My mother taught me that eating healthy grains was important; she made whole-grain bread every week. When I became a mother I did the same, and learned even more about the differences between white bread and whole grain. Over thirty very important nutrients are known to exist in the wheat kernel, but most of them are removed in the milling process. White bread has removed the life-giving qualities from the whole grain. This weeks Relief Society Lesson made me think about the similarities between white bread and the LDS gospel. Like white bread, the LDS gospel has removed all the life-giving qualities that are found in the true Gospel.
I grew up LDS and learned about the gospel, as defined in the LDS KJV Dictionary: “The word gospel means good news. The good news is that Jesus Christ has made a perfect atonement for mankind that will redeem all mankind from the grave and reward each individual according to his/her works.”
“The gospel teaches us all we need to know to return to live with our Father in Heaven… According to Elder Bruce R. McConkie: “Eternal life is not a name that has reference only to the unending duration of a future life; immortality is to live forever in the resurrected state, and by the grace of God all men will gain this unending continuance of life. But only those who obey the fulness of the gospel law will inherit eternal life.” (The Gospel of Jesus Christ, Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, April 2008)
It wasn’t until after I left the church that I dug into the Bible to find out what God would reveal to me. It was a wonderful experience learning the truth. I learned that Jesus had already done everything needed for us “to return to live with our Father in Heaven.” I found out that no one will gain eternal life by obeying God’s law: “…for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21b)
I discovered that the Gospel really is the Good News. But the Good News is so much more than what LDS leaders teach. The Good News is that Jesus Christ made a perfect atonement for mankind when He offered Himself as the final sacrifice for sin. At the cross, Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world and in exchange, gave us His righteousness. He is our Substitute for the perfection that God requires. (Matthew 5:48) Now that we have been made perfect and righteous, we are reconciled to God and have eternal life through faith in Christ!
“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel,” (Colossians 1:20-23)
Jesus Himself taught that the Good News meant so much more than merely being resurrected from the grave. He revealed that because He was lifted up on the cross, all who believe in Him have eternal life:
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:14-16)
The Apostle Paul recorded one of my favorite passages about the Gospel:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
Notice what the power of God is? The gospel of Christ! And, that power is strong enough to grant salvation to all who believe.
In this weeks Relief Society Lesson, we see where the Prophet used this passage but changed God’s Word to make it fit into the false gospel of Mormonism:
“…but it is that the sons and daughters of God, wherever they may be, may hear this Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation to all those who believe and obey its precepts.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 12: An Enthusiastic Desire to Share the Gospel, p. 128)
If the Apostle Paul were around and read what President Smith wrote, he would have reprimanded him for adding works to the Gospel message. In Galatians the Apostle Paul reprimanded the Apostle Peter because he also was not walking according to the truth of the Gospel:
“13 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all…
14 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law:for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:13-21) (Because of the length, I have only included passages pertinent to our discussion. It is all wonderful, so please read Galatians 2:11 through 3:26)
Even though LDS Prophets claim that Paul is speaking only of the law of Moses, this is not true. Paul is talking about any law from God. Simply read on into the next chapter in Galatians where Paul states:
“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (Galatians 3:21-22)
Which Gospel do you believe in? The one that claims: “only those who obey the fulness of the gospel law will inherit eternal life“?
Or the Gospel of Christ: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth
To God be the glory!