Are You Worthy?

I volunteer with Truth in Love Ministry, a Christian group that reaches out to the Latter-day Saints. Through a media campaign, billboards ask the question “Feeling Worthy?” and point readers to our new website: HisHealingNow.com. Here we share with you the peace and joy we have found through our Savior. We want you to know that feeling unworthy is actually a blessing. The answer to your feelings of unworthiness is the sweet message of a Savior who loves you and came to save you—because you are unworthy! “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” (Matthew 18:11)

The reason we are focusing on LDS who feel unworthy is because your church leaders have told you the wrong way to be worthy. They claim that a person can be worthy through obedience and have created a set of standards for each member to follow. But no one can be found worthy through obedience. Jesus testified the truth of every human’s worthiness when He claimed “none is good, save one, that is, God.” (Luke 18:19). The prophet Isaiah declared “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

LDS leaders claim that God gave us His laws as the way to prove ourselves worthy. But this is not true. God gave us His commands for exactly the opposite reason—to prove to us just how unworthy we are! His laws were given so “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3) God intended for us to use the demands of His law as a mirror. When we look at ourselves in it, we realize just how sinful we are. The main reason God gave His law was to convict us of our unworthiness. The apostle Paul explains no one can be worthy by following any law of God: “for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” (Galatians 3) Instead, “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” God’s law brings us to place our trust in Christ when we realize that without a Savior, we are doomed to hell. This is the blessing of recognizing our unworthiness. We come to rely on what Christ did for us—led a perfect life and atoned for our sins.

So what can be so bad about Mormons trying to be worthy through obedience? The problem isn’t that you are trying to be worthy; it’s that you are using the wrong standard to judge yourself by. The LDS standard for worthiness was created by men and not by God. LDS prophets have lowered God’s standard and use a standard that isn’t high enough. All question as to what standard man should be held to were thrown aside when Jesus commanded: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mt 5:48) By lowering God’s standard they create the illusion of worthiness through ones own efforts.

LDS leaders use their own system of grading sins. When determining worthiness some sins are overlooked and others are judged as making a person unworthy. Simply reading the Sermon on the Mount verifies that this practice of grading sins didn’t come from God. Jesus testified that in God’s sight, murderers are as sinful as those who loose their temper; and looking at a woman in lust is committing the very same sin as adultery (Matthew 5-7) In God’s eyes, each and every sin is rebellion against Him and receives the same eternal consequence—Hell.

Instead of looking at Heavenly Father’s perfection to determine if you are worthy, Mormons judge whether you are worthy by looking at each other. Lowering God’s standard by grading sins only gives members a false impression that they are worthy. This actually leads you away from your Savior! Instead of reaching out for a Savior who did everything for you, you place your trust in a Savior who merely gives you the opportunity to be judged by your works. Doing so means that your eternal life hangs in the balance of whether you are worthy enough! Can you now see how deadly this doctrine of worthiness is?

There is only one way to be found worthy in God’s sight and it has nothing to do with your obedience to God’s law. Paul testified: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21) Worthiness comes through faith that Jesus came to earth to be worthy for you—in your place! He is your substitute for the perfection required by God. Through the offering of Christ’s body you have been perfected forever! (Hebrews 10:10-14). Abraham was credited with righteous through faith: “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)

And please, don’t fall for the cheap trick of those who ask “Then why would you ever try to do what is right?” Everyone who trusts that Jesus has gained their worthiness for them are so grateful that for the rest of their lives they strive to please God. Not because they have to—but because their love for their Savior compels them.

Your Savior came to cover you with His righteousness. Believe it and you will rejoice with the prophet Isaiah:

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

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10 Comments

  1. December 13, 2009 at 1:37 am

    How do you come to these conclusions? Truly you do not study these things out on your own. Based on previous conversations with you, you are unsure of what exactly you believe. Why? Because, you keep stating one thing, then when you are exposed as to what you are really teaching, you turn around and say “I don’t believe that” and then turn right around and state the very thing you don’t believe.

    Sorry, but you call Christ a liar when he said to the disciples that they were to go into all the world and preach repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, and teach all men to follow the commandments (see the great commission in Matthew). Unless you believe that the Great Commission is an error.

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 15, 2009 at 1:25 am

    Timothy, you wrote:

    Based on previous conversations with you, you are unsure of what exactly you believe. Why? Because, you keep stating one thing, then when you are exposed as to what you are really teaching, you turn around and say “I don’t believe that” and then turn right around and state the very thing you don’t believe.

    Could you please give an example of where I have stated a belief and then changed my mind?

  3. catzgalore said,

    December 15, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Attack alert!

  4. December 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    LDSWoman – Here it is in your own words:

    Sermons are one thing many Mormons aren’t familiar with. Sacrament Meetings entail a few people who have been asked to give talks for that Sunday. These talks are nothing like a Sermon given by a Pastor. During my fifteen years as a Christian, thankfully I have heard many wonderful Sermons from many different Pastors. Each Pastor tends to have his own style of preaching, but I have discovered that his message testifies of a few simple truths:

    1) Every human is evil and can never come even close to meeting God’s demands
    2) Heavenly Father gives the gift of eternal life to those who believe that Jesus met God’s demands for them.

    I then challenged this by these questions:

    1) Every human is evil and can never come even close to meeting God’s demands.

    This is the doctrine of total depravity. Are Newborns evil? According to this doctrine, yes. And, it is this doctrine that supports the reason for Infant baptism because we are born evil. Also, this doctrine has correlation in early Gnostic Tradition as well. Why? Because the belief is that the flesh is corrupt and depraved and until a person reaches a sense of “Gnosis” they can’t overcome the flesh. Interesting how Gnosticism interrelates to some Christian teachings.

    2) Heavenly Father gives the gift of eternal life to those who believe that Jesus met God’s demands for them.

    Okay, which doctrine is true? Predestination? According to the teachings of Reformed Theology, it is because human depravity is attested to in scripture that it is only those who are deemed to be the elect of God that receive salvation and justification. In fact, the whole reformed theology states that Christ’s atoning sacrifice is efficient to save all, it only is limited to those whom God himself calls into fellowship with him. If you disagree with this, then how can you support the doctrine of depravity? Why? because according to the doctrine of Depravity, human will can not even choose to turn to Christ, it all solely relies upon God himself to prick the heart of the unregenerate man and save him before his confession. If you do believe this, then why does God allow some to die without coming to know him, while he moves upon others? It comes back to the doctrine of Predestination. A doctrine that I am presuming you do not support here at all because you said that God grants the gift of eternal life to those who believe.

    Does one come to believe on their own volition? Or, does it take God to choose them out of their depraved state and already save them before they even confess their belief and ask for forgiveness of sin?

    To which you responded:

    LDSWoman:

    I could care less about “Reformed Theology” or “Gnostic Tradition” or even the term “total depravity”. When I first became a Christian, I discovered that there were many different beliefs among many different people among many different religions. Listening to all these people claim that what they believed was truth, I got pretty confused. Then, I noticed several different times where Jesus testified about a very important truth and I decided to follow His example.

    Whenever there was a question as to what was true, Jesus pointed to scripture as the place to find the answer. Many times the Sadducees and the Pharisees argued about which doctrines were true. We even see the Samaritans holding different beliefs than the Jews. Jesus never once tried to support true teaching by turning to the learned theologians, traditions, human reasoning, logic, feelings or even emotions!!! Instead, He turned to scripture to explain what truth was. Jesus even proclaimed that when you read scripture, God literally speaks to you!!! (Matthew 22:29-32)

    Once I realized this, I chose to follow Jesus’ example!! I threw out all the arguments amongst different denominations or Churches. I could care less about any of them. I believe what God’s Word tells me, even if my puny little brain can’t understand what I am reading! I use scripture to interpret scripture—meaning if one passage doesn’t make sense, I turn to other passages regarding the same topic to help clarify what I don’t understand.

    The reason I believe that all humans are evil is because that is what God tells me in His Word. If you choose to believe some man-made doctrine, then I proclaim to you the words of Jesus: “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”

    So, you adhere to the doctrine of Total depravity ( ALL MEN ARE EVIL

    Then turn right around and state that you do not care for this doctrine that it is of many false teachings, but then that the Bible teaches ALL MEN ARE EVIL – which is total depravity.

    So, Do you or do you not believe that men are totally depraved? If humanity is unworthy then why is this? Because you believe in Total Depravity and that all men can’t do any good at all. Which comes right back to the very next question: If all men are depraved and that choosing to follow Christ is a willful and volition of free choosing upon depraved humanity, then who truly does the saving – God or man’s own volition to choose God? A question you have consistently skirted around and yet keep writing these posts to proclaim as scripture.

    And by the way, Yes, I do know the scriptures, and am grateful to have a knowledge of what the scriptures do teach and have the ability to discern and understand proper biblical hermanuetics and am able to determine exegetical fallacies (which you are perpetrating in these posts).

  5. December 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    catzgalore –

    Thank you for admitting that you attack Mormonism out of your own sheer fear and ignorance, now can you please address the specific questions I have asked of you.

  6. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 17, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Timothy,

    You copied this from what I wrote: “The reason I believe that all humans are evil is because that is what God tells me in His Word. If you choose to believe some man-made doctrine, then I proclaim to you the words of Jesus: “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

    You then wrote: “So, you adhere to the doctrine of Total depravity ( ALL MEN ARE EVIL) Then turn right around and state that you do not care for this doctrine that it is of many false teachings, but then that the Bible teaches ALL MEN ARE EVIL – which is total depravity.

    I am unfamiliar with the term “total depravity“. Your use of terminology that I am unfamiliar with does not make me a liar. In fact, the word “depravity” does not even appear once in the Bible. So how would I know what it means and why would I study it if it is not in the Bible?

    However, as I have clearly stated, the Bible states many times that all men are evil. I have given numerous Bible references to support this truth that our Savior Jesus has spoken, and yet you have chosen not to discuss one of them. I do not participate in apologetic arguments, as you apparently do. As I have stated numerous times, I study God’s Word and that is where I place my trust.

    If you are interested in discussing words that I am using (in this situation the word was “evil“) and are found in scripture, you are welcome to comment on my blog. However, if all you are interested in doing is arguing for the sake of arguing, then I suggest you go somewhere else.

  7. December 17, 2009 at 3:45 am

    The problem is that Total Depravity is the idea based on ALL MEN ARE EVIL. The argument is not based on whether or not the “WORD” Depravity appears in the Bible as an argument as to why you don’t believe in it. Surely you believe and accept the Doctrine of the Trinity, but the word TRINITY is no where in the bible. So, if, by your own reasoning that the word Depravity is not in the bible is therefore a false teaching, so then would you conclude that because the word Trinity is not found in the Bible anywhere that it too is a false doctrine? You would say no.

    The fact is, I am here to point out how contradictory you are in your own words. And, how you misrepresent the true teachings of Mormonism by picking and choosing particular biblical passages and then basing your own interpretation on them.

    Until you can honestly answer my initial questions, which you have not, I will continue to post my comments challenging your false allegations, and exposing what you are saying to be illogical, irrationaly, and fallacious.

    I do have that right to defend myself and what the scriptures truly say.

    The fact is, you stated that I do not know the scriptures. I do know the scriptures very well, I have studied them (both inside and outside of the LDS Faith), and am very well verse in how anti-mormons love to distort biblical passages to suit their needs. The very same way that your posts are distorting the truth.

  8. catzgalore said,

    December 17, 2009 at 11:40 am

    You have done a great job, Tim, of studying all the “doctrines” that men have invented to try to define God. Sometimes yes, it seems that scripture is contradictory. However, we trust that God knows what He’s talking about even if we don’t understand… I can only talk about myself… I have background in quite a few churches, including pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist, and Reformed. I have Catholics and Lutherans and Congregationalists and Federated and Unity believers in my family. My father’s family was Quaker. What I see is that each group picks what they want and takes it to the extreme. I don’t want to be identified with any of them, to be put in a box… not that I say any of them are “wrong” or “right” because I don’t think ANYBODY has it all “right” but that isn’t the point. There is much that we can’t understand. That’s okay with me. I, along with Becki, want to study SCRIPTURE and not what MEN have said about the scripture. I study sometimes what people thought/think but I do not base my faith on what they say; “my faith is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness” as the old hymn says. I don’t have to have each belief categorized and labeled– I have to put my trust in God.

    Do you think that Becki or I or anyone has all the right answers? Of course you do, the Mormon church!! At one time, I seriously considered the church as true. But when I read what your leaders say and have said in the past what I see is lots of inconsistencies and turn arounds. People who have left your church are condemned and discredited. I’ve talked to missionaries, listened incredulously as these 19 year old’s claimed special priesthood and special knowledge of “the truth”. I’ve talked with people who are assigned penance (although it isn’t called that) for their sins here on earth before they are called “worthy” enough to attend temple ceremonies. I’ve read some of the old teachings that the church is now trying to distance themselves from. They have taken what used to be called revelation and call it “interesting reading” now. I see that teachings have changed and then we are told that they haven’t. I see that women are inferior to men (although you would disagree with me; but they are TREATED as inferior) Most importantly, I see that the church believes that God our Creator is not the only God. I see that Jesus did not die to pay for our sins but suffered in the garden so that we can have the opportunity to EARN our way to Heaven.

    I want to serve the Lord and will continue to do so. I will not depend on a man-made church to show me the way. Not that I don’t attend church…. but it isn’t my church affiliation that matters. It isn’t even my BELIEFS that matter! It is GOD that matters. You can label that whatever you want and put me in whatever box you want.

    And when I figure out where you directly asked me a question, I will answer you, or explain why I didn’t answer.

  9. catzgalore said,

    December 17, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Tim said..

    Thank you for admitting that you attack Mormonism out of your own sheer fear and ignorance

    huh????

  10. catzgalore said,

    December 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Oh. I went to your blog, Tim. Here is one of your rules….

    Do not flame, Spam, or create verbal assaults. Simply put, disagree respectfully and with dignity. Those who engage in flaming, spamming, or verbal assaults are nothing more than three year olds who throw temper tantrums. Cyberbullying will not be tolerated here. Best way to get ignored is to flame, spam, or create a hostile conversation. This includes derailing comments, attacking the character of the owners of this blog (me right now) and those who post comments to this blog.


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