Adventures in Mormon Land, Episode 1: The Used Car Salesman
It is a long one, my post below, perhaps too long for a brand new blogger. You might get bored. You might get blogged down. You might quit reading half-way through. You might not like it. You might not ever come back to read my blog. What should I do? I can find but one answer: Just Post It! As Henry VIII said to one of his wives (probably)… I’ll be keeping you longer than you thought.
When Mormons evangelize, they like to start out by encouraging "open-mindedness" or "free thinking". Mormons flatter themselves that they are free thinkers, which they are in a sense, if you consider "free thinking" to be thinking without any boundaries. In that sense, they "boldly go where no man has gone before". And they want you to go there too. So, they will encourage you to read the Book of Mormon with an open mind and pray about it. And they will assure you that you will find it to be true. That is what they mean by "free thinking". You are a free thinker as long as you come to the same conclusion they did.
My son and I were at Maynard Motors, a used car lot in Midvale, Utah, when one of these Mormons evangelists cornered me. He started out with "you look like a free thinker." Then, he got his Bible out (yes, the real Bible), took me to Revelation 2:17, and proceeded to read. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. "Do you know," he said, "that there is only one church that knows what this means, and that practices this?" I didn’t really answer him, but he wasn’t looking for an answer anyway. He was busy launching.
He then told me about the Navajo Indians, and their ceremonies and their holy man, and he told me how they do this ceremony in a hut where they give a name. A secret name. But he said that the Navajos don’t know why they do it. It’s just an ancient custom that they still do. "And do you know where they learned it?" he asked (And he got kind of giddy while he awaited my answer). "They learned it from their ancestors who came up from South America, from the sons of Lehi who traveled to Brazil all the way from Israel and then up to Navajo country!"
You see, the Mormons believe that the American Indians are really Jews. Now, if you bring up the fact that there are DNA tests that say otherwise, they will quickly assert that that is only one or two tests. They haven’t proven against the "Jewish American Indian theory", so it must be true.
So, the Navajo Indians still practice giving this secret name, but don’t know why. According to Mr. Maynard, the Mormons do it too, and they know why. When you go to the temple, you get your secret name. Mike Haxton, a former Mormon bishop, told us all about the secret name. He was married in April, so his secret name was "Adam". His wife’s was "Adah" (or "Ada", I’m not sure which). They were told that they must not forget their secret name. But if they ever did, they should go to the nearest temple, tell them what month they were married, and the temple people would be able to tell them their secret name. So, apparently, if you are married in April, your name is Adam or Adah.
So, what is the point of all this? Well, to my friend at Maynard Motors, this meant that the LDS church is the true church. Because they give out secret names. Like the secret names talked about in Revelation 2:17.
I asked Mr. Maynard to explain to me why this was important. He explained that it was important because we need to have open minds, and we need to think freely, and (basically) we need to believe in the Book of Mormon and the LDS church. So, I asked him again why this was important. How will this affect my soul? I don’t think he really gave me an answer, so I attempted to get to the root of the whole matter.
"Isn’t it true", I asked, "that this is important to you because in order to get to the Celestial Kingdom I have to go to the temple? Aren’t you telling me this to convince me to become a Mormon so I can go to the temple and get my secret name?"
Please understand that I wasn’t trying to stump him or anything. I just wanted to get to the point. It was a long conversation. My son was falling asleep on the couch. We needed to get out of there. The conversation wasn’t going anywhere. So, I tried. And failed. His response? "You don’t have to go to the temple to get to the Celestial Kingdom! Who told you that?"
Well, I’ve lived in Utah for almost nine years now. I’ve had this conversation before. With the honest ones, it comes down to the temple. So, I told him, "Mormons told me that." "Those Mormons don’t understand their own religion," he said.
Which brings up one question that I don’t fully understand, though I think I might understand it. Why is it that Mormons run away from their key doctrines? Why is it that they don’t want to admit to what they believe? Why don’t they want us to know? If they think they are right and we are wrong, then why don’t they just tell us?
The truth is, the old-time Mormons did (and still do). My eighty year old neighbor, before he died, told me flat out that I couldn’t go to heaven because I hadn’t gone to the temple. But the modern Mormons want to be seen as a part of mainstream Christianity. In order to do that, they have to be watered down too (like modern Christianity… but I digress). They can’t call themselves Christians and at the same time assert that we all have to go to their temple to get into heaven. So, they hide that doctrine until they have you hooked, and they’re reeling you in.
The LDS fundamentally believe that in order to enter the Celestial Kingdom, you must go to the temple. And you should know that in order to go to the temple, one must be recommended by his or her bishop. The bishop won’t recommend you until you are worthy (it takes about a year to prove that you are worthy). And you can’t be worthy if you have sins in your life (smoking, drinking coffee, illegitimate children, etc.) Christ may have come into the world to save sinners, but the Mormon church is only out to save the righteous. Which also explains why the LDS church is so full of Pharisees.