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January 16, 2020 12:00 am
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.
What is covenant belonging in the context of Mormonism. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM this week we are looking at some of the conference messages that were given in October 2019 and today were going to be looking at a message that was given by Mormon apostle Garrett W. Gong. This was given in the Sunday morning session and in another program. Eric you made the point that every session seem to have a message on the importance of covenants and covenant keeping. And of course, this pattern is followed here this Sunday morning. Garrett gong is going to talk about covenant belonging in the subtitle is to belong with God, and to walk with each other on his covenant path is to be blessed by covenant belonging, let me just introduce this with a statement that he makes almost right at the very beginning of his talk re-mentions how heavenly father. This would be the God of Mormonism, the God of the body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's does here every child's prayer.
He says with infinite love. He beckons us to come leave and belong by covenant, I was discussing with you.
Fear Eric that when we are talking with Latter Day Saints. It's often important to have them tell us what certain words mean to them.
In this case I think if a latter-day St. was to cite this to me or if I had the opportunity to talk to Mr. gong and he was to use this expression. He beckons us to come believe in belong by covenant, I would say believe what what am I supposed to believe is a New Testament Christian. Certainly I would argue that what we are to believe is that Jesus, by his perfect life living the entire law without flaw was made the perfect sacrifice on the cross at Calvary and according to the writings of the apostle Paul by putting my trust in what he did on that cross, Jesus's righteousness becomes my righteousness now that justification that I receive doesn't make me holy but it does declare me righteous my Holiness or my sanctification comes later on, I must first be justified in order to be sanctified. So when you ask a latter-day St., when you say come believe in belong by covenant. What is belief mean, it certainly does not mean that you are to believe as a latter-day say that Jesus paid it all for you because he didn't. He pays for everything you need only after you do everything you're supposed to do and that's where this covenant belonging comes into play. You must make covenants and you must keep covenants as a Latter Day Saints if you hope to get the benefits of the atonement to be able to get a temple recommend.
You have to keep certain roles in the church including not drinking hot drinks and other issues like that. And unless you do that you can get the temple recommend, but our friend Keith Walker came up with a shirt, a T-shirt idea that he had at the more America pageant anti-that used to play every June. This T-shirt was a picture of a temple recommend and it said that Jesus was his temple recommend and that is the way it is for the Christian and Mormonism.
You have to earn the recommend by what you do, but for us as you talk about the imputation or the credit for righteousness that we do not deserve. We don't deserve recommend but Jesus is the recommend for us.
That's a much different way of looking at it and I think it would be appropriate. Again, Eric to mention in the series that we are not downplaying the efforts of Latter Day Saints to be good people to live as righteously as they can possibly live the objection that we have is that if living righteously is the requirement in order to get this celestial exultation that Latter Day Saints seek. Our argument is if you're going to be saved by that rule, then obviously you need to keep every single commandment that the church is laid down for the member or in this context, keeping every covenant that you make. You were supposed to not only make them but you are to keep them if you don't keep them. Then God is not obligated to do his part. He goes on to say, when we come to God's great commandments to love him and those around us by covenant, we do so not a stranger or gas, but as his child at home. What is he say after that covenant belonging is to make and keep solemn promises to God and each other through sacred ordinances that invite the power of godliness to be manifest in our lives when we covenant all we are, we can become more than we are. Covenant belonging gives us place narrative capacity to become. It produces faith onto life and salvation.
I would think it would be noble that you would want to become more than you are.
But the question is what are you right now what are you are you truly redeem. Do you have all your sins forgiven.
Are you still hoping for that to take place later on in your life as you get better and better at being faithful to these covenants that you keep making. He goes on and says divine covenants become a source of love for and from God and thereby for and with each other daughter. Heavenly father loves us more and knows us better than we love or know ourselves faith in Jesus Christ and personal change in parentheses repentance bring mercy, grace, forgiveness. This is another opportunity to where we can ask her latter-day St. acquaintance with a mean by certain words.
When gong says faith in Jesus Christ.
What is that mean faith that he paid your total debt for sin based on what he did and that sacrifice on the cross. The benefits of which are given to you by your faith in what he did or is that it's out there waiting for you to keep your covenants in order to get the blessings of that atonement but don't Latter Day Saints like to call Jesus, their Savior, they do but they can only claim him to be their Savior if they know that he already is their Savior, not their potential savior. But when a Mormon uses the word Savior I like to ask what did he save you from they usually don't know or they give me a long list of things that they think are pertinent, which are really not pertinent at all.
In this conversation, but when it says faith in Jesus Christ and personal change.
Parentheses repentance so here we have a clear example that repentance does involve personal change.
In other words, things you used to do you no longer do things that you never did that.
You should be doing now you are doing them. Eric, wouldn't that come under the definition of works according to the New Testament most certainly it would come under that definition. But as we talked about yesterday. D&C 5842 and 43 and D&C 93 one are very much in line with what this general authority is saying let's go back to what he says here faith in Jesus Christ and personal change. Repentance bring mercy, grace, forgiveness, do you notice folks there are conditions even in obtaining mercy from the God of Mormonism but yet mercy has to be an undeserved act under, otherwise the word has no meaning at all, but this is consistent with what Ezra Taft Benson said the 13th president of the church when he said we go to our chapels each week to worship the Lord and renew our covenants by partaking of the sacrament, that would be the communion service in the context of Mormonism. Benson goes on to say, we thereby promise to take his name upon us to always remember him and keep all his commandments. Our agreement to keep all the commandments is our covenant with God only as we do this, may we deserve his blessings and merit his mercy.
So you see, even mercy in the context of Mormonism is something that you must earn. In other words, it's given as the individual latter-day St. deserves it, and how do they deserve it through their personal change and keeping the covenant. That's all the package. It's all a part of it. Certainly the Bible disagrees again because Ephesians chapter 2 verses eight and nine says that this does not come by works. Rather, it's by grace through faith.
That's the only way the Bible says that you can truly understand the gift that is offered by God through Jesus, to be able to receive that for yourself and not base it on anything that you have done what you are doing or what you will do if you base any of it on works. You miss the point of the gospel which means good news. He goes on to say God's ordinances and covenants are universal in their requirement an individual in their opportunity, but then he goes on to describe what this covenant belonging and how it centers in Jesus Christ would really say about that.
Eric to belong with God in the walk with each other on his covenant path is to be blessed by covenant belonging first covenant belonging centers in Jesus Christ as quote mediator of the new covenant." All things can work together for our good. When we are quote sanctified in Christ in the covenant of the father." Every good and promised blessing comes to those who remain faithful to the end note.
Let's go back because he has a quotation there sanctified in Christ in the covenant of the father. There's a footnote. There, pointing the reader to Moron I 1033. Now if you listen to the show for any amount of time you know we often cite Moron I 1032. You can only understand verse 33 in the context of verse 32 very quickly. Let me read it for you J coming to Christ, be perfected in him and deny your cells of all ungodliness and if you shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace. You may be perfect in Christ.
And if, by the grace of God.
You are perfect in Christ.
You can in no wise deny the power of God then it goes on to verse 33. What is it say in verse 33 Eric and again if he by the grace of God are perfect in Christ and denied not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God through the shedding of the blood of Christ which is in the covenant of the father unto the remission of your sins that you become holy without spot you do your part, God follows through and doing his part.
It's all about works folks is not believing that Jesus paid it all.
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