Saturday, September 4, 2010

Article #4

Hello all I am Bobby and am just starting to contribute to this great blog I will do this once only but feel free to say hello at my personal blog (

Anyway thats enough plugging I am from Middlesbrough UK and am going to carry on this series looking at the LDS articles of faith and then will see where we go from there.

The 4th LDS article of faith.

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

In a lot of ways this does not sound too bad, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that certainly works, repentance is very necessary in coming to Christ, Baptism is again a great display of obedience and laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, mmm will have to look at that one.

So this article will look briefly at the LDS view and then the Christian view on these 4 things

  • Faith
  • Repentance
  • Baptism 
  • Gift of the Holy Ghost   

James Talmage a member of the LDS twelve apostles in his book The articles of Faith said:

"Primarily and in a theological sense, we are considering faith as a living, inspiring, confidence in God, and an acceptance of His will as our law, and of His works as our guide, in life. (p.100)

Later in the same chapter he says "A condition essential to the exercise of a living growing, sustaining faith in Deity is the consciousness on man's part that he is at least endeavoring to live in accordance with the laws of God as he has learned them. (p.105)

Biblical Faith in its purest sense is trust in the unseen God, not a case of works.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 

By faith we can be assured of our salvation, because we are told in the New Testament we are saved by it.

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 

True Faith is trusting statements like this and that the grace of Christ is sufficent for us, however we see in the LDS view is that faith is at least as much a display of physical actions as it is trusting in God.

 I think with this one I struggle to find fault with Talmages take on it, He says that repentance is essential for salvation, I would agree how can you come to Christ and not be willing to change your life for Him and call that saving faith? However the one area I have always struggled with when it comes to the LDS view on repentance is that you can only repent of a certain sin a small number of times.

Spencer W Kimball a previous Mormon president in his classic book the Miracle of Forgiveness tells this story.

Years ago, a missionary in South America wrote a long letter of confession. 
He had broken the law of chastity. No one but the young girl and himself 
knew of the transgression, but he had promptly gone to his mission president 
and confessed it in total.
This missionary had been a member of the Church but a few months, and his 
many years of adulthood while "of the world" had produced a weakness hard 
to overcome. He quoted, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." 
He did not excuse himself, nor claim any special immunities, nor rely on 
extenuating circumstances. He said: "I knew I had to pay the full penalty, 
I knew that in life or death I had to answer for the sin. I wanted to get 
it over with and be on my way to eventual forgiveness. I would rather confess, 
take my punishment, and get back as soon as possible on the road to forgiveness, 
and I did not want my eternity cluttered with these blemishes."
He was excommunicated from the Church. After what seemed an eternity to him, 
through his faithfulness and repentance he was baptized and finally his priesthood 
and temple blessings were restored to him. He found peace through complete 
repentance of which his total, voluntary confession was a vital part.
This story never stops amazing me, where is the real miracle of forgiveness here?
We have a guy with a weakness that so many guys have, he stuffs up like so many guys 
do, however rather than receiving the loving and releasing forgiveness of God He is cast 
out of the church having to work His way back in,
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
This is a question to anyone reading this, can you imagine Jesus in the bible saying
to a repentant sinner get out of my church until you can prove your way back in?
It just did not happen, so while repentance is rightly emphasized in the Mormon
church they have no idea of its true power, and instead it seems to be used in all 
the wrong ways.

Again baptism is very rightly emphasized in the Mormon church however again in the wrong way, they
teach that baptism is a saving ordnance that is essential for Salvation, and that your salvation or rather
exaltation (which is the Mormon term for salvation which means ganing a place in the highest level of heaven starts at baptism. Whenever I have asked Mormons if they are born again they describe being born again as
a process which begins at baptism.

However in the bible again a different Story, in Luke 7:50 Jesus tells the sinful woman your faith has saved you go in peace!

Does this mean baptism is not important no absolutely not however it is a fruit of salvation, Jesus said if you love me you will obey my commandments so a newly saved person who presumably loves Jesus a lot at that point seeing as they have had their eternal destiny secured as a gift and will mostly if not every time quite happily do this.

Gift of the Holy Ghost the official Mormon website says this about this point.

All honest seekers of the truth can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, leading them to Jesus Christ and His gospel. However, the fulness of the blessings given through the Holy Ghost are available only to those who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and remain worthy. 

After a person is baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders lay their hands on the person's head and, in a sacred priesthood ordinance, confirm him or her a member of the Church. As part of this ordinance, called confirmation, the person is given the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

The gift of the Holy Ghost is different from the influence of the Holy Ghost. Before baptism, a person can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost from time to time and through that influence can receive a testimony of the truth. After receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, a person has the right to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead if he or she keeps the commandments.

Ok I am getting tired now and probably have been writing too long however if you read this quote carefully all I will ask is this question that the Apostle Paul asked,

Galatians 3:2
This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

Well everyone answer me this how did you recieve the Spirit?????