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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Personal Worthiness Required

by Sharon

At the LDS Church's most recent General Conference held in Salt Lake City a little over a week ago, Elaine Dalton took the stand. Directing her remarks to the general membership of the Church, Mrs. Dalton delivered a talk she entitled, "Look toward Eternity!"

Near the beginning of her talk, Mrs. Dalton asked,
Do you understand why it is so important to remain clean and pure?…

I desire for every young man and woman, every young adult, and indeed each one of us to feel and know the importance of living a worthy and pure life. It is our personal worthiness that will qualify us to fulfill our individual earthly missions.

Mrs. Dalton identified our "earthly mission": making the choices that will enable us to return to Heavenly Father's presence and claim all the blessings He has in store for us.

It is, therefore, our personal worthiness that will qualify us to spend eternity in the presence of God.

In her talk Mrs. Dalton gave a nod to the need for Jesus Christ and faith:
It is through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that we can resist temptation. Our faith will enable us to shun evil.

However,
To become unspotted from the world requires not only faith, but repentance and obedience. We must live the standards and do those things which will entitle us to the constant companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost…

Furthermore,
Personal worthiness is essential to enter His holy temples and to ultimately become heirs to "all [the] Father hath." … we can confidently enter the holy temples of God with a knowledge that we are worthy to go where the Lord Himself goes. When we are worthy, we can not only enter the temple, the temple can enter us. The Lord's promises of salvation and happiness become ours… (emphasis retained from the original)

So the bottom line (for a Mormon) when looking toward eternity is personal worthiness. It is necessary to be clean and pure by one's own merits. Our choices, our obedience, our purity, our worthiness will "qualify" and "entitle" us to go where the Lord goes and receive salvation.

Apparently, though grace through God's mercy is available, it's not a good idea to count on it.

According to Mrs. Dalton, she and her husband were given counsel on their wedding day from LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley:
"Always live in such a way that when you need the Lord's blessings, you can call upon Him and receive them because you are worthy. There will come times in your life when you will need immediate blessings. You will need to live in such a way that they will be granted--not out of mercy but because you are worthy."

President Hinckley's counsel is antithetical to the teachings of the New Testament. There the apostles put God's mercy at the very heart of His blessings and promise of eternal life. Consider these passages:
  • It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. (Romans 9:16)

  • When the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works or righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)

  • Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1:21)

Mrs. Dalton expressed her gratitude for the counsel given her by President Hinckley:
Daily, these holy habits and righteous routines have helped steady us on the path that leads back into our Father's presence. And today I say, "We thank thee, O God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter-days."

I, too, am filled with deep gratitude, but not for a prophet who's unbiblical pronouncements place me under the heavy burden of making myself worthy of Heaven. I am thankful for the sure promises of God found in His Holy Word. With King David I wholeheartedly throw myself upon the astonishing mercy of Almighty God:

O LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in Your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
Do not bring Your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before You…
Let the morning bring me word
of Your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in You.

-from Psalm 143-

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11 Comments:

  • At October 10, 2006 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Every post on this wonderful blog is a jem! Thanks so much!!!

     
  • At October 10, 2006 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lets see here, Adam and Eve, Covered themselves with fig leaves, (Personal Worthiness/works of there hands) what was the Lords reply?

    That is not good enough, sadly He (The Lord) had to kill an animal and use it's skin to cover Adam and Eve. Only God can cover us, Nothing we can do will ever be good enough. Rick b

     
  • At October 10, 2006 10:43 PM, Blogger Keith Walker said…

    Romans 10:1-4 speaks on this.
    1) Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
    2) For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
    3) For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
    4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

    I praise God that I stand in the righteousness of Christ and not in my own.

     
  • At October 13, 2006 1:00 PM, Anonymous Russ said…

    Sharon, just a note to tell you I'm very happy you've joined the crew at MRM. You do a bang up job.

    And this very post of yours is dead on the money.

    I vision MRM and Word for the Weary as one. Just a little pipe dream of mine. That and Billy Graham preaching from inside the Salt Lake Temple. Wouldn't that be something? :).

    Russ

     
  • At October 13, 2006 1:01 PM, Anonymous Russ Bales said…

    Keith wrote: "I praise God that I stand in the righteousness of Christ and not in my own."

    Amen, Keith.

     
  • At October 13, 2006 3:13 PM, Blogger jonathan said…

    I would chose God's Mercy any day over my worthiness.

    Keep up your marvelous work and wonder.

     
  • At October 29, 2006 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So what you are telling the world is that they can choose to live whatever life they want and God is ok with that? That he will grant mercy regardless of your obedience to the commandments?

    So what does Matthew 7:21-23 mean when Jesus says:
    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    I think it is very clear that in order to be granted mercy, you must also obey. Jesus is very clear about this. It's not just a free gift given to everyone who want's it. You must earn his mercy. The law must be satisfied. Justice must be served. He will grant mercy to those who repent, are baptized by the proper authority, and are obedient to his commandements.

    Just read Romans 10:3 like Keith Walker (above) says. You can't just establish your own righteousness. Jesus made it clear. Obedience to the commandments (personal worthiness) brings the mercy unto salvation.

    What makes you believe you have the authority to interpret the scriptures? I know of no other religion in the world that claims that revelation still exists besides the LDS Church. So the best you can claim is that this is YOUR interpretation, not God's.

     
  • At October 30, 2006 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Problem with what, Anonymous said is this. The Bible is clear, OUR Rightouness is as fithly rags, When the Bible says Filthy rags, it is refering to the Menstrasl Cloth women use during bleeding.

    Then this also poses a problem for people on death row or a death bed. The LDS in all honesty have no hope to offer, what are they going to say, Sorry to hear your dying or going to be put to death, I guess your out of luck because you cannot work for your salvation.

    You cannot do anything to earn mercy or grace. What a bummer for you. Boy that is not good news at all.

    What about the theif on the cross, I know the LDS dont believe he really went to heaven or what about Jesus dying on the Cross, he said, IT IS FINISHED. Notice he did not say, You must add to what I did, I did not do enough. Well You keep on trying to do your best. I know God died for me and I can simply enter heaven by faith. No amount of works will ever get me in.

    The bible is clear, We are saved by grace, not of works LEST ANYONE SHOULD BOAST. I can see it know Anonymous sits at the right hand of Jesus and says, Boy look at what I did, it ranks up next to you Jesus.

    Look how much I did, sadly no other did as much as we did. Yea right. Rick b

     
  • At October 31, 2006 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Rick, you have yet to answer the question.

    So what does Matthew 7:21-23 mean when Jesus says:
    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    You rambled something about menstral rags (with no reference included), but this didn't answer the question.

    Remember there are two deaths of which we must be saved. Spiritual and Physical. The power of the physical death is given by grace to all man kind regardless of how they lived. The spritual death however is not freely given. You must earn your way to heaven, otherwise, what need have we for repentance? Where does that fit into the picture. Are you trying to lead me to believe that I can commit as many sins as I want, and as long as I believe in God, I will be saved?

    Answer the question I posted above. I am curious if you believe what Jesus Christ himself has said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."

     
  • At October 31, 2006 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Joh 6,40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

     
  • At November 01, 2006 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jesus said:
    Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.

     

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