TESTING THE CLAIMS OF MORMONISM
Is the Mormon Church Really God's One and Only True Church?
Does it Matter?
"For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." John 3:20-21
If you are LDS, please ponder and honestly ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I love the Truth enough to truly seek it - no matter where it leads? Or, am I more interested in just finding justification for and confirmation of what I already believe? When I say that I know that the Church is true, do I really know it?
-If God revealed His will to me and it was completely different than what I thought it was, would I follow it? Or, would I continue to hold to my prior convictions, rather than to change my life in order to conform my life and my will to His truths and His will?
-Do I love God or the Church more? Is God really synonomous with the LDS Church to me? Do I believe that I can only come into God's Kingdom through the Mormon Church?
-What if the LDS church is not true? What if everything I have been taught to believe and have put my faith in is not true? Would I want to know it? Or would I rather not know about it and continue to press on believing that I will be blessed for being faithful to the LDS church even if it is not true?
Important questions. But your answers are even more important.
Preliminary Statement -- What is the reason for this website?
The purpose of this website is simply this: to spread the good news of life and salvation in Christ Jesus. This message is directed primarily to the LDS people. This site is also intended to serve as a resource for those who are investigating Mormonism and who are seriously seeking God's truths. As Jesus himself said, “I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 . “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life.” 1 John 5:12. This is the core and essence of Christ's message to the world. It is the core and essence of the message presented here.
“Why are you “targeting” the LDS people and those who are interested in the Mormon Church?", you might ask. The primary reason that I go to this trouble is that I spent nearly 40 years of my life as a faithful and devoted member of the LDS church. I attended the Mormon church faithfully, sincerely followed the prophet and the bretheren, served an honorable LDS mission, married in the temple and served faithfully in church callings. Notwithstanding my sincere belief in and devotion to the LDS church, my efforts were bringing increasingly diminishing spiritual returns and, ultimately, unhappiness and unquenchable emptiness. I was doing what I sincerely believed at the time to be right and true - all that the Mormon Church teaches. Why, then, was I so empty? For a long time I could not understand why. For a long time, I tried all of the ordinary Mormon prescribed remedies for my growing emptiness: I prayed harder, tried harder at my LDS scripture studies, I tried harder to serve better in my callings, etc. "I should be happy," I thought. "I belong to the one and only True Church on the face of the earth. Why, then, am I growing so empty and cold inside."
It was not until God Himself, in His great love and mercy, reached down and pulled me up out of the world, out of religion, and to Himself through His beloved Son that I came to realize that in all of my years in the Mormon church that I did not have life or salvation. I did not have the Son. Yes, I “believed” in Jesus as a faithful Mormon, but my faith was really on the LDS Church and its teachings and not in the Lord Jesus and His Word. I did not know or believe (nor had I been taught), as a faithful Mormon, that Eternal Life was in and of Jesus Christ alone - as the Lord Himself declared. Rather, I believed that Eternal Life was only available in and through the Mormon church and strict adherence to its teachings and commands. Yes, Jesus Christ was there in name and played a role in the Mormon religion - but Jesus Christ was really only part of the equation in Mormonism. But, according to the true and living Word of God, Jesus Christ is the entire equation. Unfortunately, this misdirected faith and devotion to the Mormon church that I had as a faithful Latter-Day Saint is true of most LDS members - because that is what is taught in Mormonism. Not that the LDS people are insincere or lacking in desire to follow and serve God. There are generally very sincere and have a great desire to do what is right. The simple fact is that their eyes have been diverted from the True and Living Christ to the Mormon Church which claims to be the fountain of all truth and authority on earth.
The purpose here is not to expose, embarrass or harass the Mormon people who I know to genuinely be people who sincerely want to follow God and do what is right. Instead, the purpose here is to illuminate the Word of God and to bring to light the message of Love, Life and Salvation that can be found only in and through the Lord, Jesus Christ. It is my sincere hope that what is written here will be received in the spirit of love that it was intended. If you choose to disagree, after full disclosure of the true facts concerning Mormonism and after truly considering all of that along with the Word of God, I respect your informed decision and wish you well. If you are LDS, however, chances are that you have not heard many very relevant and vital facts about the Church, its foundations, and its founding prophets and leaders (the LDS Church keeps these things hidden and out of the sight of its members as much as it can). If you are like I was as a faithful LDS member, you also probably have not truly studied the bible (particularly the New Testament) beyond a token read-through or maybe two, in order to be able to say and feel that you've "read" the bible and "know" what's in it. Whether that is the case or not, please do give careful consideration to the subject matter here - there is much that hangs in the balance. The God of heaven and earth is calling to you. He wants to free you from bondage and give you true life and salvation in and through his Son.
“Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, WHEN YE SHALL SEARCH FOR ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART.” Jeremiah 29:12-13
May God bless you as you earnestly seek Him in truth.
THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE -- THE PLAN OF SALVATION ACCORDING TO MORMONISM
How Can We Receive Eternal Life?
How Can We Receive Eternal Life?
Let's begin with the core and fundamental issue that is at the heart of the matter. Set aside for the moment all of the myriad of commonly debated issues with regard to Mormonism’s foundations, history, doctrines and practies and let’s instead focus on the core doctrinal issue that is at the heart of everything. That core issue is the claimed LDS path to Eternal Life/Salvation (i.e., the "Plan of Salvation" in Mormon vernacular). Because this issue is so important and of obvious eternal significance, everything else really is peripheral to it. We are not concerned here with history and a presentation of bad facts about the Mormon Church, except to the extent that it relates to this issue (nor is this website intended to be a Mormon Church History or factual informational resource - where applicable, rather than extensive quotations, we may refer the reader to other resources for easily accessible information on the topic).
The biggest and most important problem with Mormonism is that it directly contradicts God’s Word on how one may be saved (or, more closely stated to Mormon perception of the concept – how one gains Eternal Life or life in God’s Kingdom and presence). Before you move on, please hear me out and carefully consider the facts in this regard.
[Note: when we talk about "God's Word" on this website, we are talking about the bible. It is understood that Mormonism takes the bible with a grain of salt, while proclaiming acceptance of and a belief in it. But for the sake of consideration of the subject matter herein, let's assume that the bible is truly the Word of God. Leave the debate about the Mormon claim that the bible has lost many plain and precious truths for the time being and let's take what the bible says at face value - take God at His own Word. Christ declared that His words would not pass away. As you seriously examine the real facts, you will find that, indeed, Christ's words have not been lost or corrupted.]
The Mormon Church teaches that one of life's primary purposes (according to the LDS the Plan of Salvation) is for us to come to earth to seek and find the One and Only True Church and to then receive all of the required ordinances for salvation (that only the LDS Church has the authority and knowledge to administer). Once we have found the True Church and received all of its ordinances that are necessary for exaltation, we must continue to be completely faithful and obedient to the Church and the Prophet until the day we die. If you fail to do so, you are not worthy to enter into God's Kingdom.
But Here is What God’s word unequivocally declares on the subject:
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
1Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:1;9-10
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
“[W]hat must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved . . .” Acts 16:30-31
"[K]now this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is " 'the stone you
builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:10-12
Pretty clear, consistent and unambiguous, isn’t it. (And the foregoing are not the only quotes. We are not talking about a few cherry-picked quotes. There are many, many more that say essentially the same thing – Jesus alone is the Way to life and salvation.).
By Contrast, Here is what the “Prophet”, Brigham Young unequivocally declared*:
Whoever does not acknowledge Joseph Smith as a prophet is of the Antichrist
“For unbelievers we will quote from the Scriptures - "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." Again - "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God." I will now give my scripture - "Whosoever confesseth that Joseph Smith was sent of God to reveal the holy Gospel to the children of men, and lay the foundation for gathering Israel, and building up the kingdom of God on the earth, that spirit is of God; and every spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist, no matter whether it is found in a pulpit [p.177] or on a throne, nor how much divinity it may profess, nor what it professes with regard to revealed religion and the account that is given of the Saviour and his Father in the Bible. They may say that they acknowledge Him until doomsday, and he will never own them, nor bestow the Holy Spirit upon them, and they will never have visions of eternity opened to them, unless they acknowledge that Joseph Smith is sent of God. Such people I call unbelievers. They tell about believing in Jesus Christ, but they might as well talk about birds understanding the Hebrew language. This statement is no more positive than true.” - Journal of Discourses 8:176 (September 9, 1860)
Brigham Young also declared:
“Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the vail in the great work of the last days. I can tell our beloved brother Christians who have slain the Prophets and butchered and otherwise caused the death of thousands of Latter-day Saints, the priests who have thanked God in their prayers and thanksgiving from the pulpit that we have been plundered, driven, and slain, and the deacons under the pulpit, and their brethren and sisters in their closets, who have thanked God, thinking that the Latter-day Saints were wasted away, something that no doubt will mortify them - something that, to say the least, is a matter of deep regret to them - namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are - I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation - the keys to rule in the spirit-world; and he rules there triumphantly, for he gained full power and a glorious victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh, and was a martyr to his religion and to the name of Christ, which gives him a most perfect victory in the spirit-world. He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim - "Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!" But it is true. - Journal of Discourses 7:289 (Oct 9, 1859)
Joseph Fielding Smith also declared:
[There is] "no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth...no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God" Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p.190
Other LDS Church Leader Quotes:
"It is because the Lord called Joseph Smith that salvation is again available to mortal men.... If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation," Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 396, 670
There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 670
"I tell you, Joseph holds the keys, and none of us can get into the celestial kingdom without passing by him. We have not got rid of him, but he stands there as the sentinel, holding the keys of the kingdom of God; and there are many of them beside him. I tell you, if we get past those who have mingled with us, and know us best, and have a right to know us best, probably we can pass all other sentinels as far as it is necessary, or as far as we may desire. But I tell you, the pinch will be with those that have mingled with us, stood next to us, weighed our spirits, tried us, and proven us: there will be a pinch, in my view, to get past them. The others, perhaps, will say, If brother Joseph is satisfied with you, you may pass. If it is all right with him, it is all right with me. Then if Joseph shall say to a man, or if brother Brigham say to a man, I forgive you your sins, "Whosoever sins ye remit they are remitted unto them;" if you who have suffered and felt the weight of transgression—if you have generosity enough to forgive the sinner, I will forgive him: you cannot have more generosity than I have. I have given you power to forgive sins, and when the Lord gives a gift, he does not take it back again." Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p.154-155
"You call us fools; but the day will be, gentlemen and ladies, whether you belong to this Church or not, when you will prize brother Joseph Smith as the Prophet of the Living God, and look upon him as a God, and also upon Brigham Young, our Governor” Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 5, p. 88
Marion Romney (LDS First Presidency) said, "This Church is the ensign on the mountain spoken of by the Old Testament prophets. It is the way, the truth, and the life" (Conference Report, April, 1961, pg. 119).
When Joseph Smith was asked 'Will everybody be damned, but Mormons'? [Smith replied] 'Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 119).
“This is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth’ according to the word of revelation [D&C 1:30]. Here lies the truth. Here lies the priesthood. Hold to the Church. Do not ever lose sight of the fact that the Church must ever remain preeminent in your lives if you are going to be happy as the years pass. Never let yourselves be found in the position of fighting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You cling to it and be faithful to it. You uphold and sustain it. You teach its doctrine and live by it. And I do not hesitate to say that your lives will be the richer and the happier because of that. You cannot find happiness fighting the work of God. Those who have done so have gone down to a dismal end” (Gordon B. Hinkley, Ricks College regional conference, Rexburg, Idaho, 29 Oct. 1995).
"One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation," (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, p. 206)
Is anybody paying any attention? The Church is the way, the truth and the life? Belief in Jesus Christ alone is insufficient for salvation? There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith?
Forget the myriad of issues with the Mormon Church’s foundations and history. This alone, in and of itself, is enough to demonstrate that Mormonism is in direct contradiction to and in conflict with God’s Word.
The word of God is unequivocal: Christ alone is the door. Mormonism is a "thief and robber" of which we have been warned that espouses “some other way” (John 10:1;9-10). It simply is not any more complicated than that. Mormonism, at the bottom line, consists of nothing more than “the doctrines of men, mingled with scripture.”
God’s Standard for Discerning Truth:
Christ’s apostles made clear the standard for discerning truth:
"[B]ut there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:7-8
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." 2 Corinthians 11: 3-4
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:13
Thus, we receive very clear and strong warnings from Christ’s apostles about how to know whether a gospel that is being preach is true or not. As such, we would do well to carefully study and learn what the Lord’s apostles preached:
And what Gospel did the apostles preach? They preached, without any ambiguity at all, that salvation is by and through faith in Christ Jesus alone.
“[W]hat must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved . . .” Acts 16-30-31.
Any gospel that teaches any path to salvation other than through faith in Jesus Christ alone fails the scriptural Standard of Truth.
Because Mormonism teaches that salvation and eternal life are only in and through the Mormon Church, its ordinances and its authority, it is clearly another gospel than what Christ’s apostles preached. Though it claims that faith in Christ is necessary, it clearly presents a door that is other than Christ. Accepting Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church is not, and cannot be, the path to Salvation and Eternal Life, if you take God at His word. Did Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, Son of the Living God, creator of the world, make a misstatement when He said the He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life? No! That would be an absurdity. Jesus meant exactly what he said – and what His apostles reiterated over and over without equivocation. Christ alone is the door.
Faith in any man or institution does not comprise any part of the path to Salvation and Eternal Life, according to God’s own word. Eternal Life and Salvation are solely through the blood of Jesus and faith in Him. There is no other way. He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by and through Him alone and His atoning blood. The claim that the Mormon Church is the way (or any church, for that matter), the Truth and the Life is as false a doctrine as there has ever been concocted.
Mormonism's Slight of Hand:
While Mormonism tries to sound Christian and scriptural, if you look at what the Mormon Church is really saying, you see a much different gospel than what Christ and His apostles taught. With the Mormon Church's current unquenchable appetite to appear as "Christian" and as acceptable to the public as possible, it is not uncommon to see or hear the LDS Church or its apologists claim that the Mormon Church believes and teaches that the we can only enter into God's Kingdom (the Celestial Kingdom, to Mormons) by faith in Jesus Christ and by God's Grace. However, this is NOT the traditional teaching or belief of the Mormon Church.
To illustrate, let's look at the Third LDS Article of Faith:
"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, BY OBEDIENCE TO THE LAWS AND ORDINANCES OF THE GOSPEL....
Notice that the Third Article of Faith does not mention that we are "saved by faith in Jesus Christ". Rather it is by "obedience to the laws and ordinances" that we are saved.
In addition to “by obedience to the laws and ordinances . . . “, the Book of Mormon adds: It is “by grace that we are saved, AFTER ALL WE CAN DO.” (2 Nephi 25:23). (Grace, in Mormon doctrine, is purely conditional - according to Mormon Belief, Grace is not a gift from God. Instead Grace is a "reward" that is earned by perfect obedience and our 100% effort.)
What then are the “laws and ordinances of the Gospel” and the "all we can do" that are required, according to the Mormon teachings (sufficient to obtain the highest degree of glory – the Celestial Kingdom)? They are: Faith (in Jesus Christ, God, Joseph Smith and all succeeding prophets, the Mormon Church), repentance, baptism, confirmation, receiving the priesthood (if you are a male), temple endowment, temple marriage [and plural marriage, if you look at D&C 132 and the declarations of Brigham Young and other LDS leaders – though the Church distances itself from such statements currently – but without disowning or disavowing them], paying tithing, keeping the word of wisdom, keeping the Sabbath day, and all other commands of the church. Certainly, there is much more in this list or Mormon conditions than faith in Jesus Christ.
Let’s illustrate further. If a prospective convert to the Mormon Church wants to be baptised, how does one get past the baptismal interview to be allowed to be baptized as a member of the LDS church? Here are the baptismal interview questions:
1. Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
2. Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do you believe that [current Church President] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?
3. What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past transgressions?
4. Have you ever committed a serious crime? If so, are you now on probation or parole? Have you ever participated in an abortion? a homosexual relationship?
5. You have been taught that membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes living gospel standards. What do you understand of the following standards? Are you willing to obey them?
a. The law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relationship outside the bonds of a legal marriage between a man and a woman?
b. The law of tithing.
c. The Word of Wisdom.
d. The Sabbath day, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and rendering service to fellow members.
6. When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ and keep His commandments throughout your life. Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it?
(From the manual, Preach My Gospel, page 206)
Clearly, you’re not going to get into the LDS baptismal waters without professing a belief in Joseph Smith and affirming that the current LDS Church President is a true Prophet of God. In addition, you’ll have to commit to keeping the law of chastity, the law of tithing, the Word of Wisdom, and to keeping the Sabbath day. And, if you’ve committed certain past sins, you may not be allowed to be baptized at all or admitted into the Mormon Church, despite your belief in the Church and commitment to do all that is required of you to be baptized (Mormonism teaches that Christ's atonement and shed blood is not sufficient to cover some sins that are just too grievous for it to cover - for more discussion on this topic click here and here ). If, as the Mormon Church teaches, baptism is requisite to reach the first tier of the Celestial Kingdom, you’re certainly not going to be able to enter into it if you do not profess acceptance of and belief in the Mormon Church, its past and current Prophets and you make a commitment to being fully obedient to the Mormon Church, the Prophet and all of the churches’ commandments.
Are you beginning to get the picture that the LDS doctrine is “Another Gospel”?
Let’s go a step further in the illustration. In addition, before you can get a LDS Temple Recommend to enable you to get your Temple Endowment (an absolute prerequisite to entering into the Celestial Kingdom, according to LDS doctrine), you’ll have to successfully pass another interview with both the Bishop and the Stake President. Here are the temple interview questions:
1. Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost?
2. Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?
3. Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days? (a/k/a: Joseph Smith’s calling as a prophet, the Book of Mormon, all LDS scriptures, the priesthood, that the LDS church is the only true church on the face of the earth, etc.)
4. Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?
5. Do you live the law of chastity?
6. Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?
7. Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
8. Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
9. Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
10. Are you a full-tithe payer? Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?
11. Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
12. If you have previously received your temple endowment: Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple? Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?
13. Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?
14. Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord's house and participate in temple ordinances?
Again we see that Jesus is muddled in there - part of the equation. But there is so much more stacked on in addition to that. Without going through each question, for our non-Mormon friends, here are just a few and what they really mean:
A testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel in these latter days means believing in and affirming that Joseph Smith was a True Prophet of God and that he Restored the One and Only True Church to the earth, that he translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, and that the Priesthood Authority and all necessary Ordinances for our Eternal Salvation were Restored to the earth through Joseph Smith. It also means believing that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one and only True Church on the face of the earth and that it is the only means by which man can receive eternal life.
Another example: "Keeping the Word of Wisdom" means that you will completely abstain from drinking any alcoholic beverage, coffee, tea and that you will not smoke. If you can’t honestly say that you don’t drink tea or coffee, you are not going to get that recommend, you will not get your Temple Endowment and you will, thus, not enter into the Celestial Kingdom.
In sum, if you cannot affirm your belief in and commitment to all of the foregoing LDS Temple recommend requirements, you are not going to get the Temple Recommend, you will not get your Temple Endowment and you will, thus, not be allowed into the Celestial Kingdom and have the blessing of Eternal Life and progression (to be able to become Gods and Godesses and be able to create and populate and govern your own worlds in the eternities).
Again, clearly LDS doctrine is Another Gospel, such as Christ's Apostles warned us against.
The bottom line question is, “are you going to put your faith in the Word of God? Or, are you, instead, going to put your faith in Joseph Smith and the Church that he founded (that are in direct contradiction to the Word of God)?
Yes, I know that, as an LDS member, you have had your faith in the bible seriously undermined. However, the bible is extraordinarily reliable. [I highly recommend reading these two books as a primer to restoring your faith in the bible and its reliability: The Case For Christ, by Lee Stroebel; and The Case For the Real Jesus, by Lee Stroebel. For the those that are serious about digging deeper into the issues, there are numerous references to sources on all sides of the issues.]
The bottom line is that the bible is, indeed, the Word of God, plain and true.
I posit that, if you are going to put your faith in Joseph Smith and the LDS Church, instead of the Word of God, you had better first take a serious look at the credibility of Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church. To truly be honest with your inquiry, you will need to look beyond the mere propaganda of the LDS church (the Mormon Church wants to convince you that, if you want to know the truth about the Church, you must come and hear it only from the Mormon Church. The reality is that, if you want to know the truth about something, you need to look at not only what the one declaring its truth to be - you also need to look beyond for all of the relevant facts to know the full story. If it is truth and light, it will not mind an honest and full examination.). When you do you will find that there is a serious gap between the picture that the Mormon Church paints about itself and the true set of facts/evidence. Credibility with the Mormon Church is seriously lacking on nearly every issue that matters. Again, the foundational and historical facts surrounding the Mormon Church are not our task here. But, please, do not just assume that you know the real facts. I had spent nearly 40 years as a faithful, active member of the LDS Church and I came to realize that I knew very little about my lifelong Church that I had given my life to that point to – and so much of what I thought I “knew” about the Church and had been taught was simply false (and verifyably so).
To truly come to know the truth and the will of God, one must come to the point where he or she can honestly petition Almighty God and say to Him: “God, I want to know You and Your truths. No matter what the cost, I want to know what You want me to do and where I should put my faith. I want to know the way to You, the way to Life and Salvation. If what you show me is different than what I have been taught and have believed all of my life, I promise to follow You and Your Word no matter what the consequences are and no matter how difficult it may be. I invite you to come into my life and make me Yours.” Until that point, we are not being honest with Him or ourselves. Until that point, we are really only making God what we want Him to be. We are putting ourselves and our own desires and comfortability ahead of Him and ahead of the Truth.
When I finally reached that point and overcame my fear that what I might find might contradict what I wanted to believe, God came into my life and changed it forever. I am the least of the least, but I now belong to Christ and He is my Lord. By His blood, I am redeemed and have life as a new creature in Him. I know it because it is the promise of God and God is not such that He can lie. His words shall never pass away.
The Truth will, indeed, make you free.
Note: for more on the biblical standard on how to Test a Prophet to determine if he is a true prophet of God or not click here.
*And to those who will say that the declarations of Brigham Young (and others) are not authoritative and that such things really aren’t official church doctrine:
The following statement appears in the preface to volume 8, page iii of the Journal of Discourses:
The Journal of Discourses deservedly ranks as one of the standard works of the Church, and every rightminded Saint will certainly welcome with joy every Number as it comes forth from the press as an additional reflector of "the light that shines from Zion's hill."
Brigham Young Declares that his sermons are scripture:
I have tried many years to live according to the law which the Lord reveals unto me. I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually. In the days of Joseph, revelation was given and written, and the people were driven from city to city and place to place, until we were led into these mountains. Let this go to the people with "Thus saith the Lord," and if they do not obey it, you will see the chastening hand of the Lord upon them. - JoD 13:95 (January 2, 1870)