LDS ARTICLES OF FAITH, PART LXVI
Article 13, Practical Religion, Part II
The thirteenth LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. JOSEPH SMITH.” Christians also believe these things, so LDS aren’t unique. LDS Apostle James Talmage wrote The Articles of Faith (A. of F.) to explain the meaning of Joseph Smith’s 13 Articles of Faith. On pages 437-442 he explained the law of consecration and stewardship and used Doctrine & Covenants (D. & C.) 119 as the basis for what he said. D. & C. 119:1-4 says, “Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion, For the building of mine house (temple), and for the laying of the foundation of Zion and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church. And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one tenth of their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.” Notice that the Lord said, “I require ALL their surplus property.” But in my nearly 90 years of living among LDS, I haven’t seen even one member do this! Some LDS people own a lot of surplus properties, and some give generously to their Church, but I don’t know anyone who gives “ALL” their surplus property to their Church. Some don’t even give a tithe!
Talmage uses Acts 2:44-46; 4:32-35 to claim that was the norm for early Christians. It is true that some early Christians did sell their property and give the proceeds to the Apostles to distribute to those in need, but there is no evidence that the Lord commanded them to do that. In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira lied about what they did and died as a result. But it is obvious in reading Acts that not all Christians sold everything they had to give the proceeds to the church. Talmage promoted Joseph Smith’s “Zion paradise” by referring to IV Nephi 1:15-18 in the Book of Mormon (B. of M.). IV Nephi only has one chapter, and those verses say, “And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land (of America about 100 A.D.), because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lying, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ and heirs to the kingdom of God. And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land.”
The B. of M. description in 4th Nephi of how people lived in America around 100 AD sounds too good to be true, and it is! In the first place, there is no evidence that the B. of M. is a real history of real people. Nor is there is evidence any people lived the way the B. of M. describes them in IV Nephi. The Bible says, “ALL have sinned” (Rom. 3:23), but IV Nephi makes it sound like those B. of M. people were perfect and without sin. The Bible is a real history of God’s chosen people, yet not once are they described the way IV Nephi describes the people in America about 100 A.D.! Joseph Smith’s “revelations” about Zion or the New Jerusalem in the D. & C. show that he had some similar ideas about his one true church building a perfect Zion in MO. But regardless of what church someone belongs to, they are still sinners! God knows that, so it is why He saves sinners by His grace, not by their religion or their good works.
Talmage’s “Practical Religion” says, “The Latter-day Saints accept the doctrine that marriage is honorable and apply it as a requirement to all who are not prevented by physical or other disability from assuming the sacred responsibilities of the wedded state” (A. of F. page 443). Talmage said Celestial or Eternal Marriage must be performed by (LDS) Priesthood authority in an LDS temple to be accepted by God (page 443). LDS believe Celestial Marriage is required for individual salvation, that families are forever, and that in heaven they will have many children that populate earths ruled over by LDS men who will then be gods. The Bible does not say marriage is required to enter God’s presence. Jesus plainly said, “In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matt. 22:30).
Talmage also discussed part of the Word of Wisdom which is in D. & C. 89. The introduction over it says it is a “Revelation given to Joseph Smith, the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio February 27, 1833,” so it is LDS scripture. Verse 4 says “this Word of Wisdom (is) by revelation.” Verse 5 says, “inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good.” So, LDS are opposed to drinking alcoholic beverages, but verse 7 says, “strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.” I have never known any LDS or anyone else who washes their body with “strong drinks” or alcohol! Some may use alcohol to disinfect around a wound, but not to wash their body in it. Verse 8 says, “Tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.” Again, I’ve never seen anyone use tobacco for bruises or sick cattle. Verse 9 says, “hot drinks are not for the body or belly.” Hot drinks aren’t defined in D. & C. 89, but LDS say it means hot tea and coffee and that is why devout LDS see those who do drink tea and coffee as sinners. If hot drinks are the problem, iced tea or coffee should be okay, but devout LDS then say caffeine is the problem, but D. & C. 89 doesn’t mention caffeine. Verses 10-11 says, “All wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.” Notice, these are to only to be used in season. This would exclude dried, canned, or frozen fruits and vegetables! Verses 12-13 say, “Flesh also of beasts and of fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless, they are to be used sparingly; and it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.” I live among LDS, and they use as much meat as anyone else and it is not limited to times of winter, cold or famine. Verses 14-17 says, “All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts…Wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals.” Verse18 says, “All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings…shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones.” Does this sound like wisdom from God that will make you healthy and wise (verses 18-19)?
This concludes our commentary on all 13 LDS Articles of Faith.