Archive for October, 2011


Surviving Scrutiny

Every time another presidential election approaches, I wonder why anybody would want to be president.  As soon as a candidate becomes popular, the scrutiny intensifies.  Right now Herman Cain is under the microscope.  Investigative reporters are digging to find anything unsavory in his past. Why would anybody put himself through that?

But the scrutiny presidential candidates are under is nothing compared to the scrutiny every single person is under – from God himself.  Every once in a while an open mike picks up some non-political correct statement made by a candidate.  But God hears every single word we utter – even in the privacy of our homes.  Every word mumbled under our breath.  Every word spoken to our spouse and kids.  Every word complaining about our co-workers and neighbors.  He hears them all and holds us accountable for them.  “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”  (Matthew 12:36)

But it’s not just our words he scrutinizes.  Just think of how revealing it would be if we could watch a videotape of a candidate’s thoughts!  Well, God sees our every thought.  Jesus cites one example of this when he said, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”  (Matthew 5:28)  God sees every trace of bitterness in us; every selfish thought, every worry lays open before him.  He comes face to face with all our putrid thoughts.

How can anybody survive such scrutiny?  It usually takes only one piece of dirt in a candidate’s past to bring him or her crashing down.  It doesn’t even matter how much good the person has done since.  One scandal and they are finished.

Therefore it is the height of foolishness to think that we can survive God’s scrutiny by making good.  This is true especially when we realize that we haven’t stopped speaking sinful words or having sinful thoughts.  Each and every day we aren’t making good.  We are giving God more evidence of our sinfulness. We are doomed.

Or we should be.  But God has stepped in and done a most remarkable thing.  He punished Jesus for our sins instead of us.  On top of that he had Jesus live a perfect life for us.  In Jesus alone – and only in Jesus – can we survive God’s scrutiny.  Anybody who bases any of his hopes of surviving God’s scrutiny on what he does, remains doomed.  His imperfect works ruins Jesus’ perfection.  May you all trust solely and completely in what Jesus has done for you.  Your eternal destiny depends on it.


Whom do Mormons worship?


I pose this, not as a trick question, but sincerely.  To me, a non-Mormon, there are a couple of things that just don’t add up.  The one is that Mormonism teaches that the Father and Son are separate Beings.  It interprets their oneness that the Bible talks about as a unity of purpose or something similar, but never as a unity of being.  But what trips me up is a LDS Scripture like D&C 20:19.  “And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being that they should worship.”

The things that strikes me are the singulars (only God. . .only being).  Who is the only being that this verse refers to?  Who is the only being that should be worshipped?  Does this refer to Heavenly Father or Jesus?  It seems pretty clear to me that this scripture states that only one God is to be worshipped and, according to Mormonism, “one God” and “one being” can’t refer both to Heavenly Father and Jesus.   Therefore my question:  whom do Mormons worship?

Or more pointedly, would it be accurate to say that Mormonism does not teach worship of Jesus?  The brief article on worship in the manual, True to the Faith, at the very least, causes one to ask that question.  It quotes Moses 1:15:  “Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve.”  In the next paragraph it specifically mentions that prayer is one way to worship the Father.  A little bit later it says:  “As you reverently partake of the sacrament and attend the temple, you remember and worship your Heavenly Father and express your gratitude for His Son, Jesus Christ.”  Again, as a non-Mormon, I find that distinction between Heavenly Father and Jesus quite striking.

The bottom line is that D&C 20:19 states that only one being is to be worshipped.  In light of that, I think it is only fair to ask, whom do Mormons worship?

October 2011

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