LDS Temples — The Requirements for Salvation in Mormonism

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)

According to LDS theology, one must do certain things in order to receive exaltation (the highest level of heaven and Godhood). From the LDS manual Gospel Principals one must do the following:

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.

 

  1. 1.We must be baptized.
  2. 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. 3.Brethren must receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and magnify their callings in the priesthood.
  4. 4.We must receive the temple endowment.
  5. 5.We must be married for eternity, either in this life or in the next.

About Ken Cook

Ken Cook has written 15 post in this blog.

I agree with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, am married with two sons. I am finishing my Ordination here shortly. I have worked for Carm for a bit more than a Year.

10 Responses to LDS Temples — The Requirements for Salvation in Mormonism

  1. Marden says:

    Ken,

    It must really make you mad that Christ asked the rich young man to sell all he had and give to the poor, in order to have eternal life. Talk about compulsion!

    It’s OK. Christianity isn’t for everyone. It does require sacrifice.

    Marden

    • Ken Cook says:

      Marden,

      Actually it doesn’t make me mad at all… You see I read the Rest of the Text, which doesn’t center on selling things for eternal Life, but Following Christ…

  2. Marden says:

    Most likely, tithing has been around since Adam and Eve. Abraham paid tithing, Jacob paid tithing, the house of Israel paid tithing, the apostles mention tithing multiple times in the New Testament. It must be important!

    Ken, who do you pay your tithing to?

    Marden

    • Ken Cook says:

      Tithing… you mean a 10th of my income?? no one… I do give without compulsion to my local church, and to other believers and ministries. However, that has nothing to do with the LDS concept of paying 10% of your income to receive a Temple Recommend, so that you can achieve exaltation( salvation) and avoid Damnation ( in other levels of heaven)

      Can you show me Tithing as a concept in the NT; esp. the LDS number of 10%? Or is that Just based on Tradition? The Reality is that the number 10% isn’t even an OT concept, as the true tithe ( which was integrated as the state tax system) was between 19%-33% depending on how you interpret the relevant passages.

  3. Robert says:

    Quoting Marden:

    “Most likely, tithing has been around since Adam and Eve. Abraham paid tithing, Jacob paid tithing, the house of Israel paid tithing, the apostles mention tithing multiple times in the New Testament. It must be important!”

    Actually, the OT tithe was to the support the Levitical priests…is that where you pay your tithes?

    There is no such thing in the New Testament; there was no Levitical Priesthood…

    The truth is…the LDS tithe bears no resemblance to any biblical tithe….it’s purely a way to force compliance in giving money to the church.

  4. james says:

    sir,Jesus said if a man asks for your coat give him also your shirt if a soldier tells you to carry his equipment a mile ,which was law ,then joyfully carry it 2 miles. what you ARE asked to give is your love to our father.if it means giving 10% its to help real ministeries to send ambassadors of Christ around the world. Jesus also said judge not or you will be judged.i follow arnold murray and have NEVER heard him call himself a doctor.and he reads chapter by verse explaining what it means.i notice you ask for support and funds to keep your crap up,my suggestion to you is hit your knees a bit more often.pastor asks that if you’ve been fed then help him financially if you can.many times he has said that if you are on a fixed income you are’nt making anything an don’t give your money to anyone but give your heart to GOD.
    beware of claiming you know it all,the smart ones know we only use 10% of our brains ,some considerably less!

    sincerely,
    jim

  5. Shane says:

    Inherent in the word tithe is “tenth” (that’s what it means). In Malachi God says that the Jews had robbed Him. But how have we robbed thee? In not paying tithes and offerings God explains. Hmm, is God demanding money!? He says we’re robbing Him if we don’t pay tithes! It isn’t about some selfish agenda or means of wealth for God or His prophets. The great Melchizedec accepted tithes, but the Mormons are evil for doing the same. Yes, tithes supported the church and priesthood. It still does. I’d say robbing God (see Malachi – not a long read) doesn’t help you get to heaven. Mormons pay offerings too (these are voluntary and can be anything) – this is on top of the tithe. The tithe is historical, asked by God, appropriate, supports the church and helps many people. It is an ancient rule and it still applies because the Lord’s prophet said that this is how God will support His Church in these latter days (as He did in Old Testament times). We do follow a prophet – even above the scriptures because a true prophet, when speaking for the Lord, does speak scripture/God’s will. The early Christian Church would also have been considered a “cult” by definition. They were also a minority who followed a charismatic leader and sacrificed time/effort/money/etc to their church. Anti-LDS love to throw that “cult” thing at Mormons, but it works both ways.

    Regarding Temples:

    While you are reading Malachi, the last couple verses about turning the hearts of the children to the fathers and the fathers to the children in the last days – we believe is about geneology and temple work in preparation for the milennium when much more temple work will be going on. I wish you could know the truths and ordinances found in the gospel and in the temples (which temples you consider evil, or just a version of Masonry, etc – yet which ordinances I’ve personally witnessed the Jews performing in a room connecting to the Wailing Wall (old temple wall) in Jerusalem (which other have also seen and which you can go there and see for yourself (face the wall, then turn to the left and go in the door), which they told me was a practice to preserve their ancient temple works for the time that the temple will be re-built in Jerusalem. There is knowledge had by early Christians – proven by historical record, yet these pearls are trodden underfoot by anti-Mormons and their dark portrayals of temple ordinances). Ordinances (like baptism and those found in the temple) ARE necessary for salvation. I know you don’t believe that. Some Christian denominations believe baptism is an essential ordinance and back it up with Bible scripture. There is disagreement among you. A true prophet could clear that up for you. But you say Joseph Smith is evil (yes, I’ve studied all the anti-LDS stuff, as well as the opposing facts/data/history/etc that you “overlook”) and that President Monson just wants your money. Stones have always been thrown at prophets, even in their own land. The Book of Revelation says there will be prophets in the last days (at least two protecting Jerusalem). If they speak for God, I would call their words scripture if I were you – even if it is in addition to the Bible. God still speaks to us in the same ways He always has, one of them being through His servants the prophets. It pains me that most of you will not ever be open to learning these truths because of your taught and incorrect hatred of all things Joseph Smith and Mormon. Again, I know all the anti-Mormons things you have to say about us, and Joseph Smith. I also know the other side and I know which is true. I’d invite you to search for that truth as I have, but you think you have it already and that is sad to me. There’s always hope, and I guess that’s why I write this.

    • Caleb Neff says:


      Against Shane, Who Obviously Does Not Know What He Is Saying, If He Knows Anything At All.

      Tithing History:
      1: In the Old Testament, the purpose of tithing is to support the Levites. This is why Malachi could say that the Jews robbed God.
      2: Accepting tithes is not the same as demanding them. Did Melchizedek demand tithing? I’m willing to say that he enforced it for the purposes instructed in the Torah, but so what?
      3: A cult a) Is a heretical group that claims to be a member of a religion, and can even go so far as to assert they are the only ones who will escape perdition; b) Is a small congregation that practices the occult. Guess which ones Mormons are being accused of? Christians accuse Mormons of the heresies of polytheism, denial of the Godhead, and the baptism of the dead, among others.

      Regarding Temples, Redux:
      1: So what of the Jews? The only reason they aren’t performing sacrifices today is because their temple was destroyed, and never rebuilt. Does that mean we should perform sacrifices?
      2: And who are you referencing? Let’s see, it seems that you claim that Christians knew stuff that only Mormons know today. Are you deriving this from Mormon literature? We know that the Bible isn’t corrupted, the knowledge you reference is still there. Interpretation is everything.
      3: The ordinances of Christian tradition (not Catholic) are symbols of the atoning work of the Messiah, and if they are necessary for salvation, I will happily obey them. This is a secondary issue.
      4: The words of the prophets of the latter days will not be regarded as Scripture. “18 I warn everyone who hears the words of prophecy in this book: If anyone adds anything to these, God will give that person the plagues written about in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away that person’s share of the tree of life and of the holy city, which are written about in this book.” Their words, if true, must be heeded, but if I am interpreting this passage correctly, they must not be given equal authority with Scripture. I will accept correction on this happily.
      However, I am certain that your Joseph Smith was no prophet of God. He predicted that Jesus would arrive in the year 1891, but Jesus hasn’t returned. He gave a false history of the Native Americans (they didn’t have “cemiters”, honey bees are not native to America, horses didn’t come to America until the 16th century, they didn’t have elephants, etc.). He predicted that ALL THE NATIONS ON EARTH would be involved in America’s civil war, and that didn’t happen. Even if I am incorrectly interpreting Revelation 20:18,19 , Joseph Smith is not a prophet of God.

      Conclusion?
      “I also know the other side and I know which is true. I’d invite you to search for that truth as I have, but you think you have it already and that is sad to me. There’s always hope, and I guess that’s why I write this.”
      That you can know who a prophet is, is obviously not true. I’m still searching, and if all the problems with Mormonism can be answered in an elegant manner, I will have to give Mormonism a chance to prove itself to me again. It’s sad that you claim to know both sides, despite these flaws that have not been resolved, but there’s still hope for you.

  6. Pete says:

    Be prepared to be sad in this latter days because Jesus called them The Beginning of Sorrows and birth pangs. As we head for a One World government and One World Religion as predicted in the bible there will be more lukewarm church members and people calling themselves Christians but living the opposite of Jesus teachings than you can shake a stick at! It is inevitable!

  7. ChessGuy111 says:

    Hi, I just wanted to point out that what the author says in this post is completely relevant and appropriate, and not only for this denomination in specific, but for many others as well – some which are so full of heresies that they are not Christian, and must be recognized for what they are. Everyone claims they are successors to the early Church, say and even show a ton of “proof,” and yet their organizations remain contrivances of a diseased mind nonetheless. Every organization claims to be exclusive, a sole carrier of truth, and the sole proprietor for your wallet. Concerning money, everyone gives an appropriate amount- without compulsion, in contrast really- with a good intention and gratitude. There is nothing wrong with giving 10% or any other amount, and off course each person has his free will and inner strength, sometimes it’s good to set a goal and meet it. Wherever there is a true Church, the money will be used for good, for the true good like teaching , and many other very important things. I am sure the author of this article is not saying anything in greed- on the contrary, he is exposing the spiritual greed and spiritual theft that happens from the effect of any false teaching- it robs people of truth, inflicts psychological harm, confuses and disorients our spiritual and physical senses. It is wholly appropriate to be blunt and rough about wolves in sheep’s clothing here- because they are wolves and that is how they fight, whether they are fully cognisant or not. However, because they are in sheep’s clothing, many people will protect them- people who are not knowledgeable about these things, and think that the wolves are sheep, which makes it hard for anyone to be blunt and truthful (especially these days)- you say something and it is regarded and told off as simply your opinion and not fact. Millions of meaningless opinions and beings that respond to their environment and seek to survive, serve their Darwinian mechanisms and pass on their genes at the end. This is the kind of prospect that is given to us. This is not the world that you and I live in. Opinions can be true or they can be false. So stop trolling about happiness and truth in cults and other mistakes in the history of humanity, since it’s a harmful illusion for both sides of the conversation. The anger of the author is understandable- it is anger against deception.

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