Are You Trying to “Earn” Peace and Forgiveness?

Some days I find it more difficult than others to read LDS literature. Today is one of those “difficult” days. I subscribe to a service from LDS.org called “LDS Gems”. Every day a few “Gems” are sent to my email that are considered “Inspirational” quotes from LDS leaders. I am so thankful that the Holy Ghost has opened my eyes and heart to know that these leaders have not beeninspired” by Him. At the same time, my heart cries out in anguish that you are still deceived. I so long for you to know the Savior whose Atonement covers your every sin with His blood.

Today’s “Young Single Adult Gem” was titled “Peace, the Fruit of a Righteous Life”. LDS Apostle Richard G. Scott testifies: “Peace is the precious fruit of a righteous life. It is possible because of the Atonement of the Savior. It is earned through full repentance, for that leads to refreshing forgiveness.” (Richard G. Scott, “The Path to Peace and Joy,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 25)

Peace truly is the precious fruit of a righteous life, but certainly not yours! No one can be righteous through obedience. You are not righteous and will never be, unless you place your trust in the Savior who was righteous for you. You can never “earn” peace or forgiveness through the LDS requirements of repentance. (The word “earn” is not even found in the Bible.) Believing that you can “earn” peace and forgiveness is proof that you don’t know the Savior who has already won those gifts for you. Imagine how Jesus feels, knowing that you are attempting to “earn” the precious gift He offers you freely—the gift He has already bought for you with His life’s blood:

For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:19-23)

The Apostle Peter testified:

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43)

Believe it, and receive it! Then, dedicate your life:

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5b-6)

Advertisements

Do you Have the Peace that “Passeth All Understanding”?

The Young Women Lesson a few weeks back taught about the “peace that surpasseth all understanding“. The Teacher’s Manual claims: “The blessed part of being a peacemaker is that those who are peacemakers and who live the gospel principles receive a testimony borne of the Holy Ghost. They enjoy the peace that surpasseth all understanding, relief from inner tensions, joy and happiness, contentment, growth, and development.” (page 36)

Do you enjoy the “peace that surpasseth all understanding?” Is your life full of “joy and happiness”? Do you have “relief from inner tensions”? Are you “content”? According to your LDS leaders, if you are a a peacemaker and live the gospel principles, then you should be enjoying these blessings.

If you aren’t, then I’m not surprised. I grew up LDS and attended classes where I learned what these Young Women are being taught. As an LDS woman, I knew that all blessing are predicated upon obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel (D & C 130: 21). I so wanted to be at peace and full of joy and happiness, but I just couldn’t do enough to receive these blessings. It wasn’t until after the Holy Spirit brought me to faith in Jesus that I learned that true peace and joy could never be gained by my obedience.

The “peace of God that passeth all understanding” comes first and foremost from trusting in God for everything–especially the complete forgiveness of all your sins. This peace comes from the sure knowledge that in spite of how many times you sin, you have been reconciled to God through Christ. It was with His blood that Jesus made peace between God and man—we have been reconciled through His Atonement:

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:” (Unfortunately, these verses from Colossians 1:19-23 are not listed in the LDS KJV Topical Guide under “Peace” or “Peace of God”.)

Knowing you have been reconciled to God, you can live daily with the full assurance of God’s love and approval. Each day that you truly give all your worries and cares to Jesus (trust fully in Him) you will live in “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding:”

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:” (Isaiah 26:3-4)

The Young Women Lesson brings up Jesus’ words: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Mathew 5:9). The teacher then asks the girls: “Why would peacemakers be called the children of God?” The answer given is: “a person who brings peace into the lives of others is becoming like God and so can truly be called a child of God.”

This answer is wrong! No one “is becoming like God” through their obedience. According to Jesus, no one is even good (Matthew 19:17). God alone is good!

Amazingly, every person with faith in Jesus can “truly be called a child of God”. It is through faith and faith alone that we become God’s dear children. And God’s children are peacemakers and do enjoy “the peace” that comes from faithful living. But they also know that their faithful works are merely God working through them. They are grateful that their own works have nothing to do with being found worthy before God.

Being a peacemaker is a fruit of faith–it comes as a result of the comfort and love you feel from God. It is only after you have been brought to faith that you can do anything to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Even then, it is God who works in you, enticing you to do His will:

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Unfortunately, these verses from Hebrews 13:20-21 are not listed in the LDS KJV Topical Guide under “Peace” or “Peace of God”.)

Only through the sure knowledge that God has you held in His capable hands, will you finally find true peace. As a Mormon, God’s peace eluded me because I knew how unworthy I was. The day I learned that all my sins had been forgiven at the Cross– I found the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding”.

God loves you so much that He punished His own Son in your place. The Holy Spirit is enticing you to trust solely in Jesus. The moment you do, He will “present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” (Colossians 1:19-23)

Believe it, and receive it!

Link to Young Women Lesson 9: https://www.lds.org/manual/young-women-manual-2/contributing-to-family-life/lesson-9-a-young-woman-as-a-peacemaker-in-her-home?lang=eng

Can Your Unworthy Bishop be the Judge of Your Worthiness?

A few weeks ago the Young Women were taught a lesson about “Appreciating the Bishop“. These young girls learned of the main role of their Bishop–“He is appointed as a judge in Israel for the ward members.” The Lesson explains:

“Your life here will be constantly weighed by him, for he is the judge of your worthiness … to receive higher ordinances, and to be worthy to go to the Temple. “If you are going to work in the Church system you will learn to be obedient to your bishop. If you get into trouble you will be wise if you seek his advice and counsel.

He has been designated by the Lord and appointed by the President of the Church to be responsible for you and to make sure you progress according to your worthiness and ability. …“… He will see you every year at tithing settlement. He will interview you. … If you go on a mission he will be the one who makes the first inquiry as to your fitness and ability to serve in this capacity”

I am ever so thankful that my eyes and heart have been opened to the truth! I know that this LDS teaching is false—the truth is that there is only one “Judge in Israel” and that is Jesus Himself. He alone determines who is worthy and guess what? Jesus has judged and determined that every single Bishop in the LDS Church is not worthy!

I am not really singling out Bishops The truth is that no one is worthy! In fact, Jesus testified that no one is even “good” (Matthew 19:17). God’s Word, the Bible, very clearly teaches that every person is unrighteous:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17: 9

“The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 14: 2-3

“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Ecclesiastes 7: 20

“And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.” Genesis 8: 21

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6

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: 6

“Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” Proverbs 20:9

“What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 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. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” Romans 3: 9

“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Ephesians 2: 2

“There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

It is truly a blessing to be a member of a Church where no sinful man determines who is and isn’t worthy. The LDS Church grades sins by determining that some sins are worse than others. This makes it easy for a man to judge others as somehow more sinful than he is.

Every single believer in Christ knows that in and of himself—he is completely sinful; and, that everyone else is just as unworthy! It truly is a blessing to know that you are not alone in your unworthiness.

It is even more amazing to know that through faith, you are credited with Christ’s righteousness! Even Abraham knew that his righteousness came only through his faith:

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

Through the offering of Christ’s body you have been perfected forever! (Hebrews 10:10-14). In God’s sight, you can be as worthy as Christ Himself because all your sins have been forgiven!

The Apostle Peter testified: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:43

Believe it and receive it!

Because of all my Savior has done for me, along with the Psalmist, I sing:

“I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised” Psalm 18:1-3

Link to LDS Lesson: