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July 18, 2021 9:31 pm
Unprepared to engage Mormon missionaries would knock on your door. Perhaps the book Mormonism 101 will help Mormonism 101. Published by Baker look at your favorite Christian bookstore .1 is examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a respected viewpoint on Mormonism 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 is the role of families in the context of Mormonism. 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. If you've talked with Latter Day Saints for any amount of time and you have asked the question of them. What is it that you are hoping for. After you die. No doubt if your experience is the same as what I Eric have experience in talking with the number of Latter Day Saints on the subject. The answer is probably I want to be with my family.
That seems to be the answer when asking the Latter Day Saints about their hereafter. There's a reason for that because that has been taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that family is of utmost importance when it comes to the salvation of mankind.
In fact, the sixth president of the LDS church man by the name of Joseph F. Smith had this to say about the importance of family. This is quoting from teaches a presence of the church. Joseph F. Smith that was published in 1998, page 386. This is what Smith said I have a glorious promise of the Association of my loved ones throughout all eternity in obedience to this work in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I shall gather around me, my family, my children, my children's children until they become as numerous as the seed of Abraham, or as countless as the sands upon the seashore for this is my right and privilege in the right and privilege of every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who holds the priesthood and will magnify it in the sight of God. There was one word that you repeated twice in that quotation Eric that I find very troubling and that is when he makes the comment for this is my right and privilege and the right and privilege of every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who holds the priesthood and will magnify it in the sight of God. So it sounds like from what Joseph F.
Smith is saying is that this is an automatic thing but it's something that Latter Day Saints certainly should have the hope of securing in the next life.
Even though Joseph F. Smith says in obedience to this work in the gospel of Jesus Christ and of course that would be in the context of what Mormons would call the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, which is not the New Testament gospel folks, we cannot overlook that when a Latter Day Saints refers to the gospel. It's always in the context of this quote" restored gospel that is unique to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Know what you think about that word right does a Christian think that he has a right to eternal life because of our belief to me that this kind of sticks out like a sore thumb. And that's exactly what I meant when I made reference to that word that's used twice the right as well as the privilege the right and privilege. I can imagine any New Testament Christian. If you were to ask them about any benefits they might feel they are going to enjoy in the hereafter and referred to it as a right or something that they should be given.
This tells me that Joseph F. Smith if he has any concept of the word mercy at all is obviously defining it very differently than the way we would as Christians. Now I know Ezra Taft Benson like to talk about mercy as something that had to be earned. I've publicly scoffed at that interpretation because it it seems to undermine the whole meaning of what mercy is all about.
If, in fact, according to Titus 35 that we are saved by mercy, there is no right involved. We have no rights regarding anything that we receive of God in the next life. It is all based on something that is graciously given to the believer by an act of mercy that is obviously undeserved by the individual. This is why I cannot imagine any born-again believer in the New Testament context of being born again ever saying that they have a right to whatever it is they're hoping for in the next life. I certainly don't believe that I have no right to any of this.
I don't deserve anything but God's just punishment. Perhaps that is why you Eric and myself and other New Testament Christians throughout the world can more appreciate the concept of grace and mercy because we never will use the word right when it comes to what we hope to gain in the next life I think about it like a gift as a birthday or Christmas gift. And if somebody gives you that present you don't say this is my right. You owed it to me somehow.
But it is something that's given with no obligation and I think when I read the word right if I'm reading Joseph F. Smith correctly, it sounds like an obligation bill.
Another citation comes from the first presidency, James E. Faust and this is from the & May 1997 as a conference addition, he said this, a general conference in April 1997, page 19 the Savior supernal gift to mankind gave us the opportunity for eternal life but eternal life without our loved ones would be bleak, eternal life without our loved ones would be bleak. Can you imagine again any New Testament Christian making such a comment, and I probably should say such a horrible comment because this statement by James Faust, who by the way, died back in 2007. He was 87 years old when he passed away Faust's comment sounds very similar to another comment that we have repeated a number of times on this show and that is one by Jeffrey R. Holland of Mormon apostle. This comment made by Holland has been shown to probably hundreds of thousands of people who have visited various Mormon temples, because this is part of the video presentation that visitors to an open house see before the enter the actual temple itself in the video.
It started probably around 2005, 2006 somewhere in there and I went to several different Temple open house events in 2019 is still being shown. I remember seeing it for the first time when I visited the Rexburg Idaho Temple.
That was the first time I ever saw it and I will never forget my emotion when I heard Holland say this might my mouth was probably hanging open as I just could not believe what I had just heard even though no doubt a number of the Latter Day Saints in the same room and probably thought all he loves his family wouldn't Holland say I don't know how to speak about heaven in the traditional lovely paradisiacal beauty that we speak of heaven. I wouldn't know how to speak of heaven without my wife, my children, it would it would not be heaven for me it would not be heaven for me. No, why did I have the emotion that I had when I heard Holland say that for the first time when I was visiting the Rexburg Idaho Temple. It made me wonder where is Jesus in this whole picture now, don't get us wrong folks. I don't think there is a Christian believer existing who does not want to see loved ones in heaven with them.
I certainly do.
Eric I know you do. Our hearts desire is to see not only our families saved and enjoying the benefits that Christ graciously gives us in his presence in the hereafter. But certainly, none of us would say that if our family members were not there that somehow heaven would not be heaven to us that honestly Eric I think is a blasphemous statement because it really shows me where Jesus is in the mind of a Jeffrey Holland when it comes to the hereafter. But we have to be clear folks, if you look at LDS eschatology that the LDS doctrine of what takes place after the judgment, really Jesus plays no role in the hereafter of a faithful Latter Day Saints who has in their understanding, achieved celestial exultation. Let me make my point.
Have you ever heard a latter-day St. talk about the God of heavenly father in relationship to heavenly father's hereafter. We never hear them talk about that.
I've never had a latter-day St. bring that up.
What relationship does heavenly father have with the God that that produced him as it would be understood in the doctrine of Mormonism is no mention of anything like that is not something that you hear in the course of a conversation he'll let me give you another citation.
This comes from a member of the first presidency Delaunay chokes. He said this in 2004 in the enzyme magazine December 2004, page 51. He said the fullness of eternal salvation is a family affair. The gospel plan originated in the Council of any of an eternal family is implemented through our earthly families and has its destiny in our eternal families. So this is why folks if you were to ask a latter-day St., what is it that you hope to see your hope to receive or hope to experience in the next life. Their answer is going to be something to do with being with their family. It shouldn't surprise us, because as we see from just the few quotations that we have given here today. This is emphasized by the leadership you are hoping to be with your family and you can understand this hope of being with your family since it is a huge desire upon the hearts of many faithful and sincere Latter Day Saints is a desire, I think Eric that can be easily manipulated and I think the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does just that they use the desire of being with family as a means of hopefully keeping the member active in the church, which of course means that they are going to be participating in the temple, but they can participate in the temple unless they're paying the full tithe. If you're Latter Day Saints you and your faithful to this church and you're faithful to your family. You don't want to be part of the broken chain you want to be able to be with their family forever. You want your family members to be with you forever and so I think you're right.
I think the LDS church uses this concept. This idea of being with family forever as a reason to stay in the church. Even if you might be having some doubts there are some Latter Day Saints. We talked to who have stayed in the church because I still have this idea that even though the church might not be true.
Maybe there's a chance they're going to be with their family forever. It has of strong pole and I think the church uses it for their advantage to be able to keep the members faithful and to not leave tomorrow show were going to introduce a talk that was given by LDS Pres. Henry B. Eyring he's the second counselor in the first presidency under Russell M. Nelson, you're going to see why we feel that Irene's talk certainly connects the dots with what we had just said and how the church manipulates its members by using this concept of eternal families.
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 will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is