Preaching Grace in Utah

Looks like Utah is being invaded again by religious people going door to door preaching their message.

Christian missionaries going door to door in Mormon capital

I thought this part of their brochure was interesting:

“You have recently been told at [LDS] General Conference that if you love God, trust him, believe him and follow him, that you will feel his love and approval,” it says in the brochure. “But what if you are doing all that and still don’t feel God’s love or approval?”

Whoever these people are, they are clearly familiar with Mormon teachings and culture, and frankly, I think this is an effective message. Many people in the LDS church feel unworthy and inadequate, and “don’t feel God’s love or approval.”

The LDS church teaches the concept of worthiness. If you are keeping the commandments, you are worthy to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and receive blessings (which are predicated on obedience). But if you’re like me, you never felt worthy because there was always something else you could be doing but weren’t.

Mainstream Christians talk about worthiness but in a different way. You aren’t “worthy” because you earned it, but because God forgives you. (Jeez, I sound like a commercial for mainstream Christianity.)

I would imagine at least some Mormons out there would find that message appealing because they carry around that burden of unworthiness and guilt. I know I did.

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10 Responses to Preaching Grace in Utah

  1. jeanikins says:

    The blind leading the blind – sigh.

    • runtu says:

      Jean,

      I am totally fine with people doing what they believe is right. It’s not up to me to judge anyone’s religious beliefs or lack thereof. I think sometimes it’s easy to transfer the hurt and pain from Mormonism more broadly to religion in general.

      • jeanikins says:

        I’m totally fine with it too. I just happen to find that religion in general causes way too much pain. I was not always a member of the Mormon Church. I used to belong to a different denomination and I feel that with all the different opinions about what Christ said or what he meant etc. are way too confusing and life outside of religion suits me way more than being an adherent ever did.

  2. fredwanson says:

    Jean, isn’t a bit harsh and snarky? Couldn’t a theist just as easily say about atheist ExMormons:

    “The baby throwing itself out with it’s baby water – sigh.”

    One needn’t agree with someone to be tolerant – in fact, there’s no tolerance until there’s disagreement.

    Thanks.

  3. Wait a minute here. Before I became a Mormon I still had the Old and New Testament to tell me to “be perfect as your father in Heaven is perfect”. The call to worthiness is not just mainstream protestant or Mormon. All faiths call us to a goal higher than ourselves. And I’ve yet to meet anyone of any faith who had the gumption to believe they had made it all the way. It’s a journey, not a destination. I thought we were called to believe not to become judge and jury no matter what our faith. Silly me.

    • runtu says:

      I’m glad you have had a better experience in Mormonism than I did.

      • As a Mormon says:

        I’m sorry you didn’t have a better experience in Mormonism. Mine has been great.

      • runtu says:

        Don’t get me wrong. Mormonism works for some people. In fact, I know people I would be worried about if they weren’t LDS. For me, it wasn’t as bad realizing I didn’t believe in Mormonism any longer, but realizing I was unhappy all that time. I know I never would have dealt with my depression had I stayed in the church. But I’m happy you’re happy.

  4. Runtu, I had the same feelings you did when I read that part of the brochure. Both our sons left Mormonism for Evangelical churches because the message of grace was so much more positive than the message of never being quite good enough to earn salvation.

  5. pollypinks says:

    It took me 10 years to comprehend to concept of grace. I’d have rousing arguments with my husband about it. I just didn’t get it. Mormonism really does a number on you where grace, justification, sanctification, you name it, is concerned. What really makes sense is if someone asks you if you love your children unconditionally. Most of us would answer yes. Then we go a step further and ask if God would love his creation unconditionally, be incapable of not loving it because he is supposedly perfect and perfection would require him incapable of not loving us or accepting us. For those here who are believers, there is a boat load of scripture that backs up God’s unconditional love and salvation for all of his children, much like you love all your children. At least I would hope you would love all your children. I know when mine were teens I told them they could come to me at any time with any problem or concern and we’d work through it, that my love would not allow me to judge them. I think that’s what grace is like, and it’s a shame mormonism doesn’t grasp it. Also, you need not find evangelical churches to find grace. It’s readily available in all reformed churches.

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