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Harold B. Lee and Forgiveness Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
October 14, 2021 9:45 pm

Harold B. Lee and Forgiveness Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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October 14, 2021 9:45 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.


Viewpoint 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 industry 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 in the context of Mormonism is little required on our part. Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on 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 looking at a story that is told by Pres. Harold B. Lee.

He was the 11th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the book that he wrote titled stand. He and holy places.

He talks about how he was with his second counselor Marion G. Romney, when the door open and a fine young man came in with a troubled look on his face.

Apparently this young man had some sin in his life he had gone through a period of repentance, he says, and now he was told that he can participate in an LDS temple.

However, he did not see that as actually arriving. You might say he wanted to know how we could have the assurance of forgiveness and this is what it says at the end of the story, but brethren, that is not enough.

The young man said I want to know and how can I know that the Lord has forgiven me. Also, as I mentioned earlier in the week. I commend this young man for wanting to know whether or not he has forgiveness because I find that that's probably not something that a lot of Latter Day Saints, at least the ones I've talked to seem to want to know they don't seem to be bothered by the fact that they don't know whether or not they are forgiven, which I think allows us as Christians to open the door and hopefully ask them some questions to see where they are in light of eternity will, in light of this young man wanting to know if he was forgiven Harold Bewley at the bottom of page 184 says what would you answer one who might come to you asking that question know as we discussed, and I don't want to repeat it all over again. His response was citing portions of the fourth chapter of Mosiah in the book of Mormon. He cites verses two and three, but not in their entirety and basically what he cites is a group of people in Mosiah chapter 4 asking God for mercy, wanting the atoning blood of Christ to be applied to them so that they may receive forgiveness of their sins, and after they had spoken these words spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins and having the peace of conscience that Harold B. Lee says was the answer to the question what you would say to an individual wanting the assurance of forgiveness.

But as we've demonstrated, Harold B. Lee of course be the president of the church knows that's not the answer there's much more to the answer.

So we go over to chapter 37.

In his book stand you in holy places. Chapter 37 is titled after all we can do and this is what Harold B.

Lee has to say on page 366. When you think about it. There is so much promise in the gospel for so little required on our part.

For example, the ordinance of baptism is given us for the remission of sins for entrance into the kingdom. A new birth, the gift of the Holy Ghost gives us the right to companionship with one of the Godhead administration to the sick, qualify the individual with faith for a special blessing by paying our tithing. The windows of heaven may be opened onto us by fasting and by praying our fast offerings. We are told that then we might call on the Lord and he will hear our cry in our call celestial marriage promises us that family life will exist beyond the grave.

But all of these blessings are ours on one condition. And this is spoken of by Nephi, then he cites from second Nephi chapter 25 verse 23. For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children and also our brethren to believe in Christ and to be reconciled to God. For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, but Mark you this condition. After all we can do. It's interesting that phrase, but Mark you. This condition is not in second Nephi 2523 Harold B. Lee puts that in there in brackets and is making it clear this is what you have to do in order to know for sure that you have been reconciled to God.

And as he says in the context here that you have the remission of sins that he says on the bottom of page 366 now say that to the young man that came into his office when he was sitting there with Marion G. Romney did a hidden site second Nephi 2523. He said the answer was found in Mosiah chapter 4 verses two through three and not even all of verses two through three. He certainly doesn't quote any of the verses afterwards. But here he saying that in order to have that remission of sins. The condition is spoken by Nephi.

It's only after all you can do any mistakes.

The specific point to insert but Mark you this condition. My question Eric is many times we had Latter Day Saints try to tell us that we're interpreting second Nephi 2523 all wrong.

It's not really. After all we can do it, sins by of all we can do can you read into this context that Harold B. Lee was understanding second Nephi 25, 23 to mean really it's in spite of all we can do not only can we not find it here. In this context, but in other places in his writings.

He's very clear that you have to do all you can do to be able to get the grace that is supposedly offered by God when the Latter Day Saints inserts the phrase in spite of all we can do and tells us that were wrong for reading it as it really says not changing doctrine. I mean this is supposed to be a doctrine in the LDS church. If a latter-day St. comes up to you and says what that really means.

In spite of all we can do. That's not what it says aren't they kind of inserting their own false doctrine. Because what if they're not correct. What is the wrong on this. You would be better off going with the stronger reading, which would be the way it does read it. Rather than try to interpret it as as in spite of all you can do.

I think Latter Day Saints you try to tell us that it really means. In spite of all you can do are not really reading carefully with their leaders have said about this passage.

They're not really even reading with their manuals have said about this passage but were sticking with Harold Bewley for this week were looking at what the 11th president had to say about this particular passage would other times did he use it well in the same book standing in holy places on page 246. He cites second Nephi 25, 23, I don't think we need to cite that again and then he writes the Savior's blood. His atonement will save us, but only after we have done all we can to save ourselves by keeping his commandments. All of the principles of the gospel are principles of promise, by which the plans of the Almighty are unfolded to us, the earlier I asked the question, could you insert the understanding that Harold B. Lee really meant.

In spite of all we can do when he cites it on page 367 of his book mound and asked that same question again when he cites it on page 246 the Savior's blood. His atonement will save us, but only after we have done all we can do to save ourselves by keeping his commandments.

Can you try to insert the idea but only in spite of all we can do to save ourselves by keeping his commands that doesn't even make any sense now.

In that sentence. No, it would be a stretch to be able to bring that in and make it say something different than what he was trying to say. Not only does he say to in this book, but there's a book called the teachings of Harold Bailey and I want to look at a couple of quotes from that book where he loves to quote from second Nephi 2523 this town on pages 17, 18, originally written in the inside magazine in April 1973. He writes ultimate salvation comes to those who obey the ancient prophets of this Western continent have clearly set forth in understandable language. The obligation of each individual to obtain the highest of these eternal privileges in mortality and in the world to come. And then he cites second Nephi 2523. In other words, each must do all he can to save himself from sin, then he may lay claim to the blessings of redemption by the holy one of Israel, that all mankind may be saved by obedience to law and ordinances of the gospel and so again second Nephi 25, 23, there's no way you could say in spite of you have to do all you can to save yourself from sin and only when you do that can you lay claim to the blessings of God.

It makes me wonder why didn't he is telling this story about the young man wanting to have an assurance of his forgiveness.

Why didn't he cites second Nephi 2523 What Way does he miss use Mosiah four verses 233.

This is what bothers me here, especially when he says after citing Mosiah four, two and three, there was the answer. That's the answer to this young man's dilemma, but it's not the answer in Harold B.

Lee knows it's not the answer and it makes you wonder how many times we hear from Latter Day Saints that second Nephi 2523 should really mean in spite of all we can do.

I think they know the answer, and they know that if if they are to understand it the way it reads you will never have the assurance of forgiveness. That's probably why Carol Beasley didn't cite second Nephi 2523 two.

This young man who allegedly came to his door at his office when he was talking with the second counselor Marion G.

Romney let me give you two more citations from the teaches of Harold Bailey.

This one comes from page 186 and it's under the title of the Lord blesses us to the degree we keep the commandments of the Lord will bless us to the degree to which we keep his commandments. Nephi put this principle in a tremendous orbit when he said and then he cites second Nephi 25, 23, he writes the Savior's blood. His atonement will save us, but only after we have done all we can to save ourselves by keeping his commandments and then one other citation real quick. Page 85. This does not cite second Nephi 25, 23, but I think it's an important citation. He said the greatest message that one in this position could get to the membership of the church is to keep the commandments of God, for therein lies the safety of the church and the safety of the individual. Keep the commandments. There could be nothing that I could say that would be a more powerful or important message today that in light of all the citations that we've given from Harold B. Lee, I don't see how you can read into what he has said about second Nephi 25, 23, I don't see how you can come to the conclusion that he understood that passage to mean in spite of all you can do. He said it in a number of ways, and it seems to always come out the same. It really means. After all you can do. And of course now that becomes very subjective, and how does a latter-day St. really know they've done all he can do. I want to conclude by reiterating what we talked about all week on page 184 were this young man says I want to know and how can I know that the Lord has forgiven me also and then Lee asked what would you answer one who might come to you asking that question I think is evangelical Christians bill. We can quote first John 513 because is based on faith. And when you receive Jesus.

It's a done deal.

This is what first John 513 says I write these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. It's not striving. It's not trying is not doing your best. It's you know because you believe in the name of the son of God.

We know because the debt has been paid totally and completely. There's nothing left for us to add to it. Thank you for listening.

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