08
Jun
12

Saved in Sin

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 23 covers chapters 8-12 in Alma in the Book of Mormon.  In that section the statement is made that the Son of God cannot save people in their sins. (Alma 11:34 -37)  The teacher’s guide explores this with the following question and answer.

“What is the difference between the false idea of being saved in our sins and the truth that we can be saved from our sins?  (If we are unrepentant and remain in a state of sin, we cannot be saved.  If we repent, Jesus Christ can save us from our sins.)”

At first glance, that answer looks pretty good.  The manual, True to the Faith, gives a little more thorough explanation.  “Note that you cannot be saved in your sins; you cannot receive unconditional salvation simply by declaring your belief in Christ with the understanding that you will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of your life (see Alma 11:36-37).” (p 151f)  Whoa.  So if it is wrong for me to have the understanding that I will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of my life, doesn’t that mean that I should have the understanding that, at some point in my life, I will no longer sin?

That is strengthened by how True to the Faith continues.  “Through the grace of God, you can be saved from your sins (see Helaman 5:10-11). To receive this blessing, you must exercise faith in Jesus Christ, strive to keep the commandments, forsake sin, and renew your repentance and cleansing through the ordinance of the sacrament.”  Note that one of the qualifications listed is that of forsaking sin.  Forsaking sin is also one of the elements consistently listed as part of repentance.  That brings us full circle back to the answer in the teacher’s guide.  Part of repenting, according to Mormonism, is forsaking sin.

Many LDS members have told me that forsaking sin doesn’t mean that won’t commit sin again.  But that explanation doesn’t do justice to the work, “forsake”.   My dictionary defines forsake in this way:  “to give up, renounce.  To quit or leave entirely SYN – abandon.”  Or think of the marriage vow of forsaking all others.  What are we telling our spouse if we water down the meaning of forsake?  I come back to what is written in True to the Faith.  Mormonism teaches that to be saved people need to forsake sin – that people, to be saved, cannot have the expectation that they will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of their lives.

I thank God that this is not how the Bible describes salvation.  Salvation, in the Bible, is all about what Jesus has done for me – not about what I have to do.  Yes, it does tell me to bring forth fruits of repentance.  But fruits are the result, not the essence of repentance.  Repentance itself is a change of mind.  It’s the abandoning not of sin, but of trust in anything I do and replacing that with trust in what Jesus has done for me.  That change of mind motivates me, out of gratitude, to try and lead a life pleasing to God.  But even then it doesn’t say or even give the impression that I will be able to do this perfectly.  Rather, as it shows me how deeply sin has infected me, it gives me the understanding that yes, I will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of my life.  But that doesn’t disqualify me from salvation – because my salvation doesn’t depend on what I do. Contrary to the message of the Book of Mormon, I thank God that he has saved me in my sins!

 

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79 Responses to “Saved in Sin”


  1. 1 shematwater
    June 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Let us actually try to understand what is being said in “True to the Faith,” rather than let those whose sole purpose is to destroy the LDS faith color it how they like.

    “you cannot receive unconditional salvation simply by declaring your belief in Christ with the understanding that you will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of your life”

    What this means is simple: We cannot say that since we believe in God we will be saved regardless of any future sins we may commit. It is speaking to the attitude of “I know I will do it so I won’t bother trying not to; but God will save me anyway.”
    Actually it reminds me of the move Lady Hawk. A thief has escaped from prison through the sewers and he sees an object coming towards him. In fear he promises god that he will never steal again if the object does not kill him. It turns out to be a log that drifts past, and he makes it out. Immediately he steals the purse from a passing soldier. He then declares “I know I promised, Lord; but I also know that you know what a weak willed person I am.”
    It is the attitude that “God knows I will sin, so he will not hold it against if I do.” This is a false idea and one that will always lead to damnation.

    This passage does not mean that we should not understand our weak mortal states, or that we should have any delusions that we will live perfectly in this life, as is suggested here. We must understand our weaknesses, and we must understand that long before we are ever perfect we will stumble and fall countless times. But we cannot expect to receive salvation if we do not do our best to minimize the stumbling.

    As to forsaking; it is perfectly in line with the definition of the word to forsake something, and then through error or carelessness stumble back into it. It is known as a relapse in alcoholism and drug addiction. Some people forsake drugs for years, but then something happens that triggers enough stress that they fall back into it. This is what is meant when member say it is not expected to completely end all sin. We know that we will likely relapse. But today we will forsake that sin. Tomorrow we will forsake that sin. We may relapse the next day, but the day after we will forsake that sin. And every day that we forsake that sin we are forgiven for every act of that sin that we committed in the past.

  2. 2 markcares
    June 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I wonder how many spouses would accept your explanation of forsaking.

  3. 3 Kent
    June 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I will state in the next paragraph following the statement what the following statement directly below means.

    “you cannot receive unconditional salvation simply by declaring your belief in Christ with the understanding that you will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of your life”

    It means, “you cannot receive unconditional salvation simply by declaring your belief in Christ with the understanding that you will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of your life”

    But consider that the truth is not in us if we say we have no sin, as shown in 1 John: 1

    1 John 1:8

    8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    The dilemma is that we only have this lifetime to get it right as shown in Hebrews 9.

    Hebrews 9:27

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

    So what is the solution? What must I do to be saved? That is the very question the jailer in Acts 16 asked Paul and Silas. With saved meaning eternal life.

    Acts 16:30-34

    30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

    31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

    How do we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is shown below in Romans 10.

    Romans 10:9-13

    9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

  4. 4 Kent
    June 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Add on to my last post, I made refererence to the following statement, “you cannot receive unconditional salvation simply by declaring your belief in Christ with the understanding that you will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of your life”

    We believe though we have unconditional salvation despite that we will commit some sins throughout the rest of our lives.

    Remember it isn’t possible to be completely sin free in our lifetimes and, again, if we say we are without sin, then the truth is not in us.

    1 John 1:8

    8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    And we only have this lifetime to get it right, no chance in the afterlife.

    Hebrews 9:27

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

    But the good news, the gospel, is that Jesus did everything for us by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day and He said, “it is finished.”

    So don’t reject His free gift of salvation that is not conditional upon all we can do.

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

  5. 5 joshtried
    June 8, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    From the words of Martin Luther, i completely and wholeheartedly contradict what you are saying.
    You say: “That change of mind motivates me, out of gratitude, to try and lead a life pleasing to God. But even then it doesn’t say or even give the impression that I will be able to do this perfectly. ”

    Luther says(“The Bondage of the Will” pg 103)
    On the other hand: when God works in us, the will is changed under the sweet influence of the Spirit of God. Once more it desires and acts, not of compulsion, but of its own desire and spontaneous inclination. Its bent cannot be altered by any opposition; it cannot be mastered or prevailed upon even by the gates of hell; but it goes on willing, desiring, and loving good, just as it once willed, desired, and loved evil. (to last sentence of paragraph) Here, too, there is no freedom, no ‘free-will’, to turn elsewhere, or to desire anything else, as long as the Spirit and grace of God remain in a man.

    According to this, you are changed, period.

  6. 6 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Kent, your understanding of 1 john 1:8 with relation to LDS beliefs is lacking at a very basic level. If you wish to know how, please let me know, otherwise, please feel free to continue deluding yourself.

  7. June 9, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Josh said: “According to this(Luther), you are changed, period”

    According to both Mark and Luther, you are changed.

  8. 8 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Echo, Luther says you will change and do only good. Not even the gates of Hell can prevail against you to make you do otherwise.
    Mark says you will TRY and do good, but there is no way to do this perfectly.

  9. 9 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Luther’ s whole point is that to ascribe anything to man is to error in thinking. Man is either controlled wholely by Satan or God. I can at least understand his line of thinking, but then you try and limit the control that God or Satan has at a given point. You act like God himself cannot prevent you from sinning. You want to both deny the existence of free will and turn back around and attribute our acts back to carnal man, like he has the ability to move contrary to the will of God.

  10. 10 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 1:01 am

    In the arguement of free will, you dont get to be on both sides. I stand firm in my belief that by God’s grace, everything has a free will. I suggest you figure out which view point you have of free will, and stand by it unwavering. As is said in the Bible, “Be ye either hot or cold, for if you are luke warm I will spew you out of my mouth.” (paraphrased Revelation 3:16)

  11. June 9, 2012 at 1:07 am

    Josh said: “Echo, Luther says you will change and do only good.”

    Where did he say that?

  12. 12 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 1:11 am

    I quoted it above, pg 103. If I remeber correctly, there are several more statements similar to this. Would you like me to pull them out?

  13. June 9, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Yes please. Thanks.

  14. 14 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 4:26 am

    From what I have seen of LDS vs Chtistian contradictions, those differences are in the Bible. For instance, (and man do I dislike bringing this up yet again…. Please dont open this can, I am merely showing a point) works are both said unnecessary and necessary in the Bible. Some Christians take one side and say they are not necessary, some take the other side and say they are. This is a contradiction and it is in the Bible. For one side to say the other is wrong is difficult, as there is a lot of scripture to support either side.
    Again, please dont open this can. I am not using works to prove or refute anything other than the delima of apparent contradictions within the Bible itself.
    Another example of a contradiction in the Bible was the “error” thing we came to the other day. 1 scripture says be weary, for the lying pen of scribes has handled the scripture, and God says he protects his word. Some say God protected his word in one way, others say he protected it in another.
    When you read something you feel contradicts the Bible from the BoM, a majority of the time we support the claim from something in the Bible. I say it is a personal choice to see or not see a contradiction. I can not speak to the spirit that is in you for discernment, but I can tell you the spirit that I have. I can tell you that often when working alone in the yard, I find myself singing songs of praise to the Lord. I can tell you that when I was alone in Iraq, I spoke to the Lord frequently. Now, if you choose to believe that these things are of Satan, so be it. I know they are not.

  15. 15 joshtried
    June 9, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Sorry, somehow I posted that to the wrong page…

  16. 16 markcares
    June 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Josh:
    First of all, we base our beliefs on the words of the Bible, not the words of Luther. Having said that, one of the main elements of Luther’s theology was the biblical doctrine of two conflicting natures in a Christian: the flesh and the spirit. Galatians 5:17. Luther would vehemently reject the idea that he thought he was completely changed.
    But let’s get back to the main point. By claiming Luther taught that, are you claiming that is what Mormonism teaches, as I have posted? If not, do you agree with Shem’s interpretation or do you have a different interpretation?

  17. 17 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 2:42 am

    While I understand that you dont necessarily study Luther, I find it important because it illuminates the beginning of where your view of the Bible came from. When you read the Bible, or things concerning heaven, you do so with the preconceived notion of a nonexistent free will. In doing so, your entire outlook on the Bible and any given verse is going to be changed. When you read anything from our church, of course you are going to find fault with it, because the cores of our religion are so different.
    As to shems definition vs yours, I find shems to be a more complete portrayal of how our relationship should be with God. We do our best, and as we do so, our best will get better. We are to do our best everyday. A decent example of this is professional sports. They are paid to do their very best every day. That doesnt mean they will never lose. Some days, there best isnt good enough, and they need to be forgiven by their manager so they can continue to play the game and do their best in the next game. Our payment is not cash, but eternal salvation. Our game is every opportunity we have to sin. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. This doesnt mean we dont give our best. Again I will quote Luther… “woe unto the Christian who doubts the truth of what is commanded him and does not follow it!-for how can he believe what he does not follow?” As to living in sin, we are told in the Bible to give up our sin to the lord. If we dont accept Christ for some of our sin, then we must pay for them ourselves.
    As to eventually being able to not sin, that should be the goal of every Chriatian, we shouldnt give up. Through Christ it is possible. To deny this is to deny that through him ALL things are possible.

  18. 18 markcares
    June 10, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Josh:
    Forsake does not mean try your hardest. “Trying is not sufficient. . . To try is weak.” Spencer Kimball in the Miracle of Forgiveness. Who is a better interpreter of Mormonism? Josh or Spencer Kimball?

  19. 19 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 3:12 am

    And that is a process. the first day someone hears about christ they are not going to understand what all is entailed with being a follower as someone who had been following and studying Christ for years. They must be taught. Even studying for years does not mean you know and understand everything. (this is world vs heaven, as we are accountable the same for our sins in heaven). This should all be personal accountability, and not necessarily judgement for others. Kimball is not saying failing occassional will keep you from Heaven. The concern is blantantly intentional sin after claiming to accept Christ. We may relapse unintentionally, but to do so intentionally is to reject Christ.

  20. 20 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 4:00 am

    And, just as “The Bondage of the Will” is not scriptue, neither is “The Miracle of Forgiveness.” While it is true a prophet speaks for God, as I have demonstrated before every word that comes out of their mouth is not God speaking. If a prophet were to tell you your shoe is untied, it would not be God speaking. If he said “This is now scripture,” we may be discussing it differently. I dont know a single LDS person that holds this as scripture.

  21. 21 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Echo, some of these references may seem obscure, but for the most part I feel them to be Luther saying we will do only good once the spirit of God is in us.
    (pg 52-53) Man’s will is like a beast standing between two riders. If God rides, it wills and goes where God wills.
    (pg 80) For the will of God is effective and cannot be impeded.
    (pg 84) knowing that God does not lie, but brings all things to pass immutably, and His will cannot be resisted, altered or impeded.
    (pg 103) But if a stronger appears, and overcomes Satan, we are once more servants and captives, but now desiring and willingly doing what He wills.
    Now, these statements by themselves do not say “man does good” it says man CANNOT resist God’s will. We know God is good, and cannot sin. Every person claiming Christ accepts this as true. To say then that “carnal man” is able is some way to resist God’s will is flat out wrong. The moment of God overcoming Satan, man should only be able to do perfect good, according to this breakdown.

  22. 22 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Again, above is my take on Luther’s writing. I find Luther to be wrong about free will, but if you are claiming he is correct, then you should on principle agree with what I wrote above. Personally, I find the fact that we do continue to sin after accepting Christ proof that free will is alive and well. To me, by grace there has always been freedom of choice concerning heaven and hell, and there will always continue to be that choice.

  23. June 10, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Josh said: ” They are paid to do their very best every day. That doesnt mean they will never lose. Some days, there best isnt good enough, and they need to be forgiven by their manager so they can continue to play the game and do their best in the next game. Our payment is not cash, but eternal salvation.”

    But Josh, if we are totally honest with ourselves and more importantly with God, we continually fail to do our best. I mean, we can certainly hide many (if not all) of our failures from our family, friends and neighbors but we can’t hide it from God.
    What anchor, what assurance, what certainty do we REALLY have, right now, that we will ever get paid with eternal salvation? Do you have that certainty right now?

  24. June 10, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Josh, what Luther means when he says we can only do good once the spirit of God is in us means that a man without the spirit, doesn’t do things pleasing to God whether the man thinks they are good or not. The Bible says: “Without faith it is impossible to please God” So this means for example that folks without faith that are out there feeding the poor are not pleasing God by their act of feeding the poor.

  25. 25 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Just as sports players have contracts, so too do we Echo. God said believe on my son and in me and be saved. If I am not believing him, if I am not doing what he commanded, then I am not going to be saved. The absolute biggest thing here is the belief. But belief and testimony must be grown. I didnt just wake up one day and decide I am going to live every precept of Christianity ever taught. You gain you testimony of Christ through believing first in little things, then in bigger and bigger things. You must learn that sometimes, God says no to a prayer, and you must learn that no was the right thing for you. You wont learn that the moment God says it, you learn it latter and go “ohhhhhhhhh. Now I see.” A great song about this goes “I thank God for unanswered prayers.” But the artist didnt know to be thankful until much later. That grows testimony.

  26. 26 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 4:39 am

    The will of a man can only be bound to one captor Echo. Once God controls the will of a man, there can be no deviating from God’s will. What you are talking about is man outside the captivity of God or Satan. Luther explains that this simply does not happen. Period. You are either bound by one or by the other.If you are bound by Satan, you sin, if you are bound by God, you do good.

  27. June 10, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Josh said: ” If I am not believing him, if I am not doing what he commanded, then I am not going to be saved”

    Being totally honest, I don’t always do what he commanded though, how about you?

    “You are either bound by one or by the other.If you are bound by Satan, you sin, if you are bound by God, you do good.”

    That’s right. Keep reading. :)

  28. 28 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 5:20 am

    No I dont always do what is commanded. That is why Jesus came to earth. If I were perfect, there would be no need for him. The discussion here is not if I am perfect, it is can I be 99.9% perfect through life. God didnt say we must sin 100’s of times. He said we will all sin. That 0.1%. That is what Christ is there for. Now, he is also there for that person that sins 99.9% of their life, but they must repent.

  29. 29 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 5:28 am

    As to the “thats right” comment, if I am right, then why are you trying to say that man has any power to act outside of God? Why am I having to describe to you what should already be known to you? If you are controlled by God, and God cannot sin, and your will is that of Gods, then how exactly does a person sin after recieving God? In fact, how does the transition from being controlled by Satan to be controlled by God work? This is especially curious if we have no say in the switch.
    On to greener pasteurs though.
    Have you sinned since God took control of your will Echo? Or have you been perfect? What about you Mark? Are you perfect now, or does your carnal man find a way to influence the immutable will of God?

  30. 30 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 5:38 am

    As a subject changer since I really dont see the last questions being answered as they were asked…..
    Echo, it has been quite a while since you asked regarding false prophecies. You stated that you would research the tenple one in more depth. Have you had adequate time to come to a conclusion with regard to this prophecy??

  31. 31 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 5:50 am

    “temple one…..”

  32. June 10, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Josh said: “Echo, some of these references may seem obscure, but for the most part I feel them to be Luther saying we will do only good once the spirit of God is in us.

    pg 52-53) Man’s will is like a beast standing between two riders. If God rides, it wills and goes where God wills.

    In the above quote, in context, Luther is talking about man’s state prior to his conversion. He goes on to say: “As a sinner, he is in the devil’s kingdom, and can do nothing but choose to remain there; it is not in his nature to do anything else. As a creature, he is in the hand of God, who leaves him under the power of sin, or rescues him from its clutches by renewing his nature, according to HIs own free and sovereign will.” That has nothing to do with obedience to the commandments.

    (pg 80) For the will of God is effective and cannot be impeded.

    This also has nothing to do with obeying the commandments. It is talking about the fact that man cannot convert himself or choose God. Only God can convert man.

    (pg 84) knowing that God does not lie, but brings all things to pass immutably, and His will cannot be resisted, altered or impeded.

    The quote above also has nothing to do with obedience to the commandments. It is talking about God bringing all things to pass immutably no matter what man does.

    (pg 103) But if a stronger appears, and overcomes Satan, we are once more servants and captives, but now desiring and willingly doing what He wills.

    The above quote In context doesn’t say that we will “only” do good but that we now desire and are willing to do what God wills. That doesn’t mean we do only good but that now there is a fight between the two riders just as the context states.

    Now, these statements by themselves do not say “man does good” it says man CANNOT resist God’s will. We know God is good, and cannot sin. Every person claiming Christ accepts this as true. To say then that “carnal man” is able is some way to resist God’s will is flat out wrong. The moment of God overcoming Satan, man should only be able to do perfect good, according to this breakdown.”

    So your thoughts on all of these quotes have been taken out of context. I don’t recommend interpreting Luther’s book or God’s word in this way because it always leads to a false interpretation. Context is very important.

  33. June 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Josh said: “As a subject changer since I really dont see the last questions being answered as they were asked…..
    Echo, it has been quite a while since you asked regarding false prophecies. You stated that you would research the tenple one in more depth. Have you had adequate time to come to a conclusion with regard to this prophecy??”

    Our company leaves town tommorow and then I am hoping to have more time to read.

  34. June 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Josh said: “No I dont always do what is commanded.”

    According to our theology, and Martin Luther’s Book that you are reading, nothing you do right now is pleasing to God. Absolutely nothing. This is something that might shock you or insult you but I don’t mean to bring you harm by it but rather only soul saving truth. However it was the same truth I had to face about everything I did prior to my own conversion. You currently fit into that category (I fit into that category prior to my conversion) because everything you do is done with the idea that all the “good” that you do during this life, you do (I shall borrow your analogy) under the impression that you will be “paid” with eternal life. God rejects that notion and considers it “unbelief” in what Jesus has done for you.

    So how do you think will you fare in the judgment when nothing you do is pleasing to God?

  35. June 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    To continue from post 34…

    Martin Luther in the book: Bondage of the Will said: “For the first: God has surely promised His grace to the humbled: that is, to those who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realizes that his salvation [entrance into eternal life in the celestial kingdom] is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the will, council, pleasure and work of Another–God alone. As long as he is persuaded that he can make even the smallest contribution to his salvation [something Mormons believe], he remains self-confident and does not utterly despair of himself (or at least hopes and longs for) salvation. But he who is out of doubt that his destiny depends entirely on the will of God despairs entirely of himself, chooses nothing for himself, but waits for God to work in him; and such a man is very near to grace fore his salvation. So these truths are published for the sake of the elect, that they may be humbled and brought down to nothing, and so saved. The rest of men resist this humiliation; indeed, they condemn the teaching of self despair; they want a little something left that they can do for themselves. Secretly they continue proud, and enemies of the grace of God” page 100-101

    Notice how you have to be brought to nothing. This is what I attempted to do in my last post. To show you how all your works are nothing but dung in God’s eyes. For the reason that I stated.

  36. 36 joshtried
    June 10, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    “For the first: God has surely promised His grace to the humbled:”
    God’s grace is given to ALL, not just the humbled. you err in this thinking. It is by His grace that everything continues. It is mercy to allow the prospect of salvation.

    “So your thoughts on all of these quotes have been taken out of context.”
    How exactly are these taken out of context? The entire books is about the ABSOLUTE and IRRESISTIBLE will of God. To say that man has any say in the will of God is to err. God is supposed to be in control of EVERYTHING according to Luther. If man is able to alter the path of God, then Luther is wrong. If by context you mean it is wrong of me to use something outside of this book to prove that the book is wrong, where have i done that? I can, but i havent. His own words lead to his demise. I cant even begin to count how many times LDS have been chided for the looking to the fall of man in any form of good light, yet here is Luther saying EVERYTHING happens AS GOD WILLS IT. And though God cannot sin, without God, Satan would have no power, as God works through Satan, to God’s own ends. Everything, EVERYTHING is supposed to be done because that is how God chose it to be. Therefore, rejoice in all. rejoice in rape and murder. Rejoice in pedophilia and spousal abuse. Because without it, you would not know the joy in sex and marriage and family.

    Apparently though, i was right. you will not answer if you are perfect or not. If you did you would have to accept what i say as being true. You would have to reject this great man that has proposed such an ridiculous claim, but that so many people have willingly stumbled into.
    So, i ask again echo, are you perfect and hold in you the will of God, or are you evil, and hold in you the will of the Father of lies, that of Satan?

  37. June 10, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Josh, may I suggest that you go back and read the book from the beginning. You have completely missed Luther’s message. What Luther simply means is found on the bottom of page 102, top of page 103 and that is this: “The will [prior to God’s converting man] cannot change itself, nor give itself another bent” …However, God uses that unchanged and evil will in accordance with his good and perfect will. He can also change the bent of that will through conversion.

    Josh said: “God’s grace is given to ALL, not just the humbled. you err in this thinking”

    Proverbs 3:34 “He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.”

    James 4:6 “That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

    1 Peter 5:5 “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

    Josh said: “Apparently though, i was right. you will not answer if you are perfect or not. If you did you would have to accept what i say as being true. You would have to reject this great man that has proposed such an ridiculous claim, but that so many people have willingly stumbled into.
    So, i ask again echo, are you perfect and hold in you the will of God, or are you evil, and hold in you the will of the Father of lies, that of Satan?”

    You interpreted Luther’s words out of context. Luther isn’t saying that we will obey perfectly, so there is no point in answering the question. At least not until you first understand what Luther really meant. But once you understand what Luther really meant, then you would no longer need to ask the question and you will understand why.

  38. June 11, 2012 at 12:25 am

    What I must get you to realize Josh is that when we are under the impression that we will be “paid” with eternal life, we are being proud and like Luther said:

    “a man cannot be thoroughly humbled till he realizes that his salvation [entrance into eternal life in the celestial kingdom] is utterly beyond his own powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the will, council, pleasure and work of Another–God alone.”

    And just as Luther and the Bible say….God gives grace to the humble. God mocks the proud. The whole idea of us believing we can be paid with eternal life is a belief system built on nothing other than pride.

  39. June 11, 2012 at 12:37 am

    “Grace doesn’t sell; you can hardly even give it away, because it works only for losers and no one wants to stand in their line. The world of winners will buy case lots of moral advice, grosses of guilt-edged prohibitions, skids of self-improvement techniques, and whole truckloads of transcendental hot air. But it will not buy free forgiveness because that threatens to let the riffraff into the Supper of the Lamb.” –Capon

    Until the proud admit they are “losers” they will never receive the grace given to the humble.

    Are you a loser Josh?

  40. 40 joshtried
    June 11, 2012 at 1:51 am

    I used payment as an analogy to represent what could be lost if fired. Salvation can be lost through blaspheme, just as the player could be fired for not giving their all, thus no longer receiving any payment.

  41. 41 joshtried
    June 11, 2012 at 1:54 am

    On top of that, you wanna go back and count how many times I say that my actions without christ deserve hell? Have I not made that clear in all our discussion?

  42. June 11, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Josh said: “On top of that, you wanna go back and count how many times I say that my actions without christ deserve hell? Have I not made that clear in all our discussion?”

    What do you mean when you say that? Do you mean that unless Christ provided a way for you to have more chances to overcome your sins so that you could be forgiven, you would deserve Hell?

  43. 43 Kent
    June 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Sorry to get off of topic here but what I am posting here really jumped out at me and it shows, besides prophesies that didn’t come true, how Joseph Smith and any other modern day prophets cannot be prophets of God that give or gave new revelations.

    Hebrews 1:1-2

    1 God, who at various times and in various ways SPOKE in time PAST to the fathers by the PROPHETS, 2 has in these last days SPOKEN to us by HIS SON, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.

    Since God spoke through His prophets in the past but not now, Jospeh Smith and any others, according to the Bible, could not be prophets who give or gave new revelations as he and the others came when the time for God to speak through the prophets was already over.

    Mormons, you can choose not to believe the Bible regarding this and hold on to a false prophet like Joseph Smith but really, at the very least, you are wasting your time as, because as stated in Hebrews 1, God no longer speaks through the prophets like He did in the past.

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

  44. 44 Kent
    June 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Add on to my last post, yes there can be prophets in the modern times in a sense such as God giving someone knowledge, but as far as someone saying, like the old testament prophets, that the Lord saith, that God is speaking, those times are over and Hebrews 1 bears this out.

    So again, Joseph Smith and other modern day prophets couldn’t have been and aren’t prophets at all.

    Hebrews 1:1-2

    1 God, who at various times and in various ways SPOKE in time PAST to the fathers by the PROPHETS, 2 has in these last days SPOKEN to us by HIS SON, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.

  45. 45 joshtried
    June 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    kent, i would love to correct you. Let me know if you would like to hear the truth.

  46. 46 Kent
    June 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Joshtried, the word of God, the Bible, says that God doesn’t speak through His prophets today but He did speak through his prophets in the past so I will take God at His word for it.

    Hebrews 1:1-2

    1 God, who at various times and in various ways SPOKE in time PAST to the fathers by the PROPHETS, 2 has in these last days SPOKEN to us by HIS SON, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.

  47. 47 joshtried
    June 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    That says there is no prophet alive when Christ was, because there is no point. In THESE days…

  48. 48 shematwater
    June 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    You know, I have noticed how much Echo doesn’t like Josh trying to interpret the words of Martin Luther, especially when it disagrees what he has been posting here. And yet he takes the liberty of interpreting the words of the leaders of our church, and then dismisses anything we we about them as “Oh that is just your opinion.”
    Great. I choose to dismiss everything that Echo says regarding the meaning of Martin Luther as just his opinion, and thus not really carrying any weight.

    Now, I have not read the book that Josh is quoting, though I would like to when I am able. However, from what is said I have to say that Josh’s take actually seems to accept what Martin Luther is saying, rather than spinning it in favor of personal ideas, as Echo’s does.

  49. 49 joshtried
    June 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Eph. 4:7 “Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”

  50. 50 joshtried
    June 11, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    while MORE grace may be given to the humbled, grace is given to all.

  51. June 12, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Josh said: “while MORE grace may be given to the humbled, grace is given to all.”

    Eph 4:7 applies to believers.

  52. 52 joshtried
    June 12, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Kent, prove to me that one prophecy was false. Just one. That is all i ask. Irrefutably prove it. Please. Do this one thing, and every Mormon in the world that truly wishes to follow Christ will stop. The religion may continue, but SO many souls would be saved. Please, prove it. For your sake and for mine. I am here logically seeking evidence of the truth of Christ. I know how the Bible speaks to proving a false prophet. So please, for me, prove just one.

  53. June 12, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Josh said: “prove to me that one prophecy was false. Just one.”

    Joseph Smith’s diary, March 10, 1843—July 14, 1843: “… I prophecy in the name of the Lord God—& let it be written: that the Son of Man will not come in the heavens till I am 85 years old 48 years hence or about 1890….”

  54. 54 shematwater
    June 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    ECHO

    Did Christ come before 1890? No. So this is not false. Joseph never once wrote that he would come at this time, but that he would not come until this time had arrived, which leaves all the time after it open for his arrival.

    Joseph Smith also wrote this: “I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:
    Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.
    I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face.
    I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.”
    Doctrine and Covenants 130: 14-17

    This was given to the brethren in April of 1843, right smack in the center of the time frame listed for his journal.

    It is clear that Joseph Smith never intended his words to mean that Christ would return in 1890, but that it would not be before 1890.

  55. 55 joshtried
    June 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    2 things wrong.
    First, He hasnt come. Had he come before Joseph was 85, the prophecy would have been a lie. Second, unless I am mistaken, part of it was if Joseph was alive at that age. He was not alive by then.

  56. 56 shematwater
    June 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    It would also be nice to have the entire journal entry, rather than just a small clip.

  57. June 14, 2012 at 6:10 am

    JOSH,

    Here are some quotes from the 7 Volume: History of the Church, Joseph Smith Period 1…

    “President Smith then stated…it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh even fifty-six years should wind up the scene” (Vol 2 page 182)

    “Among the number, my father presented himself, but before I washed his feet, I asked of him a father’s blessing, which he granted by laying his hands upon my head, in the name of Jesus Christ, and declaring that I should continue in the Priest’s office until Christ comes” (January 23, 1833 Vol 1 page 323)

    “The Spirit of the Lord fell upon Joseph Smith in an unusual manner, and he prophesied that John the revelator was then among the ten tribes of Israel…After he had prophesied he laid his hands upon Lyman Wight and ordained him…And the Spirit fell upon Lyman, and he prophesied concerning the coming of Christ. He said that there were some in the congregation that should live until the savior should descend from Heaven with a shout, with all the holy angels with him. ” (John Whitmer Vol 1 page 176)

    “The blessing of Lyman E. Johnson was…that holy angels shall administer to him occasionally…and that he shall live until the gathering is accomplished…and he shall see the savior come and stand upon the earth with power and great glory” (Vol 2 page 188)

    “Heber C. Kimball’s blessing was…that many millions may be converted by his instrumentality; that angels may waft him from place to place, and the he may stand unto the coming of our Lord” (Vol 2 page 189)

    William Smith’s blessing: “He shall be preserved and remain on the earth, until Christ shall come to take vengeance on the wicked” (Vol 2, page 191)

    The thing to keep in mind about quotes like Shem produced is that the Mormon Church has a proven track record of making changes/adding/deleting from historical records. The BOM itself has had around 4000 changes made, some of those changes being major doctrinal changes. The D & C had had many additions and deletions. John Dehlin is a currently practicing and active Mormon who himself states that the BOM had had around 4000 changes. He also states that the church has hidden/covered-up information. (to keep members from hearing it). He also references a video of the Mormon Prophet on Larry King Live lying to the public. My thoughts on this are: If they can lie to the public, they can lie to you. Check out his video for yourself …

  58. 58 joshtried
    June 14, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Pres Hinkley did not lie (if this is the “lying” in question). He stated polygamy was not a requirement.

    Second, several months ago when i asked for a prophecy to look at to decide if there were any false, you chose one and i rebutted it. You dont have time to figure out that one to its fullest, but you claim now that you know all there is to know concerning these matters? I highly doubt it. As such, i am not going to bother with them. When i feel you have adequately studied a matter such as this out, I may reply in return. Until then, any reply i give is pointless. Even when i give a great reply that more than satisfies the argument, it is cast aside as if it where something trivial. No more of that will you get from me Echo. If you want to discuss these claims with me, i ask for your judgement concerning that which you have already agreed to study in fullness.

  59. June 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    President HInkley on God once being a man said to Larry King: “I don’t know much about it, I don’t know that we teach it”

  60. June 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Also, Polygamy is still practiced in the temple. So it is Doctrinal.

  61. June 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    To be fair Josh, I told you recently that I would begin reading this week what you asked me to read.

  62. June 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Josh said: “You dont have time to figure out that one to its fullest, but you claim now that you know all there is to know concerning these matters?”

    Josh, a person doesn’t have to know everything to the fullest. The statements above in post 57 are enough proof that this is a false prophet we are dealing with. And I didn’t even give you all the quotes I have on the matter.

  63. 63 shematwater
    June 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    ECHO

    Second quote: one is still a priest after their death, as long as they were worthy in life. You really need to take a more eternal perspective of things.

    Fourth quote: Just because Lyman Johnson died, or left the church, does not mean he will not see this event. If does not say that he will not die until the event takes place, only that he will see it. This is just like Job’s declaration that worms would eat his body, but in the flesh he would see God. It is easily referencing a future after death. Also note that it is a blessing, and thus contingent on the worthiness of Lyman Johnson.

    Quote Five: To stand does not necessarily mean to live. It means to retain his authority and calling. He is still standing as an apostle, holding all the authority he had in life. Again, an eternal perspective is needed.

    Quote Six: Christ taking vengeance on the wicked is also not necessarily a reference to the second coming. He took vengeance on the wicked during the Civil War, as well as during the two world wars, and at various other times, though various other means. However, one must also note that this is a blessing, and is thus again contingent on personal worthiness.

    I think this illustrates that you don’t really understand prophecy, but are seeking out anything you can find that will assist in your beliefs.

  64. 64 joshtried
    June 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    “To be fair Josh, I told you recently that I would begin reading this week what you asked me to read.”

    That is all good and well, but you havent done the same thing with these quotes. Until you have, I strongly suggest that they arent used. Of course, what i suggest really has no bearing on these matters. What matters is LDS are wrong, period. I thought that we had come to an understanding at that time that we would in fullness discuss one at a time until all prophecies you have were either satisfied, and JS and any other prophet WAS a prophet, or until we satisfied things the other way and they were not a prophet. Apparently i was mistaken. Perhaps you only meant to do this with this one prophecy?

  65. 65 joshtried
    June 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    “Josh, a person doesn’t have to know everything to the fullest. The statements above in post 57 are enough proof that this is a false prophet we are dealing with. And I didn’t even give you all the quotes I have on the matter.”

    The one scripture you pulled out regarding the temple being built looked like it was enough to prove a false prophet as well. I showed you that theory was wrong. If you want to discuss them one at a time, i am more than happy to do so with you. I am more than willing to find the truth out about every single one. What about you?

  66. 66 joshtried
    June 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    “President HInkley on God once being a man said to Larry King: “I don’t know much about it, I don’t know that we teach it””

    Shem has explained how we dont and havent taught this. What point is there of getting into a huge debate with this on TV? Either you believe that we taught it, or you know we didnt.

  67. 67 joshtried
    June 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    “Also, Polygamy is still practiced in the temple. So it is Doctrinal.”

    Under certain circumstances, there could be polygamist practices. I dont know how it works if one person dies. I am sure if we were to do work for the dead, and they were polygamists, they would be sealed accordingly.

    The thing in question is whether polygamy is “required” of every LDS person. It is not required. It is doctrinal throughout the Bible, and it is doctrinal to us. There is a big difference between doctrinal and required.
    It is doctrinal (established by the Bible) that Christ had people rise from the dead prior to his resurrection (lazarus). It is doctrinal that we can be doing greater things than him. Name someone since him that has done greater things.
    John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
    So, is it a requirement to bring people back to life, Echo?

  68. June 15, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Josh, do you remember what the name of the thread was where we discussed Zion?

  69. June 15, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Josh said: ” I am more than willing to find the truth out about every single one. What about you?”

    Me too Josh, me too. But somehow I sense from Shem at least, that perhaps you both are more interested in finding ways to justify these prophecies rather than finding the real truth.

  70. 70 joshtried
    June 15, 2012 at 4:33 am

    If that is true, then i await your answer your answer regarding the first.
    And no, I dont remember which thread it was in.

  71. June 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks Josh,

    I was hoping to go back and get the whole list of sections I am to read. I have started reading but I think I am covering more off topic territory than I need to.

  72. 73 shematwater
    June 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    ECHO

    My purpose is to explain, not to justify. Truth needs no justification, but it frequently needs to be explained.

    Joseph Smith was a prophet. That is true, and no amount of research is going to make it false.

  73. 74 Kent
    June 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Echo said, “My purpose is to explain, not to justify. Truth needs no justification, but it frequently needs to be explained.

    Joseph Smith was a prophet. That is true, and no amount of research is going to make it false.”

    A Muslim would likely say, “My purpose is to explain, not to justify. Truth needs no justification, but it frequently needs to be explained.

    Mohammad was a prophet. That is true, and no amount of research is going to make it false.”

    So basing a whole religion on whether a certain person is a prophet or not really doesn’t hold up.

    Christianity rises or falls on whether Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, who has always been God and who was never a spirit child, and it rises and falls on the fact that Jesus came in the flesh, Emmanuel (God with us), to be the perfect blameless sacrifice to take away the sins of the world foretold by the old testament sacrifices of innocent spotless blameless animals and by His rising again on the third day and nothing else.

    It is all about Jesus Christ, not Joseph Smith or Mohammad.

  74. 75 joshtried
    June 19, 2012 at 2:51 am

    Part of the argument made against Mormons Kent, is that our prophet is false. As such, it is occasionally necessary for us to verify whether or not he is a prophet, because through him, certain things that “you” (Christians) dont believe are true were revealed. We do believe them to be true. If JS is proved to be a false prophet, that would negate our entire claim in one fail swoop. The rest of what Mark, or just about anyone else talks about in these threads is all a matter of perspective. As such, those are not the way to combat “Mormons.” A good example is “free will.” Some Christians believe we have it, other Christians believe we dont. Believing you have free will does not make you Mormon. As such, to debate that to prove Mormons wrong is not going to work. Some Christians believe works necessary, some Christians dont. Believing works are necessary does not make you a Mormon. To debate this to prove Mormons wrong is not going to work. To prove a Mormon wrong, you have to attack what is truly different. What is truly different is we have a prophet, and we have current revelation and “prophecies.” These are the points where you are going to truly and finally (if ever) prove a Mormon wrong. It is only in debating these points that this debate is ever going to be settled.

    Mark, i know you are busy, but i truly hope you take this into consideration when writing future threads or blogs or whatever these discussions are called. Debating the Bible is not going to prove Mormons wrong in any way. There are so many different sects of Christianity all reading the Bible a little different. You accept them in their reading of the Bible simply because it is the same book. If you really want to prove us wrong, then direct us to the true differences, and let the light shine where it will.

  75. 76 shematwater
    June 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    “Christianity rises or falls on whether Jesus Christ is the only Son of God…and who was never a spirit child”

    So, if it can be shown that Christ is not the only son, or that he indeed was a spirit child the entire theological system that is Christianity collapses? Interesting. Everything hinges on whether or not Christ came after the Father as his child in spirit. Seems to be a rather weak foundation.

  76. 77 Kent
    June 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Shem quoted me as saying, “Christianity rises or falls on whether Jesus Christ is the only Son of God…and who was never a spirit child”

    But that is only part of what I actually said, “Christianity rises or falls on whether Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, who has always been God and who was never a spirit child, and it rises and falls on the fact that Jesus came in the flesh, Emmanuel (God with us), to be the perfect blameless sacrifice to take away the sins of the world foretold by the old testament sacrifices of innocent spotless blameless animals and by His rising again on the third day and nothing else.”

    So I actually said it all hinges on not only who Jesus is and always has been, God, the second person of the trinity, who was never a spirit child, but also on what He did by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day. I would say that is a much stronger foundation than whether a mere man, Joseph Smith or Mohammad for that matter, was a prophet.

    Kate, who used to post here said one time that I know full well that Mormons are talking about the same Jesus that we are talking about but, really, I know no such thing. The Mormon Jesus is not the same Jesus of the Bible.

    So, yes, it is very important to know who Jesus is and since Jesus has always been God, that means that He never was a spirit child (less than God) who somehow became God so then we can’t go from being spirit children, even if we really were spirit children before, to being gods ourselves. Jesus Christ is the creator and He is not and never has been part of the creation.

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!

  77. 78 shematwater
    June 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    KENT

    If Christianity depends on what you say, than any part of what you say being proved wrong causes the complete collapse of the entire theological system. You can’t make a list of requirements and then say that all of them have to be false to make Christianity collapse. It doesn’t work.
    Thus, if one criterion for Christianity to be true is that Christ was never a spirit shild of the Father, than what you are saying is that if he is proven to be such the entire system collapses.

    Actually, what I find interesting is that you lump all Christianity together. So you are claiming that if this one point is not true than not only is your version of Christianity a goner, but so is Catholisism, the Eatern Orthodox, the Coptic Christians, the Baptist, Methodists, Lutehrans, Calvinists, and all the other thousands of denominations that exist.
    Your statement is that if this list that you have generated is not completely true than all those who believe in Christ believe in a false system.

    Not only have you placed a rather shaky foundation, but have applied to millions of people whose faith and religion would not be threatened by it.

  78. 79 Kent
    June 23, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Shem, although I would have questions about whether a mass murderer really was a true believer in Christ based on his actions, if he was a true believer in Christ and only God and the person himself truly knows if this is the case or not , he would have eternal life in the presence of God forever but he would have to pay the penalty for his crimes here on earth which could include, depending on the jurisdiction who was prosecuting the crimes, being put to death for his crimes. The blood of Jesus took away all of the sins of the world, not just some, or most of the sins of the world.

    WHOEVER BELIEVES IN THE SON HAS ETERNAL LIFE!

    SAVED=ETERNAL LIFE=EVERLASTING LIFE!


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