Cross-Eyed Star Gazers
By Ronnie Bray
“Look!” they say grinnng from ear to ear. “Your Temple walls have five-pointed stars chiselled into them, and everyone knows that the five-pointed star with one beam facing downwards is the symbol of Satan worship!” What 'everyone knows' is invariably untrue, and this claim about symbolic stars on Temple walls is patently false.
Five pointed stars are ubiquitous, appearing on the flags of many nations, either singly or in groups. It is usual for one beam to point straight up, but there are a few exceptions, including the American Union Army’s, VII Corps, 3rd Division Badge,. That has a beam pointing downwards. It also has a crescent moon almost enclosing the star with its horns. [See right margin]
Do the ‘star-Gazers’ really believe that the badge proves the Union Army was Satanic and in league with the Devil? Really?
The five pointed star had been used to represent the human body, with feet, arms and head, and also the five senses of perception, sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, and in the time of the Bard, it represented our five wits, because it was believed then that human beings had five wits and five senses. The five wits were often held to be one and the same as the five senses, but were also known as the five inward wits to separate them from the five senses that were known as the five outward wits.
‘Star-Gazers’ show no regard for historic development nor the general principles of symbolism. That is the reason they so easily misrepresent the Mormon Temple’s stars. They are at best childish, and at worst deliberately contemptuous.
A Lesson For ‘Star-Gazing’ Christians
Hearken! Yes, Latter-day Saint Temples frequently have star symbols carved into their outer walls. They usually have bas relief carvings of the sun and the moon also. These three biblical symbols represent the three kingdoms to which individuals will be assigned by the Great Judge of all. That is the beginning and end of the carvings as far as Latter-day Saints are concerned. Symbols, even the those similar in form represent what the we believe them to mean and not what others dclare what they mean.
The star has long been a Christian symbol and is very important in the Christianity.
Christians are called "people of the book," because they read the Holy Bible. They are also called "people of faith" because they believe in things not seen. Imagery and symbolism plays an important role in lives of many Christians.
A star is a logical symbol when used in Christianity. God is the creator of the earth and the "heavens" and all that in them is.
A star is a rational symbol for Christianity, whether they are Latter-day Saint Christians or another Christian denomination. The Bible teaches that God is the creator of not only the earth, but also the heavens and that he set the stars in their courses.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
Here, "the heavens" refers to various celestial bodies such as moons, planets, comets, galaxies, and stars, like the sun. The Holy Bible informs the faithful that stars were positioned in the sky by the hand of God and God has given each of them a name,
"He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names."
God's created celestial bodies including the panoply of stars, encourage people to worship God because theses heavenly bodies also praise and worship their Creator.
"Praise him, sun and moon, praise him,
all you shining stars!"
God has used stars to commune with people as, for example, at the time of Christ's birth when the Magi ask,
"Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
The sages went to King told Herod and told him the exact time when the star had appeared. He then sent them to Bethlehem, charging them,
"Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.”
Like the four-pointed star, the five-pointed star symbol in Christianity is also known as the Star of Bethlehem and represents Jesus' birth and incarnation, historical factors that are central to Mormon belief.
The Five pointed star is also a Muslim symbol for multiple reasons, most notably on flags. This feature, part of the star and crescent that represents the theological caliphate of Allah, the Arabic word for "God."
The star in Islam represents the Five Pillars of Islam.
There are five basic acts or ‘pillars’ in Islam that are held to be mandatory by believers and are the foundation of true Muslim life. They are summarized in the hadith of Gabriel, and make up Muslim life, prayer, concern for the needy, self purification and the pilgrimage. They are:
- 1.Shahadah: declaring there is no god except God, and that Muhammad is God's Messenger or prophet
- 2.Salat: ritual prayer five times a day
- 3.Zakat: giving 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor and needy
- 4.Sawm: fasting and self-control during the holy month of Ramadan
- 5.Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime if one is able.
By these means the star serves virtuous principles in Islam that all Christians will agree are righteous and godly.
Is the star also employed as a Satanic symbol?
Yes, sometimes it is and no one disputes it. But all must bear in mind that the star is not the exlusive property of the Devil. Any reasonable person will agree that anyone can take any symbol and determine that it represents exactly what they choose it represents regardless that others employ it to mean what they say it means.
I introduce the case of four men waiting at a bus stop. One man is a Mormon Christian, one is a Muslim, another is a Protestant Evangelical, and the fourth is a Satanist. Outwardly there is nothing to signify which man is which of the characters derscribed.
As they wait, a big lorry passes on which is painted a huge five pointed star. Each of the quartette see the symbol.
“Aha,” says the Mormon. “That star reminds me of the birth of the Saviour Jesus Christ and also of the telestial kingdom where the unfaithful go after judgement because they refuse to believe God and did not take his guidance and directions during their lifetimes.”
“Aha,” says the Evangelical. “That reminds me of the star of Bethlehem.”
“Aha” says the Muslim. “The five rays on that stat reminds me of the five pillars of Islam that I must follow to please Allah and receive his blessings.”
“Aha,” says the Devil worshipper. “That star reminds me that I am going to a coven gathering tonight where I and my fellow devil worshippers will confirm our devotion to our Dark and Horned Lord, Satan.”
Each of the four sees the same star symbol on the lorry. It is there because the firm’s owner wanted to be a singing star but didn’t make it, so he started a trucking business and put the star on his wagons as a substitute for his failing to become an entertainment ‘star,’ so he used the star as a symbol of his failed and somnolent ambition.
The driver of the lorry sees the star each time he goes in and out of the cab but it meant nothing special to him, only the “Star Trucking Company.”
So, here we have six people to whom the symbol of a star holds different meanings, each of which is sane and sensible and well within the rules of symbolism.
No one, not even the most cunning among us has the ability to define a symbol in such a ways that it can mean nothing else but what he or she narrowly defines it.
Yet that is what ‘Star-Gazers’ do each time they see the stars adorning the Houses of the Lord dedicated by Christian Latter-day Saints. They make their foolish and perjured opinions known in letters, books, tracts, internet posts, &c in order to show that they know what they do not know, and that is what the stars mean to Latter-day Saint Christians.
May God give wisdom and determination to those that believe in him to not continue misrepresenting what others believe by religious symbols, but to practice the godly tolerance Jesus admonished his disciples to have for others and as Saint Paul taught:
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.
Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.
Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
1 Peter 3:8-11
Jesus has the last word:
And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village. Luke 9:52-56