What Is Mormonism?
This week (Jan 13) on Shabbat Night Live, imagine having to break away from family, friends, and a faith your family had known for seven generations. That’s the personal story of Jake Hilton.
Once YeHoVaH got Jake’s attention, everything changed. Today, he helps others understand what Mormonism is and brings the truth to those who are questioning it.
Watch the episode — included on this blog post.
While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) How does the longevity of a Christian Restorationist movement like Mormonism within the United States demonstrate a challenge for present-day believers who seek to know the original apostolic ethos of Christianity? How does our constitutional freedom of worship unwittingly make definition and distinction between doctrines difficult for those who need simple answers to honest questions about faith and worship?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) Similarly, how does the cultural context of multigenerational family membership within an established system of belief create a wide range of potential alienation for individuals who seek to be true to their own convictions? How do the shared moral and ethical values of otherwise divergent religions serve to intensify this conflict for the believer who would prioritize new discoveries over old principles?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) How does deference to a controversial figure like Joseph Smith reflect the dilemma of discernment for the seeker of salvation, who must weigh the relative value between tradition and valid documentation as a foundation of belief? What are some possible reasons for Smith’s endurance as the figurehead of a prominent Christian group instead of his dismissal as a marginal cult leader or power-seeker?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) How do works like the Book of Mormon and its attendant texts purport to be definitive authorities on doctrine by assimilating the divine word of The Bible? How does this pretense serve to relegate sacred scripture itself to a secondary position as a mere gloss on manmade statements rather than as the revealed word of YeHoVaH?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 33:00) How is Satan’s evil strategy of mixing lies with truth manifest in the conceit of a manmade religion like Mormonism, whose authority lies less within scripture than in the pronouncements of men? How is his design for the destruction of souls completed by the actions of apostate members who see no recourse but agnosticism or even atheism rather than a turn toward evangelicalism?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 40:00) What are some elements within Mormonism that make its adherents reluctant to recognize their doubts or shift into another form of Christian worship? How do some of its expressions of conservative family values, such as its internal welfare program designed to support its members during the Great Depression, suggest the potential of widespread betrayal for those who would reject this belief?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 44:00) How do the words of Yeshua in Luke 11:52 continue to resonate throughout history as an indictment against the hypocrisy of presumed knowledge rather than true authority? How has the human vice of imposture in both civil and ecclesiastical life remained a definitive example from ancient times to the present of our temptation toward being “like God, knowing good and evil”?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 48:00) Despite its monolithic reputation and the international evangelism of its adherents, the Mormon or LDS Church has had a relatively brief history of only two centuries. What is the likely future of this movement in light of competition from other Christian evangelical or denominational organizations, to say nothing of increasing questioning of the historical underpinnings of its key texts?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 52:00) How does Paul’s uncompromising exhortation in Ephesians 5:11 against false prophets (“expose them”) underscore both our human reluctance to speak truth to power and our vulnerability to those who would manipulate the truth for our ostensible benefit? How does the scriptural context of these words transcend the limits of the first century and remain a perennial standard for all those who seek salvation?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 53:00) Similarly, how are today’s faithful susceptible to false teachings based upon moral relativism and the sophistry of “woke” discourse? How does our fear of the absolute denotation behind the scriptural command to “hate evil” serve to expose our inner fear of recognizing a single inerrant truth, supporting it with our prayer and worship lives, and exemplifying it with our moral choices?