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September 28, 2021 9:51 pm
Viewpoint on Mormonism is a 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 Mel, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism and Mormonism.
What are the ordinances of salvation and exultation welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson.
My colleague at MRM we began looking at an article in the Leah hold a magazine. It's the September 2021. Addition of Leona on page 30 there's an article titled covenants, ordinances and blessings. It was a devotional address that was given by Randy D.
Funk of the 70 he gave this talk at BYU Idaho which is in Rexburg, Idaho on September 22, 2020 and as we mentioned yesterday there seems to be quite an emphasis in the year 2021, especially when it comes to the importance for Latter Day Saints to keep their covenants and perform ordinances if they hope to receive certain blessings from their God in yesterday show. We were talking about an illustration that Mr. Funk gave about a person wanting a dozen bananas and he says if you bring me a dozen bananas I will pay you $100 to accept my generous offer. He writes 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 the point that Mr. Funk is trying to make here as he's going to go on in his talk/article is if you don't come through with the dozen bananas. You're not going to get paid the $100 note. Certainly, as he says that the generous offer, but the fact is the generous offer is null and void if you don't live up to your part of the bargain and that's the whole point that is trying to bring out this man is a lawyer and he's trying to show you how contracts operate any comparing how worldly contracts work and also how it works with God. He makes that comparison in this piece but as we pointed out yesterday, Bill. This is not what Christianity teaches.
We have a him and it says Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe.
This is not getting $100 for free. It's gonna cost you two or three dollars and so yes, as you said, it's very generous, very nice for you to give me a $97 tip. But it's not $100 that comes free. No Latter Day Saints who holds to that illustration could say with a straight face that their salvation is based in the fact that Jesus is enough they have to add something to what Jesus did. And this is what Mr. Funk is trying to get across here. There's a section titled ordinances of salvation and exultation. What does he say there Eric, we enter into those covenants necessary for salvation and exaltation by receiving sacred ordinances as stated in the general handbook. Quote members may covenants with God as they receive the ordinances of salvation and exaltation all who endure to the end. In keeping their covenants will receive eternal life." Going back to his illustration of the dozen bananas all who endure to the end in keeping their covenant by providing the 12 bananas will receive eternal life/the $100 you see the connection that Mr. Funk is making here. You do your part. Then and only then will God do his part all who endure to the end. In keeping their covenants will receive eternal life. Let's go back to his illustration of the bananas. If he said bring me a dozen bananas and I only bring him 10 do I get my hundred dollars unlikely. That's not part of the illustration. He's trying to make here is not saying we can fudge on our part of the deal.
We have to stick to the terms that we agreed upon and the agreement was I provide 12 bananas. He gives me $100 if I give him only 10 I don't get the hundred dollars that's what he saying you have to keep your covenant if you hope to receive eternal life you have to provide the bananas if you hope to get your hundred dollars. That's the illustration's point that he is making. He goes on in that section, to say the ordinances of salvation and exultation are baptism, confirmation, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, Melchizedek priesthood ordination for men in the endowment and ceiling ordinances of the temple. Each of these five ordinances is performed vicariously in the temple for deceased ancestors. Because these ordinances are essential for all God's children. What if you only Four of the five what if you kept three of the five can you assume that God is still going to give you what you're seeking. In this case, celestial exultation, or pork, according to his illustration hundred dollars for 12 bananas you're given them 12 bananas you're only given five. You're only getting for bananas instead of 12. So do you think you're going to get your hundred dollars or your eternal life based on you not providing what you agreed upon. But the question is Bill. Are you capable of bringing a dozen bananas and you're saying, four, five, seven, we can minimize that. But how many Commandments is a person supposed to keep according to the church you're supposed to keep all of them in first Nephi, 37 says that the Lord gives no commandments under the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commanded them. So if you have a dozen bananas that can be brought and you only bring 10.
You haven't done your part of the bargain.
He does not owe you $100.
So basically Eric what you're saying is if we are really going to compare this illustration to how Mormonism works. It's not that the Mormon is supposed to bring 12 bananas they have to bring all the bananas you have to bring all the bananas that are necessary that you can possibly find.
Do your best to get all the bananas and then you get your hundred dollars/eternal life that seems to fit more the way latter-day St. leaders have explained this was only 12 bananas. That's no big deal. Anybody can do that I can find 12 bananas somewhere, but if you told me hey, you gotta bring all the bananas that's can be a little more difficult. That means that have to be running from store to store to store to store and I'm not going to be able to do that it's impossible to meet that task.
That's the point we're trying to make. I know what Mr. Funk is trying to do here but I think this is where his illustration starts to break down. That's a brilliant point because Latter Day Saints don't know if they've done enough to be able to earn salvation that you asked latter-day St.
If you were to die right now where would you end up the celestial kingdom and they say I hope so.
I'm doing my best. I'm trying but there's not a 12 that they know about their trying to do everything and they never know if they've ever gotten to that point he was on in the section under ordinances of salvation and exultation to say the record of Alamo teaching at the waters of Mormon illustrates the relationship among covenants, ordinances and blessings. Notice how God through his prophet sets the conditions describes the promised blessings and declares how we may receive those blessings now that comment I think connects with the pull quote that is found on page 35. At the very end of this article under a picture of the 17th president Russell M. Nelson is the title a sacred promise.
If you go down into that.
Pull quote, Nelson says, speaking of God. He fixes the terms. Each person may choose to accept those terms. If one accepts the terms of the covenant and obeys God's law, he or she receives the blessings associated with the covenant. Okay, that seems like a human contract all right put into spiritual way but would God be required to meet his end of the bargain. If we fail to live up to those terms. What does the Church manual gospel principles have to say about that.
Now this was from page 81 of gospel principles.
It says within the gospel. A covenant means a sacred agreement or mutual promise between God and a person or a group of people in making a covenant God promises a blessing for obedience to particular commandments. He sets the terms of his covenants and he reveals these terms to his prophets.
If we choose to obey the terms of the covenant we received promised blessings. If we choose not to obey. He withholds the blessings and in some instances, a penalty also was given.
So Eric what I'm getting from that is if I bring less than 12 bananas to the table. I don't get my hundred dollars.
There's really no leniency in a contract like this. You either live up to your part of the bargain and if you don't don't expect God to live up to his part of the bargain. He is not responsible, but he goes on in talking about this story of Elma teaching at the waters of Mormon. He writes to those gathered at the waters of Mormon, who expressed a desire to come into the fold of God desire being an important first step.
See Elma 3227 Almont taught what was expected of them. They had to be willing to bear one another's burdens mourn with those that mourn comfort. Those that stand in need of comfort and stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places, even on till death any siding for Mosiah 1889 in the book of Mormon notice carefully how he words this desire being unimportant. First step.
It's not the entire concept.
Certainly, you have to have a desire that that's a given. But he says desire being unimportant first step. What is Spencer Kimball say about desire, on page 8 of his book the miracle of forgiveness.
He writes one church member of my acquaintance said as she drank her coffee quote. The Lord knows my heart is right and that I have good intentions and that I will someday get the strength to quit." But will one receive eternal life.
On the basis of his good intentions can one enter a country receive a Scholastic degree and so on. In the strength of good intent, unsupported by appropriate action. Samuel Johnson remarked that hell is paved with good intentions. The Lord will not translate one's good hopes and desires and intentions into works.
Each of us must do that for himself. We know that in recent times. Spencer Kimball's book the miracle of forgiveness has been harshly criticized by some not just lay members, but even some other local leaders have criticized what Kimball has to say. Do you think any modern LDS leader would reject what Kimball said on page 8 of his book the miracle of forgiveness. I don't think so. And also I don't think the standard works would object to what he has said, I don't think Mr. Funk would object to what Kimball has said there because he makes it very clear desire being unimportant first step and he goes on by quoting Mosiah 18. Eight. Learning to show that there are other things that you must have plus desire, you must mourn with those who mourn comfort. Those that stand in need of comfort and stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places, Eric. Let me ask you, in light of what we've read so far. Would you be standing as a witness of God.
If you did not be the example at all times. No. Would you be a witness of God. If you were not an example, in all places, no, that's the point. What it says in Mosiah 18 89 is you must stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places. So if you are not coming with your 12 bananas but you're coming with 10 bananas are you being a witness of God at all times in all things and in all places and if you're latter-day St. how are you doing at that you ask in the latter-day St. how are you doing at that. That's a good point Eric, because our experience has told us that many times the answer to that question is what well I hope so. I think so. Or I'm trying or just a flat out no, thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request your free newsletter is a research we hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism