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Perfect Brightness of Hope Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
August 20, 2020 5:12 pm

Perfect Brightness of Hope Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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August 20, 2020 5:12 pm

A look at the conference edition of the Ensign magazine (May 2020) and a talk that was given by Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland. For an article that this three-part series is based on, go to


Viewpoint on Mormonism. The program that 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.

Does Mormonism provide a perfect brightness of hope? Welcome to this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry. And with me today is Erik Johnson, my colleague at M r m.. We're looking at a conference message that was given by more of an apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, and it was titled A Perfect Brightness of Hope. But the question is, is does Mormonism really offer that? And does it really mean that because Mormons believe that they have what's called restored Christianity, that Christians don't have a perfect brightness of hope? I tend to disagree with Jeffrey Holland's conclusions, and that's why we're going through this conference message that was given in April of 20/20 and is found in the May 2020 edition of Inside magazine. What does Jeffrey Hall and say in the middle of page 82 of insulin?

And just so you know, I have an article that is on MRM Dawg Slash seven hyphen ways hyphen Holland. I have an article titled Seven Ways. Jeffrey R Hollins, April 2020 Conference Talk Attacks Christianity and his followers. My point number six is Christianity is MEAA works for the dead, he said, and for our ancestors, some of whom lived and died anciently without even hearing the name of Jesus Christ.

We would have hope for that most just and merciful, a biblical concepts to be restored, the practice of a living offering up saving ordinances on behalf of their kindred dead. No practice. I can imagine what demonstrate with more splendor a loving God's concern for every one of his earthly children, no matter when they lived nor when they died.

The problem I have with this concept is it's very easy for anybody to make up a doctrine that makes you feel better. They use First Corinthians 15 29. Else, what shall they do with her baptize for the dead of the dead rise? Not at all. And assume that this was an orthodox teaching in the early Christian church, even though if it was, in fact, as Joseph Smith claimed, that baptism for the dead was the most glorious subject pertaining to the everlasting gospel. Paul seems to be switching to third person and excluding himself from that practice. So there's a question right there. We don't see anywhere in the early Christian church that the Christians were doing anything close to what Mormons do in their temples on behalf for the dead. Getting back to my point, you can make up anything you want. You can take any verse out of context. You choose. It doesn't make the doctrine true just because it makes you feel better. But the problem, of course, with baptism for the dead is we don't find it in the Book of Mormon either. In fact, in Alma 34 and if you've heard this show any amount of time, you know, we have talked about ALMA 34 on numerous occasions. And the reason why we keep referring to it is because Joseph Smith did not have an idea of baptism for the dead when he's writing the Book of Mormon. The reason why Alma, 34, seems to contradict the notion of a second chance in the next life is because Smith wasn't thinking about that when the Book of Mormon was being written. What is ALMA, 34, have to say?

And before I read that, let me just reiterate what you just said. The Bible does not teach in the idea of a second chance of salvation. First Corinthians fifteen. Taken out of its context, you look at Hebrews, Chapter nine, verse 27, it says, and as it is appointed, point onto men wants to die. But after this, the judgment and Second Corinthians six two says that behold, now is the accepted time. And then, as you said, we go to the Book of Mormon passage in Alma, Chapter 34, starting with 1st 32. This is what it says for behold. This life is a time for men to prepare to meet God. Yay! Behold, the day of this life is a day for men to perform their labors. He goes on in verse 33 and he says, Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end for after this day of life which has given us to prepare for eternity.

Behold, if we do not improve our time all in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. Verse 34. He says the same thing in a different way. Before he comes the verse 35 for behold, if he had procrastinated the day of your repentance, even until death, behold ye have become subject to the spirit of the devil. And he. SEAL you, his therefore the spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you and hath no place in you and the devil hath all power over you. And this is the final state of the wicked.

Let's think about that for a minute. The Book of Mormon does not talk about baptism for the dead, but it does say what you just read. Barring any notion of baptism for the dead, for the Nephites who supposedly had the Book of Mormon. Is this an unjust God being talked about here? Would any Latter-Day Saints say that God is unjust based on ALMA 34? I doubt it. But yet that's the accusation that Holon seems to imply that we believe in an unjust God who doesn't do something for those who lived prior to the time of Christ.

Bill, we have used this many different times on this show, but we've also used it with Latter Day Saints. I have read from ALMA 34, when people have said, well, I can do it in the next life. And when I'm done reading, it seems natural that they have to say, well, I still believe that. Do you find that true when you're talking to Latter-Day Saints and using now my chapter 34.

A lot of them do think they can make up for lost time. But I would say that contradicts what ALMA, 34, is saying. And it also contradicts what many general authorities in the LDS church have said in the past. I mean, you look at Joseph Fielding Smith, for instance, you look at Spencer W. Kimball, they have been very clear that now is the time to prepare to meet God, that there isn't this second chance. But let's look at it in the context of baptism for the dead. Getting back to my point. Does this mean if the defeats did not have an understanding of baptism for the dead, that ALMA, 34, is somehow showing an unjust God? I don't think they would go so far as to say that. So why is Holon trying to imply that when it comes to our God that he doesn't give an opportunity to those that died before hearing about Jesus Christ?

The final point in this article is Christianity's clueless response, according to Holon. He said, brothers and sisters, we know what some of the religious deficiencies in their early 19th century were. Furthermore, we know something of today's religious shortcomings that still leave the hunger and hope of some unfulfilled. We know a variety of those dissatisfactions are leading some away from traditional ecclesiastical institutions. We also know, as one frustrated writer wrote that quote, Many religious leaders of the day seem clueless in addressing this kind of decline, offering in response a thin gruel of therapeutic, diesem, cheap, symbolic activism, carefully couched heresy or sometimes just uninspiring nonsense, end quote. And all at a time when the world needs so much more, when the rising generation deserves so much more, and when in Jesus day he offered so much more.

Now he's making reference to a man by the name of RJ Snel. We've read the article that Holland is referring to, and I think we would share some of the frustrations that we see in our culture.

But I would say to that. So what, Jeffrey, Holon. So what we have seen those kind of things happen over the years, over the centuries. That doesn't take away from the vibrancy that we see in the Christian church throughout the world. The Christian church is vibrant. Does it have some areas where it's seen a hard time? Yes, it certainly is seen a hard time here in the United States. But then so is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. See, in a hard time in the United States, their numbers are not so great, as certainly not as great as they used to be years ago, you might say. But in many areas of the world, the Christian church is growing like crazy. It's not shrinking like he's trying to imply here. So people are finding hope and I want to go back, he says, because the restoration reaffirm the foundational truth, that God does work in this world. We can hope. We should hope, even when facing the most insurmountable odds. Why do we need the restoration for that? Christians have had this kind of hope for centuries. We still have this kind of hope. Presently, we will always have this kind of hope for the future. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not corner the market on this kind of hope at all. In fact, I would say Latter day Saints also see among that hope the same amount of frustrations that many of us may see. They have them as well. The restoration does not solve that problem. God is sovereign. He chooses to do what he desires. And I think he does it with wisdom behind those decisions. Who am I to question them? But I don't think we need the restoration in order to have what Hallen.

Thinks is this perfect brightness of hope in the article that you mentioned by RJ Snell, a link to that is found on our Web site. Quiet hope he wrote a New Year's resolution. This is the theme of what he was talking about. And I think Holland takes him out of context for what Snow is trying to get across. This is the main theme of what he was saying. Despair is the on forgivable sin for the despairing conclude that God will not or cannot act, that the universe is fundamentally unfriendly and inhospitable to the true, good and beautiful, and that humanity has lossy imago day. To judge in this way is to deny the goodness of the world and its creator and sustainer, and that is the sin of all sins. I actually read the entire article as you did, Bill, and I actually found a lot of hope to what he was talking about. And let's just be honest. The Bible is full of hope. If you go to Romans, chapter 15, verse four, it says for whatever things were written before were written for our learning that we threw the patients and comfort of the scriptures. My have hope. First Corinthians, chapter two, verse nine. I has not seen, nor ere has heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him. And the thing that Christianity has that Mormonism does not have is the hope of eternal life. We've quoted this many times on this show, Bill. First, John 513 says these things. Have I written on to you that believe on the name of the son of God that ye may know that you have eternal life and that you may believe on the name of the son of God? Bill, how many Latter-Day Saints who are listening to us right now might really feel they do not have hope because they're not doing everything that the church says they're supposed to do to be able to have an assurance that they will receive the celestial kingdom after they die?

I think you bring up the word assurance is very important. Isn't that really what hope is based in? It's an assurance that something is going to happen.

The fact that we are trusting not in anything that we have done, but we are trusting completely in what Christ has already done on behalf of his people, his death on the cross. His resurrection from the dead. We can have the hope that our sins are, in fact, forgiven. That's not based on what we have done. Jeffrey Hallen has a lot of things that he's supposed to accomplish and he may even probably rest on some of those laurels because of his position in the church thinking that everything has been accomplished. But you're free, Holland. Are you so sure about your family members? Are you so sure that they've done everything that they need to do in order to join you in that exaltation that apparently Jesus really plays no role if your eternal happiness is dependent on another fallen human being? You could very well be very disappointed. And that is why Mormonism is not Christianity. And that's why it doesn't offer a perfect brightness of hope.

Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding Morman is a research ministry. We encourage you to visit our Web site at W W W dot m or M dot org, where you can request our free newsletter, Mormonism researched. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism.

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