Mormons today do not follow the Gospel of Christ. Instead they follow what I call the Gospel/Law of Joseph. The Gospel of Christ is summarized in Moses 6:59-68:
59 That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;
60 For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;
61 Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.
62 And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.
63 And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.
64 And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water.
65 And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.
66 And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever;
67 And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.
68 Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen.
And that’s it. First we believe in God and that he sent his Son to redeem us from the fall, and from our sins. Then this belief leads us to repentance (turning towards God). Then we receive the three part baptism of water, the spirit (fire and the holy ghost), and blood (atonement of Christ).
Notice that the baptism of water is the only part we can do ourselves. The baptism of fire and of the holy ghost is given by God, and the final sanctification comes through Christ’s blood which he offered as a sacrifice for us. When we have received this full three part baptism we are then worthy to be a Son/Daughter of God and receive a fullness of the priesthood (verse 67).
Thus, the Gospel of Christ was simple and straightforward from the days of Adam, and yet God’s children have continuously looked beyond the mark and sought out strange rituals and other false traditions of the world.
Here’s a summary of Gospel of Joseph/Law of Joseph that Mormons follow today, and compare it to the simple Gospel of Christ the scriptures describe.
- Have faith in the Brethren for they know the way
- Have faith in Christ and the scriptures, but don’t forget General Conference is modern scripture and trumps everything else
- Get baptized and confirmed a member of the church
- Faithfully follow all of your church callings
- Pay tithing on your gross pay
- Follow the Word of Wisdom
- Continuously repent and take the sacrament weekly as this is a Gospel of works
- Go to the temple to get your endowment which contains four basic parts = four orders of priesthood
Levitical = the initiatory (outward ordinances)
Aaronic = Instructional portion (symbolic schoolmaster to bring us to Christ)
Abrahamic/Patriarchal = Making covenants/oaths (as the patriarchs did for future blessings)
Melchizedek = Testing of knowledge (proving faithful to our covenants and being brought back into God’s presence). I’ll talk more about the endowment later, but for now I’ll just point out that it’s our equivalent of the Law of Moses hence I call it the Law of Joseph.
- Get sealed in the temple
- Do temple work for the dead (yes it is a gospel not just of works but of dead works too!)
- Still not done yet, you also need to endure to the end.
- And finally if you really try hard you’ll get your Second Anointing which means your calling and election are made sure.
I don’t know about you, but it seems like you don’t have much free time to follow Christ’s example if you’re always busy with church callings and temple ordinances.
I’ll talk about more of these ideas in detail in the future. For now I encourage you all to search the scriptures, and see whether they teach the Gospel of Christ or the Gospel/Law of Joseph.