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Cast Away the Dead Prophets? Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
September 14, 2021 9:44 pm

Cast Away the Dead Prophets? Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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September 14, 2021 9:44 pm

Area Seventy Richard Neitzel Holzapfel recently gave a talk in Utah and explained to high school students how the church needs to drop the dead prophets and embrace the living apostles. Does this mean any living prophet trumps one who has died? Does this make any sense in the religion known as Mormonism? Bill and … Continue reading Cast Away the Dead Prophets? Part 3 →

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In their own words, a collection of Mormon quotations compiled by Mormonism Research Ministries Bill McKeever is a valuable resource when wanting to know what Mormon leaders have said on a given topic.

Pick up your copy at the Utah Lighthouse Bookstore or And now, your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism. How do Latter-day Saints receive the divine gift of forgiveness? 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. We're discussing a video, a very short video, that has an Area 70 by the name of Richard Neitzel Holtzepfel talking to a couple of young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have expressed some of their dismay regarding the LDS teaching of repentance. And this Area 70 says some very interesting things, and as we've mentioned so far, we don't really feel that he has the authority to criticize something that a prophet of the church has said in the past, even though he is encouraging his listeners to only accept what he calls the prophetic teachings of today.

In this talk, he speaks of an article that was in the February 2021 edition of the Liahona Magazine. It was an article written by Apostle Neil Anderson, and he also mentions the book that was written by Mormon Apostle Anderson, but he doesn't give the name of the book. The name of the book that Mr. Anderson wrote is titled The Divine Gift of Forgiveness. Now, he suggests that people read books like this, and then he says in this very short video, we don't want to go back to The Miracle of Forgiveness by President Kimball. He adds, let's drop the dead prophets and embrace the living. That is, to me, a quote that I think will really cause a lot of older Latter-day Saints to have a problem, because what he is suggesting here is The Miracle of Forgiveness is not a book that has any authority anymore, because we have living prophets. But as we're going to show in today's show, there's not much new under the sun.

And that's the point. We want to talk about this book that Mr. Holdzepfel recommends, the book The Divine Gift of Forgiveness, because as you have rightly stated, Eric, when you look at some of the things that Neil Anderson says in this book and compare it to what Spencer W. Kimball said in his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness, yes, you could say that Neil Anderson writes in a much more nicer tone, because Kimball was pretty blunt in some of the things that he said. But here's what's fascinating. Holdzepfel tries to make the case that in Kimball's diary, he had some regrets over some of the things that he said in The Miracle of Forgiveness, as if that nullifies the entire book.

Well, be careful, though. Be careful before you draw that conclusion, because when we look at The Divine Gift of Forgiveness by Neil Anderson, he never disses The Miracle of Forgiveness. He cites from The Miracle of Forgiveness. He quotes Spencer W. Kimball. So you want to be careful before you draw that conclusion, and so what we're going to do in this show is we're going to look at what Neil Anderson says in his book, The Divine Gift of Forgiveness. If we are going to accept the prophetic teachings of today, and apparently this would be one of those, let's see what it has to say. We look at page 207 under the topic of forsaking sin.

What does Neil Anderson say on page 207? In the powerful scripture in Doctrine and Covenants section 58, the Lord emphasizes that along with confessing sins, those desiring to repent will also forsake their sins. Bill, perhaps we ought to read D&C 58, 42 and 43. Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins. Behold, he will confess them and forsake them.

But the next paragraph, Eric, I think is even more striking, because what Anderson says in the very next paragraph is really nothing new from what Kimball taught in his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness. He writes, forsaking a sin means we will never repeat it, never return to it, not in action or in word or even in our mind. Forsaking means that the sin is totally in our past. To forsake a sin will mean more than just feeling the remorse and sadness that it has brought to us and to others we have hurt. It will mean being certain that we don't put ourselves into the same position that brought the sin before.

It will mean associating with trusted friends and family who will help us in moving forward. That sounds very similar to what Kimball said regarding the desire or urge to sin will be purged out of your life. It sounds very similar, I think, to what Anderson is saying here. Bill, on page 354, this is what Kimball writes in his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness. He says, it is that the former transgressor must have reached a point of no return to sin wherein there is not merely a renunciation but also a deep abhorrence of the sin, where the sin becomes most distasteful to him and where the desire or urge to sin is cleared out of his life. Notice, he's not just saying you have to stop the sin, but you have to stop the desire to sin. And we're not trying to downplay any effort on the part of the member of the church who is trying to reach that state in their life. The question, of course, becomes, will any individual really reach that state? And you can understand the angst that these two young people in the video who are expressing their desire to want to know what repentance really is and why they don't feel like they can achieve it in their lives. They still seem to have this doubt.

This young lady, Jill, in the video is expressing this angst, and you can't help but have compassion for her and the young man who's sitting next to her in this meeting. But when you have Holtzafel make it appear that what they're holding onto is old Mormonism, we need to get rid of this old stuff, drop the dead prophets, embrace the living, he said. We should accept the prophetic teachings of today. Well, we just read you from the very book that Holtzafel suggests the divine gift of forgiveness. And we find Neil Anderson really saying nothing different than what Spencer Kimball has said before, even though it was Holtzafel who said in this talk, we don't want to go back to the miracle of forgiveness. Now, on the very next page, on 208 of the divine gift of forgiveness, this is what Anderson says. He says, we never want to return to the sins of our past.

But then he does this. In the next paragraph, he says, repentance, of course, is never a wasted effort. A person who has repented for being angry may unfortunately become angry again, or a person who has repented of speaking ill of someone may unfortunately speak ill of someone else. President Lorenzo Snow said, quote, Do not expect to become perfect at once.

If you do, you will be disappointed. Be better today than you were yesterday, and be better tomorrow than you are today. The temptations that perhaps partially overcome us today, let them not overcome us so far tomorrow.

Thus, continue to be a little better day by day. End quote. Here's a problem with that quotation, Eric, according to what Mr. Holtzafel says. Lorenzo Snow, as far as I know, is a dead prophet, is he not? Lorenzo Snow died a long time ago, and yet we find a dead prophet being cited in this book, The Divine Gift of Forgiveness. You see, this is the dilemma for the Latter-day Saint who argues, like Mr. Holtzafel does, we want to drop the dead prophets and embrace the living. Here you have a book that he recommends quoting dead prophets, and he does that a number of times in this book.

Now, let's go on to see what Anderson has to say on page 208. He says, The Lord desires that we constantly strengthen ourselves and become better, trying not to repeat even the small sins of the past. He, speaking of God, quoting now from Doctrine and Covenants section 1, He cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. He has, however, promised, quote, Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven. The Lord loves to bestow his mercy and forgiveness upon us as we truly repent. Now, notice, Anderson is using the same buzzwords that all Mormon leaders have used when discussing the subject of repentance. It can't just merely be a desire to repent.

It has to be put into action. You have to succeed in putting away your past sins and never repeat them again. As Harold B. Lee, who I admit is a dead prophet, said, In one sentence, repentance means turning from that which we have done wrong in the sight of the Lord and never repeating that mistake again. But yet at the top of page 208, Anderson says, We never want to return to the sins of our past. How is that any different than what Harold B. Lee said? How is that any different from some of the things that Spencer W. Kimball said in his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness?

Bill, I wrote an article on our website. It's a book review, and it looks at the divine gift of forgiveness by Apostle Neil L. Anderson, and it actually takes the miracle of forgiveness and puts the two together. And everything that you're talking about here today is shown in this book using lots of quotes. You can go to our website slash divine forgiveness with the hyphen between divine and forgiveness, and I think you're going to be surprised how closely related that Kimball book and the Anderson book is.

Well, let me go back to what we had cited earlier on page 207, Eric, where Anderson says forsaking a sin means we will never repeat it, never return to it, not in action or in word or even in our mind. That is a pull quote on the same page. You have that also emphasized in a box on page 207. But here's another fascinating statement that Mr. Anderson makes, and this is under the subheading of knowing when sins have been forgiven.

This is found on page 211 where that subheading is. Turn the page, and what does Mr. Anderson do? He cites another dead prophet, Heber J. Grant. What did he say Heber J.

Grant taught? Quote, There is no teaching of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, which is plainer than that laid down by Him to the effect that there will be none of our past sins held against us, provided we repent and forsake them in the future, laboring diligently for the right. End quote. Provided we repent and forsake them. How many must we forsake, though?

Well, Mormon leaders have been very clear on this. We must forsake all of them. That is what true repentance is all about. But then we have on page 214 of The Divine Gift of Forgiveness. Again, remember, this is the book that Richard Neitzel Holzepfel has recommended for his audience, listening to this talk that he has given while he's questioning these two young people. On page 214, Anderson writes, When a sin has been confessed and forsaken, we go forward, trusting in the power of the Savior's atonement. As the Lord's servant, I give you my humble assurance that as you truly forsake your sins, you will be forgiven. Isn't that the dilemma the young lady named Jill in this video had?

She's hoping maybe she's misunderstanding, and she realizes that she's not going to meet that qualification. That is not only a dilemma faced by young people in the LDS Church, I find it to be a dilemma that a lot of Latter-day Saints face. And I don't think that citing Apostle Anderson is helping in any way, because what he's teaching is that all you need to do is just forsake the sin. Join us again as we look at another Viewpoint on Mormonism.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-22 23:43:45 / 2023-08-22 23:49:05 / 5

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