Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Impossible Gospel: A Letter to My LDS Friend

The blog I link to in my sidebar,, has an excellent letter to his LDS friend, and I thought I'd do a repost of that letter for your consideration. Without further ado:

Dear Friend,

I love you. Please take time to read this very important letter. Since you are so devoted to your faith it is important for you to know that according to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), true repentance means sinless perfectionism. Since no one can completely stop sinning in this life the teaching of the LDS Church is indeed the Impossible Gospel. This is the reason you and other LDS I talk with consistently respond that you do not know for sure that you have eternal life because you must rely on your own ability to keep the commandments and stop sinning in order to earn the grace of God.

If you don’t believe me then see for yourself. Here are the requirements of true repentance for salvation as defined by the LDS Church:

Must forsake all sin and deny all ungodliness

"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins--behold, he will confess them and forsake them." (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42-43)

“And if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you…” (Moroni 10:32)

“Repentance is for every soul who has not yet reached perfection” (Miracle of Forgiveness [MoF] by Spencer Kimball, p.33)

Must keep all the commandments

“For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven; And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:31-33)

Must stop all sinning

“Being perfect means to triumph over sin. This is a mandate from the Lord. He is just and wise and kind. He would never require anything from his children which was not for their benefit and which was not attainable. Perfection therefore is an achievable goal” (MoF by Spencer Kimball p. 209)

“the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” 1 Nephi 3:7

“Discontinuance of sin must be permanent” (MoF, p.176)

Must never repeat any sin again or commit new sins for the first time

"Unto the soul that sins the former sins return" (Doctrine and Covenants 82:7).
“daily transgression and daily repentance is that which is not pleasing in the sight of God.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 148)

“no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot saved in your sins” (Alma 11:37)

“Those who feel that they can sin and be forgiven and then return to sin and be forgiven again and again must straighten out their thinking. Each previously forgiven sin is added to the new one. When a man has made up his mind to change his life there must be no turning back.” (MoF by Spencer Kimball, p.170)

Trying not to sin is not enough

“Desire and Trying to abandon sins is not sufficient, only abandoning sin is sufficient” (MoF by Spencer Kimball, p.163-164)

“We can hardly be too forceful in reminding people that they cannot sin and be forgiven and then sin again and again and expect repeated forgiveness” (MoF by Spencer Kimball, p.360)

“There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin.” (MoF by Spencer Kimball, p.163)

“An incomplete repentance never brought about complete forgiveness” (MoF by Spencer Kimball, p.212)

Must stop sinning before death (No second chances)

“spirit world repentance cannot recompense for that which could and should have been done on earth” (MoF by Spencer Kimball, p.315)

“…this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God… For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked” (Alma 34:30-35)

Friend, the Impossible Gospel of Mormonism is not only impossible but also false. It is based on fear and works righteousness. Grace only applies after all you can do (2 Nephi 25:23). Unless you never commit any sin ever again you are still in sin and not truly repentant. Trying to stop sinning is not enough. The time to deny all ungodliness is now because at death there is no second chance from being sealed to the devil who is in Outer Darkness. That is the final state of your soul for all eternity without end. Have you stopped sinning completely? If not then Grace does not apply to you. You will die in sin and will not be saved to be in the presence of the Father according to the LDS Teaching you just read. The LDS gospel is not good news.

For the Christian the requirement to be perfect still exists but it exists not in ourselves but in Jesus Christ completely. It is by the Cross we who are not perfect are made perfect forever (Hebrews 10:14). There is no other way for the Bible tells us that there is no one who is good (Romans 3:10). A person who thinks they can get to Heaven by being good and keeping the commandments does not understand how God sees sin, punishment, or Hell (John 3:18, 36). On Judgment Day every thought, word and deed will be exposed.

When we look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s standard we see that God views lust as adultery (Matthew 5:28), hatred as murder (1 John 3:15), and that no secret sin is hidden from Him of whom we will give an account (Hebrews 4:13). We see our sin in all its ugliness and realize that there is nothing we can do to remedy it. The more we see the depth of our sin the more we realize the extent of God's love to save us, making grace truly amazing (Romans 2:4, 5:8).

That’s the bad news. The law cannot save us. It simply teaches us (Romans 3:20, 7:13; Galatians 3:24) to not trust in our own goodness and leads us to trust by grace through faith in the goodness of Jesus alone for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:4). Because of sin we deserve Hell, but God showed His love by pouring His wrath toward our sin on His only Son. Jesus alone does the “perfecting” (Heb. 10:14). He suffered and died on the cross in our place and rose again so that we who deserve such punishment could be pardoned and God glorified. That is the good news. God’s love is amazing. Will you reject His amazing gift of undeserved kindness?

God commands you to repent and put all trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you (Acts 17:30-31). Stop attempting to gain your own salvation through works that cannot save (Rom. 10:3-4). It cheapens Christ’s sacrifice to be only a partial payment and insults God. You can do nothing to save yourself (Eph. 2:8-9). You must put all your faith in Jesus alone and place zero trust in yourself. Cry out to God and beg him to save you from your sin, and trust ONLY in His death and resurrection as full payment

However, to die in sin apart from God's complete and undeserved mercy will bring a fearful day of wrath, judgment and a destination of Hell (Revelation 21:8). Don't wait another moment. Surrender all to the Savior for He is worthy and this day may be your last. There is no other way. Please repent and trust in the true Jesus. He is merciful to save.

I love you Friend. That is why I wanted to share this most important message of God’s kindness. Let’s talk more as soon as possible.

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