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August 27, 2021 10:20 am
One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 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 welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM there was an article in the church news the church news.com which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that was highlighting a statement that was given by Morgan apostle M. Russell Ballard, regarding his grandfather, Elder Melvin J.
Ballard, the opening paragraph to this article which was accompanied by a video says during a recent visit to New England Pres. M. Russell Ballard acting president of the quorum of the 12 apostles spoke of his grandfather, Elder Melvin J. Ballard. Now I know that can get very confusing and that's one of the reasons why wanted to read the opening paragraph, but it has to do with some thoughts that M. Russell Ballard had regarding his grandfather.
What is it say regarding the video Eric and church news video president Ballard explained that his grandfather who was an apostle before him died when Pres. Ballard was only a boy since Pres. Ballard's parents were not active members of the church.
He never heard his grandfather given address something which had been quote on quote one of the greatest statuses of his life. However president Ballard felt a connection to his grandfather as he visited Boston, where he gave a devotional on October 20, 2019 to 12,000 Latter Day Saints Pres. Ballard explained that the last trip. His grandfather made before he died was also to Boston.
So this visit had special meaning to him, recalling how beloved.
His grandfather was president Ballard spoke about what he would have liked to have learned from him quote I've often thought that if I had known that this was going to happen to me, this matter of coming along. Many years later in moving about in his footsteps. I would've wanted to know more about what it meant to be an apostle. It's been tender for me to be here and know that this was his last stand as a disciple of Jesus Christ. He was so devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ and gave himself so completely in the service of the master so I feel obligated to do everything I can to declare and to teach that the gospel is once again on the earth."
Now, in reading that I think all of us have had our regrets that we wish we could have asked our grandparents some questions regarding their life and the history in which they live so I can understand why Mormon apostle Ballard would have those kind of regrets not being able to do that. Especially given the fact that here he is as an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and his grandfather was also on apostle though I don't know Eric if if you were to give me an opportunity to ask a question of my grandfather, specially in the context of which we are reading. I don't know if the one thing that would come to my mind would be.
I would've wanted to know more about what it meant to be an apostle, especially since he is an apostle for many years and you would think that he would know what being an apostle was like. So unless he's talking about the things that he could've learned as an apostle from his grandfather who he didn't know very well. Here's what struck me when I read this article and we both watch the video and it doesn't really add a lot to the article that was in the church news on October 21, 2019. But what hit me when I read this was his grandfather lived during some pretty tumultuous times. I mean, his grandfather was born in 1873 that's prior to the manifesto of 1890.
That was a promise as we've mentioned many times on this show a promise by the LDS church signed by fourth Pres. Wilford Woodruff promising the US government that they would no longer be solemnized using plural marriages will. What's fascinating is that Melvin J. Ballard was ordained on apostle by Heber J.
Grant, Heber J. Grant was the seventh president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he was the last polygamous profit of the LDS church so his grandfather and Russell Ballard's grandfather Melvin lived during this time. In 1890. His grandfather was a teenager so you know he must've experienced all the controversy all the trauma if you will of the government putting pressure on his beloved church, and on his beloved leader at the time, which would be Wilford Woodruff. The fourth Pres. so he was there he must've been very familiar. For instance, with the Reed Smoot hearings, which called into question. Joseph F.
Smith, the sixth president of the church who was still involved in plural marriages at the time Reed Smoot was called to serve in the federal government in Washington DC that caused a huge bit of controversy and drama. So his father should been very familiar with a lot of this. In fact, Heber J. Grant being the last polygamous profit, though he was behind enforcing the 1904 second manifesto and this is when the church started really meaning business that if you were practicing polygamy after 1904, you could expect to be excommunicated from the church. Will there wasn't a whole lot for Heber J. Grant when he finally becomes the president because I would be 1918. By this time his plural wives. Two of them at least I should say had passed away. He was only living with one wife at the time he became president so to lay down the hammer and really enforcing the 1904 second manifesto. I don't think would've come with quite a sacrifice for Heber J. Grant, as it would have lit safer. Joseph F. Smith that preceded him. But I'm thinking of all the things that he could've asked his grandfather in that was the one thing that he comes up with. That could've been. He didn't really have a lot of time to think it through. I don't know but I was thinking oh my goodness.
There are so many things that I could think of what to ask his grandfather, and that's what I want to do with this show in the next few shows.
Let's go back and let's look at some of the things that M.
Russell Ballard's grandfather Melvin J. Ballard believed and taught publicly about his personal views. Now, as you can imagine Eric, his grandfather was very traditional Mormon because they were pretty much all traditional during that time. His grandfather died in 1939 so this was still the old time Mormonism that we've often studied and at this time. They were pretty open about what they believe.
But let's look at some of the things that his grandfather believe in one of the first things that I want to hit is the belief in the Lorenzo Snow couplet. Let me explain. Lorenzo Snow was the fifth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He had a very concise way of explaining who not only God is. But what we are, as his literal offspring and the potential that they believe all humans have will Melvin J. Ballard believe this very strongly and in a book called sermons and missionary services of Melvin J.
Ballard on page 238 what does he say we have frequently said that perhaps the greatest thought that has ever been brought forth to the children of men is the Mormon truism interesting Mormon, namely quote as man is God once was and as God is man may become" the foundation of that truism is in this revelation and these words, we have just read the let me explain folks when he says the truism in this revelation. The reason why he uses that word revelation is because Lorenzo Snow felt that he received that couplet by revelation he ran it past Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS church, and Joseph Smith told them that what was revealed to him was truth of the reason why I think it's important to talk about this is because we know that in recent years, Richard Mao, who used to be the president of Fuller seminary. He argued that as many as God once was and is God is man may become was not really a functioning truth in the Mormon church anymore. And even at that, we have lots of things said in the last few years and back in 2012 and 2013 in church manuals that were studied by all Latter Day Saints had that very same couplet in it and I know Dr. Mel tried to to sidestep the importance of what that means to Latter Day Saints by say oh no that's more talking about about Jesus and not God the father, which I thought was pretty bad explanation and II hope that Richard Mao has seen the error of his way. Since then, but I want to bring this point out in this quotation that is cited in this book.
Commemorating this teachings of Melvin J. Ballard, notice what he says. Eric, we have frequently said that perhaps the grandest thought, the grandest thought that is ever been brought forth to the children of men is the Mormon truism as man is God once was, as God's man may become. I probably wouldn't use the word thought I probably would use the word blasphemy because that is opposite of what the Bible teaches, and you look through Francis the 43rd through the 46 chapter of Isaiah very clearly that God was never once one of us yet, but the fact that he thought that Ballard's grandfather Melvin J. Ballard thought that this was one of the grandest thought that ought account for something now.
It makes you wonder with M. Russell Ballard, having an opportunity list say to ever talk with his grandfather.
Do you think he ever brought that up. Do you think they ever talked about that now. We don't know but again talking about regrets. I know that I certainly have regrets that I never took the time as a young man to talk to my grandfather. Now my grandfather. Quite interestingly, died at the same age as M. Russell Ballard's grandfather around 66. My grandfather was born in 1899 and from what I hear from my mom and in other stories that I've heard from my aunts and uncles. He had quite an interesting life and I never even thought of asking him about a lot of these things now.
Again, I was pretty young when he passed away so I can understand some of the regrets that Mr. Ballard might have by not having the opportunities let's say to ask him some of these things and so that's why I think you've got it of relative who goes clear back to Heber J. Grant the seventh president of the church.
Imagine the stories that he could probably tell you about what it was like being a Latter Day Saints growing up during that very tumultuous. Especially the end of the 19th century when the federal government certainly had turned its attention to his church and was making the church didn't announce a doctrine that leaders up until that time had said should never be denounced and would always carry on and that they would die believing this. And of course that's not what happened in the church certainly did cave-in, but tomorrow I want to talk about some more of the ideas in the doctrines that M.
Russell Ballard's grandfather Melvin J.
Ballard believed and taught now remembered he brought him back into the spotlight. Most people probably are not very well aware of what Melvin J. Ballard taught, so this is why we want to dedicate some time to his teachings.
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