Saturday, 23 January 2010

Self reliance matters

In the article becoming self reliant in the January 2010 Ensign magazine President Thomas Monson says this: (bold added)

“Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being. Regarding this principle, President Marion G Romney (1897-1988) has said: “Let us work for what we need. Let us be self-reliant and independent. Salvation can be obtained on no other principle. Salvation is an individual matter, and we must work out our own salvation in temporal as well as in spiritual things."

An LDS manual says this:

“It is not that our desires are necessarily evil in and of themselves, but it is our responsibility to bridle our own passions lest they devolve to lusts which will invariably lead to sin (The life and teachings of the apostles course manual, p.411)

And also in an article on grace the LDS bible dictionary says this:

“However grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient”. (LDS bible dictionary p.697)

The responsibility for salvation within the Mormon church lies completely on the efforts of the individual, Jesus simply gives an opportunity for this through the resurrection of everyone in the next life, however He does not in any way determine what happens after that. As we saw above it is the responsibility of the individual to bridle our passions that cause us to sin.

However in the bible we see a dramatically different story, we see a humanity helpless without Christ and where even the possibility of relying on yourself to make your salvation happen cannot be the case.

In Romans we see this:

Romans 3:11 (King James Version)
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

No one seeks God.

So God gave us over to our shameful ways

Romans 1:26 (King James Version)
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

However Jesus came to change us from the inside out as we see from the apostle Paul, who also gives us an insight into what the bible says about self reliance.

Galatians 2:20 (King James Version)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Those that are in Christ are dead to their own ways and alive only in Him, as humanity without this is in such a position that left on their own there is nothing we can do to please God or come close to Him it is a complete work of Christ.

This has helped me realise that when witnessing to Mormons it is not just enough to show bible verses that show we are saved by faith alone, but we also need to show that unless they rely 100% on Christ alone for their salvation they have nothing at all.

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