Strengthening and Preserving the Family

Our husbands could probably learn a few things from President Joseph Fielding Smith, who seems to have been a wonderfully perfect husband and father. You could hear this from the words of his wife and children in this months Relief Society lesson:

“The man I know is unselfish, uncomplaining, considerate, thoughtful, sympathetic, doing everything within his power to make life a supreme joy for his loved ones…. a kind, loving husband and father whose greatest ambition in life is to make his family happy, entirely forgetful of self in his efforts to do this.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith Chapter 4: Strengthening and Preserving the Family, pp 73-74)

Reading how much President Smith loved his family made it hard to read the lesson. I find it heartrending that he didn’t teach his loved ones the truth about gaining eternal life. There is and always will be, only one eternal Family and that’s God’s. The very moment the Holy Ghost brings someone to faith in Christ, that person becomes a child of God and a member of Heavenly Father’s forever family.

Regarding eternal marriage, Christ testifies that this LDS belief is false. He reveals that marriage isn’t required to gain eternal life: “And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. (Mark 12:23-25)

But President Smith refuses to believe Christ’s words. He makes the same mistake that I see other LDS leaders do, over and over again. They bear testimony to a belief in Jesus Christ, and yet they don’t believe or teach what Jesus taught. Rejecting Christ’s teaching, Smith uses his own imagination to describe how horrible he thinks this kind of life would be, living in the kingdom of God according to Christ’s teaching:

“Is it possible to imagine a greater source of sorrow than to be left in the eternal world without claim on father or mother or children? The thought of a nation without the family unit as its fundamental foundation, where all the citizens are comparatively strangers to each other and where natural affection is not found; where no family ties bind the groups together, is one of horror. Such a condition could lead to but one end—anarchy and dissolution. Is it not reasonable to believe the same thing true in relation to the kingdom of God? If in that kingdom, there were no family ties and all men and women were “angels” without the natural kinships, as many people believe, could it be a place of happiness—a heaven?” (p.78)

“Is it possible to imagine” living with Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost “where natural affection is not found”? God is Love! Just because marriages don’t last beyond this earth doesn’t mean that believing husbands and wives won’t be together for eternity. It just means that their relationship will not be as a man and wife. All believers will spend eternity together, in companionship with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. Not only does Christ reject the false LDS belief, He even speaks highly of those who stay single—for the kingdom of heavens sake:

“His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (Matthew 19:10-12)

Just think of some of these men Jesus was talking about who never married; like the prophets Daniel, Elijah, Elisha and John the Baptist. These men of God “made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” The Apostle Paul also never married, as he revealed through the Holy Spirit:

“For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”

“He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.”

“So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. (1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 32-35, 38)

Reading the purpose for families given in the Relief Society Lesson shows that LDS leaders also don’t know the true Christ. They reject the truth that Christ has already done this for us. Instead, they expect the family to do what God has already sent Christ to do, His mission on earth was to be our righteousness:

“The primary function of a Latter-day Saint home is to insure that every member of the family works to create the climate and conditions in which all can grow toward perfection.”

The most important truth that LDS leaders have kept from you is that your Savior Jesus is your Substitute for righteousness. The Prophet Jeremiah testified of this fact through these words: “The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6, 33:16). The writer of Hebrews tells us that Christ offered His body as a perfect sacrifice and in exchange, we have been perfected forever: “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (10:10-14)

We who were sinful and imperfect, are found perfect in God’s sight. This is through faith in Christ as our Substitute. He was punished for our sins, and in exchange covered us with His righteousness, just as the Isaiah prophesied: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

Heavenly Father loves you so much He sent His Son on a Mission to be your Substitute Savior! Believe it and receive it. Now, spend the rest of your life in joy and thanksgiving as I do; giving my life to Him as my gift of love.

You can know these truths for yourself, by doing as the Apostle John revealed:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1-6)

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The Plan of salvation

In this months Relief Society Lesson we are reminded that “Jesus Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice to save us from the Fall and from our sins.” Here we are taught about Christ’s part in the Plan of Salvation:

“It therefore became necessary for the Father to send his Only Begotten Son, who was free from sin, to atone for our sins as well as for Adam’s transgression, which justice demanded should be done. He accordingly offered himself a sacrifice for sins, and through his death upon the cross took upon himself both Adam’s transgression and our individual sins, thereby redeeming us from the fall, and from our sins, on condition of repentance. (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith
Chapter 3: The Plan of Salvation, p. 62)

This conditional “plan of salvation consists of the following things:”

“First, we must have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; we must accept him as the Son of God; we must put our trust in him, rely upon his word, and desire to gain the blessings which come by obedience to his laws.

Second, we must repent of our sins; we must forsake the world; we must determine in our hearts, without reservation, that we will live godly and upright lives.

Third, we must be baptized in water, under the hands of a legal administrator, who has power to bind on earth and seal in heaven; we must, through this sacred ordinance, enter into a covenant to serve the Lord and keep his commandments.

Fourth, we must receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; we must be born again; we must have sin and iniquity burned out of our souls as though by fire; we must gain a new creation by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Fifth, we must endure to the end; we must keep the commandments after baptism; we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord; we must so live as to acquire the attributes of godliness and become the kind of people who can enjoy the glory and wonders of the celestial kingdom.

Now I testify that these laws which men must obey to gain salvation and which comprise the gospel of Jesus Christ, have been revealed in this day to prophets and apostles, and that they are now administered by his church, which he has again established upon the earth.” (p. 65)

Did you notice all “we must” do? Thankfully, these are the words of false prophets. In contrast, I love the simplicity of God’s true Plan of Salvation as revealed through living prophets and apostles and found in scripture. It was Jesus who revealed this plan to us, and amazingly it’s all about what He has already done for us. The plan of salvations is an accomplished fact! Christ has already been lifted up on the Cross and His blood has covered the sins of the whole world. According to our Lord and Savior, the very moment you believe in Him, you receive eternal life! This is an unconditional gift from Heavenly Father:

“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 3:1-18)

God gave His Son to be lifted up on the cross because He loved us that much. Christ’s mission was to take away the sins of the world, and He did so. Everything necessary for us to live forever with Heavenly Father has already been accomplished. Read the entire chapter of John three to see all that Jesus taught Nicodemus regarding Gods Plan of Salvation. You will learn that the only “spirit children” of Heavenly Father are people who believe in Jesus. The very moment the Holy Spirit brings a person to faith, that person becomes a child of God, and is born-again through the Holy Ghost:

“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)

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Decisions for Eternity

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I posted last. Every day I get all these ideas of things I want to share with you, but I haven’t been able to. I have a mitochondrial disease and muscular dystrophy, and the past month has been especially difficult. But when I read an Ensign article yesterday, I became so distressed by what was written that my fingers simply couldn’t stay away from my keyboard. Compelled by the Spirit, I have slowly put my thoughts into written word.

What distressed me was that an LDS apostle made a serious mistake when he read a Bible verse, and I wanted to warn you. The General Conference talk was given by the LDS apostle Russell Nelson in last months Ensign. In speaking about the importance of our bodies, Nelson quotes part of the Bible verse: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God“. Because of how Nelson responded, we can see that he doesn’t actually believe Paul’s revelation. In fact, he changes the scriptures intended meaning. Nelson states that in this passage, Paul is merely “describing your body as a “temple of God.””

“With your body being such a vital part of God’s eternal plan, it is little wonder that the Apostle Paul described it as a “temple of God.”14 Each time you look in the mirror, see your body as your temple. That truth—refreshed gratefully each day—can positively influence your decisions about how you will care for your body and how you will use it. And those decisions will determine your destiny. How could this be? Because your body is the temple for your spirit. And how you use your body affects your spirit.” (Ensign, Nov. 2013 Decisions for Eternity, p. 106)

Paul did not “describe” your body “as” a “temple of God.” He says something much more profound, because he testifies that your body is the temple of God. Simply read these passages in First Corinthians if you want to know the truth, to know what Paul actually revealed. Paul was not describing anything. He was stating a fact. All those with faith in Christ are God’s temple. Through faith, God the Father dwells inside of you:

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-19)

Don’t you see the difference? It’s an amazing revelation to know that God the Father lives inside of you. “That truth—refreshed gratefully each day—can positively influence your decisions about how you will care for your body and how you will use it.”

I loved it when I learned a valuable tool in reading God’s love letters to us. It’s important to read in context; and to discern whether what we are reading is descriptive or prescriptive. Here are the definitions of descriptive/prescriptive, to help you in your studies:

de•scrip•tive adjective \di-ˈskrip-tiv\
:giving information about how something or someone looks, sounds, etc. : using words to describe what something or someone is like

pre•scrip•tive adjective \pri-ˈskrip-tiv\
:giving exact rules, directions, or instructions about how you should do something (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prescriptive

Why is all this important? Simply look at all the false teachings that Nelson derives from his mistake. Mormons miss out on learning a very important revelation; the reason God can dwell in our hearts is because Christ has perfected us with His righteousness (Hebrews 10:10-18). No unclean thing can dwell in God’s presence, so Jesus lived His life and fulfilled all of God’s commands perfectly—for us, in our place. Our Savior is our substitute for righteousness; like Abraham, through faith we get credit for His righteous works. In fact, every person with a living faith in Jesus has been made holy and blameless in God’s sight.

Which do you think would affect you more when you look in the mirror? Knowing that your spirit lives inside of you, or that God Himself lives in you and dwells in your heart:

Mormonism: “Each time you look in the mirror, see your body as your temple. That truth—refreshed gratefully each day—can positively influence your decisions about how you will care for your body and how you will use it. And those decisions will determine your destiny. How could this be? Because your body is the temple for your spirit. And how you use your body affects your spirit.” (Ensign, Nov. 2013 Decisions for Eternity, p. 106)

Christianity: “Each time you look in the mirror, see your body as God’s temple, because it is! That truth—refreshed gratefully each day—can positively influence your decisions about how you will care for your body and how you will use it. How could this be? Because your body is the temple of God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. And how you use your body affects your relationship with your Holy Lord and Savior and God the Father! And, the most amazing is having the Lord right here with you always, until the end of the age.”

I’m out of energy, so I will end here. God-willing, I will write more: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

Please click here to go read the many Bible passages which reveal that God the Father and Jesus Christ dwell in the hearts of believers: https://latterdaysaintwoman.wordpress.com/heavenly-father-and-jesus-christ-dwell-in-the-hearts-of-believers/

In October I wrote a Post about the truth that God lives in us, if you want to read it: https://latterdaysaintwoman.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/

Link to General Conferance talk at lds.org:
http://www.lds.org/ensign/2013/11/sunday-afternoon-session/decisions-for-eternity?lang=eng

“We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet”

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

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

Over ten years ago LDS prophets and apostles wrote down their testimony in “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”. It was signed by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which included the LDS prophet Thomas S. Monson. When I first read it, I discovered something that could only be meant to intentionally “lead astray” its readers.

These LDS apostles quoted Ephesians 2:20 but took out part of the passage and replaced it with “…”. My suspicion gets raised when I see a Bible passage quoted with missing words. It’s amazing how easy it is to change the intended meaning of a passage by leaving certain words out. My purpose for writing this post is to warn you of the danger you are in. It is my hearts desire to share my Jesus with you! But to do this I must compare His truths with the false teachings of Mormon prophets.

First off, lets establish why “…” is used in a quote. In general, the purpose of using “…” is to shorten a quotation by removing words that are not pertinent to your discussion. But, if someone uses “…” to substantially change the meaning of a quotation, then they are being deliberately deceptive!

In their testimony, LDS Apostles state: “We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

Here is the entire passage as it appears in the Bible: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Now, take a closer look at how this passage appears in the testimony of LDS Apostles. What “phrase” has been removed from the quotation? Actually, only one little word was left out—the word “the“! One must ask the question “Why was this word taken out of the passage?” Does this deletion shorten the quotation? Obviously it doesn’t; in fact the word “the” takes exactly the same amount of space as the “…” it was replaced with!

If using “…” doesn’t shorten the passage, then what could have been the purpose for removing this word? The leaders of the LDS church had to know that taking out the word “the” before the words “apostles and prophets” substantially changes the meaning! In fact, the majority of times that Ephesians 2:20 is used in official LDS literature, this word is taken out.

There is a huge difference between the intended meaning of this passage and the way LDS leaders have changed it. If God’s Church is “built upon the foundation of “…” apostles and prophets” the emphasis is placed on the office of apostles and prophets. Doing this gives credence to the LDS teaching that God’s Church must continue being led by current “living” prophets and apostles. However, if God’s Church is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” then the emphasis is placed upon a specific group of Apostles and Prophets, namely the New Testament Apostles and the Old Testament Prophets.

The word “foundation” helps clarify that God did not intend for His Church to continue being led by apostles and prophets. Just think about the meaning of the word. When building any house, how many times is a foundation laid? Only once! The truth found in this New Testament passage is that Jesus is the chief cornerstone in the foundation of God’s house. The New Testament Apostles and the Old Testament Prophets are the “foundation of God’s house! The founding work of these Apostles and Prophets is what they taught and can be found in God’s word. The rest of God’s house, His Church, is built upon this foundation. (The Apostle Peter talks about remembering the words of these prophets and apostles, in 2 Peter 3:1-2.)

Gospel Principles claims: “Many people live in darkness, unsure of God’s will. They believe that the heavens are closed and that people must face the worlds perils alone.” (Chapter 9: “Prophets of God” p. 39)

Christians certainly don’t live in darkness and face the worlds perils alone! Jesus promised “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20) Every Christian knows this personally because Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit all dwell inside the heart of every believer:

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:10-19

Hebrews 1:1-2a gives us additional insight as to why God’s Church isn’t led by modern day prophets: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,”. This Savior who loves you warned you to take heed so no one would deceive you:

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many… And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many… Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mt 24:4-5; 11; 23-24)

Every time I read “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” I turn to God in thankfulness for being rescued from these false prophets! While the Lord did not choose these LDS leaders as His prophets, I especially thank God for the prophets He did call. It is their words, inspired by the Holy Ghost who taught me God’s truth. I beg you to test your prophets and apostles. Compare their words with those of the Prophets and Apostles who ARE the foundation of God’s Church!

Link to “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”:
http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/testimonies-of-him/articles/the-living-christ-the-testimony-of-the-apostles-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints.html

“To Reach Every Human Heart”

In this months Relief Society lesson, President Snow teaches you something about today’s Christianity that isn’t really true. He claimed that “thousands and tens of thousands” of Christians “do not believe that God has anything to do with the children of men”:

“We dedicate our lives which we hold as not dear to us, in order that the world may understand that there is a God in the eternal worlds; in order that they may understand that God has something to do at the present time with the affairs of the children of men. The world is passing into feelings and opinions of infidelity. Even among the Christian portions of the human family, thousands and tens of thousands, though they are not willing to confess it because of being unpopular, do not believe that God has anything to do with the children of men.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow Chapter 19: Missionary Work: “To Reach Every Human Heart”, p. 228)

President Snow certainly doesn’t know anything about the church I go to. And, he certainly doesn’t know the truth about what it’s like being a Christian. Every believer in Christ has an intimate relationship with God, because God actually lives in our hearts. By faith we are the Temple of the living God! Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit all dwell inside the heart of every believer:

“…for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16) Our loving God actually walks with us daily, in everything we do.

This truth is lost to Mormons because Joseph Smith claims it is false. His testimony about God states that God has a physical body just like every human. Because of this false belief; he claims it would be impossible for God the Father or the Son, to dwell inside of a humans heart:

“The Prophet explained to the Saints, “When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves” (D&C 130:1). In further correction he added that “The idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false” (v. 3).” (Church History In The Fulness Of Times Student Manual Chapter Twenty: Doctrinal Developments in Nauvoo)

“John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.” (D&C 130:3)

It is true that this belief was a sectarian notion. But guess what? This truth comes from the Christian sect! (Acts 28:22) Christians believe this truth because we believe in God’s promises to us. The Holy Spirit revealed this truth many times in scripture. It was Christ who taught us that Heavenly Father is a spirit:

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) Even though Jesus has been God forever, He came to earth and took on human flesh. He is both man and God, both spirit and flesh:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)

Heavenly Father has revealed that nothing unclean can dwell in His presence (Ephesians 5:5). Because of this you might wonder how our perfectly holy God can dwell in sinful human hearts. It’s because Christ has made us holy! Our Savior who came to earth and paid for our sins was also our substitute for righteousness. Jesus perfectly obeyed all of Gods commands for us—in our place. Through Christ’s Atonement, we are made perfect:

“Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:9-14)

This months Gospel Doctrine Lesson mentions the belief that we are the temple of God. But instead of giving Christ all the glory, Jeffrey Holland compares “the building of our lives to the building of the Salt Lake Temple:”

“And so it was. Blood, toil, tears, and sweat. The best things are always worth finishing. ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?’ (1 Corinthians 3:16.) Most assuredly we are. As long and laborious as the effort may seem, we must keep shaping and setting the stones that will make our accomplishments ‘a grand and imposing spectacle.’ We must take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow, dream dreams and see visions, work toward their realization, wait patiently when we have no other choice, lean on our sword and rest a while, but get up and fight again. … We are laying the foundation of a great work—our own inestimable future” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 36: “The Desert Shall Rejoice, and Blossom as the Rose”, p. 210)

The prayer of my heart is that Christians will “reach every human heart” with the message that Christ alone makes you worthy. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will melt your heart so you can partake in the most amazing relationship you will ever know. One that every believer experiences in our daily walk with our Heavenly Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Please click here to go read the many Bible passages which reveal that God the Father and Jesus Christ dwell in the hearts of believers: https://latterdaysaintwoman.wordpress.com/heavenly-father-and-jesus-christ-dwell-in-the-hearts-of-believers/

Are You One Hundred Percent?

I was reading an article at MormonTimes.com a few years back about a talk given by the Young Women’s General President at the time—Elaine Dalton. She issued a “challenge” to Young Women to study the Book of Mormon at least five minutes a day, say morning and nightly prayers and to smile. The article states:

“Elaine Dalton hopes she soon has young women approaching her with two thumbs up. That signifies they are ‘One-hundred Percent’ — one hundred percent in daily prayer, scripture study and what she says may be the most challenging, smiling”.

Two phrases in this article jump out at me. They are “challenge” and “One-hundred Percent”. They bring to mind one of my favorite scenes in the life of Jesus. It is the story about Simon the self righteous Pharisee and the woman who loved Jesus so much she washed His feet with her hair and tears (Luke 7:41). As a Pharisee Simon daily challenged himself to follow the teachings of his Church one hundred percent.

But Jesus used the example of the sinful woman to teach Simon a beautiful message: Someone who is forgiven much—-will love much! This Young Woman did not need to be challenged, because her focus was not on one hundred percent obedience; but rather on her one hundred percent forgiveness. Even through her tears you can see her smiling. Her tears were not those of pain, guilt or stress; but tears of joy, thanksgiving and devoted love!

As a Mormon I was familiar with the concept of being challenged. I felt guilty reading Jesus’ words: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). I desperately wanted to be worthy but I knew in my heart that I loved my children and husband more than I loved Jesus. Since I didn’t know how to love Jesus more, I challenged myself to worthiness by trying to keep the commandments. And the greatest challenge was putting on a smile over my pain.

It was 1994 when I learned what Jesus tried to teach Simon. That was when I heard the truth that one hundred percent of my sins were forgiven! Like a giddy young schoolgirl I fell in love with the man who took away all my guilt! The love of my life became my Savior Jesus! That was almost twenty years ago and I still love Him more than life itself, more than my husband and my children. My love for Jesus transformed me from a person who needed to be challenged to follow God’s commands—to a person who is compelled to follow them by love. Now, I would be challenged to hide my smile!

Elaine Dalton issued the challenge to be “One Hundred Percent”. She said “Can you imagine the implications that this has, if a young woman is 100 percent for 10 years, for 15 years?”

I imagine that the Young Women will dutifully say their prayers every morning and night. They will read the Book of Mormon, checking the clock to see when they have accomplished their goal. But without the knowledge that they have been one hundred percent forgiven, will they be any closer to loving Jesus? Will they be any closer to being compelled by such love?

The desire of my heart is that every Mormon hears they are “One Hundred Percent” forgiven! Can you imagine the implications if every Mormon knew this? They wouldn’t need to be “challenged” to pray and read scripture! Since Jesus would be their very best friend they would willingly pray to Him and their Father in Heaven whenever they could. They would willingly read the Bible—God’s love letters, and pour over its pages for comfort and guidance. And, they certainly would not have to be “challenged” to smile. The joy that comes from knowing you are “One Hundred Percent” forgiven, brings a sincere smile that lasts through eternity!

Click on this link to listen to a short video clip of an ex-Mormon Young Woman who discovered the joy of obedience through love:

Priesthood—“for the Salvation of the Human Family”?

Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? If so rejoice—you have overcome the world!! The Holy Ghost revealed through the Apostle John that we overcome the world by believing in Jesus:

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5)

This months Relief Society Lesson states:

Nobody ought to doubt what Jesus says, and He declares, as recorded in the Revelations of St. John, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.” [Revelation 3:21.] Can anything be said greater than that? Does not that comprehend everything?” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, Chapter 17: Priesthood—“for the Salvation of the Human Family” p. 210)

What Christ said was thrilling, but Mormonism claims that overcoming the world depends upon us and what we do—our works:

“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.” (New Testament: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 45: “He That Overcometh Shall Inherit All Things”. (p. 190)

In contrast, the Apostle John testifies that we overcome the world because of our faith in Christ:

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

The very moment the Holy Spirit brings us to faith in Christ, we are “born of God”. That is the only way we become a child of God–through faith! (If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to prove I’m wrong using only the Bible.) 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. This inheritance from our Heavenly Father is an unconditional and free gift.

Christ’s mission was “for the Salvation of the Human Family” “and He declares” that we have eternal life through faith in Him. As Lorenzo Snow said, “Nobody ought to doubt what Jesus says“:

“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.” (John 3:14-16)

John also testified that our King has 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)

Our Loving Savior overcame the world for you–in your place!!

“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 and the testimony of John the Beloved contradict the words of LDS apostles and prophets?

If so, rejoice in the truth that you have already overcome the world and gained eternal life. Then spend the rest of your life serving God—giving Jesus all the glory, honour and praise!

“Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity”

This months Gospel Doctrine lesson testifies: “Eternal marriage is essential in Heavenly Father’s plan.” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 31: “Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity” p. 177)

If eternal marriage truly was essential, wouldn’t Jesus know about Heavenly Father’s plan? Because Jesus surely didn’t mention this in any of His teachings. In fact, His testimony disagrees with this false LDS belief:

“And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. (Mark 12:23-25)

Christ explains further regarding marriage on earth:
“His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (Matthew 19:10-12)

Just think of some of these men Jesus was talking about who never married; like the prophets Daniel, Elijah, Elisha and John the Baptist. These men of God “made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” Of John the Baptist, Jesus testifies:

“For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luke 7:28)

According to the LDS belief regarding eternal marriage, John the Baptist is not “assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father”:

“President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve taught: “The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father”. (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 31: “Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity” p. 177)

But the Apostle Paul never married, as he explains:

“For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”

“He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.”

“So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. (1 Corinthians 7:7-9,32-35,38)

Just because marriages don’t last beyond this earth doesn’t mean that believing husbands and wives won’t be together for eternity. It just means that their relationship will not be as a man and wife. All believers will spend eternity together, in companionship with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

Christ testified-all who believe in Him, live eternally with Heavenly Father:

“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.”

This Is the Spirit of Revelation?

I was amazed when I discovered that Christians believe God still speaks to them today! When I was LDS I had always been told that only the LDS Church believed in continuing and personal revelation. But Christians don’t believe the heavens are closed! Every person who has been brought to faith by the Holy Ghost receives personal revelation from Heavenly Father all the time. I relish the fact that God lives in my heart and speaks to me personally every single day of my life:

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Eph 4:4-6) In addition to this amazing gift, the Holy Spirit also dwells in my heart and guides me every moment of my life.

The Gospel Doctrine Lesson states that “Personal revelation is the way we learn divine truths.” It also claims it is “the way we receive guidance beyond our own limited understanding in answering life’s questions, meeting challenges, and making decisions.” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 5: “This Is the Spirit of Revelation” p. 25)

I’m here to tell you that this personal revelation comes to you when you read scripture! I have a very personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. I get to talk to Him through prayer and He speaks to me personally when I read His Words in scripture. Jesus taught this truth when He rebuked the Jews for not knowing scripture or the power of God. He told them that God literally spoke divine truths to them when they read scripture:

“But as touching the resurrection of the dead, 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” (Mathew 22:31-32). God spoke to the Jews through scripture telling them the divine truth that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were living prophets, not dead ones.

When I was LDS I didn’t know this truth, that God speaks to us personally through scripture. That’s because I didn’t understand the important truth that God’s Word is living and active—it’s alive! Now, I know it is the “sword of the Spirit” and is so powerful it can literally pierce the soul and spirit of man. It also can discern the thoughts and intents of a person’s heart (Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12).

The Holy Spirit actively works through the hearing or reading of God’s Word; this is actually how the Spirit works the miracle of faith in an unbeliever. Jesus claimed God’s Word is so powerful that a person is immediately granted everlasting life through hearing it and believing:

“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.”

The authors of scripture didn’t use their own words to write it. They were inspired about what to say when the Holy Ghost moved them to write Words given to them. In fact, the inspiration of scripture was the very mission of the Holy Ghost. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. Scripture is “able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3: 15-17/2 Peter 1:20-21).

Because I believe and trust in God’s Word I do not stumble in darkness! I boldly proclaim that God’s “word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). One of my favorite Psalms tells the importance of meditating on God’s Word:

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1).

Scripture written several hundred years earlier still “spoke” to Jesus and His Apostles, and they were guided by it daily. We read one example in the book of Romans where Paul talks about the Prophet Abraham. Paul reminds his readers of the scripture from Genesis saying that Abraham was imputed with righteousness because of his faith. Paul then says

“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).

Did you read that? These scriptures were also written for your sake! If you “believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” you also will be imputed with righteousness through faith!!! Just like Abraham and anyone else whose trust is in what Jesus has done for them—even me!

Have You Been “Pickled in Mormonism”? Lifelong Conversion: Continuing to Advance in the Principles of Truth

Today I compare God’s revealed way of determining truth with the method found in Mormonism. Why is the difference important? God’s truth has been hidden from those who have been “pickled in ‘Mormonism” because of a false spirit which is described in this weeks Relief Society lesson:

“I will [present a] figure in regard to bringing about and getting this spirit in us, and digging deep that we in the time of storm, may not be driven off. Place a cucumber in a barrel of vinegar and there is but little effect produced upon it the first hour, nor in the first 12 hours. Examine it and you will find that the effect produced is merely upon the rind, for it requires a longer time to pickle it. It does not establish the law of right and of duty in him during the first 12 or 24 hours; he must remain in the church, like the cucumber in the vinegar, until he becomes saturated with the right spirit, until he becomes pickled in ‘Mormonism,’ in the law of God; we have got to have those things incorporated in our systems.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow Chapter 3: Lifelong Conversion: Continuing to Advance in the Principles of Truth, p. 68)

There is only one way to be “saturated with the right spirit” and you will never find that spirit in Mormonism. I know this because I believe the words of Christ who taught us how the Holy Spirit works. Being “pickled” into Christianity is not like Mormonism; it happens in an instant. The Holy Ghost brings an unbeliever to faith through a spiritual rebirth that Jesus calls being “born again”:

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:6-8)

Christ also taught that the Holy Spirit shall bring you to a remembrance of what has been taught by Jesus and His apostles:

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26) “These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:25-26)

The Apostle John warned you about false spirits and prophets. In fact he commanded that you “try the spirits” so as to discern whether a spirit is from God. How do you do this? He revealed that those who aren’t from God—won’t even hear his words or the words of Christ’s other apostles:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world…. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1-6)

Do you really want to know whether Mormonism has the spirit of truth or the spirit of error? Then compare God’s revealed way of determining truth with the method found in Mormonism. We read of this method in the Relief Society lesson:

“Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you when you took no thought, save it was to ask me; but, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you,” etc. [See D&C 9.]

Here we read the LDS method of determining if something is true: You can’t just ask God—you must also “study it out in your mind” and then “if it is right” God “will cause that your bosom shall burn within you.” While these words were written specifically to Oliver Cowdery, President Snow explains how this method applies to you:

“So in regard to us, respecting the things which we are undertaking. If we expect to improve, to advance in the work immediately before us, and finally to obtain possession of those gifts and glories, coming up to that condition of exaltation we anticipate, we must take thought and reflect, we must exert ourselves, and that too to the utmost of our ability. We ought to … get the Spirit ourselves” (p. 65).

Can you see the difference between Mormonism’s false method of determining truth and what Jesus and the Apostle John revealed? In speaking of the Holy Ghost, Jesus taught “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

Mormonism tells you to “study it out in your mind”. But what if “your mind” doesn’t know very much about God’s truth? If you’ve seldom studied what Christ originally taught, how can the Holy Ghost bring His Words to your remembrance? What good will it do to study the matter out in your mind if you haven’t studied what the Holy Spirit has already revealed in scripture?

Only a false spirit would tell you to use your wisdom and study it out in your mind to decide if something is true. Does your mind possess more knowledge than the wisdom that God has revealed through scripture? Satan wants you to trust in your own knowledge and feelings. But doing so will expose you to false spirits and you will be led astray; just as President Snow was:

Although he was content for a time with this understanding, he soon yearned for a special manifestation of the Holy Ghost. He said, “I had had no manifestation, but I expected one.” …No language can describe the instantaneous transition from a dense cloud of mental and spiritual darkness into a refulgence of light and knowledge, as it was at that time imparted to my understanding. I then received a perfect knowledge that God lives, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and of the restoration of the Holy Priesthood, and the fulness of the gospel.”

President Snow “yearned for a special manifestation” but the spirit he received was not from God. And because He didn’t test the spirit, he was deceived. To those who “received not the love of the truth” the Apostle Paul revealed that “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”:

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

I pray that you will be as the Bereans; of whom the Apostle Paul praised:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed” (Acts 17:11-12)

All praise and glory to our Savior Jesus, for teaching us how to discern truth!

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