Sunday School Old Testament: Lesson 37

03 April

old-testament-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual-355700001The purpose of this week’s lesson is: “To help class members come unto Christ through recognizing some of the wonderful things he has done.” It cites various prophecies Isaiah gave about Jesus Christ, some of the references the lesson gives are actual prophecies and some are not.

For instance, this is an example of a prophecy he did not give, in the lesson we read:

“The Savior will restore the gospel to the earth.”

Chapter 29 is used to show that Isaiah foresaw the coming of the Book of Mormon, and a time of darkness which Mormons refer to as “the great apostasy”. It doesn’t take one to do an in-depth study of this chapter to know that it has nothing whatsoever to do with Mormonism. To put it simply the chapter is about God dealing with Jerusalem because they have sinned against Him, and then discusses the blessings that will come after they are disciplined.

And secondly, (I just have to say this) we know there was nothing to “restore”. Jesus’ work for the salvation of sinners and His mission to share the gospel of grace was completed on the cross.

In John 19:28-30 we read:
“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”(Emphasis mine)

An actual prophecy they do get right is in Isaiah 28:16 where Jesus is called our “sure foundation”:

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”

I have to ask the Mormons do you really believe Jesus is your “sure foundation”. Mosiah 3:17 tells you
“And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.” (Emphasis mine)

Yet your prophets have said that temple works for both the living and dead are a requirement for salvation, i.e. living with God when you die. You see, for me it always comes back to the temple. If Mormons truly believed that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (as He said He was) why do they need the temple or anything else to be truly saved?

Howard W. Hunter said:
“All of our efforts in proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead lead to the holy temple. This is because the temple ordinances are absolutely crucial; we cannot return to God’s presence without them.” (Ensign, Nov. 1994, 88)

Bruce R. McConkie:
“Full salvation is attained by virtue of knowledge, truth, righteousness, and all true principles. Many conditions must exist in order to make such salvation available to men. Without the atonement, the gospel, the priesthood, and the sealing power, there would be no salvation. Without continuous revelation, the ministering of angels, the working of miracles, the prevalence of gifts of the spirit, there would be no salvation. If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 1-350).

Awhile ago the Mormon Church started promoting this “new vision” they call Hastening the work of salvation.

The Church’s website defines this “work of salvation” as follows:

“The work of salvation is Heavenly Father’s work “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). This important work includes member missionary work, convert retention, activation of less-active members, temple and family history work, and teaching the gospel.”

For me as a Christian my salvation is all about Jesus, He’s the one and only reason I can live with in the presence of God when I die. If Mormons truly believed, and put their trust in Him for their salvation they wouldn’t feel they must convert people to a religion. They wouldn’t feel this urgent need to do temple works for their dead, or for themselves to ensure their salvation.

Their view of how one is truly saved and receives “full salvation” as they say sends a clear message to the outside world. Through their actions, whether they realize it or not their screaming that Jesus just simply isn’t enough for them. And for a religion, a church that claims to follow Christ that’s a very sad statement to make.

In Christ,
Melissa Grimes (melissa@lifeafter.org)

References
Hastening the Work of Salvation

Teachers Manual

Class Members Manual

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