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Are Families Forever? Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
August 20, 2020 5:03 pm

Are Families Forever? Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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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.

So glad you could be with us for this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism, I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry. And with me today is Aaron Shuffle Jolliffe, my colleague at M r m. Good to have you back, Aaron. Yesterday, we began talking about the subject of families being for ever. And certainly I'm sure that's a huge drawing point. If you have a good family relationship here on Earth to have people find an interest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, because that's a big deal with them. This idea of being with your family for ever now, yesterday you were talking about this idea of this small little family sitting around a table now. Let me tell you the story. When Eric and I were in St. George, we had some time to kill. So we decided to go into the St. George Visitors Center. And you can watch a number of films at the visitor center. So we had a lot of time to kill. So we're watching a lot of LDS genre films at the church has published over the years. Some of them were pretty old and pretty bad quality. But I remember watching one that dealt with this idea of families being forever. And you're exactly correct. It gave the impression that this idea of families being forever was almost like three generations. There was grandpa, there was his kids, and then there were the grandkids. And yet when I asked one of the ladies that was volunteering there, she was an elderly lady to explain how this works. She didn't give me an explanation that seemed to fit what I just saw in the film. She gave it a much more broader application, as if it was almost all of God's children. And my response was, well, how is that any different than what we would believe as evangelicals might fall back on this one big family idea?

But the way that they sell it, the way that they push it in their missionary efforts, is that there's a preservation of a nuclear family or perhaps, you know, a couple overlapping generations of nuclear families. But, you know, Jeffrey R. Holland, when he in a an LDS temple open house video and I should mention yesterday, we kind of paraphrase what Jeffrey our Holland said.

And I I mentioned how I first heard Jeffrey Hawkins say this in a video when I was visiting the Rexburg Temple Open House. That's when I first heard it. It could have been used before that time, but it's still getting a lot of mileage because I've seen it in other temple open houses as well.

It's a pretty standard weepy, emotional display. Jeffrey Hollon says, quote, I don't know how to speak about heaven in the traditional lovely paradise cycle beauty that we speak of heaven. I wouldn't know how to speak of heaven without my wife, my children. It would not be heaven for me. It's essentially to say that even if he had Jesus and the Saints, if he did not have his wife as as his wife, that it would not be heaven for him. Which. What does that say about Jesus? That's that's incredible. I have a great story to tell. When I first moved to Utah, my wife and I moved to Aurum and we lived in a basement apartment. My poor wife, she was pregnant. We had no friends in the area. No family in the area. And we're in this little tiny basement apartment. And our host was great. I think her name is Delora. She got to know us a little bit and she learned a little bit about my efforts at doing evangelism. And she invited at BYU professor over one evening. And he was a history professor. And so we sat down on the couch and I asked this professor about Justice Smith's sexual relationships with some of his plural wives. And he said, well, I'm sure they had honeymoons. And he conceded that there were sexual relationships involved there. Later in the conversation, he points to my wife as we're talking about marriage. And he asks my wife. Don't you want to be married to your husband forever? And she responds by saying, no, I won't need to be. I will be with Jesus and I love this story. I don't think people I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to give her a big hug, a big smile, so proud of her. And the reason I was so delighted and what she said is I'm not her source of final happiness and her joy in Christ, her forever family, joy in Christ and its people doesn't depend on me. She's not leaning on me for her final happiness in Christ. Her satisfaction is in Christ. This reminds me of some psalms, some 73. Verse 25. Whom if I in heaven beat you. And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. He's not talking about his wife.

Jeffrey Holland could not say that. He can think about it. He cannot say that based on that statement that is in that video.

Listen to David in some 16. You are my lord. I have no good apart from you. And then he goes on to say. As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones. And whom is all my delight. So he does take a supreme pleasure in God and then his people. He says, in your presence, there's fullness of joy at your right hand pleasures forevermore. So that's the Davidic spirit. That's the Davidic attitude that the Lord is our deepest pleasure and his people are our penultimate pleasure. It is not marriage. It's not a particular social structure on Earth. Aside from God's people and this is astounding. Paul, when he writes to the Corinthians in First Corinthians three, he addresses some of their tribalistic rivalries or both Steen's. And he says, let no one boast and meant for all things are yours.

Whether Paul or Apollos or CFS or the world or life or death of the present or the future, all are yours and you are Christ and Christ is God's.

So Paul's logic here is that if you belong to Christ, everything that belongs to Christ belongs to you. There's no missing out. So if you have a desire to get to know someone or to be benefited by someone in the body of Christ to enjoy them, you're not going to miss out on the fullness of joy in the entirety of the Christian community. That's incredible. There's no fear of missing out for the Christian here. I'm not as anxious about missing out on Christian community of some supreme importance and the resurrection.

You said something earlier and I've written on this subject as well, that if your eternal happiness is based on another human being, there's a good chance you could be sorely disappointed in the example that I've often used when talking with Latter-Day Saints about this very issue is if you're talking to a married individual and you were to ask him how sure are you that your wife does not have some secret sin that would prevent her from entering in the celestial kingdom and therefore being married to you? I mean, she could. And if you asked the wife, how do you know about your husband not having some secret secrets? If they did have some secret sin according to Mormonism, if it was not taking care of, it was not repented of. In other words, they've confessed and forsaken the sin, but they're still doing it. If Mormonism is to be consistent, at least the way the leaders have taught it and the way their scripture says it, that individual will not be with their spouse for eternity.

Yeah, there's a very sentimental assurance that they seem to want to enjoy about being with their families forever. But as I've put it elsewhere, this depends in the Mormon model on everyone making the varsity team. So if your wife doesn't make the spiritual varsity team, she's going to be stuck on the junior varsity team, the softball team. You're going to have to get yourself a new wife in the millenium or something like that who fits the spiritual varsity conditions. And the terrible thing about one of the terrible things about this, and it harkens back to the Matthew 22 difficulties, is that if your marriage gets an old, then all the sealed children you have have to get resealed as some other parents who aren't their natural parents. So Mormonism ends up having to do all this patchwork to to kind of reseal and cover their bases and close the loopholes of all these terrible family relational breakups.

Whereas Jesus simply says, if you give up your family in this life, for my sake, I'll give you a 100 fold mothers. He's not talking about polygamy here. No, he's talking about a new kind of forever family in Christ where that relational patchwork loophole closing complexity isn't required.

Let's carry this thought a little bit further. You and I are just by the very act of us doing what we do among Latter-Day Saints have come across a lot of apologists for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

And I have come to learn that, at least with some of them, not many that I know personally. But I do know in some cases their own children or some of their children don't believe Mormonism at all. Yeah. How must they feel defending a position that they know they won't even be able to enjoy because their own children are not living the necessary celestial law that will entitle them to be with them in the celestial kingdom?

They could always argue, and I've heard some Mormons flippantly say, well, yeah, but if I get to the celestial, I could go down into the terrestrial. As if that's going to make the relationship OK. Is that really what most Latter-Day Saints are looking for to do this what I call celestial slumming, where they go down and visit those who weren't good enough to be with the rest of us? How could a Latter Day Saints find pleasure or happiness?

And that thought. There's a famous Latter-Day Saint quote, if you want to Google, it's called the Divine Tentacles quote. And in general, Conference 2003, Jamesy Foust responds to the common Mormon construal of. He says, quote, We remember that the prodigal son wasted his inheritance and when he was all gone, he came back to his father's house. There he was welcomed back into the family, but his inheritance was spent. So this prodigal son, according to Foust, isn't going to enjoy exaltation. He goes on repentant Raywood children will enjoy salvation and all the blessings that go with it. But exploitation is much more. It must be fully earned. So according to Foust, there's no free pass. Your children, if they're going to spend eternity with you, they can't be like the prodigal son. They can't waste their inheritance. They have to fully earn and be entitled to being with you forever. Where's Christianity? It's a gift.

Exactly. And it even gets more personal than that, because when you ask the latter day saint. Are you living a life right now that will permit you to get into the celestial kingdom when you die? How come we don't hear a lot of real quick affirmative yeses to that question? Most Latter-Day Saints that I talked to don't know where they think they're not qualified, but somehow, I guess they're hoping that Heavenly Father is going to ignore doctrine and covenants, section one, verse 31, and not look upon their sin with the least degree of allowance. And maybe he's going to turn a blind eye to what they've been doing all their life and give them a free pass. But if their scripture is telling them the truth. You would think that that would not be an option if Mormonism's. True. That's the point. If Mormonism's true. And that's what we are trying to let Latter-Day Saints know Mormonism is not true, they can find the peace that passes, all understanding in what the New Testament teaches us. And that is our desire to bring the New Testament gospel to those members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

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.

Have you ever wondered what life is like for women and children who are trapped in polygamy? If so, you're invited to hear from ministries aimed at reaching those in polygamy, as well as testimonies of former polygamists who are now Christians. This event will be held in Sandy, Utah, on Saturday, September 19th, from eight thirty to two thirty p.m. Registration is twenty dollars per person and includes a continental breakfast and lunch for questions. Or to register. Call Chris at eight zero one seven five four three six three six. Again, that's eight zero one seven five four. Thirty six. Thirty six.

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