The Double Evil of Sin

When I talk with Latter-day Saints about sin and salvation, the conversation inevitably turns to the LDS idea of meriting God’s grace via personal worthiness coupled with repentance. During these conversations I find that, generally speaking, Mormons don’t seem to think about sin in the same way God talks about it in His Word. They don’t seem to grasp the seriousness of sin. They don’t seem to recognize the depth and breadth of the corruption of men’s hearts.

God says there are none righteous (no, not one). He says there are none who do good; that the intentions and desires of men’s hearts are evil continually (Romans 3:10; Psalm 14:3; Genesis 6:5).

Charles SpurgeonChristian preacher Charles Spurgeon explained:

“The essence of sin lies in its being committed against God. When men are fully convinced that they have disobeyed the Lord, and that this is ‘the head and font of their offending,’ then they are brought to a true perception of the character of sin. Hence David’s penitential psalm has for its acutest cry, ‘Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight’ (Psalm 51:4). Yet the sword of sin cuts both ways, it not only contends against God but against His creatures too. It is a double evil. Like a bursting shell, it scatters evil on every side. Every relationship which we sustain involves duty, and consequently, may be perverted into an occasion for sin. We are no sooner in this world than, as children, we sin against our parents; as members of a family we sin against brothers and sisters; and against playmates and acquaintances. We launch into the outside world, and…[our] sins dash like raging billows. As our various relations are multiplied, our sins increase also: we sin against a husband or wife, against a servant or against a master, against a buyer or a seller. On all sides the roots of our soul suck up sin from the earth in which they spread. We sin in public and sin in private, sin against our poverty and against our wealth. Our sin, drops on all who come under our shadow. As the sea surrounds all shores, so sin beats with deadly waves upon all connected with our life. Our hundred-handed sin assails both heaven and earth, time and eternity, great and small, old men and children.”

Our sin is so deep and so wide; the temptations so persistent; our righteous determination so prone to faltering. Like Paul, our proper response to a knowledge of our sin should be,

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24)

PenitenceFor deliverance is what we need. Repentance and trying hard to please God won’t cut it. Our sinfulness is too ingrained. The roots are way too deep.

Until we recognize, as Paul said, that “nothing good dwells in [us]” (Romans 7:18), we will not recognize our true hopelessness before God. Instead, we’ll think we can progress in righteousness (though perhaps in baby steps) by strengthening our resolve to prove our worthiness — which lies hidden somewhere within us. We’ll show God how good we can be, and He will welcome us into His kingdom. When I talk with Mormons, I find that this is the way many think about themselves and about their sin. But, according to God’s Word, this is not the way God thinks.

Isaiah heard the seraphim crying out, in the presence of God’s holiness, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3). In that moment, Isaiah recognized his true hopelessness. He said, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips…” (Isaiah 6:5). God purged Isaiah’s sin and took his iniquity away. God, in His mercy, delivered Isaiah, just as He will deliver all who recognize their hopelessness and call upon Him.

Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word!
Let my plea come before you;
deliver me according to your word.
(Psalm 119:169-170)

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.

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57 Responses to The Double Evil of Sin

  1. Rick B says:

    Mae, I am one of those who believe speaking the truth in love means being Honest, and sometimes being Honest means telling People they have a false god and their god does not exist and as a result will end up in hell for ever. Sadly to many people see that is being mean and hateful, so be it if they do, I can quote you much scripture where Jesus, Paul, Timothy and others speak about the same things I said.

    Then Mae you said:

    We do this by repenting of all our sins and obeying the laws and ordinances of Christ’s gospel.

    If you want to try and keep and obey ALL THE LAWS then go for it, But the Jews had over 600 laws that they failed to keep, I bet you cannot tell me what all the Laws our that you must keep and the Bible says this about keeping all the laws,

    Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

    Plus we have shown the verse in the Bible that says, WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE ALONE NOT OF WORKS lest any MAN SHOULD BOAST.

    So is the Bible true or is your Prophet true? They both cannot be true, otherwise the Bible would say, we are saved by grace plus works, so we can boast. Sadly it does not say that. Rick b

  2. mm says:

    Michael, I appreciate your respectful comments. I also respect you as a person, even if I don’t understand and agree with you. Thank you.

    Rick,

    I don’t know all the answers. I don’t understand all the discrepancies. There is one person who does. Our Heavenly Father. Enough said.

    This will be my last post. I stumbled upon this website and it has been eye opening, to say the least. I didn’t know that people had such strong feelings against mormons. We are good people. We are taught to work hard and follow Christ’s example. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough for some. The small details have proven to be a stumbling block for many people. I am sorry about this. I hope that someday, Rick, you will find the answers you are looking for. I’m sorry I don’t have them.

    So I will try to obey all of God’s laws and I will continue to do those things that fall under the category of “good works”. Not because I want to boast, but because I want to obey.

    Christ was our ultimate example. Did He sit around and wait for grace to save us? No. He went to work. And He did it to glorify His Father, not himself. He healed countless souls of their physical and spiritual infirmities.

    This is my Christ. And I want to be like Him. I hope He is your Christ too, despite our different churches.

    I say this in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

    Mae

  3. falcon says:

    ……and so we have the deceptive nature of Mormonism. Sincere, sweet people taken down a path of distruction with just enough Christian sounding doctrine to make them feel they have the true gospel. That’s why it’s important to clearly define terms. Jesus’ shed blood of the cross was enough to get us right with God. We can’t add anything to it. It was a free gift. As I stated previously, our position before God does not change as a result of our performance. God’s grace has always been and always will be sufficient.

  4. Jeff B says:

    Chelsea, find any time to answer my question yet? Don’t want to push, but I don’t want to just let it be forgotten

  5. Rick B says:

    MM, If you happen to come back and read this then let me start here, MM Said

    I don’t know all the answers. I don’t understand all the discrepancies. There is one person who does. Our Heavenly Father. Enough said.

    How sad MM, If their is discrepancies and you simply blow them off, then find out you were wrong, it will cost your soul in hell, And D and C 131:6 says, A man cannot BE SAVED in ignorence. Seems you might not be saved. How come your Prophet cannot come out with a word from god and answer these issues?

    Then You said

    So I will try to obey all of God’s laws and I will continue to do those things that fall under the category of “good works”. Not because I want to boast, but because I want to obey.

    You say YOU WILL TRY, How sad, you will try and fail as you do, you and no other human can keep all the laws, the Jews in the OT could not do it, not Even Saul who became Paul. Then you say, you will do the good works not to boast, but to obey, How about you really Obey and do what the Bible says, Like Search the scriptures, and Simply believe on Jesus for salvation, not look to your Good works to save you, Makes me wonder by your statement, do you really believe what you say, or not?

    You said

    Did He sit around and wait for grace to save us?

    No He died for us and by His death, His grace saves us, Not our works.

    You said

    This is my Christ. And I want to be like Him. I hope He is your Christ too, despite our different churches.

    Your christ falls under Gal 1:8-9, we do not sever the same God, and it goes way beyond a different Church, it goes into a different Gospel and a different God.

  6. Michael P says:

    The point has been made, but her sentence: “So I will try to obey all of God’s laws and I will continue to do those things that fall under the category of “good works”. Not because I want to boast, but because I want to obey.” makes me sad. Sad that the answer is right there in front of them, ready to take, and yet they keep on toiling.

    Reminds me of a book I read over the summer. It was called New Town by Harry Blamires. I’d recommend it to everyone here. A quick read but poignant.

  7. Michael P says:

    I post this here as I am not sure where else to put it.

    But I was having a conversation with a Mormon at another site, and he posted this, in response to David’s being in heaven. I used Psalms 23.

    Here is his response:

    “1 THE LORD is my shepherd; I shall not bwant.
    2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
    3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
    4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
    6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

    Nothing there precludes what I wrote about David. He may very well dwell in the house of the LORD for ever after he is delivered from hell where he currently resides.”

    Does anyone else find this very troubling? Any Mormon’s to offer any thoughts?

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