Robert Millett lied to me, “Sacred, Not Secret” and Secret Teachings

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Robert Millett lied to me, “Sacred, Not Secret” and Secret Teachings

Post by misterfake371 » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:58 pm

Ever heard of the apologist Robert Millett? He came to my mission one time, almost 20 years ago, to a zone meeting, stood up in the front and said, “I’m a scholar of Mormon doctrine. Ask me anything.”

I asked Robert Millet why Joseph Smith prayed to Jehovah (aka Jesus) in the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland temple, in D & C 109: 42. I was always taught in church that I should only pray to Heavenly Father. He referred me to 3 Nephi 19:22, which says, “they pray unto me [Jesus] because I am with them.” So Robert Millett said that, for some reason, it’s OK to pray to Jesus if he’s physically there with you. He said that Jesus Christ must have been physically present at the Kirtland Temple dedication. (Millett would probably also have argued that it’s OK to pray to the Holy Ghost if the Holy Ghost is physically present there with you, (or spiritually present… or whatever… you know… because he doesn’t have a physical body) which would explain 1 Nephi 11:11.)

But now that I’m no longer under the spell of Mormonism, I know the real answer. The real reason that Joseph Smith prayed to Jesus in the temple dedication in 1836 is that early in his career, he taught the Trinity. Joseph Smith taught that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost were one being. He did not teach, early in his career, that they were merely “one in purpose.” He taught that they were consubstantial, just like the Catholic Church teaches and just like most of the Christian churches teach today. The teaching of the Godhead that we’re accustomed to came much later, and it’s recorded in D & C 130:22, which was written in 1843.

I’ve thought about tracking Robert Millett down. I’ve thought about asking him whether he was being intentionally deceptive to a bunch of missionaries way back then or if he was innocently teaching what he truly believed. But then I thought that I should just move on with my life and leave the old man alone.

I can’t believe I fell for so much deceitful rhetoric when I was Mormon. One thing that really makes me mad now is when Mormons say, “temple ordinances are sacred, not secret.” I don’t know how many times I used that line on my mission. I believed that line, too! Why did it never dawn on me that if you can’t talk about something, it’s a secret! The definition of a secret is something you’re not supposed to talk about! As a good Mormon, you’re not supposed to talk about temple stuff; therefore, it’s a secret! We all know that in the temple, you promise God and witnesses and angels that you won’t ever tell anyone what goes on in the temple, so… HELLO! It’s like the biggest secret in your life, ever! What the heck man?

They taught me “temple ceremonies aren’t secret, but you can’t ever tell anyone about them.” And they said it with a straight face. They were unaware of any contradiction, and so was I. That’s a textbook example of doublethink.

One of the things I love about Catholicism is that in the Catholic Church there are no secret teachings. Everything that the Catholic Church believes and teaches is laid out for anyone to read in the Catechism.

In fact, the very idea of secret teachings is heretical. Secret teachings are labeled as “gnostic,” and gnosticism has been denounced by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

Catholics teach, and 99% of Christians believe, that everything you need to be saved is well-known and publicized, either written in the Bible, or preached by word of mouth. Mormons are one of the 1% of Christians who believe in secret knowledge only available in private gatherings and secret clubs. Remember, Mormons believe that the endowment ceremony is required for salvation, that’s why it has to be performed vicariously for every person who has ever lived on Earth. And what is the endowment ceremony? It’s secret teachings. Secret handshakes, secret passwords, secret knowledge. This could be why the Mormon church gets called a cult.

And then within the upper levels of Mormonism there is even MORE SECRET STUFF, like the washing of the feet and the Second Anointing, in which one’s calling and election is made sure! What a joke. That secrecy reminds me of Freemasonry and Scientology.

I reject the very concept of secret teachings. True disciples of Christ proclaim all truth in broad daylight.

(BTW, I realize that the Vatican has secret vaults. The difference, though, is that none of that secret stuff pertains to unification with God. In Mormonism, exaltation can ONLY be obtained through accessing secret information via the temple.)
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13

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Re: Robert Millett lied to me, “Sacred, Not Secret” and Secret Teachings

Post by blazerb » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:00 pm

There are so many examples in my life of people teaching me things that were not true. I don't know how much of the time the person teaching knew the real answer. I once asked my seminary teacher, "What is the 'Gift of Aaron' that Oliver Cowdery had according to JS?" He looked surprised and told me he did not know. I think he knew more than he said, but there is no way to tell.

Atheists also don't believe in secret teachings. I like being able to study and learn whatever I want.

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Re: Robert Millett lied to me, “Sacred, Not Secret” and Secret Teachings

Post by nibbler » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:31 pm

misterfake371 wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:58 pm
I asked Robert Millet why Joseph Smith prayed to Jehovah (aka Jesus) in the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland temple, in D & C 109: 42.
You covered Joseph's evolving beliefs on the trinity. I wanted to add another point for consideration. At the time of the Kirtland temple dedication, Joseph likely equated Jehovah with what we call Heavenly Father today. When Joseph invoked Jehovah I don't think Joseph believed he was invoking Jesus.

I was curious as to when Mormonism started to equate Jehovah (or the OT god) with Jesus and came across this.

Short version, it likely first happened in the 1880s or 1890s. Trying to push that date to further in the past, it's unlikely that Joseph made that connection until the Nauvoo period, if he ever made it at all. The doubt being when Joseph introduced the endowment in a format that's more familiar to what we do today (1842). If Jehovah wasn't Jesus in the endowment narrative, who was he? That matter appears to have been unsettled, leaving BY to speculate that perhaps Michael was Heavenly Father and Elohim and Jehovah were his god(s)? I don't know.

The point is that not only do you have to wrestle with the trinitarian teachings but the idea that Jesus was the god of the OT was also an idea that evolved over time.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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