23
May
09

STIMULATING DISCUSSION OR ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES

 

     When Mormons and Christians discuss their beliefs and dialogue with each other, it can easily come off as nothing more than stimulating discussion of two different viewpoints.  This obscures the sobering fact that eternal consequences are at stake. 

     Therefore, in many ways, I appreciated what Geoff wrote in the last thread.  He wrote:  “You mentioned that seeing someone “convert” to denominational Christianity is “priceless”.  Hardly. There is a STEEP price to pay. You, IMO, will share in that price. When someone breaks his covenants, turns his back on truth and the Holy Ghost there is a price!  I wonder when that realization will hit you?”

     Just to clarify.  I didn’t say converting to denominational Christianity was priceless.  What I said was priceless was “seeing the wonderful change in people’s lives when they experience the free forgiveness and eternal life in Christ”.

     But I really don’t want to distract from the important point Geoff makes, namely, that the stakes are high.  He very sincerely believes that I will suffer some pretty serious consequences because of my witnessing activities.  I thank him for again highlighting that there is much more to all this than interesting discussion.

     Just as Geoff sincerely believes that I will have a steep price to pay, so I believe Mormons will have a steep price to pay.  I don’t say that as an angry retort to Geoff – “You told me that, so back at you – you too!”  Not at all.  If I didn’t wholeheartedly believe that, I would never be doing this.  No offense – but if I didn’t think there were eternal consequences involved, I wouldn’t be doing this even if I thought the discussion sometimes was stimulating.

     On a related note, this is why I find it so frustrating when the difference between entering Heavenly Father’s presence only by grace or by grace plus works is brushed off as insignificant.  That is the heart of the matter.  That is why in this blog I have addressed it repeatedly from different angles.  “And if by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then it is no more grace, otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6)

     It is my wholehearted belief that anyone who does not rely solely on God’s grace to enter Heavenly Father’s presence will suffer the consequences of spending eternity in the otuer darkness of hell.  That’s not stimulating.  That’s sobering.  That’s why it is priceless seeing the wonderful change in people’s lives when they experience free forgiveness and eternal life in Christ.

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99 Responses to “STIMULATING DISCUSSION OR ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES”


  1. May 23, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Mark, we appreciate your heart in this. You are correct. Our prayers are with you as you fight the good fight. Sola Fide!

  2. 3 GB
    May 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    So how is Rom 11:6 reconciled with that which is written in the beginning of that same epistle?

    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    . . .
    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
    6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the cGentile;
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

    6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
    17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
    18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

  3. May 24, 2009 at 1:23 am

    The problem is Mark, I started out on this blog thinking there was actually a real difference in how Evangelicals view grace and works and how Mormons view the same mix.

    The longer I’m here, the more and more I’m convinced that there really isn’t an appreciable practical difference between how our two groups approach the issue – once you adjust for rhetorical differences.

  4. 5 geoff456
    May 24, 2009 at 3:20 am

    Mark,

    I think (denominational) Christians highlight the “faith only” scriptures and conveniently overlook the “works, obedience, work-out-your-own-salvation scriptures.
    There are AT LEAST as many of the latter as the former, if not more!

    ~Geoff

    and thanks for realizing I WAS sincere not snarky.

    PSS. I use the term “denominational Christian” as opposed to “Mormon Christian”, no other inference implied.

  5. 6 Echo
    May 24, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    A person cannot do one single “good work” unless they are saved by faith only. This is what we are trying to communicate to the LDS.

    We don’t ” conveniently overlook the “works, obedience, work-out-your-own-salvation scriptures.”
    The LDS places works within the doctrine of justification. We place works within the doctrine of sanctification. Jesus alone belongs in the doctrine of justification.

  6. May 26, 2009 at 5:19 am

    AMEN!

    Well said,

    Works do have a place in our walk with God — in the sanctification process, but the justification ( or salvation) is soley the work of Jesus.

    In His grip,

    gloria

  7. May 26, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Mark,

    I really do appreciate the work you are doing here. I continue to pray for you daily that God will write your every word and direct your every step. Continue to fight the good fight!

    I also just say how much I agree with your post. It is sobering to consider what this all means when it boils down to eternal life and fellowship with God vs. eternally being seperate from Him. Thus, the reason why you and other friends in the faith are reaching out with truth and love to the LDS. I know sometimes it can be frustrating, but I believe it’s worth it. These souls are precious to our Lord and they should be precious to us as well.

    God bless you,

    gloria

  8. May 26, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Amen!

    Well said,

    gloria

  9. 10 GB
    May 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Echo: A person cannot do one single “good work” unless they are saved by faith only.

    GB: So if an agnostic helps the fatherless and widows, that isn’t a good work?

  10. 11 markcares
    May 27, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    GB:
    That’s what the Bible teaches. “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

  11. 12 Echo
    May 27, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    GB Mark gave a great verse and here is another:

    Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him”

  12. 13 Echo
    May 27, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks Gloria. God Bless!

  13. May 27, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    The righteousness of God “is by faith from first to last.” (Romans 1:17). If by faith from first to last, then by faith alone. Only after receiving the gift of faith, do we then produce the fruits of faith.

  14. 15 GB
    May 27, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    The Bible also says,

    James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

    So if helping the fatherless and widows is “pure religion”, why wouldn’t it please God and be a good work?

    Rom 14:23 is talking about eating flesh and drinking wine, nice how you like to take scriptures out of context.

    Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
    6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    So how does one exhibit faith and please God? How did Jesus, our exemplar, do it?

    John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

    By doing good things!!!

    Heb. 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

    By doing good things!!!

    1 Jn. 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

    By doing good things!!!

    Matt 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

  15. 16 GB
    May 27, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Oh, and lest we forget the parable of the Good Samaritan!

  16. 17 Echo
    May 28, 2009 at 12:47 am

    GB “Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God” Hebrews 11:6

    All the scriptures you quoted don’t back up your position. Only believers can do good works. Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. Nothing, not one single thing an unbeliever does, pleases God. Without faith, It is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.

    God doesn’t look at the outward act or outward good work. A deed is a good work only if it is a good deed inwardly, in the heart.

    Only those who have been saved by faith alone (which is in the heart) have the proper and God pleasing motivation to do a good work pleasing to God.

  17. 18 Echo
    May 28, 2009 at 2:07 am

    GB,

    The parable from Mathew 25 that you cited only partially says more. It has also the following part that you left out:

    Mathew 25:41-46

    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    Here you have people going to eternal punishment with the devil and his angels and they did feed the hungry and gave a drink to the thirsty, they invited in strangers, they clothed people, they looked after the sick and those in prison. We know that because they said: “When did we…not help you?”

  18. 19 GB
    May 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Echo,

    So tell me, “WHEN did (they) see (Him) hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison and DID” help Him? Your premise is that “they” DID help Him, so show me when! They were OBVIOUSLY trying to justify their lack of mercy. They had helped NO one.

    One thing is OBVIOUS, showing mercy by helping the fatherless and widows is good. Just ask the fatherless and widows that are helped. They are not so arrogant as to condemn their benefactor for not believing as you do. And just because the man didn’t recognize the Lords hand in his actions doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. Who had blessed the man with the ability/resources to provide the help? Who had given the man life in the first place?

    Your assumption is that because the man is agnostic, he must be faithless. What evidence do have that this is so? It is OBVIOUS that he had faith that showing mercy to the fatherless and widows was the right thing to do and that he acted upon this faith.

    Jesus also said, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” If the Lord is going to show mercy to the agnostic because he did deeds of mercy, why don’t you?

    As I said, consider the parable of the Good Samaritan. What did Jesus say about the beliefs of the Samaritans?

    John 4:7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: . . .
    21 Jesus saith unto her, . . .
    22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

    Did Jesus recognize the good deeds of the “GOOD” Samaritan even though he didn’t worship the right God?

    So again, we have a case where you are giving preeminence to the (misunderstood) words of Paul over what Jesus plainly and clearly taught (and the obvious nature of good deeds done by the unbelieving).

  19. 20 Echo
    May 28, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    GB,

    Unbelievers can do good things that benefit individuals and even society as a whole. For that we can be truly thankful.

    However, doing good things does not give them a righteous standing before God.

    Their good works will not benefit them in the judgement at all.

  20. May 28, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Who goes into court and says, “Yes, your honor I am guilty, but I shouldn’t be punished because I once helped an orphan”? I once saw someone do something like that in court, and the judge lost his temper. The fact is we don’t pay for our crimes by doing something good. (We are supposed to do good as a matter of living (Luke 17:9-10)). We pay for our crimes by being punished. When we go in front of the Judge, we need to ask for mercy. But if we act like we deserve mercy because of some alleged good that we did, then we will get all that we rightly deserve, because mercy is by definition undeserved.

  21. 22 GB
    May 28, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Echo: Their good works will not benefit them in the judgement at all.

    GB: What has Jesus said on this subject?

    Matt. 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward EVERY MAN according to HIS WORKS.

    What did Paul say on this subject?

    1 Cor. 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and EVERY MAN shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

    Jesus again,
    Rev. 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give EVERY MAN according as his work shall be.

    What part of “EVERY MAN” excludes the agnostic?

  22. 23 GB
    May 28, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Rick: If by faith from first to last, then by faith alone.

    GB: So then, how does grace fit in if it is by “faith alone”? By saying “faith alone” you are excluding EVERYTHING (including grace) else.

  23. 24 Echo
    May 28, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I just want to thank you for continuing to share your thoughts with me/us GB. While we do disagree with one another, I do genuinely commend you for your zeal.

    In the parable of the Sheep and Goats beggining at Mathew 25:31, it is notable that the seperation of Sheep from Goats takes place BEFORE works are even taken into account. That seperation based on one thing. On the right we have believers. On the left we have unbelievers.

    We know that those on his right have eternal life and those on his left go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. We know this even before their works are taken into consideration.

  24. 25 Echo
    May 28, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    GB said:

    “So then, how does grace fit in if it is by “faith alone”? By saying “faith alone” you are excluding EVERYTHING (including grace) else.”

    We are saved through faith alone by grace alone.

  25. 26 Echo
    May 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    If we include “works” in the picture then we exclude “grace”

    Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace”

  26. 27 GB
    May 28, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Echo: We are saved through faith alone by grace alone.

    GB: That is one of the most illogical statements I have ever read. Did you even think about its implications? Are you just mindlessly repeating something you heard?

    If it is by “grace alone” then faith is excluded. If it is by “faith alone” then grace is excluded. The express mention of one thing excludes all others.

    Echo: If we include “works” in the picture then we exclude “grace”

    GB: Here, let me correct that for you.

    If we include “works of the corrupted law of Moses” in the picture then we exclude “grace (the gifts of God, which include repentance and the commandments)”

    Echo: In the parable of the Sheep and Goats beggining at Mathew 25:31, it is notable that the seperation of Sheep from Goats takes place BEFORE works are even taken into account.

    GB: Wrong O!!!!

    31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: . . .

    He OBVIOUSLY took into account the WORKS during the separation process. He is explaining the criteria that He used to designate them “sheep”/”goats”. The only difference between the “sheep” and the “goats” is their righteous works and NO other discriminator is mentioned.

    Jesus didn’t even include “believing in the right God” in the criteria.

  27. May 28, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    In order for works to be good, they have to be done out of a good motivation. In order for works to be done out of a good motivation, they have to be done freely, that is not compelled. If a person is compelled to do a good deed out of threat of punishment, then the motivation is corrupt and the work is not truly good.

    Apart from faith, we live under the threat of hell, therefore, apart from faith we can do nothing good because we are not free. Do you commend people for doing good because they had to? Or do you commend people for doing good because even though they did not have to, they did good anyway because they wanted to do good?

    Why do you think God will commend people for doing good while they were still under the curse of the law? Do we give awards to prisoners on chain gangs for picking up trash along the highway? God judges the heart, not the outward action.

    That is why salvation cannot be by any good work whatsoever. The person doing the work must already be saved; they must already have heaven as a free gift. Only then are we free to do a true good work without thought of reward or punishment. Therefore, even though we are judged by what we do in the body (2 Corinthians 5:10), we can do no good unless we are already saved (unless we are already free).

    It is true that “God ‘will give to each person according to what he has done,’” (Romans 2:6) therefore, it behooves us to live by faith. For the righteousness of God is by faith from first to last.

    The moment that our salvation becomes conditional or dependent in any way upon our works, then the motivation for those works is corrupted, and the works are filth. As the prophet says: “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” (Isaiah 64:6).

    Salvation “by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone” is not a contradiction because faith is the only way to receive the one promise.

  28. 29 ADB
    May 28, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    I am really appreciating this exchange (your comments have been insightful, GB), as I think it’s given me the best understanding yet of how the LDS and Christians define “grace” so differently. We both speak of grace being a free gift, but there’s more to it than that. Tell me if this illustration is anywhere near accurate …

    The LDS view:

    A teenager wants a car, but has no money at all with which to purchase one, so he’s out of luck. His loving father, however, informs his son that after pulling a few strings, he was able to get the son a job without the son having to do anything at all (apply for the job, interview, etc.). The father did this freely without expecting anything from the son. Now if the son really wants the car, all he has to do is faithfully show up at work, do what’s required of him, and eventually he’ll make enough money through his job to buy the car. The father’s gift of grace made it possible for the son to get the car he wanted.

    The Christian view:

    A teenager wants a car, but has no money at all with which to purchase one, so he’s out of luck. His loving father goes out and purchases a car. The father returns home, tosses the keys to his son, and says, “It’s all yours. Enjoy it.” The father freely gave the car to the son without expecting anything from the son. The father’s gift of grace didn’t just make it possible for the son to get the car, grace moved him to go get it for him.

    Thoughts? Is that an accurate depiction of the difference? I know there has been a similar illustration used before (FOF??), but I can’t remember if it was used to illustrate grace or not.

  29. 30 geoff456
    May 29, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Mark,

    Since it has been mentioned that you travel and “witness” about your truth in love ministry, I have come to wonder if you get paid for these speeches? It puts a little different spin on it if you are indeed a paid speaker.

    Thanks for your honesty.

    ~Geoff

  30. May 29, 2009 at 6:30 am

    ADB,
    True Christianity is more like this: Teenager has no desire for a car because teenager is in fact dead. Teenager has no money and can’t get a job because Teenager is dead. Teenager can do nothing to change his situation or even ask for help because Teenager is dead. The Father goes out and purchases a car, comes home, raises his son from the dead, gives his son the desire for a car and also the desire to use the car correctly, and then tosses the keys to his son saying, “It’s all yours. Enjoy.” That’s not just grace, that’s grace alone.

    When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins (Colossians 2:13).

  31. 32 GB
    May 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    As much as I would like to, I don’t have enough time to address all the issues in depth.

    Rick,

    As I see it there are three motivators, fear, duty, love. Fear is a good motivator, duty is a better motivator and love is the best motivator.

    One may start out being motivated by fear, but if they exercise faith in God and diligently seek/serve/obey him, they will graduate from fear to duty. And if they continue to exercise faith in God and diligently seek/serve/obey him they will graduate from duty to love.

    That is why Jesus said. John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    Also,
    Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    You should never impugn the motives of one who is diligently striving to keep the commandments, because if they continue to do so, their motive will eventually become pure.

    Now, as for our agnostic benefactor of the fatherless and widows. Since he doesn’t know if God exists, and therefore heaven and hell, can we rule out fear as his motive?

    As I see it, and feel free to correct me if you can, there is no way for US to determine whether duty or love is his motive. Therefore WE should refrain from condemning him in OUR ignorance.

  32. 33 GB
    May 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    ADB,

    As I see it, there are some flaws with you analogy (Don’t all analogies have flaws?).

    It must be kept in mind that no matter how hard and/or long the son works, he can NEVER earn the value of the car. So then, at the end of the (insert time length of analogy here) the son will ALWAYS be short the purchase price of the car because it is BEYOND the sons ability to earn it, but the son exercises faith in the father and puts forth his best effort to please the father.

    So then, in the end, for the son to receive the car, the father must extend more of his grace, and give the difference.

    As I have quoted the Lord before.

    D&C 14:7 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.

    But look at the character building and refining process all that work was for the son. He, in the end, has become a much better person than he was in the beginning. (see Matt 25:14-30 for the Lords analogy on this topic).

    Where as if you look at the process described in Ricks #31 post, in the real world you end up with a spoiled, indolent, whiny, bratty son, instead of a man of God. Am I wrong?

    Also, notice that faith is excluded in the process Rick describes. So as I have said before “faith alone” and “grace alone” are logical contradictions.

    (Besides, if we add to that “Bible alone” then where in the “Bible alone” do we find “grace alone” and/or “faith alone”? I am just saying. Also, since “Bible alone” is an extra Biblical concept, isn’t it self contradictory?)

  33. 34 markcares
    May 29, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Geoff:
    As a pastor, I receive a salary. I do not receive anything extra for speaking. But please help me out. Why would getting paid put a different spin on it? Correct me if I’m wrong. But Institute instructors get paid, don’t they? If so, does that mean their words have a different spin than those of LDS who speak and don’t get paid?

  34. 35 Echo
    May 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    GB:

    In verse 33 the King places the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. This separation taking place BEFORE works are judged or mentioned. It is obvious that Sheep represent believers and goats represent unbelievers. It is clear that everyone’s permanent destiny in eternity is already decided before works even come into the picture.

    We know this because the King places the sheep on his right and the goats on his left before he judges their works.

    So we have the separation of believers and unbelievers first.
    Separation based on faith alone or unbelief.

    Once the separation takes place, THEN works are judged:

    In verse 34 the very first word is “THEN”.
    “THEN” the King speaks to the sheep on his right hand as the verse states. Notice when they were judged that not one word is mentioned of them having done one thing wrong. They were 100% perfect! Spotless!

    Notice also that when the goats are judged, not one word is mentioned of them having done one thing right. The only things mentioned are what they failed to do. They were 100% imperfect!

    What makes the parable even more interesting is that the Sheep who were saved by faith alone are as the result of that, completely oblivious to the works they did…”when did we feed the hungry…?” they wonder.

    The Goats who think that works are conditions to entering eternal life say the exact opposite…”when did we see you hungry and not minister unto you?” they reply.

  35. 36 GB
    May 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Echo: It is obvious that Sheep represent believers and goats represent unbelievers.

    GB: Actually, that isn’t what is obvious. What IS obvious is that those who are designated “sheep” DID good and those that are designated goats DIDN’T do good.

  36. 37 Echo
    May 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    GB said:

    “It must be kept in mind that no matter how hard and/or long the son works, he can NEVER earn the value of the car. So then, at the end of the (insert time length of analogy here) the son will ALWAYS be short the purchase price of the car because it is BEYOND the sons ability to earn it, but the son exercises faith in the father and puts forth his best effort to please the father.”

    Echo:

    Thanks for sharing this analogy, it’s very helpful in understanding your viewpoint.

    How do you know you have put forth your best effort, how do you know “your effort” is enough?
    What happens when you have sins that are left unforgiven?

  37. 38 Echo
    May 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    GB said:

    “GB: Actually, that isn’t what is obvious. What IS obvious is that those who are designated “sheep” DID good and those that are designated goats DIDN’T do good.”

    But what happened to the good that the goats did?
    What happened to the bad things that the sheep did?

  38. 39 GB
    May 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    “How do you know you have put forth your best effort, how do you know “your effort” is enough?”

    The answer to that is found in Alma chapter 5.

    “What happens when you have sins that are left unforgiven?”

    Then you must take the punishment for them.

  39. 40 Echo
    May 29, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    GB said:

    “The answer to that is found in Alma chapter 5.

    “What happens when you have sins that are left unforgiven?”

    Then you must take the punishment for them.”

    Echo:

    Alma Chapter 5 begins with this summary: “To gain salvation, men must repent and keep the commandments, be born again, cleanse their garments through the blood of Christ, be humble and strip themselves from pride and envy and do the works of righteousness-The Good shephard calleth his people-Those who do evil works are children of the devil-Alma testifies of the truth of his doctrine and commands men to repent-Names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life”

    Repenting includes overcoming your sin is that right? Forgiveness isn’t granted to those who doen’t overcome their sin (they are still in their sin) is that right?

  40. 41 GB
    May 29, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    So you cut and pasted the chapter heading/summary, did you actually read the chapter to find the answer to your question?

  41. May 29, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    “Grace alone” means works are excluded when God graciously gives us gifts. “Faith alone” means that works are excluded when believing we receive His gifts. Both phrases mean exactly the same thing: works are excluded. Therefore, they cannot contradict.

  42. 43 Echo
    May 29, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    GB,

    I did read the chapter from my BOM. It doesn’t define “repentance” and I don’t want to make a false assumption.

  43. 44 GB
    May 31, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Rick,

    So, you are saying that grace = faith, correct?

  44. 45 GB
    May 31, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Echo: “How do you know you have put forth your best effort, how do you know “your effort” is enough?”

    GB: The answer to that is found in Alma chapter 5. If you haven’t found it yet, then you need to study it with more care and pondering.

  45. 46 Echo
    May 31, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    GB said:

    “GB: The answer to that is found in Alma chapter 5. If you haven’t found it yet, then you need to study it with more care and pondering.”

    Echo:

    Alma talks about perfection through cleansing(Alma 5:21-22) and a having a perfect conscience.(Alma 5:17-19) It also talks about repenting and keeping the commandments.

    I understand , but my question, which Alma doesn’t cover is how do you know you have put forth your best effort, how do you know “your effort” is enough?…

    What I mean is…if your conscience isn’t clear every moment of every day, then Alma 5:17-21 explains that “ye cannot be saved”

    In Alma 5:21 it says: “for there can no man be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from ALL stain…”

    LDS repentance when defined includes the step of overcoming sin.(a person has not repented unless he overcomes his sin) So you must overcome ALL sin and wait for forgiveness to follow in order to be cleansed? Is that a correct understanding of LDS teachings?

  46. 47 Echo
    May 31, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    GB said:

    Grace=faith, corect?

    Echo:

    No. Grace is God’s unmerited, undeserved love for mankind. God has completely forgiven us soley because of Jesus and apart from anything we do. Faith simply believes he is forgiven because of God’s grace.

    Here is a quote from Luther:

    “Even he who does not believe that he is free and his sins forgiven shall also learn, in due time, how assuredly his sins were forgiven, even though he did not believe it. St. Paul says in Rom. 3: ‘[Does] their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God[?]… Many do not believe the gospel, but this does not mean that the gospel is not true or effective. A king gives you a castle. If you do not accept it, then it is not the king’s fault, nor is he guilty of a lie. But you have decieved yourself and the fault is yours. The king certainly gave it” (LW, vol. 40, 366-367).

  47. 48 GB
    May 31, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Echo:I understand , but my question, which Alma doesn’t cover is how do you know you have put forth your best effort, how do you know “your effort” is enough?…

    GB: Alma does cover it in chapter 5. If you haven’t found it yet, then you need to study it with more care and pondering.

    It is so nice that you quoted Martin Luther. What happened to “sola scriptura” and who is Luther that I should believe him over the prophets of God, or Jesus?

  48. 49 Echo
    June 1, 2009 at 2:17 am

    GB said:

    “Alma does cover it in chapter 5. If you haven’t found it yet, then you need to study it with more care and pondering.”

    Echo:

    Okay GB, I will read it again, perhaps your right and I missed something.

    GB said:

    “It is so nice that you quoted Martin Luther. What happened to “sola scriptura” and who is Luther that I should believe him over the prophets of God, or Jesus?”

    Echo:

    Luther simply echoes the message in “sola scriptura”

  49. 50 Echo
    June 2, 2009 at 1:57 am

    I re-read Alma Chapter 5 and here is what I came up with:

    You must be perfect at all times:

    Alma 5:27 “Have ye walked, keeping yourself blameless before God?”

    Alam 5:21 “I say unto you, ye will know at that day that ye cannot be saved: for there can no man be saved except his garments are washed white: yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain…”

    In order to be perfect you must repent(including abandonment of sin) and keep all the commandments. we know from the scipture that Keeping ALL the commandments applies to anything God/Jesus commands us to do or not to as found anywhere in scripture from Genesis to Revelation but for you it would include anything commanded in the BOM, D&C etc. and any other Prophets word considered to be scripture etc.

    You will be judged for all the things you did in your mortal body. There isn’t an extension after death to become perfect. This life is it and you could die tommorow so you need to be perfect at all times:

    Alma 5:15 “…to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body”

    Only the righteous who are perfect shall have their names written in the book of life and only these stand on the right hand of God:

    Alma 5:58 “For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand”

    Those who aren’t perfect, go on his left and their names are not written in the book of life.

    We know from scripture that those on his left or those whose names aren’t written in the book of life spend eternity in the fire with Satan:

    Revelation 20:15 “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

    Mathew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his LEFT, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

    Not only do you have to overcome all the sin in your life that you are aware of, but you must also overcome all the sin in your life that your unaware of and for which God still hold’s you guilty:

    Leviticus 5:17 “If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and will be held responsible.”

    If your church body as a whole sins without knowing it, the church body as a whole, which includes you, is guilty and will be held responsible:

    Leviticus 4:13 ” ‘If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty.”

    God holds you guilty for all of these things even when your unaware of them. It is your responsibility to make sure that you know every sin and avoid every sin in your own life, and it is your responsibility to make sure that your church never sins because when your church sins, you will be held guilty. It is also a sin if your church happens to teach false doctrine, so it is your responsibility to make sure that your church isn’t teaching anything false. If your church teaches one false doctrine, you will be held guilty for that.

    These are all as stains on your garment which will place you on the left and for which the following verse says:

    Mathew 25:41 “Mathew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his LEFT, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

  50. 51 GB
    June 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Moro. 10:32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
    33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

    D&C 58:42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

  51. 52 Echo
    June 2, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Have you made yourself aware of all the sins you are unaware of? Have you overcome them all? Is your church without sin or false teaching? Have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?

  52. 53 GB
    June 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Have you made yourself aware of all the sins you are unaware of? Have you overcome them all? Is your church without sin or false teaching? Have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?

  53. 54 Echo
    June 2, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    GB said:

    “Have you made yourself aware of all the sins you are unaware of? Have you overcome them all? Is your church without sin or false teaching? Have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?”

    Echo:

    I am saved by faith alone and not by what I do.
    You are not saved by faith alone and so the question only applies to you.

    “Have you made yourself aware of all the sins you are unaware of? Have you overcome them all? Is your church without sin or false teaching? Have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?”

  54. 55 geoff456
    June 10, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Mark,

    Sorry, i just saw your question.

    Yes, I think it puts a completely different spin on it. If someone gets paid to trash someone elses religion I think it causes one to question motivation. Now that is putting it bluntly, but that is how I feel. It seems “sensational” to advertise and speak about something you can only speculate about. You have never been a member (if I understand you correctly) and you don’t truly understand the doctrine.

    just how I feel,

    ~Geoff

    PS. Our missionaries (unpaid) and our Institute teachers (paid) teach the truth from the scriptures. They do not advertise or sensationalize the differences between religions. When the Newport Beach temple was having its open house, the local churches all had their marquees advertising their anti mormon sermons. You would NEVER see this in an LDS church. We help our neighboring churches and celebrate Christianity in general.

  55. 56 Echo
    June 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Geoff456

    If a road worker puts out a sign on the side of the road warning of the washed out bridge up ahead in order to save people from certain death, would the drivers think he was someone who gets paid to “trash” the drivers or would the drivers know he was doing a good thing and be thankful for the heads-up?

  56. 57 geoff456
    June 11, 2009 at 2:15 am

    Echo,

    IF that analogy made sense, then I MIGHT be able to answer your question.

    How about this:

    A naive, 3rd grade-road worker puts a sign up that says “If you follow this road I think that because I heard some rumors and sensationalized stories that this road might not be safe, but I am paid by the number of people I fool….so please turn around”

    Would I follow that road sign? Not on your life!

    Mark Cares does NOT see the whole picture. If he truly felt (hey, maybe he does!) that LDS were headed for a cliff then he should do it for free. that’s my opinion anyway!

    :)

    ~Geoff

  57. 58 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 5:32 am

    What if the one who said: “I wouldn’t follow that road sign. Not on your life!” was the one who “fooled” other drivers by sinfully “trashing” the person who genuinely put up the road sign to truly help people?
    I guess the trasher would wind up dead and possibly “fool” others who believed him, so that they too would suffer the same tragic fate.
    I would hope that some of those drivers, even if they thought the sign was a prank, would at least go and see for themselves if the bridge is really out and if the guy was telling the truth or not rather than just driving over the edge to certain death. Doesn’t that make much more sense?

  58. 59 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 5:33 am

    Mark said he doesn’t get paid as a speaker.

  59. 60 ADB
    June 11, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Geoff,

    I’ve never heard the Bible referred to as “some rumors and sensationalized stories” before. That’s a first. Read the Bible. Study Mormonism. The two don’t mix. That’s why this blog is about eternal consequences and not just stimulating discussion.

  60. 61 geoff456
    June 11, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Hi ADB,

    My analogy was tongue-in-cheek …hard to recognize on a cold, hard post, I suppose. No, I was not referring to the Bible when I said “rumors and sensationalized” stories. I was referring to the anti-mormon sites where a lot of non-mormons get their information. Even Mark, who quotes General Authorities of the our Church resorts to non-church approved information to conclude his theories. I am a convert to the Church. I studied the Bible and it led me to see that the denominational Christian churches have NO authority, No priesthood (where are the Prophets and Apostles to be built upon?) and no spirit. I found the Church as a youth, felt something amazing, but then didn’t have the family support to go for it. I found it again (or went back to it after several failed attempts with denoms) and joined as a yount adult and have been happy ever since.
    You ought to read the Book of Mormon. It will help you (amazingly so) understand the Bible better. They have the same author! And since The Book of Mormon was translated straight from the original plates it has no errors and there is nothing missing….unlike the Bible.

    There isn’t anything in the Bible that conflicts with the Book of Mormon. Actually the Bible tells of “other sheep, not of this fold” , it tells of the other tribes of the House of Israel, it tells of the tower of Babel…..all also mentioned (to name a few) in the Book of Mormon. They are actually very compatible. You should try it! The philosophies of men that have been built up over the years (the Nicean creed for one) are NOT compatible to the Book of Mormon….perhaps that is what has tripped you up?

    have a great day! And Praise to the Man who communed with Jehovah!

    ~Geoff

  61. 62 geoff456
    June 11, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Wow, Echo,

    it is too early in the morning to follow that one! I just know that the road signs I read come from Prophets and Apostles, both ancient and current. They have NEVER led me astray. By following the precepts taught by the Church (that come straight from the Lord) I have been blessed in my life. My children have served missions, been married in the Temple and have their own lovely families. They all have food storage, money in the bank and jobs. They have no bad habits, they are kind and loving. We all love the Lord, try hard to keep the commandments and thank Him every day for His tender mercies.
    I am not bragging, just telling you that those road signs that I am following work.
    If you were to follow them, you would be happy, too. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is wonderful and fulfilling. It makes me happy. So….I guess you could say that the person warning others to stay away(from the Gospel as taught by the LDS Church) would be the “fool”….and might ultimately face a heavenly tribunal. Yes, the consequences are that high.
    have a great day!

    ~Geoff

    ps. i am glad to hear Mark does not accept money for his speeches. It bodes better for him.

  62. 63 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    ADB,

    Read the Bible. Study Mormonism. The two are in perfect alignment, when you properly understand the Bible.

  63. 64 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    The Bible teaches that “prophets” can lead us astray because there are many warnings in scriptures of false prophets in sheep’s clothing. Even the Bereans were considered NOBLE for testing the apostle Paul’s words in light of scripture. Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

    Of course false prophets in sheeps clothing will teach things such as obedience to the commandments as just one example. That is because they “look” like “sheep”. The only way to tell if a prophet is false is to see if what he teaches doctrinally is in agreement with the Bible or not. In order to do that, you need to examine both sides without assuming the side your not on is against you. Without judging the motive of others.

    False prophets can say to us: “I will never lead you astray”

    I believe that God has given Mark the information needed to warn the LDS of the “bridge out ahead!”. I believe that Mark truly cares for the LDS people a great deal and has no evil motives whatsoever.

    How would a false prophet discourage people from reading and heeding this “bridge out ahead” sign? By teaching them to judge people’s motives.

  64. 65 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Echo: Of course false prophets in sheeps clothing will teach things such as obedience to the commandments as just one example.

    GB: You mean prophets like JESUS?

    Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Matt. 19:17 . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    John 14:15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

  65. 66 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    GB said:

    “You mean prophets like JESUS?”

    Echo:

    No I do not mean Jesus. Jesus is our only prophet and we would settle for no one less.

  66. 67 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Echo,

    Jesus taught OBEDIENCE to the commandments!!!

    By your criteria, you are defining Him as a false prophet.

    That is unfortunate.

    “Jesus is our only prophet and we would settle for no one less.”

    Then why don’t you believe what He taught?

  67. 68 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Who is your Prophet?
    Who is your High Priest?
    Who is your Apostle?

    Jesus is our Prophet, High priest and Apostle:

    Deut 18:15 “The Lord your god will raise up for you a PROPHET like me from among your own brothers”

    Hebrews 3:1 “Fix your thoughts on Jesus, the APOSTLE and HIGH PRIEST whom we confess”

    This is true, this is certain. Why replace Jesus with men?

  68. 69 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    GB said:

    “Jesus taught OBEDIENCE to the commandments!!!

    By your criteria, you are defining Him as a false prophet.

    That is unfortunate.”

    Echo:

    Jesus is not a false prophet. Wolves in sheeps clothing are.

  69. 70 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Echo (who defines Jesus as a false prophet),

    Why don’t you believe what Jesus taught?

    Jesus taught “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:”

    2 Chr. 20:20 . . . Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

    Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret (counsel) unto his servants the prophets.

  70. 71 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    GB: said:

    Echo (who defines Jesus as a false prophet),

    Echo:

    You are now guilty of slander.

    You have broken the entire set of commandments which are summed up as: Love God and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ” Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither… slanderers … will inherit the kingdom of God. “Why don’t you believe what Jesus taught?”

    You quote scripture:

    “Jesus taught “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:”

    Yet your the one guilty of persecuting with slander and derogatory comments aimed towards others. “Why don’t you believe what Jesus taught?”

    You teach that you gain eternal life by obedience to ALL of the commandments, yet you fail to obey ALL the commandments and you have broken the entire law.

    Jesus taught that you must be perfect BEFORE you can even begin to follow him. “Why don’t you believe what Jesus taught?”

    What chance, what hope do you have at gaining eternal life by obeying ALL the commandments?
    Don’t die today because today you have no hope, you have failed to obey ALL of the commandments.

    What does Jesus teach about slander? He teaches that it comes up out of a heart that is EVIL (unclean):

    Mathew 15:18-20 “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, SLANDER.”

    GB, Jesus has taught us that slander comes from an evil heart. “Why don’t you believe what Jesus taught?”

    If the LDS church teaches that obedience to ALL of the commandments is a requirement to gain eternal life and you aren’t living in obedience to ALL of the commandments, then you are an apostate of the LDS church. LDS apostates go to outer darkness!

    Live what you believe! Obey ALL the commandments! What are you waiting for?!

    You cannot put your faith in Jesus until you have given up putting your faith in yourself.
    You have put your faith in yourself….so what are you waiting for?! Obey ALL the commandments!

    May God Bless you and Keep you my friend.
    May he bring you to the end of faith in yourself so that you can have faith in Jesus instead.

    With love,
    Echo

  71. 72 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Echo: Of course false prophets in sheeps clothing will teach things such as obedience to the commandments as just one example.

    GB: Jesus said,

    Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Matt. 19:17 . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    John 14:15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

    Jesus taught “obedience to the commandments”!!!

    JESUS falls within your definition of a false prophet, therefore by your definition of a false prophet, Jesus is one. Pure and simple. No slander involved.

  72. 73 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    GB,

    I said: “Jesus is not a false prophet. Wolves in sheeps clothing are.”

    You said: “Echo (who defines Jesus as a false prophet),

    That is slander.

    I said: “Of course false prophets in sheeps clothing will teach things such as obedience to the commandments as just one example.”

    GB, what do false prophets in sheeps clothing do? They try to appear like they are sheep doing things that sheep would do but they are wolves and not sheep. They disguise themselves as sheep.

  73. 74 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    GB said:

    “Jesus taught “obedience to the commandments”!!!”

    Yes he did and he also taught that we must be perfect BEFORE we can follow him.

  74. 75 geoff456
    June 11, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Echo,

    So…when are you going to study “mormonism” to find out if it is true? Can you be objective? Mark is not objective. Mark has an agenda. It may be an agenda of “love”, but it is still an agenda.
    I am glad that Mark “loves” LDS people (seeing how I am one of them). But that does not excuse him when it comes time to answer for it. He has not done his homework. Oh, he quotes Apostles and Prophets and reads our literature, but he does NOT understand the Gospel. He applies “his knowledge” to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the LDS Church and comes up short…because he has an agenda. He is LOOKING for something “wrong”, something scandalous, something objectionable. Believe me, I see it all the time. If Mark and You for that matter, would look at the Gospel with new eyes, you might be surprised. It has been stated on this blog before….we are not that different! And as our Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “come, bring your truth and join us”.

    So, back to my ORIGINAL question that got this whole thread started…..I wonder when Mark will realize the eternal consequences of his “work”.

    ~Geoff

    P.S. to call GB a slanderer is preposterous.

  75. 76 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Echo: Of course false prophets in sheeps clothing will teach things such as obedience to the commandments as just one example.

    GB: Jesus said,

    Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Matt. 19:17 . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    John 14:15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

    Jesus taught “obedience to the commandments”!!!

    JESUS falls within your definition of a false prophet, therefore by your definition of a false prophet, Jesus is one. Pure and simple. No slander involved.

    Echo: . . . he also taught that we must be perfect BEFORE we can follow him.

    GB: Not really, that is just your twisting of his words.
    Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

    This is a clear reference to the resurrection of Jesus. According to Jesus, he became perfected upon His resurrection. Can you do better than him?

    Eph. 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

    The saints (followers of Jesus) are in the process of being perfected. Are you better than them?

    2 Tim. 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    Notice the future tense “may be”? Men of God, who follow Jesus are not required to be perfect. Are you better than them?

    Heb. 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

    So Jesus became perfect through sufferings, which occurred at the end of His life. Are you better than Him?

    Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
    9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    Jesus was made perfect when He was resurrected. Are you better than Him?

    Heb. 6:1 Therefore 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,

    We can go on to perfection by following the principles of the doctrine of Christ. Not before.

    Heb. 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    We become perfect by doing his will. Not before then.

  76. 77 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Geoff said:

    So…when are you going to study “mormonism” to find out if it is true? Can you be objective? Mark is not objective. Mark has an agenda. It may be an agenda of “love”, but it is still an agenda.
    I am glad that Mark “loves” LDS people (seeing how I am one of them). But that does not excuse him when it comes time to answer for it. He has not done his homework. Oh, he quotes Apostles and Prophets and reads our literature, but he does NOT understand the Gospel. He applies “his knowledge” to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the LDS Church and comes up short…because he has an agenda. He is LOOKING for something “wrong”, something scandalous, something objectionable. Believe me, I see it all the time. If Mark and You for that matter, would look at the Gospel with new eyes, you might be surprised. It has been stated on this blog before….we are not that different! And as our Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “come, bring your truth and join us”.

    So, back to my ORIGINAL question that got this whole thread started…..I wonder when Mark will realize the eternal consequences of his “work”.

    Echo:

    Aren’t you the one who isn’t being objective of what Mark is saying? Isn’t it you who is looking for “something wrong, something scandalous, something objectionable” about Mark?

  77. 78 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    GB,

    What do wolves in sheep’s clothing do?

  78. 79 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Acts 20:28 ¶ Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
    29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

    They didn’t spare the flock as Paul prophesied.

  79. 80 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    And Acts 20:30 tells us more:

    “men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears”

    They “distort the TRUTH”

    That is they teach truth that is distorted. Just one example: they can teach the commandments but distort the reason we keep the commandments.

  80. 81 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    What part of “not sparing the flock” don’t you understand?

    “men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears”

    EXACTLY!!!!

    The great apostasy was already in progress while the Apostles were yet alive. Imagine the havoc the wolves did to the true doctrine of Jesus Christ in the following two millennia.

    Now they deny the need to obey the commandments, even though Jesus was clear about the need to do so.

    Now they break the commandments and teach that breaking the commandments is no big deal. Even though Jesus taught otherwise.

    Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    Now they vilify those that keep the commandments and teach obedience to them. Even though Jesus taught otherwise.

    Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    Now they claim that those that keep the commandments and teach obedience to them are false prophets. Even though Jesus did the same.

    Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

  81. 82 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    GB,

    For your clarification, and as I have stated many times, we DO teach obedience to ALL of the commandments.

    But obedience to ALL of the commandments isn’t the “condition” to gaining eternal life.
    If it were, that would be like my giving you an icecream cone after you have mowed my lawn, washed my car and weeded my yard. It is a loveless relationship. As the saying goes: “I’ll scratch your back if you first scratch mine.”

    The truth is that a freind would just give you a cone without expecting anything in return or laying down conditions.

    Whether or not your thankful is up to you. You certainly have the freedom to throw the cone in the garbage.

    I am thankful that because of Jesus, I have been given the free gift of eternal life and forgiveness for all my sins, apart from anything I do. I am thankful for that and truly desire to show my thanks in my obedience to ALL of the commandments.

  82. 83 GB
    June 12, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    JESUS said,
    Matt. 19:17 . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    AND,
    John 12:50 And I know that his (God, the Father’s)commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

    AND,
    Rev. 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    I guess you don’t believe Jesus.

  83. 84 Echo
    June 15, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I am thankful that because of Jesus, I have been given the free gift of eternal life and forgiveness for all my sins, apart from anything I do. I am thankful for that and truly desire to show my thanks in my OBEDIENCE TO ALL OF THE COMMANDMENTS.

  84. 85 GB
    June 15, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Echo,

    It is good that you are obeying “all of the commandments”.

    Rom 2:6 (God) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    . . .
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
    11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

    Rev 22: 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
    13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
    14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

  85. 86 Echo
    June 15, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    GB said:

    “Rom 2:6 (God) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:”

    Echo:

    Romans is a great book that explains clearly how we do not gain eternal life by becoming righteous through obedience to God’s moral law. God’s law shows us our sin rather than our righteousness. No person will be declared righteous through the law:

    Romans 3:19-24 “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

    Instead we become righteous through faith alone. It’s a free gift.

    Romans 3:19-24 cont-

    Righteousness Through Faith

    But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

    Before we are called to do anything, we are first called to do nothing. The wicked can do nothing good. God justifies the wicked who can do nothing:

    Romans 4:4-5 “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

    Those who “work” for eternal life do not recieve the “gift” of eternal life as the above verse explains.
    It’s the one who doesn’t “work” that is justified before God and credited with the free gift of righteousness.

    Once he is righteous by faith alone, he will desire to obey the commandments out of thanks.

  86. 87 ADB
    June 15, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Here’s an excellent hymn found under the “justification” section of our hymnal:

    Salvation unto us has come
    By God’s free grace and favor.
    Good works cannot avert our doom;
    They help and save us never.
    Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone,
    Who did for all the world atone;
    He is the one Redeemer.

    What God does in his law demand
    And none to him can render
    Brings wrath and woe on ev’ry hand
    For man, the vile offender.
    Our flesh has not those pure desires
    The spirit of the law requires,
    And lost is our condition.

    It is a false, misleading dream
    That God his law has given
    That sinners can themselves redeem
    And by their works gain heaven.
    The law is but a mirror bright
    To bring the inbred sin to light
    That lurks within our nature.

    Yet as the law must be fulfilled
    Or we must die despairing,
    Christ came and has God’s anger stilled,
    Our human nature sharing.
    He has for us the law obeyed
    And thus the Father’s vengeance stayed
    Which over us impended.

    Since Christ has full atonement made
    And brought to us salvation,
    Each Christian therefore may be glad
    And build on this foundation.
    your grace alone, dear Lord, I plead;
    Your death is now my life indeed,
    For you have paid my ransom.

    All blessing, honor, thanks, and praise
    To Father, Son, and Spirit,
    The God who saved us by his grace-
    All glory to his merit!
    O Triune God in heav’n above,
    You have revealed your saving love;
    Your blessed name be hallowed!

  87. 88 GB
    June 15, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    JESUS said,
    Matt. 19:17 . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    AND, JESUS said,
    John 12:50 And I know that his (God, the Father’s)commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

    AND, JESUS said,
    Rev 22: 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
    13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
    14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    AND, Paul said,
    Rom 2:6 (God) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

  88. 89 Echo
    June 15, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Excellent post ADB.

  89. 90 Echo
    June 15, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    GB:

    Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…”

    John 8:34 “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.”

  90. 91 GB
    June 15, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Echo,

    That is exactly why Jesus gave us the gift of REPENTANCE and forgiveness so we can become free from sin.

    Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

    Isa. 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

    D&C 58:43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.

    Acts 13:38 ¶ Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
    39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

    JESUS sent Paul to preach to the people (Acts 26:18) To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God (that is REPENTANCE), that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

    Repentance from sin to obedience brings forgiveness.

  91. 92 GB
    June 15, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Repentance (going from sin to obedience/righteousness) brings forgiveness.

    Isaiah 1:16 ¶ Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
    17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (that is repentance)
    18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (that is forgiveness)
    19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
    20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

  92. 93 Echo
    June 16, 2009 at 12:03 am

    GB said:

    “Repentance (going from sin to obedience/righteousness) brings forgiveness.”

    Echo:

    Romans 3:20 “…no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin”

  93. 94 GB
    June 16, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Echo,

    EXACTLY!!!

    Romans 3:20 “…no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; . . .

    Because all (except Jesus) have failed to be 100% obedient, and without the Atonement of Christ ALL would be forever lost.

    “. . . rather, through the law we become conscious of sin”

    That is why Jesus gave us repentance and forgiveness.

    This really isn’t a hard concept to understand.

    1. All (except Jesus) have sinned and would be forever lost.

    2. Jesus, through His atonement, makes effectual our repentance. (He paid the price so we don’t have to, if we repent).

    3. Our repentance, brings forgiveness of sin.

    4. When we repent, God remembers our sins no more and His (Jesus) righteousness is imputed to us. (It becomes as if we had never sinned.)

    God saves us from our sins. He does not save us in our sins. That is why the message of repentance and forgiveness permeates the scriptures.

  94. 95 Echo
    June 17, 2009 at 2:05 am

    So you still have to be perfect because God doesn’t forgive you in your sins.

  95. 96 geoff456
    June 17, 2009 at 3:33 am

    echo,

    hello?? hello?? anyone home? how much plainer could GB be?

    You just don’t want to understand.

    ~geoff

  96. 97 Echo
    June 18, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Geoff,

    I think you might be misunderstanding me rather than the other way around but possibly I am misunderstanding something. Let me explain myself better.

    You believe we must first overcome sin in order to be forgiven, but there isn’t a day that goes by wherein we have refrained from ALL sin. So unless we are perfect, we cannot be completely forgiven for ALL our sins.

    No unclean thing can enter the kindgom of God, we must be 100% forgiven for ALL our sins. If God only forgives after we have overcome sin, then according to your teachings, we have to be perfect to be 100% forgiven.

    You might reply that you are saved by grace after all you can do. Okay. Then my question is this: Do you truly do all you can do all the time?

    Obviously your: “hello?? hello?? anyone home?” response to my post shows me that you do not do all you can do, all of the time.

  97. 98 GB
    June 18, 2009 at 3:52 am

    Isa 1:16 ¶ Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
    17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
    18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
    20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.


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