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)

“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/

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!

Faithful, Energetic Service in the Kingdom of God, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow

Reading Chapter 15 of the Relief Society Lesson brought many things to mind. I could really relate to the heading on page 191: “The work of the Lord is sometimes difficult, but it brings great joy.”

I love serving the Lord, especially through this blog; but I haven’t Posted for several months because of my health. “Energetic service” for my Lord has become difficult because energy is something that I don’t have. I have a rare disease that takes away my energy at the cell level which makes it especially hard to write a post. And yet my hearts desire is to share God’s truth with every Mormon in the world.

Many LDS members ask why I have created this blog. They often wonder why I spend so much energy fighting against “the Church” by witnessing my new-found faith to its members. The answer is love! God has placed such love in my heart for “my people.” I simply can’t stop myself from being a missionary to Mormons–I love doing so. I know what it is like to be LDS and worry whether you have gained forgiveness of your sins. Ever since I met my Savior it has been my hearts desire to share His message of free and full forgiveness with everyone.

I was born into a prominent LDS family. The first member of my family to join the church was John Patten, who baptized his brother David W. Patten (one of Joseph Smith’s original apostles). My father was Bishop, Stake President and Patriarch all his adult life. I was baptized at eight, married in the temple; and for many years never questioned that the LDS Church was the only true church.

Looking back, I realize that I was similar to the Apostle Paul—-in regards to being born of the right heritage, into a church led by leaders who taught false doctrines: “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;” (Philippians 3:5)

Like Paul, I believed what I had been taught by my church leaders–that eternal life depended upon adding my obedience to my faith; as seen in this months Relief Society Lesson:

“As they by virtue of their commission, declared with all assurance, amidst persecution and opposition, the gospel to be the power of God unto salvation to all those who believed and obeyed, so declare we.” (p. 185)

The reason that Paul left his church was because Jesus came into His life. It was then that he met his true Savior, and the Holy Spirit opened his heart to the truth. He realized that his church leaders were teaching false doctrines and that he belonged to the wrong church.

We read many times in the New Testament that he fought fiercely against the false teachers who led this church. The reason he did is because of love! Just like me, he desired to share the truth with “his people”. In fact, he was willing to be cursed in exchange for his people to be brought to Christ:

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites” (Romans 9:9-14)

Do you notice how Paul overemphasizes his motive: “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.?” Maybe the reason he was being so adamant is because his previous church members doubted his motive for fighting “so fiercely against” “the Church”.

The truth that Paul so wanted his people to hear is the same message that I share with you. Your leaders teach false doctrines! LDS prophets proclaim a false gospel as seen by the words of Lorenzo Snow. Here is the true message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Did you notice the difference in this scripture from what President Snow taught? He had to add two little words so that it would fit in with the false LDS gospel: “…the gospel to be the power of God unto salvation to all those who believed and obeyed, so declare we.”

The Lesson asks: “What does it mean to you to be an ambassador of Christ?” (p. 192)

For me, what joy it is, to know the true Gospel of Christ! This gospel grants Salvation to all who believe! The reason this can happen is because Christ took all our sins; and in exchange, gave us His righteousness. Because we are now perfect in God’s sight—we can come into God’s presence. That news, the good news of the Gospel; is why I’m an ambassador for Christ!:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

As Christ’s Ambassador, I beseech you: “be ye reconciled to God.” Please?

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!

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)

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).

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)

Advancing the Work of the Lord: If You Shirk Your Part, Will You Forfeit God’s Blessings?

For most of my childhood my father held callings within the Church, including Bishop, Stake President and Stake Patriarch. The sentence I most remember my father saying was taken from a revelation given to Joseph Smith: “All blessings are predicated upon obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.” (From Doctrine and Covenants 130) I’m sure my Dad taught this to me as often as he did because he loved me; and he wanted me to learn what he believed to be the only way to gain eternal life. I’m so thankful my eyes and heart have been opened to the truth in spite of what I was taught. As much as I love my Father, I place the words of my Savior above his:

“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” And also of John the Baptist: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:15, 36).

Along with many other LDS leaders, George Albert Smith must not have read the words of Christ. In spite of what Jesus Christ taught, he claimed that if you shirk in promoting the Lord’s work, you will forfeit God’s blessings. This week’s Relief Society Lesson:

“I must carry that part of the load that the Lord places upon me, and if I shirk, then I realize that I forfeit the blessing that would come to me by obedience to the commandments of our Father.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 15: Advancing the Work of the Lord, p. 160)

Reading this lesson made me wonder how LDS women react to these words of their prophet. Do you really believe that you can “live by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of our Father in heaven”? (p. 161) Have you even had the time to read His “every word”?

Do you fear for your boys and girls who are not “walking in obedience to the commandments of the Lord”? (p. 164)

How does it feel, knowing that the Lord’s promise of protection and safeguarding depends upon your ability to “honor him and keep his commandments”? (p. 162)

Do you really believe that “Mormonism… is the power of God unto salvation to those who will keep the commandments of our Father”? (p. 165) Then my question to you, is “Which commandments do you have to keep?” Cause there’s no way anyone can even come close to keeping all of God’s commands. Anyone that believes they can do this, doesn’t really know everything that God has commanded of you in His law. Heavenly Father has given to us many laws that must be obeyed before we can dwell in His presence. By far the most daunting command given was when Jesus claimed we must be as perfect as Heavenly Father Himself! (Matthew 5:48 ) The Apostle Paul revealed that no unclean person can dwell in God’s presence (Ephesians 5:5).

The sobering truth is that there is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right (Ecclesiastes 7:20). That’s why Jesus had to come to earth and save us! He kept all of God’s commandments for us, because we were doomed to failure without Him. Jesus perfectly obeyed God’s will in our place. It was His Mission to be our substitute for the righteousness demanded by Heavenly Father. Christ’s very purpose was to do what we were unable to do for ourselves—fulfill God’s law. “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second” (Hebrews 10:9). “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Romans 10:3-4).

The blessing of eternal life can only be gained as a gift. In fact, the most amazing blessings are unconditional gifts given by our loving Father in Heaven! Jesus testified that this unconditional blessing is actually God’s will for all who believe in Him: “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)

If you don’t believe my words, then I beg you to honestly follow the words of your prophet—100%! Only then will you come to realize that you cannot do what your prophet demands of you.

“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.” (Romans 3:19-20)

“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.”

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:21-22, 24)

How to Share the Gospel Effectively? First, Have Faith in What Christ Has Done For You

There isn’t anything I love doing more than sharing the Gospel of Christ. I can’t wait to tell everyone I meet what my Lord and Savior has done for me. When I was LDS I didn’t realize that all my energy was spent trying to do something that Jesus had already done for me. Reading this weeks Relief Society Lesson reminded me that you also are trying to do something which you will never be able to do.

President Smith claims that this is the mission of Mormons:
Our mission in the world is to save souls, to bless them, and to place them in a condition that they may go back into the presence of our Father, crowned with glory, immortality, and eternal life.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 14: How to Share the Gospel Effectively, p.153)

I bear my testimony to you that this is not your mission—it was Christ’s mission! Your Savior’s mission was to save souls: “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (1 John 4:14) Jesus has served His mission and returned to His Father in Heaven with honor.

In saving souls He took “away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He did this by taking upon Himself every single sin ever committed. At Christ’s death, he was the world’s biggest sinner. And in one instance, His shed blood washed away every single sin you’ve ever committed.

In exchange for our sinfulness, Jesus gave us His righteousness. It was His mission to place each of us in the condition that allows humans “into the presence of our Father”. By the offering of His body as the final sacrifice for sin, we have been “perfected forever.” All who have faith in God are credited with Christ’s righteousness.

The Apostle Paul testifies of this truth. He explains that Abraham was credited with righteousness through faith. He testifies that you too can be credited with righteousness, if you “believe on him that raised up Jesus”:

“He [Abraham] 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)

We read in the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus commanded us to be as perfect as Heavenly Father: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) This is a command we must obey to gain eternal life and dwell in God’s presence. Unfortunatly, we have all failed miserably. The Prophet Isaiah testified that even our righteousness is like filthy rags in God’s sight:

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

Only Jesus could obey the command to be perfect. But amazingly we get credit for His obedience! It was His mission to make us perfect! He alone could grant us the “boldness to enter into the holiest” by His blood. The writer of Hebrews explains this beautifully:

“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… 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus… 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:10-22)

The Prophet Isaiah prophesied of this mission of Christ many years before Jesus was born:

“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)

John the Beloved tells of this righteousness when he testifies that through our hope in Christ, we are as pure as Jesus Himself:

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”(1 John 3:1-3)

Now do you understand why I love Jesus so much; and why I can’t stop myself from sharing the Gospel of Christ?

Only by knowing what your Savior has truly done for you will you be compeled to share the Gospel truthfully, and effectively. And, since you won’t have to spend your time trying to do what Christ has already done; you are now free to glorify Him with all you do.

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 1:24-25)

BeYePerfect.org. Christ was Perfect for You

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