Never Has Man Believed in Me As Thou Hast—The Testimony of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon: Faith Without Works is Dead

This month’s Gospel Doctrine Lesson asks: “How has the testimony of the Three Witnesses helped strengthen your testimony of the Book of Mormon?” Have you ever given consideration to the fact that all three “witnesses” actually left the LDS church? Do you believe that faith without works is dead? If you do, then shouldn’t their faithless lives actually weaken your testimony of the Book of Mormon?

According to the Book of Mormon, these men were prophesied to one day declare to the world the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. But these three men all left Mormonism. Their lack of action is evidence that their faith was dead, their testimony false.

I once had a testimony that the LDS Church was true. When I discovered that my testimony was false I went searching to find the true church. I spent nine years between Mormonism and Christianity and met people from all kinds of faiths. I discovered many people with a testimony in their church. I even met Atheists, Shamans and Agnostics with a strongly held “faith” that what they believed was true. What I quickly realized is that the sincerity of a person’s testimony doesn’t necessarily mean that what they believe in is true. It just means they have “faith” in something.

Through all my searching there was one thing I clearly believed: every person has to do some level of good works in order to live eternally with God. In the back of my head I always remembered what I had been taught as a Mormon—that “faith without works is dead”. What I didn’t know then is that the Biblical teaching “faith without works is dead” has nothing to do with where we spend eternity and why.

After the Holy Spirit brought me to faith in the true Christ, I enjoyed reading the book of James with new eyes. I discovered that James’ point isn’t “how” we are saved, but how to identify real faith when we see it. He claims that what uniquely identifies a “faith” in the one true God is that it is alive!

Faith is a gift from God placed in a person’s heart by the Holy Spirit. The very moment a person is brought to faith, that person crosses over from spiritual death to being spiritually alive—truly “born-again” (John 5:24). Just as a newborn baby can’t help but breathe in and out, and to cry for food; when someone is “born-again” with a new spiritual life, they will do good works—they can’t help it! James emphasizes this point by saying that faith without works is like a dead body without a spirit. Even if someone claims to have a testimony of faith, if works are absent, then that faith isn’t really a living faith, its dead.

Through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost James uses three witnesses to make his point—himself, Abraham and Rahab. He uses the actions of these three witnesses as proof that a living faith always produces works. His first witness is himself. He contrasts his own life of both faith and works with that of a man who claims to have faith, yet has no works. His outward visible actions prove his testimony of faith.

Through Abraham’s witness, James gives us the vital key that faith comes first, and then works automatically follow. Because faith is alive—like a living creature; it naturally produces the “fruit” of works. Similar to an apple tree bearing the fruit of an apple, a living faith will bear the fruit of good works, naturally and without being forced. Good works are merely proof that faith is present. Abraham’s willingness to offer Isaac on the altar was one of many actions that evidenced his faith. His actions were the “fruit” of his faith and proved that his faith was true. Because his faith was alive, good works followed. It was not his works that made his faith alive.

We read that Abraham’s actions fulfilled a scripture from Genesis: “Abraham believed God and it was imputed unto him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3; Genesis 15:6). Here James clarifies a very important point—that a person’s faith gains him righteousness—not his works. Abraham had been declared righteous by God many years before he proved his faith by his works, even long before Isaac was born! Before Abraham was credited with righteousness; he had kept no law, performed no service or ordinance that had earned credit to his account before God. It was his belief in God alone that caused Heavenly Father to credit him with righteousness. James testifies that Abraham’s works were merely the evidence that he had already been made righteous by God.

The third witness is Rahab the harlot (who hid the spies at Jericho). Her strong faith and written testimony are found in Joshua: “for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above and in earth beneath”. Her life is a vivid example of how a woman had faith and then acted on it. Not only did she risk her life by rescuing Joshua’s spies, she lived the remainder of her life in Israel. She got married and became the mother of Boaz, Jesse’s Grandfather; and King David’s Great Grandmother.

The faithful lives of these three witnesses proved that their faith was alive and true. They had been born-again, just as Jesus taught that we must be: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

What happens when we look at the lives of the men who were prophesied to be witnesses to the Book of Mormon?:

“Who were the three witnesses Moroni spoke of in Ether 5:3? (Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris: “And unto three shall they be shown by the power of God; wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true.” (Ether 5:3) See The Testimony of Three Witnesses in the introductory material of the Book of Mormon.) (Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 45: Never Has Man Believed in Me As Thou Hast, p. 201)

These men had supposedly been shown the power of God. They claimed to have a strong testimony that the Book of Mormon was true. And yet when we look at their actions, their lack of works proving they were alive spiritually—we know their faith was dead. It’s when we read these three men’s testimony in the introduction to the Book of Mormon that we know why their faith was dead. They declared that one day they could be found spotless because of their own works. They testified:

“And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ.”

This testimony shows that they didn’t trust that God had already made them righteous because of their faith–as Abraham had done. They didn’t know what James knew and taught about Abraham: a person is found spotless in God’s sight through their faith—not their works!

The Apostle Paul taught the same thing as Moses and James. He revealed that God’s promise to Abraham was not written merely for Abraham’s sake, but also for yours:

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 4:20-5:1)

Link to the Testimony of Three Witnesses:

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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)

How Could Ye Have Departed from the Ways of the Lord? Jesus Loves You Anyway!

Many Mormons don’t understand why I believe that the LDS church is not Christian. Since I was born and raised LDS and married in the Salt Lake Temple, I do understand why my words are hard to believe. Looking at how a person gains eternal life is one way to see the differences between faiths. God’s Word—as taught by Christianity teaches that we are saved by faith alone. Mormonism—as taught by LDS prophets claims that a person is saved by faith and works.

LDS prophets testify that eternal life must be gained “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel”? (Articles of Faith 1:3) However, since no one can be perfect, the Prophet Nephi declared: “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”. (2 Nephi 25:23)

Here we see the LDS teaching that a person is saved by faith and works. What is really required is our ‘best effort’. The determining factor to gaining eternal life is not the final product, it’s the effort expended. If you just try as hard as you can then Jesus will step in and His Atonement makes up the difference.

While this sounds comforting, it is false! You can search the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find one passage that backs up this false teaching. Not one single verse claims that eternal life can be gained simply by trying to follow God’s commands. I challenge you to look at every Judgment Day picture mentioned in the Bible. If you do, you will discover that each and every sin (liars, murderers or having even only one sin) ends with the same exact outcome—living eternally in Outer Darkness with Satan and his demons.

This month’s Gospel Doctrine Lesson explains that Judgment Day is one of the purposes of the Book of Mormon: “For what purposes was the record kept and preserved?

“a. That ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ … to be judged of your works” (Mormon 3:20). “And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;” (Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine, Lesson 43: How Could Ye Have Departed from the Ways of the Lord? p.192)

A Christian Church teaches what Christ taught. Christ clearly testified that having even one sin remaining on Judgment Day means you will be cursed to spend eternity in Hell with Satan and his demons. There is no more vivid picture of this truth than Christ’s words, recorded in Matthew 25:31-46. He testifies that on the Final Day of Judgment all the nations of the world will be gathered before God. But even before the Judgment begins, God’s angels divide everyone into two groups—a “two-part division of the righteous and the wicked.” Through faith in Christ all believers are 100% perfect. Those who die in unbelief will stand before Christ on Judgment Day to be found 100% evil.

Amazingly, Jesus also revealed that we are saved by faith alone:

“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.”

The reason salvation is granted solely through faith is because that is the only way a person can meet God’s requirement to be righteous!! One must be perfect to enter into God’s presence. Jesus came to earth and was perfect for us, in our place. It is only through faith in Him as our substitute that we are declared righteous!! This was true for Abraham and as well as for us: “And therefore it [faith] was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;” (Romans 4:21-24).

It is impossible to gain eternal life by being obedient to God’s law, or by trying to add your works to your faith. In Romans, Paul explains using Old Testament scripture: “There is none righteous, no, not one: 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 ” (3:11-12). No one will be declared righteous by trying to follow God’s law: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (3:20). Notice the important words “in his sight”. Heavenly Father has demanded we be as perfect as Him (Matthew 5:48). In His sight, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (3:23).

During Christ’s time the unbelieving Jews were sincere, but they were sincerely wrong! They earnestly sought righteousness, but they tried to acquire it in the wrong way. They thought they had to gain eternal life through obedience. They believed they could be righteous through their own works. They had a zeal for God, but they were ignorant of the truth! (Romans 9:30-10:4)

What is God’s truth? Eternal life is obtained only as a gift from God, received by faith, without any works!!! In fact, if you bring works into the picture you ruin God’s free gift and you loose His favor!! That’s what Paul meant when he wrote: “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)

Turn to your Savior who grants you His righteousness through faith: “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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).

This Is My Gospel: The Power of God for Salvation to All Who Believe

LDS Belief:

“The word gospel means good news. The good news is that Jesus Christ has made a perfect atonement for mankind that will redeem all mankind from the grave and reward each individual according to his/her works.” (LDS KJV Bible Dictionary)

Having your garments washed by Christ’s Atonement is conditional upon having faith, repenting of all your sins (through the LDS Process of Repentance) and being faithful till the end.

LDS Words

(Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine, Lesson 42: This Is My Gospel
pages 186-187)

Point out that when Latter-day Saints bear their testimonies, they often say that they know the gospel is true. Ask class members to silently consider how they would respond if, after saying “I know the gospel is true,” they were asked, “What is the gospel?

Write “This is my gospel” on the chalkboard. Explain that after Jesus said that His Church must be built on His gospel, He gave His disciples a concise, complete definition of His gospel. Have class members take turns reading verses in 3 Nephi 27:13–22, looking for different aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

3 Nephi 27:15:
And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

3 Nephi 27:19:
And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

Link to Lesson:

Lesson 42

The Bold Truth:

The true Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16) The true Gospel of Christ is the “good news” of free and full forgiveness from sin simply through faith in Christ: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43) Jesus successfully completed His mission to be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. Not only did He die for us, He lived for us. Because of Him 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)

I grew up loving New York Cheesecake. My mom had a recipe that was easy to make—no baking and little fuss. When I had children I often made this for them. One evening my husband took me to a restaurant for a special meal. For dessert I ordered the “Authentic New York Cheesecake”. But, when the waitress brought it, I was appalled. It did not look like the cheesecake I was familiar with. I didn’t want to try it but the waitress assured me it was delicious. I took one small bite and felt like I had entered heaven. It was the best thing I had ever tasted in my entire life! I realized that the recipe I had been using all those years was not really New York Cheesecake, even though it was titled such. I had no idea what I had been missing all those years. Now, whenever I see a “fake” cheesecake I identify it immediately because not only does it taste different, it looks different.

In a similar way, I grew up believing in the LDS gospel. It never entered my mind that it might not be authentic. The only doubts I ever had were doubts about my own ability to follow the gospel. I knew I was unworthy and no matter how hard I tried, I could not gain forgiveness. My prophets taught that forgiveness was dependent upon my own works, my ability to keep all the commandments. Every day I failed miserably and every minute I felt unworthy. While I doubted my own ability, I never doubted in the LDS gospel.

A few years after tasting my first authentic New York Cheesecake I tasted the true gospel of Jesus Christ! My loving Father in Heaven rescued me from the torment of my guilt by bringing me the “good news” of His true Gospel. I learned that “gospel” literally means “good news”. The good news is that not only was Jesus worthy for me, He died for me! The good news is that Jesus satisfied Gods’ demands for Justice and now Mercy reigns. The good news is that Heavenly Father has forgiven every single sin you have ever committed. This is a fact proven by His resurrection.

Jesus’ entire purpose for coming to earth was to cover our sins with His blood. That is the authentic Gospel. We can discern the true gospel by answering the question from the Lesson “Why was Jesus lifted up?” According to the LDS Gospel the answer focuses on what we have to do—Jesus gives us bodily resurrection so we can be judged by our own works. That is not good news” because our inadequate works make us unworthy! According to the true Gospel the answer focuses on Jesus—He paid the penalty for the sins of the world which washed away everyone’s sins with His blood.

I thought I was using the authentic recipe for New York Cheesecake. It wasn’t until I tasted the real thing that I knew the difference. The same was true for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I had no idea what I had been missing for all those years. The true gospel tastes so sweet to me that it is the foundation for everything I do. The good news of the gospel compels me to serve Jesus every minute of every day. Not because I have to, but because I get to!

Eternal Consequences

Anyone who rejects the true gospel of Jesus Christ will stand “unclean” before Heavenly Father on Judgment Day. No unclean person will dwell in the kingdom of God with Jesus, Heavenly Father or the Holy Spirit. The only other alternative is to spend eternity in hell with Satan.

Additional Testimony of the Bold Truth:
The Gospel: Why Jesus came:
– Isaiah 61:1
– Isaiah 53:4-12
– Luke 4:17-20
– John 1:29
– Romans 1:16
– 1 Corinthians 1:17-18
– 2 Corinthians 5:19-21
– 1 Peter 1:18-25
– Galatians 3:10-13
– 1 John 2:2
– Hebrews 10:12
– Revelation 1:5
– Revelation 7:14
Don’t believe in false gospels, even if an angel tells it to you:
– Galatians 1:6-9
– 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
Even the Apostle Peter had to be reprimanded about following the gospel:
– “But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified… 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Peter didn’t walk according to the truth of the gospel) Galatians 2:14, 16, 21
Additional LDS Words:

Found in lesson 42, page 187:
What did the Savior promise to those who live according to His gospel? (See 3 Nephi 27:21–22.) 21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do; 22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

3 Nephi 27:13-14:
Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. 14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil

Stay on the Lord’s Side of the Line: By Knowing That You Cannot Earn The Celestial Kingdom

This months Relief Society Lesson teaches that “Staying on the Lord’s side of the line requires strict obedience to the commandments.” (p 192) President Smith claims the reason this is so important is because that’s the only way you can “earn the celestial kingdom“:

“How careful we as Latter-day Saints ought to be to live every day of our lives that we may be influenced by the power of the Lord, and that we may be able to turn aside from those things that have a tendency to break down our power to earn the celestial kingdom.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 18: Stay on the Lord’s Side of the Line (p 198)

LDS Prophets testify that God gave us His law as the means to become righteous and gain eternal life:

“The laws of God given to mankind are embodied in the gospel plan, and the Church of Jesus Christ is made responsible for teaching these laws to the world. They are given by our Heavenly Father for only one purpose, that you who are governed by law might also be preserved by law and perfected and sanctified, or made holy by the same” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church-Harold Lee, page 27).

But in truth, God actually gave you His commandments to show you that you could never become righteous by obedience! It is through God’s law that you become aware of your sins. The Apostle Paul claimed that God’s law is like a mirror. When you read His law and see what He demands from you, you then see how far off from the mark you are. When you look into the mirror of God’s law; you will see an utterly sinful person!

From this months lesson we read of only a few of God’s commands:

“If you attend to your secret prayers and your family prayers… If you are grateful for food and express that gratitude to God… If you love your neighbor as yourself… If you are honest in your dealing with your fellow men… If you observe the Word of Wisdom… And so I might go on through the Ten Commandments and the other commandments that God has given… Finding fault with the things that God has given to us for our guidance…

[The Lord has said]: “I cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;” not with the least degree of allowance [D&C 1:31]…. The Lord himself has said that we must keep his commandments: “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated.” (p 192)

The uncompromising commands in God’s law prove we can’t meet God’s demands. In fact, we don’t even come close! Jesus knew that the commandments were given so we could see our sinfulness. Think about when He commanded us to “be as perfect as our Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:48). Did He truly believe that anyone besides Himself could fulfill this command?

Jesus knew that God’s law was given to unbelievers so that sin would increase (Romans 5:20). Can you believe that? God actually gave His commandments so that people would sin more!

Why would He do this? Because, it is only when you despair of saving yourself that you will see your complete need for a Savior. Only then will you give up on your impossible efforts to become righteous by obedience. Only then will you know that Jesus couldn’t just “help you” return to your Heavenly Father–He had to do it for you!

Only then will you turn solely to Jesus for rescue. And when you do, a miracle happens. Through faith in your Savior you are credited with His righteousness, His perfect obedience! At that moment, you are righteous in God’s sight and receive the gift of eternal life! You have been saved by Jesus’ obedience to God’s laws, not your own! Isn’t that amazing?

When I was a Mormon I misunderstood Christians who claimed they didn’t have to keep the commandments in order to be saved. I thought this meant they didn’t want to keep the commandments and I assumed they must be living a life of blatant sinfulness. Now I understand this isn’t true. Christians don’t have to obey God to be saved, because they have already been given eternal life. But, they are privileged to obey God simply because they love Him. What a blessing it is to stay on the Lord’s side of the line–through faith! In thankfulness to Jesus my whole life is devoted to Him!

While LDS leaders teach that you can “earn the celestial kingdom” by keeping God’s laws, God’s Prophets and Christ’s Apostles testify that no one can earn eternal life through their own obedience:

“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:21-24)

Truly the Lord has already delivered us! “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

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“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.” (Romans 3:19-20, 5:20, 7:7-8).

Old Things Are Done Away, and All Things Have Become New: It’s Through Christ’s Atonement You Have Been Perfected Forever!

The sentence I most remember my Father saying was: “All blessings are predicated upon obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.”

These words are from a revelation given by Joseph Smith and recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 130. Today, it’s important to look at how this principle affects qualifying for the grace of God so Mormons can be perfected in Christ.

We read in this weeks Gospel Doctrine Lesson:

“After teaching the Nephites that they should love their enemies, Jesus said, “Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect” (3 Nephi 12:48). “Why do we need the Atonement of Jesus Christ in order to be perfected? (See… Moroni 10:32–33. (Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 38: Old Things Are Done Away, and All Things Have Become New, p 171)

Next, lets look at a simple illustration of earning a blessing through obedience:

(Condition): If she cleans her room. . .

(Blessing): then, she can go outside and play with her friends.

Now lets apply the words from the Lesson to this same illustration. In the Lesson, the question is asked: “Why do we need the Atonement of Jesus Christ in order to be perfected?” You are told to see Moroni 10:32–33 teaching us the condition for qualifying for God’s grace so as to be perfected in Christ:

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

(Condition): If you deny yourself of all ungodliness, and if you love God with all your might, mind and strength…

(Blessing): then, you can qualify for God’s grace and be perfected in Christ.

But what does “deny yourself of all ungodliness” mean, according to LDS doctrine? Since I prefer to let LDS Prophets explain their own scripture, I went searching and found the LDS definition in the Sunday School Teachers Manual for 12 & 13 year olds:

“Have class members find and read Moroni 10:32. According to this verse, what must we do to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him”? (“Deny [ourselves] of all ungodliness, and love God with all [our] might, mind and strength.”) Explain that “deny yourselves of all ungodliness” means “give up your sins.” (Preparing for Exaltation, page 123)

I also learned from the LDS Apostle Neal Maxwell that this includes both large and small sins:

“Moroni declared the need for us to deny ourselves of “all ungodliness” (Moro. 10:32), thus including both large and small sins.” (Neal A. Maxwell, April 1995 General Conference, Ensign, May 1995, p. 66)

Can any person actually do this? Can you “give up” all of your sins? What about all the sins of omission: visiting those in prison, praying constantly or not worrying? Could you stop sinning for even one day? If you truly could give up all of your sins wouldn’t that mean you were already perfect in yourself?

The sobering truth is that no one can meet these requirements! Even though we are commanded to do so, no one can deny themselves of all ungodliness and love God with all their might, mind and strength! Not even for one hour.

Jesus testified to the rich young ruler that no one is good but God (Luke 18:18). Similarly, no one is Godly but God. Even one little white lie makes a person “ungodly”. No one (except Jesus) even comes close to denying themselves of all ungodliness.

So how does a person qualify for God’s grace? Instead of qualifying for it like you would a scholarship, it’s more similar to a need-based grant. You have to be poor and needy—you have to be sinful. A righteous person doesn’t need Christ’s Atonement. But guess what—the truth is that no one is righteous. We all need Christ! Jesus said: “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth…” (Matthew 9: 12-13). It means that all of us are sick (ungodly) and need our Great Physician who came to heal us!

Christ’s mission for coming to earth was to die for the ungodly. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). If you believe this and know that you are among the ungodly—a miracle will happen! In an instant, you will be made godly through faith in Jesus! You will be perfected forever in God’s sight:

“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 10:10-18)

Don’t place your faith in the words of LDS prophets who claim that you must deny yourself of all ungodliness to be found perfect. If you do, you will die in your sins and spend eternity with Satan. Why? Because you rejected the Savior who denied Himself of all ungodliness for you—in your place.

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:15-17)

Additional Testimony of the Bold Truth:
Believe in the God that justifies the ungodly:
– Romans 4: 4-8
Jesus is the Deliverer:
– Romans 11: 26-27
Christ died for sinners – the ungodly:
– Romans 5: 6-8
– Matthew 9: 12-13
– Luke 19:10
– 1 Timothy 1:15
Godly blessed / Ungodly shall perish
– Psalm 1: 1-6
Wrath of God against ungodly:
– Romans 1: 18
– 2 Peter 2:6
– 2 Peter 3:7
God’s law is not for righteous, but for ungodly:
– 1 Timothy 1: 8-9
Links to LDS Words:
LDS Definition of “Denying ourselves of all ungodliness”
– May 1995 Ensign
– Preparing for Exaltation
– Preparing for Exaltation
– JST Mathew 16:25-26
Mormons believe in a god who “justifieth NOT the ungodly”
– JST Romans 4:2-5

The Strengthening Power of Faith: Through Faith We are Credited With Righteousness!

This weeks Relief Society Lesson claims:

God grants faith as a gift to the righteous… We know that faith is a gift of God; it is the fruitage of righteous living. It does not come to us by our command, but is the result of doing the will of our Heavenly Father.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 17: The Strengthening Power of Faith, p 188)

This isn’t true. In fact it’s completely backwards. It’s not possible for someone to be righteous before the Holy Spirit brings them to faith! The Lesson acknowledges: “We are informed that without faith we cannot please God [see Hebrews 11:6]” (p 182)

The only way to become righteous is through faith in Christ:

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 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.” (Romans 4:3-8)

The basic message taught by the prophets and apostles of the Bible is that without faith, every human is evil and doesn’t even come close to meeting God’s demands for perfection. The first time I recognized this was when I read a Sermon about prayer. The Preacher boldly claimed that all the fathers listening to Him were “evil”!

Hearing that made me feel a little uncomfortable. I know that our earthly fathers aren’t perfect, but calling them “evil” seemed to be a bit harsh. I wondered why the Preacher hadn’t chosen to use a softer word like “weak” or maybe even “sinful”. A little later in His Sermon He even commanded us to be as perfect as our Heavenly Father!

Jesus is the Preacher giving His Sermon on the Mount. His actual words were: “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?” When I read His Sermon in context there was no indication that those listening to His Sermon were worse than anyone else. Jesus also told the rich young ruler “there is none good but one, that is, God”.

I soon discovered that Jesus talked about man’s evil deeds several other times during His Ministry. In the book of Mark, Jesus tells us where evil comes from: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts.” In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, Jesus asked a question of those who thought that God wasn’t being fair: “Is thine eye evil, because I am good?”

Reading Jesus’ words enticed me to dig deeper into scripture. By the time I finished my study there was no doubt in my mind: all humans are evil. I discovered that the reason it’s difficult for us to see ourselves as evil is because our definition of what “evil” is differs from God’s definition. We like to categorize our sins, claiming that some are worse than others. We don’t tend to think that anything we do ourselves is actually “evil”.

It isn’t surprising that God consideres murder and adultery evil, but Nehemiah preached that not keeping the Sabbath day holy was evil. He also testified that marrying outside the faith was a “great evil” (13:27). Moses wrote in Deuteronomy that it is evil to not give money to a poor man in need. In Genesis, he taught the same message that Jesus had taught: “for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.

Everything I’ve mentioned so far is only a small part of what God’s Word names as “evil”. (The word evil appears 624 times in the Bible.) The Apostle Paul understood that God sees all sin as evil when he lamented about himself:

“but the evil which I would not, that I do” and “when I would do good, evil is present with me.” (Romans 7)

In Timothy he wrote that the love of money is the root of all evil. To the Galatians, he wrote God’s consequence for not following every single command: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” James solidified Paul’s curse when he proclaimed: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

James then gave examples of evil: “the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” and: “where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

Studying God’s Words leaves no doubt that our holy God considers any sin as evil. The writer of Proverbs tells us that “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” On Judgment Day “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

The inescapable conclusion is that in God’s eyes, anyone without faith is evil! It is amazing that God loves us in spite of our evil! It’s hard to believe, but His mercy is shown to evil sinners! In Galatians, Paul gives us the only reason why:

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.”

To the Ephesians Paul wrote: “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.” Every person the Holy Spirit brings to faith is equally evil. It’s through Christ’s Atonement that our evil hearts are “sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10)

The “Good News” taught in God’s Word is this:

Jesus not only died for us, He also lived for us. He obeyed every command perfectly, meeting God’s demands for perfection for us–in our place. He is our righteousness!

Heavenly Father credits Christ’s perfect works to all who trust solely in their Savior for righteousness. In God’s sight, all believers wear Christ’s protective robe of righteousness. That’s why eternal life is a free gift given to those who have faith in Christ.

The very same Jesus that proclaimed the dire consequences of evil, shares our only means of escape—it’s through faith alone that we gain eternal life:

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15)

Repent and Return unto the Lord: Jesus Has “Washed Us From Our Sins in His Own Blood”

If someone who didn’t know the LDS Process of Repentance were to read this weeks Gospel Doctrine Lesson, they could be deceived into thinking that the LDS church is a Christian church:

“Samuel said that if the people would repent, they would receive a remission of their sins through the merits of Christ. Merits are qualities or actions that entitle a person to claim rewards. Why is it only through the Savior’s merits that we can be forgiven of our sins? President Ezra Taft Benson taught, “Even the most just and upright man cannot save himself solely on his own merits.” (Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 35: Repent and Return unto the Lord, p 157)

Reading the words of the LDS prophet Helaman shows that our eternal life is conditioned upon our repentance. But a person would have to know (outside of this reading), that according to Mormonism; many works are required of you before you have truly repented. Mormon prophets have changed God’s definition of repentance. (For your benefit, I have recorded the words of LDS prophets on my page “The LDS Process of Repentance” and provided a link at the bottom of this Post.)

According to God’s Word and found in the Bible, we also learn that eternal life is conditioned upon repentance. But God doesn’t define repentance like LDS prophets do. The Greek word for repentance literally means “a change of mind”. That’s why repentance is usually tied with conversion–coming to faith in Christ. Repentance means abandoning trust in yourself and placing all your trust in what Jesus has already accomplished for you–in your place. Unfortunately, it was many painful years before God revealed this truth to me.

I guess I never really thought I would have a life so full of pain, both emotional and physical. I don’t think there has ever really been a time in my life that was “ordinary”. In fact if Hollywood made a movie out of my life it would have numerous dramas to focus on: my first husband cheated on me for years, my oldest daughter was a 2 ½ lb preemie and my second daughter died from SIDS. I truly don’t know if her death was more difficult to go through as a mother than when my daughter Jen was addicted to methamphetamine’s. I didn’t even know where she was for over a year.

In 1999 I was diagnosed with late stage kidney cancer and given a prognosis of less than two years to live. In 2003 it was a brain tumor with resulting surgeries and radiation. Two years ago it was discovered that I have a Mitochondrial disease which has left me bedridden and in constant pain.

These “highlights” don’t even begin to address the emotional trauma associated with growing up in a prominent LDS family and being sexually abused for most of my childhood. (Not by my father) I grew up with President Kimball as my prophet—the author of “The Miracle of Forgiveness” where he wrote the words that haunted me for most of my life:

It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”

My own sinfulness overwhelmed me and intensified my feelings of guilt and shame. Trying to obtain forgiveness for those sins through the LDS Process of Repentance consumed my life as I lived every day in complete and utter failure. You see, unlike many Mormons I actually believed the words of my prophet when he declared:

“Trying is Not Sufficient. Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin… It is normal for children to try. They fall and get up numerous times before they can be certain of their footing. But adults, who have gone through these learning periods, must determine what they will do, then proceed to do it. To “try” is weak. To “do the best I can” is not strong…Those who feel that they can sin and be forgiven and then return to sin and be forgiven again and again must straighten out their thinking. Each previously forgiven sin is added to the new one and the whole gets to be a heavy load.… 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)

Of all the pain I have gone through in life, nothing has compared to the sure knowledge that I could not do the works which President Kimball claimed were necessary to obtain forgiveness. And in a way, I am thankful. This pain led me to give up on myself and find the true Savior of the world. This Savior’s work has already won the forgiveness for every sin I have or ever will commit. In fact, the sins of the entire world were covered by the life-shed blood of our Savior when He died on the Cross and “taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

The Apostle Peter revealed that forgiveness is obtained through our faith—not our works: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Did you notice Peter’s words: “all the prophets” bear witness that we receive forgiveness through belief? Peter’s words show that LDS prophets are not prophets of God.

Today, I rejoice, because even though I live in daily physical pain because of my health issues, the God of all comfort has blessed me with the peace that passeth all understanding. That peace comes through the sure knowledge that Christ has “washed us from our sins in his own blood”. (Revelation 1:5)

The desire of my heart is to share the joy I have found with you. God has shed His light in my heart and given me a passion to reach others who have gone through similar pains and trials:

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

“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.”

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

How Could You Have Forgotten Your God? Repent and Believe the Words of Christ!

How long is a long time? Eternity is a long, long time compared to how short our time is on this earth. Whenever we read about the amazing blessings of eternal life with our Heavenly Father, we don’t question that “eternal” means forever. But did you realize that this same word is used to describe the length of time that someone will spend in hell?

When we read the words “eternal” or “everlasting” in the New Testament, these words are most often translated from the Greek words “Aion, aionios, and aidios”.

Those who go to hell and live eternally with Satan and his demons will be there as long as those who spend eternity with Heavenly Father—forever!

We read about this in this weeks Gospel Doctrine Lesson:

“We have the freedom to obey or disobey God’s commandments but not to choose the consequences of our actions. What did Mormon say will be the fate of those who disobey? (See Helaman 12:25–26.)” (Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 34: How Could You Have Forgotten Your God? pp 153-154):

“And I would that all men might be saved. But we read that in the great and last day there are some who shall be cast out, yea, who shall be cast off from the presence of the Lord; Yea, who shall be consigned to a state of endless misery, fulfilling the words which say: They that have done good shall have everlasting life; and they that have done evil shall have everlasting damnation. And thus it is. Amen. (Helaman 12:25–26.)

This Book of Mormon passage uses the same word: “everlasting” for both life and damnation. But LDS prophets testify that damnation isn’t really everlasting:

“The theology of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is comprehensive, universal, merciful, and true. Following the necessary experience of mortal life, all sons and daughters of God will ultimately be resurrected and go to a kingdom of glory more wonderful than any mortal can comprehend. With only a few exceptions, even the very wicked will ultimately go to a marvelous—though lesser—kingdom of glory.” (Dallin H. Oaks, Fundamental to Our Faith, Ensign Jan 2011) [LDS believe all people are sons & daughters of God]

I find the LDS belief that that “even the very wicked will ultimately go to a marvelous—though lesser—kingdom of glory” appalling. The reason is because this teaching is supposed to be “the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.” Jesus never once taught nor supported this horrendously false teaching. In fact, He declared the exact opposite! Every time Jesus spoke of what happens on the Final Day of Judgment, He clearly testified of a “two-part division of the righteous and the wicked.” And, of only one everlasting domain for each.

I have spent numerous hours searching thorough the Bible so I could learn what God wanted me to know about Heaven and Hell. Doing so has reinforced my desire to share God’s truth with you. I can’t bear the thought that so many deceived people will spend “eternity” in Hell.

Eternity is a long, long time and that is one of the reasons I have this blog. You have been misled into believing that there is no way you or your loved ones could possibly spend an eternity in Hell. If you don’t believe me, then trust the words of the Apostle John. He described the lake of fire as a place where those who go “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10-15).

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

Jesus revealed His Words at the Final Judgement:

“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)

According to God’s Word—sin, any sin, is the reason someone will be cast into Hell. But why will someone gain eternal life? Human logic tells us that since disobedience disqualifies us, obedience must be the way to qualify. Mormon prophets tell us that if we can just be obedient enough–“that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23c)

But God has told us differently. Jesus himself testified that our best effort is not good enough (Matthew 5:48). No one can meet God’s requirements to gain eternal life by their own obedience. Because of this truth, God lovingly provided a way—a different plan. He sent His son Jesus to be obedient and fulfill His law for us. Jesus came to be our substitute for the perfection required to dwell in God’s presence. His shed blood washes away all your sins. The truth — God’s truth, is that only through faith in His Son can you be declared righteous. The only way to gain eternal life is through faith in the fact that Jesus has already gained it for you!!

The next time you think time is moving slowly, think about how long eternity will be. Re-read the story Jesus told us in Luke chapter sixteen about the rich man who was stuck in hell for eternity:

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (Luke 16:23-24)

Forever” is a long, long time to spend in an everlasting fire, in the same domain as Satan.

But praise the Lord you don’t have to be afraid! Jesus came to save you from this fate and He has cleansed you from all sin. Heavenly Father desires to spend eternity with you. It is His will that you believe and receive everlasting life: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)

It is through faith and faith alone that Eternal life is guaranteed. But don’t believe me, believe the words of your Savior who earned it for you:

“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)

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.”

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