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The Covenant Breaker:  Unconditional Love’s Sinister Plan

John, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote God is love. Have you ever wondered why it is, then, that so many people do not know God is love and that He loves them? Or why others who have heard God is love need to be convinced or continually reassured that He loves them? Based on John’s declaration that God is love, would it not be appropriate to expect love to be the characteristic of God’s nature and expression most clearly evident to mankind, to those God created in His own image?

The scriptures bear record of how God very capably brought all of creation into existence and how He readily maintains His creation moment by moment in all its great expansiveness and exquisitely fine detail and complexity. So why, then, has God not made His love known to His creation with the same apparent capability and effectiveness or clarity? Or has He?

God is love. Satan, therefore, wanting to ascend above God’s throne, aspired to become a god with a love that would be even greater than God’s love. Satan would become unconditional love.

This once glorious angel, originally named Lucifer, planned to redeem all people. None would be lost, he said. All would be brought back into the kingdom of heaven and, in return, he would receive God’s honor.

With Satan, everyone would experience total acceptance in the kingdom independent of any and all things. His love would be broad and boundless, without restrictions or regulations, without terms or conditions. This meant that mankind would be saved irrespective of each one’s individual disposition or choice.

Would not all people love a god who loved them so completely, without reservation or limitations – or at least with a love that appeared to be so noble?

Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, warned that before our Lord returns, Satan, who is the devil, would attempt to exalt himself above God and appear as God in God’s own temple, the church.

Because God is love, perpetrating a deception about the love of God would be one of the highest (if not the highest), most decisive and influential forms of deception Satan could ever hope to achieve, especially within and through the church.

Therefore, knowing that his time is short, Satan and his servants are working harder than ever to deceive the nations, including the elect if possible, about God and His love.

Satan is attempting to supplant God with his own ideal of love, a love that would rob justice and dismiss the mercy extended to us through the atonement of Jesus Christ. He is seeking to replace the redemptive covenant love of our Lord and Savior with unconditional love.

Now more than ever, then, we must pray fervently for the Lord’s kingdom, which is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

For many people, loving unconditionally simply means loving others regardless of who they may or may not be and loving them regardless of what they may or may not have done. If advocates of unconditional love are to be consistent in their approach to loving others unconditionally, this will also be their approach to loving Jesus Christ.

Taking such an approach to loving our Lord fails, however, to love Him for who He is as our Savior and to love Him for what He has done on the cross to save us from our sins. Thus, their choosing to love others unconditionally, including Jesus Christ, diminishes both their witness of Him as Savior and their confession of His right to rule as Creator Lord over them and those they love.

Since unconditional love does not depend upon who Jesus Christ is or what He has done, those who would choose to love others unconditionally will find no specific need to share the good news about His work of redemption attested to by His death and resurrection, and soon don’t.  Neither will they see a specific need to speak to others about Jesus’ teachings and His commandments, and soon won’t (contrary to the Great Commission).

Being unconditional by definition, unconditional love separates itself and sets itself apart from the conditions of the New Covenant mediated by Jesus Christ.  Invoking unconditional love serves, in essence, to reject His witness that He rules in the heavens above and in the earth beneath based upon these conditions.  It disregards Jesus’ claim that our lives depend upon the salvation He alone can offer and is offering to everyone who will and does receive Him. It does not recognize nor support Jesus’ claim that we must repent of our sins to receive salvation and rest in His everlasting kingdom.  Therefore, it dismisses His call to repent and come to Him in order to be saved from the wrath to come.

These are irreconcilable departures from the gospel of the kingdom as it was taught by Jesus Christ.  In its sphere of influence, unconditional love renders as irrelevant and meaningless His atonement and resurrection.  These simply are not needed nor respected by unconditional love.  Some advocates of unconditional love may choose simply to ignore Jesus and His message while others may choose to dismiss, and even revile against Him and the reports of His miraculous ministry, passing them off as mere folklore.  A practical effect of such irreconcilable departures from the gospel Jesus Christ preached is that unconditional love must operate independent of and outside of our Lord’s presence, and thus independent of and outside of His light and love, that is, in outer darkness.

Because God is infinite and eternal, His love is the same, infinite and eternal. In the words of the prophets, His love is everlasting love.  It would, therefore, be wrong to hold a simplistic view of God and His love, one that concludes God’s love is either conditional or unconditional.  God is love, and in His presence of light and truth – not outside of His light in darkness – we may experience the fullness of His love.  God does not cease to be love if we fail to obey Him.  His love endures all things.  However, according to Jesus Christ and His disciples, only those who love God unto obeying His voice and walking in the light as He is in the light will come to abide fully in His love.

Summed up, unconditional love excludes from its considerations and practices all conditions, including those outlined in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible. This includes the conditions of repentance as described in II Chronicles 7:12-14 and in I John 1:5-2:2 at the beginning of this volume.  Herein lies the impasse.  Unconditional love is in conflict with the New Covenant, in particular, the conditions of repentance.  If one is valid, the other is invalid.

Tracing each to its source, advocates of unconditional love pit themselves against Jesus Christ and His gospel, which He first introduced in His ministry with the command to repent and believe His gospel. According to His testimony, whoever falls upon Jesus will be broken and whomever He falls upon will be ground to dust.  But whoever builds upon Him as the chief cornerstone, as a precious rock of offense will have Him for a sure foundation.  I have chosen Jesus – to build upon Him as my Rock, my Foundation.  I have chosen His covenant love.

O remember, remember, my sons, the words which King Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world.

And remember also, the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him, that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people; but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.

And he hath power given unto him from the Father, to redeem them from their sins, because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls.

And now my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation, that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds; yea, his shafts in the whirlwind;

Yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you, to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build, they can not fall.

Helaman 2:71-75

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance.  ... Likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repenteth.  (Luke 15:7,10)

Though it may be popular for a season on earth, unconditional love does not bring joy in heaven among the angels of God. Why?  It does not lead sinners to repentance; and in the event that sinners happen to be brought unto repentance by other means, unconditional love is not equipped or so inclined to lead them to go on and repent of their sins.

Yes, God is love, but He is not unconditional love. Yes, God is good and His goodness leads us to repentance; yet, unlike unconditional love, God, as light and love, rebukes and chastens those He loves, saying, “…be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Our God is righteous and holy and He judges the unrighteous and ungodly according to His wisdom and knowledge of all things.  He does not throw out justice nor does He hand out mercy carelessly and indiscriminately. No, His are the ways of discretion and honest assessment.  Careful, contemplative thought goes into all that our Lord does and in all that He pronounces over and upon each and every element and body in His creation.

When our Lord returns in glory – and He will return – Jesus Christ promises to execute judgment upon all who have not repented of their sins. For, as we read in the book of Jude in the Bible, He will come with His saints, “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Even now His Spirit of truth is among us to “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” Unconditional love knows nothing of this convicting, convincing, and converting work of the Lord’s Spirit and, thus, it has no place or part in it.  The angels of God are, however, intimately involved in this process.  For, as it is written, “… of the angels he saith, Angels are ministering spirits,” and “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”  Unconditional love is, therefore, of no use to God’s angels in the work to which He has called them – in ministering to the heirs of salvation.

What instrument of love can and do angels use, then, in their service to God as ministering spirits? The answer is charity, the pure and perfect love of Jesus Christ; it is His covenant love, even the love of the New Covenant which He mediates.  This is the only love which can grant us repentance and the forgiveness of sins.  This is the only love which can bring us to the conditions of repentance and, there, guide us in repenting of our sins.  For it is also written of the angels of God, “the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father which He hath made unto the children of men...

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; for, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.

And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him on conditions of repentance.

And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth. Wherefore you are called to cry repentance unto this people.

And if it so be that you should labor all your days, in crying repentance unto this people, and bring save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy, if you should bring many souls unto me!

Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my Rock, and my salvation.

D&C 16:3c-4b

Forgiveness is more than a recurrent theme in scripture; it is an essential element of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For our understanding of forgiveness to be complete we must consider both God’s forgiveness granted in Jesus Christ as well as our forgiveness of each other through the “person of Jesus Christ.

God offers us forgiveness for the sake of His Only Begotten Son who, when we were sinners and thus enemies to God, laid down His life to atone for the sins of the whole world.

Accordingly, Jesus has taught that we are to love and forgive one another, especially our enemies (i.e. those with whom we are at variance), as He has loved us and forgiven us.

Jesus Christ willingly laid down his life for us out of a loving hope that we would accept His Father’s invitation to be transformed from our sinful and rebellious nature into the children of light by being born again of His Spirit. For us to be thus transformed into the image of our Lord, we must receive the Holy Ghost, the promised Comforter, and be led by Him into all truth. In receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, we are empowered with perfect love to love, even as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and thus fulfill His commandments.

For men, the sin of adultery is facilitated and aggravated by pornography. Romance novels serve the same purpose for women. Tragically, there are many people who are indulging themselves in these things, including many individuals within the church and priesthood. What many either do not know (i.e. they lack understanding), or wish to ignore is that by doing so they are disqualifying themselves from entering into the kingdom of God.

A big area of concern is the so-called entertainment industry, which provides daily episodes of various forms of sin to watch on network and cable television, in theaters, etc. What will befall those who entertain themselves with such programming? The Lord has said that those who take pleasure, i.e. entertain themselves with, these things (the sins of other) are worthy of the same judgment.

Since Satan’s objective is to bring all people into his condemnation and misery, this is an area in which he earnestly works and promotes. And by doing so, he cunningly disqualifies many from receiving the blessings and benefits of abiding in God’s presence.

While preparing the letter, the Lord further impressed upon me that there are many individuals, especially priesthood, who need to hear this message as well, and that I should make it available to as many people as possible (cf. Ecclesiastes 10:4-6). Accordingly, I addressed it to the members of the body of Christ at large and to priesthood members in particular.

Why are there so many divisions in the church? Is it not because we are yet carnal? This was the reason the apostle Paul identified for the divisions in the church at Corinth:

For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?” (I Corinthians 3:3,4)

Marriage is ordained of God (cf. Ephesians 5:31 with I Timothy 4:1-3). He has said that it is lawful for a man to have one wife.

And again, I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry, is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man; wherefore it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation; and that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made. (D&C 49:3a-c)

Nevertheless, there are those among us who have been unlawful toward God by committing adultery in their hearts, if not also in very deed, and thereby do not have His Spirit (cf. Matthew 5:29,30 with D&C 43:7d & 63:5a). To such the Spirit of the Lord speaks expressly now as He did in days of old to King Herod through John the Baptist…

It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife [imagined or otherwise] (Mark 6:17-19; cf. Matthew 5:29,30).

Everyone who has been ministered to by the words of Jesus Christ that are contained in the last book of the Book of Mormon has feasted upon words penned especially for the Lamanites. Moroni wrote these concluding ten chapters unto his brethren the Lamanites in the hope and assurance that perhaps in some future day they would be of worth unto them (Moroni 1:4).

Moroni’s record was brought forth according to a prophecy delivered nearly a thousand years before by Nephi, the son of Lehi, unto his brothers, Laman and Lemuel, the forefathers of the Lamanites (I Nephi 4:16-19).

Of particular importance is Moroni’s record, which contains the very points of Jesus Christ’s doctrine by which the Lamanites will come to the knowledge of their Redeemer. These words were written according to the will and power of the Lord to show the Lamanites how to come unto Jesus Christ and be saved in His kingdom.

Moroni’s record, along with the rest of the Book of Mormon, is to be brought forth unto the Lamanites by the Gentiles to try their faith. If they believe these records, greater things will be manifest unto them (III Nephi 12:1-4).

Therefore, we who are of the church established among the peoples of this Gentile nation must take great care not to hinder the Lamanites in receiving the key of knowledge, i.e. the fullness of the scripture (Luke 11:53 IV with Matthew 23:10 IV), brought forth in the Book of Mormon, especially the words of Christ found in the record of Moroni. Rather, we must diligently prepare ourselves to deliver this precious testament unto the remnant of Lehi’s peoples.