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July 9, 2020 6:32 pm
.1 Mormonism examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a 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 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 MRM we continue looking at books that were given away as Christmas gifts by the first presidency during the years 1981 in 2017. Today we want to look at a book that was written by Mormon apostle James E Talmage the house of the Lord. This book was first published by Deseret book Company in 1912 and was given away by the first presidency for Christmas of 2013. Of course, dealing with the subject of the temple.
He has a comment on page 13 that I think really encapsulates why temples are so important to members of the LDS church. He writes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints proclaims that it is the possessor of the holy priesthood again restored to earth and that it is invested with divine commission to erect and maintain temples dedicated to the name and service of the true and living God, and to administer within the sacred structures.
The ordinances of the priesthood. The effect of which shall be binding both on earth and beyond the grave and I think it's important that we emphasize that when you compare what goes on in a temple owned by the LDS church, and you read about the history of the temple that was in ancient Israel, and during the time of Christ himself. There is no comparison between the two.
They are not the same at all. So for the LDS church to try and imply that what they are doing in their temples is somehow a restoration of what was done anciently just is not true and that's not even difficult to figure out all you need do is look at what the Bible had to say about what was going on in the temple in the Old Testament compared to what goes on in modern Mormon temples, you would have to agree that there is no similarity between the two. One thing that I think when everybody can acknowledge is that we know what went on in the temple. It was very well laid out what the priest said there the sacrifices and what all the implements. There were four but in Mormonism.
If you ask what goes on inside your looked at with a blank stare. So what you're implying Eric is that when a latter-day St. raises his hand to the square and makes valves not to talk about what goes on in the ceremony that alone was not a part of the old temple ritual.
So why is it that Latter Day Saints try to give us the impression that what they are doing is something that has been restored though. I talked to some Latter Day Saints who would say yeah. Well, they didn't write everything down there obviously were secret things going on that we just didn't know about, but that itself would be an argument from silence. One of the primary rituals done in a latter-day St. temple is baptism for the dead and on page 69. Talmage talks about the importance for the member to remain worthy in order to do these ordinances on behalf of their ancestors. Page 69 the Latter Day Saints affirm that their vicarious work in behalf of the dead is required of them by the call of the Lord through direct revelation and that it becomes the duty and privilege of every individual who accepts the gospel and enters the church to labor for the salvation of his dead.
He is expected and required by the obligations and responsibility. He has assumed as member of the church of Jesus Christ. So to live as to be a worthy representation of his departed ancestors in holy ordinances and to be of clean life that he may not forfeit his right to enter the sacred confines of the Lord's house where alone. He may officiate in that privilege capacity. I don't think a lot of people understand the gravity of this statement what it really is bringing out is this two-edged sword regarding baptism for the dead one. If the Latter Day Saints is not worthy in order to be able to perform this ordinance on behalf of his departed ancestors that becomes a negative in his life.
Naturally, the person who is related to that individual.
The ancestor of that individual.
I should say is not going to receive the benefit from what this family member can do for them.
But at the same time and we brought this out. During this series when we are looking at teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith was another book that was given away as a Christmas gift. Joseph Smith said those Saints who neglect it in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation. He also set on page 356 of teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. By the way that other page.
I was citing was 193.
Smith says the greatest responsibility in this world that God has placed upon us is to seek after our dead. Where do you find that in the New Testament. Nowhere another quote that he gives on page 72 he says what one of the fundamental principles underlying the doctrine of salvation for the dead is that of the mutual dependence of the fathers and the children family lineage and the sequence of generations in each particular line of dissent are facts and cannot be changed by death.
On the other hand, it is evident from the old and the Scriptures already cited and attested by the equally sure word of modern revelation that the family relationships of earth are recognized in the spirit world. Neither the children nor the father's neither progenitors nor descendents can alone attain perfection and the requisite cooperation is affected through baptism and related ordinances administered to the living in behalf of the dead noticed the synergism that's involved in this. How tragic that members of the LDS church feel that they are responsible for the salvation of some other human being and to think if you're the one responsible of another fallen human being to do something on your behalf in order to be saved.
Where is Jesus in all this. It definitely makes it appear that and this is a phrase it's using Mormonism that the members are actually the saviors on Mount Zion on behalf of those dead ancestors that is not Christianity. You are not going to find anywhere that this was believed by the early Christian. So again, if a Mormon wants to say. Will this is a restoration, they do not have history to back up that statement they will use versus out of the Bible. There's no doubt about that one verse used his first Corinthians chapter 15 verse 29, which is why else do they and very clearly right off the top you asked the question why is Paul using the word, they went throughout. He's using first person all dissent brings up this issue. A baptism for the dead to support his point of the resurrection of the body but certainly not meaning it to be taken for a whole doctrine to be created out of literally one verse that's the one verse that many Latter Day Saints like to use. If you go to our website, MRM.org and just type in first Corinthians 1529.
You can see articles we've written to show very clearly this verse is not a good verse to use for this doctrine. But if a Mormon hopes to gain the benefits of the temple. Naturally there are things that they must do in this is a theme that we have found in all of these books that were given away as Christmas gifts.
This statement is made by James Talmage in the house of the Lord. On page 57. There is but one price set on forgiveness for individual transgression, and this is a like to alter, poor and rich to bond and free, to illiterate and learned it knows no fluctuations. It changes not with time. It was the same yesterday as today it is. And even so shall be forever and that price at which maybe bought the parole beyond all price is obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
Notice how he uses the parable of the pearl of great price and ties it in with personal obedience or personal performance.
First of all he siding from Matthew 1345 but you can't really understand 45 without also looking at verse 44, which is the parable of the hidden treasure. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like hidden treasure in the field, which a man found and hid in for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Verse 45 speaks of the pearl of great price. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls who when he is found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it so the pearl of great price. According to James Talmage is personal obedience.
Let me just read you a commentary on this passage from James Ryle, JC Ryle was bishop in the Anglican church in Liverpool in his expository thoughts on the Gospels. This is volume 1. I'm reading from page 151. This is how he explains this parable of the pearl of great price, as well as the pearl of the hidden treasure.
He says these two parables are meant to teach us that men really convinced of the importance of salvation will give up everything to win Christ and eternal life. What was the conduct of the two men are Lord describes the one was persuaded that there was a treasure hid in a field which would amply repay him if he bought the field. However great the price that he might give the other was persuaded that the pearl he had found was so immensely valuable that it would answer to him to purchase it at any cost. Both were convinced that they had found a thing of great value. Both were satisfied that it was worth a great present sacrifice to make this thing their own. Others might wonder at them. Others might think them foolish for paying such a sum of money for the field and pearl but they knew what they were about.
They were sure that they were making a good bargain. Behold, in this single picture. The conduct of a true Christian explained he is what he is and does what he does in his religion because he is thoroughly persuaded that it is worthwhile he comes out from the world he puts off the old man.
He forsakes the being companions of his past life like Matthew he gives up everything and like Paul he counts all things loss for Christ sake, and why Ryle asked because he is convinced that Christ will make amends to him for all he gives up he sees in Christ an endless treasure he sees in Christ, a precious pearl to win Christ, he will make any sacrifice. This is true faith.
This is the stamp of a genuine work of the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit. In other words, what's being discussed here is once a person comes to faith and sees Christ as the hidden treasure sees Christ as the pearl of great price. They see that everything that they may possess in this world is not worth that pearl of great price or that hidden treasure. The selling of everything they have is a mark of sanctification, not the mark of justification.
They already have faith that there is a treasure in the field. They already have faith in the value of the pearl and as a result of that living faith, then they had make some adjustments in their lifestyle. Sanctification. But notice how James Talmage, a Mormon apostle misuses this parable of the pearl of great price to somehow tie it in that obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel is what is necessary in order to receive the forgiveness for individual transgression that is not the New Testament gospel. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request our free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is