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Baptism for the Dead Misunderstandings Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
July 30, 2020 6:05 pm

Baptism for the Dead Misunderstandings Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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Is it one-on-one for teams is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a simplified view of the Mormon religion from a Christian perspective woman is a one-to-one for teams is available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore in Salt Lake City or MRM.org .1 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 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 are you confused about the Mormon doctrine of salvation for the dead. Welcome to this edition 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 M. R. M. I recall telling a story from many years ago when I was standing in front of the San Diego Temple during that six week open house being approached by two ladies on the sidewalk and I could hear one of the women talking to her friend explaining how as a latter-day St. She had shared what she believed to be the Mormon gospel with her mother but that her mother had rejected that message. This lady was explaining to her friend as they walked towards me. But that didn't really bother her much because she could go to this particular Temple or really any other Mormon Temple and do baptismal work on behalf of her mother after she died, and in her mind she felt that that was good enough.

The problem is is that's really not Mormon doctrine, and that's why we want to talk about this misunderstanding that many people do seem to have regarding this very unique teaching that belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that is the doctrine of salvation for the debtor, even baptism for the dead were going to be looking at a book. The doctrines of salvation volume 2. It includes statements by the 10th Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith and it was compiled by his son-in-law Bruce McConkie who would later become an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were looking at chapter 10 and we want to begin on page 184. Now, if you have the book in your following along with this, you might wonder why are we not starting at the beginning of the chapter and the reason being he asked this very question or he states the fact I should say about false notions about salvation for the dead, Eric. What does Joseph Fielding Smith have to say about this on page 184 salvation for the dead is grossly misunderstood by many of the Latter Day Saints. It is due to the justice of our eternal father that a chance for salvation and exultation is given to every soul. Some of the spirits rejected their privilege and rebelled in the former existence and had to be punished. All the others were granted bodies and the privilege of abiding in covenants here that would give them salvation with the provision that any of the number coming to earth, who for causes over which they had no control were denied the privileges of obedience to gospel covenants in the mortal life should have that privilege in the spirit world after death, but the Lord did not offer to those who had every opportunity. While in the mortal existence the privilege of another chance in the world of spirits. Now if anybody's confused she could probably be confused just by the paragraph that you read and I mean he throws out a lot of terms here that if you're not real familiar with those terms, at least in the context of Mormonism. It can be very confusing and so I'm not totally shocked that even among Latter Day Saints, as Joseph Fielding Smith admits here that many.

Latter Day Saints don't really have a clear understanding of it. But when he says salvation for the dad is grossly misunderstood by many of the Latter Day Saints. If you're not a latter-day St., you're confused, I guess you're in good company because even members themselves can be very confused about this and I personally think that that woman that I just told you about back in 1993 when I overheard this conversation as they were walking towards me. She certainly misunderstood the concept of baptism for the debtor salvation for the debt, but the way Joseph Fielding Smith says this in the next sentence is kind of confusing in and of itself. It is due to the justice of our eternal father that a chance for salvation and exultation is given to every soul. Some of the spirits rejected their privilege and rebelled in the former existence and had to be punished will who is Joseph Fielding Smith referring to. He's referring to our spirit brothers and sisters who joined our other brother Lucifer in rebelling against heavenly father and our other brother Jehovah as he was known the preexistence that would be Jesus Christ. One third of our spirit brothers joined with Lucifer in his rebellion against the fact that Jesus or Jehovah at this time was chosen to be the Savior of the world. Obviously, Lucifer wanted that job and he wanted to force everyone into believing what Mormons believe to be the restored gospel that sounds very confusing. If you're not even familiar with a lot of those terms but that's the best way I think I can explain so far we've talked about it before but if God is a God of justice. And yet he relegates these spirits who disobeyed because they did not follow Jesus, but rather follow Lucifer and that's one third were talking several billion at least minimum of all the spirits that were in the preexistence are going to not have an opportunity, a second opportunity to be able to hear the gospel, even if they never heard the gospel. The first time and I think it's important to emphasize folks that that one third of those spirit children. Our brothers and sisters, if Mormonism is true, they become the demons because of that error that they made in going against heavenly father.

They have become the demons of demons according to Mormonism are really our brothers and sisters that we have to assume we knew the preexistence. But of course all our memory of the preexistence is wiped away when we come into mortality. According to LBS teaching bill Smith says that they had to be punished.

And you know what all people who are on this earth deserve to be punished.

The Bible is very clear that the wages of sin is death, and so the idea that all people have sand.

We have all fallen short of what God's glory is and yet here these people, these spirits don't get the same opportunity that people as bad as they can be if they never heard the gospel are going to have the opportunity to hear in the next life that these other spirits will never get to hear there is a lot written on this subject by Mormon leaders, but it makes you wonder will if they saw that they had committed such a gross sin, in the preexistence that they get the opportunity to repent of that we don't know why I can't even recall thinking about it right now of any leader that ever said that they had the opportunity to repent in the preexistence but refused to do so. It just seems like from what we have for us is that they committed the sin and because of that sin, they were automatically going to be banished outer darkness and would eventually become the demons.

This was a topic of conversation I had with one Latter Day Saints a few years ago and I mentioned the unfairness. It seems that the Swanson would get them disqualified from ever being able to go to any of the kingdom's glory and his response to me was well they committed a grievous sin. I said have you ever committed grievous sins. Have you ever disobeyed God when he told you to do something. He says all the time I said about how many times have you done that many times he said doesn't seem fair that the these spirits only had apparently this one opportunity with as you said no opportunity to repent of what they did in the way. Joseph Fielding Smith states that hear all the others were granted bodies that would be you and I we did not join in that rebellion. And so we were granted bodies as he says here in the privilege of abiding in covenants here that would give them salvation with the provision that any of the number coming to earth, who for causes over which they had no control were denied the privileges of obedience to gospel covenants in the mortal life should have that privilege in the spirit world after death within the next sentence read that next sentence again but the Lord did not offer to those who had every opportunity. While in this mortal existence.

The privilege of another chance in this world the spirits and that's what causes I think a lot of confusion, not what Joseph Fielding Smith says earlier that it has to do with the justice of our eternal father.

It has more to do with what does it mean by every opportunity that he has the word every in that phrase every opportunity. The word every is italicized so he's emphasizing the word every but what does that mean in years past when the missionaries would come to our homes. They had six distinct lessons that they were supposed to give the investigator in order to convince them to join the church, is that the outline we have to assume a person must know in order to not hold themselves responsible of this doesn't say is it one visit for missionaries is it 10 visits. Is it 100 visits is having your family tell you whatever gathering about Mormonism. As you mentioned Bill were not told what every opportunity is but it seems like maybe more could be done and let's say you did only have one opportunity. Missionaries came your door and you never got to talk to missionaries again.

What if those missionaries did not do a proper job of explaining what Mormonism is all about. Could somebody approach the judgment throne and say that's not fair that I didn't have the opportunity that I should have had, because those missionaries did not do their job correctly, I think these are fair questions. I don't think there's a real solid answer that's been put forth by the LDS church that explains what this means, but he is the one that uses that expression every opportunity.

Then he goes on to talk about the endowment and ceiling work for the dead is for those who died without having had the opportunity to hear and receive the gospel. Also for those who were faithful members of the church who lived in foreign lands are aware during their lifetime. They did not have the privilege to go to a temple, yet they were converted and were true. Members of the church.

The work for the dead is not intended for those who had every opportunity to receive it, who had it taught to them and who then refused to receive it, or had not interested enough to attend to these ordinances when they were living in. That's what raises the question regarding that conversation that I heard if this lady had in fact explained Mormonism to her mother in an in-depth way gave her what we would assume to be every opportunity. Would this individual's work on behalf of her dead mother bear any fruit. It doesn't sound like it would. He ends this section by saying so many of the members of the church have the thought that if they do not do the work for dead friends. They are sure to be neglected in the opportunity will never come to them and I think the context here is referring to those who lived in the foreign lands he did not have an opportunity to attend the temple for some reason, this is what I believe the Mormon church is been very energetic in building temples all over the world but I think they're doing is they're trying to take away that excuse that you really do have the opportunity now because they have so many of these temples throughout the world that there's really no reason why you shouldn't, but he finishes that paragraph by saying we should remember that in his justice. The Lord will never permit one soul to be lost, who is worthy of salvation every person who is entitled to the blessings will receive them in tomorrow's show were going to continue looking at what 10th Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith had to say regarding this doctrine known as salvation for the dead. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information when guarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is


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