Sign, sign, everywhere a sign!
There are subtle signs that something is fundamentally flawed and dishonest with the Church, if you pay attention to the evidence. At times, it is easy to just listen to the propaganda and think the Church is on the up and up. Surprisingly, the sign that is most overlooked and under reported involves how the Church does not take Jesus Christ seriously. Let me explain.
The Church claims that Christ stands at the head of this Church and not the other Christian churches. He directs this church through revelation and that prophets reveal his will to the people. When we look at what the Church is putting out, they are doing exactly what Joseph Smith said the other churches were doing in his day; drawing near to the Lord with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. Let me give you some examples.
Every year or two, the Church puts out a Teaching of the Presidents Manual that all adult members study for the year. They started with the Brigham Young Manual in 1997. This makes sense, because when people think of the Mormon Church, what is the first things that comes to mind? Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, Word of Wisdom, conservative politics, anti LGBT, and Temples. What they do not think of is Christ. He is pretty far down the list in terms of being connected to the Mormons. Over the next twenty years they put out 14 more of these manuals.
The current one celebrates the life of Gordon B. Hinckley. Each manual follows the same formula. They have an introductory chapter or two about how wonderful that prophet is along with a historical summary of their life. Then each chapter covers teachings from their life about the typical topics the Church finds important. The current one starts with the restoration of the Church in chapter 1. Chapter 2 talks about the Book of Mormon, and so on. There is no lesson on Jesus until chapter 8. He has such little importance, that members do not need to have a specific lesson on him until then. Does that sound like they hold him up as the central focus of the religion? The next lesson that focuses specifically on Jesus is not until chapter 24. The rest of the manuals follow this same general pattern.
In addition, each manual has a picture of the prophet on the cover, not Christ. He is nowhere to be seen. In twenty years, they have not once put out a manual with a picture of Christ on it. Why no manual called, The Teachings of Jesus Christ?
Next up is the Temple. Whenever members speak of the Temple, it is always in hushed, reverential tones. They don’t speak of Christ in those tones, but they do with the temple because they have been told from cradle to grave, it is a sacred place. Is it really?
For those unfamiliar with the endowment ceremony, Joe and the boys became Masons. They went to Mason ceremonies, and then stole the substance of it, changed it by putting a Mormon spin on it and said it was a revelation from God.
In essence, the endowment tells the story of the biblical creation, the fall of Adam, with some sprinkling of various things such as oaths, Satan, prayers, etc. Here is the interesting thing about this ceremony that takes about two hours to sit through. Jesus is missing. He is this bit player in the movie who is an errand boy for God. The main character is Adam. In reality, the endowment covers two out of the three pillars of eternity as Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie used to call them. It covers the creation and the fall in great detail and then falls silent on the atonement of Christ. Why? Before I answer, let me say two things. The Temple is the modern day equivalent of, The Emperor’s New Clothes. The atonement is supposed to exist in the temple (it does not) for those who look with their spiritual eyes. Since no one wants to be found wanting spiritually, they say the Emperor is wearing clothes. Let me state for the record, the Emperor has no clothes. What the ceremony lacks is the third pillar of eternity, which is redemption from the fall through Christ. Why is it missing? Because, the ceremony was not really brought forth by revelation.
The next area where Christ is missing is in the talks of the Church. When I was a true believing member, I would sit through months of sacrament talks where the theme was family, tithing, Temples, Word of Wisdom, and so on. Months would go by before there was a talk that actually focused on Christ. It seemed strange to me then and even more so now, how little Jesus Christ is the focus of talks from the newest member to the Prophet himself. If you are not paying close attention, it will seem like the talks are mentioning The Savior, because most people see how the leaders use him in their talks. They use little phrases so they can get his name in the talk such as these,
“A True Millennial is a man or woman who lives now to help prepare the people of this world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and His millennial reign. Make no mistake about it—you were born to be a True Millennial.”
“As a True Millennial whom the Lord can count on, you will make history too!”
“Strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ by increasing your understanding of the doctrine taught in His restored Church.”
“I promise you that as you follow Jesus Christ, you will find sustained peace and true joy.”
“The Lord has promised us that He will never allow the prophet to lead us astray.”
All these quotes come from a talk given by Mormon Apostle, Elder Nelson, in a Church wide talk on January 10, 2016. These phrases are used at key points in the talk when he pivots to make some point. These quotes are the few times he even mentions Jesus Christ in his talk that lasts 30 minutes. He goes into great detail about Temples, Prophets, and dropping friends who are not committed to the gospel. He used these phrases about Christ to make it seem as if he was actually talking about the Savior. In fact, he had nothing of substance to say about the Savior.
All the brethren do the same thing.Go back to last General Conference. Many of the speakers did the same thing that Elder Nelson did. Very few talks in General Conference are actually focused on the Savior. Christ’s words are used in most talks to make a point about other things that have nothing to do with what He taught when He was on earth. It is a shell game.
Did you know that one of the official names of the Church in its early days was the Church of the Latter-day Saints? They left off the name of the person who is supposed to lead this Church.
Look at the talks of Joseph Smith. He rarely mentions the Savior. Look at his personal journals and writing. He rarely mentions the one he supposedly saw many times in visions.
The Church today is focused on a cultish worship of prophets and its business empire. Where is Jesus in all this? The signs are everywhere that something is fundamentally wrong with this organization.