Do Christians Ignore Passages About Our Need For Works?

An LDS member recently commented “I think it is always interesting that people focus so much on the quotes concerning faith, but then ignore those that testify to the need for works.

After thinking about this comment and looking at the Bible passages referenced, I realized that Mormons are much more likely than Christians to ignore passages testifying of our need for works. This happens because LDS prophets have lowered God’s standards and removed the eternal consequences for failing to meet His standards. As I have written many times, Jesus commands us to be as perfect as Heavenly Father (Mt 5:48). Search the entire Bible and nowhere will you find a passage that lessens this standard of works set for us by God’s own Son.

Current Mormon teaching ignores God as the standard for works and claims that as long as you are giving your best effort, you can be found worthy on Judgment Day. This week’s Gospel Principles Lesson claims: “Obey all His commandments as best we can (see John 14:21-23). As we do these things, we will come to know God and eventually have eternal life.” Read the passages listed and you will discover the LDS teaching “as best we can” has been added to what Jesus really said about obedience.

Many passages which testify to the seriousness of each and every sin are virtually ignored in Mormonism. We see one example from the second chapter of James: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” A second example is the Apostle Paul in Galatians 3. When quoting the Old Testament he writes of God’s consequence for less than perfect works: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Galatians 3:10) Other quotes ignored in Mormonism are ones showing horrendous consequences for the “cursed” whose works are lacking (Matthew 25). In particular, LDS prophets ignore the words of Christ which equate ‘minor‘ sins (like lust and anger) with ‘major‘ sins (Matthew 5-7).

The consequence for not meeting God’s standard for perfect works can be seen in every Judgment Day scenario found in the Bible. These quotes testify that our works will be judged and we will not be graded on a curve. Each and every sin carries the same eternal consequence—living forever in the same domain as Satan. Unbelievers, idolaters and all liars will be sent to the very same place as murderers and whoremongers (Revelation 21:8). Mormons aren’t too worried about spending eternity with Satan because LDS prophets ignore these passages. They teach that the worst place you could go to is a kingdom more glorious than earth. They claim that only a handful of people will spend eternity in outer darkness.

There is nothing more dangerous than not taking God seriously. The writer of Hebrews testified “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” There is grave danger in ignoring the passages that testify of your need for perfect works. God sets the standard so high to ‘scare the Hell’ out of us! That is, turn us to give up on self and rely on Christ. Yet, millions of people will spend eternity in Hell with Satan because they believed the words of LDS prophets, which ignore God’s Words. Your leaders tell you that it is possible to do all that is required of you. If you continue to believe in this, then you will keep on trying. But in doing so, you won’t despair and give up on yourself. You won’t recognize that you are hopelessly lost. You won’t see your need for the Savior who came to meet God’s demands for perfection—in your place. Instead, you will continue to turn to a false Christ—one whose “conditional” Atonement requires that you erase your sins with your own works. Trusting in this Christ means you reject the Savior whose blood covered all your sins.

I was tormented for many years because I knew how unworthy I was. There are many thousands of Mormons who know they are unworthy. But the true Savior is hidden from them as they keep trying to do what has already been done for them—by that very Savior. The gospel is the good news that Christ came to be our substitute. LDS prophets do not preach the true Gospel message. They twist the gospel passages that claim it is only through faith we can be declared righteous—just like Abraham was (Romans 4:20-24). They ignore the passage that testifies “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:10-14). As our substitute, not only did Christ take the punishment that we deserved for our sins, He also obeyed perfectly every command that God required of us. Through faith in Him we are credited with His righteousness.

Every person with faith in Christ has had every single sin washed away with His blood. They have no sins left to be judged! These believers don’t do works to gain forgiveness of their sins—they trust in the Savior whose blood has already done that. This trust, tied with the knowledge of the magnitude of the suffering Jesus endured, literally transforms these people. Now, they freely serve God out of love and gratitude for all that God has done for them. On Judgment Day, these works of love will be shown in sharp contrast to the works of unbelievers—works done to gain something for themselves. These works of love will be evidence of a living faith in the works of Christ, as contrasted with a dead faith of trusting that one’s own imperfect works are “good enough”.

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

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13 Comments

  1. shematwater said,

    January 9, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    People really need to learn more about the LDS church before they go around slandering the leaders.

    Not a single passage referenced is ignored by the leaders of the church, and anyone claiming such is either ignorant or lieing.
    I think it is most likely that they are ignorant. It really seems to me that people assume far to much about the church. The worst thing is the assumption that the church views the meaning of every verse in the Bible in same way as the rest of Christianity, which is a ridiculous assumption. While it is rarely intentional, it seems to be that people cannot even attempt to think like the LDS (even if they have been one in the past).

    First, as to James: This is used. This is the reason the atonement was necessary. One sin, no matter how minor, is enough to keep us from the Presence of God. This is why the Atonement of Christ was necessary. Without it no man could possibly return to our Father in Heaven. However, this does not mean that all sins are equal, only that all sins are a violation of the Law. This is not ignored by the LDS.
    All the other references in this section can easily be seen in the same way.

    Now, I would like to know how Rev. 21: 8 says all sins carry the same consequences. There is only a brief list of sins here, far from all possible sins.

    Now, as to only a handful of people spending eternity with Satan, let us look at another scriputre that I have never seen other Christians cite. Matthew 12: 21 “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”
    Notice that all sins SHALL be forgiven. It does not say they can be, but that they will be, that this is going to occur. The only exception is those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Thus, the lake of Fire in Revelation 21 cannot be where Satan is for these sins will be forgiven. Thus, only a few people (those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit) will actually be with Satan.

    Now, as to Romans 4, again it is not ignored, simply explained differently. It is by Faith that we are justified, but only by Faith. Never does it say in Romans that it is by Faith and only Faith. It simply says faith. It has the same basic message as the quote from James 2, but James expands on this in a little clearer language, testifying to the necessity of works as well as Faith. As to Hebrews, who are they that are sactified? I would say those who did the will of the Father. Thus his atonement was for all sins, yes, but only perfects those who have performed the necessary works.

    Having said all this, it seems that people really do not understand the LDS doctrine. It is not our works that make us good enough. OUr works, by themselves, could never be good enough. We need Christ, just as much as any other Christian sect declares this. The only difference is that we need help in doing what is required, while everyone else just wants a freeride.

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Shem,
    You have commented on several key aspects of my post. Each one is very important and so I will reply separately for some of the aspects.

    You wrote:
    It really seems to me that people assume far to much about the church. The worst thing is the assumption that the church views the meaning of every verse in the Bible in same way as the rest of Christianity, which is a ridiculous assumption.

    I certainly didn’t assume that LDS prophets view the verses mentioned in the same way as the rest of Christianity. In fact, that is the point to which I was trying to say. I know that I don’t have the best writing skills, so my inabilities at writing seem to have caused you to miss-read what I wrote. What I was trying to say is that LDS prophets ignore the clear truths that are found in these passages. Instead of reading a passage in context or using other Bible passages to clarify the meaning of something unclear, they use their own interpretation of Bible passages.

    The interpretations (doctrines) that they do come up with for these passages cannot be correct because they disagree with already existing scripture. As well, many of the Bible passages that they give as proof for the doctrine they are teaching, don’t even agree with the doctrine they state. It’s like they expect that no one will even read the passage. I gave this simple example from this week’s Gospel Principles Manual, page 7:

    Obey all His commandments as best we can (see John 14:21-23). As we do these things, we will come to know God and eventually have eternal life.” Read the passages listed and you will discover the LDS teaching “as best we can” has been added to what Jesus really said about obedience.”

    Now, regarding the passages I gave from James and Galatians, you wrote:

    First, as to James: This is used. This is the reason the atonement was necessary. One sin, no matter how minor, is enough to keep us from the Presence of God. This is why the Atonement of Christ was necessary. Without it no man could possibly return to our Father in Heaven. However, this does not mean that all sins are equal, only that all sins are a violation of the Law. This is not ignored by the LDS.

    Please read what James wrote again: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

    Although it is true that “One sin… is enough to keep us from the Presence of God,” this isn’t what James has written. He testified to the fact that committing even one sin makes you guilty of breaking all of God’s laws. The passage I gave in Galatians verifies that this is what James meant: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

    On Judgment Day, a person will be found guilty of breaking every single command, even if that person only broke one. Every person who does not continue to follow every command written in the Bible is cursed. This is what the passages claim. But, these passages disagree with LDS doctrine, and therefore, LDS leaders ignore their true meaning.

    When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, Satan twisted scripture to try and tempt Him. Jesus used other scriptures to interpret the ones that Satan miss-used. We are to follow Jesus’ example and use scripture to interpret scripture. If we use our own interpretation when reading scripture, we are likely to get into trouble.

  3. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 9, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Shem, you also wrote:

    Now, I would like to know how Rev. 21: 8 says all sins carry the same consequences. There is only a brief list of sins here, far from all possible sins.

    Do you really want to know? I pray that you do, and that you don’t ignore the Bible passages I use to give my answer.

    Here is Rev. 21:8 again:
    But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

    Notice, all these sinners are all sent to the exact same place: “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death”.

    What is “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone”? What is “the second death?”

    Simply reading the chapter just before these passages (Chapter 20) gives us the answer. You could also go to the comment you left on January 7th, when you replied to the Post “Did God Really Give You a Plan of Salvation”. In this comment you referenced Revelation 20:12-13. Read these passages in context, all the way through to verse 15, gives you your answer. Doing so also proves that LDS doctrine is false!

    And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    Can we know whether this place is also where Satan will spend eternity? Yes! Simply by reading two verses before the above passages, (verse 10):

    20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    This is why it is so important to read passages in context and use scripture to interpret scripture. Doing so, we can know exactly what is meant in 21:8. We can know that “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars” will spend eternity in the very same place as Satan and his angels.

    The original reason I used the passage in Revelation 21:8 was because it proves that the LDS teaching regarding Judgment Day is false. LDS prophets claim that there are three kingdoms of heaven in which a person can be sent following Judgment Day. Gospel Principles explains what types of sins will send someone to the lowest kingdom of heaven.

    These people did not receive the gospel or the testimony of Jesus either on earth or in the spirit world. They will suffer for their own sins in hell until after the Millennium, when they will be resurrected. “These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.” These people are as numerous as the stars in heaven and the sand on the seashore. They will be visited by the Holy Ghost but not by the Father or the Son. (See D&C 76:81–88, 103–6, 109.)”

    Notice that these people will actually be visited (in the presence of) the Holy Ghost, who is God! Gospel Principles then goes on to explain that Outer Darkness is where Satan and his angels will dwell.

  4. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    Now, as to only a handful of people spending eternity with Satan, let us look at another scriputre that I have never seen other Christians cite. Matthew 12: 21 “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

    Notice that all sins SHALL be forgiven. It does not say they can be, but that they will be, that this is going to occur. The only exception is those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Thus, the lake of Fire in Revelation 21 cannot be where Satan is for these sins will be forgiven. Thus, only a few people (those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit) will actually be with Satan.

    What? There is no possible way that Jesus meant that only a few people would dwell eternally with Satan. If that is truly what He meant, that would mean that Jesus Himself misunderstood His own Words. Once again, we can know that this is not what He meant by using scripture to interpret scripture. Or, in this case, using other words that Jesus Himself spoke to clarify what He meant in Matthew 12.

    Simply go to Matthew 25 and here you will find Jesus testifying to the truth about who gets sent where and why on Judgment Day. Jesus reveals:

    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt 25:41-46)

    Notice that these people merely committed sins of omission! They did not feed the hungry or give them drink, they did not take in the stranger or clothe the naked, they did not visit the sick nor those in prison. And yet, as Jesus testified in verse 41, these cursed are sent to spend eternity in the very same domain as the Devil and his angels!

    One other point regarding what you wrote—specifically this sentence: “Notice that all sins SHALL be forgiven.

    Shem, all sins have been forgiven! They were forgiven at the cross when the debt for all sins was “paid in full”. Jesus made sufficient payment for them with His life’s blood. This was the mission of the Christ. This was what “the Christ” came to do. Our full debt to sin has been satisfied and Heavenly Father accepted Christ’s payment, in full. The evidence is Christ’s resurrection.

    While all sins have been forgiven, if you don’t believe in “the Christ” who truly gained forgiveness for all sins, then Jesus proclaims: “ I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24).

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 9, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Shem, you also wrote:

    Now, as to Romans 4, again it is not ignored, simply explained differently. It is by Faith that we are justified, but only by Faith. Never does it say in Romans that it is by Faith and only Faith. It simply says faith. It has the same basic message as the quote from James 2, but James expands on this in a little clearer language, testifying to the necessity of works as well as Faith.

    You say that Romans “never” claims we are justified by faith alone? Please, read these passages from Romans that do say we are justified by faith alone:

    Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Ro 3:22-28)

    And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Ro 11:6

    What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;” Ro 9:30-32

    For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” Ro 4:2-8

    Paul testified of the same thing to the Ephesians:

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph 2:8-9

    And to the Galatians:

    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Ga 2:16-21

  6. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 9, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Shem,

    Regarding the Hebrews 10:10-14 passages that I referenced, you asked:

    As to Hebrews, who are they that are sanctified?

    Using your own interpretation of the passage, you answered your own question. As to “who are they that are sanctified”, you would say that it is “those who did the will of the Father. Thus his atonement was for all sins, yes, but only perfects those who have performed the necessary works.”

    You didn’t read all the passages I referenced or you would have known the answer to your question! I quoted verse 14, but referenced verses 10-14. Verse ten answers your question. The writer to Hebrews tells us how we are sanctified:

    By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

    Christ’s Atonement does not perfect “those who have performed the necessary works”. It is through the offering of Christ’s body on the cross that we are perfected. His sacrifice was “once for all”. All who reject the true Christ, the “Lamb of God” whose sacrificial offering “taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) will not receive His gift of perfection.

  7. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 9, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    Having said all this, it seems that people really do not understand the LDS doctrine. It is not our works that make us good enough. OUr works, by themselves, could never be good enough. We need Christ, just as much as any other Christian sect declares this. The only difference is that we need help in doing what is required, while everyone else just wants a freeride.

    Shem, I do understand LDS doctrine. I have finally come to understand that the difference between my actions/beliefs while I was LDS, and Mormons who believe like you; is that I truly believed what I heard and read. I was brought up to believe in the words of the Prophets and Apostles. My father taught me that what was written by the General Authorities took precedence over scripture and anything else. I am thankful for his teachings because I would not have given up trying if I hadn’t taken their words seriously.

    The third article of faith claims how mankind may be saved: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    LDS doctrine claims that while Christ’s Atonement overcomes physical death, overcoming spiritual death is up to you. It is your own righteousness, earned through obedience; that gains eternal life: “Through your faith and righteousness and through His atoning sacrifice, all the inequities, injuries, and pains of this life can be fully compensated for and made right. Blessings denied in this life will be given in the eternities.” (True to the Faith, page 20)

    You say you believe that the LDS church declares the need for Christ “just as much as any other Christian sect.

    You must not have heard of the Church body I am associated with. The WELS Lutheran Church boldly declares that we humans are so full of sin, that even with God’s help there was no way we could meet God’s requirements for eternal life. As a commenter recently stated, we didn’t need help, we needed a stretcher. We know that our need for Christ is so great because humans are such great sinners. We know that even if we added only our “best works” to the requirement for gaining eternal life, we would still fail. We trust the prophet Isaiah who declared that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (64:10).

    We also declare that Jesus came to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Gaining eternal life is a “free ride”. In fact, that is the only way to gain eternal life—believing that it is free. The true Savior has already done everything necessary, and believing otherwise takes away from the work that He accomplished.

    And, knowing that I have a “free ride” doesn’t mean what you imply. Apparently, for you, if you had a free ride then you wouldn’t have any motivation to keep the commandments. But for me, I am so grateful for my “free ride” that with every breath I take I serve my Lord and my Savior. Not because I have to, but because I get to.

    Along with the prophet Isaiah, I “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.

  8. heathershairdos said,

    January 10, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I didn’t know you belonged to WELS! I was born & raised the the LCMS, and my husband too. I always wondered what denomination you were now associated with, glad to hear it’s a traditional Lutheran church – I think they have a lot to offer.

  9. shematwater said,

    January 11, 2010 at 9:31 am

    LDSWOMAN

    I am not going to get into a great debate with you over all this. If your point is that the LDS church believes different from you, fine. I can’t argue against it because it is true. However, the obvious truths you speak of are not as obvious as you claim.

    You seem to take things way to literally. When James mentions being Guilty of the whole law for one offense, he is not saying that we are guilty of every sin, and to claim that is rediculous. If God is just he cannot condemn a man for murder who never once killed another. By using your interpretation you have taken the justice of God and destroyed it.
    What James is truly saying is this. “Even one violation of the Law puts you subject to the judgements of God.” Notice in verse 11 “For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.” Notice he does not say if you commit murder you have become an adulterer, only a transgressor of the law.
    Now, as to Galatians, the same can be said, but notice the word “Continueth.” As long as I am doing all in my power to keep the commands of God and I strive in faith to do righteously, am I not continuing in the words of the scriptures?

    As to the Lake of fire, again you are too literal. This is a figurative expression to illustrate the torment of the damned. It is not a physical torment, but a spiritual one, one that will be felt by all those who fail to receive the highest reward in heaven. Thus, all these references to speak to people living in the same state of torment as Satan, but not in the same place. As all sins but one are forgiven than it is logical that only those who commit that one sin will actually be with Satan in the actual location where he will spend eternity. However, many others will experience the same torment and punishment as he will.

    I have to go now, but just consider. If you took everything you read this literally with the LDS church it is no wonder you never really understood the doctrine.
    (Oh, and it is not true that a general authority overrides the standard works. This is a false idea that many have. The Stand Works are just that, the standand by which all things are judged. The only one who can add to them is the President, but even he can’t changed them.)

  10. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    (Oh, and it is not true that a general authority overrides the standard works. This is a false idea that many have. The Stand Works are just that, the standard by which all things are judged. The only one who can add to them is the President, but even he can’t change them.)

    If it is a false idea that many have (including me) then we have it because LDS prophets and apostles have declared it so. If you believe that even the President can’t change the standard works, then you must not have had the opportunity to take Institute classes.

    Teachings of the Living Prophets—Religion 333, is where I learned this LDS doctrine:

    Page 20:
    President Ezra Taft Benson counseled the Saints to ‘beware of those who would pit the dead prophets against the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence’ (“Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet,” p. 27)…”

    “The Latter-day Saints do not do things because they happen to be printed in a book. They do not do things because God told the Jews to do them; nor do they do or leave undone anything because of instructions that Christ gave to the Nephites. Whatever is done by this Church is because God, speaking from heaven in our day, has commanded this Church to do it. No book presides over this Church, and no book lies at its foundation. You cannot pile up books enough to take the place of God’s priesthood, inspired by the power of the Holy Ghost. That is the constitution of the Church of Christ. If we use water instead of wine in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, it is because Christ has so commanded. Divine revelation adapts itself to the circumstances and conditions of men, and change upon change ensues as God’s progressive work goes on to its destiny. There is no book big enough or good enough to preside over this Church….

    “No man ought to contend for what is in the books, in the face of God’s mouthpiece, who speaks for him and interprets his word. To so contend is to defer to the dead letter in preference to the living oracle, which is always a false position. What the Lord said to the Jews and Nephites, two thousand years ago, or what he said to the Latter-day Saints fifty or sixty years ago, has no force whatever at this time, unless it agrees with present-day revelation, with the Lord’s most recent instructions to his people through his chosen or appointed servants or servant; and they who ignore this fact are liable to get into trouble. It is the latest word from God that must be heeded, in preference to any former revelation, however true. The same God who says do thus and so today, can repeal that commandment tomorrow, without being changeable or inconsistent. . . .”

    Occasionally misinformed members of the Church will maintain that, although they accept the standard works as divinely inspired, they are reluctant to give equal credence to pronouncements of the living prophet. Such individuals are pursuing an inconsistent course and “err, not knowing the scriptures” (Matthew 22:29), for the scriptures themselves plainly testify of the fact that we must give heed to the living prophets (see D&C 1:14, 38; 21:1, 4–5).

    Shem, if you are in error simply because you didn’t know about this LDS teaching, now you have the opportunity to embrace it. Page 26 explains that LDS members can have no conflict in beliefs with the First Presidency:

    The Presidency, in directing the Church and its affairs and in counseling the people, do so under the directing power of this ‘light and truth.’ When a man and the Presidency are both directed on the same subject by ‘light and truth,’ there can be no conflict. And so, my brethren, all who are out of harmony in any degree with the Presidency have need to repent and to seek the Lord for forgiveness and to put themselves in full harmony.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1942, pp. 19–20.)

    And, Page 21 tells you the way you can know of the “truth and validity of a revelation” from LDS prophets:

    Now, there isn’t any way in heaven or on earth for anyone to know of the truth and validity of a revelation except to have the same Spirit rest upon him that rested upon the revelator who received it” (“This Generation Shall Have My Word through You,” Ensign, June 1980, p. 58 ). Church members must be worthy to receive that confirmation from the Spirit. President Harold B. Lee once said: “We can know that they [the living prophets] are speaking under inspiration if we so live that we can have a witness that what they are speaking is the word of the Lord. There is only one safety, and that is that we shall live to have the witness to know.” (“The Place of the Living Prophet, Seer, and Revelator,” in Charge, p. 111.)

    Please note: If you don’t receive confirmation from the Spirit that these words of your living prophets are the words of the Lord, that means you aren’t worthy to receive confirmation from the Spirit.

    If you would like to read these quotes taken directly from this LDS Institute manual, you can find it at this link:

    http://institute.lds.org/manuals/teachings-of-the-livings-prophets/tlp-4-4.asp

  11. shematwater said,

    January 12, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    You still do not understand. Yes I have read these things, all of them. And they change nothing. The President of the Church cannot change what is in the standard works. What he teaches will always be in harmony with them, as well as with the past prophets.

    The President cannot change the standard works because he operates under the spirit of Truth, and thus will always be in harmony with everything that God has said in the past. This is what I meant, and this is the true teaching. It is demonstrated in the quotes you give. Again, you are being to literal. You are not considering the reasons behind these statements.

    Many people have taken these things to mean that the First Presidency can change what the standard works teach, but that is not the case. People use these quotes to support their belief that eventual women will hold the priesthood, or that the church will alter its position on the age of the Earth to conform with science. These things will never happen, nor can they. They are eternal truths that no man can change. This is the false idea. The idea that the direct Guidance of the modern prophet take president over the past prophets is perfect true and reasonable, as those prophets did not give direct counsel for exact circumstances of our day.

  12. catzgalore said,

    February 14, 2010 at 10:10 am

    When I say that “I am a Christian”, I am not shouting that “I am clean living”.
    I’m shouting “I was lost, but now I’m found and forgiven.” (author unknown)

    Hallelujah!

  13. shematwater said,

    February 17, 2010 at 11:49 am

    What?


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