Visiting Teaching Message October 2013

03 October

council-heaven-mormonThe visiting teaching message for October 2013 is titled The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Creator. The message this month gives a very vague, and watered down view of what the Mormons believe is the mission of Jesus Christ. In this brief article I hope to fill in the gaps, and address things they choose to leave unspoken.

As I investigated the Mormon Church one of the lessons the missionaries taught me was about the origins and mission of Jesus Christ. I learned that he was the first born spirit child of Heavenly Father and his goddess wife. I was told there was a great council in heaven to determine who would be sent to be the savior of the world and who help create the new world under Heavenly Father’s direction.

At this meeting both Jesus and Lucifer (who is also a spirit child of Heavenly Father) stepped forward to be the savior. In the end Jesus was ultimately chosen to be the savior and creator of the world.

While it’s true that all things are created by and for Jesus as we learn in Colossians 1:15-18, one thing this message leaves out (and one thing the missionaries failed to tell me) is that Mormons also believe the archangel Michael who later becomes Adam also helped in the creation.

“Latter-day Saints know our noble mortal patriarch as the great archangel, Michael, who not only helped create the earth but will yet lead the Lord’s armies in casting out Satan and his followers. ………  Adam’s role in the eternal plan of God began in our premortal first estate. There he was known as Michael, literally one “who is like God.” (Robert L. Millet, Ensign, Jan 1984)

After the world was created eventually the Mormon Jesus was sent to earth. While Mormons share some of the very basic Christian beliefs of Jesus’ ministry such as he was born of a virgin, died on a cross and rose three days later their belief system lacks the absolute sovereignty of God, and His pivotal role in our salvation.

Their third article of faith states: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” (Emphasis mine)

According to Mormon doctrine Jesus’ sacrifice only made it possible for them to be forgiven and to have eternal life if they only obey the laws of Mormonism. It’s only after they have done all they can do that grace can be applied to their account.

For the Mormon the sacrifice Jesus made was just a drop in the bucket, and just a stepping stone on their road to exaltation.

In the message Thomas S. Monson is quoted, he said:

“How grateful we should be that a wise Creator fashioned an earth and placed us here, with a veil of forgetfulness of our previous existence so that we might experience a time of testing, an opportunity to prove ourselves in order to qualify for all that God has prepared for us to receive.” (Ensign May 2012 – General Conference address)

The Visiting Teaching message goes on to say “When we use our agency to obey God’s commandments and repent, we become worthy to return to live with Him.”

On lds.org under Atonement of Jesus Christ we read:

“Although we are redeemed unconditionally from the universal effects of the Fall, we are accountable for our own sins. But we can be forgiven and cleansed from the stain of sin if we “apply the atoning blood of Christ” (Mosiah 4:2). We must exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized for the remission of sins, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

As I read that I thought to myself how does one “apply the atoning blood of Christ” to their sins? It’s not like Neosporin or anti-itch cream where you apply it to the infected area and the irritation goes away. Likewise you can’t just add His blood to your works, and expect it to apply, or go into effect after all you’ve done all you can do.

Jesus paid the price for ours sins before we sinned. His blood was applied to our past sins, and to the sins we will commit in the future. And all we have to is repent and accept this wonderful gift.

We can never “qualify” or make ourselves “worthy” to receive all that God has promised based on our own self-indulgent works. It’s only through Jesus that we qualify for salvation, and it’s only though Him that we can please the Father, be found worthy and receive all He has promised.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes

Reference:

The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Creator –http://www.lds.org/ensign/2013/10/the-divine-mission-of-jesus-christ-creator?lang=eng#footnote1-10710_000_006

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