15
Dec
11

Worry

 

In the present economy there are a lot of worried people.  That is why Jesus’ words in Matthew 6: 25-34 are so comforting as he tells his disciples not to worry.  But these words also do something else.  They show us that worry is a sin.

More than once in these verses Jesus gives the command: “Take no thought”.  Take no thought about food or clothing or tomorrow.   Therefore every time we have “anxious concern” (LDS Bible footnote) about such things, we are going against his command.  We are breaking it.  We are sinning.

What is even more sobering is that we don’t even have to express those worries.  God knows everything.  He sees into every nook and cranny of our heart.  Therefore all we have to do is be worried – and we have sinned.  We are imperfect.

And that sin is serious.  Someone once described worry as a little form of atheism.  When we worry we are sending a message that we don’t trust that God will provide for us – that we don’t believe what Jesus says in Matthew 6.

Whenever I catch myself worrying, I find myself thanking Jesus for washing that sin away with his blood.  I find myself rejoicing knowing that I am completely forgiven in Him.   Because Jesus has given me his righteousness, I remain confident that God continues to see me as perfect.

Compare that to the message of Mormonism:  “Perfection is a word that causes different reactions from many people.  Some people say, ‘Perfection?  Why, that is impossible!’  Others say, ‘Perfection?  I get discouraged just thinking about it!’  Yet would the Lord give a commandment that was impossible for us to keep?  And when he gives a commandment, doesn’t he, as Nephi said, prepare a way for us to accomplish what he commands?  The Sermon on the Mount is the Lord’s blueprint for perfection.”  (The Life and Teachings of Jesus & His Apostles, p. 57)  (Please note:  the command to “take no thought” is part of the Sermon on the Mount.)

I prefer Psalm 103:12.  “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”  Thank you, Jesus.

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56 Responses to “Worry”


  1. 1 choosethechrist
    December 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Praise God for preparing “a way for us to accomplish what he commands”. That way is Jesus Christ! Perfection is only possible through Jesus. What a relief it is to know that Jesus came, lived, and died for me so that His perfection and righteousness could be given to me. What a relief to know that in spite of the fact that I can never be perfect Christ was perfect for me and because of His perfection I am perfect now in God’s eyes for I have been reconciled to God through Christ!

    Matthew 11:30 “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    Psalm 16:11
    You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

    Psalm 71:23
    My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered.

    Psalm 45:15
    Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king.

    Psalm 47:5
    God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.

  2. 2 shematwater
    December 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Praise God for preparing “a way for us to accomplish what he commands”. That way is Jesus Christ! Perfection is only possible through Jesus. What a relief it is to know that Jesus came, lived, and died for me so that I could be made perfect. What a relief to know that in spite of the fact that I can never live as Christ did, still I can attain a perfection because of His perfection.

    Personally, I don’t see much difference in what you say, Mark, and what you quote from the LDS book on the teachings of Christ. Both speak to us not worrying, as there is no need to.

    Of course, I think the “take no thought” passage refers mainly to those called to minister; meaning missionaries. Even for the general membership this must be taken in context; the context being “seek ye first the Kingdom of God.” In other words, do not let the cares and worries of mortal life prevent you from seeking Christ and serving him, for if you do this he will see to your physical needs.

  3. 3 WWJD
    December 16, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    The only thing one should be worried about is their salvation.

    Matthew 10:28
    28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Paul Washer explains the gospel

  4. 4 choosethechrist
    December 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Oh how this twist of my words breaks my heart! If only they would believe God’s word: you have already been made perfect forever .

    Hebrews 10:10-18
    And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

    15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

    16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
    I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”

    17 “Their sins and lawless acts
    I will remember no more.”

    18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

  5. 5 choosethechrist
    December 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    “Of course, I think the “take no thought” passage refers mainly to those called to minister; meaning missionaries.”

    Matthew 6
    31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
    32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
    33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
    34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

    Hi Shem, I don’t understand why you think this passage refers mainly to missionaries. I think it applies to all of us, but I suppose since all of us have been called to be disciples of Christ and we all are responsible for carrying out the great commision, that does make all of us missionaries in my mind.

    To me “But seek ye first the kingdom of God,and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” from Matt 6:33, has more to do with me walking in faith. Because I am reconciled to God through the righteousness and blood of Christ, I can put my trust in God for all of my needs to be met because He is my ultimate provider. Everything I have, I have because God has given it to me not because of what I do for Him by serving Him for He did not say what He gives me is dependent on what I do for Him. I serve Him because I love Him. Shem, are you saying that in order to get my physical needs met I must serve Him?

  6. 6 shematwater
    December 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    CHOOSE

    I say it refers mainly to the active missionary because it is again repeated to the twelve when they are sent out to preach. Also, in Matthew 6 he is addressing his disciples, which generally refers to the twelve.

    However, even with it being addressed to all people, it still carries the same basic meaning that I have given. He is saying not to worry about physical needs because he will take care of them. We are to worry about spiritual needs, doing the work of the gospel. If we are faithful in this work he will see that all our other needs are met.

    I am not saying that he does not supply physical needs to all people, regardless of service. What I am saying is that the assurance of never being in want, and always having those needs met (thus having no need to worry) comes to those who first seek the kingdom. This is his blessing to the faithful, and those who are not faithful have no claim on it. He will still provide from time to time, but he will also leave them to their own devices from time to time.
    We read in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” So, how can we expect to receive the reward when we do not do the work?

  7. 7 choosethechrist
    December 18, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    “We are to worry about spiritual needs, doing the work of the gospel. If we are faithful in this work he will see that all our other needs are met.”

    Interesting view with an emphasis placed on faithfulness and works that is quite different than Christian teaching of these verses:

    Mt 6:25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life not more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

    Food and clothes are important. God knows we need them, but often we focus on these things as if they are the most important thing. Man is more important than his possessions, but we often live like possessions are more important.

    Mt 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

    Jesus is syaing, if that is how much God looks after the birds in the air, how much more will he take care of us.

    Mt 6:32-33 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

    God rules over everything, He knows what we need, He knows our difficulties, and our sufferings, but if we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, the God who knows everything will take care of everything. So, don’t worry, put your absolute faith in God and He will give you what you need.

    I have put my absolute faith in God, not a church, religion, ordinances, my righteousness, my works or good deeds.

    I am putting God and His righteousness (not my righteousness) first in my life, and he is taking care of my needs.

    As for your comments about 2 Thess (working and rewards), Christians do not view our basic needs as a reward for working. We know we have to “work” to buy food, housing and such. Our basic needs being supplied are from His promise to us for putting Him first in our lives (seeking Him) not a reward for our works.

  8. 8 Kent
    December 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    The bottom line is, have people repented and truly acknowledged to themselves and to God that they are sinners who are lost and who cannot ever save themselves by anything they do and that any works they do are woefully inadequate to at all contribute to the task?

    By the way, saved means that after we die we will for sure be in the mansions where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are and it does not just mean that we will live in the afterlife and maybe we will be able to progress by our works to be in those mansions in the future, what the Mormons would refer to as the Celestial Kingdom.

    To be saved we must trust and believe who Jesus Christ is and that He is Lord, meaning He is the one and only Son of God, that He is nothing short of God Almighty and that He has always been nothing less than this, even when He walked this earth as a man, we must also trust and believe with all our hearts that Jesus died on the cross in our place, and that He rose again on the third day and we must willingly confess this with our mouths.

    Jesus couldn’t have been the perfect blameless, blemish free, sinless sacrifice if He wasn’t anything short of God Almighty that replaced once and for all the blemish free innocent animals of the Old Testament that had to be sacrificed over and over again.

    The Bible does say that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved but it is important who it is we are calling on as Jesus Christ is not merely, as the Mormons say, our older brother who is the brother of Satan whose salvation plan was accepted instead of His brother’s plan and Jesus is not just the god of this earth but He is the God of this universe and if there are any other universes, then He is the God of those universes as well.

    Note also that the name Jesus was a common name day back in the period of Jesus Christ’s time on earth so calling on the name of one of those other Jesus will not save anyone just as today Jesus is a common name in some countries so, also, calling on the name of say Jesus from Mexico will not save anyone either.

    I pray and hope this Christmas that people take the things we have been saying to heart and question what the Mormon church teaches and that they just use the Bible but not the JST version, but the KJV, NKJV, or any other mainstream translation as their only source.
    Ironically, I have been getting strong feelings that our friend Shem one day is going to come into the true flock of the Jesus Christ of the Bible and he is going to thank God for ministries like Mark Cares’ ministry.

  9. 9 shematwater
    December 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    It seems we are getting off track here.

    Mark’s point was that the LDS do not use these verses from Matthew 6 to show that we should not worry, which is wrong, as shown in the actually LDS quote he uses to make his point.

    This is the whole point of this thread, so is there any comment to be made concerning this.

    CHOOSE

    I put God first in my life, and I trust in him, not in any organization or ordinances, or anything else you mentioned. When I obey god it is not the work that I am trusting, but God, who has promised a blessing for those who do that work.
    In other words, I have no faith that being dunked in water after a man recites a given phrase has any power to do anything except get me wet. But I do trust in God, and I believe him when he says that if I am obedient in fulfilling this ordinance he will be faithful in saving me and washing me from my sins.
    The same can be said of every other ordinance or work that I do. I do them not because they have any power to save, but because I have faith in Christ, and he has said that this is what he wants me to do.

    I also agree that it is because we put him first that he fulfills the promise to supply our needs. but how do we put him first? We put him first by doing what he wants us to do. If he commands us to go right, and we choose to go left we have not put him first and he will not bless us. If he commands us to be baptized and we choose not to, we have not put him first and he will not bless us.

    KENT

    I am already in the true flock of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible. I do thank God for ministries like Mark’s, as they give a great opportunity for me and others to demonstrate how wrong you guys are. I can only say that if your feelings are from God they are probably trying to tell you that I am already right, not that I will be.

  10. 10 choosethechrist
    December 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I thought Mark’s point was to show that we can’t be perfect if we sin, and worry is a sin, unless of course we are perfect in Christ. I think we agreed that none of us can ever be perfect because we all sin, yes? Just wondering how that makes “us” wrong?

    Shem, you said “still I can attain a perfection because of His perfection.” How do you attain a perfection because of His perfection?

    If you don’t mind, would you explain what you mean by this “I am already in the true flock of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible”. What does “saved” mean to you?

  11. 11 Kent
    December 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I don’t believe anyone has truly repented if they think they can become a god and have anyone worship them.

    There is only one true God and none of us can ever be Him as we are the worshipers and He is the worshipee, if there is such a word, that they don’t truly believe with all their heart that Jesus is Lord and they are not Lord.

  12. 12 shematwater
    December 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    KENT

    Honestly, I have no intention of ever being worshiped. Revered, maybe; but not worshiped.

    CHOOSE

    “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

    Christ would not give a command that is not possible for us to attain. Thus, we can be perfect. We become perfect through faith in him and his power, and through doing what he has commanded us to do. If we do this we will progress little by little until at last we are perfected and sit down in his throne with him, being made unto the same glory.
    Thus, it is the power of his atonement that works with me making such possible. As it is his perfection that makes the atonement possible, it is through his perfection that I can attain a perfection.

    As to being saved, this term can mean many different things. That is why I generally avoid using it, as it can cause confusion.
    For instance, all men born on this earth will gain salvation from the physical death in the resurrection.
    Also, all those who do not commit the unpardonable sin will gain a salvation from the spiritual, or second death.
    Salvation can also mean the presence of the Father, as this is being saved from his absence.
    However, in its most complete sense it is Exaltation, or the salvation from all cares, including a stagnate life in which one can do nothing to increase themselves.

    Now, what I mean by being in the true flock is that I have embraced the true gospel, which is taught in the Bible, and have joined with God’s appointed church and ministers on this earth. I am of the flock, meaning I am of the true faith. I would add that I am in the fold, meaning I have joined to his appointed church.

  13. 13 shematwater
    December 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    CHOOSE

    If he was trying to say we can’t be perfect than he hid his meaning really well. I can see why get this though, and I would simply say this:

    Mark says that since we can’t be perfect we shouldn’t worry.
    We say that since with God all things are possible, and he has provided the means, why worry about perfection? We will easily attain it if we are but faithful.

    I would also say that his emphasis on worry makes this (if it is the intended message) hard to follow.

  14. 14 Kent
    December 21, 2011 at 4:15 am

    “Honestly, I have no intention of ever being worshiped. Revered, maybe; but not worshiped.”

    Doesn’t your church teach you that when Mormons are exalted in the Celestial Kingdom that they have spirit children who worship them?

  15. 15 choosethechrist
    December 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    What I am saying is that because I have put my faith in Christ and trust in His righteousness, my sins are no longer counted against me, I am perfect right now, I am exalted right now. If I die today, I will be with God for all eternity.

    Hebrews 10:14 “because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

    Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

    I believe what you are saying Shem is that you are working on becoming perfect by doing what Christ wants you to do and when you are in a state where you never again sin then you can be exalted and be with God for all eternity. If you die without achieving a state of perfection or, in other words, you have committed some sort of sin, then you don’t get to be with God for all eternity when you die. Is my understanding correct?

    In my mind, anything less than being with God when I die is not acceptable. If I were LDS, I think that I would be worried everytime I committed a sin because when I sin I blow my chance at being exalted and being with God for all eternity not to mention I just sinned again in my worrying. I would worry about perfection because my good intentions don’t always permit me to be like Christ even though I want to be and am trying to be. Is perfection easy to attain by being faithful? I don’t think it is easy. Maybe you are a better person than I am Shem, but I fail Christ in my walk with Him almost everyday. I am not a terrible person, but it’s the “little” sins that get all of us. Things like the little white lie told to spare the feelings of another, gossiping, getting angry and saying something hurtful to someone, not being respectful to our spouse, making a promise and not keeping it, judging others hypocritically, cruel speech, wanting what my friend has, gluttony (as Americans we are masters at over indulging in almost everything from food to possessions), and how about lust in our sex saturated world where the statistics show that 50% of Christian men are addicted to porn. I’m pretty sure that these same problems plague the LDS as they are just as human as I and not admitting our sin doesn’t change the fact that we all have a problem with sin.

    God has prepare a way for us to accomplish what he commands. That way is Jesus Christ. Put your faith in Christ alone. “After all I can do” is not going to work for me and I don’t think it can work for anyone because we are all sinners and we can’t get away from that. That’s why Jesus came. The “faithful” things I do can never make me perfect in God’s eyes. Being “faithful” and making myself feel good about all of the things I am doing right don’t change the fact that without saving faith in Christ every sin I commit keeps me away from a Holy God who abhors sin. The blood of Jesus attoned for my sins. My sins are no more:

    Hebrews 10:10-18
    And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

    15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

    16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
    I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”

    17 “Their sins and lawless acts
    I will remember no more.”

    18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

    The blood of Jesus made me holy! Because the blood of Jesus made me holy, I can be with a Holy God forever. Praise God for that!

  16. 16 shematwater
    December 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    KENT

    We will have spirit children, and they will honor us as their parents; but this is all the detail that is actually taught.
    While it is common for people, even in the church, to assume this means they will worship us, this is an assumption that is caused from ignorance. While I don’t think it is completely necessary to correct this misunderstanding now, it will be corrected at some point.

    Consider these points.
    Christ has stated that the son can only do what he sees the father do. Since I have never performed the atonement how could my son do the same? So, I need someone to act as Savior for my children. Who can it be? It must be the son of the one who has performed the atonement, which is Christ. As it will be his son who is the savior of my children, it will be him and his son who my children will worship.

    Also consider that in the Book of Abraham it talks about the gods planning the creation, but show Christ as the one that actually leads the work. Thus, by the words of our scriptures we know that there were many gods working together for the progression and salvation of their children. This fits well with Joseph Smith designating the Father as The Head of the Gods, who called forth a council of gods.

    Then consider that it is doctrine that our families are eternal. This does not mean merely that our marriages are eternal, and each couple goes and does their own thing. It means that, while my wife will still be my wife, my father will still be my father, my children my children, and so; all of us working together as a family unit, or counsel, to bring our spirit offspring to exaltation.

    I have always maintained that just as the Father is the Head of the Gods of his generation, making him the One Eternal God that we worship; so his son (Jesus) will inherit this position and be the Head of the Gods of his generation, making him the One Eternal God that our children will worship. Our faithful children will know about us, just as we know about the gods of our Father’s generation; and they will honor us as such; but all worship and devotion will be claimed by Jesus, for it is his right.

  17. 17 shematwater
    December 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    CHOOSE

    You understanding is not accurate. There will be those who do not attain perfection in this life that will be exalted. In truth, no man will realize the true extent of this perfection until they are exalted, for the command is to be like God, which is not possible in a mortal body.
    What is required in this life is an honest willingness to submit in all ways to God, and a repentant heart when we fail. I cannot at this time recall his name, but there was an apostle in the church during the early Utah period that had the bad habit of swearing. He would even do so in the General Conferenses, joking about his struggles. He never did concure this habbit, but he will be exalted as a god in Heaven.

    For one who truly understands the ospel there is no worry, for truth chases away fear. I am a member and I have no worry about my eternal salvation, because I know both the justice and the mercy of God; I know that he will reward us according to our works, but will do so with equity and mercy. Thus, the man who willfully engages in sin, knowing that it is sin, will receive the greater condemnation; but he who transgresses the law in ignorance will receive the lesser condemnation.
    In like manner, he who trives against many obstacles and overcomes little will receive equally with he who strives against little and overcomes most.

    Another thing you seem to misunderstand is the quote from 2 Nephi. It is frequently used to demonstrate the impossibility of LDS doctrine. This inevitably carries with it the assuption that we have to complete a list of requirements before the grace of God will come into our lives. This is a false understanding.
    To make things simple, as I do not have time at this moment, I will simply say that this is backwards. We are given grace, which then brings salvation after we do all we can.
    We are saved after all we can do, but only because grace has become active in our lives. People want to put grace and salvation together, both coming “after all we can do.” But it is salvation after all we can do that goes together, made effective by grace that precedes it.
    As I said, this is a simple explanation. If this is unclear I will give a more detailed one later.

  18. 18 choosethechrist
    December 21, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    What is the condemnation that is received for those who knowingly sin? Are you talking about going to a lesser kingdom than the celestial? And, are you saying then, that exaltation is a process that continues after death? What this is saying to me is that sin in a persons life just means that they may end up in a lesser kingdom and would then have to keep working on moving up the ladder to the celestial kingdom.

    Aren’t keeping ordinances/works required for exaltation? I don’t think I am misunderstanding 2 Nephi at all. Isn’t 2 Nephi basically saying that in order to be exalted one must keep ordinances and do certain things and if I choose not to, then I don’t go straight to the celestial kingdom when I die? But, if I am understanding this, I will go to a lesser kingdom and can then choose to start keeping ordinances in order be exalted to the celestial kingdom?

    If grace proceedes what you can do and salvation, then how does one receive grace? Are you saying grace is forgiveness of sins? If I sin, repent, and repeat the sin showing that I was not truly repentant, how can grace be received? How did the swearing apostle receive grace if he kept on swearing thus showing he was not truly repentant?

    In your description of salvation you said: “However, in its most complete sense it is Exaltation, or the salvation from all cares,including a stagnate life in which one can do nothing to increase themselves.”
    What did you mean by “a stagnate life in which one can do nothing to increase themselves”? Are you saying that the process of exaltation does not start until death and that no one goes right to the celestial kingdom when they die, it has to be worked on after death since no one can be perfect while we live?

  19. 19 choosethechrist
    December 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    “so his son (Jesus) will inherit this position and be the Head of the Gods of his generation, making him the One Eternal God that our children will worship.

    Shem, eternal means without begining or end. Do you believe Jesus is God? Do you believe God was once a man?

  20. 20 choosethechrist
    December 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Shem, I know I have asked a lot of questions. Feel free to answer them or not.

    According to the currently used and Church-published True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference, “the phrase ‘after all we can do’ teaches that effort is required on our part to receive the fullness of the Lord’s grace and be made worthy to dwell with him” (p. 77, emphasis added)10.

    The LDS Bible Dictionary tell us that the grace unto “eternal life and exaltation” is insufficient “without total effort on the part of the recipient”:

    “This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts. Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the fall of Adam and also because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, ‘It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (2 Ne. 25:23)” (p. 697).

    I think what I have read from LDS documents paints a pretty clear picture that the LDS are not depending on the work of Christ alone to be with God after this life. To me, grace is more than just some power that enables me to achieve exaltation. Grace (forgiveness of all sins) is what God gave to me simply because I put my faith in Christ. I don’t have to worry about following a complicated system of laws and ordinances because I have God’s grace. Put your faith in Christ and be with God the day you die. I am worthy to dwell with Him right now! I am worthy to be with God and I work from my salvation, not for my salvation, because I am thankful for what He did for me. It is that simple.

  21. 21 shematwater
    December 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    CHOOSE

    No, there is no climbing the ladder after this life, for “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” (Alma 34: 32) Those who are unprepared when the time comes for them to be judged will receive according to their works.

    When I say that it will be after this life that a full perfection comes I mean two things: First, a full perfection cannot come until one is both resurrected and glorified into an exalted state. Because we are mortal we have not had either of these, and thus a true perfection cannot be ours.
    Second, the perfect knowledge and understanding that is part of godhood and exaltation does not come all at once. Joseph Smith taught that “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.” (D&C 130: 18-19) What is this advantage? It is the fact that they have less to learn once they are exalted and thus can begin the work of perfecting their children sooner.
    Exaltation is a state of being, a degree of glory that makes one a god (which simply means they have the power to have spirit children); but just being exalted does not make one perfect in knowledge, and we will continue to learn after this life until we achieve a perfect knowledge, just as our Father has.
    On a related note, what I mean by a stagnate life and the power to increase is the power to have spirit children, and thus expand ones dominion and glory. “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” (Proverbs 17: 6) When we become gods and have spirit children they add both to our dominion and to that of our Father’s. When they become exalted and have children of their own these dominions are again increased, and so on; in this way Exalted beings have an eternal increase and are saved from the stagnate life of never having children. God is a God of gods, for he is the God of his children, who are gods; and we will all be gods of gods, for we will all be a part of the counsel of gods that is over our children, who will be gods.

    To understand the rest you must first understand that no one goes to the Celestial Kingdom as soon as they die. There is a world between death and resurrection that the spirit in, waiting for that resurrection that is to come. All the faithful that lived before Christ went to the paradise, also called Abraham’s Bosom. The wicked went to prison. Christ also went to this world for the three days that he was dead. We read in First Peter 3: 19 that Christ preached to the spirits in prison during this time. The prophecy of Isaiah that proclaims “he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” speaks to this spirit world; he proclaimed liberty to the righteous spirits who were captive, not having their physical bodies, and the opening of the prison to missionary work and the ordinances for the dead.
    In this one sees a great truth; that God gives all men the opportunity to receive him based on actually knowledge and hearing the word of his gospel. Those who had no opportunity in this life will gain that opportunity in the next, but will still be judged according to this life (1 Peter 4: 6). Thus a person who had the chance in this life and rejects it cannot gain the Celestial Kingdom, but if they were just men they will have the opportunity to gain the Terrestrial, or second kingdom. Those who reject it both in this life and the next will receive only the Telestial, or third kingdom, as will all the truly wicked people (such as murderers). But there is only one chance to gain a Celestial glory, and if you receive that chance in this life and reject it, you will never gain that glory, no matter what you do in the here after.

    Speaking of Grace, I did say it was a simplified answer due to time constraints. To give a more complete answer; Grace is given to those who believe. All those who have faith receive grace. It is then their responsibility to act on that grace, and do all they can with that power given them. Once they have expended all they can do grace again acts in their lives to give more strength so that they can do even more.
    Example: I once new a man who claimed he could not afford to pay tithing, he just didn’t have enough. but he had faith, and so he decided that he would pay all the necessary bills each month, and what ever was left he would pay to tithing. After doing this for a year he looked over his records and found that he had paid a full tithe of 10%. He had acted on the grace his faith had given him and it had acted in his life to make it possible for him to be obedient. The next year he decided to pay tithing first, and the other bills after wards. At the end of the year he found he had a little extra money. His faith had been strengthened, giving him the ability to do a little more, and through that the grace of God acted again to bless him with greater financial success.
    This is not a perfect example, but it illustrates the doctrine rather well. If he had not had the grace of god to begin with he never would have had the strength to pay in the first place, and through his actions he gained more grace until he had gained a full blessing for his obedience.
    While grace is not the forgiveness of sins, it is through grace that this does come. Speaking of the one apostle, his received grace because it was not a deliberate act to use these words. It was a habit that had been formed before he had ever accepted the gospel, and he worked all his life to overcome it. He did not make an excuse for himself. He did not say “it is a small thing, and God will not keep me from heaven for just swearing a little.” This is what James warns on when he says “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2: 10) He was repentant, and ever day he plead for strength to concur and forgiveness of failure. He heart was right with God, even though he had his failings, and so the grace of God worked with him.

    Now, I understand your beliefs, but I will tell you the main difference between them and mine. With you, you are only counted as being perfect. Christ is the perfect one, but he will give you a kind of honorary perfection if you worship him.
    With me, Christ is not offering an honorary perfection. He is giving instructions and private tutoring and training so that I can truly become perfect. I will not merely be counted as being perfect, but I will be perfect. Now, many claim this is heresy, that only God can be perfect. They claim it is impossible for us to truly be perfect, or to learn to be so. They deny our ability to become gods. But in so doing they are denying the power of God, for did not Christ teach that “If thou can’t believe, all things are possible.” (Mark 9: 23) And again he says that “with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 26) If all things are possible through God unto those that believe, then why is it not possible for him to literally make me perfect and make me a god?

  22. 22 choosethechrist
    December 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Shem, to me it all boils down to understanding the nature of God in the OT and the OT covenant in relation to the new covenant (Jesus) in regards to God being Holy and how we cannot be sinful and be in the presence of a Holy God who abhors sin. In the OT, blood had to be shed through animal sacrifice and certain rituals had to be performed by the priests in order to atone for the sins of the people. In the new covenant, God changed things with Jesus. Jesus is the high priest, without sin, who shed His blood to atone for all of our sins so that we, by putting our faith in Him can be in the presence of a Holy God when we die. Hence the meaning of perfect (with out sin) here:

    Hebrews 10:10-18
    And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

    15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

    16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
    I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”

    17 “Their sins and lawless acts
    I will remember no more.”

    18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

    As far as God and Jesus are concerned, you have literally been made perfect if you will just believe it. Honestly, I can’t even see anything close to these concepts in Mormonism. Because of the new covenant there is no longer a need for temples, Jesus is the last high priest and He is the authority (we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all). Mormonism just does not fit the OT model like historical Christianity does in my opinion. Instead, Mormonism seems to be focused on attaining a state of perfection in order to become a god and be a part of that godly family unit. Why would God want you to become a god? Are you sure this is what God wants from you? I think the OT is pretty clear on what God said:
    Exodus 20:3
    “You shall have no other gods before Me.
    Isaiah 44:6-9
    6“This is what the Lord says—
    Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
    I am the first and I am the last;
    apart from me there is no God.
    7Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
    Let him declare and lay out before me
    what has happened since I established my ancient people,
    and what is yet to come—
    yes, let him foretell what will come.
    8Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
    Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
    You are my witnesses.

    Is there any God besides me?
    No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

    How many times did God destroy His people for their idolatry in the OT? It was not a pretty picture and those gods did not even exist! I think that God would be even more upset with people who thought that they themselves could be God. God has not changed. Anger and wrath are still just as much a part of His nature as love and mercy. As for me, I’ve read the OT and just can’t accept that God would be ok with the idea of us becoming gods. Are all things really possible to those who believe? When kept in context with the rest of the Bible, I think this applies to our faith not to becoming gods.

    God has made me perfect (sins remembered no more) and is perfecting (sanctifying) or making me more like Him in nature and character through His Holy Spirit. I keep His commands because I am thankful for what I have been given, but don’t deserve!

  23. 23 Kent
    December 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Shem, but what if you don’t get it right in this lifetime, that you aren’t perfect before your die?

    The bible says we don’t get another chance once we die no matter what your church teaches to the contrary.

    Hebrews 9:27

    27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment

  24. 24 shematwater
    December 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    CHOOSE

    The concepts you adhere to are found in the LDS church. The details, or the literal meaning you see in them is different.
    It is through our faith that we are made perfect. It is not through our works. The works we do have no real power in them. A man can be baptized, married, and do all those things that are required, but if he has not faith he will not receive the reward.
    In Mark 16: 16 we read that “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
    Faith does us no good if it is not proven by our works (just as James tells us) but it is still the faith that is what saves, for without it we are damned, regardless of our works (meaning we won’t gain the Celestial Glory).

    You say that to be perfect is to be without sin. So, if you are made perfect through faith alone than you should have no more sin. If this is true than you either are perfect in your actions, or what was once considered sin is no longer sin. If one of these two things is not true than you are not truly perfect. If you are not truly perfect than you do not have sufficient faith, and thus you are damned. (I speak generally, not meaning you specifically).

    For us, perfection is to be without sin, but it is not gained through faith alone. It is slowly acquired through diligence and endurance. We are taught how to progress in our lives, and given the strength needed to eventually become truly perfect. We still sin, and it is still counted as sin, but since perfection is not a direct reflection of our faith we have no worry concerning these small failings, for it is our faith that will save us in the end.

    Speaking of the Old and New Testament, I have to point out that the sacrifices in the Old Testament did nothing to save or purify the people. These were outward ordinances that symbolized spiritual realities of the atonement and repentance. Sacrificing a lamb did nothing to wash a person from their sins if their heart was not contrite. After all Samuel told Saul that “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15: 22).
    Those who lived under the Old Covenant, or the Law of Moses, are saved by the same principals of righteousness and faith as all men of all ages are. To say that God used one method for salvation at one time and another method at a different time is to say that God changes; but we read that he is an unchangeable being. As such all men, from Adam to the last days, must be saved on the same principal. If faith alone saves us now, than faith alone saved them. But if they were required to do works than we must also be required to do works. If there was a need for temples in one age of the world, there will always be a need for temples.

    To conclude, I would like to point out that just because we believe we can become gods does not mean that we can become Gods. The first is a state of being, the second a title of authority (hence the capitalization). We can never gain the authority and dominion that is our Father’s or that will be Christ’s. We can, however, become like them, in that we share in the same state of existence.
    Thus Christ is the only God, and before him there in no God; he is the First and he is the Last.
    However, when he returns “we shall be like him” (1 John 3: 2), for we “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3: 18) “Till we all come…unto a perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4: 13). He will still be our God, but we will be gods, for will have the same glory and fullness that Christ has.

    KENT

    We die once, and at our death we are judged. But what is this judgment?

    At our deaths we are all judged and our spirits are either imprisoned in Hell, or go to a paradise in Abraham’s bosom to await our resurrection. This is not the final judgment, however.
    We read about the final Judgment in Revelation 20: 12-13
    “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
    And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”

    Notice that at that Final Judgment the dead who are in Hell are delivered up to be judged. They were already in hell before the final judgment.
    In Psalms 16: 10 David rejoices that God “For thou wilt not leave [his] soul in hell,” and thus teaches us that he will spend at least some time there, but will be redeemed from hell eventually.

    Many people we suffer in Hell, but the Bible is clear that not all will remain there, and this suffering will be before the final judgment. So, when we die we are judged, but this is not the end of it, for another judgment will come, and thus we see there is a time in between for men to escape in that final judgment.

  25. 25 choosethechrist
    December 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Shem, I can tell that you have the right heart attititude about your faith. It is not really your faith that is in question for me. You have put an emphasis on your faith that I can see is genuine and I relate to what you are saying very much. I have a strong faith and have given my life to Christ. For me, it is all Christ alone. Nothing more, nothing less. I have put my faith in Christ alone and am following Him. I will be with God when I die.

    “You say that to be perfect is to be without sin. So, if you are made perfect through faith alone than you should have no more sin.”

    I am perfect right now because of my faith in Christ’s work on the cross. I am without sin (perfect) in God’s eyes because Christ’s blood wiped out all of my sins past, present and future:

    Hebrews 10:14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
    Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

    I have no sin and am perfect in Christ Shem and this has nothing to do with my actions. I still sin, but I am perfect because of Christ’s blood. I am reconciled to God because He no longer remembers my sins. I can go be with God because I am without sin. I am perfect in God’s eyes.

    “It is through our faith that we are made perfect. It is not through our works. The works we do have no real power in them. A man can be baptized, married, and do all those things that are required, but if he has not faith he will not receive the reward.”

    If the works that you do have no real power in them, then why are you doing them? Why are you keeping LDS requirements when all you have to do is realize that the blood of Christ has already made you perfect in God’s eyes and it is because of the blood of Christ that you can go be with God when you die for all eternity?

    Aren’t you really saying a man has to be baptized, be married, do all those things that are required and do all of those things in faith in order to be with God when one dies? It seems to me that you have put an emphasis on faith, but in order to be with God when you die, you still need to complete certain works or requirements.

    God says there are no requirements just faith:

    Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 it is not of works, so that no one can boast.

    Titus 3:5-7 he saved us, not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.

    Habakkuk 1:13 tells us God cannot have fellowship with anyone who does not have perfect righteousness.

    Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    This is the good news of the Bible. It’s the message of the gift of God’s own Son who became man (the God-man), lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sin, and was raised from the grave proving both the fact He is God’s Son and the value of His death for us as our substitute.

    Romans 1:4 who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 4:25 He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification.

    2 Corinthians 5:21 God made the one who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the right-eousness of God.

    1 Peter 3:18 Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit.

    John 1:12 But to all who have received him–those who believe in his name–he has given the right to become God’s children

    John 3:16-18 For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18 The one who believes in Him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

    This means we must each come to God the same way: (1) as a sinner who recognizes his sinfulness, (2) realizes no human works can result in salvation, and (3) relies totally on Christ alone by faith alone for our salvation.

    Notice what this says: 18 The one who believes in Him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

    Each person MUST believe, the one who does NOT believe is condemned. There is no general or universal salvation according to God. There are no “requirements” that need to be completed. Just believe what these verses say.

  26. 26 shematwater
    December 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    CHOOSE

    You asked “If the works that you do have no real power in them, then why are you doing them?”

    Because of my faith in Christ. James tells us that Faith without works is dead. If I have not these works I have not faith.
    I am baptized because Christ has said I must be to be saved, and I believe in his words.
    I will be married the temple because he has said I must be to be saved, and I believe his words.
    It is not the act of baptism itself that saves me, but without that act how can I claim to have faith in him and what he has done.
    1 John 2: 3-5
    “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
    I know that I know Christ because I do what he has commanded. I do not just live a moral life, but I submit myself to all requirements that he has laid before me, including the ordinances of salvation.

    You said “Aren’t you really saying a man has to be baptized, be married, do all those things that are required and do all of those things in faith in order to be with God when one dies? It seems to me that you have put an emphasis on faith, but in order to be with God when you die, you still need to complete certain works or requirements.”

    That is exactly right, and exactly what James has taught us. Faith without works is dead, and if a man fail in one part of the law he is guilty of all. Thus if baptism is required by the law all those of true faith will seek to be baptized. Those who do not seek such out become guilty of the whole law, for they have violated in one part.

    You said “God says there are no requirements just faith”

    This is Paul talking, not God, and he also says in verse ten that “we are [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
    Paul is not saying there are no requirements. He is saying exactly what I am. It is by the grace of God through our faith that salvation is possible, and so no man can boast; but we are still required to walk in the good works of Christ.

    You also quote Titus 3: 5-7, but if you continue to read in verse 8 you will see a very different idea.
    “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”
    As it says in verse 5, we are washed of our sins (baptized) and cleansed by the Spirit (Gift of the Holy Ghost), but he then reaffirms that we must obey the laws if we are to remain in the church.

    Lastly I would like to make a comment on John 3: 16-18
    You point out that in verse 18 it states that a person without faith is condemned. Now, I have never denied this, though I may have a different understanding of what that condemnation is (as it doesn’t say he is condemned to hell). But I would point out that in this same verse it does not say that one who has faith is saved. It states that “The one who believes in Him is not condemned.” The difference is subtle, but it is there.
    Saying that one is not condemned is not the same as saying they are saved. The one who does not believe is “condemned already,” meaning there is no other option for him. The one who does believe is not condemned, but neither are they saved. This is also why we read that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish.” It does not say they will not, but that they should not, indicating that, while they have the power to prevent such, they may end up perishing anyway. So, obviously, while those with faith are not condemned, they still must do something if they are to be saved. Through the son the world might be saved, though it is no guarantee.

  27. 27 choosethechrist
    December 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I also want to address this statement:
    “For us, perfection is to be without sin, but it is not gained through faith alone. It is slowly acquired through diligence and endurance. We are taught how to progress in our lives, and given the strength needed to eventually become truly perfect. We still sin, and it is still counted as sin, but since perfection is not a direct reflection of our faith we have no worry concerning these small failings, for it is our faith that will save us in the end.”

    As I stated in my previous post, we are perfect (without sin) because of the blood (work) of Christ. God teaches us in the Bible that we do not acquire perfection (being without sin) through diligence and endurance. Once we put our faith in Christ, we follow Him. We are sanctified (become like Christ) through the Holy Spirit living in us which enables us to keep His commands. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength to overcome temptation and be like Christ. We still sin, and it is NOT counted as sin because God said: Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” We believe what God said. We have no worry concerning our small failings, for it is Christ that has saved us.

    And this statement:
    “Many people we suffer in Hell, but the Bible is clear that not all will remain there, and this suffering will be before the final judgment. So, when we die we are judged, but this is not the end of it, for another judgment will come, and thus we see there is a time in between for men to escape in that final judgment.”

    Psalm 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
    Is considered to be a Messianic prophecy and is talking about Christ and points to the resurection.

    In this verse, the word hell is really refering to Sheol. The Jews refered to the place of the dead as Sheol. Sheol was divided into 2 realms by an uncrossable chasm. These 2 realms were a place of torment on one side and paradise aka Abraham’s bossom on the other.

    We can see in the Bible that in the Final Judgement that the only “escape” for men who are in “hell” is to have their names written in the book of life.

    Exod. 32:33: “And the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” If one dies without forgiveness of their sins their name vanishes out of the record book of life.

    Rom.3:23 “the wages of sin is death.”

    1.Revelation 19:20
    And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

    2.Revelation 20:10
    And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    3.Revelation 20:14
    And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

    4.Revelation 20:15
    And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    5.Revelation 21:8
    But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

    Looks pretty clear to me, I am perfect (free from sin) because of the blood and work of Christ. God said He would “remember my sins no more”. Therefore, my name is written in His book of life. At the final judgement, I will not be cast into the Lake of Fire. What about you? Do you believe that the blood of Christ took care of your sins and that alone will keep you out of the Lake of Fire? Are you forgiven? Remember your words: “We still sin, and it is still counted as sin”. Please think about this Shem. If your sin is still counted as sin, you will be damned according to these passages. None of us here wants that for you. We care enough about you to bring it to your attention with hope that you will consider what we are telling you.

  28. 28 choosethechrist
    December 27, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    God spoke through Paul and the prophets and all of the other apostles: 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

    “That is exactly right, and exactly what James has taught us. Faith without works is dead, and if a man fail in one part of the law he is guilty of all. Thus if baptism is required by the law all those of true faith will seek to be baptized. Those who do not seek such out become guilty of the whole law, for they have violated in one part.”

    If a man fail in one part of the law he is guilty of all unless he has put his faith in the work and blood of Christ on the cross:

    14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

    Baptism is a work. God said I am perfect (free from sin) because of the blood shed by Christ. If I had not been baptized, God would dismiss it because He said through the apostle Paul:

    Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

    Just because Mark 16:16 says that “he who believes and is baptized will be saved” it does not mean that if one believes, but is not baptized, he will not be saved. It also does not say: “He who is not baptized will be condemned.” It says: “but he who does not believe will be condemned” . If you do not believe that the blood of Jesus wiped out all of your sins, you are still in sin and you will take your place in the Lake of Fire which is condemnation. The Bible is clear that we are saved by faith alone. Abraham was saved by faith, and we are saved by faith (Romans 4:1-25; Galatians 3:6-22). Throughout the Bible, in every dispensation, people have been saved without being baptized. Every believer in the Old Testament (e.g. Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon) was saved but not baptized. The thief on the cross was saved but not baptized. Cornelius was saved before he was baptized (Acts 10:44-46). Baptism is a testimony of our faith and a public declaration that we believe in Jesus Christ. The Scriptures clearly tell us that we have eternal life the moment we believe (John 5:24), and belief always comes before being baptized. Baptism does not save us any more than walking an aisle or saying a prayer saves us. We are saved when we believe.
    The Bible never says that if one is not baptized then he is not saved. Throughout the Bible we see that at the point of faith or belief, a believer possesses all the promises and blessings of salvation (John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24; 6:47; 20:31; Acts 10:43; 13:39; 16:31). When one believes, he has eternal life, does not come under judgment, and has passed from death into life (John 5:24), all before he/she is baptized.

    If someone believes that baptism is required for salvation, he/she would do well to prayerfully and carefully consider who or what they are really putting their faith and trust in. Is faith being placed in an act (being baptized) or on the finished work of Christ on the cross? Whom or what is being trusted for salvation? Could it be that it is the shadow (baptism) instead of the substance (Jesus Christ)? We must never forget that our faith must rest in Christ alone because “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

    Ephesians 2:8-10
    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

    We were created in Christ to do good works the moment we believed in Him as our savior. When I put my faith in Christ, I became perfect (free from sin) and became a new creature, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Now my faith is manifest in my good works as James has said: Faith without works is dead. My works are evident, can be seen. My works show or are evidence that I have true saving faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

    As for Titus verse 8 “that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”
    As it says in verse 5, we are washed of our sins (through the blood of Christ) and cleansed by the Spirit (Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts),

    “but he then reaffirms that we must obey the laws if we are to remain in the church.”

    This says nothing about us having to obey the laws if we are to remain in the church. God said He would remember my sins no more. If I don’t obey the laws, He doesn’t remember it. What this is saying is that I have believed in the finished work of Christ on the cross, I am saved, now I follow Christ, keep His commands (maintain good works).

  29. 29 choosethechrist
    December 27, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Also, Jesus did not say we needed to be married in the temple in order to be saved.

    “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30).

    1 Corinthians 7

    1 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”

    8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they
    cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

    Matthew 19:10
    The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry

    Jews did not get married in the temples. They went to the temple to have their sins atoned for.

  30. 30 Kent
    December 28, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Choosethechrist said, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). ”

    Notice how it doesn’t say that people will be gods in the resurrection but that they will be like the angels in heaven who worship God because people, just like angels, are created beings who will also worship God but who are never, ever to be worshipped.

    There are several places in the Bible where someone fell down to worship an angel but the angel told the person who was worshipping them not to worship them but to worship God.

    Revelation 19:9-10

    9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

    Revelation 22:8-9

    8 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
    9 Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

    Also, it is being disobedieant to think that anyone could even become a god and be worshipped by anyone such as one’s spirit children as even if there was such a thing as spirit children, they would have to worship God only in any dispenstation as the Bible doesn’t say it was just for the old testament time of the exodus as this is clear even in the book of Revelation.

    Exodus 34:14

    14 for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God

  31. 31 shematwater
    December 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    CHOOSE

    So, basically, what you are saying is the faithful have been given a full license to commit any kind of act they so choose, and no matter how evil or horrid it is it doesn’t matter because God doesn’t count anything against them.

    I know you will argue against this, as everyone does. But this is exactly what you have said.
    “Baptism is a work. God said I am perfect (free from sin) because of the blood shed by Christ. If I had not been baptized, God would dismiss it because He said through the apostle Paul: Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
    If he will dismiss not being baptized than it is logical that he will dismiss mass murder and rape and every other evil that he has declared condemns men to hell; after all I believe in the saving blood of Christ. This is a false and damnable doctrine, and it can only lead to the damnation of those who adhere to it.

    I would also point out that Paul is writing to the saints, those who have already entered the church through baptism.
    Also, if we read in the preceding verse we know that Paul is quoting a prophecy, which is recorded in Isaiah 59: 20-21. In this we read that the “Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.” From the context of the chapter we know that this is talking about the second coming, meaning that when he returns the second time he will save all those of repentant hearts. Hebrews 10: 17 is thus also referring to the time of the second coming.

    Speaking of faith, I will never understand why people that if we believe works are required we cannot be putting our faith in Christ.
    Analogy: A person goes to the doctor for a medical condition. The doctor examines him and tells him that if he wishes to live he has to do one hour of exercise every day. If he fails to do so he will die within the month.
    The man leaves and does nothing. He spends the next month sitting on the couch, eating chips and watching TV. At the end of the month his condition is worse and he goes back to the doctor begging the doctor to cure him. The doctor tells him there is nothing he can do; it is too late. The man pleads “Your my doctor. I believed you could cure me? Why do you do nothing?” the doctor simply asks him, “did you exercise like I told you.” When the man says no the doctor replies “If you didn’t believe in me then how can you claim to believe in me now?”
    When the final judgment comes and people cry out for Christ to save them, but when the books are open are it is shown that they have not done what was required (baptism, etc) it will be too late. Then will they say “we believed in you. Why do you do nothing?” And Christ will say with sorrow, “If you did not believe in me then how can you claim to believe in me now?”

    I have been baptized because I have faith. Those who refuse baptism do not have sufficient faith. I will be married because I have faith. Those who deny this do not have sufficient faith.
    Even Abraham, who was saved by faith, received no reward until “had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” for it was by this that “Abraham our father [was] justified by works.” (James 2: 21)

    Remember “Not every one that saith unto [Him], Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of [His} Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7: 21) If you do not do his will it matters not that you call out in faith. You will still be condemned. This is the message of the Bible, from Genesis 1: 1 to Revelation 22: 21.

    KENT

    Will you get off the whole god kick? I have addressed it on this thread as well as others. I have even specifically address the idea of being like angels at least twice. So far it seems that everything I have said on the subject has simply been ignored, and I am getting tired of repeating it.\
    You don’t believe it and think it heresy. We get that. Lets leave it alone now.

  32. 32 choosethechrist
    December 29, 2011 at 4:37 am

    “what you are saying is the faithful have been given a full license to commit any kind of act they so choose, and no matter how evil or horrid it is it doesn’t matter because God doesn’t count anything against them.”
    Shem, I doubt the truly faithful would commit such acts and the faithful know they have not been given a license to sin, but if they did, are they not able to truly repent and seek forgiveness. God did not say their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more unless that sin was murder or rape. A sin is a sin in God’s eyes. Are you saying a murderer or rapist can not give their life to Christ and be forgiven of their sins or are we just going to pick and choose which parts of the Bible we want to believe? I would like to point out to you what God said to the idolaters over and over again in Jeremiah, many of whom were burning their children as a sacrifice to other gods, to return to Him and He would forgive them and take them back. There are too many verses with this message to quote them all.

    Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    I find this statement from you to be VERY interesting given the LDS view on general salvation: “If he will dismiss not being baptized than it is logical that he will dismiss mass murder and rape and every other evil that he has declared condemns men to hell; after all I believe in the saving blood of Christ. This is a false and damnable doctrine, and it can only lead to the damnation of those who adhere to it.”

    Could you please clarify, according to LDS doctrine, what exactly condemns men to hell? Does general salvation not apply to rapists? If this is what you really believe, then maybe you could clarify why the LDS church allows baptism for the dead. Are LDS church members aware of each and every sin committed by those who are being baptized in death?

    “Also, if we read in the preceding verse we know that Paul is quoting a prophecy, which is recorded in Isaiah 59: 20-21. In this we read that the “Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.” From the context of the chapter we know that this is talking about the second coming, meaning that when he returns the second time he will save all those of repentant hearts. Hebrews 10: 17 is thus also referring to the time of the second coming.”

    Shem, the context of Hebrews is that Paul is addressing the Jewish-Christians who are wanting to return to Judaism due to persecution. The epistle of Hebrews was meant to encourage these Jewish-Christians to persevere and emphasizes the supremacy/sufficiency of Christ and that they can’t turn back to their former ways in “the law” due to the new covenant in Christ which is demonstrated in Hebrews 10. Paul’s quote comes not from Isaiah, but from Jeremiah 31:31-34:

    31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

    33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    Shem, Jesus is the new covenant (done deal, 1st coming, not 2nd coming). The new covenant guarantees that sins will be compeletly forgiven with the result being no additional sacrifice for sin hence Paul’s quote in Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more”. Notice also, that in Jeremiah 31:31 it says “thus saith the LORD” so actually Paul was quoting God.

  33. 33 choosethechrist
    December 29, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Now to address this issue:

    “Speaking of faith, I will never understand why people that if we believe works are required we cannot be putting our faith in Christ.”

    Shem, to put it simply, faith comes first for salvation. Works come next and are not required for salvation, but are the fruit/evidence of our faith.

    Works based salvation does not work and has been proven repeatedly to have been a problem/failure.

    Man has already been under two different works systems. Both systems left mankind uniformly condemned. The first works system was given to Adam. It consisted of one simple precept:

    And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. – Gen 2:16-17

    The second system of works to fail was the Law of Moses.

    Man could not even keep 1 command let alone the law of Moses.

    Works do not save, never have never will! Thus the need for Christ as our savior. Works puts the emphasis on what you can do. Faith puts the emphasis on what Christ did. It is all about Christ and Him alone. He was the only one to keep all of the laws. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins so that we too can be counted as being perfect. If you can save yourself by meeting requirements, you don’t need the Savior. He did not come to be a gap filler for what you are unable to do on your own. He did it all. Why is that so hard to believe? If you are keeping requirements to get somewhere with God, you are putting too much of your “faith” in what you can do when it should be 100% about what Christ has done.

  34. 34 shematwater
    December 30, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    CHOOSE

    “Shem, I doubt the truly faithful would commit such acts and the faithful know they have not been given a license to sin, but if they did, are they not able to truly repent and seek forgiveness.”

    But it is a license to sin, whether you accept it or not. You are telling the faithful, God is not going to do anything if you do sin, he just really appreciates it if you don’t. This is a license to sin with a small attempt at a guilt trip to prevent it. It will not work.

    “Are you saying a murderer or rapist can not give their life to Christ and be forgiven of their sins.”

    I am saying a murderer can’t, and a rapist will find such more difficult than most others. If you don’t want to pick and choose than let us believe John when he states that “Whosoever ahateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no bmurderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3: 16) A murderer cannot have eternal life, it is impossible.

    “Could you please clarify, according to LDS doctrine, what exactly condemns men to hell?”

    Revelation 21: 8 “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
    These are those who are condemned to Hell. Are such sins are simply overlooked if you have faith?

    Speaking of the general salvation, this is only the resurrection from physical death. All those born on this earth will be redeemed from physical death, have their bodies and spirits rejoined and be immortal beings. But this has no bearing on condemnation to hell or salvation in heaven.
    As to baptism for the dead, we do not know every sin they may have committed; nor do we know their hearts. We cannot judge if a man is worthy of Baptism and the other ordinances, and so we do the work for all men, and leave the final judgment to God one whether or not such can avail them. Just like getting into college: We help everyone fill out the entry forms, but leave it up to the Dean to decide who to accept.

    Now, speaking to the Hebrews, I have to wonder why Paul felt the need to give any counsel of this kind. After all, if the faithful have their sins over-looked then what would it matter if they started practicing the Law of Moses again? Would not this simply be over-looked?

    As to what you say concerning faith and works, your logic is so flawed it is hard to know where to begin.
    Question: When a mother washes her child is it her that washes them, or the water?
    It seems to me that you are arguing that it is the water, and that the mother had absolutely no part in it.
    You are then saying that anyone who claims the mother took part is denying the power of the water.
    The problem is that it is both that do the washing. While the actual power to wash is in the water, it is the actions of the mother that take advantage of that power.
    The same thing is true with faith and works. You say it is all faith, and that to give works any credit is to deny that faith. I simply say that, while it is faith that has the power of salvation, it is works that takes advantage of that power. You cannot be saved without both; just as the child would not get washed without both the mother and the water.

    You also say faith always comes before works, but what about the Syrians Naaman. You know the story. Naaman contracts leprosy and seeks out Elisha to be cured. He is told to wash, but he has not the faith to accept something so simple. But after he is persuaded by his servant to be obedient he comes back with great faith. So, faith followed the works.

    I will say more later.

  35. 35 choosethechrist
    December 31, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Shem, To clarify, I have not said that anyone has a license to sin. As Christians, we know that we can not hide behind God’s grace. Once we have put our faith in Christ alone for our salvation, we know that we must follow Him and keep His commands. He knows if we have the right heart attitude or if we a simply giving Him lip service. We know we have to walk the walk not just talk the talk. It is my understanding that the LDS generally view us Protestants as having a diminished view of the importance of works, but this is not the case. We place our emphasis on the work of Christ, what He did to save us, not on our works. Our works in following Him are just as important to us as they are to you, but it is not our works that secure our place with God for all eternity. Once we put our faith in Christ, we are forgiven of all sins and it does not matter what the sin was, even murderers can be saved by doing this. If we sin after we have put our faith in Him, we have to make things right with God by being repentant about what we have done and stop doing what we were doing wrong. God will sanctify us to make us more like Christ, but we will not lose our salvation. Our sins are not overlooked, they are forgiven and I did not say it God did: their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. Do you believe what God said? My logic is Historical Christianity and I would appreciate it if you did not refer to Christian Doctrine as being flawed. We do not believe that our works save us. Are you understanding this concept? As for your quote refering to hatred being the equivalent of murder, we believe the verses from Matthew 5:21 to 5:32 really show that Jesus is speaking about hypocritical legalism being a sham in that keeping the law externally does not justify not keeping them internally ie. sin is a matter of the heart, hatred=murder, lust=adultery.

    As for this, Revelation 21: 8 “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
    Are you saying that all liars are going to hell and that there is no forgiveness for these sins. Did you also notice that liars receive the same fate as murderers? Did you read the verses I gave you previously? I think this verse only applies if you die in your sins and your name is wiped out of the book of life as per my previous quotes from Exodus and Revelation. I am making the assumption from your statments that you don’t belive this verse from the “most correct book” then: Alma 24:10 10 And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath aforgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the bguilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.

    I honestly don’t understand the whole baptism for the dead thing. Didn’t you say previously that there are no second chances after death to “move up the ladder”. Why do people who have not put their faith in Jesus in this life get a chance for salvation because you did a proxy baptism for them. Isn’t that kind of like what you said earlier about baptism meaning nothing without faith? What is faith when you are dead and have all the answers. Isn’t part of faith in God believing what you can not see? Protestants do not believe in baptism for the dead. Like I said before, if you die in your sins (you are not saved), it is the lake of fire for you.

    As for Paul and Hebrews, this is addressing the problem of “backsliding” or walking away from your faith/turning your back on God and your salvation. Doesn’t mormonism have a similar teaching about apostates going to outer darkness? Again your words (overlook) indicate that you did not understand that God does not overlook sin. Sin makes God angry. We have to reconcile ourselves to God through Christ. He will take back a sinner with a repentant heart ie Jeremiah when He repeatedly tells His people He would take them back if they returned to Him.

    The Historical Christian view of Naaman would still be that faith came first. You see, we believe that Jesus taught us that the problem with works or requirements is that it is easier for one to simply go through the motions of performing tasks when one does not have the right heart. We believe that Jesus did not like the Pharisees’ interpretation of the law and their view of righteousness by works ie they kept the letter of the law by not committing murder, but showed hatred in their hearts. This can also be seen in Jeremiah with the people keeping God’s commands in the temple while worshipping idols. Protestants believe that Jesus taught a righteousness that only comes through faith in Him and his work. In a way, I think most Protestants view mormonism much like judaism in that both have requirements or things that you have to do to spend eternity with God. My view of Mormonism is that it seems as if Jesus really didn’t do all that much for you because you have a checklist of things you have to do in order to be with God. I think those of us who have put our faith in Christ alone for our salvation have a much higher view of Christ and what He did for us. It’s not about what I can do. It’s all about what He did for me and for that words can not describe my thankfullness.

    I hope this clears things up for you. If not, let me know and I will try to explain it again.

  36. 36 Kent
    January 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    choosethechrist, it is true that God wants us to follow the commandments, at least the ones in the Bible, that it is we are supposed to behave a certain way, but it is either all about following them, works, 100 percent of the time if it has anything to do with being saved, or it is all about what Jesus did by dying in our place, sinners who cannot ever save ourselves and his rising again on the third day, which is grace, that is a free gift that does not depend on the condition, “after all we can do.”

    No one here believes that grace, our free gift, that requires no payment whatsoever on our part, gives us a license to sin but that if someone is living a sinful lifestyle that it would be evidence that they don’t truly believe in who Jesus is and what He did by dying on the cross and rising again from the dead.

    Again, to clarify terms saved=enternal life, which guarantees us living in the mansions where God is and does not just guarantee us life in the afterlife with at least a place in a lower heaven with a chance to be in the mansions where God is.

    It is also about who Jesus is and what Jesus we are calling upon because the Jesus of the Bible is not our spirit brother who somehow became god who is also the spirit brother of Satan whose plan for salvation was chosen over His brother’s plan which made Satan rebel and do evil.

    The Jesus of the Bible is God Almighty, has always been God Almighty, and will always be God Almighty who was God even when He walked this earth as the perfect innocent sinless man who was sacrificed to atone for all of our sins.

    Notice how we tell Shem that we don’t mean we are given free license to sin because of Jesus’ free gift that he tells us that is what we mean and how, if he thinks we are not accurately protraying what he is stating, how he points it out to us?

  37. 37 choosethechrist
    January 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Kent you said “Notice how we tell Shem that we don’t mean we are given free license to sin because of Jesus’ free gift that he tells us that is what we mean and how, if he thinks we are not accurately protraying what he is stating, how he points it out to us?”
    I would like Shem to clarify for us if he really does not understand Historical Christianity and it’s doctrines or if he views us as being “less” than because of our emphasis on faith before works. As I said before, it has been my experience that the LDS tend to look down their noses at us because they think we do not put a big enough emphasis on works, our fruits and what we are “doing”. I would really like the LDS to understand that our emphasis is on Christ and our faith in Christ first, then it all becomes what we are able to do through Christ because we have given our lives to Him and make the decision to follow Him and to do all that God wants us to do. In my church, the emphasis is on first coming to Christ in order to secure our salvation and then it is “learn what pleases God and DO IT”.
    Shem does seem to think that we are saying we think we have been given a free license to sin so I would like to find out where he is in his understanding of Historical Christianity.
    We had a good sermon in church today about adversity that relates to this as we Christians know that if we are not right in our walk with God ie we are living in sin, God is going to bring trials into our life to get us to right our ways. This is how God shapes our character to be more like Christ. He is the potter, we are the clay which allows Him to shape me and me to respond to His shaping. God is in control. I have to choose to learn the lesson or not, but it is God who is in control, it is God to whom I submit, and it is God to whom I have given my life. It is not about what I am doing. It is about what God is doing in my life and I like it better that way because He is perfect, I am not, and He knows more about what I need than I do. Praise God it’s not up to me “after all I can do”!

  38. 38 shematwater
    January 2, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    CHOOSE

    I understand what you are saying, but I am simply following it to is logical conclusion.

    I don’t think you see this as a license to sin, but the logical conclusion is that is what it is, at least from your previous statements. Even from your explanation it is open to that interpretation.

    So, clarify this: If one who believes does sin, but chooses not to repent, what will happen? After all, you have said that one can not be baptized and have this overlooked. Why can’t one have other things overlooked?
    Another question is how does one repent? What is your thoughts on this?

    In truth I do understand what your doctrine is, and it is flawed, whether you like me saying that or not. I don’t care how historical it is. The Jews have more history than you ever will, and they are wrong. The simple truth is that from what you have just said it is in our hands whether we are saved or not, as it is our work to repent and make ourselves right with Christ. However, you have also said that it has nothing to do with what we do, and so you have contradicted yourself.
    Simply put, if you teach that obedience is required at any stage of the game than you are teaching that man must participate in gaining his own salvation. If you are denying his ability to participate than you are also deny his need to be obedient. One cannot be true without the other.

    I agree that the emphasis is different between us, but it is not as you say it is. You give such an emphasis on Faith that works is almost completely lost. We do not emphasize either more than the other. We need both, and both are equally emphasized.

    Now, you said “Are you saying that all liars are going to hell and that there is no forgiveness for these sins.”

    I never once said that these sins are beyond forgiveness. What I said is that a murderer can never make himself right with God, and that these other sins are much more difficult to repent of than others. However, Christ has taught that “All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” (Mark 3: 28-29) These sins will be forgiven, eventually, which I believe I mentioned in a previous post. This is why David writes “thou wilt not leave my soul in hell” (Psalms 16: 10) David had murdered Uriah, and he knew that he would be condemned to Hell, but that he would eventually be redeemed and released from that hell.
    Speaking of liars, you make the claim that they receive the same fate as the others, but that is not what the verse says. It says they receive their part of the lake of fire, but it never says it is an equal part. All these will suffer in hell, but they will not all suffer for the same duration. Just as murderers are eventually redeemed, so too are liars, and for them most likely sooner. As to what constitutes a liar, we are told that those who claim faith but are not obedient to God’s law are liars in 1 John 2: 4; but we get a much better idea in Revelation 22: 15, where it lists those who have no part in the glory of God. In this list are those who “Loveth and maketh a lie.” It is not those who tell white lies to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, or to avoid a little work or responsibility that are included in those who are condemned. It is those who embrace false teaching, knowing that it is false, and seek to spread such to others. It is those who claim to be true followers of Christ, and yet knowingly deny his law and commandments and teach others to do the same. This is what it means to be a liar.

    Speaking of baptism for the dead, no one gets a second chance, but there are many who never had a first chance in this life. For example, the American Indian who lived before the white men came, and thus never heard of Christ. Also many in Africa or Asia, or Australia who lived at a time when the gospel was not preached to in those areas. And also all those who lived in the Europe during the Christian era once the gospel was lost and the great apostasy had taken full root, for they could not be saved based on false principals.
    None of those who lived in these conditions ever had the chance in this life to accept the truths of eternity, the gospel, or the nature of God, without which there can be no salvation. So, baptism for the dead is not to give a second chance, but a first chance to those who never had it.
    And for these death does not mean an instant understanding of everything. There is still a veil over their mind, and they know only what they knew in this life. This understanding of truth will come to all people, but it does not come at death.

  39. 39 choosethechrist
    January 2, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Shem it is apparent to me that while you acknowledge that you understand our doctrine, your words convey to me that you really do not understand our doctrine. You have spent a great deal of time “translating” my words into your own though which is pretty much the same thing as a Christian telling a Mormon what he believes which by the way really ticks Mormons off when it is done. Seems like a huge double standard to me. You have blatantly ignored the key concepts/scriptures I have presented and have instead mostly offered your opinion without backing up your statements.
    One of the first things that really must happen for one to come to real faith in Christ is to admit one has a sin problem and that there is nothing he can do about it on his own. I truly hope that you will come to this realization one day and start truly seeking the truth. After all, the reason us Christians are here is because we care about your soul. It is not about defending ourselves, our church, or our faith. It is about our concern for you and other like you. There was no “apostasy” Shem. A diligent study of early church history proves this never happened. I hope you will take my advice, start doing some digging and use sources from outside the LDS church.

    I will end with this:

    “A false witness shall not be unpunished and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.” – Proverbs 19:5

    And in my dismay I said, “All men are liars.” Psalm 116:11

    And all liars – Και πασι τοις ψευδεσι· Every one who speaks contrary to the truth when he knows the truth, and even he who speaks the truth with the intention to deceive; i.e., to persuade a person that a thing is different from what it really is, by telling only a part of the truth, or suppressing some circumstance which would have led the hearer to a different end to the true conclusion. All these shall have their portion, το μερος, their share, what belongs to them, their right, in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. This is the second death, from which there is no recovery. ~ From Clarke’s commentary on the Bible

  40. 40 shematwater
    January 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    CHOOSE

    I do understand your doctrine. I am not translating your words, but showing the contradiction in them. If I am wrong please clarify.

    1. You believe that man can do nothing to even participate in gaining salvation.
    2. You believe a man must first confess his sins in order to gain faith.
    3. A man who has faith will have his sins forgiven, regardless of what he does.
    4. If a man is living a sinful life he doesn’t have faith.
    5. While it has no effect on our salvation we are still required to be obedient.
    6. A person who has faith will simply be obedient through no effort of his own, as such is the result of having faith.

    Please tell me where I am wrong.

  41. 41 choosethechrist
    January 4, 2012 at 12:29 am

    The Bible has no contradictions in it.

    1. You believe that man can do nothing to even participate in gaining salvation.

    A man can do nothing to earn his salvation. No amount of human goodness, human works, human morality, or religious activity can gain acceptance with God or get anyone into heaven. We must each come to God the same way: as a sinner who recognizes his sinfulness, who realizes no human works can result in salvation, and who relies totally on Christ alone by faith alone for our salvation.

    2. You believe a man must first confess his sins in order to gain faith.

    I believe a man must first recognize he is a sinner (see above).

    3. A man who has faith will have his sins forgiven, regardless of what he does.

    A man who has put his faith in the work of Christ alone for his salvation will have his sins forgiven, regardless of what he has done or what he does (except for the one unforgiveable sin).

    4. If a man is living a sinful life he doesn’t have faith.

    If a man is living a sinful life, he may not have faith. All men sin, even saved men who have put their faith in Christ. If a saved man is living a sinful life, God will sanctify him to remove the sin from his life in order to build a Christ like character in that man.

    5. While it has no effect on our salvation we are still required to be obedient.
    Yes!

    6. A person who has faith will simply be obedient through no effort of his own, as such is the result of having faith.

    A person who has put his faith in the work of Christ alone will be obedient through his efforts, the efforts of his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who support and pray for him, the efforts of the Holy Spirit, and the efforts of God. All of which are the result of putting his faith in Christ.

    God’s plan of salvation: http://bible.org/article/gods-plan-salvation

  42. 42 TJayT
    January 4, 2012 at 4:01 am

    ChoosetheChrist

    I hope you don’t find it bad form for me to butt into the conversation you and Shem are having, but I must say that it’s one of the most enlightening discussions I have ever seen on the subject between a Mormon and a Mainstream Christian. I have a few questions of my own, if you don’t mind me asking. First I would like to make sure that I do understand your position.

    Since the fall of Adam man has gained a state of total depravity, or are unable to chose to follow God or accept salvation. However, when a person a realizes they are a sinner that can do absolutely nothing to be saved and accept Christ’s works in there behalf God’s grace covers them, giving them a new heart and spirit, wiping away this state of total depravity. When a person does sin again (as they will every day) God will again give them a new heart. Works are important, but this is because someone who has truly accepted Christ as there savior and gained this new heart will have a burning desire to do good works in the name of Christ. Anyone that doesn’t have this attitude never had a new heart, and therefore never really knew Christ.

    Please let me know if I am way off the mark on your beliefs or have miraculously gotten somewhere in the ballpark.

  43. 43 choosethechrist
    January 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    TJayT,
    Feel free to participate. I don’t mind at all.
    I would say you are in the ballpark. It is like getting a clean heart everyday. It is like getting a NEW heart everyday. It is like getting a clean slate everyday! As God says, it’s a condition or circumcision of the heart.

    Outward signs, professions of faith, church attendance, charitable acts, all are for nothing unless one has allowed God to change their heart (inner being). This inner circumcision is the work of the Spirit of God. It is not the following of a set of rules, requirements, or rituals. It is not keeping of the Ten Commandments. True circumcision is a change of one’s heart as an act of the Holy Spirit by the power of God. This act occurs when one accepts Christ by faith as Lord and Savior. This is the true sign of righteousness.

    Deuteronomy 30:6
    The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.

    Ezekiel 11:19-20
    19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

    Ezekiel 36:26-27
    26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

    Philippians 3:3
    For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh

    Colossians 2:11
    In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,

  44. 44 choosethechrist
    January 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor 5:17).

  45. 45 TJayT
    January 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    CoC

    Thanks for helping me understand your view. A few clarifying questions:

    What part does justification play in salvation, if any?

    Can a person lose there salvation? If so how? How could they regain it?

    Do you belive that we actually born sinful, or only with a sinful nature?

  46. 46 shematwater
    January 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    CHOOSE

    “The Bible has no contradictions in it.”

    I never said it did. I said your doctrine has contradictions in it. I made no mention of the Bible.

    1. “A man can do nothing to earn his salvation. No amount of human goodness, human works, human morality, or religious activity can gain acceptance with God or get anyone into heaven.”

    So we can do nothing to participate in gaining salvation.

    2. “I believe a man must first recognize he is a sinner (see above).”

    This is exactly what I said. To recognize you are a sinner is to say you are one which is what a confession is.

    3. “A man who has put his faith in the work of Christ alone for his salvation will have his sins forgiven, regardless of what he has done or what he does (except for the one unforgiveable sin).”

    Exactly what I meant (when I said faith that is what I was talking about).

    4. “If a man is living a sinful life, he may not have faith. All men sin, even saved men who have put their faith in Christ. If a saved man is living a sinful life, God will sanctify him to remove the sin from his life in order to build a Christ like character in that man.”

    5. While it has no effect on our salvation we are still required to be obedient.
    Yes!

    6. “A person who has put his faith in the work of Christ alone will be obedient through his efforts, the efforts of his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who support and pray for him, the efforts of the Holy Spirit, and the efforts of God. All of which are the result of putting his faith in Christ.”

    So the only points I really got wrong, according to you, are 4 and 6, though from what Kent said I think he would agree that I got 4 right as well (as would most people I have ever talked to before).

    So, here are a few question: How is obedience required? This was point five, and it makes no sense. A requirement indicates that there is some reward or result that is trying to be achieved, and cannot be achieved without fulfilling the requirement. So, what is obedience required for? What is the result of obedience? if there is no result then it cannot be required.

    Also, if our efforts effect our obedience, as you say in point six, what happens to one who willingly chooses not to put forth that effort and is thus not obedient? According to points 3 and 4 nothing happens, as his future sins are already forgiven and God will sanctify him. So, is there any consequence for disobedience?

    You see what I am getting at?

  47. January 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Shem said: “So, here are a few question: How is obedience required?”

    It is not required for salvation.

    “Consider a comparison. Imagine that you look out a window to determine if it is windy outside. You cannot see the wind. However, you can see that the flag is stretched straight out, and you can see that the branches on the trees are moving back and forth. The extended flag and the moving branches show that there is wind. It is the same with faith and good works. Faith cannot be seen. However, faith in Christ produces good works as fruits of faith. If we see the fruits of faith, then we know that faith is present. In the end, it still is faith in Christ that is the ultimate basis for judgment.” (TPBT End Times: Jesus Is Coming Soon:Under a section entitled, “Good works are an evidence of faith” pg 155-156:)

    A friend of mine said this…

    Christian perspective: Saving faith leads a person to good works, just as the wind blowing causes a flag to move.

    Mormon perspective: Good works lead a person to saving faith, just as a flag moving causes the wind to blow.

  48. January 5, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Shem said: “Also, if our efforts effect our obedience, as you say in point six, what happens to one who willingly chooses not to put forth that effort and is thus not obedient? According to points 3 and 4 nothing happens, as his future sins are already forgiven and God will sanctify him. So, is there any consequence for disobedience? You see what I am getting at?”

    Unrepentant sin is a rejection of the forgiveness that is already ours.

  49. January 5, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    By unrepentant I mean no sorrow over sin.

  50. 50 choosethechrist
    January 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    TJayT,
    Justification plays a role in salvation. It is Christ’s blood that justifies us and makes us righteous.

    2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)
    21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    Romans 5:18–19 (ESV)
    18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

    I believe a person could lose their salvation, but question whether they were really ever saved in the first place, by deciding to no longer believe in Christ and His work on the cross. They can regain it the same way all people gain their salvation.

    Man is born with a sinful nature and are not sinful until they commit their first sin.

  51. January 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    To simplify…Just as a man loves his wife from his heart and because of that he quite naturally then goes and does nice things for her. So it is with faith. We are saved through faith alone, but faith is never alone. Faith quite naturally loves God and desires to please him in every way.

  52. 52 shematwater
    January 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    ECHO

    So, as long as I am sorry I am forgiven?

    As to you friends quote, it is not accurate. He is a better way of describing the LDS perspective.
    “By doing good we gain faith and thus salvation works in our lives; just as by putting the flag on the flagpole we allow the wind to blow it.”

    Now, you have not answered my question concerning obedience being required. If you agree with CHOOSE that it is required please tell me what it is required for, not what it isn’t required for.

  53. January 5, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    TjayT,

    Lutherans believe man is born in depravity and is sinful from conception…

    Psalm 51:5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

  54. 54 choosethechrist
    January 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Shem, you give me too much credit. It’s not “my doctrine” and Christian doctrine comes from the bible.

    You will have to forgive me for trying to make sure things are clear. I have spent a great deal of time trying to make sure things are clear for you Shem because you have spent quite a bit of time here trying to justify the LDS position and I am concerned for your soul. Since you are LDS and still have not seen the light, it makes me feel like you are missing something and thus the need for me to keep explaining it to you.

    “How is obedience required?” Surely you have heard this one before. The greatest commandment:

    Matthew 22:36-40
    36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

    John 14:23
    Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

    We keep God’s commands because God said to. We have already been given the reward if we have put our faith in Christ for our salvation which is eternal life with God instead of eternal punishment in hell. What more do you want? We were given a free gift that we don’t deserve. That’s reward enough for me!

    “what happens to one who willingly chooses not to put forth that effort and is thus not obedient?”
    There are consequences in this life for sin. That’s why God said don’t do those things. We sin, we pay the price in this life for our actions. We hurt ourselves and we hurt others. Also, as I said before, the Holy Spirit will give us a guilty conscience, we will be miserable in our sins, God will bring adversity into our lives in order to sanctify us or make us more like Christ so that we will learn not to sin anymore.

  55. January 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Shem said: “So, as long as I am sorry I am forgiven?”

    You are forgiven before you are sorry. At least in God’s heart. Jesus has *objectively* forgiven the sins of the whole world already…

    2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

    However those who are not sorry for their sins reject his forgiveness. It’s like saying to God: “I don’t want your forgiveness”

    Shem said: “As to you friends quote, it is not accurate. He is a better way of describing the LDS perspective.
    “By doing good we gain faith and thus salvation works in our lives; just as by putting the flag on the flagpole we allow the wind to blow it.”

    It is an accurate picture of Mormonism from a biblical Christian perspective. Biblically speaking, doing good does not gain faith and you said: “By doing good we gain faith” …

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

    A person without faith can’t do good as Hebrews 11:6 shows. So a person without faith can’t do good to gain faith.

    Shem said: “Now, you have not answered my question concerning obedience being required. If you agree with CHOOSE that it is required please tell me what it is required for, not what it isn’t required for.”

    I stated already that obedience isn’t required. I attempted to show in that post also that obedience happens quite naturally and spontaneously. We believe that the thief on the cross to whom Jesus said: “Today you will be with me in paradise” was saved and never had a chance to be obedient. He is a fine example of being saved through faith alone.

  56. 56 steph
    January 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Shem,

    It really is quite simple. It’s all about Jesus. He did more than just purchase a body for you to be ressurected in. He saved you, let Him.


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