The LDS Church is all about authority. According to the Mormons, before Christ died, he bestowed his priesthood authority to his apostles, and then through the apostasy, this authority was lost from the earth. The priesthood was then restored to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the 1800s.
Conner and I have been trying out other churches lately. At the one that we’ve gone to for the past few weeks (Cedar Ridge Community Church), the pastor has been giving a series of sermons on the Bible.
This past week he talked some about authority, and what he said really resonated with me. Mormons (and I believe Catholics, but I’m not sure about that) believe in priesthood authority; the authority that one holds and that is bestowed upon them. Evangelical Christians believe in Biblical authority–that the Bible is the ultimate authority.
The end of the Book of Matthew, Chapter 28 (verses 18-20) says:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
So, Jesus has the authority. He didn’t give it away. He didn’t give it to the Bible–the Bible just (ha! just… that’s probably not the best word for this!) contains his words. It’s a great place to learn about Christ, to draw closer to Him and to understand Him better. But it isn’t salvation. It doesn’t contain any authority.
Then He says to go out and teach and baptize and all that. And then “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Now, I think I would prefer to have Jesus with me than the Bible. (again, not trying to detract from the Bible here) He has the power. He retained the power. And if I approach Him, He will be with me. Surely, He will.
What good news!