Facts On ---- The Mormon Church -- Chapter Twenty Three


#23 The Facts On The Mormon Church

23. How frequently do spiritistic revelations occur within Mormonism? How often are the dead contacted?

   Given its theology, Mormon interest in seeking the spirits revelations and contacts occur somewhat frequently within Mormonism. One major Church teaching is that the spirits of the dead can be assisted and even saved in the next life by work done on their behalf under the auspice of the Mormon Church. How did the Mormon Church adopt such beliefs? From the spirits themselves.

1) From its inception Mormonism accepted spiritistic revelation from the dead and other spirits.
2) Part of these revelations from the spirits concerned the importance of contacting the dead in order to assist them spiritually.
3) As a result, contacting the dead became a theological necessity within the Mormon Church.

   However, in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (NIV), God commands His people to avoid all forms of contact with the dead: "Let no one be found among you...who practices divination or sorcery...engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord..."
   In spite of this warning, the dead have always played a major role in the practice of Mormonism. Both Smith and many subsequent leaders in the Mormon Church were in regular contact with the spirit world. When dead family members or biblical personalities appeared to Joseph Smith, he welcomed them. A sermon delivered by Mormon Elder Parley Pratt in 1853 (five years after the celebrated spiritist movement began in America) indicates early Mormon acceptance of Joseph Smith as a "divine" medium. Jesus Christ was given the role of spiritistic mediator, and spirits was to be practiced in the Mormon temple. Pratt glorified in Joseph Smith's role as a spirit medium:

Who communicated with our great modern Prophet, and revealed through him as a medium, the ancient history of a hemisphere, and the records of the ancient dead? {i.e., who revealed the Book of Mormon? The spirit} Moroni, who had lived on the earth 1400 years before...

Who ordained our first founders to the Apostleship, to hold the keys of the Kingdom of God, and these the times of restoration? Peter, James, and John from the eternal {spirit} world. Who instructed him in the mysteries of the kingdom?...Angels and spirits from the eternal worlds. The Lord has ordained that...conversations and correspondence with God, angels, and spirits, shall be had only in the sanctuary of His holy temple on the earth...One of the leading or fundamental truths of Mormon philosophy {is} that the living may hear from the dead.

   Temple spiritism is also noted by Walter Martin, who cited Mormon theologian Charles Penrose in Mormon Doctrine: "The temple where the ordinances can be administered for the dead, is a place to hear from the dead. The Priesthood in the flesh, when it is necessary, will receive communications from the priesthood behind the veil {the dead}."
   The sixth president of the Church, Joseph F. Smith, continued to support spiritistic/mediumistic contacts within the Church:

Our father and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful...may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine presence messages of love, of warning, or of reproof and instruction....

   In harmony with the tradition of occultism in general, many Mormon leaders have claimed they have received spiritistic contracts from the dead "spiritual authorities"-Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, other Church presidents, etc.
   But if Mormon visitations from the spirit world bring unbiblical teachings (as we have documented), how are they different from any other spiritistic circles that claim visitation by the dead, such as Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church or various "Christian" spiritualist churches? These also bring unbiblical revelations that expose them as demonic deceptions (1 Timothy 4:1), as many former mediums have openly confessed.
   How does Mormonism justify its practice of contacting the dead? In harmony with much "Christian" parapsychology and religious spiritualism, the Mormon Church erects a false division between "godly" and "satanic" spirit contact. Allegedly, all Mormon contract with the dead is "godly" practice.
   But biblically there is no such division nor can Mormonism justify one. There is no biblically endorsed practice involving "godly" contact with the dead, or "ungodly" mediumism, "godly" channeling or spiritism; it is all classified as an abomination to God (Deuteronomy 18:9-13). The Mormon practice of contacting the dead is little different-in nature or consequence-than similar practices found in the world of the occult. Nor is there any doubt that the spirits who claim to be the dead are really lying spirits the Bible identifies as demons.
   Nevertheless, there are many books by Mormons that recount temple manifestations of dead family members as truly "faith-promoting" experiences. Joseph Heinerman's books Spirit World Manifestations, Eternal Testimonies, and Temple Manifestations detail scores of stories of dead family relatives and other spirits instructing Mormon leaders, missionaries, and laymen in genealogical and other Mormon work. In fact, these and other books reveal that for many Mormons, "true" religion involves not only ministering to the spirits of the dead by proxy baptism, but also receiving guidance and instruction from spirits of the dead for spiritual growth. Heinerman states:

The inhabitants of the spirit world have received special permission to visit their mortal descendants and assist them and impress upon their minds the primary importance of assimilating genealogical information and performing vicarious ordinance work in the temples.

Spirit world manifestations and angelic appearances have played and continue to play a major role in the upbuilding of God's Kingdom {i.e., Mormonism} in these latter days...

It should be gratifying to Latter-day Saints that those in the spirit world have expressed an intense interest and are increasingly concerned with the activities of God's people upon the earth.

   Mormon theologian Duane S. Crowther teaches standard Mormon belief when he says that "good" sprits return to the earth and converse with Mormons to:

* give counsel
* give comfort
* obtain or give information
* serve as guardian angels
* prepare others for death
* summon mortals into the spirit world
* escort the dying through the veil of death

   Such teaching is in complete harmony with the teachings of mediums and spiritists everywhere. In deed, at this point it is impossible to distinguish Mormon practice from general spiritism.
   In conclusion, there is no doubt that Mormonism is a spiritistic, occult religion. It has an occult origin, promotes occult theology and philosophy, and continues to promote occult practices such as contact with the dead.


Taken from The Facts On The Mormon Church, by John Ankerberg and John Weldon, published by Harvest House Publishers.