Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

The Covenant Path Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
July 14, 2021 9:52 pm

The Covenant Path Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

July 14, 2021 9:52 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.

Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Alex McFarland Show
Alex McFarland

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. What do Latter-day Saints mean when they talk about overcoming all things? 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 Eric Johnson, my colleague at MRM. The covenant path is uniquely and eternally significant.

It is found in the May 2021 edition of the Liahona magazine, and it begins on page 116. Today we are going to be looking at page 118 under the subheading, Bound to God, and this is what Kristofferson says. And that has a footnote, and the footnote reads, John 16.33. This is what John 16.33 says.

This is Jesus speaking. Now it's interesting that he would cite John 16.33 in making that kind of a statement because he's saying here that we can overcome all things, yet the citation that he mentions is Jesus saying, I have overcome all things. Now it's not that the New Testament doesn't use the word overcome because it certainly does, but again we need to look at the context of what those verses are saying to us in order to get a proper understanding.

And the reason I say that is because LDS leaders certainly have misunderstood, misrepresented what that word overcome means, and we're going to talk about that. But before we do, what does it say in Revelation 2.7? It says, So we have the idea that if you overcome, you're going to be able to go to heaven, the paradise of God. And another passage is 1 John 5. In the first five verses in the English Standard Version, the subheading is overcoming the world. This is what John wrote.

Verse 5. So we overcome by our faith, but yet the way it's being described by Mr. Christofferson, it gives the impression that you overcome by your deeds, by what you're doing. I'm not saying that faith is not a part of that. Please don't misunderstand me. But certainly in the context of Mormonism, the word overcome has a significant difference than what Eric has just read from 1 John 5.

Let me give you an example. We have Brigham Young, who in 1855, this is found in the Journal of Discourses, volume 3, page 265. He said this, The question I've been asking this week is if that is what is being required of Latter-day Saints, what Latter-day Saint do you know who has met that requirement? Do you know any Latter-day Saint who has overcome all of their lustful desires, all of their pride, all of their selfishness, and every evil propensity that pertains to the flesh?

Now, I would say that since becoming a Christian, Jesus has cleaned up my act significantly, but I still have a long way to go, as I'm sure most Latter-day Saints, if you were to ask them specifically, they would admit they have a long way to go as well. But Spencer W. Kimball also talks about this kind of overcoming, very similar to the way Brigham Young described it, and this is found in Kimball's book, The Miracle of Forgiveness, page 16. He writes, And let us not suppose that in calling people to repentance the prophets are concerned only with the more grievous sins, such as murder, adultery, stealing, and so on, nor only with those persons who have not accepted the gospel ordinances. All transgressions must be cleansed. All weaknesses must be overcome before a person can attain perfection in godhood.

All weaknesses must be overcome before a person can attain perfection and godhood. And what's interesting about Kimball's statement is in that same book, he speaks of the importance of doing it in this mortality. Now it's not that some leaders haven't given confusing statements making it appear that somehow you can make up for lost time in the next life, but of course that kind of a thinking, I personally think, undermines the whole concept of a mortal probation as is taught by the LDS Church. In other words, we are here during this mortality to prove ourselves worthy.

If we can do it later on, what's the point of this mortality? Kimball does that throughout his book. He starts off chapter 1, and the title of it is This Life is the Time, and he cites from Alma 34-32, For behold, this life is the time to prepare to meet God.

So I'm going to say at least six to eight times. He very clearly says you can't do it in the next life, it has to be done now. Well, listen to this statement by Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie in his book Mormon Doctrine.

This is the 1966 edition, page 512. And he's citing a book that his father-in-law wrote, Joseph Fielding Smith, titled Man, His Origin in Destiny. He says, mortal persons who overcome all things and gain an ultimate exaltation will live eternally in the family unit and have spirit children, thus becoming eternal fathers and eternal mothers. Citing Doctrine and Covenants, section 132, 19-232.

But notice how this starts off. Mortal persons who overcome all things. That seems like a reference to this mortal probation. And why doing these things you must do in order to receive celestial exaltation have to be done in this life, not later on. If mortal persons are to overcome all things, and in that context, we get the impression that he's talking about overcoming all of our shortcomings and all of our sins, who is actually doing this? We have James Talmage in the book Articles of Faith, citing from the 1984 edition, page 83.

Now let's not forget, Talmage was commissioned by the First Presidency to write Articles of Faith. This is what he says about celestial glory. There are some who have striven to obey all the divine commandments, who have accepted the testimony of Christ, obeyed the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, and received the Holy Spirit. These are they who have overcome evil by godly works and who are therefore entitled to the highest glory. These belong to the Church of the Firstborn, unto whom the Father has given all things. They are made kings and priests of the Most High after the order of Melchizedek. They possess celestial bodies, whose glory is that of the Son, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the Son of the firmament is written as being typical. They are admitted to the glorified company, crowned with exaltation in the celestial kingdom.

Let's go back and let's dissect what he says. When he speaks of those who have striven to obey all the divine commandments, who have accepted the testimony of Christ, and obeyed the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, these are they who have overcome evil by godly works. But yet, when we read in John's epistle in 1 John 5, we've overcome by our faith. Here, it seems pretty clear that you overcome by godly works, which is not what we're finding in that passage in 1 John 5. See, godly works are absolutely essential.

But what do you do if that's the case with Titus 3.5? Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saves us. Obviously, Paul disagrees with what's being said here by Talmage, because it's not by any righteous work that we can perform. Another citation we could give is Richard G. Scott, an apostle who spoke at a general conference in April of 2001 and said time and time again at funerals, statements are made that the deceased will inherit all blessings of celestial glory when that individual has in no way qualified by obtaining the necessary ordinances and by keeping the required covenants.

That won't happen. Such blessings can only be earned by meeting the Lord's requirements. Listen to this. His mercy does not overcome the requirements of his law.

They must be met. Just reading that should scare just about any Latter-day Saint listening to that comment. His mercy does not overcome the requirements of his law. You better hope it does. I certainly hope it does, because I need that undeserved mercy. If I have to meet all the requirements of the law in order to get that mercy, there is no possible way that I could ever hope to receive that God has for me as a believer. But not only what Richard G. Scott says, a 70 by the name of Theodore M. Burton, and this was given in a conference message titled Salvation and Exaltation.

This was back in 1972. What did he say about exaltation? Exaltation comes as a gift from God dependent upon my obedience to God's law.

No works I do solely of my own power can bring this to pass. Only by the grace of God has this course been opened to me, but only through obedience to the laws of God can I claim my inheritance in the celestial kingdom of my heavenly Father as a son within his family. I cannot be exalted in my sins, but must work until I overcome them. Now when he talks about I cannot be exalted in my sins, no doubt this is probably a reference to Alma 11 37, which says that God cannot save us in our sins. Aren't we all fallen and in sin? Even if you're a believer, you're still in sin. You're still a fallen human being. You still commit sin. The difference, of course, is your sin has been forgiven because of your faith in what Christ did for you. It doesn't give you a license to sin, but it does give you that righteous standing, you might say, when it comes to how God views you. It's not that we have become perfect.

That's certainly not the case. But when he says, I cannot be exalted in my sins, but must work until I overcome them. But what happens to a Latter-day Saint? Should they die before they have successfully overcome them? I don't mean to sound mean, but all Latter-day Saints who die, die before they overcome them. Let's be honest. We have all sinned. We have come short of the glory of God. That being the case, nobody can live up to these standards that these LDS leaders have laid down for the Mormon people. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-22 11:40:31 / 2023-09-22 11:45:12 / 5

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime