Ensign, General Conference, General Priesthood Session, ‘Keep the Commandments,’ November 2015;“We have been infinitely blessed by the change that can only come through repentance made possible by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift. Despite the fact that the path is difficult, the promise is real. Said the Lord to those who repent:
“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”9
“And I will remember [them] no more.”10
Throughout our lives we will need to nurture strong testimonies by studying the scriptures and by praying and by pondering the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When firmly planted, our testimonies of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that we do.
I testify that all of us are beloved sons of our Father in Heaven, sent to earth at this day and time for a purpose, and given the priesthood of God so that we can serve others and perform God’s work here upon the earth. We have been commanded to live our lives so that we remain worthy to possess that priesthood.” – Thomas S. Monson
2 Corinthians 5:17; “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
There are a few things to look at in this sermon so let’s get started!
1.Who, or what, can change a man?
Does change in a man come about as a result of works like repentance, or through the supernatural power of God’s Holy Spirit working inside of us?
The Lord tells us it’s a result of knowing Him!
2.The 2 verses used above are Isaiah 1:18, and Jeremiah 31:34.
What’s telling is that the Church doesn’t believe Jesus’ blood is a sufficient payment for man’s sin. Man is forgiven through repentance (mentioned above), and salvation is gained through works (2 Nephi 25:23).
The mention of Jeremiah 31:34 should be looked at as well. Why didn’t they include vs. 33? We’ve listed it below, but Mormons tend to ignore this passage because they believe the covenant God made with man was referring to polygamy as a means of salvation.
D&C 132:4, 32, 34; “For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory. 32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved. 34 God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.”
3.Last but not least is the topic of priesthood.
We pray Mormons will understand and accept the fact they don’t hold the priesthood in the sense they’re referring to it.
Jesus’ priesthood is a priesthood held by only one. It’s non-transferrable, and will be that way forever. Here’s what RC Sproul had to say about this topic –
“As we consider the Aaronic/Levitical priesthood, it is important to remember that although the tribe of Levi was set apart to perform the sacrifices and lead worship in the tabernacle and temple, God never intended the descendants of Levi to be the only priestly figures in the nation of Israel. In fact, the Lord originally called His people out of bondage in Egypt so that the entire nation would serve Him as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:1–6). The priestly institution itself was needed only because the sin of the people had not yet been finally dealt with, and an intermediary was required between Israel and God lest His holiness break out and destroy His sinful people (v. 24; Amos 5:6).
Only when the wickedness of Israel had finally been dealt with could the people of God truly become that nation of priests that requires no Levitical mediator between them and the Almighty. Having sanctified and perfected us in His Father’s sight forevermore through His offering of Himself (Heb. 10:10–14), Christ Jesus has made all who are in Him the priesthood that God always intended His people to be. No longer need we rely on an intermediary who is a sinner like us; rather, the Lord has become the mediator between Himself and His own in the person of the God-man Jesus Christ (9:15).
Peter explains in today’s passage that we are that royal priesthood who need none but Christ to stand between us and the Father (1 Peter 2:9–10). Martin Luther pointed out in his Babylonian Captivity of the Church that “all we who are Christians are priests,” and no believer has greater access to the Creator than any other. Pastors and elders are appointed to teach the church the will of God from His Word (1 Tim. 3:1–7), but they do not represent us before the heavenly throne like the Levitical priests did under the administration of the old covenant.
In Christ, there is a true priesthood of all believers. All of us who trust in Jesus alone for salvation have free access into His presence, and all of our lawful vocations are set apart for true God-honoring service. The janitor who does his work to the Lord is in no worse position spiritually than the most gifted preacher on the planet, for all Christians have been declared righteous servants of the creator God.”
Here are the two footnotes from the LDS reference today –
9 – Isaiah 1:18; “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
10 – Jeremiah 31:33-34; “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”