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January 14, 2020 12:00 am
Answering Mormons questions by Bill McKeever and Erin Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians want to share their faith with friends and loved ones. Be sure to pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint on Mormonism program 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 so glad to be with us for this edition of 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 yesterday.
We began a series talking about some of the conference messages that were given in October 2019 and the theme that seem to run through conference had to do with the idea of keeping covenants now naturally covenant keeping is a major part of Mormonism. But if you listen carefully to how they describe covenant keeping and the necessity of being faithful and successful at doing that you readily see that this is not a religion that believes in justification or forgiveness by faith alone. By faith in what Christ did on the cross of Calvary know it has everything to do with the successful keeping of covenants and commandments and faithfully repenting of an individual sin which means in the context of Mormonism confessing and never committing that sin again now in yesterday show.
We were talking about Mormon apostle Dale gremlin and his analogy of the Congo River and before we move on into discussing Mormon apostle Ronald a Raz bands talk. I think we need one more point to bring out in that analogy, given by Reglan regarding the constancy of the Congo River and how it flows you put a note in here and I think it's appropriate. Note he says the Congo River is the deepest second most powerful and ninth longest river in the world because it crosses the equator twice at least one section of the river is always in a rainy season, resulting in regular water flow and he gives some numbers is how many cubic meters per second. I think that's interesting. There's no way the Congo River is ever going to dry up because it always has a water source.
No matter what season and it is in and in the same way you are in a season of keeping covenants in season and out of season, so is the Congo River doesn't dry up and doesn't have any times when it does not flow there better not be a part in your life Latter Day Saints where your covenant keeping comes to a halt or diminishes even in any degree. That's what I got from his talk again. We are asking the question how many of our LDS acquaintances are really doing that you mentioned yesterday, Eric. How you are outside. The conference center and after they were led out from that session you had heard about this talk and you were asking Latter Day Saints as they were walking by. If they were keeping their covenants as the Congo River flows and you didn't get a whole lot of people volunteering some affirmative answers to that. So it seems that though it's a noble goal and again I don't want to take away from any Latter Day Saints efforts to try to be the best they can possibly be.
But if you are trusting in your goodness in order to get God to meet his end of the bargain. I think you're going to be sorely disappointed.
However, there's a lot of confusion when it comes to this doctrine and you're going to see it when you go through these conference messages that one minute you're supposed to be doing it all the time. The next minute. Well were not really expecting you to do it all the time what some Mormons believe on this. What is he supposed to believe you would think the SafePath would be going along with the idea that they must do it continually as the Congo River flows but as you're going to see that's not always the message. It comes across at these meetings and that is the awful taskmaster of law in the Saturday afternoon session Ronald a Raz man gave a talk that it was titled standing by our promises and covenants, but Bill what I found very interesting was the subheading. This is what it says I invite you to consider the promises and covenants you make with the Lord and with others with great integrity, knowing that your word is your bond and what he's going to talk about in this this address is the idea that if you say that you're going to do something that you must follow through. That's the message I get from this talk that were in a talk about today so it starts off, dear brothers and sisters as we close the session may we each hold in our hearts, the witness born today on the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and let me stop you there because in that context folks, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the restored gospel of Mormonism, not the gospel according to the New Testament. He goes on and says we are blessed to have the sacred time together to reinforce our promise to the Lord Jesus Christ that we are his servants and he is our Savior. The importance of making and keeping promises and covenants weighs heavy on my mind. How important is it to you to keep your word to be trusted to do what you say you will do to strive to honor your sacred covenants to have integrity. Then he says, by living true to our promises to the Lord and to others. We walked the covenant path back to our father in heaven and we feel his love in our lives in a Bill. What strikes me about this is it sounds to me what he saying is you have to keep your end of the bargain, as you put it, the covenants that you make, and then you might be able to feel his love because, in essence, doesn't Mormonism say that unless you keep his commandments. You're not going to be able to have his love will let me read you the citation and this is taken from the & magazine that came out in July 2012 not that long ago.
On page 22 was called, understanding our covenants with God.
This is what the sign said a covenant is a two way promise the conditions of which are set by God. When we enter into a covenant with God. We promise to keep the conditions he promises us certain blessings in return. When we receive these saving ordinances and keep the associated covenants. The atonement of Jesus Christ becomes effective in our lives and we can receive the greatest blessing that God can give us eternal life, and there's a mention here seen doctrine and covenants section 14 verse seven it goes on to say in this article because keeping our covenants is essential to our happiness. Now, and to eventually receiving eternal life. It is important to understand what we have promised our heavenly father not let that sink in.
Folks, because when Ronald Raz band says by living true to our promises to the Lord and others.
We walk the covenant path back to our father in heaven and we feel his love in our lives. Certainly, the burden or the responsibility is on the part of the LDS member they make the covenant and they have to walk the covenant path back to their heavenly father. It has nothing to do with the imputation of Christ righteousness added to the account of the believer who puts their trust in what Jesus did and as we would say in our New Testament Christianity circles Jesus is the one who perfectly lived the law. He is qualified to impute that righteousness because of what he did.
His righteousness is imputed to us because we need that perfect righteousness Mormons need only answer this question, you walk the covenant path back to your heavenly father are your motives always pure are your works, always pure because as we said many times on the show your works can only be as good as you are and if we are sin tainted works can never be pure. We were talking off airbill and you made mention of the idea.
What if somebody could read my mind to be able to see what my real motives were, what I'm really thinking.
I think all of us would understand that.
We all have a sinful attitude, a sinful heart selfish in many ways pride and arrogance all the things that Mormonism says were supposed to eliminate. How are you.
If you are a latter-day St. living your life right now.
Are you down deep. Are you pure in the sense of keeping the commandments that have been given to you and and keeping the covenants that you promised.
Are you making empty promises. He goes through here and he says are you gonna keep your word.
Are you to do what you say you do you strive to honor your sacred covenants to have integrity now. He says by living true to our promises to the Lord, you have to actually do it and not just talk the game yet as he says, keeping promises is not a habit is a characteristic of being a disciple of Jesus Christ but yet as I was mentioning before when latter-day Saints partake of the sacrament they make covenant promises.
They promise to keep all the commandments I can guarantee you, many of them probably have broken those before they left the parking lot and I know this and this is right when you bring up my thoughts about what I want someone to know all of my thoughts. What a horrible thought. That is when you think about what a latter-day St. what the bishop whose interviewing them further recommend or the stake president interviewing them for a temple recommend to know what they are thinking during that recommend interview. I would venture they would probably not mean he quotes a verse on page 53 at the right hand column doctrine and covenants section 93 verse one and it's a very hard verse listen to what he writes. The Lord has said, quote every soul who forsake of his sins and cometh on to me and call upon my name and obey with my voice and keep it with my commandments shall see my face and know that I am, there you go again, God is saying you have to forsake your sins yet to come onto me get the call in my name you have to obey my voice yet to keep my commandments. If you can do all that. Then I'm going to let you see my face, that's not the God of the Bible will certainly though, come on, when it says keep with my commandments. That doesn't mean all of them you can't possibly mean all of them and when you ask a latter-day St. how many Commandments are you supposed to keep Bill tell you all of them.
They'll tell you that I don't have to tell them that they will say that but when I asked them. Are you doing that then they will always admit I try or I'm doing my best to ask the question built, so are you saying I have to be perfect yet. That always comes up and really talk about that some more. During this week, but that's what they will often respond with why because latter-day Saints do equate keeping all the commandments with this necessary perfection. Quote unquote if they hope to receive exultation or godhood as it's understood that Bill, who brings up the idea perfection do you do that when you're talking to a latter-day St. or do you allow them to bring it up. Normally I allow them to bring it up.
All I have to do is point to his particular verse in the book of Mormon, or perhaps even the doctrine covenants and ask him are you doing this and usually the responses will nobody's perfect.
Even though I never use that word.
That's proof that many Latter Day Saints do in fact equate keeping all of the commandments keeping all of their covenants with perfection but yet in this conference there going to be told that perfection is an actually necessary in this life than explain all these other statements that were made throughout this weekend of conference in October 2019. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information and research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.rm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is