I found it sad reading the Relief Society Lesson, chapter 12 of Teachings of Presidents of the Church. President George Albert Smith taught “There is a real famine in the world for the words of the Lord.” Then he had the audacity to claim what is being taught by Christian Ministers around the world. I wonder if he ever even attended a church service that wasn’t LDS. He certainly isn’t describing any Pastors’ messages that I have heard.
In speaking about Christian Ministers, he claims:
“These good men, not understanding the gospel and the necessity for the ordinances of the same, confine their teachings very largely to moral lessons and to reading the psalms to their congregations. Isolated passages of scripture are chosen as texts for addresses on virtue, honesty, etc., all of which are helpful and uplifting, but few sermons are preached explaining the requirements made of every soul before we can enter the kingdom of heaven. It is this information of which the world is most in need.
Few ministers have a message for their congregations that inspires in them the belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ and the necessity of partaking of the ordinances of the gospel prescribed by him.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 12: An Enthusiastic Desire to Share the Gospel, p. 125)
The Ministers at my church follow the example of Jesus Christ. He Preached a wonderful sermon called the Sermon on the Mount. Here, Jesus preached about many commands that God requires each of us to obey. His most difficult “requirement made of every soul before we can enter the kingdom of heaven” is to be as perfect as our Heavenly Father:
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
I belong to a church called “Cross of Christ“. Our “ministers have a message… that inspires in (us) the belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ.” That message is that as our Substitute Savior Jesus Christ was perfect for us–in our place! It is only through faith in Him that we meet God’s requirements for eternal life. It is knowing what our Savior God has done for us, that inspires us to live our lives for Him.
My church website explains the basic message that will be shared in each sermon:
“At Cross of Christ our messages reflect these basic truths:
1.) We have sinned against God and deserve his punishment. (To show how we have sinned, our Pastor teaches something that God requires of us in His law, which leads us to see that once again we have sinned.)
2.) God’s mercy is infinitely greater than our sin, and He has freely forgiven our sins by taking our punishment for us and crediting us with His holiness and perfection (through faith).
3.) As we Christians apply these first two truths to our lives, we are motivated to give thanks to God and love him in return for his love shown to us in Jesus. God teaches us very practical ways to live for Him every day. God also gives us incredible promises and special comforts to guide and bless us in our daily tasks.
All these points are shared each week in practical messages for all people.”
Despite what President Smith claimed, Christian ministers do teach what God requires of us. We must be as perfect as God Himself! Christians are taught every Sunday that that’s why they need a Savior: Because of what God truly requires of us, we know that we have failed and are hopelessly lost. Christians are people who honestly look at themselves and know that they can never meet God’s demands. We sin all the time. That’s why we place our trust for eternal life solely in Christ. “He has freely forgiven our sins by taking our punishment for us and crediting us with His holiness and perfection through faith.”
Would you like to learn more about this topic? The Ministry that I volunteer with has just released a new website: BeYePerfect.org. It was written just for you!