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October 10 – The work of the Holy Spirit. John 14:26; “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

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Journal of Discourses 13:233; “The Gospel of the Son of God that has been revealed is a plan or system of laws and ordinances, by strict obedience to which the people who inhabit this earth are assured that they may return again into the presence of the Father and the Son.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, February 20, 1870

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February 8 – “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days;” Col. 2:16

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When Jesus came to earth, He was the fulfillment of the Law.  There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.  If you’re truly saved, your outward behavior is a manifestation of your inner conversion, thus negating the need for more laws to follow.  Obeying the ordinances of man doesn’t bring honor to God.

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“Three types of things are prohibited to man by the Word of Wisdom—tobacco, strong drinks, and hot drinks…through the cleanliness resulting from keeping this law of health, and by ‘walking in obedience to the commandment’, the saints will qualify for the companionship of the Holy Spirit…”  Mormon Doctrine, pgs. 845-847

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Firing Squad and the Mormons

 Journal of Discourses 4:220;This is loving our neighbour as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it. Any of you who understand the principles of eternity, if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the way to love mankind.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, February 8, 1857

 Mormon Doctrine, pg. 92;But under certain circumstances there are some serious sins for which the cleansing of Christ does not operate, and the law of God is that men must then have their own blood shed to atone for their sins. Murder, for instance, is one of these sins; hence we find the Lord commanding capital punishment.

 Doctrines of Salvation 1:133;But man may commit certain grievous sins-according to his light and knowledge-that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be saved he must make sacrifice of his own life to atone-so far as in his power lies-for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail.  …Do you believe this doctrine? If not, then I do say you do not believe in the true doctrine of the atonement of Christ. This is the doctrine you are pleased to call the “blood atonement of Brighamism.” This is the doctrine of Christ our Redeemer, who died for us. This is the doctrine of Joseph Smith, and I accept it….To these I will add: “Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses…

 Doctrines of Salvation 1:135;Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf. This is scriptural doctrine, and is taught in all the standard works of the Church.

 D&C 42:79; And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land.

      The references above provide a clear understanding of what the Mormon Church has thought of blood atonement through the years and how it continues to see it.  The reason we’re highlighting this particular teaching of the Church is because of what’s taking place in Utah as this I’m writing this.

     In 2004 Utah changed its rules on capital punishment.  As it stands today, if you’ve received the death penalty you will die by lethal injection with the exception of 4 men who sit on death row.  Their sentences have been grandfathered into the new law passed seven years ago.  Those four men have chosen to die by firing squad.  The last person choosing this method was John Albert Taylor who stood in front of 5 prison guards in 1996.

         The date of the next execution by firing squad in Utah will take place in June 2010 – the offender is a Mr. Ronnie Lee Gardner.  In 1984 Gardner was on his way to his court sentencing after being convicted on a robbery and murder charge when he tried to escape.  In the melee he shot and killed a defense attorney and injured a court bailiff.  (His girlfriend had snuck a gun into the courtroom for him.)  His repertoire also includes an escape from a minimum security facility, stabbing somebody over 100 times, breaking into a home to initiate a gunfight and the malicious attack of a couple of prison guards in a medium security prison.

     If that wasn’t enough he also tried to escape from a medical appointment and in so doing, bashed in a guard’s face and kidnapped a med student at gunpoint.  He’s been on death row since 1985.  And here we are today, April 23, 2010.

      Third District Judge Robin Reese signed Gardner’s death warrant after asking him if he still wanted to die by firing squad.  Gardner’s reply:  “I would like the firing squad please”.  And yes, he is a Mormon.

      The question for us at Life After Ministries isn’t about the worldview of capital punishment.  It’s about the inconsistencies in the doctrines of the Mormon Church and the lies they tell about the Bible.  If you’re LDS and you’ve murdered someone there’s no salvation for you unless you’ve shed your own blood.

      According to the teachings of the Church, King David will not receive a true salvation.  (1)  The apostle Paul and even Moses should be banned from enjoying life in the hereafter because they all have the same thing in common as Mr. Gardner. They’re all murderers.  Ironically, the rules don’t apply to Moses and Paul like they did to King David.  The Mormon’s silence on their salvation status is deafening.  And while I’m here on this earth long enough to talk about this I will continue to do so!

 In the eyes of the Mormon god there is no way to atone for your murderous sin unless you have your own blood shed for that crime.

  Did Moses shed his blood to atone for the murder he was guilty of?  No.  Deut. 34:5-7.

  Did King David shed his blood to atone for the murder he was guilty of?  No.  1 Kings 2:10-11.

     What about the apostle Paul?  Again, we know the answer to this question is also no.  There are no biblical accounts on the death of Paul.  Tradition has it that he was beheaded and buried in Rome.  If you’re LDS and you’re thinking, “hey his blood was shed”, you’re wrong.  Paul was beheaded for being a follower of Jesus, not for the murderous rampage he took part in before his salvation.

  However, here we have Ronnie Gardner maliciously murdering innocent people and he is going to have the opportunity to go to the Celestial Kingdom all because of his incredible “sacrifice” of having his own blood shed for his sin.  (See references above.)

     Now let’s take a look at how this is done, shall we?  In addition to the shedding of his own blood he will need someone to do his temple work for him.

         Temple worthy family members can take out endowments for deceased relatives in their local temple one year to the day after that deceased person’s death.  (2)

     Never mind the fact we’re living in the New Testament era, or the fact this man isn’t remotely close to being in the same league as the power houses of the Bible.  Oh, and did I mention the New Testament era?  Hmmm…whatever happened to our Lord hanging on that cross for everyone’s sins, including Mr. Gardner’s?

     For those not familiar with the ritual of “taking out endowments”, let me explain.  An active, temple worthy member of the LDS Church has the opportunity to stand as a “savior on the mountain” for relatives who’ve died and not accepted Jesus into their lives.  They do this through performing proxy works in the temple for that deceased person. (3)

     There are a number of things to participate in and works to perform in the temple so the deceased person will have the opportunity to once again accept Jesus into their lives.  It also serves as a way for you to earn your own salvation.

 Baptism by proxy for the dead

Confirmation to become a member and receive the Holy Ghost by proxy for the dead

Ordination into the priesthood by proxy for the dead

Sealings to spouses for eternal marriages by proxy for the dead

Sealings of children by proxy for the dead

 (The above information was retrieved from www.ldsendowment.org on 4/24/10)

      Works for the dead violates every teaching in the New Testament you can imagine.  Let’s take just a handful of examples for beginners, and leave others for you to investigate.  Let’s begin with the fact this is necromancy!

      Deuteronomy 18:11 explicitly tells us that consulting with the dead is forbidden.

     Luke 16:19-31.  Here we have Jesus giving a parable about the rich man and Lazarus.  The rich man of course wants for someone to relay a message from him to his family members who are still alive that where he ended up is horrible.  Jesus is very clear when He told the Pharisees about the chasm set in the afterlife and how no one can warn his family for him.  You’ve got one chance while you’re here on earth.

     Jesus told His disciple Thomas He is “the way, the truth and the life” in John 14:6.  Remember the “highway” spoken of in Isaiah 35:6?

     What about John 19:30?  “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,  It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

     Hebrews 9:11-14 – only the blood of Jesus qualifies for the redemption of sins.

     Hebrews 10:10-14 – priests keep offering sacrifices in the temples and none of them are deemed worthy.  And if you think this is the worst of the bad scenario that wouldn’t end – there’s more.

     What in the world do you think you’re doing trying to atone for your awful sin?  Is murder worse than stealing a pen from your work place?  By the law of the land it certainly is, but in God’s eyes?  Sin is sin my friend.  We must follow the law of the land so yes, there are consequences for our behavior, but that does not mean God thinks any less of the murderer than he does the thief.

     The catch you say?  The “catch” is that none of us are good enough to get into heaven without Jesus’ precious spilled blood.  Not you, certainly not me and definitely not anyone who’s trying to do it themselves.

     The only way to heaven is through the cross.  Galatians 2:16 & 20 says;

 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

      Notice Paul didn’t say  just a little bit of work is required for this one thing…no!  Paul said we are justified by the faith of Christ, and not by works.

     Are you tired?  Are you heavy laden?  Jesus’ yoke is for you!  Matthew 11:28-30.  I remember being a Mormon and being exhausted all the time.  It didn’t matter if I was active or not in the Church, I carried the spirit of Mormonism around with me  and took it with me everywhere I went – Utah, Oklahoma, Idaho, California, Germany, Vegas, Tahoe, Washington…I kept unpacking the habits, the traditions, the “have to’s and must do’s” and I was very “lowly in heart”.

     Worse than that is the man sitting on death row at the Point of the Mountain in Bluffdale, Utah right now.  As if he didn’t have enough to think about, he’s obviously got his own atonement to think about.

     Let me be clear about something.  I used to not feel sorry for people like Mr. Gardiner, but as I’ve aged and grown in the Lord, my heart hurts for the messes he’s caused for himself and everyone who had the misfortune of coming near him. And yes, I strongly believe his punishment is just. I also feel horrible that he’s been lied to and might not come to the cross of the true Jesus.  The Mormon god offers nothing but a perverted gospel of Joseph Smith.  It has nothing to offer to the man in prison today or for the man who’s imprisoned by his works for the dead in the Mormon Church.  May God have mercy on them both.

     Know we’re praying for all the Mormon people; our hearts break for them each and every day.  If you or someone you know would like further information, don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us anytime!

 With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor. 1:18  …

 1.D&C 132:39; “David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.

 2. Ensign, July 1999, pg. 65, “Guidelines for submitting names to the Ordinance Index using TempleReady from “I have a question”.  Response by Paul E. Koelliker, managing director of the Temple Department.”

 3. The Worth of Souls,” The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Oct. 1934, p. 189; “That places us in a very responsible attitude towards the human race. By that doctrine, with the Lord at the head, we become saviors on Mount Zion, all committed to the great plan of offering salvation to the untold numbers of spirits. To do this is the Lord’s self-imposed duty, this great labor his highest glory. Likewise, it is man’s duty, self-imposed, his pleasure and joy, his labor, and ultimately his glory.” – John A. Widtsoe

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Converting to a Religion

         Now that I’m a Christian I’ve discovered there’s a big difference in converting to a religion versus being converted to Christ.  As a Mormon I never felt like I could do enough to earn God’s love and could never measure up.  Now I can see the reason I never felt good enough.  I was trying so hard to conform to the image of a religion and not to the image of Jesus Christ.

     It was only after I began looking to Him and trusting in Him completely that I felt whole.  I felt a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders.  Nothing compares to the peace you have in your heart when you lay all your burdens and insecurities down at the feet of Jesus.  When you let Him into your heart and have control of your life, you begin to conform to His image.

     The culture of Mormonism is very different from anything you will see or experience in Christianity.  With being LDS comes a constant yearning to be perfect.  As soon as you convert to Mormonism, there is a list of “to do’s” in order to stay a member in good standing with “the Church”.

     You’re told you must do these things for the Holy Spirit to remain with you and to receive blessings from God.  When someone can’t meet the requirements, or do things that the church considers grievous sins they are stripped of their church membership and they aren’t allowed to participate in the basic tenants of church membership.

     One of those tenants is partaking of the sacrament, or communion. In the Gospel Topics section of the LDS Church’s site under sacrament it says, “Today the sacrament is an ordinance which Church members partake of bread and water in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice. This ordinance is an essential part of worship and spiritual development.

     It’s odd that when a Mormon is going through a rough time in their life, trying to get back into the good graces of their church leaders and to God, the church would strip them of something that might give them comfort and hope.

     When it comes to salvation, the LDS are taught their religion holds all the cards and there is no salvation, meaning living in the presence of God, outside of their church.  Bruce McConkie stated in Mormon Doctrine page 670,

 “If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.

      It’s because of this idea the Mormons have an undying loyalty to their church, and an unyielding superiority complex when it comes to “non-members”. When someone decides to leave the Church it causes the active family members to weep and mourn for family member as if they were dead.  Many times I’ll read stories of those who have left and they often talk about their active Mormon family members who have accused them of separating the family in the eternities

     Mormons are taught salvation comes through church membership and don’t realize it comes through, by and because of Jesus Christ. We see this in 1Timothy 2:10 and 2 Timothy 3:15 respectively;

 ”Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

    When your salvation is tethered to a relationship with a religion you will always have a salvation that is conditional. Case in point; in the Gospel Topics section of the LDS Church’s web site under the topic “eternal life” it reads;

 “Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, to inherit eternal life requires our “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel”

      It’s very important to remember when an LDS resource or individual says “the Gospel” they are talking about the Mormon Gospel, not the Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Another thing to remember; Mormons believe the atonement only makes it “possible” for them to live with God.

     There are many stipulations to becoming exalted and having the gift of Mormon salvation. They don’t believe Jesus did all the work necessary for our salvation.  They believe there are other things needed for salvation and eternal life. They will always fall back on their individual “works”.

     They don’t have a full understanding of grace. Everything is attached to living the Mormon gospel, and doing what it says for the grace of Jesus Christ to kick in.  In the Book of Mormon it says, “We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23)

     Usually when a Mormon is challenged by examples of the duplicitous nature of the past and present LDS leaders, they fall back on the works of their church. They will say things like “Look at what our church has done!” or ask “What has your church done?” In a recent email to the ministry one Mormon said,

 “The LDS Church is usually one of the first to give humanitarian aid to others who live across the world when tragedies appear. (Example- Immediately after the great flood happened in New Orleans from the hurricane, the LDS church already had millions of supplies on trucks headed for the city, before others could pull their forces together.)”

     Everything points back to the church.  Even when God may use them as a body to do good things to bring comfort and meet the physical needs of others, they still don’t see it’s Him doing the work through them.  They pat themselves on the back and give glory not to God, but to their church. In the May 2005 Ensign, then prophet of the Church Gordon B. Hinckley said;

 “Now, as a Church we have worked with others in lifting the sorrow and sufferings of those who are in distress. Our humanitarian efforts have literally blessed the lives of countless thousands not of our faith. In the terrible tsunami disaster, and in other disasters incident to conflict, disease, and hunger, we have done a great and marvelous work assisting others without worrying about who gets the credit.”

 In this year’s October General Conference, speaker Ann Dibb said,

 “Heavenly Father has not left us alone during our mortal probation. He has already given us all the “safety equipment” we will need to successfully return to Him. He has given us personal prayer, the scriptures, living prophets, and the Holy Ghost to guide us.”

      Jesus is, as one former LDS puts it, nothing more than a “footnote” to their religion. If you were to ask a Christian what “safety equipment” God has given us, they would say Jesus Christ. With Jesus Christ we don’t have to clean ourselves up first before we come to him. We read in Romans 5:8

 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

      When we have a relationship with Him, His love is unconditional. He loves us no matter what; He wouldn’t rescind the gift of the Holy Spirit when we fail or fall in our spiritual walk as the LDS believe!

     I am so thankful I now have the one true God in my life that is so much bigger and awesome than the god I left!  Jesus Christ doesn’t want you to be indebted to a religion. He wants you to have freedom from legalism. Most of all He wasn’t you to have a relationship with Him, not with a religion.

 In Christ,

Melissa Grimes

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GOSPEL ORDINANCES (LAW) VS. GRACE 

Jacob 4:5; “Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham…” – 544 BC

If someone were to ask me why I feel so compelled to do this work, the above verse from the Book of Mormon would be my answer why.  This particular section of this booklet has my mind thinking of nothing but my mother.

She called me one day and her distressed voice captured my immediate attention.  She has been an active member of the LDS Church her entire life, yet never being quite worthy enough to earn the coveted temple recommend.  On this particular day I think she just needed a safe place to vent her frustrations with the Relief Society.

She had called the president of the Relief Society to let her know that she wouldn’t be able to provide the cookies for the meeting the next evening.  My nieces weren’t feeling well (they live with her), she wasn’t feeling well and she had just enough energy to make the call.  The president told her that she still had plenty of time to get the cookies together and she would do my mother the favor of picking them up on her way to the meeting.  She also reminded my mother how they had never had store bought cookies at their meetings.  True story!

After venting for quite some time I asked her what she was going to do and she said that she should at least go buy some chocolate chip cookies and put them in a nice serving basket.  I asked her if she really thought Jesus was more concerned about cookies for a meeting or for her physical well-being.  By the end of the conversation she hung up while being mad at my question.  I personally believe the Relief Society president had a dual problem, alas that’s for another booklet!

It’s obvious the leaders of the LDS Church have not shown its members what it means to “keep the law of Moses” or what it means to believe in Christ.  The verse from the book of Jacob makes about as much sense as the following sentence:  “I’ll be driving my car while I walk to work tomorrow”.  You can’t do both at the same time, so which mode of transportation are you going to use to get to work?

It’s much the same with our salvation.  We can live our lives believing that we want to go to heaven with the attitude of being self-sufficient.  Or, we can die to self and accept God’s precious Son as our only way to heaven.  Because of the enormity of this subject I am going to be spending a bit of time here.  Be sure to share that free salvation doesn’t give us license to do evil things and explain that the Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow us to do those things anyway because of 2 Cor. 5:17!

In addition to my examples I highly encourage the mentor to come alongside the ex-Mormon and ask him/her what ordinances were most important to them while in the Church.  The reason for this is to show them how to transfer their spiritual allegiance to Jesus fully, instead of believing in Jesus and still thinking they need to work.

Using the example of that ordinance, go to your concordance and look up the

transliterations for it, and the verses where they’re located to get a full understanding of what this ordinance really means.  Next, look for the same subject in the New Testament showing why performing this ordinance isn’t necessary because of Jesus’ work to fulfill it!

Always remember that every single thing the Mormon believes and knows about God, Jesus, and salvation is a lie.  Joseph Smith has tricked the members into believing everything he said or taught.  They are so devoted to the Church they would give their very lives, literally, so don’t be surprised at the amount of energy they would be willing to give for “works”.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1032, says this about ordinances and salvation:

Latter-day scriptures give ample evidence that God has established unchangeable, eternal ordinances as essential elements of the Plan of Salvation and redemption (Isa. 24.5; Mal. 3:7; Alma 13:16; D&C 124:38)…”

Go through each of the following LDS verses with the person you’re mentoring, making a point to take note of the biblical verses in context to understand the meaning.  For instance in Malachi God told the people to return to Him even after they had been cheating Him in the tithe offerings and had an “I don’t care about you God” attitude.  Show them using biblical scripture this type of an example – God just loves us and wants us back.  Yes, we need to obey, but when we are alive in Christ it’s hard to stay away from Him and paying money to the “scribes” of Mormonism isn’t the way to God!

A biblical example of the necessity of ordinances can be found in the Lord’s statement to Nicodemus that one must “be born again” (John 3:3). The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “being born again comes by the spirit of God through ordinances” (TPJS, p. 162). The process of salvation is experienced as a “mighty change in your hearts” (Alma 5:14) under the guidance and assistance of the Spirit of God through keeping the divine ordinances…One is fully accepted of God and is “of God” if, and only if, she or “he obey mine ordinances” (D&C 52:14-19)…”

1.  What is John 3:3 really saying when read in context.  ______

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Smith went on to tell the audience more about the necessity of ordinances; from the same page of Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1032):

Ordinances, in the sense of rituals and ceremonies, embrace the entire mortal life of God’s sons and daughters and are performed by the Lord’s authorized representatives…”

2.  What does Isaiah 64:6 say?  ___________________________

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This is a good time to stop and do a word study!  What is the Hebrew meaning of the term “filthy rags”?

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In other words for the members of the LDS faith, it’s going to keep being this way until the day you die and there’s more of it after you get to “heaven”.  There are countless verses in the New Testament giving us instructions on what it takes to get saved.  I cannot emphasize enough that you must deal with this part of mentoring from the way you live your own life.

To make sure that I’ve given the LDS perspective its fair share of verses from their writings here’s just one more, this time from the Book of Mormon.  In 2 Nephi 25:23 it says;

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

In sharp contrast God, Jesus, the prophets, the disciples and others have told us throughout the sixty-six books of the Bible that the Mormon verse above would be considered blasphemy.  Not to mention that it sounds too familiar to what Paul had written 2,000 years earlier in Ephesians 2:8-9;

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

The “slight variation” was a little addendum of Smith’s at the end of the original writing, thus totally negating the grace aspect of our salvation.

3.  According to the apostle Paul, what happens to the significance of Christ’s death when we trust in works?  Gal. 2:19-21.  ____________________________________________________

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© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link to Chapter 13

Chapter 13. Assurance of Our Salvation

https://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-13/

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