Friday, June 26, 2015

For Your Money You Shall be Baptized, Mormon 8:32

Sometimes I wonder if we really know which way is up anymore.

Mormon 8:32:
Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.
The concept of using money to forgive sins used to be a really preposterous idea.  I used to think this verse was referring to the Catholic Church's practice of indulgences.  If you pay the church, you can receive "forgiveness" of your sins.  I would have never stopped to consider that there may be other instances of this since then, or in the future.  My disappointment appears when I discover that this is a practice now among Mormons.

"What???" you say?  "How can this be?  Jen's taking crazy pills again!"

In my church, we believe that remission of sins comes at baptism.  Below are two of many citations from missionary blogs, where as of last September, they are reporting that in order to be baptized, one must oblige several new key points.  Prospective members were required to attend church for three hours, three times, and pay a fast offering or tithing.

I completely understand the rationale being used by the mission presidents, however it is another literal fulfillment of what Mormon saw.  Juxtaposing the idea alongside the picture above is kind of repulsive, but even in sharing the situation with a family member, it was almost easy to dismiss.  Here are two accounts:

"WEDNESDAY, we taught Jean Franko about fasting because there is a new rule just for this ward, that the investigators need to fast and pay a fast offering in order to be baptized. interesting. it went really well and he said that he would do it. i feel like he has a need, but we just cant find it. he sort of avoids the topic of baptism, but with faith and patience i think we will get there!" - from a missionary's blog.
"They put in a couple of new rules for baptizing in this area. The investigators have to attend church three times, and they have to go to church all three hours three times before getting baptized. Also, they have to pay some sort of offering or donation before they can get baptized. It will make things a bit trickier but I can definitely see the wisdom in these rules, making sure that the converts remain active and faithful members of the church. We'll see what type of good results it brings!" - from another missionary's blog.

While this may be old news for some, as it was being reported last September, it has come up as an important issue in my mind.  I typed up these instances a few days ago, and hesitated to be discussing something that may be considered Mormon bashing.  A dear relative asked recently if I was leaving the church.  I hope anyone reading knows how much I love the church, and how much it pains and stresses my heart to see this happening.  I have spent 36 years of my life dedicated to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Literally, dedicated it.  What I have discovered through this dedication, is that we are so deserving of the prophetic warnings described in the Book of Mormon, and we are SO oblivious as to the stains on our garments.  They are blood red.

While on a Facebook hiatus, I decided to skim over the news feed after today's gay marriage ruling by the SCOTUS.  It's interesting to me, to see how much we stress and worry about being destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah (or about loving unabashedly), yet we are so unwilling to consider all the other prophetic warnings of potential destruction (or completely disregard them).  Is what folks do with their genitals (or our ignoring of it) the only measuring stick we use to determine our worthiness before God?  Or can there be other more heinous sins, which are more offensive to God?

While reading the many discussions among LDS and non LDS, I will say I am just as completely undecided about gay marriage as I was decided against it a few years ago.  I have no idea how God will sort this out, or if he really even cares.  But what I do know is that if I believe the Book of Mormon and Bible, I have to begin considering that there are so many instances in which I can sin, and it's time for me to stop being distracted with other people's sins.  I am worrying about my own, at least for the time being.  Please know I am not at odds with the LDS Church, but that I am deeply concerned regarding the prophetic forecasts which are coming true before my very eyes.

For more missionary blogs, referencing this fulfillment of Mormon's prophesy, see here.

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