Mormon Scripture: Solid Rock or Sinking Sand?

11 May

Doctrines of Mormonism: Solid Rock or Sinking Sand?

     Not long ago I heard an old hymn for the first time that many of you are probably familiar with; it’s called “The Solid Rock”.   As I read over the words to this wonderful song I thought of the LDS Church, and how their doctrines are not centered on Jesus Christ.

For instance when I would go in to see my bishop about renewing my temple recommend, he never once asked me about my relationship or walk with the Lord. Here are some of the questions he asked me before giving me the “O.K” to go into the “house of the Lord”:

Was I keeping the Word of Wisdom?

Do I wear my temple garments?

Am I a full tithe payer?

Do I believe that Joseph Smith and the other LDS prophets were and are prophets of God?

     I have to ask myself now; how do the answers to these questions promote a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ?  This is also one of the things I ask the LDS people on a YouTube video that I set up with my testimony.

For those of you who don’t know, there are many Mormons who will post their testimonies online.  Whenever I see one that touches me I make it a point to post my comments about it.  Recently my post about one of their videos caught some attention. Their video posed the question; Are Mormons Christian? In their video they gave reasons why they believed that the members of their church are Christian. I commented on his video by saying;

“The LDS Church is always in a state of flux. As this video shows they believe they are saved by only grace. I was a member of the LDS Church, I know perfectly well they are works based, more so than some Christian churches.”

He responded to me by saying that this is the “genius of Mormonism”. He went on to say the Church declares it is in a “state of flux”, and used their 9th Article of Faith to clarify his comment. The 9th Article of Faith says; “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”

When I think about his comments it makes me very sad people actually have to live that way. How can it be a “genius” idea to never know what’s going to happen next?

In Mormonism today’s doctrine is tomorrow’s opinion.

      All too often in ministry I hear Mormons defending the Church by saying “that’s not doctrine” or “that’s just their opinion”.  Even when using quotes from the General Conference talks I am told the same thing, so what gives?

When I was LDS I was told these Conference talks where are as good as scripture. I was to place the current General Conference issue of the Ensign next to my Standard Works and consider it equal to or above them. (In Mormonism the “Standard Works” are the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Convents and the Pearl of Great Price.)

Sadly enough in Relief Society (Women’s Ministry) the lesson on the fourth Sunday of each month was taken from the latest Conference Ensign.  The May 2005 Ensign article “Teachings for our time” says; “Pray that the Holy Spirit will be with you as you study and teach the talk(s). You may at times be tempted to set aside the conference talks and prepare the lesson using other materials. But the conference talks are the approved curriculum. Your assignment is to help others learn and live the gospel as taught in the most recent general conference of the Church”.

     I have never been able to get a clear answer as to what the Church considers doctrine and what is just opinion.  Consider this; not long ago the Journal of Discourse was considered “doctrine” and now it is not.

Brigham Young who was and still is a highly respected church leader had this to say about the Journal of Discourses;

The “Journal of Discourses” is a vehicle of doctrine, counsel, and instruction to all people, but especially to the Saints. It follows, then, that each successive volume is more and more valuable as the Church increases in numbers and importance in the earth, and its doctrines become more abundantly developed and are brought into practical exercise by His peculiar people. Every step of its advancement is fraught with the greatest possible importance to the human family. No Saint can afford to do without these precious precepts until they are able to exemplify them in their daily lives and conversation.” – Volume 11, Preface.

If you or I were to quote something from the Journal of Discourses to a member of the LDS Church they would tell us that it’s not doctrine.  (It makes one wonder what Mr. Young would think of that today…)  A more current example of this phenomenon is the encyclopedic LDS work called “Mormon Doctrine” by Bruce R. McConkie. As a member of the Church, I can remember my branch leaders referring to this book in talks and general conversations.

The other day I had a Mormon tell me there are many things that are wrong in that book, and it was only his (McConkie’s) opinion. Never mind LDS leaders today still are quoting from this book in their General Conference talks and local church meetings.

Each day I am so grateful God got me out of such a mess!  I am comforted by passages found in the Bible about the Messiah and finding out that He is called the “Rock of Salvation”.  In 2 Samuel 22:3 it says; “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; And exalted be God, the rock of my salvation.”  This means we can trust Him; He’s not going to pull the rug out from under us and change things. Nor is He going to tell us “Oh, that’s just my opinion, it’s not doctrine”.

It’s just silly, and kind of scary that in the name of God a man made church can and will operate like that.  If they truly believed in the biblical Jesus Christ, there would be absolutely no doubt as to where they stand or what is or isn’t doctrine.

In Isaiah 17:10 it says; “For you have forgotten the God of your salvation And have not remembered the rock of your refuge.”

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.”

(The Solid Rock)

     If you’re not standing on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, then you are on “sinking sand”.  In Mathew chapter eight Jesus talks about the two foundations; one is on the rock and the other is on the sand.  I pray that the LDS people will take a closer look and see that they are not they are grounded in the true gospel of Jesus Christ, but in something else that is going to take them far away from their Savior.

In Christ, Melissa Grimes

Melissa@lifeafter.org

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One Response to “Mormon Scripture: Solid Rock or Sinking Sand?”

  1. shematwater May 12, 2011 at 4:03 am #

    What constitutes doctrine for the LDS church?

    The answer is actually very simple. The binding doctrine of the church is found in those volumes of scripture that have been aproved by the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles and then submitted to the general membership for acceptance as doctrine. Anything that has not been so submitted and accepted is not binding on the church.

    Thus, the Journal of Discourses, as great as it is, is not binding doctrine, as it was never submitted for general acceptance. Brigham Young would agree with this. I would point out that he lists three purposes for the journal (doctrine, counsel, and instruction) and thus to claim that every part of it was to be doctrine is not what he meant.

    As to Mormon Doctrine, the same can be said of this book, and more so because it was not even commisioned by the leadership, but was a personal work by Brother McKonkie, for which he takes sole credit.

    As to conference talks, they also have not been submitted, and thus in and of themselves are not binding.
    It has also been said by many leaders (including Joseph F. Smith) that if one of the general authorities says anything contrary to the revealed word of God as found in the standard works we are free to reject it (thus making conference much less important than the Standard works).

    Now, as to the questions from the interview promoting a healthy relationship with Christ, this is exactly what they do.
    One cannot have a healthy relationship with Christ if they are not obeying his commands. Nor can they have this relationship if they reject his appointed ministers.
    Now, I also recall the interview being opened with the question of “Do you believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost?”

    As to Grace and works, I understand that most people think the LDS are a works based religion, but it is a false idea, or a misunderstood one.
    Simple put, we believe our own works are necessary (and our own choice) but we also accept the fact that without the atonement of Christ our works could do nothings.
    It truly is a genius in the doctrine that reconciles free will and justice with mercy and grace.

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