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August 16, 2019 5:23 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. Does Mormonism teach that all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will be damned. 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. As we mentioned many times on the show. There are number of words that Christians and members of the LDS church share that really need to be defined. If you're going to have an effective conversation. One of those words happens to be the word damnation. Now this is a word that you find in the King James version of the Bible.
If you look at a lot of your modern translations such as the English standard version. The word damnation is not used, but instead the word condemnation or condemn is used or judgment but yet in Mormonism. The word damnation is broadly applied to mean in my opinion that just about every latter-day St., if not every Latter Day Saints is going to be damned. Don't mean to chuckle, it just sounds like an incredible irony. When you have many Latter Day Saints hoping to end up in the top level of the celestial kingdom, and thus achieve what they think is godhood or eternal life, but yet the description of the word damnation.
In my opinion Eric seems to affect every single member of the LDS church. This is why Bill it's so important for us to understand what is meant by different words and the understanding of the word Crema, which is the Greek word for as you said, damnation, judgment, condemnation, those are all translated word for the word cream, a but the way that Mormonism is taken, it is something completely unique that has no backing from the Bible when it talks about the very same idea, the same term of damnation will let's look at what 10th Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith said about this word in his book, doctrines of salvation, volume 2, page 227 he said what is damnation.
It is being barred or denied privileges of progression because of failure to comply with law, all who fail to enter into the celestial kingdom are damned or stopped in their progression, but they will enter into some other glory which they are entitled to receive. Now listen carefully focus to what he just did when he says all who fail to enter into the celestial kingdom are damned or stopped in their progression where you find that in the Bible you don't where you find that in the book of Mormon. In fact if you look at the word damnation in the book of Mormon and I challenge you to do this just go through it and look at how many times he uses the word dammer damnation.
It gives a description that sounds very biblical right and it talks about the lake of fire. It talks about fire and brimstone L Latter Day Saints.
They would. They don't believe that.
But yet that's what the book of Mormon says no, they could argue will it's just a metaphor and I would say a metaphor for what. Obviously, the description for damnation that is given in the book of Mormon. Doesn't sound like a pleasure cruise. It certainly doesn't sound like the individual who will eventually be damned is going to be on some Caribbean island being shaded by someone with a palm for Ron while another person feeds them grapes one at a time. It sounds like it's a very unpleasant situation now Mormon might say well it's not literal fire and flames and I would go okay you want to go that direction, I'll say fine. That's what it says but if you don't want to agree with what it actually says that. Certainly your choice, but don't go in this direction where it is certainly not defended by what Joseph Fielding Smith is said here all who fail to enter into the celestial kingdom are damned or stopped in their progression, you would have a very difficult time defending that definition from the book of Mormon. When it comes to this topic of damnation. Bruce McConkie had a lot to say about it before we quote Bruce McConkey we should mention he was a Mormon apostle.
He wrote a book called Mormon doctrine.
He was the son-in-law to Joseph Fielding Smith the 10th president of the church and he was considered a theologian when it comes to the doctrines of Mormonism during his time so he was no slouch. But what did Bruce McConkey have to say on this topic and this comes from his book doctrinal New Testament commentary, volume 3, page 256 and it says salvation comes by obedience to the whole law of the whole gospel. Joseph Smith said, quote, any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law and the whole lot to" in this room teachings page 331. Thus, a man may be damned for a single sin.
Thus, a man may be damned for a single sin.
First of all they have to get into the highest level of the celestial kingdom. We know that, according to Mormonism the celestial kingdom has three levels itself, and if anybody out there can help me out with this. I don't understand what the other two lower levels in the celestial kingdom understand what the purposes of those because in order to get into the celestial kingdom. As McConkey says you have to abide a celestial law.
I've never heard it explained that you have to abide a top level of the celestial law to get into the top level of the celestial kingdom.
It's always just abide a celestial law. So what are the two lower levels in the celestial kingdom all about. We normally don't hear Mormon leaders talk about that because it's the top level in the celestial kingdom that a person must achieve if they hope to get all the benefits the perks of godhood and exultation or eternal life with this phrase that he uses Eric a man may be damned for a single sin. How many Latter Day Saints do we talk to that even have the assurance that all or suit sins are forgiven.
To begin with we don't talk to too many of those at all, especially a single sin could be assent of either omission or commission is leaders have said so you might've committed a sin you didn't know about that single sin that's unrepented could be very costly to you.
So I guess we could assume according to what McConkey says here that if in fact the person can be damned for a single sin if the latter-day St. doesn't have the assurance that all his sins have been forgiven, there is the potential and maybe this is a question we could ask our LDS friends. So since you don't really know for sure if all your sins are forgiven. Is there a good chance you're probably going to be doing him to have to you die.
How could they say no, they couldn't if Bruce McConkey is telling the truth. And if it's in fact true. And I think he supported I should say by the doctrine covenants section 1, verse 31. If God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance as the doctrine and covenants states, then how could you assume if you're a member of the LDS church that you're not headed for potential damnation, but that's where often times, the latter-day St. is going to say. But God wouldn't judge me for that because he's a kind and loving God.
So they want to have it both ways. But if you have a God that says that he's not going to look past your sin that what makes you think your sin is anything special. And if that scenario that you just gave is true, then how could he be a kind and loving God when he throws out vain threats.
I would think a kind and loving God would tell us the truth, even if the truth was painful. But you're right. Many Latter Day Saints have use that as a fallback will heavenly father loves us and even though it may say he cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance in their mind.
I guess they think he's going to at least look at their sin with allowance.
Here's another quote this country.
Mormon doctrine, page 619. Rebellion leads to damnation. There is no mercy for those who know the will of God and who do not do it quote woe unto him that has a lot given Jacob said yea that has all the commandments of God, like onto us and that transgress with them and that waste at the days of his probation for offal is a state." That's from second Nephi 927 but when you asked Latter Day Saints. Have you taken the opportunity of this mortal probation and have you in fact repented of all your sins, they will usually say no, which I assume means that they are procrastinating their repentance, which is exactly what Ella 34 is discussing.
But here according to the book of Mormon as you read woe to him that has the law given we would assume that's Latter Day Saints right, wouldn't they have had in their mind the law given to them, would they have as this verse says have all the commandments of God given to them.
I would say certainly they have but yet at the same time they would agree that they're all sinners, that they do at times transgress them and if they are transgressing them. Are they not according to second Nephi 927 wasting the days of their probation. I would say will, of course, they are unless a Mormon can tell us that they have full confidence that they have done everything that is absolutely necessary to achieve that exultation keeping celestial law. Only then can they have the assurance that they're not going to be damned in the next life.
Now this raises another issue a little bit of a sidebar Eric Mormons insist that their Christians, I don't believe Christians are going to be. I just don't believe that if you're a true Christian. I'm not saying that there are professing Christians out there that are probably going to be condemned because they're fake. They're saying they are something that they really aren't.
You might say they're even taking the name of the of the Lord in vain when they claim to be a Christian when they're really not. But true Christians are not going to be damned. So for Latter Day Saints clings to be a Christian and yet a latter-day St. is headed for damnation that would seem to undermine at least what I've always believed that it's impossible for a true Christian to face a condemnation. We are no longer under condemnation. We are in Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us to give you another one for Mormon doctrine, page 234 eternal damnation is the opposite of eternal life, and all those who do not gain eternal life or exultation in the highest heaven within the celestial kingdom are partakers of eternal damnation. Their eternal condemnation is to have limitations imposed upon them so they cannot progress to the state of godhood and gain a fullness of all things. It sounds like McConkey is taking a very similar approach that his father-in-law took that this word damnation should be understood more like an earthen dam that is holding back water in the case of the Latter Day Saints. It would be that this damnation is really a making of their own that they have rebelled and not done what they were supposed to do during their mortal probation and therefore this self-inflicted wound that's going to last throughout eternity means that they will not be able to progress to the level of God for us achieve eternal life, and that's what the encyclopedia of Mormonism does in volume 1, page 353. It says that damnation is falling short of what one might have enjoyed if one had received and been faithful to the whole law of the gospel.
In this sense, all who do not achieve the highest degree of the celestial kingdom are damned even though they are saved in some degree of glory bill at the beginning of the show, you said many