“Here chicky chicky”— Do you know your Savior’s voice?

In my neighborhood, I am often called the “chicken lady”. I love my chickens! Over the years I have raised many different varieties of chickens and have found that each one has a unique personality. It’s amazing that as each chick grows to maturity, we get to know each other and become good friends. I love it when they finally trust me enough to distinctly know my voice. All I have to do is call “here chicky chicky” and they all come a running. They know me and trust my words to mean that I will have something to give them. They have come to trust in the promise of my words, that I will have “tasty” treats for them.

In a similar way, those who know and trust Jesus run to Him when they hear His voice. Jesus referred to these people as His “sheep”. His sheep trust His every word and believe in His promises. Those who don’t trust in Christ’s words, don’t believe Him and are not His sheep. When He was speaking to some unbelieving Jews, He said:

“But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:26-28)

Are you one of Jesus’ sheep? Do you trust His words? Do you believe this promise that He gave to His sheep: “And I give unto them eternal life”?

Or, do you hear the voice of a different Christ, one who claimed that eternal life must be gained “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel”? (Articles of Faith 1:3)

The Savior of the world knows that no one can obtain eternal life “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel”! No unclean person can dwell in God’s presence and God alone defines what “unclean” is. Just listen to Christ’s voice in the Sermon on the Mount. He taught that if a man even looks at a woman in lust he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. He revealed that someone who is angry with his brother has committed the same sin as murder. Do you truly love your enemies, bless those who curse you and do good to those who hate and persecute you? Do you hear the voice of your Savior as He commands you to “be as perfect as our Father in Heaven”? (Matthew 5:48) Jesus’ sheep know that when He gave this command, He really meant what He said.

Those who love and follow Christ trust His words; that on Judgment Day, the standard for perfection will be God Himself. Do you believe the voice of your Savior as He describes what will happen on Judgment Day to those who merely committed sins of omission? (Those who didn’t feed the hungry or clothe the naked; visit the sick or those in prison.) He testifies that He will send these people to the very same eternal domain as Satan:

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”. (Matthew 25:41-46)

All those who are Jesus’ sheep believe Him when He said “There is none good but one, that is, God:” (Matthew 19:17). Jesus knew that we were doomed unless He came to earth to save us. Christ’s sheep have given up trying to be worthy and gaining eternal life through their obedience. Instead, they cling to their Savior’s promise that eternal life is a free gift—given to all who have faith in Him:

“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:15-18)

How is it possible that a sinful person can be granted eternal life as a free gift? Because it is through faith and faith alone that one meets God’s requirement for perfection! Through faith in Christ we are credited with His perfection. The writer of Hebrews explains that through Christ’s Atonement, we have been perfected forever:

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

When my chickens hear my voice they come running because they know that I have gifts waiting for them. They don’t hold back wondering if they are worthy of my gifts. In this way, Jesus longs for you to truly know Him and trust His promises; to finally believe all that He has done for you. I pray that you will hear His voice and come running to Him, regardless of how worthy you feel. The very moment you do, you will receive His amazing gifts of perfection and eternal life. Believe it, and receive it. Then you will be free to live the life I live. Serving God with everything I do–simply because I love Him.

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52 Comments

  1. shematwater said,

    February 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and THE FOLLOW ME: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:26-28)

    I believe all of Christ words, including the stipulation that we follow him, and then we are given eternal life.

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Hi Shem,

    I follow Jesus also. What Jesus said was not a stipulation, but a fact. He stated that his sheep hear His voice and follow Him. Those who truly love Jesus, follow Him and believe His words. Those who hear His voice and follow Him, are given eternal life.

    Remember what Jesus said in John 3:16?

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Only the LDS people think that the word “gift” means that you have to earn it. The rest of the world defines a gift as something that is freely given–no stipulations attached. A gift is a gift, not something received only AFTER you’ve worked for it. When you have to work for something, you receive a wage–you’ve earned it.

    You wrote:

    I believe all of Christ words”.

    So if you truly believe all of Christ’s words, then you must not believe the words of your very own LDS prophets.

    Jesus said that people who merely committed sins of omission would spend eternity in Outer Darkness with Satan.

    Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”. (Matthew 25:41-46)

    Do you really believe these words of Christ? Are you telling me that you believe Christ’s words and not Joseph Smith’s words?

  3. shematwater said,

    February 17, 2011 at 11:28 am

    LDSWOMAN

    I believe all of Christ’s words, including Matthew 25, and not only the part about those being cast out. I also believe the words in verse 34-40, which tell us that those entering into the Kingdom of God did all these works, that they fulfilled the requirements.

    As to John 3: 16, I believe this also, that all those who believe should have eternal life. But should does not make it guaranteed. If we believe we should be willing to do what is necessary to have eternal life. If we do not believe there is no reason to do this.

  4. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    I believe all of Christ’s words, including Matthew 25, and not only the part about those being cast out.

    You have actually given me hope, that maybe you are coming to believe in the true Christ! I know that in your Sunday Priesthood Lessons you are studying Gospel Principles this year. Maybe since you haven’t reached Chapter 46 yet, you just don’t know what your prophets testify about the eternal destination of sinners.

    Chapter 46 is titled “The Final Judgment” and teaches what is going to happen on Judgment Day. Pages 271-273 state:

    Inheriting a Place in a Kingdom of Glory
    • How will our faithfulness during our life on earth influence our life in the eternities?

    At the Final Judgment we will inherit a place in the kingdom for which we are prepared. The scriptures teach of three kingdoms of glory—the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, and the telestial kingdom (see D&C 88:20–32).

    Here is what your prophets teach about those who “prepared” for the telestial kingdom:

    Telestial
    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 “they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie” will not be sent to dwell eternally with Satan and his demons. Instead, they will inherit “a Place in a Kingdom of Glory”. And, they will be visited by the Holy Spirit.

    According to your prophets, the only people who will be sent to dwell eternally with Satan and his demons (Outer Darkness) are:

    These are they who had testimonies of Jesus through the Holy Ghost and knew the power of the Lord but allowed Satan to overcome them. They denied the truth and defied the power of the Lord. There is no forgiveness for them, for they denied the Holy Spirit after having received it. They will not have a kingdom of glory. They will live in eternal darkness, torment, and misery with Satan and his angels forever. (See D&C 76:28–35, 44–48.)

    Contrast these false words with what I have told you that Jesus said in Matthew 25. I pray that you really do believe the words of Jesus.

    In Revelation Chapter 21, John the Beloved taught the same as Jesus did:

    7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8But 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.

    Speaking of the Kingdom of Heaven, he testified:

    27And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Shem, you also wrote:

    I also believe the words in verse 34-40, which tell us that those entering into the Kingdom of God did all these works, that they fulfilled the requirements. As to John 3: 16, I believe this also, that all those who believe should have eternal life. But should does not make it guaranteed. If we believe we should be willing to do what is necessary to have eternal life. If we do not believe there is no reason to do this.

    Shem, the moment a person comes to faith in Jesus, they are a new spiritual creature. All true believers will do many wonderful works—they can’t help it because they are alive spiritually! But those works are not requirements to gain eternal life–they are the fruits of their new spiritual life. It is simply a fact that believers will do works that please God.

    There are no “requirements” to gain eternal life. Eternal life is always given to someone the very moment the Holy Ghost brings that person to faith in Jesus–before they have done any works. Jesus testified:

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)

    After a believer has the gift of eternal life, they will do works. Faith alone saves, but faith in never alone. All who believe in Jesus are guaranteed eternal life.

    Just look in John chapter 3:36, just a few verses after the passages that you interpret as people who “fulfilled the requirements”:

    He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    Those who believe in Jesus “have” everlasting life. John stated his testimony to this belief even stronger in 1 John 5:

    And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

    Notice again that eternal life is a gift, given to all who simply believe in Jesus! And, the Apostle John states he wrote his words so that we can know that we have eternal life!

    Believe it, and receive it!

  6. shematwater said,

    February 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

    LDSWOMAN

    I know the words of the Prophets very well. Gospel Principles was taught last year. This year we are in the New Testament.

    I have compared the words of all prophets and found them to be remarkably agreeable.
    In Matthew the wicked are cast into Everlasting Fire, or Everlasting Hell, but it does not say how long they will be there. The Fire and the Hell are called everlasting because they are of an eternal nature, like God himself. As such they are everlasting or eternal. They will always exist. however, the time that people spend there is not necessarily for all eternity. Thus, when the modern prophets speak of people suffering in Hell until after the Millennium, they are in perfect harmony here, as they agree these will be cast into that Hell. They simply clarify the time spent there.

    As to Revelation 21, it only says they will have their part in this hell and death, not that they will fully partake of it. This would indicate only a specific time period or punishment that they will endure.
    For verse 27, he is here speaking of the Celestial Kingdom, where the Father himself dwells. He is not speaking of the Terrestrial or the Telestial, and as such is in perfect harmony with all the others.

    Concerning your second post, you know I disagree with you on this point, and I really don’t want to get to into at this time. Your explanation destroyed the entire concept of free agency and makes God responsible for every person being either saved or damned. It thus also destroys justice. As the Bible testifies that man has his free agency and that God is perfectly just, I do not think that your interpretation of the Bible is correct.

  7. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    I know the words of the Prophets very well. Gospel Principles was taught last year. This year we are in the New Testament.

    Wow, I didn’t realize that you weren’t an active Mormon. You must not even attend Priesthood meetings. Now I understand why you don’t know LDS doctrine very well. Gospel Principles is being taught in Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society meetings on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of the month. The New Testament is being taught in Sunday School every Sunday. You can click here to go to lds.org which shows what the 2011 curriculum is:

    Link:

    You also wrote:
    In Matthew the wicked are cast into Everlasting Fire, or Everlasting Hell, but it does not say how long they will be there. The Fire and the Hell are called everlasting because they are of an eternal nature, like God himself. As such they are everlasting or eternal. They will always exist. however, the time that people spend there is not necessarily for all eternity. Thus, when the modern prophets speak of people suffering in Hell until after the Millennium, they are in perfect harmony here, as they agree these will be cast into that Hell. They simply clarify the time spent there.

    Again, you simply don’t know your LDS doctrine. The passages that we were speaking of in Matthew 25 refer to the Final Judgment Day. Before Judgment day, LDS prophets claim that people will suffer in a temporary Hell, as you said, until after the Millennium. But since Judgment Day happens after the Millennium, according to LDS prophets the final judgment is final:

    Hell,” True to the Faith, (2004),81
    Latter-day revelations speak of hell in at least two ways. First, it is another name for spirit prison, a place in the postmortal spirit world for those who have “died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets” (D&C 138:32). This is a temporary state in which spirits will be taught the gospel and have the opportunity to repent and accept ordinances of salvation that are performed for them in temples (see D&C 138:30–35). Those who accept the gospel may dwell in paradise until the Resurrection. After they are resurrected and judged, they will receive the degree of glory of which they are worthy. Those who choose not to repent but who are not sons of perdition will remain in spirit prison until the end of the Millennium, when they will be freed from hell and punishment and be resurrected to a telestial glory (see D&C 76:81–85).

    Second, the word hell is used to refer to outer darkness, which is the dwelling place of the devil, his angels, and the sons of perdition (see D&C 29:36–38; 76:28–33). Sons of perdition are those who receive “no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame” (D&C 76:34–35; see also 76:31–33, 36–37). Such individuals will not inherit a place in any kingdom of glory; for them the conditions of hell remain (see D&C 76:38; 88:24, 32).”

    Remember in Matthew 25 that Jesus was speaking to those who had merely committed sins of omission? Remember where Jesus sent them?

    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.” (Matthew 25:41)

    These words of the very Son of God are in complete disagreement with the prophets of Mormonism. Anyone who has even one sin will be sent to the same domain as Satan, and they will be there for eternity. The reason is because they rejected what their Savior did for them and did not receive the forgiveness of any of their sins.

    Notice in Matthew 25 that on Judgment Day Jesus divides the entire world into only two categories–the sheep and the goats:

    When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his aright hand, but the goats on the left.

    All who have faith in Him have received the forgiveness of all sins and have no sins to be judged. All who rejected Him are still in their sins and will be sent to spend eternity in Hell, which is the same place as Satan. If you want to know how horrible that place is, go to Luke chapter 16 and read about the rich man who was in hell and in agony. He looked up into Heaven and saw Abraham and was told that he could never leave Hell—it was his permanent dwelling place.

    As to what the words “eternal” and “everlasting” mean, in the original language that the New Testament was written, the very same Greek word used to describe “everlasting” life is used to describe “everlasting” hell.

    Again, you wrote:

    Concerning your second post, you know I disagree with you on this point, and I really don’t want to get to into at this time. Your explanation destroyed the entire concept of free agency and makes God responsible for every person being either saved or damned.

    No Shem, God is not responsible for those who will go to Hell. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Heavenly Father wants every person to dwell eternally with Him. Every person who goes to Hell will be there because they rejected what Jesus has done for them.

    You wrote: <strong>”It thus also destroys justice. As the Bible testifies that man has his free agency and that God is perfectly just, I do not think that your interpretation of the Bible is correct.”

    Destroys Justice? Don’t you know and believe that Christ’s Atonement paid the price for every sin and satisfied Justice? God is perfectly just, and because of Christ’s Atonement, justice has been paid! Now, mercy reigns! Every single person’s sins have all been paid for and forgiven:

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

    Every true believer willingly confesses their sins. Because I believe in the one and only Savior who satisfied Justice I have received the forgiveness for all my sins. And every breath I breathe is done in gratitude for what my Savior did for me.

    But, if you don’t believe that your Savior has satisfied God’s demands for Justice, you reject what Christ has done for you and will spend eternity with Satan and his demons. I sincerely pray that you turn to your Savior and place your faith in His Atonement.

  8. shematwater said,

    February 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    I am not going to discuss the whole “salvation by faith” topic. It has been hashed out enough, and frankly, I am tired of it.

    However, I will say a few things about Matthew 25. Where does it say this speaks about the Final Judgment? It doesn’t. In fact, when considering this as a continuation of chapter 24 (which it is) the parables in 25 are about the second coming, which is before the Millennium, and thus before the Final Judgment. In this Jesus is saying that at his second coming those who have not done that which is required will be cast out and will suffer in Hell. The modern prophets clarify that this suffering will only be until after the Millennium.

    Now, you say “As to what the words “eternal” and “everlasting” mean, in the original language that the New Testament was written, the very same Greek word used to describe “everlasting” life is used to describe “everlasting” hell.”

    Great. I already new this, and I would simply say that the term Eternal Life or Everlasting Life carries the same basic idea as everlasting hell; or in other words, it is a life that is the same kind of life that God has, or exists in the same way that God exists, just as Everlasting Hell exists in the same way that God exists, with an eternal nature.

    Again, there is no contradiction between the modern prophets and the Bible. The only contradiction is between modern prophets and how you choose to interpret the Bible.

    (As to the Lessons, sorry, I read Sunday school instead of Sunday Priesthood. In my defense, I have never heard anyone refer to it as Sunday Priesthood Meetings. It is always simply referred to as priesthood meeting. Still, if you actually read the link you give you would know that the manual was used for last year as well, as I said.
    Now, you should also have known that the quotes you give are very common quotes, and are taken from the D&C. So, I would not need to read the manual to know these quotes, as I have read the D&C three times, and these chapters in particular at least half a dozen, as they are some of my favorites.)

  9. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    However, I will say a few things about Matthew 25. Where does it say this speaks about the Final Judgment? It doesn’t. In fact, when considering this as a continuation of chapter 24 (which it is) the parables in 25 are about the second coming, which is before the Millennium, and thus before the Final Judgment. In this Jesus is saying that at his second coming those who have not done that which is required will be cast out and will suffer in Hell. The modern prophets clarify that this suffering will only be until after the Millennium.

    Again, you are wrong. These passages in Matthew 25 are definitely speaking of the Final Judgment Day. And, this is also what your prophets claim. Go to your Gospel Principles manual, chapter 46 which is called “The Final Judgment“. One section is called “Inheriting a Place in a Kingdom of Glory”.

    The chapter goes on to say:

    What must we do to be ready for the Final Judgment? In reality, every day is a day of judgment. We speak, think, and act according to celestial, terrestrial, or telestial law. Our faith in Jesus Christ, as shown by our daily actions, determines which kingdom we will inherit. We have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness. The gospel is the law of the celestial kingdom. All the priesthood ordinances necessary for our progression have been revealed. We have entered the waters of baptism and have made a covenant to live Christlike lives.

    If we are faithful and keep the covenants we have made, the Lord has told us what our judgment will be. He will say unto us, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

    Link:

    Notice that in speaking of the Final Judgment, your prophets quote the words of Matthew 25.

    The last verse in Matthew 25 are Jesus’ words telling us that He is speaking of Judgment Day:

    46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

    Even in Mormon doctrine, eternal life is not granted until after the Final Judgment:

    If we use the word salvation to mean eternal life, none of us can say that we have been saved in mortality. That glorious gift can come only after the Final Judgment.” (True to the Faith, Salvation, page 153)

    Link:

  10. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 20, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Shem,

    These words you wrote don’t explain why you didn’t know that you were studying Gospel Principles this year:

    (As to the Lessons, sorry, I read Sunday school instead of Sunday Priesthood. In my defense, I have never heard anyone refer to it as Sunday Priesthood Meetings. It is always simply referred to as priesthood meeting. Still, if you actually read the link you give you would know that the manual was used for last year as well, as I said.

    If you thought I was talking about Sunday School and not Priesthood meetings, then why did you yourself mix the two lessons of study in your first comment? (Gospel Principles is used in Priesthood Meeting; New Testament is used in Sunday School)

    The words you originally wrote, and which I responded to were:

    I know the words of the Prophets very well. Gospel Principles was taught last year. This year we are in the New Testament.

    You are right, Gospel Principles was taught last year and this year as well—in Priesthood meetings. But, in Sunday School, the Old Testament was taught last year. This year the New Testament is being taught.

    If you thought I was referring to Sunday School, why would you have said: “Gospel Principles was taught last year” and not “The Old Testament was taught last year”?

  11. shematwater said,

    February 21, 2011 at 11:57 am

    LDSWOMAN

    First, does it really matter that I made a mistake in what I was writing concerning what manual was being used? Do you really need an explanation on this?
    But, to satisfy you, I will explain. As I said, I read Sunday School in your post, which I know is currently studying the NT. I also read the Gospel Principles, which I also know we studied last year. So, confusing the two references in my mind momentarily I made the comment I did. It is all very simple, and really means nothing.
    As to studying Gospel Principles this year, last week we had a special lesson from the missionaries, the week before that was the first Sunday, the week before that the fifth, and the week before that the fourth. As such it had been several weeks since we had studied in the Gospel Principles manual. Add to this that the Gospel Essentials class is also studying the Gospel Principles manual during Sunday school, which class I attended a few weeks ago, it is not hard to see why the mistake in reading caused some confusion.
    I hope this will lay the issue to rest.

    As to the Final Judgment and Matthew: Here is a brief rundown of LDS doctrine.

    All people will judged at the final Judgment.http://lds.org/scriptures/gs/judgment-the-last?lang=eng

    However, some people have already received their eternal reward and are now gods in heaven. D&C 132: 37http://lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/132.37?lang=eng#36

    People will receive their final reward when they are resurrected, (D&C 88: 28-31-Quickened and receive of a Kingdom)

    There was a great resurrection when Christ was raised from the dead. There have been many resurrected since then (such as Peter, James, John, and Moroni). There will be the second great part of the first resurrection at the second coming. All this constitutes the First Resurrection, or the resurrection of the Just. These are they who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom (D&C 76: 64)
    Then there is the Last Resurrection, which is the Resurrection of those receiving of the Telestial Glory. This will not happen until after Christ has finished all his work (D&C 76: 85) which is after the Millennium when he judges all men.

    Pulling all this together, we see that the righteous will receive their reward when they are resurrected, but they still must stand before the Judgment of God at the Final Judgment. We also see that the wicked, or those who are cast out, will not receive their reward until after the Millennium when they stand at the Judgment.
    The righteous who have received and the wicked who have not will all stand at the Final Judgment, at which point all judgments will be made formal.

    So, in the chapter of Gospel Principles they are absolutely correct that if we are among the “sheep” as mentioned in Matthew we will know what our Final Judgment will be, and when we are resurrected we will be assured of our reward. However, this is still not the Final Judgment, but the second coming.

  12. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Shem,

    I will lay to rest your comment regarding your knowledge of what Lessons are currently being studied.

    As to your comments about the Final Judgment and Matthew, I have one question.

    I went to the link you provided which was titled: “Judgment, the Last” which said: “The final judgment that will occur after the resurrection. God, through Jesus Christ, will judge each person to determine the eternal glory he will receive. This judgment will be based on each person’s obedience to God’s commands, including his acceptance of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”

    The final statement claimed: “The Lord shall come down with a curse to judgment on the ungodly, D&C 133:2“. Here is the D&C passage referenced:

    The Lord who shall suddenly come to his temple; the Lord who shall come down upon the world with a curse to judgment; yea, upon all the nations that forget God, and upon all the ungodly among you.

    Joseph Smith taught that all these “ungodly” people suffered for all their sins BEFORE the Final Jugdment. Now, these ungodly people have inherited a place in a Kingdom of Glory–the Telestial Kingdom:

    Telestial: 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.)

    My question: If this page is speaking of the Final Judgment–which is AFTER people have suffered for their sins, then what is the “cursethat will be upon “all the nations that forget God, and upon all the ungodly among you“?

    From Judgment Day, they will dwell in the Kingdom of God–a place much more glorious than this earth. Is that a curse?

  13. shematwater said,

    February 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    The curse is the years they will spend in Hell during the Millennium. The curse is that they will witness the coming of Christ and know all that they have lost when they are cast out. Is this not curse enough, to be tormented by your own guilt for a thousand years?

    When Christ comes he will bring Judgment, yes. This judgment will reward the faithful with life during the Millennium. It will curse the wicked with death during the millennium. And then, after all has been completed, there will be a final Judgment. At this time the faithful will fully enter God’s Kingdom, and sit as gods in a counsel to begin the work for their own children. At this same time the wicked will enter the Telestial Glory, to be forever the servants of those in the Celestial (another curse).

  14. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Shem, How can the curse be referring to the years spent in Hell during the Millennium? The link you sent me to, was about the Final Judgment–which happens AFTER the millennium.

    Here is the title of the link you sent me to:

    Judgment, the Last</em>”

    Here are all the words and references that follow, ending with the “curse” that I asked about:

    The final judgment that will occur after the resurrection. God, through Jesus Christ, will judge each person to determine the eternal glory he will receive. This judgment will be based on each person’s obedience to God’s commands, including his acceptance of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

    * The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son, John 5:22
    * We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, Rom. 14:10
    * The dead were judged out of those things which were written, Rev. 20:12 (D&C 128:6–7).
    * For all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment, 1 Ne. 10:20
    * The Twelve Apostles and the twelve Nephite disciples will judge Israel, 1 Ne. 12:9 (D&C 29:12).
    * All must appear before the judgment seat of the Holy One, 2 Ne. 9:15
    * Prepare your souls for that glorious day, 2 Ne. 9:46
    * Can ye imagine yourselves before the tribunal of God?, Alma 5:17–25
    * Jesus Christ shall stand to judge the world, 3 Ne. 27:16
    * The Lord shall come down with a curse to judgment on the ungodly, D&C 133:2″

  15. shematwater said,

    February 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    D&C 133 is reference the Second Coming. Read the heading to the section, and especially for the verse quoted.

    The link also states that the Final Judgment is after the resurrection. Those who are cast out into Hell to await resurrection after the Millennium have not yet received their final judgment at the second coming.

    This verse is cited because those who are so cursed have their final reward sealed on them. Or, as I explained earlier, their final judgment will be known at the time of the Second Coming, but it will not be “officially” pronounced on them until after the Millennium.
    The time they spend in Hell is a curse for a few reasons. First, it means a greater time separated from their bodies. Second, it means a greater time completely shut off from the presence of any member of the Godhead.

  16. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 28, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks for the explanation. I guess I didn’t understand it because the D&C verse was listed under the heading of the Final Judgment.

    I am so thankful that the Holy Ghost has opened my eyes to the truth. He has revealed to me that the moment a person dies, if they have even one sin remaining–they are cursed. We can see this from Galatians chapter three–where Paul testifies of this truth:

    So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

    In the next verse, Paul also explains what our Savior did for us, He became a curse for us, because we could not continue to do everything that God commands us to do:

    13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

    In Matthew 25, when Jesus told those who had merely committed sins of omission that they were cursed, He did so because they had not continued to do everything that God had commanded them to do in His laws. They were cursed because they had failed to do what God had commanded them to do. And the consequence for having even one sin was to be sent to spend eternity with Satan and his demons.

    No unclean person can dwell in God’s presence. No one can cleanse themselves of their own sins, not with their good works or their obedience. The only way to be cleansed from sin is to be washed in the blood of the Lamb. Every person who does not believe in the Savior who has already washed their sins away–is cursed.

    That is why Jesus will send them to the very same domain as Satan. Because, through unbelief, they have rejected what He has done for them.

  17. shematwater said,

    March 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Glad I could help.

  18. shematwater said,

    March 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    By the way: I was ordained an Elder yesterday.

  19. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Shem,

    Aren’t you twenty-five? I thought LDS men got ordained as elders when they turn 18.

  20. shematwater said,

    March 14, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I am 26. You only get ordained an elder at 18 if you are worthy of the ordination, which I was not. I was not ordained a priest (which usually happens as age 16) until I was nearly 20.

    I have not always done that which is right in the sight of God, but I have always believed in him and defended his gospel.

  21. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Shem,

    You wrote: “You only get ordained an elder at 18 if you are worthy of the ordination, which I was not. I was not ordained a priest (which usually happens as age 16) until I was nearly 20.

    If it is true that you must be worthy to be ordained, then no one should be an elder or a priest! Not one single man in the Mormon Church is worthy in God’s sight.

    You also wrote: “I have not always done that which is right in the sight of God...”

    Shem–welcome to the club!! Not one single person in this entire world has “always done that which is right in the sight of God.

    But, God does command us to “always” do that which is right in His sight:

    For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

    Shem, please see that is why you need a Savior who has done everything for you. He is your worthiness. You can never be worthy by trying to do that which is right–no one can! That is why Christ came–to save the unworthy. But those who don’t realize that they are unworthy,
    think they don’t need a Savior who gives them their worthiness.

    Galatians 3 goes on to tell us how Christ saved us from our unworthiness:

    “11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:10-14)

    Follow the example of the Prophet Abraham. Believe it, and receive it!

  22. shematwater said,

    March 14, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I know of many men who are worthy to be ordained Elders and priests, and through the grace of God I have become worthy of this honor.

    It is a false doctrine that teaches that we cannot become worthy; a doctrine that is not found in the Bible or any other scripture. Many men were ordained Elders and priests in the Bible because they were worthy of those callings.

    Now, I understand my own worth, and in the grand scheme of things it is very little. But God has declared it to be enough for me to be ordained. I am worthy, for God has declared it. But I look to the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, to give me of his grace that I may remain worthy and in the end be proven worthy to enter into my Father’s kingdom and be crowned in glory at the side of my Savior.

  23. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Shem, you wrote: “I know of many men who are worthy to be ordained Elders and priests“.

    By whose definition? Certainly not God’s. The only reason many men are “considered worthy” is because Mormon men have decided to grade sins and declared that some sins are worse than others. God has declared that even one sin makes a person unrighteous.

    James testified to the seriousness of each and every sin in Chapter two: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

    The belief that one can be righteous through their works is absolutely false. No one can be worthy “through obedience to His laws”. No one! Both the Old and New Testaments declare that no one can even be good:

    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.” (Romans 3: 10-12)

    The prophet Isaiah testified: “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 64:4-6)

    You also wrote: “Now, I understand my own worth, and in the grand scheme of things it is very little.

    Here again, you are wrong. There is a huge difference between “worth” and “worthiness“.

    Your “worth” is so great that if you were the only person to live, Christ would have come to this earth, and lived a perfect life–just for you. That is how much you are worth to God. Every time Jesus kept God’s laws perfectly, He did so just for you, in your place.

    Through His Atonement, He forgave every sin and every person was credited with the perfect works that He did for us–in our place:

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

    All who have faith in what Christ has done for them are 100% completely perfect–in God’s sight.

    Every person who believes in this Savior–the only true Christ (for there are many false Christ’s) can already say I have been: “proven worthy to enter into my Father’s kingdom and be crowned in glory at the side of my Savior.” But whoever says this does so knowing full well that it is Christ’s righteousness and not their own that makes them worthy.

    John the Beloved testified that we can know right now that we have eternal life–because it depends upon Christ’s works, not our own. Whoever believes in Jesus HAS eternal life:

    And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:11)

  24. shematwater said,

    March 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

    By God’s definition many men are worthy to be ordained to the Priesthood. It is his right to call such men, and if they were unworthy he would not call them.

    Not all sins are equal, and James never intended this meaning. However, any sin can keep one from entering the Kingdom of God if not overcome, which is what James did mean. No one should think in their hearts that God will allow them to keep even the smallest of sins, for such a desire will bar you from his kingdom.
    However, as there is at least one sin (blaspheming the Holy Ghost) which cannot be forgiven, and a second (murder) which prevents one from attaining Eternal Life (1 John 3: 15) then sin is proven to be of different grades and levels, not all of which are equal.

    Now, the belief that one can be righteous through their works without the divine grace of God is false, but then I have never said this is possible, nor has any leader of the LDS church. It is through his grace that we are made perfect, if we do what he has commanded. However, in comparison, what we do is like filthy rags to what he does for us.

    Now, when I used the term worth I was meaning my worthiness, and so this should be understood with this meaning. I also know my worth, as the scriptures teach that every individual soul has great worth in the sight of God.

    As to what John said, he also said that it is in following the Commandments that we gain this knowledge (verses 2-3). It is after our faith has been proven by our obedience (as James says) that we may know that we have Eternal Life.

  25. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    Not all sins are equal, and James never intended this meaning. However, any sin can keep one from entering the Kingdom of God if not overcome, which is what James did mean. No one should think in their hearts that God will allow them to keep even the smallest of sins, for such a desire will bar you from his kingdom. However, as there is at least one sin (blaspheming the Holy Ghost) which cannot be forgiven, and a second (murder) which prevents one from attaining Eternal Life (1 John 3: 15) then sin is proven to be of different grades and levels, not all of which are equal.

    I have given you many passages which testify that on Judgment Day, any sin is given the very same consequence as others. Murderers are sent to the very same domain as liars and those who did not feed the hungry. (Matthew 25:41-46)

    The reason, is because through faith in what Jesus has done for you—all of your sins have been forgiven. On Judgment Day, those with faith have no sins to be judged! Those without faith have every sin they have ever committed still on them. And, every single sin sends every single person to the very same eternal domain as Satan.

    John the Beloved testified of this truth in Revelation 21:

    “7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8But 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.

    Just a few verses earlier, he explained that “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” is the very same place that Satan will spend eternity:

    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.” (20:10)

    You wrote: “Now, the belief that one can be righteous through their works without the divine grace of God is false, but then I have never said this is possible, nor has any leader of the LDS church. It is through his grace that we are made perfect, if we do what he has commanded.

    Shem, have I ever said “the belief that one can be righteous through their works without the divine grace of God is false”?

    The LDS definition of grace is different than God’s definition, which is why I seldom use that word.

    Your words, which actually are correct LDS doctrine, prove this:

    It is through his grace that we are made perfect, if we do what he has commanded.

    In contrast, Christ’s Apostle Paul, testified:

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

    According to God, we are saved through faith—not by works. Or, as you worded it, we can be perfected “if we do what he has commanded.”

    Again, lets contrast the LDS belief that we can be made perfect IF we do what God has commanded; with the words of the writer of Hebrews. He testified that we are made perfect through Christ’s Atonement:

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

    Regarding the 1 John 5 passages, to which you wrote:

    As to what John said, he also said that it is in following the Commandments that we gain this knowledge (verses 2-3). It is after our faith has been proven by our obedience (as James says) that we may know that we have Eternal Life.

    If you want to understand verses 2 & 3, then you have to read them in context with the passage before, and the passages after:

    “1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    4For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

    5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

    Whoever believes in Jesus is a new creature—they have been born of God. They love God and other believers because they can’t help it—they have been spiritually reborn.

    The “key” to understanding these passages and this whole belief, is seen in verses 4-5. Whoever is born of God—overcomes the world. And this victory is through faith—not obedience!

    Going back to what you wrote earlier:

    However, any sin can keep one from entering the Kingdom of God if not overcome, which is what James did mean.”

    Look again at what John said about how we overcome:

    Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

    We do not overcome through obedience. No one can. Only through faith do we overcome. Only through faith do we receive forgiveness. Only through faith do we receive eternal life. Attempting to add even one of our works to our faith proves that we do not have faith in what Jesus did for us. All who think that their obedience can gain them anything; expose their belief that Jesus’ work was insufficient. That Jesus did not complete His mission and return to His Father with honor.

    All praise and glory and honor to my Lord and Savior, Jesus!

  26. shematwater said,

    March 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Look, I could give an answer to each verse you quote, but I doubt you would care that much.

    For example; Ephesians 2: 8-9, if you care to read into verse ten you will see that there are works that we are supposed to do.

    Also, for Revelation 21, if you read in chapter 22 verse 15 you will see that by the term liar he is referring not to those who simply tell light falsehoods, but to those who teach and actively live a lie (like those who teach false doctrine, or those who defraud and the like).

    However, as I said, I don’t think you would care that much to actually hear the reasoning and logic that I could give, but would rather remain in the illogical doctrine that believe.
    As I have said before, your doctrine destroys the Free Agency of man, and in truth contradicts the Bible. It is as simple as that.
    Also, as I have stated before, your doctrine destroys the justice of God.

    If you want to convince me that what you teach is the doctrine of God give me a logical explanation as to how these to crucial aspects of God are kept in tact by the doctrine. Otherwise nothing you say will be of any avail.

    Oh, and as to “God’s definition” and “LDS definition,” please keep the conversation as logical as possible. The difference isn’t between God and the LDS, but your perceptions and beliefs of God and the Perceptions and beliefs of the LDS concerning God. Unless you can show me where in the Bible the word grace is actually defined this is the best you can do. And what I mean is a verse that states: This is the grace of God….; or By the grace of God we mean…. Anything less is only interpretation.

  27. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Shem,

    Oh, I have cared to read into verse ten and I absolutely love it! And, it does not say it is what we are “supposed” to do! Reading all three verses in context explains that because of God’s grace, we are given eternal life. That gift comes first!! Then, when we are brought to life spiritually, we can’t help but do good works!! It’s just like a raspberry bush can’t help but produce raspberries. Those who have been born again will produce the fruit of that new life.

    Here it is in context, and let me explain what God is saying, without the LDS false commentaries that are given in your LDS Bible at the beginning of every chapter you read:

    1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein 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: 3Among 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.

    Every person without faith is “dead” spiritually. Unbelievers can’t help but fulfill the sinful desires because they are spiritually dead. But when a person is brought to faith by the power of the Holy Ghost, they are brought to life spiritually (quickened). Notice how he says that before they believed, they all fulfilled the desires of the flesh, and by nature–they were children of wrath! Not children of God! Only through faith does a person become a child of God.

    Then, not because of anything we do, but because of God’s undeserved love and mercy, He brings us to life spiritually!

    4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

    6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

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

    The reason I love verse 10 is because it shows that all of our works are simply God working through us. The only reason a person can do any good work is because they have been brought to life spiritually–just as the passages before verse ten proclaim. Then, verse ten testifies that since we have been brought to life spiritually–we are God’s creation. God did His work in us through Jesus. All of this He did before we did any good thing or were even brought to faith:

    10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

    God created us to do good works! I love it. It is so peaceful to know that I don’t have to force myself to do things that God wants me to do. Now, that I have faith and love God more than anything in the world, I can’t help but do the works that He has ordained me to do. Wow! That is truly why Jesus claimed that His burden is light. He creates the desire in our hearts and then, even the follow through. That is why no one can boast in anything good that they do–because it is all God! God does it through us.

    Shem, you wrote:

    Also, as I have stated before, your doctrine destroys the justice of God. If you want to convince me that what you teach is the doctrine of God give me a logical explanation as to how these to crucial aspects of God are kept in tact by the doctrine. Otherwise nothing you say will be of any avail.”

    As I have told you already–Jesus’ Atonement has already satisfied God’s Justice! But, you refuse to believe in your Savior, who already paid the price for every sin that you have ever committed. Justice has been paid, and this is not a logical explanation–it is truth. It is not logical (or fair) that God would punish the only person who ever lived on this earth and was 100% perfect; and then grant the Savior’s perfection to those who were evil. The only way you will know of this truth is if you quit rejecting Christ and then the Holy Ghost will open your heart to the truth.

    You also wrote:

    Oh, and as to “God’s definition” and “LDS definition,” please keep the conversation as logical as possible. The difference isn’t between God and the LDS, but your perceptions and beliefs of God and the Perceptions and beliefs of the LDS concerning God. Unless you can show me where in the Bible the word grace is actually defined this is the best you can do. And what I mean is a verse that states: This is the grace of God….; or By the grace of God we mean…. Anything less is only interpretation.”

    Shem, this conversation has nothing to do with being logical. It has to do with comparing false LDS beliefs with God’s truth. I have shown you so many Bible passages that testify to God’s truth–but you continue to reject your Savior, and, the interpretation of God’s prophets and Christ’s apostles!

    The definition of Grace is:

    God’s
    Riches
    At
    Christ’s
    Expense

    The LDS definition of Grace is:

    This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.”

    Looking back at the Ephesians 2:8-10 passages, being saved is granted simply because of faith–and not works. Being saved comes FIRST! Not AFTER our own best effort. First we are given God’s riches–forgiveness, eternal life, then, we expend our best efforts at serving God. We do this out of love and gratitude. Mormons have it backwards–First, you must do all you can do. Then, if you are good enough, you can be granted eternal life. But God has it the way He wants it–all of His riches are given to those who believe in what His Son did for them. Then, those believers spend the rest of their lives expending their own best efforts at being obedient.

    Another of many passages which show the truth to the Biblical definition, is one I already gave you:

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

    Righteousness does not come because God grants a person the “enabling power” to do so by following God’s laws. Righteousness comes only through faith–just as Abraham received it. And, if a person could become righteous because God somehow enabled them to do so by their obedience–then “Christ is dead in vain.

    Jesus died because no one could be righteous through their obedience. He paid the penalty for every sin, and because of that, Justice has been paid. Believe it, and receive it.

  28. shematwater said,

    March 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Just a few notes, since you insist on it.

    Ephesians 2: 10 says we were “created unto good works,” not “into.” This wording is very important as it actually shows what I have been saying. If it is only unto good works than it is speaking of bringing us to the point of being able to do that which he forordained we should.
    For your interpretation to really work it would need to be into, which would indicate that it brings us to the point of actually doing these works.
    Don’t you love language.

    The other thing is that your interpretation of this verse is one of those things that destroys the agency of man. If one can’t help doing good it means they have no choice, and thus are no longer free agents, but are enslaved to the will of another being. This is not the way God works. He works be persuasion, not coercion.

    As to your justice, it isn’t justice in any way, and you yourself admit his when you say it isn’t fair (which is synonymus with just). What you describe may be truly merciful, but it is not just no matter how much you try to think your way into the idea.
    Just answer one question: Would it be just for the United States to make the deal of killing an innocent man so that all other criminals could go free?

    Now, I will repeat that you have no logic in anything you are saying, and you attempts to divert the conversation away from any semblance of logic only proves this. You cannot logically show the doctrine you believe, and you know it. So you must insist that logic play no part in the discussion.
    On the other hand I can logically show the doctrine I believe in, and so I have no need to back away from such in the conversation. I am always willing to accept the invitation of God to “Reason together” with him (Isaiah 1: 18) in understanding him word and works. By your own admission you can’t do this.

    Now, on a final note, speaking of Galatians. The “law” that is mentioned in this epistle is the Law of Moses. If salvation came by the Law of Moses then there would have been no need for the atonement and Christ would have died in vain.
    This is confirmed in chapter three when we read that the Law was added to the promise given to Abraham after 430 years (vs 17-19) which was the time Israel was in Egypt.
    Thus, I would agree that by the Law (that given by Moses) no man can be saved, for that was not the purpose of this Law. However, through the Promises made to Abraham (that of Christ) all men could be saved.
    Now, speaking of this Covenant and promise delivered to Abraham, King David wrote
    “Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant.”

    Notice that the covenant was a command given to a thousand generations and that was confirmed to be a Law with Jacob and Israel. Now, since the Law that Paul is referencing in Galatians has been shown to be the Law of Moses, added at the time of Moses, this Law that was confirmed with Jacob is not the same Law, but is part of the Covenant and promise made with Abraham that would bring Salvation to the world.

    So, through simple reasoning and logical interpretation of the text of the Bible we see that there is a law that must be obeyed to gain salvation, but that this Law is not the Law of Moses, but rather the Abrahamic Covenant, which was restored and confirmed in Christ.

    In fact, if you take Galatians 2: 17-18, which states “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.
    For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.”
    Now, this clearly teaches that one who believes can still sin, and such acts are not approved by Christ or God. How can their be any sin if there is no Law to sin against?

  29. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 20, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    Ephesians 2: 10 says we were “created unto good works,” not “into.” This wording is very important as it actually shows what I have been saying. If it is only unto good works than it is speaking of bringing us to the point of being able to do that which he forordained we should. For your interpretation to really work it would need to be into, which would indicate that it brings us to the point of actually doing these works.

    But you have not even looked at the order of how God works—which I told you but you have ignored.

    First, we receive salvation—through faith!! Not by our works. Did you get that??? Not by our works. Salvation, or eternal life–is a completely free and unconditional gift. It is given “through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    AFTER we have received the free gifts of eternal life and the complete forgiveness of all of our sins; then, and only then; do we do the works. As I have told you a million times, the works we do are fruits of the spiritual creation that God has created! Notice how God creates us spiritually–first, and then this new spiritual creation produces the fruits of works. We can’t help it.

    James explains this concept in 2:26: “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    A dead person can’t even move–he’s dead. A spiritually dead person cannot do any works that please God. But God creates a new spiritual being the moment a person is brought to faith. That new spiritual being can’t help but produce works. But those works do not save them–because that person has already been given the gift of eternal life the moment they were brought to faith!

    We see this with Abraham. He was declared righteous many years before he did any works—because of his faith. But, as James explains, when He did do good works, those works proved what God had already made Abraham years before when He declared him to be righteous. But, it was his faith that made him that way–not his works.

    You also wrote:

    “The other thing is that your interpretation of this verse is one of those things that destroys the agency of man. If one can’t help doing good it means they have no choice, and thus are no longer free agents, but are enslaved to the will of another being. This is not the way God works. He works be persuasion, not coercion.”

    Enslaved”??? Really??

    Do you not understand the concept of doing something for someone simply out of love? Are you enslaved to your wife because you are obligated to do things for her? Or, do you automatically do things for her because of your love for her?

    And, God does not work by persuasion nor coercion. He works by love!!!

    You don’t understand the concept of loving someone so much that you can’t help but loving them back–doing everything that pleases them. Our love for God works the same way. He first gives us everything—faith, forgiveness, eternal life…

    Faith is what creates the new spiritual being inside of us that produces fruits (works) that please God. You don’t understand how much love one feels for Jesus to know—really know, that because of what He has done for you, you have everything!!! You have what you think you had to spend your whole life trying to gain–the complete forgiveness of all our sins and the assurance of eternal life!

    That knowledge gives me so much love for God for what He has done for me that every breath I breathe is done out of gratitude and love for what Jesus has freely given me—even though I am the chief of sinners. God does not have to coerce nor persuade me to serve my Lord. I simply can’t help myself!!!

  30. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Shem, you also wrote:

    As to your justice, it isn’t justice in any way, and you yourself admit his when you say it isn’t fair (which is synonymus with just). What you describe may be truly merciful, but it is not just no matter how much you try to think your way into the idea.”

    You really don’t understand the Atonement–what Jesus did for us, do you?

    God is not fair–He punished His Son instead of all of us.

    You and I both are completely evil sinners, through and through. We both deserve to spend eternity in Hell with Satan. But, because God is not fair, He sent His Son to take the punishment that we deserved. Jesus did this for us–in our place. If God were fair, every single person would spend eternity being punished in Hell–right along side of Satan.

    You asked:

    Just answer one question: Would it be just for the United States to make the deal of killing an innocent man so that all other criminals could go free?

    That is exactly what Jesus did for the entire world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Don’t you see it? God killed an innocent man, so that all of us criminals could go free!!

    The reason that Jesus’ death sets us free, is because He is God. If He would have been simply one man who had lived his entire life free of sin, his life could not have paid for the sins of every human. But, because He is God–His life and death were worth so much that His sacrifice met God’s demands for the payment of the sins of the world.

    The writer of Hebrews explains this:

    ” 9Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

    Through the offering of Christ’s body–Justice was paid in full!!! Because Christ was both God and man–and perfect; His sacrifice paid the demands of Justice. Through His Atonement–the offering of His body, we have been perfected forever. The reason is because all of our sins and iniquities have been forgiven. No more offering for our sins is necessary–because Justice has already been paid. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t have faith in the only true Savior of the world.

    The Apostle Paul also explains this in Corinthians:

    For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. ” (2 Corinthians 5)

    Did you catch that last verse? Is it fair that Jesus became “sin for us, who knew no sin“?

    Is it fair that because He took our sins upon Himself, that we have been perfected forever? Is it fair that we have been made righteous, because Jesus stepped in as our substitute for the righteousness that God demanded from us?

    No–It isn’t fair! Just as it would not be fair if “the United States” killed “an innocent man so that all other criminals could go free“; it is not fair that God killed our innocent Savior so that we could go free.

    But I praise God that he isn’t fair. I, a criminal who deserved to be put to death for all of my sins, was declared innocent–all because Jesus was declared guilty. He set me free.

    Shem, I pray every day for you, that you will know the truth:

    Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8: 34-35)

  31. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 20, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Shem, sometimes I am amazed at the verses you bring up. Attempting to use Isaiah 1:18 as a way to claim that I have no logic in what I write is almost funny!

    Let’s look at the rest of the passage, that you failed to do:

    Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

    Is it logical that all of our sins were forgiven because Jesus loves us and shed His blood as the perfect sacrifice for sins?

    And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5″

    God does NOT tell us to place our “logic” above His Words. You might be able to use logic to explain the doctrines you believe in, but that doesn’t mean you know God’s truth. It simply shows that you place your “logic” above God and what He has declared through His prophets and apostles. It shows you believe that your logic is smarter than God–what He has declared as truth.

    I freely confess that I am not very intelligent, nor logical. I confess that I place my faith in God’s Words above anything that I might be able to come up with by using my logic. The reason I do this is because God is first in my life, and I have faith that He knows what He is doing, even if it doesn’t make any sense to me.

  32. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 21, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Shem, you also wrote:

    Now, on a final note, speaking of Galatians. The “law” that is mentioned in this epistle is the Law of Moses. If salvation came by the Law of Moses then there would have been no need for the atonement and Christ would have died in vain. This is confirmed in chapter three when we read that the Law was added to the promise given to Abraham after 430 years (vs 17-19) which was the time Israel was in Egypt. Thus, I would agree that by the Law (that given by Moses) no man can be saved, for that was not the purpose of this Law. However, through the Promises made to Abraham (that of Christ) all men could be saved… So, through simple reasoning and logical interpretation of the text of the Bible we see that there is a law that must be obeyed to gain salvation, but that this Law is not the Law of Moses, but rather the Abrahamic Covenant, which was restored and confirmed in Christ.

    Once again, Shem, your logic and reasoning are causing you to miss your Savior.

    The passage I gave states:

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

    If Paul is only speaking of the Law of Moses, does that mean Jesus didn’t die for you? Paul said that if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Does that mean that Jesus died only for those who were under the Law of Moses?

    In Chapter three, we read that Paul speaks of Abraham, who lived years before the Law of Moses was given. Then, Paul proclaims that because Abraham was counted as righteous through faith—the Gentiles could also. Gentiles were not under the Law of Moses! Paul was not referring only to the Law of Moses. He was speaking of any law that God has ever given!

    Paul’s words explain the most important reason that God gave His laws—to lead us to Christ! It is through God’s laws, any of His laws—that every person knows that they are completely sinful. God gave His laws for unbelievers to see what He demands from them and and to know for a certainty that they cannot do what God asks of them.

    Knowing that we are doomed because we have failed miserably at following God’s laws, we cry out for a Savior! God’s law is intended to lead us to Christ because it shows us how sinful we are. It is only through faith in what Jesus did for us that we can be found righteous in God’s sight:

    Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

    Notice the first verse, because it is key to see that Paul is not refering only to the Law of Moses: “for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”

    There has been NO law given in which a person can be righteous by following. God’s law was intended to be like a mirror in which we look into and see ourselves for what we are–sinners through and through. Just look at what Jesus commanded in his Sermon on the Mount–to be as perfect as our Heavenly Father. He really meant what He said. But before we can know that we have a Savior, we need to see how much we need a Savior.

    You also wrote:

    In fact, if you take Galatians 2: 17-18, which states “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. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” Now, this clearly teaches that one who believes can still sin, and such acts are not approved by Christ or God. How can their be any sin if there is no Law to sin against?”

    Shem, have I ever said that I don’t sin? Have I ever said that God approves of sin? I sin all the time, even though I try not to.

    Jesus gave us many laws and commanded that we obey His laws perfectly. But, everyone who has faith in Jesus has already been declared righteous. Not because of anything they do, but because Christ was perfect for them, in their place.

    When God looks at me, He does not see my sins! All of my sins have already been washed away through Jesus’ blood–praise the Lord! I believe in my Savior and so my status before God is that of a perfect saint–even though I still sin. You do not believe what Jesus has done for you and so you reject the forgiveness Christ has already won for you. In God’s sight, every sin you have ever committed still remains on you. You are still in your sins because you do not believe that Jesus is the Christ.

  33. echoechoecho said,

    March 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Shem said: “The other thing is that your interpretation of this verse is one of those things that destroys the agency of man. If one can’t help doing good it means they have no choice, and thus are no longer free agents, but are enslaved to the will of another being. This is not the way God works. He works be persuasion, not coercion.”

    Mormonism destroys the agency of man. Mormons have no choice. In order for a Mormon to be saved they must be obedient to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. There is NO choice there…

    “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” [Articles of Faith 1:3]

    Remove the conditions of “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (see verses below) portion, and leave the “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved” (unconditionally) (see verses below) THEN you have a choice. Then you can freely and willingly serve God out of nothing other than love, rather than out of enslavement to the law. Then you will find that you cannot help but want to serve and obey God because of the realization of what his unconditional love means FOR YOU! It is totally motivating and it frees you from the enslavement you are in right now!

    Romans 3:28 “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law”

    Romans 6:14 “you are not under law, but under grace.”

    Romans 7:6 “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

  34. shematwater said,

    March 23, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Oh, I caught the order you put things in, I just disgreed with it. I will always maintain that it is through the Grace of God we are saved, as I will always maintain that without faith we cannot be saved no matter what our works are. But, jsut as you quote in James, without the works to support or faith it will do us no good. James is not talking about some compulsory obligation to do good, but the conscious desicion on our part to do good.

    As to you very odd way of explaining how things aren’t slavery, it doesn’t work. I understand love very well, and I am not enslaved to my wife. No, I love her so much that I consciously choose to do all those things for her. It is not some compulsion to do them, but me making a decision. If it was a compulsion it would be slavery and thus love would have nothing to do with it.
    In a like manner, I love God so I make a conscious decision to do what I know will please him. It is not some compulsion brought on by his spirit, but my choice and mine alone.

    After this you give a very long post on how unjust God really is, and how much you love his injustice. Great. So you believe in a God who is unjust.
    This is not in the Bible, as the Bible teaches a God who is perfectly just, and thus the act of the Atonement must also be a just act. To say it isn’t is to deny the Bible.
    I understand perfectly what you believe, and this is why I can never accept it.

    Now, as to logic, I have never placed it above God’s word. I simple take his invitation to use it in understanding his word.
    As such, your admission that the doctrine you teach is illogical simply shows that it is not of God, as all his doctrine is logical, or he would not have made this invitation.
    I agree that your doctrine has no logic in it, which is another reason I cannot accept it.

  35. shematwater said,

    March 23, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Now, as to Galatians, you completely missed what I said, and thus you have wrested it into something that is illogical.

    Just an example, you said: “If Paul is only speaking of the Law of Moses, does that mean Jesus didn’t die for you? Paul said that if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Does that mean that Jesus died only for those who were under the Law of Moses?”

    Now, I don’t know how you could ever get this from what I said, but let me explain.
    If the Law of Moses was able to bring Salvation then the Atonement would not have been needed and the Law of Moses would have continued as the means for all men to attain salvation (not jsut Jews). However, it is not able to bring salvation to anyone, and so Christ performed the Atonement so that all men could be saved, as there was no other way for salvation to come.
    Now, if you can’t see this in what I said I don’t know if you could ever understand it.

    I will not comment on the rest of what you said concerning Galatians because it follows this same basic missunderstanding and thus makes no sense.

    ECHO

    We have a much greater choice than you do. We are not forced to live the law of God. We all choose to what extent we want to follow Christ, and we are all rewarded for our choices, based on the Atonement of Christ. This is great liberty.
    As it says in the Book of Mormon “men are free according to the flesh; and call things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”

    On the other hand, I have yet to see anyone actually acknowledge that the works we do are our own choice. All I have heard is that once you believe the spirit of God works in you so you can’t help (not choice) but to do good.

    Now, I think we have had the conversation on motivation before, and I really don’t want to go into it again, but I will say this. If you are going to preserve the agency of man and also teach salvation by faith alone, then you must also accept that the faithful can commit any sin they so choose and are still saved. Now, I would disagree that this give more freedom than the LDS teach, but it definitly gives a greater lisence to sin, as there are no real consequences.

    Oh, and just a note, you really need to do a better job of altering quotes if you want to make them fit your beliefs. “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved,” is not unconditional. The would “may” still makes it conditional, we just are no longer told the conditions.

  36. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 24, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Shem, You wrote:

    After this you give a very long post on how unjust God really is, and how much you love his injustice. Great. So you believe in a God who is unjust. This is not in the Bible, as the Bible teaches a God who is perfectly just, and thus the act of the Atonement must also be a just act. To say it isn’t is to deny the Bible. I understand perfectly what you believe, and this is why I can never accept it.

    I must not have explained it very well. Please let me try again.

    God is Just. He demands that every person be 100% perfect to dwell in His presence for eternity. No one can meet God’s demands, and so He sent His Son to pay the entire price for every sin that every person will ever commit. God accepted Christ’s payment for our sins. The proof that He accepted Christ’s payment for the sins of the world is that Christ was resurrected. Because Christ paid the entire price for all the sins of the world, Justice has been paid!!!!!!!!!!!! Because Jesus paid the entire debt that we owed for our sins, God can now act with mercy towards sinful people.

    It’s like what you mentioned with the innocent man and the U.S. punishing the innocent man instead of all the criminals. If the court system declared that the innocent man had truly paid the penalty for the crimes of those who were guilty, then those who were guilty can legally go free. Because of what this man did, Justice was paid! The illustration of this found in the Bible is on the night of Christ’s crucifixion. Pilate offered to set Jesus free and have Barrabas, the criminal crucified instead. Jesus was innocent, and Barrabas was guilty. But Barrabbas was set free–even though he was the one who was guilty and Christ was innocent. Was Barrabas still considered a criminal by the legal system? No!! Because he was legally set free–in spite of the fact that he was guilty.

    Think of it in terms of money. Lets say you owed $10.000 to your credit card and could not pay it. As a gift, I paid your debt for you–no strings or conditions attached. Would your credit card still demand a second payment from you? No, because your debt had already been paid. Justice was met because someone else paid your debt for you. But what if you don’t believe that I really did pay off your entire debt for you? So you keep sending money to your bank, attempting to pay off a debt that has already been paid. Does that mean that you still owe the debt? No!!! It just means that you don’t believe that I have already paid your debt for you–as a gift!

    That is what you have done to your Savior. He has already paid the etnire debt that you owe to God for your sins—in full. Justice has been paid. But, you refuse to believe it and so you will spend your entire life attempting to pay off a debt that has already been paid. Because of your unbelief, you reject Christ and what He has already done for you.

    Only unbelievers will be found guilty on Judgment Day–because they rejected the forgiveness that Jesus gained for them and freely offered them. Every sin that unbelievers have ever committed will still be with them–for all to see.

    That is why there are only two categories of people on Judgment Day– and only two eternal destinations:

    1) All believers have had all of their sins forgiven–through faith in the offering of Christ’s body they are perfect in God’s sight. They will spend eternity with Heavenly Father and all others who have faith in Jesus.

    2) All unbelievers have rejected their Savior and are still in their sins. Not one single sin is forgiven because they refused to believe that Justice was paid in full through Christ’s Atonement. They will spend eternity with Satan and all others who do not have faith in Jesus.

    I pray that you will repent and turn from your unbelief. Then, thank your Savior for already paying the debt that you owed God for all your sins. Jesus has already met God’s demands for Justice on your behalf! Justice has been paid and now, mercy reigns. Believe it, and receive it.

  37. echoechoecho said,

    March 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Shem said: “We have a much greater choice than you do. We are not forced to live the law of God. We all choose to what extent we want to follow Christ, and we are all rewarded for our choices, based on the Atonement of Christ. This is great liberty.”

    Here is a loaded GUN held up to your head….

    From the Book of Mormon…

    Alma 34:35 “For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”

    That gives you NO CHOICE whatsoever. It is: DO THIS or DIE!

  38. shematwater said,

    March 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    First, ECHO

    The choice is there, whether you want to admit it or not. We are free to choose life or to choose death. It is our choice, not something forced on us. It is really quite simple, just like every other choice we ever make.
    Example: Eat or go hungry and eventually die. There is a choice here, and some have chosen to die rather than eat.

    The difference is that from what everyone else has said, the basics of the doctrine are; Do this.
    Where is the choice here? It doesn’t exist. I no longer have options to choose from, for I am given only one. If we “can’t help” doing good than what other choice to we have other than to do good? However, if we are given options we now have the ability to make a choice.

    LDSWOMAN

    Just because the country declares that the guilty can go free from an innocent man paying for their crimes does not make it just.
    Justice is not something that changes from culture to culture, or even from mortality to eternity. Justice simply is, and for God to be God he must follow the laws of justice.
    What you describe is not just, and I don’t care who says it is. Let us use your analogy of money; if you paid my debt than I would owe you and justice would demand that I pay that debt. Now, you can waive it all you want, but that does not make it just. It may make you merciful, but justice will not have been satisfied.
    This same thing applies to your doctrine. Just because Christ paid this debt does not mean that justice has been paid. It only means that a debt has been paid, but it has been replaced with a different debt (or, more accurately, a different creditor). For there to be true justice that debt must also be paid. So, your doctrine of not having to pay that debt is still unjust. It is merciful, but not just.

    However, the doctrine laid out by the LDS truly satisfies justice, for not only is the debt paid to the Father, but we are enabled to pay the debt to Christ if we so choose. If we do not so choose than we will eventually pay it in the next life.

    You speak of justice as one person paying for another, while we speak of justice as one person giving us the power to pay for ourselves.

    Oh, and Barabas is not a good comparrison. There was nothing just in releasing him and everyone knew it, including Pilate. If it had been just he wouldn’t have washed his hands of the affair.

  39. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 28, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Shem, you wrote:

    Justice is not something that changes from culture to culture, or even from mortality to eternity. Justice simply is, and for God to be God he must follow the laws of justice. What you describe is not just, and I don’t care who says it is.

    Justice is a legal term. If someone owes a debt to a bank, legally that bank has the right to demand payment. If someone else mercifully steps in and pays the debt owed to the bank—then that debt has been paid. Justice has been met!!!! It is the bank to which the debt was owed and they have the legal right to demand payment. Because the debt owed to them was paid in full, they are the one who can legally declare t that Justice has been paid.

    In the same way, each and every human owes a huge debt to God for their sins. When we sin, we are breaking God’s laws. That is why we owe our debt to Heavenly Father.

    Now, read again what I just wrote:

    Every human owes a huge debt to God for their sins.

    To whom do we owe the debt to? To God!!!!

    Not to you, Shem. So, you have no right to declare whether or not the debt that we owed to God has been paid–because that debt was not owed to you.

    Only God has the right to declare if the debt owed to Him has been paid–if Justice has been satisfied. And, He has declared that it has:

    “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 5:2-8)

    Jesus Himself declared that the debt was paid in full the very moment He died. The Apostle John records that just before Jesus died on the cross He exclaimed: “It is finished” (John 19:30). In Greek He declared: “Tetelestai“ which means: “Paid in full”! This word was written on business documents and receipts during New Testament times to show that a bill had been “paid in full“. The connection between receipts and what Jesus had accomplished would have been very clear to John’s Greek speaking readers. It would be unmistakable to them that Jesus had paid the entire price for the debt that they owed to God for their sins.

    Again, you wrote:

    What you describe is not just, and I don’t care who says it is.”

    Shem, your Savior has declared that justice has been paid—but you refuse to believe it. You say you don’t care who says it, in fact, you don’t even care that Jesus “says it is”. But just because you refuse to believe it, does not make it true.

    You also wrote:

    Just because Christ paid this debt does not mean that justice has been paid. It only means that a debt has been paid, but it has been replaced with a different debt (or, more accurately, a different creditor). For there to be true justice that debt must also be paid. So, your doctrine of not having to pay that debt is still unjust. It is merciful, but not just. However, the doctrine laid out by the LDS truly satisfies justice, for not only is the debt paid to the Father, but we are enabled to pay the debt to Christ if we so choose. If we do not so choose than we will eventually pay it in the next life.”

    Ok, so now we come down to what we are really discussing. Now, you do admit that Jesus has paid the entire debt. But, you claim that he demands a second payment–that we pay him back. He expects to be paid for what he did for us through the Atonement. He didn’t do his work for free. According to LDS doctrine—Jesus did pay the entire payment for our sins. He did meet God’s demands for Justice. According to LDS doctrine, Justice was paid when Christ paid for all our sins. But in doing so, Jesus now becomes our creditor–not God.

    This doctrine is where we see the difference between Mormonism and Christianity. Here is where we meet the false Christ of Mormonism.

    The “Christ” of Mormonism now demands that we pay our debt to him. He didn’t freely pay our debt to sin merely because he was merciful and loves us. What he did for us was his work and he expects to be paid for his work. His payment was conditional. He now demands that we pay him back. He did meet God’s demands for Justice. But, he doesn’t abolish our debt—like the true Savior of the world did. The Mormon Jesus merely re-financed the debt that we owed to God for our sins. Now, before Justice to this false Jesus can be met, we must pay our debt to him.

    While this does describe the false Christ of Mormonism, praise God that this is not what our true Savior did.

    The only true and living Christ—the one that God’s true prophets and apostles wrote about; did pay our entire debt to sin. He declared that the debt was paid in full. And, He does not demand a second payment to be made to Him.

    Shem, you also wrote:

    You speak of justice as one person paying for another, while we speak of justice as one person giving us the power to pay for ourselves.

    Here again, you clearly show the difference between Christianity and Mormonism.

    Christians humbly accept the fact that they cannot pay the debt that they owe to God for all the sins they have committed. They know that even if God gave them power to try and pay the debt for their sins themselves, that they would fail—and fail miserably. So Christians give up on themselves and instead, turn to their Savior who mercifully paid their entire debt for them—no conditions attached.

    Mormonism wants power. Arrogant people do not want to humble themselves and admit that they have no power over their sins. Instead, they arrogantly believe that they have the ability to do what only Jesus could do–meet God’s demands for Justice. Because of this false belief, you do not have faith in the true Christ. You reject your Savior who fully and freely met God’s demands for Justice for you—in your place. Because you refuse to believe that “Jesus is Christ” you are still “in your sins“. To those who refused to believe in Him, your Savior testified:

    I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall dies in your sins.” (John 8:24)

    Link to Blog Post “Has Jesus Merely “Re-financed” Your Debt of Sin?”

  40. shematwater said,

    March 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    First, it is not Christ that demands we pay the debt, but justice. The Father has been paid, but until Justice is satisfied he still cannot allow us into his kingdom.

    Beyond this, what you are basically saying is that no matter what God does we could never repay the debt. No matter matter how much he enables us it is impossible. (you said: “They know that even if God gave them power to try and pay the debt for their sins themselves, that they would fail—and fail miserably.”) So much for being all powerful.

    I prefer to believe in a God who is able to make all things possible to those who have faith, even the payment of a debt as large as the one we owe. I prefer to believe in a God who understands that in allowing Christ to pay as he did justice now demands he be paid. This is a God that can truly raise me up to be all I want to be, and all he wants me to be.

    Just to clarify my point: If Christ acts in mercy to pay our debt than justice in regards to God has been satisfied. However, as Christ had to suffer for us Justice in regards to him has not. As God is perfectly just, and as Christ is God, he must demand this payment. If Christ did not he would not be just and thus would not be God and the atonement would not have effect because it would have been performed by an imperfect being.

  41. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 29, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Shem,

    You wrote:

    Just to clarify my point: If Christ acts in mercy to pay our debt than justice in regards to God has been satisfied. However, as Christ had to suffer for us Justice in regards to him has not. As God is perfectly just, and as Christ is God, he must demand this payment. If Christ did not he would not be just and thus would not be God and the atonement would not have effect because it would have been performed by an imperfect being.

    Somehow, you think that this “clarifies” your point?

    You wrote:

    I prefer to believe in a God who is able to make all things possible to those who have faith, even the payment of a debt as large as the one we owe. I prefer to believe in a God who understands that in allowing Christ to pay as he did justice now demands he be paid. This is a God that can truly raise me up to be all I want to be, and all he wants me to be.

    Shem, I can clearly see that you “prefer” to believe in “a god“; but that god is not “the one and only true God“–he is a false god. I simply choose to believe in God!

  42. shematwater said,

    March 30, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I will try one more time.

    First: God is perfectly just.

    Second: Because God is perfectly just all debt that we owe to him must be paid or we cannot enter into his Kingdom.

    Third: Both the Father and the Son are God.

    Fourth: Because both are God than 1 and 2 apply to both.

    Conclusion: Until we repay the debt to both the Father and the Son justice is not satisfied and so we cannot enter their kingdom.

    Or, if Christ is God than he is just and thus must demand payment of all debt.

    As to believing, I used the wording I did because there is no way to prove anything on such threads. Also, I seem to recall that people complained in the past about “bearing testimonies” in these threads. Now, I may be remember other threads, but oh well.
    since you are going to start with it however, I will gladly join.

    I know God. I know he holds all power, and if he lends me some than, through his grace, I can do all things, even repay the debt that I owe to him. I trust his word and will do what he commands because I know he will make all of it possible, and all of it will be for my good.
    I believe that God is perfectly just, and nothing he does can be unjust for any living thing concerned (including Christ). I cannot believe in doctrine that would diminish this justice in any way, especially when it does so in regards to Christ.

  43. catzgalore said,

    March 31, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Shem said…

    Because God is perfectly just all debt that we owe to him must be paid or we cannot enter into his Kingdom.

    {LDS} Conclusion: Until we repay the debt to both the Father and the Son justice is not satisfied and so we cannot enter their kingdom.
    Or, if Christ is God than he is just and thus must demand payment of all debt.

    BIBLE conclusion: Christ repaid the debt HIMSELF. It is not because of what we do, it is because of WHO HE IS.

  44. shematwater said,

    April 1, 2011 at 11:06 am

    CATZ

    He paid the debt to the Father, he can’t pay the debt to himself. This would be a forgiveness of debt, not a payment, and thus justice is frustrated.

    If you want to talk about the Bible I am all for it. However, I have realized that usually what you really want to discuss is your own belief and interpretation of the Bible. Now I am perfectly willing to talk about this as well, but not when it is subtly hidden in a discussion on the Bible itself.

  45. catzgalore said,

    April 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Shem, I am sorry if you think I am subtly hiding things, I don’t mean it that way. I speak from my heart– I am not a Professional Bible Scholar and don’t pretend to be. I admit I do not understand everything, but I trust the Lord in spite of that. My life is pretty full right now between caring for the older generation (my parents and mother in law) and the younger generation (3 of my grandsons). I am so blessed to be able to care for them. That said, I don’t have the time or inclination to pick apart anything anyone says, I just love the Lord and my heart grieves for those that don’t see.

    Why is justice frustrated when a debt is paid? I owed my parents $40,000 at one time; that debt was forgiven.!! Is it not their choice to forgive the debt? It has nothing to do with justice. They chose to bear the weight of MY debt. Someone had to pay the debt– they paid it themselves! Amazing…

    Your answer points out that you believe in at least two gods, Jesus and the Father. If Jesus and the Father are ONE as I believe… then if the Father forgives the debt, Jesus has also forgiven the debt. It seems ludicrous to me to think any differently than that.

    So I will no longer answer you if all you wish is a Bible Scholar; I am not. But the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice and forgiveness takes my breath away. I can’t help but share that.

  46. echoechoecho said,

    April 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Shem said: “He paid the debt to the Father, he can’t pay the debt to himself. This would be a forgiveness of debt, not a payment, and thus justice is frustrated.”

    You have misunderstood CATZ. Jesus doesn’t “pay the debt to himself” Jesus paid the debt to Heavenly Father in full, in our behalf. And Jesus doesn’t ask us to pay the debt back to him(Jesus) because he has forgiven the debt.

  47. shematwater said,

    April 3, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    ECHO

    I did understand Catz, which is why I said what I did. Forgiveness of debt is not just, it is merciful. These are two very different things, and both must be perfect within God. God is perfectly just, which means that he has to demand payment, or the satisfying of justice. However, he is also perfectly merciful, and so he has prepared the way for us to make the payment and satisfy justice in allowing Christ to do what he did.

    This is my point. You doctrine denies justice by claiming mercy, and thus it cannot be of God.

    CATZ

    I am not looking for a Bible scholar, and I never have been. Nor do I want you to analyze everything I say. All I want is the acknowledgement that you are not giving the “Biblical” truth, but the doctrine that you believe to be true. This is all I have ever done in these threads. I explain what the LDS believe. Yes I use the Bible, but I do not claim to have the “Biblical” truth, because such a claim (though I believe it with all my heart) cannot be supported in this kind of setting.
    Simply put, you have one way of understanding the Bible and I have another. I am perfectly willing to compare these two understandings, which does not require any real scholarship. However, if you want to discuss the Bible then that does require scholarship, and the willingness to put aside personal belief and religious doctrine to focus on the Bible, its words, their meaning, and the original language it was written in.
    As I said, I am perfectly willing to join either type of discussion, but it does get annoying when you engage in the first type (that of person belief, requiring no scholarship) while claiming to be discussing the second.

  48. echoechoecho said,

    April 4, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Shem said: “…he has prepared the way for us to make the payment and satisfy justice in allowing Christ to do what he did.

    What do you mean?

  49. shematwater said,

    April 4, 2011 at 10:07 am

    ECHO

    I mean that through the Atonement the faithful are given the will and ability to DO what is needed in order to pay their debt. We still must pay it, but now we are able to do it.

  50. echoechoecho said,

    April 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    God’s justice demands that all sin be punished with God’s wrath and anger in Hell (outer darkness) for all of eternity. Eternal torment in the flames is the wages of sin.

    Are you able to pay that back?

  51. catzgalore said,

    April 5, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Well then Shem I better not get into any discussions with you, because you can run circles around me.

    Yes we read the Bible differently. You read it through the LDS filter.

    The bottom line…I know I am a sinner in need of a Savior. And I know that Jesus paid the debt for my sin. HE did the work. I do not follow a church or denomination. I follow Jesus. Not perfectly. Far from it. I struggle. I fall short of what I should be doing. I don’t love enough. But HE loves perfectly. No I don’t know all the answers, but HE does.

    And no I am not discussing “Biblical Doctrine” here. I don’t have “proof texts”. Just one verse here…

    I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2 Timothy 1:12

    And that is all.

  52. shematwater said,

    April 6, 2011 at 11:17 am

    ECHO

    Mark 9: 23 “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

    CATZ
    As I said, if you want to discuss doctrine I think you can do that, as long as it doesn’t fall into proving each other wrong, as it usually does.
    Basically, if you say that you believe something based on this verse (as you have just done) I will leave it at that, as it is perfectly fine for you to believe what you want.
    However, if the conversation turns to “what you (or I) believe is wrong based on this verse,” then you will have a fight on your hands.


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