It’s Throwback Thursday!
The following blog article originally posted at Mormon Coffee on September 26, 2006.
My October, 2006 edition of Ensign just arrived. I wish more of my Christian friends who think Mormonism is abandoning its heretical past would take closer notice of what the LDS Church is still teaching; for instance, in an article titled “Plain and Precious Truths Restored.” On page 53, Clyde Williams, BYU assistant professor of Ancient Scripture, emphasizes the importance of commandment-keeping if a person hopes to achieve God’s grace.
Elder B.H. Roberts of the Seventy (1857-1933) explained how the unconditional nature of the Atonement in regard to Adam’s transgression and its conditional nature regarding men’s personal sins is a doctrine “peculiar to ‘Mormonism’…and is derived almost wholly from the teachings of the Book of Mormon. In that distinction the beauty and glory of the Atonement, the balanced claims of justice and mercy shine forth as no where else, even in holy writ, — much less in the uninspired writings of men. It may be regarded as the ‘Mormon’ contribution to views of the Atonement of Christ, for it is to be found no where else except in Mormon literature.” The perfect relationship between the atoning grace of Christ and the obedient efforts of mankind is powerfully stated by Nephi: “We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). Furthermore, we are invited to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.” When we deny ourselves “of all ungodliness,” then and only “then is his grace sufficient” for us (Moroni 10:32).
Think about it. Then and only then is his grace sufficient for us. There is nothing really new here that I haven’t heard before. Robert Millet and Joseph Fielding McConkie said virtually the same thing when they also coupled 2 Nephi 25:23 with Moroni 10:32. They wrote, “Indeed, it is only after a person has so performed a lifetime of works and faithfulness — only after he has come to deny himself of all ungodliness and every worldly lust — that the grace of God, that spiritual increment of power, is efficacious” (Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon 1:295).
My question is, do these men really think they have “denied themselves of all ungodliness and every worldly lust”? If not, it seems clear by their own admission that the grace of God is not efficacious in their lives. If they think they have denied themselves of all ungodliness and every worldly lust, then I think they need to re-read 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”