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The Covenant Path Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
July 13, 2021 9:50 pm

The Covenant Path Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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July 13, 2021 9:50 pm

Apostle D. Todd Christofferson gave an April 2021 General Conference message titled “Why the Covenant Path.” Bill and Eric take a closer look at the talk from the May 2021 Liahona magazine and break down what the LDS apostle says about covenants and the possibility of keeping promises that require total obedience.

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And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism. Our thanks that is Ruben for that musical introduction welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism, your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM why the covenant path that is the title of an article that is found in the May 2021 edition of the Leah hold a magazine, the leaseholder magazine has supplanted the enzyme magazine as the official magazine for adult members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and as with the inside twice a year. They have a transcription of all the conference messages put into the May edition as well as the November addition in this talk titled why the covenant path. Elder D. Todd Christopherson, a member of the quorum of the 12 is encouraging members on the importance of staying on this covenant path. So we've been discussing what exactly does that mean to a Latter Day Saints and of course it basically comes down to this. When a Latter Day Saints is baptized into the LDS church. They make various covenants.

What are those covenants very simply, they are to keep all the commandments that God commands them as members of the church when they go to the temple. They also make covenants in the temple and they are expected to keep all of those promises those covenants that they have made in the temple to do what to keep the commandments. Some of the commandments know they are actually committing to keep all of the commandments and yesterday we read a citation from 13th Pres. Ezra Taft Benson where he flat out says that we thereby promise 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, he said maybe we deserve his blessings and merit his mercy and this is a common doctrine in the LDS church that they have not changed this, nor are they relinquishing the importance of covenant keeping in order to become more grace oriented as unfortunately a lot of well-meaning Bible believing Christians have come to believe that's just not true. As long as the LDS church has temples. They will be emphasizing the importance of keeping covenants or keeping the commandments and the reason for that bill is because you can't even enter a temple unless you're considered to be worthy to be able to do this work that's necessary for you to go to the celestial kingdom. On page 117 of this edition of the Leah homeowner D. Todd Christopherson is going to speak of elder J. Golden Kimball now J. Golden Kimball if you were to look up his bio on the web. They often will describe him as being a colorful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was a relative of Heber C. Kimball, J. Golden Kimball was born in the 1850s Heber C. Kimball was a member of the first presidency under Brigham Young.

Why is J. Golden Kimball known to be colorful. Well, it was because he had the habit of swearing often so anyway on page 117. He introduces J. Golden Kimball elder J. Golden Kimball is purported to have said, quote I may not have in brackets always walk the straight and narrow, but I in brackets try to cross it as often as I in brackets can" the new notice there's three brackets.

There will that's because Christopherson can't really quote J.

Golden Kimball for what he really said in that statement.

So we are going to do it for you and before you do that bill you see on the Internet somebody in a chat room who basically said he was surprised that Christopherson brought out Kimball in this set talk yes. In fact, the I think he said something to the effect that he choked on his coffee when he read it. But here's what Jake Golden Kimball actually said regarding that citation given by the Todd Christopherson Kimball said I may not walk the straight and the narrow, but I sure in hell try to cross it as often as I can.

This is why Christopherson had a use brackets. He had to clean up the speech of J. Golden Kimball because I said as I said earlier, he was known for having what we would call the proverbial potty mouth and probably wouldn't gain a lot of approval by many modern members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But why is he quoting Kimball will basically based on what he says he doesn't walk the straight and narrow. Another words that covenant path in a consistent manner as he should. But what Kimball was saying and probably with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I would assume he does cross that covenant path occasionally is Christopherson goes on to say in a more serious moment. I am sure brother Kimball would agree that staying on not just crossing the covenant path is our greatest hope for avoiding avoidable misery on the one hand, and successfully dealing with the unavoidable woes of life on the other. Would we get from this will, it becomes very clear that even though Kimball may have been joking. Christopherson is making it very clear to his listeners and hear his readers that crossing the covenant path isn't good enough you have to stay on the covenant path. If you hope to receive these blessings that Russell M. Nelson says earlier in the talk that Mr. Christopherson gives. How does a Latter Day Saints do that if it's supposed to be a consistent keeping of commandments not breaking the commandments, lest you become the proverbial covenant breaker that Spencer Kimball was talking about on page 57 of his book the miracle of forgiveness who is actually living up to those standards now in saying that again.

I want to emphasize. We as New Testament Christians are not implying that good works should not be important to us and often times that's what we are accused of. When we try to emphasize the necessity of God's grace and salvation and forgiveness of sins being given to us by our faith in what Jesus did on our behalf. The good works follow that they don't come before that and I think you will find in citing many LDS leaders that they are all often getting the cart before the proverbial horse and certainly this article proves our point Christopherson goes on page 117 and says, some might say quote I can make good choices with or without baptism. I don't need covenants to be an honorable and successful person." Indeed, there are many who, while not on the covenant path themselves act in a way that mirrors the choices and contributions of those who were on the path you might say they reap the blessings of walking a covenant consistent path. What then is the difference of the covenant path.

Actually, the difference is uniquely and eternally significant. It includes the nature of our obedience.

The character of God's commitment to us. The divine help, we receive the blessings tied to gathering as a covenant people, and most importantly our eternal inheritance. I get from what he saying here is that even though you may have nonbelievers and I could say that coming from a Christian perspective. The New Testament Christian perspective that there are a lot of people who live good lives out there, but I would say just because they may live quote unquote good lives does not necessarily make them a Christian is the argument that moralism does not equate with Christianity, I'm not saying that Christians shouldn't be moral. I'm just saying that if you were a moral person without the benefit of Christ's atonement, which is given to you by faith in what Jesus did on your behalf that doesn't cut it when it comes to entering heaven after you die.

I think that Christopherson is trying to make a very similar argument here. You might find people who claim to be moral and possibly are somewhat moral and I have to use the word somewhat because all of us are immoral in some areas of our life if we are going to be honest just because you see a person who claims to be moral, and perhaps even looks moral. If they're not meeting the requirements that Mormonism has set down for its membership that morality is not going to really accomplish anything when it comes to entering into the celestial kingdom of God, which is true salvation according to the teachings of the LDS church fill in the next section. It's subtitled committed obedience.

Page 117 this is what he says versus the nature of our obedience to God more than simply having good intentions. We solemnly commit to live by every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God. In this we follow the example of Jesus Christ who by being baptized.

Quote show with unto the children of men that according to the flesh, he humbled himself before the father and witnesseth unto the father that he would be obedient unto him and keeping his commandments and that comes from second Nephi 31 verses six and seven in the book of Mormon. He goes on to say, with covenants, we are intent on more than just avoiding mistakes or being prudent in our decisions. We feel accountable to God for our choices and our lives. You see the difference between what we would say is a part of our sanctification and what Christopherson is describing here is, it appears that he is speaking of a 100% success rate that I wish I had a 100% success rate when it comes to my sanctification but I don't expect that to happen as long as I am living as a fallen human being.

At this point, but if were going to be honest know Latter Day Saints is doing that either. And if staying on the covenant path means that you don't story and go off into areas that are outside of God's strict commandments than what you say. For those Latter Day Saints that find themselves in that predicament and I would argue that all of them at some point find themselves in that predicament. This is where the understanding of grace becomes so beneficial. This forgiveness is still applied to the individual and you're not penalized just because let's say you have a proverbial bad day which all of us have, including Latter Day Saints. See this is what I think Kimball was talking about when he was referring to covenant breakers, you just are not allowed to do that if you hope to receive what is absolutely essential. By staying on this covenant path. I'm not trying to downplay the effort of the Latter Day Saints to live a good life. I commend them for that. However, if you make that a requirement to receive the best that God has for you. That's where I'm going to have to draw the line for two reasons. One, we don't find that in the New Testament and to your never going to be able to do it. 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'll join us again as we look at and viewpoint


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