A Study of the Cults--a Christian Perspective #5
Next we come to another group in the pseudo-Christian class, the Mormon Church known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.This church was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830. Although in Mormon teaching, Joseph Smith was a highly regarded prophet, history tells a different story. It is said that the Smith family was “illiterate, whiskey-drinking, shiftless, and irreligious”. Joseph’s mother, Lucy Mack. Practiced forms of magic and his father was forever hunting treasure Captain Kidd left behind.
It was in the year 1820 that Joseph was in the woods “praying” at which time he received his fabled vision of God and Jesus. In 1823 another spiritual figure appeared to him. This was the angel Moroni who claimed to be the son of Mormon, the departed leader of an American race known as the Nephites. It was Moroni that gave him of a book of golden plates that contained the “everlasting gospel”. Supposedly about four years later Joseph dug up the plates and translated the strange hieroglyphics from a language known as “reformed Egyptian”. This language has never been verified by either archaeologists or Egyptologists. No doubt it was all in the head of Joseph Smith.
Smith also wrote two other books beside The Book of Mormon'; Doctrines and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price. These books are the cornerstone of Mormon teaching. Although the Mormons would also include the King James Bible with their books of truth, Mormon doctrine teaches that the Bible is the Word of God only “as far as it has been translated correctly”.
What is the story of the Book of Mormon? It tells the story of two Middle-Eastern peoples that came to America between 600 BC and 400 AD. The Jaredites settled in Central America. They were descendants of the people from the Tower of Babel. They eventually perished in their own wickedness and immorality. Later during the Babylonian invasion a group of Jews left Jerusalem and settled in South America. This group split into two warring factions, the Nephites and the Lamanites.
The Lamanites defeated the Nephites in a battle near Palmyra New York (the settling area of Joseph Smith) in 428 AD. The Lamanites were victorious earning them a curse—dark skin. They became the American Indians.
The teaching of Mormonism is very distorted. Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith taught the Adam-God concept. According to this teaching, Adam was God and he brought one of his heavenly wives, Eve, with him thus populating the planet. Many Mormons believe that they will inhabit and populate their own planets, just as Adam and Eve populated Earth. They will become Gods and Goddesses and control other locations of the universe.
This makes it important for Mormon men to have many wives. This insures the population growth that is needed to plant a society. Some believe that Jesus was married to Mary and Martha and fathered children here on earth. Of course Jesus was not the Messiah, but a created being in Mormon theology. This is all done in the hope of obtaining godhood. This Mormon statement sums up their central beliefs. “As man now is, God once was; As God now is, man may become.”
Until 1978 Afro-Americans could have no part in the leadership of the Mormon church. Joseph Smith taught that those with black skin were the offspring of Cain, and thus were under the same curse.
The Mormons baptize for the dead. Much time is spent on genealogies tracing the names of descendants so that baptism may be performed in their name. The thought is that everyone that died before Joseph Smith found his “golden plates” cannot enter the celestial state. Once a descendent has been identified, he must then be baptized by proxy. This will allow him access to the celestial heaven.
A second group of Mormons split with Brigham Young’s group immediately after the shooting death of Joseph Smith. Joseph and his brother, Hyrum ran into trouble with the law in 1844 and while in jail they were attacked and shot. This of course made Smith a martyr. It was Joseph’ son who was to be the true successor. This group following his son headed for Independence, Missouri, the location where Smith said that Christ would return.
Exposing Christian Science
Matthew Swan, a sixteen-month-old baby lay screaming and convulsing in agony for twelve days as his parents watched him die. A medical doctor was never consulted. It is against the beliefs of Christian Scientists. After all it was “Mother” Mary Baker Eddy who said that all illness, sin, and disease are just illusions of the mind and can be corrected by right thinking. Apparently Mr. and Mrs. Swan never taught little Matthew to think right. Even Mrs. Eddy herself passed from this life due to what she claimed was an illusion—death. Fortunately today, most states have laws to protect the innocent.
Christian Science teaches that we are to deny the “material sense testimony”. That is what the Scientists refer to as input from our five senses. Our sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching cannot be relied upon. Of course, we must ask God’s wisdom in determining what our senses tell us to rightly interpret them, but to deny them completely is foolishness.
The “church” holds complete sway over its half million plus members. They are forbidden to interact with other religious groups and cannot accept their literature. It is a religion of complete isolation.
Christian Science is neither Christian nor Science, but a cultic religion that focuses on physical healing through “spiritual”means. Christian Scientists have their own practitioners and nurses. They give no medicine, give no diagnosis, but are supposedly experienced in prayer for the sick.
The religion was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1884. Due to a spinal ailment she visited a mind over matter doctor by the name of Phineas Quimby and was healed. It would seem that many of the Christian Science ideas were plagiarized from Mr. Quimby’s writings.
Much of her teaching was taken from Hindu concepts of evil, illusion, and the material world. Her followers made her an equal with Christ. She never tired to correct them.
A list of some of her false teaching is given here. Man did not fall; Death is an illusion; Angels are God’s thoughts; God is divine Mind; Genesis 2 is a lie; The virgin birth was a spiritual idea; The Trinity is pagan; Evil and sin are imaginary; Disease can be removed by right thinking; Jesus was not God; Heaven is a state of mind; hell is nonexistent; Christ did not die; His resurrection was spiritual and not physical.
Because of their belief in illusion several other truly Christian doctrines are destroyed. Prayer for forgiveness of sin is pointless since sin does not exist. The shed blood of Christ has absolutely no meaning since there was no sin to atone for.
It is the false belief in healing that draws the many Christian Scientists into this cult. Although they have their own healing system with practitioners and nurses specially trained in "prayer", they still deny the existence of disease and sin. “Mother” Mary teaches that Jesus performed His miraculous healings by revealing to the people their illusion of disease. She also claims to be the woman of Revelation 12.
Her writings, Science and Health With Keys to the Scriptures claim to be the final revelation from God. The Bible can only be interpreted in light of Mrs. Eddy’s book. In the end it was Mrs. Eddy that turned not to Christian Science practitioners, but to medical doctors. Morphine helped to ease her “illusion” in her last days. Presently, she is most likely burning in her “nonexistent” hell.