a story and a paraphrase

IMG_0354

Azusa Pacific Man Choir of 2008-2009 fame (i'm top left corner with my thumbs up)

The first two weeks of my summer were spent on a tour with Man Choir of Azusa Pacific University fame. The choir has 70 guys enrolled.  Here are two documented days of our tour that I wrote down for you. Why these two? Because they deal with Mormonism. Please read on. VERY fascinating stuff I must say.

Christian Church

Waiting to sing in the Christian Church in Utah

MONDAY
We woke up early. No surprise there. We left for Red Hills Southern Baptist Church in Red Hills, Utah at 9am.  The couple that invited us to the church were graduates of APU. Sweet couple. Well the drive was nice, mainly because I got a bunch of sleep.  It’s hard not to fall asleep to the drone of the highway… oh, and hours of driving. =]  We arrived at 4:30pm pacific time and our performance was at 6:30pm, but in reality by crossing the Arizona/Utah border, we crossed over into mountain time, loosing an hour (AZ doesn’t recognize daylight savings… too bad they’re missin’ out), so it was really 5:30pm. We were way late.  We had an hour to eat, set up the risers and sound system, and get our tuxes on.  Not much time for that, but we got it done just a little past 6:30pm.

This concert was special for a specific reason. Utah is believed to be the Promised Land for the Mormons. Because of the heavy population of the Ladder Day Saints (LDS), these Baptist church members experience a unique type of persecution.  It’s a type of discrimination. Of segregation.  People treat them cruelly and rarely make eye contact with them.  I’m sure the implications of this discrimination are much more far-reaching than you or I can fully realize. I have not yet experienced persecution on any level, so far as I can remember.
Well there wasn’t a whole congregation of people like there was in Arizona, but the few that did show up were full of joy and sincerely thankful for our visit.  They were encouraged that 70 men would come and sing for them. That was an encouraging stop for me. Praise Jesus.

That night we stayed in a Marriott. Again, praise Jesus.

TUESDAY

Waking up early again, we were served a complimentary breakfast by the hotel.  The next stop would be a public high school, which ironically enough was 90% Mormon.  Whatever.   It was interesting to see them respond to our songs. Most of our repertoire doesn’t coincide with LDS theology at all, (which I’ll touch on in a sec)…  but the kids were impressed and responded positively, and ultimately, Christ was proclaimed (Philippians 1:15-18).  The choral director even invited us to sing a few songs for his beginning choir.  Awesome. It was an interesting gesture, and for me, an unexpected one. Thank God that we were so well-received and that we were able to penetrate this Mormon-believing school with the truth of Christ’s Word.

The Marble-Painted, Soft-Wood Pillars.

The postlude to this high school experience was even cooler, for lack of better words.  Man Choir took a tour of the Mormon Temple Square.  THE Mormon Temple Square in the “Promised Land,” aka Utah…=]. Yyyeah. Well, we split into two groups and received a formal tour of the Square grounds.  We got to see the first tabernacle built by the first Mormon pioneers to America.  The entire building was constructed out of a type of soft-wood (the name of the wood escapes me), including the pews and the pillars; however, because the pioneers didn’t like the way the soft-wood looked, they painted the pews to look like hard-wood and the pillars to look like marble. The pillar pictured below is soft-wood, not marble. Weird? Yes. Their completely legitimate justification: They want the temple to look its best for the Lord. Well, I guess, amen to that. We toured a couple more insignificant buildings in the Square, then later ended up with the other group in the Mormon Tabernacle. The way in which the building was designed is unique.  Picture a football field. That’s how long the temple was. A huge organ at the front of the room took up 10% of the building.  Also, the ceilings were designed in such a way to allow the choir and any speaker to speak or sing without the use of any microphones. Perfect audible sound in the entire building.

0512091543-00
The Organ… yep.

When we entered the Temple Sqare, Harold, being the complete smooth talker that he is, talked the elders into letting us sing ONE song in the Tabernacle. Of course we pushed the envelope and sang two. A little background before I go on. First of all, there are unspoken ranks in the Mormon church. The 2nd Organist of the church is higher “ranked” than the elders.  We were singing on the Organist’s practice time; rather, he was allowing us to sing on his practice time.  I believe are second song was Pentatonic Alleluia/Holy, Holy, Holy, and one of the elders realized that it didn’t jive with LDS doctrine. He came up to Harold and said quietly, “Thank you, that’s enough,” and we then sat down. The organist PLAYED the song we JUST SANG (‘Of the Father’s Love Begotten) on the organ! HOW COOL! We gave him a standing “O” and asked him to play another… he agreed to only if we would sing more for him =D!! We agreed. =] WE SANG 5 MORE SONGS!!! Elder’s power usurped by the Organist. That’s God’s legit supremacy for ya. Here’s a few vids of us in the Tabernacle (Listen to both of these all the way through! You’ll miss the cool parts in both. AND listen at the very end of each… there’s about a 3 second delay. That venue was legit):

Now for some Mormon History. =] I’m just going to post this as a summary. I might be wrong on some parts, but you’ll get the general idea. If any Mormons read this, please feel free to correct me.

General Warning: I in no way support or condone or believe any of this history to be true.

Mormon Origins:

  • 13th tribe of Israel – Tribe of Mannaseh
    • Lehi was the prophet of this tribe
  • Israel becomes upset with Lehi’s teaching; Lehi has four sons – older sons included Laman and Lemuel and younger sons included Sam and Nephi
    • Lehi prophesied destruction and captivity of Jerusalem by Babylon
    • Israel didn’t like it -> God told Lehi and family to go to wilderness
  • Eventually, an angel revealed to the 4 brothers that Nephi would be chosen by God to lead family after Lehi’s death
    • brothers didn’t like this, especially Laman
  • After his father’s death, Nephi built a boat and took the whole Lehi family to the Americas, where they established a homeland
  • Lamanites escalate to violence causing Nephi to move his family elsewhere in the Americas
    • family of Lehi was then segregated
      • Nephites
      • Lamanites
  • Nephites eventually became wicked and rebelled
    • civilization dwindled
    • the moment Jesus was crucified, many natural disasters occurred around the world. One bein ghte “dust”-ification of all the Mormon monuments and cities… =|
    • when there were only 2,500 Nephites left, Jesus appeared to them (supposedly one of his appearances after he was risen)

      Jesus appears in the Americas

      Jesus appears in the Americas

  • Jesus then proceeded to spend many days with them
    • organizing the church
    • teaching them the gospel
    • blessing them
  • The last two Nephite were a man named Mormon and his son, Moroni
    • before dying, Mormon documented the history of the pioneers on golden plates
    • Moroni finished the last bit of history after the death of Mormon

This time was known as the “great apostasy” in which no new revelations from God’s prophets were heard, simply b/c there were no prophets (they had all been killed by the Nephites).

  • skipping ahead to 1819, Joseph Smith arrives at the scene
    • 14 years old, mind you
    • couldn’t figure out which church to attend… =\
    • stumbled across the book of James – “if any lacks wisdom…”
  • Smith goes out into the woods to pray
    • encounters 2 figures of light
      • The Father and Jesus Christ  – “the churches he seeks attendance at are false”
  • Smith later encounters the angel Moroni (yes, Moroni became an angel somehow) who give Smith revelations
    • shows Smith where the golden tablets are, which he then proceeds to interpret (by means of divine “inspiration”)
  • After he translated the plates, they go missing

TA DA! The End! Since then, the president’s (likened to the Pope of the Catholic Church) of the Mormon churches have taken liberties to divinely change “rules” of the Mormon church. The most recent rule change: Mormons may now drink caffeine, as long as it is cold. Psht!

Pray for these people. They need to be healed of their blindness to the true trinity known as God. The Alpha and Omega! The only God of everything. The Great and Mighty. Most of all, love them. That’s where true understanding and reconciliation take place, and with this comes the openness to hear the Word of truth! Thanks for reading. Comments?

Share

Advertisements
    • Eric
    • June 15th, 2009

    thanks for posting this.

  1. “They want the temple to look its best for the Lord.”
    That’s a bit metaphorical: clean, pristine paint to give the appearance of hard polished wood. But really the inside is just some soft wood that isn’t sufficient enough the way it is.

    • P.S. Where’s that Mormonism data from?

      • it’s a culmination of sources. at the front of the little mormon bibles they have in hotels, you’ll find a bunch of pictures. these pictures basically narrate what happened. we got a tour of the room where these actual paintings reside, and the nice mormon-man-tour guide walked us through the history. i did a bit of research on my own to refine a few of the details as well. ALSO, mr. andrew wall helped a bunch too, making sense of the vague inconsistencies in the tour guides stories. i guess andrew wall has grown up with mormon family (cousins and such, not immediate), so he’s heard it all. so those three things. AND some leaflets from the tabernacle that were free to take.

        there, did i back it up enough? haha =]

    • yeah… i know. it’s akin to white-washed tombs.

    • Dion
    • July 28th, 2009

    mormon.org would be a great site to look at for information 🙂

    aaand, be sure miles, to let the record reflect that whilst there are the TV mormons (The LDS), there are also RLDS, FLDS, and numerous break offs from the Church. You cannot lump all of them into one category.

    aaand, Romans 3:23. It’s not just the mormons that need to be prayed for. The baptists need it too 🙂

    Thanks!

    • Dion
    • July 28th, 2009

    and it’s Latter-Day Saints…not Ladder lol

    • hi dion! nice to hear from you! my goal in asking for prayer for mormons is in hope that the Holy Spirit might intercede and save them from their futile thinking. they don’t have the God’s Word like the baptists do, and i think you recognize this but are just being difficult. everyone sins… some sinners go to hell because they think they know what their worshiping, but it isn’t Jesus Christ. other sinners go to heaven because they have acknowledged thier wrongs and believe solely that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and that no one comes to the father but through him. romans 3:23? read romans 1. the whole thing. it should spur the church to action, but i’ve been let down.

      and i gave the general history of where mormonism comes from. it’s kind of like saying that all “Christianity” came from mr. martin luther, but really lutheranism came from luther.

      • can I just put in a plug for my blog right here? 🙂
        suspendingdissociation.blogspot.com

        okay, now that you know what to do with THAT…

        aand, Erin Joey Terregrossa was supposed to give you my number weeks ago. did she? if so, why haven’t I seen a text at all? hmm? HMMM???

        but anyway, I was just being difficult. I just wanted you to make sure and disclaim that mormons are not the only ones in need of saving in the quote unquote Christian world. And really, they do have God’s Word in the tangible Bible sense, in fact they use the Bible almost as equally as the Book of Mormon; The Book of Mormon is only supposed to be a tool in helping to “decipher” the Bible further, not a replacement.

        So do you believe in eternal salvation? The belief that once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, that the salvation He brings can never be taken away or put in question? No matter if you accept Him, and then go on a spree killing? Or do you believe in conditional salvation, the belief that one’s salvation can be taken away if one chooses to renounce God, or do malicious works in any way?

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: