Friday, March 14, 2014

We 'shall not cast them out'

I was talking to a friend recently who told me of some of his co-workers who had left our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) because they had been offended. They felt they were judged for things they had done and didn't feel as if they were welcomed any more. They don't want to come back to church because they think it will be the same when they return. I know exactly what they are talking about and we need to change it. It's the pride that we have over the claim that we belong to the only true church on Earth, the very same church that Christ Himself established nearly 2000 years ago, now restored in its fulness.
Shortly after this dicsussion I read 3 Nephi chapter 18, the chapter when Christ introduces the sacrament to the Nephites. Towards the end of the chapter, Christ tells us how we should treat the "unworthy". Specifically, He is referring to the unworthy partaking of the sacrament. The sacrament is an ordinance in which we renew our baptismal covenants, or promises to God. "Unworthy" meaning those who have not repented of their sins and/or have not been baptized and made those covenants. Christ tells us here that we "shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of [His] flesh and blood unworthily", the reason being is that we take the sacrament to renew our covenants and also to remember the sacrifice of our Savior. If we have not repented of our sins and have been spiritually cleansed through baptism, then we cannot access the redeeming powers of Christ's atonement. But then Jesus tells us that we "shall not cast them out" but that we should "minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father", and that's really what I want to talk about.
I have several friends and aquaintances that have left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because they had been offended. They said that they felt they had been judged because of things they had done, and they felt that they would be judged if they were to return. No one should ever be or feel judged in a Mormon church, but it still happens. We claim to be THE restored church of Jesus Christ, along with the same power that Christ gave His apostles anciently, and along with the fulness of the Gospel that He commissioned them to preach to all nations. I feel that often times we let those claims go to our heads, and become as the apostate Zoramites upon our Rameumptoms (Alma 31). Let us remember that we, meaning members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, are not the only children of God. Every human being that has ever lived, or ever will lived is a son or daughter of a living God, our literal Father in heaven. Just being baptized into the Mormon church doesn't guarantee that we return to live in God's presence, we must constantly be living the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is; faith, repentence, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. It is also part of our baptismal covenant to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ at all times, and in order to do that, we need to act as Christ would act. We all need to forsake our pride and become humble, meek, kind, and teachable. President Ezra Taft Benson said:

"Pride is characterized by 'What do I want out of life?' rather than by 'What would God have me do with my life?' It is self-will as opposed to God’s will. It is the fear of man over the fear of God....Was it not through pride that the devil became the devil? Christ wanted to serve. The devil wanted to rule. Christ wanted to bring men to where He was. The devil wanted to be above men."

 I invite all of us, myself included, to find the pride we still hold on to and let it go. To give our will to God. To recognize that we are no better than anyone around us. No matter what circumstances someone is in, they are and always will be a child of God. I invite those who may have been offended to also let go of their pride, and to recognize that we all make mistakes. The people of the church are definately not perfect, so I invite you to forgive them and return to worship with us.


  1. Thank you for this most important message for all of us. I know that for the same reasons people may leave, others may not want to stay. Missionaries need to be sure we as members will fellowship new and returning members the way the Savior taught. Let us judge not, and forgive those who have let pride dictate their actions.

  2. It is indeed true what you have explained here. This very self-destructive element called pride is the very reason why some people denies their faith and testimony of the truth. All we need to do as children of God is to continue loving them despite what they do, hoping someday. they will return and with us partake of eternal life.