BANNED BY DESERET NEWS
Last summer we ran half-page ads in both the Salt Lake City Tribune and the Deseret News. It was supposed to run for four consecutive Sundays. But after the second Sunday it was pulled from the Deseret News – the newspaper owned by the LDS Church.
We have just begun to run a different ad – this year in the Salt Lake City Tribune and the Provo Herald. We also wanted to run it in the Deseret News, but they rejected it.
Neither ad mentions Mormonism or the LDS Church. Both talk about how a person who is struggling spiritually can find peace and comfort by trusting solely in Christ’s work. One has to conclude that this emphasis on Christ’s work is what Deseret News finds offensive. Click here to go to the page where you can find links to both ads so that you can read them for yourself. 2013 and 2014 Newspaper Ads
This reaction by Deseret News didn’t surprise us. Numerous Mormons have frequently and vehemently rejected our emphasis on the fact that Jesus has done it all for us. In that they are just echoing the teachings of their church. For example, the LDS manual, True to the Faith, states: “Note that you cannot be saved in your sins; you cannot receive unconditional salvation simply by declaring your belief in Christ with the understanding that you will inevitably commit sins throughout the rest of your life. Through the grace of God, you can be saved from your sins. To receive this blessing, you must exercise faith in Jesus Christ, strive to keep the commandments, forsake sin, and renew your repentance and cleansing through the ordinance of the sacrament” (p. 151 – 152). Note the contrast between in your sins and from your sins – a contrast that the manual itself emphasizes by placing those phrases in italics. That contrast along with the statement that to receive the blessing of salvation a person must forsake sin clearly places a lot of responsibility for salvation on people themselves.
Or consider the fact that the Book of Mormon teaches that “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). True to the Faith explains: “The phrase ‘after all we can do’ teaches that effort is required on our part to receive the fulness of the Lord’s grace and be made worthy to dwell with Him.” (p. 77)
The LDS Church clearly teaches salvation in a way that drastically differs from biblical Christianity. In light of that, it is baffling how so many of its members claim to believe the same as biblical Christians. If that is so, why were our ads banned by Deseret News?
Even more troubling is the fact that Mormons believe that they have to contribute to their salvation - “that effort is required”. Paul points out the tragedy of that mindset when he writes: “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works. If it were, grace would no longer be grace.” (Romans 11:6) God’s grace and human works don’t mix. All we can do is add imperfection to Christ’s perfection thus ruining his perfect sacrifice for us. That is the greatest tragedy of all.
May more and more Christians lovingly and boldly share with Mormons the wonderful truth that Jesus indeed has done it all for them – that through his work alone we receive forgiveness. May we also share with them that “where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin” (Hebrews 10:18). To God alone be all the glory.