1. I am sadly dissapointed that any Christian would judge that the Lord hears the publicly-displayed prayer of the man in the foreground, but that he does not hear those who pray within the House of the Lord.

    Matthew 6:5-6 ( http://bit.ly/unPU4K ) comes to mind, especially with the image of a trumpet in the background.

    SweetTeaAndBBQ’s self-righteous condemnation of an Angel sent from the presence of God not only flaunt’s Christ’s admonition about judgment, which he gave in that same Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:1-5 http://bit.ly/usCtpY ), but it reveals appalling religious illiteracy. I doubt that she has ever read a single word written by Moroni, who during his mortal ministry was a humble prophet of God. It is likely that all she knows about Mormonism comes from professional anti-Mormons.

    I have never understood how some evangelical Christians can so wildly misunderstand Paul’s words so as to construct a “Romans Road,” to heaven while denigrating the New Law that Christ gave in his Sermon on the Mount as “dead works.” (Matthew 5:17-20 http://bit.ly/vZvTR4 ) Lest there be any doubt that the Sermon on the Mount is indeed Christ’s New Law, read how he presented it to the Nephites after he had completely fulfilled the Law of Moses through the shedding of his blood. (3 Nephi 12:17-20 http://bit.ly/rzO9Mv ) This important clarification alone shows while the world desperately needs “The Book of Mormn: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

    When God sent Moroni to Joseph Smith, to prepare him for the translation of the Book of Mormon, most of his message to Joseph came from the Bible. How’s that for humility? For the sake of your religious literacy, if not your salvation, please read a few of the words of the mortal Moroni: Ether 12:6-41 http://bit.ly/uRG6xy , Moroni 10:27-34 http://bit.ly/uAzeOL

    Before you again mock any who profess to follow Christ (1 Nephi 8:24-34 http://bit.ly/uozWWB , 1 Nephi 11:25-36 http://bit.ly/vskzQv ), please read again the words of comfort of Christ to Moroni:

    “Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;

    “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

    “Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.” Ether 12:26-28 http://bit.ly/rT1G0f

    Tracy Hall Jr

  2. Curious. Tracy, are you in the bishopric over the ward boundaries where the Berean church building is located?

    Secondly, we could have a good long discussion sometime over the Sermon on the Mount and the central thrust of those three chapters concerning the Law and Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    But I just want to take a moment to linger on your first comment:

    “I am sadly dissapointed that any Christian would judge that the Lord hears the publicly-displayed prayer of the man in the foreground, but that he does not hear those who pray within the House of the Lord.”

    1. House of the Lord – Who do you indentify as Lord?
    2. And why is your temple restricted for only certain people to go and pray? What makes a man worthy to pray?

  3. >are you in the bishopric . . .

    No. I live in Provo Canyon, Utah. As a personal project, I search the Internet for anti-Mormon activity and do my best to respond to attacks on the faith of the Latter-day Saints.

    >Sermon on the Mount

    I highly recommend Jack Welch’s monograph, “The Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount,” which concludes, from evidences in the Nephite record, that the Sermon on the Mount is a temple text, given to prepare the Nephite saints for temple ordinances. They were forbidden to write these down, but the marvelous spiritual manifestations that followed are recorded.

    1. “The Lord” is the the Lord Jesus Christ, whom Latter-day Saints worship as “the Eternal God,” as declared on the Title Page ( http://bit.ly/mr5LvB ) of “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ” and by its first prophet, Nephi. (2 Nephi 26:12 http://bit.ly/n4VDFJ )

    When the resurrected Lord appeared to the Nephites, he declared, “Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.” 3 Nephi 11:14 ( http://bit.ly/mfpSIT )

    2a. >And why is your temple restricted for only certain people to go and pray?

    You know, of course, that our Sunday worship services are open to all. You can find the time and place where your LDS neighbors worship via the “worship with us” link at mormon.org. Please do come and worship with us! Everyone is also invited to the temple: we beg the whole world to come to the temple! But you must first meet the necessary prerequisites. Would you ask to be admitted to the university without first completing high school?

    All of God’s children can pray to him anywhere, at any time, without need for any house of worship. But the Temple is the House of the Lord – a representation of heaven on earth, and the Lord restricts access to his Temple to those who have covenanted with him and entered through the gate of baptism ( 2 Nephi 31 http://bit.ly/twBEAP ), and who regularly renew that covenant by partaking of the emblems of his sacrifice, repeating their baptismal promise to take his name upon themselves, to always remember him, and to keep his commandments ( Moroni 4 http://bit.ly/nz7fds )

    What the psalmist asked of access to the temple still remains true: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
    “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalms 24:3-4 http://bit.ly/vudntP ). For “holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever” (Psalms 93:5 http://bit.ly/tS5VVE ). See also Pres. James E. Faust, Ensign Aug. 2001 http://bit.ly/uEvKAo

    But it was Jesus himself who answered your question most forcefully, again in both the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon at the Temple: Matthew 7:6 http://bit.ly/rMifuy, 3 Nephi 14:6 http://bit.ly/vPbelZ

    2b >What makes a man worthy to pray?

    There is worthiness requirement for prayer. God loves the prayers of sinners. “God, me merciful to me, a sinner.” Luke 18:13-14 http://bit.ly/rqLvOI. I suspect that God even hears the prayers of sinners who do not accept the creeds of orthodox Christianity.

    But there is are requirements of worthiness and observance of set rituals to participate in the Lord’s wedding feast, and he who does not wear the proper clothing will be cast out. (Matthew 22:1-14 http://bit.ly/shTHKZ )

    The poor of the Zoramites were cast out of the synagogues that they had labored themselves to build and asked the prophet Alma what they should do to be able to worship. This inspired some powerful teachings about developing faith in Jesus Christ and exercising our faith through prayer: Alma 32 http://bit.ly/thbt6I , Alma 33 http://bit.ly/s5qsjB , Alma 34 http://bit.ly/rEGPaZ I especially recommend the words of Amulek in Alma 34:17-29 http://bit.ly/sIDACD

    Tracy Hall

  4. Ouch! I apologize for the sloppy proof-reading. I intended to write:
    “There is *no* worthiness requirement for prayer . . . ” ,
    “God, *be* merciful to me . . . “, and
    “But there are requirements . . . . “

  5. 1. To blend the Sermon on the Mount with a “Sermon on the Temple” is highly problematic. And through his book, Welch doesn’t seem to touch on the JST variants (maybe I missed it). Scholars do seem to make Matthew 5-7 very muddy with around 65 different interpretations, but the LDS lens opens up a whole new can of worms, not washing away any of the mud. So no, Tracy, I am not accomodating to the Nephite story like Krister Stendahl.
    2. “The Lord” is the the Lord Jesus Christ – But where does the Father fit in as LORD?
    3. I sat a table away from a man this past Sunday in Chuck-A-Rama. He had on his white shirt, white tie, a temple card in his shirt pocket, and a massive white bib to cover most of his whiteness. Is this what people should get from the Sermon on the Mount and righteousness?

  6. As I study what ‘Tebowing’ is, I am reminded about the teachings in the Bible about the differences between doing something in public and doing something in private.


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