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Monday, December 17, 2012

2012 Conference - Priesthood Session

“See Others as They May Become” by Thomas S. Monson
We must develop the capacity to see men not as they are at present
but as they may become.”
Compared to the Bible by Connie Raddon

Color Key:
Quotes from the LDS Ensign in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.
All my own words are black.

The November issue of the Ensign contains all of the talks given by the leadership of the LDS Church during October’s General Conference.  This talk was given by the president of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, during the Priesthood Session.  It is found on pg. 68-71.

The Bible is based on the theme that we are all sinners, and therefore unworthy of God’s blessings because His standard is perfection – absolute and complete perfection. 

Romans 3:10 “There is none righteous, no, not one.”
Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Even our good works and obedience is not acceptable to God because it is tainted with sin. 

Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;”

This makes us unworthy of living with Him in heaven, and even unworthy of every good thing God offers.  The only thing we deserve is death – both physical and spiritual.

Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death…”

God provided a solution to our problem in Jesus Christ. 

Romans 6:23b “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus lived perfectly.  Then as a perfect sacrifice for sin, he atoned for all our sins. 

2 Cor. 5:21a “For He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be in for us…”

If we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, then God counts all our sins as completely paid for, and grants us Christ’s righteousness instead of our own.

2 Cor. 5:21b “…that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Mr. Monson’s talk is based on a very different theme from the Bible.  He talks about how we can work hard to change ourselves into something righteous.  Since he is talking to the men, he talks about how they can make themselves worthy to hold the priesthood, and even be the incentive for other men to make themselves worthy. 

(I have bolded the words that Mr. Monson uses to keep church members in the bondage of their own works.)

“If you feel that you do not yet have the depth of testimony you would wish, I admonish you to work to achieve such a testimony.  If it is strong and deep, labor to keep it that way.”

“…there are countless individuals who have little or no testimony right now, those who could and would receive such a testimony if we would be willing to make the effort to share ours and to help them change.  In some instances we can provide the incentive for change.”

“We need to bear in mind that people can changeThey can put behind them bad habitsThey can repent from transgressions.  They can bear the priesthood worthilyAnd they can serve the Lord diligently.”

“…they had turned their lives around and had fully qualified to become elders.”

(Speaking about men who are not active)  “It is our responsibility to give them opportunities to live as they should.  We can help them to overcome their shortcomings.”

“When our lives comply with God’s own standard, those within our sphere of influence will never speak the lament, ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.’”

All this “worthiness” is credited to the efforts of men.  No credit is given to God. 

The Bible teaches that we cannot “qualify” by keeping God’s commandments. 

“knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ…for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”  Galatians 2:16

(“Justified” means to be declared free of blame – in other words, God declares us righteous.)

“…for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”  Galatians 2:21

The teachings in the November 2012 issue of the Ensign
are NOT Biblical, and therefore,
NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.

Brigham Young issued a challenge on May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46):  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

In the November 2012 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion FAILS this test.

Resources used for this article:
The Word of God (The Bible)
The LDS magazine, “The Ensign”