.:ARE YOU PREPARED TO MEET GOD? –A simple test for the honest Latter-Day Saint
“Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? …Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.” — Alma 5:27-28, Book of Mormon
1. Have you done “all” you can do for salvation?
“…for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” —2 Nephi 25:23
“Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve gave the following illustration to show how Christ’s atonement makes it possible to be saved from sin if we do our part. ‘Let me tell you a story.… There once was a man who.…incurred a great debt.…the day came, and the contract fell due. The debt had not been fully paid. His creditor appeared and demanded payment in full.… The debtor had a friend. He came to help.…He stepped between them, faced the creditor, and made this offer. ‘I will pay the debt if you will free the debtor from his contract so that he may keep his possessions and not go to prison.’…And so the creditor agreed. The mediator turned then to the debtor. ‘If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor?’ ‘Oh yes, yes,’ cried the debtor. ‘You saved me from prison and show mercy to me.’ ‘Then,’ said the benefactor, ‘you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be possible.” —Gospel Principles, 1992ed, pp. 75, 77
According to Mormonism, Jesus refinanced the sin-debt we owed Heavenly Father. It is now up to us to repay Jesus by complying with the “laws and ordinances” of the gospel. Have you done “all you can do” to pay your sin-debt to Jesus? Are there any commandments you have failed to obey?
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”—James 2:10
2. Have you achieved perfection “in this mortal life”?
“…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.”—1 Nephi 3:7
“This progress toward eternal life is a matter of achieving perfection. Living all the commandments guarantees total forgiveness of sins and assures one of exaltation through that perfection which comes by complying with the formula the Lord gave us. In his Sermon on the Mount he made the command to all men: ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:48) Being perfect means to triumph over sin. This is a mandate from the Lord. He is just and wise and kind. He would never require anything from his children which was not for their benefit and which was not attainable. Perfection therefore is an achievable goal.”—The Miracle of Forgiveness, 1969, Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 208-209
“Perfection…is an achievable goal.” It is a command from the Lord. Jesus said, “be” perfect. He did not say, “become” perfect. Perfection is not a process; it is an event. The word “be” indicates a state of existence that must be instantaneously achieved and sustained in our mortal lives. Kimball goes on to explain:
“One of the most serious human defects in all ages is procrastination, an unwillingness to accept personal responsibilities now. Men came to earth to obtain their schooling, their training and development, and to perfect themselves.…And the burden of the prophetic warning has been that the time to act is now, in this mortal life. One cannot with impunity delay his compliance with God’s commandments.” —The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 7, 10
“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.”—Alma 34:32
Some may feel that it is unreasonable to believe that God would require total perfection in this mortal life. After all, one might think: “‘The Lord knows my heart is right and that I have good intentions.…’ But will one receive eternal life on the basis of his good intentions?” Kimball asks. He goes on to say:
“Samuel Johnson remarked that ‘hell is paved with good intentions.’ The Lord will not translate one’s good hopes and desires and intentions into works. Each of us must do that for himself.…Men and women who live in mortality and who have heard the gospel here have had their day, their seventy years to put their lives in harmony, to perform the ordinances, to repent and to perfect their lives.” —The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 8, 314
3. Have you repeated a sin after asking for forgiveness?
“By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins —behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” —Doctrine and Covenants, Section 58:43
“There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin….The saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life.…Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin….To ‘try’ is weak. To ‘do the best I can’ is not strong. We must always do better than we can….” —The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 163-165
In your repentance, are you doing “better” than you can? Have you permanently abandoned all of the sins you have ever committed? Gospel Principles explains: “Those who receive forgiveness and then repeat the sin are held accountable for their former sins.” 1.
“Discontinuance of the sin must be permanent….the former transgressor must have reached a ‘point of no return’ to sin wherein there is not merely a renunciation but also a deep abhorrence of the sin — where the sin becomes most distasteful to him and where the desire or urge to sin is cleared out of his life.” — The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 176, 354-355
“And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.” —Doctrine and Covenants, Section 82:7
4. Have you “procrastinated” the day of your repentance?
Have you confessed and repented of every sin that you have ever committed? Are you confident that you will never repeat any of these sins in the future? If repentance requires the abandonment of sin, and if repeating a sin after receiving forgiveness makes you “accountable” for your former sins, how can you claim that you have totally repented of all your sins?
This is why Jesus said that we must “be perfect” in this mortal life if we are to merit eternal life with Heavenly Father. If you have failed to completely repent by eradicating sin in your life, you are guilty of procrastinating the day of your repentance.
“…I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.” —Alma 34:33-35
Just as the Book of Mormon states: “If we do not improve our time while in this life,…that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world after you have died.” This is why, if we are to merit eternal life, physical perfection must be accomplished in this mortal life.
5. Have you cleared “all ungodliness” out of your life?
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ.…” —Moroni 10:32
Mormonism teaches that you must “deny” yourself of “all ungodliness” before you can receive the saving “grace” of Christ. Is it any wonder Mormonism makes forgiveness conditional upon your ability to repent by abandoning sin? This is why the Jesus of Mormonism “cannot” save you while you are in a condition of unworthiness, being “in your sins.”
“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, ye cannot be saved in your sins.” —Alma 11:37
6. Is Jesus sufficient or is He only necessary?
Jesus is either 100% sufficient for your perfection or He is just a “necessary” step in the process. If He is truly sufficient to cover your sins, you do not need to add works to make yourself acceptable to God; for the Bible declares: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” 2.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” — Romans 6:23
In order for something to be a “gift,” it must be given freely with no terms or conditions attached. If there is anything that we must do to merit or earn eternal life (or to pay Jesus back for His sacrifice), salvation would not be a gift, but rather, a payment or wage for what is earned. 3.
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” —Romans 11:6
If we did not have the ability to pay our sin-debt to Heavenly Father in the first place, how could we ever have the ability pay the debt to Jesus? The Bible proclaims that “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” 4. Just as it is impossible for “filthy rags” to clean something to spotless perfection, so it is with our souls. “All” righteous efforts done to merit eternal life are nothing but “filthy rags” of pride.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any many should boast.”—Ephesians 2:8-9
The standard required for worthiness is physical perfection in this mortal life. Jesus Christ is the only person who met this test. He lived the perfect life and died in your place—paying the full penalty for your sin so that His righteous perfection could be credited to your account. But just as any gift must be accepted before it can be applied, so it is with Christ. You must personally come to Jesus, admit that you’re a sinner and that you can do nothing to save yourself. Why not come to Jesus today and ask Him to give you His righteousness in exchange for your sin?
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” —2 Corinthians 5:21
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.…For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” —Hebrews 10:10, 14
“…ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” —Colossians 3:3
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