Are You Worthy?

I volunteer with Truth in Love Ministry, a Christian group that reaches out to the Latter-day Saints. Through a media campaign, billboards ask the question “Feeling Worthy?” and point readers to our new website: HisHealingNow.com. Here we share with you the peace and joy we have found through our Savior. We want you to know that feeling unworthy is actually a blessing. The answer to your feelings of unworthiness is the sweet message of a Savior who loves you and came to save you—because you are unworthy! “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” (Matthew 18:11)

The reason we are focusing on LDS who feel unworthy is because your church leaders have told you the wrong way to be worthy. They claim that a person can be worthy through obedience and have created a set of standards for each member to follow. But no one can be found worthy through obedience. Jesus testified the truth of every human’s worthiness when He claimed “none is good, save one, that is, God.” (Luke 18:19). The prophet Isaiah declared “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

LDS leaders claim that God gave us His laws as the way to prove ourselves worthy. But this is not true. God gave us His commands for exactly the opposite reason—to prove to us just how unworthy we are! His laws were given so “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) God intended for us to use the demands of His law as a mirror. When we look at ourselves in it, we realize just how sinful we are. The main reason God gave His law was to convict us of our unworthiness. The apostle Paul explains no one can be worthy by following any law of God: “for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” (Galatians 3) Instead, “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” God’s law brings us to place our trust in Christ when we realize that without a Savior, we are doomed to hell. This is the blessing of recognizing our unworthiness. We come to rely on what Christ did for us—led a perfect life and atoned for our sins.

So what can be so bad about Mormons trying to be worthy through obedience? The problem isn’t that you are trying to be worthy; it’s that you are using the wrong standard to judge yourself by. The LDS standard for worthiness was created by men and not by God. LDS prophets have lowered God’s standard and use a standard that isn’t high enough. All question as to what standard man should be held to were thrown aside when Jesus commanded: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mt 5:48) By lowering God’s standard they create the illusion of worthiness through ones own efforts.

LDS leaders use their own system of grading sins. When determining worthiness some sins are overlooked and others are judged as making a person unworthy. Simply reading the Sermon on the Mount verifies that this practice of grading sins didn’t come from God. Jesus testified that in God’s sight, murderers are as sinful as those who loose their temper; and looking at a woman in lust is committing the very same sin as adultery (Matthew 5-7) In God’s eyes, each and every sin is rebellion against Him and receives the same eternal consequence—Hell.

Instead of looking at Heavenly Father’s perfection to determine if you are worthy, Mormons judge whether you are worthy by looking at each other. Lowering God’s standard by grading sins only gives members a false impression that they are worthy. This actually leads you away from your Savior! Instead of reaching out for a Savior who did everything for you, you place your trust in a Savior who merely gives you the opportunity to be judged by your works. Doing so means that your eternal life hangs in the balance of whether you are worthy enough! Can you now see how deadly this doctrine of worthiness is?

There is only one way to be found worthy in God’s sight and it has nothing to do with your obedience to God’s law. Paul testified: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21) Worthiness comes through faith that Jesus came to earth to be worthy for you—in your place! He is your substitute for the perfection required by God. Through the offering of Christ’s body you have been perfected forever! (Hebrews 10:10-14). Abraham was credited with righteous through faith: “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)

And please, don’t fall for the cheap trick of those who ask “Then why would you ever try to do what is right?” Everyone who trusts that Jesus has gained their worthiness for them are so grateful that for the rest of their lives they strive to please God. Not because they have to—but because their love for their Savior compels them.

Your Savior came to cover you with His righteousness. Believe it and you will rejoice with the prophet Isaiah:

“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)

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Is feeling “Unworthy” a Blessing?

My oldest daughter Jenifer was born three months early, weighing only two and a half pounds! We couldn’t take her home from the hospital until she weighed four pounds, which seemed like an eternity. My second daughter Laura was born just two days before Jenifer turned one and weighed eight pounds. I had my hands full with two small babies but it was mostly fun. One thing difficult was that Laura was colicky and it was hard getting her to sleep at nights.

It was my Dad’s birthday and he loved cinnamon rolls so I made some for him. We got home from my parents house pretty late. I put the kids to bed and went to bed myself. Laura started crying so I got up to see what she needed. I tried everything I could think of, but nothing helped her. I stayed up with her till almost four, but finally just left her crying in her crib and went to bed. When I woke up at 8:00 am I knew something was wrong because Laura always woke up before 7:00. I ran into her room and to my horror, she was dead!

Neither my husband nor I had ever been through anything like this before. The Paramedics who came said she probably died from SIDS. For days everything was a blur but I remember a few things very clearly. My parents and my little brother came as well as the Bishop. And then a few days later I remember running into a teenager from our Ward who occasionally babysat. She said, “Where is Laura?” I remember thinking “How do you tell a teenager that your baby is dead?” I also remember that the whole thing was very hard for my Grandma, who had also lost a baby at about the same age.

I learned that death is not negotiable and life goes on. A few weeks later I went to see my Bishop to get a Temple Recommend. We talked about Laura’s death and he promised me that if I was worthy, I would get to raise her in the Millennium. He also promised me that if I was worthy, Laura would appear to me when I was in the Temple. As the day approached to go to Salt Lake I was filled with nervous anticipation as well as excitement. After Laura’s death I had become consumed with guilt because I had left her to cry in her crib. I desperately wanted to tell her how much I loved her and that I was sorry for leaving her alone to die. Even though this happened over 27 years ago, this pain is still so strong that it brings tears to my eyes as I write this.

The day came for us to go through the Temple. Laura did not appear to me. I knew the reason why! My Bishop had told me that she would appear to me IF I was worthy. I knew she didn’t come to me because I was unworthy! The pain that this added to a life already full of pain was unbearable. I didn’t speak of it to anyone. Every LDS person I knew was worthy and I felt like I was the only one who wasn’t. How could I tell anyone else my feelings? No one else was unworthy like me.

Twenty-seven years later I still wish my daughter hadn’t died. But looking back, I trust God’s promise that everything will work out for my good. I now know that my feelings of unworthiness when Laura didn’t appear to me in the Temple were a blessing! This major event in my life became one very heavy weight added to many hundreds telling me how unworthy I was! These weights led me to seek a solution outside of myself.

Now, I know the truth! Without Jesus, every single person is unworthy! But in Mormonism, there is this façade that you can somehow be worthy based upon your own actions. When you meet with your Bishop to get a Temple Recommend, you are asked a handful of questions to determine your worthiness. But simply read the Sermon on the Mount to see that these questions are very different from the ones Jesus would ask to determine your worthiness. Along with many other questions, He would ask you if you were as worthy as Heavenly Father!

Have you ever wondered why Jesus would command us to be as perfect as God Himself? Unless you are one hundred percent perfect, you won’t dwell eternally with God the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit! Jesus wants you to know that you can never be as perfect as Heavenly Father. The purpose of God’s laws, His commands; is to show you how unworthy you are. When you look honestly into the mirror of His laws, you see just how sinful you are. Jesus wants you to know just how much you need a Savior, so you will turn to Him and be saved! This is what led me to truly know my Savior. (Galatians 3:21-24/Romans 7:7-8/Romans 3:19-20).

If you feel unworthy, realize what a blessing it is! Then, turn to your Savior who was worthy for you! Trust me, you will devote your whole life to this Savior who made you worthy!! Once you do this you won’t have to pretend to others that you are worthy. Christ came to save the unworthy and through Him, you have been made worthy forever! (Hebrews 10:10-14)