The greatest failing of the LDS Church is that it is based on fear rather than on the Gospel. That’s not to say that the leaders use fear to control us, the same fears control them as well. There are three lies the devil uses to control us and our church members believe two of them and teach them openly.
1. We are not worthy.
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – the mortal Jesus Christ (Matthew 5: 48)
“Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” – the resurrected Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 12: 48)
“With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” – the mortal Jesus Christ (Matthew 19: 26)
We are taught we cannot have our calling of election made sure in this life, it is too hard. Yet with God, all things are possible. If these are impossible, who are we with? We are taught that we shouldn’t expect to see angels and so we don’t – we don’t have the faith. We are told we are a religion of miracles then taught not to expect the miracle. This makes no sense. We should be telling each other every week that we CAN do it. We CAN see angels, we CAN have our calling and election made sure. Instead of focusing on non-commandments, like what our neighbors in other faiths are doing or the Word of Wisdom, we should be talking about what what is important – receiving the Second Comforter and joining the Church of the First Born.
2. It’s us vs them in a depraved and evil world
“And let every man esteem his brother as himself, and practice virtue and holiness before me. And again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself.” – Jesus Christ (D&C 38-24-25)
“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” – Paul (Romans 14: 10)
“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” – John (1 John 3: 11)
Satan would have us believe that Earth life is brother against brother. If we fight our human family we won’t fight him. The magical “them” that’s out to get us isn’t the witches, gays, atheists, Muslims, or anti-Mormons. They are taught the same lie we are – us vs. them.One example,
“One evening I picked up the morning paper, which I had not previously read, and thumbed through its pages. My eyes stopped on the theater ads, so many of them an open appeal to witness that which is debauching, that which leads to violence and illicit sex.I turned to my mail and found a small magazine which lists the television fare for the coming week and saw titles of shows aimed in the same direction. A news magazine lay on my desk. This particular issue was devoted to the rising crime rate. Articles in the magazine spoke of additional billions for increased police forces and larger prisons.The flood of pornographic filth, the inordinate emphasis on sex and violence are not peculiar to North America. The situation is as bad in Europe and in many other areas. The whole dismal picture indicates a weakening rot seeping into the very fiber of society.Legal restraints against deviant moral behavior are eroding under legislative enactments and court opinions. This is done in the name of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of choice in so-called personal matters. But the bitter fruit of these so-called freedoms has been enslavement to debauching habits and behavior that leads only to destruction. ” – President Gordon B. Hinckley In Opposition to Evil
Who are these mysterious people pushing these things? That would be the free market. It would be us. I grew up with stories of non-member friends forcing members to do drugs, drink or pushing them to have sex out of wedlock. The one that frightened me the most was the one where two non-members held the Mormon down and poured beer in his mouth. That one made my first party very frightening and a huge relief when no one cared that I wasn’t drinking.
Just a few years back I heard a girl, home from college, bear her testimony and in it state her shock that her “scary goth” roommate supported her living her religion when her preppy school friends made fun of her. She was shocked and didn’t know what to think of this. Where would she get that idea that a “goth girl” wouldn’t be willing to help her or would be evil? She told us – at church and at her LDS home. She wanted to let us know that she now knew that the way we dressed didn’t say as much as she had been taught and that we should love everyone and not judge. It was a beautiful testimony.
We should be loving our neighbors, not looking at them as the enemy. Why do you think Jesus made the hero a Samaritan in his parable? It’s literally like saying the Tanners or the homosexual stopped to help the Mormon that was mugged after the Stake President, Mission President and General Authority all walked by. Yes, there are bad people in the world, but everything that isn’t put out by the Church isn’t bad and we are not drowning in evil any more or less than any other generation.
3. Satan doesn’t exist
“And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. …yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies…” Lehi (2 Nephi 2: 18)
“And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.” – YHVH, the premotal Jesus Christ (Moses 4:4)
“Yea, he saith unto them: Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm. And thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to lie that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him.” – The Lord Speaking to Joseph Smith (D&C 10: 25)
Satan is fine with people believing in God. We’ll kill each other over out gods. But he doesn’t want people to know he is real. He will tell us that he doesn’t exist – he is an abstract idea. He will tell people that he works for God, he’s not really a bad guy. He will tell us he is hated by God for wanting to bring mankind the truth. These are all lies. He is the prince of darkness, father of lies. He is evil and only seeks to destroy us. We must know he is real and that the us vs. them is ALL mankind vs. the devil and his legions.
We, as a Church. are all over that one. But until we move past his other two lies, our church will continue to fail and to lose members. Man cannot serve two master and neither can the Lord’s Church.