Have You Been “Pickled in Mormonism”? Lifelong Conversion: Continuing to Advance in the Principles of Truth

Today I compare God’s revealed way of determining truth with the method found in Mormonism. Why is the difference important? God’s truth has been hidden from those who have been “pickled in ‘Mormonism” because of a false spirit which is described in this weeks Relief Society lesson:

“I will [present a] figure in regard to bringing about and getting this spirit in us, and digging deep that we in the time of storm, may not be driven off. Place a cucumber in a barrel of vinegar and there is but little effect produced upon it the first hour, nor in the first 12 hours. Examine it and you will find that the effect produced is merely upon the rind, for it requires a longer time to pickle it. It does not establish the law of right and of duty in him during the first 12 or 24 hours; he must remain in the church, like the cucumber in the vinegar, until he becomes saturated with the right spirit, until he becomes pickled in ‘Mormonism,’ in the law of God; we have got to have those things incorporated in our systems.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow Chapter 3: Lifelong Conversion: Continuing to Advance in the Principles of Truth, p. 68)

There is only one way to be “saturated with the right spirit” and you will never find that spirit in Mormonism. I know this because I believe the words of Christ who taught us how the Holy Spirit works. Being “pickled” into Christianity is not like Mormonism; it happens in an instant. The Holy Ghost brings an unbeliever to faith through a spiritual rebirth that Jesus calls being “born again”:

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:6-8)

Christ also taught that the Holy Spirit shall bring you to a remembrance of what has been taught by Jesus and His apostles:

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26) “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:25-26)

The Apostle John warned you about false spirits and prophets. In fact he commanded that you “try the spirits” so as to discern whether a spirit is from God. How do you do this? He revealed that those who aren’t from God—won’t even hear his words or the words of Christ’s other apostles:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world…. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1-6)

Do you really want to know whether Mormonism has the spirit of truth or the spirit of error? Then compare God’s revealed way of determining truth with the method found in Mormonism. We read of this method in the Relief Society lesson:

“Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you when you took no thought, save it was to ask me; but, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you,” etc. [See D&C 9.]

Here we read the LDS method of determining if something is true: You can’t just ask God—you must also “study it out in your mind” and then “if it is right” God “will cause that your bosom shall burn within you.” While these words were written specifically to Oliver Cowdery, President Snow explains how this method applies to you:

“So in regard to us, respecting the things which we are undertaking. If we expect to improve, to advance in the work immediately before us, and finally to obtain possession of those gifts and glories, coming up to that condition of exaltation we anticipate, we must take thought and reflect, we must exert ourselves, and that too to the utmost of our ability. We ought to … get the Spirit ourselves” (p. 65).

Can you see the difference between Mormonism’s false method of determining truth and what Jesus and the Apostle John revealed? In speaking of the Holy Ghost, Jesus taught “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

Mormonism tells you to “study it out in your mind”. But what if “your mind” doesn’t know very much about God’s truth? If you’ve seldom studied what Christ originally taught, how can the Holy Ghost bring His Words to your remembrance? What good will it do to study the matter out in your mind if you haven’t studied what the Holy Spirit has already revealed in scripture?

Only a false spirit would tell you to use your wisdom and study it out in your mind to decide if something is true. Does your mind possess more knowledge than the wisdom that God has revealed through scripture? Satan wants you to trust in your own knowledge and feelings. But doing so will expose you to false spirits and you will be led astray; just as President Snow was:

Although he was content for a time with this understanding, he soon yearned for a special manifestation of the Holy Ghost. He said, “I had had no manifestation, but I expected one.” …No language can describe the instantaneous transition from a dense cloud of mental and spiritual darkness into a refulgence of light and knowledge, as it was at that time imparted to my understanding. I then received a perfect knowledge that God lives, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and of the restoration of the Holy Priesthood, and the fulness of the gospel.”

President Snow “yearned for a special manifestation” but the spirit he received was not from God. And because He didn’t test the spirit, he was deceived. To those who “received not the love of the truth” the Apostle Paul revealed that “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”:

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

I pray that you will be as the Bereans; of whom the Apostle Paul praised:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed” (Acts 17:11-12)

All praise and glory to our Savior Jesus, for teaching us how to discern truth!

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2 Comments

  1. Jeremy King said,

    February 10, 2013 at 9:32 am

    The nice thing about the Restored Gospel is the ‘Common Sense” of it. Take for example what is taught here (taken from article above):

    “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you when you took no thought, save it was to ask me; but, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you,” etc. [See D&C 9.]

    Here we read the LDS method of determining if something is true: You can’t just ask God—you must also “study it out in your mind” and then “if it is right” God “will cause that your bosom shall burn within you.”

    NOW, while the author of this article states this as a reason why the LDS doctrine is false, lets apply common sense, As a parent (I have 6 and one on the way), is it good to instruct our children in ALL ways? If they wanted to build something, wouldn’t it be more gratifying to watch our children “study it out”, make a plan for themselves, then come to us for constructive criticism? Of course it is, we have so much joy watching them learn, STRUGGLE AND FINALLY SUCCED. God is not so different. Truth does not have to be so alucid. Think and ponder about what it is you are being taught here, if it tast’s good then it is good, but if it leaves you confused….it is NOT a correct principle. We are here on earth to learn how to be like out Father. Like children we will stumble and fall from time to time, may even get a little dirty, but over time we will acquire godlike attributes and knowledge, we will be pickled….so to speak. Like children, it takes many years to fully be converted, we can have a change of heart in a moment, but like anything good in life it takes time to develop.

    Drink from the source, not down stream after it may have been contaminated. Mormon.org or lds.org

  2. Mike R said,

    February 13, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Jeremy, I appreciate your concern for “common sense ” , and I think that that goes a long way in helping us sort out various challenges we may encounter in our lives and I think that the verse you cited above from D&C 9 could be applied in certain instances. But in taking seriously Jesus warning about false prophets coming in the latter days ( Matt 24:11,24; Mark 13:22-23) is concerned we should apply some common sense towards that warning by doing what Jesus’ apostles like John and Paul recommended we do —-test prophets Gal.1:8-9; 1 Jn 4:1 ; 2Jn 7-9. By evaluating the teachings of current prophets/messengers like Christopher Nemelka or Brian David Mitchell and any man who has made authoritative claims of being endorsed by God to reveal new truths for this ” last dispensation “, these latter times, we can safeguard ourselves from those of whom Jesus warned beforehand would come.

    Now I like the analogy you gave with your kids , but it felt short of fully addressing the danger we face from false prophets and how to identify them. From my experience in talking with LDS I have come to see that they don’t feel their leaders are false prophets because they are polite, well dressed , and talk a lot about living a moral lifestyle, LDS have somehow reasoned that a ” false” prophet always means a immoral, conniving person. A false prophet teaches inaccurate doctrine on very important issues, issues that directly affect a person’s relationship with God and to receiving eternal life. So, my hope for you is that you do indeed drink from the source of spiritual truth for in doing so you can come to identify those men whom Jesus said would come. That source is God’s word. Take the Bible and trust God will assist you in finding within it’s pages the truths that everyone needs to safely navigate through the spiritual counterfeits of these days in which we live. Consider also: utlm.org or 4Mormon.org Take care.


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