The search for truth is not for the faint of heart. Truth will tear down perceptions, paradigms, traditions and the precepts of men. And if your beliefs have been founded on traditions and precepts of men, you may come to realize that what you thought was a foundation, may just be air beneath your feet.
26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth. (1Nephi 8)
Why was the great and spacious building in the air? Because it had no foundation. None. Its foundation wasn’t even sandy. Just air.
What is the only true foundation we can build on? The Truth, our Lord, our God, Christ.
12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. (Helaman 5)
If Christ is the only sure foundation, shouldn’t we give heed to his words? Shouldn’t we take him at his word? Wouldn’t his ways be the ways of Truth and righteousness? Wouldn’t he be our sure foundation?
When Nephi was talking with his brothers Laman and Lemuel they asked him questions about the vision that he and his father Lehi had experienced. They asked: “What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree?”
24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction. (1Nephi 15)
The iron rod was the word of God. If they would hold fast to it “they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them.” What an amazing promise! Surely we would do well to hearken unto the words of Christ as set forth in the scriptures.
Well, now that we know our sure foundation and know that his words will bring us through the mists of darkness, lets see how Mormon temple rituals measure up with the words of God.
When it comes to the saving ordinances, God does nothing in secret.
19. For the Lord worketh NOT IN SECRET COMBINATIONS… (Ether 8)
23. I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness… (2Nephi 26)
All saving ordinances are given freely and openly to all. And what is the saving ordinance that saves us? Baptism.
23 And he that believeth and is baptized SHALL BE SAVED, but he that believeth not shall be damned; (Mormon 9)
33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same SHALL BE SAVED; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. (3Nephi 11)
34 And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye MAY BE SAVED. (Moroni 7)
Is there any mention of sealings, washings, anointings, endowments, work for the dead to be saved? No. The scriptures are clear that if you believe, repent and are baptized you are saved.
When Jesus introduced his doctrine to the Nephites he made clear the path to salvation. At the end he gives a warning that anything more or less than his doctrine cometh of evil.
31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you MY DOCTRINE. 32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. 33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. 34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. 35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost. 36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one. 37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things. 38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. 39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. 40 And WHOSO SHALL DECLARE MORE OR LESS THAN THIS, AND ESTABLISH IT FOR MY DOCTRINE, THE SAME COMETH OF EVIL, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them. (3Nephi 11:31-40)
Is there any mention of temple ordinances or rituals in the doctrine of Christ? None. And Jesus makes it clear that anything more “cometh of evil.”
Here we have Jesus’ own words that anything more than believing in him, repenting, being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost cometh of evil and is NOT built upon his rock. It is NOT built upon Christ. Where does that leave Mormon temple rituals?
Remember what Nephi said about the word of God? “…whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.” If we don’t heed the words of Christ we’ll be lead to destruction. Where does that leave Mormon temple rituals?
When Jesus ministered among the Jews in Jerusalem, and when he ministered among the Nephites, he never tells the people to build temples or do any temple work. Why? Because:
47 Old things are done away, and all things have become new. (3Nephi 12)
When Jesus finished his work the veil in the temple was rent.
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (Matt 27)
No longer was the law of Moses and associated temple rituals needed. Old things were done away!
We are told in the church temple rituals are sacred not secret, but unless you’re a member they ARE secret. And swearing and oaths are made to retain secrecy.
A street gang could claim the same thing with their secret signs and oaths. Once you join the gang, you too can know all their secret signs and tokens.
So now let’s look at how the scriptures condemn secret combinations, secret oaths, swearing and secret tokens.
Mormon temple rituals have changed over time, but there used to be a part in the temple that required you to swear by your head. Lets see what the scriptures have to say about this.
14 And it came to pass that THEY ALL SWARE UNTO HIM, by the God of heaven, and also by the heavens, and also by the earth, and BY THEIR HEADS, that whoso should vary from the assistance which Akish desired should lose his head; and whoso should divulge whatsoever thing Akish made known unto them, the same should lose his life. (Ether 8)
34 But verily, verily, I say unto you, SWEAR NOT AT ALL; neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; 36 NEITHER SHALT THOU SWEAR BY THY HEAD, because thou canst not make one hair black or white; 37 But let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever cometh of more than these is evil. (3Nephi 12:34-37)
12 But above all things, my brethren, SWEAR NOT, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, NEITHER BY ANY OTHER OATH: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. (James 5)
Swearing secrecy is a common practice in Mormon temples. Clearly against the doctrines of Christ.
If you consider the ordinance of baptism, you’ll recognize that you do not swear or make an oath. When Jesus came to the Nephites he taught them how to correctly do baptisms. Here are the requirements.
23 Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. (3Nephi 11)
“whoso repenteth” and “desireth to be baptized” are the only requirements.
No swearing and no oaths.
Where do secret oaths and covenants come from? Satan.
26 Now behold, those SECRET OATHS AND COVENANTS did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit— (Helaman 6)
With these scriptures in mind, we can plainly discern why Jesus said of his doctrine that anyone that added more or less from the simple gospel of being baptized and coming unto him, “cometh of evil.”
40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them. (3Nephi 11)
In the beginning of this post two scriptures were quoted. One gave the promise that if we made Christ our foundation we would not fall. The other said that if we held fast to the word of God the temptations and fiery darts of the adversary could not over power us and lead us to destruction.
The safety of the sure foundation and the promise of making it through the mists of darkness can only come to those that heed the words of Christ. The scriptures are clear that Mormon temple rituals are NOT supported by the words of Christ. They are “more” than the doctrine of Christ, and in Christ’s own words “cometh of evil.”