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July 12, 2021 9:48 pm
You are knocking the door and opened it to find two friendly representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon church.
So what you say will you send them away without a Christian witness or will you engage them in a meaningful and Christ honoring conversation if you desire. The latter, we suggest the book, answering moments questions by Romanism research ministries Bill McKeever and Darren Johnson answering woman's questions is available wherever you find quality Christian books on Mormonism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a perspective viewpoint.
One more minute 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 or Latter Day Saints required to keep all the commandments of God in order to stay on what they call the covenant path welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on 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 conference message that was given by D.
Todd Christopherson. He is a member of the quorum of the 12 apostles. This was a message that he gave in April, 20, 21, and can be found in the May edition of the Leo Honan magazine beginning on page 116. The title is why the covenant path. The difference of the covenant path is uniquely and eternally significant. He begins his message by paying accolades to 17th president Russell M. Nelson, who talks about the Latter Day Saints commitment to follow the Savior by making covenants with him and then keeping these covenants and how keeping these covenants will open the door to every spiritual blessing and privilege available to men, women and children everywhere, the covenant path is an essential doctrine in the life of the member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's absolutely essential that they stay on this covenant path and what's interesting is covenant keeping is absolutely essential if the member hopes to receive exultation in the celestial kingdom of God. In this talk, Christopherson says. Our overarching covenant commitment is to do God's will quote and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall commend us," citing from Mosiah 55 which is a unique part of LDS scripture. The problem I think Eric when talking about this is sometimes when we are trying to emphasize the biblical doctrine of grace, we can neglect to emphasize the fact that as New Testament Christians.
We also believe that we should strive to keep God's commandments. And that's really what covenant keeping is to the Latter Day Saints.
It's keeping all the commandments of God. Sometimes, in emphasizing the grace that we read of in the New Testament we neglect to emphasize that part and so it's easy for many Latter Day Saints to accuse us of thinking that good works are not all that important in the Christian walk when in fact they most definitely are important. The difference, of course, is that though we believe we should be striving to live a holy life in order to give God honor and glory for what he's done in our life. We don't believe that those good works. Have any bearing on our justification before God. In other words, our good works do not make us right with God our good works reflect the fact that we have been made right with God and we have been made right with God by placing our faith in what Jesus did on our behalf. Another words we believe that Jesus's sacrifice on the cross at Calvary was all sufficient in purchasing our salvation and we are told that we merely must believe in what he did on our behalf and we are therefore justified by that faith.
And that's exactly right. A simple way to think of it is in Christianity.
It's faith and faith alone equals salvation but works come out of that with what we call sanctification, but in Mormonism. It's faith plus works equals your true salvation. What you been saying is the celestial kingdom exultation or eternal life all synonymous terms when it comes to keeping covenants as Latter Day Saints are told they must. Let's look at some statements that have been made by LDS leaders regarding the importance of covenant keeping. And what's interesting is that Spencer W. Kimball the 12th president of the church in the book, the teachings of Spencer W. Kimball. This is found on page 497.
He makes this interesting comment. He says one breaks the priesthood covenant by transgressing commandments, but also by leaving done. His duties accordingly to break this covenant.
One needs only to do nothing that we would put that into the category of the sin of omission would we not and that's exactly what Kimball is talking about but notice when he says that one breaks the priesthood covenant by transgressing commandments will what Latter Day Saints lives. The consistent life of not breaking God's commandments.
If you find a latter-day St. who was accomplished that basically you found a Latter Day Saints who does not feel that they have a personal need to repent and I find that every Latter Day Saints. I've talked to at least admits to me that they find repentance to be something common in their life which of course means breaking commandments must also be common in their life. Otherwise they would not need to repent of those commandments, that they have violated. But then Kimball also says this on page 57 of the miracle of forgiveness I can to many of the other senses that of the covenant breaker. The person baptized promises to keep all the laws and commandments of God, he has partaken of the sacrament and re-pledged his allegiance and his fidelity promising and covenant team that he will keep all God's laws. Numerous folks have gone to the temples and every covenanted that they would live all the commandments of God, keep their lives clean devoted worthy and serviceable. Yet many there are who forget their covenants and break the commandments sometimes deliberately tempting the faithful away with them. Why does that statement become important to us in the context of this article or this talk that Christopherson gave in 2021 it's because Kimball is making it very clear that if you make a promise in the temple when he mentions the temple specifically and you repledged your allegiance and fidelity when you're partaking of the communion or the sacrament.
As is often referred to in Mormonism you have become a covenant breaker, wouldn't you say Eric that every single member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints fits that description. At one time in their life.
Probably every week, making it necessary to go and partake of the sacrament and repledged that allegiance as it's referred to herein this statement by Spencer W. Kimball. They are all covenant breakers, none of them are staying consistently on this alleged covenant path that D.
Todd Christopherson is mentioning here in this talk, then you have 13th president Ezra Taft Benson where he also talks about the necessity of renewing and keeping your covenants. He says quoting. We go to our chapels each week to worship the Lord and renew our covenants by partaking of the sacrament. We thereby promised to take his name upon us to always remember him and keep all his commandments. Our agreement to keep all the commandments is our covenant with God only as we do this, may we deserve his blessings and merit his mercy merit his mercy often commented Eric how that is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me and it most certainly is because you cannot merit mercy at all. It must be unmerited but notice the emphasis is on keeping all his commandments are agreement to keep all the commandments is our covenant with God, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is doing that. I want to go back back to the miracle of forgiveness by Spencer Campbellites want to give a couple of additional quote. This is what Kimball writes on page 17. My plea is this, let us get our instruments tightly strong in our melodies sweetly sung.
Let us not die with our music still in us. Let us rather use this precious mortal probation this life to move confidently and gloriously upward toward the eternal life of which God our father gives to those who keep his commandments and then later in the book he talks about the issue of perfection and he says perfection is an achievable goal. This is what he writes on page 208 this progress toward eternal life is a matter of achieving perfection living all the commandments guarantees total forgiveness of sins and assures one of exultation through that perfection which comes by complying with the formula. The Lord gave us." Matthew 548 which says, be therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. This is what he writes being perfect means to triumph over sin. This is a mandate from the Lord. He is just and wise and kind he would never require anything from his children, which was, not for their benefit and which was not attainable perfection. Therefore is an achievable goal bill.
I think there are many Latter Day Saints who hear that and say we don't teach that anymore. I want to suggest to you that Spencer Campbell on every page practically of his book sites from unique LDS scripture, the doctrine and covenants and the book of Mormon ours to favorites and I think he does a great job of exegete in those passages to say exactly what he's talking about that you don't just make covenants and not keep them, but you make covenants because you're supposed to keep them and if you don't keep those covenants then all the weight of those sins can come back when you sin again. Will Mr. Christopherson starts off this talk by citing the 17th president of the church will. Here's what Russell and Nelson said about the importance of obedience to covenants.
He said this obedience to the sacred covenants made in temples qualify us for eternal life. The greatest gift of God to man. Now when I read that I see something that smacks a little bit of self reputation. In other words, you need to qualify yourself for eternal life.
But what you are qualifying for, is described as a gift.
Normally, gifts are given without anything in return but that's not the way it is understood in LDS theology, even though exultation must be worked for. It is simultaneously described as a gift and the covenant is made weekly apostle Robert D. Hale said at the general conference talk and in April 2014 when we are baptized we take upon us the name of Christ and enter into the covenant with God that we will be obedient to the end of our lives each Sunday we renew that baptismal covenant by partaking of the sacrament and witnessing that we are willing to keep the commandments.
It's not just saying you're going to do it though. It's actually doing that and that's what Mormonism is all about. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding this 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