Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

Harold B. Lee and Forgiveness Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
October 10, 2021 9:37 pm

Harold B. Lee and Forgiveness Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

October 10, 2021 9:37 pm

Bill and Eric take a closer look at the book written by President Harold B. Lee titled Stand Ye in Holy Places and discuss what Lee said about forgiveness. What he wrote might surprise you…or maybe not.

Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg

Answering Mormons questions by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians who want to share their faith with friends and loved ones.

Be sure to pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore. Our 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.

What is the heaviest burden a person may bear in this life? Welcome to this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry, and with me today is Eric Johnson, my colleague at MRM. Looking at the book written by 11th President Harold B. Lee, a book that he wrote called Stand Ye in Holy Places, he tells an interesting story on page 184, and he's having a conversation with President Marion G. Romney, and we should probably give you a little bit of a background as to who Marion G. Romney is. The reason why he's probably talking to Mr. Romney is because Romney was his second counselor when Harold B. Lee became president of the church on July 7, 1972. He was formally an apostle.

He was ordained an apostle on October 11, 1951 at the age of 54. And then after Harold B. Lee passed away, he became Spencer Kimball's second counselor. So Marion G. Romney is a very prominent member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But wouldn't you agree, Eric, he's probably not one that you hear a lot about.

Many of the members of the First Presidency, though they play a very important role in how the LDS church operates, many times you don't know who they are. They're kind of like an important person behind the scenes, you might say, but I just wanted to give you that background as to who he's talking about because he mentions Marion G. Romney in this story. But getting back to the question that I asked at the beginning of this show, this is a question that Harold B. Lee brings up on page 184, and we want to talk about how he and Marion G. Romney would answer this question about what he calls the heaviest burden one has to bear in this life.

What does he say around the middle of page 184, Eric? If I were to ask you what is the heaviest burden one may have to bear in this life, what would you answer? The heaviest burden that one has to bear in this life is the burden of sin. How do you help one to bear that great burden of sin in order that it might be light? He says that the heaviest burden one may have to bear in this life is the burden of sin. And I would agree to that, that certainly the burden of sin is an awful burden to bear. But then he switches gears, he makes it sound personal, but then he's going to, in the last sentence of that paragraph, ask, how do you make someone's sin burden lighter?

He doesn't say it in those exact words. He says, how do you help one to bear that great burden of sin in order that it might be light? And that intrigues me because as a Christian, I've been following Jesus now for over four decades. And I don't know, maybe I'm just strange, but I don't recall in my Christian walk having that huge burden of sin after I came to the foot of the cross, after I put my faith in what Jesus did for me on the cross at Calvary. I've always recognized my sinfulness, I know I'm a fallen creature, I know I'm susceptible to sin, but this burden of sin that he talks about, to be quite honest, Eric, I don't know, I don't think I've experienced that.

And I say that only because I've trusted Jesus at his word, that when I came to him in faith, and realized that according to the New Testament, I was made right with God at that moment, though I'm still cognizant of my sinfulness, I'm still cognizant of my fallenness, I don't recall going around with this big burden of sin. And I don't want to treat lightly those who profess to be Christians in evangelical communities who seem to still have this burden of sin. The reason I say that is because it's not by anything that I did in order to alleviate myself of that burden, it was everything that Jesus did. But I would say that if a person who claims to be a Christian, who still maintains this burden of sin that Harold B. Lee is talking about, wouldn't you think that that's probably only because of a misunderstanding of the gospel message? And what I mean by that is the gospel message, I think, is supposed to take away that burden of sin. If you misunderstand the gospel message, I can see why you still have it. It's not a theological problem, it's that you misunderstand the theology behind the grace that lifts that burden.

In Mormonism, however, it's the religion that causes you to have this burden. But when he says, how do you help one to bear that great burden of sin in order that it might be light, my question, Eric, is, well, really, shouldn't it be nonexistent? I think that's exactly right, and if we go to the book of Romans, chapter 3, Paul talks about that no one is righteous. And he goes through a number of Old Testament passages, but he says in verse 9, what then?

Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all, for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin. And so he goes through a whole litany of none are righteous, no not one. You can read that in the following verses. But then he gets to chapter 3, starting at verse 23, I'm going to read, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

So we've got this burden of sin, and it's sin that has caused that. But verse 24, And are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. I think about Isaac Watts and Ralph E. Hudson and their hymn, a very famous hymn, at the cross.

And think about the chorus. At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day. I think the whole burden of your sins are taken away when you receive the gift that God has made available for you.

And what it sounds like here is you still have a burden. And in Mormonism you have to continue to pay this off. And you never know when you have reached the point of no return, that you have done everything you're supposed to do.

Ask Latter-day Saints, if you were to die right now, where would you end up? They know that they're not going to end up in the very best that this religion has to offer in the celestial kingdom, because they know they're still working out their sin. You bring up the song at the cross. I've sang that song numerous times during my Christian lifetime. And it reminds me of the story by John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress. When Christian comes to the foot of the cross, and he recognizes that forgiveness that is available through Christ's sacrifice on the cross, what happens at that point in his story? It is an allegory, but it certainly is supposed to make a point here. And the point that's being made by Bunyan at that time in his book is when he is at the foot of the cross, and he accepts that forgiveness that is given to him by Christ's sacrifice, the burden that he bears in the story up until this point falls off of his back. It rolls away, you might say. Maybe that's where they got the idea for the song.

I don't know. But certainly it illustrates what I experienced many decades ago when I put my faith in Christ. And again, I don't want to belittle anyone who still struggles with that, but I would hope that if you struggle with this burden of sin and you profess to be a Christian, that you go to the verses that Eric has just read and see what Christ has made available for us and why we don't have to feel that way.

I think you're exactly right. I don't want a light burden. I want no burden. Because there's nothing that I can do to be able to pay for what Jesus did. Jesus imputes his righteousness. Imputation is the idea that we get credit for righteousness for something that we did not do. Jesus took our place.

He took the death on the cross. That's the atonement in Christianity that allows us through faith to be able to have no burden of sin. We have to understand that God is not going to come back later and say, oh, you didn't do everything you were supposed to do.

I think that's the fear a lot of Mormons have, because they know they've done a lot of good things, but even if they reach the point of 95% good, they're still 5% short, and that's not good enough for an all-holy God. And then they come up with this idea that was a Stephen Robinson idea, that I do my part and Jesus does the rest. There's nothing biblical about that. There is absolutely nothing biblical about you do so much and Jesus does the rest. That is a man-made concept that is unbiblical. It's nowhere to be found in the New Testament.

Now, in this story that Harold B. Lee is going to tell, I think we should at least get through a part of it to try to show our audience where we're going with this. He continues on on page 184, Let me stop you there, because we know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints views their temple ceremony, the endowment ceremony as it's called, as being a restoration of the way things were done anciently. In fact, they use that word restoration to describe their church, their theology, everything. Can you imagine in the Old Testament, let's say, that a person goes up to his rabbi and says, you know, I've made mistakes and I'm ready to go back to the temple and being told by their rabbi, though there's a period that you have to go through before you can go to the temple. I cannot even imagine such an absurdity ever being uttered by a rabbi towards a repentant Jew. The temple was where you went recognizing your shortcomings, going there for the forgiveness of sins and such.

And what did they do? They brought animals that were used in the sacrifice to atone for sins. Of course, the book of Hebrews talks about how Jesus was the one that was prefiguring, but that's what they did. They came as sinners and they brought their sacrifice as an atonement for their sins. Tomorrow, we're going to continue looking at this story that is told by 11th President Harold B. Lee in his book, Standing in the Holy Places. There's some things that he says on page 185 that I feel is misleading. But the reason why I want to discuss it is because it's something that's often said to us as evangelicals when we talk to our LDS counterparts. What is it that's necessary in order to receive that forgiveness that is going to be discussed in this story that Harold B. Lee is telling on page 184? .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-12 12:55:48 / 2023-08-12 13:01:18 / 6

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime