Were You Required to Qualify for Your Christmas “Gifts” Before You Could Open Them?

How many gifts are still under your tree, waiting to be opened until you meet the requirements of the giver? Did anyone tell you that you had to do something for them before you were allowed to open their gift?

It might sound absurd to talk about gifts like this or think that we have to “qualify” for a “gift” before we can actually open it. Usually when we receive a gift, we don’t have to “earn” it before we are allowed to open it. We trust that the giver of the gift loves us and has given us their gift freely and unconditionally. In fact, if you look up the word “gift” in a dictionary you will find it defined as:

“Something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation.”

But, when Mormons speak of spiritual matters, the word “gift” takes on a whole different meaning. In fact, it has been re-defined! There are really only two unconditional “gifts” in Mormonism and those are the gifts of immortality (bodily resurrection) and our free agency. All other “gifts” are “conditional”.

One simple example can be found in True to the Faith, page 52. In referencing Eternal life, it states:

“Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, it requires our ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.’ (Articles of Faith 1:3)”

The “condition” attached to this “gift” from Heavenly Father is obedience. You can do a simple search at lds.org–in the gospel library. Type in the words “>conditional AND gift”. You will discover that even God’s love, mercy and grace are all “gifts” conditioned upon your worthiness.

But the truth is that your Savior has many unconditional gifts waiting for you! One is the gift of eternal life! Not only does He offer it to you unconditionally but it is also given voluntarily. This gift was made personally–just for you, and it wasn’t an easy gift for Jesus to make. He lovingly spent thirty three years working on this gift. Day after day, despite many temptations by Satan, Jesus perfectly obeyed God’s laws—for you. He did this so that He could be your substitute for righteousness. Through faith, your are credited with all of His perfect works–so that you could meet God’s demands for righteousness. His suffering on the night of His death was tremendous. It must have been excruciating to take upon Himself the sins of the entire world, and then to be cursed and abandoned by His Heavenly Father. His shed blood covered over every sin you will ever commit. He willingly lived and died to give you the gift of eternal life.

Now, imagine that Jesus comes to you and personally offers His gift to you—freely and unconditionally. But, instead of graciously and excitedly thanking Him for the gift He worked so hard to make for you–you tell Him you can improve on His gift by adding your own works to it. Or, maybe you tell Him you can’t accept His gift because you believe you first have to qualify for it.

Imagine His disappointment when you reject His loving gift–that He worked on and made especially for you. Please, don’t do this to my Savior Jesus! Don’t reject the gift of eternal life He worked so hard to give you! Don’t leave His precious gift unopened for another minute! Through His perfect works He has already qualified you to live eternally with Heavenly Father:

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Believe (have faith) that Jesus has already gained this gift for you and you will receive it! Then, spend the remainder of your life freely serving your Heavenly Father “Freely” because doing so is your voluntary and unconditional gift of love to Him!

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19 Comments

  1. shematwater said,

    December 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

    This is all very nice, but let us consider a few things.

    First, while gifts are freely given, some are not given until after the recipient has shown they are capable of caring for and using them. Thus, you do not give a car to a person who does not have a lisence to drive one. Nor do you give a new dog a person who is irrisponsable and unable to car for it.

    In a like manner the gift of Eternal Life is given freely by God, but he will not give it to anyone who is incapable of using it properly. Just like an unlisenced person does not receive a car, so an unrighteous person does not receive Eternal Life. This does not make the gift any less free when given, it just means it is only given when the person is ready to receive it.

    Oh, and by the way, the idea that the LDS teach that God’s love has to be earned is so rediculously false that I am surprised anyone would even make such a statement.

  2. echoechoecho said,

    December 29, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    .

    LDSWOMAN

    Another great post.

    A Gift is defined as: “A gift or a present is the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return” in Wikipedia.

    A Wage is defined as: “A wage is a compensation received by workers in exchange for their labor.”

    I once gave my son the opportunity to earn an expensive Lego set that he couldn’t afford to buy himself. So I gave him a list of things he could do to earn that Lego set. When he did everything on the list, I gave him the Lego set because I was obligated to do so. He “fully” and “completely” earned it by doing everything I asked him to do.

    The fact that he could not afford to buy the Lego set on his own means nothing. He earned that Lego set, he earned every penny I spent by doing exactly what I asked. Granted, I did pay him very generous wages for his work, perhaps more generous than non family members would do, but certainly, the Lego set was not a gift nor can it be considered a gift when there are conditions.

    A generous wage , yes. A gift, no.

    If Eternal life only comes to those who meet the conditions, then Eternal Life is not a gift. God would be obligated to pay us the wage of Eternal life if we met the conditions. The fact that he is generous does not mean it is a gift in whole or in part. It simply means he pays generous wages.

    God would be obligated to pay us the wage we earned and the WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH.” Romans 6:23

  3. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Shem, you wrote: “Oh, and by the way, the idea that the LDS teach that God’s love has to be earned is so rediculously false that I am surprised anyone would even make such a statement.”

    I didn’t say it, Apostle Russell M. Nelson did:

    “Divine Love Is Also Conditional
    While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures. On the other hand, many verses affirm that the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of us—and certain divine blessings stemming from that love— are conditional.
    ” Russell M. Nelson, “Divine Love”, Ensign, Feb. 2003, 20

    Go and read the talk in whole, because it says a lot more about it.

  4. shematwater said,

    December 29, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    I have read the article you sight, and I stand by what I said.

    Brother Nelson describes Love as many different things in this article. The aspect of love that he describes as conditional can rightly be called acceptance. We must earn the acceptance of God, for that is conditioned on our obedience. However, he does clearly states this
    “Does this mean the Lord does not love the sinner? Of course not. Divine love is infinite and universal. The Savior loves both saints and sinners. The Apostle John affirmed, “We love him, because he first loved us.” And Nephi, upon seeing in vision the Lord’s mortal ministry, declared: “The world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.” We know the expansiveness of the Redeemer’s love because He died that all who die might live again.”

    The meaning of Brother Nelson’s words is clear. God loves all men as his sons, but he accepts, and shares the loving relationship he desires only with those who have proven themselves worthy of it. God cannot permit sin, nor can he associate with those who engage in such. But this does not mean he does not love them.

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 30, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Shem, you wrote:

    The meaning of Brother Nelson’s words is clear. God loves all men as his sons, but he accepts, and shares the loving relationship he desires only with those who have proven themselves worthy of it. God cannot permit sin, nor can he associate with those who engage in such. But this does not mean he does not love them.

    What? Are you claiming to be without sin??? Do you realize what you have said? If God cannot permit sin, then where does that leave you?? Have you truly proven yourself worthy of a loving relationship with God through your righteous works and by being sinless???

  6. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 30, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Shem, you also wrote:

    Brother Nelson describes Love as many different things in this article. The aspect of love that he describes as conditional can rightly be called acceptance. We must earn the acceptance of God, for that is conditioned on our obedience.

    Shem, I guess if you are NOT going to read the ENTIRE article so that you can understand what Elder Nelson wants you to understand, then I will cut and paste it here for you. Reading the article, including the paragraph that you cut and pasted as well as what follows, clearly defines that God’s love is conditional. You might call it “earning the acceptance of God“. But read for yourself, according to Nelson, all of God’s blessings–including His divine love, are conditioned upon our obedience.

    I have highlighted a few quotes by placing “*****************” before the words.

    Divine Love Is Also Conditional
    While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures. On the other hand, many verses affirm that the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of us—and certain divine blessings stemming from that love—are conditional. Before citing examples, it is well to recognize various forms of conditional expression in the scriptures.

    Conditional Forms
    Several forms of conditional expression may be found in the scriptures:
    * “If … [certain conditions exist], then … [certain consequences follow].” (The indicators if and then may be written or implied.)
    * “Inasmuch as … [certain conditions exist], … [certain consequences follow].”14
    * “Except … cannot …”15
    * “Prove … , if … ” For example, a verse pertaining to our creation reveals a prime purpose for our sojourn here in mortality: “We will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.”16 Life here is a period of mortal probation. Our thoughts and actions determine whether our mortal probation can merit heavenly approbation.17

    The Conditional Nature of Divine Love
    With scriptural patterns of conditional statements in mind, we note many verses that declare the conditional nature of divine love for us. Examples include:
    * “If ye keep my commandments, [then] ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”18
    * “If you keep not my commandments, [then] the love of the Father shall not continue with you.”19
    *“If a man love me, [then] he will keep my words: and my Father will love him.”20
    * “I love them that love me; and those that seek me … shall find me.”21
    *“God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”22
    * The Lord “loveth those who will have him to be their God.”23
    *“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”24

    The Conditional Nature of Divine Blessings
    It is equally evident that certain blessings come from a loving Lord only if required conditions are met. Examples include:
    *“If thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, … then I will lengthen thy days.”25
    * “If thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments … ; then will I perform my word with thee.”26
    *“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”27
    *“When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”28
    *Unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.”29
    The Lord declares: “All who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof. …
    “And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.
    “… The conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed … of him who is anointed, … are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead.”30

    Other laws are designed to bless us here in mortality. One such law is tithing: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse … and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord … , if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”31 Such a blessing is conditional. Those who fail to tithe have no promise.32
    Again, “all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised … that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.”33

    Why is divine love conditional? Because God loves us and wants us to be happy. “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.”34

    Our Defense against False Ideologies
    **************Understanding that divine love and blessings are not truly “unconditional” can defend us against common fallacies such as these: “Since God’s love is unconditional, He will love me regardless …”; or “Since ‘God is love,’35 He will love me unconditionally, regardless …”
    These arguments are used by anti-Christs to woo people with deception.

    Nehor, for example, promoted himself by teaching falsehoods: He “testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, … for the Lord had created all men, … and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.”36 Sadly, some of the people believed Nehor’s fallacious and unconditional concepts.

    In contrast to Nehor’s teachings, divine love warns us that “wickedness never was happiness.”37 Jesus explains, “Come unto me and be ye saved; … except ye shall keep my commandments, … ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”38

    Divine Love and the Sinner
    Does this mean the Lord does not love the sinner? Of course not. Divine love is infinite and universal. The Savior loves both saints and sinners. The Apostle John affirmed, “We love him, because he first loved us.”39 And Nephi, upon seeing in vision the Lord’s mortal ministry, declared: “The world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.”40 We know the expansiveness of the Redeemer’s love because He died that all who die might live again.41

    Immortality and Eternal Life
    God declared that His work and glory is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”42 Thanks to the Atonement,

    ******************the gift of immortality is unconditional.43 The greater gift of eternal life, however, is conditional.44 In order to qualify, one must deny oneself of ungodliness

    45 and honor the ordinances and covenants of the temple.46 The resplendent bouquet of God’s love—including eternal life—includes blessings for which we must qualify, not entitlements to be expected unworthily. Sinners cannot bend His will to theirs and require Him to bless them in sin.47 If they desire to enjoy every bloom in His beautiful bouquet, they must repent.48

    Counsel to Repent
    President Brigham Young (1801–77) declared: “Every blessing the Lord proffers to his people is on conditions. These conditions are: ‘Obey my law, keep my commandments, walk in my ordinances, observe my statutes, love mercy, … keep yourselves pure in the law, and then you are entitled to these blessings, and not until then.’”49
    President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918) expressed a similar thought:

    ******************“This is how I look at the requirements which God has made upon his people collectively and individually, and I do believe that I have no claim upon God or upon my brethren for blessing, favor, confidence or love, unless, by my works, I prove that I am worthy thereof, and I never expect to receive blessings that I do not merit.”50

    President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) said that the Lord “‘cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.’ (D&C 1:31.) … We will better appreciate his love … if similar abhorrence for sin impels us to transform our lives through repentance.”51
    Given the imperfections we all have, individual initiative is imperative: “He that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;
    “And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord.”52
    In climbing the pathway of repentance, both the effort and the result count. The Lord taught that spiritual gifts are given to “those who love me and keep all my commandments, and [who] seeketh so to do.”53

    Divine Love Provides Us with a Pattern
    Jesus asked us to love one another as He has loved us.54 Is that possible? Can our love for others really approach divine love? Yes it can!55
    *************The pure love of Christ is granted to all who seek and qualify for it.56 Such love includes service57 and requires obedience.58
    Compliance with divine law requires faith—the pivotal point of mortality’s testing and trials. At the same time, faith proves our love for God.59 The more committed we become to patterning our lives after His, the purer and more divine our love becomes.60 Perhaps no love in mortality approaches the divine more than the love parents have for their children. As parents, we have the same obligation to teach obedience that our heavenly parents felt obliged to teach us. While we can teach the need for tolerance of others’ differences,61 we cannot tolerate their infractions of the laws of God.

    ***********Our children are to be taught the doctrines of the kingdom,62 to trust in the Lord, and to know that they receive the blessings of His love by first obeying His commandments.63

    ***********Divine love is perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal. The full flower of divine love and our greatest blessings from that love are conditional—predicated upon our obedience to eternal law. I pray that we may qualify for those blessings and rejoice forever.

    What Does Conditional Mean?
    The term conditional comes from Latin roots—con, meaning “with,” and dicere, meaning “to talk.” Thus, conditional means that “bounds or conditions have been communicated verbally.
    The term unconditional means “without condition or limitation; absolute.”

    Link to talk on lds.org:

  7. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 30, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Shem, I just noticed something you wrote that I had not noticed before. You said:

    Just like an unlisenced person does not receive a car, so an unrighteous person does not receive Eternal Life.

    You are so right! No unrighteous person will ever receive Eternal Life. No unclean person can dwell in God’s presence. But even one sin makes a person unrighteous!

    That is the amazing thing about the gift of eternal life. The only reason anyone can obtain it, is because they have been made righteous through faith in Jesus!!!

    The moment a person is brought to faith by the Holy Ghost, that person is credited with righteousness. This is how the Prophet Abraham was declared righteous–through faith:

    ”What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 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 4:1-8)

    Did you notice that those who try to be righteous through their works will not obtain it? We can only be found righteous in God’s sight through faith.

    Regarding Abraham, God’s Word goes on to declare that what was recorded in the book of Genesis was also written for our sake, so that we also could know how to be found righteous in God’s sight! Only through faith:

    He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 4:20-5:1)

    The Prophet Isaiah has testified that our own righteousness is like filthy rags:

    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)

    On Judgment Day, do you want to stand in front of God in your own filthy rags?

    The Prophet Isaiah has also testified how we can have a robe of righteousness. And guess what? Our Lord and Savior gives it to us–He covers us with His robe, made from His perfect works–the gift that He spent His life making just for you. His “gift” is truly free and unconditional:

    ”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)

    The writer of Hebrews tells us that when Christ offered His body as the perfect sacrifice–He perfected us forever!

    “10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all… 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10-14)

    I pray that you will greatly rejoice in what the LORD has already done for you! Believe and receive it!

  8. shematwater said,

    December 30, 2010 at 10:43 am

    LDSWOMAN

    Please believe me when I said that I read the article by Brother Nelson. the repeated quoting of it was not necessary. What I said was accurate, as is what Brother Nelson said. There is never a time in the scriptures when a blessing is given without the recipient proving themselves worthy of it. There is never a time when God has free associated with those who seek wickedness. The Scriptures, as sited by Brother Nelson, testify to the fact that all blessings are conditional. However, they also testify that the Lord loves all men in the sense that he is willing to do everything necessary to bring them back to him.
    His love is unconditional, but his acceptance (which most people consider to be love) is not.

    As to my state before God, I notice a very subtle twist you have put to try and ignore the truth of the doctrine. In his article, under the heading of Counsel to Repent, He quotes D&C 46: 9. He says “In climbing the pathway of repentance, both the effort and the result count. The Lord taught that spiritual gifts are given to “those who love me and keep all my commandments, and [who] seeketh so to do.”
    Now, in you quoting him you emphasize only the beginning of this, or THOSE WHO KEEP ALL MY COMMANDMENTS, but you fail to recognize the full doctrine in not recognizing the last part of this quote; AND [WHO] SEEKETH SO TO DO.”
    This is the full doctrine. Absolute obedience is not required to enjoy the love and blessings of God. All that is requried is an honest desire to be absolutely obedient. As such, I am doing just fine. I never once claimed to be perfectly obedient, and so your wonderful questions mean nothing. All that is required is that I seek to be obedient. Then I will receive the blessings of the spirit that will enhance my abilities to obey.

    Now, I would like to mention a few things about Abraham.

    James 2: 21-24 “WAS NOT OUR FATHER ABRAHAM JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, when he had boffered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and BY WORKS WAS FAITH MADE PERFECT?
    And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
    Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness because his faith was sufficient to make him obedient. It was only after his works made his faith perfect that his faith was counted as righteousness.
    James very clearly teaches that it is our works that make us worthy, after the we have received the graced of God (for without that grace our works could do nothing).

  9. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness because his faith was sufficient to make him obedient. It was only after his works made his faith perfect that his faith was counted as righteousness. James very clearly teaches that it is our works that make us worthy, after the we have received the graced of God (for without that grace our works could do nothing).

    Shem, do you know when God declared Abraham righteous because of his faith? God declared that Abraham was righteous when Abraham was still called Abram. This was years before he was willing to offer Isaac on the altar, in fact, years before Isaac was even born. We read this is Genesis:

    And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:3-6)

    When James wrote the words that you quote, he did not say:

    It was only after his works made his faith perfect that his faith was counted as righteousness.” What James meant is that our righteous actions give the evidence of genuine faith–faith that is alive. Notice in verse 26, that James uses the analogy that we can know if a person’s faith is alive by their good works, the very same way that we can know if a person is alive is if their body has a spirit:

    For as the body without the spirite is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    Another way that we can know that James does not mean what you say he means is by looking at the very beginning of the dialogue in chapter two about faith and works. Verses 8-11 claim:

    If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11For 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.

    James completely disagrees with your claim that “All that is requried is an honest desire to be absolutely obedient. As such, I am doing just fine. I never once claimed to be perfectly obedient, and so your wonderful questions mean nothing. All that is required is that I seek to be obedient.

    According to James, if you commit even one sin, you are guilty of committing every one of God’s laws. Your desire to be obedient means nothing to God. James tells us this before he talks about how our works are the evidence that we have faith.

    James words agree with Jesus’ command to be as perfect as Heavenly Father Himself. (Matthew 5:48) The LDS claim that it is our obedience that earns eternal life is completely false. The reason, as James tells us, is because every single person is guilty of breaking God’s entire law–every single one of His commands. No one can be found righteous through their own works. That’s why the Prophet Isaiah claimed that our own righteous works are as filthy rags. The only righteousness that will gain eternal life is 100% perfect works.

  10. shematwater said,

    December 30, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    Yes, it was before the event of the sacrificing of Isaac that Abraham was declared righteous because of his faith. And yes, I agree that our works are the evidence of our faith, and I would say that what you have described is actually very much in agreement with LDS doctrine.
    By your own words if your faith does not lead to works it is not “living faith” and thus is basically meaningless. Thus works are required.

    As to Abraham, his belief was counted as righteousness because it lead to righteous actions. Do you think that it would have still been counted as righteousness if he had refused to offer up Isaac. This is James’s point; that if we do not remain obedient all the faith in the world will not save us.

    Now, as to the rest, in regards to this topic my only point was that you were in error in your description of LDS doctrine, which I proved using the same article you did. However, instead of either admitting your error, or trying to show mine, instead you switched gears. You changed from arguing what LDS doctrine is to simply stating that the doctrine I put forward as LDS doctrine in wrong in essense. So answer me this: Are you conceded that you were wrong in how you described LDS doctrine?

  11. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 31, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Shem, sometimes it is so very hard for me to even respond to you. Time after time I supply numerous quotes which clearly teach LDS beliefs. These quotes are written by LDS prophets and apostles and I give links to lds.org so that anyone can read the articles in context. Time and again you claim that these words don’t really mean what they say. As I have said in the past, I give up on you. I pray that God doesn’t.

  12. rlofferdahl said,

    December 31, 2010 at 2:54 am

    Becki;

    The gospel message will always have one of two effects: it will either draw its hearers closer to God, or it will drive them further away. Which of these two effects it ultimately has will depend little on the qualities of the messenger, because many who subscribe to a salvation by works are simply unwilling to accept anything of a salvation by grace. You haven’t failed. You’ve succeeded in bringing the gospel message to those who need to hear it. The failure rests with those who refuse to accept it, who prefer to cement themselves in tombs of obduracy. Some come to your blog to edify, as well as to be edified. Regrettably, others come to “have fun,” treating God’s Word as though it were a sandbox to be played in. Thank you for all the efforts you have made in bringing the gospel to the spiritually poor and needy. And may you rest in the comfort that it is the Holy Spirit who is responsible for the increase.

    RLO

  13. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    December 31, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    rlofferdahl,

    Thanks so much for your kind words and your message of hope. I really needed to be reminded that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to work the miracle of conversion, not mine. I am so blessed to share the truth with those who don’t know that all their sins have already been forgiven. Every time I do I am reminded of all that Jesus has done for me.

    God’s blessings to you,
    Becki

  14. echoechoecho said,

    December 31, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    .

    LDSWOMAN

    I am so thankful we don’t have to “earn the acceptance of God conditional on our obedience.” For where there is acceptance UNearned, there you have TRUE love. And that is all the motivation anyone ever needs to want to become like the one who accepts them unconditionally.

    Where you have acceptance earned, there you have no real love. This kind of love doesn’t motivate anyone. It’s dysfunctional parenting, it’s manipulation, it’s controlling. It wouldn’t motivate me. Even Shem said this love doesn’t motivate, in his own words: “God’s love for us is not enough to motivate the vast majority of people, which is why it is never given as a motivation for obedience” (From the topic: Your Savior has already taken away all your sins. Lay aside your heavy burden of guilt. November 16, 2010)

    But we know the truth, our God is not like his God, and we know just how powerfully motivating God’s true love for us is!

  15. shematwater said,

    December 31, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    You gave the quotes, but as I pointed out, you ignored a very important part of them.
    You also seem to want words to have only one definition, which is rarely the case. You ascribe a meaning to a word, like love, and then you refuse to consider that anyone else might have a different meaning in mind when using it.
    As I said, God loves all men, which Brother Nelson taught very clearly in the same article you site, as I showed in post #4. He states directly “The savior loves both saints and sinners.” Thus, for you to claim that he teaches tht he doesn’t is simply wrong and shows that you did not actually read his words.
    Now, what I have said concerning this article by Brother Nelson takes into account all that he says, without ignoring any of it, and thus I have a much better understanding of his meaning than you do.

    As I have said before, it doesn’t matter how many people you quote, if you don’t understand their meaning you will still be wrong.

    ECHO

    Please try to quote me proberly if you are going to.
    You said: “Where you have acceptance earned, there you have no real love. This kind of love doesn’t motivate anyone. It’s dysfunctional parenting, it’s manipulation, it’s controlling. It wouldn’t motivate me. Even Shem said this love doesn’t motivate, in his own words: “God’s love for us is not enough to motivate the vast majority of people, which is why it is never given as a motivation for obedience”

    This is completely contradictory to what I said. What I said is applied to the doctrine of this unconditional acceptance, not the conditional kind. Unconditional acceptance is what causes dysfunction and manipulation, not conditioned acceptance, and it isunconditional acceptance that has little power to motivate. This is why Christ’s love for us (as you quote me saying) cannot motivate, because it is unconditional. However, his acceptance can because it is conditional.
    Of course, the best motivation is our love for him, rather than a desire to be accepted.

  16. ckuhrasch said,

    January 1, 2011 at 8:55 am

    LDS Woman

    Thank you for your efforts to describe the loving and grace-filled gospel of Jesus Christ in this forum. It is evident that your goal is to share the good news, and even though it isn’t always accepted, as RLO says, that doesn’t have much to do with the messenger.

    Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” I think at times we have all been convicted of our lack of faith in Christ through the penetration of God’s word and it is in those moments when we can decide whether or not to accept God’s loving correction. For many, me included at times, it feels easier to continue on my own way rather than to accept a greater trust in God at those points. But that doesn’t mean your witness is in vain…just that it was not received. As Christ said in John 17:14 “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.” We will be sanctified by His truth, not by the responses of others to it.

    I hope you will continue to share your personal witness of the love of Christ in your life…I doubt that you know how many are encouraged by it even though you may never hear from them.

  17. echoechoecho said,

    January 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    .

    LDSWOMAN

    Keep up the great work! You have presented the Gospel Crystal Clear.
    Some will read your blog and believe and others will resist!

  18. shematwater said,

    January 3, 2011 at 12:41 am

    LDSWOMAN

    I must agree with ECHO and CKUHRASCH. You have presented your beliefs very well, and I am pleased to read them.

  19. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 3, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Thank you Shem, I only wish that you also believed them. I would so dearly love to call you my brother for eternity.


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