There aren’t to many things that will get me fired up very quickly. Typically, when functioning in an apologetic roll, I am pretty calm, cool and collected. I try to be logical in my thought processes and cogent in my speech.
That said, I want to bring to you something that makes me lose my cool, something that even as I am writing this I can feel myself begin to become angry and saddened at the same time. I am going to address a small portion of Thomas S. Monson’s presentation at general conference from earlier this month, specifically portions of his discussion on the temple.
In an attempt to make sure that we are all on the same page in terms of LDS Doctrine, I am posting one of my preferred chart versions of the Law of Eternal Progression. (This one comes from Utah Lighthouse Ministry, which is run now by Sandra Tanner)
1. We must be baptized.
2. We must receive the laying on of hands to be confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
3. Brethren must receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and magnify their callings in the priesthood.
4. We must receive the temple endowment.
5. We must be married for eternity, either in this life or in the next.
With this background, lets pick up on President Monson’s talk. This is what he says:
If you have not yet been to the temple or if you have been but currently do not qualify for a recommend, there is no more important goal for you to work toward than being worthy to go to the temple. Your sacrifice may be bringing your life into compliance with what is required to receive a recommend, perhaps by forsaking long-held habits which disqualify you. It may be having the faith and the discipline to pay your tithing. Whatever it is, qualify to enter the temple of God. Secure a temple recommend and regard it as a precious possession, for such it is. Until you have entered the house of the Lord and have received all the blessings which await you there, you have not obtained everything the Church has to offer. The all-important and crowning blessings of membership in the Church are those blessings which we receive in the temples of God. (emphasis added)
Let me tell you what gets me fired up about this statement by the current Prophet, Seer and Revelator is telling us that in order for you to avoid damnation (not obtaining the fullness of celestial exaltation) you had better work to get into the temple. By the way, part of that is giving the church 10% of your income, and until you do that you haven’t gotten everything that the church has to offer to you. They are fleecing the 14 million people who call themselves Mormon. This man is telling us that if you want to get back to God you had better give us your money so that you can get everything we can give you.
Where in the New Testament do we see this? Why is Salvation now connected to me giving the church money? Why did Paul say “So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift… Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion… (2 Corinthians 9:5,7 ESV)?” Isn’t 10% of your income as requirement to get into the temple compulsion? I’ll let you be the Judge, but for me, the issue of being forced to give money to the church in exchange for salvation is something that tells me that the LDS church is not just heretical, but is cultic.