Many Mormons may be unaware that they and their church are disregarding many commandments given in earlier years by revelation to their leaders, even many which appear in their own scriptures. The following is a listing of some of the commandments that the Mormon church or its leaders do not obey:
- When blessing the sacrament, the congregation is to kneel with the elder blessing sacrament (Moroni 4:2; see also D&C 20:76)
Current practice is that the congregation remains seated, with heads bowed. The man blessing the sacrament is the only person who kneels.
- When blessing the sacrament, the elder or priest is to take the cup (i.e. hold it) Moroni 5:1, D&C 20:78
At present there is no "cup": the water is in small individual containers, one for each worshipper, to be carried out to the seated congregation in trays.
- An elder, if present, should bless sacrament, not a priest. D&C 20:46, 50
Current practice is to have two priests (usually teenagers 16 to 18 years old) bless the sacrament, one blessing the bread, the other blessing the water. This is even the case when elders and high priests are present.
- In both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, Jesus told his followers how to pray, and gave them prayer commonly known as "The Lord's Prayer." Mormons almost never use this prayer, or many of the ideas in it.
Perhaps Mormons are confused because the Book of Mormon version (3 Nephi 13:9) differs from the versions in Matthew, both in the King James translation and in Joseph Smith's own "translation" (the "Inspired Version").
One devout Mormon woman objected to having the prayer recited at a family funeral: "That's not a Mormon prayer, that's a Christian prayer!"
- Missionaries are to go alone, not in pairs. On March 30, 1836, Joseph Smith said (HoC 2:431): "...the Elders would go forth, and each must stand for himself, as it was not necessary for them to be sent out, two by two, as in former times..." (This contradicts a previous revelation given February 9, 1831: At D&C 42:6 God commands missionaries to go "two by two" when preaching the gospel ; see also 52:10. This follows the pattern set by Jesus in sending out his seventy at Luke 10:1).Missionaries today are strictly forbidden from being ever without their assigned companion in sight. Bathroom visits are the only exception.
- Missionaries are to carry neither purse nor scrip. D&C 84:86, 91 says: "Therefore, let no man among you ... from this hour take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom... And he that doeth not these things is not my disciple; by this you may know my disciples." (See also v 78 and D&C 24:18; also Matt 10:9-10, Luke 10:4)The intent of the commandment was that missionaries, as representatives of God, would depend on the generosity of others. Missionaries today, however, are responsible for paying their own expenses. Often it is the missionary's family that finances the mission. Missionaries do carry money ("purse") and a backpack ("scrip").
- When preaching, you should not prepare your talk, but rely on the spirit. D&C 84:85 says: "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say [when preaching]."The sermons at Mormon church services are usually given by members, who are assigned the topic they are to speak on well in advance, so that they have time to "prepare their talk." Sermons given by top leaders at church conferences are written well in advance, and must be approved by the church Correlation Committee for doctrinal correctness. At the conference the speakers read their approved text from a teleprompter machine. This is in contrast to a comment made by George Q. Cannon (a 19th century member of the church's First Presidency):We are commanded to be subject to the direction of the Holy Spirit when we arise to speak; for if we speak as we should do, it is not we who speak, but it is the Spirit of God which speaks through us. On this account, the Elders of the Church do not, at least as a rule, prepare themselves before hand with either written or memorized sermons, for if they were to do so, they would depart from the order of heaven, and would prove utter failures. Weber Stake Conference, Sunday Morning, July 21, 1889
- Only a virgin could be a polygamous wife. D&C 132:61 says: ...if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.Joseph Smith "married" at least eleven women who were already married and who had living husbands. Other Mormon men, during the period when polygamy was practiced by the church, both in secret and openly, married women who, for various reasons, were no longer virgins. See, for example, "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo" on the official LDS website: https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-in-kirtland-and-nauvoo.
- Polygamous marriage required the first wife's consent D&C 132:61 ...if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent,...Joseph Smith kept many of his marriages to other women secret from his wife Emma. He never gave her the opportunity to give her consent. In the case of the young Partridge sisters (both of whom he married) Emma finally consented, but only after Smith had secretly married them. He then dutifully went through a second mock ceremony so that he would not have to admit that he had already married them without her consent.
Today a Mormon male can be sealed for eternity to a second wife if the first has died or if he is divorced from the first. A deceased wife of course cannot give consent, and a divorced wife is never required to give consent (she is asked only if the ex-husband is current in support payments and is otherwise "worthy" to enter the temple).
- Mormons are to use wine in the sacrament and make it themselves. (D&C 20:75, 89:5-6, 3 Nephi 18, Moroni 5:2)Mormons do not use wine at all in the sacrament, but rather ordinary tap water. Joseph Smith was told by an angel, after having received this revelation, that it didn't matter what one ate or drank as symbols of Christ's atonement. (D&C 27:2)Thus one revelation canceled another one given just a few months before.
- The church should not try to be a popular church. If it does, it is of the devil. (1 Nephi 22:23)Since the 1960s the church has been heavily invested in promoting its image. It has hired an expensive (non-Mormon) public relations firm to promote itself, with television ads, Internet promotions (the "...and I'm a Mormon" series). Formerly Mormons were told by their leaders that they are (proudly) "a peculiar people," and not Christian. They criticized other churches. That has now changed. It is 180 degree about-face.
- When fasting, Christ's followers are to ritually anoint the head and wash the face. (3 Ne 13:17, Matt 6:17) But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face...No Mormon does this, even though they are to fast at least one day a month.
- The temple is to be a "house of fasting." (D&C 109:16) And that this house may be a house of prayer, a house of fasting, ...Fasting has never been a part of the temple rituals. Any Mormons who may feel the need to fast before entering the temple are not doing so in obedience to this command. In fact, many of the larger Mormon temples have a cafeteria on the premises for the use of temple-goers. At least one temple president, in order to increase attendance, offered free lunch in the temple cafeteria to members who would do two consecutive endowment rituals.
- D&C 88 directed the establishment of a "School of the Prophets," which was the forerunner of the later temples. Certain rituals were prescribed for those entering the school, including the precise wording of the greetings (v 127-137) and the washing of feet (v 139-141).All of these have now been abandoned in the present temples.
- The salutation in the temple should be with uplifted hands. (D&C 109:19) And that all their salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with holy hands, uplifted to the Most High...This form of greeting was abandoned many years ago.
- Sacred ordinances are never to change The order of the House of God has been and ever will be the same, even after Christ comes, and after the termination of the thousand years it will be the same;... (Teachings of the Prophet JS p 91; see also Isaiah 24:5, Malachi 3:7, condemning those who change God's ordinances)Since first introduced by Joseph Smith in the 1840s, the endowment rituals have undergone numerous changes, many of them being the removal of parts of the ceremony. In the early 20th century the "Oath of Vengeance" was removed (it had not been part of the original ritual introduced by Smith, but was added by Brigham Young after Smith's death). About 1920 the garment was modified. In the late 1930s the wording of the penalties was softened. In the 1960s the endowment was presented using motion pictures. About that time the patrons were allowed to remain partially covered with the shield during the washing and anointing, and patrons were allowed to wear the regular street garment during the ceremony rather than the older temple garment. In 1990 the penalties were completely deleted, the "Five Points of Fellowship" was deleted, the sectarian minister was removed from the drama, the wording of the "Oath of Obedience" was changed for the women. And in 2005 the washing and anointing rituals were made completely "symbolic," with the patron being touched only on the head. (For more details, see Mormon Temples and Temple Rituals.)
- The Word of Wisdom (the health code, to avoid strong drink, tobacco, hot drinks, etc. - D&C 89) was specifically said not to be a commandment. "A Word of Wisdom...not by commandment or constraint...." (D&C 89:1-2)Obedience to the Word of Wisdom is now required for advancement in the priesthood, receiving a temple recommend, baptism of adult converts, appointment to leadership callings, etc. That is, the church leaders have made it a commandment.
- Avoid meat, use meat only during winter or famine. (D&C 89:12-13, the Word of Wisdom - see preceding item)Most Mormons eat meat regularly all year round. The church owns the largest cow-calf (beef-producing) ranch in the United States: Deseret Ranches in Florida.
- Mormons are to use tobacco as a poultice and for sick cattle. (D&C 89:8, the Word of Wisdom)There is no record of any Mormon doing this. Nor do Mormon veterinarians follow this divine advice.
- Joseph Smith instructed Mormons not to proselytize non-Mormon children without parents' consent."...instead of commencing with children, or those who look up to parents or guardians to influence their minds, thereby drawing them from their duties, which they rightfully owe these legal guardians, [the missionaries] should commence their labors with parents, or guardians... and no influence should be used with children, contrary to the consent of their parents or guardians... therefore, first teach the parents, and then, with their consent, persuade the children to embrace the Gospel also. And if children embrace the Gospel, and their parents or guardians are unbelievers, teach them to stay and home and be obedient to their parents or guardians, if they require it;..." - Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pp 86-87
Mormons often entice young people - especially teenagers - to join their church, sometimes teaching them in secret at a Mormon friend's home, cautioning them not to tell their parents.
- Mormons are commanded by revelation and doctrine to obey the civil law. "We believe in ... honoring, obeying and sustaining the law." (Articles of Faith #12); "Let no man break the laws of the land..." (D&C 58:21, also 98:4)When it was not convenient for Mormons to obey the law, they often flouted it, sometimes quite openly. Examples:
- Joseph Smith performed many marriages without proper authorization from the civil government to do so.
- Joseph Smith and other church leaders entered into numerous polygamous marriages in violation of the criminal laws at the time forbidding bigamy.
- Joseph Smith set up a bank in Ohio without a banking license from the state, for which he was fined.
- At the time of his death, Smith was in prison on a charge stemming from his illegal destruction of a printing press owned by his critics.
- When laws were passed by the U.S. government forbidding the practice of polygamy in the late 19th century, the Mormons continued to practice it, asserting that the "law of God" superceded any human law. After the church formally renounced the practice in 1890, in accordance with the law (in order to gain Utah's admission to the Union), many church officials continued secretly to disobey the law by performing polygamous marriages and by entering into such marriages themselves.
- Mormon scripture asserts that it is not "just to mingle religious influence with civil government..." (D&C 134:9)Utah's civil government is strongly influenced by the Mormon church. Top church leaders, both directly and indirectly, influence legislation. The church has worked in other states to oppose legislation regarding women's rights, same-sex marriage, and other matters, often in a decisive way. The defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment (giving equal rights to women) was largely due to Mormon influence, as was the passage in California of Proposition 8 (banning same-sex marriage).
- St. Paul said: "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved" (1 Cor. 11:4,5.)Mormon men have their heads covered in temple for the "true order of prayer" and Mormon women generally pray with head uncovered (except during the "true order of prayer" in the temple. Mormon women rarely prophesy, and then only for themselves and their children (and are not required by the church to cover their head when doing so).
- God commands Mormons to confront critics in public and in private, and challenge them to "bring forth their strong reasons" against Mormonism. If they do so, the "shame" of their critics "shall be made manifest" (D&C 71:7-8)Rarely do Mormons (other than top church leaders or those apologists employed or called by the church) face critics of the church who are armed with verifiable facts that disprove Mormon claims or that put the church or its history in a bad light. Members are generally counselled NOT to engage critics beyond simply "bearing testimony" that they "know the church is true."
- Mormon scripture commands Mormons to teach ONLY faith, repentance and baptism as doctrine. Teaching as doctrine anything more than faith, repentance and baptism is of the devil. ( 3 Nephi 11:31-40, D&C 10:67-68, Mosiah 18:18-20)Although the Articles of Faith list those as the first "Principles of the Gospel," (adding the ordinance of conferring the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands), Mormon missionaries and sermons of Mormon leaders teach much more as doctrine. More is listed on the church website ("Basic Doctrinal Principles").
- Deacons should be married and have children and their own household. (1Timothy 3:12)Most Mormon deacons are boys 12 to 14 years old, unmarried and living with their parents.
- Bishops must be the husband of one wife. (1 Timothy 3:2)During the period when the church practiced polygamy openly (1852-1890) bishops were generally required to be polygamists.
- Elders, bishops, and high priests should be paid for their services. (D&C 42:71-73)The church takes pride in the fact that its elders, bishops, high priests and other clergy (except for top church leaders) are unpaid.
- The power to "seal" (perform marriages to last for eternity, etc.) will always be held by only "one man on earth at a time." (D&C 132:7)Every Mormon temple has a small staff of "sealers" who perform these rituals.
Nit-picking?Some may think that my list is "nit-picking" - why should it matter whether the priest hold the cup during the sacrament (even though the scripture calls for that), or that the congregation kneel during the prayer (even though the scripture calls for that)?
Does God care about such tiny, irrelevant things?
Of course he does! God is the nit-picking champ!
Recall that if the priest does not get the sacrament prayer 100% perfect (maybe leaving out a word, or inserting an extra word), he has to do it all over again. God wants it done the way he said to do it!
Same with baptism. If the baptizer should say "in the name of the Father, and His Only Begotten Son..." or "in the name of the Father, and Jesus Christ..." it's WRONG and not a valid baptism.
The Church Handbook of Instructions (p. 36, 2006 edition) says: The baptism must be repeated if the words are not spoken exactly as given in Doctrine and Covenants 20:73,
So who's the nit-picker?
Actually, the Book of Mormon also gives the words, and, although they are similar, they are different from D&C 20:73:
D&C version: HAVING BEEN COMMISSIONED of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
The BoM version (3 Nephi 11:24-25, the words of Jesus himself): HAVING AUTHORITY GIVEN ME of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. [emphasis added]
Notice that when Alma baptized Helam (BoM Mosiah 18:11-14) he said:Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world.
Poor Helam's baptism obviously was not valid.
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