As we head toward the October General Conference coming up, here’s a quick look at a few teachings from the last General Conference (April 2010) as found in the May 2010 issue of the Ensign magazine.
“Qualifying for the Lord’s Spirit begins with a desire for that Spirit and implies a certain degree of worthiness. Keeping the commandments, repenting, and renewing covenants made at baptism lead to the blessing of always having the Lord’s Spirit with us. ” (Julie B. Beck, p. 11)
“If we are to fulfill our destiny and return to live with our Father in Heaven, we must keep His commandments and pattern our lives after the Savior.” (Keith B. McMullin, p. 13)
“Remember, sisters, God is the source of all moral and spiritual power. We gain access to that power by entering into covenants with Him and keeping those covenants. ” (M. Russell Ballard, p. 20)
“In those sacramental prayers, the children hear the promise that they may someday receive the Holy Ghost as a guide if they are obedient to God’s commandments.” (Henry B. Eyring, p. 23)
“…that [children] may be impressed in their hearts with a desire to continue to keep the commandments of God after they are baptized, that they may come back into his presence.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, quoted by L. Tom Perry, p. 30)
“Obedience to the Lord’s commandments provides us confidence in our chosen path, qualifies us for His guidance and direction as we pursue our efforts, and offers us the potential to become like our Savior, Jesus Christ, and return to our Father’s presence.” (Bruce A. Carlson, p. 40)
“Jesus administers the balance between justice and mercy conditioned upon our obedience to His gospel. …All who obey His commandments will earn the most glorious blessings imaginable.” (Richard G. Scott, p. 76)
“The Savior loves each of us and will make it possible for our every need to be satisfied as we qualify by obedience for all of the blessings He wants us to have on this earth.” (Richard G. Scott, p. 78)
“Based on personal worthiness, we may through His grace have the glorious opportunity of entering back into the presence of God.” (Quentin L. Cook, p. 84)
“The sacrament allows us to witness to God that we will remember His Son and keep His commandments as we renew our baptismal covenant.” (Quentin L. Cook, p. 84)
“We knew [while in our premortal state] that our purpose was to gain a physical body, to overcome trials, and to prove that we would keep the commandments of God.” (Thomas S. Monson, p. 88)
“Because of the Atonement, these consummate blessings [immortality, return to the presence of the Father, family beyond the grave] can be realized by each of God’s children who obey His eternal laws.” (Russell M. Nelson, p. 92)
“It is the spiritual preparation of our children in the rising generation that will, through their obedience, ensure the eternal preservation and perpetuation of our families for the coming generations.” (Robert D. Hales, p. 96)
“It is the spiritual preparation of our children in the rising generation that will, through their obedience, ensure the eternal preservation and perpetuation of our families for the coming generations.”
Oh, no. If eternal preservation and perpetuation of families depend on spiritual preparation that comes through OBEDIENCE – we are all doomed!!!!!
It´s funny how as a mormon i thought i was well with God just because i didn´t drink coffee or alcoholic beverages, did my home teaching once or twice a month at most, read the Book of Mormon, prayed every day, and didn´t do all the bad things the other people on church did – didn´t watch tv on sunday(that was keeping the sabbath day holy as i was taught growing up), was always on time for meetings, always reverent, was always helpful, etc.
If that´s the criteria then Heaven belongs to the Pharisees!
Luk 18:13 "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."
Another thing i now find amazing is how those men and women that talk on conference are praised as being holier than the rest of us…
I remember general conference announcements in my ward, the bishop would say: Attend conference is the best thing you can do, the opportunities to hear A "PROPHET" OF GOD and to learn from them is a privilege(something on that tone).
like you can´t open the Bible and read what the prophets and apostles already spoke… it sounds just like this passage – Act 17:21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.).
I like the words of Peter, they should be the attitude of those so-called apostles and prophet:
Act 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
Act 10:26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
Those "prophets" and "apostles" are no better or more inspired than a simple ward janitor…
Thanks for your article, and the quotations you've shared.
I have spent some time studying a commentary by an author I quite admire. Here is a passage from it:
<quote>Even today heretics pretend the name of God, of Christ, and of the Church, and teach their doctrine as the pure gospel of Christ.
The truth of the gospel is that our righteousness comes by faith alone, without the works of the law. The corruption or falsehood of the gospel is that we are justified by faith but not without the works of the law.
That is the gospel the false apostles preached. For they say that we must believe in Christ, and that faith is the foundation of our salvation, but it justifies not, except it be furnished with something else. This is not the truth of the gospel, but falsehood and dissimulation. The true gospel is that the works of charity are not the ornament or perfection of faith: but that faith itself is God’s gift and God’s work in our hearts, which therefore justifies us, because it apprehends Christ our Redeemer. Man’s reason has the law for its object, thus thinking with itself: this have I done, this I have not done. But faith being in her own proper office, has no other object but Jesus Christ the Son of God, delivered to death for the sins of the whole world. It looks not to charity: it says not, what have I done? what have I offended? what have I deserved? but what has Christ done? What has He deserved? Here the truth of the gospel answers you: He has redeemed you from your sin, from the devil, and from eternal death. Faith therefore acknowledges that in this one person, Jesus Christ, it has forgiveness of sins and eternal life.</quote>
In the above passage, the author is discussing Galatians 2:4-5. He begins by lamenting the spiritual deception present "even today," as it was in the church at Galatia. And what was the author's day? It was 1531, during a lecture series he presented at the University of Wittenberg. The author was Martin Luther. Sadly, our day is not so different from his.
Good news everyone!
If we work really hard at being religious, we can force God to bless us. Finally, we've discovered a way to get Him to do what we want.
(Just steer away from alcohol, coffee and tea, and polygamy, OK)
(PS ignore that (because Joseph Smith did), just steer away from alcohol, coffee and tea)
(PPS ignore that too (because Joseph Smith did) – just pay your tithes)
(PPPS ignore that too (because Joseph Smith did) – just make sure you're a signed up member of the Church)
(PPPPS BTW, you can't be a signed up member of the Church unless you steer away from alcohol, coffee and tea, and polygamy)
(PPPPPS ignore that …
Martin, golly, that sure sums it up well ! The sincere Mormon people trying to be worthy enough
to gain eternal life in God's presence by striving to keep all the laws of God AS DEFINED BY
MORMON PROPHETS AND APOSTLES . This is why many Mormons are discovering the
utter futility of the Mormon "gospel" , and have instead turned to the living Lord Jesus, bowed
at His feet and confessed their unworthiness and then asked for His forgiveness and His
righteousness , this gained them eternal life , and they are so grateful. Phil.3:9; Rom.8:1
All I see here is justification for those who couldn't handle the LDS lifestyle. I've studied both philosophies heavily (LDS & Protestant) and the LDS concept of God's alchemy process, turning base material into gold, is the most powerful and profound idea in the world. The transforming power of this alchemy is at the heart of Mormonism. The covenants, laws and sacrifices associated with this process elevate mankind and are the catalysts for evolution. Anything less is theological cotton candy, sweet, but nutritionally lacking in the core elements that transform individuals into higher social states. Give me the transforming power of the above qoutes over the spiritually vague and shallow, feel-good worship of evangelicalism any day.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, then the Protestant heaven is insane. Why would that world be any different than this evil Earth life if the people are the same there, if no evolution is required? If any slacker or evil prone person who "accepts Jesus" is allowed in, how will it not be plagued by the problems here? There must be a sanctifying and purifying of hearst and minds (Zion) to ensure it will be a divine place.
"I've studied both philosophies heavily (LDS & Protestant)"
I doubt that(that you studied Protestant "philosophy") very much after reading your entire post.
"All I see here is justification for those who couldn't handle the LDS lifestyle."
Wow, so apparently you can! Man, how are you able to handle 4 (more or less) kids, dating night with your wife, family home-evening, full-time job, 10% tithing, fast and other offerings, having to attend the temple in a regular basis, doing your genealogy work, helping in missionary work sharing it and going out with the missionaries, keeping your sabbath-day holy, studying the Book of Mormon at least 30 min. a day, studying other scriptures, serving in your callings, doing your home-teaching, doing service-projects, etc., etc., etc.? You must be superman to do all that! Unless, of course, you pick and choose what you want to obey when it is convenient… yeah, that could make it a lot easier, i suppose…
" the LDS concept of God's alchemy process, turning base material into gold, is the most powerful and profound idea in the world"
Ok, so mormonism is now officially a pagan religion.
"Anything less is theological cotton candy, sweet, but nutritionally lacking in the core elements that transform individuals into higher social states."
See, i think this applies to your religion. The core element is Jesus. Are you calling the work of God through the Holy Ghost that transforms people from within "cotton candy"?
I also want to ask you, does truth matter to you? Or do you think that the characteristics of a philosophy is what makes it true?
"If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, then the Protestant heaven is insane."
Again – tell me, how is your religion doing any different? Because i was a mormon for a long time, and have never seen the mormon church trying to do different things to get "different results". Oops, i forgot the new ad campaign that shows that mormons are just normal people… right, sorry about that.
"Why would that world be any different than this evil Earth life if the people are the same there, if no evolution is required?"
If you had actually studied Biblical Christianity, you´d know that it´s not about "evolution", is about transformation, or, in the words of Jesus – to be born of the Spirit. In Heaven things will be perfect because God will transform us to a perfect state – and honestly you can do all the alchemy you want, you´re never going to be any bit better yourself by your own efforts, even though you think you are(just because you probably helped in some service project, or you straightened some aspects of your life to be able to receive the mormon priesthood).
"If any slacker or evil prone person who "accepts Jesus" is allowed in, how will it not be plagued by the problems here?"
Ethan, here´s the problem – we are all evil in the sight of God. You need to read your Bible again, you probably missed that the first time(that´s another reason i doubt you ever studied Protestant Theology).
"There must be a sanctifying and purifying of hearst and minds (Zion) to ensure it will be a divine place."
Yes, there is and it´s the work of God through the Holy Ghost because of the blood Christ shed for us on the cross. That´s not Zion, Zion is a fictional utopian concept made up by Joseph Smith(probably influenced by freemasonry), the whole city of Enoch is pure fantasy as well as that "perfect society" in 4 Nephi.
Moses 7:18 "And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them."
Here´s what Christ said, and it contradicts that concept of Zion:
Mark 14:7 "For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always."
D&C 130:20-21 "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."
Mormons willfully ignore this passage – Eph 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;"
Dead people can do nothing – it would be the same as to tell a dead man to make his heart beat again so he can come back to life.
What you wrote is pure Gnosticism.
It's not Christianity.
Christianity is bitterly opposed to Gnosticism. Always has been. Always will be.
I don't need to demonstrate which one of these world-views is right or wrong here because your movement claims to be the "restoration" of the Christian Gospel (you know, the message of Jesus of Nazareth and his followers?). I even don't need to care if you like the Christian Gospel or not (it seems you don't).
You need to ask yourself two questions;
1 Is it even remotely ethical to present your faith as "true" Christianity, when it is irreconcilably opposed to the message of Jesus and his followers?
2 Why should the message of Jesus and his followers conform to your (Gnostic) preconceptions?
Finally, the "gospel" of Gnosticism does nothing to free a person or raise the dead. It's not even a gospel at all. There's no "good news" or even "big news" (which is the meaning of the word 'Gospel') about it.
It's a lie. Why? Because Christ was raised from the dead (which is something you claim to believe).
Now, if you were to say that you do not believe the Bible to be the Word of God, we'd be having a different conversation. But you do, so we will continue to look to it to shed light on what the Christian Gospel is and what it is not.
(PS – It has been translated reliably, so get over it and start dealing with it)
Ethan, I noticed the words you used, " with this process elevate mankind " , " transform
individuals into higher social states " . I'm thinking that this is your way of saying how
worthy Mormons such as yourself can become an Almighty God , and thus be worshipped
in the hereafter. This being possible of couse because of your ability to sucessfully live
what your prophets have counseled the " LDS lifestyle " to be , correct ?
I used to believe this until I read Paul's letter to the Romans WITHOUT A MORMON COMMENTARY and found myself decribed in Romans 7. It was like looking in a mirror. Mormons, like most people in this world, think they are virtuous because they agree with the law. Well, congratulations, you agree with God. But here's the rub, you can agree with God as much as you like but "whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it" (James 2:10)
if you broke the law of God today (and you did) then you are accountable for all of it as if you broke all of it. Why? Because you have become "a transgressor of the law" (James 2:11) Here is Paul's plight. Here is my plight and yours. "Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24) If you don't know that you are a lawbreaker you will buy the lie that you can obey your way to heaven. When you realise that, like Paul, your sinful nature has made you "wretched" only then will you know what it truly means to throw yourself on God's mercy and declare: Thank God for Jesus!