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Gethsemane and the Atonement Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
April 1, 2021 9:08 pm

Gethsemane and the Atonement Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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April 1, 2021 9:08 pm

John Hilton III wrote an article titled “Jesus Suffered, Died, and Rose Again for Us” in the April 2021 issue of the LIahona church magazine. Just where did Jesus pay for the sins of His people according to traditional Mormonism. And where do Christians point? Bill and Eric discuss the Mormon teaching versus what is … Continue reading Gethsemane and the Atonement Part 3 →

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Mormonism 101 is a research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson has helped many who want to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith. Mormonism 101 is available at your favorite Christian bookstore .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a perspective view .1 Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism so glad to be with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson my colleague are well today is Good Friday a day that Christians have historically set aside to commemorate the death of Christ on the cross at Calvary.

Traditionally we look at his death on the cross of Calvary as where our atonement took place and this is the controversy that we been talking about for the last couple of days because there's an article in the April 2021.

Addition of Leo hold a magazine article titled Jesus suffered, died and rose again before us by John Hilton and associate professor of ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University and what Mr. Helton is doing is I guess we can conclude he's trying to dispel a myth that I would argue is primarily among those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a myth that the atonement took place only in the garden of Gethsemane. But as Mr. Helton is arguing. It actually took place in three separate locations not only in the garden of Gethsemane, but on the cross at Calvary and then with the resurrection of Jesus at the tomb that was owned by Joseph of Arimathea. Traditionally, Christians of look to the cross.

And that's why today is set aside to commemorate that we have two different articles that people might want to look up. One is, and it critiques this article and you also wrote one yet that Latter Day Saints don't have crosses on their churches, and I do believe the URL is and it talks about Gordon B. Hinckley when he was discussing the subject of crosses with a Protestant minister. This Protestant notice that there were no crosses on any LDS churches and so what Hinckley said which we find to be quite telling.

He said for us.

The cross is a symbol of the dying Christ. While our message is a declaration of the living Christ in my argument in that piece is just because we use the cross is a symbol of Christianity does not at all hint that we don't see the significance in the living Christ. So I really found Gordon B.

Hinckley's answer to this Protestant minister to be very lacking and not very good.

Besides the Latter Day Saints Duke commemorate the death of Christ. Every time they partake of the sacrament that's all about the death of Christ, so it makes you wonder why Hinckley came up with an answer like that because I don't think it really suffices that what you say that there is a disdain amongst the LDS leadership as far as the atonement by the cross, the death that took place on the cross. Even the symbol of a cross has seemed to draw the ire of many of the LDS leaders, especially 50 years ago, like Bruce McConkie, Joseph Fielding Smith and others will. I would think that perhaps the symbol of the cross being worn as jewelry or something like that certainly has been criticized, but I don't know if I would go so far as to say that any latter-day St. might have disdain towards the cross because even past leaders talked about the cross and even when they talk about Gethsemane. Sometimes they would throw in the cross but it always is in the context of the significance being placed in the garden of Gethsemane and not the cross or as were seen now were they kind of split the purpose between the garden of Gethsemane and the cross which, as we were mentioning yesterday will if he paid for all the sins of mankind in the garden. What was left to do on the cross.

What point does the cross at that juncture in the Mormon context.

Traditionally, the cross almost seems to be an afterthought. I mean, it gets added in there as you're saying but for the average LDS leader. It seems like Gethsemane is talked about 10 times more and that's even true in their artwork now in this article that is in the Leo hold out for April 2021.

There is a picture of Jesus hanging on the cross with the two thieves on page you 13, but many times when you look in the older editions of their publications. It's only a picture of Jesus praying in the garden.

Not that there never is a picture of him on the cross. I'm not trying to imply that all but the emphasis always seems to be in the garden. Let's set aside where it took place. Okay, let's just set that aside, my question is the atonement itself, and what does it do for an individual Latter Day Saints and it's interesting that in this article he has a footnote. Mr. Helton has a footnote footnote number two that sites a sermon that was given by James Faust, James E. Faust was a member of the first presidency before he passed away.

It was conference message titled, the atonement, our greatest hope you can find this in & November 2001 on page 18, I found that to be significant that he would reference this sermon because we've talked about this sermon given by Mr. Faust on a number of occasions on this show. But I want to go back to that since Hilton brings that up. I think we should go back to see what James Faust say about the atonement sermon that John Hilton the third references in this article. This is what he says in a sermon via Tom in our greatest hope published in the enzyme magazine November 2001, page 18. Our salvation depends on believing in and accepting the atonement sites Mosiah four, six and seven in the book of Mormon.

Such acceptance requires a continued effort to understand more fully the atonement advances are mortal course of learning by making it possible for our natures to become perfect.

All of us have sinned and need to repent to fully pay all or part of the debt. When we sincerely repent the Savior's magnificent atonement pays the rest of that debt now if you're listening carefully to what James Faust said in that sermon in your New Testament Christian. I hope some red flags went off because, listen carefully again to what he says. He says all of us have sinned and need to repent to fully pay our part of the debt, but yet the whole purpose of Gethsemane, I understand was that he paid for all of our sins that also include our part of the debt, but apparently not. At least not according to James Faust. There's something left over that needs to be taken care of and you as an individual member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You are responsible for paying that part of the debt which is you are part of the debt. He says when we sincerely repent the Savior's magnificent atonement pays the rest of that debt. So this talk about Jesus paying for all of our sins in the garden of Gethsemane. It sounds like there's something that didn't get covered in that payment and how does an individual latter-day St. take care of that part of the debt, well it sounds very simple when you have to repent until you look carefully at the LDS definition of repentance and as I mentioned earlier in this series it involves not only confessing your sins. It also includes abandoning that sin no. Does that mean that down the road you can commit that sin again will if you commit that same sin again.

You didn't truly and in so you didn't truly repent, you have to abandon it for the rest of your life. If you are to truly repent.

If you don't do that then we can assume by what James Faust is saying if you don't sincerely repent then the Savior's magnificent atonement doesn't pay the rest of that debt.

And Faust does talk about repentance on the next page, page 19 and he says he atonement cleanses us of sin on condition of our repentance.

Repentance is the condition on which mercy is extended. After all we can do. That's from second Nephi 25, 23 to pay to the uttermost farthing and make right our wrongs. The Savior's grace is activated in our lives through the atonement, which purifies us and can perfect this doesn't sound Eric in the way that James Faust worded that that the Savior's grace is activated prior to you accomplishing this deed of repentance. No, no, it's conditional on doing that and not only that the doctrine and covenants makes it very clear in section 1, verse 32 that you need to repent. Keep the commandments. Then you receive the forgiveness of sins. Now you got a double whammy thrown in here for the poor latter-day St. because not only do they have to confess and abandon all their sins they have to keep all the commandments. Now if they keep all the commandments you would think they would never have to repent again because what is repentance for its four not keeping all the commandments you can see how this is putting the latter-day St. between the proverbial rock and a hard place. In essence in Mormonism, a person has to become his own Savior. I mean, Jesus does pay part of it, but you have this big responsibility. And here we are on Good Friday, Sunday is Easter and for Christians all over the world were going to be celebrating the resurrection as victory that we get to celebrate in, but it was nothing that we did. It was everything that Jesus did in fact we have a him by Isaac Watts called at the cross and it's a beautiful hymn and this is what the refrain says at the cross at the cross where I first saw the light and the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith I received my site and now I am happy all the day and when he is expressing is what all Christians who believe in what the Bible teaches is that Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe and there's nothing that I have done, but according to Mormonism. According to James Faust. The only way you're going to get mercy extended is by you pain every farthing light gets even worse.

Eric, when you look back at the teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith. He was the 10th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in volume 1, pages 135 to 36.

In his book, doctrines of salvation. He said Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. Can you imagine that there are certain things that a human being can possibly do that will place that transgressor beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. Listen to the solution for an individual who is done that Smith went on to say if these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins. Even though they repent therefore their only hope is to have their own bloodshed, to atone as far as possible in their behalf, and he goes on to say this is scriptural doctrine and is taught in all the standard works of the church. That's a statement by Joseph Fielding Smith the 10th president of the church citing the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Joseph Smith. You can see their view of the atonement is very very different than what New Testament Christians have historically believed, we hope you have a great Good Friday and a glorious resurrection day, thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

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