Why Would God Forgive Your Sins Because You Kept His Commandments? That’s What You Were Supposed to do.

This week in the “Preparing for Exaltation” class, the 12 and 13 year old’s are being taught that “Repentance is a Blessing.” The Lesson Manual tells the teacher to explain the reason why repentance is such a blessing:

“Explain that repentance is the process Heavenly Father has given us for ‘erasing’ our sins. Heavenly Father wants us to return to live with him after this life, but no unclean, or sinful, person can live with him (see Moses 6:57). Heavenly Father knows that everyone will make mistakes and commit sins while on the earth, so he has given us a way to become clean again after we have sinned. This is repentance.”

The Lesson teaches these children the many requirements to be met before they can gain forgiveness of a sin. This “process” has several aspects to it, but today I wish to discuss Joseph Smith’s revelation that a person gains forgiveness by keeping the commandments. D&C 1:32: “Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.”

Testing the words of this LDS prophet with those of our Savior reveals that Joseph Smith is a false prophet. Jesus testified that doing all the things which are commanded of you is simply what God requires of you and is your duty! (Luke 17:9-10) When you sin (fail to keep God’s commands) you incur a debt and need Heavenly Father’s forgiveness. Doing what is expected of you (keeping the commandments) cannot gain forgiveness for a debt. This merely prevents you from piling on more debt.

Here’s an illustration to explain what I mean:

It’s expected that you will pay your monthly bills. Last month you used part of your bill money to go on vacation and so you couldn’t pay all your bills. You used your credit card to pay for these bills and so incurred a debt on your credit card. This month you paid all your bills. You call up your credit card company and say “I paid all my bills this month so please forgive my debt from last month”.

Do you think your credit card company will accept this offer as payment for your debt? No way! Neither will your Heavenly Father accept as payment for your sin debt the works He already requires of you.

So how does a sin debt get paid? The writer of Hebrews testifies that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). In the Old Testament we read that God’s people were required to offer animal sacrifices as payment for their sin. These animal sacrifices had to be perfect, without blemish.

Even if you gave your own life’s blood as an offering to pay for your sins, your offering would be rejected by Heavenly Father. Why? Because you are not a perfect sacrifice! You are not without blemish. You are not without sin. Instead, you are in debt to God for all your sins. On Judgment Day, every single sin you’ve ever committed will be judged by Jesus, for all to see (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Anyone found unclean (without blemish) will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

But take heart, you are not without hope! Jesus shed His blood and paid the price for the sins of the entire world. “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). Jesus was a perfect sacrifice—without any sin debt. Heavenly Father accepted Jesus’ payment for the sins of the world and forgave every person’s sin debt. In your place, Jesus offered His life as a perfect sacrifice and paid your debt.

There is only one way to “receive” the complete forgiveness that has already been won for you, and guess what? It isn’t through your efforts at trying to keep God’s commands. You can only receive forgiveness by trusting that Christ’s blood covers your sin debt. The moment you have faith in this, you receive complete forgiveness of all your sins (past, present and future)! Jesus loves us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. (Revelation 1:5) Believe it and receive it! The Apostle Peter testified: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).

Once you know just how much you have been forgiven, you can freely live a life of thanksgiving! You get to keep Heavenly Fathers commandments out of gratitude and love for Him, not out of obligation or trying to gain forgiveness and eternal life!

Click here to go to my Page titled “The LDS Process of Repentance”:

Link to LDS Lesson:

Additional Testimony of the Bold Truth:

Debt to God
Jesus:
– Matthew 6:12
Sacrifice for Sin
Heavenly Father:
– Leviticus 4:1-5
Works Judged
Jesus:
– Matthew 12:36
Forgiveness Through Blood
The Apostle Paul:
– Colossians 1:14
– Ephesians 1:7
– Romans 3:24-25
– Romans 5:18-19
John the Beloved:
– Revelation 7:14
– Hebrews 9:12-15
The Apostle Peter:
– 1 Peter 1:18-19
Substitute Payment
The Prophet Isaiah:
– Isaiah 53:4-12
The Apostle Paul:
– Galatians 3:10-13
The Apostle Peter:
– 1 Peter 3:18
World’s Sin Paid
John the Baptist:
– John 1:29
John the Beloved:
– 1 John 2:2
Thankful Obedience
The Apostle Paul:
– 1 Corinthians 15:56-58

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Do You Want to Have an Eternal Family?

I have a pretty awesome “little” brother. I love calling him my “baby” brother because it really irritates him. Even though he’s one year younger than me, he stands seven inches taller than me. He’s very hard-working and it seems that everything he touches turns to gold. I think one of the reasons he’s so successful is because he had to be responsible at a very young age. When we were both in middle school our father was seriously injured in an accident at the factory where he worked. He was unable to work for many years and as a result, my brother started working full-time at a local dairy at the age of 13. He worked four hours before school and four hours after school. There were several times he helped my parents with the mortgage payment and gave them money for our older brothers while they were on their missions.

As far as his personality, my little brother can be intimidating when you first meet him. But once you get to know him you find out how compassionate and awesome he is. If you have met my little brother, you would remember him, he’s just that kind of guy. One time when I lived on the east coast, nearly 3,000 miles away from our home town, I saw someone with an Idaho license plate at a gas station. When I started talking to him, I found out that he knew my little brother. As I said, if you have met him, you don’t easily forget him.

My brother and I have lived very similar lives. Both of us were sexually abused as children. Both of us committed sexual sins with our first spouses before we got married. Both of us desired to have an eternal family, so we became worthy to enter the temple and had our marriages sealed for time and eternity. Both of us, no matter how hard we tried, weren’t able to hold our marriages together. Even though both of our spouses were often unfaithful to us, we spent years trying to work things out.

Looking back, it’s easy to understand how emotionally messed up we were because of the sexual abuse. And, we both simply made horrible choices for marriage partners. Even though we tried everything we could to make our marriages work, our spouses still abandoned us. For both my brother and I, we lived some very difficult years with lots of emotional pain and hurt. Both of us lost our testimony in LDS prophets and left the Church. We both spent several years without any church or faith.

After the Holy Spirit brought me to faith in the true Christ over 17 years ago, I desperately wanted my little brother to know of the joy I had found in Jesus. I shared with him the news of forgiveness as often as he would let me, but he wasn’t interested. I never ceased praying for him. I always had this vision that when he came to faith, I would be the one that led him to the truth. But God, in His wisdom, had His own plan. My little brother’s second wife is a Christian. Like me, she has spent many years in prayer, asking God to bring him to faith. I praise the Lord that He has heard our prayers and brought my brother to faith!! It happened a few years ago when he felt something missing in his life and started attending a Christian Church.

I am thankful that the Holy Spirit works the miracle of conversion through the hearing of God’s Word. When he heard the Word he passed over from spiritual death to eternal spiritual life. As Jesus said: “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) Because my brother believes that God sent Jesus to save him, he “hath everlasting life”. Notice how Jesus reveals that all who simply believe in Him already have eternal life?

It’s so amazing that my blood brother is now my spiritual brother and a member of Heavenly Father’s eternal family!!! When I was LDS I always dreamed of being worthy enough to have an eternal family. Both my brother and I were born under the covenant. Our four older siblings are faithful LDS members and believe they will live eternally with their families. But the LDS teaching about eternal families is a mirage—it’s false. There is only one eternal family and that is God’s! You become worthy to enter His eternal family the moment the Holy Spirit brings you to faith! At that moment you become a child of God and inherit all of His eternal blessings—including being credited with Christ’s righteousness.

I praise my Lord and Savior for choosing to save the weak and base things of this world, people like me:

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:27-31).

Because of our sinfulness, my little brother and I were well aware that we desperately needed a Savior whose blood covered over our every sin. We knew we could not gain forgiveness with our own efforts. We knew we could never be worthy enough to meet God’s demands for righteousness. Our siblings, whose lives seem pretty “good” in comparison to ours, still reject their Savior who did everything for them. They reject the Christ who testified that eternal life is a gift from God given to those who believe. Even though Jesus clearly commanded that we be as perfect as Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:48), they still believe they can be worthy enough to gain eternal life “after all they [we] can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).

Do you want to spend eternity with members of your family? Then turn to Jesus and trust that His blood covers over all of your sins. Teach your children the wonderful message that the gift of eternal life is granted solely through faith alone. Then, spend the rest of your life serving your Lord and sharing Jesus with those who don’t believe:

“That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.“.

If LDS “Leaders are Chosen by the Lord” How Could They Intentionally Change His Word?

Would the Lord want you to sustain as leaders of your Church, men who intentionally changed His Word? They did this in “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”. This weeks Priesthood and Relief Society Lesson focuses on sustaining these men as leaders of the LDS church: “Our leaders are chosen by the Lord, and He expects us to sustain them in word and action.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 6: Sustaining Those Whom the Lord Sustains)

One LDS prophet–Wilford Woodruff, gave you this promise about LDS leaders: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme.” (Gospel Principles, p 42)

But what if President Woodruff was a false prophet when he made this declaration? Wouldn’t his false promise “lead you astray“?

Just over ten years ago LDS prophets and apostles wrote down their testimony: “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”. It was signed by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which included President Thomas S. Monson. When I first read it, I discovered something that could only be meant to intentionally “lead astray” its readers.

These LDS Apostles quoted Ephesians 2:20 but took out part of the passage and replaced it with “…”. My suspicion gets raised when I see a Bible passage quoted with missing words. It’s amazing how easy it is to change the intended meaning of a passage by leaving certain words out. My purpose for writing this post is to warn you of the danger you are in. It is my hearts desire to share my Jesus with you! But to do this I must compare His truths with the false teachings of Mormon prophets.

First off, I want to establish why “…” is used in a quote. In general, the purpose of using “…” is to shorten a quotation by removing words that are not pertinent to your discussion. But, if someone uses “…” to substantially change the meaning of a quotation, then they are being deliberately deceptive!

In their testimony, LDS Apostles state: “We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

Here is the entire passage as it appears in the Bible: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Now, take a closer look at how this passage appears in the testimony of LDS Apostles. What “phrase” has been removed from the quotation? Actually, only one little word was left out—the word “the“! One must ask the question “Why was the word ‘the‘ taken out of the passage?” Does this deletion shorten the quotation? Obviously it doesn’t; in fact the word “the” takes exactly the same amount of space as the “…” it was replaced with!

If using “…” doesn’t shorten the passage, then what could have been the purpose for removing this word? The Apostles had to know that taking out the word “the” before the words “apostles and prophets” substantially changes the meaning of the passage! In fact, the majority of times that Ephesians 2:20 is used in official LDS literature, this word is taken out.

There is a huge difference between the intended meaning of this passage and the way LDS leaders have changed it. If God’s Church is “built upon the foundation of “…” apostles and prophets” the emphasis is placed on the office of apostles and prophets. Doing this gives credence to the LDS teaching that God’s Church must continue being led by “living” prophets and apostles. However, if God’s Church is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” then the emphasis is placed upon a specific group of Apostles and Prophets, namely the New Testament Apostles and the Old Testament Prophets.

The word “foundation” helps clarify that God did not intend for His Church to continue being led by apostles and prophets. Just think about the meaning of the word. When building any house, how many times is a foundation laid? Only once! The truth found in this New Testament passage is that Jesus is the chief cornerstone in the foundation of God’s house. The New Testament Apostles and the Old Testament Prophets are the “foundation of God’s house! The founding work of these Apostles and Prophets is what they taught and can be found in God’s word. The rest of God’s house, His Church, is built upon this foundation. (The Apostle Peter talks about remembering the words of these prophets and apostles, in 2 Peter 3:1-2.)

Hebrews 1:1-2a gives us additional insight as to why God’s Church isn’t led by modern day prophets: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,” In fact, do a simple Bible search and you will find that every time the New Testament refers to “latter-day” prophets, the word “false” is associated.

Gospel Principles claims: “Many people live in darkness, unsure of God’s will. They believe that the heavens are closed and that people must face the worlds perils alone.” (Chapter 9: “Prophets of God” p 39)

Christians certainly don’t live in darkness and face the worlds perils alone! Jesus promised “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20) Every Christian knows this personally because Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit all dwell inside the heart of every believer: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:10-19

This Savior who loves you warned you take heed so no one would deceive you:

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many… And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many… Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mt 24:4-5; 11; 23-24)

Every time I read “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” I turn to God in thankfulness for being rescued from these false prophets! The Lord did not choose these men as His prophets. I beg you to test your prophets and apostles. Compare their words with those of the Prophets and Apostles who ARE the foundation of God’s Church!

Link to “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”:
http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/testimonies-of-him/articles/the-living-christ-the-testimony-of-the-apostles-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints.html

My Four-year-old Granddaughter has More Power From God Than Mormon Prophets

When I was LDS I never questioned that God’s authority came from the Priesthood. In the Church it is always simply stated as a fact: “The priesthood is the authority of God.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, p 45) When you are told all your life that this is where God’s power and authority are dispensed, it’s hard to even comprehend that another possibility exists.

I was actually shocked when I did a thorough study of God’s Word about “authority” and “power”! I discovered that there’s no power in the priesthood! Just because LDS prophets claim that the priesthood is the power to act in God’s name does not make it so. God alone determines who is given His power and how a person receives it:

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1). During Old Testament times, God gave certain facets of His power and authority to Priests who acted in His name. After Christ was resurrected, this line of authority was no longer necessary.

Today, it’s not through the priesthood that God dispenses His power and authority. The truth (as revealed by Jesus Himself) is that the power and authority to act in God’s name comes directly from the Holy Ghost. God’s power is given to every person the Holy Spirit brings to faith: women and children as well as men!

Despite the fact that while Jesus was alive He had already given His Apostles “power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases”; after His resurrection He promised them something even more! He testified that they would be given a new kind of power:

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

According to Jesus, the Apostles did not yet have “power from on high”. Just prior to Jesus’ ascension he testified: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Luke 24:49 & Acts 1:8a).

Just as Jesus had promised, on the day of Pentecost “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The Apostle Peter declared that this power fulfilled the prophesy:

“that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2)

The power that Jesus promised “would come upon you” is the power of the Holy Ghost! As the prophet Joel prophesied, this power would be given to “sons and daughters” and “on my handmaidens”. This power is the Holy Ghost and He actually dwells inside of all who have been given faith in Jesus.

Every believer has all power and authority from God dwelling inside of them through the Holy Spirit. But that’s not all. They also have God the Father and Jesus Christ living in them:

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21)

That’s why my granddaughter has more power and authority from God than LDS prophets. She believes that Jesus is her Savior! God the Father, Jesus the Christ and the Holy Ghost all live inside of her heart! Because of this, she belongs to God’s true Church.

LDS Prophets believe that God the Father is merely a glorified man and cannot dwell in someone’s heart:

“John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.” (D&C 130:3)

But the testimony of the Apostle John proves this LDS scripture as false:

“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:13-16)

Which do you believe: the words of Christ’s Apostle or those of a false prophet?

In “Chapter 5: The Holy Priesthood—for the Blessing of God’s Children” LDS prophet George Albert Smith claims: “The power and authority of God can be found only in His true Church .”

I testify to you that this power and authority from God can be found only in His true Church. But His true Church is not The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And God’s power and authority are not found in the Mormon Church nor in the LDS Priesthood. God’s true Church is not a religion; it is made up of people—all who have faith in Jesus. And each person has been given God’s Power and Authority through the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.

This is because because Jesus has made us holy. All praise and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

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