Written by Mark Cares
In the latest Ensign (September, 2017), Thomas S. Monson, the president of the LDS Church, summarizes the influence his predecessors had on him. He writes a short paragraph about each of the nine presidents he has lived under. (As most of you know, Mormons call their presidents “living prophets” and believe that the Lord gives them revelations.) The presidents’ words and examples are to be followed because, as President Monson writes: “These are great men who never wavered, never faltered, and never failed.”
When I was about halfway through reading the article, I stopped and asked, “Where’s Jesus?” The influence of each man President Monson cites involves how to live a better life. One modeled persistence, another putting love in action, another gospel scholarship, another humility. You get the picture. But he never says that any of them taught him about the Lord’s wonderful forgiveness, or about Jesus’ tremendous sacrifice, or about God’s amazing grace. He doesn’t point to anything the Lord has done for us. Instead, it is all about what they are to do.
Remember, each of these men were supposed to be THE living prophet of the Lord for his day and age. But even Old Testament prophets who had to prophesy to hardened Judah, men like Jeremiah, taught about Jesus’ coming sacrifice. In fact, their words describing God’s incredible love are the ones most remembered today. Apparently, this is not the case with Mormon prophets.
This illustrates a most important point. Sometimes the problem with Mormonism is not what it says, but what it doesn’t say. Many Christians, however, don’t see this. Instead when they hear what Mormons say, they, often sub-consciously, add what is missing. With the result that they struggle to see what is wrong with Mormonism. Frequently, it is only when what wasn’t said is pointed out to them that the light goes on.
Friends, I encourage you to listen and read with discernment. See what is said – and not said. Don’t subconsciously fill in the blanks. Many times, it’s the blanks that are quite revealing.