Thursday, February 26, 2015

Not all LDS Artwork is doctrinally correct




THERE'S some great, inspiring artwork out there in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, sometimes the best of art takes significant liberties in accuracy. That factor is almost expected.
Artwork doesn't have to be totally doctrinally correct to be spiritually uplifting, but it is nice to always know correct doctrine.
Take the above artwork, found in several mortuaries in Utah. Done with an LDS accent, it is inspiring and uplifting, but not strictly correct in doctrine.

For example:

Christ’s influence is in the Spirit World, but he personally is not. No person meets Christ in the Spirit World after death. Only spirits can reside or visit there. Hence, why during the 3 days of Christ’s body in the tomb, that’s where his Spirit was – in the Spirit World, setting up missionary work there that continues to this day. 

Also, the popular painting of Christ with angels in the clouds that hangs in many LDS temples is also not perfectly doctrinally correct as Christ will be dressed in red at the Second Coming, not white.
My roughly colored in red alteration to the original white painting (see picture below) is doctrinally more accurate.





In addition, there's one popular LDS artist who uses people she knows to paint and represent church prophets and their families.
One Sunday some years ago, I was puzzled over who was represented in a painting at the entrance to the Relief Society Room in my ward meetinghouse. My wife said, "That's Joseph and Emma!"
I replied, "It can't be ... Doesn't look anything like them."
Sure enough, this popular artist gets by with such outrageous liberties, though I would never buy her work when they don't even resemble the originals.
-And it isn't just artwork in the LDS Church that can be doctrinally incorrect, so can some popular hymns be so.

"Praise to the Man," "Come, Come Ye Saints" and "If You Could Hie Unto Kolob" are examples of LDS hymns, though very rousing tunes, contain a little incorrect doctrine in their words.




Sunday, February 22, 2015

Can the evil dead return to earth?

THERE'S mention of "unclean spirits" in the New Testament (Mark chapter 5, Luke 11:24 are two examples).
How are these different from "evil spirits"? I'm not sure of that.
However, I am certain that "unclean spirits" are NOT any of the evil dead who have returned to earth.
Yes, the spirit world may also be on earth, but it is in a different dimension.
Also, when an evil (or unclean) person dies, they are in spirit PRISON.
A prison denotes confinement, being bound. So, how does an evil person die and return to haunt their house, or possess the body of a living person? They don't. 
(Yes, men may sometimes escape from the prisons of men, but I'm sure God's prison is escape-proof ...)
Repentance is the only possible means of escape from spirit prison.
On the other hand, the one-third of the host of heaven who were cast out in the pre-earth life for rebellion are loose all over earth, tempting us and are eager to possess even in a swine's body for a brief time.
These evil spirits have watched the lives of people, so they can impersonate them, perhaps even mimic their appearance.
If the righteous dead can only interact with mortals on very special occasions, then why can the evil dead run loose on earth? No, that's not consistent with an orderly plan of God.
(Such a scenario also unbalances the "temptation equation," if the evil dead have such power ... and the righteous dead do not.)
When Ted Bundy or Hitler died, they went to spirit prison and are confined there, tormented by their own heavy weight of sins. They are NOT roaming about the planet tempting, impersonating or possessing anyone.
Yet, I don't doubt that those 1/3rd of the host of Heaven cast out are eager to impersonate Hitler or Bundy to fool, confuse and further torment, afflict and lead mortals away from the truth of the Gospel.
It is these 1/3rd evil spirits who keep getting mistaken for the real deal -- the departed dead -- and they probably get a thrill out of that deception.

-This, of course, also means there are no REAL ghosts on Earth. No one who lived before as a mortal haunts any place. That is all done by impersonators, whose entire existence resolves around deception.

-So, it is looking more as if "unclean spirits" and "evil spirits" are pretty much the same -- both of the 1/3rd of the host of heaven who were cast out. 
The Biblical translation is confusing at the least in that regard. Too bad the Prophet Joseph Smith didn't have time to finish his revision of the Bible.