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January 13, 2020 12:00 am
One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 Mormonism 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 of viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm your host Bill McKeever founder Dir. Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M. R.
In October 2019.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints held another one of their general conferences and we've talked about general conference numerous times on this show and the importance of the messages that come forth to the membership from the leadership of the LDS church. It seemed Eric that there was certainly a theme throughout this general conference and we want to talk about that theme. It has to do with the need for members of the LDS church to keep covenants. This is not anything new that we have discussed on this show because covenant keeping certainly is very important to the latter-day St., if they hope to receive certain blessings, including the blessing of eternal life, which is described in LDS theology as being synonymous with godhood or exultation, but when you also agree Eric that during this conference. The message was kind of mixed and even at times it was confusing you had leaders talk about the need to keep covenants. But at the same time. Don't worry about perfection and things like that but yet when we talk to Latter Day Saints about the need for keeping covenants in a Mormon context and we ask Latter Day Saints. Are you keeping all your covenants are you keeping all of the commandments. What's the usual response we will hear at that time will nobody's perfect and yet we at this point in the conversation never brought that word up. It's always a word that they tend to bring up when you press the Latter Day Saints to see whether or not they feel confident that they are in fact keeping all the necessary covenants and or commandments. I think you're right, Bill.
There was this theme that seem to go through the two days, a general conference and I think that these four articles that were to be looking at here this week are going to show you very clearly what the leadership is still saying today it's no different than when Spencer W.
Kimball wrote in the miracle of forgiveness and other leaders talking about the importance of obedience, of keeping the commandments continually as the unique standard works clearly say, but I found it interesting.
As I went through the November & I looked and saw four different articles that talked about at the most and there were other articles that were not can I have a chance to look at that also mention covenants but of those four talks that were given there's only five different sessions that take place on the two days a general conference and they were each in different sections and so the morning of Saturday the afternoon of Saturday Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon so I find that to be interesting of those four of the five possible times I could. It could of been talked about in the four sessions that I mention of the five are general sessions not just for a particular gender so on. This year it was for the females on Saturday night so they're making it very clear that everybody was going to get a talk that had to do with not only making covenants but keeping covenants.
Let's look at the talk that was given by Elder Dale G Rendall and he is a member of the quorum of the 12 apostles, so he would be in the upper 15 men in leadership of the church. A very important position and that something else we need to bring out all for the talks that we are going to be looking at were given by apostles in the church of these are not mere mission presidents were a bishop or anyone like this. These are part of what is known as the general authorities in the church and they are to be taken seriously. His talk was titled on wavering commitment to Jesus Christ. He starts off by saying that last April I had the privilege of dedicating the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple. Words cannot express the joy, the faithful Congolese and I felt to see a temple dedicated in their land up before we go on with what he says. I think we should mention to her listeners.
The earliest churches making some very strong headways in the continent of Africa. You would never think that would've been possible. That certainly didn't look like it was ever going to be possible prior to 1978 when those of African heritage were banned from holding the priesthood when the church made that course correction in 1978. The floodgates really opened towards having the Mormon church be a major influence in this continent. It is certainly a continent that we as Christians need to pray about, because when I was over there in Uganda not long ago I saw the Church's influence throughout Kampala there are chapel buildings were all over the place and I saw Mormon missionaries there and they are having an effect in that country.
He goes on to say, individuals who enter the Kinshasa Temple see an original painting entitled combo falls it uniquely reminds temple goers of the unwavering commitment required to anchor themselves to Jesus Christ and to follow the covenant half of our heavenly father's plan. The waterfalls depicted in the painting call to mind a practice that was common more than a century ago among early converts to Christianity in Congo. Now we need to stop there because when he uses this phrase early converts to Christianity in Dale Redlands mind. Naturally this would be referring to what she would think is apostate Christendom.
They don't for a minute think that those early converts to quote unquote Christianity had what was necessary in order to reach the goal of eternal life before the conversion. He goes on to say, they worshiped inanimate objects, believing that the items possess supernatural powers after conversion.
Many made a pilgrimage to one of the countless waterfalls along the Congo River such as the nose on go falls. These converts through their previously idolized objects into the waterfalls as a symbol to God and others that they had discarded their old traditions and accepted Jesus Christ. They intentionally did not throw their objects into calm, shallow waters, they threw them into the churning waters of a massive waterfall where the items became unrecoverable. These actions were a token of a new but unwavering commitment to Jesus Christ to l'affaire. We had talked about that some might hear what were going to say this week and say that we don't believe in doing any kind of obedience and keeping commandments. And that's far from what were trying to say here and we wouldn't disagree with the idea of taking their old idols and throwing them into a waterfall where they can't be retrieved as a great way to say you're making a commitment to Jesus Christ.
The question is which Jesus Christ are you making a commitment to, and which gospel are you making a commitment to, and what were going to find out this week.
It's not just all about Jesus and having a relationship with him. According to what Mormonism teaches, but rather it's based on you making a covenant God will keep his end of the bargain. If you keep your end of the bargain and year end of the bargain is keeping the covenants or promises that you will make at baptism at the sacrament service and in this temple that is referring to. People are making these promises that will never be able to be. That's much different than what the Bible says we are supposed to be doing well let me just read you the short little part in his talk he said being converted into the Lord starts with an unwavering commitment to God, followed by making that commitment part of who we are. I don't think any of us would have a problem with that, he says, internalizing such a commitment is a lifelong process that requires patience and ongoing repentance. Now that to me describes my understanding of sanctification. After we are forgiven of our sins by placing our trust in what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary. We move on to separating ourselves in service to our Lord. No problem there. But then he goes on to say, God invites us to cast our old ways completely out of reach and begin a new life in Christ. The way he words it I would agree. But is that really what's understood and Mormonism Eric God invites us to cast our old ways completely out of reach and begin a new life in Christ, or is it rather the Mormon God demands that Latter Day Saints cast their old ways completely out of reach when they begin a new life in Christ. And you're right on that bill. In fact, he makes this very clear on page 23 of the enzyme from November 2019. On the right side. He says our commitment to keep our covenants should not be conditional or vary with changing circumstances in our lives, our constancy to God should be like a dependable Congo river that flows near the Kinshasa Temple. This river unlike most rivers in the world has constant flow all year and pours nearly 11 million gallons, 41.5 million L of water per second into the Atlantic Ocean. The Savior invited his disciples to be this dependable and steadfast. He said wherefore settle this in your hearts, that ye shall do the things which I shall teach and command you bill. I was listening to this talk on my way over to the general conference to be able to do evangelism there that very day and when I heard that. I thought this would be great for me to talk to people as they were leaving the general conference and asked them if they were keeping their covenants as the Congo River flows. They knew what I was talking about back. I had a talk with several of them and that they said how did you know about that. I said I listen to it on the way over, and they were admitting to me that they were not keeping their covenants as the Congo River flows and that's what he says is necessary and that's what Mormonism teaches is necessary that you keep covenants not just make them and not break them after that. So in using that analogy of the Congo River saying how it flows constantly if a Latter Day Saints stops in that progress of keeping all the commandments as they're supposed to, because D&C 2515 says you're supposed to keep the commandments continually when he uses the analogy our constancy to God should be like the dependable Congo river that flows near the Kinshasa Temple. If the Mormon is not doing that. Can they honestly have the assurance that they are going to receive the benefits that are predicated on their ability to keep those covenants in such a manner continually just like the Congo River flows. I think your question is quite appropriate and I'm sure you probably didn't have a whole lot of Latter Day Saints stopping and thumping their chest and saying you're absolutely right. I am no, that's not usually what we find when we ask Latter Day Saints. Those kind of questions Dale rental and insist talk this way, I invite you to commit to a lifelong process of discipleship make and keep covenant that's important will how many covenants must they keep what you think Dale rental and was implying some know if you all. Many know all exactly and how often Bill will all the time. Throw your old ways into deep churning waterfalls completely bear your weapons of rebellion with no handle sticking out because of the atonement of Jesus Christ making covenants with a real intent to reliably honor them will bless your life forever. And we know that Latter Day Saints every week in their sacrament service promise to God that they are going to keep the commandments in their mind, their thinking they're going to keep all of them but yet how many really follow through and do that. I would argue, none of them do. It may be a noble effort but none of them are going to keep those promises there constancy to keeping their covenants is not going to be like the dependable Congo River. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information is research ministry.
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