16
Nov
11

True Happiness

In his General Conference address, Elder Jose L. Alonso of the Seventy said:  “The prophets have declared that true happiness is found in following the example and teachings of Christ.  He is our Savior, He is our teacher, and He is the perfect example.  His was a life of service.”  He then proceeds in the rest of his talk to extol the happiness of serving others.

Often it is not so much what LDS leaders say, but what they don’t say, that is so troubling.  Putting the above quote in its context, it is apparent that the teachings of Christ that he is referring to is are his teachings on service.  Service is what he talks about in the rest of his talk.  I am stressing this so that nobody thinks I’m taking his comments out of context.

So what’s so troubling?  Ask most any biblical Christian where true happiness is to be found and they won’t talk about a life of service.  Rather they will talk about the free and full forgiveness they have received from God.  They will talk about the happiness of being richly blessed by God – even though they aren’t worthy of such blessings.  In other words, they will see that true happiness is found not in what they do – but in what God has done for them. True happiness is found in seeing Jesus serving, not as my Example, but as my Substitute – doing it all for me.

But Elder Alonso mentions none of that.  Not one mention of forgiveness.  It’s often the things that are left unsaid that speak volumes.

Advertisements

32 Responses to “True Happiness”


  1. 1 steph
    November 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    “Joy comes from God and the peace that only comes from God. It is not happiness which only comes from circumstance, but joy is a peace that you can feel when you know God”. ~ source unknown

  2. 2 shematwater
    November 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    John 4: 36
    And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

    1 Thessalonians
    For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;

    There is no joy greater than sharing your happiness with other; for your joy grows as you bring joy to those who have none.
    You can take joy in the forgiveness you feel, as will I. But I will add to that joy by sharing it with those who do not have it, and in so doing my joy will grow with each person that I serve, and with each soul that is brought to the truth of God’s love. It will be a truly endless joy, for it is not a single event that brings me happiness, but everything I do.

    I will be honest; I have never felt joy when someone else did a job for me. I have felt gratitude, but never joy. Joy has only ever come when I have faced a challenge and come through successful. I may have been assisted by family and friends, and definitely by God, but I worked it out and in so doing have found greater joy than anyone can imagine.

  3. 5 steph
    November 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    1 Thessalonians 2:19
    19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?

    Matthew 28:8
    So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

    3 John 1:4
    I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

  4. November 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Since Jesus is our substitute, we have been declared: “innocent”

    If Jesus is an example, we will be declared: “guilty”

  5. 7 JBR
    November 17, 2011 at 1:42 am

    True happiness rests soley on whom one relies on.

    Ezekiel 37:3 & 12-14
    He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”

    ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’”

    There is only one person who is doing the actions in this ….. God
    The only true happiness is to trust and believe God will do everything … including accrediting Jesus’ work as ours.

  6. November 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Jesus Christ came to earth to live a sinless life and to show us the way back to our Father. He has asked us to follow him. He has asked us to love one another. He has begged us to serve humbly in his kingdom and church. I think it is the height of ignorance and pomposity to say that this is “troubling”.
    Also, do you happen to know how many speakers there are at conference? do you think they should all speak on the same topic?

    Mark,

    you come off as self-righteous, and holier-than-thou, to criticize this servant of God. and fresh off the post to me that you do NOT hold the prophets and leaders of our Church in derision!!! yeah, right!

    the “substitute” theory you all espouse is not biblical. We all can take advantage of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice and his grace IF, and it is a big IF, we repent! We must conform our lives. We must walk in the “narrow path”. We can’t simply say that just because we mumble a few words that we can do anything we want and the Saviors good works are ours. it doesn’t work that way.

    there are going to be some sorry souls from your camp when they reach the other side of the veil!

    AND, I have NEVER been flippant about salvation. I honor the truth when it is spoken here. I just don’t happen to see it very often…unless it comes from Shem or me.

    echo said, “Since Jesus is our substitute, we have been declared: “innocent”

    If Jesus is an example, we will be declared: “guilty”

    that has to be the most un-biblical thing declared here to date. actually it is a bunch of words strung together that makes no sense what so ever. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the light…..just a little heads up….that means he is our e.x.a.m.p.l.e. duh.

    ~Anne

  7. 9 markcares
    November 17, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Anne:
    Criticizing what a man teaches is not holding the person in derision. Calling me self-righteous and holier-than-thou is. Don’t you see the difference? Don’t you see how your personal attacks are making Mormonism unattractive to many? Do you truly think your LDS leaders would condone your tone? I know some who shudder at how you write.
    I asked you to try and control yourself but you haven’t. If you continue in this vein, I will blackball you from this site.

  8. November 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Anne said: “echo said, “Since Jesus is our substitute, we have been declared: “innocent” If Jesus is an example, we will be declared: “guilty” that has to be the most un-biblical thing declared here to date. actually it is a bunch of words strung together that makes no sense what so ever. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the light…..just a little heads up….that means he is our e.x.a.m.p.l.e. duh.”

    Anne,

    John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

    Did Jesus say: “I am the way” ? (Substitute)

    Or did he say: “I will show you the way”? (Example)

    Did Jesus say: “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”? (we have been declared innocent)

    Or did he say: “no man cometh unto the Father, but by following my example”? (we will be declared guilty)

  9. 11 shematwater
    November 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    ANNE

    You do need to tone things down a bit. I am sorry, but your attitude is not going to help.

    ECHO

    Jesus speaks metaphorically.
    He is the way; or in other words, his life is the way, or example that leads us into the righteous path and thus salvation. His life does not stand in place of ours, but shines as a beacon showing us the way.
    No man comes to the Father except through him, or through his approval. We much do what he has commanded to gain this approval, and then we will be declared innocent by him and enter into the Kingdom.

    I have said it many times. It is a matter of interpretation.

    FINAL QUESTION
    Who here would gain any real joy if they received a Doctorate degree because someone else took the required classes?

  10. November 17, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I said, “you come off as…..”

    that is how it sounds to me. to criticize a man of God who is teaching EXACTLY what the Savior taught is pompous and ignorant.

    I guess the truth is not wanted here. touchy, feely pats on the back are.

    see ya

  11. November 17, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Shem said: “Jesus speaks metaphorically. He is the way; or in other words, his life is the way, or example that leads us into the righteous path and thus salvation.”

    Shem, so when you say to me: “Echo, I am a Mormon”, then by your same reasoning, that too is a metaphor…

    Therefore by your same reasoning, the statement: “Echo, I am a Mormon” means you are *not* really a Mormon, you really are a NON Mormon showing me that your life is the way or the example we should follow.

  12. November 17, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I will answer your “FINAL QUESTION” later in the discussion. Remind me if I forget.

  13. November 18, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Ephesians 2:8
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

    It’s a free gift that we only need to accept

  14. 16 steph
    November 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Matthew 23:12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    “The most dangerous, deadly form of pride is thinking you can be good enough or worthy enough to earn your salvation. Thinking I can do enough good deeds or be a member of the right church.” ~ a Christian Pastor

    Isaiah 64:6
    6 All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
    we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

  15. 17 shematwater
    November 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    GREGORY

    James 2: 17-18
    “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
    Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

    It is a gift freely given to those who qualify for it. Just as one does not give the untrained license to practice medicine, one does not gain Salvation until they have proven worthy of it.
    It is by Faith we are saved, but it is by works that our faith is tested and proved, just as Abraham’s faith was tested in offering Isaac, and through his works was it made perfect. (James 2: 22) Both works and faith are required. If faith is missing the works will never save us; but if works are missing than faith is not proven and is thus dead, unable to save.

    ECHO

    Yes, when I say I am a Mormon it is a metaphorical term, though it does not mean what you say. What it means is I try to pattern my life after the teachings and doctrine written by Mormon in that book. It is distinguishing metaphor to separate me from other Christians (another metaphor explaining that these people pattern their lives after the teachings of Christ).

    I look forward to your answer.

  16. November 22, 2011 at 3:01 am

    The definition of a metaphor is this:

    “A figure of speech in which an implicit comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common” two examples: “calling a person a night owl” or “calling a person an early bird” (grammar.about.com)

    NOTE: “Two unlike things”

  17. 19 Kent
    November 22, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Did Jesus say: “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”? (we have been declared innocent)

    Or did he say: “no man cometh unto the Father, but by following my example”? (we will be declared guilty)

    Jesus certainly did say that no man cometh unto the Father, but by me and Jesus certainly didn’t say that no man cometh unto the Father, but by me and with Joseph Smith’s permission!

    I know that Shem doesn’t like it when I keep bringing something like this up and that he says that Smith is in charge of who enters the Father’s presence in this dispensation but if that was the case Jesus Himself would have said so and since He didn’t say so, it means Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and Mr. Smith has nothing to do with it.

  18. 20 JBR
    November 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Who here would gain any real joy if they received a Doctorate degree because someone else took the required classes?

    A: I for one do find real joy because ……

    1) Where does it say that God is ever fair ?
    2) If I had to meet the class requirement… then I would have 0% hope of graduating
    .
    .

    Concerning James 2: 17-18

    I do like the book of James because it gives us an insight of what God would expect if it were truly based on works righteousness … Mormonism’s “all you can do”. The book of James should be the last book referenced by any one attempting “all you can do”….because James doesn’t reveal that scenerio.

    James does one of two things for the reader:

    1) makes him ultimatly despair because “all you can do” is compromising God demands which makes your faith vain.

    or

    2) Points you to the subsitute ( who offers the Doctorate degree freely )

    ………… “freely ye have received, freely give.” ………….

  19. 21 shematwater
    November 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    KENT

    Yes, I do find it annoying, as it has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. However, since you insist on bringing it up, let me clarify.

    In the final Judgment all men will be on trial, and witnesses will be called to testify against them. Jesus is the grand judge, for the Father hath committed all judgment into his hands (John 5: 22). However, there are lesser judges, or prosecuting attorneys if you will. We read that the Twelve whom Jesus called will Judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19: 28; Luke 22: 30).
    So, in that Final Judgment Christ will pronounce sentence, but it will be the Twelve who will stand to conduct the trial of the twelve tribes of Israel, declaring their acceptance of the twelve’s testimony, and the testimony of all the faithful saints.
    For those in this dispensation it will be Joseph Smith who will conduct the trial, declaring their acceptance of his testimony and the Testimony of all the faithful saints.
    Christ, as the great Judge of all men, will hear the statements are arguments presented by these great men in the trials, and will then make the final ruling.
    So, yes, one will need the approbation and consent of Joseph Smith, for he will be the witness against them or for them in that final court, and it will be based on his testimony that Christ will judge (not that other witnesses will not be called as well, but you get the point).
    No one has ever taught that it is solely on the permission of Joseph Smith that we enter the Kingdom; only that he is one of many that will influence our final judgment.

    JBR

    James is the first book, and one of the greatest to teach the truth concerning our need to work righteousness, for by his testimony he proves that Faith in not sufficient for any man, and that those who have only faith are just as damned as those who have only works. It is a glorious epistle that gives the greatest hope to all men, proving that all are capable of doing good and living a righteous life, just as Abraham and Rahab did. Anyone who feels any despair after reading the words of James has not the spirit of God with him.

    ECHO

    Two unlike things: I am not sure how much more unlike you want me to get in comparing myself to book. When I say I am a Mormon I am comparing my life to the stories and teaching in the Book of Mormon. That is the meaning of the term: One who lives his life according to the teaching of the Book of Mormon.
    Just as Christ is not literally a path that is followed, and thus not a way. It is a direct comparison of Christ to an abstract idea or concept.

  20. November 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Shem said: “Two unlike things: I am not sure how much more unlike you want me to get in comparing myself to book.”

    That doesn’t work Shem… “Echo, I am a book” is not what I said. I said: “Echo, I am a Mormon” You replied that you follow the teachings of a man named Mormon. The BOOK that contains his life account has nothing to do with this.

    A man named “Mormon” and a man named “Shem” are NOT two UNLIKE THINGS. They are very much alike. And you should know that. Instead of catching on to that point, you come up with a little “twist” to the point being made by bringing up the “BOOK” so now it appears that your position is correct and so you claim that “you” and a “book” are unlike.

    You confuse the “I AM” wherein Jesus said: “I am the way” with “I show you” the way.

    “I AM the way” is very different from “I show you the way”

  21. 23 Kent
    November 23, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Shem said,

    “For those in this dispensation it will be Joseph Smith who will conduct the trial, declaring their acceptance of his testimony and the Testimony of all the faithful saints.
    Christ, as the great Judge of all men, will hear the statements are arguments presented by these great men in the trials, and will then make the final ruling.
    So, yes, one will need the approbation and consent of Joseph Smith, for he will be the witness against them or for them in that final court, and it will be based on his testimony that Christ will judge (not that other witnesses will not be called as well, but you get the point).
    No one has ever taught that it is solely on the permission of Joseph Smith that we enter the Kingdom; only that he is one of many that will influence our final judgment.”

    It sounds like you are saying we can’t enter to where God the Father are without Joseph Smith’s favorable opinion and recommendation but that it is Jesus who makes the final decision however, Brigham Young clearly states we can’t enter there without Joseph Smith’s consent, which is a synonym of permission. Young doesn’t say anyone else is involved regarding who enters in this dispensation, just Smith, as shown below.

    “namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of JosephSmith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of JosephSmith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are—I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent.”

    Again, my savior Jesus Christ said that no one comes to the Father except through Him and again, Joseph Smith has nothing to do with it.

    John 14:6

    6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

  22. 24 shematwater
    November 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    KENT

    If you want to misunderstand Brigham Young, by all mean do so. I simply tried to explain what he meant. Brigham Young never meant that Christ was not involved, or that he was not the final judge. He simply meant that those of this dispensation must also have the approval of Joseph Smith, for by rejecting his testimony you deny yourself the right to enter the Celestial Kingdom.
    If you feel more comfortable with your misunderstandings, I can’t do anything about that.

    ECHO

    It is you who are trying to twist my meaning and attempt to make yourself out to be correct. This is exactly what I said:
    “What it means is I try to pattern my life after the teachings and doctrine written by Mormon in that book.”

    You say that I claimed to follow the teachings of the man Mormon, but that is not what I said. I said I follow the teachings and doctrines of the Book of Mormon, was recorded by the man Mormon. I never once equated the teachings with the man. It was the book that I was referring to, and thus I am perfectly correct in what I said, and have changed nothing in regards to what I said or meant.

    The term “Mormon” refers to our comparing and patterning our lives based on the teachings and doctrines contained within the Book of Mormon.

    Please try to understand what I right and not twist it around.

  23. November 23, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Shem said: ““This is exactly what I said: What it means is I try to pattern my life after the teachings and doctrine written by Mormon in that book.”

    Ya Shem, you are right, I misunderstood what you said. My Apologies.

  24. November 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    But my point remains…

    You confuse the “I AM” wherein Jesus said: “I am the way” with “I will show you” the way.

    “I AM the way” is very different from “I will show you the way”

    The rest of the verse confirms my point when it says this…”no one comes to the Father except through me.

    It does not say: “no one come to the Father except through following me”

  25. 27 Kent
    November 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Shem said, “If you want to misunderstand Brigham Young, by all mean do so. I simply tried to explain what he meant. Brigham Young never meant that Christ was not involved, or that he was not the final judge. He simply meant that those of this dispensation must also have the approval of Joseph Smith, for by rejecting his testimony you deny yourself the right to enter the Celestial Kingdom.
    If you feel more comfortable with your misunderstandings, I can’t do anything about that.”

    It is the other way around, if anyone wants to reject the words of the messiah Jesus Christ Himself that He is the only way to Heavenly Father and insist that Joseph Smith has anything to do with it and we need his permission to be there denies themselves the right to be there for eternity with Heavenly Father.

    Either Jesus Christ is the only way completely or He isn’t the way at all and He is made out to be a fraud and a liar and there is no hope for any of us.

    Of course people can choose to follow the teachings of people like Brigham Young instead of the only word of God we need, the Bible, but it is clear that the teachings about how to be with Heavenly Father are different and I have never heard anyone ever say the particular passage, John 14:6, has not been translated accruately as after all, even the Mormon Church says the Bible is the word of God as far as it has been translated accurately. So why then, don’t they follow the teaching that Jesus is the only way to Heavenly Father?

    By the way Shem, even though I pray and hope your eyes are opened up and that you see the truth, I also hope that what I and others have been posting helps someone who might not ever post here but who reads what we say and that they question what they may have been taught their whole lives

  26. 28 shematwater
    November 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    ECHO

    Your point is not lost on me, but my point is that you are wrong. By saying he is the way Christ has used a metaphorical term, as he cannot literally be the path or the journey, or whatever you want to use as a synonym for way.
    He is the way, which means that his life is the way, or the example we must follow. No man comes unto the Father except by him, or by his approval, which is given to those who have followed his example.

    I am confusing nothing.

    KENT

    So, according to you, I could reject everything that Paul wrote, or Peter, or John, and still be saved as long as I believe in Christ, as these men have absolutely nothing to do with it?

    The interesting thing is that we have no record written by Christ. All we have is what other men have written in their testimonies concerning Christ and his gospel.
    So, in all seriousness, if I did reject everything that these people wrote, what would be my chances of gaining salvation?
    Consider this a moment, and you might actually understand what Brigham Young was talking about.

    And just so you know, I generally post for others as well, but also because I enjoy doing so. If I did not enjoy doing this I would not do it.

  27. November 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Shem, listen to these two audio’s on the “I AM” statements in scripture…

    http://media.ctsfw.edu/1439

    http://media.ctsfw.edu/1440

  28. 30 shematwater
    November 29, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    ECHO

    In the first selection the man only proves my point. Just as Christ was speaking symbolically, or metaphorically, in saying that he is bread, a vine, a door, a shepherd, truth, light, resurrection, etc; he is also speaking metaphorically when he says that he is the way, and thus this must be understand metaphorically, not literally as you are trying to make it.

    In the second selection the man is using a different translation than the KJV, or is simply leaving words out. Of all his examples of “Absolute I am statements” only one is actually absolute, as he claims. This is when Christ declares that “Before Abraham was I am.” All the others have a reference point in the verse itself.
    In the Garden of Gethsemane, when he is told they seek Jesus of Nazareth, he does not reply simply “I am” as is indicated in the video; but rather he states “I am he,” and thus is simply saying that he is Jesus of Nazareth. (They fell down because they didn’t expect him to just announce this, but to try and hide.)
    When speaking to the woman of Samaria, she has mentioned the messiah, and he responds not simply with “I am,” but again with “I am he,” and thus grounds his comment to the discussion at hand.
    Then we have the story of him walking on water, and when the apostles are afraid he calls to them, not “I am,” but rather “It is I.” This is the one that doesn’t even have “I am” in it, and it simply him reassuring the apostles that it is not a ghost or phantom, but Jesus whom they knew.

    In this selection I think the man is trying to make more of these verses than was ever intended. While it is correct that John wants us to understand that Jesus is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, not every verse that uses the phrase “I am” is to this purpose.

  29. November 29, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I encourage you to watch those video’s again. You missed the entire point.

  30. 32 shematwater
    November 29, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    ECHO

    I didn’t miss the point, I just disagree with it.

    The basic point is that the phrase “I am” is used by John to equate Jesus Christ with Jehovah of the Old Testament, and with the Law of Moses (as it’s fullfiller). As I said, I think he is stretching meaning a little too far to be reasonable in the second video, and in the first it seems to be a better support for my position than yours.

    Now, he does focus in on the common idea of Faith with a lack of works is required for salvation, but he never actually ties this idea to the verses in which Christ uses the phrase “I am.” Even if he did I would simply point out what I have been saying to you; these are metaphorical statements meant to teach us that it is through his atonement we are saved by obedience.

    I didn’t miss the fact that he tried to teach what you are saying, I am simply pointing out that he failed just as much as you have, though he sounded better in doing it.


Comments are currently closed.

November 2011
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Blog Stats

  • 182,191 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 998 other followers


%d bloggers like this: