Glenn Beck and Salvation
(My views on this topic have changed since my mission and in light of President Monson’s words in the October 2010 conference quoting Brigham Young
No temptation, no pressure, no enticing can overcome us unless we allow such. If we make the wrong choice, we have no one to blame but ourselves. President Brigham Young once expressed this truth by relating it to himself. Said he: “If Brother Brigham shall take a wrong track, and be shut out of the Kingdom of heaven, no person will be to blame but Brother Brigham. I am the only being in heaven, earth, or hell, that can be blamed.” He continued: “This will equally apply to every Latter-day Saint. Salvation is an individual operation.” (2010 October General Conference, The Three Rs of Choice, Priesthood Session – Thomas S. Monson)
I also recommend Salvation and Exaltation by Elder Nelson on this topic.
Though a have gotten much more conservative since my mission I still do believe that it is very important to remember that we are all brothers and sisters and have a shared responsibility to ensure the temporal and spiritual well-being of one another)
See my follow up post here
While working as a Real Estate agent in Boston I spent a lot of time in my car and therefore listened to the radio. I like to alternate between NPR and Conservative Talk radio in order to feel well informed about what both sides of the political spectrum are arguing. I’ve gotten to listen to the Glenn Beck Program a few times now and have had a mix of reactions. Often, Glenn Beck’s values shine through and he encourages his listeners towards “Faith, Hope and Charity” in a pretty beautiful fashion. On the other hand, Beck often says things that are utterly shocking and clearly meant to be offensive. For instance, he recently suggested that putting the common good first would lead to another holocaust (Did I mention that this was his response to a letter that the leader of Jewish Funds For Justice Penned to him). At other moments, listening to Beck is merely exacerbating.
Last week, Glenn Beck went on a rant about the individual nature of salvation that left me positively infuriated. The link is to a similar statement made on his television program, as I can not find the radio transcript anywhere. The remarks on the radio were even more extreme continuing with several statement about how we need to only focus on our own well being and salvation and not others:
“It’s individual salvation. The Lord doesn’t call us up, review our salvation and go, ‘Ok now hang on just a second. Now serving group number 10!’ It’s individual. Your church is either for socialist government or the living of the gospel. It’s either about God or government. Tonight you’re going to find out which is which,” said Beck.
I was shocked because this thought goes so counter to what I believe as a fellow member of Brother Beck’s church. Given our focus on temple work and geneology, Mormons should be the last of all to say that salvation is an individual enterprise.
Just to give a few examples
The Family: A Proclamation to the World
In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
James E Talmage Conference Report April 1912, pg. 126
‘The temple-building spirit manifested among the Latter-day Saints is the spirit of absolute unselfishness; it is the spirit of Elijah, the spirit by which the feelings of the children are turned toward the fathers, and the feelings of the fathers are directed toward the children; for no man stands upon this earth alone.’ (Quote found here)
“If you do not these [baptisms for the dead] … ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord.” 21
In our church it I pretty clear that we are NOT saved back alone. We do not hold to a gospel of every man for himself. Indeed, it is clear that the very plan of salvation involved Christ taking upon himself the collective sins of the world. We are very clearly not in an individualistic enterprise of merit but instead in a plan of communal grace.
I hope that Brother Beck is filled with the spirit of compassion which permeates this church and that it helps him to come to realize that he alone can not and will not achieve salvation without us.