I’ve chosen to write this month’s Visiting Teaching Message on Carol F. McConkie’s General Conference talk titled, ‘The Beauty of Holiness’.
In her talk, she said;
“Holiness is in the striving and the struggle to keep the commandments and to honor the covenants we have made with God. Holiness is making the choices that will keep the Holy Ghost as our guide. Holiness is setting aside our natural tendencies and becoming “a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord.” “Every moment of [our lives] must be holiness to the Lord.”
In other words, Mormons become ‘holy’ through obedience to their prophet, church leaders, and the doctrines of their church. According to Mormon teachings, if they fail at any of these things the Holy Spirit will cease to be with them until they repent and get back on track. ‘Holiness’ is based on their labors and what they are doing at the moment.
If the only way for us to experience righteousness, and holiness is through temple works/covenants, and church membership, then Jesus died for nothing.
In 1 Peter 1, Peter tells us how we are become holy.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
A Mormon’s view of holiness is completely different from God’s view of holiness. God’s view doesn’t require us to attend a certain church, perform works for the dead in temples, adhere to dietary restrictions, and so on.
His view of holiness revolves around His Son. If we aren’t bowing before the cross in submission to Him, we can never be holy.
In her book ‘If” Amy Carmichael says –
“If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the Cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
As a Mormon I never once thought of the Cross this way. For me it was all about getting to the temple, and that’s where I found my salvation.
I pray Mormons will start to truly search their hearts, and think about what role the cross plays in their lives. It’s only there that they will find true salvation.
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