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January 17, 2020 12:00 am
Prepared to engage women missionaries only knock on your door.
Perhaps the book is 101 will help someone only published by Baker at your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint is it 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 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. Must we qualify to receive a gift. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism firehose Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we wrap up our series looking at some of the messages that were given in the October 2019 Gen. conference in Salt Lake City and as we mentioned there was this theme if you will, that ran through many of the talks in each session of Gen. conference in October 2019. There was a call to keep covenants and today we want to finish up with a talk that was given by Henry B. Eyring, the second counselor in the first presidency.
His message was titled, holiness, and the plan of happiness. The subtitle being greater happiness comes from greater personal holiness. What did he say in this talk, Eric. He says only by faith in Jesus Christ continuing repentance and keeping covenants. Are we able to claim the lasting happiness we all yearn to experience and retain my prayer for today is that I may help you understand the greater happiness comes from greater personal holiness so that you will act upon that belief. I will then share what I know for myself about what we can do to qualify for that gift of becoming ever more holy living stop, either because there's that expression that I was mentioning earlier qualifying for a gift. So here is another example of a word that I think we as evangelicals need to politely stop them and have them define for us because we certainly do believe in the gift of salvation, but we look at it as something that's given freely, without any effort on our part in order to receive it. In other words, we do not believe that this gift of salvation is a result of anything that we can possibly do no work on our part is required in order to receive this gift, but listen carefully to what Irene is saying. He says we have to qualify for that gift of becoming ever more holy, but he's not going to stop there. He's going to use that expression again in the The Scriptures teach us that, among other things, we can be sanctified or become more holy when we exercise faith in Christ demonstrate our obedience. Repent sacrifice for him receive sacred ordinances and keep our covenants with him qualifying for the gift of holiness requires humility, meekness and patience will notice again. Qualifying for the gift of holiness requires well if you have to put the word require after the word gift. It seems like you've nullified with the word gift normally means to most people, but in the context of Mormonism. Even the gift has to be earned.
And here's an example of that. When you do a job for your boss when you work the work we can you get your paycheck. You don't say here's a gift it's a wage in the Bible and the book of Romans, Paul very clear that salvation is not something that we earned is not a wage but rather it's a gift, and when we understand that, then this doesn't make any sense at all that you have to do all these things by demonstrating obedience, repenting, keeping covenants that is all necessary though and Mormonism in order to get that quote on quote gift. There's no denying this. When you think about it Eric because Russell M. Nelson in an article. It was titled prepare for the blessings of the temple and this is found in a special issue of the unsigned magazine came out in October 2010 dealing with temples on page 42 you can see were Russell and Nelson the 17th president of the church said obedience to the sacred covenants made in temples qualifies us for eternal life. The greatest gift of God to man again there's that word gift. But in order to get the gift you must qualify. How do you qualify you have to obey the sacred covenants that you make in the temple not only in the temple, but the covenant you made when you were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as well as the covenants you make every week during the sacrament service or the communion service. It's all about making these promises these covenants which in essence are works that you are supposed to do if you hope to receive the alleged gift.
I think what you're saying is exemplified in the following paragraphs on page 101 of the unsigned magazine one experience he writes of wanting more holiness came for me in the Salt Lake Temple.
I entered the temple for the first time, having been told little of what to expect. I had seen the words on the building holiness to the Lord in the house of the Lord.
I felt a great sense of anticipation, yet I wondered if I was prepared to enter my mother and father walked ahead of me. As we entered the temple we were asked to show our recommends certifying our worthiness. We should explain or recommend is a little card and ID card that you receive after you've answered the questions in an interview properly by your ecclesiastical leaders what they ask. You are certain things wanting to know if you in fact are doing what you're supposed host to do in order to enter the temple now in this area alone.
Folks, we have quite the opposite of what we understand in the Bible when it comes to entrance into the temple people entered the temple in Jerusalem, knowing they were in essence unworthy.
They were unworthy Mormons go to their temple only if they are worthy.
But this can also give what I call a very false sense of security because many people look at the recommends as well.
If I qualified for my recommend. Maybe I'm also qualified for the celestial kingdom that you would think they would put the two together. That's not always the case however many times when we talk to temple worthy members and we asked them will if you were to die right now.
Do you have the assurance that all your sins are forgiven and that you would quote" qualify for the celestial kingdom. The answer more often times than not is either no or maybe or I hope so. Or I'm trying my best not really demonstrating a lot of assurance on the part of that individual is now in first John 513 says that we can know that we have eternal life is not based on a wish or a feeling it's based on knowledge and see what God's word has to say in in Mormonism. That's not offered it's never known if you're going to reach the celestial kingdom unless you keep the covenants that you make and if nobody's keeping those covenants that you cannot know that you have that assurance and that's what the latter-day St. does not have Christian for those of you are listening. Understand and be patient because they really are trying their hardest but that's not the way that you're going to earn favor with God. Let's go on to another statement that Mr. Irene makes in this talk, he said some listening today may be wondering why do I not feel the peace and happiness promised to those who have been faithful I have been faithful through terrible adversity, but I don't feel happiness. This is exactly what law does to you. If you don't live up to every one of the things you're supposed to live up to.
You were not going to feel this happiness that they're describing here. My response would be, why do I not feel the peace and happiness promised to those who have been faithful was because technically you really haven't been faithful. Now this individual goes on to say me think that in their heart will I've been faithful through terrible adversity, but I don't feel happiness but have you been faithful in every area of your life. That's what's required, according to Mormonism and it's interesting that he brings this subject up because Henry B. Eyring in a conference message. He gave back in 2014 in the April Gen. conference a talk called a priceless heritage of hopes that this about keeping the proper ordinances. He said the greatest of all the blessings of God eternal life will come to us only as we make covenants offered in the true church of Jesus Christ by his authorized servants. Let me stop you there Eric because even though he says as we make covenants.
You know what he means. It's also you have to make an keep the covenants not just make them.
He goes on and says because of the fall we all need the cleansing effects of baptism and the laying on of hands to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
These ordinances must be performed by those who possess the proper priesthood authority then with the help of the light of Christ in the Holy Ghost we can keep all the covenants we make with God, especially those offered in his temples only in that way.
And with that help can anyone claim his or her rightful inheritance as a child of God in the family forever to some listening to me. That may seem a nearly hopeless dream, why would it feel like a nearly hopeless dream because when you look at this doctrine in its proper context becomes readily apparent that what the church is asking of their people is something that the people cannot deliver. Asked them all you need do is ask them and they will admit it to you. This is what so sad about Mormonism and why we don't believe that the restored gospel of Mormonism is good news. Now he goes on to try and give some comfort to those who are listening to this message when he cites Russell M Nelson later on in his talk. President Nelson went on to give us his encouragement in our efforts to become holier quote. The Lord does not expect perfection from us at this point but he does expect us to become increasingly pure daily repentance is the pathway to purity now. Earlier in this series we are talking about how when we ask Latter Day Saints if they are keeping all the commandments and if they have repented of all their sins.
Usually, the responses will nobody is perfect.
They equate true repentance confessing and forsaking their sins and keeping all of the commandments with perfection.
They do and the reason we know this is because when we asked that question are you doing what's required, according to the covenants you make. They will often respond well, nobody is perfect.
We don't bring up that word they bring up that word which shows that they are equating the terms here's what's fascinating and again why it's so confusing when these leaders try to describe what's required for the membership.
When Nelson said the Lord does not expect perfection from us at this point.
Wait a minute. All during this general conference they were emphasizing the absolute necessity of keeping all of their covenants, not some of them, all of them how confusing the statement like this must be. But when he says, but he does expect us to become increasingly pure daily repentance is the pathway to purity. I would argue, in the context of Mormonism not having to repent shows that you're on the pathway to purity or in another way of saying it by daily repenting. You're admitting that you're not doing what the book of Mormon and the doctrine and covenants says you can do that God is made possible for you to keep the covenants and commandments of God, why don't you keep those covenants let me finish with a quote by Mormon apostle Bruce McConkey with anything puts everything into perspective. He said to the saints.
His everlasting counsel is obey, obey, obey, keep the commandments earn the attributes of godliness and then and only then, salvation. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is