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April 14, 2021 9:36 pm
101 for teams is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a simplified view of the Mormon religion from a Christian perspective woman is 101 for teams is available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore in Salt Lake City or MRM.org's commandment 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 is Mormon apostle Jeffrey Holland's view of the atonement, something that should warm every evangelicals heart. Welcome to this additional 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 we continue looking at the first chapter of a book that came out in late 2020, titled the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement and the chapters in this book are critiques of essays that were posted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on their official website. Between the years 2013 and 2015 Dr. Craig Blomberg, a professor at Denver seminary was given the honor of doing the first chapter critiquing the essay titled our Mormons Christian and on page 43 he's going to discuss what he thinks is the Mormon view of the atonement and in doing so he's going to mention Mormon apostle Jeffrey Holland and before I agreed that if you go to our website MRM.org/our Mormons Christian with hyphens between our Mormons Christian you can see the quotes that were giving an additional quotes as well that we won't have time to get into this is what it says on page 43.
Mormons can in good conscience, stress that Christ did make full and final atonement for our salvation and that we stand purified before God solely on the basis of quote the merits and mercy and grace of the holy Messiah." And that's from second Nephi to wait. LDS apostle Jeffrey Holland's 2015 Gen. conference talk and that was given on Easter morning is a powerful example of the kind of teaching that should warm every evangelicals heart using the illustration of someone hanging onto the edge of a cliff unable to pull himself up Holland envision God as a rescuer at the top of the cliff requires the person the let go reach out to the rescuer and trust that they will be caught and placed safely on the top. We just stop there because these kind of illustrations have been used in both traditions the LDS church force uses a lot of illustrations like that. There's one within Christianity, though the talks about a whole and how we as sinners are at the bottom of the hole and some of said Jesus comes and put the ladder into the hole and we climb out. I don't agree with that illustration one bit. Because really, I think, to properly understand our sinful condition were at the bottom of the whole, yes, but were at the bottom of the hole with two broken legs we are and able to climb up that ladder, making it necessary for Jesus himself to come down and grab us and lift us out of that hole. In other words, there's nothing we can physically do to change our situation. There's no work that we can possibly do that will get us saved when he talks about this edge of the cliff, unable to pull himself up. Holland still talks about this reaching out to the rescuer and I've heard that you several times by Mormons that you still have to reach out and grab the gift now most people might not see is that having something to do with a person's efforts but really it is.
And I think that cannot be overlooked. In this particular situation. But what's interesting is while Dr. Blomberg cites this talk given by Jeffrey Holland in 2015 other things that he said in that talk that tend to show that Jeffrey Holland probably really doesn't believe second Nephi 28 when it comes to our salvation being based on the merits and mercy and grace of the holy Messiah. That is my criticism in the review that I wrote because I feel that he gives selected quotes, but he doesn't give you everything that somebody like Holland said, so let me give you a couple of others. As is found on page 106 of the enzyme magazine May 2015. The conference addition and this is again on page 106. He says this that first Easter sequence and he's speaking on Easter.
That first Easter sequence of atonement, and resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift the most excruciating pain and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of the world, Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, suffered, died and rose from death, in order that he could like lightning in the summer storm, grasp us as we fall. Hold us with his mind. So far I have no problems with it, but the last part and through our obedience to his commandments.
Lift us to eternal life.
Notice it's through our obedience to his commandments that lifts us to eternal life, and then later he says that atonement would achieve complete victory over physical death unconditionally granting resurrection to every person who has been born or ever will be born into this world. This general resurrection. Mercifully, he says it would also provide forgiveness for the personal sins of all from Adam to the end of the world conditioned upon repentance and obedience to divine commandments repentance and obedience to divine commandments.
Does that really sound like we stand purified before God solely on the basis of the merits and mercy and grace of the holy Messiah.
I would say no that does not. It makes you wonder did Dr. Blomberg read the entire transcript of that conference message.
I mean, they are available every six months you get the transcripts of Gen. conference because I don't know how any evangelical could say that those comments that you just read would find their heart to be warmed based on those statements but yet we find that that's pretty typical of what Mormon leaders have taught regarding the atonement. One thing that I noticed Dr. Blomberg seems to understand that there's kind of two meanings to the word salvation when it comes to Latter Day Saints in Mormonism. There's a twofold nature of the atonement. Let me just cite you a statement from Joseph Fielding Smith who was the 10th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He said the atonement of Jesus Christ is of a twofold nature because of it.
All men are redeemed from mortal death and the grave and will rise in the resurrection and immortality of the soul that sounds like something that Jeffrey Holland said in that very sermon that you just cited, but then Smith goes on to say. Then again by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. Man will receive remission of individual sins through the blood of Christ, and will inherit exultation in the kingdom of God which is eternal life sounds very similar to what Jeffrey Holland said in that 2015 Gen. conference talk on Easter morning. Why is that overlooked here. Why isn't that mentioned on this page because I don't find Hall and concurring with Joseph Fielding Smith as something that's going to warm my heart. And if you look at what other leaders have said. Besides Jeffrey Holland you're going to get the same message. Let me just give you right off at the church website. A statement made about abandonment of sin. This is what it says.
Although confession is a an essential element of repentance. It is not enough.
The Lord has said.
By this he may know that a man repented of his sins, behold, he will confess them and forsake them.
And that's a citation from doctrine and covenants section 58 verse 43 we must maintain an unyielding permanent resolve that we will never repeat the transgression when we keep this commitment, we will never experience the pain of that sin.
Again we must flee immediately from any compromising situation if a certain situation causes us to center may cause us to sin. We must sleep.
We cannot linger in temptation and expect to overcome sin. Let me give you two quotations before we sign off. This is from Richard G. Scott Mormon apostle. It was in the talk he gave called the atonement can secure your peace and happiness is found in the enzyme magazine conference addition November 2006, page 42 Richard G. Scott said the demands of justice for broken law can be satisfied through mercy earned by your continual repentance and obedience to the laws of God. You see, this is what we been saying all along folks, there's contradictions all over the place. Robert Millet has contradiction Stephen Robinson has contradictions here we have a Mormon apostle showing us a contradiction. Mercy earned by your continual repentance and obedience that nullifies the definition of mercy. Mercy has to be on earned. He goes on to say such repentance and obedience are absolutely essential for the atonement to work its complete miracle in your life one more quotation. This is from Russell M. Nelson, who became the 17th president in January 2018 after the death of Thomas S.
Monson, Russell Nelson said this in its found in the enzyme magazine February 2003, page 24 was titled divine love. Thanks to the atonement the gift of immortality is unconditional.
The greater gift of eternal life. However, it is conditional in order to qualify, one must deny one's self of ungodliness and honor the ordinances and covenants of the temple noticed that expression one must deny oneself of ungodliness.
That sounds like it's speaking right from Moron I 1032 of verse that Robert Millet loves to quote. In fact, we cited him yesterday quoting it.
But if you look at his book within reach. That's the last citation a reference to Moron I 1032 how you have to deny yourself of all ungodliness, then this is grace sufficient for you, just give one more quote this again is from Richard G. Scott, an apostle, he said this in October 2000 for the general conference when needed for repentance will require action on your part. If you are not familiar with the classic steps repentance such as confession and abandonment of sin, restitution, obedience, and seeking forgiveness talk to a bishop or study a source such as Pres. Spencer W. Kimball's masterly work, the miracle of forgiveness. What does Spencer Kimball say in the book the miracle of forgiveness.
He says on page 163. There is one crucial test of repentance.
This is abandonment of the sin latter-day St., if you're listening. How are you doing at that and I think that's a great question Eric, but we need to go back to the book and page 43 Dr. Blomberg tries to give us the impression that Jeffrey Holland's view, the atonement shows us that we are purified before God solely on the basis of the merits and mercy and grace of the holy Messiah but yet when we look at Jeffrey Holland's comments in that message. It doesn't seem to say that at all. When we look at statements. For instance, from the 10th president Joseph Fielding Smith or Mormon apostle Richard G. Scott or 17th president Russell M. Nelson. They all seem to be saying the same thing if you want the forgiveness of your sins. If you want to receive exultation, you must forsake all of your sins and keep all of the commandments.
Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is