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Credit For Trying — Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2019 7:11 am

Credit For Trying — Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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.1 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 do Mormons get credit for trying and if so what does that even mean welcome to 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 at Gen. conference in April 2016 Elder Jeffrey R. Hall and a Mormon apostle in the LDS church gave a talk title tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you, and I think you probably agree Eric that if there's any one phrase that Jeffrey Holland said in this conference message that he gave. It was this that Mormons can improve in the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying. Even if we don't always succeed. That's music to the ears of many who haven't really heard that kind of message before because we often hear Latter Day Saints when we challenge them with what the book of Mormon says what the doctrine covenants says and what Mormon leaders in the past have said regarding what is required of them and it's very clear. You cannot escape it folks when it comes to the book of Mormon. When it comes to the doctrine covenants when it comes in other past Gen. conference messages. Mormons are supposed to repent of all their sins, meaning confess them and forsake them never to repeat those sins again. Mormons are also told to keep all the commandments and when we challenge Latter Day Saints asking them are you doing that. The answer is usually well.

We are trying. So when you say this is music to their ears.

You are assuming Eric based on the conversations that you had with Latter Day Saints regarding this very phrase, and I'm sure more Christians are going to hear this as they begin talking with her Mormon friends on the streets that somehow the idea that Latter Day Saints get credit for trying. The very words that Jeffrey Holland is given that somehow that means perhaps they don't have to repent of all their sins and maybe they don't have to keep all the commandments and that somehow they're going to still end up in the celestial kingdom. In other words, celestial law, the law there supposed to keep in order to get into the celestial kingdom no longer has a definition that can be clearly defined. These people are interpreting Jeffrey Holland correctly as true, and that is the million-dollar question because if they are misinterpreting what Jeffrey Holland was trying to say when he said that you get credit for trying than they miss out on the celestial kingdom will miss out on that if they misinterpreted what Holland was saying let's talk about that you are having a conversation with a couple of young ladies on this very issue and they brought up Jeffrey Holland's talk.

Not only did they bring up Jeffrey Holland. They also brought up Brad Wilcox as I mentioned Brad Wilcox and yesterday show Brad Wilcox is a BYU professor who gave a talk on grace as Mormons are to understand it and a lot of Mormons have gravitated towards what Brad Wilcox was saying and they interpreted Brad Wilcox is somehow implying that again as long as you're just trying that's good enough. How do these two young ladies interpret Jeffrey Holland when he first set this up a little bit. These two ladies that I was in conversation with were asking me about what it was required for in Christianity for person to get the very best. We had to offer. So I explained how it was faith alone and explain the role of works, and I asked them then what did they think a person had to do and their basic response was that was well as long as were trying our best. I said what where'd you get that concept and they mention Wilcox as you said, as well is the topic talking about now with the Jeffrey R.

Holland, and they said well Holland says that we get credit for trying. In one of the young ladies was very happy about the stock because she says it gives hope to those of us who realize how impossible it is to do everything were supposed to do and so he was trying to encourage us and so this idea of trying as long as I'm doing my very best and I may not always succeed. At least I know I'm on that path and my response was with that doesn't seem to be consistent with some of the passages that I have read from their own Scriptures, such as D&C 58 and D&C one and other passages which I told them but they really want to cling to. This despite what other leaders have said so they're basically looking at what Holland said this idea of credit for trying. As an escape hatch. There admitting him and I have to say if you read Holland's talk in the unsigned he is admitting that not everybody can do everything right. He admits this then my question to Mr. Holland, is why in the world is your Scripture say you're supposed to write me when it says that God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.

According to doctrine and covenants section 1, verse 31 God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance is how I interpret that the question is, is how do you get rid of those sins. If in fact you are a sin prone Latter Day Saints and you're bringing out a good point with verse 31, but what about verse 32, which says nevertheless, he that repents what the ladies had mentioned before, they had repented and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven and I think in order to answer that question we have to again go back to what Mormon leaders have said regarding repentance and here's Wilford Woodruff, who was the fourth president, and what is repentance, the forsaking of sin, the forsaking of sin.

Now that's found in teachings of Presidents of the church Wilford Woodruff. This is a correlated manual. This is not an old manual from the 19th century or even the 20th century. This is 1/21 century manual page 71 and 72. Let me give you a couple other for others from church manuals. One is the doctrine and covenants in church history's seminary student guide from 2001 on page 106, it says we forsake if in verse one of D&C 93 it means repents of gives up and never does. Again in gospel fundamentals of 2002 manual on page 67 it says our father in heaven does not sin.

And he does not allow people who sent to live with him to live with him. We must repent of our sins. To repent means to feel sorry for our sins and stop doing them and then you have Joseph F.

Smith, the sixth president of the church in a book that is really a classic in Mormonism gospel doctrine on page 100. He says true repentance is not only sorrow for sins in humble penitence and contrition before God, but it involves the necessity of turning away from them. The discontinuance of all evil practices and deeds. A thorough reformation of life. A vital change from evil to good, from vice divert you from darkness to light.

Now my question that I would ask at this point are we really to believe that when Holland uses this expression that we get credit for trying that Holland was undermining all the very things that we just read. I'm having a hard time with that. I think what Holland was trying to say that I could be wrong on this, but I and in this is I guess a fault on Holland's part because he doesn't make them so very clear you have those two Latter Day Saints ladies who thought all this is given me a license that I can get away with some of this stuff and I don't have to really have it all accounted for that somehow because I'm trying, that's okay, I get credit for that. My question is what kind of credit are we talking about do you get the credit of celestial exultation merely for trying. Is that really what Holland is saying because I don't buy that. I don't think Holland would say that in my conversation with these ladies I brought out the miracle of forgiveness, a book that I've used many times before by Spencer W. Kimball it's been recommended twice at Gen. conference is a book that Latter Day Saints to read and so I cited some of this. I like to cite it here and be able to let the listener hear what Holland is saying according to what these ladies heard him say is contrary to what Spencer Kimball said before you cite that there are some Latter Day Saints that do tend to discount what Kimball taught now Kimball was a Mormon apostle when he wrote it when he was president. He didn't change it. Jeffrey Holland is a Mormon apostle.

So as a latter-day St. whose words are you going to trust. If you really think that Holland is disagreeing with what Kimball is saying here would've Holland's wrong.

What if you're wrong in your interpretation of Holland and that question is does God change the way that he deals with mankind and how a person is supposed to get the very best this religion has to offer. But listen to page 164 what was said by Spencer Kimball in his title is trying is not sufficient any says nor is repents complete when one merely tries to abandon sin to try with the weakness of attitude and effort is to assure failure in the face of Satan strong counteracting efforts.

What is needed is resolute action. A story will perhaps illustrate this. Then he goes on to tell the story of an army officer and a soldier who was given the duty and the officer explains to the soldier what needs to be done in delivering this proverbial message as it's described and what is the soldier say he says will all try and his repute for saying he's merely going to try. Then I'll do it or die goes on giving all these excuses.

But what is the officer come back with. Look, I don't want you to merely try don't want you to die, I want you to deliver the message and he gives the impression in the story that the duty of the soldier is to deliver a message that he should be able to deliver says you can do what I have ordered. Now get outta here and accomplish your mission and Kimball goes on and says it is normal for children to try.

They fall and get up numerous times before they can be certain of their footing, but adults who have gone through these learning periods must determine what they will do, then proceed to do it to try is weak to do the best I can is not strong.

We must always do better than we can. This is true in every walk of life.

It goes back to my original question. How were we end up how is a Latter Day Saints end up as we know that life has a lot of struggles and there's always going to be a lot of temptations there's going to be effort there's going to be opportunities that we must do better than we have in the past. So trying were not downplaying the nobility of trying to be better tomorrow than you were today. But how is a Mormon supposed to end up Holland really doesn't answer that question in this talk, but unfortunately because he doesn't clearly explain what he means by credit for trying Latter Day Saints are going to take that little phrase and are going to run with it.

We've already seen this happening is the example that you just gave Eric with two young ladies that you talked about.

So what if they are misinterpreting what Holland saying that's a good point and I would say what does the book of Mormon doctrine and covenants say about this issue and as far as the ability for people to be able to do it. As Spencer Kimball seems to show he quotes first Nephi, three, seven, which says that God shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commanded them the commands that God has given our doable, then you've heard me say many times I think Kimball is consistent within the context of Mormonism and the understanding of law. I think the miracle of forgiveness gives the pretty consistent idea that I would say that if Holland is going against the grain of what Kimball was saying the question for the Latter Day Saints is which should they believe Holland or should they believe Kimball thank you for listening. If you would like more information is research ministry.

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