As I was looking over the talks from the past General Conference I found Elder David A. Bednar’s quite interesting.
In it he addresses those who aren’t members of the Mormon Church. I found this a little odd because why would a non-member of the Church be listening to his message to begin with? Maybe he was hoping that someone channel surfing might pop in to see what was being said, or that a church member might download or print off his talk to be shared with a friend or loved one who wasn’t a member?
No matter his motives he begins his talk addressing a question non-members may have about members of the Church, the question is:
“Why are Latter-day Saints so eager to tell me about what they believe and to invite me to learn about their church?”
He explains the reason for this is because the Mormon Church is and will always be a “missionary church”. He goes on to compare members of his church to the apostles of Jesus Christ. Stating that the early apostles of Jesus Christ were commissioned to go out and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation. And likewise church members are also commissioned to spread the gospel found in Mormonism throughout the world as well.
I can’t put both gospels in the same camp and say they are both equal because they’re not. The good news of the gospel Jesus taught and commanded his apostles to share teaches freedom from a religion and working your way up a ladder of righteousness to achieve salvation. It teaches repentance, forgiveness and grace.
While the gospel of Mormonism teaches that Jesus died for the sins of the world it also teaches that more is required of those who desire to follow Him before they are welcomed into God’s presence. Tithing, obedience to dietary laws, baptism and church membership, temple attendance, as well as temple works of salvation by proxy for the dead are just a few demand heaped upon faithful members of the Mormon Church.
As much as Elder Bednar would like draw a comparison to both gospels their not the same, not by a long shot.
Many times he refers to this other gospel as “the restored gospel of Jesus Christ”, or the “restored gospel”, and explains the importance Mormons feel in sharing this other gospel with the world.
“Latter-day Saints take seriously this responsibility to teach all people in all nations about the Lord Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. We believe the same Church founded by the Savior anciently has been reestablished on the earth by Him in the latter days. The doctrine, principles, priesthood authority, ordinances, and covenants of His gospel are found today in His Church.”
One problem (of many problems) with this statement is that Jesus nailed all things on the cross at Calvary.
Colossians 2:14-15 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the Law and made those who would repent and trust in Him completely free from the burdens the come from following a legalistic, works righteousness system.
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
Knowing that He fulfilled all the was required for us to live with God when we pass from this life and on to the next by becoming a sacrifice for our sins, I have to ask what is there that could have possibly needed “restored”?
In conclusion, this notion that Mormons have of important elements of the gospel of Jesus Christ being lost because of the evil designs of men is ridiculous to me. The idea that an all knowing, all powerful God would allow such a thing the happen after He watched His own son be tortured and crucified for the gospels sake is beyond reason to me.
As I read over the talk, one passage kept coming to my mind.
Galatians 1:8-9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed
While the Mormons may think they’re doing you a favor by inviting you to their church or to meet with their missionaries, the message they preach is far from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Melissa Grimes (firstname.lastname@example.org)