Franklin Graham: Mormonism Will Never Be Labeled a ‘Cult’ Again

During a recent interview with CNN, Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), advised that a page that was removed from the ministry website last month following Graham’s endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, which classified Mormonism as a cult, is “not going to come back.”

“I was shocked that we even had that on there,” Franklin Graham said. “[W]e’re calling people names. If I want to win people to Christ, how can I call them names?”

“So, we just took it off,” he continued, insinuating that he made the final decision in the matter. “And it’s not going to come back, because I don’t want to be involved in calling a person a name.”

BGEA Media Relations Director Brent Reinhart confirmed to Christian News Network that Franklin Graham was the ultimate decider in the removal of the web page.

As previously reported, following a meeting last month with Mitt Romney, Graham’s ministry removed a page from its website that included Mormonism in a list of religious cults. Although the page no longer exists in general searches, it is accessible via Internet archives, which show that it was first posted in June 2010.

The page, entitled, “What is a Cult?” read, “A cult is any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the Biblical message of the Christian faith. It is very important that we recognize cults and avoid any involvement with them. Cults often teach some Christian truth mixed with error, which may be difficult to detect.”

It then listed among three bullet points on how to identify a cult, “They do not adhere solely to the sixty-six books of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. They add their ‘special revelations’ to the Bible and view them as equally authoritative.”

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“Some of these groups are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spiritists, Scientologists and others,” the web page stated.

Following reports of the removal, Billy Graham’s media representative, A. Larry Ross, released a statement explaining the move.

“Mr. Graham’s calling is not to pass judgment, but to proclaim the Biblical truth that Jesus is the only way to heaven, allowing every individual and group to fall along that plumb line,” Ross outlined. “He further stressed that salvation is the work of Almighty God, and that only He knows what is in each human heart.”

“We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign,” added Ken Barun, chief of staff for BGEA.

Several days after the election, Christian News Network contacted BGEA Media Relations Director Brent Reinhart to inquire if the ministry would now be restoring the web page.

“There are no plans in regards to that,” he said. “Not that I’m aware of.”

Christian News Network also spoke with A. Larry Ross Communications to obtain clarification on where Billy Graham stands on the issue of Mormonism.

“If [Billy Graham] would do something that would alienate an audience, he wouldn’t be able to reach them,” stated representative Melany Ethridge.

When asked if Mr. Graham personally believes that Mormonism is a cult, she said that he has never made a declaration on the matter “one way or the other.”

“Because Mr. Graham has been called to a ministry of proclamation, rather than apologetics, throughout this period he has never proselytized, targeted or labeled specific people groups, faiths or denominations,” added A. Larry Ross in a supplied statement, which was a virtual carbon copy of the statement issued after the Grahams’ removed the cult page from the ministry website.

This is not the first time that Billy Graham has been criticized by evangelicals for his beliefs and actions, however. In 1997, Graham came under fire after appearing on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power and stating that whether an individual comes from “the Muslim world or the Buddhist world, the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ.”

“I think the Body of Christ, which comes from all the Christian groups around the world, or outside the Christian groups —  I think everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ,” he said. “They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their heart that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have. And I think that they are saved, and that they are going to be with us in heaven.”

When Schuller replied, “This is fantastic! I’m so thrilled to hear you say that. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,” Graham agreed, “There is.”

In 2005, during an interview with Larry King, Graham repeated that he is welcoming of all religions.

“I love them all, and welcome them all, and love to be with them, and friends with all of them. For example, I just talked to a man in New York City — he was a Mormon,” he said. “And I’ve loved the Mormons for years, and yet there is a big divide between the Mormons and some of the other groups. But, I have great friends among the Mormons, and the same among the Catholics. Of course, I loved Pope John Paul II and watched the whole process of his suffering, his dying and the tremendous — my daughter went to represent me .”

King then asked, “What about those like the Jews, the Muslims, who don’t believe [in Christ]?” Graham replied, “That’s in God’s hands. I can’t be the judge.” King echoed, “You don’t judge them?” Graham answered, “No. Going to hell and all that.”

“What is going on here?” asked John McArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, California, in response to Graham’s comments. “It’s an almost inconceivable contradiction that a man who believes that has raised millions and millions and millions of dollars to gather people from all over the world into large stadiums and tell them they need to believe in Jesus Christ.”

Earlier this year, Franklin Graham also was questioned on MSNBC’s Morning Joe about his beliefs regarding those of other faiths, specifically whether Mormons are of the “Judeo-Christian faith.”

“Most Christians would not recognize Mormons as part of the Christian faith,” he stated, but did not reveal his personal beliefs on the matter. “I’m just saying that most Christians would not recognize Mormonism. Of course they believe in Jesus Christ. They believe in a lot of other things, too, that we don’t accept theologically.”

“We may have some disagreement and that’s fine,” he added last week. “I’m an evangelist. I want to reach as many people as I can. If I’m calling them names, it doesn’t work.”

“[Mormonism] is a damning religious system,” McArthur said. “It is so far from Christianity that it is more like paganism than Christianity.”

“Evangelicalism is in a desperate situation, and that is made manifest by its inability to distinguish who is a true Christian. We have abandoned any clear understanding of what it means to really be saved,” he asserted. “We have no right to redefine [salvation] in our own terms in order to be be popular or in order to be accepted. True and historic Christianity has never been confused about what it means to be a Christian.”

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  • Linda Liddic

    So hurts to witness the change in Billy and Franklin.

    • M.Metzger

      I was once a great admirer of Billy Graham that is until I seen the video where he clearly said that you didn’t need Jesus to get to Heaven . Well I don’t know what Bible Billy reads from but I read from the King James Version 1611 Edition and it no where says that you can get to Heaven without the Christ and in fact says just the opposite doesn’t it ? No I agree with you it does hurt when we find that those we trusted to teach us the true Word of God are nothing but Wolves or Shills !

  • The Grahams are so hypocritical as we all are, these men are dangerous having a platform to spew these heresies. Pray for them.

    • GregBarron

      Kath Ignoble, you are cynical and to call these men hypocritical is evidence of your own hypocrisy and you have a spirit of contention, which as the Book of Mormon states: “Contention is of the Devil”. Thank you for revealing yourself.

  • Mormonism teaches a Lie against Gods 1st commandment as they teach that God was a man on a far away planet that circled the Star Colab. and that the many gods’ saw he was a good man and let him become one of them, gave him his own planet, where he is mating with goddesses and they teach we are their offspring.
    If we are good little boys and girls they saw we will become god’s and goddesses.
    They fell for one of Lucifers 1st Lies to mankind. “You shall not die but you shall become as God’s. God says: “There is no God beside me”

    • Danielmormon

      I do not know where you got your false information but you have grossly misrepresented what we teach.Without Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins there can be no salvation and no entrance into the Kingdom of God.

    • Danielmormon

      Sorry just not true, you knowingly have twisted our doctrine.

      • D J Flesher

        Yeah, some people just read the headlines they like, pick up stones and skip all the fine print, like this:

        Psalms 82:6 “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”

        And like John 10;31 “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.” And then “34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?”

        Then Luke in Acts condemns false gods, like the Idols of Luke’s day, Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

        God is a title, not a name. As above, one meaning of that title is “Godhead”. If you read the scriptures with that simple insight the meaning of many passages change, like the following:

        Read John 17:15-23 which in part He says about the apostles “..the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one…:” And later He said to Mary: John:20 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

        Clearly Jesus tells us God the Father is His God, Clearly Jesus the Son is now also “God” … but His Father is also Our Father. That is exactly what he says to us in the most important and meaningful part of his ministry.. mere moments after His resurrection. Why is that so difficult to understand?

  • James Grimm

    I wonder what Paul would say about cults. Oh wait I can read what he said in the Bible and it was definitely name calling.

    • emilym

      So true!

  • Scott H

    Evangelicals are compromising all around us. The Word of God has some choice words for people who deny Christ, raise up false religions in place of the One True God, and deceive people. The Mormons do this, so naturally the gospel, the Bible, the TRUTH would be offensive to them.

    By “not calling them names” you are simply smoothing over the truth which is the only power to save them. It is sad to see the decline of BGEA into such an unloving, unChrist-like position.

  • Michaela G

    I think we are doing the Mormons and other cults a great injustice if we don’t tell them the truth. Jesus is the only way to the Father and if we don’t tell people the clear and not always easy truth, we will have to answer to God. I don’t know if the Grahams have thought about it like that, but they are not helping non-believers with this kind of wishy-washy talk.

    • M.Metzger

      Amen finally someone who has it together ! God Bless You

    • Danielmormon

      I BELONG TO A CHURCH NOT A CULT. Come and see for yourself and do not form a final opinion until you come and worship with us.

      • captainsgirl

        Mormonism is a cult. Franklin is so wrong!

        • D J Flesher

          So have we finally found someone to “cast the first stone”?

    • D J Flesher

      Many people think Mormons are not Christian for two reasons: 1) Mormons do not have a cross on top or their church buildings, and 2) Mormons seldom speak the Lord’s name in public and even limit speaking it in Church Meetings. There are reasons for this.

      !) The cross is a symbol of Christ’s DEATH, a negative symbol. Mormons believe in a Living, Resurrected, even tangible Christ, we don’ t follow a Dead Christ.

      2) Exodus 20:7 says “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

      Mormons follow the Commandments, including this very familiar 3rd Commandment. But it is not just about cursing someone or writing graffiti using His Holy name. It is about “Vanity”, being vain, and using His name to make ourselves look or sound more righteous than others. I have sat in hour long Mormon meetings where the Saviors name was never used once, but every one there knew, every second, who we were talking about. (Please note that the words “Lord” and “God” are not names, they are just titles.)

      Years ago we had a TV that could only receive three local Christian channels. I enjoyed listening to their philosophies, but days when I had work to do, I would play a “game”. Once the Preacher or speaker on one channel had said the Lord’s name 10 times (when it was vain, and wasn’t actually needed to tell their story), I would switch channels. I did this until I had turned off all three channels… then I would turn the TV off and go do my work.

      For the last week that I played this game, I turned the TV off before I got to less than15 minute for all three stations combined. Think about it this way: what If you were talking to someone and they said the name of your wife, or someone you love dearly, an average of two times a minute. Would you feel a little uncomfortable even a little upset? Now re-read Ex 20:7 again.

      You can try this “game” yourself. Go to your favorite Church TV stations and count. When you reach the limit, turn to BYUTV or MormonTV channels and pick any of the religious speakers. You may be there for hours before reaching 10, but you will always know that it is Your Friend they are talking about.

      There are other sub-channels there too; things like sports, and life stories, clean humor, music, and History programs. Most of these programs never need to say His name and yet they can inspire you and open your heart).

  • Haley Shampo

    Ten Lies I Told as a Mormon Missionary
    by Loren Franck

    The Bible predicts a dreadful fate for liars. For instance, while banished on the island of Patmos, the Apostle John saw that “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Similarly, the beloved disciple writes, liars are doomed to an eternity outside of God’s presence (Revelation 22:15). Because Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), lying is extremely serious sin.

    As a full-time Mormon missionary from 1975 to 1977, I lied for the church countless times. Like my colleagues in the South Dakota-Rapid City Mission, which served the Dakotas and adjacent areas, I spoke truthfully about my background, but touted many Mormon teachings that contradict the Bible. After my mission ended, however, I examined these doctrines more closely. The harder I tried to reconcile the contradictions, the more evident they became. So, after extensive prayer and study, I resigned my church membership in 1984. Cheated and betrayed, I lacked spiritual life for the next 17 years. But God, knowing those who are His (John 10:14; 2 Timothy 2:19), drew me to Christ (John 6:44) and saved me in 2001. My spiritual emptiness was replaced by the abundant life only the Savior can give (John 10:10). And now, like millions of Christians worldwide, I have everlasting life through my faith in Him (John 3:36; 6:47).

    I can’t remember all of my missionary lies. Some were small, others grandiose, but all were false and misleading. Here are ten I’ll never forget.

    1. We’re Not Trying to Convert You

    Of all my lies, this was the most frequent. I learned it well while in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which was my first assignment. A standard door-to-door proselyting pitch began with, “We represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Interrupting, many people said they had their own religion. “Oh, we’re not trying to convert you,” I responded. “We’re sharing a message for all faiths.”

    But Mormon missionaries have one overriding goal, and that’s to bring converts into the church. Clearly, this was the purpose of my mission. I didn’t trade the Southern California sunshine for the Dakota snow merely to build interfaith relations. My calling was to teach the church-approved missionary lessons and then baptize the people I taught.

    2. The Bible is Insufficient

    According to their eighth Article of Faith, Mormons accept the Bible as the word of God only when it’s translated correctly. How convenient for a missionary. When a non-Mormon’s interpretation of scripture differed from mine, I frequently blamed faulty Bible translation. And since I believed the Bible was missing “many plain and precious things,” as the Book of Mormon claims in 1 Nephi 13:28-29, I urged prospective converts not to trust it completely.

    And yet, Mormon proof texts had few translation problems. Throughout my mission, I used only those Bible verses that steered prospects away from their church and toward Mormonism. But what kind of Christian believes that an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving God gave mankind an inadequate version of His word. Actually, the Bible is more than sufficient. With its 66 books, 1,189 chapters and nearly 740,000 words, it’s the divine road map to eternal life through Jesus Christ.

    3. We’re the Only True Christians

    For decades, the Mormon Church has tried to blend with mainstream Christianity. Accordingly, during my mission a quarter-century ago, I worked hard to convince prospects that Mormons believe in the biblical Jesus. But Paul warned of deceivers who would lure Christians away from “the simplicity that is in Christ.” These false teachers preached “another Jesus” and “another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11: 3-4) and were accursed (see Galatians 1:8-9). How interesting that Paul also cautions against false apostles, such as those in the Mormon Church (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).

    So which Jesus and gospel do Mormons preach? While a missionary, I taught that Christ was the firstborn spirit child of the Father in a premortal life. (The remainder of humanity was born as spirits later in this “pre-existence.”) But I didn’t tell prospects this was a literal birth, the result of literal fathering, as Mormon prophets and apostles have claimed. If asked, I taught that the devil was born as one of God’s noble spirit sons during the pre-existence, but had rebelled and started a war in heaven.

    Consistent with Mormon doctrine, then, Christ and Satan are spirit brothers. But the Bible teaches that Christ is God (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; John 1:1), that He has always been God (Psalm 90:2), and that He always will be God (Hebrews 13:8). Born into mortality some 2,000 years ago, Jesus is “God… manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). He is far grander and holier than “our Elder Brother,” as Mormons dub Him. Jesus and Satan aren’t spirit brothers, and true Christians don’t believe such blasphemy.

    4. We’re the Only True Church

    I usually told this lie during the first of seven 30-minute missionary lessons, which presented the Joseph Smith story. According to our script, Smith prayed in 1820 about which church to join. He claimed the Father and Son appeared and told him that all Christian churches of the day were wrong. Smith said he was forbidden to join any of them, that their creeds were abominable and their professors all corrupt. “They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me,” the Lord allegedly added. “They teach for doctrines the commandments of men” (Joseph Smith — History, verse 19). In subsequent lessons, I told prospects that Mormonism is the true church God restored through Smith.

    But the Bible says such a restoration was unnecessary. Admittedly, there was partial apostasy after Christ’s resurrection, but never a complete falling away. In fact, shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18). During my mission, however, I argued that the gates of hell did prevail against Christ’s church.

    Shortly after renouncing Mormonism, I learned a scriptural death blow to notions of universal apostasy. Addressing Ephesian believers 30 years after the Ascension, the Apostle Paul writes, “Unto [God] be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21). God received glory in the Christian church from the time of Paul’s writing to the present day, and He will receive such glory throughout all succeeding generations. Therefore, the church must exist from Paul’s day throughout eternity. This annihilates Mormon claims of complete apostasy and makes restoration of Christ’s church impossible.

    5. We Have a Living Prophet

    Whether in wintry Winnipeg or the balmy Black Hills of Rapid City, I criticized Christians because their church lacked a living prophet. Mormons claim the true church must have one. My favorite Bible proof text to back this claim was Amos 3:7, which reads, “Surely, the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”

    When prospective converts remained skeptical of living prophets, I quoted Ephesians 4:11-14, which apparently requires living apostles and prophets until believers unify in the faith and understand Christ completely. However, writing in the past tense, Paul is actually referring to apostles and prophets of Jesus’ day. Otherwise, verse 11 would read that the Lord “is giving” or “will give” apostles and prophets. Of course, God did reveal His will through Old Testament prophets, as Amos 3:7 affirms. But for the last 2,000 years, He has spoken to believers through Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2).

    The truth about Mormonism’s living prophets is further illuminated in Deuteronomy 18:22. “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord,” the scripture reads, “if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” Isaiah 8:20 contains a similar warning: “To the law and the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

    False prophets who led ancient Israel astray received the death penalty (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:20), and all who profess to be living prophets should consider the consequences. Mormon prophets might appear grandfatherly and sincere, but they’re not God’s living oracles. Since the Mormon Church was founded in 1830, its prophets have uttered a striking number of false prophecies. (See chapter 14 of Jerald and Sandra Tanner’s “The Changing World of Mormonism.”)

    6. The Book of Mormon is Scripture

    Joseph Smith claimed that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth, adding that man would become closer to God by following its precepts than by obeying any other book (“History of the Church,” Vol. 4, p. 461). Replace “Book of Mormon” with “the Bible” and Smith would have told the truth.

    When teaching missionary lessons, I boldly maintained that the Book of Mormon is scripture. I spent myriad hours convincing prospects that it’s a sacred record of Christ’s activities in the western hemisphere. Yet many Christians I contacted realized the book “borrows” heavily from the Bible and other sources. And in stark contrast to the Old and New Testaments, virtually no archaeological and anthropological evidence supports the Book of Mormon. Why not? Because it’s fiction. When Christians want to read scripture, they turn to the Bible.

    7. You’re Saved By Works

    More than any other Mormon lie, this undermines Christ’s atonement, which is the most sacred doctrine of the Bible. Mormons usually equate salvation with resurrection. Likewise, they refer to eternal life as “exaltation.” I did both while teaching prospective converts. I relished the church’s third Article of Faith, which claims, “through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”

    Trying to bridge the doctrinal divide between Mormons and Christians, I emphasized that salvation is by grace “after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). What classic Mormon double-talk. Unmistakably, the Bible says eternal life is a gift from God (Romans 5:15; 6:23) to those who believe in Christ (John 6:47), call upon Him (Romans 10:13) and receive Him as Lord and Savior (John 1:12). Contrary to Mormon dogma, this gift cannot be awarded meritoriously.

    Equally clear is that salvation results from God’s grace through each believer’s faith, not from obeying a checklist of laws and ordinances (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5). All who confess Christ and believe in Him from the heart shall be saved (Romans 10:8-13).

    Most Mormons know little about imputed righteousness — and neither did I during my mission. Essentially, as Christians know, the Lord credits believers with His perfect righteousness and charges their transgressions to His sinless spiritual “account.” Paul explains this doctrine masterfully in Romans 4 and 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.

    When teaching the Mormon gospel, though, I emphatically denied imputed righteousness, which is the essence of the atonement. I stressed that eternal life is earned by perfect obedience to all gospel laws and ordinances. Yet the Bible says that “there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). As the Psalmist writes: “They are all gone aside. They are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 14:3; compare Romans 3:10-18).

    How many Mormons perfectly obey all gospel laws? None. As the Bible asserts, even the church’s current prophet can’t keep God’s laws thoroughly enough to merit heaven (1 John 1:8). And if he can’t, how can anyone else?

    8. People Can Become Gods

    Given its explosive nature, this tenet was rarely shared with prospective converts. Missionaries try to entice people into Mormonism gradually, and presenting the doctrine of plural gods is seldom the best way. Several contacts learned the concept from their pastors or read about it on their own, but it was new to most prospects.

    “Our Father in heaven loves us so much,” I often said, parroting our lesson script, “that He provided a plan [Mormonism] for us to become like him.” I didn’t mention that Mormon godhood includes spirit procreation throughout eternity. Neither did I hint that the Mormon God was formerly a mortal man, had lived on an earth like ours, and had earned salvation through good works. However, such polytheism strips God of glory and sovereignty. No wonder the Bible condemns it so strongly. When discussing plural gods on my mission, I sidestepped Isaiah 44:8 whenever possible. “Is there a God beside me?” the passage reads. “Yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Other verses amply testify that only one God exists in the universe (Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; 6:4; Isaiah 43:10-11; 45:21-23).

    When confronted with these scriptures as a missionary, I usually countered with, “Those verses mean we worship only one God, that there’s only one God to us.” And if that failed, I lied further: “The Bible isn’t clear on this subject. Fortunately, the Lord told Joseph Smith that mortals can become gods.” Smith might have had a revelation, but not from God.

    9. You’re Born Again By Becoming a Mormon

    One of my favorite missionary scriptures was John 3:5. “Verily, verily I say unto you,” the Savior explains, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” To Mormon missionaries everywhere, being born of water means baptism into the Mormon Church. Birth of the Spirit refers to the gift of the Holy Ghost, allegedly bestowed after baptism.

    Unfortunately, during my mission, I didn’t know what it means to be born again. I completely misinterpreted Paul’s declaration that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17; compare Galatians 6:15). According to the Bible, believers in Christ are reborn spiritually as sons and daughters of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1-2). They experience a complete Christian conversion of mind and heart. Membership in a church organization might foster social activity and fellowship, but it’s not spiritual rebirth.

    10. Temple Marriage is Required for Eternal Life

    I participated in well over 100 Mormon temple ceremonies from 1975 to 1982, including my own marriage in 1977. Based heavily on freemasonry, temple rites are the church’s most carefully guarded secrets. And “celestial marriage,” which supposedly weds men and women eternally, is probably the most important temple ordinance. While a missionary, I frequently told prospects they needed temple marriage to gain eternal life.

    Yet the Lord says marriage between men and women is irrelevant to the hereafter. “The children of this age marry, and are given in marriage,” He declares. “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage… for they are equal unto the angels….” (Luke 20:34-36.)

    The Bible does teach eternal marriage, but not the Mormon version. The union is between Christ, the Bridegroom, and His collective body of believers, who are the bride (Matthew 25:1-13; John 3:29; Romans 7:4; 2 Corinthians 11:2).

    False Testimony

    I close with a few words about “testimony,” which is a missionary’s emergency cord. When I couldn’t rebut an antagonistic statement scripturally, I fell back on my testimony. For instance, while proselyting in Grand Forks, North Dakota, I was once asked where the Bible mentions the secret undergarments Mormons wear. Caught off guard, I admitted that the Bible says nothing about them. I could merely testify that God revealed the need for these garments through living prophets. But my testimony wasn’t based on scripture or other hard evidence. Rather, it was founded on personal revelation, which is extremely subjective. Essentially, my testimony was nothing more than a good feeling about the church and its teachings. In Mormon parlance, it was a “burning in the bosom.” But burning or not, it wasn’t from God.

    If you’re a Christian, I urge you to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). That faith, the pathway to heaven, is found only in the biblical Jesus (John 14:6). But if you’re a Mormon, it’s time to prayerfully re-examine your beliefs. Do you know you have everlasting life? No. Can you obey all the commandments perfectly and earn a place in heaven? You can’t.

    I regret the many lies I told during my Mormon mission. When I received Christ, though, I confessed them (and my other sins) and received His forgiveness (1 John 1:9; Colossians 1:13-14). “He that heareth my word,” Christ assures us, “and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

    Loren Franck lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Verlette, and their young son.

    • Arlene Frances

      God Bless you for your Testimony of the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

    • Danielmormon

      I am very sorry you feel that way.I have been a member of the LDS church for 38 years,I was formally a very devout United Methodist.I love Jesus Christ who has redeemed me from sin!

  • I believe that we shouldn’t judge others beliefs I know Jesus can save you from sin and I’ve studied my bible and I’m staying Christian:D

    • M.Metzger

      So if you know someone is involved in a Cult you will not tell them so ? That alone is sinful so keep on not telling others of the dangers of Clt Religions and when Jesus stands before you on Judgment Day and ask you did you tell my people and you stand there dumb founded not knowing what to say and He will say get away from me I do not know you ! No you tell everyone the dangers of evil and if that means judging they’re beliefs then so be it . Scripture tells us clearly not to judge the individual but we are to judge sin and fight against evil ! Period

  • M.Metzger

    Mormons not a Cult ? Really ? Franklin Graham do you really know your God ? Because my God does indeed say Mormonism is a Cult right along with Jehovah Witnesses , Seventh Day Adventist just to mention the top three and now I also believe tha Catholics to be a Cult also . When I seen Billy his dad say that you did not need Jesus to get to Heaven that was it for me nothing but wolves in sheep’s clothing as far as I am concerned !

  • nrnowlin

    This blatant reversal by Franklin Graham is the height of hypocrisy, in stating, for the record, that the LDS Church (the Mormons) is not a cult. The LDS Church fits every detail of the definition of a cult published on the same BGEA website. But the most egregious fact about the Mormons, which Franklin did not know when he met with Mitt Romney and believed the lies he was told by the evilly deceptive politician, is that the true theology of Mormonism is not even contained in the fictional Book of Mormon that over 60,000 full-time Mormon missionaries try to sell to struggling Christians as the word of the real God of heaven and earth.
    No!! The real theology of Mormonism was declared by Joseph Smith in 1844, just before he was lynched in Carthage, Illinois, just 6 years after he had produced what he entitled the Book of Abraham, which stated that there were many gods, and that the Mormon father-god was an exalted-mortal man who had been born biologically on an earth somewhere in the cosmos and became a god, with a capital G, by living the laws of Mormonism, dying, being resurrected, and proclaimed a god by Mormon council of gods. Further, Joseph Smith proclaimed in 1844, in Mormon General Conference, that worthy Mormon elders could become as a great as God, by becoming gods, with a capital G, since the Mormon was once a man. In other words the Mormons believe that that the real God of heaven and earth had a mortal beginning, and that he changed and changed, and changed until he became (a) god, with a capital G.
    Even more pagan and polytheistic is the Mormon doctrine that every Mormon elder who makes it to godhood will produce a savior, just like Jesus Christ. Brigham Young said in 1867 that “there are as many Gods as there are stars, and as many saviors as there are Gods.” Mormons teach these unchristian heresies in their Melchizedek Priesthood classes, and the doctrines are documented in Priesthood study guides published by the Utah Mormon hierarchy. The last fully documented lesson was given in the 1984 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, “Search These Commandments,” and was entitled “Man May Become Like God, Lesson 21. The reason these lessons are so rarely published is because of “plausible deniability.
    Mormon missionaries don’t tell the people they teach, called investigators, about the real theology of Mormonism because those real Christians would be shocked and would probably tell those missionaries to get lost. But the real funny thing about the Book of Mormon is that it teaches a Trinitarian theology very similar to protestant Methodism, which is totally different from what the newly baptized Mormons will hear from the ward (Mormon congregation) teachers and the ward bishop in what are called “Gospel Principles” classes in the Mormon Sunday school, and, especially, when they are prepped for going to the Mormon temple to receive the Mormon endowment, which is based almost entirely on what is contained in the Book of Abraham.
    No, the Mormon Church is not Christian. It is just the opposite, and most people who are duped into joining the Mormons are later prompted by the real Holy Spirit to tender their resignations when presented with these heretical doctrines of devils. Mormonism is a web of deceit and is maintained by a social network that tries to keep newly baptized Mormons away from the truth that can be found on the Internet and in books written about the evils of Mormonism.

    • Danielmormon

      You have sadly misrepresented by sheer falsehood what we teach.You cite no references either..First of all, there is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ and His atonement for our sins. No one regardless of who they are will EVER be greater than our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.We owe them an eternal dept we cannot hope to repay.If we are allowed to progress from age to age we will always be under the authority of God and we will be as sons but not His equal.By the way, since you teach that our Savior and Heavenly Father are the same person and one in substance,than what you really mean is that when the Savior rose from the dead with a perfected body,than you must also confess that God now has a perfected body if they are the same person.If not, than the Son would possess something His Father does not have and that could not be true.If the Son has a perfected body than His Father would also have one,since the scriptures declare we are made in His image.By the way,the Prophet Joseph Smith was shot and killed by a vile mob of evil men as he and other church members were awaiting trial on false charges.Come to one or several of our meetings and see and hear for yourself.You will be welcomed with open arms. Yours in Christ Jesus,Dan

      • nrnowlin

        Hey, Daniel, are you afraid of the truth and of the material that the LDS Church has published to teach the most the most important concepts of Mormon theology? If you are not afraid of what you will find in “Lesson 21, – Man May Become like God,” of the 1984 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, “Search These Commandments,” send me an email at and I will send you a PDF copy of “Lesson 21.” You see, Daniel, if “Lesson 21” were included as part of the six discussions Mormon missionaries present to their investigators, all of the things they tell struggling Christians about the BOM would be contradicted, and no one, except polytheists would accept what they present. The Mormon Church only reveals in print Joseph Smith, Jr.’s canonized doctrines contained in the King Follett Discourse and Lorenzo Snows refinement of them about every 25 years. It last happened in 1984, when I was a young Mormon called an elder. In late 1984, the Mormon First Presidency instructed all elders and prospective elders to return all copies of the 1984 study guide to the ward bishops for collection. I, however, found a copy of it on the Internet and bought it for a pretty penny. If you want a copy of “Lesson 21,” just let me know.

      • nrnowlin

        Read the “History of the Church,” Daniel! Joseph Smith did not go “as a lamb to the slaughter” at Carthage Jail! The man had a gun and tried to use it against the men who lynched him. A lamb does not carry a gun him at the slaughter. And another thing, W.W. Phelps stated that old Joe Smith called for wine, strong alcoholic drink, just before he was lynched, and Phelps states that the wine was not for sacramental purposes. It was to “refresh Joseph Smith.” Old Joe went to his maker with wine on his breath and in his belly.

        • Danielmormon

          Joseph was shot, not hung.And as far as the gun goes, yes,Joseph used it to defend himself and the other men in the room, but he killed no one, only wounded the unholy fiends who were trying to break down the door.. And Elijah slew 450 Priest of Bael on mount Carmel, and Samson made a great slaughter of the Phillistines, both Samson and Elijah were called of God.Your point exactly?

        • Danielmormon

          William Phelps was not in the Carthage jail with Joseph,so your information is greatly suspect.

  • Danielmormon

    I have been a member of the LDS church for over 35 years.I love the Restored Gospel.I love my Savior Jesus Christ who has rescued me from spiritual death.I KNOW He lives and will come again.I love the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants.I KNOW that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of the living God.He was loved, chastised, rebuked, and crafted into a useful pillar in the kingdom of God.The Priesthood authority has been restored to the earth again in these last days by heavenly messengers, along with the ordinances that pertain to life and salvation for the living and for those who have died without hearing of the glad tidings of salvation.I would not trade my church membership for all the wealth of this age.With the Gospel I am rich indeed and without it’s light I would grope in darkness.

    • nrnowlin

      Daniel, have you ever looked closely at 2 Nephi 25:23 and noted what references are given in your current Book of Mormon edition? There are only two verses even similar in the New Testament, Ephesians 2:8-9. In Ephesians 2:1-9, Paul is saying that you are only saved by grace. He states twice very emphatically that one is not saved by works. Yet, old Joe Smith relegated the grace of Jesus to a back burner by saying “we know that we are saved by grace after all we can do.” So according to Smith, Jesus’ grace is less important than the boastful works that a Mormon can do. Any wonder that the Mormon hierarchy didn’t want to refer the reading Mormon to Ephesians 2:8-9 by referencing it in 2 Nephi 25:23?
      Now go to James 2 and see if salvation is mentioned anywhere in that chapter. No it isn’t, and you know why? James was not saying that works save you! He was saying that a Christian’s faith in Christ’s saving grace will create in him a desire to work for the Lord Jesus by loving and doing all he can to please the Lord. There is a big difference between trying to work your way to heaven, and working because Jesus has given you an absolutely free gift of salvation through grace. Watch that film “Man’s Search for Happiness” and you will see what “Mormon salvation” means. It only means resurrection from the dead, because that is a requirement for Mormon father-godhood, with a capital G, as expressed by Brigham Young in the Adam-God Doctrine, an extension of the King Follett Discourse, as expressed in “Lesson 21 – Man May Become Like God.”

  • nrnowlin

    I am an ex-Mormon elder, stake and district missionary, ordained military group leader, and ward mission leader, from 1970-2000. I served the devil for 30 years in Mormonism before I found the Lord Jesus on my knees and accepted his blessed grace through his precious blood.
    There is irrefutable smoking-gun evidence of Mormon polytheistic theology. It is “Lesson 21-Man May Become Like God,” from the 1984 LDS Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, “Search These Commandments.” What is “Lesson 21?”

    “Lesson 21” is a concise restatement of founding Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith’s 1844 “King Follett Discourse” and Mormon Prophet Lorenzo Snow’s refinement of it in the late 1890s. “Lesson 21” was the last time that the Mormon Church placed into print its literal predicate of its cursed polytheistic theology for the LDS Melchizedek Priesthood to standardly and collectively study; and it is verified, in “Lesson 21” as canonized LDS scripture and commandments by the LDS First Presidency comprised of Mormon Prophet, Seer, and Revelator Spencer W. Kimball and his three apostle counselors, N. Eldon Tanner, Marion G. Romney, and Gordon B. Hinckley. It is the only smoking-gun evidence of 19th Century Mormon polytheism venerated and practiced in the 20th and 21st Centuries, which is verified and proclaimed by the highest authority in the LDS Church, a 20th Century LDS First Presidency. The Mormon Church never expected it to be used against them, which clearly illustrates their demonic arrogance.

    Anyone reading “Lesson 21,” especially struggling Christians who will, no doubt, come into contact with the lying Mormon full-time missionaries at some point, will immediately realize that Mormonism is not Christian; and keeping Christians away from Mormonism proves much simpler than trying to convert true-blue Mormons from the error of their ways, even though some of them eventually come to Christ. If “Lesson 21” was included in the fraudulent 6 discussion presentation given by full-time Mormon missionaries to their investigators, no Christian would ever join the Mormon Church!!

    Please allow me to send any reader of this commentary a PDF copy of “Lesson 21” for perusal, and to send out to other Christian ministries to mass-produce to send to all struggling Christians who will inevitably come into contact with full-time Mormon missionaries during some portion of their lives. Please contact me at email address and I will send the PDF copy by email attachment within 8 hours of receiving the request.

    I sincerely believe that true Christians know that fulfillment of prophecy is the primary reason that millionaire Franklin Graham has publicly proclaimed on the BGEA website that “Mormonism is Christian and not a cult.” The New Testament clearly states that in the latter-days the very elect will be deceived, and Franklin Graham was speaking for his elderly father, the noted evangelist Billy Graham, when he made his absurd proclamation. I don’t believe that the 90-something year old Billy Graham knew what his son was doing. The world needs to be told the truth about real Mormon polytheistic theology.

    • Danielmormon

      I have served the Lord Jesus Christ for 38 years , most of that time as an Elder in the LDS church.I made no money, but helped to enrich many with the truths of the restored Gospel.True wealth indeed!!

  • Danielmormon

    I am LDS,are there any questions?

    • nrnowlin

      Hey, Daniel! Since you are asking, let the Christian people reading this commentary know where the Mormon “mother in heaven” can be found in the King James Version of the Holy Bible. 1 John 5:7 states that “There are three (not four) that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word or Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.” Mormonism’s crafty flimflam man, Joseph Smith, began mentioning the Mormon “mother in heaven” about the same time he proclaimed his “King Follett Discourse” in Nauvoo in 1844. I think he must have been reading Greek mythology just before his imagination kicked him into space, when he created a Mormon version of Zeus’s goddess, Hera. The Apostle Paul spoke very firmly about other false “gospels,” in Galatians 1:1-10, especially about false gospels brought by angels.