The *insidiousness of works-based religion . . . is that as soon as you manage to follow the rules and laws of the religion . . . pride creeps in . . . and you begin thinking you are a "good person." [*insidiousness: subtle and cumulative harmfulness; the quality of being designed to entrap.]
Whereas, the Christian knows that we are not ever a "good person" because of our works, our efforts. But the follower of the religion of "good works" subtly and cumulatively becomes prideful, which is abhorrent to God and to grace.
"For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world." --1 John 2:16.
A person becomes poor through their own works and rich through divine works. So a person must love the works of God and despise their own.
"I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet . . . " (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 408-409.)
It takes an uncanny--and I dare say, a devilish kind of pride to boast one's self above Jesus and the Apostles. Yet, there it is. I wonder what sort of spirit might possess a person to follow such a man? Certainly not a spirit of humility. But one who sought to challenge God, indeed to fancy the destiny of becoming a god oneself!
The great test of life--and, as God loves you, He will present you with it time and time again--is to see whether you love your self, or another creature (which is but a hidden form of self love), or to love the world--the "pride of life" . . . MORE than you love God.
Humility seems to be like lightning. For as lightning strikes terrible blows and afterwards none of it can be found, so humility dissolves all evil and is the enemy of all sin and makes a man look upon himself as nothing.
Most who fall . . . do so . . . because they love someone or something more than God. They console themselves that it cannot be wrong because "love" is involved, yet the devil is very adept and devious in his means to bring temptations to a person which at once seem to satisfy the longings of the deepest part of their soul. Next comes justifying and explaining away when we then "fall for some one" or some thing which takes us away from God and the self seeking mind is clever in convincing itself that it is God's will, "meant to be", or was determined in some "pre-existence."
But it is never God's will that a person should love a creature or thing of the world more than Himself.
"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful . . . conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." --2 Timothy 3:1-7
Meanwhile, for those who have found the Lord/been found by the Lord . . . what joy and clarity arrives, as you continue to forsake the temptations of pride and the lessor, worldly love which falls for anything short of God, as the transforming power and care of Jesus . . . step by step . . . works on and through you--not YOU doing works to boast of, but recognizing that HE alone starts to change you, so that, increasingly . . . you crave true holiness--not vain and silly trappings, such as "not drinking coffee" . . . .
And while you are certainly not perfect . . . over time you able to look back on your old self . . . and see that you have left where you were, through grace, not works, and regardless of how slow or how fast . . . there is no mistaking that He is moving in your life, on your character, in your heart, cleaning out your mind, maybe slowly BUT SURELY! . . . and you will be finding that--even without any church, or "authority" demanding and expecting you to follow such and such "rules and laws"--you increasingly and simply WANT TO . . . and a holy hunger and thirst for righteousness possesses you so that you can hardly get enough . . . of Him--of reading about, listening about, thinking about, praying about . . . HIM.
You are not trying to please a church or other men or a woman . . . .
You only want to please GOD! And you realize how precious this yearning is, which He has placed on you--which is LOVE OF GOD--the greatest blessing . . . and so, become protective and leery of any thing or any one . . . who would seek to lure you away from that.
The more grace a person has, the more the devil attacks them. But a person should not on that account stop being guided by grace, because the harder the battle, the greater will be the person's
crown . . . .
You gain virtue from every vice that you conquer. And you will receive a greater reward from the vice that troubles you most--if you conquer it.
Good works are nothing. Dictators of countries do some good works even though they oppress and harass the people.
Mafia "Dons" . . . do good works as they sometimes feed the poor, pay their bills, build a school, as do the drug cartel bosses--the same ones who also murder, steal, prostitute and corrupt.
Even criminals sometimes pay tithings, help old ladies cross the street, and give presents to their wives and children.
There is little clearer in the Bible, than that we CANNOT work our way into heaven . . . but only by His grace are we saved.
You would have to change the Bible or come up with a new one in order to promote any other message.
Nor can a person love the world or another creature MORE than the Creator and what His Word says, and still expect to be saved; otherwise there is no point, no truth in His Word.
Again, you would have to either change the Word, or devise a different version . . . to justify your disobedience.
And how serious must that be!
Well, the Bible tells us--WARNS us:
"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." --Rev. 22:18-19
But, many people simply cannot control themselves--cannot submit to the truth. Joseph Smith was so full of himself, his desire for power, gold and women . . . that he devised a whole new set of books and doctrines, added to the Bible, to justify his pride of life longings . . . .
Of course, he is not the only one. Many others have done the same and continue to today with all manner of novel, self-sustaining, self-seeking philosophies and doctrines.
It is not unusual for a seeker to fall into the trap of these various snares, while they are yet full of selfish pride and self seeking. But if they love THE TRUTH--which is GOD, WHO IS JESUS CHRIST--MORE than His creatures or things . . . then, at last they will forsake all such deceptions and temptations . . . and will find themselves safely on the way to REAL salvation . . . and eternal life.
Woe to the man who gives his heart and desire and energy to the things of this world and on their account gives up and loses the things that are of Heaven and last forever!
It is a lie . . . from the pit of Hell . . . to suggest that the things of the world and Heaven are the same and congruous. [congruous: Corresponding in character or kind; appropriate or harmonious.]
It is no friend and no true religion . . . which says that pursuing the world . . . is "harmonious" . . . with pursuing Heaven. A person cannot serve two masters. The devil's church says you can have both, here and now. But Jesus said:
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." -John 15:18,19
Beware. The only unpardonable sin . . . is to reject Jesus as Savior.
Any person or church who says that Jesus' death and sacrifice IS NOT ENOUGH . . . but that you must also WORK your way into salvation . . . is promoting . . . the unpardonable sin!
This . . . is why . . . I am spending a little time on it . . . .
It's no small matter . . . .
God bless and protect you,
[italicized words from Brother Giles, a friend of St. Francis']
A list of lies from ol' Shawn McCraney . . . who is doing a brave and important work here in "zion"....And if you are a Mormon and don't dare to watch this, then you show you choose to remain ignorant and cannot be considered at the very least a SEEKER after truth . . . .