Visiting Teaching Message: March 2014
The message begins by highlighting two Mormon scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 93:2 And that I am the true alight that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;
And 3 Nephi 18:24 Therefore, hold up your alight that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the blight which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.
Then it goes on to a quote by Quentin L. Cook where he said:
“Each time you choose to try to live more like the Savior, you will have your testimony strengthened. You will come in time to know for yourself that He is the Light of the World. … You will reflect to others the Light of Christ in your life.”
This idea of us trying to do our best in hopes of somehow perfecting ourselves, and making ourselves acceptable to God is incomprehensible to me as a Christian. Sure as a former Mormon I get where they’re coming from, one of their favorite verses states “you are saved by grace after all you can do”. So with that theology resting on their shoulders it’s not hard to surmise that they truly believe they can make it on their own just by trying.
As I think back about my life prior to coming to Jesus Christ I did a lot of “trying” as I did my best to live a life worthy of God’s love and exaltation. In the end when I couldn’t do everything I felt defeated, which made my self-esteem and self-worth sink lower than it was before. I measured my value according to how well I was doing as a temple recommend holder, a wife and a mother. When I stood back and evaluated what I was (and wasn’t) doing I always ended up coming up short. I held up my works to what I believed at the time was the gospel, and with an exhausted sigh I’d tell myself “well that’s what the Atonement is for” when they didn’t come out even.
I truly thought that after I did my best, by doing allllllllll that I could do, in the end Jesus would step in and take care of the rest. Not once did I ever consider what it meant to have God’s grace in my life or to truly have the Holy Spirit working in me.
While it’s true that we are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), we aren’t expected to be those things on our own steam. It’s the Holy Spirit who places the light of Jesus Christ in us, He gives us the encouragement and motivation to live as Jesus did. We don’t have to do it all on our own, we can’t do it all on our own.
What does being in the light of Christ do for us?
It brings us out of the darkness and into the light (Ephesians 5:8)
It also helps us distinguish truth from lies, gives us fellowship with fellow believers and with Jesus, and cleanses us from sin. (1John 1:5-7)
It’s hard to say this tactfully but, Mormons accept darkness. I say this because the religion itself is darkness. It takes them away from the light of Jesus Christ, from the gospel of salvation through grace and tells them they must do all they can do to earn God’s favor.
As long as they accept Mormonism they can never truly reflect the light of Jesus Christ.
Melissa Grimes (firstname.lastname@example.org)