Visiting Teaching Message – September 2014

03 September

Visiting Teaching MessagesThe message the visiting teachers are to share this month with the ladies they visit is on Jesus’ role as Comforter.

In the message Linda S. Reeves, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency is quoted;

“We must feel and see for ourselves and then help all of Heavenly Father’s children to feel and see and know that our Savior has taken upon Himself not only all our sins but also our pains and our suffering and afflictions so that He can know what we feel and how to comfort us. “

It’s always heartbreaking for me to read quotes like this one because it reveals how little Mormons know about Jesus. The sad implication of it is that Jesus had to suffer for our sins in order to understand us better.

As we ponder this let’s also not forget that according to Mormon doctrine He didn’t suffer and take on the sins of the world on the cross, but in the Garden of Gethsemane. Knowing this, it takes on a whole new meaning when we hear Mormons say they believe He suffered for our sins.

Contrary to the quote from Ms. Reeves Jesus didn’t have to suffer on the cross (or even in the garden for that matter) to witness for Himself the heartache and pain we would be challenged with in this life. Jesus is God incarnate, of course He knows all we’ve suffered and we will suffer as a consequence of sin.

Thomas S. Monson, the current president of the church is also quoted when he said:

“Our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.” (Emphasis mine)

When it comes to being blessed and having things turn out for the best in Mormonism it always comes back to your (good) works, doesn’t it? It all comes down to how obedient, worthy and righteous you’ve been in the last 24 hours that will dictate how much of God’s attention you’ll receive. Within Mormonism there’s always that “escape clause” for God that says unless you’re walking “uprightly” He doesn’t have to give you the time of day. This is because the god of Mormonism has conditional love for his followers, which is a far cry from the unconditional love the one true God has for all of us.

The article ends with this question:

How does understanding that the Lord remembers you bring you comfort?

My question is how they can know true comfort when they serve a god who demands righteousness and obedience to him first before extending his comfort to them?

As a Christian I’ve always trusted in the Lord, and knew He understood me and will always be there for me. As I sit here and think about it, it’s hard from me to go back to the mindset I had as a Mormon that made me feel detached from Him, that made me question why I didn’t feel He was close, or why I wasn’t receiving answers to prayers when I was doing my best to be all those things I was taught I needed to be.

I’m so thankful to know and worship a God who knew the suffering my sins would bring me and loved me enough to send His son to die in my place so that I wouldn’t have to pay the price for them.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes (melissa@lifeafter.org)

References:

Visiting Teaching Message September 2014

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