The Teachings of Modern Theology Concerning Sin

Daniel H. Ludlow

Any person who has carefully studied the teachings of modern theologians recognizes that many of them now teach there is no such thing as "sin against God"; they claim sin is simply doing wrong against oneself. In such a philosophy, the person can rationalize whether or not he is committing sin. Nephi's prophecy concerning the false teachings of the last days seems to be literally fulfilled in this modern theology, which even questions the existence of God and of life after death. The philosophy that "God is dead" comprises a significant part of modern theology. Concerning the inherent weakness of a philosophy of "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die" (2 Nephi 28:7), President John Taylor has written:

If I am a being that came into the world yesterday, and leaves it again tomorrow, I might as well have one religion as another, or none at all; "let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die." If I am an eternal being, I want to know something about that eternity with which I am associated. I want to know something about God, the devil, heaven, and hell. If hell is a place of misery, and heaven a place of happiness, I want to know how to escape the one, and obtain the other. If I cannot know something about these things which are to come in the eternal world, I have no religion. . . . If there is a God, I want a religion that supplies some means of certain and tangible communication with Him. If there is a heaven, I want to know what sort of a place it is. If there are angels, I want to know their nature, and their occupation, and of what they are composed. If I am an eternal being, I want to know what I am to do when I get through with time. . . . (Journal of Discourses, 1:151.)

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