11
Mar
09

Transgression

 

   This year the LDS Church’s curriculum focuses on the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C).  Therefore I am presently rereading the Teaching Manual on D&C.   In Lesson 5, which talks about revelation, is this quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks.  “We cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost – the medium of individual revelation – if we are in transgression or if we are angry or if we are in rebellion against God’s chosen authorities.”

     This quote struck me because of how it conditions the companionship of the Holy Ghost on not being in transgression.  I find that striking because of 1 John 3:4:  “Whosever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.”  Therefore, isn’t it accurate to say that Mormonism teaches a person cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost or receive revelation if he or she sins?  Further can I not conclude that all Mormons who claim to receive revelations are also claiming to be sinless?  That they aren’t angry as is mentioned specifically in the quote – that they never worry – that they always love their enemies – that they never say an unloving word – that they never have a lustful thought – that they never unjustly judge anyone – to name just a few sins? 

     The Bible consistently shows that, when it comes to our relationship with God, sin is sin.  There are not minor and major sins.  Neither does it talks about transgressions that are not sins. Sin is sin.  And all sin is serious.  “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”  (James 2:10)

     As I look at what the Bible says about sin and then I look into the mirror, I see someone who sins all the time.  That is why I am so thankful that Jesus has cast all my sins down to the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19) That is why I am so thankful that the Holy Ghost doesn’t make his companionship conditional on my being not in transgression.  But rather, because I am in Christ, he not only walks with me, but dwells within me (1 Cor. 3:16)  O, what a great joy that is!  To God be the praise.

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41 Responses to “Transgression”


  1. 1 GB
    March 11, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

    Need I say more?

  2. 2 Brad
    March 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    No, you’re saying you’re without the Holy Spirit, GB, since both you and Oaks believe the same way.

    Unless, of course, you’re saying you are sinless…

  3. 3 GERMIT
    March 11, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    GB: what is your point with Acts 5:32 exactly ? Are you saying that one’s obedience must be 100%, or totally pure, and THEN you get the Holy Spirit ?? Is that what Peter is saying in this verse ? What does Peter mean by “obedience” here ?? These are not “traps”, I’m interested in knowing your view on the verse , esp. since you brought it up ..

    Peace and grace to all whose names are in the book of life
    GERMIT

  4. 4 ladonnamorrell
    March 11, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I believe in repentence! Each week as I take the Sacrament, I renew by baptismal covenants. I try to repent and ask forgiveness daily. Any huge problems are avoided by sticking with it daily, and thus when I partake of the Sacrament, I am again washed clean of sin. Jesus died for my sins and if I repent and obey I may take advantage of that Atoning sacrifice daily. Repentence is a daily occurence, not a once in a lifetime event. I am worthy of the Holy Ghost as I do my earthly best to keep the commandments and repent.

  5. March 11, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    I don’t find it at all problematic that Elder Oaks would state that a person who is IN rebellion against God isn’t going to be tapping into the Atonement.

    Like, no duh.

    I’m surprised this is even a controversy for people here.

  6. 6 markcares
    March 11, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Seth:
    Please define IN rebellion for me. I assume you are equating that with being in transgression in the Oaks quote. Since you capitalized IN are you putting the focus on that rather than on the transgression? What do you mean IN rebellion?

  7. 7 GB
    March 11, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Germit,

    To me, the words of Peter (Acts 5:32) are very clear.

    Jesus taught it this way. (John 8:31) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, (or in other words obey Him) then are ye my disciples indeed;
    32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    This is interesting when considering what Jesus later taught (John 16:13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: . . . .

    One of the commandments that Jesus and His disciples taught was to repent. Need I post the numerous verses that state this?

    How about just one?
    Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

  8. March 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    “IN rebellion” is meant to denote that the person is actively rejecting the relationship with Christ. Mormons frame this is different terminology (not because we’re being sneaky – but just because we’ve been isolated from the rest of Christianity for a long time), but it’s the same concept. The person who is actively rejecting the relationship with God is not going to invoke the full benefit of the atonement (we do believe anyone can get at least some benefit from the atonement).

  9. 9 Geoff456
    March 12, 2009 at 2:44 am

    I would like to share one of my favorite scriptures:

    “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”

    We look to Christ for a remission of our sins….and THEN we are worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

  10. 10 GERMIT
    March 12, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    I don’t pretend to fully know elder Oaks position, this is just one short article, but it does beg the question: what is a person, a believer in Jesus, supposed to do with an anger problem, a lust problem, etc. IF THEY DON”T HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT ?? How are they supposed to see victory without the benefit of the Victorious ONE working inside them ?? Is this a “give up your sin and then you get help” scenario ? Maybe someone who understands Mr.Oaks better could clear that up.

    Needing all the help I can get….and then some.
    GERMIT

  11. 11 ladonnamorrell
    March 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Germit,

    If someone is truly seeking help, then the Holy Ghost is more than willing to help out. Heavenly Father and the Savior are ALWAYS there, too. We are talking about “companionship” of the Holy Ghost. This means He is with you day and night, influencing your thoughts and deeds. He can ONLY be with those who are baptized with authority (the autorized priesthood) and who RECEIVE him by the power of the Melchizedek priesthood. AND are worthy of His constant companionship. LDS do not presume to think they are “worthy” of Him all the time, but we do our best and the Lord makes up the difference! We make course corrections as needed, we do ALL that is asked of us, we study our scriptures, we pray, we obey, or in other words we ACTIVELY work to have the spirit with us. Someone who is rebellious, and NOT repentent loses His companionship.

    hope that helps you understand. Dallin H. Oaks is one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ. How fortunate we are to be able to read his words!

    LaDonna

  12. 12 ladonnamorrell
    March 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    …make that “AUTHORIZED priesthood”…sorry

  13. 13 GB
    March 12, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Germit,

    Becoming clean from sin (through the Atonement of Jesus Christ) is more of a process than an single event. It is a lot more about making progress (facing the right direction and moving forward) than it is about where you are located on the path to perfection.

    As Paul says (Rom 2:7) To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

    It is that “patient continuance” in doing good, even though we may stumble or fall along the way, that will get us there, if we get up every time we fall and move forward again.

    Sometimes “patient continuance” is stated as “endure unto the end” (Matt 24:13, Mark 13:13, also see James 5:11)

    That is why repentance is a life long principle/process. Hebrews (correcting the obvious error) puts it this way.

    6:1 Therefore (NOT) leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
    2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

    In modern times it has been stated this way “And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.”

    I have heard it described this way (I paraphrase) “Spirituality impels one to overcome difficulties and acquire more and more strength”.

    I hope this helps,
    Cheers and God bless.

  14. 14 Bryant A.
    March 12, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    trans⋅gres⋅sion   /trænsˈgrɛʃən, trænz-/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [trans-gresh-uhn, tranz-] Show IPA
    –noun an act of transgressing; violation of a law, command, etc.; sin.

    is this quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks. “We cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost – the medium of individual revelation – if we are in transgression or if we are angry or if we are in rebellion against God’s chosen authorities.”

    “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)

    Oaks is saying no one can have companionship of the Holy Ghost because we all sin and broke the law.

    God Bless us Everyone B

  15. 15 GERMIT
    March 12, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    GB: I like this

    Spirituality impels one to overcome difficulties and acquire more and more strength”.

    can we agree that our only real hope to do this is thru the power of the Holy Spirit ?? If that’s the case, then we need HIS companionship, right ?? that’s where the above qt is a lttle puzzling, because it seems Oaks is saying that with anger, lust, etc, the HS is then not there…..what hope is there for that person to do what you’ve written above ?? the very means of getting out of the ditch has been removed…..or so it reads to me.

    I thoroughly agree that repentance is a life long process…..a mountain to climb with expert and supernatural help.

    GERMIT

  16. 16 Bryant A.
    March 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Seth,

    I am glad to see you are finally saying Christ is God. You said,

    I don’t find it at all problematic that Elder Oaks would state that a person who is IN rebellion against God isn’t going to be tapping into the Atonement.

    and ten you said,

    “IN rebellion” is meant to denote that the person is actively rejecting the relationship with Christ.

    God Bless us Everyone B

  17. March 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I have come to the conclusion that Christ is “God.”

    God in Mormon scripture consists of three individuals who do not share the same substance.

  18. 18 markcares
    March 12, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Seth:
    Two questions:
    1) Elder Oaks says “angry” not being “in anger”. I take that to refer to very instance of anger. Therefore does a person lose the compansionship of the Holy Ghost everytime they are angry?

    2) Who is the one God of this world that Mormons worship?

  19. 19 GB
    March 12, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Shall we see what the Bible says on the subject?

    Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
    31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

    Could it be that bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice grieve the Holy Spirit of God?

    Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    WOW!! Sounds like those things also grieve the Holy Spirit of God and will keep you out of the kingdom of God.

    James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
    20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

    Isn’t wrath about the same as anger?
    1. strong, stern, or fierce anger; deeply resentful indignation; ire.
    2. vengeance or punishment as the consequence of anger.

    Yeah it is.

  20. 20 GB
    March 12, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    And let’s not forget this one.

    Prov 29:22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.

  21. 21 ladonnamorrell
    March 12, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Hey Mark,

    The answer to your two questions are: (even though you didn’t ask me)

    1. Yes. But He will return when the person repents. It may be quick, it may not, depending on the individual’s recognition that the spirit left and his humility to repent quickly. (i repent quick! :) )

    2. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I pray to Heavenly Father (God the Father) in the name of Jesus Christ (God the Son). I worship God and Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost as the 3rd member of the God-head has the assignment to testify of God, Jesus Christ and all truth. I guess I have never thought of “worshipping” him, but I sure love and appreciate him! I thought you were pretty well versed in what we believe, so I am assuming that your question was rhetorical? In case you don’t know….we believe that Jesus Christ is a separate being from His Father….created in His image and fully “God”.
    They (God the Father and God the Son) are ONE in purpose, thought, love, and pretty much everything else EXCEPT body. So, YES, we believe in more than ONE God. (can’t wait to see what that unleashes!)

  22. 22 ladonnamorrell
    March 12, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Hey Germit..regarding post #15,
    I have a question for you. Do you think that the Holy Ghost reaches down and plucks people out of their own man-made messes (i.e. sinful ways)?…dusts them off and sets their feet on the straight and narrow path? or would it be more appropriate to say that when someone dusts himself off and makes a commitment to clean up his act the Holy Ghost helps him out?

    what do you think?

    …LaDonna

  23. 23 germit
    March 12, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Ladonna: I think it was said of the prodigal son that “he came to his senses…” and from that point on he purposed to return to his fathers house. I don’t think those moments are just man made, not purely a by product of human effort and will (though the will is involved). I believe that any act of repentance, no matter how big or small, has GOD’s fingerprints all over it, helping , encouraging, empowering, lifting. WITH OUR COOPERATION, HE “repents us”. I know that sounds oxymoronic, but I think it’s just not the case that we do w, x, y, and then GOD finishes with a flourish ZZZZ. There’s a reason it says “while we were YET sinners, Christ died for the ungodly”.

    quick post….sorry….more later
    GERMIT

  24. 24 GB
    March 12, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Germit,

    “while we were YET sinners, Christ died for the ungodly”

    While we were yet UNBORN, Christ died for the ungodly. I don’t see where that is saying anything about having the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

    As far as I can tell, the Bible clearly teaches that we MUST DO something FIRST, and only then can the Holy Ghost be our companion.

    John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

    There is another one that clearly indicates that you have to obey (do his will) before you can know.

  25. 25 Geoff456
    March 13, 2009 at 12:50 am

    I would like to add a thought.

    I think the Holy Ghost will gladly influence people, and help them right their wrongs.

    Companionship of the Holy Ghost is a deeper relationship and requires some effort and purity on the part of the person.

    influence vs. companionship….two different things.

    Geoff

  26. 26 germit
    March 13, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Geoff: you might be right on your distinction but, once a person is born again, don’t they continually have the companionship of the Holy Spirit ?? In times of grieving the Holy Spirit, which GB brought up, I can see where that companionship may not be felt or fully appreciated, but my understanding is that FOR CHRISTIANS, the Holy Spirit takes up RESIDENCE. He may not be APPRECIATED as HE should be, but HE is indeed there…… am I missing anything there ?? The Holy Spirit as “influence but not companion” seems to be a description of the non-believer. Thots ???

  27. 27 Bryant A.
    March 13, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Hbr 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.

    Shame on all you daily repenter’s, your crucifing Christ again and again every day.

    God Bless us Everyone B

    1re·pent
    Pronunciation: \ri-ˈpent\
    Function: verb
    Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French repentir, from Medieval Latin repoenitēre, from Latin re- + Late Latin poenitēre to feel regret, alteration of Latin paenitēre — more at penitent
    Date: 14th century
    intransitive verb
    1: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life

  28. 28 GB
    March 13, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Bryant,

    There is a difference between falling away from the faith (rejecting Christ and His Gospel after having received it, or in other words being in open rebellion against God, like Judas) and losing your temper with your disobedient child and kicking the cat.

  29. 29 GB
    March 13, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Germit,

    Repentance (to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life) comes first, then the Holy Ghost.

    Matt. 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

    Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

  30. March 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    GB: I like your post above, one small problem: Mr. Oaks doesn’t seem to have made the same distinction in makiing his points. I think you are helping him out with some clever revisionism. His descriptions seem much broader and more general…that’s why I was making the case for a BELIEVER needing help with his/her anger,lust, sin problem thru the help of the HOLY GHOST…..where would we be without that help ?? If Oaks agrees with what I’m saying, he sure didn’t commmunicate it very well. that would be one of my points.

    have a great weekend

    bless the lamb of GOD, shed for the sins of men (start with mine, LORD)
    GERMIT

  31. 31 ladonnamorrell
    March 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Germit,

    Latter-day Saints believe in the GIFT of the Holy Ghost…not the RIGHT of the Holy Ghost. It is a gift to those who make a place for Him in their hearts. It is a privilege. Just like ANY privilege, if you abuse it, you lose it. Elder Oaks is VERY well versed in the scriptures. As great as I think GB is….he probably couldn’t hold a candle to Elder Oaks (nor would he try) and believe me when I say that Elder Oaks does not need ME or anyone else to bail him out. Christians and Latter-day Saints differ in their understanding of repentence. Christians tend to think of it as a one time event. We think of it as a process, a daily effort to be like our Savior and perfect ourselves. WE KNOW that we cannot accomplish perfection without our Savior. But we try our best every day, because He has commanded us to.

    Bryant: Shame on daily repenters??? You lost ALL credibility with me on that one. That was just plain dumb.

  32. 32 Bryant A.
    March 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    The definition of repent is to TURN (5 a (1): to direct or point (as the face) in a specified way or direction (2): to present by a change in direction or position b: to bring to bear (as by aiming, pointing, or focusing) : train c: to direct (as the attention or mind) toward or away from something) from sin. This is evil nature of humans. No where in the New Testament does it say you should repent again after you accept Jesus Christ as your savior. The only two times it mention’s repenting again, (Heb. 6:6) it say you crucify Christ again. And in Rev 2:3, yes they have fallen away. If your asking for forgiveness, for losing your temper with your child our kicking the cat. That is something totally different. Yes you should ask for forgiveness of your sin’s against God every day.

    God Bless us Everybody B

  33. 33 Bryant A.
    March 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    LeDonna,

    That’s what the Bible says. You can check it out for yourself. Look under repent our repentance in the New Testament. As always.

    God Bless us Everyone B

  34. 34 GB
    March 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Germit,

    To get help from the Holy Ghost with regard to (your?) lust, first throw the porn away and then get on the knees and pray for strength. Of course, this will only work if one is sincere and has a real intent on conquering the lust.

    Remember,

    1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    Apparently, sin is not forced on us in this life, but a choice we make.

  35. March 13, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    LadonnaMorrell: greetings to you this fine, fine, Friday afternoon
    you wrote

    Just like ANY privilege, if you abuse it, you lose it.

    well, as one famous ev. preacher said ( I THINK is was D.L.Moody) when asked about the Holy Spirit indwelling as regards humans , he said: “we leak….” I think that’s apt. I don’t see the Holy Spirit in such a “zero/sum” set up, in fact I think it’s more the case that HE is like a very very stubborn (the good kind of stubborn) marriage partner, that is going to love us into a greater appreciation of HIS ways and vows and commands (yes, always WITH our consent, never against our expressed wishes)

    SO: not to nitpick your phrase, but I don’t think “you lose it” quite tells the tale. Thankfully, or I’d have lost it (HIM) so often, I wouldn’t know where to find it again :-) :-)

    thank you for your thots and insights, it’s good to hear from you

    GB: thanks for the post and the wise counsel: hadn’t seen 1st cor 10:13 in awhile, that verse is just beyond awesome, so that’s a good start to the weekend. I like what you said about “sincerety” and “real intent” but I’m not going to wait until these are 100% before I implement your plan…..I hope that’s OK. I realize the 100% thing is a great goal to go for, but I don’t want years of my life to fly by waiting to move toward GOD”S plans while I’m still shy a few % points (or maybe more than a few, on my creepy days). I think our views on repentance are very similar, by the way…..and after having these conversations with LDS for almost a year, that doesn’t shock me at all.

    the SHALOM of GOD on you and yours……..and on all the MORRELLs as well…..
    GERmIT

  36. March 13, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    GB: one more PS

    Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    I see the first half of that verse as our response to the INFLUENCE of the HOLY SPIRIT, and the second half a direct reference to the COMPANIONSHIP (or FELLOWSHIP) of the HOLY SPIRIT. Is that how you would put it ??

  37. 37 ladonnamorrell
    March 13, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Bryant,

    I don’t think “semantics” are important to the Lord. I know He will judge my heart.

    Germit:

    thanks for the good wishes! happy weekend!

  38. 38 GB
    March 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Germit,

    When Peter, a duly authorized servant of the Lord, bore testimony of the Christ (Act 2:14-36), his witness was confirmed by the Holy Ghost which “pricked” hearts. This witness of the Holy Ghost is temporary unless ACTION is taken.

    Acts 2:37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    The gift of the Holy Ghost is bestowed by a duly authorized servant of the Lord after baptism and is the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost as you live worthy.

  39. March 17, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    LadonnaMorrell: Happy St. Patty’s day….this is a “feast day” of one of the greatest evangelists that ever lived…though most people probably give that little thought

    you responded to Mark thusly:

    1. Yes. But He will return when the person repents. It may be quick, it may not, depending on the individual’s recognition that the spirit left and his humility to repent quickly. (i repent quick! :) )

    quick question: do you repent with or without the Holy Spirit ?? would it be any different for me, a non-LDS ??

    blessings on all who love the Shepherd of Souls
    GERMIT

  40. 40 ladonnamorrell
    March 18, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Yes, sorry Germit, because you did not receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost through the proper Priesthood authority, you do not have the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
    You can ALWAYS have the “influence” of the Holy Ghost, (He bears witness of ALL truth, even math!) and you have the light of Christ which has been given to all men (and women).

    I imagine that once a heart is turned back to God, and someone humbles themselves enough to repent, the Holy Ghost would be glad to help out.

    and Germit, I would like to thank you for being such a decent, kind person!

    LaDonna

  41. 41 Brad
    March 19, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    So Ladonna, you’re saying that all Christians do NOT have the companionship of the Holy Spirit, since we’re not Mormon and therefore wouldn’t have “received” the HS through “proper authority”?

    Just wanted to make sure your position was clarified.


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