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July 6, 2020 12:31 am
Viewpoint is to examine 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 are thanks Adams wrote for that musical introduction 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 the teachings of Lorenzo Snow.
The fifth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was given as a Christmas gift in 2012 Lorenzo Snow is certainly famous for the Lorenzo Snow couplet and were going to talk a lot about that today and I hope I don't bore our regular listeners because we have discussed the Lorenzo Snow couplet many times on the show.
We've even referred to this book in this series, the teachings of Lorenzo snowing past shows but there's something we need to bring out when it comes to this subject and so we're going to camp. You might say in the first chapter of this book that was given away as a Christmas gift by the first presidency in 2012. First of all let me give you a little bit of background as to what were going to discuss because on page 1 right at the beginning. Now I don't want to blame Lorenzo Snow for starting out with this sentence because he did not write the book. This book was compiled by Brigham Young University professor, a man by the name of Clyde J.
Williams and the book was originally written in 1984, but the book starts off with this sentence be as great as you want to be in Eric. We were discussing that topic off air because as a Christian with a New Testament ideology is being great something that a Christian should really be striving for.
I just struggled with the way it was worded and yet this is a topic that's going to be on not only page 1 the page do as well.
I was thinking of Robert Schuller and that be happy attitudes and that kind of teaching even today we've got people like Joe Alstyne and others who would use that kind of language and really reach out to people by trying to help them understand who they really are. But when you really understand who a person is where at the core sinful people were short of God's glory. It says in Romans chapter 3 verse 23 and that the wages of sin is death, so there's not a whole lot we have available to help us to be as great as we want to be when I hear that word be as great as you want to be. I think of accolades I think of prestige I think of great accomplishments and I'm not saying that as a fallen human that you can't want to be successful, to a certain degree, I'm not against that it all, but when I read the New Testament and I hear Jesus himself saying that if you want to be great in the kingdom you have to be what you have to be a servant of all the New Testament speaks a lot about humility and I know that's a difficulty for many of us. I would even see myself included that humbling ourselves in a New Testament understanding is a difficulty for fallen human being, but see Lorenzo Snow say be as great as you want to be and this is something that I obviously Clyde Williams thought was important enough to make it the very beginning of chapter 1 on page 1 of the book, the teachings of Lorenzo Snow, let me just reference what you were talking about. I think Jesus talks about in Matthew chapter 20 that humility is a most important thing. This is the story of the mother of the sons of Zebedee, who came up to Jesus and kneeling before him. It says in verse 20 she asked for something and he said to her what you want.
She said say that these two sons of mine artists set one at your right hand and one year left in your kingdom will. Jesus does not take kindly to that. He says you don't know what you're asking.
Are you able to drink the cup that I am able to drink.
They said to him, we are able. He said to them, you will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant for those for whom it is been prepared for by my father and when the 10 heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus called them to him and he said you know what the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
It shall be so among you.
But whoever would be great among you must be your servant. And that's the theme that Jesus teaches throughout read the sermon on the Mount very clear. It's not about you it's about God will why was Jesus's act of washing the disciples feet. What is that stand out because here we have the creator of all things washing the feet of mere fallen human beings.
Is it a great act of humility doing what would be called the job of a slave or a servant, and yet here we have this book starting off with the sentence be as great as you want to be. It goes on to say in that same paragraph you who have aspirations to be great, and there is no room in that should realize the support that you should give to those over you so that when you are placed in responsible positions you may demand of the Lord.
The faith and support of the people.
Then he goes on to tell a story. Now, this is Lorenzo Snow talking here. He says I remember an incident which occurred in Kirtland that would be Kirtland, Ohio Mormon Church was headquartered in Kirtland in the 1830s, when I received my first patriarchal blessing from father Smith explains in a bracket that this is Joseph Smith, Senior Joseph Smith Senior is the father of Joseph Smith Junior obviously, and Joseph Smith Junior is the founder of the LDS movement. He is the one who claim to have a first vision of God the father and Jesus telling them that all the churches were wrong. He goes on to say a better man never existed, nor was there ever a man better love than he.
I was introduced by my sister Eliza are now that would be Eliza Roxie Snow, Eliza Roxie Snow would later become a plural wife of Joseph Smith and after Joseph Smith was killed she would be come the wife of Brigham Young. He says that at the time he was not a latter-day St. He had no idea of becoming one and Joseph Smith, Senior said to him, don't worry, take it calmly and the Lord will show you and you will want to be baptized. He told me. Another thing that greatly surprised me. He said you will be great and as great as you want to be as great as God him self and you will not wish to be greater Eric in your Christian walk. If you ever had a desire to be as great as God himself. No, I can't even imagine such hubris in the life of a Christian to even think of something like this, but apparently Mr. Williams thought that this was important enough to have this story on page 1 of the book, the teachings of Lorenzo Snow. Apparently the first presidency who gave the book away as a Christmas gift in 2012 had no problems with what we just read. If you're Christian listening to this does not bother you. Does that not concern you. I would hope that it would, but then Lorenzo Snow was going to go on on page 1. Still, it's at the bottom of page 1 to tell about an interesting experience that he had. He said the spirit of God rested powerfully upon me and showed me more clearly than I can now see your faces a certain principle and its glory. And it came to me summarize in this brief sentence as man is now God once was, as God is now man may be the spirit of God was on me in a marvelous matter. All that day and I stored that great truth away in my mind, let's go back and look carefully at what he feels the spirit of God revealed to him as man is now think of what mankind is right now.
I've often use this analogy when speaking in churches is a okay look to the person to your right look to the person to your left as man is right now. Now that's the way God wants was how do you think about that.
Does that come for you or does that uphold you because even though we have friends and loved ones in this life we as you said Eric are all fallen sinners, we are tainted by the ugliness of sin and yet we are being told in this couplet that as we are right now that's the way God used to be. But then it goes on to say, but as God is now man may be you probably notice the wording is slightly different than the way it's often recited. Nowadays it's been recited a number of different ways, but the thought is still the same as man is now God once was, as God is now man may be where would we find anything like this in the New Testament hurt you out. You won't you won't find anything like this in the New Testament. This is completely what's known to Latter Day Saints as a latter-day revelation, but he says this after citing the couplet the spirit of God was on me in a marvelous matter. All that day and I stored that great truth away in my mind. Now I want you to realize that this couplet wasn't just a fad in early Mormonism and Lorenzo Snow tries to give us the impression that he kinda came up with this based on something that Joseph Smith himself taught, but it's something that is lingered on in Mormonism. Ever since this early. It was never rejected.
It was never renounced. We don't see anywhere where any leader will tell you that the Lorenzo Snow couplet was anything but doctrine and spiritual truth that becomes important because let's bring up a recent history when Dr. Richard now former president of Fuller seminary was going on this tangent telling people wherever he went, that the Lorenzo Snow couplet was not a functioning doctrine in the LDS church and when I heard him say this, I heard him say it more than once, I was just as shocked every time he said it is the first time I heard him say it's always been a part of Mormon doctrine to me just give you a certainty of what you're saying Bill this is from the inside magazine, February 1982 and it's a question that was answered by Gerald and Lund, who was the teacher support consultant for the church education system. He's answering the question is president Lorenzo Snow's oft repeated statement as man now is God once was as God now is man may be accepted as church doctrine by the church. He writes a long article but I just want to read the very last sentence to help you understand that in 1982 as it is today. This teaching is still the church. He writes it is clear that the teaching of president Lorenzo Snow is both acceptable and accepted doctrine in the church today, that word becomes important because in Mormonism doctrine cannot change but you might ask. Wait a minute. They change lots of things you're right, but you'll notice that when they change them if it was ever referred to as a doctrine before they will give it a new category: a policy or something like that policies can be changed in Mormonism, but doctrine cannot.
And even though they may have called it doctrine earlier if they're going to change it or get rid of it later on, you'll usually find that they're going to relegate that teaching from being a doctrine as it was known before to something lesser than that right before the either jettisoned the teaching entirely or revise that understanding. Tomorrow were going to continue looking at chapter 1 in the teachings of Lorenzo Snow. Thank you for listening.
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