09
Jun
09

Source of Confidence

     In the recent General Conference of the LDS Church, President Henry B. Eyring gave a talk on adversity.  In it he refers to a young man who was out of work.  He said, “I spoke recently to a young father who has lost his job in the recent economic crisis.  He knows that hundreds of thousands of people with exactly his skills are looking desperately for work to feed their families.  His quiet confidence led me to ask him what he had done to become so confident that he would find a way to support his family.  He said he had examined his life to be sure that he had done all he could to be worthy of the Lord’s help.  It was clear that his need and his faith in Jesus Christ were leading him to be obedient to God’s commandments when it is hard to do.”

     I can’t identify with that young man.  As I examine my life, I see so many times when I haven’t been worthy of the Lord’s help.  Instead of always thinking first of my spouse or family, I see a lot of self-centeredness.  I see a lot of impatience and even flashes of anger when I’m driving, instead of patience and understanding.  I see pockets of worry when I should be trusting.  Exploring other nooks and crannies of my heart I stumble across love of money, lustful thoughts, jealousy.  Sadly to say, you name it – I can find it.  There is no way that I can identify with that young man.

     But that doesn’t mean that I’m not confident of the Lord’s help.  O, I am.  But I receive that confidence not by looking at myself but at my God.  What relief it is to see his incredible faithfulness in the face of my unfaithfulness.  What a comfort it is be wearing Christ’s robe of righteousness and to be found worthy because of that.  What a marvel it is to receive undeserved blessings from God.  I can identify more with the prophet Jeremiah who, standing in the rubble of a destroyed Jerusalem, said:  “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.  The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.  The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.  It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”  (Lamentations 3: 22-26)

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34 Responses to “Source of Confidence”


  1. 1 GB
    June 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
    36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

    1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, . . . we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him . . . .
    29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

  2. June 9, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I agree, Pastor Cares. While GB’s verses seem intended to refute your “by grace alone” post, I would counter that our worthiness is a fruit not a root. He is the Vine, we are the branches. Our ability to be confident, do the will of the Father, abide and be righteous is *completely dependent* on Jesus having done it for us. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Phil. 2:13

  3. 3 GB
    June 9, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
    19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure (provide confidence to) our hearts before him.
    20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
    21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
    22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

  4. June 9, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    That is an awesome verse GB, and certainly not one I’d find exception with. The point is, we don’t have the strength or will to love in word, deed or truth without the enabling grace of the Lord Jesus Christ at work within us.

  5. 5 Echo
    June 9, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    If we want to be “worthy” we must be perfect at all times and in all ways including having perfectly righteous thoughts about everything all of the time. Therefore our unworthiness will always condemn our hearts.

    The only way to have confidence before God at all times and not have our hearts condemn us is to trust that Jesus has credited us with the perfection that is required by God’s law.

    God’s law is everything that God wants us to do and not do.
    The Gospel is everything that God has done for us and given to us.
    And what God gives or credits to us in the gospel is everything that God had demanded that we do and not do in his law.

  6. 6 faithoffathers
    June 9, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Mark,

    One man tries his best to live the commandments, remain true to his family, does what he can to obtain training and education, gets up early in the morning, prays for help, and goes out and diligently searches for work.

    Another man does not regard the Lord. He wastes his time in video games, drinking with his pals, and sleeps in until 10:30 a.m. every morning. He rarely makes any attempt to find employment despite the fact that others depend on him and the bills are accumulating.

    Is there no difference between these two people? Do you find no value in what President Eyring is saying? Can you not see what he is saying? What good is a religion that does not differentiate between these two men? How is that religion different than government welfare?

    Ever heard of the saying “God helps those who help themselves?” Is there any truth to it? Are you saying it is of no value for a person to try their best to obey God? Does He not bless those who obey Him? I could not disagree more with you.

    Fundamental to Christ’s teachings was the Law of the Harvest. He could not have endorsed this law more fully.

    I recognize what I think you are trying to say Mark, but sometimes I think such arguments lead to such contorted logic, one is left trapped in a corner. Nobody said anything about the young man in President Eyrings story being perfect. He was faithful to the Lord and felt peace in knowing the Lord would bless him. Does your religion really teach something different? I hope not.

    Peace.

    fof

  7. 7 Echo
    June 9, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    FOF said:

    “One man tries his best to live the commandments, remain true to his family, does what he can to obtain training and education, gets up early in the morning, prays for help, and goes out and diligently searches for work.”

    Echo:

    Yes. But if he doesn’t obey ALL the commandments perfectly at ALL times, he is still unworthy.

  8. 8 GB
    June 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    not2bright: The point is, we don’t have the strength or will to love in word, deed or truth without the enabling grace of the Lord Jesus Christ at work within us.

    GB: So when we “love in word, deed or truth” are we mindless drones or are we doing it because WE want to?

  9. June 9, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    What a beautiful post, mark.

    We have a wonderful amazing God who blesses us , yes blesses us when we are so unworthy of those blessings. When I stand and think upon that…. how God loves me and blesses me so abundantly even though I stumble, fall and sin… I can help but want to fall down and worship Him. It just overwhelms me at times.

    God bless,
    gloria

  10. 10 Echo
    June 9, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Great post Gloria! God’s love is truly amazing.

  11. 11 faithoffathers
    June 10, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Sorry to be negative and nasty.

    But can I point something out that annoys?

    In such discussions as this (faith/works/worthiness), it is not uncommon for EVs to wind up and go off on how great God is and how much love He has shown to them despite their failings. Is this meant to suggest that LDS don’t feel the same way? Or am I being too sensitive? Do you not think we have the same experiences and appreciation and sense of indebtedness?

    Don’t get me wrong- we cannot praise God enough or be too grateful for what has been done for us “unworthy creatures.” It just sometimes seems that the EVs in some of these threads want to dance in the endzone as if they just scored a touchdown against LDS when it comes to gratitude. I have to think that this comes from your perception that we think we earn our way to heaven. Don’t know what else to think.

    I am sure that LDS come off in ways that are equally annoying sometimes.

    fof

  12. 12 Echo
    June 10, 2009 at 5:32 am

    FOF, Thank you so much for asking for clarification. We certainly don’t mean any harm to you or anyone in anything we say. And most definately we aren’t of the attitude that we want to “score a touchdown”. I think our inward attitude is more of really wanting to invite the LDS to be on the same team together with us. I apologize that you feel annoyed, we certainly don’t want to annoy anyone.

    We can’t judge the motives or hearts of the LDS people but we certainly can say we believe that the LDS are passionate and sincere about what they believe.

    At the same time, and I want to say this without intending to offend you at all, but we do believe that your missing out on the kind of love we know God has for all of us. We simply just want to share that amazing love with you because that love is intended for you as well.

  13. 13 markcares
    June 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    FOF:
    Please give me your definition of the Law of the Harvest. Is there any roon in it for the receiving of undeserved blessings? If so, how are the two reconciled?

  14. 14 faithoffathers
    June 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Echo,

    Thanks for the note.

    I cannot imagine feeling more grateful to God for what He has done and offered for me. It is the central, motivating influence and power in my life. And I do not think I am any different from other LDS. We feel the very same way you do. I think it a little dangerous for anybody to feel they have more love from God than others as you suggest. But I appreciate your desire to share that feeling- it is certainly precious and as Nephi described “the most joyous to the soul.”

    Mark,

    Law of the harvest= “as a man soweth, so shall he reap.” The fundamental analogy for this is a person who prepares soil, plants seed, cares for the crop, and reaps the harvest in season. It is rewarded effort, perseverence, and sacrifice.

    Thanks,

    fof

  15. 15 markcares
    June 10, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    FOf:
    Does God ever give undeserved blessings? if so, how does that reconcile with the law of the harvest?

  16. 16 Echo
    June 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    FOF said:

    “I think it a little dangerous for anybody to feel they have more love from God than others as you suggest.”

    Echo:

    My apologies again. That’s not what I intended to communicate to you either. We don’t have more love from God than others.

    God’s love for you and me, for LDS and non LDS, is the same. But we believe, (no offense intended) that God’s love for you and I, for LDS and non LDS, is greater than LDS teachings even imagine.

  17. 17 GB
    June 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Echo: But we believe, (no offense intended) that God’s love for you and I, for LDS and non LDS, is greater than LDS teachings even imagine.

    GB: Humm. That is an interesting admission.

    Did you know about this verse?

    1 Nephi 11:22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; WHEREFORE, IT IS THE MOST DESIRABLE ABOVE ALL THINGS.

  18. 18 Echo
    June 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Tell me all about that love that you believe in.

  19. 19 faithoffathers
    June 10, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Mark,

    You ask “Does God ever give undeserved blessings? if so, how does that reconcile with the law of the harvest?”

    I would say that all of the blessings God bestows are undeserved. Does that mean we do nothing to obtain those blessings? No.

    Law of the harvest:

    Does the farmer create the miracle in the seed to make it grow? No.

    Does the farmer cause the clouds to rain on his crops? No.

    Does the farmer create the sun that covers his crops with that priceless energy and power? No.

    Does the farmer place the nutrients in the soil to nourish the plants? No.

    Does this mean that the farmer doesn’t have to do anything in order for a field to produce a desirable and valuable crop? Certainly not.

    The farmer works diligently to do his part, and God provides the miracles behind it all, including the farmer’s life, health, and the air that he breaths.

    Echo- We believe God is powerful, intelligent, and loving enough to provide His children with the path that enables them to become like Him. That path required that He offer His only Begotten Son- His flesh and blood, to be tortured, racked, and torn. That offering was infinite and eternal. He suffered not just for the sins of all mankind, but He suffered every sickness, depression, loneliness, fear, and sadness ever experienced by ALL of man. I don’t think a God can have greater love than that. No doctrine or belief system esteems God and His Son more Highly than that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    fof

  20. June 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    ” Is this to suggest that LDS don’t feel the same way? Or am I being too sensistive”? Do you not think we have the same experiences and appreciation and sence of indebtedness?”

    Hi, Fof —

    I am sorry that my expressions of love and worship are annoying to you in some way.

    I certainly did not intend it to come across with the intention to annoy.

    I think the reason why so many Christians talk this way is because we really really do view ourselves as sinful creatures , flesh filled and truly in need of God’s grace and when we receive it — well it just knocks our socks off.

    I think, and I don’t intend this to offend, but when I was LDS I believed I was a daughter of a King, and really pretty special. When I was convicted of my sins by the HOly Spirit and surrendered my life to King Jesus – that all changed. Not that Jesus doesn’t see me of value – I know He does – He calls me friend, and I have been adopted into God’s family because of Him….. but at the same time, my eyes have been opened. I see my sin very blaringly before me, where before I didn’t. I know who I am deep down, that flesh filled selfish person that comes out oh too often. It awes me to think that Jesus still loves me and wants me to sup with Him.

    That sense of awe of my sin, sorrow and disgust with my flesh was not present when I was LDS. Not too say that other LDS may not feel that way … I am just sharing my own experience.

    I also don’t read of many LDS openly admitting their sin publically or their flesh side openly…. I hear a lot of ” I am child of God” but not much, ” I am a sinner”.

    I didn’t hear many LDS in testimony meeting stand up and say ” I am sinner. I have been saved by God’s grace and I am so thankful He has saved me from hell and death”.

    Perhaps that was my experience — and you may very well experience something very different. I recognize that may be the case.

    In any case, I hope I make some sense.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  21. 21 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 5:40 am

    FOF said:

    “No doctrine or belief system esteems God and His Son more Highly than that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    How do you know that? How do you know there isn’t a church out there that esteems God and his son more highly than the LDS church?

  22. 22 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Echo: How do you know that?

    GB: Well, when the Lord says things like “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased,” it is a clear indication that “No doctrine or belief system esteems God and His Son more Highly than that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.

    Echo: How do you know there isn’t a church out there that esteems God and his son more highly than the LDS church?

    GB: Well, when the Lord says things like “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased,” it is a clear indication that “No doctrine or belief system esteems God and His Son more Highly than that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.

  23. 23 faithoffathers
    June 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Echo:

    You ask “How do you know that? How do you know there isn’t a church out there that esteems God and his son more highly than the LDS church?”

    Because it is impossible. I know it is hard to generalize, but “in general,” mainstream Christianity (those that still believe in the divinity of Christ) views the atonement as follows: Jesus Christ suffered for all the sins of mankind on the cross of Calvary and salvation is only through Christ. We would agree entirely with that, but would add the following very significant doctrine:

    We believe that not only did Christ suffer infinitely for the sins of all mankind, He also experienced, personally, every kind of suffering ever endured by all men, woman, and children IN ADDITION to the suffering that results from sin. So think about that- every illness, every abuse, every depression, every loneliness- every possible negative experience. He carried and experienced all of it. I have never heard of another church teaching that.

    Now, consider that we believe that Christ not only suffered all of that for every soul who has or will ever live on earth, but He suffered all of that for all those souls who live(d) on all the planets where God’s children exist. And according to our doctrine, the number of such planets is “without number” (i.e. beyond man’s ability to comprehend). I know of no other church that teaches anything close to that.

    Now, consider that we believe that God is soooooo loving, kind and merciful AND soooooooo powerful and smart that He has the capacity to make all of those children like Him, not just grateful worshippers, but like Him.

    This is why I say “No doctrine or belief system esteems God and His Son more Highly than that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.

    Thanks,

    fof

  24. 24 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    FOF

    Thanks for clarifying. I can see how you conclude your position now. We don’t teach that Christ died for people on other planets. The Bible only speaks of this world.

    FOF said:

    “Now, consider that we believe that God is soooooo loving, kind and merciful AND soooooooo powerful and smart that He has the capacity to make all of those children like Him, not just grateful worshippers, but like Him.”

    We believe this too. Perhaps not in the same sense as you do.

  25. 25 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Echo: The Bible only speaks of this world.

    GB: Well, let’s see.

    We have this.

    Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    Notice the plural “worlds”?

    Heb. 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, . . .

    Notice the plural “worlds”?

    If Jesus created those other “worlds”, will He not also save them and the people on them?

  26. 26 Echo
    June 11, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    GB the word: “worlds” means “universe”

    Hebrews 1:2 “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the UNIVERSE;”

    Heb. 11:3 “Through faith we understand that the UNIVERSE was framed by the word of God, . . .”

    That in no way suggests that their are people on other planets nor that Jesus suffered and died for people on other planets. The only thing the verse does say is that Jesus made the universe. I don’t disagree with that.

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G165&t=KJV

  27. June 11, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    GB, sidebar: it’s important to quote verse 1 of Hebrews 1, as well as verse 2. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son”

    This is important, because LDS claims that Joseph Smith is a latter day prophet. These verses indicate to me that Jesus was the last prophet, that everything culminates in Him.

  28. 28 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Echo,

    From the link you provided.

    1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity

    2) the worlds, universe

    3) period of time, age

    Did you notice “the worlds” is there?

    King James Bible
    Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    American King James Version
    Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    American Standard Version
    hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his’son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;

    Darby Bible Translation
    at the end of these days has spoken to us in the person of the Son, whom he has established heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    English Revised Version
    hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    Hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    World English Bible
    has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds.

    “That in no way suggests that their are NOT people on other planets nor that Jesus DIDN’T suffered and died for people on other planets.”

    There, fixed if for you.

  29. 29 GB
    June 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Not2bright: These verses indicate to me that Jesus was the last prophet, that everything culminates in Him.

    GB: These verses indicate otherwise.

    Acts 11:27 ¶ And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.

    Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

    Acts 15:32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.

    1 Cor. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
    29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

    1 Cor. 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

    Eph. 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

    Eph. 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

    Eph. 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

    James 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

    Matt. 23:4 ¶ 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:

  30. June 15, 2009 at 4:26 am

    Just responding to the initial post Mark.

    Once again, you take the TWO-PART Atonement, and boil it down to only one part.

    There is the first part – the one that saves and reconciles.

    Then there is the second part – the one that enables.

    The young man in Eyring’s talk is simply laying hold of the second part – the one that enables a righteous and progressing life.

  31. June 15, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Beg your pardon Echo, but are you really suggesting that Jesus was incapable of dying for more than one planet?

  32. 32 Echo
    June 15, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Seth,

    Jesus can do all things, he is not incapable of anything. But the bible doesn’t talk about people on other planets.

  33. June 15, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    #1. GB provided a cite that demonstrates otherwise.

    #2. I’m a Mormon. I really couldn’t care less if “it ain’t in the Bible.”

  34. December 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I never thought of it that way, well put!


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