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Bruce R. Mcconkie On Salvation.


Tanyan

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LDS critics quote an endless array of quotes by Bruce R. McConkie in his addresses /statements/writtings concerning salvation/exhaltation being earned. From my lights this does not paint a complete picture of Bruce R. McConkies addresses/statements/writtings concerning Salvation/Exhaltation. Can anyone show his view that Salvation is a free Gift and how that Gift is won and maintained according to Bruce R. McConkie's life works via Talks/Writtings/Publications ?.

Thanks in advance. In His Debt/Grace, Tanyan LDS JEDI KNIGHT.

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April 1977 Ensign article about salvation of children by Elder McConkie:

They are saved through the atonement and because they are free from sin. They come from God in purity; no sin or taint attaches to them in this life; and they return in purity to their Maker. Accountable persons must become pure through repentance and baptism and obedience. Those who are not accountable for sins never fall spiritually and need not be redeemed from a spiritual fall which they never experienced. Hence the expression that little children are alive in Christ. â??Little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten,â? the Lord says. (D&C 29:46.) (Emphasis added).

Elder McConkie in Ensign November 1984:

Test three: Do I believe in the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ?

As to this question, I give my own personal answer. It is:

I know that my Redeemer lives; with Job I testify. â??What though the ravages of disease destroy my body; what though I am slain by the sword of deathâ??yet I know that he who bought me with his blood shall soon reign on earth and that â??in my flesh shall I see God.â? (Job 19:26; see also Job 19:25.)

I am a witness that he was lifted up upon the cross of Calvary; that he was crucified, died, and rose again the third day; that he ascended into heaven, where, sitting on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, he now reigns in everlasting glory; and that he will soon come again among the sons of men.

I know that he is the one Mediator between God and man; that he brings to pass the immortality and eternal life of man; that his is a ministry of reconciliation whereby fallen man can be reconciled with his Maker.

I know that salvation is in Christ and that only by faith in his name can we hope for the riches of eternity.

He is my Brother and Friend, but he is more. He is my Lord, my God, and my King, whom I worship in the full majesty of his Godhead and who will continue to be my Savior, my Redeemer, and my God through all the eternities that lie ahead.

Elder McConkie, June 1982 Ensign:

Be it known, then, that salvation is in Christ and comes because of his atoning sacrifice. The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion. It ransoms men from the temporal and spiritual death brought into the world by the Fall of Adam. All men will be resurrected because our blessed Lord himself died and rose again, becoming thus the firstfruits of them that slept.

And further: Christ died to save sinners. He took upon himself the sins of all men on conditions of repentance. Eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God, is available because of what Christ did in Gethsemane and at Golgotha. He is both the resurrection and the life. Immortality and eternal life are the children of the Atonement. There is no language or power of expression given to man which can set forth the glory and wonder and infinite import of the ransoming power of the great Redeemer.

Looks like he definitely taught the grace of Christ through the Atonement as significant; however, he also taught our personal responsibility in response to that grace as evidenced by willingness to obey and thus participate in "works", including baptism and ordinances of the gospel.

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what percentage of ordinances must be obeyed and with what degree of obedience to satisfy God's holy standard?

paul

My answer Paul is, all that we are capable of and the our Lord carries the rest on our account. We owe Him more than we can pay but He takes what ever little we have and covers us for the rest. I have a friend that refered to it as "borrow righteousness" and I think that describes it pretty well.

On "obeying the ordinances" I think that means more that just being baptized or endowed. I think to obey the ordinance of Baptism is more than just doing the ordinance and getting wet. We need to do what is described in Mosiah 18:8-11

8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one anotherâ??s burdens, that they may be light;

9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal lifeâ??

10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a ccovenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

Notice it says "willing to" do these things. We cant do these things perfectly we just need to be willing to try our best however imperfectly that is.

Those are comforting words to myself that I just wrote. If they are true they are my only hope in this religion. Sometimes I read things from Elder McConkie and others and in the scriptures too that point out my many flaws and I get discouraged feeling I will never amount to anything more than Telestial at best. But the Gospel or "Good News" is a two part message. Yes I am unworthy and an unprofitable servant but our Lord came to make up the difference. He explained this in His parable of the Laborers. When we work in His field whether it be for an hour or ten we all get the same pay.

Still though I struggle and fear. Am I giving my best to Him or am I holding some back as Ananias and his wife did before the Lord struck them down dead? I guess that is what is meant by "working out salvation in fear and trembling". I dont know but all I can do is keep trying.

WMashes

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His atonement is the most transcendent event that ever has or ever will occur, from Creation's dawn through all the ages of a never-ending eternity.

It is the supreme act of goodness and grace that only a god could perform. Through it, all of the terms and conditions of the Father's eternal plan of salvation become operative.

Through it are brought to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Through it, all men are saved from death, hell, the devil, and endless torment (2 Ne. 9:7-12).

And through it, all who believe and obey the glorious gospel of God, all who are true and faithful and overcome the world, all who suffer for Christ and his word, all who are chastened and scourged in the cause of him whose we areâ??all shall become as their Maker and sit with him on his throne and reign with him forever in everlasting glory (Rev. 3:5, 21; 21:7).

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"Now, there is a true doctrine of salvation by grace--a salvation by grace alone and without works, as the scriptures say. To understand this doctrine we must define our terms as they are defined in holy writ.

1. What is salvation? It is both immortality and eternal life. It is an inheritance in the highest heaven of the celestial world. It consists of the fullness of the glory of the Father and is reserved for those for whom the family unity continues in eternity. Those who are saved become as God is and live as he lives.

2. What is the plan of salvation? It is the system ordained by the Father to enable his spirit children to advance and progress and become like him. It consists of three great and eternal verities--the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement--without any of which there could be no salvation.

3. What is the grace of God? It is his mercy, his love, and his condescension--all manifest for the benefit and blessing of his children, all operating to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

We rejoice in the heavenly condescension that enabled Mary to become â??the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the fleshâ? (1 Nephi 11:18).

We bask in the eternal love that sent the Only Begotten into the world â??that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting lifeâ? (John 3:16).

We are profoundly grateful for that mercy which endureth forever and through which salvation is offered to erring mortals.

4. Does salvation come by grace, or grace alone, by grace without works? It surely does, without any question in all its parts, types, kinds, and degrees.

We are saved by grace, without works; it is a gift of God. How else could it come?

In his goodness and grace the great God ordained and established the plan of salvation. No works on our part were required.

In his goodness and grace he created this earth and all that is on it, with man as the crowning creature of his creating--without which creation his spirit children could not obtain immortality and eternal life. No works on our part were required.

In his goodness and grace he provided for the Fall of man, thus bringing mortality and death and a probationary estate into being--without all of which there would be no immortality and eternal life. And again no works on our part were required.

In his goodness and grace--and this above all--he gave his Only Begotten Son to ransom man and all life from the temporal and spiritual death brought into the world by the Fall of Adam.

He sent his Son to redeem mankind, to atone for the sins of the world, â??to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of manâ? (Moses 1:39). And again all this comes to us as a free gift and without works.

There is nothing any man could do to create himself. This was the work of the Lord God.

Nor did we have any part in the Fall of man, without which there could be no salvation. The Lord provided the way, and Adam and Eve put the system into operation.

And finally, there neither has been, nor is, nor ever can be any way nor means by which man alone can, or any power he possesses, redeem himself.

We cannot resurrect ourselves anymore than we can create ourselves. We cannot create a heavenly abode for the Saints, nor make provision for the continuation of the family unit in eternity, nor bring salvation and exaltation into being. All these things are ordained and established by that God who is the Father of us all. And they all came into being and are made available to us, as free gifts, without works, because of the infinite goodness and grace of Him whose children we are.

Truly, there is no way to overstate the goodness and grandeurs and glories of the grace of God which bringeth salvation. Such wondrous love, such unending mercy, such infinite compassion and condescension--all these can come only from the Eternal God who lives in eternal life and who desires all of his children to live as he lives and be inheritors of eternal life."

--Bruce R. McConkie, from What Think Ye of Salvation by Grace?, devotional

address given at Brigham Young University on 10 January 1984.

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when I read these quotes I don't see why the word "salvation" is being used. From what are we being saved? We know that God is not the author of sin so therefore the actions of Adam and Eve can not be considered sin if in fact their action was due to God's grace.

this is troubling to me as other Scriptures are clear that through Adam's sin (not God's grace) death entered the world.

But let's get back to McConkie's main points and again ask the question from what are we being saved? If we are merely being exalted then this is a different subject altogether.

Does McConkie believe that our willful sins separate us from eternal fellowship from God? If he doesn't, then why the need for OT sacrifices, the tabernacle and the substitutionary atonement?

paul

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Wmashes:

thank you for your response. As it seems a bit different than the Mcconkie quotes I will reply separately. There is great comfort with what you stated. That if we do our best God is understanding and accepting of that.

The only problem is I see no Scriptural back-up for this position. God states "be ye holy, for I am holy". I'd love to see a verse that says "I am holy, so do the best you can and I am satisfied with that". But I don't.

If God's standard is holiness, and a clear understanding of the law and ordinances is simply that I am completely unable to reach His standard, isn't it more comforting to know that God has done it all through the shed blood of Christ Jesus?

paul

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Wmashes:

thank you for your response. As it seems a bit different than the Mcconkie quotes I will reply separately. There is great comfort with what you stated. That if we do our best God is understanding and accepting of that.

The only problem is I see no Scriptural back-up for this position. God states "be ye holy, for I am holy". I'd love to see a verse that says "I am holy, so do the best you can and I am satisfied with that". But I don't.

If God's standard is holiness, and a clear understanding of the law and ordinances is simply that I am completely unable to reach His standard, isn't it more comforting to know that God has done it all through the shed blood of Christ Jesus?

paul

Paul,

I dont have the answers. What I gave there was my understanding of LDS doctrine and I am no expert on that and certainly no scripture schollar. That understanding came from the book "Believing Christ" if you are interested. One verse that I think might be helpful is Moroni 10:32 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; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

It says first "come unto Christ and be perfected in Him" and then deny all ungodliness, it is in Him or as my friend says "borrowed righteousness" that makes us acceptable.

Like I said though I dont have the answers for myself even and am just searching and trying to understand it. I know that I fall far far short of that standard of perfection that Jesus comanded or in the language of the 12 steps I am powerless and see God's Grace as my only hope.

Sorry I cant be of more help.

WMashes

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I posted this on another thread but I think it will do better on this one...

It's beyond me how anyone can say that works have nothing to do with Salvation...

Romans 2

6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

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I can't speak for Elder McConkie, but I can say what I believe.

By definition a gift is not "won" or earned... If something is won or earned, it is a reward, a wage, or some such. Neither can salvation be "earned." If we could "earn" salvation, we wouldn't need to be saved in the first place. If we could save ourselves, we wouldn't need a Savior.

Obviously, the Lord wants us to do what's right. Forgiveness for past, present, and future mistakes and sins is a free gift, something we neither earn nor deserve. Even when we do act righteously, and reap according to our good acts, the Lord freely gives us the ability and the tools to do so--we are still indebted to Him, and always will be.

The Lord does respect our freedom of choice, however. If we refuse His gifts, He won't force them upon us. In fact, if He did, the gifts wouldn't be as good. To enjoy the full value of His gifts, we have to accept them of our own free will and choice. Righteousness is its own reward, but righteousness is righteousness only if freely chosen.

DH

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Wmashes:

thanks again for your reply. Let's use Moroni 10:32 then. it is a conditional promise. Our part is "IF we deny ourselves of ALL ungodliness" and "love God will ALL your might mind and strength"...if I am completely honest I have never met these conditions, nor have I met anyone outside of Christ who has met these conditions...that being the case is His grace still sufficient?

Again I see through scripture that I am clearly unable to meet God's standard (even in the verse you quoted) which means I must totally rely on God alone for salvation. Its not a team effort at all. It's all Him

paul

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Zakuska:

long time no see. I hope I haven't given the impression that works has nothing to do with salvation. Someone who has become a new creature in the Spirit will evidence good works in their lives. My question from reading McConkies writings is that he seems to see salvation and exaltation as the same thing.

Does he believe or do the LDS believe that our willful rebellion separates us from fellowship with God and that we must be saved from His holy wrath?

paul

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Wmashes:

thanks again for your reply. Let's use Moroni 10:32 then. it is a conditional promise. Our part is "IF we deny ourselves of ALL ungodliness" and "love God will ALL your might mind and strength"...if I am completely honest I have never met these conditions, nor have I met anyone outside of Christ who has met these conditions...that being the case is His grace still sufficient?

Again I see through scripture that I am clearly unable to meet God's standard (even in the verse you quoted) which means I must totally rely on God alone for salvation. Its not a team effort at all. It's all Him

paul

Paul,

I, like you, see through scripture and looking at my own life and comparing it to what I understand of God's prefect standard that I fall far short. Notice though the order in which Moroni 10:32 is written, first it says, "come unto Christ and be perfected in Him" then it says deny yourself all ungodliness and love God will you all. So I see it as conditional but the condition is coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him, not doing the works. We strive His works to do and any success we have is "in Him" or with His power and righteousness not our own. Anyway like I said I am trying to figure it out myself but I really think there is something to this "coming unto Christ" I think it is the source of power that frees people from addictions in 12 step work and indeed even lends us breath from minute to minute.

Mosiah 2: 21

21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to anotherâ??I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

I am very aware of my own nothingness and you are very right it is all Him in my opinion anyway.

WMashes

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