Our relationship with Jesus Christ must be the most important relationship that we ever have.In addition, the most important avenue we have in cultivating any relationship is through communication.On March 2, 1982 Bruce McConkie delivered a ‘Fireside and Devotional Speech’ at BYU on the correct protocol for having such a relationship with the ‘godhead’.Today we’re looking at what McConkie said and comparing it with what God says about a relationship with Him.
“There are yet others who have an excessive zeal that causes them to go beyond the mark.Their desire for excellence is inordinate.In an effort to be truer than true they devote themselves to gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous.”
Get ready…he’s going to tell us that having a personal relationship with Jesus is a hobby that is unholy.
“I say perilous because this course, particularly in the lives of some who are spiritually immature, is a gospel hobby that creates an unwholesome holier-than-thou attitude.In other instances it leads to despondency because the seeker after perfection knows he is not living the way he supposes he should.Another peril is that those so involved begin to pray directly to Christ because of some special friendship they feel has been developed.In this connection a current and unwise book, which advocates gaining a special relationship with Jesus, contains this sentence – ‘Because the Savior is our mediator, our prayers go through Christ to the Father, and the Father answers our prayers through His Son.’This is plain sectarian nonsense.”–Bruce McConkie, March 2, 1982
Shocking isn’t it?I found this to be one of the top ten most heretical teachings of the Church.All throughout scripture we read that God wants nothing more than for us to have a personal relationship with His Son Jesus Christ.The apostle John goes into great detail on how to achieve this and what it means to know and love Him in 1st John, in fact the letter was directed to the saints to beware of the Gnostics. The theme for chapter one is fellowship with Christ.Then Peter tells us in his second epistle how important it is to know Jesus Christ.
As you’re aware, there are different kinds of knowledge.I know President Bush.I’ve seen him on television and heard him speak.And then there’s the knowledge that is on the more intimate level.I know my good friends; I’ve shared meals and prayed with them.Most importantly I know Jesus Christ.
In 2nd Peter 1:8; it says; “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He’s telling us that we need to know Him, really know Him.Our salvation is dependent upon this knowledge of the Lord and He wants nothing less than for us to be with Him.
In vs. 8 the word knowledge in the Greek is epignosis.It means the full discernment or recognition of.This is the same type of knowledge as found in 1 Peter 3:7; having the experience of knowing someone very well.
Let’s look at 2 Peter 1:5;“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.”The word knowledge here is gnosis.This means the act of knowing (as by science).This type of knowledge enables us to avoid error.We see this example again in 2 Peter ; “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
The next example is the word gnosko.It means to know experientially, to be sure of.
1 John 2:13-14; “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning.”
Hebrews 3:10; “Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, they do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.”
Oh dear ones don’t be tempted or fooled by statements such as the ones given by McConkie.It is vital and necessary to really know Jesus Christ.Your relationship with Him can and should be the most important relationship you’ll ever have in your life.It should be above your relationship with your spouse, your children and your friends.No one can compare with Him!
Here are some other things said by McConkie in this speech:
“I shall speak of our relationship with the Lord and of the true fellowship all saints should have with the Father.I shall set forth what we must believe relative to the Father and the Son in order to gain eternal life…
There is no salvation in believing any false doctrine, particularly a false or unwise view about the Godhead or any of its members.Eternal life is reserved for those who know God and the One whom He sent to work out the infinite and eternal atonement…”
I pray the Mormons think about the statement by McConkie and sincerely contemplate the following things;
Why isn’t it arrogant to believe you can become a god?
What is so improper and perilous about having a relationship with Jesus Christ?
If the verses I used are mistranslated, what are the correct translations?
Why does the Bible have so many references to having a relationship with His Son if we aren’t supposed to do that?
Why is praying to Jesus wrong?
My heart is so sad over this speech.I think of all the blessings that are missed out on by not having a deep relationship with Jesus and cannot imagine what it would be like to live like that again.The main blessing of course is our salvation.This subject is far more important than just the ‘little red school house’ or ‘mother love’.I don’t get my feathers ruffled over such trivial things.The truth is that he is lying about God and Jesus Christ.The truth is that we are told by God to love and know Jesus Christ and not to be tricked into believing that knowledge will gain our salvation.You can read about all these things from the epistle of second Peter of being diligent, to John’s first epistle teaching us about the love of God and how to abide in Him; these are the quintessential truths of His Word.
The basics of Christianity are to know and worship God.We do this by accepting His Son as the atoning sacrifice on the cross.We also worship Him by knowing that having a true relationship can only be done through communication.My husband and I have a strong marriage because we have an open line of communication at all times.I can’t imagine not talking with my husband each day of my life.It would be no relationship at all.Prayer is and must be the necessary element of any Christian’s life!
Being a Christian also means knowing our position within the boundaries of the relationship, being a follower of the Lord and knowing His Word.I’m not bringing God down to my level by worshipping His Son.I’m worshipping God the Father by worshipping His Son.
I’ve been in ministry work for over ten years now and each time I quote McConkie I am told that his writings, etc., are not what the church believes.To this I say; hogwash!This is what the church believes, they do listen to him and they do obey his council, even since his death in 1985.His writings and speeches are listed all over their products and still sold in their bookstores.
He didn’t teach anything that the church didn’t already teach.I would encourage the Mormon to visit the website of BYU to see the speech in full.You can read it for yourself and then read what Jesus has to say about a relationship with Him!
www.byu.eduYou’ll find his speech under ‘Devotionals’.The title of the speech is; ‘Our Relationship with the Lord’
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