GOSPEL ORDINANCES (LAW) VS. GRACE
Jacob 4:5; “Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham…” – 544 BC
If someone were to ask me why I feel so compelled to do this work, the above verse from the Book of Mormon would be my answer why. This particular section of this booklet has my mind thinking of nothing but my mother.
She called me one day and her distressed voice captured my immediate attention. She has been an active member of the LDS Church her entire life, yet never being quite worthy enough to earn the coveted temple recommend. On this particular day I think she just needed a safe place to vent her frustrations with the Relief Society.
She had called the president of the Relief Society to let her know that she wouldn’t be able to provide the cookies for the meeting the next evening. My nieces weren’t feeling well (they live with her), she wasn’t feeling well and she had just enough energy to make the call. The president told her that she still had plenty of time to get the cookies together and she would do my mother the favor of picking them up on her way to the meeting. She also reminded my mother how they had never had store bought cookies at their meetings. True story!
After venting for quite some time I asked her what she was going to do and she said that she should at least go buy some chocolate chip cookies and put them in a nice serving basket. I asked her if she really thought Jesus was more concerned about cookies for a meeting or for her physical well-being. By the end of the conversation she hung up while being mad at my question. I personally believe the Relief Society president had a dual problem, alas that’s for another booklet!
It’s obvious the leaders of the LDS Church have not shown its members what it means to “keep the law of Moses” or what it means to believe in Christ. The verse from the book of Jacob makes about as much sense as the following sentence: “I’ll be driving my car while I walk to work tomorrow”. You can’t do both at the same time, so which mode of transportation are you going to use to get to work?
It’s much the same with our salvation. We can live our lives believing that we want to go to heaven with the attitude of being self-sufficient. Or, we can die to self and accept God’s precious Son as our only way to heaven. Because of the enormity of this subject I am going to be spending a bit of time here. Be sure to share that free salvation doesn’t give us license to do evil things and explain that the Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow us to do those things anyway because of 2 Cor. 5:17!
In addition to my examples I highly encourage the mentor to come alongside the ex-Mormon and ask him/her what ordinances were most important to them while in the Church. The reason for this is to show them how to transfer their spiritual allegiance to Jesus fully, instead of believing in Jesus and still thinking they need to work.
Using the example of that ordinance, go to your concordance and look up the
transliterations for it, and the verses where they’re located to get a full understanding of what this ordinance really means. Next, look for the same subject in the New Testament showing why performing this ordinance isn’t necessary because of Jesus’ work to fulfill it!
Always remember that every single thing the Mormon believes and knows about God, Jesus, and salvation is a lie. Joseph Smith has tricked the members into believing everything he said or taught. They are so devoted to the Church they would give their very lives, literally, so don’t be surprised at the amount of energy they would be willing to give for “works”.
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1032, says this about ordinances and salvation:
“Latter-day scriptures give ample evidence that God has established unchangeable, eternal ordinances as essential elements of the Plan of Salvation and redemption (Isa. 24.5; Mal. 3:7; Alma 13:16; D&C 124:38)…”
Go through each of the following LDS verses with the person you’re mentoring, making a point to take note of the biblical verses in context to understand the meaning. For instance in Malachi God told the people to return to Him even after they had been cheating Him in the tithe offerings and had an “I don’t care about you God” attitude. Show them using biblical scripture this type of an example – God just loves us and wants us back. Yes, we need to obey, but when we are alive in Christ it’s hard to stay away from Him and paying money to the “scribes” of Mormonism isn’t the way to God!
“A biblical example of the necessity of ordinances can be found in the Lord’s statement to Nicodemus that one must “be born again” (John 3:3). The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “being born again comes by the spirit of God through ordinances” (TPJS, p. 162). The process of salvation is experienced as a “mighty change in your hearts” (Alma 5:14) under the guidance and assistance of the Spirit of God through keeping the divine ordinances…One is fully accepted of God and is “of God” if, and only if, she or “he obey mine ordinances” (D&C 52:14-19)…”
1. What is John 3:3 really saying when read in context. ______
Smith went on to tell the audience more about the necessity of ordinances; from the same page of Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1032):
“Ordinances, in the sense of rituals and ceremonies, embrace the entire mortal life of God’s sons and daughters and are performed by the Lord’s authorized representatives…”
2. What does Isaiah 64:6 say? ___________________________
This is a good time to stop and do a word study! What is the Hebrew meaning of the term “filthy rags”?
In other words for the members of the LDS faith, it’s going to keep being this way until the day you die and there’s more of it after you get to “heaven”. There are countless verses in the New Testament giving us instructions on what it takes to get saved. I cannot emphasize enough that you must deal with this part of mentoring from the way you live your own life.
To make sure that I’ve given the LDS perspective its fair share of verses from their writings here’s just one more, this time from the Book of Mormon. 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.”
In sharp contrast God, Jesus, the prophets, the disciples and others have told us throughout the sixty-six books of the Bible that the Mormon verse above would be considered blasphemy. Not to mention that it sounds too familiar to what Paul had written 2,000 years earlier in Ephesians 2:8-9;
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
The “slight variation” was a little addendum of Smith’s at the end of the original writing, thus totally negating the grace aspect of our salvation.
3. According to the apostle Paul, what happens to the significance of Christ’s death when we trust in works? Gal. 2:19-21. ____________________________________________________
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