Are You on Earth to Prove Your Worthiness?

I’ve known for over a year that it was going to happen. Somehow, that didn’t make it any easier when the mobile butcher arrived and slaughtered our steer. When we bought this adorably cute miniature Angus I was fully aware that his purpose in life was to provide meat for our family. My husband, understanding how attached I get to all my critters, named him “Sir Tender Loin”. He did this so that every day I would have a reminder that one day Tender-Loin would be slaughtered and fulfill his purpose in life.

I’m sure glad my purpose in life isn’t that of Tender-Loin’s. Thinking about his purpose in life reminded me of when I was LDS. I used to believe that my purpose in life was to prove myself worthy. The reason I thought this was because that was what my church leaders had taught me. They claimed that Heavenly Father sent people to earth for the purpose of proving whether or not they would be obedient to His commandments:

“We lived in the presence of God our Holy Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in a premortal existence. There we gained an understanding of the Father’s plan of salvation and the promise of help when we would be born as mortals on earth. The primary purpose of life was explained. We were told: “We will make an earth whereon these may dwell; “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; “And they who keep their first estate [that is to be obedient in the premortal existence] shall be added upon; … and they who keep their second estate [that is, to be obedient during mortal life] shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.” Those words express the most fundamental purpose of your being on earth. That purpose is to prove yourself obedient to the commandments of the Lord and thereby grow in understanding, capacity, and every worthy trait.” Richard G. Scott, “Truth Restored,” Ensign, Nov 2005, 78.

Every time I looked inside my heart, I felt like a complete failure. I knew how unworthy I was. And, I thought I was the only person that was so sinful. When I looked at others in my Ward, I thought everyone else was worthy except me. Can you imagine the peace I found the day I learned that I wasn’t the only one who struggled with being obedient? It was actually the Holy Ghost that revealed this news to me, through God’s prophets and apostles. Their testimony declared His truth to me: No one can be worthy or righteous by their obedience. In fact, no one can even be “good”.

The LDS Apostle Scott taught that God sent us to earth to prove ourselves worthy. But in the book of Romans, Jesus’ Apostle Paul testified he had “proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin”. He then quotes Psalm 14 as evidence: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

LDS scripture claims that men must prove themselves worthy through their obedience; but God’s Word testifies that “there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Jesus joined His testimony to this truth when He claimed “none is good, save one, that is, God.” (Luke 18:19). The Prophet Isaiah clearly told of the sad condition of all humans: “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (64:6). In one of Isaiah’s Messianic prophesies, he declares: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-12).

Notice that last verse in Isaiah “and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Here we see our Savior’s purpose for coming to earth. He came to take our sins upon Himself—as if He Himself had committed each and every one. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be “brought, as a lamb to slaughter” and that He would give “his soul an offering for sin”. Jesus came to earth to be slaughtered! He fulfilled His purpose at the cross, when “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” We are healed through Christ’s sacrificial death, where every sin was paid for and forgiven. The Apostle Peter testified that all who believe it, receive it (Acts 10:43).

Do you still believe that the “fundamental purpose of… being on earth… is to prove yourself obedient to the commandments of the Lord”? On Judgment Day every person will stand before God. Many will be given the opportunity to prove whether they were obedient to God’s commands. All who point to their own works as proof they should be allowed entrance into God’s Kingdom will be turned away (Matthew 7:22-23).

My Angus steer was slaughtered to feed my family. My Savior Jesus was slaughtered to pay for my sins with His blood. I gave my life to Him the moment I believed in His free and full forgiveness. I now know that my purpose in life is to give all glory to my God, by all that I do. He alone is worthy!!!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

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33 Comments

  1. Todd Wood said,

    October 30, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Such love.

    Such grace.

    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.

    Such freedom.

    Our God is altogether worthy.

  2. rblandjr said,

    October 31, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Ldsw,

    Great article that gets to the heart of the problem, which is the problem of our hearts. We are sinful and that is all we have to offer to God.

    If the Apostle Paul considered himself chief of sinners how can I even think that I could merit or be worthy of this great gift.
    My faith is in the worthiness of Jesus Christ and His complete sacrifice that pleased the Father. That satisfied my sin debt, nailed it to his cross. Paid in Full. Now my life is one that is to glorify him and draw others to Christ.

    All I had to offer him was brokeness and strife but he made something beautiful of my life.

    He alone is worthy.

    Richard

  3. txsahm said,

    November 6, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    I am a little confused at your post here. Are you saying that as long as we believe in Christ, that is all we should be judged on? What about people who claim to believe in Christ but are liars, cheaters or criminals? Should they not be judged by their actions at all?

    The only perfect person to live on this Earth is Jesus. Yet we should all strive to emulate Him. And He died for us so that we are cleansed of our sins IF we repent of the things we do wrong. In fact Jesus told us to “Be ye therefore perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Even though it is not possible to actually be perfect, we are still supposed to strive to be.

    Maybe you should read more of Matthew 7. In fact – even if all you read is Matthew 7:21. They are talking about people who do BAD works, regardless of what they SAY, they will be turned away. Anyone can say they believe in Christ.

  4. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you for responding. You have some great questions and observations!

    You wrote:
    Even though it is not possible to actually be perfect, we are still supposed to strive to be

    You are correct, Jesus did command us to be perfect. However, in the passage you reference, Jesus does not say it’s OK to merely strive to be perfect. If all Jesus expected from us was for us to put forth our best effort, then why did He use Heavenly Father as the standard for the perfection demanded? If trying was all that was necessary, why didn’t Jesus use one of the prophets as the standard? Maybe someone like Moses, or even the prophet Abraham?

    Instead, Jesus commanded us to be as perfect as Heavenly Father. I have never found one single Bible passage lowering the standard that Jesus set for us. Not one Bible passage testifying that “trying” is sufficient or will gain us eternal life!

    You ask:
    What about people who claim to believe in Christ but are liars, cheaters or criminals? Should they not be judged by their actions at all?

    If someone claims to believe in Christ and yet lives a life of blatant sinfulness, then they truly don’t believe in Christ, even though they claim to. On Judgment Day their works will be judged and they will be sent to live eternally with Satan. Their lack of works shows they don’t really have faith. James Chapter two declares: “Faith without works is dead”. You said yourself, “Anyone can say they believe in Christ.

    And, as you brought up Mathew 7:21, this verse speaks beautifully of those who merely “say” they believe in Christ but don’t truly have faith. This verse is one of my favorites! Here, Jesus tells us:

    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    What is the will of the Father? Jesus tells us that the Fathers will is to believe in Jesus! In John 6 we read:

    And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Everyone who truly believes in Jesus has everlasting life!! And, because their faith is alive, they will do many works of love for the Savior who gained the forgiveness of all their sins.

  5. catzgalore said,

    November 8, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Praying today for the family of a young man in my area who was killed in an auto accident. His wife is expecting their 4th child. My heart goes out to her; they are a Mormon family. It seems to me that it would be more difficult because the whole eternal dynamic of a relationship wold change. Hopefully not as hard as it seems to me from the outside.

    Anyway, praying for that young family that just lost their husband and father.

  6. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Catz,

    You wrote: “Praying today for the family of a young man in my area who was killed in an auto accident. His wife is expecting their 4th child. My heart goes out to her; they are a Mormon family. It seems to me that it would be more difficult because the whole eternal dynamic of a relationship wold change. Hopefully not as hard as it seems to me from the outside.

    I will pray for this LDS family. And yes, it will be hard for this new widower. Here is where we see polygamy still practiced in Mormonism. In the Temple, women can only be married once. But men can be married to multiple women in the Temple.

    Life will not be easy for her, with a baby on the way. My heart goes out to her and yes, I will pray for her.

  7. txsahm said,

    November 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Sorry LDSW. You’re proving once again how little you really understand of Mormonism.

    It is not polygamy to remarry after your spouse has died. And I know women who were married in the temple more than once. For time, rather than time and all eternity.

    You have been married twice, yet do you consider yourself a polygamist? According to what you are saying here – it is the same thing. It doesn’t matter that you were divorced.

    And in your comment above you state that “faith without works is dead”. Exactly what Mormonism teaches. It is through our works we show our faith and therefore we will be judged on our works. Do you not see that you keep contradicting yourself?

  8. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    November 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    txsahm,

    I apologize for not being more clear. I certainly don’t have the gift of writing.

    Of course it is not polygamous to marry another person in this life, after your spouse dies, or if you have gotten a divorce.

    However, Mormonism teaches that any husband and wife who get married in the Temple for time and eternity will be married even after they die. According to Mormon teaching, a man can be married for eternity to multiple wives. But, a woman can only be married for eternity to one man. Hence, if this woman whose husband died was married to him for eternity, it will make it more difficult for her to marry (another Mormon) again in this life.

    If she marries a man who has been married to another woman for eternity, then she will be with her first husband for eternity. However, no Mormon man who has not previously been married to another woman for eternity could marry her and still qualify for the highest glory in the celestial kingdom. That glory is reserved only for those who have been married in the Temple for eternity.

    If she had been the one who died and not her husband, he could marry again in the Temple, for time and for eternity. Eternal marriage for the man can be polygamous. That was the point I was trying to make.

  9. catzgalore said,

    November 10, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    I just meant from my perspective it would be tough. Your choice would be to preserve your marriage that was supposed to be for time and all eternity or put it aside for a new husband. For Christians, we believe the marriage relationship will not exist in that way, so it wouldn’t mean we would have to deny that first marriage. It would just seem to be tougher for a Mormon than a Christian. More than anything, I sympathize with any woman who loses her husband; especially with small children. You turned it into an opportunity to insult latterdaysaintwoman! It was merely a prayer request. If you don’t care to pray for her then don’t. I merely was telling latterdaysaintwoman, who I know is someone who will pray, about her.
    I was not starting a debate.

  10. txsahm said,

    November 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    I think when all is said and done we have to remember that we have limited understanding. God understands everything.

    You choose to call it polygamy because you hate Mormons. Not the people, but the church. Why else would you set up a blog where you purposefully try to pull people away from Mormonism? You can call it what you like. But you have set up this blog so that when people do a search on any keywords for Mormonism, they will hopefully find your blog. This posting had nothing to do with Relief Society, Young Womens, Young Mens, etc. Yet you assign them as tags in the hopes that people who are curious will read the things you have to say trying to prove Mormonism wrong.

    All the while, you contradict yourself. I see that you didn’t reply at all to the fact that I called you out. You say that all those who believe in Christ will be saved and we are not judged by our actions at all. But then you say we are judged by our actions. “Faith without works is dead.” Your works show that you are a bit malicious with this blog you keep. How will you be judged? Would Christ do as you are doing with this blog?

    I have found many other things on your blog that you obviously don’t understand about Mormonism, and a few people have tried to point out to you the things which you don’t understand. But you have an eye single to arguing that Mormonism is wrong and evil.

    I’m sorry you didn’t understand the teachings of the church when you were a member. That has obviously festered over time. I’m sorry you feel the need to display your misunderstanding for all to see. Those of us who understand Mormonism can see through your faulty arguments. Sadly though, many people do not understand Mormonism (like yourself) and this blog just fuels their ignorance.

    I started reading your blog a few weeks ago because I read somewhere that you “lovingly show how you learned the truth once you left the LDS church“. However, your malicious intent is not loving. I am drawn to it so I can keep reading about all the things you don’t understand.

  11. txsahm said,

    November 11, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Catz – Mormons are Christians. How you can read this stuff and not even see that makes no sense. A Christian is someone who believes that Christ is their Savior and Redeemer. There is not a true Mormon alive who does not believe that with every ounce of their being.

    I am not insulting LDSW (who is not an LDS woman, by the way). Merely reminding her that she is not following Christ’s example. She has not set up this blog to show everyone her love in Christ and her faith. She has set it up to drive people away from Mormonism and cause confusion in people who are probably already confused and don’t understand what Mormons stand for and believe in. Why not ever comment on Catholicism, Muslim, Buddhism, etc. in blog posts?

    As a Mormon who has been married for time and all eternity, I would be devastated should my husband die. But I would be assured that I will be with him forever, bound in marriage. That is very reassuring to me. Death is not the end of my marriage. Death was no where in my wedding vows.

    I am not the one that turned your request for prayers for the new widow into an attack on Mormonism and their practices. Do I know why a widower can remarry for time and all eternity to someone else but a widow can’t? No. I don’t know why. But I have faith enough in my Heavenly Father that all things will be set right in our next life as long as we live this life in accordance with the teachings of our Father and Christ.

  12. catzgalore said,

    November 11, 2009 at 10:26 am

    txsahm,

    I have LDS relatives and friends. Some are happy and contented, some are not. Some seem to love the Lord, some are anxious about being good enough. Some have been suicidal because they have felt so unworthy. Some have been on anti depressants; some have left the church and are far happier. Some would never leave and are happy.

    I started reading about the mormon church to get a better understanding of the faith since my son and his family are faithful Mormons. What I found was that mormons want to be called “Christian” yet they do not worship the same God I do. What I read was completely contradictory to the traditional Christian faith I not only grew up with but embraced. I found out that there are secret ceremonies, handshakes, and even sacred underwear. I found out that the former prophets taught things like there are men living on the moon– and I am old enough that I was alive when the missionaries actually taught that– and that the pyramids were built of adobe. I read about the historical incidents that the church now glosses over. I see how the stories have changed over the years and how members refuse to see that.

    Then I found out that someone (LDS) was posting on this blog and not honest about who they were. For the most part, the LDS posting on this blog have been rude and condescending just like you. I also know that when people get rude, condescending, and insulting that they are usually quite frustrated.

    I am not saying I haven’t been frustrated. I am now. I put a prayer request out there. You turned it first into a debate about polygamy, and then a post to further insult. I put out a loving and sympathetic attitude toward someone. My heart goes out to them, because I know this is going to be a horribly difficult time. I would expect that someone that really loved the Lord would actually make a comment such as, “praying for this family” or something instead of attacking.

    You said,,,,
    “All the while, you contradict yourself. I see that you didn’t reply at all to the fact that I called you out.”

    In my world, calling someone out means puttin’ on the gloves for a good fight. 😉 I’m not sure what you meant, and I know you weren’t talking to me. What did you mean?

    And I will ask you a question that another person hasn’t answered. I really want to know. What does it mean to you to be a god? What will that be like?

  13. catzgalore said,

    November 11, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I did not see your post before I posted. Thank you for your more gracious answer. Sorry my human side showed so well in mine. 😉

    you said..

    “As a Mormon who has been married for time and all eternity, I would be devastated should my husband die. But I would be assured that I will be with him forever, bound in marriage. That is very reassuring to me. Death is not the end of my marriage. Death was no where in my wedding vows.”

    Does that then mean if you married someone else, it could only be for time? What if you wanted to have more children? That’s what I meant about that widow with young children. A friend of mine lost her first husband young. She remarried and had 6 more children! Does that mean those children don’t have an eternal family? She couldn’t have both husbands eternally. Would she have to choose?? Since she vowed “for time and eternity” the first time, could she even break that vow?? A big dilemma, from my point of view. A man wouldn’t want to marry her since she couldn’t be his for eternity. What would be the point? And what would her first husband think, if she abandoned him? Wouldn’t that make it so he couldn’t be in the celestial heaven?

    Sorry if what I say sounds malicious to you. It is partly why I couldn’t embrace the LDS faith. Too many confusing things.

  14. txsahm said,

    November 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Catz,
    I will try to answer your questions as best I can.

    First off, I guess it is a generational thing, but when I am calling her out I am not “putting on fighting gloves”. I am merely pointing out that she has contradicted herself. She wrote a whole blog post about how we are not judged by our works but merely our faith in Christ. Then when I question her about it, her response (#4) says that on judgment day their works will be judged and that faith without works is dead. A complete contradiction of her blog post. Am I the only one that sees this?

    I am sorry that you have known Mormons who were so unhappy and depressed. I have heard of this happening (in fact this blog’s author here has stated before that this is how she felt) and my understanding is that it is because although people believe in Christ, they don’t believe Him when He said He atoned for our sins. They really think that because they are not perfect, they are damned. I always think it is so sad. I think that sometimes people get so wrapped up in the letter of the law, they forget that God is not only a just god, but a merciful one.

    I honestly don’t know what you mean about Mormons not having the same god as you. We believe that there is one God. He is omnipotent. He had one begotten son. His name is Jesus Christ and He atoned for all of our sins. If we live worthy lives (meaning that if we sin, we repent of those sins) then we will return to live with God and Jesus one day. I guess you meant that this is not what you believe – so what do you believe?

    I have read a bit on this blog, but there is a lot I have not read. I know that you are one that has made lots of comments, so I take it you are an avid reader. I would think that if you really had questions about what Mormons believe, you would ask your son and his family. Meaning that you would ask Mormons who actually believe the things that Mormonism teaches.

    I’m not sure what you meant about the church glossing over parts of their history. I did look up what you meant about men on the moon (or, my husband did and we discussed it). Brigham Young once said that he believed there was life on the moon and on the sun. As I read the entirety of what Brigham Young said, my understanding is that he was saying that all the other things in our universe must have been created for a purpose. He never said that the other life he believed was out there was in the form of us. Aren’t scientists trying to find all the time if there are other types of life in our universe? I see nothing wrong with Brigham Young’s statement. It was his opinion. And he never said that God told him that there were men on the moon. Anything else I have found in reference to men on the moon and the LDS church has been on anti-mormon sites. I hope that you would understand when I say, I won’t believe what they say as any standing on anything the LDS church has ever said. That would be like asking a racist to tell me about people of another race. And my dad was a Mormon missionary in the 60’s and says that they never taught anything about men on the moon – he didn’t even know what that was about.

    You asked again about marrying for all eternity. I have to be honest – although I know all the rules about who can re-marry for eternity and who can’t, I don’t understand them all. But I am ok with that. I know that God loves me and wants me to be happy forever. I know that should my husband die and I remarry, even though I wouldn’t be able to marry again for eternity, my Heavenly Father would make everything fine in the next life. And I have enough faith in Him to not worry about it.

    You also asked about being a god. I have to admit – I don’t think about it. My goal is to live the best life I can and return to live with my Heavenly Father and Jesus. Whatever comes after that, is what comes after that. I know that is not the answer that you probably wanted, but it a truthful answer.

    I really recommend going to your son and his family with your questions in a non-confrontational manner. But then keep in mind that they may avoid your questions in order to avoid confrontation. My father-in-law is not Mormon and sometimes he will start saying things about the church. Because I love him, I choose to merely listen to what he says, smile and nod and when the time is appropriate I change the subject. The reason I do this is because I can tell that he isn’t really interested in understanding things about our church and I don’t want things to be tense between us.

    I hope this helps!

  15. catzgalore said,

    November 17, 2009 at 12:01 am

    I HAVE asked my son and his family questions. I have gotten some answers. But, like you, I don’t want to cause a rift in the family. The relationship is fragile enough already.

    you said..
    “We believe that there is one God. He is omnipotent. He had one begotten son. His name is Jesus Christ and He atoned for all of our sins.”

    txsahm, the words indeed are similar. But the meaning is not the same.
    I do not claim to know what all mormons believe, but here are some quotes from this blog that seem to contradict what you say.

    aug 24, 2009, post 11 … Of these many may not have been perfected in this life, but they have been made perfect in the next and even now are gods sitting on thrones in heaven.
    (from the thread It’s the Father’s Will to Save Believers! Aug 15, 2009)

    post 24 from the same thread, October 12, 2009

    When I am Exalted as a god (speaking hopefully here, not stating a fact) I will be with my wife, and we will have an undless number of spirit children. I do believe we will create our own planet (or planets) on which they will experience mortallity…

    (my words here)
    If Christ EFFECTIVELY died to atone for all our sins, then doesn’t that mean he atoned for ALL our sins? To atone is to pay in full, to reconcile. If it is paid IN FULL, He paid for ALL OUR SINS! But mormon doctrine (as represented by LDS on this blog at least) says otherwise:

    July 24, 2009 post 11 Is the LDS Gospel False?

    “Once you are saved you are not guarunteed anything. It is still possible for a person to fall, and if you have been saved you can fall farther than a person who has not been saved. If you do make it into Heaven then your works will determine at what glory, thus those who work righteously will not be forced to mingle with those who have worked evil. Thus, a true salvation is gained by those who have worked righteously and enter into the Celestial Glory.

    (my words again)
    If there is ONE God, who is Jesus? Is a god not the same as God? In my Bible it speaks of the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Who is that? THAT IS THE GOD I WORSHIP, the One True God, the Great I AM. From the above quotes, it seems that each person will become the “Great I AM” of his own world. How is that ONE GOD?

    Mormons and Christians seem to speak the same language, but it is NOT the same God.

  16. shematwater said,

    November 17, 2009 at 11:55 am

    TXSAHM

    While a lot of what you say is good, I really think it was out of place.

    However, I would like to say a few things.
    First, it is allowed for a woman to be sealed to a second husband (as shown in the Bishops Hnadbook). However, once we reach the Celestial Kingdom she will have to choose which of the two to remain with (if both are there). As to the children, if the second husband is not sealed to her than I would think they would be part of her sealing, and thus sealed to her first husband. I say this because of the Law of the Near Kinsman in the Old Testiment. If a man died having no children his brother married her and the first child was considered to be the heir of the dead brother. This is just opinion, but it makes sense.
    Concerning the Men on the Moon, Txsahm has the quote from Brigham Young right, it was his opinion. I think he was teaching that all things have a purpose, and in his opinion this meant supporting life. However, the good point was made that he did not specify what kind of life. Scientists can only actually detect about 10% of the matter that exists in the universe (known because we can detect the effects of the gravition of the other 90%) Among this 90% I believe are the spirits, the immortals, and the intelligence. thus, the life Brigham Young was refering too could have been spirits or immortals.
    Now, there is a quote from the Young Women’s magazine back in the Early 1900’s that claims Joseph Smith taught “men on the moon,” but it is not sufficiant to truly claim any real doctrine. It is more a romour and hearsay (and Joseph was a very sarcastic man) and thus is easily dismissed.

    Now, I will say that many of these great doctrinal points that Catz uses I have personally explained the error of, and shown the truth concerning them. I hate to insut people, but Catz doesn’t seem to want to accept that the things she believed concerning the LDS church are not all true.

    As to people being unhappy in the LDS faith, and happier once they leave: It is a well known doctrine of the church that all people will receive the reward they want. We were all spirits before this life, and we brought to this life the same basic personallity we had then. Many cannot live the life of the LDS, for it is a hard and trying existance. God wants us all too, but he will not force us to. Those who cannot live the life will receive of that which they can live. This is the reason for the different Kingdoms and degrees within heaven. The saving grace of Christ rests on all men except those who blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and each will receive of the Kingdom that he was willing to abide in this life. To put them in a higher kingdom would be greater torture and suffering than to cast them out.
    While I am sorry for people who fall away, but as long as they remain decent and enter into the Terrestial Kingdom I am happy that they received that, for that is what they strove for. They have received what they wanted.

  17. catzgalore said,

    November 17, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Shem…you said…
    First, it is allowed for a woman to be sealed to a second husband (as shown in the Bishops Hnadbook). However, once we reach the Celestial Kingdom she will have to choose which of the two to remain with (if both are there). As to the children, if the second husband is not sealed to her than I would think they would be part of her sealing, and thus sealed to her first husband.

    how AWFUL. No matter what, either the first husband or the second husband won’t make it to the Celestial Kingdom. How heartbreaking! How could a woman possibly make that choice?? Either the first will be banned (if he didn’t have a second wife) or the second (if he didn’t have a second wife). So I guess that’s what the early prophets were saying–maybe men ought to get married twice just in case he might die so he has a backup to get to the Celestial Kingdom? By deciding to marry again (sealed) a woman puts herself in the place of having to decide which husband gets to be with her for eternity. How will that be “heaven” to her, knowing that she condemns the other husband to a lower level (because he has no wife)?

    I certainly don’t claim to know what Heaven will be like. I have a lot to learn. What I do know is that the emphasis won’t be on US; it is upon GOD!

  18. shematwater said,

    November 18, 2009 at 10:29 am

    CATZ

    It really seems that you try to make the worst possible situation out of everything the LDS believe. You really seem to work hard to see only the possible hardship, and try your hardest to avoid anything good that might be possible.

    First, if neither of the Husbands have a second wife than they have the opportunity in the Milenium. If you choose to be the second husband sealed to a woman you have the knowledge and understanding of the situation and thus you are not being tricked or conned or minipulated. Those who do enter these relations do so willingly, knowing that the choice may come. However, they also know that our Father will not be unjust. If she chooses one husband and the other has no other wife this is not going to bar the second from the Celestial Kingdom. He will simply be given a new wife.
    (David had several hundred wives, and he is not going to be in the Celestial Kingdom, so all his wives will be given to other men – See D&C 132)

    You always reply with the absolute worst you can think of, without seeming to even think about what is being said. These doctirnes are very complex, very deep. I understand them because I have been taught and have studied them for over 25 years. If you are not going to think about them you will never understand them.

    txsahm said something very beautiful, which you seem to be missing. No one really understands how things are going to work. However, we have enough Faith in our Father to do what he has commanded and trust that all will be well in the end. That is all that we really need to be exalted.

  19. catzgalore said,

    November 18, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Your last thought was wonderful. No one really understands how things are going to work. We have no complete picture of what Heaven will be like for us. For ME, I am looking forward to being with my Lord! I will be satisfied with whatever He gives or asks of me, being in His presence. Yes, we have faith in our Father, and we do what He has commanded to the best of our ability, and trust Him. However, the difference is what we trust. I trust that Jesus’ death paid the complete price for my sins. You trust that you will have done enough. I know I could never do enough!! I will do all I can do, because I love the Lord. You will do all you can do, because you are hoping it is enough.

  20. txsahm said,

    November 18, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    CATZ,
    I don’t want to sound like I am attacking you. But I think I see why things are tense between you and your family. Do you REALLY want to understand what Mormons believe, or do you want to argue about how everything we believe is wrong? It doesn’t seem like you have genuine questions, but rather many times it seems like you are on the attack. I think that is part of what SHEM is saying above.

    You questioned my statement above about having one God.

    I have one God. He is my Heavenly Father, the father of my spirit. He is the same God that you believe in. He is the father of everyone on earth’s spirit.

    However, our universe has no beginning and no end. Most of us cannot even begin to comprehend this. I believe that there are other worlds out there. Those other worlds have their own Creator and their own God.

    For the rest of eternity, I will have only one God. Even should I become a god in the future. I will still have my God, my creator. And no matter how many worlds there are and how many gods there are, it doesn’t change the fact that only one of them is my God. Only one of them is my Heavenly Father.

    I believe that Jesus is my brother (that is, his spirit is the brother of my spirit). God (my Heavenly Father) is not only his Heavenly Father, but his actual father. I believe that Jesus is my Savior and Redeemer. Had he not atoned for my sins, I would never be able to return to the presence of my Heavenly Father.

    Does that make a little more sense as to what we believe? I really don’t think I could explain it any clearer.

  21. osbornekristen said,

    November 19, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Shem,

    You have mentioned on several occasions that you cannot find any conflicts in teachings between LDS doctrine and the Bible.

    You do realize that Ezekiel and Jeremiah both prophesied about King David ruling over Israel during the millennium (Christ’s 1000 year reign on earth)??

    In Ezekiel 37:24-28 we read:
    24And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 25And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. 26Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

    When Ezekiel wrote these verses, David had been dead for 400 years, so Ezekiel was obviously speaking of the future.

    Note that David will rule over the DESCENDANTS of “Jacob” (Jeremiah 30:7-9).

    If David isn’t worthy enough to make it to the Celestial Kingdom, then why is he worthy enough to reign under Christ upon His return to earth??

    The Bible clearly teaches that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the only sin that separates us from Christ Jesus. Blasphemy means having been shown the truth about Christ and his saving gift of grace by the HS and rejecting it completely. If murder boots you out of the Celestial King then Moses wouldn’t make it there either…..neither would Paul. Are they in a lower Kingdom too???

    David was a man after God’s own heart. He sinned just like you and me. It is true that some of his sins had greater consequences here on earth……..but he NEVER rejected God or doubted his majesty or power. He LOVED the Lord with all of his heart. To assume that you are “better” or more righteous than David is prideful and self-righteous. We all fall short……..some of our shortcomings are great and known by others and some are small and done in secret……..but they all make us imperfect just the same.

    Even one of David’s earthly consequences due to sin, the death of his infant son, tells that David’s eternal security is not impacted by his sin of murder/adultery.

    “ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” Samuel 12:23

    If you believe this verse to be true, then is it fair to assume that LDS don’t believe infants go to the Celestial Kingdom?? Because obviously, if you think David won’t make it in…….then how could he be with his son??

    Seriously, to think that King David will not be in the highest level of Heaven but Joseph Smith will…………is just laughable. Let’s see……..didn’t Smith commit adultery by illegally marrying married women? Didn’t Joseph shoot and killed two men?? It seems that his teachings of what knocks one out of the Celestial Kingdom ended up condemning him as well.

  22. catzgalore said,

    November 19, 2009 at 10:30 am

    txsahm, you HAVE one god. ” Those other worlds have their own Creator and their own God.”

    I believe there IS one God. Lots of scriptures show us this, but I will quote one: Isaiah 45:5 “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.”

    You did say it more clearly LDS this time than before. You said it differently. Your answer in post 15 seems deceptive.

    “We believe that there is one God. He is omnipotent. He had one begotten son. His name is Jesus Christ and He atoned for all of our sins.”

    What I would mean by that statement is this:

    We believe that there is one God (Creator and Ruler over ALL THINGS SEEN AND UNSEEN) He is omnipotent (He has supreme power over everything everwhere. He holds the universe together!) He has One begotten Son (God expressing Himself in bodily form). His name is Jesus Christ and He atoned (paid the sacrifice for) all (ALL!!!!!) our sins.

    But you mean something different.

    We believe that there is One God (for this earth). He is omnipotent (over matters on this earth). He had one begotten son (who is also a god). His name is Jesus Christ and He atoned for our sins (made it POSSIBLE for us to be forgiven of our sins).

    Believing that there is only ONE GOD OF ALL and believing you Worship only ONE GOD OF MANY that exist is not the same thing. Your first statement implies that you believe there is only One God. That is not the truth, is it? If you truly believe that there is only ONE GOD then you can’t be LDS!

    I know that LDS are well meaning, serious, committed people. I like most LDS people I know, just as I like most OTHER people I know. One of my closest friends in the last place I lived is LDS. She told me that it was too bad I was such a strong Christian, I would make a good LDS, LOL. Just for the record, any tension in our family is not primarily caused by differences in our faith. That isn’t the main issue. That isn’t a subject for the blog. But we would have tension no matter what their faith was.

    I’ve heard statements from other LDS that are similar to what you said in post 15. They start out with basic statements that sound “Christian” but there is way more to the story. I know you personally are not trying to be deceptive to say what you did. But you KNOW that isn’t the whole truth of what you believe! You KNOW that to a traditional Christian it SOUNDS like “Christian”. But the founder of your church said that Christianity was APOSTATE. Why then does the LDS church now wish to be identified as “Christian”?

    You may think that LDS and Christian are similar, that Christians just don’t know the WHOLE truth…but they are far apart. The first point of my faith is that there is ONE GOD the Creator and Ruler of ALL THINGS… LDS believe there are MANY gods and that we can become gods and goddesses and create and populate other worlds! I really don’t have to look any further to call Joseph Smith’s system false.

  23. shematwater said,

    November 19, 2009 at 11:04 am

    OSBORNE

    You really need to learn more before you start attacking the LDS faith, and before you start interpreting scripture.

    Ezekiel’s prophecy spoke of the Royal Line of David, not David himself. It speaks to there being one King and one Shephard. If this menat David than you are demoting Christ, for Christ is the King of Kings. However, with it refering to David’s royal line we see that it is prophecying that Christ (who was of that line) is the focus of this prophecy.

    Now, concerning the Blasphamy of the Holy Spirit, Christ never said it was the only sin that denied you his presence, just that it was the only sin that could not be forgiven. You comment shows that you are thinking about what I have said from an Evangelical perspective, the idea of Heaven and Hell and no differing levels. However, there are verying levels in Heaven. So, while those who deny the Holy Spirit are the only ones cast out completely, there are still those who will not enter into the presence of the Father, and those who will not even see the presence of the Son.

    As to Moses and Paul, neither one ever committed murder, and would love to see you try and prove they did. Moses killed a man yes, but in defense of an Israelite, and thus it was not murder as murder is the shedding of innocent blood. Paul killed many people, but did so under the authority of the Government and with full belief it was the right thing to do under the Law of Moses. Thus, to his mind these people were not innocent and so no murder was committed.

    David, on the other hand, sent an innocent man to his death in order to take his wife. This is murder, and he is condemned for it. While he will be in Heaven, he will be only in the lower levels.

    Now, the verse from Samuel has me a little confused. You seem to be saying that this teaches he will be with his son again, and please tell me if I am wrong. However, it seems to me that David is teaching his own fall, for he says that the Child will not return to him, thus admitting that he has lost all hope of being with him in Heaven.

    As to your last statement, you really make yourself foolish. There is no real evidence that Joseph Smith ever married a woman who was already married. As to the men Joseph killed, the only I know of was in self defense, and thus are not considered murder (the whole innocent thing).

    So, having shown you the real meaning of all the references you give, explaining how they are perfectly in line with what the LDS teaches, I stay by my statement that almost all LDS doctrine can be supported by the Bible.

  24. shematwater said,

    November 19, 2009 at 11:17 am

    CATZ

    You still hold to this false idea about the LDS doctrine. You said:
    “I trust that Jesus’ death paid the complete price for my sins. You trust that you will have done enough. I know I could never do enough!! I will do all I can do, because I love the Lord. You will do all you can do, because you are hoping it is enough.”

    If you really think this is the LDS doctrine you have not been listening to me. I do all I can because I love my Father and I love Christ. I will agree that I can never do enough. King Benjamin said it best
    Mosiah 2: 21, 23-24 “I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants… And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?”
    I do not do all I can hoping it will be enough. I do all I can knowing that it will be enough, for I can never do enough. I have nothing to boast of in myself, except possibly my willingness to obey, but even that is very little compared to all my Father grants me. This is the doctrine of the LDS church: that God will never require more than you are able to give, but he will never require less.

  25. catzgalore said,

    November 19, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    txsahm’s statement:

    “We believe that there is one God. He is omnipotent. He had one begotten son. His name is Jesus Christ and He atoned for all of our sins.”

    What I would mean by that statement is this:

    We believe that there is one God (Creator and Ruler over ALL THINGS SEEN AND UNSEEN) He is omnipotent (He has supreme power over everything everywhere. He holds the universe together!) He has One begotten Son (God expressing Himself in bodily form). His name is Jesus Christ and He atoned (paid the sacrifice for) all (ALL!!!!!) our sins.

    But you mean something different.

    We believe that there is One God (for this earth). He is omnipotent (over matters on this earth). He had one begotten son (who is also a god). His name is Jesus Christ and He atoned for our sins (made it POSSIBLE for us to be forgiven of our sins).

    Wouldn’t you say that this is a good comparison of the difference between the Christian and the Mormon interpretation of txsahm’s statement? Wouldn’t you say that I have a grasp on this little piece of the picture of LDS doctrine?

    And your statement, Shem…
    “This is the doctrine of the LDS church: that God will never require more than you are able to give, but he will never require less.”

    How do you know if you are really doing enough? Aren’t there times that you know you could/should have done better? Someone you should have treated differently, or stopped to give someone a ride, or given more to the poor, or prayed more, or studied more? Are you sure you do enough? How do you know that you have done enough?

    And I don’t get your statement… “I do all I can knowing that it will be enough, for I can never do enough”. But you have also said that God won’t give you an assignment you can’t accomplish– he won’t require more than you are able to give. So isn’t whatever you accomplish enough? So why do you say you can never do enough, if God will never require more than you are able to give?

  26. christiangirl19 said,

    November 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Hi everyone,
    I haven’t posted in a long time, but I’ve certainly been reading the blog entries and the comments.
    I have a quick question for you, Shem, regarding your stance on murder (or more specifically, what qualifies as it). I am quoting your paragraph from post 23 here:

    “As to Moses and Paul, neither one ever committed murder, and would love to see you try and prove they did. Moses killed a man yes, but in defense of an Israelite, and thus it was not murder as murder is the shedding of innocent blood. Paul killed many people, but did so under the authority of the Government and with full belief it was the right thing to do under the Law of Moses. Thus, to his mind these people were not innocent and so no murder was committed.”

    I can understand why self-defence would not be considered murder. I fail to see how Paul believing that what he was doing was right makes it okay. I see major errors in your argument.

    Hitler was responsible for the killing of 6 million Jews (plus a few million others). He was the leader of the government, thought Jews were responsible for all of the problems, and so he thought their deaths were right. I would venture so far as to say all of us agree that these were innocent lives. What about all the more recent fighting in Africa, specifically all of the genocide in Darfur? Those leaders think what they’re doing is right. Obviously those are both large-scale, so what about something smaller- a man who shoots and kills his wife and his wife’s lover? He thought they should be punished for their infidelity and he didn’t think they were innocent. Did they deserve to die because of their infidelity?

    I don’t think any of those 3 would be excused- so why is Paul?? I see them as being the same thing.

  27. catzgalore said,

    November 20, 2009 at 10:25 am

    It comes from a faulty understanding of what “unforgiveable sin” is.

    I like what Dr. Henry Morris said about unforgiveable sin…

    “The unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture. It is unequivocally clear that the one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (John 3:18; 3:36). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible. ‘My spirit shall not always strive with man,’ God said long ago (Genesis 6:3).
    …In the context of Matthew 12:22-32, Jesus had performed a great miracle of creation, involving both healing and casting out a demon, but the Pharisees rejected this clear witness of the Holy Spirit. Instead they attributed His powers to Satan, thus demonstrating an attitude permanently resistant to the Spirit, and to the deity and saving Gospel of Christ”

    Only God knows when future repentance is not possible. We cannot be the judge of that.

  28. shematwater said,

    November 20, 2009 at 11:01 am

    CATZ

    Your basic comparison in this last post is close enough that I don’t really care to correct it, however it says very little concerning the actual doctrine of faith and works, which is what I was addressing, and what your previous comment was about.
    As to God only requiring what we are capable of giving, think of the wonderful story that Christ told to Simon in Luke 7.
    “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both.”
    Here we see how it really is. We must do all that we can. We cannot pay the debt we owe to God, but God has promised that if we do all we can than he will forgive the rest. This is what I meant. We cannot do enough to pay the debt, but if we do all we can God will forgive the rest. If we do not do all we can God will not forgive the rest.
    As to not doing everything I should be doing, the idea is rediculous, and shows what I said before, that you try your best to find the worst in everything I say. The answer is so simple and obvious that I almost don’t want to say it, but I will anyways. This is where repentances comes in. Of course I have not done everything I should, and likely not even everything I can, but as long as I am trying, and as long as I am willing to admit these mistakes and repent of them, than I have done enough.

    ChristianGirl

    The answer is very simple: Hitler Killed people without real cause. He had no proof of the things he claimed, nor could he have. His excuse was the Jews were responsible, but his was an idea of ethnic cleansing, just as with Africa today. It is not the killing of people for crimes they have committed, but for being of a race. This is never justified, and is therefore murder. It is killing innocent people (many times children who are incapable of actually doing wrong) because you don’t like their heritage.
    As to the man killing his wife and her lover, this is justified under the pure Law of God (or at least not murder). Under the Law of Moses those guilty of adultery were stoned, as commanded by God. However, in a nation where the pure Law of God is not in force (such as the United States) it would be murder for the act would be contrary to the Laws governing such.
    The thing I think you missed is that is was not simply that Paul believed this, but that it was part of the Law. Blasphemes were to be executed. Christians, according to the Law, were blasphemers, and thus by the law of the land were to be executed. While the law was no longer accurate, it was still the political law of the day. Thus, by the law Paul was justified, and thus, while his actions were not truly justified, the circumstances makes the actions of a lesser degree, thus they are not murder.

  29. catzgalore said,

    November 20, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    well if you want to read a good blog posting about faith and works, then read it here:

    http://markcares.wordpress.com/

  30. shematwater said,

    November 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    CATZ

    I have read this blog, and even made a comment on it, before you mentioned it. It is a very good post, and since it gives only Evangelical doctrine I felt no need to correct it.

  31. catzgalore said,

    November 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Shem,

    You puzzle me. You seemed like someone who really wanted to know the differences between LDS and Christian doctrine. You say you have been studying LDS doctrine for 25 years. Yet, you say you are not temple married, and you have never received your endowment. Why do you ask if you already know? And why are you on the fringes of the church if you believe it so strongly?
    I have asked kind of personal questions before (such as why “shemawater” ) and not received an answer so I apologize if it is too personal. I will understand if you do not choose to answer.

  32. shematwater said,

    November 25, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Catz

    I really don’t remember any question that I did not answer.

    First, if you were asking why I use shematwater as my name here, the answer is simple. That is my name. More fully, my name is Shem Elijah Atwater. Translated into English it means “Name Jehovah my God at the water.” I do not believe in being anonomous. The thing I say I have no fear in saying or in anyone hearing.

    As to being on the fringe, who ever said I was. No, I have not been sealed in the Temple, nor have I received my endowments, but that does not mean I am on the fringe. It means that I have done things that have prevented me from participating in those blessings, things that I should not have. I have been active all my life, and will remain active all my life. I attend every meeting I can, including the social gatherings. I participate in every way I can. I am far from the fringe.

    Now, I would like to ask what I ever asked already knowing. the questions I ask here I know what others have told me, yes. But I have been around enough to know that there are enough differences between the varying sects of Christianity that knowing what one person says does not mean you can claim to know what “Christains” believe. Thus, so that I can more fully understand what you believe, and thus be more able to discuss with oyu, I ask for you to clarify things to your own person belief.

    As to knowing the difference between LDS and Christian, this is really an annoying way to put things, as LDS are Christian. It is the difference between the LDS and Evangellicals I like to understand, as well as the Catholics, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and all the other sects that make up Christianity.
    However, I do not want to be preached at, and I try to avoid preaching when I post.
    Also, I don’t remember asking about Evangelical doctrine in this thread. In general I don’t ask questions. Not that I haven’t, but I do try to avoid it.

  33. catzgalore said,

    November 25, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    thank you Shem! 🙂


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