On Mar 21, 2004, at 3:44 PM, RB Scott wrote:
Look, I don't think we're ever going to agree. I'm probably as aware as you are as to what God taught and what he didn't. I think are differences are in approach. I'm inclined to teach the gospel, you seem inclined to preach repentance.
This is the problem: there is no difference between the gospel and repentance.
Consider the following from 3 Nephi 27:
13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you--that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil--
15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.
17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.
18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.
19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.
20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
I'm inclined to believe that God must be a pretty forgiving God if he's willing to forgive the sins of repentant sinners like you and me. I believe that God wants to include as many people as He possibly can...and that it's my job to do my bit to ensure the roster is as large as possible. You take a different tack. Good luck to you. Our purposes are the same, more or less even if our methods are different.
You see, the only way that one can be included in that roster is to repent and become clean through the blood of Christ. Verses 20 and 21 are pretty clear -- the gospel we must preach is the gospel of repentance. If you don't teach repentance, you don't teach the gospel.
Too many of us are like Neville Chamberlain. We think that evil can be won by appeasement. The idea is that if we just compromise a bit here and give a little there all will be well. The problem is that compromise and negotiations only work between honorable men. Satan knows that every time we compromise with him we give up our power. God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.
The current battle is not over civil rights, as some would claim. That's just a smokescreen. The real battle is for the salvation of souls. Sexual sins are real, addictive, and terribly difficult to overcome. People who cannot overcome these sins receive God's righteous judgment.
Can we not see the plan of the evil one? More and more of the things that condemn people to eternal damnation are being integrated into society. Abortion, which in but the rarest of cases is nothing more than cold-blooded murder, now enjoys a legally protected place in our society. The problem is that murderers are damned. Adulterers, fornicators, and those who practice other gross sexual sins have a legally protected place in society. The problem is that those who unrepentantly practice sexual sins are damned. Society embraces those things it legally protects. It tells those who live within it that it is OK to do those things. If a society teaches its people to do evil, it encourages them to be damned. God has repeatedly destroyed such societies. WE ARE NOT EXEMPT!
There is another aspect of this battle that bears discussion. If the legal records from which temple ordinances are drawn become perverted, we will be unable to use them to perform the saving and exalting ordinances. Many people who have lived worthy lives and died without the gospel will be condemned to the spirit prison until we can figure out the mess that will be caused. We as members of God's church must oppose such efforts.
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