Archive for June, 2010

25
Jun
10

Deadly Damnation

   In the June 2010 Ensign, David A. Bednar, one of Mormonism’s apostles, mentions Mormonism definition of damnation.  Talking about Satan he writes, “Just as water flowing in a riverbed is stopped by a dam, so the adversary’s eternal progression is thwarted because he does not have a physical body. . .One of the potent scriptural meanings of the word damned is illustrated in his inability to continue developing and becoming like our Heavenly Father.”  (p. 18)

    This agrees with what the LDS Bible Dictionary states:  “Damnation is the opposite of salvation, and exists in varying degrees.  All who do not obtain the fulness of celestial exaltation will to some degree be limited in their progress and privileges, and hence be damned to that extent.”  Thus, according to Mormonism, everybody in heaven, except those who are exalted by becoming a god, will also be damned!

    To a Christian, describing people in heaven with the word damned is incomprehensible.  Heaven and damned are direct opposites.  This then is just another of numerous examples of how Mormonism defines words uniquely.  I don’t know any dictionary that defines damnation this way.  All the dictionaries I consulted cite as synonyms words like cursed. 

     But what really makes Mormonism’s definition deadly is how it incredibly weakens what the Bible says about being damned.  Insert Mormonism’s definition into Mark 16:16 and it isn’t too frightening.  “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”  Instead of eternal hell coming to mind when you hear that, you can think of heaven.  And that is exactly what Mormonism does.  According to it, in order to get to the lowest kingdom of glory, a person doesn’t have to believe.  And some Mormon authorities have described that kingdom as ten thousand times better than life here on earth.  That’s not a bad picture of damnation.

     The only problem is that it is totally false – and extremely dangerous.  Satan loves it when the consequences of sin are minimized.  He loves it when no one is talking about eternal hell.  He loves it because then people don’t become overly concerned about going there – until it is too late. 

     Hell is real.  Damnation is horrible.  There is nothing good associated with it.  And there is only one way to avoid it.  Accept God’s gift of eternal life.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23)

11
Jun
10

Revelation and Transgression

    At this past General Conference there was a lot of talk about receiving personal revelation through the Holy Spirit.  That reminded me of something that I read in lesson 5 of the D&C Student Manual.  In lesson 5, which talks about revelation, is this quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks.  “We cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost – the medium of individual revelation – if we are in transgression or if we are angry or if we are in rebellion against God’s chosen authorities.”

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

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

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




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