Perfection through Whose Obedience?
Last week, President Dallin H. Oaks, one of the top leaders of the Mormon church, gave a devotional at BYU Idaho. His whole talk centered around obeying all of God’s law on one hand and showing love to all people on the other. During the devotion, he also said: “God’s love is so perfect that He lovingly requires us to obey His commandments because He knows that only through obedience to those laws can we become perfect and qualify for His choicest blessings.”
One reason I quoted him is because some people feel that the LDS Church is not stressing becoming perfect anymore. This emphasis might not be as apparent as it once was, but it is still there. Imagine being one of the thousands of students there that day. Imagine taking this as gospel truth. Some might have patted themselves on the back because they felt that they had obeyed all the commandments. But there would be many who would feel even more burdened because this only emphasized that receiving God’s blessings were all up to them.
The other reason I quoted him is that in our staff Bible study this week, we studied what Jesus said about loving our enemies in Luke 6:27-38. As we read Jesus’ words, you could almost see the heads of every person droop because they saw how much they hadn’t kept these commandments perfectly. Not a single person felt they had even come close. But then we immediately comforted ourselves by talking about how Jesus had loved his enemies perfectly – and we get the credit for it. We too saw that we had perfection through obedience – the obedience of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
What a difference that makes! If we are honest with ourselves, thinking that our obedience is what qualifies us for blessings can be crushing. Maybe not immediately. But usually eventually.
But if we trust in Jesus’ perfection for us – something that is already completed – we experience tremendous relief and joy. So much so, that all we want to do is please him for saving us – please him by trying to do what he says. But when we don’t – and because of our flesh we can’t obey perfectly – we can do what we did in our staff meeting. We can immediately remind ourselves that we are covered with Christ’s perfection.
A lot of people today think there aren’t many differences between Christianity and Mormonism. Friends, the differences are real. And people’s present joy and eternal destiny are at stake.
So, every chance you get, boast in the Lord. Boast in what the Lord has done for you. Show people the wonderful coat of righteousness that Jesus has given you. And then share with them that he has already made one for them.
Consider sharing the following article with a Mormon friend or loved one: Christ’s Robe of Righteousness