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Baptism for the Dead Misunderstandings Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
July 30, 2020 6:10 pm

Baptism for the Dead Misunderstandings Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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In their own words collection of Mormon quotations compiled as research ministries Bill McKeever is a valuable resource when wanting to know what Mormon leaders have said on a given topic and pick up your copy you Utah lighthouse bookstore .1 as it examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism 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. What does Mormon doctrine really teach when it comes to salvation for the dead. Welcome to this edition of 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 were looking at volume 2, chapter 10 of doctrines of salvation, a book that was compiled by Bruce R. McConkie would later become a Mormon apostle. His father-in-law was Joseph Fielding Smith and this book contains the sermons and writings of Joseph Fielding Smith the 10th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In this chapter as we brought out on the first day of this series. He says there are many false notions about salvation for the dead, and that salvation for the dead is grossly misunderstood by many of latter day saints well if Latter Day Saints are confused about this doctrine. You can imagine how much confusion reigns. For those of us outside of the LDS church so we figured this week we would allow Joseph Fielding Smith to enlighten us as to what really is involved when it comes to the salvation of the dead according to Mormonism and as we've seen so far it seems like according to Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon movement that you have a much better chance of reaching the celestial kingdom if you never even hear about Mormonism.

During this mortality, but embrace it after you die in the spirit world. Well were going to get some more clarification as we read from the bottom of page 182 where Joseph Fielding Smith talks about those who have the opportunity here to hear the message of salvation was a say at the bottom of page 182 Eric those who have the opportunity here, those on to whom the message of salvation is declared who are taught and who have this truth presented to them in this life, yet who deny it and refuse to receive it shall not have a place in the kingdom of God.

They will not be with those who died without that knowledge and who yet accepted it in the spirit world. It sounds like he's merely recapping what Joseph Smith said in 1836, January 21, 1836 to be precise, and I think it's good to read that quote again all who have died without a knowledge of the gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to Terry shall be errors of the celestial kingdom of God. It sounds like that's exactly what Joseph Fielding Smith is saying here. If you received this message of salvation but yet you deny it or you refuse to receive it. You're not going to have a place in the kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God mean in the context of Mormonism will in this context, it's talking about the celestial kingdom in another context. The kingdom of God could be referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because it's been defined that way as well. But what Joseph Fielding Smith is trying to get across here is you better hope that if you receive it you better not deny you better live up to every standard that this restored gospel has for you, because if you don't you will not have a place in the kingdom of God.

He says they will not be with those who died without that knowledge and who yet accepted it in the spirit world view showing a comparison here.

If you hear it and you don't do it you're not going to end up having what you could have had if you never heard it and never did anything except embrace it after you die. That's really I would think the best way to come about this and this is why I said yesterday I don't think the Mormon missionaries are doing anybody a good service by telling them what they believe regarding this restored gospel, as it's understood within the LDS church bell. You mentioned that Smith's son-in-law Bruce R. McConkie, who was an apostle in the LDS church all the way until in 1985 when he died at the age of 69.

He very much agree with his father-in-law and did so in several different times.

Here's a quote that comes from his classic book called Mormon doctrine, 1966, pages 686 687. He said salvation for the dead is limited expressly to those who do not have the opportunity in this life, to accept the gospel but who would've taken the opportunity had it come to them. Thus, the false and heretical doctrine that people who fail to live the law in this life, having had an opportunity so to do will have a further chance of salvation in the life to come is a soul destroying doctrine, a doctrine that loads its adherents into carnal security and thereby denies them a hope of eternal salvation. He also said in a famous speech called the seven deadly heresies, he gave us at Brigham Young University. The LDS church own school on June 1, 1980. This is what he said there are those who believe that the doctrine of salvation for the dead offers men a second chance for salvation. This is false false false. I know a man now deceased and non-member of the church who was a degenerate old reprobate who found pleasure as he suppose in living after the manner of the world a cigarette dangling from his lips. Alcohol stench is breath and profane, and body stories defiled his lips, his moral status left much to be desired. His wife was a member of the church as faithful as she could be under the circumstances.

One day she said to him you know the church is true, why don't you be baptized, he replied, of course, I know the church is true, but I have no intention of changing my habits in order to join it. I prefer to live the way I do. But that doesn't worry me in the slightest. I know that as soon as I die, you will have someone go to the temple and do the work for me and everything will come out all right in the end anyway. He died and she did and it was a total and complete waste of time.

Bill that's interesting story that he tells, but it sounds similar to the story you gave on Monday of a woman who's telling her friend that she would be baptized for her mother and that it would all be okay in the end because she did this work at.

According to Bruce R. McConkie, it would be a complete waste of time. In fact he says in the doctrinal New Testament commentary volume on page 435 the highest reward somebody can get if they've heard the gospel would be the terrestrial kingdom. So yes, you're going to get a kingdom of glory you'll get a resurrection because you're human and you received a body but to get the very best that Mormonism has to offer.

You don't have a chance.

If you've already heard it and rejected in this life and that was the context of that conversation I heard that you mentioned with that woman telling her friend that she had shared what she believed with her mother and her mother had rejected it. It's exactly the same kind of scenario, but in the next paragraph on page 183 Joseph Fielding Smith gives another angle to this that sounds very similar to what his son-in-law said that you would just read it's under the subheading, some not eligible for vicarious salvation. There are too many people in this world who have heard the message of the gospel who think they can continue on to the end of this mortal life living as they please, and then accept the gospel after death and friends will perform the ordinances that they neglect to perform for themselves and eventually they will receive blessings in the kingdom of God. This is an air sounds pretty similar to what Bruce McConkie was saying they have story that he related about the man who was a degenerate. It was the way he described him.

He just felt all my wife's can take care of it for me after I die. So why should I worry about it.

Now in this paragraph that you just read seems to make it very clear that that is not the way it's going to be. According to Mormonism that makes you wonder though, Eric, how many Latter Day Saints think that and I think that's why he mentions on page 184 about these false notions that even many Latter Day Saints have about this doctrine, there probably are quite a few Latter Day Saints who don't understand clearly and have assumed that the story of the degenerate that McConkie tells well could be there story for all we know. Look, I don't want to judge motives, but I think many Latter Day Saints have all good intentions and purposes of why they do work on behalf of people who have died.

In fact, they have to wait a year after a person has died. To be able to do that work and then once the years gone by. They can do that and they think they're doing something to be what they call a Savior on Mount Zion. I have LDS relatives who have told me when I die or when anybody my family dies.

They have sort of like adopted me and they will actually do the work that is necessary in the temple so that I might have this quote unquote second chance. It's hard when you have LDS relatives who are trying to say.

A nice thing to you and one of my supposed to reply back with well I don't believe in baptism for the dead. I don't think there's a second chance of salvation. It was not an opportunity to really come up and say I disagree with that but it's it's something that they want to do for me and do it in a good way. But according to Bruce McConkie. It's a complete waste of time because I've heard the LDS gospel.

I think I've had sufficient presentation of that from all the different Mormons I talk to including many missionaries and I reject it. So according to Mormonism, I should not have a chance of the celestial kingdom. No matter how much I might accepted in the next life, you raise a good point, though. How do we as Christians respond to in this case a relative could say a loved one spouse even who says well after you die, I'm going to be baptized on your behalf. If you have no religious beliefs whatsoever. You could probably just roll your eyes shrug your shoulders and say go for it. You know, knock yourself out, but as a Christian we certainly don't believe that this is a true doctrine at all. We could respond by being rude to them. You could do what you did and I think under the circumstance because you've told me the story before under the circumstance. It probably was best to just merely smile and thank them for what they think is a kind gesture on your behalf. Certainly you think there misled. Certainly you don't think with their believing is true. You don't think what they believe is going to happen, but is that the time to get into a back-and-forth in this particular case for you, it was not maybe in another situation, it could've very well been a good opportunity say will let's talk about that. I think we need to be careful when we are approached by Latter Day Saints on this topic because you and I both agree they're not saying they're going to do this because they dislike us right there saying it because I think they really are concerned for us. I think we have to read the intentions, and when the intentions are meant to be positive as much as we might disagree sometimes we have to count the cost, especially a family member and say okay, not now, maybe another time and just be polite about the whole situation. That's how I treated it in that time a vacation where the family was together at a reunion. I never did have an opportunity to talk further about that, but who knows, you know, maybe someday I'll have a further opportunity and I just need to be patient.

The Bible says in first Peter chapter 3 were supposed to do this with gentleness and respect. And I think that is what is very important for me when I'm dealing with family members and I think it helps to also try to understand the motive with which the person who's saying this to us has.

And I think it's important that we do not forget they're not saying this in order to rub it in her face or anything like that. Not maybe they are. I don't know and that kind of a case. Maybe it is time to say something but that certainly was not the intent of that relative who was talking to you at that time is just something Christian to think about. Should you find yourself in that situation.

Thank you for listening.

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