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July 6, 2020 12:30 am
.1 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 welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host Bill McKeever Felder director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM pathways to perfection discourses of Thomas S. Monson, Thomas Monson was the 16th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was sustained as an apostle as early as October 3, 1963 in the book that we're looking at right now was printed in 1973. Eric how can our listeners find the quotations that we will be citing. Today I can just go to MRM.org website and in the search engine and type in Christmas book in the first article to come up will contain links to all of the books in the Christmas series that we been doing the quotes that were in a talk about today and and other quotes that were not can have time to get to are going to be there today were going to be looking at a topic in this book. Pathways to perfection discourses of Thomas S. Monson it's under the topic of mortal probation to show that this idea that many Latter Day Saints have that if they do not do enough during this lifetime that they will be allowed to make up for it in the next life was in the teaching that was held by Thomas S. Monson when it comes to the term mortal probation that that means exactly what it says that we are here on this earth in order to prove ourselves worthy. While we are in mortality but what it Thomas Monson have to say on page 142 is Latter Day Saints.
We know that we lived before we came to earth, that mortality is a probationary period wherein we might prove ourselves obedient to God's command and thus worthy of celestial glory. And that's what the faithful. Latter Day Saints is looking forward to accomplish.
They want to be worthy of celestial glory. That being the case I think it's a fair question when you're having a discussion with a member of the LDS church to simply ask them do you feel at this stage in your life that you are worthy of celestial glory. We found that very rarely will you find a Mormon that seems very sure about that many of them are very apprehensive not only about saying yes to a question like that. But even apprehensive about the possibility of dying before they do everything they know they're supposed to do it all comes down to obedience. Here again, Thomas Monson addresses in pathways to perfection. On page 65.
This story about how Latter Day Saints are going to hopefully have a good grade on their metaphorical report card. What is he have to say about this on page 65 here I testify to you that turning away from God brings broken covenants, shattered dreams, vanished ambitions, evaporated plans, unfulfilled expectations, crushed hopes, misuse drives warp character and wrecked lives. Such a quagmire of quicksand must be avoided. We are of a noble birth right eternal life in the kingdom of our father is our goal.
Such a goal is not achieved in one glorious attempt but rather is a result of a lifetime of righteousness and accumulation of wise choices. Even a constancy of purpose, like the coveted grade on the report card of a difficult and required college course. The reward of eternal life requires effort. The a grade is a result of each theme. Each quiz each class, each examination each library project.
Each term paper so each Sunday school lesson.
Each young man or young women teacher each prayer each day. Each friend all proceed. The goal of temple marriage that giant step toward an a grade on the report card of life and notice all the categories that a Mormon must do some self examination everything down to their friends. The ones that date. Everything their prayers.
Everything has to do with whether or not they're going to get an a grade on the report card of life. He includes temple marriage, and yesterday show. We were also looking at a story that Monson told about a woman named Lucy Gertz Thompson, who would not marry this man that she had met unless he would not only become a member of the church, but also be worthy enough to be married in the temple. See Lucy understood what Thomas Monson is teaching here that if she was going to get a a grade on her report card of life being married in the temple for time and eternity was absolutely essential and notice how he says it at the end he lists all of those H's and all of the different items to get this a great and he says they all precede the goal of temple marriage. This is the capstone. This is the one thing that every Latter Day Saints needs to do to get your grade on the report card of life. You have to have a temple marriage and so when we were talking about yesterday how some Latter Day Saints start to feel really desperate and worried about being able to find that spouse. This is the reason why because this is drilled into the Latter Day Saints even starting at primary at the youngest age is one thing we can clearly see in these quotations by Thomas Monson, is that as he admits there is some huge amount of effort on the part of the member to accomplish all these necessary things in their life if they hope to get that a grade well in his other book that was given away as a Christmas gift. This book was given away by the first presidency in 2014. It was a book originally published by desert rat book a church own publishing company in 2011, titled teachings of Thomas S.
Monson. In that book. He also speaks of what is absolutely essential if a Mormon is to achieve what they call eternal life or celestial exultation godhood all those terms are synonymous. But notice again on page 33. He uses the metaphor of the report card and we need to understand that the quotes were in a give now came from talks that he had. He gave this talk on March 4, 1984 called an invitation to exultation and he said it is the celestial glory which we seek.
It is in the presence of God, we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership sets. Blessings are earned a high report card of mortality qualifies us to graduate with honors. Notice the language your folks.
Such blessings are earned a high report card of mortality qualifies us to graduate with honors, will how do you qualify by meeting all the requirements that the LDS church puts upon its members.
The reason why were emphasizing.
This is again it seems to show that the leadership of the church and in this case Thomas S. Monson in the book teachings of Thomas S. Monson, no.
That salvation by grace alone is not a true doctrine in Mormonism. So if you were talking to a lady member on the streets or maybe in an email exchange and they tell you what we believe that we are saved by grace, you might ask him. Does this sound by the statement that Eric just read from Thomas Monson from page 33 of teachings of Thomas S. Monson.
Does that sound like what you was a Christian believe regarding being saved by grace, would we use words like earned would we use words like qualify, especially when those words are pointed back at our personal behavior because I've often kidded Latter Day Saints. I believe I'm saved by works there, just not mine through the works of Christ that were done perfectly that it can't be mine because none of my works are going to be done perfectly. They're all tainted by my fallenness. He says a high report card of mortality qualifies us to graduate with honors. What what are the requirements necessary to get the a on the report card. This is not just introduction a calculus is not calculus one or calculus to its calculus 1003. It's an impossible course for anybody except for one man, Jesus, to be able to do and when you talk about. It was not your work. It's a work of Jesus. We believe the imputation the credit we get of the righteousness that Jesus gives to us through the faith alone that we believe is evangelical Christian. So this is an important quote I think for Latter Day Saints to understand why we don't think it's possible to get the a grade unless you have some help it's interesting to Eric that he starts off that sentence with it is the celestial glory which we seek he automatically assumes that if you are a faithful member of the church the LDS church that this is what you are looking forward to any does the same thing in another quotation in the same book, but on page 102. Notice again.
He assumes that he speaking to an audience that is seeking the best Mormonism has to offer that is eternal life in the celestial kingdom.
What is he say fill this quote on page 102 sounds very close to the quote we write in pathways to perfection. But let's read what he says actually says it. On May 16, 1968 eternal life in the kingdom of our father is your goal. Such a goal is not achieved in one glorious attempt but rather as a result of a lifetime of righteousness and accumulation of wise choices.
Even a constancy of purpose, like the coveted a grade on the report card of a difficult required college course. The reward of eternal life requires effort yet that's exactly what he says in the other book that we looked at yesterday.
It seems that I would say if he's going to repeat the same statement he must really believe what he saying there that if it's found in two books that have his name on it. But again, I think we should emphasize the fact that you are looking for as a faithful Latter Day Saints and a grade on your metaphorical report card. It's not going to be easy, but it's something that the faithful. Latter Day Saints is going to seek now if they're not achieving that during their lifetime. What you think the emotion is that they are going to feel they're going to feel guilt are they not in the reason I say that is because the apostle Paul says exactly that that if you do not live up to all the law you are going to feel the burden of guilt. So if you're feeling guilt for not doing certain things in your eternal life hangs in the balance. You can be pretty sure that you're not believing that you're saved by grace you are saved by your effort and the fact that you can accomplish that you are experiencing the obvious emotion. One last quote Bill this is on page 124 he says, be therefore perfect counsel, the only perfect man such perfection is not achieved simply by wishing or hoping for it to come. It is approached. As we establish specific goals in our lives and strive for their successful accomplishments. But when he cites Matthew 548 and that's where that phrase is found be therefore perfect, you have to ask yourself when Jesus said that was he implying that we should be seamlessly perfect. Why would Jesus expect that of a fallen human being.
I don't think he would and therefore if you look at the context of Matthew five I don't think Jesus is speaking of sinless perfection at all. If you look at the context I think he's talking about an attitude that we should have with those that are saved as well as those are sinners, and as God allows the sun to shine on the wicket as well as the good. Our attitude should reflect that same kind of feeling. It has nothing to do with sinless perfection but yet here's Thomas Monson, assuming that it does what we find. Here is an LDS leader that is quite capable of taking verses out of context and actually Eric. He looks at Matthew 548 in much the same way that Spencer Kimball looked at Matthew 548.
In his book the miracle of forgiveness nowadays were finding that more LDS scholars at least are seeing that that is not the proper way to interpret Matthew 548. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information we guarding his research ministry.
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