"We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly."
(The LDS 8th Article Of Faith)
One thing that is clear: the Presidential election of 2012 will be as historic as the Presidential election of 2008. For the first time in our nations history either a Black (ultra liberal "Christian") man will be reelected as President or a Mormon will be elected for the first time. Although we could write a book on that by itself, the election offers and interesting mix of polar diversity such the like I have never seen before.
Although the Mormon church aka The Church Of Jesus Christ Of The Latter Day Saints or simply the LDS Church has existed within America since 1823 when the supposed angel "Moroni" visited a 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith to tell him about a "record of ancient inhabitants of the America's which had been hidden in a nearby hill", the Mormon church has been delivering a version of testimony that it calls "another Gospel of Jesus Christ" which claims to "restore" the true believer to a true faith and belief, as all other churches and beliefs, beginning with the Catholic Church and the Protestant reformations that followed, are apostate and deceived.
Unlike Christianity and its predecessor Judaism, which both profess the existence of only one God, Mormonism has grown from an angelic revelation, to one man no less, into an international organization that has had its share of historical figures on the American cultural landscape.
The LDS Church holds what is viewed today as sound moral and traditional family values, however it is NOT Christian church as the organization DOES NOT hold that there is only one God and that Jesus is the uncreated God/Man which has and shares the same nature of God and redeeming man unto himself through the power of the shed blood. The organization "looks" Christian and its members even "claim" to be Christians. It's teachers and missionaries render terms and terminology similar to what are found within Christianity and Christian circles, but at the end of the day, terms filled with vastly different meanings which describe a different God and a different Jesus than those described within the bible. Two major differences are that within Mormonism, salvation is gained by good works as opposed to by faith alone, and the God of Mormonism used to be a man in the flesh and with like passions as what we as humans experience today.
Now, I know all of these things are sticky points to many, as some refer to the Book Of Mormon (their supplement to the Bible) claiming that it only reaffirms and explains what is in the bible. Many even offer the following message to refute many Christian assertions:
"that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations."
"Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world" ( 3 Nephi 11:14 )
These things appear to affirm traditional Christian teaching and doctrine. However, they must be understood in the context of other Mormon teaching that Jesus was a created being, additional teaching that he (Jesus) was the "spirit brother" of Lucifer (aka: the devil), and that those who die in the Mormon faith go to the highest level of heaven and will have the opportunity to be the "God" of their own universe, I supposed based on their good Mormon works and behavior.
When talking to any Mormon about scriptural and biblical things, as I've said, we must be careful to bridge the language divide in order to understand what is really being communicated. To a Mormon, Jesus was and is a created being who became God. This is NOT a Christian or biblical view of who Jesus is. For further details on Mormon doctrine and the difference between Mormons and Christians, please see the video that I have provided below by CARM Apologetic Ministries.
Could "The Apostles" Control A Mormon Presidency?
|Republican Party Nominee|
Don't get me wrong. As long as a person can conduct the business of the country, and is qualified to do so, I don't believe that anyone should be discriminated against because of their faith or lack thereof. So Mitt Romney being a Mormon is NOT the sole object of this particular article.
The objective however, is the examination of the unique nature or influence and control of Mormon Apostleship on potentially the most powerful leader of the free world.
One of the most interesting facts about Mormonism is that the word of direction and authority is not and never has been settled or closed. Just as Joseph Smith claimed to be a "prophet" who delivered instructions that were to be followed and venerated exactly as he delivered them under the "inspiration" of God, Mormons believe that their current leadership is "inspired" in the same way. There are currently 12 prophets or Apostles who lead the Mormon church which includes a group of 3 individuals known as the "First Presidency", all with the ability to speak as an "oracle" of God, even wholesale changing rules, directions and activity of the church. Though the President of the church ( a singular individual) has all final authority, these men together engage in directing the church and its members into missions, doctrine or whatever they would claim that "God told them" to do.
According to the Mormon web site:
"God has called prophets to lead His Church in our day, just as He did anciently. The current prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Thomas S. Monson. He is assisted by two counselors—Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uctdorf. Together, they make up the First Presidency of the Church (much like Peter, James, and John after Christ’s death)."
"All members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are apostles and prophets. The current Apostles are: Boyd K. Packer, L. Tom Perry, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, M. Russell Ballard, Richard G. Scott, Robert D. Hales, Jeffrey R. Holland, David A. Bednar, Quentin L. Cook, D. Todd Christofferson, and Neil L. Andersen"
|The Mormon or LDS Church Apostles|
According to Wikipedia the Quorum of the 12 Apostles and the First Presidency has significant and sweeping and controlling power over the church. This is what they record:
"The Quorum of the Twelve meets in the Salt Lake Temple, often weekly, to transact all business that requires decisions by the Quorum. They seek unanimity in all their decisions. (Doctrine and Covenants 107:27) If agreement is not reached, then matters under consideration are tabled for additional consideration. If a unanimous decision is reached, then the matter is taken to a joint council between the Quorum and the First Presidency, and the two bodies consider final action on the matter. "
"When the Twelve act under direction of the First Presidency, they have authority to receive revelation for their individual assignments, which include supervising other Church leaders and overseeing stakes and missions. Only the President of the Church, however, has the right and authority to receive revelation for the Church as a whole. (Doctrine and Covenants 28:2-3)"
Can The Authority Of The President Of The Mormon Church Extend To The President Of The United States?
Interestingly enough, there is no guarantee that the Mormon Apostles cannot ultimately control a faithful Mormon believer anywhere and at anytime. We already know that according to tax records Mitt Romney is a faithful tither to his church and according to his own testimony, in the video series below by Rock Center, is also a faithful adherent to the tenets and beliefs of the Mormon church. In other words, he takes his religion and faith very seriously and is more of a follower of his belief than President Obama is of what he "supposedly" believes which is the Christian faith. (Yes, I know there is a problem, I'm simply looking at his confession...OK)
Here is a reminder to all of us of what the government should mean to all of us:
"...that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
President Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg Address 11/19/1863
At a very dark hour President Abraham Lincoln had to remind the nation that we were better than what we were experiencing. The government is supposed to be of, by and for the PEOPLE, not of, by and for the church, synagogue, mosque, temple etc...
Don't get it twisted. I am not claiming that either the Mormon church or Romney have a plan to do evil. The fact is that we are quite thankful that the Mormon church has stood in favor of traditional family values and continues to do so. However, we cannot simply assert that the leaders of the Mormon church function with a rational mindset out of hand either. Over 8 million people are a lot of people to simply "control". As I have studied this topic from the theological point of view, I don't believe that a Mormon can be saved or is saved by adhering to Mormon doctrine for reasons stated above among many others.
However, I believe that the question that we should ask, especially if there is a serious chance that Mitt Romney could become the President of the United States, is what influence or control can the leader of the Mormon church have or exercise over a member of the Mormon Church especially if that member is a President who is a faithful Mormon believer? This is especially poignant, in my opinion, in light of the fact that a faithful Mormon believer believes that their Apostles speak as oracles of the true and living God, and should be obeyed fully.
If tables were turned, we would ask the same about a traditionally faithful Islamic President (if that ever should be the case) as both religions have displayed signs of a literal understanding of "God's" interaction, intervention and message in the present world, direct control by certain leaders over the actions of their adherents, and a literal eschatological construct and "hope" that begins with the destruction of the wicked or unbelievers, with the expectation of an exaltation of adherents of their religion.
Are Christians Any Different?
According to people like atheist Sam Harris, Christians are ultimately certainly no different as we would be constrained to do what God said to do in spite of rationale to the contrary, and we await a literal parousia or judgement of the wicked. Truthfully speaking, to some degree, he is correct. God's word is venerated by all true Christians and is without compromise.
The problem is further exacerbated as some Christians hang their actions on the words of a vicar, such as the Pope or a Bishop or Pastoral leader who exudes much influence over everyday affairs and expectations. However, there are NOT too many Christians that I can point to, who are faithful to scripture, that claim that God is giving equivalent extra biblical or canonical revelation to a group or set of leaders and that the instructions of those leaders are "inspired" to the biblical degree of inspiration and should be followed at all costs and in spite of what scripture has taught, endorsed or condemned. In other words most Christians believe that the Canon of scripture is the final authority (Sola Scriptura) has been summed up or closed and that no additional instruction can be added to the word of God by any angel, priest, bishop, minister or any other agent claiming to have delivered an authoritative word.
Although this "settling of scripture" or closing of the canon, does not guarantee that everyone will interpret scriptures in the same manner, it does however guarantee that there will be no new, modern day, made up texts that appear with equal status and veneration produced by the minister across the street. It also guarantees that the final authority for all things and the final judgement of all things are a product of scripture as opposed to the opinion of a man, men or a man made council or group of people. Within Christianity neither nationalism, background or spiritual "anointing" extends or opens the canon of scripture. Everyone is subject to the word of God and what HE has already established in the Earth.
Obviously, this understanding of a closed Canon is NOT true of the LDS Church and the variance in doctrine over the years serves to prove the case. Not only has there been wholesale reversals of what "God" said to the Mormon church, there is a culturally relative position on issues that could not have been delivered by a God with an immutable nature such as the God described within the Bible.
So as we embark upon this election time, this is something that I will in particularly have my eyes upon. One way or another I know God is ultimately in control no matter what men try to do. One thing is for sure, God certainly knows how to call his people into prayer and sincere living.
Mormonism in America & A Mitt Romney Presidency
The balance of this series can be seen HERE