Discussion 5 – Living a Christlike Life
The Two Great Commandments
Sacrifice Brings Blessings
Fasting and Fast Offerings
Judging by the title of the discussion and the principles it teaches, I think we can safely say the lesson the investigators are left with is that you must do works and sacrifice to live a “Christlike’ life.
The discussion references what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39 –
“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.”
I think all believers can agree that we should love God and love others. However, when reading this in their Missionary Discussions we need to understand that for them, loving God means obeying what Mormonism teaches. Being obedient to what (just) God has told us in his word isn’t enough, more is required if they are going to make it to the Celestial Kingdom.
This is probably why Mormons have a ‘woe is me’ Scarlett O’Hara mindset that tells them they must ‘endure to the end’ (as they say) and sacrifice. The discussion teaches:
“We need to be willing to give our time, our possessions, our talents, and our energies to the work of the Lord.”
This teaching will be further expanded after the investigators join the church and attend the temple. There they will have to make a promise to sacrifice all they have their time, money, talents, even their lives to building up the Church.
In Mormonism, Fasting and Tithing go together. Fasting to them means going without food or drink for a 24-hour period. Mormons are expected to not only give a tithe offering to the church, but also a fast offering. Fast offerings are given once a month, and the amount is undermined. It’s usually based on the money you would have spent on the food you didn’t eat for two meals.
Tithing is paid usually once or twice a month, depending on when the church member receives their paycheck from their employer. Paying your tithing is a requirement for any member desiring to have a temple recommend.
Giving a 10% tithe was part of the Old Testament Law. In the New Testament we are taught:
2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Most Christians give well above the 10% Mormons are taught to give. Mormons must give to maintain their social status in their church, while Christians give freely because they desire to.
Going over these discussion makes to so grateful for what Jesus has done in my life. It also breaks my heart to know that people who are seeking truth are being taught these false doctrines about God and what He wants for us.
It makes me want to share His truth even more.