Skip to comments.Man without limbs testifies of Christ
Posted on 09/15/2009 5:55:56 AM PDT by Colofornian
What Nick Vujicic lacks in stature, he makes up for in faith.
Vujicic, a 26-year-old man born without arms or legs, spoke about hope and faith in Jesus Christ to approximately 5,000 people at the Salt Palace Convention Center on Saturday night.
Vujicic is using his unique situation to spread the message of being born again in Christ. An Australian native, Vujicic now resides in California where he runs his Christian ministry Life Without Limbs.
The world sees something special in a man without arms and legs, Vujicic said. I love being able to be used by God.
Peoples reasons for attending Vujicics speech were varied, but all hoped to be touched by his message.
I have arms and legs and still complain. He has no arms and legs and lives life to the fullest, said Dr. Joel Becker, a spiritual Christian from Clinton.
Vujicic called for people to build their lives on the foundation of Christ. If you dont have your security in knowing who your Lord is and what youre building on, it could all fall.
Vujicic also mentioned Christ and the Bible as a remedy for many of lifes troubles, including depression and addictions. In fact, part of Vujicics message mirrored what apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have told its members for years. Addiction to pornography is worse than having no arms, no legs, Vujicic said.
For people who are suffering from depression, Vujicic said to, Get a dose of the Bible instead of a dose of Prozac.
Vujicic went to a typical school when he was younger. He rode around in an electric wheelchair and was sometimes teased. People would even chase him, but they were gonna get tired before my battery [ran] out.
At the end of Vujicics speech, he asked people in the audience who had been touched and wanted to dedicate their lives to Christ to come forward to the stage. Several hundred did so.
Kara Anderson, an LDS student at UVU majoring in nursing, didnt know what to expect from Vujicics speech, but what she took away was a lot of hope for life.
Its all about being selfless, Anderson said. (Nicks story) encourages us to be grateful for what [we] have.
The event was sponsored by Standing Together, a Christian organization that strives to unite the Christian community in Utah. It also supports conversations between Evangelicals and the LDS church. Vujicic was scheduled to bear his testimony on Sunday at the Tabernacle on Temple Square
“Im sorry that you have been led into blasphemy.”
I appreciate your concern, but when did I commit blasphemy? To my knowledge, I have never blasphemed the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost.
First, the speech is still online right at the URL you said it was no longer at. http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6843
Second, you take Bruce R. McConkie out of context. He did not say we should not have a relationship with Christ, he said our relationship with Christ should not be elated above our relationship with God the Father or our relationship with the Holy Spirit. Here it is in his own words from that very speech:
Thus there are, in the Eternal Godhead, three persons--God the first, the Creator; God the second, the Redeemer; and God the third, the Testator. These three are one--one God if you will--in purposes, in powers, and in perfections. But each has his own severable work to perform, and mankind has a defined and known and specific relationship to each one of them. It is of these relationships that we shall now speak...
Our relationship with the Son is one of brother or sister in the premortal life and one of being led to the Father by him while in this mortal sphere. He is the Lord Jehovah who championed our cause before the foundations of the earth were laid. He is the God of Israel, the promised Messiah, and the Redeemer of the world.
By faith we are adopted into his family and become his children. We take upon ourselves his name, keep his commandments, and rejoice in the cleansing power of his blood. Salvation comes by him. From Creation's dawn, as long as eternity endures, there neither has been nor will be another act of such transcendent power and import as his atoning sacrifice.
We do not have a fraction of the power we need to properly praise his holy name and ascribe unto him the honor and power and might and glory and dominion that is his. He is our Lord, our God, and our King.
Our relationship with the Holy Spirit is quite another thing. This holy personage is a Revelator and a Sanctifier. He bears record of the Father and the Son. He dispenses spiritual gifts to the faithful. Those of us who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost have the right to his constant companionship.
And again, if it were proper--and I repeat, it is not!--to single out one member of the Godhead for some special attention, we might well conclude that member should be the Holy Ghost. We might well adopt as a slogan: Seek the Spirit. The reason of course is that the sanctifying power of the Spirit would assure us of reconciliation with the Father. And any person who enjoys the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit will be in complete harmony with the divine will in all things..
Now I know that some may be offended at the counsel that they should not strive for a special and personal relationship with Christ. It will seem to them as though I am speaking out against mother love, or Americanism, or the little red schoolhouse. But I am not. There is a fine line here over which true worshipers will not step.
It is true that there may, with propriety, be a special relationship with a wife, with children, with friends, with teachers, with the beasts of the field and the fowls of the sky and the lilies of the valley. But the very moment anyone singles out one member of the Godhead as the almost sole recipient of his devotion, to the exclusion of the others, that is the moment when spiritual instability begins to replace sense and reason.
Third, Mormons dedicate their lives to the true Christ at the time of their baptism. The gesture of coming forward at the end of a meeting like that is in no way a rejection of the commitment, in fact it would indicate just he opposite.
You: He did not say we should not have a relationship with Christ [Grig]
First of all, you didnt quite quote me right I said specifically, PERSONAL relationship vs. your reduction to just relationship
Why does that one word matter? (Big difference re: human terms like the difference between an acquaintance or visit-with-a-co-worker annually vs. someone youre married to). So I never claimed McConkie ruled out ALL relationships with Christ.
But take note: The persons Jesus referenced in Matthew 25 called Him "Lord" and had some kind of relationship with Him. (It wasnt enough). So theres a big difference between personal relationship and a generic subject-object relationship -- like with a boss you may not be particularly close to.
What did McConkie say about such a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus?
IOW, is it "proper" to approach Jesus to relate personally and intimately to -- a "special" relationship?
Well, let's see how Jesus addressed His own disciples to answer that:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. (John 15:13-15)
Jesus calls His servants who hear Him & act upon that hearing "friends." Friends are special. Friends are personal. Friends are intimate.
What is McConkie's "take" on such "friendship" with Jesus? Is he for it (pro)? Or is he against it? (anti)
Let's pull three phrases out from beginning to near the end of his 1982 BYU devotional so that you can see he was consistent and that Im not departing from his overall consistent theme:
#1 In an effort to be truer than true they devote themselves to gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous.
#2 Now I know that some may be offended at the counsel that they should not strive for a special and personal relationship with Christ
#3 It is a fine and sacred line, but clearly there is a difference between a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord, which is improper
Never mind that I didnt finish these McConkie sentences because I want you to place yourself in that BYU audience back then because as soon as you hear these consistent phrases, your mind is spinning you dont even hear everything else he says cause hes just pronounced a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord as improper, as perilous, fringe, & as anti-general authority counsel.
His whole overtone of his message was...
(a) IF you dont embrace worship for God the Father alone...
(b) IF you dont stop seeking a personal, special, and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ; and stop praying and worshiping Jesus...
(c) THEN youre outside the mainstream of the church; youre ignoring the counsel of the charter of the church; youre not falling in with the only people who have the true worship patterns down pat...
(d) AND youre either an erring teacher or a beguiled student who needs to repent according to the ACCEPTED gospel verities as I shall set them forth
Wow! What a "my way or the highway" kind of message he gave!
Not only that he added I wonder if it is not part of Lucifer's system to make people feel they are special friends of Jesus when in fact they are not following the normal and usual pattern of worship found in the true Church There is no other way, no other approved system of worship...Those who truly love the Lord and who worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Spirit, according to the approved patterns...
IOW, ONLY the McConkie Mormon stamp of approval upon your specific worship pattern will do [and we'll look further @ what that pattern actually is!]
he said our relationship with Christ should not be elated above our relationship with God the Father or our relationship with the Holy Spirit. [Grig]
How can you say that in light of this sentence alone? Our relationship with the Father is supreme, paramount, and preeminent over all others. He is the God we worship.
Grig, do you believe this statement?
Do you believe your relationship with God the Father personage is supreme, paramount, and preeminent over all other others.
(If you believe God the Father is a separate Being from Jesus Christ, how can you say that McConkie was ONLY trying to bring some proper counterbalance from singling Jesus out? Now its true he had a few sentences in there saying, if any Godhead member should be singled out, it should be the Father or it should be the Holy Ghost so he was trying to offer some counterbalance but I submit he went way beyond that. And notice exactly where He jumped to as the reason: He is the God we worship.)
Now he didnt leave this worship matter alone in fact, he placed it #1 in a 17-point outline:
1. We worship the Father and him only and no one else. We do not worship the Son, and we do not worship the Holy Ghost.
He then went on to cite D&C 20:19 as his justification: And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship
He then immediately added: I know perfectly well what the scriptures say about worshipping Christ and Jehovah, but they are speaking in an entirely different sense--the sense of standing in awe and being reverentially grateful to him who has redeemed us. Worship in the true and saving sense is reserved for God the first, the Creator.
My question: What happened between 1966 & 1982 where McConkies head was spinning so fast He didnt know Who to worship????
McConkie, 1966: Three separate personages--the Father, Son and Holy Ghost--comprise the Godhead...To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only gods we worship." (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 567-577, 1966 edition)
McConkie, 1982: We worship the Father and him only and no one else we do not worship the Holy Ghost. Worship in the true and saving sense is reserved for God the first, the Creator.
What happened to worship of the Holy Ghost in 16 years? What? Was an Lds apostle treating the Holy Ghost like he was some kind of NFL tryout rookie who was expendable & was cut from worship training camp?
McConkie, 1966: Three separate personages--the Father, Son and Holy Ghost--comprise the Godhead...To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only gods we worship." (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 567-577, 1966 edition) and: "The Father and the Son are the objects of all true worship... No one can worship the Father without also worshiping the Son....It is proper to worship the Father, in the name of the Son, and also to worship the Son" (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 848).
McConkie, 1982: We worship the Father and him only and no one else. We do not worship the Son Worship in the true and saving sense is reserved for God the first, the Creator.
Now what happened to worship of the Son over that 16-year pronouncement gap? He made the NFL of gods cut list, too?
What happened? Ill tell you what I think happened. McConkie, in his earlier days, came upon Mormon 7:7: The redeemed will dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which is one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.
He therefore, concluded, as a basis for his book, Mormon Doctrine, Hey, we worship 3 gods just like Mormon 7:7 says.
I suspect what then happened over the years is that McConkie became so anti-trinitarian that he almost deleted Mormon 7:7 from his mind as even being a worthy BoM verse to cite. We know how vociferous he was about the Trinity in even in his vile attacks upon Christian creeds in this so-called "devotional."
McConkie must have seized D&C 20:19 as a new key verse that would guide his new "pattern of worship" once & for all -- worship of Father-God and that he should be the ONLY BEING whom they should worship ...and he thereby quoted it to BYU students.
Surely, Grig, you know what ONLY means. Surely, Grig, you and all Lds are so anti-Christ (against Christ) as having the shared being of the Father-God that you recognize problems here, dont you? D&C 20:19 & Mormon 7:7 directly clash.
Now, I suppose next you might be tempted to cite McConkies qualifier so Ill address that here: I know perfectly well what the scriptures say about worshipping Christ and Jehovah, but they are speaking in an entirely different sense--the sense of standing in awe and being reverentially grateful to him who has redeemed us.
Im sorry, but such a sorry explanation doesnt cut Book of Mormon theology, either. (If I was McConkies prof, Id flunk him; Id send him back to his preparation day of study and say, Bruce, have you ever read 2 Nephi 25:29? Yes? No? And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.)
McConkie essentially says,
Oh, its OK to be in awe of Jesus."
"Oh, its OK to be reverential toward him."
"Oh, its OK to be grateful to Him."
"But thats it. If you go beyond that, youre (to quote him): not following the normal and usual pattern of worship found in the true Church There is no other way, no other approved system of worship. Those who truly love the Lord and who worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Spirit, according to the approved patterns
Im sorry, Bruce.
Im sorry, Grig.
Im sorry, Texan Tory but to worship Jesus with ALL your might, mind, strength, and your whole soul goes beyond token awe, reverence, and gratefulness.
And thats your quandary and EVERY Mormon's. Because if you disobey 2 Nephi 25:29 and dont worship Jesus with EVERYTHING you have it says you risk being cast out -- perhaps to outer darkness. And yet if you worship Christ, you also flesh out 4 other BoM verses that discusses worshiping Christ and half a dozen Biblical verses as well.
So whats the quandary? Well D&C 20:19 says you should only worship ONE divine being. To the Christian, this isnt a quandary. We have 3 personages in one Being. To the non-trinitarian Mormon, this is a big deal.
How else was McConkie against (anti) Christ?
Another peril is that those so involved often begin to pray directly to Christ because of some special friendship they feel has been developed. In this connection a current and unwise book, which advocates gaining a special relationship with Jesus, contains this sentence: Because the Savior is our mediator, our prayers go through Christ to the Father, and the Father answers our prayers through his Son. This is plain sectarian nonsense. Our prayers are addressed to the Father, and to him only. They do not go through Christ...
Did you know, Grig, that McConkie said your prayers don't go through Christ?
McConkie, cont'd:: And you have never heard one of the First Presidency or the Twelve, who hold the keys of the kingdom, and who are appointed to see that we are not "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14)--you have never heard one of them advocate this excessive zeal that calls for gaining a so-called special and personal relationship with Christ. You have heard them teach and testify of the ministry and mission of the Lord Jesus, using the most persuasive and powerful language at their command. But never, never at any time have they taught or endorsed the inordinate or intemperate zeal that encourages endless, sometimes day-long prayers, in order to gain a personal relationship with the Savior.
Well, maybe that's one of the major problems with Mormon leaders -- they can never imagine "day-long prayers" in conjunction with relating personally to Jesus!
McConkie, cont'd: I am well aware that some who have prayed for endless hours feel they have a special and personal relationship with Christ that they never had before.
And that is McConkie's emergency heresy he had to rush to BYU to quell?
Mormons dedicate their lives to the true Christ at the time of their baptism. The gesture of coming forward at the end of a meeting like that is in no way a rejection of the commitment, in fact it would indicate just the opposite. [Grig]
Have you ever considered, Grig that the Jesus Nick Vujicic was calling Lds up to be committed to just might be a different Jesus than the one you mention here?
2 Cor. 11:4 -- "For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached..."
And, if you think Vujicic's Jesus is "for sure" the Mormon Jesus, how is it that even Mormon leaders generically would not likely agree with your sentiments? (Oh sure. They say they worship Christ, but they maintain they worship a "different" Christ -- and on that, we as Christians agree):
"There are those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints do not believe in the traditional Christ. No, I dont. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley (LDS Church News, June 20, 1998)
IOW, the traditional Christ of whom Vujicic spoke @ BYU "is NOT the Christ of whom" Hinckley spoke.
Want more evidence?
It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons. LDS publication, Ensign Magazine, May 1977, p. 26
Four years after the Hinckley quote above, he said the following: As a Church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. (Gordon B. Hinckley, "We Look to Christ", from April 2002 General Conference.)
So the Mormon official publication say they worship a different Christ...
The Mormon "prophet" said they speak about, believe and acknowledge a different Christ...
Christians say they worship, speak of and belief another Jesus...
So. We are all on the same page...why are you so out of harmony???
“Im sorry, Bruce.
Im sorry, Grig.
Im sorry, Texan Tory but to worship Jesus ‘with ALL your might, mind, strength, and your whole soul’ goes beyond token awe, reverence, and gratefulness.”
Just because I was defending McConkie against your characterization of his speech as being anti-Christ doesn’t mean I agree with all of his ideas. I don’t know about those other guys, but please leave my name off the list next time; I don’t endorse McConkie’s idea that our relationship to Jesus is limited to awe, reverence, and gratefulness. And for the record, at this point I’m not doing a very good job of worshipping the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost, so I’m pretty well screwed anyway by Mormon or Evangelical standards.
You aren't judged by humanly standards of "worship". Only you and God know if you recognize your own fallibility and rest in His grace. Think on a time when you did rest in Him and remember the profound peace it gave you. That's my only advice to you.
This is taken directly from LDS.org
I fail to see the part where "Mormons dedicate their lives to the true Christ at the time of their baptism". In fact, you will see that the first specific covenant made at baptism is to "Enter the Church of Jesus Christ." I don't see the specific covenant to "dedicate their lives to the true Christ". In fact, "Be a witness for Christ and His Church" follows "Serve each other and bear each others burdens."
Those of us who follow these threads know that to mormons, "the Church of Jesus Christ means specifically the mormon church.
From Baptism, a Continuing Covenant
A covenant is an agreement or promise between two or more people. At baptism we made a very important covenant with God. President Spencer W. Kimball said: To be baptized is to enter into a covenant [with God] to do, not merely to refrain from doing, to work righteousness as well as to avoid evil (The Miracle of Forgiveness , 94).
What specific covenants did we make with the Lord when we were baptized?
We covenanted to:
Enter the Church of Jesus Christ.
Be called after His name.
Serve God and keep His commandments.
Serve each other and bear each others burdens.
Be a witness for Christ and His Church.
What did the Lord promise us when we were baptized? )
The Lord promised to:
Forgive our sins.
Give us the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
Let us come forth in the first resurrection.
Give us eternal life.
Grig: He did not say we should not have a relationship with Christ
Colofornian: First of all, you didnt quite quote me right I said specifically, PERSONAL relationship vs. your reduction to just relationship
LOL, that ranks right up there with ‘Ignore that man behind the curtain’. You take parts of sentances out of their context to change the meaning of the message. Anybody who reads the larger quotes I provided can plainly see it.
Colofornian: How can you say that in light of this sentence alone? Our relationship with the Father is supreme, paramount, and preeminent over all others. He is the God we worship.
There is no inconsistency there, if our relationship with the Father is supreme, paramount, and preeminent over all others, then clearly our relationship with Christ is not elated above our relationship with God the Father.
As for the 1966 & 1982 quotes, again context is key. The 1966 speaks of worshiping the Godhead, headed by God the Father, which is the same thing as worshiping God the Father. The 1982 quote was about worshiping Christ or the Holy Spirit as individuals, which is incorrect.
Colofornian: D&C 20:19 & Mormon 7:7 directly clash.
“Thus there are, in the Eternal Godhead, three persons—God the first, the Creator; God the second, the Redeemer; and God the third, the Testator. These three are one—one God if you will—in purposes, in powers, and in perfections. But each has his own severable work to perform, and mankind has a defined and known and specific relationship to each one of them. It is of these relationships that we shall now speak.”
So, the term ‘God’ can indicate God the Father as an individual, or the Godhead as a whole. There is usually no practical difference in how the term is used because of the oneness of all three members of the Godhead. There is nothing new about that idea in Mormonism.
Colofornian: Im sorry, Texan Tory
but to worship Jesus with ALL your might, mind, strength, and your whole soul goes beyond token awe, reverence, and gratefulness.
No need to apologize, that statement is correct. It is also correct to say (as McConkie says) that you better feel the same way toward all members of the Godhead.
Colofornian: Did you know, Grig, that McConkie said your prayers don’t go through Christ?
Yup, and he is right on that point to. They go to Hevenly Father, and they do so in the name of Christ. If you put a George Washington stamp on a letter it doesn’t go to the White House before it gets to address you put on the envelope. (not yet anyway :) )
Colofornian: Have you ever considered, Grig that the Jesus Nick Vujicic was calling Lds up to be committed to just might be a different Jesus than the one you mention here?
Doesn’t make any difference, what is important is what was in the heart of the person going up. Your assumption that their going up was some form of rejection of their baptism or conversion away from Mormonism is wishful thinking. I’m sure they all came away with the intention of being better Mormons than they were before.
Also, the term ‘different Jesus’ carries a couple of meanings. If you take it as meaning a different person, like Paul the Apostle and Paul McCartney are different Pauls, then we do not believe in a different Jesus, but the same historical person named Jesus who was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, died on the cross and rose on the 3rd day. If you take it as meaning a different ideas about the same person, then it’s perfectly legitimate and that is the sense in which President Hinckley and others have used the term.
We covenanted to:
Enter the Church of Jesus Christ.
Be called after His name.
Serve God and keep His commandments.
Serve each other and bear each others burdens.
Be a witness for Christ and His Church.
And just how is that not dedicating your life to Christ? Do you understand what it means to take the name of Christ on you?
I understand full well what it means.
The first covenant in that article stated, "Enter the Church of Jesus Christ."
In John 3:5 "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
If baptism is the method by which you enter the mormon church, WHY THEN is there the confirmation? After we are baptized we receive the ordinance of confirmation. In this ordinance, men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood lay their hands on our heads and (1) confirm us members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and (2) bestow on us the gift of the Holy Ghost, also called the baptism of fire (2 Nephi 31:13).
When mormons begin to actually BEGIN to put Christ before "The Church" perhaps THEY will "understand what it means to take the name of Christ on them".
In all the posts I have read from mormons on FR in the past months, the majority defended and glorified "The Church" and Joseph Smith....
"I love my CHURCH".
How many have you seen from mormons that stated, "I love Jesus"?
The list of "covenants" that mormons claim God to have agreed to and you have listed is a list of works...Enter..be called...serve...be a witness.
In John 3, he says... 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[g]..."Whosoever believes.
Just wondering as church according to the New Testament is NOT brick and mortar.
Just wondering what you mean.
And the MORMON Empire says that the TRINITY is hard to understand???
"The Lord, our GOD, is one GOD."
Of course: they are ANTI's
They ALWAYS take things out of context!
--MormonDude(But, we'd say that even if they managed to type in the ENTIRE article or book the quote was in.)
LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley (LDS Church News, June 20, 1998)
Only 21 years ago??
John 6:28-29 (New International Version)
28 Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
I’m not talking about the buildings, when I speak of the church I’m talking all those who have accepted the fullness of the gospel and have entered into a sacred covenant with God to follow Christ, and those Christ has called and authorized to be his leaders.
those Christ has called and authorized to be his leaders.
Please name a couple of those leaders...
The men...the women.....
How diplomatic of you...of course, WE know that mormons believe that YOU are the only ones "authorized to be His leaders...and mormons claim THEY are the only ones with the "fullness of the gospel".
BTW, mormons are the only ones I have seen on FR who can't seem to remember to capitalize the references to God and Christ!.....one reason I never capitalize "mormon".