Thursday, December 3, 2009

Look Out! False Doctrine Ahead!

President Ezra Taft Benson's quote sticks in my head: "The Book of Mormon brings men to Christ through two basic means. First, it tells in a plain manner of Christ and His gospel.......Second, the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ."  Whenever I come across an apostate in the Book of Mormon like Nehor, President Benson's quote reminds me of those orange traffic cones: Beware! Avoid! Caution! Pay attention to this!  President Benson also adds, "The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time."

In Alma 1, Nehor, an apostate Nephite, establishes his own church where he teaches:

  1. Teachers and priests should be popular (priestcraft - 2 Nephi 26:29) 
  2. Teachers and priests should not labor with their hands, but should be supported by the people
  3. All mankind are saved at the last day, and have eternal life (discounting the significance of, or need for, the Atonement of Christ)
  4. "Men need not fear nor tremble, but lift up their heads and rejoice" (sin is okay, therefore, no accountability, no opposition)
  5. No need for church standards

This just didn't make sense to us.  As a class, we tried to imagine:  "If we believed this, how would we live?"  Just a few thoughts we had were:

  1. We could act any way we wanted since we'd receive eternal life whether we worked hard for it or not.  Why work at all?  Why "serve" at all when you could get paid for the same work? 

  2. We could dress any way we wanted; standards are not necessary.

  3. We could choose to be taught by the most popular teacher.  What would that teacher need to offer us in order to win us over?

It was obvious that we were leaving out Jesus Christ and His Atonement.  Everything comes down to, and through, the Atonement. The only way we can achieve eternal life is through Jesus Christ. Repentance is necessary in order to be cleansed of our sins because no unclean thing can dwell with God. 
If we wanted Nehor's plan, we would have just sided with Lucifer in the war in heaven.  Why make it all the way down here to earth, and then choose Satan's plan when we rejected it in the pre-mortal existence?

This type of church is easy to believe; easy to follow.  It's appealing, BUT NOT TRUE!

Alma the Younger, the chief judge of the Nephites, wisely states: "and were priestcraft to be enforced among this people it would prove their entire destruction." (Alma 1:12)

Something to be aware of so we can avoid it.

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