Do You Love Theology Or Jesus?

In this brief video clip, Gordon Hinckley shares his beliefs concerning Jesus Christ. He says that Jesus:

  • Is his friend
  • Has given him more than anyone else
  • Is his exemplar
  • Is his teacher
  • Is his healer
  • Is his leader
  • Is his saviour
  • Is his redeemer
  • Is his god
  • Is his king
  • Will reign as king of kings and lord of lords from everlasting to everlasting
  • Will have no end to his dominion
  • Will have no light to his glory
  • Can have none other take his place, and none other ever will
  • Is unblemished
  • Without any fault
  • The lamb of god to whom Gordon bows
  • Is the one through whom Gordon approaches the father in heaven

How many would offer a hearty, “Amen” to this? I mean, the man even started crying… It would be easy to conclude from this short clip that Mr. Hinckley is indeed orthodox, and a brother in the faith. But, would it surprise you to know that, before his death, Mr. Hinckley was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Mormon church? This means that he also believed:

  • that “the father in heaven” was once a man named Elohim who became a god.
  • Elohim had a plurality of wives.
  • Elohim had spirit sons, including Jesus and Satan, so…
  • Jesus is believed to be the brother of Satan.
  • Jesus was conceived through the sexual union of Elohim and Mary.
  • Jesus was also Jehovah in the Old Testament, but…
  • Father god and Jesus are different beings – Elohim and Jehovah are not the same.
  • Jesus had multiple wives and children
  • Jesus appeared to people in the Americas after His resurrection

This is what he believed about salvation –

  • “”We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” (3rd LDS Article of Faith)
  • “To get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 332).
  • “Jesus Christ redeemed all from the fall; He paid the price; He offered Himself as a ransom; He atoned for Adam’s sin leaving us responsible only for our own sins” (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, p. 102).
  • “Complete salvation, which is full and eternal life, results from man’s full endeavor to conform to the laws of life, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why we often say that men save themselves with the aid of the Lord” (Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 190).
  • “”One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation… One passage in the Book of Mormon… is particularly enlightening … ‘For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (II Nephi 25:23).” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, The 13th LDS prophet, p. 70-71)
This is what he believed about the gospel –
  • “When Jesus Christ was on the earth, He established His Church among His followers. After His Crucifixion and the deaths of His Apostles, the fullness of the gospel was taken from the earth because of widespread apostasy.… The fullness of the gospel has been restored and the true Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth again… As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you can receive blessings that were absent from the earth for almost 2,000 years. Through the ordinances of baptism and confirmation, you can receive the remission of your sins and enjoy the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.” (True To the Faith, pp. 135-136)

Should we conclude then that this man was truly a Christian brother? No. He believed in a false god, a false Christ, a false gospel, and a false anthropology. What should we make of the video then? God tells us how we should handle this teacher, as well as ALL teachers.

“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

We are to test all teaching by the Word of God because there is no shortage of false teaching within the visible church. Not all false teaching will be as evident as Mormonism. This man has made a string of seemingly truthful statements, that only veil the wolf fur. How many people in churches profess the same things that he does in this video, and they are easily embraced as brothers? I often hear that the way to judge whether or not someone is a brother is by their fruit. Although fruit in keeping with repentance is certainly evidence of regeneration, it doesn’t mean a thing if their theology is false. In fact, the appearance of fruit is something that misleads many people. Their are a ton of “nice” people who are absolutely dead inside. Theology has become something that is the “evidence of Pharisaism.” But Paul counted the bereans to be more noble than those in Thessalonica, because they tested [by Scripture] everything he told them. Paul was no exception, and neither is anyone else.

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11

Men have exalted feelings and appearance for sound Biblical scholarship. Even the term scholarship is thought to be unspiritual. As a result, the visible church hobbles around like a drunk beast. Lines are blurred, and cowardice replaces boldness. They may swing their fists, but they never hit their target. Doctrine is essential. It is the Word of God. People often say, it’s not about theology, it’s about Jesus. But theology is the study of God derived from the Word of God. It is this Word that became flesh.

You may be one of those who say this.
Are you willing to say that to a man like Mr. Hinckley?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-14