“Believe in the one whom the Father has sent.”
The obedience of works…and the obedience of faith, are two radically different things.
Christ Jesus is after the latter. Because He already knows what we have done with the former. Failed miserably.]]>
And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.
And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.
Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—
– 2 Nephi 2:4-10
In other words, we don’t believe we are saved by obedience to the law. Salvation would be impossible without the grace of God, through the atonement of Christ. But that doesn’t mean we don’t believe in obedience to commandments and repentance. Christ commanded all to repent and follow him. It is impossible to follow him if we are not committed to do the things he asks of us. We believe we will be judged by our works:
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
That judgment will determine our place in God’s kingdom, but it doesn’t get us there. Only the infinite atonement of Christ can do that.]]>
For us, “Christ is the end of the law for anyone who has faith.”
What ‘we do’…or ‘don’t do’, has absolutely no bearing on his finished work on the Cross for real sinners. We feel so strongly about that finished work on the Cross, that we put one (a cross) on top of our church buildings.It is central for us. Not the ‘law’ (what ‘we do’).]]>
succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.
And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.
And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your bcondemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
– Mosiah 4:16-22
In other words, we should give freely of our substance and ourselves. No one is limited to giving 10%, and in fact Mormons are expected to contribute fast offerings each month in addition to tithing, and to give other amounts and time whenever they see a need, as well as participating in their regular callings at church.
Tithing is a lower law. It is the bare minimum that anyone might be expected to contribute to the kingdome of God, but it is not the end of God’s expectations of us. As the above quote makes clear, and as Mormons are instructed in their temples, all that we have belongs to God, and we are expected to consecrate all of our substance and ourselves to him.]]>
But for us, the idea of tithing is not Christian.
A tithe is a calculation. Christians are not calculated givers…but rather give from the heart. To us, a 10% gift seems pretty chincey.
And, of course, Jesus showed us what real giving is when he pointed out the widow who gave ALL that she had, while the good religious types were putting in their calculated, measly 10%.
I hate it when they read the lessons.
You and me both. Reading is not teaching.
I can understand people having a bad attitude about the mall, but I have always felt the opposite. I’m happy that our church is able to help keep downtown SLC and the temple area vital and help provide so many jobs as well as just a nice place to shop and spend time. It makes me happy to visit the City Creek mall. Not all the things the church spends money on need necessarily be directly related to charitable activities.
I’m glad the church is a frugal employer, but I think there are probably some things that go too far. Wages may in fact be too low, and I think the fees the church pays it’s lawyers are pretty miserly as well. No one will cry for them, but they are people just trying to make a decent living, and sometimes working for the church makes that difficult.
For me, tithing is about me showing my faith and devotion to God. Once I pay it, I’m not overly concerned with how it’s spent, but if anyone imprudently or selfishly misuses the Lord’s money, I expect there will literally be hell to pay.]]>
I fidgeted through the whole lesson—for some reason, hers are the lessons on the infrequent days I make it to Relief Society—-I keep thinking “I can read!” I hate it when they read the lessons.
My rebellious attitude toward tithing started when the prophet so joyously celebrated that shopping center in Salt Lake. I’m tremendously bothered by our church’s niggling wages to employees. I understand we’re building temples and churches and other necessary expenses for the church, but when our worth is in the billions, outside of all the businesses, I think something’s rotten in Denmark.
It’s important for me spiritually to contribute to God’s work and I will continue to do so. But a part of me will feel distrust of the system in that regard.]]>
If that were really God’s intent, don’t you think he could have found a more direct way to let us know? And why would it come through Stephen? I love Stephen’s testimony, but he seems an unlikely person to deliver such an earth-shattering idea as the one you are suggesting. Stephen’s stoning was not long after the Savior’s death. If Christ wanted to deliver such important information, wouldn’t he have said it himself, during his misistry? As you said earlier:
Our Savior took three years to patiently and lovingly teach the important truths to his apostles and disciples. His words, from His mouth, must trump anything else. Any admonition, counsel or directive at odds with what He told us in these pages should be disputed by anyone who considers themselves his disciple.
If that’s true, then why is such an important idea coming to us after his death, through Stephen? Isn’t that inconsistent?
Moreover, Stephen’s not the last testimony in the NT. Others who came after him should be ignored, by your logic, shouldn’t they? Isn’t this really just a way for you to ignore scriptural writing that you find inconvenient because it doesn’t support your views?
To me, the test of whether you should believe something is from God is not whether it came to us during Christ’s ministry or even whether it makes you happy (although that can be a part of the process of “prov[ing] all things, hold[ing] fast that which is good”), it’s more a matter of asking God, and being willing to live with the answer you get, whatever that might be.
That’s why I believe as I do that modern revelation exists, and that the OT, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants are of God.
I also, coincidentally, find them to be in perfect harmony with Stephen’s testimony in Acts 7. Stephen did not testify that the prophets in the OT were not important, or that they should be ignored. He said that the fathers of the Jews had persecuted and murdered the prophets, just as the current Jews did to Jesus. This got him killed, but his final testimony is very powerful, as God opened the heavens to him in a final vision.
That final vision is very which is very similar to the vision granted to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, recorded in D&C 76, showing that modern revelation is consistent with previous revelation, but if you think it isn’t there is always a way to test it.]]>