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September 23, 2021 9:44 pm
Sharing the good news with Mormons edited by Sean McDowell monitors research ministries. Johnson offers practical witnessing strategies by a number of Christian missionaries and scholars and pastors sharing the good news with Mormons is published by harvest House and is available at your favorite online bookstore or order it directly from MRM.org.
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And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism hoping you're having a very pleasant Friday. Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host Bill McKeever founder Dir. Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM today we wrap up our look at an article in the August 2021 edition of Leah hold a magazine article written by Dell and H. Oaks, first counselor in the first presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. An article titled authority ordinances and preparation as we've been going through this, it becomes very clear that there are certain things that Latter Day Saints must do if they hope to get the best. Their religion offers them and that would of course be a place in the celestial kingdom. This is where Latter Day Saints hope that they will be reunited with their family members and Mormon males will become God's over their own world as heavenly father is the God over this particular world. This article is meant to encourage members to get serious about preparing to meet the Lord. And today were going to be looking at the last part of this article under that very heading now in this article Eric Allen Oaks cites president Russell M.
Nelson and he does it more than once, but in this last section he cites Nelson, who once again is talking about this imminent return of Jesus Christ. What is he say Pres. Nelson has taught, we are just building up to the climax of this last dispensation when the Savior second coming becomes a reality." The signs of that second coming are all around us and seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity worldwide. We are experiencing our learning of earthquakes, famines, typhoons, floods, pestilences, and armed conflicts but not all the signs are threatening a positive sign of the times is the prophesied gathering of Israel which Pres. Nelson has declared quote is the most important thing taking place on earth today." When an evangelical reads that expression the gathering of Israel. We obviously think of the nation Israel, which became a nation. On May 15, 1948. But when a latter-day St. profit talks about the gathering of Israel. He's talking about the nation of Israel he's talking about the LDS church so when Oaks says a positive sign of the times is the prophesied gathering of Israel which Pres. Nelson has declared is the most important thing taking place on earth today. He's talking about those coming into the church. In fact, if you were to look at the reference that Oaks gives for this talk by Nelson.
It happens to be a talk titled hope of Israel. It was given added youth devotional on June 3, 2018. If you read that talk clearly Nelson is referring to the elect as those God has chosen to become members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not talking about those elect that are going to come to faith in the finished work of Christ. It's those who are going to come into the LDS church so context is very important.
What is Oaks go on to say next.
As his gathering proceeds. We are establishing stakes quote for a defense, and for refuge from the storm and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth." And that's from doctrine and covenants section 115 verse six we are also accelerating the building of temples where the faithful can gather in their own homelands to make the covenants that allow them to be eligible for eternal life in any cites from D&C 84 and 131 that statement I found to be quite intriguing because he talks about the acceleration of building temples where the faithful can gather in their own homelands to make the covenants that allow them to be eligible for eternal life. Setting aside the fact that he's making it clear once again that covenant keeping is essential if the Latter Day Saints hopes to receive eternal life or exultation, but when he says the reason for building temples is so the faithful can gather in their own homelands in Utah alone. They are building a number of temples right now.
There's numerous temples in the state of Utah, and many more are being constructed and we have a total right now of 27 temples in Utah. Of the hundred 68 so that is about 10% of all temples in the world are found in our state. Now they are working on right now under construction or they are planning to have temples in 10 different places Smithfield Ephraim Layton Linden Orem St. George was called Redcliff sin that will be the second Temple in St. George Saratoga Springs Syracuse Taylorsville and what's called Desiree peak and that's into Ella there increasing it by 60% in the next six years were going to have all these temples where we set right now we could be at more than a dozen temples in an hour. How many temples does Utah need that maybe that temples could be open longer. Maybe have extended hours so that maybe you could build temples in places where there are no temples today but get the excuse or the argument, I should say that Dell notes raises for the acceleration of building temples is so that the faithful can gather in their own homelands. Imagine all the temples that are being focused on the state of Utah really not all that necessary because as you mentioned, they could merely make them open for longer hours and accommodate a number of people who wish to go to them, but what you say about the person who lives in a country who doesn't have the means to travel as we do here in the state of Utah. Where are they going to go to perform these covenants and to be eligible for eternal life because they put a building in Tukwila where they put a building in Linden right off of the I 15 or another building in Taylorsville right off of the eye to 15. If they really believe that the Lord is coming soon. Shouldn't the money building those temples used to put them in a country where you would think more needed in the church bell can do whatever it wants with its money, but I think the key point here is, in their own homelands.
Think about the price though. Okay so you're building these 10 new temples in Utah were right now.
Construction prices are at an all-time high. These temples are not made cheaply. They use the very best materials that use marble they use the best wood, etc. how much are each of these temples that are being built right now in Utah costing the church again. They can do what they want with their money, but it just seems like resources that perhaps could have been used in the countries where maybe there are only 20,000 people in a country that has Latter Day Saints but I'm looking at the temple in E from for instance there's a total of 30,000 people in Sanpete County. They already have a Temple and anti-in just a few miles away. They're going to build one and E from why do you need to temples in Sanpete County with 30,000 people in those two temples are only going to be at most, about 10 miles from each other. Certainly someone in Utah can go 10 miles to go to the temple whether they need one in their backyard. If they happen to live in E from then he goes on to cite Elma 3432 and I found this interesting because this is the second time Elma 34 comes up at the bottom of the left-hand column of page 9 Oaks rights as the book of Mormon teaches this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God. And of course in order to prepare. You need to go to a Temple it's absolutely essential that that's Elma 3432 in parentheses and let me just finish the rest of that verse. Yea, behold, the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors in the passage goes on very clearly teaching that the work has to be done in this life, but isn't that what Russell Nelson said that was cited earlier in the article, page 8 at the bottom of the right hand side is is our prophet president Russell M. Nelson has taught this life is the time to prepare for salvation and exultation in God's eternal plan. Salvation is an individual matter. Exultation is a family matter and that goes back to what I said earlier this week, if your desire in the next life is to be with your family.
You could be very disappointed if your family has not made the proper preparation because even though one Latter Day Saints might feel that they qualify their doing everything that they're supposed to be doing in order to get into the celestial kingdom. In other words, as I mentioned yesterday there keeping celestial law. If you have a spouse that is not or a child that is not that spouse, that child will not be there with you throughout eternity because they did not keep celestial law. They did not make the proper preparation for that kingdom. When Nelson is quoted as citing this life is the time to prepare for salvation and exultation. Certainly, that's a reference to Elma 34 so twice we are told, the importance of Elma 34 and I think you're absolutely correct, Eric.
We need to read Elma 34 in its proper context. We talked about it so many times I'm sure were probably boring. Some of our regular listeners that held a 34 is essential when talking to Latter Day Saints. Why because so many of them think that if they're not doing everything they're supposed to do. They can make up for lost time after they die. Not if Elma 34 is correct. There is no chance that's going to happen because if you persist in procrastinating your repentance and that's how it's described. If you procrastinate the day of your repentance even till death doesn't say you have an opportunity to make up for lost time. What is it say it says, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil and he got still you his.
Therefore, the spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you and the devil hath all power over you and this is the final state of the wicked. The final state of the wicked Delano extends his article with this question. He says what is the day of his coming work tomorrow if we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow through our death or through is coming, what would we do today what confessions would we make what practices would we discontinue what forgiveness would we extend what ordinances would we seek what additional things would we do to fulfill our covenants if we could do those things, then why not now if our lamps of preparation are drawn down. Let us start immediately to replenish them.
I would say for the most part many of those questions could apply to us as Christians. Of course I'm sure many times pastors have said from behind the pulpit. If we really believe the Lord is coming tomorrow. What would we do today. How would we prepare today. Now the problem is, every single one of these things that he asked about is used in Mormonism to prepare you for your justification in Mormonism.
They mix up justification and sanctification, and Oaks does a good job of doing that the end of this article because every one of those things that he suggests that a Mormon should be doing or all works that they must perform solo Latter Day Saints tells you that they don't believe they are saved by works. You might point them to this article authority ordinances in preparation by Dallen H.
Oaks, thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request our free newsletter is a research we hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism