The Word of Wisdom would itself save you, if you would only keep it, in the true sense and spirit of it, comprehending the purpose for which it was given (JD 3:176).

In 1867 Brigham Young discussed his personal difficulties with the Word of Wisdom::

It is our right and privilege to live so that we may attain to this [being of one heart and mind], so that we may sanctify our hearts before the Lord, and sanctify the Lord God in our hearts, but it is not my privilege to drink liquor, neither is it my privilege to eat tobacco.

Well, bro. Brigham, have you not done it?

Yes, for many years, but I ceased its habitual practice. I used it for toothache; now I am free from that pain, and my mouth is never stained with tobacco. It is not my privilege to drink liquor nor strong tea and coffee, although I am naturally a great lover of tea. Brethren and sisters, it is not our privilege to indulge in these things, but it is our right and privilege to set an example worthy of imitation (JD 12:27).

Indeed, Young returned to chewing after his toothaches came back, until eventually he had them all pulled and wore a set of false teeth for the rest of his life.

It wasn’t until about 1921 that Heber J. Grant made observance of the Word of Wisdom a requirement to enter the Temple. Joseph Lynn Lyon surmised the prohibition movement, “spearheaded by the Protestant Evangelical churches in America, focused on alcohol consumption as a political rather than a moral issue,” and brought the Word of Wisdom into Church limelight.[7]

Some people I’ve spoken with express concerns that the Word of Wisdom isn’t applied equally in all areas; that more emphasis could be put in the aspects of eating right, exercising, etc. I believe these aspects should be attended to by each individual, but the minimum requirements in the Temple recommend interview stick to the “spirit of the law” as was lived in the early days of the Church. Some early Church leaders put more importance on the issue of eating properly than others. For example, John A. Widtsoe wrote an entire book, The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation, which contained extensive chapters on diet. What about caffeine? (See FAIR’s “Ask the Apologist” selection by Suzanne Armitage regarding caffeine.) What about fad diets? I believe if one must listen to the Spirit, as well as pay attention to one’s body, to find the proper balance.[8]

Finally, what’s a post about the Word of Wisdom without a J. Golden Kimball anecdote?

Uncle Golden’s struggles with the Word of Wisdom sometimes forced him into ironic circumstances. On one occasion, he was asked to go to Cache Valley where the stake president had decided to call all the Melchizedek priesthood holders together for the purpose of emphasizing the importance of the Word of Wisdom. Uncle Golden didn’t realize this was going to be the theme until he got there. As a matter of fact, he didn’t know what he was to speak about until the stake president announced it in introducing Uncle Golden: ‘J. Golden Kimball will now speak to us on the subject of the Word of Wisdom.’

Uncle Golden didn’t know what to say. He stood at the pulpit for a long time waiting for some inspiration; he didn’t want to be a hypocrite and he knew he had problems with this principle. So finally he looked at the audience and said, ‘I’d like to know how many of you brethren have never had a puff on a cigarette in all your life. Would you please stand?’

Well, Uncle Golden related later that much to his amazement most of the brethren in that audience stood. He looked at them for a long time and then said, ‘Now, all of you that are standing, I want to know how many of you have never had a taste of whiskey in all your life. If you have, sit down.’

Again, to Uncle Golden’s amazement, only a few of the brethren sat down. The rest of them stood there proudly looking at him and then there was a long silence. I guess Uncle Golden thought they looked a little too self-righteous, because his next comment was, ‘Well, brethren, you don’t know what the hell you’ve missed’ (J. Golden Nuggets, More Words Of Wisdom By James N. Kimball, Sunstone 10:3/41 [Mar. 1985]).

As I discover more sermons regarding the Word of Wisdom I’ll continue to add them to this post.



Footnotes:

An excellent overview of criticism- as well as the development of- the Word of Wisdom was written by Michael Ash, and can be found on the FAIR website. My post is a very brief sketch of a complex issue.

[2]
Source: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, edited by Scott H. Faulring, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1989, pg. 486

[3]

Regarding the wine at Carthage Jail, Lester E. Bush, Jr. refers to a medical opinion of Joseph’s day stating that a “moderate quantity of wine” could be helpful in warding off sickness and distress when one is under the “influence of anxious and depressing watchfulness.” See Bush, “The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,” Dialogue 14 (Autumn 1981): 47-65; especially p. 51. Richard Bushman discusses Joseph Sr.’s intemperance:

“The vicissitudes of life seem to have weighed heavily on Joseph, Sr. In a patriarchal blessing given to Hyrum, Dec. 9, 1834, Joseph, Sr., commended Hyrum for the respect he paid his father despite difficulties: ‘Though he has been out of the way through wine, thou hast never forsaken him nor laughed him to scorn.’ (Hyrum Smith Papers, Church Archives.) Since there is no evidence of intemperance after the organization of the church, Joseph, Sr., likely referred to a time before 1826 when Hyrum married and left home” (Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, p. 208)

[4]
See Lester E. Bush, Jr. “The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,” Dialogue 14 (Autumn 1981):47-65; Whitney R. Cross, The Burned-Over District, 235; Paul H. Peterson, “An Historical Analysis of the Word of Wisdom,” M.A. Thesis, Brigham Young University, 1972, p. 13.

[5]
This story regarding the Word of Wisdom in the school of prophets was recounted by Brigham Young, though he was not in attendance at the time, (see JD 12:157-158).

David Whitmer told a slightly different account in a newspaper article 50 years after the meeting. 

Quite a little party of the brethren and sisters being assembled in the Smith’s house. Some of the men were excessive chewers of the filthy weed, and their disgusting slobbering and spitting caused Mrs. Smith…to make the ironical remark that ‘It would be a good thing if a revelation could be had declaring the use of tobacco a sin, and commanding its suppression.’ The matter was taken up and joked about, one of the brethren suggest that the revelation should also provide for a total abstinence form tea and coffee drinking, intending this as a counter dig at the sisters. Sure enough the subject was afterward taken up in dead earnest, and the ‘Word of Wisdom’ was the result (Des Moines Daily News (Des Moines, Iowa), October 16, 1886; as quoted by Peterson, “An Historical Analysis,” 20-21, fully notated in 6 below).

It should be noted Whitmer had apostatized at the time of the articles publication, but the general feeling of his statements agree with Brigham Young’s account that Emma had some influence in the reception of the revelation.

Zebedee Coltrin, who was present at the school when the revelation was presented, recounted his experience in 1883 when the School of the Prophets was revived by President John Taylor:

When the Word of Wisdom was first presented by the Prophet Joseph (as he came out of the translating room) and was read to the School, there were twenty out of the twenty-one who used tobacco and they all immediately threw their tobacco and pipes into the fire.

According to Coltrin, it took longer for the school to refrain from tea and coffee:

Those who gave up using tobacco eased off on licorice root, but there was not easing off on tea and coffee, these they had to give up straight off or their fellowship was jeopardized. [Coltrin]never saw the Prophet Joseph drink tea or coffee again until at Dixon about ten years after (Source: Minutes, Salt Lake City School of the Prophets, October 3, 1883).

It has been suggested that President Taylor revived the school, in part, to encourage the brethren to obey the Word of Wisdom.

[6]
“Minutes of the General Conference,” Millennial Star, 1 Feb. 1852, p. 35

[7]
Peterson, op. cit. p. 64. A brief online historical sketch of St. George also mentions the wine. See Utah’s Dixie History, accessed Sept. 12, 2007. See also the online article by Joseph Lynn Lyon, “The Word of Wisdom,” accessed on Jeff Lindsay’s Light Planet, September 12, 2007. Leonard J. Arrington discusses the economic aspects in Great Basin Kingdom, p. 223, and in “An Economic Interpretation of the ‘Word of Wisdom.”‘ BYU Studies 1 (Winter 1959):37-49.

[8]

See “Healthy Outlook: Fad Diets and the Word of Wisdom,” by Dr. Stan Gardner. Accessed on the Meridian Magazine site, Sept. 12, 2007.

General Bibliography:

Leonard J. Arrington, “An Economic Interpretation of the ‘Word of Wisdom,” BYU Studies 1 (Winter 1959): 37-49.

Paul H. Peterson, “An Historical Analysis of the Word of Wisdom,” M.A. Thesis, Brigham Young University, 1972.

Lester E. Bush, Jr. “The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14:3 (Autumn 1981):47-65;

Thomas G. Alexander, “The Word of Wisdom: From Principle to Requirement,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14:3 (Autumn 1981) pp. 78–88.

Clyde Ford, “The Origin of the Word of Wisdom,” Journal of Mormon History 24:2 (Fall 1998), 129–54.

Paul H. Peterson and Ronald W. Walker “Brigham Young’s Word of Wisdom Legacy,” BYU Studies 42:3-4, 2003.

Orig. posted 9/12/2007. Updated and revised 7/2008.

The more I learn about Mormonism as a whole and the deeper symbolism of temples and what goes on in temples, the more I question just what is at the root of it all.

Members of the LDS church all have the ultimate goal of receiving their temple endowment. What does this entail? Basically it involves watching movies which depict the Earth’s creation, the Fall of Adam and Eve, followed by taking sacred oaths including blood oaths. During the sacred oath and blood oath process, the individual dons an elaborate costume. When I went through the temple to receive my endowment, we pantomimed our death by horrific means (throat slitting, disembowelment, etc) as a penalty for disobedience. We also learned the “true order of prayer”. This involved raising our hands over our heads and lowering them as we chanted, “Pay Lay Ale”. (these elements were removed from the temple ceremony in 1990.) Recently, I discovered that these words, very similar to the Hebrew words, Pele Heylel, mean “wonderful Lucifer” (Strong’s Concordance, Hebrew dictionary, items # 6382 and 1966) Is it any wonder that Lucifer answers this prayer of Adam in the temple film?

On this note, another thought struck me: Why is it that we listen and obey Satan in the temple film. Several times, Satan tells us to do something, the film stops and we do it. For example, he tells us to put on our fig-leaf apron, the film stops, and we do it. (an apron, interestingly, similar to the one Satan is wearing in the film which he says, himself, is a representation of his power). Kinda freaky, if you think about it. In fact, throughout the film, we see far more of Satan depicted than of Jesus Christ. Why do you think that is? In fact, several times during the film, Satan looks directly into the camera and addresses the congregation. That is something to think about.

Origins of the temple endowment

Why are there blood oaths in the temple ceremony?

20 questions from a true-believing Mormon about what goes on in the temple

One Mormon’s first temple experience and responses from others

The temple endowment ceremony with it’s changes

Occult symbolism of temples

Captain Morgan and Masonic Influence

More on Temples:

Participation in what is called the temple “endowment” ceremony is an important facet of the LDS faith since it is in this ritual where Mormons learn secret “key words,” “signs” and “tokens” that they hope will help them return to God’s presence.
Brigham Young, Mormonism’s second president, claimed,

“Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being able to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 416).

Without their temples, Mormons are told that exaltation (or Godhood) in the next world is an impossibility. By completely obeying various laws and ordinances, faithful Latter-day Saints hope that they too can achieve the status of “Gods” and “Goddesses.”
Since its founding in 1830, the LDS Church has caused quite a controversy among Bible-believing Christians. While Mormons have every right to believe as they may, many leaders of the LDS Church have made some serious accusations against what millions of Christians hold dear. These statements must be challenged in light of history and the Bible.
Latter-day Saints are told that their temples restore temple worship as discussed in the Bible. Mormon Apostle Mark E. Petersen claimed the LDS ceremony actually follows the pattern of biblical days when he wrote:

“In Biblical times sacred ordinances were administered in holy edifices for the spiritual salvation of ancient Israel. These buildings thus were not synagogues, nor any other ordinary places of worship… Following the pattern of Biblical days, the Lord again in our day has provided these ordinances for the salvation of all who will believe, and directs that temples be built in which to perform those sacred rites” (Why Mormons Build Temples, p. 2).

To test what Mr. Petersen has said, all one needs to do is examine the temple ceremony as it was practiced during biblical times. If the LDS temple ceremonies had their precedent in the Bible, it would be logical that today’s rites would be similar to what took place in Israel until AD 70 when the Jerusalem temple was destroyed. But there are many difference, including:

  • The Mormon Church has more than 100 other temples scattered across the globe; the Jews recognized only the temple in Jerusalem.
  • The primary activity at the Jerusalem temple was the sacrifice of animals as atonement for the sins of the people. Worshipers in ancient Israel went to the temple with an attitude of unworthiness before an all holy God. They approached His temple with humility as they looked to have their sins covered. In stark contrast, Mormons enter their temples with a positive sense of worthiness. A person cannot enter a Mormon temple (after it is dedicated) unless he or she is considered “worthy.”
  • The priests officiating in the Jerusalem temple had to be from the tribe of Levi. This was commanded in Numbers 3:6-10. The Mormon Church ignores such commands and allows its “temple-worthy” members who have no such background to officiate in its temples.
  • Wedding ceremonies never occurred in the Jerusalem temple, yet this is a common practice in LDS temples.
  • Baptism for the dead is the most common activity in Mormon temples. No such practice was ever performed in the Jerusalem temple.
  • While many Mormon families have been “sealed” for time and eternity in LDS temples, the Jerusalem temple provided no such ordinance.
  • There is no evidence that “endowments” of any kind, especially anything resembling Mormon temple ceremonies, occurred in the Jerusalem temple.

Mormons are told that the temple ceremony came by way of revelation to Mormonism’s founder Joseph Smith, Jr. According to Mormon Apostle John Widtsoe, “Joseph Smith received the temple endowment and its ritual, as all else he promulgated, by revelation from God” (Joseph Smith-Seeker After Truth, p. 249). Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie echoed this same thought when he said the temple ordinances were “given in modern times to the Prophet Joseph Smith by revelation, many things connected with them being translated by the Prophet from the papyrus on which the Book of Abraham was recorded” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 779). This is quite a statement since the Book of Abraham (regarded by Latter-day Saints as sacred scripture) has been shown to be an inaccurate translation of an ancient Egyptian funeral text.

%d bloggers like this: