They Did Obey Every Word of Command With Exactness: That’s Your Only Safety?

Do you do exactly what is commanded by the Lord? This weeks Gospel Doctrine Lesson asks the question:

“Why is it important to be exactly obedient to the teachings of the Lord’s prophet? (See the quotation on the next page.)”

Here’s the answer from President Harold B. Lee. He taught:
“The power of Satan will increase; we see it in evidence on every hand… “Now the only safety we have as members of this church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized.” (Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 32: They Did Obey-Every Word of Command with Exactness, pp 143-144)

These words are similar to an article I read in the Ensign about five years ago from General Conference. The General Authority testified to Latter-day Saints that their only path of safety was in keeping the commandments. He talked about an “80:20 principle” and claimed that keeping the commandments only 80 percent of the time is not acceptable: “There are precious blessings that come only from the complete yielding of one’s heart to God.” The blessing he refers to is “being saved”:

“President Heber J. Grant said: ‘There is but one path of safety to the Latter-day Saints, and that is the path of duty. It is not a testimony, it is not marvelous manifestations, it is not knowing that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, … it is not actually knowing that the Savior is the Redeemer, and that Joseph Smith was His prophet, that will save you and me, but it is the keeping of the commandments of God, the living the life of a Latter-day Saint.’ Now, young men and young women, as you begin to set your priorities in life, remember, the only true security in life is living the commandments.

Do you rest in the certainty that your works are sufficient to earn your Salvation? Or, does it make you squirm to hear these words from President Grant? How does it feel knowing that your “certainty for being saved” rests on your ability to keep the commandments?

If I had heard these words while I was LDS, I would have been completely stressed out. I was well aware of my inability to keep God’s commands. Reading these words today I am so very thankful that the Holy Spirit has opened my heart and eyes to the truth. I bear witness to you that these words are false! No one will be saved by following the path that Mormon prophets have set you on—no one will be found righteous by keeping the commandments. The only “path of safety” lies in having faith in Jesus!

I know that these words are false and you can know this too—simply by testing his words with God’s prophets and apostles, found in His holy scripture:

The Prophet Isaiah Testified:

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Is 61:10)

Not according to our works:

“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:” (2 Ti 1:7-10)

Saved through faith—Not by works:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:8-10)

Not by Works of Righteousness:

“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Tit 3:4-6)

What Must I do to be Saved?

“And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Ac 16:30-31)

Believe and You Will be Saved:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Ro 10:9-10)

Whoever Believes in Jesus Has Eternal Life:

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 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.” (Jn 3:14-18)

The Gospel is the Power that Saves–Through Belief:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Ro 1:16)

The Message of the Cross is the Power That Saves:

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Co 1:18)

The LORD Gives Salvation:

“For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.” (Ps 149:4)

The Record of God is That He hath Given to Us Eternal Life:

“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 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 5:9-13)

You Shall be Whiter Than Snow:

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight…

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Ps 51:1-13

Along with King David, I Have confessed my sins to God, and have devoted my life to teaching transgressors about God’s ways. Whenever I am down, I pray for God to restore to me the joy of His salvation—so that many sinners will know Christ.

Link to General Conference talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/10/wherefore-settle-this-in-your-hearts?lang=eng

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27 Comments

  1. echoechoecho said,

    August 17, 2012 at 12:07 am

    “May we ever remember that the mantle of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cloak of comfort but rather a robe a responsibility. Our duty, in addition to saving ourselves, is to guide others to the celestial kingdom of God.” (Thomas Monson; Ensign, August 2012, p. 4).

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 17, 2012 at 12:58 am

    echoechoecho,

    Wow, I haven’t had a chance to read this month’s Ensign. Thanks for commenting. What is the title of the article?

    Becki

  3. shematwater said,

    August 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Ezekiel 3: 18
    When I say unto the wicked, thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning; nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

    Sounds familar don’t it? Kind of like what President Monson said as quoted by Echo (in post number 1)

    Matthew 7: 21-23
    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of hevaen; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils/ and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    Again, sounds very familiar; just like the idea that the only safety is in obedience to the commandments.

    To answer some questions
    Q. Do you rest in the certainty that your works are sufficient to earn your Salvation?
    A. No, but then that is not what is being taught. We do not earn our salvation, and never could. But it is our works that Christ requires before he will extend his grace to save us.

    Q. How does it feel knowing that your “certainty for being saved” rests on your ability to keep the commandments?
    A. As it rests only in part on me keeping the commandments, and not on my ability, but on the ability and power given me by the grace of Christ, I feel wonderful about it. After all, all things are possible with him, so why can he not give me the ability to keep his commandments, for which I will praise him continually.

  4. echoechoecho said,

    August 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Becki, the title of the article is: “The Savior’s Call to Serve”

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks, Echo

  6. rlofferdahl said,

    August 21, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Shem said: “But it is our works that Christ requires before he will extend his grace to save us.

    Does God really require works of us before he extends his grace to save us?

    “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5

    “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ.” Colossians 2:13

    In Biblical Christianity, grace precedes works.

    In Mormonism, works precede grace.

    Are good works required? Yes Shem, they are. They are required of Christians to whom God has already extended his grace. And a Christian’s good works are evidence of their belief and their trust in the sufficiency of God’s grace to save them.

    And what about a Mormon’s works? A Mormon’s works are evidence as well – evidence of their unbelief in the sufficiency of God’s grace to save them. Mormons prefer to place their trust in their own works in order to earn God’s grace.

    . . . as if their works could bring about God’s grace . . .

    But consider:

    “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:6

    Upon this point, Christianity and Mormonism will always be divided.

    And, Hello, Echo . . .

  7. choosethechrist said,

    August 21, 2012 at 8:07 am

    “President Heber J. Grant said: ‘There is but one path of safety to the Latter-day Saints, and that is the path of duty. It is not a testimony, it is not marvelous manifestations, it is not knowing that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, … it is not actually knowing that the Savior is the Redeemer, and that Joseph Smith was His prophet, that will save you and me, but it is the keeping of the commandments of God, the living the life of a Latter-day Saint.’ Now, young men and young women, as you begin to set your priorities in life, remember, the only true security in life is living the commandments.”

    How sad this is. This is not possible and I have yet to see anyone accomplish it. No one is keeping the commandments of God which is the whole point in needing a redeemer (Jesus). If you are LDS, and you are not keeping the commandments, you are not living the life of a Latter Day Saint and you have no security in life. That is not good news. If you are counting on yourself to keep the commandments in order to “save you” then Christ died for nothing and good luck to you because you are going to need it.

  8. choosethechrist said,

    August 22, 2012 at 8:25 am

    “God, being a perfect God, had to give a perfect Law, and the Law was given not to save men, but to measure them. I want you to understand this clearly, because I believe hundreds and thousands stumble at this point. They try to save themselves by trying to keep the Law, but it was never meant for men to save themselves by.”
    ~D.L. Moody

  9. shematwater said,

    August 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    CHOOSE

    The sad thing is that I have met many people who have accomplished all that is required of them, and their works have been judged good, and they will sit in heaven as Joint-heirs of Christ. There are people everywhere who are living the standards of God.

    rlofferdahl

    You just don’t understand. Christ’s grace does not come only after works, but before works, during works, and after them.
    It is by his grace that we are alive and able to make choices. But we still have to make them.
    It is by his grace that, after we have chosen to obey him, we are enabled to do so. And as we continue to choose obedience we gain ever increasing grace until, at the end, his grace is sufficient to save.

    We do not rely on our works to save us, and anyone who thinks we do does not understand our doctrine. We rely on his grace to save us, for nothing we do could ever bring that salvation. However, we recognize that he has given us certain instructions and if we neglect to obey those instructions he will not give us of that Grace that we need so much.

    For those who do not understand our doctrine, we believe that it is by faith we are saved through the grace of God, but only after that faith has been tried and tested and proved to be true, much like the trial of Abraham in offering Isaac to prove his faith. If our faith is strong enough we will endure all trials, and for this faith we will be blessed and saved in the eternal courts. However, if our faith is not strong and we fail to endure these trials how can we acpect to to be blessed for that failure.

    As the scriptures you quote, Paul is speaking to members of the church; people who had heard the gospel, embraced it, and were baptized by water to prove their faith. These people are “alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” for they have been reborn through baptism.

  10. echoechoecho said,

    August 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    From the Book of Mormon…

    Moroni 10:32 “32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of ALL ungodliness, AND love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”

  11. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    “We do not rely on our works to save us, and anyone who thinks we do does not understand our doctrine.”

    So I guess the Prophet Joseph Smith doesn’t understand LDS doctrine?

    “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” (Third Article of Faith)

    To get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded. Men may preach and practice everything except those things which God commands us to do, and will be damned at last.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Chapter 13: Obedience: “When the Lord Commands, Do It” p. 161)

    How about LDS scripture and Apostles who explain them, do they understand LDS doctrine?

    Eternal life, or celestial glory or exaltation, is a conditional gift. Conditions of this gift have been established by the Lord, who said, “If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God. D&C 14:7 (Salvation and Exaltation, Elder Russell M. Nelson, April 2008)

    Does President Heber J. Grant understand LDS doctrine, as I quoted in my Post?

    “…it is not actually knowing that the Savior is the Redeemer, and that Joseph Smith was His prophet, that will save you and me, but it is the keeping of the commandments of God.”

    How about the Book of Mormon? Does it understand and teach LDS doctrine? (As Echo has so aptly posted from the final page of the Book of Mormon that a person must be perfect before God’s grace is sufficient. Moroni 19:32)

    Or are we to believe that Shematwater understands LDS doctrine better than LDS prophets, apostles and scripture?

  12. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 24, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Shem, again you wrote:

    The sad thing is that I have met many people who have accomplished all that is required of them, and their works have been judged good, and they will sit in heaven as Joint-heirs of Christ. There are people everywhere who are living the standards of God.”

    Now lets look at your words from a Christian perspective. What you say isn’t sad. The truth is that everyone with faith in Jesus has accomplished all that is required of them. This isn’t sad, it’s glorious news! However, unlike LDS teachings the only reason believers have done so is because Jesus did it for us–in our place. When God sees believers He sees Christ’s perfect works because they wear Christ’s robe of righteousness:

    I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

    Every true believer knows that in and of themselves they are completely evil through and through. They know this because they see how often they sin and because they believe the words of their Lord:

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

    It’s knowing just how sinful I am that causes me to love my Savior more than anything else in the world. Knowing what He truly did for me brought a whole new meaning to obeying the “first and great commandment”. I can’t help but to “love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

    Shem, as far as Mormons are concerned, it is “a sad thing” that you have met many people whom you think have accomplished all that is required of them. And that and you think their works have been judged good, and that they will sit in heaven as Joint-heirs of Christ. If you believe “there are people everywhere who are living the standards of God” then you are in error because you don’t know the scriptures.

    There are only two groups of people in the world–those who are 100% righteous and those who are 100% unrighteous.

    The righteous are those whom God sees as perfect because they have been clothed with Christ’s robe of righteousness through faith:

    “…for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness”

    The unrighteous are those who think they are pretty good. Many think they are “living the standards of God” and because of this, they want to add their own works to Christ’s perfect robe of righteousness:

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

    “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)

    Our Lord testified: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

    Since Jesus revealed this, only He can tell us what the will of the Father is:

    “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)

    “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:28-29)

    Please Shem, now that you do know scripture–believe the words of your Lord and Savior.

  13. echoechoecho said,

    August 24, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Shem said: “The sad thing is that I have met many people who have accomplished all that is required of them, and their works have been judged good, and they will sit in heaven as Joint-heirs of Christ. There are people everywhere who are living the standards of God.”

    1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”

    1 John 1:10 “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

    Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags”

  14. shematwater said,

    August 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    Joseph never said it is our works that save us, and it is you misconstrewing his meaning, not me.
    Our works do not save us, and never could. It is true that a man who obeys every command from God, and yet has no faith, will not be saved. It is also true that without the atonement of God even one who does so in faith could not be saved. No effort on our part can briong to pass our salvation. That blessing comes from God because of the sacrifice of His Son, and can come in no other way.However, that blessing comes only to the faithful, and the faithful are those who have proven their faith by their works.
    This concept is not foreign to the Bible. James taught it explicitly, for he declared that Faith without works is dead; and turning to the example of the great father Abraham he showed how it is that through our works our faith is made perfet and able to receive the blessings salvation.
    It is when people try to twist the words of the mordern prophets into what they were never intended to be that we get the false doctrines that people claim the church teaches.

    For instance, if you care to actually read the 3rd article of faith, you will realize that it states directly that it is the atonement of Christ that saves. To highlight the last statement without first understanding the first gives the wrong understanding. The second statement is not to say that our works save, as that is done by the atonement. The second statement merely points our that the powers of that atonement will only rest on those who prove their faith through their works.

    Works are required, but only as proof of our faith, as as such cannot save, nor should anyone think that they can.

    Of course, you also twist my words. I do not say this was intentional, but you have missed my entire point. When I say that it is a sad thing that many have accomplished what was required of them this is in response to the comment by CHOOSE; it was me expressing sorrow over the fact that they cannot see that so many people have done this, and by so doing have ensured their salvation. It is sad that people’s thoughts are so jaded that they cannot see the good in others, but must only look at what is wrong, and by so doing miss the greatness that is in many individual people.
    I had no thought as to commenting on your doctrine and how you believe in peoples perfection because of Christ.
    I did not express sorrow that there are people who are living the required standards as set forth by God, delivered to us by his prophets in these days. This is not a cause for sorrow, but a cause for great joy.
    The sorrow is that you cannot see this.

    ECHO

    I have never said anything otherwise. I do not deny that all (with the exception of Christ) have sinned, and that in the eyes of a perfect God we are as dirt and are filthy. These things are all true. But they do not negate the fact that there are many living godly lives, striving to be obedient to the laws that Christ has instituted, and in so doing have fulfilled the requirements that He has set for their redemption.

  15. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    “However, that blessing comes only to the faithful, and the faithful are those who have proven their faith by their works. This concept is not foreign to the Bible. James taught it explicitly, for he declared that Faith without works is dead; and turning to the example of the great father Abraham he showed how it is that through our works our faith is made perfet and able to receive the blessings salvation.”

    Again, how many times have you and I discussed this topic? I do recognize that understanding this truth can only be done by someone with the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, so it is lost on you. However, I will respond for the benefit of those reading this who are interested in learning Gods truth.

    Notice what Shem wrote:

    “…and turning to the example of the great father Abraham he showed how it is that through our works our faith is made perfet and able to receive the blessings salvation.”

    But scripture proves once again that you are wrong. Here is what the Holy Ghost revealed through the Apostle Paul:

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

    Abraham did not receive the blessings of salvation through his works. Looking at the bad example Shem teaches us, we see why it is important to let the Bible interpret itself. James is teaching us how to identify whether or not someone has faith, not how we are saved. Just read when Abraham was first declared righteous. It was years before he was willing to sacrifice Isaac on the altar:

    “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)

    What most LDS don’t understand is that Christians agree completely that faith without works is dead. Only someone with true faith in Jesus can do good works. (As I have clearly stated in my previous comment.) James is not writing about whether we are saved by faith or works. He is teaching us that a saved person with true faith will produce works–works are the fruit of faith and not the root of faith.

    Nowhere in James does God say He has to see our works to know if we have faith. What James is talking about is how we can tell if a person has faith— by looking at their works or lack thereof:

    “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (17-18)

    A person has to have faith to do works. Works do not produce faith, faith produces works! James tells us that a person’s works are merely evidence that they have true faith–that a person is spiritually alive. His concluding analogy: “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (26)

    The rest of God’s Word clearly supports that we are saved by our faith—before we have done any works:

    “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13)

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

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

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

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

    Paul testified of the same thing to the Ephesians:

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

    And to the Galatians:

    “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20

    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Ga 2:16-21

    That’s why I love and praise my Lord and Savior. He alone is worthy!

  16. wyomingwilly said,

    August 25, 2012 at 12:37 am

    latterdaysaintwoman, the Bible verses you cite relative to how anyone
    can receive eternal life are clear and understandable. You also articulate their message well. When I read what Mormon leaders have taught about how to receive eternal life I notice that they are not difficult to understand either. However I see a big difference in what the apostles in the N.T. taught about this issue compared to what many Mormon authorities have taught.

    The last 10 years or so has witnessed a shift in the way some influencial Mormons have sought to try and present their doctrine of salvation relative to faith/works etc. These men (BYU professors seem to be the minds behind this tactic) are trying to recast Mormon doctrine in more of an “Evangelical” package, by emphasizing the terms “grace”; “faith alone” “can’t earn” more ; and “works” “earn/merit” less . These men have been busy convincing people that there really isn’t much difference between LDS doctrine and “Protestant” teaching.

    I think Shem examples this approach. I will not judge his heart as he obviously personally believes what he has posted here, but I’m reminded of the fact that he is not a General Authority (I assume) so therefore I can’t take most of his statements for any more than his own personal conviction.

    From what I have read of Mormon authorities on this issue they indeed talk about earning/meriting salvation or eternal life by works. Striving to be worthy of meriting eternal life by keeping all the laws and commandments of God (as taught by Mormon leaders); earning their salvation through works, with faith and grace as part of the process.

    This is at odds with the great message of the N.T. such as Eph 2:8,9 :
    God’s grace, our faith, no works. All glory to Jesus, because it is
    through His work, His merit, credited to us that “qualifies” us to
    receive complete forgiveness from God and be given eternal life with
    Him. The N.T. is clear about works relative to salvation/eternal life:
    not by works before grace; not by works after grace; not by works
    period! We are not saved by striving to keep all the laws and
    commandments of God, but by Christ alone His grace alone through
    our faith alone.

  17. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 25, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Shem, I have spent hours and hours responding to you by providing quotes from your LDS prophets and from God’s Prophets. I do this because I want to make sure I don’t mislead anyone by not taking the time to back up my words.

    Simply by reading your words you ignore the very words of Christ, even when presented directly to you over and over again. Do you know what the first and greatest commandment is? You should because I quoted it in my comment to you just yesterday:

    “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:36-38)

    And yet having been told this, you state:

    “It is true that a man who obeys every command from God, and yet has no faith, will not be saved.”

    No unbeliever can obey “every command from God.” It isn’t possible for an unbeliever who doesn’t even believe in Jesus to “obey” Him. As Jesus revealed, the first and greatest command is to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart”.

    As well, the writer of Hebrews testifies:

    “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

    Do you know how many times I have tried to teach you that an unbeliever can’t keep even one of God’s commands?

    Looking back at our comments, here are the dates:

    on 2010/10/23 at 12:34 am | In reply to shematwater.
    on 2010/05/19 at 12:52 pm | In reply to shematwater,
    on 2010/01/13 at 12:52 am | In reply to shematwater.
    on 2009/04/30 at 11:05 am | In reply to shematwater.

    As well, Echo has tried to teach you this same truth:
    on 2010/06/12 at 1:32 am
    on 2010/06/12 at 1:32 am
    on 2010/05/19 at 2:15 pm

    Now can you see why I gave up on you over a year ago? You have no desire to learn God’s truth. You are even ashamed of LDS beliefs and continue to deny the words of your prophets, over and over again.

  18. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 25, 2012 at 2:01 am

    wyomingwilly,

    Thanks for putting it all back into perspective for me. Shem used to comment many times a few years ago. At that time I gave up on him, but now he is back and once again I let myself get upset. As usual, he is claiming I don’t know LDS doctrine, and tries to portray Mormonism as what is taught in the Bible. Since he seldom provided any quotes to back up his acusations, I warned him that I would not post his comments unless he provided LDS quotes (with links to LDS.org).

    I don’t understand why people like him often spend more time denying LDS beliefs than denying what I teach from the Bible. I do know that in many cases LDS members just don’t know correct LDS beliefs. That’s why I have learned to always provide numerous quotes from LDS leaders–hence the Page The LDS Process of Repentance.

    Anyway, my rambling here does have a purpose. I was thankfull for your comment which reminded me that I do understand why many LDS people think they just have to “qualify” for salvation–as you said. In the past ten years or so the language used by LDS leaders has toned down from when I was LDS. You mentioned BYU profs, but I have also seen it in General Authorities.

    If President Spencer Kimble could hear how watered down some LDS leaders make their doctrine sound, he would not be very happy. But no matter how it is worded, the bottom line is that Mormon doctrine has not changed. It still divides the church between those who are worthy because of their own works and those who are not worthy because they don’t make the grade. It still requires a person to add their obedience to their faith and that obedience is what makes them worthy to gain eternal life–not Christ’s Atonement.

    If it were solely Christ’s Atonement that makes a person worthy, then every Mormon would be worthy through their faith alone. The Bishop would lose his job as the “Judge of Israel” because all would be found righteous through faith in Christ. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

  19. shematwater said,

    August 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    LDS WOMAN

    You still haven’t grasped the point I am trying to make, but are striving to fit my words into the point you want me to make.

    I never once said that James teaches it is our works that save us, or that it is even our works combined with faith. What I said is that James clearly teaches that works are the evidence of Faith, and until our faith is proven through that evidence we cannot expect to be saved.
    Now, you quote Romans in respect to Abraham, but seem to ignore what James says about the matter.
    “Was not Abraham our father JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and BY WORKS WAS FAITH MADE PERFECT?
    And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
    Ye see then how that BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and not by faith only.”

    By works we are justified. We are not saved by works, for Paul clearly shows that our works could not save us, as you pointed out. But it is by works that we are justified, and only those who are justified will be redeemed of Christ.

    It is also rather obvious that James is not teaching that works always follow faith. After all, he admits that many of those he is righting to believe, but points out that without their works their faith will do nothing. Even his analogy that you quote (“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”) it is obvious that faith can be present without works. After all, a dead body is still a body. Even so, dead faith is still faith. But just as a body needs a spirit to animate it, so too does faith require works to animate it.

    To say something of your comments regarding my words, you are again not getting the point, but are trying to make what I say something different than what I meant.

    When I speak of one who obeys every command I am speaking hypothetically, and it should be understood as such. I have no intension of inferring that such is possible (at least not in this life) but that if it was possible it still would not be enough to save us.

    However, I have to disagree with you on your continued assertion that an unbeliever can’t keep any commandments. After all, there are many unbelievers who visit and comgfort the widow and the poor, and work diligently to help those in need. These people have obeyed this command. All those who have refrained from Murder have obeyed this command. Every man and woman who has stayed faithful to their spouse have obeyed teh command against adultery.

    While you quote verses your understanding of them makes so little sense that I am forced to reject it.

  20. rlofferdahl said,

    August 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Shem says: “You just don’t understand.”

    You’re right Shem. I guess I just don’t understand. I don’t understand how in one breath you can say,

    “…it is our works that Christ requires before he will extend his grace to save us…”

    but then in the next breath say,

    “…Christ’s grace does not come only after works, but before works, during works, and after them…”

    On the one hand you say works are required before grace, and on the other, you say grace comes before works.

    Is it any wonder why so many Christians have simply given up on you, when you assert such glaring contradictions.

  21. echoechoecho said,

    August 25, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Shem said: “I never once said that James teaches it is our works that save us”

    Shem often contradicts Mormon Doctrine.

    The Mormon Church’s: Articles of Faith states:

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

  22. shematwater said,

    August 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

    rlofferdahl

    I have not contradicted myself in the least bit.
    Christ will not extend his Grace to save us until after we have proven our faith by our works. This is true.
    However, he will extend his grace to preserve our lives and our agency, as well as to give us the power to do the works required for salvation.
    The problem is that you seem to have a very narrow understanding of what grace is, and you try to apply this to my words, which encompass a much broader view. Grace is anything that Christ does for us, which includes so much more than literal salvation. His grace works in our lives so completely that there is not a moment of our existence that is not dependent on that grace.
    Now, as I said, He will not extend grace to save us until after we produced the required works; but he will extend His in every other way that he can to assist us in accomplishing those works so that he can extend it to save us.

    ECHO

    I have rarely contradicted LDS doctrine, and when I have I have corrected myself.
    I have, however, frequently contradicted the false and distorted views you have in regards to that doctrine.

    Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “Man cannot resurrect himself; man cannot save himself; human power cannot save another; human power cannot atone for the sins of another. The work of redemption must be infinite and eternal; it must be done by an infinite being; God himself must atone for the sins of the world” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 111–12).
    Quoted in the Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual Lesson 28: The Word Is in Christ unto Salvation.

    We cannot save ourselves. No amount of human power can save us, whether it be our power or someone elses. Only God could perform the necessary atonement that saves mankind from physical and spiritual death.
    I did not contradict anything. I know the truth in this matter, and it is you who have contradicted it.

  23. catzgalore said,

    August 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    hello Shem! Good to see you back. 🙂 (you may have been back here awhile, life’s responsibilities have kept me away for awhile too)

    Shem, it is still doubletalk. It reminds me of those internet offers, *free* $10 gift certificate…. all you have to do is complete these other offers (which involve you spending your money) and you will get a *free* gift certificate. That is NOT truly free, is it? You have to earn something to get your *free* gift. Then it isn’t really FREE.

    So you are saying, God is giving this free gift. All you have to do is meet the requirements. Then it isn’t really free.

    You know what? Without God’s grace, you can never do what God requires. So if you can’t get His grace until AFTER you do what God requires, you can’t get it at all, because you will never perfectly do what He requires. You can’t, without His grace.

  24. shematwater said,

    August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

    CATZ

    But I never once claimed that it was free, and I do not believe that the Bible teaches it is.

    Resurrection is free to all those born on this earth, but eternal life is not. What the Bible teaches is not that the gift is free to those who receive it, but that it is given freely by the one that gives it. In other words, while we have to qualify to receive it, Christ is offering it of his own free will, with nothing coercing him into doing so.

    As to his grace, I agree with everything you say in your last paragraph, except the assumption that you can’t partake of his grace unto after you do everything. This I have made very clear. His grace is extended to all those who want to do everything, and this grace enables them to do so. Without this grace we never could do everything, and so we would never be partakers of the full blessings. However, by this grace we can do everything, and so we can be partakers of the full blessings, but only after we have done everything.

  25. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Shem wrote:

    “What the Bible teaches is not that the gift is free to those who receive it, but that it is given freely by the one that gives it. In other words, while we have to qualify to receive it, Christ is offering it of his own free will, with nothing coercing him into doing so.”

    Shem, you are right that the Bible teaches this, but LDS prophets don’t. According to the false Christ taught by Mormonism, Christ did not give his gift freely. The LDS Jesus does not offer his gift of his own free will. He expects to be paid back for what he did for us:

    “If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor? ‘Oh yes, yes,’ cried the debtor. ‘You saved me from prison and show mercy to me.’ “Then, said the benefactor, ‘you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be possible.”

    The “benefactor” mentioned above is Jesus–as he makes an agreement to re-finance the man’s sin-debt and become his Creditor. These words are taken from an LDS parable that teaches you that Jesus demands to be paid for what he did for you:

    “The Parable tells the story of a foolish man who incurred a great debt. This debt is symbolic of the spiritual debt we owe to Heavenly Father for our sins. The foolish man couldn’t pay his debt so Jesus comes to his rescue and pays his debt for him. After Heavenly Father accepts His payment, Jesus then tells the man that He will now be his Creditor.”

    Gospel Principles explains the meaning of this parable: “Our sins are our spiritual debts. Without Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Mediator, we would all pay for our sins by suffering spiritual death. But because of him, if we will keep his terms, which are to repent and keep his commandments, we may return to live with our Heavenly Father.” (page 65)

    So, according to LDS teachings, it isn’t given freely by Christ.

    Shem, if you don’t provide a quote from your prophets assuring us that what you say is really correct LDS teaching, I will not post your comment. I know I told you this two years ago, but it seems you have forgotten the rules. And, remember to give a link to lds.org so we can read the comment in context.

  26. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    August 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Shem also wrote:

    “But I never once claimed that it was free, and I do not believe that the Bible teaches it is. Resurrection is free to all those born on this earth, but eternal life is not.”

    Why do you refuse to believe the very words of Christ?:

    “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)

    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” (John 6:47)

    “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 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 3:14-18)

    The Bible does clearly teach that eternal life is free:

    “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:” (2 Ti 1:7-10)

    We are Saved through faith—Not by works:

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:8-10)

    Not by Works of Righteousness:

    “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Tit 3:4-6)

    The Record of God is That He hath Given to Us Eternal Life:

    “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 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 5:9-13)

    Shem, you are in error because you do not know the scriptures. According to Jesus, you are already condemned because you refuse to believe in your Savior:

    “but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God

  27. echoechoecho said,

    August 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Shem needs Law not Gospel. Shem will continue to refuse to believe the Gospel as long as he continues to trust in himself.


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