Form of Godliness

    The opposite of godliness; having the pretense of godliness or a form that mimics it. The Lord condemned the doctrines of men being taught for commandments when He said, They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me…. They teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof (JSH 2:5). What does having a form of godliness, but [denying] the power thereof mean? Godliness means to be godly or close to God. It is possible to pretend to godliness (i.e., have a “form” that mimics it) without actually being close to God.1The Lord lamented in the First Vision to Joseph Smith that men have merely a form of godliness — insubstantial, unredeeming, incapable of saving.2

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