Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Mormon Temple Ceremony - Evidence of a Mormon Cult?

The Mormon Temple Ceremony is often painted as solid evidence that the Mormon Church is a demonic cult. While people rant against the "Mormon Cult" (and I'm talking about sites far nastier than, say, MormonCult.org with it's "proof" that Mormons are a cult). Yet for many intelligent Latter-day Saints, the Temple truly seems to be a House of God, a sacred space for contemplating our relationship with God and Christ, a place for making beautiful covenants to follow Christ, a place the takes us out of the mess of mortality and the world into a realm where we contemplate heaven and feel closer to the Lord.

For some of us, the Temple really is the powerhouse of the Gospel. Many testimonies are strengthened there. Many marriages are made stronger there. Many people find answers to some of the biggest questions of life in the Temple. The Mormon temple ceremony and the entire "cult" of the Temple is far more Christ-centered and inspiring that our critics imagine. And some of us find it interesting how strongly linked the Mormon temple ceremony is to practice in ancient Christian and Jewish religion. Barry Bickmore's page, "Early Christianity and Mormonism: The LDS Temple Endowment is the introduction to a series of pages showing the links to ancient practices, far more interesting than the links to modern practices in Masonry. But even more interesting is Barry's chapter on the Temple in his book, Restoring the Ancient Church, now available free online at FAIRLDS.org. Please study that well-documented and intelligent survey before assuming that a "secret" Mormon temple ceremony is somehow non-Christian and evil.

But the Temple is a sure sign of a cult, I'll admit - after facing the harsh reality in the exposé at MormonCult.org.

34 comments:

Brian D. said...

Actual proof? Wow, we are a cult. :-)

My wife and I went to the Mesa Temple a couple of weeks ago for dinner and a movie. The cafeteria had prime rib and salmon, which made for a scrumptious dinner for my wife and I.

After dinner, we enjoyed a "cult" favorite--an endowment session. :-)

Anonymous said...

Haha...one of many definitions of a cult, which can, like all the other definitions, be applied to any number of groups.

What a "shocking" discovery! :)

Anonymous said...

MormonCult.org rules! You Mormons are exposed!!

Bruce V C said...

My favorite part was his bio page. Quoth the raven:

"MormonCult.org is the work of a high-ranking Mormon, one who has ascended to some of the loftiest and most desired ranks in Mormondom, including Sunday School Instructor, Primary Worker, and Senior Home Teaching Companion."

richdurrant said...

It kind of appears that pretty much every religion falls under cult status. Worship can be prayers, hymns, and several other things. Maybe being a cult is a good thing!;)

annegb said...

I'm active and believing, although disenchanted with many of my fellow members.

But I don't think the temple is all that important.

SteSmo said...

Egad! A cult!! I never knew that my church was a cult! Thank you, Mormoncult.org, for opening my eyes! I guess Ed Decker was right all along!!

;-)

Darion Alexander said...

Uh...what's a cult again? I mean, like every decade or so, the definition keeps changing and I ain't getting any younger. I wonder how long it will take for me to join the cult of the Age Impaired...where my daily prayer is done without teeth, unless it's meal time, where my mind ponders and wanders, literally, the eternities, where I begin to smell like ben-gay and old shaving lotion, and where the sacred bed pan is emptied into the porcelain god...

erelis said...

"MormonCult.org is the work of a high-ranking Mormon, one who has ascended to some of the loftiest and most desired ranks in Mormondom, including Sunday School Instructor, Primary Worker, and Senior Home Teaching Companion."

Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

Man, I needed a good laugh. :)

Anonymous said...

I think Jeff is linking to that site on purpose. Trying to get a benign site to rank higher in Google than more trashy anti sites? Should we add more links, like this: Mormons are evil cultists trying to take over the world with the Mormon Cult. Run! Fear! Persecute! Before it's too late. And stop Mitt Romney, the cultist candidate.". There, did that help?

Anonymous said...

I always new there was something funny about the good warm feeling that I had when I was involved in church and when I was doning good toward my fellow man and enemies. A cult, I new it. I guess I will just have to give up doing good and go back to living my former life of just living for myself. Thank you for pointing this out and setting me free.

teranno4x4 said...
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teranno4x4 said...

Dear All,

I do not care what you call yourselves - cult or not. I beg not to determine your identity.

I believe that there are many 'true' Christians within your faith, just as I also believe there are many deluded, brainwashed Lemmings, jumping on the bandwagon of all that mormonism promises.

In Barry Bickmore's chapter on Apostacy, he quotes from the Bible :
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-8)

Paul was preaching the New Testament gospel that we have in our Bibles today.

'Any other gospel than that which he preached' includes the one given by moroni to Joseph Smith. You claim that moroni was an angel, and one from heaven at that. The 'alternative Testament' that he gave to Mr. Smith was it perverted from the originals in Matt, Mark, Luke and John? Was Mr. Smith accursed or martyred as a result of receiving it? This depends on whether you are viewing the event from within or from without, I guess. Is it possible to deceive by giving a shrouded truth?

In parting - on who's authority is a cult so named? Is it based on belief as a collective or from any one individual's standpoint?

Teranno4x4

NM said...

Terrano 4x4,

Paul's letter to the Galatians is really quite interesting...here we find Paul addressing a specific subject: false doctrine - that seems to have crept in through the back door... And I find it slightly shameful that one of Paul's first points is to highlight their veering away from the gospel. =(

I don't know if you'd agree with this, but it seems that the church of Galatia were beginning to listen to false teachers who were teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ (GRACE) plus Old Testament-type traditions (works)...

Here we go again... =)

Grace, I just can't get away from it! =D

Anonymous said...

Teranno is asking too many questions. Let's take a lesson from John Kerry and taser him. ZAAPPP!

Anonymous said...

NM, it wasn't "works" in the sense of commandment keeping that Paul was warning against - it was a return to circumcision and other aspects of the law = the Law of Moses. Paul urges them to obey the truth and recites some of the acts of disobedience that can keep them out of the kingdom. Yes, we need to keep commandments. Paul's all for that. To deny that is to deny the words of Jesus ("if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments") and is surely some other Gospel.

Anonymous said...

Looks like MormonCult.org is a work of Jeff Lindsay to me.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear "7:05 PM, September 19, 2007, Anonymous said..."

I am tazer free and under the protection of God - thank you! But please feel free to zap yourself, it may wake you up to truth!

Grace is important, but the gift of it can only be received once an individual's attitude has changed to obey the permanent Royal Law which is I am afraid to say the 10 commandments (not the temporary law of Moses) - the 10 Commandments some commenters on this site are opposed to keeping literally ! It is possible to obey!

And yes they should keep it literally, Anon 7:08 PM, September 19, 2007, otherwise they do deny the words of Jesus. Could that be the 'other gospel' that they prefer to hear that Paul warns about and why the term 'cult' is now used - hmmmm?

Only one question this time, but it would be nice to have the previous ones answered in sincerity and not glibly ignored.

Teranno4x4

Russell said...

Teranno4x4
This exchange reminds me of G.K. Chesterton (if you don't know his work, you should; one of the most brilliant Christian apologists--specifically Catholic--of modern times--C.S. Lewis claimed him as a primary intellectual influence). It's been said that during a debate with Clarence Darrow, he responded to Darrow's itnroduction: "It may come as a surprise to you, Mr. Darrow, and perhaps to all of you in the audience, but I agree entirely with everything you have said."

If you want to separate yourself, I'll leave that as a prerogative of your prejudice, but just know that it's just that--a prejudice :)

erelis said...

Grace is important, but the gift of it can only be received once an individual's attitude has changed to obey the permanent Royal Law which is I am afraid to say the 10 commandments (not the temporary law of Moses) - the 10 Commandments some commenters on this site are opposed to keeping literally !

Terrano4x4
1. Where does it say that grace only comes by adhering to the 10 Commandments, as opposed to any other commandment? See Matthew 5:1-19, particularly verse 19.

2. How are the 10 Commandments permanent rather than a part of the rest of the Law of Moses? See, eg, Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28. It sounds like Christ is introducing a Higher Law.

3. Who here opposes keeping the 10 Commandments? I can't speak for the others, but I try to keep them. My interpretations of them may differ from yours, but that doesn't mean I am not striving to keep them.

Finally, to keep this post on topic, the term 'cult' may have some academic meaning, but like many other words ('fascist' 'racist' 'neo-con') it's meaning has been diluted through overuse by people who throw it out simply as a roadblock to meaningful and heartfelt discussion.

Anonymous said...

I have done studies of the mormon religion. If a religion doesn't follow the ways of what they claim to be their own text, like the bible, which is hardly referred to anyways, then there is some questions that should be dealt with according concerning the validity of the doctrines of the mormon religion. I'm a pleased to say I do not buy in to the Mormon religion, I believe that the members are entirely deceived, and I feel sorry for the educated man or woman who believes the ways of the mormon.

Anonymous said...

I, on the other hand, have been studying the LDS religion for my entire life. I have yet to find in the teachings of the religion any example whatsoever of inadherence to the canonized texts. As a seminary teacher teaching the Old Testament this year, I refer to the bible everyday with my students. I am pleased to say that along with millions of others, I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found in it's purest form in the teachings of the LDS faith. I believe the members to be anything but deceived, and I am truly sorry for the educated, or uneducated man or woman who cannot see that.

NM said...

Anonymous @ 7:08 PM, September 19, 2007,

I whole-heartedly agree with you on this point. Notice, I said, "plus Old Testament-type traditions". The emphasis, of course, being traditions...

The thing about 'grace' is that Jesus has done ALL the work. And 'grace' for us, starts with the foundation that we stand before God bankrupt. In our desperate state, we can offer NOTHING to God, except simply accept Jesus for who He is - that He has paid it all...

God is GLORIFIED! =D

Anonymous said...

Wow, after watching the videos about the student who got hauled off and tasered for (a) being annoying and disruptive and (b) asking John Kerry if he was a member of Skull and Bones, maybe we need tasers in all our Sunday School classes and especially here at Mormanity.

50,000 volts can do a lot to keep questions in line!

Darion Alexander said...

Yeah another fine debate! Whether or not the Mormons are a cult! Going along with Erelis, just for the moment, the question then comes as who has the right to say whether or not I am under grace and am following the commandments? Some one who studies the Bible, or Christ Himself? I could point out plenty of strange doctrines that people follow, for example,

Mere faith and belief = total salvation

Holding on to snakes and dancing with them = you are a true believer

holding my right hand in the air, and shouting hallelujahs = my prayers reaching God even quicker than doing them on my knees

worshiping a Triune god, made from three different personalities(almost sounds like Hinduism...hmm..Brahma, Vishnu and Kristna anyone?) who seem to be everyone at once and yet small enough to fit in my heart....and not just that!! They TALK to each other and pray to each other...now that's a magic/priesthood/whatever trick I would love to see!

Faith on Sundays = sinning the rest of the week and getting away with it, because I believe!!

The list goes on and on, I would almost take a gander and say that there are plenty of Christian cults out there to choose from that are much more "cult -like" than the Mormons.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Erelis,

Very simply in reply :

1. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and is ultimately God - he said : "If you love me keep my Commandments".
Please additionally look up Psa 111:7,8 ; Matt 5:17-19 ; 1Cor 7:19 ; James 2:8,9&12 and Rev 22:14 . These Commandments are from everlasting to everlasting and were fulfilled in Jesus Himself.

2.Christ was NOT introducing a 'higher law' as you state. More simply he was upholding the existing 10 commandment law to state that just by being angry with your fellow brethren or those around you WILL land you in the same danger of judgement as if you had killed them! Such was how the pharisees and rabbis had polluted God's law in their staid and fast interpretation. Jesus was only expanding on the theme and true meaning of the parameters of the Commandment. Understand the characteristics and ministry of Jesus and the penny drops into place.
Murder is an end result of anger. But a man may hide his anger from his fellow men, even from those who are the objects of his anger. The best that the courts can do is to punish acts that result from anger; God alone is able to go to the root of the matter, and to condemn and punish a man for anger itself. This was the warning from Jesus.

3. If you are 'in Jesus' and 'Jesus is in you' then you will know automatically if you are keeping the 10 Commandments because Jesus kept them Himself. You won't need to strive to keep them, because we in our own power will continually fail. It will be an auto-response to accepting the 'Grace' that NM discusses so eloquently that keeps us from falling - Jude 24. Question : Do you worship on Sunday ? Did Jesus worship on Sunday? Do you follow His Divine actions and authority, or the mortal authority of man? Can you keep all the Commandments if you fail on one - answer found in James 2:10?

By being named as a 'cult' by Walter Martin or whoever was responsible simply places LDS outside of mainstram Christianity. I do not endear to this practise as I am convinced that there ARE many sincere Christians at work in your denomination. BUT to have discussion like this where a 'round peg' is shown to you to fit in a 'round hole' and then to ignore or ridicule it, becomes almost blasphemous in it's origin and is a dangerous practise. This is where the term 'cult' tends to stick as a result of these behavioural patterns.

Teranno4x4

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Darion Alexander,

That's a fine claim that you make to suggest that all Christians behave in the way that you describe.

I for one have never shown traits of the negative aspects that you highlight so well! I know that I am not alone!

It seems that you enjoy observing the outer parameters of occurances under the 'Christian' umbrella. I am sure that I too can dig in deep and find some fairly liberally minded LDS brethren who believe in polygamy and exclusion of blacks from your priesthood. - Christ-like characteristics or the work of a darker more sinister power ? Can you see where the 'cult' label originates ? Point one finger at anyone else and you have four of your own fingers pointing back at yourself!

I am sure that there are some Christians out there in the big, wide world who perpetrate 'cult-like' tendancies and who are not worthy of the title 'Christian'. That is not for you or I to judge and on that we will one day be thankful to Jesus for His infinite wisdom and choice of those that He will accept into His Kingdom!

Teranno4x4


Dear Anon,

In a similar response to that above - tazer yourself (you seem obsessed by it) and se how it feels. Not impressed - didn't think so. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!"

Darion Alexander said...

Dear Terrano...

Hold on a sec...I need to regurgitate your inane statements about my generalities.

I have no need to point out that I have only mentioned a few of the "cult" like practices that have been observed directly and indirectly from mine and my family's experiences. To assume that I placed all of Christianity into those particular practices, shows your immaturity and your innate ability to attack where an attack is not needed. Hence your pointing of the finger, though I like to use the casual pointing using my whole hand, only because using your finger is quite rude and shows a lack of proper education and etiquette.
If you want to delve into LDS Church history and discuss whether or not there are members that practiced polygamy (and there are probably some out there that still do) well after the Manifesto and whether or not the question of blacks and the priesthood was a doctrine or was an impaired judgment call made by way of the stereotypes and prejudices of the time, as say Moses striking a stone instead of telling it to shoot forth water, or Aaron building a golden ox for pagan worship, or...etc etc....any number of instances where prophets of God made a really bad mistake, then by all means, place on your gauntlets of knowledge and let's dredge this thing out. But, only if you can do so without becoming offended and contentious, for that is the spirit of the darker whatch-ama-callit power you were referring to.
But to say that Christianity doesn't have by any means any sects that do not practice some form or another of "something" un-Biblical, or practice something that is only mentioned once or twice in the Bible, since they and you only use that set of Scripture, is a lack of knowledge and revelation on your part.

Darion Alexander said...

And another thing...who are you to tell me that what I have mentioned are on the outside of Christianity?

With the exception of snake-handling, which is quite...dangerous, there are many, who believe in the Triune god, and believe that Christ, the Father and the Holy Ghost are one person or being. Why deny it?

Can one be an honest Christian without at least recognizing this accepted form of worship in mainstream Christianity? Or has the mainstream cut out the Father for just the Son?
From my own experiences with the Biblio, those who believe this shouldn't be labeled "Christian" and do not understand the very scripture they so professedly adhere to. The question is whether or not the Mormons are a cult based on Temple Ceremonies. If that were the case, along with the polygamy and the exclusion of blacks from the priesthood, which, by the way, you have shown no evidence to support that ALL blacks, or those of dark skin, whether they be of African or some other lineage, were denied the Priesthood. I guess then the question should be, if based on color, how black did you have to be to be denied the priesthood? What if you were Hispanic, Oriental or from India?

Anyway, if that were the case, then the same can be said of all sects within Christianity, because all of them in some form or another use, adhere, or profess is some way a form of worship that can be considered "cult-like" and outside of the Christian umbrella. If it were not so, then why so many different sects? And why are so many of them, historically connected back to Catholicism? Wouldn't the true Church of Christ not be connected to any other form of heretical worship? Can He not restore His own Church? Or are we now saying that Christ has no power to do so and therefore we limit his omniscient divine authority? We can on and on all day if you'd like, and I know you would since you seem to enjoy strutting your limited scriptural and historical knowledge, but there isn't enough time in the day to do so.

teranno4x4 said...
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Darion Alexander said...

My my, the old aversion tactic of answering rhetorical questions with a rhetorical answer, I will give you this, you are not unlearned.

Hmm...a better question is does it make it wrong if they choose to worship this way, seeing as they are free to choose how they worship? God does not force us to believe in Him, we must to choose to do so on our own, regardless of what others believe and regardless of who tells us whether or not we are wrong or right. I think we can at least agree on that.

Regurgitation means I didn't want to feast on your assorted little debbie of comments. As to whether or not I know you personally, I don't and make no attempt to do so. This, after all is a blog.

Ah yes, the great Sabbath day debate. I guess we could pathfind ourselves into the writings of Josephus and the change that Constantine implemented in order to try and unite all the differing factions of Christianity. We could all day discuss whether or not the change had anything to do with Apollo worship or the resurrection of Christ, but we would greatly deceive ourselves into thinking that we truly understand how that was all changed. Of course Catholicism does have a very good reputation of adapting local pagan beliefs into their own form of Christianity, ie the Conquistadors for example.
There are so many mixed ideas out there now. Is there any evidence that the Apostles even continued the practice of the Jewish sabbath after the resurrection of Christ? Is there any evidence that they worshiped on the first day of the week in commemoration of His resurrection before Constantine and his pagan nose butted in? And why would the Law of Moses still be in use, after Christ said plainly that He fulfilled the law? Especially that of Jewish Sabbath and any other laws, such as those of sacrifice, cleanliness, not eating certain foods, etc. Hmmm...yes there are scattered religions out there that are not connected to Catholicism. I know of a few. The Mormons(and all of the broken of branches, RLDS, Bickertonites, etc), the Jehovah's Witnesses, The Adventists, the Davidians(a branch of the Adventists), and I am sure there are many others out there who claim the same non-Catholic roots. But let's just agree to disagree shall we. The dead horse has been beaten enough. BTW, define heretical worship, since you mentioned it and then define who has claim to say that one is heretical or not.

teranno4x4 said...
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Mormanity said...

The dead horse has been beaten enough, as Darion notes, but beating didn't work. Nor did the taser. Time for more frequent deletion.

teranno4x4 said...
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