Monthly Archives: December 2009

My Journey Out of Mormonism

A friend recently explained to someone that my conversion to Christ was similar to that of the Apostle Paul.  The weight of a comparison to Paul is a little embarrassing but I feel as though I, too, had scales that fell from my eyes.  While I am not new to the doctrines and philosophies related to Christianity, I have just recently surrendered to Christ and allowed Him to enter my life.  This year has been described as the worst year for Americans, in the last 50 years, but it has been incredible for me.  This year a miraculous change has occurred with my life, a change that has not only been revolutionary, but has resulted in what the Apostle Paul described in his second letter to the Corinthians as, “..a new creation” in and through Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).  Just as Paul explained that the “old has gone, the new has come,” so has it in my life.  With this transformation, I have committed to turn my life over to God.

As many of you know, I was raised Mormon.  I was raised in a very devout home.  My dad was an Elders Quorum President, Bishop, High Counselor, and a member of a Stake Presidency.  We were raised with high expectations regarding our knowledge of the Book of Mormon, Mormon doctrines, and church history.  I started having doubts about Mormonism in my junior and senior year of high school but it started to boil over while I was at Ricks College/BYU, in Rexburg. During that time I was able to speak with many professors and church leaders, but never got adequate answers to my questions regarding the faith.

I came home from BYU, and received my mission call, but I felt incredibly dishonest having anything to do with a mission while I was undecided about my own faith. My dad was adamant that I needed to ignore my doubts, go on a mission, and I would be fully converted to Mormonism. I decided not go on a mission. I moved out of my parents house the night I decided not to go.  I took a step back from Mormonism for about 15 months, after this event, and attended Catholic and Christian services in an attempt to find truth elsewhere.  These services were interesting and I learn a great deal, but they did not result in any religious and spiritual changes in my life.

My wife and I got engaged a few months after I moved out.  Fourteen months later we were married.  The next month she converted to Mormonism.  I did not object as I clung to hope that with marriage and my own family I could come to some better agreement with Mormon doctrine and culture.  We were active in the church for the better part of the next 4 years.

In 2003 we went to the temple, where we were “endowed” and “sealed.” In the months prior to attending the temple many members explained that it would be a powerful spiritual experience that would strengthen my testimony and answer many of my questions regarding doctrine, but it instead left me with more questions and a shattered testimony.  As we drove home from the Oakland temple, I was not filled with reassurance or any confirmation of the Spirit that what I had just participated in was anything heavenly or God-like.  Instead, I was left wondering how costumes, signs, and tokens were anything other than fraternity-like rituals. Something inside me bristled at the notion that any of these temple rituals were needed to come closer to either Jesus Christ or our salvation.  Additionally, it was even more perplexing to learn that my wife needed me to attain her exaltation and glory.  This limit being placed upon the Blood of Christ seemed repugnant even before I had gained a witness of the true Jesus Christ.  I am not and cannot be anyone’s intercessory or savior.

In the aftermath of the temple experience I was largely ignored and was without anyone willing to provide any more concrete answers due to the “sacred” nature of these rituals.  I was left in confusion and chaos about my faith and membership in the LDS Church.  The only advice from my dad and my church leaders regarding the temple was to read my Book of Mormon and keep attending the temple; I was left without any other choice than to investigate these rituals, doctrine, and church history on my own.  What I found was utterly shocking and undeniable.  After a great deal of research I came to the conclusion that the LDS faith was nothing more than a distortion and a perversion of mainstream Christianity.  It is false, the history they teach is wrong, and there was no salvation in it

Once I left the church in 2006, I quickly realized that since I was born into it, I was left with little else to believe in.  While I had knowledge of Christian and Protestant doctrine I was still challenged by topics of God’s nature, Christ’s divinity, and salvation.  I became a self described “atheist” and “agnostic.” I avoided anything remotely religious during the two years after leaving Mormonism. I swore I would never step foot in a church.  I describe this as my journey in a desolate wilderness.  There was no joy or true happiness, only an attempt to fill the God shaped void in my heart and mind with worldly objects.

In late 2007, God had other plans, as my wife’s parents invited me to their First Presbyterian Church. I reluctantly agreed to attend. Their Pastor spoke of the historical accuracy and truthfulness of Jesus Christ, His sacrifice, and His resurrection. It was like being hit with a spiritual 2×4. I suddenly could not deny the existence of Jesus Christ nor could I deny that he was the Son of God. Despite this witness, in a moment of weakness, I decided to ignore this life changing information.

Over the next two years, as I look back, God was definitely knocking and pleading with me to turn my life over to Him. I guess he became impatient and decided to give me a louder wake up call. I lost my job in May 2009, and when it happened I thought it was devastating. Ironically, looking back over the last 8 months, it has been the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life. In late July, I began talking with 2 Christian friends from high school and a cousin. After talking with these people, I finally realized that I needed to give God an opportunity to flourish in my life, I was tired of running from Him.

My wife and I attended Bayside Church, in Granite Bay, within 15 minutes of taking our seats the Spirit grabbed a hold of me.  I can distinctly remember sitting there singing the chorus of Amazing Grace, and in my spiritual exhaustion I offered my life and myself to Him.  I was finished running away from God, and surrendered to the call to come to Him; I was finished trying to mask my need for God with worldly objects.  In that moment with tears streaming down my face, I knew with all of my soul and mind, through the Holy Spirit, that Christ is Lord!   In a split second I clearly knew, and now know, of the One and Everlasting, all-powerful, all-knowing God as explained to us in Isaiah 45, 1 John 3, and Revelations 1.  I gained a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ who is God come in flesh (John 1:14) to dwell with us; that it is only through Him that we come to the Father (John 14:6).  I gained a witness that through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross we have been given the ability to receive reconciliation. This ability to seek reconciliation is a free gift that must be embraced.  That morning I chose to embrace the gift!  I suddenly realized that there is nothing I could do to earn the favor of God, rather I put my trust in what Jesus did for us on the cross.

With this transformation has come the call to become a Pastor.  In His infinite wisdom, The Lord has seen fit to bestow upon me certain gifts and talents; I would be remiss if I did not dedicate those to both building the Kingdom of God, and protecting the “Body of Christ” from those that detract from the good news , which we know to be the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-8).  It has been incredible what the Holy Spirit has done in my life and in my knowledge of the “Good News!”  I am in awe of the information and wisdom that has been imparted to me, after the “scales” have fallen from my eyes!

I am determined to live my life in the service of the One who called us, our Lord Jesus Christ.  I am rejoicing in the opportunities and callings to serve the Kingdom and God’s people.


Merry Smithsmas To All…

Did you remember to celebrate today!? Did you celebrate the baby laying in the cradle? Did you celebrate the nativity that BYU titles, “Bless Be His Name?” I am not speaking about Christmas, but rather December 23rd. Today is a sacred day indeed, it is the day when we should be giving solemn thanks for the birth of the man that has “has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.”, at least that is what LDS/Mormon scripture would lead us to believe. The Deseret News, LDS Church owned newspaper, boldly reminds us not to loose sight of this date with everything surrounding that other holiday we celebrate in December. The newspaper admonishes us, “However, another important December date is often forgotten in the rush of the season. On Dec. 23, 1805, in Sharon, Vt., the fifth child of Joseph and Lucy Smith, Joseph Smith, Jr., was born. “ (Kristine Frederickson, Deseret News 12/20/09) This newspaper for the Lord tells us to “acknowledge” Jesus Christ, but that we should “revere Joseph Smith.”
This admonition to “revere” Joseph Smith begs the question, what should we be celebrating? Should we be celebrating the polygamy, polyandry, the secret underwear, the constitutional crimes, or the incredible claims of seeing God The Father and Jesus Christ? Perhaps we should consider celebrating one of the more beautiful gifts that Joseph left with us, polygamy and polyandry. The church has never publicly acknowledged Joseph Smith’s participation and endorsement of polyandry and has done a phenomenal job keeping his polygamy a lesser-known fact to LDS membership.

Many have been told and taught that polygamy was necessary doctrine brought about by the senseless murders of too many Mormon males in the confrontations with mobs in the 1830-40 in Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio. Unfortunately this form of apologetics does not explain why it continued well into the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and why the US census has always demonstrated that in this period there was many more males than females in the Utah/Deseret Territory.

The creation of officially recognized polygamous marriage was bore out of the necessity to explain Joseph’s and many of the church leadership’s relationships and marriages to other women. The creation of this “new & everlasting covenant,” as the LDS scriptures refers to it as, allowed for the creation of many of the secret rituals of Mormonism including garments/underwear and temple rituals.

Even more shocking than the polygamy was perhaps the polyandry. By most historian accounts more than ten of his 33-48 wives were married to other men and continued to live with their original husbands, but frequently visited Smith overnight. It has been written that Smith claimed these marriages were required to test the commitment of those closest to him.

The best example of this testing is the demand placed on LDS Apostle and close friend of Joseph Smith, Heber C Kimball. Joseph demanded that Heber give him his wife, Vilate. According to Orson Whitney in his biography of Kimball, Joseph gave him an ultimatum, Mormonism or his wife. Kimball gave in and presented him with his wife on Smith’s doorstep. Perhaps we should commemorate this day in history by presenting our wives to our church leaders as an offering for our Smithsmas spirit.

Another lasting memory of the “Prophet Joseph” comes in the form of his momentous First Vision, in which he reports seeing two personages that informed him that all of Christianity was an abomination. Nevermind those pesky Biblical teachings about angels and personages of light coming from Satan… The late Gordon Hinckley, President of the LDS until his death, commented, “Our entire case as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints rests on the validity of this glorious First Vision…Nothing on which we base our doctrine, nothing we teach, nothing we live by is of greater importance than this initial declaration.”

That is placing considerable weight and emphasis on something that has had a convoluted and unclear past. According to the LDS Church the First Vision occurred in 1820, but the first published account did not appear until early 1842. It is puzzling to say the least that if the Mormon Church was created upon a mandate from God The Father and Jesus, why was it not part of the original dialog or canon of the church?

Equally damning perhaps that in 1834-35 as the leadership of the church attended the “School of Prophets” there was no mention of the vision anywhere in the seven lectures included in the course. This school sought to teach church leadership the core doctrines and beliefs of the church. Despite these lectures’ discussions regarding the nature of God there is no mention of Joseph seeing or conversing with God or Christ.

During this same period, 1835, the LDS Church printed their canonized Doctrine & Covenants, a book of scripture that contains many of the churches most controversial and important doctrines. In the preface for this book it mentions that it includes, “the leading items of religion which we have professed to believe.” How does a religion supposedly built upon a heavenly mandate fail to mention that as a leading item of their belief?

The easiest answer to the above question is that is wasn’t important until it needed to be… At the time of the First Vision’s publication in the LDS periodical “Times and Seasons,” the Church was in a state of chaos. Members of the church’s leadership were being excommunicated and many more had become opponents of the church. Ironically, the first few handwritten accounts of the “First Vision” chronicle not a visitation from God and Christ but rather “angels” that gave Smith assurance that his sins had been forgiven. Considerably different that what is taught today…

The other interesting component of the “First Vision” story is the fact that most church leaders did not even teach this story until the mid-1870’s. In an 1850 letter by John Taylor, the third LDS President, wrote explaining that Joseph Smith was visited by “two personages” making no mention of God, Jesus Christ, nor any damnation of Christianity.

With so many questions and discrepancies surrounding this event why would church leaders place so much emphasis on this story? Again, Gordon Hinckley explains the paradox involved, “I would like to say that this cause is either true or false. Either this is the kingdom of God, or it is a sham and a delusion. Either Joseph talked with the Father and the Son, or he did not. If he did not, we are engaged in blasphemy” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Conference Reports, October 1961, p.116).

In the second point made, Joseph Smith does in fact make overt gestures to join the Methodist Church in the Harmony Township, in 1828, by signing up for the probationary classes. This is less than one year since being lead to the Golden Plates by the “Angel Moroni.” Additionally, despite the alleged story of a visitation from God and Christ, his family in 1824 joins the Presbyterian Church. Further damning, according to Joseph’s father, Joseph Smith was “baptized, becoming thus a member of the Baptist Church” (Interview With The Father of Joseph Smith, The Mormon Prophet…1870).”

A celebration of Joseph Smith’s birthday would not be complete without a true look at the quotes, words and songs that Latter-Day Saints use to describe their founder. Many Protestant Christians might be familiar with the usage of the phrase or song, “Blessed Be His Name,” but they would be mistaken in thinking this is referring to Jesus Christ. Consider how the LDS Church thinks that famous title should be used. In 2005, Brigham Young University, official LDS college, setup a Joseph Smith nativity scene to commemorate the 200 year anniversary of his birth and titled it, “Blessed Be His Name.” I guess we should be careful not to lose sight of the blessed name of Joseph Smith during this busy Christmas season.

Nativity

An LDS Hymn takes it another step further and declares: “His equal now cannot be found, By searching the wide world around. With Gods he soared in the realms of day, And men he taught the heavenly way.” With all that being said, perhaps my favorite way of reflecting on Joseph Smith this Smithsmas is by reading a quote from his own hand,

“I have more to boast of than 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 have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I.” (History of the Church, Vol.6, pp. 408-09)

We should put our trust in the One and Everlasting God, and in the one that we come allows us to come to Him, Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Let us celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with full knowledge and appreciation for the immense sacrifice and freedom that He brings to us that seek and accept him! Remember that the Bible contains the everlasting message from God to his people. This Christmas season commit your life to following Christ. Christ boldly declares in John 11:25-26, while comforting Martha, “…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Believest thou this?” Do we now believe in this? Will we not trust in Him that he alone has the power to conquer sin and death? As Christmas approaches let us heed the divine counsel of our God come in flesh (John 1:1, 14). I will close with the words of the Apostle Paul in his letter the Ephesus, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe (Ephesians 1:18-19).”


Confused Beginnings


There are many unanswered questions surrounding the life and teachings of Joseph Smith. One thing is certain, his claims, life, and stories are now firmly engrained in the claimed truth of Mormonism. The late Gordon Hinckley, President of the LDS until his death, commented, “Our entire case as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints rests on the validity of this glorious First Vision…Nothing on which we base our doctrine, nothing we teach, nothing we live by is of greater importance than this initial declaration.”

That is placing considerable weight and emphasis on something that has had a convoluted and unclear past. According to the LDS Church the First Vision occurred in 1820, but the first published account did not appear until early 1842. It is puzzling to say the least that if the Mormon Church was created upon a mandate from God The Father and Jesus, why was it not part of the original dialog or canon of the church?

Equally damning perhaps that in 1834-35 as the leadership of the church attended the “School of Prophets” there was no mention of the vision anywhere in the seven lectures included in the course. This school sought to teach church leadership the core doctrines and beliefs of the church. Despite these lectures’ discussions regarding the nature of God there is no mention of Joseph seeing or conversing with God or Christ.

During this same period, 1835, the LDS Church printed their canonized Doctrine & Covenants. A book of scripture that contains many of the churches most controversial and important doctrines. In the preface for this book it mentions that it includes, “the leading items of religion which we have professed to believe.” How does a religion supposedly built upon a heavenly mandate fail to mention that as a leading item of their belief?

The easiest answer to the above question is that is wasn’t important until it needed to be… At the time of the First Vision’s publication in the LDS periodical “Times and Seasons,” the Church was in a state of chaos. Members of the church’s leadership were being excommunicated and many more had become opponents of the church. Ironically, the first few handwritten accounts of the “First Vision” chronicle not a visitation from God and Christ but rather “angels” that gave Smith assurance that his sins had been forgiven. Considerably different that what is taught today.

The other interesting component of the “First Vision” story is the fact that most church leaders did not even teach this story until the mid-1870’s. In an 1850 letter by John Taylor, the third LDS President, wrote explaining that Joseph Smith was visited by “two personages” making no mention of God, Jesus Christ, nor any damnation of Christianity.

With so many questions and discrepancies surrounding this event why would church leaders place so much emphasis on this story? Again, Gordon Hinckley explains the paradox involved, “I would like to say that this cause is either true or false. Either this is the kingdom of God, or it is a sham and a delusion. Either Joseph talked with the Father and the Son, or he did not. If he did not, we are engaged in blasphemy” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Conference Reports, October 1961, p.116).

In the second point made, Joseph Smith does in fact make overt gestures to join the Methodist Church in the Harmony Township, in 1828, by signing up for the probationary classes. This is less than one year since being lead to the Golden Plates by the “Angel Moroni.” Additionally, despite the alleged story of a visitation from God and Christ, his family in 1824 joins the Presbyterian Church. Further damning, according to Joseph’s father, Joseph Smith was “baptized, becoming thus a member of the Baptist Church” (Interview With The Father of Joseph Smith, The Mormon Prophet…1870).”

Why would a prophet of God that has been instructed not to join any Church by God The Father and Jesus Christ, having been told that all Christianity is an “abomination” allow himself and his family to join three of those blasphemous churches?


Hope vs. Despair: The Promise of Hope from Jesus Christ

The hallmarks of walking with Christ are joy, peace, and an assurance that we do not walk alone. We are taught in Phillipians that, “…the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The adversary desperately wants to separate us from that which gives us comfort, instead leaving us with discouragement, sadness, and despair. As devout followers of Christ we are engaged in spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12 explains it best, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Unfortunately, many on this earth including some that profess a believe in Christ walk in defeat and discouraged by the rigors of this life. Were we expected to go this journey alone there would be real reason to become discourage, but rest assured we do not walk alone. Instead we comforted and asked to trust our Lord. We need to worry whether our might will be truly enough to defend against that which seeks to destroy us. We are given the example of David in the book of 1 Samuel, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands (17:47).” Our intimacy with the Lord and our ability to rely on his strength will see that we are victorious through Him. Our simple act of invoking the name of the Lord in our hours of need is a divine power and priveledge given to those that choose to walk closely with Him.

In Philippians 2:9-12 we are taught, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Christ’s name is above every name to point where those that hear it should bow! The glory and majesty that is Christ name is further evidenced by verse 8 of 1 Peter, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…” We may be under attack, our minds may be under siege as the adversary seeks to undo what we have established with our Lord and Savior, but take solace and comfort in the fact that are afforded the protection and glory of God through Jesus Christ!


The Wrong Christmas Message…

The concept of God The Father coming to Earth to engage in sexual relations with Mary is revolting and dangerous doctrine.  There is no more obvious a molestation of Biblical scripture than with the propagation of this teaching.  One may not hear current church leadership engaging in open discussion relating to this issue, but this doctrine is crucial in substantiating the Mormon concept of an extra-Biblical Christ and their promise of individual godhood.  The implications of teaching this concept are far darker than just substantiating a polytheistic tenet but instead it endorses polyandry, violation of marital covenants, incest and a repudiation of Biblical writings, which is still regarded as canon among the LDS. 

Some younger members of the Mormon Church may question whether this is doctrinal at all, or just an attempt to slander the church.  This, like many other crucial and pivotal doctrines of the LDS church, are still believed and held as important and sacred doctrine, but have been subtly moved into the shadows to allow for a “Christianization” of the LDS Church.  In other words, the LDS leadership is attempting to make the church appear more Protestant friendly in an attempt to continue positive missionary momentum.  

Returning to the discussion of the accuracy and authenticity of this doctrine, consider the writings of Mormon President, Brigham Young, “"The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood—was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers," (Journal of Discourses, v. 8, p. 115).  He further explains, in a clear rejection of Biblical writings, "Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51).  Brigham Young’s comments clearly enunciate the Mormon position regarding the conception of Jesus through physical means.  This would effectively render Mary’s claims of a virgin and miraculous conception null and void.

Contrast those statements with the writings and teachings of the Bible.  In Matthew 1:18 it states without confusion that, “she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.”  Later the declaration becomes even bolder still in verse 23, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  (Luke 1:23 KJV)  Furthermore, this is reinforced in the Gospel of Luke, “And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” (Luke 1:29-31 KJV).  Mormon doctrine and leadership clearly rejects the Bible and the doctrine contained within it.

Considering the venue for these remarks, Facebook, my readers might be saying, “Well that was a long time ago…I am sure that is not what the church teaches now!”  Fair question and observation, since many other doctrines have changed over the last 170 years, for a more modern perspective let’s review the comments by Bruce R. McConkie.  McConkie is largely considered one of the preeminent theologians and doctrinal mind of modern Mormonism.  In his groundbreaking book that is staple within many Mormons homes, Mormon Doctrine, he writes, “"Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers," (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 547).    He goes even further, leaving little doubt to the voracity and relevance of this teaching within Mormonism, "And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events,…Christ is the Son of Man, meaning that his Father (the Eternal God!) is a Holy Man." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 742).

To truly appreciate the vile nature of these teaching, one must consider other crucial Mormon doctrines relating to the marital relations and nature of God The Father, according to Mormonism.   Consider the declaration made within the Mormon canon, The Doctrine and Covenants.  In D&C Section 130:3, "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s." According to Mormon doctrine, God is comprised of a glorified physical body.  This gives a new reality to the previously mentioned teachings of sexual relations between God and Mary.  The next dimension of the topic to consider is the fact that many Mormons, including it’s leadership firmly believes in the existence of Heavenly Mother or Mothers.  Consider the following passage written by McConkie:

“This doctrine that there is a Mother in Heaven was affirmed in plainness by the First Presidency of the Church (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund) when, in speaking of pre-existence and the origin of man, they said that ‘man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father,’ that man is the ‘offspring of celestial parentage,’ and that ‘all men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.’ (Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp.348-355.)” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 516)

This is further affirmed by teachings featured in the LDS periodicals and Sunday School manuals.  These materials were endorsed and written by LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley. “Logic and reason would certainly suggest that if we have a Father in Heaven, we have a Mother in Heaven. That doctrine rests well with me. However, in light of the instruction we have received from the Lord Himself, I regard it as inappropriate for anyone in the Church to pray to our Mother in Heaven” (Gordon Hinckley, “Daughters of God,”Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1991, p.100. See also The Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p.257.   The ramifications of God engaging in relations with Mary, according to the teaching of Mormon doctrine is alarming at best, as it meant, in the very least, that God would have violated his marital covenants with “Heavenly Mother.”  Additionally, consider the consequences of this belief, as it would mean that God, the Spiritual Father of us all, entered into physical relations with Mary…a practice that we refer to today as incest. 

Having discussed these teachings and the Biblical truth relating to the conception and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, I want to close with a call to immerse yourselves in the living Word of God.  The Bible contains the everlasting message from God to his people.  This Christmas season commit your life to following Christ.   Christ boldly declares in John 11:25-26, while comforting Martha, “…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Believest thou this?”  Do we now believe in this? Will we not trust in Him that he alone has the power to conquer sin and death?   As Christmas approaches let us heed the divine counsel of our God come in flesh (John 1:1, 14).   I will close with the words of the Apostle Paul in his letter the Ephesus, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe (Ephesians 1:18-19).”