Visiting Teaching Message – June 2014

30 May

Visiting Teaching MsgThe series of the Visiting Teaching message on “aspects of the mission of the Savior” continues with a lesson on ministering to others.

Quoting David L. Beck the message states:
“Heavenly Father will guide you, and angels will assist you,” said David L. Beck, Young Men general president. “You will be given power to bless lives and rescue souls.”

I find this quote puzzling for a couple of reasons. First the message this quote is taken from is directed toward the male priesthood holders. The complete quote reads:

“You received the power, the authority, and the sacred duty to minister the moment you were ordained to the priesthood. President James E. Faust taught, “Priesthood is the authority delegated to man to minister in the name of God. “The Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys of the ministering of angels.
As you love His children, Heavenly Father will guide you, and angels will assist you. You will be given power to bless lives and rescue souls.”

Looking at the quote in context now how does it apply to women ministering to those in need? And considering that Mormon women are the target audience of this message what “power” is it referring to?

The last part in his quote that insinuates Mormons have the power to “rescue souls” is very troubling to me. This isn’t a new idea coming out of Mormonism, for years they’ve seen themselves as a type of savior to the world through their gospel, and temple works.

John Taylor said: “If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor (2001), 164)

Even Gordon B. Hinckley believed that it was a Mormon’s duty to fill the role of savior of the world.

“Just as our Redeemer gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for all men, and in so doing became our Savior, even so we, in a small measure, when we engage in proxy work in the temple, become as saviors to those on the other side who have no means of advancing unless something is done in their behalf by those on earth” (“Closing Remarks,” Ensign, November 2004, 105).

Throughout scripture I haven’t read anywhere that God has given mortal men and women the power to rescue and save souls. Jesus was and is the only one with that power given to him by God.

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

Reference:
June 2014 Visiting Teaching Message 
David L. Beck, May 2013 Talk –

 

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