Sunday, December 31, 2017

Judge Not

Matt 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Christians are to be discerning but not to assume and usurp God’s role in condeming others.  Instead of condemnation, we are to help, love, encourage and support others. 

Friday, December 01, 2017

Good Fruit of Conversion

It seems we could probably be doing better in our discussions with our Evangelical friends and using the Book of Mormon as our conversational keystone. I think we could represent the message of the Book of Mormon better. 

My friend believes in the “process of sanctification”.  But he says the process will happen automatically even if at different rates in people (10-fold, 50-fold, 100-fold).  The amount of fruit yielded is important but not salvific.  

Not everything an Evangelical says about grace is completely wrong.  But some is.  Most Evangelicals would accept some personal responsibility even if their preacher/doctrine doesn't. Also, some of our miss-understanding comes from our instruction to “say nothing but repentance to this generation”. Evangelicals strongly emphasize “grace” while LDS rightly approach the truth from the side of repentance because of our commandment (D&C6:9). Consequently, and LDS sermon will seemingly sound very distinct to an Evangelical sermon. 

LDS are always preaching “try a little harder to be a little better” (ie personal responsibility).  Evangelicals are always saying, accept Christ in your life and He will bare fruit in your life (not wrong). The evangelical would consider their doctrine of “grace” is more Christ-centered. LDS would say taking personal responsibility and better repentance will allow a greater portion of Christ’s Spirit to be in your life. 

It’s almost a chicken and egg issue. Christ does make the first move and it is not wrong to say, being more Christ-centered in our lives will bear fruit.  In fact, this is good doctrine. We say “The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior”

We were teaching about spiritual self-reliance and testimony vs. conversion in our YM lessons this last month. We learned in the lesson and in the Book of Mormon that our sin problems are a conversion problem, and if we are more converted to Christ (more Christ-focused) then we will lose desire for sin.  Evangelicals would hardily agree.  So the answer to better repentance is better Christ-centeredness.  However, we become more Christ-centeted by doing things like reading scriptures, praying, attending church, doing service. 


So, maybe we could build more on common beliefs that the Book of Mormon does teach that focusing on Christ and being more converted to Christ will help us repent of sin, make weaknesses strengths, be better filled with Christ’s love, and be empowered to selflessly do more for others.  I  think I could make a better case that the Book of Mormon (primarily), living prophet, LDS temple help us be more Christ-centered and thus become more converted, and becoming more converted to Christ helps us be better.