I had to chuckle a little when I glanced over this next lesson which is on the book of Job. What I found funny (and not in a Ha-Ha way) is this is the same book of the bible my pastor has taken the past couple of months to go over with us on Wednesday nights and the Mormon Church only takes one class period. Go figure!
The lesson covers four points from the life of Job. In the interest of time I’d like to focus on only one of these points. It reads:
“Job finds strength in his personal righteousness and integrity.”
As I was reading over the lesson the words personal righteousness caught my eye; this is a term frequently used in Mormonism that refers to the ability you have to make yourself acceptable to God through your works/good deeds.
At General Conference in April of 2009 Kevin W. Pearson quoted Bruce R. McConkie and said:
“Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness. It is always given when righteousness is present and the greater the measure of obedience to God’s laws the greater will be the endowment of faith” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 264).
He then goes on to say:
“If we desire more faith, we must be more obedient. When we teach our children by example or precept to be casual or situational in obeying God’s commandments, we prevent them from receiving this vital spiritual gift. Faith requires an attitude of exact obedience, even in the small, simple things.”
So, in order to have more faith we have to be more obedient, so that we can achieve more personal righteousness? It sounds more like they’re doing thehokey-pokey than striving to live for God.
We can’t make ourselves righteous through our good works; Job, unlike the Mormons understood this. He found hope in God’s righteousness, not his own. He wasn’t relying on his own personal strength but on God to carry him thought this. It’s interesting how Mormonism can read Job 27: 2-6 and surmise that Job was exerting a personal righteousness to get him through this difficult time, instead of resting in the Lord.
From these same verses they also assume he was made righteous because he fared well and endured to the end. Yet all the way through the book his story keeps bringing us back to God, and what God did in him and through him during this part of his life. Job isn’t a testament of an individual’s personal righteousness, but one of God’s righteousness.
Over and over again we learn from scripture that we are made righteous through Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
2 Corinthinans 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Melissa Grimes (firstname.lastname@example.org)