Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

Harold B. Lee and Forgiveness Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
October 12, 2021 9:43 pm

Harold B. Lee and Forgiveness Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

October 12, 2021 9:43 pm

Bill and Eric take a closer look at the book written by President Harold B. Lee titled Stand Ye in Holy Places and discuss what Lee said about forgiveness. What he wrote might surprise you…or maybe not.

Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg

Mormonism 101, a book by Mormonism Research Ministries, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, has helped many who want to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith. Mormonism 101 is available at your favorite Christian bookstore or online at

And now, your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism. And we've been looking particularly at page 184 so far, but we do want to move on, because Harold B. Lee tells this story of a young man who came to his office, apparently, while he was talking with his counselor, Marion G. Romney. And this man said that he had made mistakes in the past.

He made a clean disclosure of all his mistakes to his bishop and stake president. And he says, after a period of repentance and assurance that I have not returned again to those mistakes, they have now adjudged me ready to go to the temple. And as we've mentioned, that seems pretty strange to us as New Testament Christians. Not that we place a lot of emphasis in a temple, because certainly that is not a part of the Christian faith. But in the Old Testament, the temple played an important role, because that was where Jews would go to offer sacrifice on behalf of their sins. So this is why it sounds strange to us, knowing how the Old Testament operated when it comes to the temple, that a person who is repentant of their sins being counseled that you have to wait for a period of time before you can go to the temple would make no sense in an Old Testament context. And certainly it would make no sense in a New Testament context. He's not only seeking to go back to the temple, but he says also to Marion Romney and Harold B. Lee, that that's not enough. I want to know, and how can I know that the Lord has forgiven me also? And as I mentioned in yesterday's show, I commend this individual for that, because as I stated, we have come across a lot of Latter-day Saints who feel that once they've achieved their temple recommend, they've gone through their interview with their ecclesiastical leaders, whether it's a bishop or stake president, and they're given their temple recommend, the little card that they give that allows them to go into a temple and participate in it, they think they've arrived.

This gentleman knows that's not the case. He wants to have an assurance of forgiveness, and I commend him for that. I think he's asking the wrong people, because Marion Romney and Harold B. Lee, we're going to find out here later in the show, are going to give bad advice. They're going to say that there's more that's needed, but I wish that he could have asked that question to a Christian pastor, just to be able to ask that, because what's a Christian pastor going to say? He's going to say, believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. That's what salvation is all about.

So it's unfortunate that that's who he has to give him advice. But Eric, let me just interrupt at that point, because I'm sure there are probably some Latter-day Saints listening right now, and when you say that, what is their presupposition telling them? They're going to read something into what we're saying, that if you say you just have to believe in what Christ did, and you're saved.

Well, isn't that just easy believism, which you and I both condemn, and we've said that many times, but what are they thinking? They're thinking of James 2-20, faith without works is dead. They love that verse to bring up to an evangelical Christian when we like to quote from Ephesians 2-8 and 9, we are saved by grace through faith, this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works lest any man should boast.

So James 2-20 is used to counter Ephesians 2-8 and 9, but if you're a Christian and you have James 2-20 given to you, I think you need to say, you fully agree with James. And the audience that he was dealing with were people who said that, oh, we're saved by grace, there's nothing we have to do. Not even Paul thought that, because the next verse in Ephesians 2-8 and 9, right after he gets done saying, not by works lest any man should boast, verse 10 says, for we are God's workmanship created by Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for us to do. So Paul is not minimizing the importance of sanctification, because we're saved onto good works. But in Mormonism, that's not the case. You have to combine your works along with the grace. Second Nephi 25-23 says that you are saved by grace after all you can do. So Mormonism offers a much different gospel. And I should mention, Harold B. Lee loves 2 Nephi 25-23, and we're going to be talking about that. But I think it should also be made very clear, once again, that when we say that there's something that we do after we've come to faith, it's not something we do in order to be saved. It's something we do as a result of being saved, and that is lost so many times on Latter-day Saints that we are talking to. And I can't fault them, I guess, because that's what they're being told.

They are mixing what justifies and what sanctifies. Now, after this story is told on page 184, at the very bottom, Harold B. Lee says this. He says, what would you answer, one who might come to you asking that question? He continues, as we pondered for a moment, we remembered King Benjamin's address contained in the book of Mosiah.

Here was a group of people asking for baptism, and they said they viewed themselves in their carnal state. Then he quotes Mosiah 4, verses two through three, and they all cried aloud with one voice saying, oh, have mercy and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins and our hearts may be purified. After they had spoken these words, the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins and having peace of conscience. And then Harold B. Lee says, there was the answer.

I don't understand why he says this. He could have left that line out and just left it up to the imagination of the reader to try to understand why he inserts Mosiah 4, two through three, but no, he says there was the answer. Okay, so the answer is in Mosiah 4, two through three in the Book of Mormon?

This could have been preached by any Christian pastor. Oh, have mercy and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins. It's through faith, according to this passage in Mosiah, there's nothing you have to do. You may receive this based on the atoning blood of Christ. And what's interesting is that in this passage, it goes on to say, after they had spoken these words, the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins. It was an instant remission of their sins. Now that's what the Book of Mormon teaches, but is that what Latter-day Saint leaders have been teaching? Certainly not with consistency, because you take Spencer Kimball, for instance. He certainly didn't think that you would get this instant remission of sins. In his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness, on page 324 and 325, he talks about meeting all the requirements. What does Kimball say on those pages? He says, Bill, I see a lot of second person in here.

It depends on you and your works. But do we get that picture in the passage that Harold B. Lee cites on page 185 from Mosiah 4, 2-3? They all cried aloud.

There's a group of them. He even says, here was a group of people asking for baptism, and they said they viewed themselves in their carnal state. What was the solution, or what was the answer? Remember, he asked the question at the bottom of 184. What would you answer, one who might come to you asking that question? And of course, the question is, how can an individual know they are forgiven?

That's what this young man who came to his office wanted to know. Temple participation was not enough for him. He wanted the assurance that he was forgiven. The answer, according to Harold B. Lee, is Mosiah 4, 2-3. He says, there was the answer. They asked and wanted the application of the atoning blood of Christ on their life.

This group that's mentioned here. And they got it immediately. What was it in their life that was so different that they get it immediately, but yet Spencer Kimball says, it depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven and when. It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day.

Why does not Mosiah 4, 2-3 say, well, you're asking, but it's not for the asking. There's things that you have to do, and depending on your faithfulness and how good you do it, it could be weeks, it could be years, but then we get this weird thing, it could be centuries? I don't have that much time, though. I don't have that much time either, and certainly centuries would make no sense if you believe Alma 34 in the Book of Mormon that says it has to be done in this life. You cannot procrastinate the day of your repentance even until death, otherwise the devil seals you his. But when he says there was the answer, Mosiah 4, 2-3 is the answer, but that's not true. And he even admits it in the next paragraph, and we're going to be looking at what he adds to this.

Let's say this, Eric. You're a Latter-day Saint and you're reading this book, and you read this conundrum that this individual has, wanting this forgiveness, and let's say you're a Latter-day Saint who has an evangelical neighbor who's been asking you questions about what you believe in order to be saved, in order to be forgiven, and the Latter-day Saint reads this and goes, whoa, Mosiah 4, 2-3 is the answer, that's the answer I'm going to give my neighbor so that they know we believe that we trust in the mercy of God when we come to him wanting his mercy, that atoning blood of Christ is going to give us instant forgiveness of our sins, and then maybe he'll stop pestering me about what I believe. But is that telling you the truth? Is that really the answer according to the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? I would say not hardly, and the reason I could say that is because even Harold B. Lee is going to admit that right after he says Mosiah 4, verses 2 and 3 is the answer.

I think you're correct in saying that he should not have put there was the answer. I don't believe Mosiah 4 is true scripture, and yet what he's giving is an idea that is very true for biblical Christianity. We would hold to this, but Mormonism does not.

But for him to say there was the answer, it seems like a misuse of words. I think it becomes very confusing, which is really not all that unusual when you read some of the teachings of the leaders. And going back to the comment I made earlier about pitting a dead prophet with a living prophet, this is probably one of the reasons why Ezra Taft Benson thought that that should be a good procedure. Don't listen to the past prophets, which means, of course, we shouldn't listen to Ezra Taft Benson, who told us not to listen to dead prophets. But tomorrow we're going to go on in Harold B. Lee's book on page 185, when he gives us a little bit more than just Mosiah 4, 2-3. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding Mormonism Research Ministry, we encourage you to visit our website at, where you can request our free newsletter, Mormonism Researched. We hope you will join us again as we look at another Viewpoint on Mormonism.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-11 17:40:37 / 2023-08-11 17:45:58 / 5

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime