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April 21, 2020 8:27 pm
Viewpoint is to examine the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 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 welcome to this edition viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we continue looking at a number of books that were given away as Christmas gifts by the first presidency between the years 1981 in 2017 we figure that if the first presidency wants several of their membership including general authorities and even employees at the church. Those were the two groups that received these books as gifts. Obviously, they must either believe within those books. And certainly you would think they would want members to believe what's in those books we figured why not go through some of these books to glean some of the information that was contained in them when we had talked about this before, but the importance of these books is that not only are they being re-given by the first presidency over these last a few decades, but we have these are leaders, mainly who were presidents of the church from Joseph Smith all the way to Thomas Monson.
Everybody had at least one volume and certainly they had hymnals and they had standard works that were included there, but when you're in talking about the president. He's the very top of this leadership and what these leaders have said are being reprinted. I think we had to take these original codes very seriously, because why would the first presidency want people to reread these unless they still believe these things, or at least at the time.
These were truthful statements being made by these leaders. They would not think that they were given away books that had heresy in them.
Today we want to look at a book that was given away was called the teachings of Lorenzo Snow, Lorenzo Snow was the fifth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He's credited with what's known as the Lorenzo Snow couplet as man is God once was, as God's man may be.
This book was given as a gift for Christmas in 2012 not that long ago that he had a number of interesting statements that fall under the category of obedience that we have been looking at for the past several days first quote will talk about today comes on, from pages 20 to 21 from the teaches of Lorenzo Snow and it says the true gospel requires works when the Gospel dispensation was introduced gifts and blessings were obtained upon obedience to certain established rules and that goes again to bolster the position that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints certainly is a works based theology and why would we keep harping on this week we keep mentioning this because it's not uncommon for Latter Day Saints to try and tell a person that that's not true that they don't believe that there saved by works, but they most certainly are. And these statements tend to prove that and when he says certain established roles who you think is making the roles. Obviously, the LDS church leadership is so you're supposed to obey what exactly they have said you're supposed to do another quote. This comes from page 46 and it was actually originally written in the Brigham city bugler Brigham city is a city in northern Utah and it was a supplement August 1, 1891, page 2. He said this, our eternity depends upon our keeping the commandments now. He said I find in reflecting on life that this world is short compared with eternity that our intelligence the divinity within us has always existed was never created and will always exist through all eternity in view of these facts, it becomes us as intelligent beings to realize that this life closes in a few days.
Then comes a life which is eternal, and in proportion as we have Commandments we have the advantage over those who failed to make those improvements, it's interesting. He says that the divinity within us has always existed was never created.
Well that goes along with what it says in doctrine and covenants section 93 works as man was in the beginning with God.
What he's alluding to in that statement is the fact that we always existed. It was not as human beings.
Of course we were also the spirit children of God the father and a heavenly mother, but before that we existed as intelligences according to section 93 and the doctrine covenants.
Another quote found on page 124. Any talking about exultation earlier this week we talked about how exultation eternal life is obtaining the celestial kingdom to be able to become gods and so he writes this, we must work for our own exultation and he says I cannot imagine anything that is so vastly important as to work for and obtain one's own individual exultation and glory that undoubtedly is one great purpose for which we came into the world when we lived in the other life and he's talking about preexistence. We had no doubt some understanding with reference to our duties in this life when we were permitted to come to this, our second estate, and very likely we put ourselves under certain obligations that we would discharge certain duties devolving upon us when we came here into our second estate, and we had rendered ourselves worthy to come upon this earth for the purpose of securing those blessings that could only be obtained by observing the laws pertaining to our present state and I was in a conference report, April 1898, page 12, and again, making it very clear if those are the requirements and those requirements are laid down in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that obviously anyone outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints could not live up to those standards and would not be exalted as it was understood by Pres. Lorenzo Snow built many Latter Day Saints are going to use the word grace and there in a stress that because I think it's a word that we as evangelical Christians like to use a lot as well and yet you don't hear grace in a quote like this very clearly he's talking about individual exultation and glory at what point does grace in Mormonism have any relation to exultation and Mormonism literally kicks him to forgive you of your sins.
Once you've done everything else you're supposed to do. I think Moron I 1032 in the book of Mormon seems to make that clear. You have to deny yourself of all ungodliness. Then his grace is sufficient for you, what is that grace will obviously the context is pointing to the type of grace that is going to forgive you because even though there is a doctrine of grace and Mormonism. There's no doubt about that.
The way they understand grace and how it operates in the context of what they call the atonement is certainly different as to how we as Christians would define it. They do have a doctor grace folks, but you have to understand, like many words that they use. You have to understand the definition of that word to clearly understand what your LDS acquaintances telling you. And as I mentioned earlier, he's referring to preexistence in the second estate would be this life.
I find it fascinating that he says there was some understanding with reference to our duties in this life that allowed us to come to the second estate, and I find that to be interesting because I mean we don't remember that, obviously, and Latter Day Saints would say you don't remember that, but apparently we were told what we were going to have to do. I must not be doing it.
You must not be doing it and I wonder how many Latter Day Saints who promised that they would do it are actually doing everything they're supposed to do and that brings up another subject Eric the situation in which we are born here on earth is dependent on what we accomplished in the preexistent life and so if you did not do as well as you could have been the preexistent life because you can only progress so far in the preexistence situation that we were in making it necessary to come to earth to prove ourselves worthy Mormon leaders have made it very clear that even when it comes down to race and where you were born.
All had something to do with what you had done in the preexistence. Another quote as found on page 131 of the teaches of Lorenzo Snow.
It says we control our destiny, and he writes the ultimatum of our travel in this path of exultation will bring to us the fullness of our Lord Jesus Christ to stand in the presence of our father to receive of his fullness to have the pleasure of increasing in our posterity, worlds without end to enjoy those pleasant associations that we have had in this life to have our sons and our daughters are husbands and our wives surrounded with all the enjoyment that heaven can bestow our bodies glorified like onto the Savior's free from disease all the ills of life and free from the disappointments and vexations, and the unpleasant sacrifices that we are making here we portray in our minds the glories that are before us and we know that if we are faithful, there will be on disappointment in the securing of these blessings, the power to prevent us from receiving these things is not in the hands of any man. It lies within ourselves. I can't even imagine many evangelicals, citing something like that because we certainly do not look at life is somehow we have the ability to control our destiny.
We look to the fact that we have a sovereign God who is in charge of everything. In fact there's even warnings in the Gospels about those who thought they could tear down their barns and build new ones, only to find out that their life would be required of them and they would never be able to accomplish those goals. I think it becomes very dangerous when you start saying that you somehow have a control over your destiny as if a sovereign God, please second fiddle to that. I don't know if that would be a trustworthy doctrine here is another quote is not from Lorenzo Snow but is from Thomas S. Monson. He was the 16th president of the church and he had a Christmas book titled pathways to perfection discourses of Thomas S. Monson and this is page 65 and think it's related to the quote we just gave from snow.
Listen to what he says. He says I testify to you that turning away from God brings broken covenant, shattered dreams, vanished ambitions, evaporated plans, unfulfilled expectations, crushed hopes, misuse drives, work, character, and wrecked lives. Such a quagmire of this quicksand must be avoided. We are of a noble birthright, eternal life in the kingdom of our father is our goal. Such a goal is not achieved in one glorious attempt but rather is a result of a lifetime of righteousness and accumulation of wise choices. Even a constancy of purpose, like that coveted a grade on the report card of a difficult and required college course. The reward of eternal life requires effort. The a grade. As a result of each theme.
Each quiz each class, each examination each library project. Each term paper so each Sunday school lesson. Each young man or young women teacher each prayer each day.
Each friend all proceed. The goal of temple marriage that giant step toward an a grade on the report card of life. He put it all together.
Denny Bell, he certainly did. And I guess a good question that we could probably ask your LDS friends is what your report card look like right now. Are you getting an a grade based on the covenants that you're keeping the commandments that you're keeping the repentance that you're supposed to accomplish. Ask a Latter Day Saints that because after all, Thomas S.
Monson, one of their profits. Sears and Revel later said that in a grade is required if you hope to receive exultation, we have to understand Mormonism that there is a requirement beyond the grace that Latter Day Saints like to talk about and it's doing the work you have to accomplish it.
Not at a sea level. Not to be level. I don't even think at an a level, it has to be a plus level because if you don't do that, according to the leaders. According to the LDS standard works. They very clearly teach that it's works is based on what you do and I think what we've read here from a Lorenzo Snow as well as from Thomas S. Monson is that nothing less than an a grade that is what you have earned is going to get you the celestial kingdom and exultation in the Bible teaches very clearly that is based on grace through faith. It's not of ourselves, not based on our works and that is the difference between Mormonism and Christianity. And that's why I think were spending this past shows on obedience because I know a lot of Latter Day Saints might tell their evangelical friends that they're just like they are. They believe in grace and faith and everything else and they do as you mentioned that there is grace and faith Mormonism but if it's not for the obedience and there is no eternal life, and there is no families together forever. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry.
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