|1 Timothy 3 |
1 This is a true saying: If a man desires the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.
2 Now a bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, able to teach;
3 Not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for filthy lucre [money], but patient, not a brawler, not covetous.
4 He must rule his own house well, having his children in subjection with all gravity
5 (For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)
6 He must not be a recent convert, for fear that being lifted up with pride he would fall into the same judgment incurred by the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report from those who are outsiders; lest he fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil.
8 Likewise the deacons must be grave, not double talkers, not given to much wine, not greedy for filthy lucre [money];
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these be proved first; then let them serve in the office of a deacon when they have been found blameless.
11 Even so women [either their wives or the deaconesses, or both] must be grave, not gossipers, self controlled, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife,1 ruling their children and their own houses well.
13 For those who serve in the office of a deacon gain a good standing, and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
14 I hope to come to you shortly, but I am writing these things to you so that,
15 If I am detained, you may know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
16 Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached in the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.
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1 Deacons, Bishops and Elders of Christ's church should be the husband of one wife. The Mormons like to ignore these scriptures, pointing to Solomon, Abraham, David, etc. — all persons of the Old Testament. The Old Testament taught oaths and swearing, yet Jesus and James forbid swearing oaths in the New Testament. The Old Testament taught "eye for an eye," but the New Testament says "turn the other cheek." The Old Testament taught "destroy the foreign enemies," but the New Testament says "love your enemies." The Old says, "do not murder;" the New says don't be angry for that is murder in your heart. The old says, "don't commit adultery;" the New says even looking at a woman with lust is adultery.
So the Old Testament shows multiple wives, but the New Testament forbids multiple wives. The New Testament, is a higher standard than the Old. Jesus is the new covenant with a higher standard — a clean heart.
The Mormons counter and say, "But Joseph Smith was not a deacon or a bishop, he was a prophet." If Smith was a prophet as claimed by him, does a higher office justify less restraint than the lower offices? A bishop in the mormon church is a pastor, lower than the Mormon prophets and apostles, and limited to one wife. Shouldn't the higher offices have even higher standards that the lower? Any thinking man knows that his weakest point is his lust for women. And so how is the devil most likely to deceive a man? Through his weakest point. And if he can deceive a man into believing that multiple wives are somehow pleasing to God, despite the New Testament's clear commands to the contrary, that is the devil's best weapon against any male believer and any church they found. When Joseph Smith died, he had 34 to 50 wives; at least one was 14 years old. When Brigham Young revolted against Joseph Smith's son being named the new head of the Mormons, he left for Utah, after having married around ten of Joseph Smith's wives. There are other accounts of Joseph Smith marrying other member's wives for a short tryst, and then returning them to their husbands; all because he wanted them. These men were simply following the lusts of their flesh: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16.
George Fox wrote in Letter 264 regarding one wife:
So marriage is God's holy ordinance, and Christ, who comes to restore all things again into their place, said, 'Whom God joins together, let no man put asunder;' and brings it to the beginning again, how God made them male and female. So in the restoration in the image of God and sanctification, they are brought to the joining of one male with one female again; not for one man to have many women at once,God did not make many for him; but in the fall from the righteousness of God and his image, there they run together like beasts, a man and many women.
A sect founded by such deceived men, claiming a religious right to indulge their fleshly lusts, would be full of errors; and their sect is still full of their errors today. For example, the Mormons violate Paul's hierarchy of the church. In 1 Cor 12:28, Paul states: God has appointed some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets. The Mormons have this backwards: first is their prophet, and below him are the Apostles.
Interpreting 1 Cor 15:29 literally, the Mormons baptize people for the dead in their temple, which is a great source of revenue to their sect, (follow the money); this accounts for their research into their ancestors, thinking they can save them from Hell by being baptized into the Mormon sect after they are dead, by them standing in their place as their surrogates. They ignore the words of Jesus: For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Mat 16:27. And they ignore John in Revelation: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works, Rev 20:12-13.
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