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May 30, 2020 3:18 pm
Viewpoint is to examine the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 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 yesterday. We began looking at a book that was given as a Christmas gift by the first presidency in the year 2000. It was a book that was edited by Robert and Susan McIntosh titled the teachings of George Albert Smith.
He was the eighth president of the LDS church and we asked the question at the beginning of yesterday show is what are some of the things that a Mormon can do that may risk them losing the companionship for the Fellowship of the spirit. If you've ever talked with Latter Day Saints for great amount of time you probably heard that expression in the conversation about how the spirit does this in spirit.
Does that and they don't want to lose the spirit by doing something they shouldn't do. Well, there's one more area that we want to cover before we move on and that has to do with the word of wisdom the word of wisdom, of course, is the Mormon health code that is found in section 89 of the doctrine and covenants and includes various things that Mormons can and cannot drink and should not eat and things like that. It was originally just a suggestion, but it has evolved over time into being a commandment the commandment that is so important that George Albert Smith gives this word of warning to parents regarding the word of wisdom and I want to mention that these quotes. Most of them come from conference reports. This one comes from April 1907 conference report page 21, and it originally is. Page 103 of this Christmas book so there is authority when it said in general conference. This is what Smith says parents who keep the word of wisdom will transmit virtues to their children.
I feel that the Latter Day Saints have in the word of wisdom, a law that will exalt them and lift them above. Those who fail to keep it as I have already said fathers and mothers if they will keep the word of wisdom may transmit to their offspring. Virtues and strength that they could not otherwise give to them. I believe that the companionship of the spirit of our father will be in the hearts and homes of those who keep this law and their desire to be obedient will be transmitted to their children. So based on that condition. You can be assured. According to George Albert Smith that there will be a companionship of the spirit of our Lord if they keep the word of wisdom, even though the word of wisdom itself says that it's not a commandment. As I said earlier, it kind of evolved into that and now you cannot even receive a recommend to go to a Mormon Temple, unless you affirmatively tell your ecclesiastical leader that you are keeping the word of wisdom in your life when were talking about these things from yesterday, the Sabbath, and the sacrament and now the word of wisdom.
It seems like so much of what Smith is talking about is meant to bring fear the laws, the rules and regulations that the church says you have to do and if you don't do if you don't keep the word of wisdom. Parents your children are probably going to fall away. And so if you don't do that in this set obedience won't be transmitted to your children. Can you imagine how many mothers sit in home wanting that cup of coffee won't have it because of the fear that their kids might end up falling away.
The next subject were going to look at is about the church. The church now let me just say upfront that I firmly believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the organization misunderstands what the New Testament teaches regarding the church. Now I know in our Western culture, we can refer to a building as a church we can refer to a congregation as a church, but technically the church is composed of those of whom have been forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ. That is technically the church in this context, George Albert Smith of course is using a very typical understanding given by Mormons and that is that the church is an organization or a denomination. He writes on page 38, 39, sometimes our brother and sisters of other faiths feel that we are egotistical in the claim we make that this is the only church recognized by the Lord is our claim. This is our father's work, and he established it.
The Lord himself declared to Jesse Smith that he was not pleased with the churches that existed in the world. In the year 1820.
That does not mean that he was not pleased with the virtues of those humble people who went to him in prayer and desire to learn of his will, but he was not pleased with the man-made churches and the unauthorized ministers who preach for doctrine the commandments of men and this is just one more example of a leader in the LDS church making a clear distinction between what they believe is the only true church, which of course is there church and the man-made churches in this regard would be all those outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that claim to be Christian. Notice again the stereotype about those ministers who belong to these man-made churches are preaching for doctrines the commandments of men and yesterday show. We were talking about some of the commandments of men that clearly the LDS church has instituted over the years and there's a number of them. You might say that Mormonism is kind of like legalism on steroids. There are a number of things that Latter Day Saints are not supposed to do and if they do then they offend God. Yesterday we talked about partaking of the sacrament with your left hand we have Russell M Nelson saying that you shouldn't use the word Mormon or LDS that to do so actually offends Jesus and gives Satan of some kind of victory in his mind. Where in the world does it say that in the Bible it certainly does not. So you would think that that would mean it comes under the category of a commandment of man on that first sentence. He uses the word egotistical. He says sometimes our brother and sisters of other face feel that we are egotistical in the claim we make, I wouldn't say there are egotistical, although you could be egotistical in making that claim, but I think what we disagree with. Not that there make an egotistical claim, but rather there making it an exclusive claim to truth that there church is true and that fullness of the gospel can only be found in the restored gospel and what he brings out in 1820.
This first vision.
Joseph Smith was told by God the father that all of their creeds were an abomination in his site that the pastors cannot be trusted and so that's our problem. Is there exclusive claim to truth. It's different than what the Bible teaches bill there's another citation that is found on page 158 similar to what we just read and it says this, other religions have truth, but the saints are sharing the fullness of the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in the year 1830 after centuries of darkness had passed when the call was given the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints went out into the world not to criticize others not to find fault but to say to our father's other children keep all the good that you have received. Keep all the truth that you have learned all that has come to you in your homes in your institutions of learning under your many facilities for education keep it all and then let us divide with you additional truths that have been revealed by our heavenly father in our day.
No, let's analyze what he says here he says that the missionaries of the LDS church went out into the world, not to criticize others not to find fault but yet when I read the missionary manual preach my gospel.
It says in there that the missionaries must tell the investigator the person taking these lessons that there was a complete apostasy of the Christian faith. So how can you really say that the missionaries are not out there to criticize others and not to find fault most certainly in order to join the church. You have to come to the conclusion that your church has. So many faults that it needs to be abandoned. So when they say we don't criticize others and we don't find fault. I don't know if that's being quite accurate.
It sounds like they most certainly must do that if they are going to convince an investigator that they need to leave the congregation, which they currently belong in order to join the LDS church, but then it goes on in this paragraph were George Albert Smith says keep all the good that you have received. Keep all the truth that you have learned all that is come to you and your homes in your institution of learning under your many facilities for education keep it all though that is a statement that I'm sure Gordon B. Hinckley, the 15th president of the church where he picked this up.
I'm going to say. He said it dozens and dozens of times in the two volumes of the Christmas book series. He uses that phrase probably 2030 different times and I've always found that statement to be kind of a contradiction, keep all the good that you have received will if the missionaries come to me and I happen to believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is a good thing.
Am I really allowed to keep that and be a member of the LDS church in good standing with my bishop, be pleased with that. I don't think he would I would have to would abandon that and when it says keep all the truth that you have learned that could be a number of things that I may believe to be true that conflict with truth claims that are made by the LDS church cannot really keep them and be in good standing. He says keep it all but would I really be allowed to say I'm keeping the idea that I'm justified by my faith and not by works, or that the Bible is my one true source of authority many different things you could say I think what he saying is you need to add Mormonism into what you already believe that by adding the LDS gospel to what that basic Christian belief is, I think you end up subtracting because what you end up doing is contradicting the original faith and you have to take on a brand-new faith there's another statement that's found on page 65 and I think this is more directed towards members of the LDS church rather than people such as ourselves who are we to admit critical of the teachings of the LDS church. Those who oppose and find fault will not find joy in their opposition.
Those who criticize and seek to destroy the influence of the leaders of the church will suffer the result of their wrongdoing.
This is where I find fault with the statement he says those who oppose and find fault will not find joy in their opposition, and as I said earlier, I think this is geared more towards members of the LDS church were finding fault, but I think he's wrong to imply that those who find fault in the LDS church are looking to get joy out of it in the experiences that I have had in talking with people who are now struggling with their faith because they have come across information that shows the claims of Joseph Smith and other LDS leaders to not be in harmony with what the New Testament teaches, or to find some kind of behavior by Joseph Smith to be out of harmony with the behavior of a true Christian. Many times in talking with these people.
They're not joyous over what they found their grieving over what they have found because they know that if they're going to be true to themselves to be honest with themselves are going to have to do do something with those things that they have discovered though.
I'm not saying that there are some people who probably do get glee out of finding things that are wrong with their church lease with the people that I have talked to most of those find it not to be a joyous occasion whatsoever.
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