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September 30, 2021 9:54 pm
Answering Mormons questions by Bill McKeever Gary Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians want to share their faith with friends and loved ones. Be sure to pick up your copy today that your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint on Mormonism is a program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint on Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 as a research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism do covenants give Latter Day Saints power to love themselves welcome this addition of viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM this week we've been talking about the importance of covenants, ordinances and blessings taken from an article that is in the September 2021.
Addition of Leona magazine. It was originally a devotional given by Randy D. Funk of the first quorum of the 70 devotional that he gave on September 22, 2020 at BYU Idaho, which is located in Rexburg, Idaho. In the October issue of Leona magazine again the subject of covenants comes up in. As we mentioned earlier in this week it seems like covenant keeping temple participation ordinances is a huge theme for the year 2021 will in the October edition of Leona magazine, there was an article titled covenants can transform our relationships.
It was written by a person who lives in Utah.
A woman by the name of Emily able. Now I know nothing of this moment I don't know how old she is, or how long she's been a member of the church. I'm assuming she was probably born in the covenant which means she was born into an LDS family, but she makes some comments here that I think need to be critiqued in light of what Mr. Funk said in the article in the September issue of the Leona magazine.
What does Emily say at the beginning of her piece. As a child I was proud to be able to define a big word like covenant whenever the topic came up at church I would probably burst out a company that is a promise between me and God. Growing up I made covenants through baptism and in the temple, and my definition remained mostly unchanged. I saw covenants as a set of rules for me to follow and then God would hold up his side of the bargain by bestowing promised blessings though. Why wouldn't she have that kind of a conclusion when it comes to covenants. Why wouldn't she see them as a set of rules for me to follow and then God would uphold his side of the bargain by bestowing promised blessings, of course, if she kept her side of the bargain.
Let's not forget the banana illustration that Mr. Funk gave in the September 2021. Addition of the Leona magazine. He says on page 32, I might say to you, if you bring me a dozen bananas I will pay you $100 to accept my generous offer. You don't need to sign an agreement or even say you will bring me bananas. You simply need to go to the store or marketplace by a dozen bananas and bring them to me you bring me a dozen bananas. I am contractually obligated to pay you $100.
Why because you accepted my offer by your performance, then Mr. Funk goes on to say, covenants with our heavenly father work in much the same way to receive the generous blessings he offers. We must act to accept them as we then keep our covenants by what we do we qualify for the abundant blessings he has promised its reciprocal Latter Day Saints does what they're told to do. They do it. God promises to meet his end of the bargain. So when she says I saw covenants as a set of rules for me to follow him and God would hold up his side of the bargain by bestowing promised blessings. Sounds to me like she's paraphrasing what Mr. Funk wrote in his article in the September issue of the Leona magazine titled covenants, ordinances and blessings, but she goes on to me. Covenants seem to be something to check off a list of life to dues. I could see how other gospel practices like prayer and fasting were about developing a relationship with heavenly father, but covenants seem to be about heavenly father's rules.
Well, it turns out that my childhood definition was a good start, but it needed a few more lines if covenants were going to transform my life the way God intended them to notice very carefully here. She says well it turns out that my childhood definition was a good start. She doesn't say that her childhood definition was inaccurate. She just says it was a good start. So she's not denying this idea that she says earlier that covenants seem to be something to check off a list of life to dues yet how many times have we talked to Latter Day Saints where they give us the impression that in order to receive the desired blessing. There are a number of things that they must do. I mean, even Mr. Funk in his article in the September Leona. He talks about the ordinances of salvation and exultation. Then he names them.
He says that there are five of them that you must keep. So there is a list that Latter Day Saints really must check off if they hope to receive the desired blessing.
In this case, so I'm not going to draw the conclusion that she's saying it's not a set of checks that need to be marked off. It's just not the whole story. At least that's what she's trying to imply what I get from what Emily able is saying in this article. Sadly limited be very blunt here I think what she's doing here is putting a good spin on what covenant keeping is really all about. And this is why I say that in a pull quote.
It has this statement. Covenants can give us power to love ourselves, serve others, and return to our heavenly father and Savior to that statement.
I would add that might be true in a Mormon context, but only if you are keeping them you cannot assume that you're going to have power to love yourself. Unless you are keeping the covenants that you have promised to keep. In fact, if you're Latter Day Saints, who realizes that you're not keeping the covenants that you have promised to keep I would probably be correct in assuming that a person like that, perhaps even loathes themselves because they're not living up to the promises that they have made with their God, and of course the huge problem behind that is there are so many things that a Latter Day Saints must do the bar is set so high that no Latter Day Saints can do it well. If you can't keep all these covenants then how do you think you have the power to love yourself so she's trying to tell yourself that she does love herself as she is keeping these covenants and again not to be mean because we know from talking to Latter Day Saints. When we asked specific questions about where they are in light of eternity. I've never had one beat his chest and say proudly. I know I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do and when I die. God owes me all these things because I've done my part of the bargain if you get a Latter Day Saints like that.
All you need to do is ask him, that's great.
So you never repent. Well, if they do admit that there repenting, then wouldn't they be going against what was cited in the September Leona by Robert Funk and MOSI 18 89 where you're supposed to stand as witnesses at all times and in all things and in all places, even unto death, then you can hope to be in the first resurrection and have eternal life.
If you're not doing that you don't qualify.
And remember, as we brought out this week. One of the pull quotes that they had in that article in the September issue of Leona.
They had Russell M. Nelson saying God fixes the terms.
Every person may choose to accept those terms. If one accepts the terms of the covenant and obeys God's law, he or she receives the blessings associated with the covenant. If one accepts the terms of the covenant and doesn't obey God's law and what happens here. She doesn't receive the blessings associated with the covenant. That's the illustration that Robert Funk was giving us in his article, but somehow I think Emily is trying to fudge with a little bit of the facts here. What is she saying down at the bottom of page 43 under filling in the missing pieces these words from Elder Garrett W.
Gong of the quorum of the 12 apostles were a helpful starting place for my evolving definition of covenant quote by divine covenant, we belong to God and to each other, covenant, longing is a miracle.
It is not to give up on ourselves on each other or on God. Okay, again, isn't that predicated on keeping the covenants.
I mean, it's not just saying that you're going to join in on this covenant with God. You have to basically keep them and I can understand will is not to give up on ourselves on each other or on God but yet how many times we talk to Latter Day Saints that seem to have done just that. They know they don't qualify and they been content to just believe that though make it to the terrestrial kingdom. She goes on in the next in the And she says since finding that quote I realize that covenants have a daily impact on our lives. When we truly live by the covenants we've made. We don't give up on ourselves on the people around us or on God.
You see, again, folks.
It's all based on keeping those covenants again. I asked the question will what if you don't do that. What if you're struggling with.
That would, if you realize this is a difficult thing for me to do. I can't live up to this. If you're not living by the covenants you've made. You can see why an individual might just give up on themselves because they realize that this alleged merciful God, and I have the word merciful in quotation marks is not quite as merciful as he's been described know this is been a week of I think depressing news.
If you're Latter Day Saints and listening to this and understanding that you're not bringing 12 bananas to the table.
You're not capable of bringing the right number of bananas in the right kind of shape that God desires and you might be a little depressed going okay.
What a why do I think we need to say and during a series like this that there is hope for people who think that they have to do everything and somehow bring it to the table that they can't do.
First John 410. This is as simple as it gets.
This is what John writes this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Now I no Latter Day Saints believe in Jesus.
He's in the churches name. Of course, but do you really know Jesus. Have you really received him and put all your faith and trust in him and not in yourself because Jesus brings the banana so to speak to the Dave Ackley Jesus lays those bananas out on the table and says they're yours.
We don't have to come up with the bananas because were not capable of doing it. But Jesus imputes his righteousness into our accounts not based on anything that I did or I am doing or I will do, but based on what Jesus did. This is love that we didn't love God first.
He loved us based on the citation that I gave him JC Ryle earlier in the week where he said the holiest actions of the holiest thing that ever lived are all more or less full of defects and imperfections. I think his illustration of the bananas works perfectly as long as we can keep in our mind because of our fallenness. The best we can possibly provide would be bananas that are moldy. We are not going to bring fresh bananas. We can't fall in everything we do is tainted by our sinfulness. This is why folks we are trying so hard to get the Latter Day Saints understand that if they want to have that peace that passes all understanding.
They have no choice but to trust in the completed work of Christ, and as you mentioned Eric his righteousness is imputed to us when we come to that saving faith, knowing that he is the one that provided these proverbial bananas through his death on the cross and his bodily resurrection.
Thank you for listening.
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