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January 5, 2020 4:17 pm
Mormonism 101 is research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson for so many more to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith. Mormonism 101 is what your favorite Christian bookstore firstname.lastname@example.org .1 examines 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.
Why are many latter-day Saints troubled by questions about the spirit world.
Welcome to this additional 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 looking at a conference message that was given by Dell and H.
Oaks, is a member of the first presidency he taught this message that was supposed to.
I think comfort those who have questions about the spirit world. He begins this talk by discussing a letter that he received quite some time ago. He said from a woman who was concerned about the fact that her husband was sealed to another woman for eternity and she was wondering what her place was going to be in the next life. Let me very quickly recap what she said. Oaks said she asked this question. Would she be able to have her own house in the next life or would she have to live with her husband and his first wife and Oaks responded.
I just told her to trust the Lord.
And as we were discussing yesterday. That hardly seems like an appropriate answer to a woman who has I think a legitimate question and concern. It sounds like from the context that we have here that she's not real happy about this idea but yet that's going to be her eternity.
If in fact she supposed to share her husband with another woman in the next life. Then he gives another example in the About the same type of the situation and in this particular case it wasn't Oaks that answer the question. It was another leader he said, who told these concerned members you were worried about the wrong things you should be worried about whether you will get to those places. Concentrate on that and Oaks response to that answer by saying what a comforting teaching trust in the Lord. And again, I would argue that doesn't sound very comforting, especially since in our experience, when we talk to Latter Day Saints.
They don't even know where they're going to be in the next life based on all the requirements that the church has for them. So how could you even be comforted and that ideal loan that you need to focus on yourself, much less focusing on what are the marriage relationships going to be in the next life. If the woman marries a man who sealed to multiple women they know they're trying and they know they're doing their best, but they know that they're not able to be successful in keeping the commandments as D&C 2515 says are supposed to Oaks goes on to talk about other letters. So apparently this is a real issue.
There are a lot of Latter Day Saints were very concerned about what the next life holds for them.
So what is he go on and say there from letters I have received. I know that others are troubled by questions about the spirit world. We want habit after we die and before we are resurrected.
Some assume that the spirit world will continue many of the temporal circumstances and issues we experience in this mortal life. What do we really know about conditions in the spirit world. I believe a BYU religion professors article on the subject had it right quote when we ask ourselves what we know about the spirit world from the standard works. The answer is not as much, as we often think" not let me go back here because something stood out to me as you were reading that the questions that were given at the beginning of his talk had to do.
You would assume with after the resurrection and judgment. Now he's going backwards and he he prefaces by saying troubled by questions about the spirit world. We will inhabit after we die and before we are resurrected. Will wait a minute.
These are questions they have about after they are resurrected via turnout D of this document being sealed to more than one woman in this particular case. But there's another interesting thing that comes appear when he mentions this BYU professor. He's referring to Brent no top. When he says when we ask ourselves what we know about the spirit world from the standard works. The answer is not as much, as we often think that's interesting Eric because when we would attend the Mormon miracle pageant down in man tie. The pageant opens with this couple, especially the wife of this couple who has questions about where did we come from, why are we here and where are we going and the criticism is implied from her statement that those of us in the evangelical community do not have answers to those questions that only Mormonism seems to have the answers to that question. That's not true. We certainly do have answers to those questions, but the answers given by the Mormon church are supposed to be more satisfying. According to that portion of the pageant and why, because according to top that they have the standard works but we need to understand Mormonism is more than just about the standard works is been made very clear as to where a person can get doctrine from their own writings from the churches own writing, such as church manuals, let me just give you a couple to set the pace for the rest of this series that were doing from gospel principles. This was produced in 2009, page 45 and 48. Listen to what it says. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, except for books of Scripture, the Bible, the book of Mormon, the doctrine and covenants and the Pearl of great price.
These books are called the standard works of the church. That's what top is referring to the inspired words of our living prophets are also accepted as Scripture and then it goes on page 48 and says, in addition to these four books of Scripture, the inspired words of our living prophets become Scripture to us. Their words come to us through conferences, the like a homeowner or inside magazine and instructions to local priesthood leaders. We believe all that God has revealed all that he does now reveal and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God and that comes from articles of faith 19.
The point being is that it's not just the standard works that were supposed to be able to learn what the restored gospel is all about, but we have these leaders who are supposed to communicate to us to help us better understand where did we come from, why are we here and where are we going but what I'm seeing here in this article is that this leader doesn't have a whole lot of answers on very important questions people are asking and so I think they end up remaining confused. I think to do that. Some of these questions are born out of the fact that some leaders in the past have made comments on that issue and that's what's causing them concern as well. I mean just the fact that you know that in the next life. You're going to have to be simultaneously married to a man for eternity and another woman is married to the same man for eternity. You can see why.
That alone is going to cause some of these kinds of questions it's Mormonism itself that raises these issues and they're merely wanting some details on what this looks like Oaks doesn't have the answer. This leader that he refers to the second paragraph obviously didn't have an answer and then we have Brent Topp from BYU who apparently also admits we don't have a lot of answer.
So when Mormons try to imply that hey is the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We have all the answers and you don't have answers, you evangelicals, that's a bit of an exaggeration. When you think because a lot of these issues they really don't. And if they do have answers at all. Many times you're going to find that they conflict with what the Bible has to say, or in some cases even with what the book of Mormon may have to say on the issue because as we've stated many times on this show. A lot of the doctrine that many Latter Day Saints hold to today comes after the writing of the book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.
His doctrine was still evolving after 1830, when the book of Mormon was published, so you're not going to find a lot of the unique teachings of Mormonism in the book of Mormon. So they've kind of made this problem for themselves and I can understand why, especially in the two examples given here at the beginning of Oaks's sermon that these people would be concerned about what the next life is going to look like. But then he goes on in his talk to say of course we know from the Scriptures that after our bodies die. We continue to live as spirits in the spirit world.
The Scriptures also teach that this spirit world is divided between those who have been righteous or just during life and those who have been wicked.
They also describe how some faithful spirits teach the gospel to those who have been wicked or rebellious. And then he gives these references. First Peter 319 in the doctrine and covenants section 138 and he gives several verses out of D&C 138 which of course is the last section in the doctrine and covenants based on a vision that Joseph F. Smith, the sixth president of the church had but I want to address first Peter 319. First Peter 319 does not imply that some faithful spirits are going to teach the gospel to those who have been wicked or well yes it doesn't say that at all. In first Peter 319 though I will say that many scholars do see first Peter 319 is a vague passage which is difficult to understand specifically what Peter was referring to. It certainly didn't refer to what Oaks just said it referred to. He should not have included that verse as describing faithful spirits were going to teach the gospel to those who have been wicked. Now he could've used D&C section 138 because it does tend to say that but not first Peter 319.
So here we have an example of Delaunay chokes playing fast and loose with the Bible goes on to say most important modern revelation reveals that the work of salvation goes forward in the spirit world. See doctrine and covenants 138 3334 and 58, and although we are urged not to procrastinate our repentance during mortality. See Elma 1327. We are taught that some repentance is possible there. See doctrine and covenants one 3858 now there's a lot that I want to talk about when it comes to that last part of that paragraph when he says, and although we are urged not to procrastinate our repentance during mortality. What stuck out to me. Eric is when I read that not to purge Creston eight our repentance during mortality. I'm thinking Elma 34. We talked about Elma 34 many times on the show, but the reference that Oaks gives was not Elma 34.
It was Elma 1327. This is what it says and now my brother and I wish from the innermost part of my heart. Yeah, with great anxiety even onto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words and cast off your sins and not procrastinate the day of your repentance know that's a generic statement to encourage members to live godly lives as many Latter Day Saints are often encouraged. I don't have a problem with that, but Elma 1327 doesn't contain a lot of the details that Elma 3432 and following tends to contain and I think that's important because if Oaks had been citing Elma 34. I think his next statement would've been a little bit different when he says we are taught that some repentance is possible there and then he cites D&C one 3858 and tomorrow show I want to pick up at that spot Eric and Ann look further into these passages, that Oaks is citing and also look further into his conclusion as to what he thinks those verses are saying to members of the LDS church. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his 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