Gospel Doctrine Lesson 38: Why do Mormons need the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be perfected?

LDS Belief:

To qualify for the grace of God and be perfected in Christ through the Atonement, you must first deny yourself of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength. If you do this, you may be perfected in Christ

LDS Words

Found in lesson 38, page 171:
After teaching the Nephites that they should love their enemies, Jesus said, “Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect” (3 Nephi 12:48). Why do we need the Atonement of Jesus Christ in order to be perfected? (See… Moroni 10:32–33—“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”

Found in Preparing for Exaltation, page 123:
“Have class members find and read Moroni 10:32. According to this verse, what must we do to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him”? (“Deny [ourselves] of all ungodliness, and love God with all [our] might, mind and strength.”) Explain that “deny yourselves of all ungodliness” means “give up your sins.”

Found in Ensign, May 1995, page 66:
Neal A. Maxwell, April 1995 General Conference: “Moroni declared the need for us to deny ourselves “all ungodliness” (Moro. 10:32), thus including both large and small sins.”

Link to Lesson:

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 38

The Bold Truth:

The grace of God is an undeserved blessing given to all people. You are not capable of denying yourself of all ungodliness—in fact no one could even do this for one day! Instead, simply trust that your Savior did this for you, in your place and “hath perfected you forever”

Earlier I discussed Joseph Smith’s revelation that all blessings are predicated upon obedience to the laws of the gospel. Before moving to another Lesson, it’s important to look at how this principle affects qualifying for the grace of God so Mormons can be perfected in Christ.

First, a simple illustration of earning a blessing through obedience:

(Condition): If she cleans her room. . . (Blessing): then, she can go outside and play with her friends.

In the Teachers Manual the question is asked: “Why do we need the Atonement of Jesus Christ in order to be perfected?” You are told to see Moroni 10:32–33 teaching us the condition for qualifying for God’s grace so as to be perfected in Christ:

(Condition): If you deny yourself of all ungodliness, and if you love God with all your might, mind and strength… (Blessing): then, you can qualify for God’s grace and be perfected in Christ.

But what does “deny yourself of all ungodliness” mean, according to Mormon doctrine? Since I prefer to let LDS Prophets explain their own scripture, I went searching and found the LDS definition in the Sunday School Teachers Manual for 12 & 13 year olds. In referencing this passage, it explains: “to deny yourselves of all ungodliness” means “give up your sins.” I also learned from the LDS Apostle Neal Maxwell that this includes “both large and small sins”. Can any Mormon actually do this? Can you “give up” all of your sins? What about all the sins of omission: visiting those in prison, praying constantly or not worrying? Could you stop sinning for even one day? If you truly could give up all of your sins wouldn’t that mean you were already perfect in yourself?

The sobering truth is that no one can meet these requirements! No one can deny themselves of all ungodliness and love God with all their might, mind and strength! Not even for one hour. Jesus testified to the rich young ruler that no one is good but God (Luke 18:18). Similarly, no one is Godly but God. Even one little white lie makes a person “ungodly”. No one, except Jesus, even comes close to denying themselves of all ungodliness.

So how does a person qualify for God’s grace? Instead of qualifying for it, like you would a scholarship, it’s more similar to a need-based grant. You have to be poor and needy—you have to be sinful. A righteous person doesn’t need Christ’s Atonement. But guess what—the truth is that no one is righteous. We all need Christ! Jesus said: “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth…” (Matthew 9: 12-13). It means that all of us are sick (ungodly) and need the Great Physician who came to heal us!

Christ’s mission for coming to earth was to die for the ungodly. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). If you simply believe this and know that you are among the ungodly—a miracle will happen! In an instant, through belief, you will be made godly through faith in Jesus! You will be perfected in God’s sight forever!

Eternal Consequences

Don’t place your faith in the words of LDS prophets who claim that you must deny yourself of all ungodliness to be found perfect. If you do, you will die in your sins and you will not stand on Judgment Day. Why? Because you rejected the Savior who denied Himself of all ungodliness in your place. All who reject this gift from the Savior are ungodly.

Additional Testimony of the Bold Truth:
Believe in the God that justifies the ungodly:
– Romans 4: 4-8
Jesus is the Deliverer:
– Romans 11: 26-27
Christ died for sinners – the ungodly:
– Romans 5: 6-8
– Matthew 9: 12-13
– Luke 19:10
– 1 Timothy 1:15
Godly blessed / Ungodly shall perish
– Psalm 1: 1-6
Wrath of God against ungodly:
– Romans 1: 18
– 2 Peter 2:6
– 2 Peter 3:7
God’s law is not for righteous, but for ungodly:
– 1 Timothy 1: 8-9
Links to Additional LDS Words:
LDS Definition of “Denying ourselves of all ungodliness”
– May 1995 Ensign
– Preparing for Exaltation
– Preparing for Exaltation
– JST Mathew 16:25-26
Mormons believe in a god who “justifieth NOT the ungodly”
– JST Romans 4:2-5
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7 Comments

  1. booey98 said,

    November 6, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    I really appreciate what you are doing here. I would love to hear more about your testimony….what specifically opened your eyes to the Truth? Was it the sermon you heard when you visited that church, or a variety of things that came together for you? Thanks again for the time that you have obviously put into these posts.

    God Bless You!

  2. jessicasheley said,

    November 9, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Wow, I didn’t know the JST translated Romans 4:2-5 that way!!!

  3. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 10, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    To Booey98,

    Thanks for the questions. I do love to bear my testimony. You asked what specifically opened my eyes to the Truth and whether it was something I heard in the sermon when I visited the church that Sunday. Although I remember a few things that were said there, what grabbed me and opened my eyes to truth was the Holy Ghost!

    I didn’t understand it at the time because I hadn’t yet learned how the Holy Spirit works. Since then I have learned that a person is brought to faith through the hearing or reading of God’s Word. And, it happens in an instant! I came to understand that coming to faith with all its blessings is not a long drawn out process like the Mormon prophets teach. One of my favorite passages has become “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

    I was amazed to find that when the Holy Spirit brought me to faith I came alive spiritually! As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, I was born-again. My spiritual birth in certain ways was similar to a physical birth. As a new-born baby I needed and demanded food. I now had a new spiritual life growing inside of me and this life required food—spiritual food. Even though I didn’t want to be a Christian, my new spiritual life kept enticing me to go back to this church to be fed.

    When I was spiritually dead (before the Holy Spirit brought me to faith) I couldn’t understand truth: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2: 14). So, not only did the Holy Spirit entice me to go back to hear more, things I had previously not believed were now tugging at my heart as true. It took me almost four months before my head would agree to what my heart already knew. After that, I determined to thoroughly search the Bible, topic by topic, to ensure that I was not being led astray by my feelings.

    That is something I still do and my testimony that the Mormon Church is NOT true grows stronger every single day! Anyone who believes in the teachings of the Mormon Church will spend eternity in hell with Satan. This is why I share the truth with Mormons. God has given me this passion for my people, just as he gave Paul the passion to reach his people: “my hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel (Mormons) is, that they might be saved” (Romans 10:1-10).

  4. bert10 said,

    December 21, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    “”The grace of God is an undeserved blessing given to all people””

    I do not know if this comment shall do any good. It will depend how far gone you are down that path of yours. Also know that the LDS are being treated in exactly the same manner after Israel in the day of the provocation of the Lord. This is another sign to the world that they are the True church and also have the gospel that marked the beginning of the times of the restitution of all things…prophesied by all the holy prophets.

    From that post it looks like – You are confusing Grace with the Love of GOD for His children.God loves us all unconditionally. As a man learns to walk in Light….as Christ is in the Light….He knows He can walk in the way of Holiness [Isaiah] or Urged to Move on unto perfection as Paul said in Hebrews 6:1 or in Revelation of John where those who shall overcome the world…shall receive [1] the hidden manna, [2] the white Stone and [3] a new name. Rev 2:17.

    What you have posted is not the Hidden Manna….. And what you have posted is false teachings. And it is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Do not be deceived in this any longer we are in a war with the Children of darkness even if these do not know that they are in darkness. The war is Spiritually fought. The world is today as Isaiah prophesied…they already call good evil and evil good. They have changed the ordinance, transgress the laws [ie sabbath] and broken the everlasting covenant. The world is being prepared to be made an abomination of desolation so much that few men shall be left [Isaiah]

    For the promises of Christ concerning asking, seeking and knocking are for they who do not say I have a bible and that is all I need. For to truly be taught of GOD as Jesus Commanded …we would learn a great many things that are not in the bible and the Spirit of God will also correct what the Jews and the Greeks tampered with in the bible

    before I continue I also have received the correct translation…of Romans 4:5…only I added what the Greeks took out. There are in parentheses.

    Romans 4:5 – But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth [NOT] the ungodly, his faith is [Not] counted for righteousness.

    Same God: OT God does not justify the wicked neither does the NT God.

    Exodus 23:7Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

    Now to continue to answer the teaching. A man is able to deny all ungodliness when he is able to walk in Light as Christ is in the Light…the more correct meaning to UNGODLINESS is all things that shall displease GOD….even those things that we are not commanded in. For God has only given the natural man what they can bear….and not all commandments and laws of what is in heaven.

    Summary….Jesus did not say try to be as perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect. He did not say…I will give you grace and forgive you for having failed to obey my commandment.

    Jesus said be ye therefore….without any excuse left for men. Instead of teaching that this is impossible how about teaching men how it is possible to do?

    P/s the last war with the children of darkness at the end of the millennium will be about forcing God to forgive them under grace since these cannot repent anymore.

    Peace be unto you
    bert10

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 22, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Bert, you wrote: “Summary….Jesus did not say try to be as perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect. He did not say…I will give you grace and forgive you for having failed to obey my commandment.

    Jesus said be ye therefore….without any excuse left for men. Instead of teaching that this is impossible how about teaching men how it is possible to do?”

    Thank you for commenting on my blog. I have to agree with what you wrote in your summary: Jesus did not say to try and be as perfect as Heavenly Father. His direct command was to be as perfect as Heavenly Father! You are so right! And, anyone who is not found to be One Hundred Percent perfect on Judgment Day, will spend eternity in Outer Darkness with Satan and his demons. If you want to read more, I addressed this thought in my post just four days ago titled “After all you can do—it isn’t enough!”

    And, if you will go back to my post from October 30th, titled “Gospel Doctrine Lesson 38: Be as Perfect as Heavenly Father?” you will find that I did teach how a person meets Jesus’ command to be perfect!

    Thanks, and God’s blessings,

  6. bert10 said,

    December 27, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Wow, you are strict you wrote:

    “”And, anyone who is not found to be One Hundred Percent perfect on Judgment Day, will spend eternity in Outer Darkness with Satan and his demons. If you want to read more, I addressed this thought in my post just four days ago titled “After all you can do—it isn’t enough!”

    And, if you will go back to my post from October 30th, titled “Gospel Doctrine Lesson 38: Be as Perfect as Heavenly Father?” you will find that I DID teach how a person meets Jesus’ command to BE PERFECT!

    Thanks, and God’s blessings,”””

    I will go back and review those teachings. However, for now I would like to speak on the “Outer Darkness” that Jesus spoke about the also in Jude.

    The “Outer darkness” is only for the sons of perdition. A son of the perdition is a person who will not repent or has put himself in the postion of not being able to be RENEWED unto repentance…See Hebrews Chapter 6:4 to 6. It gives a list of Spiritual gifts a man must taste and reject before he is unabled to be renewed unto repentance.

    Many today in this world are deceived. And so are not heirs of perdition unless they take a sacred oath to never repent as the watchers did. The Lord will hold those angels to their oath to never repent..so they can never be forgiven. True Children of the kingdom are they whom has John put it…know the Father. In the verse below you will find the spiritual definition of Young men, Fathers, and children.

    1 John 2:13 – I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

    Do you understand this part so far? It is very important to understand who are destined for the outer darkness and who is destined for one of the many mansions.. According to their works and glory of the kingdom that they are able to live here on the earth. The very same laws a man is able to live here on the earth is what He shall inherit in heaven. Or else if God gave them a standard that they could not keep…they would be miserable unto eternity.

    In the spiritual world the blindness is removed from the eyes of the people..and darkness shall be seen for what it is….and those who are not beyond repentance shall begin their repentance.

    Peace be unto you
    bert10

  7. bert10 said,

    December 27, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Perfection in Christ? A reality. I will show how.

    “”The sobering truth is that NO ONE can meet these requirements! No one can deny themselves of all ungodliness and love God with all their might, mind and strength! Not even for one hour. Jesus testified to the rich young ruler that no one is good but God (Luke 18:18). Similarly, no one is Godly but God. Even one little white lie makes a person “ungodly”. No one, except Jesus, even comes close to denying themselves of all ungodliness.””

    We all go into the darkness by transgression of the law when it is first taught to us..because no one can live any parts of the law.

    What is the purpose of the Law?….It is to cut men off from GOD and so that the wraths that come….shall break them of their pride. When our heart is broken by the IRON ROD as a potsherd [ot]…then by repentance we began to hear GOD in our heart. Here is the amazing truth that most has not understood…

    Galatians 5:18 – But if ye be led of the Spirit, YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.

    So, if one is also become dead to the law…as it is also put…then we do not transgress the law…and Sin is transgression of the law and wrath comes after transgressions..so there shall be no wraths either.

    How can that be…well there are few more verses I have to put down and they deal what happens when a man is born of GOD [which is the same as being led by the Spirit]

    1 John 3:9 – Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

    1 John 5:18 – We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

    John says a man cannot sin…meaning a man cannot sin accidently or by omission if he is born of GOD here how it works.

    Walking in the Light as Christ is in the Light:: to be born of GOD.

    1 John 1:7 BUT IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT AS HE IS IN THE LIGHT, we have fellowship one with another, AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.

    That is right it is the only condition that a man will have his sin continually cleanseth by the blood of Christ is if he is walking in the light as Christ is in the light…which is the same to be led by the Spirit of GOD. So if a man has repented enough to hear GOD in his heart…He will not do anything that is ungodly for as soon as he thinks it…He will hear behind Him a voice saying this is the way…whenever he turns to the left hand [error] or to the right hand [Zealousness]. Isaiah on the (way of Holiness and on Wayfaring man)

    That is all I wish to say on the way of perfection for now..and how it is possible for a man to be pure and holy before GOD and that such a man will not sin yea even more cannot sin [unwillingly]. I tell you the truth a man who hears GOD in his heart shall keep himself from all ungodliness whether it is commanded or not…simply because the Spirit is also the MIND of CHRIST and his walk shall be the same walk as Christ is in the light.
    ——————————————————

    “”So how does a person qualify for God’s grace? Instead of qualifying for it, like you would a scholarship, it’s more similar to a need-based grant. You have to be poor and needy—you have to be sinful. A righteous person doesn’t need Christ’s Atonement. But guess what—the truth is that no one is righteous. We all need Christ! Jesus said: “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth…” (Matthew 9: 12-13). It means that all of us are sick (ungodly) and need the Great Physician who came to heal us!”””

    Grace for sinners is the time [Space] God has put between the transgression and the judgment so that man can repent and thereby recall in part or in whole the Evil that he has done. Jesus helps us make it possible, when we repent. The evil done in our past can be for our good thru repentance. But only thru repentance is this possible.

    Grace for the Righteous…is the ability of GOD to see us pure and holy as little children.
    ———————————————

    Christ’s mission for coming to earth was to die for the ungodly. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). If you simply believe this and know that you are among the ungodly—a miracle will happen! In an instant, through belief, you will be made godly through faith in Jesus! You will be perfected in God’s sight forever!

    Christ mission was to call SINNERS UNTO REPENTANCE.

    Luke 5:32 – I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    There is a difference in what you are saying and what Christ has said..for where there is no repentance there is also no forgiveness.

    And the correct words are THE the world MIGHT be saved.

    John 3:17 – For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    Those who do not repent in this world will have time to do so in the next world after their death.

    Can you not see in this post that I am speaking of two types of gospel…one for the wicked and one for the righteous. Why would Jesus speak of repentance to the righteous? He said it is not for them that He came.

    Now a couple of more verses and it is it.

    Paul said….”Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect”….1 cor 2:6. – Also noticed Paul did not write down this wisdom that is not from this world…

    taught of GOD….are they who can be given unto Christ by the Father. Yea every man that has heard and learned of the Father cometh unto me.

    John 6:45 – It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

    You seem to be steep in the religions and false teachings of the Christians whom God said to J. Smith that their teachings were an abominations unto Him. They seek to bypass repentance and hearing GOD in their heart as part of the Everlasting Covenant of GOD. A man is not saved by faith alone without works of repentance.. .nor by grace…But by as much as he learns to be led by the Spirit of GOD.

    Romans 8:14 – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

    I hope that you have completely comprehended this post..For I have given you the truth.

    Peace be unto you
    bert10


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