What is Your Payment Plan?
“Pay me now or pay me later.” Change your oil filter or pay for an engine rebuild. Stay current on bills or pay even more with interest. “Pay me now” is clearly preferred. In the context of a gangster film, for example, reaching the point of “…or pay me later” would be frightening.
What if God said, “pay me now or pay me later?” It wouldn’t just be frightening. It would be terrifying!
Yet, this is what Mormonism teaches. Boyd Packer, an LDS apostle, describes a debt to Heavenly Father we couldn’t pay. He demanded justice. We begged for mercy. So, Jesus intervened to cover the debt. But now we owe Jesus.
Mormons thank Jesus for refinancing their debt. He extended the terms of their loan and gave them a new payment plan. Mormonism teaches they will have more time to pay the debt in a spirit world after this life. “Pay me now or pay me later.”
Many Mormons try to “pay” as much as they can now. They believe they can offset the bad with good. This has led to concerns of “toxic perfectionism.” These impossible expectations cause some to spiral down into depression.
The LDS Church has tried to confront this. The September 2019 Ensign has eleven different articles just devoted to perfectionism. Here are a few excerpts:
“Although we aren’t perfect now, if we strive to follow him, we will be one day.”
“Your complete perfection comes not until the next life. Meanwhile, simply keep doing the best you can.”
“Every man and woman of God is expected to become perfect—eventually.”
“Pay me now” has understandably created a great deal of pressure, so the LDS church is instead emphasizing the alternative payment plan: “…pay me later.” Notice, however, the debt remains. You still have to pay it.
Kicking the can down the road isn’t truly a comfort. It just puts off the inevitable. At best, it encourages delayed perfectionism.
Imagine a couple took out a loan for a home. The contract calls for a significant balloon payment at the end, but the slick salesman tells them, “Don’t worry about it. You have plenty of time.” They listen to him rather than read the fine print. Eventually the day comes and they get a notice in the mail. That payment is now due. They are ruined.
Mormons recognize a debt is looming large over their heads. The day of reckoning is still coming. Tragically, it’s much sooner than most realize.
Imagine discovering there is a different payment plan.
This involves Jesus paying the price in your place. At first it sounds too good to be true. But then you hear God’s own promise: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
You can’t collect on a debt that has already been paid in full.
If you’ve only known the “pay me now or pay me later” payment plan you would see God as a cold and distant judge. When his own voice shares the “already paid in full” plan you see him as the loving Savior who set you free.
To get a better picture into the burdens Mormons experience and how God can use you to set them free, get your copy of Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons today!