Monday, March 20, 2017

Translation of a Translation!

Not even the LDS Church leaders can claim that their non-English Book of Mormon translations are taken from a first-generation source since the original gold plates are no longer available.  All of the dozens of foreign translations of the Book of Mormon have been derived from the admittedly second-generation English rendition (see Ensign [May 1995]:10), making these translations third-generation texts.  It would therefore appear that those who mistakenly claim that the Bible is nothing more than a translation of a translation or a translation would better apply their criticism to the Book of Mormon.

Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, Mormonism 101, pg. 118, note 7.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mormon “Unpaid” Paid Clergy

Mormons have a history or pridefully telling Christians that the LDS doesn’t have paid clergy and condemning Christian pastors who are paid.  

In regards to this claim, Bill McKeever had an editorial in the March-April 2017 edition of Mormonism Researched, the newsletter of Mormonism Research Ministry, exposing this lie.  The editorial, titled Paycheck stubs expose “unpaid ministry,” is as follows:

For much of its history, Mormon leaders have been very critical of Christian pastors ho receive compensation for their service to their congregations.  But when photographs of pay stubs from the year 2000 documenting payments to Henry B. Eyring (at the time a Mormon apostle) appeared on social media, along with a January 2, 2014 letter notifying Seventy Bruce D. Porter that he would be getting a raise from $116,400 to $120,000, Mormon apologists immediately went into damage control mode.  Ignoring the numerous denials made by LDS leaders who insisted that the LDS Church paid no ministry, they chose instead to defend what they felt was a rather modest amount, given what executives in the corporate world make.

Though the six-digit figure mentioned above does not include all of the other benefits LDS general authorities receive, haggling over the amount is really a red herring meant to deflect a person from the blatant deception that Mormon leaders have been practicing every time they proudly announce that the LDS Church had no “paid ministry.”  While that may be true for local leaders, full-time general authorities are most certainly compensated for their time and service.  And while it may be a modest amount compared to the corporate world, it is quite a bit when the public has been led to believe these leaders receive nothing.

With complete disregard to the fact that the “sons of Aaron” who served in the spiritual affairs of ancient Israel received compensation for their full-time service, and despite the fact that the apostle Paul cited Deuteronomy 25:4 in his robust defense of a paid clergy in 1 Corinthians 9, the Mormon Church likened this practice to being in the employ of Satan.  Members who experienced the temple ceremony prior to 1990 heard this dialogue between a character representing Lucifer, and another character representing a “trained” preacher:

LUCIFER: Good Morning sir!
PREACHER: Good Morning!
(The minister then turns and looks into the camera as if he is facing the Mormons participating in the ceremony.)
PREACHER: A fine congregation!
LUCIFER: Yes, they are a very good people.  They are concerned about religion.  Are you a preacher?
LUCIFER: Have you been to college and received training for the ministry?
PREACHER: Certainly!  A man cannot preach unless he has been trained for the ministry.
LUCIFER: Do you preach orthodox religion?
PREACHER: Yes, that is what I preach.
LUCIFER: If you will preach you orthodox religion to these people, and convert them, I will pay you well.
PREACHER: I will do my best.

Certainly this dialogue was meant to paint Christian pastors in a negative light.  While I see nothing unbiblical about compensating ministers for their full, or part-time service to their congregations, it is both hypocritical and misleading when any member of the LDS Church knowingly insists that their church has no such thing as a paid ministry.

[For more on this topic, see Sharon Lindbloom’s excellent article at