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Covenants, Ordinances, and Blessings Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
September 27, 2021 9:48 pm

Covenants, Ordinances, and Blessings Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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September 27, 2021 9:48 pm

Bill and Eric discuss an article in the September 2021 Liahona magazine written by Seventy Randy Funk on the requirements imposed by Mormonism for a person who wants to be a faithful member.

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Viewpoint on Mormonism. The program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 woman is a 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 no your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism. What is unilateral acceptance. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM Randy D. Funk. He's a member of the first quorum of the 70 he has an article that is in the September 2021. Addition of the Leah Hoehn, a magazine, this article is based on a devotional that Mr. Funk gave at BYU Idaho which is in Rexburg, Idaho. He gave this talk on September 22, 2020.

It's titled covenants, ordinances and blessings that Eric when we were looking at this article prepping to get ready for the show. We both have notice that 2021 seems to be the banner year for emphasizing participation in the temple and keeping covenants and such. It's not that the church has never talked about these issues before because most certainly they had covenant keeping is a major doctrine in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but you and I both don't seem to recall when so much emphasis was being given to keeping your covenants and going to the temple and we were trying to figure out why this strong emphasis it could be because the church plans on building so many more temples in the state of Utah as well as across the world. Maybe there prepping their people to make sure that there were ready and prepared to participate in those temple ceremonies you have to consider that there are over 250 temples that will be in the in the world in just five or six more years. I think they want the people to be excited about going to the temple and what you do at the temple are the main things you do is you may covenants there will Randy Funk is not a theologian. In fact, no leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. No general authority would call themselves a theologian.

He is an attorney and he talks about when he was in law school and he's going to relate a story about what happened to him when he was in law school and is going to make the connection with what Latter Day Saints are supposed to do when it comes to these quote" covenants that they make. What is a say on page 30 Eric for most class. We were assigned to read three legal decisions or cases during class. A student was called upon to summarize the facts of the case and then describe the legal principles of contract law that the cases established the unfortunate student was then subject to the professors probing twisting questions that followed. This was almost always a humbling experience.

The first time I was called upon the cases dealt with the principle of contract law known as unilateral acceptance as a result, I have never forgotten that principle of the next section comes under the subheading of offer and acceptance, among other things, to form a binding contract under the laws of man. There must be an offer and an acceptance.

Generally, a contract is formed when one party makes an offer and the other party accepts the offer for some agreement such as a contract to purchase real estate.

The law requires that the offer and the acceptance be in writing. In other situations, the parties need only verbally agree, but for some agreements. The acceptance of an offer is made simply by performance.

This is known as unilateral acceptance. This is where Mr. Funk has explained the answer to the question that I gave at the beginning of the show when he says, but for some, the acceptance of an offer is made simply by performance. This is known as unilateral acceptance on the next page on page 32.

He's going to tell us the story about buying a dozen bananas. For example, I might say to you, if you bring me a dozen bananas I will pay you $100 to accept my generous offer. You don't need to sign an agreement or even say you will bring me bananas. You simply need to go to the store marketplace by a dozen bananas and bring them to me or in some parts of the world you might actually pick the bananas yourself. Either way, if you bring me a dozen bananas I am contract truly obligated to pay you $100.

Why because you accepted my offer by your performance, though it doesn't come as any surprise as to where were going now. In this scenario he's talking about the contract of one dozen bananas for $100, which I think anybody would say that is quite a sum for a dozen bananas that I know he's trying to make a point here, but then he gets into the next section that says we must act covenants with our heavenly father work in much the same way to receive the generous blessings he offers. We must act to accept them. There is not a negotiation followed by a signed acceptance instead by our affirmative expressions and by acting in accordance with his well including receiving essential ordinances. We show our desire and willingness to make covenants with him as we then keep our covenants by what we do we qualify for the abundant blessings he has promised.

First of all, let's ask the question with any Latter Day Saints deny that the receiving of celestial exultation is anything less than a blessing that is given by the God of Mormonism to the individual member of the church. Of course they would say yes, that is essential but notice how it is received. As we then keep our covenants by what we do. We qualify, we qualify for the abundant blessings he has promised, is not an expression that you would hear most evangelicals say when it comes to how they received their justification or their salvation. Of course not, they would never use a phrase like that. We qualify. In other words, it was received by something we had to do now.

I would hope that there would be no evangelical Christian who would agree to that but many many general authorities have said the very same thing that you have to keep the covenants to qualify for what God has in store for you and that's the hope of celestial glory or exultation is then going to cite doctrine and covenants section 130 versus 20 to 21 and this says there is a law you revocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world upon which all blessings are predicated and when we obtain any blessing from God. It is by old deviance to that law upon which it is predicated. We talked about this before.

Another shows Eric that if a Mormon hopes to receive celestial exultation or a place in the hereafter in the celestial kingdom. It's absolutely essential during this mortality, which is called mortal probation.

They are to keep celestial law if they fail to do that and let's say they don't do as much as they should get into the celestial kingdom, but they may do what is qualified for the terrestrial kingdom that would mean that they are keeping terrestrial law. So it's been pretty much spelled out by Mormon leaders as to what you received based on what you have done during this mortality, but then he quotes Matthew 721 he writes the Savior taught quote. Not every one that saith on the mean Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that do with the will of my father which is in heaven" notice what he does here folks. He takes Matthew 721 and he equates it with this covenant keeping as it's understood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Now, some seem Matthew 721 and not understanding the proper context might draw the conclusion that that's exactly what Jesus is talking about but he's not. He's really showing us what it looks like for a person who claims that they are true believers. Not every one that saith them to me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

In other words, there are going to be people who profess falsely that they are believers, how are we going to know the true from the false will.

Jesus says, but he that do with the will of my father which is in heaven. You can be pretty sure that that person is a true believer could even a person in that classification be a false believer.

Yes, that's what makes it so difficult and why were not supposed to judge according to the appearance a person who professes to be a Christian should have something that shows that he is a Christian that I love quoting JC Ryle.

He's one of my super heroes of the faith, who passed away in the year 1900. He was an Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, England. I love his writings because he has a way of clearly explaining things, especially when it comes to the distinction between what justifies and what sanctifies here's what he said where there is not at least some appearance of sanctification. We may be quite certain there is no election.

He also said sanctification again is the thing which admits of growth and degrees.

A man may climb from one step to another in holiness and be far more sanctified at one period of his life than another, more pardoned and more justified than he is.

When he first believes he cannot be, though he may feel it more more sanctified, he certainly may be because every grace in his new character may be strengthened in large and deepened. Notice what JC Ryle is doing. He's making a distinction between what justifies and what sanctifies he also said this, the holiest actions of the holiest saint that ever lived are all more or less full of defects and imperfections. They are either wrong in their motive or defective in their performance and in themselves are nothing better than splendid sins. This deserving God's wrath and condemnation to suppose that such actions can stand the severity of God's judgment atone for sin and merit.

Heaven is simply absurd. I think that is a telling statement because when we look at those Latter Day Saints that proudly point to their good works there covenant keeping quote" they fail to realize, as JC Ryle has I think most eloquently pointed out that their motives are going to be defective and certainly the motives of the Latter Day Saints who was doing these things. Keeping these covenants white because they bought something from God that would be a defect and an imperfection in the act that they are performing and I think that shows a clear distinction between the theology of Mormonism in the theology of New Testament Christianity, all of our works as fallen people as JC Ryle has said are going to be full of defects and imperfections but were not saved by those works. That's what's beautiful about the whole thing. We may have a lot of defects and imperfections, but it's not by those defective works that we claim to be justified.

They are the result of our being justified. Therefore, even though we know that all of our works are going to be more or less full of defects and imperfections that doesn't cause us heartache. We still want to glorify the one who saved us so were not taking anything away from what is in Matthew 721 were just not interpreting it badly as Mr. Funk is doing and trying to make it sound like this has something to do with covenant keeping and ordinances that are performed in the temple tomorrow were going to continue looking at this article, covenants, ordinances and blessings by Randy E. Funk, a member of the first quorum of the 70 thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

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