Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Implementing the Impossible Gospel

One of my New Year's resolutions was to be less confrontational when speaking with and about the LDS. That lone caused me to reevaluate my approach and discussion platform.

I have recently opened a Twitter account and I have slowly gotten the hang of it. The last few nights, I have been perusing the hashtags #Mormon and #LDS to look for opportunities to converse with people. Well, last night I sent a few tweets with little to no success, but I finally found a tweet from a guy named Bobby from Colorado who is a radio personality. We were able to converse and some traction was made.

For this conversation, I will use 'B' for Bobby, and 'J' for Josh of Ephesians 2 Ministry. Many of the responses were multi-part tweets, but I will compile them.

This was the original tweet that I responded to: "I always want to be with my own family....and The Lord has shown me how I can." #Mormon

J: And how is that? Could you show me a BofM reference or Bible reference about eternal families? I would appreciate that. Thanks.

B: This is what I found for ya my friend =]

B: PS, thank you for allowing me to research a little bit. That quote is from a hymn I sang at a funeral today. Felt inspired to share

J: That's great info. And I'm glad I got you researching. What happens to a person after death? Bible or BofM reference, too please.

B: I would refer you to my friend. I appreciate all your questions but I would go there & search references for u.

(At this point, I thought he was just going to be done talking. But I persisted.)

J: Can I share a BofM verse with YOU? Will you read Alma 34:32-35 for me and get back with me?

B: my question to you before I do that is, are you genuinely curious about my faith, or are you trying to discredit it?

J: I grew up LDS and could not get my questions answered. Too many inconsistencies. I was just wondering your thoughts on the verses.

B: ok, well inconsistencies, I've found tend to come from a lack of understanding or knowledge. When that has happened to me before I've prayed to Heavenly Father for understanding. Honestly, I've come to the realization that I am supposed to receive certain knowledges and truths when I am ready to receive them. As for that scripture in Alma, what I take from it is that this mortal life is a time of a probation. A time to repent for those transgressions we make daily. The mind/thoughts/desires are what we take with us and we should not wait until that time The Lord calls us home to repent. And that's my perspective on it. Hope that helps.

J: Have you repented for all of your transgressions that you daily commit? Just wondering. I know I struggle every day

B: I do try. I must admit it is not a daily occurrence for which I must work on my daily prayer habits. The Lord knows our hearts & intentions.

J: Well, I read Miracle of Forgiveness, and here is a quote in it: 'There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin. Desire is not sufficient. In other words, it is not real repentance until one has abandoned the error of his ways and started on a new path the saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life. Trying is not sufficient.

B: well to you I would say yes, I have repented of some issues in my life, and have abandoned them. However, all of us, shall remain imperfect beings in this mortal life. That's the beauty of forgiveness and sincere repentance. Faith without works is dead. I've read that talk. I feel the angle you are coming from is that we must remain free of transgression from repentance from here on out. That's not practical for any man or woman. We will always fall short of the Grace of God, but through His sacrifice we can be made clean.

J: But, what about 1 Nephi 3:7?

B: I assume you are referring being baptized unto repentance?

J: Oh no... here's the verse: 1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that 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.

B: okay, so what is your specific question regarding those verses?

J: If it's not practical for us to be free of sin and we fall short, how is it that "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."

B: you and I and the rest of the waking world have a little gift called "free agency." God does not expect us to be perfect, however we are commanded to obey the precepts He has brought forth in His Gospel. He prepares the way through those scriptures guidelines and ways we may grow closer to him if we open our hearts and minds to it"

J: Wouldn't one of those precepts be full repentance, though? Alma 11:37 "And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that 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 be saved in your sins.

B: listen Josh. I respect your curiosity and thirst for Gospel knowledge, but we are going back and forth to no success of your questions. I sincerely feel you would have a phenomenal conversation with a Missionary or other Mormon confidant. I am not trying to shrug you off, but it's late, and we could go back and forth till the wee hours. I hope you find the answers you seek from God and I wish you well my friend. Be blessed and thanks for the inspiring conversation. All my best =]

J: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and talk with me. It's great that you were willing to share your knowledge and faith. Please consider Ephesians 2:8-9 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.' God bless you my friend

B: I must say I appreciate your questions and faith. Many people of whatever faith backdown due to lack of knowledge. But it is thru Christ-like dialogue we can come to agree or compassionately disagree about our beliefs. May God bless you too.

The Impossible Gospel provided for some good conversation and some critical thinking. I pray that Bobby will reflect on our conversation the next time the subject comes up and will research further into what he believes. He was very genuine in his responses and non-confrontational. He really had a desire to answer my questions. I believe that if I had started the conversation much earlier, we would have been able to walk through the Impossible Gospel even further... but, I didn't start until nearly 11pm.

Please join me in prayer for Bobby and all LDS people.