“We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet”

Taught in this weeks Gospel Doctrine lesson, is the belief that “The prophet will never lead us astray”. “While serving in the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Ezra Taft Benson taught, “Keep your eye on the Prophet, for the Lord will never permit his Prophet to lead this Church astray” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 37: “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” p. 218).

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

Over ten years ago LDS prophets and apostles wrote down their testimony in “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”. It was signed by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which included the LDS prophet 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, lets 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 this word 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 leaders of the LDS church had to know that taking out the word “the” before the words “apostles and prophets” substantially changes the meaning! 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 current “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.)

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

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,”. This Savior who loves you warned you to 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! While the Lord did not choose these LDS leaders as His prophets, I especially thank God for the prophets He did call. It is their words, inspired by the Holy Ghost who taught me God’s truth. 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

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A Sure Foundation: Is Yours Based Upon Christ’s Teachings, Or on LDS Doctrines?

When the Holy Spirit revealed to me that all my sins had been forgiven, I gave my life to Jesus. I love my Savior more than anything in the world because of what He has done for me! I not only adore Him — my allegiance will always be to Him first. I am also a devoted member of a Christian church where I am able to worship God in Spirit and truth. But first and foremost, my allegiance will always be to Christ.

In this weeks Gospel Doctrine Lesson: “Elder Richard G. Scott said: “I testify that you will remove barriers to happiness and find greater peace as you make your first allegiance your membership in the Church of Jesus Christ, and His teachings the foundation of your life.” (Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 33: A Sure Foundation, p 148)

It’s not possible to have your first allegiance be to Mormonism while at the same time making Christ’s “teachings the foundation of your life.” LDS doctrines are in direct opposition to Christ’s teachings.

Today, I share with you a comparison of some of Christ’s teachings with the doctrines of Mormonism.

Why Are We To Do Good Works?

Christ’s Teachings:
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

LDS Doctrine:
“Let your light so shine that others seeing your good works will have a desire in their hearts to be like you.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, p. 263)

Is the Power of God Really Found in the LDS Priesthood?

Christ’s Teachings:
“… but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: …And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:8-9)

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance… But this is 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: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” (Acts 2:4, 16-18)

LDS Doctrine:
“The priesthood is the authority of God.” “The power and authority of God can be found only in His true Church.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, pp 45, 50)

The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of GodGod gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name… For a male member of the Church to hold the priesthood, an authorized priesthood holder must confer it on him and ordain him to an office in that priesthood.” (True to the Faith, Priesthood, 124)

Do We Gain Forgiveness Through our Works, or from Christ’s Works?

Christ’s Teaching:
“…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood …to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” (Revelation 1:5-6)

LDS Doctrine:
“Your Heavenly Father has promised forgiveness upon total repentance and meeting all the requirements, but that forgiveness is not granted merely for the asking. There must be works – many works—and an all-out, total surrender, with a great humility and ‘a broken heart and a contrite spirit.’ It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven and when. It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you. That depends on your humility, your sincerity, your works, your attitudes.” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 325)

Are all people Children of God?

Christ’s Teachings:
“Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me… Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” (John 8: 42-45)

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

LDS Doctrine:
“All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God. “Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body” (Gospel Principles, p 8)

Are People Really Basically Good?

Christ’s Teachings:
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:9-11)

“…And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:16-17)

LDS Doctrine:
“…. people are basically good. It is essential to know that their tendency is to do the thing that is right.” (Gospel Doctrine Teachers Manual-NT, p. 137)

“As we repent of our sins, giving up every impure thought and act, the Holy Ghost will change our hearts so we no longer have even the desire to sin.” Gospel Principles, p. 295)

Will there Really be Degrees of Glory in Heaven?

Christ’s Teachings:
“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: For I was an hungred… Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:41-46)

LDS Doctrine:
“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)…
Celestial: “They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized,…that by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins …All who inherit the celestial kingdom will live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ forever (see D&C 76:62).”
Terrestrial: “These are they who rejected the gospel on earth but afterward received it in the spirit world… They will be visited by Jesus Christ but not by our Heavenly Father. (See D&C 76:73–79.)”
Telestial: “These people did not receive the gospel or the testimony of Jesus either on earth or in the spirit world. …”These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie…. They will be visited by the Holy Ghost but not by the Father or the Son.” (Gospel Principles, pp 271, 272)

Is God an Exalted Man?

Christ’s Teachings:
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

LDS Doctrine:
“The Nature of God: …His eternal spirit is housed in a tangible body of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22). God’s body, however, is perfected and glorified, with a glory beyond all description.”(Gospel Principles, p 6)

God’s Word, the Bible is Trusworthy and Sanctifies Through truth:

Christ’s Teachings:
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. …Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word” (John 17:17-20)

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

“…If they hear not Moses and the prophets, [the OT] neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:31)

“…have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:31-32)

“…from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 timothy 3:15-17)

LDS Doctrine:
“I speak next of another very important thing which God revealed. The Christian world accepts the Bible as the word of God. Most have no idea of how it came to us. I have just completed reading a newly published book by a renowned scholar. It is apparent from information which he gives that the various books of the Bible were brought together in what appears to have been an unsystematic fashion. In some cases, the writings were not produced until long after the events they describe. One is led to ask, “Is the Bible true? Is it really the word of God?” We reply that it is, insofar as it is translated correctly.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Great Things Which God Has Revealed,” Ensign, May 2005, p.80)

Is Eternal Life a “Conditional” Gift?

Christ’s Teachings:
“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)

LDS Doctrine:
“Immortality is to live forever as a resurrected being. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everyone will receive this gift. Eternal life, or exaltation, is to inherit a place in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, where we will live in God’s presence and continue as families (see D&C 131:1–4). Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, it requires our “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3). (True to the Faith, Eternal Life, 52)

My Prayer is that you will make Christ’s teachings the foundation of your life. And then, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

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

No Good Thing Comes Without Work? Do You Believe God’s Prophets, Christ & His Apostles; or LDS prophets?

Shem recently commented: No good thing comes without work.

While his words testify to the teachings of Mormon Prophets, is that what God’s Prophets, Jesus and His Apostles taught?

Would you consider being healed (forgiven) a good thing? The Prophet Isaiah prophesied:

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)

How about being washed from our sins? Don’t you think that’s a good thing? The Apostle John testified:

“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, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5)

How about being redeemed from the curse of not following God’s laws? The Apostle Paul taught:

“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. 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)

How about being reconciled to God & not having our sins imputed to us? Would you consider that a good thing?

“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. For 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 5:19-21)

Would you consider being made righteous a good thing? The Apostle Paul testified that this good thing comes without our work:

“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:18-21)

How about being perfected forever? The writer of Hebrews tells us that this gift is because of Christ’s work, not ours:

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And 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; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

How about gaining eternal & everlasting life? Jesus Himself proclaimed:

“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. 18He 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.”

Think about these amazing gifts. Being washed from our sins and forgiven, redeemed, reconciled, made righteous and perfect, and gaining eternal life. These are all very good things! And yet, we do no works to receive these amazing gifts.

However, in one way, Shems words are true: No good thing comes without work.

All of these good things come because of Christ’s work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But certainly not by our works—our works are like filthy rags in God’s sight:

“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)

Every breath I breathe is in thankfulness to my Lord and Savior!

Gaining Forgiveness: Do You Believe Christ’s Apostles, or LDS prophets?

There is nothing that divides Mormonism from Christianity more clearly than looking at how one gains the forgiveness of sins. While both faiths believe that Jesus paid for the sins of the world, the difference is seen when we look at how each person obtains forgiveness for their sins.

Mormonism teaches that Christ’s Atonement merely gives people the opportunity to repent of their sins. All who have faith in Jesus receive forgiveness for each sin after they do all the necessary works required in the LDS Process of Repentance.

Christianity claims that Christ’s shed blood obtained the forgiveness for every sin ever committed. All who have faith in Jesus receive the forgiveness that Christ won for them over 2,000 years ago.

The fruit (words) of LDS Prophets:

The prophet Joseph Smith revealed in LDS scripture that forgiveness is granted to all who keep the commandments:

“For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;” (D&C 1:31-32)

LDS prophet Spencer W. Kimball testified that forgiveness depends upon your works, not Christ’s:

“It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when. It could be weeks, it could be years, it could be centuries before that happy day when you have the positive assurance that the Lord has forgiven you. That depends on your humility, your sincerity, your works, your attitudes.” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, pages 324-325.)

The fruit (words) of Christ’s Apostles:

John the Beloved revealed that Christ’s blood has washed our sins away:

“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)

The Apostle Peter testified that all who believe in Jesus receive forgiveness:

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

I pray that you will turn away from false prophets and place your trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus. The moment you do, you will receive the forgiveness that can never be obtained through your works.

Polygamy: Will You Have to Share Your Husband With Other Women?

A few years ago I watched a you-tube video called “Emma Smith — Never Had an Ordinary Day ”. It emphasized several traumatic events from Emma’s life, with background music repeating the words “How much can one heart take?” This video didn’t mention what I believe was the most difficult thing Emma’s heart endured—the unfaithfulness of her husband!

Every woman should put themselves in Emma’s place. How would you feel if your husband told you he had received a revelation from God commanding plural marriage? He then “obeys” God by “marrying” several women and consummates those marriages. Imagine, lying alone at night knowing that the man you love is in another room, being sexually involved with a woman whom he claims was given to him by God. Would you believe him and submit to his priesthood authority? It appears Emma tried to object, but Joseph claimed God told her to “receive all those that have been given unto” him or she would be “destroyed” (D&C 132:52, 64).

The same year I watched the you-tube video I also followed along with the Relief Society Lessons as they studied the “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith”. It was not easy for me to read Lesson 20 “A Heart Full of Love and Faith: The Prophet’s Letters to His Family”. It made me sick to my stomach to read Joseph’s love letters to Emma; knowing that at the same time, he was being sexually intimate with other women. It’s hard to understand how any man could declare his loyalty and love to his wife; while at the same time destroying that intimacy by giving it to other women. However, I know it happens because the man I married in the temple did this to me.

Since Emma believed her husband was a Prophet she must have been conflicted about what was truly right. If she would have just turned to scripture; she would have learned that Joseph was wrong, he was committing adultery! Nowhere does Heavenly Father command plural marriage. When we read Bible passages about men with multiple wives these are verses which merely describe what’s happening. They are called “descriptive” because they are merely describing an event. For example, God did not command men to have sex with harlots, even though scripture describes that Judah committed this sin, Genesis 38:15.)

What is God’s truth about plural marriage? The Apostle Paul instructed Bishops to be husbands of but one wife:

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…” (1 Timothy 3:1-2) “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God” (Titus 1:6-7) Also Deacons: “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” (1 Timothy 3:12)

The Bible clearly shows the painful and natural consequences of the unnatural union of polygamy. Whenever women shared a husband we read of favoritism, rivalry and bitter jealousy. The sins of the father were “visited” upon his children and grandchildren through horrendous consequences including banishment, slavery, rape, betrayal, murder and rebellion. This was true for Abraham, Jacob, Hannah, David and Solomon’s families (Isaac and Moses did not have multiple wives).

Jesus testified that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman, who become one flesh. They are no longer two, but one! (Matt 19:4-5- Mark 10:2-8) In addition, a marriage founded on God’s love is even more rewarding and awesome! It’s a lovingly intimate relationship where two people forgive each others faults because they have received this forgiveness from Jesus! When Christ is at the center of a marriage, that marriage flourishes!

As painful as Joseph’s revelation concerning plural marriage was to Emma, it is not his most damaging revelation about marriage. He revealed that to gain the highest kingdom of heaven one must be married and both the husband and wife must be worthy to enter. A single person or a person whose marriage partner falls short will spend eternity as a “ministering servant for those who are worthy of a far more” exceeding eternal glory.

God’s truth, is that all who have faith in Christ will dwell in the highest degree of heaven with Heavenly Father—no matter whether they were married or single. Don’t place your faith in LDS prophets who claim you must have a marriage relationship to dwell with God the Father. The only relationship that matters is your relationship with Jesus! Is He your Savior from the sins that entangle you — even the ones you can’t seem to forsake? Do you trust completely that His blood covers all your sins and leaves you spotless? Are you so grateful for everything Christ did for you, that everything you do is for Him?

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Biblical Truth:

Polygamy forbidden: Deut 17:17; Lev 18:18; Mal 2:14-15

Evil Effects of plural marriages:
Deut 21:15-17; Gen 16; Gen 21:9-16; Gen 29:30-34; Gen 30:1-23; 1 Samuel 1:4-7; 2 Chr 11:21; 1 Kings 11:4-8

Marriage is for earthly life, not eternity:
Matt 22:29, 30; Mark 12:24, 25

LDS Teachings regarding polygamy:

(Until the laws of the U.S. change and polygamy can be re-instated, LDS women today are protected from sharing their husbands with “sister wives”. Polygamy was abolished in 1890 when the US Government forced the LDS Church to end polygamy and abide by the laws of the land that it had been violating for many years. But in one way, polygamy is still practiced. Men can be married in the Temple to as many women as they choose. Women can be married in the Temple to only one husband, even if that husband dies within days of their marriage.)

D&C 132: (Heading) “Revelation given through Joseph Smith… relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, and also the plurality of wives… Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.”

Verse 1: “…Joseph, that inasmuch as “you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, “as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines
[I’ve always wondered how poor Emma felt about these words. Here we see that God didn’t call Joseph to give him this command. Instead, it was Joseph who initiated the idea. In prayer he went to God, and asked why men of the Old Testament times were “justified” to have multiple wives.]

Verse 52: “And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph… and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.”

Verse 64: “…if any man have a wife…and he teaches unto her…as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, “or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her…”
Link to this LDS Scripture:

D&C Declaration 1, Manifesto: “The question is this: Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue—to continue to attempt to practice plural marriage, with the laws of the nation against it and the opposition of sixty millions of people, and at the cost of the confiscation and loss of all the Temples, and the stopping of all the ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the heads of families in the Church, and the confiscation of personal property of the people (all of which of themselves would stop the practice); or, after doing and suffering what we have through our adherence to this principle to cease the practice and submit to the law, and through doing so leave the Prophets, Apostles and fathers at home, so that they can instruct the people and attend to the duties of the Church…”
Link to this LDS Scripture:

Lesson 31: “Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity”, Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 176:
“At various times throughout biblical history, the Lord commanded people to practice plural marriage. For example, He gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon (D&C 132:1)… In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood.”
Link to Lesson: https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-and-church-history-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual/lesson-31-sealed—for-time-and-for-all-eternity

LDS Scripture regarding those who do not marry in the Temple:

D&C 131:1-3: “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

D&C 132:16
“Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; “but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, “without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.”

Link to: “Emma Smith, A Woman of Faith: Never Had an Ordinary Day

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith Lesson 20 “A Heart Full of Love and Faith: The Prophet’s Letters to His Family
Link: https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-20?lang=eng

Are LDS Leaders, “Prophets” of God? Gospel Principles: Lesson 9

This weeks Gospel Principles Lesson focuses on Prophets of God. One LDS prophet–Wilford Woodruff, gives you this promise: “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.”

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 the LDS prophet and apostles wrote down their testimony: “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”. It is featured on the home page at lds.org and was signed by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. When I read it, I discovered something that could only be meant to intentionally “lead astray” its readers.

The 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!

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 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? These apostles had to know that taking out the word “the” before the words “apostles and prophets” substantially changes God’s meaning for this 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 new 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 building, how many times is a foundation laid? Once! The truth revealed here 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 their teachings, and can be found in God’s word–the Bible. The rest of God’s house, His Church; is built upon this foundation. (The Apostle Peter wrote about remembering the words of these prophets and apostles, in 2 Peter 3.)

The writer of Hebrews 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” (Hebrews 1:1-2a) In fact, do a simple Bible search and you will find that when the New Testament refers to “latter-day” prophets, the word “false” is associated.

The Gospel Principles Lesson 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. 32)

Christians certainly don’t live in darkness and face the worlds perils alone! Jesus promised us all “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 our hearts:

“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

Every time I read “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” I turn to God in thankfulness for rescuing me from these false prophets! I beg you to test your prophets and apostles. Compare their words with those of the Prophets and the Apostles of old, who are the foundation of God’s Church!

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2 Peter 3:1-2: “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:”

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

2010 LDS Curriculum: Comparing the Words of Prophets & Apostles

I was born into a devout Mormon family where I learned to dedicate my life to following the words of my prophets and apostles. My fifth generation grandfather, John Patten, was the first member of my family to become Mormon. He converted his brother David W. Patten, who became one of the original twelve apostles under Joseph Smith. The year before I was born, my Dad was ordained as Stake President of the Missoula Montana Stake by Apostles Spencer W. Kimball and Mark E. Peterson. Over the next ten years one of the Apostles or a member of the Seventy would visit our home during each Stake Conference.

My earliest memory of an Apostle is of one who visited our home. This experience is what really taught me the folly of not trusting the words of the prophets. I had a loose tooth and the Apostle (I don’t remember who it was) offered to give me a dollar if I would let him pull it out. Even though He promised that my tooth was very loose and that he would be very gentle, I still didn’t believe him. To encourage my trust, he let me take the dollar until I was ready for him to pull it out. I remember holding that bill in my little hands all through Conference as I tried to muster up enough courage. But I just couldn’t do it. After Conference I had to give him back the dollar as we said goodbye. Then, the worst thing happened. On the way home from Church—my tooth was so loose it fell out! I was so upset that I hadn’t been able to trust him. My father used that experience as an opportunity to teach me the importance of always trusting in and following the words of the Apostles.

Looking back, I realize what a blessing it was to have believed in absolute adherence to the words of my prophets and apostles. Because I believed their words, I poured over the pages of LDS scripture and literature looking for help. Because of their words, I trusted that the only way to gain forgiveness was through my works. It was my complete failure at following their requirements for repentance that caused me to give up. If I had not failed over and over again for so many years, I would not have found the truth that their words are false. And, most importantly, I might never have opened my heart to the truth. I might never have heard that all my sins were forgiven through Christ’s shed blood. I might never have known the joy that I now live daily—serving my Lord Jesus out of gratitude for what He has done for me.

Amazingly, I once again believe in absolute adherence to the words of prophets and apostles. But this time my trust is placed in God’s prophets and apostles—not false ones. Because of all I have found, I desire to share my joy with others. Over the next few days I will be posting five or six new “Pages” which will follow along with various Lessons being taught in the 2010 LDS Curriculum. These pages will provide a few direct quotes from the Lessons as well as links to each Lesson on lds.org. The main purpose of these pages is to provide reference material for many of the Posts I will be writing.

One reason I want to provide quotes from official LDS literature is because I have spoken to many LDS members who don’t seem to know what their prophets and apostles teach. An article in the January Ensign about using the new Gospel Principles Manual in Relief Society and Priesthood gave me some understanding:

“Why the Change in Curriculum? Since we first began using Teachings, millions of people have joined the Church. Many of them have tender testimonies and, with relatively limited experience in the Church, will benefit greatly by a focus on the fundamentals of the gospel. In addition, all Church members will benefit by a return to the basics. A careful study of core doctrines as presented in the new and improved Gospel Principles manual will help members strengthen their understanding of the fundamental teachings of the gospel.”

Another reason for providing the Pages with official LDS quotes is that there are many non-members who don’t understand the teachings of the LDS gospel. Many non-members have LDS friends or family and are genuinely confused as to the differences between LDS and Christian beliefs. As a volunteer with Truth in Love Ministry I have spoken at numerous Christian Seminars across the country. When teaching Mormon doctrine to Christians, I believe it is important to use LDS literature to do so. It is the best way to understand official LDS beliefs. It is also the easiest way to show how the LDS Church uses a different dictionary for many of the words used by Christians.

My favorite reason for following along with the LDS curriculum is to help those who are leaving Mormonism. There are few things more thrilling than interacting with LDS members who have come to trust in free and full forgiveness through the blood of their Savior!! I have the joy of corresponding with LDS members who are at various stages of coming to know the truth. For these new babes in faith, it is so helpful to learn from someone who has already walked the path that they have just begun. Simple explanations showing the differences between Mormonism and Christianity help clear up unnecessary confusion.

But maybe the most important reason for providing “Pages” with the words of LDS apostles and prophets is found in scripture—we are told to “test” their words with God’s already revealed scripture. Even if an angel from heaven preaches a gospel that is different than what has already been taught, we must not believe him:

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)

Is the LDS Gospel false?

Mormons speak the same vocabulary as Christians; but for many words, they use a different dictionary. One of those words is “Gospel” (as in “the Gospel of Christ”). It wasn’t until after I became a Christian that I realized that the word “gospel” has a different meaning in Christianity. This enticed me to dig into God’s Word so I could learn the true meaning.

To begin learning God’s truths, I did many intensive Bible studies by starting with what I was familiar with: my LDS KJV Dictionary and Topical Guide. Then I compared my findings with a Christian Dictionary and Topical guide. I was surprised to find that the definition of “Gospel” in both the LDS and Christian dictionaries means “the good news”. But the stark difference was found when I compared what the “good news” was according to each gospel!

What is the “good news” of the Gospel of Christ according to Mormonism? The LDS dictionary states: “The word gospel means good news. The good news is that Jesus Christ has made a perfect atonement for mankind that will redeem all mankind from the grave and reward each individual according to his/her works.” This definition is explained further in the Book of Mormon, which, according to Mormonism, contains the fulness of the Gospel:

“Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil” (3 Nephi 27)

According to the Christ found in the Book of Mormon, he came into the world to be lifted up on the cross; so that every person could be judged by their works! The “good news” of the LDS gospel is that once every person receives the free gift of resurrection, they will have the privilege of standing before God on Judgment Day. The “good news” of the LDS gospel is that the outcome of this judgment determines each person’s eternal destination. The Third Article of faith reads:

“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” The “good news” of the LDS Gospel is that each individual person can be saved by obedience to its laws and ordinances.

Many Christians are flabbergasted to hear this definition. They can’t understand how anyone could possibly think that this would be good news. On the contrary, they see the doctrine of man being judged as he deserves as “horrible” news! Christians know that no one will be found worthy enough to live eternally with Heavenly Father. They see clearly in God’s Word that every person falls short of doing all that God commands.

But the reason Mormons aren’t concerned, is because LDS prophets have changed God’s Word! They have lowered God’s demands and changed His stated consequences for disobedience!!! They claim that the obedience required does not have to be perfect—even though Christ declared differently (Matthew 5:48). They claim that all that is necessary to gain eternal life is our best effort, even though there is not one single Bible passage that supports this! They claim that on Judgment Day each person will be graded upon a curve, even though Christ taught that each and every any sin is reprehensible to God; each and every sin receives the exact same consequence.

LDS leaders falsely claim that only a handful of people will spend eternity in the same domain as Satan. They teach that even those who never come to faith in Jesus will spend eternity in a glorious Kingdom of Heaven, but the Bible claims they “shall be punished with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

What is the “good news” of the Gospel of Christ according to Christianity and the Bible? Ungers—a Christian Bible dictionary gives this definition for the word “gospel”:

“The good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as provided by our Lord and preached by His disciples (1 Cor. 15:1-4). The gospel then is full and free deliverance from sin on the basis of simple faith in Jesus Christ, the vicarious sin-Bearer (Eph. 2:8-10).”

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 testifies: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

How does this definition differ from the one found in Mormonism? The difference is seen in what Christ’s gospel accomplished for us and why. The Bible claims that the gospel “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16). Christ’s Gospel saves all who believe in it! The reason we are saved is because Christ’s blood forgave all of our sins, which reconciled us to our Heavenly Father. In fact, as long as we do not move away from the hope of the gospel, we are “holy and unblameable” in God’s sight!! (Colossians 1:20-23.) We are declared perfect in God’s sight because Jesus was perfectly obedient for us, in our place! We obey Christ’s gospel simply by believing in it (Romans 10: 16-17).

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9)

How Long Will Eternity Last?

How long is a long time? My grandson Bryson thinks thirty minutes is a long time. For two years I drove him back and forth to a Pre-school in Nampa, which is a 30 – 45 minute drive from where we live in Boise. We would try to make the time go faster by singing songs or playing “I spy” games. But 3 and 4 year olds just don’t like sitting still for that long. The reason I drove this distance is because I wanted him to attend a Pre-school run by our Church. Here I knew he would be taught not only his ABC’s but also the truth that he has full forgiveness through Christ’s blood.

Bryson’s Mom and Dad split up when he was just one, so my husband and I get to spend more time with him than the average grandparents. It has been a blessing to have him stay with us every Saturday evening and Sunday. Even though his mom and dad don’t attend Church, he has always gone with us. I absolutely love this little boy and am so thankful to have the opportunity to share my Savior with him. I love my own kids as much as I love my grandchildren. My hearts desire is to spend eternity with them—to be an eternal family. I pray every day that those I love will embrace their Savior so that they can be with me for eternity.

Eternity is a long, long time compared to how short our time is on this earth. When we read the words “eternal” or “everlasting” in the KJV New Testament, these words are most often translated from the Greek words “Aion, aionios, and aidios”. Whenever we read about the amazing blessings of eternal life with our Heavenly Father, we don’t question that “eternal” means forever. But did you realize that this same word is used to describe the length of time that someone will spend in hell? Those who go to hell and live eternally with Satan and his demons will be there as long as those who spend eternity with Heavenly Father—forever!

Eternity is a long, long time and that is one of the reasons I have this blog. I know that you have been misled into believing that there is no way you could possibly spend an eternity in Hell. You have been taught that even if you were bad enough to be sent to hell, you will only be there until Judgment Day. But this teaching is false!! If you don’t believe me, then trust the words of John, the Apostle whom Jesus loved! He described the lake of fire as a place where those who go “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10-15).

Forever is a long, long time. The Apostles Paul and Jude, along with Jesus, claimed that Hell will be a place of everlasting destruction, fire, punishment and chains (2 Thessalonians 1:8/Jude 7/Matthew 18:8, 25:41). Jude testified that those from Sodom and Gomorrh would suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah when he said that it is a place where “their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-48).

Doing this thorough Bible study about Hell has reinforced my desire to share God’s truth with you. I can’t bear the thought that so many deceived people will spend “eternity” in Hell. My last post declared God’s truth that sin, any sin, is the reason someone will be cast into Hell. But why will someone gain eternal life? Human logic tells us that since disobedience disqualifies us, obedience must be the way to qualify. Mormon prophets tell us that if we just try hard enough—if we can just be obedient enough, we can qualify for eternal life with our best effort.

But God has told us differently. Jesus himself testified that our best effort is not good enough–we must be perfect (Matthew 5:48). No one can meet God’s requirements to gain eternal life by their own obedience. Because of this truth God lovingly provided a way—a different plan. He sent His son Jesus to be obedient and fulfill His law for us.

Jesus came to be our substitute for the perfection required to dwell in God’s presence. His shed blood washes away all your sins. The truth—God’s truth, is that only through faith in His Son can you be declared perfect. The only way to gain eternal life is through faith in the fact that Jesus has already gained it for you!!!

The Bible is very clear that faith in Jesus is how to receive eternal and everlasting life. No one describes this truth more beautifully than the Apostle John. His testimony is that it is through belief in Jesus that a person escapes the fires of everlasting hell and gains eternal life. When we read his words describing eternal or everlasting life, he always uses the present or the past tense.

John wrote down the very words of his Savior when he declared boldly that for those with faith, gaining eternal life is a done deal! “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” (John 6:47)

I beg of you to listen to my words. The next time you think time is moving slowly, think about how long eternity will be. Re-read the story Jesus told us in Luke chapter sixteen about the rich man who was stuck in hell for eternity. “Forever” is a long, long time to spend in an everlasting fire, in the same domain as Satan.

But praise the Lord, you don’t have to be afraid! Jesus came to save you from this fate and He has cleansed you from all sin. Heavenly Father desires to spend eternity with you. It is His will that you believe and receive everlasting life: “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)

Eternal life is guaranteed as long as you believe in the true Christ. If you don’t believe my words, believe the Apostle whom Jesus loved. The following passages are words the Holy Spirit inspired him to write, declaring that the way to gain eternal life is by belief in the Savior who earned it for you:

“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)

“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.” (John 3:36)

“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 3:16-18)

“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)

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