The Catalog of Antimormon Accusations
The Lack of Spirituality
by Woody Brison

This is one leaf of a review of "Inside Mormonism: What Mormons Really Believe" by Isaiah Bennett
Back to the main page of the review

Bennett's statement: My wife, in particular, became increasingly disappointed with the lack of spirituality in Mormonism in general and in the temple ceremonies in particular. I had similar feelings but tried to talk myself out of them.
<=== Found on p. 16
65% of the way down the page

When a person attends their church week after week, and doesn't feel anything spiritually, there could be two reasons why:

1. There's something wrong with their church.
2. There's something wrong with what they are doing.

1. There's something wrong with their church... Many people who come and visit the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints say that there is something special about it. People say similar things about Mormons they are acquainted with. There's a feeling of light, liberty, goodness, happiness. This is the influence of the Holy Ghost.

Visiting other churches you don't generally feel this. The Holy Ghost may go there occasionally, but he does not dwell there. In the Lord's church, he does.

The difference is that the Lord has restored his church in modern times. Other churches may be descended from remnants of the original first century church of Jesus, but they were apostate remnants, every one of them. Or they may be startups, trying to follow the Bible as closely as they can. But the Bible is fragmentary and does not contain enough information to restart the true church of Jesus. Also, mere information itself is not enough to do that – you need the authority from Jesus to do it.

When the Lord restored his church, he sent the priesthood authority again among mortals. John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John, Moses, Elijah, and Elias, and Jesus himself came and delivered authority and endorsement to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With that authority, the officers of the church can make covenants. Where the people are able to enter into those covenants, then the Holy Ghost will be present in church meetings, and he will be a constant companion to those members of the church who keep their covenants.

Joseph Smith-History 1:68-69
Doctrine and Covenants 13
History of the Church 1:40-42 (search this text file for: RESTORATION OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD)
Doctrine and Covenants 110
Anyone can make a covenant with God, but he has specific covenants for them to make. These are his covenants of salvation. With each covenent there is a ceremony. The first one is baptism, then there are others. In the covenant of baptism, we promise to do certain things, and if we do them, God promises to do certain things. One of those is that he promises that his Spirit, the Holy Ghost, will be with us.

In other churches, whether descended or startup, they cannot make the Lord's covenants. They can try or pretend, but it's not binding. The Holy Ghost is not obligated to be there. He can go there if he wishes, if someone exercises tremendous faith for instance, but he generally won't go there. It's a tangible lack that can be felt.

2. There's something wrong with what they are doing. Even in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an individual may feel little in the way of spiritual impressions. This is because that individual is not doing what they ought to. A saint must study the scriptures often, daily. They must pray. They must attend meetings of the church, and they must do their duties. They must fast. They must serve others. There are a lot more things, too many to list, that they should do, but these are paramount, and the first three are crucial. Yet often we find Latter-day Saints who do not study the scriptures very often. If they don't feel the Spirit much, that usually is the problem.

Another difficulty that people have: they go to church expecting to receive. They should expect to give. They should smile and try to make others around them feel good, with greetings, truthful compliments, listening, helping. See the passages at right (there are dozens more like them.)

Acts 20:35) ...remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Matthew 25:37-40) Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee ... a stranger, and took thee in? ... And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

See also Matthew 5:16, 10:8, 10:42, 25:37-40, Luke 6:38, etc.
This may have been Bennett's problem; or something else. I have a suspicion that he never intended to stay in the church, but only joined so he could gather material for his books. If so, he might feel pretty much exactly what he reports he felt.

1. Woody Brison is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but this website is not affiliated with the church. It may be thought of as an additional, somewhat independent witness.

2. I want this page to be as accurate as I can make it. If you have a correction, please email me.

3. All biblical quotations are from the King James unless otherwise noted.

Copyright 2013 Woody Brison. All rights reserved.