Mormon Dilemma 128

30 December

Self Reliant

Ensign, March 2009; To become self-reliant, a person must work. Work is physical, mental, or spiritual effort. It is a basic source of happiness, self-worth, and prosperity. Through work, people accomplish many good things in their lives. …

“As people become self-reliant, they are better prepared to endure adversities” and are “better able to care for others in need.” – By Elder M. Russell Ballard, Becoming Self-Reliant—Spiritually and Physically

 Ensign, March 2009;The development of our spiritual nature should concern us most. Spirituality is the highest acquisition of the soul, the divine in man; ‘the supreme, crowning gift that makes him king of all created things.’ It is the consciousness of victory over self and of communion with the infinite. It is spirituality alone which really gives one the best in life…

Doctrine and Covenants 29:34–35 tells us there is no such thing as a temporal commandment, that all commandments are spiritual. It also tells us that man is to be “an agent unto himself.” Man cannot be an agent unto himself if he is not self-reliant. Herein we see that independence and self-reliance are critical keys to our spiritual growth. Whenever we get into a situation which threatens our self-reliance, we will find our freedom threatened as well. If we increase our dependence, we will find an immediate decrease in our freedom to act.

One of the three areas emphasized in the mission of the Church is to perfect the Saints, and this is the purpose of the welfare program. This is not a doomsday program, but a program for our lives here and now, because now is the time for us to perfect our lives. May we continue to hold fast to these truths.” – President Marion G. Romney, The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance

Ephesians 4:11-14; And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

Couched in the Church’s confusing messages above lies a morsel of truth that’s thrown to the people hoping they can convince someone to convert or stay in their snares with a catchy biblical phrase.  This is known as the art of deception.

Sadly the Mormon people have been tricked into believing that being dependent upon someone other than themselves leads to losing their freedom.  Jesus told us just the opposite in Matthew 16:25 when He said that “those who save their lives will lose it and those who lose their lives will find it”.  Also see His words in John 8:32 when He told the new believers and other Jews in the treasury that the truth would set them free.

Let’s take a look at each subject matter in Mr. Romney’s speech carefully to see if they match up to God’s standard.

“Self reliance”… This subject matter breaks my heart.  The whole Mormon precept of being self-reliant stems from the old days of Mormonism when they were being chased from one town to another.  They learned quickly how to take care of themselves and only rely on what very little they had.

This mind set followed them to Utah and was subsequently handed down through the generations even to my days of Mormonism.  It’s one thing to be self reliant in the sense you aren’t burdening the government or other outside resources to take care of you financially.  It’s commendable to have a good work ethic and there’s nothing in the Bible that curtails the man or woman who works hard for their families.  If there’s anything good to be said about the Mormon people this is at the top of the list.  They’re unparalleled in work ethic, getting a good education and taking care of themselves.

However, this Mormon teaching steps over the boundaries with spiritual self reliance.  That self reliant attitude needs to come to a screeching halt when it comes to being independent from God.  Works for salvation and working to be perfect to earn your godhood status isn’t sanctioned in the Bible and is in fact condemned!  Exodus 20:3, Isaiah 43:10-11; 1 Cor. 15:50.

“Agent unto himself”…being an “agent unto himself” is what got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden and put enmity between God and man.  Wanting to know as much as God does, not behaving, and sinning without shame because you think God needs your help are all signs of pride and exhibits a mistrust of God.  He’s told us time and again in the Old Testament as well as the New that He takes care of His creation – Job 38:41; Matthew 6:26.

A few years ago I wrote an article on the similarities of North Korea and Mormonism. (  With the advent of their leader’s death in recent weeks I’m reminded again of how their system of self reliance continues to lead the entire country down a dead end road.   More than a million people starved to death in the 1990’s because of the totalitarian reign of Kim John Il.  While the Mormon people may not be starving to death physically, they most certainly are in the spiritual sense.  The belief system in North Korea is called Juche which is a political-ideologue based on being an autocratic and self sufficient nation. They’ve been tricked into believing their leader has the only knowledge that is good for them and they aren’t reliant upon anyone else’s help for anything at all.

Declaring you want to be an agent unto yourself is indicative that God is absent in your life.  Without Christ I am nothing.  All those years living without His total guidance in my life got me nowhere fast. Loneliness, despair, anguish and anger were my daily companions and when I stopped trying to figure it out for myself and laid down my weapons I finally found peace.  I finally realized the only one I was defending myself against was God and the harder I fought the worse off I became.

“Perfecting of the Saints”…Neither you nor a church entity can save you.  Period, end of story. Titus 3:5 says; “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”  And what of Hebrews 10:14 which says “through a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified”?

Are we to discount these two examples and countless others of how Jesus is the one who is making us perfect or do we continue believing that by our actions and the actions of a church organization we will be seen righteous in the eyes of God?

“The divine in man”…There is no one besides God that is God.  Man is not part God and there isn’t an ounce of divinity in man.  Man can behave in a godly manner when he’s given his life over to Jesus, but that’s nowhere close to being God, a god or divine.  Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6, 8; 45:5-6, 18, 21, 22, 46:5, 9.

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