Temporal Salvation for Ourselves and Others: I delight to do thy will, O God!

Do you know what Heavenly Father’s will is? For many years I didn’t realize that my church leaders said things that were contrary to the revealed will of God. The reason I didn’t know I was being deceived was because I hadn’t bothered to test their words with God’s revealed Words.

After the Holy Ghost brought me to faith in the true Christ, I wanted to make sure I learned God’s truth. I had spent so many years blindly following LDS prophets and I wanted to make sure I never made the same mistake again. Reading Christ’s Words in Matthew Chapter 7 is where I first started to learn about God’s will:

“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.” (7:20-23)

This made me wonder what God’s will was. Did Jesus mean we had to do something to enter the kingdom of heaven? If this was what He was saying, then these words disagreed with all the times He had testified that eternal life was a gift of God. Many times in the book of John He revealed that eternal life is a free gift from God.

It took me several hours, but by the time I finished my study—I was delighted! I found out that what Jesus had said about doing God’s will to enter the kingdom of heaven merely reinforced His testimony:

“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 6:35-40)

The reason it is God’s will to freely give salvation, is because of Christ’s Mission, (which was also God’s will):

“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Galatians 1:3-5)

I give thanks to our God for revealing the mystery of His will to us:

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (Eph. 1:6-9)

In this weeks Relief Society Lesson it almost seems as though President Smith is warning you of listening to his own words, as well as other LDS leaders:

“We are living in perilous times. The scriptures are being fulfilled, and as it appears to me this is the particular time when, if it were possible, the very elect would be deceived…. And it is strange to me how many people fall into the habit of listening to those who say things that are contrary to the revealed will of our Heavenly Father. …” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 20: Temporal Salvation for Ourselves and Others, p. 214)

Are you listening to President Smith as he says:

“We have to make our choice, and if we want to be the servants of God and the children of our Heavenly Father and earn his blessings, we must do it by honoring him and by keeping his commandments.” (p. 218)

Do you think it’s Heavenly Father’s will that you honor Him and keep His commandments just so you can earn His blessings?

I can tell by President Smith’s words that he doesn’t understand the joy that comes from truly knowing God and His will: “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.”

“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 3:15-18)

When you really know and understand all that God has done for you, your whole desire is to spend every minute of every day honoring Him and keeping His commandments. Not because you have to–but because you get to!

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Ps. 40:8)

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

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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.”

LDS Leaders Have Re-Written God’s Holy Word

In reading the Sunday School Lesson for 12 & 13 year olds I was shocked that an LDS Apostle would change the very words of Christ! Next I read the Aaronic Priesthood Lesson and found that the LDS Manual itself had changed the words that James had written. When looking at both of these official LDS re-writings of God’s Word; I could see how LDS leaders have been able to deceive millions of people, even your children. I understood better why I used to believe I could gain eternal life by keeping the commandments.

Today, lets simply look at these two examples where God’s Word has been re-written by LDS leaders. In doing so, I pray you will understand why you need a Savior who is your Substitute—instead of one who is merely your Exemplar.

First, lets look at what was written in the Preparing for Exaltation Lesson:

“Testify that Heavenly Father loved us enough to send his Son to atone for our sins. Share the following statement by Elder Melvin J. Ballard, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to show how the sacrament reminds us of that love and to show why we should remember the Savior’s Atonement when we partake of the sacrament:

“It is written in the scriptures that God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son to die for the world, that whosoever believeth on him … and keepeth his commandments, shall be saved. But this [sacrifice] did not cost us very much—freely given are all these glorious privileges.” (Preparing for Exaltation Teacher’s Manual, Lesson 21: In Remembrance, p. 117)

Elder Ballard claims that these words were written in scripture but in truth, he has added a few words. While his words do teach LDS doctrine, they are not what Jesus said! Here are the exact words spoken by our Lord and Savior:

“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.” (John 3:16)

Christ testified that all who believe in Him have eternal life! LDS leaders insert a few words into Christ’s mouth and add “and keepeth his commandments” to His free and unconditional gift.

Next, lets look at our second example. In looking at this Lesson we see one reason why Mormons believe they can gain eternal life by keeping the commandments. The Aaronic Priesthood teacher is instructed to have the young men do an activity from James chapter 3. From this, we will see how the Manual re-writes verses 7-8:

“Bible Exercise: Use James 3:2–13 to assist you in filling in the following blanks:

5. Man has been able to tame animals of all kinds, but the thing he has the hardest time taming is his own tongue. (verses 7–8)” (Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, Lesson 21: Pure Thoughts: Clean Language, p. 74)

Here are the two Bible passages the Manual references:

“For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:7-8)

James testifies that no man can tame the tongue! But thats not what your children are being taught. Instead, the Manual claims it is something that is merely hard to do. There is a big difference between impossible and hard. If it’s hard to do you should pull up your bootstraps and do it yourself. If it’s impossible to do, your hope is to find a Substitute who can do it for you.

Why are these examples important? Because they expose the foundation of false LDS teachings. In spite of what Jesus revealed, you are told that you must add obedience to your faith to obtain eternal life. Because LDS leaders have changed God’s holy and written Word, you are given hope that you can keep the commandments—-when you really can’t

The truth is that Jesus is your Substitute–He has already kept the commandments for you, in your place. That is why He testified that all who believe in Him already 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.” (John 3:16, without the added words)

All praise and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus. He alone is worthy!

Link to Aaronic Priesthood Lesson:

Link to Preparing for Exaltation LDS Lesson:

The Scriptures, the Most Valuable Library in the World: Follow Christ’s Example & Study

When I was LDS I never understood why so many “anti-Mormons” tried to prove the Book of Mormon was false. Now, as a Christian I still don’t understand the majority of arguments used as evidence against it. When asking the question “Is the Book of Mormon true?” one needs to clarify “in what way?” Is it a “true” historical account of peoples who lived in the Americas; or are the beliefs expressed in it “true” to God’s Word?

It’s apparent that some apologetics are merely trying to prove that the Book of Mormon is a false historical account. They claim the Book of Mormon can’t be true because horses or steel weren’t supposed to have yet arrived in the Americas during the time the Book of Mormon peoples lived. Or they claim that DNA testing of Native Americans is proof that the Book of Mormon is false. But even if one could prove that the Book of Mormon is a true historical account, this proof doesn’t verify that the beliefs expressed in it are God’s inspired Word.

In the Bible God promised that there would be false Christ’s, false prophets and apostles, and false spirits. We have been warned about such deceivers many times by the Prophets of the Old Testament as well as by Jesus and His Apostles. Thankfully, God told us how to determine if a prophet, spirit, or in this case a book; is truly from God. We are told to “test” their fruits. The “fruit” of anyone (or any book) claiming to speak for God is their words. The “test” is to compare their words with already revealed scripture. Do their teachings agree with it?

I was thrilled to read this same thought in the Relief Society Lesson:

“We talk about the philosophies of men and hold them up sometimes as a pretty picture, but when they conflict with the teachings of our Heavenly Father as contained in Holy Writ, they are valueless. They will never lead anybody into eternal happiness, nor help him to find a place in the kingdom of our Heavenly Father.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 10: The Scriptures, the Most Valuable Library in the World, p.105)

Anything a false prophet taught would be man-made philosophy and be in conflict with God’s Word. Even if an angel appears to us and preaches another gospel than the one taught by Christ’s Apostles, we are not to believe him:

“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).

God wants us to use revealed scripture to test any new words. Jesus is a shining example of using scripture to test if words are true or false. Here are just a few examples:

In the dessert Satan tried to tempt Him by twisting scripture. Jesus used scripture to test Satan’s words by saying “It is written…”. He used the same words with the false money changers who bought and sold in the Temple. When the Pharisees accused His disciples of breaking the Sabbath, Jesus said “Have ye not read…” to prove them wrong. He also used these words with them when they tested Him about divorce. When the Sadducees asked him a doctrinal question about marriage in Heaven, Jesus said “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures…”

There is another shining example of using scripture to test a person’s words in the book of Acts. Luke tells us that the Bereans used scripture to test if Paul and Silas’ words were true. He claims that they— “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

I am sure that during the time following Christ’s death many Israelites would have “tested” the words of the Apostles to see if they were true. Today, every Christian should use this “test” on anyone claiming to speak God’s Word, even their church leaders.

Is the Book of Mormon truly God’s holy scripture inspried by the Holy Ghost? Using Christ’s method of testing, we find that it fails the test! One simple example can be found using the topic of Salvation. In the Book of Mormon we read:

“for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23b)

Compare this with already revealed scripture found in the New Testament:

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

Both books claim that a person is saved by grace. But the Book of Mormon declares a person is saved by grace, plus works. The Third Article of Faith summarizes this 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.”

Comparing this Book of Mormon verse with already revealed scripture, we find that it fails the test! God’s truth claims that a person is saved by grace, through faith, and not works. Scripture also explains that you can’t add your “works” to God’s “grace”:

“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.” (Romans 11:6)

You won’t hear me say this very often, but I ask you to follow this advice given in your Relief Society Lesson:

“Now, I want to say, my brothers and sisters, that the advice of Jesus Christ, is still in force with us wherein he said, “Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.” [John 5:39.] Do not neglect the old family Bible; do not put it away upon the shelf and forget it. Find out, if you do not already know, what it says, and if you have read it before, read it again often to your children and to your children’s children.” (p. 108)

Follow Jesus’ advice and His example! Test the Book of Mormon with God’s already revealed scripture—the Bible. When you do you will find that the Book of Mormon fails the test–it is not God’s inspired Word!

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:103-105)

“He That Overcometh Shall Inherit All Things” We Overcome By Believing in Jesus!

Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? If so rejoice, because you have overcome the world!!

The Apostle John declared: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:7) While John is the one who revealed that we must overcome to inherit all things; he is also the Apostle who teaches us how we overcome:

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5)

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God! The moment the Holy Ghost brings us to faith in Him, we are “born of God”. That is how we become a child of God–through faith. Our loving God is the King of Kings. The children of the King inherit all that their Father has–not because of anything they have done, but simply because the King is their Father. An inheritance is an unconditional and free gift.

John testified that our King has also given eternal life to those who believe Jesus is the Son of God: “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)

If you are LDS, you have not been taught these truths. This months New Testament Gospel Doctrine Class is Lesson 45: “He That Overcometh Shall Inherit All Things”. These false teachings are found in the conclusion of the Lesson:

“Testify that those who overcome the temptations and trials of the world will inherit the blessings of eternal life. Remind class members that the Savior’s Atonement provides a way for us to overcome if we repent and are faithful.” (p. 190)

LDS prophets and apostles “Testify that those who overcome the temptations and trials of the world will inherit the blessings of eternal life.”

In denial of this false belief, Christ’s Apostle John the Beloved revealed: “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 5:13)

LDS prophets and apostles claim that the “Savior’s Atonement provides a way for us to overcome if we repent and are faithful.”

The Apostle John revealed: “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5) Our Loving Savior did so much more for us than merely provide a way for us to overcome”.
He overcame the world for us–in our place!!

Christ testified: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Do you still believe that Jesus is the Son of God, even though His testimony contradicts the words of LDS apostles and prophets? If so, rejoice in the fact that you have overcome the world and inherited eternal life. Now you get to spend the rest of your life giving Jesus all the glory, honour and praise!

The Testimony of Faithful Mormons Who Have Found the True Christ!

Tomorrow we celebrate the Easter Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Today, I share with you the greatest gift I have ever received–the knowledge that all my sins were washed away by the blood of Christ.

I once believed as you do now, that if I just worked hard enough I could gain forgiveness through the LDS process of Repentance. But now, I know the truth. Forgiveness is only obtained through faith in the shed blood of Jesus–our perfect Substitute Sacrifice.

I bear my testimony to you that all your sins were forgiven over 2,000 years ago–at the Cross!!! Christ’s perfect life was offered as the final sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. Heavenly Father accepted His offering and raised Him from the dead! The day I learned this truth was the day I met my Lord and Savior Jesus, over fifteen years ago. Then and there I gave my heart and life to Him and I have never looked back. Because He cleansed me of all my sins, I love Him more than any one or any thing. I bear witness to you that there is nothing that compares to this relationship with Jesus.

Today, I challenge you to turn to God’s Words found in the Bible and search it with an open mind and heart. You might not know this, but there are many Mormons who have found their true Savior simply by doing this.

Last night I watched an amazing video, which shares the testimonies of faithful Mormons who found their Savior this way. By studying God’s Word, they have had a “life-changing encounter with the living Jesus Christ”. I beg you to watch this video! I promise you that your life will never be the same.

The website that shares this video explains it with these words:

“”What if what you’ve believed your whole life isn’t the real Christ? Truth is everything. It does have eternal consequences!”

Eight individuals…devoted, faithful Mormons with unshakable testimonies and a sincere love for the LDS Church…now say that they have found something greater–something beyond compare.

What could possibly cause them to abandon what they had always held near and dear? What could make them step away from the very foundation of their lives? What life could they have possibly found beyond Mormonism?

Come hear their stories. It may not be what you’re thinking.”
Click here and it will take you to the video–“Unveiling Grace”

Along with their testimony, I share also the testimony of the Apostle Peter, who was an eye witness of Christ’s death. He testifies that we receive forgiveness through faith–not works:

“And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”(Acts 10:39-43)

And with joy, I share the Apostle John’s testimony of our Lord and Savior’s witness:

“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 1:5-6)

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!

The Only True Security in Life is Living the Commandments?

There has been some discussion recently about things we can be absolutely certain about. Christiangirl said that she has “absolute certainty that God is who he said he is (all powerful, creator of earth, loving, just, redeemer, shepherd, no beginning and no end, etc), and the certainty that what Jesus did on the cross for me is sufficient to cover all of my sins.” I am thankful that she has shared her testimony and I agree with her wholeheartedly. I know with every fiber of my being that I have been saved—not because of anything I have ever done, but solely through faith in my Savior whose blood has washed me clean.

A few years ago in Conference a 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 is talking about 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.

If you were listening to this talk in General Conference four years ago, did you rest in the certainty that your works were sufficient to earn your Salvation? Or, did you squirm when you heard these words? How does it feel knowing that your “certainty for being saved” rests on your own shoulders—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. Today, reading these words 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 President Grant was a false prophet 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)

His salvation is forever:
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.” (Is 51:6)

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.” (Eph 2:8-9)

NOT by works of righteousness, but according to his mercy:
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:
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 3:15-18)

The Gospel of Christ 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)

With King David, I confessed my sins to God, and have devoted my life to teaching transgressors about God’s ways. I pray daily for God to restore to me the joy of His salvation—so that many sinners will be converted to Christ:

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: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest… 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

Link to General Conference talk:

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)

Follow Christ’s example to know if the Book of Mormon is true!

As a Mormon I never understood why so many “anti-Mormons” tried to prove the Book of Mormon was false. Now, as a Christian, I still don’t understand the majority of arguments used as evidence against it. When asking the question “Is the Book of Mormon true?” one needs to clarify “in what way?” Is it a “true” historical account of peoples who lived in the Americas, or, are the beliefs expressed in it “true” to God’s Word? It is apparent that some apologetics are merely trying to prove that the Book of Mormon is a false historical account. They claim the Book of Mormon can’t be true because horses, steel or silk weren’t supposed to have yet arrived in the Americas during the time the Book of Mormon peoples lived. Or they claim that DNA testing of Native Americans is proof that the Book of Mormon is false. But, even if one could prove the Book of Mormon is a true historical account, this proof does not make the beliefs expressed in it God’s Word.

In the Bible God promised that there would be false Christ’s, false prophets and apostles, and false spirits. We have been warned about such deceivers many times by the Prophets of the Old Testament as well as by Jesus and His Apostles. Thankfully, God told us how to determine if a prophet, spirit, or in this case, a book, is truly from God. We are told to “test” their fruits. The “fruit” of anyone, or, any book for that matter, claiming to speak for God is their words. The “test” is to compare their words with already revealed scripture. Do they agree with it? Even if an angel appears to us and preaches another gospel than the one taught by Christ’s Apostles, we are not to believe him (Galatians 1:6-9). We are to use revealed scripture to test any new words.

Jesus is a shining example of using scripture to test if words are false. He quoted from the Old Testament many times. Here are just a few examples: In the dessert Satan tried to tempt Him by twisting scripture. Jesus used scripture to test Satan’s words by saying “It is written…”. He used the same words with the false money changers who bought and sold in the Temple. When the Pharisees accused His disciples of breaking the Sabbath, Jesus said “Have ye not read…” to prove them wrong. He also used these words with them when they tested Him about divorce. When the Sadducees asked him a doctrinal question about marriage in Heaven, Jesus said “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures…

There is another shining example of using scripture to test a person’s words in the book of Acts. Luke tells us that the Bereans used scripture to test if Paul and Silas’ words were true. He claims that they “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11) I am sure that during the time following Christ’s death many Israelites would have “tested” the words of the Apostles to see if they were true. Today, every Christian should use this “test” on anyone claiming to speak God’s Word.

Using God’s method for testing the Book of Mormon, we find that it fails the test! One simple example can be found by going to 2 Nephi 25:23b, which reads: “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” Compare this Book of Mormon verse with the Bible verse found in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Both books claim that a person is saved by grace. But, the Book of Mormon claims a person is saved by grace, plus works. The Third Article of Faith summarizes this 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.

Comparing this Book of Mormon verse with already revealed scripture, we find that it fails the test! God’s truth claims that a person is saved by grace, through faith, and not works. Scripture also explains that you can’t add your “works” to God’s “grace”. Romans 11:6: “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.

I plead with you to follow Jesus’ example! Test the Book of Mormon with God’s already revealed scripture—the Bible. When you do you will find that the Book of Mormon fails the test! Using God’s method of testing proves it is not from Heavenly Father!

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