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Christmas Book Citations Obedience Part 7

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2020 8:28 pm

Christmas Book Citations Obedience Part 7

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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April 22, 2020 8:28 pm

This is the third week of a series focusing on books given away to other general authorities and church employees by the First Presidency between 1981 to 2017. If the First Presidency thought these books were worthy of being reprinted using expensive leather covers and gilded pages, they must be reliable and worthy to be … Continue reading Christmas Book Citations Obedience Part 7 →

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One member is examining 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 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. So glad you could join us for this additional 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 continue looking at some of the books that were given as Christmas gifts. Between the years 1981 and 2017 gifts given by the first presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to various general authorities and even some employees of the LDS church today we are going to wrap up the topic of obedience. We been going through several of these book showing what the authors had to say on the topic of obedience. Today were going to be looking at statements made by the 11th president of the church's name was Harold B. Lee and these are cited in the book, the teachings of Harold B. Lee a Christmas gift given by the first presidency in the year 2015. This first quote comes from pages seven and eight and he writes this. The simple essence of all you need to know about the atonement is to be found in the teachings of the great prophet Nephi when he said we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children and also our brethren to believe in Christ and to be reconciled to God. For we know that it is by grace we are saved after all we can do and that's from second Nephi 2523.

Don't let anyone try to persuade you to any other doctrine and that any other doctrine than that but yet he is going to cite the second Nephi 2523 on a number of occasions in this book, let's look at another one. This one comes from pages 17 and 18 and originally was in the enzyme magazine, April 1973, page 5, and this is what he said ultimate salvation comes to those who obey the ancient prophets of this Western continent have clearly set forth in understandable language. The obligation of each individual to obtain the highest of these eternal privileges in mortality and in the world to come. Here we find written many quote second Nephi 2523 for we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children and also our brethren to believe in Christ. For we know that it is by grace that we are saved. After all we can do. In other words, each must do all he can to save himself from sin, then he may lay claim to the blessings of redemption by the holy one of Israel, that all mankind may be saved by obedience to the law and ordinances of the gospel. Jesus also atone not only for Adam's transgressions, but for the sins of all mankind. But redemption from individual sins depends upon individual effort, with each being judged according to his or her works. The Scriptures make it clear that while a resurrection will come to all.

Only those who obey the Christ will receive the expanded blessing of eternal salvation. That's from pages 17 and 18 and there's one more that we want to look at before we discuss this.

He writes on page 186 and he said this in June 1966 the Lord blesses us to the degree we keep the commandments. The Lord will bless us to the degree to which we keep his commandments. Nephi put this principle in a tremendous orbit when he said, quote, or we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children and also our brethren to believe in Christ and to be reconciled to God.

For we know that it is by grace that we are saved after all we can do second Nephi 25, 23, the Savior's blood is atonement will save us, but only after we have done all we can to save ourselves by keeping his commandments now. Did you notice a pattern here folks. He cites second Nephi 2523. Eric has read it three times now what is it say only after all, you can do. Did you catch anywhere in how Harold B. Lee use that scripture to give you the impression that second Nephi 25, 23, merely means that we are saved by grace, in spite of all we can do now if you listen carefully you are not going to find that anywhere in how Harold B. Lee describe second Nephi 2523.

Why are we insisting on going over this again because far too many times we are hearing Latter Day Saints citing second Nephi 25, 23, or responding to a Christian who cites second Nephi 2523 by insisting that this is not speaking of individual effort on the part of the Latter Day Saints member, but it really means according to them that it's in spite of all, an individual can do though. I wrote an article couple years ago and is titled second Nephi 25, 23, saved by grace, quote unquote, in spite of all we can do, and this was originally published in the November December 2018 addition of Mormonism research that's a newsletter that we put out every other month and it's free if you'd like to get on that newsletter subscription list. All you have to do is go on your website and click for the free subscription.

Put your information, there, but this is what I wrote I want to give this context based on what were talking about and will help you to understand how Latter Day Saints today.

Oftentimes use this in spite of all we can do this what it says.

At a recent church meeting where I spoke about the miracle of forgiveness evangelistic approach described in a chapter found in sharing the good news with Mormons to young male LDS missionaries approached my table and began to talk. I explained how I enjoy given away. Spencer Kimball's book to Latter Day Saints. Walking to events sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, including general conference sessions. Temple open house events and BYU football games. As we talked I reference second Nephi 25, 23, one of the elders, the missionaries looked at me and he exclaimed, isn't that a great verse. I asked if he could recite it for me any trouble. Then I gave him a hint.

We are saved by grace.

I started he looked at me and smiled and then he said were saved by grace, in spite of all we can do. I told him that the verse actually says it is by grace that we are saved. After all we can do this is what he responded with, he says well in the passages context the word after really means, in spite of he added that his mission president agreed with this interpretation. So this is a very common idea out there many Latter Day Saints are taking that verse and using it with evangelical Christians and if you don't know much about this first well that's similar to what we believe because we would say were saved by grace, in spite of all we can do because we know we can't do anything. But that's not what terribly Lee and other LDS leaders have taught on this absolutely in the quote that you gave from the teachings of Harold B.

Lee, pages 17 and 18 peaks cites second Nephi 25, 23, and then he goes on to say, as you quoted it. In other words, each must do all he can to save himself from sin, that he may lay claim to the blessings of redemption by the holy one of Israel, that all mankind may be saved by old deviance to the law and ordinances of the gospel that does not sound like in spite of all we can do so. If you have a mission president telling the missionary that that verse really means. In spite of all you can do remember a mission president has no authority to override the interpretation of the president of the church and yet that's exactly what he would be doing if he's insisting on that kind of an interpretation. It's not saying that folks, this is what we call the classic case of ISA, Jesus, you have Mormons reading into their own Scriptures to make it say something.

The text does not say and I think Carol B.

Lee is giving us a correct understanding of how second Nephi 25, 23 reads and he insists that it means that you're only going to get the benefits of the atonement. After you have done all you can do to save yourselves as he says, by keeping his commandments at the confusing thing is for many people who are trying to share their faith in an honest way for Latter Day Saints and they say this to you Bill. They say the Savior's blood. His atonement will save us, but only after we have done all we can do to save ourselves by keeping his commandments with Latter Day Saints on the street.

We often hear the first part we don't hear the second part is often, but this is the problem of understanding the difference between general salvation versus individual salvation exultation eternal life. What we been talking about to get exultation or eternal life in Mormonism. I think Harold B. Lee is exactly right. He is exegete in second Nephi 2523 correctly. I think this missionary I was talking with is coming up with a new politically correct version of second Nephi 25, 23, so it doesn't rile up the evangelical Christians I think. Also, it probably gives him a false sense of security as well because if he is wrong in that interpretation he can sit there and rest on his laurels and his supposed accomplishments up to about point but is it safe to rest in those kind of laurels, knowing that there is a possibility that you interpreted this verse incorrectly and my argument is this. If you would be a latter-day St., that's certainly your business. But the book of Mormon spells out the rules you're supposed to follow the doctrine and covenants spells out the rules that you are supposed to follow the pearl of great price spells out the rules that you are supposed to follow.

These books have been interpreted and taught by leaders in the church are supposed to listen to their guidelines. If you are accepting an interpretation of a particular verse that goes against the grain of what your leaders have said regarding those verses how in the world can you think you are safe if these men are truly put in that position to lead you as a member in the church is another quote I want to give on page 85 from the teaches of Harold Bailey. He says there is safety in keeping the commandments the greatest message that one in this position could get to the membership of the church is to keep the commandments of God, for therein lies the safety of the church and the safety of the individual.

Keep the commandments.

There could be nothing that I could say that would be a more powerful or important message today though there's one final quote I want to give and this does not come from Harold B. Lee, but it comes from the teachings of Howard W. Hunter, page 164 and this is a book that was also given away as a Christmas book and I think it relates to what terribly Lee is saying. He says not only do you have to keep all the commandments, even the way you drive your car is going to be part of the equation. Listen to what he says our Christianity should affect the way we drive we can't drive a car lawless lien be a good Christian. At the same time we cannot break the law and be in upholder of the law. At the same time.

While Bill, I'm not sure what you think about this, but I live in Utah if we have a reputation of Utah have not been her good drivers. I wonder if people are driving the way that they really believe.

Well if he is going to equate how we drive as being a part of celestial law that we didn't specifically make that connection, but it certainly seems like he's implying that than you would think that any latter-day St., who, let's say gets a traffic violation has perhaps prevented himself from getting into the celestial kingdom. Should he die in that particular situation.

The onus is on the back of the Latter Day Saints your latter-day St., think about all the rules and the regulations that you are required to keep. It's based on you and in Christianity is not like that friend.

It is based on what Jesus did he imputed his righteousness into your account so the might be justified by faith and not by your own works.

Thank you for listening.

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