Opposition in all things

Related Posts: Problem of Evil; Fall of Man: The Doctrine; Fall of Man: Defense of the Doctrine; The Premortal Life; Doctrine of Agency

The concept of opposition in Mormonism is an important one. “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11), wrote the Book of Mormon prophet Lehi. This post explores the concept of opposition and the role it plays within Mormon beliefs.

2 Nephi 11

The idea is almost entirely based on a passage from 2 Nephi.

11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so…righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.[1] 12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God. 13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away. (2 Nephi 2:11-13)

Continue reading

Whom do we worship?

Related Posts: Who is Jesus?—to a Mormon; The Nature of Christ; The Trinity; Godhead: God or Gods?

See also “Worship” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism

In the mind of most Mormons the objects of worship are God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.[1] The Holy Ghost is necessary for the true worship of the Father and the Son; it is through the Holy Ghost that we worship in spirit and in truth, for “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 5:5).

The concept of worship in Mormonism is not strictly defined. Those in heaven “sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost” (Mormon 7:7); the ordinance of baptism is performed “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 20:73); our prayers are directed to God the Father and are done in the name of Jesus Christ; and the first words every newly confirmed church member hears are, “Receive the Holy Ghost” (D&C 49:13-14). Continue reading

Growth of the Church

Related Posts: Is LDS (Mormon) Church Growth Decelerating? (2014)

One point of interest among Mormons and non-Mormons is the growth rate of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many Mormons are confidant in the “fact” that the church is the fastest growing church in the United States and expect to see enormous increases in membership. This notion is fed by predictions from a few sociologists. Rodney Stark made the following observation in 1984:

If growth during the next century is like that of the past, the Mormons will become a major world faith. If, for example, we assume they will grow by 30 percent per decade, then in 2080 there will be more than 60 million Mormons. But, since World War II, the Mormon growth rate has been far higher than 30 percent per decade. If we set the rate at 50 percent, then in 2080 there will be 250 million Mormons. (Rodney Stark, “The Rise of a New World Faith,” Review of Religious Research, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 18-27)

Continue reading

Election

Related Posts: The Premortal Life; Blacks and the Priesthood; Grace; Justification; Why Covenants?; The Fall of Man: The Doctrine; Omniscience; Faith and Charity; Justification and Salvation

The elect are those whom God has chosen: “but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen” (Mark 13:20). The LDS Bible Dictionary points out that election “is both on a national and an individual basis” (“Election,” Bible Dictionary).

National (group) election

The national basis is that God has elected his church to be holy, and that Israel will be his holy people. A good place to begin is Ephesians chapter 1:

PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. (Eph. 1:1-7)

Continue reading

Justification

Related Posts: Why Covenants?; Grace; Election; Faith and Charity; Faith and Justification

The word justify can mean (1) innocence before the law, (2) reconciliation with God, and (3) to be shown to be correct (vindication). Unless otherwise stated the word justification is used in the sense of (1), innocence before the law.

Justification

The term justification generally can be thought of as the language of the courts. For example, if the outcome of a trial is decided in your favor you have been justified. This is the context which Isaiah uses:

All the nations have gathered together so that the peoples may be assembled. Who among them can declare this and proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, Or let them hear and say, “It is true.” (NASB, Isa. 43:9)

The opposite of justification is condemnation: “by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37; See also Alma 41:15).

In the Mormon view works alone cannot justify us. The reason is partly due to our unsteadiness.

AND thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea…how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men,…how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to walk in wisdom’s paths! (Hel. 12:1-5)

Continue reading