On page 20 of ROT's hastily cobbled together pamphlet, "Through The Maze Of Mormonism," a direct steal from Walter R Martin's dark book, "The Maze of Mormonism" informs its readers that 'Much has been written about Mormonism by experts,' which is an honest confession that no one at ROT is an expert on Mormonism, it goes on to state its purpose:
"This booklet tries to make the understanding of what the Mormon church believes much easier."
It is unfortunate that this so-called Christian ministry is unable to stick to the truth but condescends to distort and misrepresent Mormonism to the best of its fiendishly cunning devilment.
The following is a brief list of some of the worst examples taken from this dishonest tract that aims only to muddy the waters and draw the unfortunate into the mucky ditch beside them.
- "Jesus was a polygamist and had children." p. 16.
Only Orson Hyde has ever claimed this, and it has never been nor is it now a Mormon belief. To take the position that because a Mormon wrote something makes it Mormonism is fatuous. It is the same as claiming that because one Evangelical [Benny Hinn] believes that he is Jesus Christ it must follow that all Evangelicals believe they are Jesus.
- All rituals called 'ordinances' or 'Temple work' can only be carried out in a Mormon Temple." p. 19.
'Temple work' is carried out in Temples, which it\s why it is generally referred to as temple work, but not all 'ordinances' are carried out in Temples. Baptisms, Confirmations, Ordinations to Priesthood Offices, administration of the Sacramental emblems, administrations to the sick, etc are carried out outside Temples in normal Church meetinghouses or chapels.
- "[There are] Men On The Moon and Sun." p. 22.
Two references are provided for this statement that, it is claimed, is what Mormons believe. The first is a statement by Oliver Huntingdon. The following essay can be read on its external site by clicking here.
"The idea that Joseph taught the moon is inhabited comes from the writing of Oliver B. Huntington in 1881 (his journal) and in 1892 (the Young Woman's Journal). Huntington claimed that Joseph Smith's father had given him a patriarchal blessing in 1837 which promised that he would preach the gospel to the moon inhabitants.
"Close examination reveals that Huntington was only ten years old when he was given this blessing and that his recollections were made over fifty years later. Also, it turns out that the blessing was given by his own father, not Joseph Smith's father. According to a copy of the blessing in the Church archives (Blessing Book, vol.9, pp.294-95), it was only one of many given the same day at the same meeting, and none were recorded in detail at the time. Orson Pratt took sketchy notes as the blessings were given, then filled in details later by consulting those who were there. An examination of the blessing shows that the recorded blessing was much more vague than Huntington remembered.
It also appears that Huntington may have picked up on a rumor that Joseph Smith had given a description of the inhabitants of the moon. This description, which Huntington recorded in his journal, is the original source of the anti-Mormon claim that Joseph described the moon inhabitants. Because his journal is also cited in a Young Woman's publication of the Church, it supposedly gives more credibility to the critics. The statement, which appeared in a two-page article by Oliver B. Huntington entitled "The Inhabitants of the Moon" in the Young Woman's Journal, is as follows:
As far back as 1837, I know that he [Joseph Smith] said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we d~that they live generally to near the age of a 1,000 years.
He described the men as averaging nearly six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style (Young Woman's Journal, Vol.3, p.263).
From what is quoted here, the most we can conclude is that 0. B. Huntington was familiar with rumors of statements that were attributed to Joseph Smith. However, there is nothing in the writings of Joseph Smith or those who recorded his words prior to his death that even hints of any these views about inhabitants on the moon. This earliest recollection was recorded in 1881, 37 years after the prophet's death.
Even if it turned out that the prophet held these views, nowhere does scripture suggest that a prophet is not allowed to speculate about things that haven't been revealed. Many people during the Nineteenth Century, both the learned and not-so-learned, were speculating on this subject. Joseph Smith's personal opinions and what he taught as revealed doctrine, however, are two entirely different things. The idea that he taught it as a revealed doctrine is based upon Oliver B. Huntington's fifty-year-old, correct or incorrect memory of his blessing, and a rumor that was current in 1881.
Another aspect of the matter needs to be considered. At the present time, man has no scientific or revealed knowledge of whether or not there are inhabitants on the earth's moon. The fact that a handful of astronauts didn't see any inhabitants in the tiny area they viewed when they landed on the moon decades ago certainly gives no definitive information, any more than visitors to earth who might land in barren Death Valley would have any idea of the billions of inhabitants elsewhere.
John the Revelator "saw an angel standing in the sun" (Rev. 19:17). Perhaps we have much to learn about inhabitants of other heavenly spheres.
A further response to this question can be read here
Needless to say, Mormons do not believe that the moon and sun are inhabited. We are peculiar but not bizarre! There is a divine reason for the peculiarity of Mormons and Mormonism.
1 Peter 2:9 ~ But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
Back to the Moon: the possibility that it could be inhabited is much older than Mormonism.
The Great Moon Hoax
A contributor to a discussion board referring to the Great Moon Hoax wrote:
"The even stranger thing is that this hoax is an exaggeration of his father, William Herschel's, views.
William Herschel was trained as a musician, and taught himself to build telescopes and conduct astronomical observations. By 1780, Herschel had built some of the finest telescopes in the world, and was writing papers claiming that the moon was forested, and 'in all probability' inhabited. This annoyed contemporary astronomers, including Nevil Maskelyne, who had established that the Moon had no atmosphere (by watching stars pass behind its limb). Although astronomers of the age wanted to dismiss William outright, they eventually realized that his telescopes were better than anything they were using. Moreover, he discovered Uranus, the first new planet since antiquity.
William Herschel, throughout his life (until he died in 1822) continually advocated the idea that other world were inhabited. In 1800, he even speculated (wrongly) that the interior of the Sun was cool and might support life. His ideas took the Copernican revolution to a logical conclusion. He knew the Earth was not the center of the universe, suspected the Sun was just one of countless stars, theorized that the Milky Way was simply one of the nebulae he spent his life cataloging, and proposed that life existed in all of those places. "
Can you find one biblical prophet that did not subscribe to some of the wisdom and cultus or his time and place? Was he any less God's oracle for that? Consider the writings of Saint Paul to the Saints at Corinth:
... Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
¶ For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
¶ For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
[1 Corinthians 1:17-32, Emphasis added]
God rarely takes the wise and learned to do His work. Paul was an exception. It is usually the weak and unlearned that are called to His service. This Divine custom is explained in the twelfth chapter of Ether, verse twenty-seven, in the Book of Mormon.
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Other examples of this are found in the call of the boy Samuel, the boy David, and the boy Joseph. Moses and Jeremiah protested because they considered themselves ill-equipped to serve and speak for God.
Of this passage, Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary says:
God did not choose philosophers, nor orators, nor statesmen, nor men of wealth, and power, and interest in the world, to publish the gospel of grace and peace. He best judges what men and what measures serve the purposes of his glory. Though not many noble are usually called by Divine grace, there have been some such in every age, who have not been ashamed of the gospel of Christ; and persons of every rank stand in need of pardoning grace.
Often, a humble Christian, though poor as to this world, has more true knowledge of the gospel, than those who have made the letter of Scripture the study of their lives, but who have studied it rather as the witness of men, than as the word of God.
And even young children have gained such knowledge of Divine truth as to silence infidels. The reason is, they are taught of God; the design is, that no flesh should glory in his presence. That distinction, in which alone they might glory, was not of themselves.
It was by the sovereign choice and regenerating grace of God, that they were in Jesus Christ by faith. He is made of God to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; all we need, or can desire. And he is made wisdom to us, that by his word and Spirit, and from his fulness and treasures of wisdom and knowledge, we may receive all that will make us wise unto salvation, and fit for every service to which we are called.
We are guilty, liable to just punishment; and he is made righteousness, our great atonement and sacrifice. We are depraved and corrupt, and he is made sanctification, that he may in the end be made complete redemption; may free the soul from the being of sin, and loose the body from the bonds of the grave. And this is, that all flesh, according to the prophecy by Jeremiah, Jeremiah 9:23-24, may glory in the special favour, all-sufficient grace, and precious salvation of Jehovah.
A few examples from sacred scripture will illustrate God's wont of calling the unqualified and least likely to serve Him. This always displeases the morbidly religious and hypercritical who do not trust God to get anything right if their own hand rests not upon it, and who then set themselves up in direct opposition to God's anointed servants.
Moses demurred when called by God to be his prophet, using the excuse of being slow-of-speech. But the Mighty Jehovah interrogated Moses,
“Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak” (Exodus. 4:11-12).
Moses was sent to “set my people free.” To do so, he had to confront the powerful Pharaoh. Filled and emboildened by the power of God - the Holy Priesthood - with which the Almighty had invested him, he humbled both Pharaoh and the mighty Egyptian Empire.
The weak and foolish servant of Jehovah overcame the proud, the powerful, the seemingly invincible, because that was what God called him and sent him to do, and gave him the vision and power to fulfill his mission. So it is with all Divinely appointed prophets.
1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2Above it stood the Seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6Then flew one of the Seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (Isaiah 1:1-8)
Isaiah was given the privilege of seeing Almighty God with his own eyes in the temple. Isaiah was afraid because he was filled with feelings of his unworthiness to see God and to be involved in what God was about to call him to do. In his terror he confessed:
Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
At this one of God's holy angels purged Isaiah with a fiery coal from the altar of sacrifice, declaring to the terrified man:
Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged
God called Isaiah, forgave him his sins, and set him off on his Divine commission as prophet to the nations to call them to repentance. Whom God calls, God equips.
“Now the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. I appointed you a prophet to the nations’” (1:4-5).
Like Jesus and Moses, Jeremiah has been chosen by God to his mission even before he was born, while he was still in his mother’s womb. Just as Jesus was “to save his people from their sins”, and just as Moses had been chosen and protected by God at his birth (Exodus 2), so Jeremiah was called before birth to be “a prophet to the nations”.
Jeremiah’s work was not only to impact Israel, but the other nations of the world as well. And he was elected and chosen by God before birth for this task. Thus, he is not a self-appointed messenger, for Jeremiah had no choice in the matter. He was set apart even before birth for this God-chosen mission. But Jeremiah resisted his call.
“Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a lad’ (Jeremiah. 1:6)”.
Jeremiah protests to God that because he is only a lad, a youngster, he feels unworthy and incapable of representing God to Israel. Besides which he knows he does not speak eloquently or express himself with clarity, so how can he speak God’s words?
God will not take “no” for an answer. Almighty God reprimands Jeremiah sharply:
“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you” (Jeremiah. 1:7-8).
Then, God presents to Jeremiah quite clearly the nature and extent of his call. He touches Jeremiah’s mouth , and then says to him,
“Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (1:9-10).
God promises to be with and to put His words into the mouths of those He calls to s[peak for him. They are God’s chosen, and so they will do the work to which they have been called, notwithstanding the sad fact that some men lacking8 God's Spirit will consider them foolish, weak, and even deranged.
Further, Jesus may “bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, sight to the blind, set the oppressed free” and proclaim “It’s Jubilee-time”! But he is also “destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed – and a sword will pierce his mother’s soul too” (Luke 2:34-35). So, God’s call may not always be good news, but it will be transforming and restorative news!
This, then, is Jeremiah’s call – for he has been called by God to do that particular work God has for him to do, like Moses before him and Jesus after him. And you – what about you?
The book of Amos begins by mentioning the prophet's employment when he was called.
1The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
But we only learn the circumstances of the Divine call of the Prophet Amos when he was confronted by a false priest in Bethel.
10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent [a message] to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos has said:
‘ Jeroboam shall die by the sword, And Israel shall surely be led away captive from their own land.’”
12 Then Amaziah said to Amos:
“ Go, you seer! Flee to the land of Judah. There eat bread, And there prophesy. 13 But never again prophesy at Bethel, For it is the king’s sanctuary, And it is the royal residence.”
14 Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah:
“ I was no prophet, Nor was I a son of a prophet, But I was a sheepbreeder, and a tender of sycamore fruit. 5 Then the LORD took me as I followed the flock, And the LORD said to me, ‘ Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’
6 Now therefore, hear the word of the LORD: You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel, And do not spout against the house of Isaac.’
17Therefore thus saith the LORD;
Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.
It does not matter that God calls humble fishermen to be his witnesses, nor does it matter what occupation or education those whom God calls to be His servants and instruments to move forward His work among the children of men, for God will call whom He will call, and God will send whom he will send.
If God sends the foolish to declare his will and word, that is God's business, and who will prevent Him?