The Great Apostasy? God’s True Church has Been on Earth Since Christ’s Resurrection!

The Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Lesson 4 tells of Nephi’s vision of the future. But Nephi’s vision did not come true! Please, listen to your heart as you read the very words of Christ and His Apostles. They prophesied that God’s True Church would survive throughout the ages.

The Apostle Paul declared that Christ’s glory would be in the church throughout all ages: “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Eph 3:19-21)

The LDS belief that God’s church had collapsed and needed its foundation rebuilt is totally false! The problem begins when Mormonism defines God’s “church” as an “organization” or “religion” This is not true! You believe that God’s true church is the Mormon Church. But, the truth is that there is not one single “religion” that is God’s true church. God’s true church is made up of His people. Every single person with faith in Jesus is part of God’s true church. The Apostle Paul wrote

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” (1 Co 1:2)

Remember what the Ephesians 2:20 passage said? The very foundation of God’s Church is made up of people: Jesus, the prophets and the apostles. But then look at verse 22: “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

From the time of Christ’s resurrection, God’s true church has existed and will continue to exist forever. When the angel appeared to Mary to tell her she would give birth to the Messiah, she was told:

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.(Lk 1:30-33)

Jesus told His Apostle Peter “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mt 16:18)

Do you beleive the words of your Savior? Jesus promised “I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:19-20) Even if only two believers are alive, God’s true Church is on the face of the earth!

Jesus promised He would be on earth, with believers “unto the end of the world”:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.(Mt 28:18-20)

In spite of the LDS leader’s attempts to convince the world that power comes through the Priesthood, it doesn’t. The power and authority to act in God’s name comes through the Holy Spirit and is given to every single believer—man woman and child. (To read more on this, go to my post “Should LDS Women be Allowed to Hold the Priesthood?”) Verse 18 of Ephesians 2 explains that through faith in Jesus, both Jews and Gentiles (meaning every person who will ever live) have “access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

The foundation of the church is Jesus Christ, His apostles and the prophets of the Old Testament. This foundation was not lost, nor was it missing. The Holy Spirit has inspired every word found on the pages of the Old and New Testaments. It is literally “God-breathed“!

John the Beloved testified that while there were many other signs which Jesus did that are not recorded in His book, what has been written brings faith and life through Jesus: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:30-31)

I pray that you might have life through belief in His name!

For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph 2:18-22)

All praise and glory to Christ our Lord!

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“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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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)

Do You Find it Difficult to Forgive Others?

For many years I struggled with God’s command to forgive others. I sincerely desired to forgive certain people in my life, but I just couldn’t do it. I would have days when I thought I had conquered my unforgiving feelings, but then something would happen and I was right back where I started.

My hearts desire was to gain forgiveness of my own sins. I knew that securing my forgiveness depended upon me freely forgiving others. After all, it was only fair that Heavenly Father withhold my forgiveness when I had not given it to others. There were many times that this knowledge drove me to despair. The burning question I lived with year after year was “how? How do I forgive them?”

Looking back, I realize that the reason it was so hard for me to forgive others was because I followed the example of my father. He was very unforgiving, especially towards his children. Whenever we did anything against his will, he gave us many requirements to follow before he would grant his forgiveness. He believed that working hard in all areas of our lives proved we were truly repentant of the wrong we had committed. He even kept a record of our mistakes; and whenever we repeated the same thing twice, he flung the previous sin back in our faces. Then, we had to start all over until we could prove we had really overcome that sin. Only then would our repentance be sincere.

I’m not actually talking about my earthly father—but about my Heavenly Father! At least the one I grew up with in the LDS church. This god truly is an unforgiving God! You can read about him on my blog page “The LDS Process of Repentance”. Here you will find pages of quotes by LDS prophets and apostles—defining the unforgiving LDS god and its savior. LDS scripture testifies that the Christ of Mormonism requires us to freely forgive everyone, even though he doesn’t hold himself to the same standard:

“Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” (D & C 64:9-10). In my late twenties I lost my faith in the unforgiving god of Mormonism, but my life became no better. I was so miserable that I would have committed suicide if I hadn’t had my children who needed me.

Amazingly, at the age of 36 a miracle happened! The Holy Ghost brought me to faith in the true Christ, and God adopted me into His eternal family. Through faith, I became God’s dear child and immediately received forgiveness of all my sins. I was so thankful to be God’s true child that I began pouring over all the love letters He had written for me, found in the Bible. Here, I learned much about my loving, merciful and forgiving Father in Heaven. This God’s love was so great that He sent His Son Jesus to take the punishment that I deserved for my sins. It was at Christ’s Atonement where all my sins had been forgiven—through the shedding of His life’s blood.

From the Apostle Peter I learned that LDS prophets are wrong—-forgiveness is not gained through obedience, but through faith: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43)

I was especially thrilled when I learned from God’s Word the key to forgiving others. It was the knowledge that all my sins had already been forgiven that unlocked my unforgiving heart. I realized I could afford to forgive others because I had been so richly blessed with forgiveness—first. All I had to do was follow the example of my Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. After all, the unmerciful servant was expected to forgive those indebted to him only after his entire debt had first been canceled (Matthew 18).

It became easy to forgive others when I remembered that every one of my sins had already been forgiven. Now, whenever I have an unforgiving heart and want to cling to my bitterness; I turn to scripture to be reminded of my Heavenly Father’s example: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

And also, the example of my Savior: “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13)

Is there someone you can’t seem to forgive, especially since they really don’t deserve it? The key is to see that all your sins have already been forgiven—even though you don’t deserve it! After all, forgiveness is an inherently “unfair” concept. Thank goodness the true Heavenly Father isn’t fair! Instead of punishing those who deserved it, He punished His Son Jesus instead.

The true Christ’s blood has covered your every sin: Trust in Him and you will immediately receive forgiveness! Once you do, you truly will be blessed: “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (The Apostle Paul in Romans 4:7-8; quoting Psalm 32:1-2)

Click here to read about the unforgiving natures of the god and savior of Mormonism:

Are You on Earth to Prove Your Worthiness?

I’ve known for over a year that it was going to happen. Somehow, that didn’t make it any easier when the mobile butcher arrived and slaughtered our steer. When we bought this adorably cute miniature Angus I was fully aware that his purpose in life was to provide meat for our family. My husband, understanding how attached I get to all my critters, named him “Sir Tender Loin”. He did this so that every day I would have a reminder that one day Tender-Loin would be slaughtered and fulfill his purpose in life.

I’m sure glad my purpose in life isn’t that of Tender-Loin’s. Thinking about his purpose in life reminded me of when I was LDS. I used to believe that my purpose in life was to prove myself worthy. The reason I thought this was because that was what my church leaders had taught me. They claimed that Heavenly Father sent people to earth for the purpose of proving whether or not they would be obedient to His commandments:

“We lived in the presence of God our Holy Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in a premortal existence. There we gained an understanding of the Father’s plan of salvation and the promise of help when we would be born as mortals on earth. The primary purpose of life was explained. We were told: “We will make an earth whereon these may dwell; “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; “And they who keep their first estate [that is to be obedient in the premortal existence] shall be added upon; … and they who keep their second estate [that is, to be obedient during mortal life] shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.” Those words express the most fundamental purpose of your being on earth. That purpose is to prove yourself obedient to the commandments of the Lord and thereby grow in understanding, capacity, and every worthy trait.” Richard G. Scott, “Truth Restored,” Ensign, Nov 2005, 78.

Every time I looked inside my heart, I felt like a complete failure. I knew how unworthy I was. And, I thought I was the only person that was so sinful. When I looked at others in my Ward, I thought everyone else was worthy except me. Can you imagine the peace I found the day I learned that I wasn’t the only one who struggled with being obedient? It was actually the Holy Ghost that revealed this news to me, through God’s prophets and apostles. Their testimony declared His truth to me: No one can be worthy or righteous by their obedience. In fact, no one can even be “good”.

The LDS Apostle Scott taught that God sent us to earth to prove ourselves worthy. But in the book of Romans, Jesus’ Apostle Paul testified he had “proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin”. He then quotes Psalm 14 as evidence: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

LDS scripture claims that men must prove themselves worthy through their obedience; but God’s Word testifies that “there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Jesus joined His testimony to this truth when He claimed “none is good, save one, that is, God.” (Luke 18:19). The Prophet Isaiah clearly told of the sad condition of all humans: “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (64:6). In one of Isaiah’s Messianic prophesies, he declares: “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 53:4-12).

Notice that last verse in Isaiah “and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Here we see our Savior’s purpose for coming to earth. He came to take our sins upon Himself—as if He Himself had committed each and every one. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be “brought, as a lamb to slaughter” and that He would give “his soul an offering for sin”. Jesus came to earth to be slaughtered! He fulfilled His purpose at the cross, when “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.” We are healed through Christ’s sacrificial death, where every sin was paid for and forgiven. The Apostle Peter testified that all who believe it, receive it (Acts 10:43).

Do you still believe that the “fundamental purpose of… being on earth… is to prove yourself obedient to the commandments of the Lord”? On Judgment Day every person will stand before God. Many will be given the opportunity to prove whether they were obedient to God’s commands. All who point to their own works as proof they should be allowed entrance into God’s Kingdom will be turned away (Matthew 7:22-23).

My Angus steer was slaughtered to feed my family. My Savior Jesus was slaughtered to pay for my sins with His blood. I gave my life to Him the moment I believed in His free and full forgiveness. I now know that my purpose in life is to give all glory to my God, by all that I do. He alone is worthy!!!

“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)

It’s the Father’s Will to Save Believers!

Yesterday I received this Family Gem from lds.org:

“Family Prayer Should Be Practiced with Faith and Trust: The practice of Church members is to kneel in family prayer each morning and evening, plus having daily personal prayers and blessings on our food. President Monson said, ‘As we offer unto the Lord our family and our personal prayers, let us do so with faith and trust in Him.’ And so, in praying for temporal and spiritual blessings, we should all plead, as did Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Thy will be done.’ ” Russell M. Nelson, “Lessons from the Lord’s Prayers,” Ensign, May 2009, 48

While family prayer was the intended focus of this Gem, my interest turned to the words of Christ’s prayer “Thy will be done.” Elder Nelson tells us that when we ask Heavenly Father for spiritual blessings, we should plead that HIS will be done. I pray this prayer for you every day! That you will place your trust in God’s will. There are so many things that He desires for you, but the most important is His will to give you everlasting life. It is the Father’s will to give everlasting life to those who believe in Jesus:

“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)

That is the Father’s will!! God chose to save mankind through belief—not works; and not even by adding works to your faith. Scripture testifies that it is “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) But this message is foolishness to the world. All one has to do is look at all man-made religions. They claim that something must be done by you before you can go to heaven or live on in some kind of heaven-like afterlife. Only Christianity declares that God has done everything necessary for you to live eternally with Him. These words are foolishness to the wisdom of man:

“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

To the world it is foolishness to “save them that believe”! But God has made foolish the wisdom of this world. He did so on a Cross over 2000 years ago. On the night Jesus died He “fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, it if be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as though wilt.” Despising the shame that the Cross would bring Him, Jesus chose to do the Father’s will. As much as the Father loved His Son, He knew it was not possible for man to be forgiven any other way. Because of His great love for us, the Father’s will was to punish His Son in our place!

I used to think it was foolishness to “save them that believe”. Whenever someone told me they didn’t have to do any works to be saved, I thought that meant they didn’t want to do any works for God. What I didn’t understand until I experienced it; was the depth of love and gratitude I would feel towards my Savior when I believed in Him. It was HIS blood that bought the forgiveness of my sins. The very moment I believed I gave my life and my love to Jesus! Every breath I take is for Him!

It is the Father’s will to spend eternity with those who simply place their “faith and trust in Him”. It takes faith to trust that what Jesus did for you was sufficient. Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of God? It was He who revealed these words, just a few passages after He proclaimed to us what the will of the Father is:

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

Same Vocabulary but a Different Dictionary?

When my children were young we lived in Germany for a few years. It was during the 1980’s when the dollar was strong, which meant that we had enough money to travel. We visited Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The people in each of these countries spoke different languages and it was difficult trying to communicate with them. They used different words than I did to convey the same thing. On each trip we took a dictionary to help us translate that country’s language into English, but it wasn’t easy. Somehow we managed to get along and we thoroughly enjoyed our travels throughout Europe.

It wasn’t until after the Holy Spirit brought me to faith that I discovered I had another language barrier with the people around me. But this time I was interacting with Christians. The language barrier was less obvious than when in Europe because we were using the same words—but the meaning was different! Talk about confusing! Even though we used the same words, my understanding of what those words meant was very different than theirs. I realized that because I had grown up in a Mormon family I had been taught a very unique language. I discovered that Mormons speak the same vocabulary as Christians, but they use a different dictionary! Once I recognized that this was the problem it became a lot easier to communicate and to study the Bible.

It took me two years of very intensive Bible study to really understand just the basic truths! Since I was familiar with the Topical Guide in the back of my LDS KJV, I used that as my starting point for each concept or word. Often, simply by studying each passage listed and then reading them in context, I could come up with the true meaning. Once I had done that I would use the Nave’s Topical Guide. This guide always broadened my perspective and often gave me several key passages that had unfortunately been left out of the LDS Topical Guide. After going through the Nave’s I would turn to the Strong’s Concordance and look up every passage using the words suggested by each of the Topical Guides. It was very time-consuming but I loved every minute of it! I still study God’s Word this way (except I now have a computer) and the more I learn the more I desire to dig in and see what God wants me to learn.

The fact that Mormons speak many of the same words as Christians but use a different dictionary causes lots of misunderstandings. Over the next couple of weeks I plan on discussing some of these words and showing the two different meanings.

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