Visiting Teaching Message February 2017
February’s Visiting Teaching Message is titled, “Christ’s Atonement is Evidence of God’s Love”.
While Christians can agree that God showed His love for the world by sending His Son to die upon a the cross as a propitiation for our sins, that’s as far as it goes when it comes to agreeing with this article.
At the beginning of the message Elder D. Todd Christofferson is quoted, he says:
“The Savior’s suffering in Gethsemane and His agony on the cross redeem us from sin by satisfying the demands that justice has upon us.” (April 2013 General Conference)”
As I began reading this quote I had to pause for a minute to really take in what he was saying. First, despite what Mormonism teaches, the Garden of Gethsemane isn’t part of Christ’s atoning sacrifice for our sins. He shed His blood on the cross, not in the Garden, for our sins. God’s word is very clear on that point.
Also, the bible is every clear on what would satisfy the demands of justice for sin. In the Old Testament, a blood sacrifice was used to cover sin, which was a foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice for sin we would have in Jesus Christ.
Based on what Mr. Christofferson said here it sounds as though he believes that it was Jesus’ agony and suffering, that “makes it possible” (as Mormons say) to be forgiven of our sins. While we don’t want to diminish His suffering and all He went through, it was His shed blood that allows us to be forgiven of our sins completely.
For some odd reason, Mormons have a hard time accepting that it’s by, and through, His blood we are redeemed and saved. They have no problem toting their bibles around, and using it persuade someone to join their church. However, they don’t seem to want to open it, and learn from it when it counts.
If they did, they’d learn the important role His blood sacrifice plays in our lives.
Ephesians 1:7; “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
Matthew 26:28; “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Acts 20:28; “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
Romans 3:25; “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”
Romans 5:9; “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
Hebrews 10:19; “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.”
Later, in the article Linda K. Burton is quoted saying:
“That supreme act of love ought to send each of us to our knees in humble prayer to thank our Heavenly Father for loving us enough that He sent His Only Begotten and perfect Son to suffer for our sins, our heartaches, and all that seems unfair in our own individual live.”
Another unbiblical view Mormons have of the atonement is that Jesus suffered because we would have heartaches, and disappointments in our lives. A common reply I heard as Mormon to anyone who talked about a heartache they were going through was, “the atonement covers that”.
As Christians, we know that He didn’t come because He knew we would have bad days or be treated unfairly, but to redeem us from our sin. Once we accept His sacrifice for our sins and repent, we have His Holy Spirit with us always. It’s through the Holy Spirit that He abides with us. He’s with us to get us through those rough days, and times in our lives. We can pour out our hearts, and cast all our burdens on Him because He abides in us.
John 15:4; “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
1 Peter 5:8; “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
Galatians 2:20; “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
I pray that Mormons will truly take a look at what their leaders are saying, and pay attention to the words they use. Words have meaning. It’s important to compare what our church leaders say to what God has already said, even for Christians. If it doesn’t line up with that He has said we know to disregard it.
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