Who Voided the Atonement of Christ?
We received an e-mail from a member of the LDS Church who felt compelled to reply to our online newsletter he received last week. I thought it was important to share this with our readers for two reasons. First, to show the mindset of the Mormon and secondly, to ask the Mormon some serious questions. I began questioning the Church long before I had graduated from high school, but the condition of my spiritual life hadn’t come into question until I sat with my husband in a graveyard in Vegas.
Seventeen years ago next month my husband and I were listening to a local bishop tell us we were going to hell at our daughter’s funeral. The reason for this he told us was because we weren’t married in the temple; in other words whatever it was that Jesus did meant nothing if we hadn’t done our duty by being “sealed for all time and eternity”. He assured us that Mallory would be given to some other worthy couple who would want to see her in heaven. While it still took me another four or so years to actually leave it was at her funeral that God got my attention and the reality of Mormonism finally sank in for me…I began wondering why Jesus would hate me for not being married in a certain building.
When I read the e-mail we received last week I began thinking about our experience at Mallory’s funeral and also began wondering if this man had ever asked himself his own set of questions. There was one thing I knew for sure; I had to share his e-mail with our readers. Here is what he said:
“Thanks for sending me your anti-MORMON newsletter — I love censorious anti-Mormons!
However, I disagree with your filthy “ABOMINATION” theology because you make void the Atonement of Christ. In fact, you believe that all faithful Mormons are going to burn in hell for all eternity and this makes your weak idiot god a LOSER. Only LOSERS are stupid enough to believe in some idiot god who’s a LOSER — LOSER!
Our (LDS) loving God came to seek and save that which is lost. This is the reason we build Temples to the Most High God and send our missionaries into all the world. Someday we’re going to reel you in — DEAD or ALIVE.
Wishing you peace and understanding,”
I found his note to be very telling in regards to his anger and spiritual aptitude showing the obvious disregard of the Lord’s second greatest commandment: Matthew 22:36-39; “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
The apostle John gave us the test for us to tell who our brothers are in Christ. He said in 1 John 3:9-14; “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
Here you can see for yourself if this gentleman passed the test that John so eloquently portrayed for us. I am inclined to say that he has failed it miserably. In addition to his note that came in today our ministry line rang as well. On the other end of that line was a precious sister in the Lord asking us to pray for her very active Mormon husband. She recently escaped the lies of Mormonism asked me if she was just imagining that her in-laws who are all LDS seemed to hold her in a lower view than she did them. She didn’t want to seem paranoid, but couldn’t quite understand why she couldn’t break through some invisible barrier that was difficult to describe. I assured her that it wasn’t her imagination and my proof is the e-mail that we received today.
I’ve been doing ministry work now for over a decade and each time I receive an e-mail like this one I cannot describe how much it breaks my heart. The feelings are a mix of shock and sadness every time. Shock that anyone would be so angry; yet is serves as a reminder to me each day of how I used to live my own life. And sadness that he doesn’t know the truth about Jesus. He deserves to hear and know the truth as there isn’t much truth being spread around in Mormonism.
I’ve had countless people tell me they can’t believe that their Mormon friend or neighbor would have so much animosity inside of them as they are the nicest people they’ve ever met. In fact, I can still remember that our own comrade in arms, Mark Grote, said this to me the first time I met him! He was speaking of his neighbor who happens to be a Mormon bishop. The Lord had laid it on his heart to get the truth out to not only his neighbor but the rest of the Mormon community as well. The Mormon people are indeed some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, but just under the surface there is a tornado of ambiguous feelings raging in their souls. There is a reason why this takes place with them and we want to share this with you so that it might help you understand them a little better as well as giving you a specific way to pray for them.
Years ago a very dear friend of mine, Ed Decker, used to hold annual meetings for ex-Mormons and Mormons alike. He called these meetings Capstone Conferences and would invite well respected theologians from around the world to speak in addition to inviting a spokesman from the LDSChurch for a panel debate. At one of these conferences the late Dr. Walter Martin said: “Mormons give up their spirit, albeit unknowingly, to Ba’al. They want to provoke the anger in you to cover up their guilt and their reaction is a natural one to the assault of lies that has been placed upon their spirits.”
While I never had the blessing of meeting Dr. Martin I feel that his expert opinion best describes what has happened to the Mormon people. Now with that being said let me add that while we shouldn’t be surprised by their reaction it never stops for me! After almost 180 years of lies being built upon lies, generation after generation, it’s as if this is bred into their psyche. Rest assured, being a Mormon is one of the scariest things you’d ever have to do…I know. Is it any wonder a human being would react the way they do? Pray for this people; be on your knees each and every day for our Lord to have mercy on their souls!
Now the second reason for my public response to this e-mail. The Mormon stated that we ‘make void the atonement of Christ’. LDS doctrine is beset with the ideology that you can’t get to heaven without earning your own way there. In light of this let’s take a look at what Paul says in Galatians 2:21; “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
I ask you to compare scripture with what Joseph Smith says by ‘revelation’ and decipher for yourself who is negating the atonement. In 2 Nephi 25:23 it says; “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
The e-mailer didn’t specify how we voided the atonement of Christ, but this is no surprise because it is rare when they will correspond with us for more than one or two e-mails. That isn’t to say we haven’t received some good exchanges with a few individuals, but their moods and language are very contentious without wanting to dig deep into the factual proof we’ve provided for them from the Bible and their own documents.
Let us look at what the facts are from the Bible now because we can sit here all day and discuss the moral character of Mormons and Christians, but this doesn’t get us any closer in understanding the atonement of Jesus Christ.
God acts autonomously; He cannot act any other way it’s virtually impossible. His decision to provide us with the sacrificial Lamb was done regardless of our response to His invitation that’s been given to us through His Son. God’s behavior is not dictated by our moods or actions and His atonement would have taken place no matter how many people would respond, even though He already knew this anyway. If God didn’t have all the power to save or even come up with a plan to save men then how could you ever have enough respect to worship Him? You could never fully believe in, trust in or have a relationship with God if He didn’t have all the power and had to go to other gods to concoct a plan for salvation!
In the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 349 it says: “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it. When we begin to learn this way, we begin to learn the only true God, and what kind of a being we have got to worship. Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach him, and how to ask so as to receive an answer. When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us.”
To see more of his revelation of how this “Plan of Salvation” came about we read in Doctrines of Salvation, 1:64;
“When the plan of redemption was presented and Jesus was chosen to be the Redeemer of the world, some rebelled. They were not willing to accept him as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” . . . In this great rebellion in heaven, Lucifer, or Satan, a son of the morning, and one-third of the hosts thereof were cast out into the earth because Lucifer sought to destroy the free agency of man and the one-third of the spirits sided with him. He sought the throne of God, and put forth his plan in boldness in that great council…”
Now when or if the Mormon tells you they don’t have access to these particular books you can direct them to www.lds.org to retrieve this information or guide them to their quad or 3-in-1. In the Pearl of Great Price, book of Abraham 3:27 it says; “And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.”
Or there is Moses 4:1-4; “And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor. But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever. Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down; And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.”
These are only four examples of the LDS’s version of the ‘Plan of Salvation’. Notice there is the implication that we must have ‘lucked out’ that Jesus was chosen over Lucifer and notice as well that God’s offer of salvation to us through His Son is based on the condition that we behave.
Now let’s see what the Bible says about the atonement. The atonement came as a fulfillment of the Law. Matthew 5:17 says; “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” This is what the angels ‘longed to look at’ and what the Israelites looked to for hope! Jesus would have hung on that cross regardless of your response to God’s call to you. If our choice played a part in whether or not He was sacrificed then wouldn’t that make the atonement void? The atonement took place because as I stated earlier God demanded there be a sacrifice made to ‘cover’ our sins. The Israelites were commanded to sacrifice their ‘first fruit’ and God forgave their sins; this is called a covenant. This word, “covenant” has to be at the top of my list of word studies because understanding this very important word can bring you freedom my friend! It is a promise that is made between two people; in this case God and man.
There are two types of covenants in the Bible; conditional and unconditional. The only conditional covenant in the Bible is the Mosaic Covenant. It was understood that the Lord’s response to the Israelites was based upon their behavior. The Hebrew word for covenant is ‘beriyth’. The transliteration for this word is: in the sense of cutting, a compact made by passing between two pieces of flesh. The establishment of a covenant between God and man was usually made through the shedding of blood. Let’s look at some examples of covenants to get a clear understanding of how they work.
In Genesis 9 we see how God made an unconditional covenant with Noah when He told him that he would never flood the earth again but this isn’t the Mosaic Covenant and it wasn’t with blood, instead God places rainbows in the sky as a reminder to us of His promise. Further into Genesis, we see in chapter 12 God making a covenant with Abraham and this is known as the Abrahamic Covenant. This is an unconditional covenant in addition to being an everlasting covenant.
We find the beginning of covenant making with Moses in Exodus 12; here is the account of the first Passover. If you’re unaware of what this is, let me explain. This is the oldest and greatest holiday that is celebrated by the Israelites and serves as a perfect picture of the future sacrifice of Jesus. It is the foreshadowing of how our redemption is made through the blood of a spotless Lamb and God’s power. The Israelites were to sacrifice a one year old unblemished lamb. They were to take the blood of that lamb and put it on the doorposts and above the doorway. This was to serve as a sign for when the angel of death came through Egypt to slay the oldest male children of each family because of Pharaoh’s hardened heart. This was the price that Moses said he would pay because he wouldn’t let the Israelites be turned free from slavery.
When the Israelites placed that blood on the doorposts and over the doorway they were ensured the lives of their sons. When the next day arrived, God was true to His word; not one of their sons was taken, Pharaoh finally relented and turned the Israelites free. The focus from that time forward to the time of Christ was to be spent looking to God for the promise of the Messiah.
The next time we see covenants being spoken of is in Exodus 19 when the Law was given to Moses. This is the Mosaic Covenant; Exodus 19:5-6 says; “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”
The Law was thus in effect for approximately 1445 years until Jesus died on the cross. I know I am continually harping on John 19:30 but the reason why is to show members of the LDSChurch that the time for sacrifices are indeed finished; Jesus said so Himself! “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
I cannot overstate the importance of this event! Hundreds of respected theologians, monks, priests, pastors and authors have written about this, but I am certain that none of our human words could ever describe the true significance of what took place. Our dear sweet Jesus, the One who created the tree from where the cross was carved, hung on that cross as a willing sacrifice for us all. This sacrifice was not paid in the Garden as it is told by the LDSChurch and if you’re a Mormon I want to show you proof of why this can’t be true.
Hebrews 9:16-7 says; “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.”
God had fulfilled His part of the covenant and delivered the much anticipated sacrificial Lamb. Now while this should suffice as the point of this topic there are other verses and points that I challenge the Mormon to think about as well. We saw earlier the word covenant means a cutting, a compact made by passing between two pieces of flesh. Blood had to be shed to satisfy the demands of our Holy God; the first covenant was made for the covering of sins, not the removal of sins. Only a perfect sacrifice would suffice for the removal of our sins and now when God looks upon us He sees us through His Son that He gave for that covenant. There is absolutely nothing you could possibly do in this life to make Him see you in any other light! What works could you do that would equate in measure to His Son giving His life for you? Who else has died in your stead for your sins to be forgiven?
To the templeMormon:
Is this what you do when you take out your endowments in the temple?
What exactly are you sacrificing when you walk through those doors of the temple?
What sacrifice could possibly be better than Jesus Christ?
Who are you swearing your allegiance to while you’re there?
Aren’t you making the atonement null and void by covering yourself with garments
that holds no power to make you holy?
Those are temporal things which do not last but the garments of righteousness we wear as Christians have been washed in the water of His word Eph. 5:26-7 and have been washed white with the blood of Christ! Rev. 7:14. The Greek word for garments here is ‘himation’; an inner cloak or robe.
God truly blessed Kirk and I at that funeral all those years ago! I know nothing else would have captured our attention like that. I pray that if you’re a Mormon you would begin asking yourself simple questions to see if the LDS doctrine lines up with the Bible.
How could taking out your endowments ever be the key reason for getting into heaven?
Have you ever wondered how wearing the garments is much like wearing the aprons that were placed upon Adam and Eve?
Doesn’t this remind you of the sin they committed to be thrown out of the Garden of Eden? Once again there is a covering-up.
Being tossed from the Garden of Eden came with a curse, not a blessing! Eve had been tricked into believing that she could become like God.
By making your ‘sacrifice’ of taking out endowments and doing proxy work for the dead does it ever cross your mind that those people might not accept your offer of salvation?
Your works would be for naught and your time wasted-then what?
Learning what we did from the meaning of the word “covenant”, what does the Garden of Gethsemane have to do with the atonement if He didn’t die there?
Remember the covenant or testament is only valid if someone is dead.
Back in the June 1945 edition of the Improvement Era it stated: “When our leaders speak the thinking has been done.” Now I really pray the Mormons would think about this statement! Since when aren’t we to use our brains to think things out? Personally I find this statement insulting as I’m sure anyone would.
We wanted to make it perfectly clear that we are not here to bash the members of the LDSChurch. I mean this from the depths of my heart. I remember what it was like being a Mormon and being made fun of or ‘persecuted’ wasn’t anything I enjoyed; however I deserved to hear the truth even as the Mormon of today deserves to hear it. Each time I sit to study my Bible and see a new truth I am convicted even more and I’m given more energy from the Lord to keep doing what we do here at Life After. We fully realize that when the Mormon first hears the truth it brings immediate anger to their spiritual demeanor but as I’ve stated many times before there is always joy that comes directly afterwards from accepting the freedom of knowing the truth!
Let us hear from you if you have any comments or questions and always remember – we are praying for you!
With Love in Christ;