Salvation

Salvation

 

 

Emulating the Godhead

Salvation & Exaltation

Grace & Works

Role of the Family

Pre-Mortality

Post-Mortality

Atonement of Christ

Spirit World

Literal Resurrection

Zeal

 

 

 

 

By Nate Richardson

A Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Available free at RichardsonStudies.com

Contact editor@richardsonstudies.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Chapter 1: Introduction to The Plan of Salvation. 6

I Believe. 7

The Atonement of Jesus Christ As Taught by the Prophets. 17

Oneness of God, Fall of Adam, & Atonement of Christ 21

Grace. 24

Why We Need a Savior: God’s Plan vs. Lucifer’s Tyranny by Elder D. Todd Christofferson (“A Message at Christmas” 2017 BYU Devotional) 26

His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox – Lecture Highlights shorten. 28

Christ Symbols in Animal Sacrifice of the Law of Moses. 31

The Holy Ghost as taught by the Prophets. 34

Chapter: Scriptural Serpent Symbol : Christs Truth & Satan’s Imitation. 36

Chapter: Touching a Hot Stove: Everybody’s Doing It! And Other Ridiculous Excuses We Use – Excerpt from Brad Wilcox. 38

King Benjamin’s Sermon: A Manual for Discipleship by Elder Neal A. Maxwell – Lecture Highlights. 40

A Nine Part Saga of Earth & Eternity. 42

On Situational Ethics: Oh No You Don’t! 43

A Poem Contemplating Eternity. 52

Straining at Particles of Light: Premortal Life and the Mansions of Memory by Terryl Givens – Lecture Highlights. 54

Delicate Friendships to Be Restored. 58

The Millennium & Heaven: Eternal Sunday? Boring?. 59

Why Aren’t We “Raptured” Upon Conversion? (This is a repeat, see faith book) 61

Longing to Belong by Bruce Hafen – Lecture Highlights (add commentary for e/  L) 62

Wickedness is Happiness, Sometimes? The Justice of God and the Nature of the Soul 65

Point-Blank Accountability. 68

Pre-Mortality – Words of the Prophets. 70

Literal Resurrection of Christ & All 73

Pre-Mortality, Corporal Resurrection, & Eternal Family. 84

The 7 Deadly Heresies by Elder Bruce R McConkie – Lecture Highlights. 91

Creation Fall Atonement Narrative. 92

Life is a Pickle. 95

Heart to the Fathers, not to Secularism: How remembering our Ancestors can save our Souls. 98

Agency Begins with Saying No. 99

Emulating the Godhead in the Pre-Mortal, Mortal, & Post-Mortal Existence – chart not included online; online formatting tailored to match this sequence. 102

Effective Co-Creators: Everyday Saviors on Mount Zion. 113

The Plan of Salvation Told in Holidays. 118

Non-Predestination Aspect of Gods Agentive Servants. 120

Possible Hebrew Meaning of Genesis 3:1. 121

Salvation Includes Works as Seen in The New Testament: God is the Same Today Yesterday & Forever 123

Salvation Includes Grace as seen in the Old Testament: God is the Same Today Yesterday & Forever 137

Verse by Verse Study of The Book of Isaiah. 144

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1: Introduction to The Plan of Salvation

 

The scriptures say that a study of the Plan of Salvation is the 1st thing to learn, even before the commandments. God’s Plan motivates us to repent of our sins, and become saints. The Plan of Salvation is a journal of pre-mortal life, all the way through the various stages of existence until the station of God himself. God has passed through a similar journey to which we are now passing. As his children, we do what He did, and hope to someday be as He is. Jesus Christ is the central figure of God’s plan as the chose Savior of the human race. This however does not eliminate our individual responsibility, but directs and enlivens it. Enjoy studying with me the roles of faith and works, the attributes of God and man, the central role of the family, and many other exciting components of God’s happy plan for us.

“When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us.” -Joseph Smith

“How difficult it is to teach the natural man, who comprehends nothing more than that which he sees with the natural eye! . . . Talk to him about angels, heavens, God, immortality, and eternal lives, and it is like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal to his ears; it has no music to him; there is nothing in it that charms his senses, soothes his feelings, attracts his attention, or engages his affections, in the least.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses (18 December 1859) 1:2; see also Discourses of Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 260.)

“… Men are in the habit, when the truth is exhibited by the servants of God, of saying, All is mystery; they have spoken in parables, and, therefore, are not to be understood. It is true they have eyes to see, and see not, but none are so blind as those who will not see; and, although the Savior spoke this to such characters, yet unto His disciples he expounded it plainly; and we have reason to be truly humble before the God of our fathers, that He hath left these things on record for us, so plain, that notwithstanding the exertions and combined influence of the priests of Baal, they have not power to blind our eyes, and darken our understanding, if we will but open our eyes, and read with candor, for a moment.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 2:265–66; from a letter from Joseph Smith to the elders of the Church, Dec. 1835, Kirtland, Ohio, published in Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1835, pp. 225–26.) (https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-25?lang=eng#7-36481_000_029)(Chapter 25: Truths from the Savior’s Parables in Matthew 13, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2011), 292–305)

 

I Believe

 

 

I Believe: Part 1:

I believe the human race is watched over by a divine all-powerful corporal being dwelling on his home planet. I believe that this man, our Father in Heaven, is perfectly compassionate and wise, and possesses all joy, knowledge, and power.

I believe we lived with our Father in Heaven for a very long time as intelligent spirits before we came to this earth. The intelligent self-possessed core of each individual person has always existed and will never cease to exist. When we came to earth we were given bodies, and though those bodies will expire for a season, they will return and be an essential component of life in eternity. Father has made arrangements for the entire human race to eventually overcome physical death in a universal reconstitution (resurrection) of our bodies, and that this will take place at a point in time in the near future. I believe that when the resurrection happens, we will continue as intelligent corporal beings indefinitely, just like our Father in Heaven. I believe that the power of intellect and the corporal body will be greatly expanded at that time, especially for those who have sought to align their lives with eternal laws.

I believe that our Heavenly Father is the prototype of the majesty of an exalted being, and that in the mortal ministry of Heavenly Father’s most advanced son, a divine being named Jesus Christ, we see the prototype of how to become like our Father in Heaven. I believe that our Father in Heaven created this earth to aid us in our quest to become as he is, given that said quest entails the reception of bodies and the acquisition of experience therein.

I believe that because of the benevolent government of our Father in Heaven, we are free to make choices. I believe that laws which govern the universe will dictate the consequences of those choices. I believe our Father in Heaven’s laws are the same as the eternal laws of the universe, and his compliance to these laws gives him maximum power and authority. I believe that our Father in Heaven has, in every generation, made us aware of these eternal laws. Father taught us eternal divine law face to face in the pre-mortal existence, and now teaches us through the operation of conscience, angels, and prophets.

I believe that our Father in Heaven has created an immense number of planets, many of which he has tailored, through specific astronomical arrangements, to suite human life. I believe these planets serve the same purpose to others of Father’s children as our earth does for us. Father’s desires for the complete progress of his children are universal and apply to each of us individually. I believe that our Father in Heaven has power over all his operations which affect us, and that he allows us to have the agency to make our own moral choices. Though eventual punishments and rewards will be allotted to us from Father for our choices, we are free to decide how we will act. In that punishments and rewards are not immediate in this life, our time on earth is a test.

I believe that to make mercy available to us, Father in Heaven directed his most advanced son, a divine being named Jesus Christ, to perform a vicarious atonement in our behalf. I believe that everyone, even those who feel weak unclean or simple, can become like our Father in Heaven as they sincerely attempt to make good choices today, and, when they understand and believe in the role of Jesus Christ, access his assistance.

I believe our families are a prototype of the lifestyle of our Father in Heaven, intended to exist indefinitely and grow exponentially unendingly. I believe that sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man & woman are not in keeping with the laws of life, and do not contribute to the progress of our species, nor the individual development of the individual eternal soul. Celibacy or ideological rejection of marriage and childbearing cut a person off from their potential to become like our heavenly parents.

I believe it is a moral obligation of all people to seek and share knowledge. Further we uphold proper government which protects people in their basic needs while allowing them freedom to enjoy growth in the direction of their choice. I believe it is the primary moral obligation of people, not government, to administer to the poor. I believe in voting for what you believe to be morally right to be put into law.

I believe that our Father in Heaven responds to the unprecedented evil in our world by sending us unprecedented truth and power. While I believe that these gifts of truth and power are embodied in and administered through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe the has good things in store for all people of good will everywhere, regardless of their beliefs. Further, I believe that to assist us in establishing world peace and personal progress, our Father in Heaven will against send Jesus Christ among us, this time to be the king of all earth for 1,000 years. I believe that this millennium of peace and good government will commence in the very near future.

I Believe: Part 2

 

Now let’s dig a bit deeper…

I believe that because of the benevolent government of our Father in Heaven, we are free to make choices. I believe that Father doesn’t just want us to make good choices, he wants us to choose to make good choices. Choosing to do good rather than being forced to do good is the only way to become like Father. I believe that laws which govern the universe will dictate the consequences of our choices. I believe our Father in Heaven’s laws are the same as the eternal laws of the universe, and his compliance to these laws gives him maximum power and authority.

As we learn to obey the laws of the universe, we like Father can gain maximum power and authority to govern our posterity like he governs his. Father made our spirits, and sent us to earth to get bodies. Some day when we have passed through our trials on earth, we too will be able to make spirits and send them to earths to learn and grow to become like ourselves.

There is no beginning of existence. Father in heaven has a father, and so on. Life continues forever and everyone including God himself has parents. Our Father in Heaven once dwelt on an earth like we are dwelling on. Father in Heaven has a wife, whom is our Mother in Heaven. They progressed together until they reached their current exalted status of Gods. The purpose of the human race isn’t just to worship God, but is to become like God.

As the children of God, we can, through the help of Jesus Christ and each other, find our way to the blessings and inheritance of God. Jesus Christ found his way to Godhood by worshiping the Father. If we follow the example of Jesus Christ in word and deed, sincerely repenting when we fall short, we like Jesus Christ and like our heavenly parents, can become exalted Gods. We will then do what they do, namely benevolently rule our innumerable posterity on thrones in kingdoms of glory forever, helping our posterity to find joy like us.

Only in abiding by the laws of the universe can one find complete and never-ending joy. A God is someone who has found this fullness of joy by obedience to eternal law, and the offering of self for the sake of others. In addition to complete joy, the office of Godhood includes never ending glory and power for good.

We are the literal posterity of our Father and Mother in Heaven, in that their spiritual goodness and their physical DNA are at the core of our spirits and bodies, and in that they are responsible for helping each of us intrinsically & independently intelligent beings to progress in spirits and bodies in ways similar to how our parents on earth help us. For their absolutely essential role in our development, we will forever praise both our Heavenly Parents, and our earthly parents. Our need for the help of God to make progress in life is so great, that we must worship God and rely upon his power and teachings to obtain the highest outcome of our eternal existence. The life we live now is called the second estate. The first estate was our pre-earth life when we lived in the presence of God. For doing well in our first estate, we have glory. If we do well in this our second estate, we will have glory forever, and much more so than we currently enjoy.

Before coming to earth, some of Father’s children rejected his teachings, and chose to not come to earth to obtain bodies and continue on the path toward Godhood. Those children tragically account for 1/3 of all of Father’s children. The leader of these fallen 1/3 is named Lucifer. Lucifer was a beloved son of God, but because he unrighteously sought to gain power which he had not earned, and to use that power to force others to obey him, he was thrust out from the presence of God, and is the enemy of God who we call Satan.

Satan will never receive a body, and thus can never have a fullness of joy. The 2/3 of Father’s children who chose to come to earth to be tested and tried in bodies will all die, but will regain their bodies in their perfect form in what is called the resurrection of the dead. After the resurrection of the dead, all people who lived on earth will have bodies again, and will never taste of death again. The Sons of Perdition will also partake of the second death (D&C 76).

Father’s plan for us his children involved sending us to earth to gain bodies, obtaining character growth on earth through the difficulties of life including eventual death, the reception of bodies in the resurrection. Note that Father respects us his children and allowed us to choose whether we wanted to come to earth, and once on earth, Father allows us to do as we please. Father assists us by eventually blessing those who make good choices, and cursing those who make poor choices. These blessings and cursings are from Father, and are often manifest as natural consequences of our actions. Our heavenly parents weep for us when we make bad choices, because they know those choices will inevitably bring suffering. Remember, no one can break the rules of the universe, not even God.

In order to further assist us, Father’s plan involved a Savior. The Savior would be someone strong enough to take upon himself the natural punishments for the wrong doings committed by the human race. This intersession would make possible a loving learning environment with second chances, helping us to grow up without experiencing the full weight of consequences, similar to how an earthly parent removes many of the natural consequences of its young children by acting in their behalf.

Jesus Christ, formerly known as Jehovah before he was born on earth, was the only person qualified to satisfy this role of Savior of mankind. He chose to accept this calling. Because he chose to accept his calling for us, he suffered more than we can comprehend, and the laws of the universe were upheld. Justice was served. The natural results of imperfect compliance with the laws of the universe are pain and death of the body, and anguish of spirit. Lucifer was incapable of paying this price to redeem the human race from their fallen and incomplete condition, he was satisfied to allow the human race to remain in anguish and without bodies, and wanted to replace Father as ruler of all people.

Lucifer erroneously thought that he could force everyone to obey the laws of the universe, and thus save everyone to some degree, at least enough to make them his subjects forever in his kingdom. Forced charity is of the Devil,
and doesn’t help humans grow into their divine
potential. This of course would deny Father’s children the opportunity to fully mature into the status of Gods themselves, as forced charity isn’t charity at all, and the trait of charity is the bedrock of Godhood. Father’s plan involved letting people chose for themselves whether they wanted to participate in his plan and come to earth, and his plan involved allowing them to grow from freedom to make mistakes while on earth. The Savior would give essential assistance to the human race in their quest for the divine and the fullness of joy that comes with it.

When Jehovah was born on earth, he assumed the title of Jesus Christ, which translated has the general meaning of anointed (chosen) savior. He then accomplished his intersession for the human race by both suffering anguish in his spirit, and both pain and death in his body. Because of his unique divine power similar to that of Father himself, which power he indeed received from Father, Jesus experienced the equivalent of tens of billions of deaths, tens of billions of pains, sorrows, and torments of every kind, satisfying the demands of justice for every person who chose to come to this earth and other earths inhabited by children of our Father.

The 1/3 in pre-earth life who rejected God’s plan and chose not to come to earth but to rather elect Lucifer as their leader who could offer them a compromised but to them seemingly more realistic reward had this in common: they did not trust Jehovah’s ability to redeem them, and they thought that life on earth would just be too hard overall, so why even bother trying when so much war death pain and sorrow would invariably be involved as a natural consequence of giving the human race the power to make their own choices, for good or evil.

The 2/3 who chose to follow Father’s plan centered their hopes on Jehovah, that mighty firstborn son of God who had remarkably already obtained the character needed to save all of us his fellow kin. Because of the breathtakingly critical and massive role that Jehovah would assume in our salvation, he became a God to us, and in a large sense of the word, he became a father to us.

A third major assistant was made available to us, a man who would be known as the Holy Ghost. This man does not yet have a body, and as a spirit, uses the mighty power he developed in the pre-earth existence to communicate to us truths from Father. The bible and the book of Mormon are the most historically well-preserved books of all time. They show us that Jehovah (translated as LORD in most English versions of the text) played a very close role with the human race throughout the history of human experience on the earth. In 1820, Father appeared to Joseph Smith, and with him Jesus Christ appeared. Father told Joseph “this is my beloved son, hear him”.  Both the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ always bear witness that Father in Heaven is our God who upholds the just laws of the universe. We love Father in Heaven because not only does he uphold justice and fairness, but he provided a Savior for us, so we could overcome the many hurdles in our path toward becoming people of justice and perfect character like himself.

In this life, generally speaking, we do not see Father, and the Holy Ghost assists us in our quest for truth and righteousness. Every person who comes to this earth, because of having elected Jesus Christ in the pre-earth life, possesses the light of Christ. This light is a power within us which comes from Jesus Christ to assist us in our quest. Another term for the light of Christ is conscience. Everyone on this earth, no matter how little they have been formally exposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ by his authorized texts and messengers, can respond to conscience, or reject it. We all know deep down that we should treat each other fairly, and be merciful to each other whenever possible.

Couples of man and wife can combine their powers to become like our heavenly parents. The ultimate expression of power and authority can only operate when man and woman make an eternal covenant of marriage to act together in all things for good. We all die, but will come back to live with our bodies in the near future, and like Father and Mother in heaven, we will forever possess bodies of flesh and blood which we will use to have joy. Our spirits are incomplete without our bodies. I believe that our Father in Heaven has, in every generation, made us aware of the truths and laws of the universe through face to face personal demonstrations in the pre-earth existence, then again, a second time during this our mortal life through the operations of conscience, from divine angelic messengers sent from the presence of God (God meaning Father and Mother in heaven), and from the messages of prophets.

 

I Believe: Part 3

 

To reiterate,

I believe we lived with our heavenly parents and fellow siblings of the human race for a very long time as intelligent spirits before we came to this earth. I believe that our Father in Heaven created this earth as an aid in our quest to become as he is, given that said quest entails the reception of bodies and the acquisition of experience therein. The pain and joy we experience in this life are critical teaching tools from our heavenly parents.

I believe that our Father in Heaven has created an immense number of planets, many of which he has tailored through specific astronomical arrangements to suit human life. I believe these planets serve the same purpose to others of his children as our earth does for us, as his desires for the complete progress of his children are universal. I believe that our Father in Heaven has power over all operations which affect us, and that he allows us to have the agency to make our own moral choices.

I believe that to make mercy available to us, Father in Heaven directed his most advanced son, a divine being named Jesus Christ, to perform a vicarious atonement in our behalf. I believe that everyone, even those who feel weak unclean or simple, can become like our Father in Heaven as they sincerely attempt to make good choices today, and, when they understand and believe in the role of Jesus Christ, access his assistance.

I believe that our Father in Heaven has made arrangements for the entire human race to eventually overcome physical death in a universal reconstitution (resurrection) of our bodies, and that this will take place at a point in time in the near future. I believe that when this happens, we will continue as intelligent corporal beings indefinitely, just like our Father in Heaven. I believe that the power of intellect and the corporal beauty will be greatly expanded at this time, especially for those who have sought to align their lives with eternal laws.

I believe our families are a prototype of the lifestyle of our Father in Heaven, intended to exist indefinitely and grow exponentially. I believe that sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man woman are not in keeping with the laws of the universe, and that they do not contribute to the progress of our species, nor the individual development of the individual eternal soul. I also believe that celibacy and ideological rejection of marriage and childbearing cut a person off from their potential to become our heavenly parents. I believe that people are best served personally and on a societal level as they adhere to social practices of modest dress, marriage, & childbearing.

I believe our Father in Heaven responds to unprecedented evil in our world by sending us unprecedented truth and power. While I believe that these gifts of truth and power are embodied in and administered through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism), I believe he has good things in store for all people of good will everywhere, regardless of their beliefs. Further, I believe that to assist us in establishing world peace and personal progress, our Father in Heaven will again send Jesus Christ to be king of all earth for 1,000 years, and that this millennium will commence in the very near future, as foretold by the prophets.

Those who elected to follow Lucifer in the pre-earth life are forever disappointed in his inability to deliver on his promises. Lucifer has been cursed by Father for his rebellion. Father participates in the administration of the just laws of the universe. This is what makes him God. If Father were to cease to uphold justice, he would cease to be God. Those who seek joy in ways not in accordance with the eternal laws of the universe seek a thing that can never be. All of those who elected to follow Lucifer elected a false paradigm, and now they suffer the natural consequences thereof. Rebellion against Father in Heaven while in pre-earth life was a very serious and open rebellion against goodness and truth.

When we have finished this short life, God will judge us to see if we have passed the final test of operating righteously without being under his constant supervision. The judgement will expose our character and show if we have again elected goodness, or if we have turned to evil.

In that judgement, he will take into account our circumstances, our abilities, and everything else he can to load all the mercy into our contract that he can, including the help of Jesus Christ which can be accessed by faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end of life while applying the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Holy Bible, and other holy scripture found in The Church of Jesus Christ. Not only do we have access to the words of Jehovah to people of times of old, but we also have, thanks to the never-ending goodness of Father, more revelations applicable to the entire human race which flow to us from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That church is the venue God uses to communicate his will to man on earth. That church bears the title of the name of Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ is the owner of that church. He has sanctioned it, and personally appears to his prophet speakers therein to send universal messages of light truth and hope to the human race.

Those who accept the words of the prophets as found in the church of Jesus Christ will be much better prepared for the judgement of God which is soon to come to each individual. Some core components of the judgement of God will include weather we sought truth, weather we helped others, how we treated our spouse, and how we treated our children, including the attention to individual relationships with each of them.

Because of the central role bodies play in our Father’s plan of happiness, the body is one of the key ways that we can do good in life, or evil. Taking the life of another except in self-defense or righteous defense of nation is a most serious sin, comparable only to the greatest sin called “denying the Holy Ghost”, which essentially means willful rebellion against God after God has revealed himself to you.  The sin next in seriousness is that of adultery, which involves sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and woman lawfully married. This sin frequently involves the murder of babies in the womb, and long-term anguish of spirit as a result of emotional and spiritual ties between two people which become broken, which ties were never meant to be broken. When someone commits their entire body to another person, giving full access to it, it is a holy symbol of how every other part of their lives should also be united. Marriages are intended by God to be effective not only in this life, but in the eternal world to come. Just as Father and Mother in heaven are two people who will never be separated, so are we their children meant to be. We like them are designed to pair up with each other, and remain paired forever. Man and woman are two essential halves of an eternal family. Mankind will never be long term satisfied in attempts to navigate social relationships outside of the context of marriage between man and woman. Further, children are entitled to be reared in a home with a mother and father committed to each other. Sexual misconduct leads to unfavorable circumstances for children, and such brings the wrath of God. Another reason we value marital fidelity is that it is the key venue for developing charity. Marital happiness including the maintenance of a relationship with spouse and children both require self-denial on a regular basis, and for one to confront all of their conscious and subconscious weaknesses. This unique tutelage is the only way to fully develop charity. This does not mean that a single person is not charitable, but it means that no one can reach exaltation until they have passed through the refining trials of family life. For some those refining experiences will not be accessible until a later time known to God, but those who willingly avoid and defame the institution of marriage and parenthood are cowards who unwittingly hold themselves back from progress they were sent to earth to make. Life a river blocked in its progress toward its destination, so does the deliberate procrastination of family creation hold a person back from the ultimate goal of exaltation. Exaltation entails enjoying the character and lifestyle of God, and all power that entails. Well can it be said that parenthood is the fountain of exaltation.

The ultimate outcome of our existence can take several directions.

Followers of Lucifer receive no glory, and remain in a place called outer darkness forever. Among those who made it to earth, only a small few will defect to this depraved state called perdition. The rest of the 2/3 of Father’s children, including everyone who has been born on this earth, will inherit an eternal residence in a kingdom of God forever.

There are 3 such kingdoms, all of which contain joy and glory to varying degrees. The lowest of these is titled the telestial kingdom. It is akin to life on this earth. Those who are assigned residence in the telestial kingdom are those who were willing to live telestial law, no more, no less. The lesser than this is perdition. They tested out of that by electing Jehovah in the pre-earth life, and by not devoting themselves to the ways of Lucifer in this life. The telestial residents are often rebellious and wicked, and must endure a temporary state of suffering as punishment for their evil deeds before they can qualify for residence in the telestial kingdom of glory. There exists a place where our spirits reside between the time of death and the time of the resurrection of the body. Depending on how we lived our lives, that state will either be pleasant, or filled with utmost despair and anguish. The wicked people of earth will live in anguish in this period directly following the death of the body. Another term for this place for spirits while they await the resurrection is the spirit world. The spirit world is on this earth, but cannot be discerned by finite mortal eyes. There exists in the spirit world both a place of suffering or hell, and a place of gladness or paradise. Those who must suffer in this hell are they who, to some degree or other, did not elect Jesus Christ to assist them in payment of the debts they owed from their offenses committed against the laws of the universe as upheld by our Father in Heaven. In addition to payment of debts, a large component of the suffering in hell will be a realization of what they could have had if they had simply chosen to follow the light of Christ. If they had not repeatedly ignored their conscience, and if they had instead chosen to figuratively lay down their weapons of rebellion, the state of their eternal enjoyment could have been so much greater. There exists another group of persons who do not enjoy paradise in the world of spirits: these are the ignorant. These are they who never knew of the plan of Father, never knew of Jehovah or Jesus Christ and his intersession and accompanying laws of baptism and repentance. These ignorant persons who, by no fault of their own, did not have access to eternal truths which could have guided their lives, will be taught the eternal truths, and given the opportunity to receive baptism and the other ordinances needed for access to the highest kingdom of glory. These ignorant persons did have access to conscience like everyone else, but without the guiding principles of true religion, they did not find expression to what they otherwise could have done in life. There exist today on earth in the Church of Jesus Christ, holy temples, wherein living persons assist their dead forefathers to learn of and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The next kingdom of glory which a person may be assigned to is the terrestrial kingdom of glory. This is a place for the good and honorable people of earth. In that kingdom, they will be frequently visited by Jesus Christ, and enjoy the association of each other, and many pleasant blessings from Father.

The next kingdom of glory is the celestial kingdom of glory. To enter this kingdom one must accept the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in His Church, and commit to follow Jesus Christ via baptism into His Church. To advance in that kingdom, one must enter holy temples to receive further training. To reach the highest level of the celestial kingdom wherein one bursts the ceiling and creates their own kingdom, one must be married. When a man marries a woman in the house of God, that marriage is the key to their exaltation, so long as they maintain that marriage in righteousness, including repenting as needed, and obeying the words of God as communicated to them through the Holy Ghost and the prophets in the Church of Jesus Christ. For those who obtain this highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom, there is no end to their glory. They like the Gods who have come before them, sit upon thrones, create worlds, and as Jehovah promised to Abraham, have a never-ending posterity, more numerable than the sands of the sea and starts in the sky. This high glory of the celestial is far surpassing anything found in the lower kingdoms. In every kingdom of God, the basic laws of God are enforced, including the law of chastity, which states that sexual relations are only to be had between man and wife, lawfully wedded. For a marriage to be efficacious in the life to come, and to continue there what was started here, that contract of marriage, like any other contract, must be verified by Father. In the kingdom of Father, only contracts ratified by Father stand. Father is the governor there, and contracts not endorsed and endowed by himself are not valid there. This means that those who were baptized by a man who had not the authority of God will not have a valid recognized baptism, and will thus not be allowed access into the celestial kingdom of God. Further, the celestial kingdom residents who apply for access to the highest glory thereof as had in the marriage scenario, will be denied said advancement if the marriage they had created was not ratified by God. The place that a marriage ratified by God can be obtained is in his holy houses of law and order which we call temples. In and only in temples can eternal marriages not to be severed at the parting of death be performed. The teachings of Father are found in his church, and his church points candidates to his temples. The temple marriage is the only valid marriage because it is the only marriage which is created in the setting of obedience to the laws of God. To be allowed access to the holy temple, a candidate must pay their tithes, must live the law of chastity, must life the health code revealed by God, must obey the 10 commandments as revealed in the book of Exodus, must sustain the prophets leading the church of Jesus Christ, and agree to live other laws of God’s kingdom. If someone is not willing to live the laws of God’s kingdom, they are not willing to enjoy the blessings of God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom is a place of order, and those who will not abide the laws of a certain kingdom, must be demoted to the laws and blessings of the inferior kingdom. Those who reject all of God’s laws defect to perdition. Most people accept the laws of the telestial or celestial kingdom. Few accept the laws of the celestial kingdom, and thus few enjoy the blessings of fully inheriting all things which God has, including the assumption of the very character and role of a God to ones continuing posterity. Because the laws of God are strictly enforced in his kingdoms, and sexual relations are forbidden outside of marriage, and marriage is only accessible to those who abide the many high commitments of the highest glory, the only place that the union of the male and female body is enjoyed is the highest glory of the celestial kingdom of God. This strict limitation further impresses upon our minds the attitude and character of God in relation to the sacredness of the body, and the sacredness of the marriage relation. It follows that the rearing of children in eternity is another privilege reserved for the highest glory of the celestial kingdom, which also impresses upon us the seriousness of the caring for children with which one is blessed in this life. These 3 different kingdoms of glory also bring with them varying levels of enhancement in the resurrection. The higher kingdoms include the most powerful and majestic bodies.

Reader, stand back, and be joyful. Pause for a moment to remember that Father in Heaven loves you. He is YOUR Father. Contrary to the opinion of the followers of Lucifer, Father’s plan can work for YOU, and YOU can succeed therein. Jesus Christ has power sufficient to save your soul from long term misery. He will give you the gift of a resurrected immortal body. Rejoice at how far you have come, and how many blessings you have already qualified for! Fear not, and know that there is no limit to the number of residents that can fit in the celestial kingdom. Space is infinite, and matter can be organized to create more worlds. Let nothing make you afraid, only trust Jesus Christ. Find in prayer to Father the courage you need to start making better choices today. Weep for joy, for wherever you are, whoever you are, Father will hear you, and begin from the moment you bow your head to pray to him, begin to pour out exponentially more blessings upon your head than what he is already pouring upon you day by day. These blessings will include direct pleasures, and indirect pleasures in that he will enable you to be more successful in your righteous endeavors, which will bring great satisfaction and pleasure to your soul. Never give up. You have fought on the right side of truth for eons. Don’t give up just yet. Hold out a little longer, and like the widow who cast in her few pennies at the temple treasury who was mocked for her poverty and inability to give, so do you, give what you can to build God’s kingdom on earth, make every good choice you possibly can, including resting in the Lord, and then you will see the salvation of God. You will again know your Father’s face, and with him enjoy eternal life. This life isn’t just a “test”, it is also, and perhaps more so, a tutelage, a training, an apprenticeship. A large test was pre-mortality. You passed that test, and now have some amount of security to operate in. You have access to the mercy of Jesus Christ! You can make mistakes! It’s like the golden parachute clause in major corporations: some employees are so valuable to the company, that even if they make big mistakes now and then, they are given forgiveness, for their ability to grow the company is so much greater than even the damages they have done. So it is with you, 2/3’s. Everyone born to this earth has proven to Father in pre-moral life that they are a very important player, who won’t be kicked out for little or even big mistakes. However what will go against us is if we stop trying. No matter how long you’ve betrayed your conscience. No matter how many people you’ve let down. No matter how deep the hole you’re in may seem. You can trust Jesus Christ. You can come to his church. You can give your figurative pennies to build your life in a positive direction, including attempts to look beyond yourself and serve others as righteous service opportunities will continue to present themselves to you in this most choice time we call mortality. Yes, agency allows people to start wars and rob each other of bread. But life is still worth it. I’m forever glad that I elected Jesus Christ and chose to come to earth, even though it is hard. Think not that a life of hardship is a sign that you are punished for sin. Yes we all have sin and our lives would be better if we could cut more of that out. But generally speaking, life is supposed to be hard. It was hard for Jesus Christ, who was “rejected in the house of his friends”. Since life includes suffering, lets suffer together rather than alone. Come have joy with us, and share your fun personality and skills. We need you to help us, and we can help you. Let us support each other at church. Further, come have peace with us in the temple. Come learn with us more of who we really are and what we are really capable of. Come see how kind God is to those who are still willing to try. Choose the better part. Choose to believe. I believe.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ As Taught by the Prophets

 

-Jesus the Christ by Talmage says Christ on cross at 9am, then at noon the clouds darken, from 12-3 he is suffering all that happened in Gethsemane but “intensified”. Fetal position is the way we are in our most pain; the cross pain was intensified more than Gethsemane perhaps because he could not be in the fetal position.

-Isaiah says Christ’s face became marred more than any other man.

-Isaiah says they plucked off Christ’s hair.

-the word Gethsemane: shemen is oil, geth is press, it means olive/oil press.

-Matthew 26:38 severe depression; Jesus feels such pain that he feels he is going to die.

-imagine an olive getting crushed by a large rock, this is like what the Atonement was.

-sins don’t bring pleasure, they bring weight consequences, hence the Atonement of Christ had a crushing weight on him.

-D&C 19 says if we repent we won’t suffer; God is saying that he suffered to a greater degree for our sins then we have ever known. Jesus went through hell for us, suffering the pains of a damned soul.

-D&C 76:107 Jesus experiences the fullness of God’s wrath in the Atonement.

-Elder Maxwell said that Jesus is more intelligent than the combined intelligence of the rest of the human race. Where much is given much is required. Abraham speaks of the pre-mortal intelligences, Jesus was the greatest of them all.

–“Thus, such was the torturing pressure of this intense, this indescribable agony, that it burst forth abroad beyond the confines of His body, convulsed all nature and spread throughout all space” (John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, 151–52; Quoted in the Doctrines of the Gospel student manual Ch 9 on the Atonement at https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrines-of-the-gospel-student-manual/chapter-9-the-atonement-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng); Thus we see that the Atonement hurt him so bad it was more than just bodily pain, he experienced all sorts of pain which only a God can to the extent he did.

-Elder Faust said that Jesus was crying in Gethsemane, his tears mingling with his blood.

-Elder Maxell speaks of the angel strengthening Christ in the Atonement being Adam, I believe another source says otherwise, Seth or Abel perhaps.

-Brigham Young taught that when Jesus walked into Gethsemane God cast a veil over Gethsemane, hence Jesus in there would say as we see in Matthew 26 that he thinks he is going to die there. Also Jesus would not have bled if God was with him.

-Jacob says Abraham and Isaac are a similitude of God and Christ in the Atonement, it would perhaps be harder to be the father slaying his son, than the son submitting to the will of the father in all things. Hence Jesus says, “Glory be to the Father”.

-when you study about the Atonement, you get the desire to be nice to everyone and be good. Try it.

-when you understand Christ’s sacrifice more, you’ll have more internal change; like Alma the younger feeling the pains of a damned soul, then having Jesus deliver him, recognizing then and forever the role of Jesus Christ in the Atonement for us.

-when you think of Jesus’ Atonement, you want to not be as flippant about the attitude “I can sin now and repent later”, you want to be more careful about your actions, more thoughtful about what you do.

-when you feel uplifted by Christ, those are the times to make your life decisions, don’t make deceptions in depression times.

-Jesus is the only one who has walked out life path, so trust him have faith in him.

-Jesus was a pre-mortal God without a body, just like the Holy Ghost is currently a God, must be pre-mortal, without a body. Then Jesus condescends, he comes to earth, he is a baby dependent on his mother entirely.

-the angel came to the Christ in the atonement and said perhaps you don’t have to do this but if you don’t all things you created those worlds, animals, humans, plants, etc., go back to inexistence, back to dust. You don’t have to do this; the Father knew you would do it that’s why He sent you. The only way to complete the Father’s will is by doing this.

-Christ wept after healing Lazarus from death perhaps in realizing how much God the Father would do for him, what being “The Son” is all about.

-why does salvation come only through the Son, not the Father? Only the name of Jesus Christ? It’s because Jesus Christ created us.

-the atonement is infinite; in Alma 34:11-12 it says that when one is killed, the life of the murderer is required. AKA, every guilty person must pay. Thus the atonement of Christ had to not just be representative, he had to literally take upon himself the punishment for each and every crime committed. Every debt had to be paid. Every crime had to be punished. Christ stood in the place for all of the murderers not all at once, but one by one. Each beating was mandated for justice to be realized. God is just. “He that ruleth over men must be just” cried the psalmist.

-LDS Guide to the scriptures “ATONE, ATONEMENT”:
See also Blood; Children of Christ; Cross; Crucifixion; Fall of Adam and Eve; Forgive; Gethsemane; Grace; Immortal, Immortality; Jesus Christ; Justification, Justify; Merciful, Mercy; Plan of Redemption; Redeem, Redeemed, Redemption; Remission of Sins; Repent, Repentance; Resurrection; Sacrament; Sacrifice; Salvation; Sanctification; Sons and Daughters of God

To reconcile man to God.
As used in the scriptures, to atone is to suffer the penalty for an act of sin, thereby removing the effects of sin from the repentant sinner and allowing him to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ was the only one capable of making a perfect atonement for all mankind. He was able to do so because of his selection and foreordination in the Grand Council before the world was formed (Ether 3:14; Moses 4:1–2; Abr. 3:27), his divine Sonship, and his sinless life. His atonement included his suffering for the sins of mankind in the Garden of Gethsemane, the shedding of his blood, and his death and subsequent resurrection from the grave (Isa. 53:3–12; Mosiah 3:5–11; Alma 7:10–13). Because of the Atonement, all people will rise from the dead with immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:22). The Atonement also provides the way for us to be forgiven of our sins and live forever with God. But a person who has reached the age of accountability and received the law can receive these blessings only if he has faith in Jesus Christ, repents of his sins, receives the ordinances of salvation, and obeys the commandments of God. Those who do not reach the age of accountability and those without the law are redeemed through the Atonement (Mosiah 15:24–25; Moro. 8:22). The scriptures clearly teach that if Christ had not atoned for our sins, no law, ordinance, or sacrifice would satisfy the demands of justice, and man could never regain God’s presence (2 Ne. 2; 9).
This is my blood, shed for many for the remission of sins: Matt. 26:28;
His sweat was as it were great drops of blood: Luke 22:39–44;
I will give my flesh for the life of the world: John 6:51;
I am the resurrection, and the life: John 11:25;
Christ is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey: Heb. 5:9;
We are sanctified by the shedding of the blood of Christ: Heb. 9;Heb. 10:1–10;
Christ also hath once suffered for sins:1 Pet. 3:18;
The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin:1 Jn. 1:7;
He was lifted up upon the cross and slain for sins:1 Ne. 11:32–33;
Redemption comes to those who have a broken heart and contrite spirit:2 Ne. 2:3–10, 25–27;
He offered himself a sacrifice for sin:2 Ne. 2:7;
The Atonement ransoms men from the Fall and saves them from death and hell:2 Ne. 9:5–24;
It must needs be an infinite atonement:2 Ne. 9:7;
Be reconciled unto God through the Atonement of Christ: Jacob 4:11;
His blood atones for the sins of those who have ignorantly sinned: Mosiah 3:11–18;
Man received salvation through the Atonement: Mosiah 4:6–8;
Were it not for the Atonement, they must unavoidably perish: Mosiah 13:27–32;
He shall atone for the sins of the world: Alma 34:8–16;
God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy: Alma 42:11–30;
I am the God of the whole earth, slain for the sins of the world:3 Ne. 11:14;
I, God, have suffered these things for all: D&C 19:16;
Little children are redeemed through mine Only Begotten: D&C 29:46–47;
Behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin: D&C 45:3–5;
This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten: Moses 5:7;
Through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved: A of F 1:3;”
(See Guide to The Scriptures: Atone, Atonement https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/atone-atonement?lang=eng

 

Oneness of God, Fall of Adam, & Atonement of Christ

(Some of these things are from Robert Millet’s book/lectures Doctrines of the Book of Mormon, they are all based on scripture and modern prophets. More about Millet: he is professor of ancient scripture and emeritus Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. Millet is a Latter-day Saint author and speaker with more than 60 published works on virtually all aspects of Mormonism. Millet co-founded the evangelical-Mormon dialogue.)

-Christ inherited the power of his father; this we can inherit if we are faithful in Christ

-Christ speaks in the first person as though he were the father at times, we call it divine investiture. For example on section of the D&C has Christ speaking where he says by the power of his only begotten son he redeemed the world. He is speaking a message from his father.

-consider that we get a new tongue, the tongue of angels when we live the gospel. Recall that angels speak the words of Christ.

-at one General Conference Elder Bruce R McConkie said that he felt impressed that if Christ were at their meeting he would have said the very same words that the prophet had spoken at that conference.

-in the book of Moses when Moses speaks with God, prophets have clarified that he is speaking with Jesus Christ, and that occasion Christ is speaking with divine investiture, speaking in the first person as the Father, having authority of the Father to speak in his name.

-why divine investiture used at times? To show the total oneness of the Father and the Son. They are separate people, but they work together as one God. They are on the same mission. Christ inherited from the Father all the powers and attributes of the Father, and can go and represent Him at times.

-Christ created us hence he is called the Father. Christ is the Son of the most high God; hence he is called the Son of God. Hence, we see as in Mosiah 15, Christ is both the Father and the Son. He has these two titles. But he is a separate person from God the Father Elohim.

-Jesus Christ is Jehovah, the God of the Old testament, and Elohim is his father, who appears to introduce him at times.

-since the Fall of Adam rarely does God the Father Elohim come to speak directly with mankind. When he does it’s only to introduce his son Jesus Christ and to tell people to hear him.

-James E Talmage in his book Jesus The Christ speaks of many prophets having Elohim and Jehovah appear to them, like happened with Joseph Smith and his first vision in the sacred grove, two persons descend and speak with him, the Father points to the other and says “this is my beloved Son, hear him!”

-The wonder of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we can become one with God the Father and Jesus Christ just like they are one with each other.

-the Old Testament had this doctrine of the Godhead, these three persons who work together as God. In the Book of Mormon the prophet Zenos and Zenoch testified that they are to worship the Father in the name of the Son. We have record of this in the Book of Mormon, though we don’t have those texts in our current Old Testament. In the Book of Mormon it says the record with those prophets’ writings, the brass plates which have a more complete Old Testament record in them, will go to all people. Hence we reason that they are yet to come forth to show the Jews and everyone else that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, and is the Son of Elohim, and these work together as being the God of creation.

– It will become even clearer to people the roles of the members of the Godhead in our salvation, and how indeed, God Himself, even Jehovah came down from his exalted throne, and walked among us. Hence Jesus said to the Pharisees, “before Abraham was, I am”.

-the Atonement of Christ, his great sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane and on Calvary, John Taylor said that it was so painful that it filled the Universe. We can’t comprehend how he was able to do it. He is God. No man could have done it.

-Elder Neil A. Maxwell calls the Atonement of Jesus Christ “intergalactic”.

-Book of Mormon points out that Jesus Christ is not a man, he is a God. It prophecies that despite all he will do among men, they will still consider him a man, and reject him. That is the point- they think he is a man not God.

-when the Book of Mormon says salvation is free, it’s to say that salvation is available. Like when we say, “The bathroom is free.” It’s to say, “the bathroom is available”. You still have to pay the utilities bill to use your bathroom, but it is available should you choose to desire it.

-we must be born again into the kingdom of God

The Fall:

-no one likes to take medication who doesn’t understand that they are sick. The Fall of Adam causes us to need the Atonement of Christ. Without the Fall of Adam there would be no need for the Atonement of Christ.

-the Fall was a positive thing, one prophet called it downward but foreword.

-the garden of Eden was like Disneyland, and Adam and Eve had a mission to do of raising children which they couldn’t accomplish in there. They had to choose for themselves to subject themselves to the difficulties of the circumstances in which they could have children in the telesital world. It was up to them, God didn’t force it on them. God put them in a pleasant state, and they had to make the choice on their own account to

-one prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith if I’m not mistaken, has suggested we read of the Garden of Eden this way, of the trees of the garden thou mayest freely (without consequence) eat. But of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not (freely, without consequence) eat.

-hence it was not such a situation of conflicting commandments from God, it was a situation where God had a mission for mankind, and said in essence said to them, you can do this if you want. It’s going to be hard so I’m going to let you choose for yourselves if you are going to do it. If you choose to do it, you must leave the Garden of Eden and eventually experience death, that is part of the plan.

-the fall was not sexual relations between Adam and Eve, prophets have made that clear.

-people are not accountable until they reach the age of accountability, 8 years old.

-in the Book of Mormon it speaks of how our natures are fallen because of the Fall of Adam- that our natures have become evil continually, see Ether.

-Book of Mormon says that children are saved in Christ. Can a child do bad? Well some children at age 7 have murdered their brother, etc. But while this would be considered sin to other people, to the child of age 7 it is not considered sin, for Christ atones for it. He covers all of the children, and doesn’t hold them accountable.

-while we don’t believe in original sin (having sins at birth), we believe the seeds of such are in us, and that when we grow up we will sin. Everyone sins except for Jesus Christ the God.

-Jesus Christ covers children until the age of accountability, at that point they are capable to choose for themselves whether they will be good or evil.

-D&C says that if parents don’t teach children the gospel of Jesus Christ by age 8, the sin is upon the heads of the parents.

-often in the Book of Mormon it says that we are “lost” because of the Fall of Adam. Lost implies that we don’t know where we are, that we have no family. Then we come to Christ and we are adopted back into the royal family, we take upon us the name of Christ. That is the name of this family. It’s like when the prodigal son returns, a ring is put on his finger showing that he is part of the family, a son of the father, an heir of all the father has.

-there is “the fall of mankind”, Jesus Christ has taken care of that with the Atonement, and then there is “the fall of me”, and I need to take care of that by repentance and baptism and righteous living, the things that Jesus Christ has instructed that we must to merit his mercy.

-Thus we see that we sinful because of our parents, but we are responsible for our own sin, see Article of Faith 2.

Grace

 

-there is an exit as well as an entrance to hell and once the people have learned what they need there they will leave and there will be rejoicing welcoming him into a better state. –James E. Talmage, CR, April 1930, 97
(granted serious consequences exist for ignoring God in this life, like dropping down a kingdom. You won’t remain in hell, but you’ll miss out on the highest heaven. You can’t post pone repentance and qualify for the greatest eternal rewards. For more on that see the discourse “The 7 Deadly Heresies” by Elder Bruce R McConkie. We rejoice in the knowledge that hell is a temporary abode, like a prison sentence, this is a glorious truth of the latter-days! We also caution take the sons of perdition will remain forever in hell, however few of them there are; we also caution that qualifying for a middle kingdom instead of the highest, though it will be better than the lowest, knowing what you could have had but do not have will be a hell in and of itself. Lastly and foremost, rejoice at the grace of Christ, the great helper and giver of gifts! The righteous judge!)

-Those assigned to the Telestial Kingdom can’t progress to the Celestial Kingdom (D&C 76:112)(McConkie “7 Deadly Heresies”)

-sin appears easy, Lucifer is handsome persuasive, easy friendly, getting us trapped inch by inch, drop by drop. April 1967 p66 CR President Kimball

-A man is his own condemner and tormenter, hence the saying they will go into a lake of fire and brimstone. Disappointment of the mind is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire. TPJS, 357

–” Only the obedient are `raised in immortality unto eternal life.‘” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 234.)

-Mercy is not getting in trouble for something we deserve, grace is getting help with something we can’t do. -Robert L Millet

-there is an exit as well as an entrance to hell and once the people have learned what they need there they will leave and there will be rejoicing welcoming him into a better state. –James E. Talmage, CR, April 1930, 97

-Repenting doesn’t deliver us from all suffering; sin brings pain. That is that. But if we repent, we won’t have to suffer the full extent of the consequence of that sin (“Sin and Suffering,“ BYU 1989-1990 Devotional and Fireside Speeches, 149.) .

 

 

Why We Need a Savior: God’s Plan vs. Lucifer’s Tyranny by Elder D. Todd Christofferson (“A Message at Christmas” 2017 BYU Devotional)

 

 

Excerpts from BYU Devotional on Dec. 12, 2017 titled “A Message at Christmas”. I have found this to be one of the most excellent lectures on the plan of salvation.

 

–For the official summary of the lecture by BYU (supposedly going to be updated in the near future to the full text of the speech), and the full audio and video recordings, use this URL: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/d-todd-christofferson_a-message-at-christmas/

 

This is a brilliant lecture including points such as God being the representative of justice, Lucifer’s desire to be a law unto himself (and what that means), mercy defined as justice fulfilled by a third party, the absolute requirement of repentance for salvation.

There has not been a full text released on this yet, here are my notes:
-Why can’t God just save us, he loves us can’t he do anything he wants? Why do we need a Savior? This is an ancient philosophy, Nehor taught that in the end all will be saved, don’t worry about it, God loves everyone so much that everyone will be saved.
However, God is God because he is just.
-If there were no laws with punishments and rewards, our choices would be useless.
We need to know that if we do 1 thing, we get 1 outcome, if another, another.
-Well what of the good person? Obstacle death, and even the best don’t meet all just expectations, and no unclean thing can dwell with God.
-Lucifer didn’t just want slight alteration to the plan, he didn’t want to be the Savior, he wanted to delete the Savior roll from the plan; he wanted to be a law unto himself rather than helping justice and mercy occur. He would change the rules at his will, and nothing would be predictable, things would be changing based on his whims, our choices would become vain without repercussions. He wanted the power and glory without putting in the work.

 

 

-From the BYU summary (not the full text), here is the part about the need of a Savior:
“Then Elder Christofferson shared an experience he had when a long-time member of the church asked him why she needed a Savior if she was a good person. Elder Christofferson admitted he was shocked at her lack of understanding, but he explained that we all need resurrection and redemption. He acknowledged that, asked another way, the woman could have been asking something like, “If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why can’t He just save us all Himself. Why did God need a Savior for us?” Elder Christofferson identified this way of thinking as similar to Nehor the antichrist’s teachings, and the proposition of the devil in the premortal life. If everyone was saved regardless of actions, then there would be no personal growth and no choices. “[The Father’s plan] requires accountability for choices made—otherwise they aren’t really choices. Choice, in turn, requires law, or predictable outcomes,” Elder Christofferson said. “We must be able by a particular action or choice to cause a particular outcome or result and by the opposite choice create the opposite outcome. If actions don’t have fixed consequences, then one has no control over outcomes and choice is meaningless.” Elder Christofferson taught that eternal laws are what make choices and consequences possible. God is a just God and governs according to law. We, His children, are not capable of keeping all the laws and enduring the consequences for incorrect choices. So God created mercy and a Savior, Jesus Christ, to fulfill the requirement of law and to extend mercy to all of us. “So the answer to our question is no, God cannot act any way He pleases to save a person. He must do it in a way that upholds immutable law, and thanks be to God, he has done so by providing a Savior,” Elder Christofferson said.”

 

His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox – Lecture Highlights shorten

 

-the purpose of a child practicing the piano is for the child to change in his ability level

-we are not earning heaven, we are learning heaven. Practicing for it.

-Have I been saved by grace? Absolutely completely and thankfully – yes!

-Have you been changed by grace? Sometimes we can be so excited about grace that we don’t think enough about what comes next.

-Sometimes we are so happy that the debt is paid that we don’t consider why there was a debt in the first place.

-LDS know not only what Jesus has saved us from, but what he has saved us for.

-quoting Brett Sanders, “A life impacted by grace eventually begins to look like Christ’s life.” See also Moroni 7:48.

-LDS view Christ’s suffering for us not only a huge favor, but a huge investment.

-The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can live after we die but that we can live more abundantly (John 10:10).

-The miracle of the Atonement is not just for us to be cleansed, but for us to be transformed (Romans 8).

-Scriptures make it clear that no unclean thing can live with God, but no unchanged thing will even want to.

-Like the boy who hated being at EFY and said, “Get me out of here!”, similarly heaven will not be heaven for those who have not chosen to be heavenly.

-The Judgement bar of Christ won’t be a “Aw, Brad, you missed it by 2 points!” type of situation. Rather we will probably be saying, “Get me out of here!” Knowing Christ’s character he will probably beg us to stay. Beg us to use his Atonement to transform ourselves so that we not only be cleansed, but be changed so that we will want to live in His presence.

-The miracle of the Atonement is so we can not only go home to heaven, but feel at home in heaven.

-Those who don’t want to change are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God, rather they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin.

-Without covenants with Jesus Christ, and the blessing of receiving the Holy Ghost, there would be no way to change. We would be, without these things, left only to our willpower, rather than having access to His power.

-If Jesus didn’t require practice, then we would never become pianists.

-What if you are no good at piano and you hit a lot of wrong notes and it will take you forever to get it right? That is the purpose of practice. We are not expected to be flawless, we are merely expected to keep trying.

-Too many are giving up on the church because they are tired of constantly feeling like they are falling shorty. They don’t understand grace.

-Young women who grow up in the church and have memorized values, then they slip up. They let things go too far, and suddenly they think it is all over. These young women don’t understand grace.

-The young man who grows up wanting to go on a mission, an eagle scout full of morals, then he slips up. “I’ll never do it again,” and then they do it. They say, “This is stupid. I will never do it again.” And then they do it. The guilt is almost unbearable. They don’t dare talk to a bishop. Instead, they hide. They say, “I can’t do this Mormon thing. I’ve tried, and the expectations are just way too high.” So they quit. These young men don’t understand grace.

-“I know returned missionaries who come home and slip back into bad habits they thought were over. They break promises made before God, angels, and witnesses, and they are convinced there is no hope for them now. They say, “Well, I’ve blown it. There is no use in even trying anymore.” Seriously? These young people have spent entire missions teaching people about Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and now they think there is no hope for them? These returned missionaries don’t understand grace.”

-In marriages, “pressures of life mount, and stress starts taking its toll financially, spiritually, and even sexually. Mistakes are made. Walls go up. And pretty soon these husbands and wives are talking with divorce lawyers rather than talking with each other. These couples don’t understand grace.”

-“In all of these cases there should never be just two options: perfection or giving up. When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time.“

-Christ is not waiting at the finish line once we have done “all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). He is with us every step of the way.

-We may receive his grace before, during and after the time when we expend our own efforts” (The Broken Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989], 155). So grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel supply is exhausted. Rather, it is our constant energy source. It is not the light at the end of the tunnel but the light that moves us through the tunnel.

-It is not a finishing touch; it is the Finisher’s touch (see Hebrews 12:2).

-the Saints sing “Grace shall be as your day” that means “as dark as our trials, sins, and mistakes may appear, we can always have confidence in the grace of Jesus Christ. Do we earn a sunrise? No. Do we have to be worthy of a chance to begin again? No. We just have to accept these blessings and take advantage of them.”

-Faithful pioneers knew “The task ahead of them was never as great as the power behind them.”

–sufficient to cover our debt, sufficient to transform us, and sufficient to help us as long as that transformation process takes.

-we do not discover—as some Christians believe—that Christ requires nothing of us. Rather, we discover the reason He requires so much and the strength to do all He asks (see Philippians 4:13). Grace is not the absence of God’s high expectations. Grace is the presence of God’s power (see Luke 1:37).

-Elder Maxwell said “to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the Kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short. . . .

. . . This feeling of inadequacy is . . . normal. There is no way the Church can honestly describe where we must yet go and what we must yet do without creating a sense of immense distance. . . .

. . . This is a gospel of grand expectations, but God’s grace is sufficient for each of us.” [CR, October 1976, 14, 16; “Notwithstanding My Weakness,” Ensign, November 1976, 12, 14]

Don’t look for escapes and excuses. Look for the Lord and His perfect strength. Don’t search for someone to blame. Search for someone to help you. Seek Christ, and, as you do, I promise you will feel the enabling power we call His amazing grace

full text at http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1966

 

Christ Symbols in Animal Sacrifice of the Law of Moses

I understand that many, including myself, are hurt when animals are killed. I want to offer some explanations for why this took place in The Law of Moses. If you’re interested in more info on a plant based diet, particularly a perspective of church leaders and other great scientists who all discourage the use of meat etc., see  “Discovering the Word of Wisdom” by Jane Birch. Here we will look at animal sacrifice and the law of Moses.

-There is no animal which God will not raise from the dead! God will raise all animals from the dead! If he wants to take the life of an animal, a lesser intelligence, to illustrate a critical teaching to the higher intelligences which they could not get any other way, the understanding of Jesus Christ, then it is his power to do so. He created all creatures. Death is come upon all of them. Life, also, is come upon all of them. In the resurrection, even they shall rise. An animal is going to die weather by getting eaten, or starvation, or the pains of old age. If God wants to slay it on an altar, it’s just as well. God not only created the animals, but he created you also. So don’t complain about how he chooses to do things. We are little children trying to understand the workings of a parent. Eventually all doubt as to why God chose to do things this way will be removed from us, and all the facts will be before us, and we will wonder why we were ever so skeptical of our loving Father in Heaven.
(references showing animals to be resurrected, see Prophecy key to the future by Crowther, and the Book of Mormon states it plainly)

-Another idea is that learning about God’s sacrifice for mankind via the animal sacrifice symbols was hard to lose those animals, but it’s even worse to lose a human soul, which would occur if people forgot about God’s role in their salvation. It’s so critical that people understand, that we are doing something dramatic, killing an animal, to try and get them to understand. There are higher and lower life forms. The highest life forms are human beings. It is worse to lose the soul of a person than the life of an animal.

-An idea Dr. Jordan Peterson gives is that killing an animal was showing that you were serious about keeping your commitment. Sacrifice always accompanies devotion/dedication. Today we have few to no symbols for showing serious commitment.

-The following is an excerpt from a brilliant address on this subject, the why of ancient biblical animal sacrifice, from Elder Holland in an address titled “Behold the Lamb of God” (2019, April General Conference). The full text is available in text video and audio: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2019/04/28holland?lang=eng

“Looking up from water’s edge, past the eager crowds seeking baptism at his hand, John, called the Baptist, saw in the distance his cousin, Jesus of Nazareth, striding resolutely toward him to make a request for that same ordinance. Reverently, but audible enough for those nearby to hear, John uttered the admiration that still moves us two millennia later: “Behold the Lamb of God.”1

It is instructive that this long-prophesied forerunner to Jesus did not call Him “Jehovah” or “Savior” or “Redeemer” or even “the Son of God”—all of which were applicable titles. No, John chose the earliest and perhaps most commonly recognized image in the religious tradition of his people. He used the figure of a sacrificial lamb offered in atonement for the sins and sorrows of a fallen world and all the fallen people in it.

Please indulge me in recalling just a little of that history.

After expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve faced a devastating future. Having opened the door to mortality and temporal life for us, they had closed the door to immortality and eternal life for themselves. Due to a transgression they had consciously chosen to make in our behalf, they now faced physical death and spiritual banishment, separation from the presence of God forever.2 What were they to do? Would there be a way out of this plight? We are not certain just how much these two were allowed to remember of the instruction they received while still in the garden, but they did remember they were to regularly offer for a sacrifice unto God a pure, unblemished lamb, the first male born of their flock.3

Later an angel came to explain that this sacrifice was a type, a prefiguration of the offering that would be made in their behalf by the Savior of the world who was to come. “This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father,” the angel said. “Wherefore, … thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.”4 Fortunately, there was going to be a way out and a way up.

In the premortal councils of heaven, God had promised Adam and Eve (and all the rest of us) that help would come from His pure, unblemished Firstborn Son, the Lamb of God “slain from the foundation of the world,”5 as the Apostle John would later describe Him. By offering their own little symbolic lambs in mortality, Adam and his posterity were expressing their understanding of and their dependence upon the atoning sacrifice of Jesus the Anointed One.6 Later, the wilderness tabernacle would become the setting for this ordinance and, after that, the temple that Solomon would build.

Unfortunately, as a symbol of genuine repentance and faithful living, this ritualistic offering of unblemished little lambs didn’t work very well, as so much of the Old Testament reveals. The moral resolve that should have accompanied those sacrifices sometimes didn’t last long enough for the blood to dry upon the stones. In any case, it didn’t last long enough to preclude fratricide, with Cain killing his brother Abel in the first generation.7

With such trials and troubles going on for centuries, no wonder the angels of heaven sang for joy when, finally, Jesus was born—the long-promised Messiah Himself. Following His brief mortal ministry, this purest of all Passover sheep prepared His disciples for His death by introducing the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, a more personal form of the ordinance that had been introduced just outside of Eden. There would still be an offering, it would still involve a sacrifice, but it would be with symbolism much deeper, much more introspective and personal than the bloodletting of a firstborn lamb. To the Nephites, after His Resurrection, the Savior said of this:

“Ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood. …

“… Ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost. …

“… Therefore repent, … and be saved.”8

My beloved brothers and sisters, with the exciting new emphasis on increased gospel learning in the home, it is crucial for us to remember that we are still commanded to “go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day.”9 In addition to making time for more home-centered gospel instruction, our modified Sunday service is also to reduce the complexity of the meeting schedule in a way that properly emphasizes the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as the sacred, acknowledged focal point of our weekly worship experience. We are to remember in as personal a way as possible that Christ died from a heart broken by shouldering entirely alone the sins and sorrows of the whole human family.

Inasmuch as we contributed to that fatal burden, such a moment demands our respect.”

 

The Holy Ghost as taught by the Prophets

 

 

–“The gift of the Holy Ghost … quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being” (Key to the Science of Theology, 9th ed. [1965], 101). (Quoted in talk by Elder Perry, Conf. Report Apr. 1997, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1997/04/that-spirit-which-leadeth-to-do-good?lang=eng)

-A more expanded text of the above text, “He is an intelligent being, in the Image of God, possessing every organ, attribute, sense, sympathy, and affection that is possessed by God Himself. But these are possessed by man, in his rudimental state, in a subordinate sense of the word. Or, in other words, these attributes are in embryo, and are to be gradually developed. They resemble a bud, a germ, which gradually develops into a bloom and then, by progress, produces the mature fruit after its own kind. The Gift of the Holy Ghost adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections and adapts them by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to give health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.

In the presence of such persons (who have been thus affected by It), one feels to enjoy the light of their countenance, as the genial rays of a sunbeam. Their very atmosphere diffuses a thrill, a warm glow of pure gladness and sympathy of Spirit. No matter if the parties are strangers, entirely unknown to each other, each will be apt to remark in his own mind, and perhaps exclaim, when referring to the interview- “Oh, what an atmosphere encircles that stranger! How my heart thrilled with pure and holy feelings in the presence of this person. What confidence and sympathy he inspired. His countenance and spirit gave me more assurance than a thousand written recommendations, or introductory letters.” Such is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and such are its operations, when received through the lawful channel-the Divine, Eternal Priesthood.”

(Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, pp. 101- 103)

-“It is a waste of time to speculate in relation to his jurisdiction. We know what has been revealed and that the Holy Ghost, sometimes spoken of as the Holy Spirit, and Comforter, is the third member of the Godhead, and that he, being in perfect harmony with the Father and the Son, reveals to man by the spirit of revelation and prophecy the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our great duty is so to live that we may be led constantly in light and truth by this Comforter so that we may not be deceived by the many false spirits that are in the world.

I have never troubled myself about the Holy Ghost whether he will sometime have a body or not because it is not in any way essential to my salvation. He is a member of the Godhead, with great power and authority, with a most wonderful mission which must be performed by a spirit. This has satisfied me without delving into mysteries that would be of no particular benefit.” ( Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56), 39.)

-“In this dispensation, at least, nothing has been revealed as to [The Holy Ghost’s] origin or destiny; expressions on these matters are both speculative and fruitless.( Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 359. GL direct link)

–“The gift of the Holy Ghost … quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being” (Key to the Science of Theology, 9th ed. [1965], 101). (Quoted in talk by Elder Perry, Conf. Report Apr. 1997, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1997/04/that-spirit-which-leadeth-to-do-good?lang=eng)

-A more expanded text of the above text, “He is an intelligent being, in the Image of God, possessing every organ, attribute, sense, sympathy, and affection that is possessed by God Himself. But these are possessed by man, in his rudimental state, in a subordinate sense of the word. Or, in other words, these attributes are in embryo, and are to be gradually developed. They resemble a bud, a germ, which gradually develops into a bloom and then, by progress, produces the mature fruit after its own kind. The Gift of the Holy Ghost adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections and adapts them by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to give health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.

In the presence of such persons (who have been thus affected by It), one feels to enjoy the light of their countenance, as the genial rays of a sunbeam. Their very atmosphere diffuses a thrill, a warm glow of pure gladness and sympathy of Spirit. No matter if the parties are strangers, entirely unknown to each other, each will be apt to remark in his own mind, and perhaps exclaim, when referring to the interview- “Oh, what an atmosphere encircles that stranger! How my heart thrilled with pure and holy feelings in the presence of this person. What confidence and sympathy he inspired. His countenance and spirit gave me more assurance than a thousand written recommendations, or introductory letters.” Such is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and such are it’s operations, when received through the lawful channel-the Divine, Eternal Priesthood.”

(Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, pp. 101- 103)

-“It is a waste of time to speculate in relation to his jurisdiction. We know what has been revealed and that the Holy Ghost, sometimes spoken of as the Holy Spirit, and Comforter, is the third member of the Godhead, and that he, being in perfect harmony with the Father and the Son, reveals to man by the spirit of revelation and prophecy the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our great duty is so to live that we may be led constantly in light and truth by this Comforter so that we may not be deceived by the many false spirits that are in the world.

I have never troubled myself about the Holy Ghost whether he will sometime have a body or not because it is not in any way essential to my salvation. He is a member of the Godhead, with great power and authority, with a most wonderful mission which must be performed by a spirit. This has satisfied me without delving into mysteries that would be of no particular benefit.” ( Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56), 39.)

-“In this dispensation, at least, nothing has been revealed as to [The Holy Ghost’s] origin or destiny; expressions on these matters are both speculative and fruitless.( Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 359. GL direct link)

 

Chapter: Scriptural Serpent Symbol : Christs Truth & Satan’s Imitation

 

 

 

-Moses lifted up such as a type of Christ in the wilderness for people to look to it and live

-used to have legs for it was given him a curse to go on his belly. He would not be on his belly already if that was not the case. Although, this may all be symbolic.

-women naturally have a fear of snakes. An enmity between them and snakes.

-type of Christ which Satan is subverting; God creates, Satan imitates.

–2Ne24:29 Fiery flying serpent=type of Christ footnote

–Ogden OT vol. 1 pg43 and Moses 4:10-11

-counterfeit symbol used by Satan

-Matt.10:16 serpent is wise, and disciples commanded to be wise as such

-Quetzalcoatl the white feathered flying serpent possibly Christ appearing to those of ancient Americas in his glory, and them associating it with the serpent symbol.

 

 

Chapter: Touching a Hot Stove: Everybody’s Doing It! And Other Ridiculous Excuses We Use – Excerpt from Brad Wilcox

 

The following are thoughts from The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox. He takes the sin is touching a hot stove analogy to a splendid level.

-If you touch of hot stove your instincts tell you to take your hand off so that you don’t get hurt worse. Consider that touching this hot stove is like sinning. When you sin do you say things which are really quite absurd? Let’s compare this to the stove. You could say:

I’m afraid if I take my hand off I won’t be able to keep it off.

I’m only feeling pain because of my Mormon culture.

Just one touch won’t hurt. I deserve this.

I was born with the desire to touch the stove.

It’s my parents fault, they’re the ones who bought the stove.

I just need to adjust to the burning rather than try to overcome it.

I need to become excommunicated so I don’t hurt when I touch the stove.

No one told me touching me stove was bad.

It may hurt but at least I’m touching it with someone I love.

It’s not like it’s totally wrong it’s a gray area.

Everybody else is touching it.

I’ll touch it if I want to it’s my right no one else is going to tell me what to do.

Stove, what stove? I don’t see any stove.

I just don’t care anymore, I’m numb to it.

I know it’s wrong but I will move my hand tomorrow.

You can’t go without touching the stove all the time.

I’ve blown it now I might as well touch it more.

Those who don’t touch are so old fashioned.

At least it’s just my hand and not my whole face.

How will I know it hurts unless I touch it myself.

At least the other stove touchers accept me and don’t judge.

There are others who touch it more than I do.

If God didn’t want me to touch the stove he would not have given me a hand.

Brad continues with a few reminders about responsibility for sin:

-Excuses can’t help us the way God can, and they certainly can’t love us.

-Alma says don’t excuse yourself in the least because of your sins.

-Sin can become an acquired appetite, sometimes even stronger than hunger.

Sin even when wrapped in the tentacles of addiction is always a choice.

President Boyd K. Packer taught that it is contrary to the law of heaven for any soul to be locked into compulsory behavior with no way out.

 

King Benjamin’s Sermon: A Manual for Discipleship by Elder Neal A. Maxwell – Lecture Highlights

 

 

Maxwell looks at various aspects of Benjamin, one would think that he knew him personally. Maxwell uses knowledge of what makes a society and shows that Benjamin had all those aspects of leadership. Some of those can be taken from textual implications.

-a focus on spiritual over political, even though both are essential, and large parts of his life.

-how teach your children to not lust for power? Show them.

-discipline your children or they won’t have faith like Eli’s sons.

-Benjamin tells it like it is, telling the future and the details of how men will treat religion; Maxwell includes examples from Greek and modern secularism to show time and again the secularization of society.

-professionals telling when War will and won’t be are often wrong; only God knows!

-pray to know what are little matters, and what are big matters (*this could save the soul, pointing to correct action)

-those who are honorable but not consecrated wholly may even be happy, BUT THEY WON’T BE FULFILLED. (*here is the motivation to wake up early, to push ourselves, etc.)

-a large rebuke of who won’t give their all; if you don’t know Jesus, you won’t serve him, and you won’t care about what’s important in this life. (*thank God for a prophet who gives large rebukes)

-he lets us know that we aren’t to be consumed in our hobbies; (*no proud man can read this and walk away unaffected, neither the humble, but the humble has joy in the progress already made, whereas the proud are tempted to curse God and die. )

-when we see someone so very weak, we think to always tell them to toughen up, but we are so weak to God, yet he comforts us, so likewise we should comfort one another.

-“How difficult it is to teach the natural man, who comprehends nothing more than that which he sees with the natural eye! . . . Talk to him about angels, heavens, God, immortality, and eternal lives, and it is like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal to his ears; it has no music to him; there is nothing in it that charms his senses, soothes his feelings, attracts his attention, or engages his affections, in the least.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses (18 December 1859) 1:2; see also Discourses of Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 260.)

-Alma 38:12 sums up missionary rules and Apostle rules.

-give people needed praise and recognition. Clothe people in “the garment of praise” (Isaiah 61:3).

-you may want to garden so you won’t wear yourself out in discipleship, and so you have unhurried time to ponder.

Deferential Jesus said:

“There is none good but one, that is, God” (Matthew 19:17).
“My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16).
“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19)

 

 

A Nine Part Saga of Earth & Eternity

7 episode drama – 9 if add in prequal sequel:

 

(list some key events of each)

 

 

  1. Prequel: premortal and creation
  2. 1 first thousand years Adam
  3. 2nd thousand years
  4. 3rd thousand years
  5. 4th thousand years
  6. 5th thousand years
  7. 6th thousand years
  8. 7th thousand years: signs and terr millen
  9. Sequel: beyond the 7k yrs: the celestial

 

On Situational Ethics: Oh No You Don’t!

 

Sections:

  1. A GREAT CHANGE HAS COME OVER US,WE HAVE FORGOTTEN GOD’S LAW
  2. IT’S NOT RIGIDITY, IT’S FAITHFULNESS
  3. WE ARE NOT RESPONCIBLE FOR THE CHOICES OF OTHERS, ONLY FOR OUR OWN
  4. DON’T ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL
  5. JUST BECAUSE IT’S LEGAL DOESN’T MAKE IT OK
  6. REVELATIONS FROM GOD NEVER CONTRADICT ETERNAL LAWS
  7. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY
  8. ZION OR BUST
  9. A PRECAUTIONARY NOTE ON MERCY
  10. FINAL THOUGHTS: PASS THE TEST OF LIFE VALIENTLY

 

A GREAT CHANGE HAS COME OVER US, WE HAVE FORGOTTEN GOD’S LAW:

 

Since when did we become a bunch of Communists and socialists?

Since when did we forget that we have made solemn covenants with God to obey his laws at all hazard?

 

Since when did we throw away our moral code of commitment to the laws of God in place of convenience?

 

If you had to do something bad but it gave you something good would you do it?

 

Does the end justify the means?

 

There was once a woman in a prisoner of war camp. Her husband and children were back at home. There was a rule in that camp that if a woman became pregnant she would get to go home; well, there were military officers who could accommodate the means to that end. Should she sleep with the guards to get pregnant so she could return home to her husband and children? What would you do? What if it was your spouse? This woman chose to become pregnant and she was in fact sent home. This woman made the wrong choice. Perhaps she was ignorant of the laws of God and God will have to take that into account, but among those who know the laws of God, we know this is strictly forbidden. The husband and children of this woman would have been better off having her as a legacy of right choices who died than having her come home by questionable means. Yes the children need a mother but if she was to die the husband could have married another woman and given the children the mother they need in that way.

 

As I said, this woman may not have been familiar with the laws of God. If not, she may have been doing what seemed best to her. But what happens if everyone does this? What happens if we have societies of people doing what they think is best instead of obeying Gods laws? If everyone is willing to trade sexual favors and other debaucheries for freedom and convenience, what then? Then we would have a society run by manipulators who take advantage of that. We need to stand up and show people that they can’t have power from abuse. We live in a corrupt world, but we do not need to add to the corruption.

 

Gods laws will, at the last day, be seen by all as the one and only great moral code by which societies can thrive long term. Truly Gods ways are the most compassionate and beneficial for the human race. If we want to have pity on the widow and orphan, if we want peace on earth and to meet the needs of them that want, we must go about it in the Lords way. His ways are higher than ours. When our plans and methods for building utopia go against his revealed word, they will, in time, prove to be inferior and unsustainable.

 

Even for those without formal religious training and religious backgrounds, everyone has a conscience. This is the light of Christ, and it is given to every person that comes into the world. If we ignore it, it can cease to show us the difference between right and wrong. No matter how ignorant or neglected, there is a level of accountability each person has to God due to the conscience which God gives everyone. When societies in mass start rejecting conscience in favor of lesser ways, God mercifully sends his judgments to help societies start over, lest the rising generation not be given a fair chance to live a wholesome and happy life.

 

I will note here that little children are innocent before God, as the faculties for discernment between good and evil are not yet sufficiently developed. Scripture gives the age of 8 as the age in which accountability to God begins. Children even younger than 8 need to be taught to make good choices rather than bad ones (as they are capable of making bad choices and do need to be punished for such), but it is not until a certain age that they are their own agents, and therefore accountable to God for those choices as being ones that stem out of their chosen personality rather than common errors of youth.

 

 

IT’S NOT RIGIDITY, IT’S FAITHFULNESS: 

 

Some call electing death before compromise as being rigid, but the faithful know that God requires brave people who will keep his laws. The New testament specifically says that if we will not confess Christ to others, Christ will not confess us to his father. In other words, denying one’s convictions results in being denied access to the kingdom of God.

 

History is replete with examples of people who stood up for what’s right despite of dire consequences. Foxes Book of The Martyrs relates accounts of thousands of most noble Protestants who saw it better to die than to betray their religious commitments. Both they and their families suffered greatly, but to them, it was worth it. An eternal award awaited them, and surely it does.

 

Communist school programs ask children questions which force them into a corner to choose the lesser of two evils without presenting the right option as even being a choice. These scenarios are not only unrealistic but they fail to examine all of the possibilities. It is a doctrine of my faith as recorded by Nephi that God will always provide a way to keep his commandments. The New testament also reads that there is no trial come to us except that which is common to man, and with the temptation God will provide a way to escape.

 

Sometimes death is simply the right choice when compared to these extremes suggested by the communists.

 

 

WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHOICES OF OTHERS, ONLY FOR OUR OWN:

 

 

The 2nd Article of Faith states that we will be punished only for our own sins, and not for Adams transgression.

 

We are not responsible for other people’s actions. If someone threatens you saying that they will kill themselves if you do not comply this does not put any responsibility upon you for their death.

 

Working with others in the mental health field requires firm boundaries. If someone needs to talk to you about their suicidal thoughts, you accommodate them as much as you can, but at some point you have to say to them ‘look I’m sorry you’re going through this and I really hope you don’t do it but I’ve got to go to work, I wish you well.’ You have an obligation to your family and your employer to show up at work.

 

If someone were shamed of their ugliness and was about to jump off a bridge because of that, would you beg with them telling them of their immaculate beauty? No, but you could say something without lying, such as pointing out the beauty of their eyes smile and soul. It is not your job to give others false hope that certain mortal ailments will be resolved before the recompense of the great resurrection when all things become fair and blessed.

 

 

 

DON’T ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL:

 

 

To ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ is to do something bad in order to get a good result. However, this is not necessary, as I will here demonstrate.

 

A righteous parent allows its child to experience natural consequences. If a parent repeatedly robs its child of natural consequences, the sin of the child is put on the head of the parent. Youth who chose to use drugs, who chose to assault the innocent, who steal, and other severe and illegal behaviors, should be punished to the full extent of the law.

 

What if there was a medication that could save your child’s life but it costed a billion dollars? Would you steal the money or steal the drug to save your child’s life? The morally correct thing to do would be no, you do not do it. It’s better to let your child die than to steal. Try to find another way to help the child, but do not break God’s laws, lest you contribute to the downfall of the whole society.

 

 

JUST BECAUSE IT’S LEGAL DOESN’T MAKE IT OK:

 

 

If you have a child who would benefit from a certain political policy accommodating a certain medical condition or something, should you vote for that policy even with the knowledge that it would hurt thousands of others by unduly increasing their taxes etc.? In other words should you harm the many to benefit the one? The correct answer is no you should not. Voters have a moral duty to chose what is best for the most people.

 

We should not look to the government to provide for all of our needs and wants, however legitimate those needs may be. An individual robbing someone is as bad as a group of people getting together and voting to rob someone by law. Enforcement of corrupt law is mob activity and is morally incorrect.

 

When we find ourselves in a situation where the laws are corrupt we should seek by peaceful means to change those laws through the political process. When corruption becomes extreme and petitions have been ignored, the action taken by the American revolutionaries is a typical example of just resistance. This is not to be confused with the French revolution where in they chopped off heads of random citizens etc.

 

 

REVELATIONS FROM GOD NEVER CONTRADICT ETERNAL LAWS:

 

 

The question is raised what would you do if you got personal revelation to do something that is not typically allowed? It is true that some of God’s standards may seem strange to contemporary society but in none of God’s relations has he ever contradicted his eternal laws of justice.

 

In the case of plural marriage it was a revelation which opened access to one of the laws of God. This is not currently operable.

 

In the case of Nephi and Laban, The Book of Mormon gives the reasons why this took place. Laban was a tyrant monarch directly standing in the way of God’s plan. His policies were directly resulting in an untold number of people perishing in unbelief.

 

As for the Israelites being commanded to slay the Canaanites, God did not want Israel to enjoy the spoils of these deeply wicked people. God was sending a message that all of the works of the evildoers will be utterly cut off, and that all time invested in evil is an utter waste.

 

Why does God have people participate in carrying out his judgments at times? Because he is training us to be involved in justice. He does this because we aren’t his pets or his slaves, we are his children, and it’s about time that we start learning the family business.

 

God is the keeper of life and death. It resides with him to decide when to give life and when to take it away, and people carrying out God’s will are not to blame.

 

People need to be careful that they’re not acting on false revelation and serving false spirits, such as was the case in the Protestant Reformation when many Christians were tortured and killed in most brutal ways. Surely those carrying out and issuing such orders are both under condemnation. It is better to walk away from such evil at the hazard of one’s life than to be a participant in it.

 

We are also aware that the Hebrew tongue in which the bible was written has two separate words for kill and murder, and the one existing in the ten commandments is the word for murder.

 

Self-defense, defense of one’s family, and defensive one’s country, even to the shedding of blood, is just, true, and scriptural. Here I am referring to someone directly attacking your immediate life. It is not the Lord’s way to lay down and die in front of attackers. His way is to defend oneself. There are rare exception to this when commanded. The holy constitution of the United States insists that we have an inborn right to arms to defend ourselves. All of this being said, it in no way justifies using corrupt means to preserve life.

 

Yes there are some rare situations in which it is appropriate and Christian to kill. For more possible reasons visit this my other article “Why God Sometimes Instructs His People To Kill”  http://richardsonstudies.com/2018/01/27/reasons-god-people-kill-others/

 

 

THERE IS ANOTHER WAY:

 

 

The question of what is to be done when a person is at a railway station at a switch, and if the train goes one way it kills three people, and if it goes the other way it kills one person: If you choose to switch the rail car to the direction of the one, you’re not guilty for the death of that one, you’re only responsible for the salvation of the three. This being said, the railway situation is a bogus situation. It rarely occurs in real life, and as stated earlier, God would not tempt us in a situation above that which we are able to bear. The secular humanist also fails to recognize the priesthood option, where in the man of God can call down the powers of heaven to stop the train altogether.

 

In the book Enders game by Latter-Day Saint author Orson Scott Card, the main protagonist Ender kills another boy as he is defending himself, and in an attempt to stop people who bully him once and for all. Ender doesn’t realize his assault results in the death of the bully. Those observing Ender applaud him for doing this, saying that it was more about WHY he did what he did not WHAT he did. Well, I disagree with this. Though Ender was up against great corruption, there are other options he could have used, less lethal force, and at the end of the day, he may have had to endure some injustice. The bullies were bullying him and he reacted so forcefully that he killed them. (Now perhaps Ender had some level of innocence as he may have been truly unaware of the lethality of his actions, but the point still stands). A just end does not justify unjust means. We do not want a communist utopia where the leaders are ruthless killers. The book The Giver does a decent job of illustrating the flaws of such a utopia.

 

In Les Misérables by Victor Hugo a man steals a loaf of bread to feed his starving family. Would you do this? The correct answer is no, you should not. There are other ways to feed your family such as work, and even begging. But it is better to die hungry than to live a thief. Now were the French police justified in giving him such a large sentence for the crime? No. This being said, our current stance on crime could use to be much more strict.

 

Christ is the way, and his ways, being higher than ours, are often considered foolishness to men’s understanding. But the understanding of the prudent shall be hid when compared to the might of God’s law. God upholds justice, and mercy does not rob justice one whit. All crimes must be paid for. For those who agree to enter into covenant with Christ to obey his laws, Christ pays the debt of justice to eternal law which we have all incurred to one degree or another. Praise forever be to the lamb of God, who cleanses us and empowers us to become strong enough to obey all eternal law like He does!

 

 

ZION OR BUST:

 

 

It is better to live a life noble to the laws of God than a life of compromise. I would rather see my children martyred for standing up for Christ than to see them live to a ripe old age without a firm testimony of the gospel of Christ the Lord. As a father and husband I would rather serve my wife and children by showing them the importance of God’s laws even at the cost of my life than serving them with my company throughout their lives if it be not a high standard of moral convictions to the laws of God.

 

People who understand religious truth know that God’s ways are higher than man’s ways. They know that this life is a short time. It is a test to see if we will do all things whatsoever the Lord God will command as is stated in the book of Abraham. Some people live on this earth a long time, some people live on it only a short time, some people leave behind wealth, some people leave behind poverty, but what matters is whether or not we leave behind a testimony of the gospel of Christ, having stood firmly to it.

 

If a gun was pointed to your head and you were given the option to deny your faith and return home to your family to care for them in their poverty, or to speak the truth of your faith and die, which would you chose? In the name of God, stand up for your faith! Your wife and children, worlds without end, would rather be the wife and children of a righteous martyr than the wife and children of a coward.

 

I would sooner kill the man who threatened my life at the extent of my faith then to deny my faith. The scripture is clear when it states that to deny the Holy Ghost is a sin so grave that it cannot be forgiven in this life or the next. The greatest sin is to deny the Holy Ghost. When we deny our faith in exchange for our lives etc., I suggest we are in that instance denying the Holy Ghost which has born witness to us the truthfulness of our convictions about God and God’s law. (FYI The second greatest sin is to shed innocent blood. The third is to be unchaste with women.) May we not risk offense toward God.

 

 

 

 

A PRECAUTIONARY NOTE ON MERCY:

 

 

In this essay we have been discussing weighty matters such as whether we should keep the law of chastity, not steal, and not deny one’s faith when pressed into difficult situations. It should be noted that there is some flexibility in the more minor affairs. God has given each person agency to chose between good and evil. Sometimes we have to make a judgement call when things are uncertain. I recently watched “Gifted Hands” about a brilliant rags to riches neuro surgeon named Ben Carson. When we was still in training, a man needed urgent surgery, but not surgeons could be reached. It was a choice for Ben: should he do the surgery, however illegal, to save the man’s life? Well he did, and it was the right thing to do.

I talked about how those ignorant of Gods laws are held to a different standard. I would like to note that even those acquainted with Gods laws need to be looked upon with mercy. Were I in the dire situations mentioned in this essay, what I presented is the way I would chose to act. We tend to be harder on ourselves than we are on others, and this is as it should be, for we never know all the details of another person’s situation. When they do and don’t know, what state of mental and physical health they are in, how strong their testimony is, etc. We can fairly well discern what the optimal thing to do for most circumstances is, but we withhold judgement of others, as this is the role of Jesus Christ. Only He has all the needed details to judge righteously. We should judge inasmuch as it concerns us, but we should not attempt to judge the eternal salvation of others. Christ said we must judge righteously, and not throw pearls before swine. But being wise and careful is not the same as hating and condemning.

Before we came to earth, we knew we would make mistakes. The atonement was provided from before the foundation of the world so that we could indeed go forward with confidence. To use the piano allegory, we could practice without fearing striking a wrong key occasionally. Eventually we would learn to play flawlessly, but en route, we would make many errors. This being said, we must be careful when it comes to life death and moral questions. We are on this earth for a reason, and preserving life must be a top concern. We don’t do immoral things to preserve life, but we do EVERYTHING we possibly can. The question of war times and war-like scenarios comes up. ‘All is fair in war’ they say. There is perhaps some flexibility in how we discern what is best. As for doing things typically forbidden, you better be DARN sure that revelation came from God, as your soul is at stake. If you’re going to steal that bread to extend the life of your child, you better turn yourself in thereafter to pay the debt.

 

One Porter Rockwell story comes to mind where a guy was coming to town to kill him and the guy said “are you Porter Rockwell?” and Porter said “no but these are his dogs” and while the guy was getting ready to kill the dogs, Porter killed the guy. Brigham Young said Porter Rockwell is the most honest man he ever met. I imagine the people who are coming to kill Porter were coming to do so unlawfully, and his course of action was the only way to preserve his life. We spoke of this earlier, self-defense.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS: PASS THE TEST OF LIFE VALIENTLY

 

The scriptures do say this life is a test and that the battle is not against flesh and blood but against false philosophies etc. This being said, we should be very brave and willing to suffer greatly and even die for the truth.

The Doctrine and Covenants states that those who are deceived get the second Glory. It’s those who are valiant in their testimony that get the highest glory. God is merciful to everyone, but it’s only the faithful to get the highest glory. My understanding is that this means for those of us who know better, we really do need to stand up for what’s right. The lower kingdoms of glory are fantastic places, and that is an expression of God’s mercy, but we want the highest glory. The Christian Martyrs knew that they were receiving a crown of glory for standing up for the faith even when people were going to kill them for it.

 

Brad Wilcox gave a fine lecture titled “His Grace is Sufficient” where he talks about the abundant role of grace in the plan of salvation. You’ll certainly want to review it. There’s also a talk in the October 2020 general conference which made it quite clear that God not only expects us to try, but expects us to achieve. And not just in the next life, but in this life. He said this is evidenced by those who have attained many Christlike attributes in this life, and if they can do it, so can we.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Poem Contemplating Eternity

 

Are we supposed to harness what we like or to find the correct things to like? I suppose a little bit of both is true we need to align our moral standards with the gospel while pursuing our talents and hobbies and interests; one of the Divine things that we need to do is find happiness.

 

In the beginning there were unorganized intelligence, then we became organized. That process goes on to this day. We want to be more organized intelligence; I see that there is no excuse and the organization of one’s self is so critical.

 

I see that any person including myself can and should and ought to, within the perfect parameters of reason, create things that change the world forever.

 

These creations are not told to you by someone else; it’s something that you determine; you create them and they are Divine and you don’t need any help; you can’t wait around sitting for someone to tell you what to do; you have to act on every little inclination.

 

Read every book that comes to your attention, spell out every idea that comes to your mind, talk to every person that seems like someone you need to talk to.

 

God will let you suffer more bitterly than you ever thought possible because you need to experience exactly what you don’t want to experience, and to question the one thing that you should never question.  If you can pass through that, you can be free.

 

You can open the doors of the mind and find expression and meaning in deeper levels than you even knew existed.

 

You can embrace forms of intelligence; you can find never tapped into dimensions of joy; what you wanted, but didn’t know where to look for.

 

You’ll be more tired and more depressed; more happy and full of energy; you’ll be who you forever aspired to be.

 

When everything seems for nothing, just then, it all bursts open intro a panoramic view of divinity; not just a Divinity sitting in the sky watching you, but a Divinity that Wells up inside you, and bursts and permeates the atmosphere around you.

 

This is when the Divinity that does sit above looking down smiles for a moment.

 

It doesn’t have to make sense right now, you just have to keep going.

 

Then it’s quiet, and you are alone again. You try to remember how it felt to be alive.

 

Then you stop caring, because feelings seem to be second class citizens in the world of desperation. The suffering of the world comes painfully into view.

 

Then you ponder and wait, and sometimes you see him again – around the corner of your eyes, you meet for a moment, and you know everything will be okay.

 

He reminds you in that instant that former things are over, and there’s no going back. You are free, but the past gives you the motivation you need to contemplate the future. The permission and the power to not be mortally wounded by it anymore. Nay no more, not by the past, the present, or the future. The force fields of glory today burst upon thee!

 

 

 

Straining at Particles of Light: Premortal Life and the Mansions of Memory by Terryl Givens – Lecture Highlights

 

I share the following highlights with permission of the author.

 

This lecture focused on the history of Western philosophy and religion’s treatment of the doctrine of pre-mortality. It brings not only historical understanding, but deeper insights into pre-mortality, and evidences for the same.

When we live beneath our truest self, we are sharply aware that we have betrayed ourselves.

What prompts repentance is not thought of the future but thought of the past the idea that we are not living up to what we truly are that we are not manifesting what we are at our core what we once were. This is what inspires people to suddenly make major life altering decisions to change their lives for the better the sense of knowing that we betrayed our potential our nature ourselves.

John Knox speaks of the reference to the self as being evidence of a birth before birth that we are an entity which has existed before birth. We can easily refer to ourselves and contemplate ourselves this is evidence that the I goes deeper then the date of birth. The sentence I was born suggests that the I superseded the being born

We long for God because he exists on the same plane as all of our deepest loves and exists in the memory all of this suggests that we knew him once. Our inner yearnings can only be satiated with him.

Those who seek God and happiness must have been happy once. to remember that means it must have been imprinted on the memory at some point. this suggests that we once knew God and true happiness, that is why we are seeking it oh, both the happiness and God, it is why we associate the one with the other because we used to know them both simultaneously they only existed simultaneously.

Nature and art constantly remind you of something. Augustus said that these faint intimations suggest a life before Earth where we lived in God’s presence.

The removal of God from comprehensibility to in comprehensibility and from accessibility to inaccessibility as well as the doctrine of creation ex nihilo have contributed to the erasure of pre mortality from doctrines of churches today.

Immanuel Kant implied a premortal existence as a rational basis for the concept of human agency

Edward Beecher in the 19th century wrote almost a thousand pages on the topic of pre mortality as a rationale for the justice of God. it explains our immersion in a life of sin pain and suffering.

Someone said that perhaps reason is to skin deep and science does not go back far enough. In other words this suggests that there are things more profound than human reason.

Our ability to comprehend microscopic subatomic particles and macroscopic theories of the creation and of themselves are evidence but the human being is a much more powerful and complex and ancient creature then mere reason could suggest.

It is a truism to say that the most primitive man drew a picture of the monkey but the most intelligent monkey cannot draw a picture of a man the human is something different something special something deeper and farther beyond the rest of the animal kingdom

The human creature is truly unique and different from all other creatures

The emergence of the human mind cannot be explained in the same methods of the emergence of the minds of all other animals

What it means to be human is to take seriously the subjective the inner the personal experience of an individual human being

Our private hopes and private experience is what ultimately defines us.

Keats spoke of straining at particles of light spoke of being in the dark and straining at particles of light.

Even Freud acknowledged that everyone has a desire to connect to reconnect with something eternal and oceanic. This is why the doctrine of pre-existing has never fully died out.

There are things more fundamentally human than syllogistic argument.

Emperor’s priests and secularists have tried to expunge the idea of pre-existence from Western thought but yet it persists.

The oldest religion we know of is that of Mesopotamia they speak of the gods convening to create the humans; It speaks of a minor race of deities being on the earth doing the work of the supreme gods; They dig the land move around the Earth tends to those things what’s the labor become so great that they conspire against the seven supreme gods. They decide to make humans out of clay tabernacles and I take one of the gods and sacrifice that God and put his Spirit into the humans. The Mesopotamian legend says that our memory of our earlier existence remains but it’s very cloudy so that we don’t threaten the dominion of the gods.

The Greek philosopher (Aristotle?) laments how he has fallen from greatness to come to Earth how things used to be better but now there’s toil; he wrote that human love is an echo I’ve been earlier love of perfect beauty; he said beauty can only be experienced by someone who has seen as much in heaven; he speaks of how when one finds their soulmate they want to be together but how every person even who has found this soul mate yet longs for something greater.

Tertullian thought that the doctrine of pre-existence was dangerous because it made us too much like God.

Tertullian said ‘how could we forget all of that premortal stuff? There must not be premortality.’ The Cambridge platonists responded to Tertullian’s doubt of pre mortality, ‘why is it surprising that we would forget premortality when even during this life we forget so much?’

Henry Moore was certain of the pre mortality that the mind could remember God

He spoke of this memory being natural and essential to the soul of man and that this memory cannot be washed away. He wrote that pre mortality is the most logical explanation

Benjamin Whichcoat(?) and Nathaniel Coverwell(?): They speak of seeds of light scattered in The souls of man which brings forth a numerous and sparkling posterity.

`           Descartes also speaks of these things.

Kant says there are only two things was really astound him the starry skies above and the moral law inside him he ponders on wear that moral law inside him could have come from. It was not a simple social or cultural acquisition.

He speaks of an intuitive sense of self this is not a logical button intuitive thing.

He says that a being with infinite nature infinite potential could not have just come into being by happenstance, a being so great whose Life begin in such trivial circumstance.

He says that we lived in a world of spiritual nature’s which didn’t begin at birth and will not end at death.

Babylonians say that the veil between us and God was for the gods to keep us away from them but Christians say that that veil is an act of Mercy on behalf of God.

The English poet Abel Evans conceived of the entire human race being the fallen Angels. He says that God cast us all out but lets us expiate our crimes with time served on Earth.

Reason and memory feed but cannot satisfy our articulate longing for home

he speaks of how if we had retained our memory of the prior existence we would have been all the more miserable on this Earth due to the contrast of how great it is there and how difficult it is here.

Goethe said that there were stages of pre-existence on the way to a glorious future. He spoke of his memories of the pre-existence being so strong that it is the greatest evidence for God. he said if there is not a god perhaps there will yet be one.

In the romantic era we hear Wordsworth who writes of trailing clouds Of Glory to come to this earth how being born on this Earth was not the beginning. Latter-day saints celebrate this poetry, but generations of scholars have been embarrassed by it. He speaks of how despite the beauty of this earth and the joy of the laughter of children there is yet in this life a sense of nagging loss. He speaks of how certain things have passed away. He speaks of how our birth is a loss of a greater Eden that we once knew. Some pressured Wordsworth to let go of this view of pre-existence and he was embarrassed about it sometimes but he still argued that there was nothing in Scripture to contradict it. He says that if we remembered the pre-existence everyone would bear testimony of it.

The idea of pre mortality starts from inner reflection an event such as watching a sleeping child. This and not logical deduction is the starting point of faith in pre mortality.

Wilhelm Benefit (?) (about 35 min in to hear again how to spell that name) was a businessman stricken by a tragedy lost his wife and child and could not understand why life involve so much suffering then a mysterious mentor appeared and taught him that this life is a short time between pre mortality and immortality. He spoke of this man having an apostolic countenance.

Original sin and human suffering can really only be explained by the doctrine of pre mortality this is what 1 renowned philosopher argued named Benica(?)

Because this is a fallen world and the otherworld is an eternal one there is to be Revelation if there is to be any communication between the realms.

Our powers of reason and sensation are insufficient to penetrate the eternal world.

Religions of the western world are so inhospitable to the doctrine of pre mortality that people reject the idea without a good reason.

John chapter 9 is one of the many scriptural allusions to pre mortality

the apostles clearly assumed that there was a pre-existing life when they asked who sinned this man or his parents. Some say that this simplistic explanation pre mortality for this chapter is too simple but those who value spirituality simplicity has never been a barrier to beauty.

Kant said that one of the proofs that we have human agency is that when he does something wrong he feels guilt that guilt suggests that he could have done something different.

 

Click here for the full lecture.

 

 

 

Delicate Friendships to Be Restored

 

Do we always love those we once loved? Are friends so easily lost? It seems so, though we know we must move on with reality. But we hope that in the next life we can be friends.  May heaven restore the delicate things which could not remain in this fallen land. May we learn one by one to love all people as we love ourselves. May we view one another in positive light, giving the benefit of the doubt, for once we saw each other as equals and had great joy with one another.

 

 

The Millennium & Heaven: Eternal Sunday? Boring?

 

One friend mentioned that she might not be so interested in heaven if it’s just harps and clouds all the time, Sunday on repeat forever. This friend specifically asked about pets and eating in heaven among other things. Here is my response:

Lol. All I can say is study the teachings of Joseph Smith all you can. Look up Truman G Madsen lectures on Joseph.

Heaven is a lot of work and that scares people. Brigham Young said if the streets in heaven are paved good, it was the saints who paved them.

There’s also eternal parenting (can you count the stars?) and creating worlds out of broken down  unorganized matter.

Imagine having mastery of every science and knowing all history and psychology to the point that you can with confidence predict the future of individuals and societies. Imagine having command of every musical instrument.

Imagine knowing all people, their names, their stories, and earning their friendship, and helping them progress to greater levels of joy until they have a fullness.

Here is the deal: there is no such thing as permanent Sunday. Sunday is when we reorient ourselves to the cosmos, to the more real eternal world. It is a day God rested from his labors. What’s the point of permanent rest? There is none. Not even for God. He rests one in 7, not 7 in 7.

The notion that heaven is a boring place of singing dull hymns with uninterested neighbors is a lie of Satan.

Eating? Jesus ate fish with his apostles after he was resurrected. Perhaps you eat depending on what company you’re in, weather you’re helping mortals that day or planning with fellow gods that day.

Pets? Joseph Smith said the animals in the book of Revelation are both literal and figurative. Hugh Nibley says, drawing upon info from ancient documents, and ideas from evolutionary biology seen on this planet, not to mention animals evolving on other planets, that there are countless types of animals in heaven, such that we can’t even imagine all that we will see there.

Heaven is a real place. It is a series of planets crowned with glory (intelligence, light, and truth). In the system of planets we belong to (MWG likely), the heaven planets are those located near planet Kolob. Further, there are telestial (like our earth), terestrial, and celestial planets.

The residents of those planets have powerful bodies, to the degree of glory they attain. The highest glory includes the bodily privilege of procreation, a divine power which we now have some access to test us (here is divine power, will they handle it?).  Brigham Young said every person (men and woman) who reaches the ‘unspeakable attainment’ of exaltation in a celestial world, will be made as beautiful as the angels (male and female) that surround the throne of God.

We could go on and on, but suffice it to say that the new testament passage put it well when it said we can’t even begin to imagine how awesome heaven will be.

Also, read life everlasting by Duane Crowther.

Here is the first of a lecture series by Truman g Madsen which will help shed light on the subject further: Click here

 

 

 

 

Why Aren’t We “Raptured” Upon Conversion? (This is a repeat, see faith book)

 

I heard a radio preacher this morning say this, and I’ll tell you why he is wrong:

“we live in the world, as Jesus said we would. Why doesn’t got rapture us as soon as we are converted? Why isn’t it that when we say, “I am a sinner, Jesus Christ, I commit myself to you.” that we aren’t raptured up to heaven immediately? It’s because God is keeping us here to reach out to others.”

THAT’S WHAT THE PREACHER SAID. NOW I’LL TELL YOU THE CORRECT ANSWER.

God is keeping us here because WE’RE NOT DONE BEING TESTED, not because all there is left to do is to worry about other people. No, the quest for your soul is not over when you say, “Jesus is my Savior!” The scripture says, ‘not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter into the kingdom’. It takes a lifetime of WORK to get full access to the GRACE. The sooner you repent, the better. Then keep repenting. Joseph Smith said he was like a rough stone rolling down a hill, getting rough edges knocked off as he goes, becoming a polished shaft for the quiver of the Lord. This preachers message deleted the need for repentance, and thus undermined the sacred gospel of Jesus Christ, bringing it down to the level of a mere game.

 

 

Longing to Belong by Bruce Hafen – Lecture Highlights (add commentary for e/  L)

This complete discourse is found in the book “The Belonging Hearth: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family” by Bruce Hafen, Ch. 1: The Longing to Belong

 

 

Wickedness is Happiness, Sometimes? The Justice of God and the Nature of the Soul

Mormon 2:13 shows that people have some amount of happiness in sin, but that God doesn’t allow that to continue. God doesn’t “suffer” them to do that always. Indeed, when people sin, it makes God suffer! The word used in the text is suffer. We reconcile this passage with the passage of Alma 41:10 that “wickedness never was happiness” in that the deceptive “joy” we feel when we sin is like the magician pulling the rabbit out of the hat; it’s not real, and not substantive, and won’t work when you need it the most. It’s a mere trick, and won’t meet the deep human needs we all have. It’s like a diet of pure ice cream, it seems alright at first, but you soon find it only leaves you ill and without energy; your quality of life has greatly diminished overall; you forgot the joy you once had, and consider this the new normal, and are puzzled at the joy others have whom are living Gods commandments. You don’t remember that keeping Gods commandments is the source of joy, so you don’t believe or understand the people of God when they claim that God has given them their happiness. We aren’t talking about the fake people of God, we are talking about the real people of God whom spend 20 hours of serving the poor for everyone hour reading scriptures. Not the hypocrites, but the true followers of Jesus. These true followers of Jesus are whom you see as having the deepest joy; nothing can conquer it though they pass through hell itself for the sake of righteousness, for the sake of the unending blessings it will pour out on the heads of the people of the earth. They are the saviors of men, and will appear as the Lord at the time of the Coming of the Lord. There is no real solution for world peace outside of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ isn’t a mere teacher, he is God. He didn’t just have good ideas, he had power to raise the dead. He didn’t just give His life for us, he was risen from the dead, and lives today. He didn’t just forgive the sinner in His day, he will also judge all mankind at the last day. He will determine whether our works have been good or evil, or somewhere in between, and assign us to a place in His kingdom where we can stand the most blessings. The righteous are more able to receive blessings, so they will be blessed more. The wicked cannot live the law of heaven, so they cannot abide in the highest heaven. They may abide in a lower heaven whose law they agree to abide, but they can never enter the highest heaven without surrendering to the laws of the highest heaven. This includes obedience to God even when we don’t understand all the reasons why God is asking us to do a certain thing. Behold the power of God, see it in the history of earth as recorded in the bible and book of Mormon, and see it manifest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Read the book of Mormon, and pray to know if it is not true. Life the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and see if your life doesn’t improve for the better. Stop using liquors and harmful drugs, stop being sexually promiscuous, stop keeping all your money for yourself, stop avoiding marriage and childbearing, start praying to the Father in the name of the Son Jesus Christ, start worshiping with the Saints of God, start confessing your crimes and misdeeds to those offended, start becoming financially independent, start taking good care of your body, start worshiping God in his temples as erected by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Start turning your heart to your fathers by researching whom your ancestors are and being baptized proxy for them in the temples, so they too may have the blessings of salvation, for truly, baptism is the gate one must enter into Gods kingdom by. Why? Because God said so. Avoid baptism and you’ll never enter into the highest heaven, no, not ever! Baptism is the way we say “ok God, this is your kingdom, I’ll do whatever you ask. Want me to balance a rubber duckie on my head while I cook breakfast? Ok. This isn’t my program, it’s yours, and I’m just glad to be here.” Of course Gods symbols (baptism, temple ritual, etc.) are meaningful and not a vain thing like the duck on the head, but the point is that even if we don’t understand his symbols yet, that doesn’t mean we need to run away. Baptism is to represent a person being laid in a tomb, then rising out of that tomb. Why? because the central thing about Christ is that he will raise your body out of its tomb. Dead is a very short stop on the train of life. Without God and Christ whom is the messenger of God, life is a Shakespearean tragedy. There is no hope, for death comes, and ends our lot, be it sad or glad. But with Christ, we hope to rise from the dead, and know that all will rise from the dead. With Christ, we have hope, and can deal with the tragedy, knowing that this life is the temporary part, and that the greater is to come. Oh friends, believe in God! Try to believe! Try to obey! Gods blessings aren’t just for those who are good, but for those who try to be good! For those who are obeying him, and those who try to obey him! Like a parent helping a child to walk, God will help you obey his commandments if you try! What, you’ve stumbled before? Don’t give up! It’s not over till it’s over! Feel my love for you, and hear my witness as your friend that Christ lives, and has the power to save you! Finally, hear my witness that the power of Jesus Christ is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and more knowledge of his kingdom is found there than anywhere on earth! Truths long lost have finally returned and are found in this church, praise the Lord! Come, feast on the words of Christ, which are in more abundance in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than anywhere on earth! Want to know what happened to Gandhi? Celestial kingdom of God (the highest heaven). But he had no baptism! God’s got that taken care of via proxy baptisms; the dead live on as spirits, and await the return of their bodies made alive again, and while they wait, they are taught of the fullness of truth, which is that Jesus Christ is the Lord God whom created the earth, and that his are the ways of life. The spirit candidate (the dead person) may then praise Jesus Christ and accept baptism, for he had no chance to receive it in life! He had no understanding of it either! So God is kind, and works these things out. He doesn’t say “oh you didn’t hear / didn’t understand? Too bad!” No, this is not the Lord of the universe. The Lord of the universe is a just ruler, who takes everything into account when he makes his judgments, and he is a merciful judge! Do you have more questions about the operation of the universe, and the kingdom of God which organizes it? Of course you do! Talk to me, talk to someone whom has been acquainted with these things, be bold in your seeking! You may or may not be seeking God and Christ, but they are seeking you. They are relentless, and you’ll hear from them time and again. They aren’t going away, and they have sent prophets once again, like Joseph Smith, to whom they appeared in person, and have sent many more scriptures to. The days of Peter and Paul of the New Testament are upon us again, we now again have witnesses whom have seen the face of God, and whom have his power! Did Christ raise the dead? Yes. So do they whom have his authority. Joseph Smith raised someone from the dead. Prophets since Joseph Smith have raised people from the dead. Has anyone ever raised someone from the dead without the authority from the hand of Jesus Christ? No, not ever! Jesus Christ put his hand on the head of Peter. Then Peter appeared to Joseph Smith in about 1830 and put his hand on Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith passed it on to Brigham Young (these men aren’t perfect, only Jesus is perfect, but you would be hard pressed to find better men on earth than Joseph Smith and Brigham Young), and the authority has been passed on by hand to the current prophet Thomas S. Monson. By this direct transferal of power, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims the direct authority of God. The prophet Monson receives revelations about what the Church and the world need to do to be saved. Have you heard what he has to say? Oh you really should try it! Aren’t you a little curious? Don’t you want to at least know, even if you don’t believe? Then after you know what he says, don’t you want to believe? You must pray to God for this answer. Then will come the most powerful witness you’ve ever experienced in your life. So fellow wanderer, come, come and see what I have found!

 

 

Point-Blank Accountability

Here we argue that our character is our fault, regardless of external forces and situations we’re placed into in life, leaving us before God in a state of point-blank accountability. We will also consider how Christ is merciful and takes into account our circumstances, though we do not excuse ourselves.

-2 Ne. 28:23 this verse shows that those who allowed themselves to get ensnared with the chains of Satan will eventually have to stand before God and confess this truth: that ultimately, what they got into was their own fault. Wow!
-You see, we must use the grace of God to help us stop sinning. If we die in deep sin, it means we have not accessed the grace of God. Ecclesiastes says you can turn your life around before you die and it will be well with you, but if you don’t, toast!
-Yes there is help in the spirit world for who had not opportunity in this life, and even opportunities for people who lived in sin to get some blessings in the hereafter (but not full exaltation blessings), (and we can’t judge well about who meets what qualifications), but we recognize this: This life is the time to repent and prepare to meet God (Alma 34:32, 34 etc.).
-Though our works are “filthy rags” compared to the goodness of God, our salvation will yet hinge upon these two things: Us doing all we can (2 Ne. 25:23), and having God help us (2 Ne. 25:23). We need to offer those filthy rags as a sacrifice to God. If we do nothing, it’s like trampling the Holy One of Israel under foot (3 Ne. 28:35), which is much worse than a meager offering, however filthy those rags may be.
-““Death does not change our personality or our desires for good or evil. Those who chose to obey God in this life live in a state of happiness, peace, and rest from troubles and care. Those who chose not to obey in this life and did not repent live in a state of unhappiness.” (Preach My Gospel 2004, pp. 52).
-“Sin consists in doing wrong when we know and can do better, and it will be punished with a just retribution, in the due time of the Lord.” (Brigham Young, DBY, 156; Teachings of BY Manual: https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-9?lang=eng ).
-“Though we may do the best we know how at this time, can there be no improvement made in our lives? There can. If we do wrong ignorantly, when we learn it is wrong, then it is our duty to refrain from that wrong immediately and for ever.” (Brigham Young, DBY, 156; Teachings of BY Manual: https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-9?lang=eng)
-Naturally, God will take into account all things. Marilyn Monroe had a different name as a child. She was abused severely by her mother, including being locked and transported in a suitcase, many terrible things. One day someone with a camera told her she looks good in pictures. Finally there was a place where she felt worthwhile. She became a sex figure in society. It seems that God will have mercy on this soul. The family proclamation issued by the LDS church in 1995 states that children are “entitled” to parents who love and care for them. So it seems that a child without that privilege he/she was entitled to have as a human being will have a significant amount of mercy in their case before God. This being said, she was an adult making choices and will have some level of accountability, but this early terrific trauma certainly had lifelong results which were serious and not her fault. Christ’s atonement (sacrifice) on behalf of the rest of the human race is called “infinite” in the scriptures. This doesn’t mean anything goes, but it does mean we have cause to praise His name forever!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Mortality – Words of the Prophets

 

 

-“God has important work for each of us. Speaking to sisters but teaching truths that apply to all, President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “Before we came [to earth, we] were given certain assignments. … While we do not now remember the particulars, this does not alter the glorious reality of what we once agreed to.”(Spencer W. Kimball, “The Role of Righteous Women,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 102) What an ennobling truth! Our Heavenly Father has specific and significant things for you and me to accomplish (see Ephesians 2:10). These divine assignments are not reserved for a privileged few but are for all of us—regardless of gender, age, race, nationality, income level, social status, or Church calling. Every one of us has a meaningful role to play in furthering God’s work (see Moses 1:39). Some of us question whether Heavenly Father can use us to make important contributions. But remember, He has always used ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things (see 1 Corinthians 1:27–28; D&C 35:13; 124:1). “[We] are agents,” and “the power is in [us]” to “bring to pass much righteousness” (D&C 58:27–28).(President Gordon B. Hinckley encouraged: “Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great … things. … You are a child of God, of infinite capacity” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley [2016], 77).) President Russell M. Nelson explained: “The Lord has more in mind for you than you have in mind for yourself! You have been reserved and preserved for this time and place. …The Lord needs you to change the world. As you accept and follow His will for you, you will find yourself accomplishing the impossible!” (Russell M. Nelson, Accomplishing the Impossible: What God Does, What We Can Do (2015), 147.) ” (Oct. 2017 Conf. Report “I have a work for Thee” by Elder John C Pingree Jr. of the Seventy, see https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/i-have-a-work-for-thee?lang=eng)

-Speaking of the differences between spirits, President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “We know they were all innocent in the beginning; but the right of free agency which was given to them enabled some to outstrip others, and thus, through the eons of immortal existence, to become more intelligent, more faithful, for they were free to act for themselves, to think for themselves, to receive the truth or rebel against it” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:59).(https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)

-The Prophet Joseph Smith stated: “God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with Himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits” (History of the Church, 6:312). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)

-The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it has a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic” (History of the Church, 6:311). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)

-“Mankind are organized of element designed to endure to all eternity; it never had a beginning and never can have an end. There never was a time when this matter, of which you and I are composed, was not in existence, and there never can be a time when it will pass out of existence; it cannot be annihilated.

“It is brought together, organized, and capacitated to receive knowledge and intelligence, to be enthroned in glory, to be made angels, Gods—beings who will hold control over the elements, and have power by their word to command the creation and redemption of worlds, or to extinguish suns by their breath, and disorganize worlds, hurling them back into their chaotic state. This is what you and I are created for” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 48; see also D&C 93:29–33). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)

-“IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped 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 their divine destiny as heirs 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.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World: First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) (https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation)

-“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

-“And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;” Joseph Smith Translation Rev. 12:6

-“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:7

-“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” John 5:58

-“Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.” Ether 3:16

-“And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.” Abraham 3:27

– 1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3

-“the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18

-“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

-“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36

 

 

Literal Resurrection of Christ & All

 

For another critical aspect of understanding this topic, study the doctrine of premortality as taught by the prophets, which can be found elsewhere in this book. You must understand that we lived before earth, and a key purpose in coming to earth was to get a body, one like our Father in Heaven’s body. Even Jesus Christ had to come to earth to get a body, so he could complete his training to become like Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ is the prototype of how to become like Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father is the exalted man. He was a spirit, then he was born on an earth to get his body, now he exists with that body, resurrected from the dead, to never die again, enjoying his perfected body forever. Jesus Christ now has his resurrected body also. After 3 days in the tomb, he was risen. This is a key doctrine of Christianity, and the great secret of the universe: That the human race are destined to become Gods, and that Gods are created out of humans, particularly humans who express interest in becoming like God, and agree to do so in the only way possible, namely keeping the commandments of God, the same terms by which God himself became God. Lucifer is an interesting case study – he fell because he wanted to become a God, but wasn’t willing to do it in the natural process of living a life of devotion to God and kindness to his fellow men. Lucifer wanted to dethrone Heavenly Father and take his place. As we see, Lucifer not only lost his opportunity to become a God from his rebellion, but also lost his opportunity to even get a body. Prophets have revealed that the great punishment to Lucifer is the fact that he doesn’t have nor ever will have a body. Prophets have also taught that spirits with bodies have more power than spirits without bodies. This means we have more power than Lucifer. Jesus Christ was resurrected, and so will we be. Even the wicked on this earth will be resurrected, but their resurrection will not be as glorious as the resurrection of those who are valiant in this life. In the premortal world, those who chose to follow Heavenly Father’s plan, including the centerpiece of that plan being redemption through faith in Jesus Christ, were given the opportunity to come to earth and obtain bodies. The gift of bodies is a permanent gift.  We’ve already earned it, and nothing we do in this life could revoke that. Getting bodies is eternally wonderful, but we must follow God if we hope to become like our Father in Heaven. As his children, it is our truest destiny to become like him, and join in the ‘family business’ of having an endless posterity, and creating worlds on which those posterity may dwell in their journey to joining us and Father in Heaven as the Gods of the universe. Heavenly Father, as an exalted being, has the key privilege of, by the power of his body and the power of his priesthood, having an endless posterity. The doctrine that we can become like our father in heaven is logical and glorious. This is why we shout praises to God! He doesn’t just want us to be, as Elder Renlund said, nice house pets who don’t get his celestial living room carpet dirty, no, he wants us to become as he is! His key title is “Father”. How can we be fathers without bodies? It can’t be done. Praise God for the gift and joy of bodies, and oh how we strive to be worthy of a celestial resurrection, where the body will become more glorious than we can comprehend! The attainment of utmost beauty, the absence of disease and exhaustion, these unimaginable gifts are only the beginning! Other interesting reading on this topic are my essay “Objective Beauty” and my essay “Prophets Teach About Beauty”, which can be found in my book on family.

-One must understand what is an angel, what is a human, what is a God. They are all human, but in different stages of progression.

stage 1 of human: angel without body (not yet come to earth to get a body)

stage 2 of human: mortal being with a body on earth (being tested to see if will advance higher by passing the test of faith)

stage 3 of human: angel without a body (came to earth for a body and died, and now awaits the resurrection)

stage 4 of human: angel with a body (the body was dead but is now resurrected to forever remain alive, for “in Christ are all made alive”)

stage 5 of human: God (the resurrected (re-embodied) angel has reached perfection)

Note: the term “angel” is not really an essential term in this context; the angel is not a different breed from the human or the God; they are all the same breed, it’s us. The main thing to pay attention to is that our stages of progression are defined by weather or not our spirits are clothed in bodies. Angel comes from Hebrew melak and Greek angelos, both merely meaning “messenger.” In that sense of the word, a human mortal on God’s errand can be termed an angel as well.

Note: Nephilim or giants or “The Watchers” are not strange supernatural creatures, but all fit into the above stages of regular human existence. For a discussion further detailing this point, see document “The Watchers Nephilim Supernatural Theory Exposed as False Doctrine –by Nate Richardson, 5-1917” at this link: https://richardsonstudies.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/the-watchers-nephilim-supernatural-theory-exposed-as-false-doctrine-by-nate-richardson-5-1917/

Note: these human stages in no way justify the false doctrine of reincarnation. The essence of a human remains forever, as well does their memory. Mortal humans don’t remember the life prior to earth because of a veil drawn over the mind by God. This veil will be removed in the resurrection of the dead, and all will remember all 3 parts of the play: pre-mortality, mortality, and post-mortality. (mortality meaning life on this earth as we now live from birth to death. The human soul has existed from the beginning, and will continue to exist indefinably. For further detailed explanation of this point, see document “Humankind living before earth (have no beginning have no end), Literal Resurrection, Eternal Family: An 18 Point Response to a non-LDS Christian: by Nate Richardson aprox. April 2017” at this link: https://richardsonstudies.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/humankind-living-before-earth-have-no-beginning-have-no-end-literal-resurrection-eternal-family-an-18-point-response-to-a-non-lds-christian-by-nate-richardson-aprox-april-2017/

-Alma 40:22-26: ” 22 Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets.

23 The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.

24 And now, my son, this is the restoration of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets—

25 And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God.

26 But behold, an awful death cometh upon the wicked; for they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness; for they are unclean, and no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God; but they are cast out, and consigned to partake of the fruits of their labors or their works, which have been evil; and they drink the dregs of a bitter cup.”

-D&C 129: 4-5, 7-8: “4 When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you.

5 If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.

7 Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message.

8 If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.

– 1 Cor. 15:50 says no flesh can inherit the kingdom of God, and this is true. Resurrected bodies don’t have blood, rather spirit flows through their veins of flesh. The flesh is enhanced from it’s current earthy state to a celestial state. It is still tangible and embodies the spirit like our mortal bodies now, but it is inexhaustible. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve had no blood in their veins, they had spirit in the veins. Blood entered their bodies when the fall occurred. The fall is when they became mortal. The reason the Old Testament law forbad the eating of blood was because the blood is the life of a thing (Lev. 7:10-14).

Hear Brigham Young on this: “The blood he spilled upon Mount Calvary he did not receive again into his veins. That was poured out, and when he was resurrected, another element took the place of the blood. It will be so with every person who receives a resurrection; the blood will not be resurrected with the body, being designed only to sustain the life of the present organization. When that is dissolved, and we again obtain our bodies by the power of the resurrection, that which we now call the life of the body, and which is formed from the food we eat and the water we drink will be supplanted by another element; for flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God [see 1 Corinthians 15:50] (Discourses of Brigham Young, 374).” (https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-37?lang=eng ; from Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young: Ch 37, Understanding Death and Resurrection)

– “We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. He is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine’s body to having none. All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Ch17 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-17?lang=eng#12-36481_000_021 ; Quoted by William Clayton, reporting an undated discourse given by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois; in L. John Nuttall, “Extracts from William Clayton’s Private Book,” pp. 7–8, Journals of L. John Nuttall, 1857–1904, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; copy in Church Archives.)

-2 Nephi 9:5-22: “5 Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.

6 For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.

7 Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.

8 O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.

9 And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.

10 O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.

11 And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave.

12 And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.

13 O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.

14 Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.

15 And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God.

16 And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end.

17 O the greatness and the justice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled.

18 But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever.

19 O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.

20 O how great the holiness of our God! For he knowethall things, and there is not anything save he knows it.

21 And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.

22 And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.

-1 Cor. 15:16-24: “16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”

-1 Cor. 15:29: “Else what shall they do which are abaptized bfor the dead, if the dead crise not at all? why are they then baptized for the ddead?”

-Luke 24:46-33: “36 ¶ And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.”

-Job 19:26 “And though after my skin worms destroy this abody, yet in my bflesh shall I csee God”

-Moses 5:10 “And in that day Adam blessed God and was afilled, and began to bprophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my ctransgression my deyes are opened, and in this life I shall have ejoy, and again in the fflesh I shall see God.”

-What if a body is burned to ashes or shredded in the sea? It all comes back together in the resurrection by the power of God recombining those elements. Hear Brigham Young: “After the spirit leaves the body, it remains without a tabernacle in the spirit world until the Lord, by his law that he has ordained, brings to pass the resurrection of the dead [see D&C 93:33–34]. When the angel who holds the keys of the resurrection shall sound his trumpet, then the peculiar fundamental particles that organized our bodies here, if we do honor to them, though they be deposited in the depths of the sea, and though one particle is in the north, another in the south, another in the east, and another in the west, will be brought together again in the twinkling of an eye, and our spirits will take possession of them. We shall then be prepared to dwell with the Father and the Son, and we never can be prepared to dwell with them until then. Spirits, when they leave their bodies, do not dwell with the Father and the Son, but live in the Spirit world, where there are places prepared for them. Those who do honor to their tabernacles, and love and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, must put off this mortality, or they cannot put on immortality. This body must be changed, else it cannot be prepared to dwell in the glory of the Father” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 372, see Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, at https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-37?lang=eng).

Further, hear Brigham Young again: “We are here in circumstances to bury our dead according to the order of the Priesthood. But some of our brethren die upon the ocean; they cannot be buried in a burying ground, but they are sewed up in canvas and cast into the sea, and perhaps in two minutes after they are in the bowels of the shark, yet those persons will come forth in the resurrection, and receive all the glory of which they are worthy, and be clothed upon with all the beauty of resurrected Saints, as much so as if they had been laid away in a gold or silver coffin, and in a place expressly for burying the dead” (DBY, 373–74)

-“…The spirit [of a righteous man or woman] has overcome the body, and the body is made subject in every respect to that divine principle God has planted in the person. The spirit within is pure and holy, and goes back pure and holy to God, dwells in the spirit world pure and holy, and, by and by, will have the privilege of coming and taking the body again. [Jesus Christ,] holding the keys of the resurrection, having previously passed through that ordeal, will be delegated to resurrect our bodies, and our spirits will be there and prepared to enter into [our] bodies. Then, when we are prepared to receive our bodies, they are the first earthly objects that bear divinity personified in the capacity of the man…” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 373; see Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, at https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-37?lang=eng)

– “No man can enter the celestial kingdom and be crowned with a celestial glory, until he gets his resurrected body” (DBY, 375).

-“The only true riches in existence are for you and me to secure for ourselves a holy resurrection” (DBY, 372).

– “12 And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality; 13 And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name. 14 All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. 15 I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand. 16 They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.

17 Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy.

18 While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful; 19 And there he preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance.” (D&C 138:12-19)

– “33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; 34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.” (D&C 93:33-34)

– how will we have seed without end (the covenant of Abraham) if we don’t keep our bodies in the Kingdom of God forever? In my religion, having more children in heaven is the essence of heaven and progression. I claim that none of God’s subjects are anything other than the children he has bourn. He keeps having more children, so his kingdom keeps getting bigger. So it will be for us if we follow Christ.

– God organizes intelligence and leads them along, thus they are his children. He sends them to earth, they get a body, die, get their body back in the resurrection, then they do what he does (if they pass their test, this life is the test). God has had one child in the flesh, that is Jesus Christ. “The Only Begotten Son”. The rest of us are his spirit children. That does not diminish his ownership of us though. As you may have deducted, once a child of God becomes a God, they also have spirit children, and send them to earths for their testing. To have a body is to be like God. Getting a body is one of the main reasons we came to earth.

– “I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen.

22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.” (Abraham 3:21-26)

– I will state the obvious, which is written in the most introductory text of my faith: namely that the body will rise from the grave, and be reunited with the spirit! Heaven is a place where people have bodies, live in families, and families can’t happen without sex. Worlds without end, you’ll never find such a creation. This is the genius of the restored truth of the latter days: that the body is central to the eternal plan of God, and is not merely to be disposed of after mortal death! Death of body is a resting, not a permanence! Are Christians clear about this? No! Are Latter-day Saint Christians clear about this? More clear than staring you in the face, yes! The universe is governed by laws which even God himself cannot break. The only reason a god is a god is because he and she have conformed to the laws of the universe. One of the laws of the universe is that we need bodies and the uniting thereof with a spouse to have full joy. Does full joy end after this life? No! And of course, there are many gods, though only 1 of them rules over us. Our God is our father. No being whom is not a child of God is ruled by God. All beings are ruled over by their celestial parent, worlds without end, forever and ever. To avoid the risk of saying something too sacred here, we will merely recall the words of Joseph Smith, that this “one eternal round”. Where did Gods begin? It’s one eternal round. Everyone has a parent… it’s a cycle, worlds without end, and without beginning. The mortal does not comprehend the “no beginning”, and alas I say it no better comprehends the “no end.” The average person has no clue about their true nature, for they have no clue about the nature of God. God has always existed, and we as his children have likewise always existed. God will always exist, and so will we. Even the devils of hell must go on and on forever, and have been forever going on. God fathered us in promoting our state, this does not suggest that we lived not before. Thus it is, we compare to understand, with the biological birth. That person did exist before it got a physical body, but the mortal parents heaped upon it a grand promotion: the body! Likewise, individual personal intelligences named you and I existed before God organized it into greater intelligence. The parent does such a vast favor for the child, that it is considered that the parent “created” the child. Indeed, for all intents and purposes of our word “created”, so he did!

– I believe sex is an eternal and divine thing that is a grand system of humanity; I believe that in heaven, married people have spirit babies with each other and send them to earths (which they have the power and pleasure of creating and governing to ensure justice and mercy are balanced in the end) so they their children can get bodies LIKE THEM and the experience needed to also become Gods. I also believe we get to keep our bodies in heaven, they are wonderful and bring much pleasure and are beautiful and good. Some think Adam and Eve sinned in having sex. No way! Sex is good. The Adam and Eve story? I think Eve is amazing! She helped Adam learn about how it’s worth it to go through pain in order to have joy! I believe we EVERY HUMAN ON EARTH will come out of their graves and be made perfect, impervious to disease and aging. Getting our bodies back is a free gift from out kind God whom made us. That’s a big part of the Jesus story, that he, the Son of God, “broke the bands of death”, and is responsible for giving everyone their body back. Some say you’ll be more free without a body. But meditation shows that we are quite capable of having larger than life experiences WHILE having bodies. So I think bodies are good. Just because we have a body in heaven doesn’t mean we can’t fly and teleport and move mountains; we just haven’t learned how to do that stuff yet, it will come. So this little rant can show you a bit more about why I think marriage and children is so important… because it’s the order of the universe…

– Excited about The Future! -Excerpt from letter to a Friend, by Nate Richardson, approx. Feb. 2017 “Frankly Megan and I are quite excited about the future, we believe that either in this life (when Jesus comes in person and heals her and everyone), or after death (when our bodies get pulled out of the grave and become perfect), then Megan’s body will not be crippled, and there won’t be any pain; we will still have bodies, but they will be made incorruptible. We believe Jesus is going to come to earth to be the king of it, yes, even for a thousand years (we believe he has the right to be king of earth because he created earth). We believe the wicked (child molesters , murderers) will be burned at the time of Jesus’ coming (for evil cannot stand being in the presence of such good), BUT we do not believe that “non-religious” people will be destroyed! We believe as long as you don’t want to kill others, that’s the main requirement to “getting along” with Jesus. We believe Jesus will save us from oppressions of all kinds, and that this will be an era of peace. We believe there will be no physical death at this time (the thousand-year rule of Jesus on earth aka Millennium), and thus sorrow will go away. We believe Jesus will make earth into a heaven! We believe Jesus will settle things that have been mysterious for such a long time, like how the universe was created, and what truth is (it’s so hard to find! We believe he will IN PERSON help us with that hard thing. What a relief!). In summary of this paragraph, Megan and I deal with how hard this life is largely by our hope for a better time to come in the NEAR future. And we mean near. I can taste it, it’s almost here. The pain level is about to burst; indeed it is bursting and our hearts are dying, now alas, the relief is at the door! Weep for joy! Though our creator has left us here a while so we can grow, he has not forgotten us, and SOON comes for us! And when I say “us” I don’t mean Mormons, I mean every human with a good heart. And I ABSOLUTLY mean you. And if you prefer to not call him Jesus, you can call him something else, though I do believe this will be the name he presents to us when he comes to deliver us and finally bring peace on earth. Yes, I don’t only believe peace on earth will come, my whole psychology revolves around it, and hangs on it, weeping daily, holding on only for her sake. Building things in the confidence that they will not be utterly be destroyed by growing evil forces, trusting that surely as I live victory will absolutely be ours (the good guys) at last.”

 

 

 

Pre-Mortality, Corporal Resurrection, & Eternal Family

 

A letter to a friend

 

(non-LDS Christians think that we did not live before this earth, and that the resurrection isn’t literal, and that the family is not eternal. They think there can’t be any truth except what is written in the bible, not allowing more modern universal modern written word from God. This letter responds to those things from the LDS point of view, LDS meaning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

everyone will live forever; we all lived in the beginning, no one will ever cease to exist. 1 Cor. 15 says as in Adam all die so in Christ all live. ; from Adam all die, now Jesus overcame death for everyone; for followers of Christ, massive blessings come, a more “abundant” life (not $, but glory in the Kingdom etc.); also refer to 1 Cor. 15 about telestial and celestial bodies etc., it says “so also is the resurrection of the dead”; this means depending on how valiant a person is, they will accordingly get resurrected with that level of body; this doesn’t mean a cripple in this life is not righteous! It means in the next world, the righteous will have greater blessings in this regard.
1.01 I know it says death to the wicked in your bible. Some places it even says eternal death. My bible says that is figurative. My bible says one of the gifts in the category of “God sends rain to the just and the unjust” is that we all get bodies (except Lucifer and some of his followers as you’ll read later in this article).
1.1 I’ll refer to “my bible” a few times here, you already have the classic Christian bible, so I really have nothing to say to you if I just base my beliefs on that; If I merely had your bible as the text for my religion, we would be the same religion. However bible believers have had a hard time sorting that out, and have split into many schools of thought as evidenced by hearing one thing in one congregation, and another in another. ( I’ve seen how a preacher in one congregation can interpret something differently from the same bible) If I have anything unique to say to you, it will come from my bible. When I say, “my bible”, it means the collection of your bible, and “the book of Mormon”, and “the Doctrine and Covenants” (D&C), and “The Pearl of Great Price”; these are the 4 books of my bible; your bible has 66 books in it, my bible has 69. Truly, if we are trying to teach each other out of the same book, we will merely go back and forth bickering about feelings and interpretations. Hence though you may not find it very valuable, most of my message in this letter comes from “my bible”, a different book, one you may not be as familiar with. Perhaps you’ll consider it a fairy tale, yet I still invite you to continue reading for interest sake. A better knowledge of LDS stuff won’t hurt you (PS you don’t know it already, you can always learn more, I know that because I’ve been studying the stuff (from “my” bible)for a decade and can still learn more; I don’t have it memorized, and when someone puts things together in a certain order it can help it to make sense; however I’m sorry this letter is not very organized and falls short of what it could be; it does not do “my” bible justice; Perhaps you’ve read it, perhaps even more than once, but any bible student knows there is more to be had)
2. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
3. “And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;” Rev. 12:6;
I believe mankind (me, you, everyone as individuals) also existed before coming to earth. my bible says this: ” 29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.” (D&C 93:29-30)
Another interesting thing on these lines is the idea that no one will disappear. A person’s being cannot vanish. For sinners, they won’t have as high a quality of life in the next world, but exist they shall. Christ said he came to give life and that more abundantly. A parent doesn’t kill its disobedient child, it just doesn’t get to pour as many blessings on it. That is the perspective that sits well with me. Again if this is unclear in the bible, that’s ok, I know it seems heresy to you, but I believe in more than “the bible”. You might consider that God has slain some of his children already, but he slew their bodies, not their spirits.
5.5 this is from my bible about having a body forever: “1 There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—
2 For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
3 Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.” D&C 129:1-3)
5.6 here my bible speaks of both God the Father and Jesus Christ having physical literal bodies, but not the Holy Ghost: 22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
5.7 this from my bible also speaks of getting a body forever ” 12 And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality;
13 And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name.
14 All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
15 I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand.
16 They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.
17 Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy.
18 While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful;
19 And there he preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance.” (D&C 138:12-19)

Leaders of my church have summarized it this way: “IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped 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 their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.”
7. Part of the bible I read from (includes the D&C, words from modern prophets (Joseph Smith etc.)) says this:
“For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.” (this is why a literal physical resurrection is important, getting our bodies back from out of their graves; Jesus has his body back, we want to be like him, he is the ideal of happiness)
Also note “element is eternal”; I’m not talking about radioactive decay, I’m talking about the core stuff, perhaps carbon or the atom etc. It goes back to the topic of God creating things from existing materials, etc.
8. I believe in a literal resurrection, everyone gets their bodies back (except Lucifer and other people whom were so wicked in the beginning that they never merited getting a body on earth in the first place). Book of rev. says before earth life, 2/3 of the spirits followed God, and 1/3 of them rebelled and were cast down with Lucifer (they are the spirits that go around tempting us, they will never be blessed with a body)
9. how will we have seed without end (the covenant of Abraham) if we don’t keep our bodies in the Kingdom of God forever? In my religion, having more children in heaven is the essence of heaven and progression. I claim that none of God’s subjects are anything other than the children he has bourn. He keeps having more children, so his kingdom keeps getting bigger. So it will be for us if we follow Christ.
10. in case you don’t like the idea of having a marriage in heaven with your wife (husband for women), consider that neither is the man without the woman in the Lord. Perhaps you think of the passage about not marrying or given in marriage, but that passage refers to how we get a spouse now, and those who put it off forever, will never have that joy.
11. we believe in fact that without a wife a man cannot progress in heaven. We believe God has a wife, and thus can have children. We believe we are the children of God destined to become like him if we follow and receive and use the power of Jesus Christ.
12. In summary, I believe that we all lived from the beginning, that God was wiser than us, so he helped us come to earth etc. so we can progress to become like him. Jesus Christ is the central figure in God’s plan for our salvation. After this earth we will live forever with bodies as families in the presence of God. We will “grow up” and “become like our parents”.
12.5 So yes there is a “Mother in Heaven” as well as a Father in Heaven. That helps us realize the divinity of women! Women are divine! God would not be God without his wife. Not even God can create a person without a wife. That’s contrary to the law of heaven. There are several things God cannot do: for example, he cannot tell a lie, he cannot commit adultery, he cannot destroy himself, he cannot take away our power to choose for ourselves; there are laws in the universe, God abides by those laws, that is what makes him God.
12.6 was Jesus married? He must have been. Does his bride the church mean he can’t have a wife? No, He can’t be a perfect God without a wife. He can’t have children without a physical wife, and without having children, his kingdom wouldn’t exist or grow. Christ is also the father of our salvation, that is why we worship him and call him our king. I also believe Jesus Christ created/molded our physical bodies; however he did not organize our spirits, it was The Father who did that. Furthermore, Jesus Christ was the firstborn in the spirit. Gods first spirit child was Jesus Christ. God later fathered the body of Jesus Christ also.
12.6 founding fathers of Christianity also believed that we can become Gods. Like God in every way. That is the purpose and power of Jesus: to pull us up, to bridge the gap, to work the divine in us. That is why we love him because he first loved us.
13. Does our becoming God’s make God less important? No! It gives him more glory. Our kingdom is always beneath his kingdom. It’s like how a grandfather doesn’t get upset when he gets grandchildren, or when he sees his children succeed. All parents want their children to succeed. A successful child can even go to say how great the parent was. God is so powerful, that he can make me a God. I won’t rule over God, I’ll rule under him. Lucifer fell because he wanted to force his way into Godhood rather than becoming a God in the appropriate way; Lucifer also wanted to take Gods place, and that is heresy and evil. No one will ever take Gods place.
14. thus the doctrine that mankind was also in the beginning with God is very important in understanding the plan of God.
14.5 one more doctrine in case you were wondering, God organizes intelligence and leads them along, thus they are his children. He sends them to earth, they get a body, die, get their body back in the resurrection, then they do what he does (if they pass their test, this life is the test). God has had one child in the flesh, that is Jesus Christ. “The Only Begotten Son”. The rest of us are his spirit children. That does not diminish his ownership of us though. As you may have deducted, once a child of God becomes a God, they also have spirit children, and send them to earths for their testing. To have a body is to be like God. Getting a body is one of the main reasons we came to earth.
15. pose any question to me and I’ll answer it – I haven’t explained everything here. When you ask a question, those of the nature of “but the bible doesn’t say that” are not as interesting to me. I never intended this to be a mere bible message. If that is heresy to you, I don’t mean to offend, and I respect your views, and applaud the good you do in the world. The type of questions I’m interested in are those which clarify the message of this letter rather than look for a biblical source for the letter. On some level all of this is in the bible, and we could go there, and I will if you like to some extent, but truly, that’s not the point. If that is heresy to you, that’s ok, as we’ve said before we can have different views and still be friends. Even if you think me hell bound for rejecting “perfect bible Christianity”, you can still be my friend. PS I don’t think you guys are hell bound, and am not offended if you think I am. I’ll take it further; You’re quite familiar with LDS stuff (much of this letter was probably a repeat for you), so you understand the whole separate levels of heaven thing which the LDS teach; I don’t even say you’re not going to the highest level of heaven; It’s not my place to judge; when people do their best they get the best reward; yes it’s true that LDS teach that the highest heaven is for those who have LDS temple ceremonies performed for them, yet there is a stipulation for those who weren’t involved; the stipulation is them getting that temple stuff after they are dead, awaiting the resurrection; however we encourage persons to read “my bible” and wrestle with this stuff and not get in a “I’ll change when I’m dead” setting, that never does much; the point of this final rant is to say that in no way do I say you’re not going to the highest heaven; there is so much confusion these days, I’m an imperfect messenger, LDS prophets are imperfect messengers, etc. etc., that many people simply aren’t going to hear the message God really wants them to hear; the key is that people really truly do their best, and pray very hard to find truth, and are willing to stand alone when called upon by God, willing to be in a minority of 1, etc. A note: though myself etc. are imperfect messengers, I do believe that “my bible” is absolutely true, pure revelation from the mouth of God. I take my bible as seriously as you do your bible. I also have another tool, it’s living prophets. When a passage in my bible isn’t clear, they can clarify it via God telling them the clarification. Such clarifications apply to the whole world and are binding. Another important point is that not everything a leader in “my church” says is this type of depth binding revelation. Messages from “the first presidency” and those which are repeated over time are the ones which are considered “revelation” and binding in their authority on the same level as “bible”.
16. some of this is hard to understand and may be unclear, but the universe isn’t 1st grade, it’s so fascinating that it can keep a genius on his toes, and thrill the best and brightest. It can at its core also be very simple and clear. I’ve not focused on that so much, so if you have questions of that nature, refer to the website sponsored by “my church” ; the best site I can think of is this http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/topics-and-background/ it has an a-z index of church stuff even the hard questions. While not sponsored by the church, fairmormon.org is also a good one.
17. you may not be into any of this, that’s ok. It’s been fun for me to put this together. I also feel bad if I don’t explain myself when I say something like I did on the FB message of “things that begin have an end”. God bless you
this passage from the book of Abraham (from POGP in my bible) it’s very important to the above logic:

“I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen. 22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; 23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. 24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; 25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; 26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever. 27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first. 28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.” (Abraham 3:21-28)

The reader refused to read my letter because I referred to things not in the Bible, and I responded thus:

That’s fine that you are not interested I will avoid pestering you with these things in the future. My message is something you are inherently opposed to, that your bible is not the only standard of truth. Since there is this foundational disagreement we can politely tip our hats and focus our conversation on different things. My attempts to show you from the bible that the bible is not the only standard of truth have been in vain. You say the bible can be like art that several people see differently. Well I can use the bible to say that there are more venues of truth than that book. So really your rejection of my extra biblical literature is a rejection of the bible itself… This outright rejection of my view evidenced by your refusing to read my letter to you is slightly disappointing. I put a lot of thought into that and it’s addressed specifically to you. If a pagan wrote me a letter I would read it out of respect for my pagan friend (and yes, it’s OK to be friends with pagans). After reading the letter I would tell him thank you for your time though I do not share those views. At that point I would either leave it alone or try to sport with my friend in showing him fallacies of his logic and try to persuade him to my point of view. Either way I would do my best to respect my friend. At the same time I recognize you are busy and didn’t necessarily ask for the letter, and perhaps reading such a letter is against your religion (hopefully this level of close mindedness is not a tenant), so I understand your hesitancy to read my letter. If I’ve offended you I apologize and will seek more neutral topics in the future as I value your friendship regardless of religion. I also note that despite differences our religions do have much in common. May God truly bless you as he has in the past.

 

 

 

The Solution to Pharaoh’s Dilemma: Overcoming Death

The authoritative solution to death is found from the prophets and temples…

Ideas based on a lecture by Hugh Nibley

Pharaoh was worried very much. He was not focused on death but on resurrection, on eternal life, not an eternal tomb. He was preoccupied about overcoming death he spent his days in the genealogical archives looking through files trying to see where he had Authority he wanted to imitate the ways of the Ancients like Noah and perform the rites and ordinances of eternal life he was heartbroken to find out that he could not find any link to this Authority in his genealogy and so he imitated Noah and created temples and these temples mimicked the order of the ancients.
The temples were the CenterPoint hierocentric center of the universe there a scale model of the universe; they are where we began to understand life after death you see this is the universal preoccupation of the human race, death. no one can get around it happens to everyone and so in the temples they prepared for the next life the prepared to be risen from the dead and they took upon themselves vestitures which would enable them so to do; of course these rituals were revealed by Angelic beings which came and showed them to Noah, Adam, et-cetera. And of course the temples are the perfect universities, the first observatories, etc.

 

 

The 7 Deadly Heresies by Elder Bruce R McConkie – Lecture Highlights

-To see the full text of this discourse click here.

-God knows all things, he is not continuing to learn. If he did not know all things, he could not save any of his creations. This is a quotation from Joseph Smith.

-Evolution in the way many see it (Darwinism) is entirely false. There was no death before the Fall of Adam. There were not things dying and evolving before Adam. The fall brought death into the world. See 2 Nephi 2:22 where it expressly says this.

-There is no doctrine of post-death second chances for Celestial Kingdom residence. “Those who reject the gospel in this life and then receive it in the spirit world go not to the celestial, but to the terrestrial kingdom.”

Our work for the dead is for who did not have the chance to hear the gospel in this life. It’s not our place to judge who that may or may not be.

-There is no advancing from one kingdom of glory to the next in the life to come. Where you are assigned is where you stay. “Of those in the telestial world it is written: “And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end” (D&C 76:112).”

-Temple marriage does not ensure that we will teach the Celestial Kingdom.

-We don’t have to be perfect in this life to merit living with God in the hereafter, but recall these principals, “(1) that this life is the appointed time for men to prepare to meet God—this life is the day of our probation; and (2) that the same spirit which possesses our bodies at the time we go out of this mortal life shall have power to possess our bodies in that eternal world.”

We need to be going towards God, and that not superficially.

 

 

 

Creation Fall Atonement Narrative

 

 

Elder McConkie taught that there are 3 pillars of eternity, as follows:
1. creation of the world,
2. the fall of Adam & Eve, and
3. the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Here are various scenes where we find these 3 pillars to be of use. These are analogies which help us understand these pillars. I view the original pillars to be factual accounts, not purely symbolic, though here we will consider various symbols.

Let me know of more you think of!

  1. Life
    1. Pre-mortality,
    2. earth life,
    3. the life to come
  2. Bodies
    1. living as spirits,
    2. living with bodies on earth,
    3. living with resurrected bodies in the kingdom of God
  3. The Batman Film Series
    1. “Batman Begins” with fear,
    2. episode 2, Batman falls in chaos,
    3. episode 3, Batman rises by pain.
  4. The literary theme
    1. Hero learns of identity & mission
    2. Hero embarks on the mission and finds much difficulty
    3. Hero overcomes through great sacrifice, successfully completing his mission
  5. Star Wars
    1. Luke learns of the force
    2. Luke fights against the dark side of the force
    3. Luke becomes a Jedi master and restores balance to the force
  6. Candide by Voltaire
    1. Candide begins with pure optimism
    2. Candide experiences setbacks of every kind
    3. Candide resorts to his garden, where his feelings are tempered with wisdom as he seeks to live a quiet life
  7. College
    1. The student hears of many possibilities & of his potential
    2. The student fails in obtaining all of his ambitions as he seeks to balance work school family life and his various passions. He is saddened by his inability to learn all things and help all people at the present time.
    3. The student relinquishes various academic aspirations and performs in a specific field, trusting that someday as time goes on, his heart will find knowledge, and he will somehow make a significant contribution to human kind in the various ways his heart feels to serve. He finds hope in religion which promises that he eventually shall obtain all knowledge and all power to serve others.
  8. The Family Man
    1. The young man is ambitious about family life, and obtains a wife and children
    2. The man experiences all manner of difficulties and is pushed further than he ever thought possible. He makes many mistakes and searches his soul to find strength to rise to his tasks
    3. The man becomes temperate and charitable, and is a legend among his people, playing a large role in the redemption of his posterity. He is not perfect, but he knows that as he continues improving he will become a God in eternity, and gain the title which is the highest: Heavenly Father.

(Note: for the woman, same narrative, and she obtains the title Heavenly Mother, whom is Father’s secret weapon, or in other words, she is the nucleus of the universe around which all else goes, she is the definition of purity and good, and Father’s job is to help people become like Mother. On a smaller scale, as President Russel M Nelson said, he chose to be a medical doctor because he could not choose to be a mother. He and God both have complete reverence for woman. The Hebrew word for God is actually a plural, Elohim, the ‘im’ meaning plural, which suggests that God is the team of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.)

 

 

 

Life is a Pickle

 

 

Video presentation of this article: click here

 

For the part 2 of this article, read The God of Individualized Contracts: click here

 

SECTION 1:

 

Mortality is like a perpetual scenario of Adam and Eve: struggling to decide what to do to please God when it seems there is no easy way out. We must choose between hard decisions daily and deal with not being able to accomplish all we wanted to. It’s critical that as we make these choices; we pray daily for God to forgive us for not being able to do more. We recommit to make everything better and beg forgiveness for the status quo mess that we have made. In the status quo mess, we can’t always make the ‘what would Jesus do’ choice because Jesus wouldn’t have got himself into that mess in the first place! Of course in every scenario there is a good better and best way to handle things, and that is generally what we mean by ‘do what Jesus would do’, but my point is that sometimes there is no black and white answer.

Perhaps there is always a black and white answer, but it is sufficiently hidden to us so as to test us. What good is a test if the solution manual is always provided to the student? Why ask us to believe if God shows up every 5 minutes? Indeed, pre-mortality was the school, and mortality is the short placement exam! Though we think life is not fair and wonder how this life could be an eternal placement test, God designed the test, and we are getting EXACTLY what we want out of life. There are no coincidences, our small daily choices are perfectly reflected in our life circumstances, attitudes, etc. Truly at the judgement day, all will confess to God “thy judgments are just”. He will recognize fully well that he has given us billions of chances to show our true colors, and our true colors will show indeed!

 

SECTION 2:

 

Some hold that rather than a test, life is like a school, or an apprenticeship. This is a beautiful perspective which highlights the companionship of God, God’s desires for us to become like him, and the overall mercy and tutoring God includes in our mortal experience. But it remains true that based on our choices in this life, we will be placed in either the celestial terrestrial or telestial kingdom of glory. This being said, life is, among other things, a test.

Progress in the spirit world after this life isn’t an excuse to procrastinate preparations. Alma makes it clear that this life is the time to prepare to meet God, the time to perform our labors. The gospel teaching in the spirit world is focused on those who didn’t have the opportunity to receive it here. We won’t be perfect by the time we meet death, and we will have progress to make after death, but to think that a person walking south will turn around and walk north just because death has arrived is a sectarian notion rejected by the master. Yes Ecclesiastes speaks of being able to turn around until death, but the modern way this is depicted in many Christian religions is that an enemy to God can say on his deathbed that he is sorry, and somehow qualify for the great glories of God. For example, one Christian movie titled “God’s not Dead” features a devout atheist professor who spent his life tearing down faith. Near the end of the movie he gets hit by a car and while his lungs fill with blood he says in effect ‘I’m so scared, I’m an atheist. OK I accept Jesus’. Then the preacher rejoices and claims his soul saved. This is like spiritually debt reckless spending followed by declaring bankruptcy. Just because you filed for bankruptcy doesn’t mean you’re ‘saved’ You have lots to learn about financial/spiritual wisdom, you have not yet taken upon you the countenance of Christ in righteously governing that which has been appointed to you. The Book of Mormon clarifies the doctrine of repentance in showing that various atheists who are about to die yet confess on their deathbeds that they lived in sin, aren’t much better off than when they were living in sin. Life is about becoming something, and deathbed repentance is void of that. Jesus taught this succinctly when he said, “Not everyone that saith ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter into my kingdom.”

A discussion on deathbed repentance usually goes to the thief on the cross. Modern revelation has shown that a better translation of this passage is ‘this day thou shalt be with me in the world of spirits.’ This suggests that rather than jumping into the same celestial boat as Christ’s disciples, this man is going to a place where he can learn of the lesser portion of God’s glory, which is still available to him. That availability will not be the same as what is available for those who used their lives for good, who stopped doing bad things, and became descent people, regardless of how much they did or didn’t know about God. Everyone has the light of Christ from birth, sometimes called a conscience, and how we have listened to or rejected that light will be the key factor at judgement day.

Recall that hell is temporary, a place of refining for the wicked, so they can be painfully purged and go to live in the lowest kingdom of glory, called the telestial kingdom. It’s still a place of glory, but it’s nowhere near as glorious as the two higher kingdoms, namely the terrestrial and the celestial. Those who enter the telestial kingdom essentially qualified for that in the premortal existence.

The only permanent hell is the place where Lucifer himself lives, along with the 1/3 who openly rejected God’s plan while staring God in the face in premortality, and the small handful of people in this life who knowingly reject God to a similar level in this life. Such rejection is a deeper evil than murder etc., and is often referred to as ‘denying the Holy Ghost’. Jesus said that those in this category receive not forgiveness in this life, nor the life to come (Matt. 12:32). These people not only speak against Christ, they speak against all holy things, they love evil and hate good.  For more scriptures about this group, see the LDS Guide to the Scriptures, topic of “Sons of Perdition” (at this link https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/sons-of-perdition?lang=eng). There is some information on this and other components of God’s plan found in the bible, but the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants have 100-fold information on these subjects.

Let us remember that Elder McConkie of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles taught in his discourse titled “The 7 Deadly Heresies” that if one rejects the missionaries in this life, they drop a kingdom, and can only qualify for the terrestrial in the life to come, not the celestial, notwithstanding work for the dead.

 

SECTION 3:

 

Perhaps some of our choices from where we stand can’t be perfect ones, but are simply the best given the circumstances. We do our best and beg forgiveness daily because we greatly need it daily. Never forget the holiness of god and the nothingness of man and the requirements of god upon man. Remember the angel that came to rebuke Joseph Smith for living beneath the expectations of God in his young trying days of getting the plates (actually all of his days were trying days) and think not that you are better than Joseph, that you are not worthy of rebuke. We are all worthy of rebuke. Our character lies in weather we stand up to it or run away from it in cowardice, hiding as it were under the rocks, kidding ourselves that judgement day will never come.

 

No one is exempt from some level of ambiguity in their day to day choices. God lets us chose. His will is sometimes our will. That’s what happened for Nephi (3rd Nephi). God told him ‘you figure it out I will back you wherever you go with this, let’s see what you’ve got kid. You can do it, I’ve been watching you. Stick around and check this out, you may even surprise yourself’.

 

Life is a pickle and who can get out? the answer is that no one can get out; the purpose of life is to see what you’re going to do when you’re in a pickle; we want to see what you do when there’s no right answer – what will you pick in the only options are to fail in one thing or two fail in something else. yes, you’ll see bits and pieces of success, and God will comfort you through your trials, but life IS a trial.

One good analogy of this is seen in Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, wherein Ender is judged not only based on what he did, but why he did it.

Another analogy to consider is the “Golden Parachute Clause” principle of corporate businesses. This is where a VIP employee is essentially considered to be so valuable, that he is allowed to make mistakes, even big mistakes, and not get fired. This doesn’t mean he comes out in forthright rebellion, no, he is always TRYING to make the right choice, it’s just that sometimes, he simply messes up. And when you’re in the driver’s seat and you mess up, consequences can be big. But he does so much good that it overwhelms the bad. The ripple effect of the good that he does is so much bigger than the ripple effect of the bad that he does, that the company would be at a great loss to get rid of him. In other words, the NET EFFECT you have on the world is GOOD. The end result of your presence on earth has been an overall increase in goodness, peace, prosperity, justice, mercy, love, etc.

 

Notes:

One thing that need not be ambiguous is our testimony of Jesus Christ and his restored gospel. Some remain ambiguous in this, but there is a gift of the spirit of not just believing these things but knowing them. Seek that gift!

The D&C even goes so far as to say we should covet spiritual gifts!

“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” -Jesus Christ

“This is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.” -Jesus Christ

 

 

 

Heart to the Fathers, not to Secularism: How remembering our Ancestors can save our Souls

 

The world likes to show how their ancestors were wrong; but the Lord says we should “turn our hearts to the fathers”. The world is interested in reinventing a new wheel, the Lord says repent. I’m not saying we should copy some of the bad of our ancestors or prejudice. I am saying we should ask ourselves, “How would my ancestors react if they saw the way I dress? The way I treat the holy scriptures? The way I treat my neighbor? The way I treat my kids and spouse? The way I use my money and free time?” I think most cases will bring us to better behavior if we think in this way. The Lord said that lest we do this, the earth will be “smitten with a curse.” (see book of Malachi)

Your family history work will greatly influence your family future work for the better!

You don’t have to reach back to Adam and Eve today. That will come, and sooner than you think, many have done it already. But you can focus on 4 generations back, and add pictures and stories etc. The Church has invested massive amounts of money to FamilySearch.org, a mighty program to make a safe keeping of these memories and stories, and family trees.

Note – Buy a 2’x3’ chart of 9 Generations already filled in from the database at FamilySearch.org at the BYU Family History Library for $7.

This social media forum may be helpful: LDS Genealogy and Family History (~1,700 members) https://www.facebook.com/groups/LDSGenealogists/

 

 

Agency Begins with Saying No

Ideas from BYU Family Life Professor Thomas Draper. I share these ideas with permission of the author.

This suggests that the power to meet our goals lies in our ability to say no to distractions, etc. We have the power to choose what we do. We are not powerless. Perhaps we should make “No” our new favorite word we tell ourselves.

 

Agency exists because we can say no despite what physiological reaction we have to stimulus. Professor Thomas Draper of BYU says in his SFL 290 class presentation 6 on critical thinking.

 

“First, it exists. Despite neuropsychological studies that say it is a self-flattering illusion.

Neurological studies are helpful, but usually  interpreted incompletely.”

 

He refers to Libet’s experiment on when we react to stimuli. Libet suggests that it’s just an illusion that we chose to do things, that we are powerless to stimuli.

 

“The beginning of agency is

saying “No” to what is starting to happen

In your body.” says Draper.

 

He continues, “No doubt, some actions are prefigured by neural impulses of Biology; Temptations; Natural man (or woman) Pre-decisions Habits”

 

Consider Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife.

 

Draper continues,

there are moral moments

more complex, unlike the simple hand and finger movements in the neuroscience experiments.

They cause us to pause and break

out of our everyday routine and do

a much more complex moral

evaluation, and take more complex

action.

 

The parable of the Good Samaritan

The baby in the road

 

Consider that “we get to choose our goals”

 

Sailor on the lake metaphor:

The boat = genetic endowment

The lake and the winds = the physical and social environments

The person sailing the boat = the moral agent

 

But after we do we must obey the laws that will get us to our goals.

Often not a lot of choice about how we must behave to get to the goal.

Saying “yes” to the goal means saying “no” to distractions & temptations.

 

Getting to the same goal can be harder for some people than others.

 

[due to]

 

Different genetics

 

Different social and

physical environment

 

But if is a moral goal one will have Divine help and grace to get there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emulating the Godhead in the Pre-Mortal, Mortal, & Post-Mortal Existence – chart not included online; online formatting tailored to match this sequence

 

 

Typical Kingdom / Era / Purpose: Telestial / Premortal / Preparatory Terrestrial / Mortality / Perform Celestial / Post-Mortality / Complete
Qualified Ministrants / Prototypes to Emulate: Holy Ghost

(unembodied)

Jesus Christ

(embodied)

Heavenly Father

(perfectly / indestructibly / perpetually embodied)

Key Family Oriented Elements: Testify of God our Father

and his family-based plan

Selfless sacrifice in adhering to God’s laws in relationships;

Family based priorities

Use of family unit to achieve theosis (theosis= human becoming God); Perpetuate family structure
Temple Connections: Faith in & covenant with deity required to succeed

and pass into next phase

Covering body as a symbol of temples as sacred vs profane space. Discriminatory relationships. Marriage as a type/symbol of reunion with presence of God. Procreative marriage a foretaste of theosis
Perfect Faith Required for Salvation (2 Ne. 9:23): 3 Elements of Faith adapted from Joseph Smith Know the characteristics of God. Believe in God and chose his plan. Know that you are living in accordance to God’s expectations. Emulate Jesus Christ the Son of God. We are also sons of God. Receive all promised blessings.
Role of Scripture: Motivate creations to adopt creator’s philosophy. Execute scripture (law) from our creator. Create scripture for your creations.
Success Rate: 2/3 success

1/3 defect to perdition

Narrow path, but only a few defect all the way down to perdition. Many called, few chosen for theosis. However, God’s mercy and justice provide alternate kingdoms for inferior levels of performance.
Prevailing Expectation: Receive Give Receive and Give in eternal balance.
Vision / Perspective: See the plan Operate the plan

(without “seeing” it; walk by faith)

Probation / Test / Exam

See & show “one eternal round”

 

Family Stage: Family orientation Family creation Perpetual Families;

Create and orient your creation

Prevailing Sentiment Rejoice

(Job 37:8)

Weep

(Isa. 53:3)

Eternal balance of rejoicing and weeping

(Isa. 25:8; Moses 7:29-37)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overview:

The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead. The Holy Ghost is a spirit, and shows us how to live in a premortal state. Those who prove worthy there eventually come to an earth to live. Jesus Christ is another member of the Godhead. Jesus Christ came to this earth 2000 years ago and showed us how to live in our mortal lives. Heavenly Father is another member of the Godhead. Heavenly Father’s status shows us what it is like after mortal life if we prove faithful.

In premortality, we were like the Holy Ghost, without a body. In this life, we are like Jesus Christ, with a body. In the next life, we can, if we prove faithful here, be like Heavenly Father, with an eternal body and spirit combined.

The premortal stage was for preparation. Mortal stage is for performance. Post-mortal stage is where we reach completion, and continue our labors in a state of exaltation.

The Godhead is set up to show us how to live. We are to patturn our eternal lives after their eternal lives if we wish to enjoy, with them, the fullest blessings of eternal life & exaltation.

The Doctrine and Covenants reveals the government of the kingdoms of God. In the kingdoms of God, the Holy Ghost ministers to the telestial. In the terrestrial, Jesus Christ ministers. In the celestial, Heavenly Father ministers. Each member of the Godhead is a worthy resident of the celestial kingdom. The Godhead work together to rule the various kingdoms of glory.

We will consider an analogy of how the premortal mortal and post-portal stages are typified by these the 3 members of the Godhead. We will also consider, for the purposes of this analogy, that the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial kingdoms are like unto 3 stages of progression. I do not believe that a permanent assignment to one of these 3 kingdoms post-mortally can ever be changed, we are just using them as analogies of stages of growth and development. Examples of this are presented in the sections of this presentation as follows.

 

We will consider 11 analogies where this parable:

 

Analogy 1: Ministers / Prototypes

Analogy 2: Family Elements

Analogy 3: Family Stage

Analogy 4: Perfect Faith Required for Salvation (2 Ne. 9:23): Joseph Smith’s 3 elements of faith

Analogy 5: Role of Scripture

Analogy 6: Success Rate

Analogy 7: Prevailing Expectation

Analogy 8: Vision / Perspective

Analogy 9: Temple Connections

Analogy 10: Prevailing Sentiment

Analogy 11: Selection Process for God’s Several Kingdoms of Glory

Bonus Analogy: The Batman Trilogy

 

Within each analogy, we will consider 3 categories:

 

  1. Telestial likeness, Premortal era, Preparatory stage
  2. Terrestrial likeness, Mortality era, Performing stage
  3. Celestial likeness, Post-Mortality era, Complete stage

 

 

Analogy 1: Ministers / Prototypes

 

  1. Ministers / Prototypes of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Holy Ghost (unembodied)

 

  1. Ministers / Prototypes of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Jesus Christ (embodied)

 

  1. Ministers / Prototypes of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Heavenly Father (perfectly / indestructibly / perpetually embodied)

 

Analogy 2: Family Elements

 

  1. Family Elements of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Testify of God our Father and his family-based plan

 

  1. Family Elements of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Selfless sacrifice in adhering to God’s laws in relationships; Family based priorities

 

  1. Family Elements of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Use of family unit to achieve theosis (theosis= human becoming God); Perpetuate family structure

 

Analogy 3: Family Stage

 

  1. Family Stage of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Family orientation

 

  1. Family Stage of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Family creation

 

  1. Family Stage of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Perpetual Families; Create and orient your creation

 

Analogy 4: Perfect Faith Required for Salvation (2 Ne. 9:23):

 

(Joseph Smith’s 3 elements of faith as found in ‘Lectures On Faith’)

 

  1. Faith stage of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Know the characteristics of God. Believe in God and chose his plan.

 

  1. Faith stage of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Know that you are living in accordance to God’s expectations. Emulate Jesus Christ the Son of God. We are also sons & daughters of God.

 

  1. Faith stage of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Receive all promised blessings.

 

Analogy 5: Role of Scripture

 

  1. Role of Scripture of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Motivate creations to adopt creator’s philosophy.

 

  1. Role of Scripture of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Execute scripture (law) from our creator.

 

  1. Role of Scripture of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Create scripture for your creations.

 

Analogy 6: Success Rate

 

  1. Success Rate of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

2/3 success; 1/3 defect to perdition. Everyone has equal opportunity succeed, but not everyone choses to do so.

 

  1. Success Rate of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Narrow path, but only a few defect all the way down to perdition. Everyone has equal opportunity succeed, but not everyone choses to do so.

 

  1. Success Rate of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Many called, few chosen for theosis. However, God’s mercy and justice provide alternate kingdoms for inferior levels of performance. Everyone has equal opportunity succeed, but not everyone choses to do so.

 

Section 7: Prevailing Expectation

 

  1. Prevailing Expectation of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Receive

 

  1. Prevailing Expectation of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Give

 

  1. Prevailing Expectation of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Receive and Give in eternal balance.

 

Section 8: Vision & Perspective

 

  1. Vision & Perspective of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

See the plan

 

  1. Vision & Perspective of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Operate the plan (without “seeing” it; walk by faith); Probation / Test / Exam

 

  1. Vision & Perspective of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

See & show “one eternal round”

 

Section 9: Temple Connections

 

  1. Temple Connections of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Faith in & covenant with deity required to succeed and pass into next phase

 

  1. Temple Connections of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Covering the spirit with a body as a temple symbol; sacred vs profane space; Discriminatory relationships.

 

  1. Temple Connections of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Marriage as a type/symbol of reunion with presence of God. Procreative marriage a foretaste of theosis.

 

Section 10: Prevailing Sentiment

 

  1. Prevailing Sentiment of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Rejoice (Job 37:8)

 

  1. Prevailing Sentiment of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Weep (Isa. 53:3)

 

  1. Prevailing Sentiment of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Eternal balance of rejoicing and weeping (Isa. 25:8; Moses 7:29-37)

 

Section 11: Selection Process for God’s Several Kingdoms of Glory

 

  1. Selection Process of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

The sons of perdition (1/3 of God’s children) didn’t make it on to the next stage of mortality despite the opportunities they were given before being cast down to perdition. They refused to live up the telestial standard required for mortal life within the ample and merciful time given them. The rest (2/3) came to the next level of progress: Mortality.

 

  1. Selection Process of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Mortals who remain telestial in their attitudes/behaviors don’t make it on to the next stage of progression, the great Millennium. These wicked are consumed in the millennial day at the Second Coming of Christ, despite the opportunities they were given before his return. They refused to live up the terrestrial standard required for millennial life within the ample and merciful time given them. The rest are permitted to advance into the Millennial stage to further progress toward exaltation.

  1. Selection Process of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

Millennials who remain merely terrestrial in their attitudes/behaviors do not qualify for exaltation; they fail to qualify for exaltation despite opportunities during the Millennium. They refused to live up the celestial standard required for eternal life and exaltation within the ample and merciful time given them. The rest who do qualify for exaltation go onward to complete perfection, and become Gods themselves. They enter into ‘the rest of the Lord’ (Alma 13:16).

 

Bonus Analogy: The Batman Trilogy

 

  1. Telestial likeness, Premortal era, Preparatory stage

 

Creation. Self-discovery, orientation, anticipation, faith to go forward despite not comprehending all the details of the future.

 

  1. Terrestrial likeness, Mortality era, Performing stage

 

Fall. Things not going as smoothly as you anticipated. The Fall of Adam. Coping with the fallen nature. Not giving up when beaten down.

 

  1. Celestial likeness, Post-Mortality era, Complete stage

 

Atonement. Conquering all things, rising above all things, completing the painful process of divine sacrifice for others. The Atonement of Christ. The atonement of giving all you are to others. Becoming like Christ in all things, eliminating the fallen nature.

 

3 Purposes, 7 Processes, 3 Principles from this Analogy:

Purpose 1: The purpose of the family is to go on to exaltation, and participate in the eternal creation of more family units on a larger scale. Without the perpetuation of the family unit in eternity, the family is vain and will come to an end. There is no beginning of souls, they existed in the beginning with God, and they must go on forever. Even the damned will continue to exist forever, for they have no beginning, so they can have no end. The ultimate expression of the divine is that a family emulates the creative aspects of God.

Purpose 2: The purpose of studying the word of God in family settings is to express the message that the entire plan of salvation is based on the family unit. The religions of this world lack an understanding of the perpetuation of the family. The family must be together in heaven, and without this view, the family will lose motivation for virtuous livelihoods. The entire system of life is based on creation and edification of family units, and if those are to fall away in heaven, both the lack of will to do good for heaven and the will to do good for mortality vanish.

Purpose 3: The purpose of modest dress is to protect the chastity of women. Modest dress is additionally to represent the divine nature of the body, which should not be accessible to the general public, just like a temple and God’s kingdom. The temple is not open enrollment, and God’s university is thus scorned by the secular masses, but we have seen in social science that immodest dress is a type of how when the sacred is offered at large to the profane, then the relationship system fails. The relationships without the backbone of covenants fall apart as quickly as sand in one’s hand. If women become unchaste, they lose the appreciation for themselves, and forget divine ideals and possibilities.

Process 1: A family must use the standard words as the key focus of their study, so they cannot reasonably deny the requirements of God’s law to inherit salvation. The laws for salvation are contained in the standard works, and without their application, the preaching of the word of God does not occur, and the faith needed for salvation cannot be obtained. The individual matter of salvation becomes unavailable, and the higher family matter of exaltation becomes void.

Process 2: The family must teach each other the non-biological aspects of the plan of salvation by instructing in the value of relationships rather than mere animalistic approach to courtship. If a couple will court each other just for sexual attraction, they are forgetting about needed components of marital stability and overall happiness (including sexual intercourse frequency). The plan of God is designed to enable spirits in bodies to have eternal joy, but the spirit aspect of the body cannot be overlooked if this is to be successful.

Process 3: The family must emphasize the importance of selfless love in the mortality phase of Gods plan. If the family will do this, the candidates for salvation will learn obedience by the things they suffer. The call to follow Christ is a call to suffer, and the world of false churches often go wrong on this point alone: that the path of Christ is not an easy path (though it is more easy than suffering in hell, as Christ said). Only by following Christ can any person, along with their hopes and dreams, attain divine goals, including marriage and continuing parenthood.

Process 4 : The family must understand their role as testators, similar to the Holy Ghost. If the family will testify of the divinity of God to each other in their times of need, they will gain the strength they need to overcome their trials. Faith comes by hearing the word of God, and without this, the candidates cannot gain faith. Salvation is impossible to obtain without perfect faith as the Book of Mormon says, and thus hearing the word of God is essential to spiritual growth. The Holy Ghost is a person, this makes it easy for us to emulate him in our relationships. We can know truth just like he can.

Process 5: The family must worship God at the temple in order to understand the “why” of modest dress. Not only is there a strict code of modesty inside the temple, but there is also a symbol of modesty there which communicates essential lessons for why we cover our bodies. The scriptures say that Christ covered Adam and Eve in coats of skins. Skins are the result of slain beasts, like the Lamb of God being slain. The sacrifice of Christ is essential to our protection. We profane ourselves via sin, and Christ puts his life on the line and ultimately on the altar for our sakes to cover our sins and bring us back to the ways of God, away from our fallen ways. When we learn that there is sacred space and profane space, we will understand the need to cover our bodies as a symbol that we are willing to obey the laws of God even when it seems non-sensical to ourselves.

Process 6: The family must study the role of Father in Heaven. Without this understanding, they will not have hope of a glorious future. The perfections of Heavenly Father and the splendid roles he operates (including the divine weeping for souls in trial) give us hope that heaven will be more than strumming harps, and that there is a meaning to suffering which enables faith in God and in relationships even in hard times. The relationship will survive longer and even forever if we maintain faith in God, heaven, and a benevolent future. This will empower selfless love needed to maintain relationships with fellow imperfect beings.

Process 7: The family must repent of all their sins in order to stay together in eternity. All candidates of the family must be clean before being permitted into the presence of God. If the family does well but one individual does not, then the family will exist in the kingdom of God without the unclean member, for nothing can undo the laws of God. The mercy of Christ is operational only for repentant souls. Repentance is the benevolent key to unlock the otherwise forbidden doors of heaven, where only the just dwell. Christ was required to obey the law of God, and so are we. For us, one of the laws of God includes repentance, and we cannot be saved without it.

Principle 1: If God is worshiped by each member of the family individually and together in the home on a daily basis, the family will grow closer to each other. This means that the contrary is also true, namely that without God, relationships cannot thrive. If the individuals are left to themselves to find their way through the wilderness of life, they will be eaten by the wolves of secularism after becoming spiritually blind via their close-mindedness toward God. I use the word worship because it suggests the comparative might of God juxtaposed to the weakness of man. The family togetherness component is essential as the family and home are the laboratory to the human breed.

Principle 2:  If marriage candidates value God’s standards including particularly the modesty regulations, then they will have a marriage void of the strife aspect of eros love. This means that eros love while being a good thing ( a love of physical beauty), if not contained within the parameters the Lord has set, will be fundamentally destructive toward any relationship. To think that a couple can consider the bodies things to be taken lightly and still expect the favor and grace of God in their relationship, then their hopes are founded upon something totally in contradiction to the very plan of salvation, which focuses on the incorporation of spirits on an earth as a primary element of moral examination. To put it simply, to misuse the body is to fail the key question in the test of the human being. The immodest person either knowingly or unknowingly denies God by denying faith in his plan of happiness. His plan of happiness entails virtue in marriage covenants, and the body being a temple, the candidate is denying the sacredness of the human nature as being an embryonic deity. This negation of truth leads to the impossibility of exaltation.

Principle 3: If humans emulate the Godhead in their aspirations for family success and efforts to activate the plan of redemption, they will progress together toward exaltation. This means that each member of the Godhead plays a distinct role, and family members can emulate that person in each stage. In pre-mortality we emulated the Holy Ghost in testifying of the reality of God and his plans supernal & unique effectiveness. In mortality we walk the earth like Jesus Christ and take up our crosses doing our best like he did his best. In post-mortality we emulate Heavenly Father in the creation of spirit children and touring them through pre, post, and mortalities of their own. This aspect of sacrificial love in mortality is the glue which will hold family relationships together, and the post mortality aspect allows the perpetuation of the family system through eternity.

 

 

 

 

Effective Co-Creators: Everyday Saviors on Mount Zion

 

 

Thesis: not only God, but humans also, have the power to vastly effect, or “CREATE” the eternal destiny of human beings. Your contributions are significant, for good or ill. God’s plan includes, and perhaps is even based on, humans impacting each other. Complacency with the idea that “God will take care of everyone” is not only going to end up bad for you, but bad for others, and that eternally. The end of the document has brief dialogue of my answering questions from LDS people and a Protestant friend regarding this theory. This is the most plain writing I could conjure, and it is appropriately bold.

Your effect on others creates for them a different experience and opportunity than they would have had without you

Consider God. were it not for him, we would not have progressed to our current corporal status, and we would have no hope of resurrection, just to name a few things.

Now consider mankind. Can their effect be great upon others?
I’ve heard some men say they are afraid to preach the gospel because they fear that if their hearers reject their message, the hearers will be somehow eternally disadvantaged because of them.

I’ve heard some men say ‘why does it matter if I contribute a lot or a little to the preaching of the gospel (and other good causes), God will make sure everyone is taken care of, God would not put another person at risk because of me, a third party.

This is dangerous logic. God watches over us all, this is true. But he has already done so much for us, and though he continues to do lots for us, our interactions with each other can bring even further blessings.

Consider this: God values our autonomy (independence) so much, that he lets people make good choices and bad choices. the good leads to exponential growth. the bad leads to exponential decay. the repercussions or fruits of these actions are not inconsequential.

God gives the human race so much power, that they can influence each other powerfully unto the effect of saving or damning their fellow man.

Will God protect us from all evil? Will he force us toward all good? No and no. So much of the fate of the human race depends on their interactions with each other!

God is creating us into someday-Gods. We are children of God and have the seeds of divinity in us. Mortality isn’t our first rodeo, we learned much in premortality. Now here in mortality we are all given massive power to impact the lives of our fellows. This is part of what makes mortality such an effective test; some men have said “how can God pass eternal judgement upon us after grading our performance for a measly 80 or so years? Can that really determine the way I will spend eternity?” The answer is yes, it can, and it does. Let me explain: the impact we have for others in this life for better or worse is so monumental, that if it be an impact for good, it will merit our eternal salvation. And if it be an impact for bad, it will be so far reaching that it will be clear grounds for the eternal damnation of our souls. You see, mortality is the final battle, the last stand, the point of no return, the test of eternity, this is where God determines which of his children have chosen to become like him, and which will cut themselves off, not being willing to bear such an “eternal weight” of glory and joy.

Now granted, God in his goodness has prepared more than just a heaven and a hell, but varying degrees of each so the sort of good person doesn’t get stuck with either the valiant or with the devils, and so the sort of bad person doesn’t get stuck with either the valiant or with the devils. This plays into government theory, its why socialism and communism don’t work. If there is only a heaven or hell, then why should the good person bother being his best, or why should the bad person bother with not being his most deplorable self? You see, a free market is similar to how God judges his children: if they do much good, they get much reward. If they do a little good, they get a little reward. If they do much evil they get great punishment, if they do little evil they get little punishment. This doctrine shows us that God is completely fair with us.

Let it further be noted that God has loaded extra mercy into his government via the service of his divine son Jesus Christ. I and everyone else desperately needs Christ. Christ performs 2 functions: 1. pay for our debts (sins), and 2. help us learn to be independent (debt free, aka not sinning anymore, able to build our own great things rather than just begging others for help all the time; the person eventually becomes a helper instead of one to be helped)

So let me summarize a few key ideas: it does matter how much you participate in promoting goodness in this life. You do have power to lead others toward salvation which could result in souls saved which would have otherwise been lost. You do have power to lead others to damnation whom otherwise may not have been damned. God has given his children (the human race) epic amounts of power, and will measure their eternal assignment by the way they have used that power. Perhaps the fact that we don’t often realize how much we are impacting others (how much power we have) is part of the test we are going through. When we meet God the blinders will be removed from our eyes and we will understand all things, and we will confess that his judgments upon us are just!

No wonder Joseph Smith taught that a religion which does not require one’s all does not have sufficient power to save him!

Here are my responses to some issues LDS people have had with this theory:

When I say capitalism is like heaven this is what I mean: the fact that we have multiple levels of heavens suggests that the harder one works, the greater his reward will be. Such is not the case in communist governments which look much like Satan’s kingdom. Protestant religions have 1 heaven only, and that doctrine demotivates work ethic. One example, if being a doctor paid the same as being a nurse’s aid, I wouldn’t bother going to med school. In other words, if simple belief in Jesus was enough for heaven, I wouldn’t bother being a Mormon (it’s a lot of work!). I look forward to living the law of consecration where I will have no use of extra money, but I will have the blessing of the celestial kingdom which is better than terrestrial, better than money, etc.

Yes service is missing in capitalism, but governments are about protecting our rights, not about compelling us to be charitable! Even God doesn’t force us to have charity! About independence, it refers to a later stage where we become God’s having equal power over all things with God. At our current stage we certainly need to rely on Christ. We will forever praise and worship Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father for their role in our advancement to Godhood. We will then help our posterity become just like ourselves, like how our Heavenly Father helped us become just like Himself.

One more word on the analogy of business: God is the CEO. Is independent, possessing all power. We are currently beggars. Thank God for his mercy to provide for us (air, food, bodies, power, etc.). Eventually, as a child of God, he wants us to become his equal, helping us to start our own companies and be CEO of them, and have all power with him and his father’s (and yes, prophets have taught that Heavenly Father has a father). When we become CEO’s, we are no longer dependent. Satan wanted to be a CEO like God, but he wanted to replace God rather than starting his own business and all the work that would entail. This he is damned. He was more of a mutineer than a businessman. He rebelled against God instead of aligning himself with the ways of God.

Here is a brief conversation with a Protestant friend pertaining to the last segment here “When I say capitalism is like heaven this is what I mean…”

  1. COMMENT FROM PROTESTANT FRIEND: Thanks for sharing Nate! I love getting to understand other religions and beliefs as they test my own faith. As a Protestant, our ultimate motivation behind good deeds and works is the love of and for God- to bring Him glory. We believe that Christ is certainly enough and the only way to receive salvation. A true believer who has accepted Christ wouldn’t just want Him for their ticket to heaven. They would be motivated out of love and gratitude for what Christ did to be the most Christ-like person they can become. But we all fall short of the perfection of Christ. Thank God for grace! Lol- literally!
  2. RESPONSE BY NATE:
    You’re welcome glad to see some of this jargle gets read So I’ll say this in response: Out of his love for us, Christ centers his involvement with us on making us better people. Christ isn’t obsessed with being worshiped, he is obsessed with helping others. I worship him because he helps me. If he did not help me, I would not worship him. So at face value Protestants are inherently more pure than Mormons because they worship out of love instead of out of gratitude, but I suggest that premise is incorrect. Loving God is one thing, but it’s why you love him that’s important. I don’t love someone just because they call themselves God. If Christ wasn’t my ticket to heaven, I would not worship him. My chief focus in this life is to get myself, my family, and whoever else I can to heaven. Anything less would be further from right on a scale of right and wrong. In one sentence, you said you don’t just worship God because he is a ticket to heaven, but in the next you said you worship him in gratitude for “what he did”. Well “what he did” is give us a ticket to heaven. So I think that your adoration of Christ is more centered on the ticket than you’re ready to admit. It was a nice thing of Christ to keep company with prostitutes, it was a nice thing of Christ to teach his disciples, it was a nice thing of Christ to heal lepers and raise dead people back to life. But none of those things are why I worship Christ; many prophets before and after Christ have done all of those things, yet I don’t worship them. The one and only reason I worship Christ is because he offers me salvation. Another word for salvation is “a ticket to heaven”. Also you’ve defined what it means to be a true believer in Christ, and you claim I don’t fit that definition. Belief is subjective and personal, so I won’t tell you what you believe, and you don’t tell me what I believe. The most classic in the book is bible reading persons arguing about what it means to have the correct idea about what it means to be a “true believer” (hence the many churches of different creed and title). You and I have 2 different and passionate views about what it means to be a believer, but for the sake of friendship, we will avoid calling each other non-believers. I’m glad that you recognize that I believe (and I’m even more glad that you agree with this) that Christ is the only way to salvation.
  3. RESPONSE FROM PROTESTANT FRIEND: “This is such a great response Nate. This is why I love conversations like this and I think that the more we discuss, the stronger our faiths become. I think that you are SO right when you say that my adoration of Christ is more centered on salvation than I am ready to admit! And for me, that is a sin, and something that I want to work every day on moving away from. Someone once asked me if I would worship Christ even if he did not die on the cross for us. If I’m honest with myself, that might be hard to do because of my inherent selfish human nature. But I would hope that I would. My chief focus in life is bringing my God glory for the amazing God that He is. I worship him for who He is, and I do good works (obedience, service, etc.) in gratitude for what He did. The fundamental difference between our two faiths is who the person of Christ is. Protestants believe that Jesus Christ is fully human, and fully God. I believe that Jesus Christ IS God in the flesh, and that is the most important reason why (or maybe rather why I SHOULD) worship Him. But that gets us into some pretty deep theology that might be better for another time You say at the end that we both agree that Christ is the only way to salvation, but you also say that in order to be saved, there is more work for you to do in addition to what Christ did. This is where we differ, though each of our acts of worship of Jesus remains genuine. What I will say is this- I absolutely do respect your faith and I love learning more about it. I think that Mormons are some of the most kind, most faithful, and most dedicated people to their faith. I wish that more Christians were like that. Thanks again for sharing”
  4. RESPONSE BY NATE: Thanks for the compliments. To keep it brief I’ll say this: LDS do believe Christ is God. Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 11:13 “I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.” so FYI Mormons do believe Christ is God. Old testament names God as “Jehovah”. Yes, JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH, AND JEHOVAH IS GOD. Yes, we differ in that you don’t believe Jesus (Jehovah) has a Father. If we wanted to get into it, I could explain how God (Jesus) having a father is critical to having hope. Basically, it shows that we can become Gods just like Jesus became a God. It shows that the universe is ever expanding, and posterity “as the stars” is ever expanding, allowing us to have the full large-scale parental joy that Gods have. Further, God the Father is the standard that God the Son (Jesus Christ) lived up to become a God. God the Son came to earth to show us the prototype of how to become God. Thank goodness that we have access to mercy or we could never become the kind of just people that Gods are. Mercy hurts, and we are learning to not just receive it, but to give it. Being saved (having a happy afterlife) is about what Christ did for us. Being exalted (reaching your full potential, becoming a God like your father (we are the children of God)) is about what we do for others. The other issue you bring up is the need for works “beyond Jesus” for salvation. Well, Jesus said that not only those who say Lord Lord get into heaven but those who do good works. That is a theme throughout the bible and I won’t bother you with 50 references to support it. Heaven knows I have at least 10 essays doing just that on my website from prior conversations like this that I’ve had. I now focus these discussions on boldly declaring my beliefs rather than dancing around about how to interpret what the bible says (which I suggest Protestants aren’t as united on as you may think). Basically the argument that there is only Jesus and no personal effort to get salvation is ignoring the essence of Jesus as an example. The Book of Mormon brings to mind the idea that bible readers have forgotten, that Jesus says over and over “be like me”. Another key difference between our religions is The Book of Mormon. At the end of the day arguing about what the bible says isn’t that important to me, because it’s not the comprehensive dictionary of my faith. I believe in the Book of Mormon, which means I believe in a certain interpretation of the bible, and reject other interpretations of the bible. PS good job on discovering that the cross-less Jesus wouldn’t be someone to worship.

Don’t feel obligated to read any of this but if you’re ever really curious, these I have more essays which relate to topics we are discussing in the exaltation, eternity, & redemption sections of my books.

 

 

 

The Plan of Salvation Told in Holidays

 

 

 

Note: this is just a fun study of comparing and contrasting holidays in the order they occur, and relating that to the plan of salvation in the order of eternal events, or the choosing of a higher or lower kingdom.

In reality, anytime people come together with friends and family is a great time. I love all holidays (but especially Christmas!)

 

 

The Creation Holiday: New Year’s Day

 

-we remember beginnings, especially the creation of earth & being raised as “young” spirits in pre-mortality

The Holiday of Promise: Easter

-we learn in premortality of Jesus Christ and Gods plan for us to have immortal bodies like himself

 

The Holiday of War: Memorial Day

 

-we fought in pre-mortality between Jehovah (Christ) and Lucifer

 

The Pre-Mortal Holiday: Independence Day

 

-becoming free, as in the election of Christ instead of Lucifer, and thus coming to earth to work out our salvation

The Mortal Holiday: Labor Day

-this life is the day for men to perform their labors, to prepare to meet God

 

 

***Now moving on to the 3 core holidays, typical of the 3 kingdoms of glory assigned after this life:

 

 

The Telestial Holiday, Halloween:

 

-FOOD: empty calories which give only immediate pleasure and later chronic illness.

-goofing around

-acting like kids

-HEROISM: pretending like you’re a hero, usually a pretend one

-getting people to look at you

 

The Terrestrial Holiday, Thanksgiving:

 

-FOOD: wholesome foods

-appreciating family / those who appreciate us

-HEROISM: giving reverence to / remembering heroes who have gone before (to make America, etc.)

-honoring America for its freedom

 

The Celestial Holiday, Christmas:

 

-FOOD: giving food to the poor

-HEROISM: worshiping Jesus Christ, the prototypical hero who can help you become a hero, and doing heroic acts

-pure joy

 

 

 

Non-Predestination Aspect of Gods Agentive Servants

 

God’s servants are not pawns, they are free independent agents, without predestined future

 

We think about spirituality as “God gives a person agency, and the righteous person gives their agency back to God.” No, it goes like this: God gives a person agency, and the righteous person makes choices, and those choices become the will of God. For example, the brother of Jared brought stones for God to make bright to light his vessels; God then made it happen. Could Jared have chosen another way and it still have worked, still have been sanctioned by God? Yes! It’s like when Nephi got the sealing power; God trusted that the choices Nephi would make would be appropriate, NOT THAT he would do the exact things, the marching orders, of God. No, Nephi became an executive agent for God, a person whom did things that pleased God. God didn’t come up with all of Nephi’s ideas, but God did approve of Nephi’s ideas. Nephi became someone who acts, and is not acted upon. Nephi is learning the character of God, growing into his divine birthright. Beginning to receive the endowments of his Righteous Father, whom is God.

 

 

Possible Hebrew Meaning of Genesis 3:1

 

The scriptures treating Eden say that Satan was the most subtle, above all the beasts of the field (Gen. 3:1). Subtle can be translated to naked in Hebrew. It also uses that word to describe Adam and Eve, stating that they were naked. Later we read of being clothed with coats of skins. One possible interpretation is that this scene took place before a physical setting where man and beast had bodies, and were later clothed with bodies (coats of skins). We know the earth was created spiritually before physically. It could be calling Satan the ‘most naked’, suggesting that Satan would fail to receive a body, and remain ‘naked’ / without the glory of having a body, forever.

The fall could mean an entrance into mortality, a step in the journey that would be difficult but necessary. A place where we could procreate physically and thereby obtain bodies which could become eternal, akin to that of God.

God is not a sprit, but a full and exalted man, meaning a spirit clothed with a physical body, which will never decay, and which body can procreate (procreation is only permanently afforded to those who prove faithful in all things).

An analogy could exist that Adam and Eve were coming out of a cave at the event of the fall. The Legends of the Jews text, if I recall, describes something of this nature. This could be symbolic of a rebirth, coming forth from the womb of the earth into new life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salvation Includes Works as Seen in The New Testament: God is the Same Today Yesterday & Forever

 

The Imploring God of the New Testament

 

Works are the other aspect of grace. If grace is what God does for us, works are what God asks us to do for him.
This document is to refute the idea that the Old Testament God is the strict / imploring God, then changes in the New Testament. For more treatment of this topic, see my article “The Graceful God of the Old Testament: Scripture References”
This is to show how works have always been expected of God’s people, including New Testament times, and modern times. This is in opposition to the popular idea that by grace alone we are saved. I am bold in this, not thinking it a crime to rely on the scriptures rather than the creeds of men!
For a composition showing how God has always been graceful with his children, see document “Scriptures on Grace (God’s works for us) from the Old Testament (showing God does not change)” at this link: https://richardsonstudies.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/scriptures-on-grace-the-works-of-god-for-us-from-the-old-testament-shows-god-is-unchanging-2/
see service, help, minister, give, love, bless
• John 9:4
4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

• James 2:18
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I haveworks: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

• John 6:28
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

• James 2:22
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

Titus 1:16
16 They profess that they know God; but in worksthey deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Hebrews 13:21
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
• 1 Corinthians 3:13
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’swork of what sort it is.
• John 14:12
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

• 1 Timothy 5:10
10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
• Titus 2:7
7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of goodworks: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
• Titus 2:14
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Acts 14:26
26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
(you get access to grace by doing works!)
• 2 Timothy 4:14
14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

• Mark 14:6
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

John 6:29
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is thework of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
(if you believe in Christ, you’ll do what he says. He says we should do good works. It’s like if you believe a train is coming, you won’t stand on the tracks. You’ll do the work of moving, based on your faith of the coming event. Like how you’ll do your homework in college if you have faith that it will get you a good job.)
• Matthew 5:16
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

• James 2:14
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
• James 2:17
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
• James 2:20
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
• James 2:21
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

• James 2:24
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
• James 2:25
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
• James 2:26
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
• Matthew 16:27
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

• Matthew 7:23
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
• 1 Timothy 2:10
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
• 1 Corinthians 4:12
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

2 Thessalonians 2:17
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
• Colossians 1:29
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
• Galatians 6:4
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
• 1 Timothy 6:18
18 That they do good, that they be rich in goodworks, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

2 Corinthians 11:15
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
• Ephesians 4:12
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
• Ephesians 4:19
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
• Ephesians 4:28
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
• Revelation 2:26
26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth myworks unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

• 1 Corinthians 12:10
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
• 2 Timothy 3:17
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

• Titus 3:1
1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
• Titus 3:14
14 And let ours also learn to maintain good worksfor necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

• Acts 15:18
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

• 1 Corinthians 16:10
10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.
• John 5:17
17 ¶But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
• John 5:20
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

Matthew 13:58
58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
(in addition to the obvious meaning of this passage, it well shows that unbelievers in the true gospel refuse to recognize faithful lifestyles for what they are, and recognize their role!)
• James 1:4
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
• Hebrews 3:9
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
• Hebrews 10:24
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
• 2 Corinthians 9:8
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

John 7:3
3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judæa, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.
• James 3:13
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
• James 3:16
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
• 1 Corinthians 3:14
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
• 1 Corinthians 3:15
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
• Matthew 21:28
28 ¶But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, gowork to day in my vineyard.

• 1 Timothy 3:1
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

• John 10:25
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

(this shows that “by their works ye shall know them”!
• John 10:37
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

(this shows that “by their works ye shall know them”!
• John 10:38
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

(this shows that “by their works ye shall know them”!
• 2 Thessalonians 3:10
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

(*since we must live to work out our salvation, we see work is needed for salvation, since we die if we don’t work, and being dead, how would we work out our salvation?!)
• 2 Thessalonians 3:12
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
• Matthew 23:3
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after theirworks: for they say, and do not.
(*we see doing is required)
• 1 Corinthians 9:1
1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

Ephesians 3:7
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
• Revelation 20:13
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
• 1 Thessalonians 4:11
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
• Revelation 3:2
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
• Revelation 3:8
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
• Revelation 3:15
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
• Revelation 18:6
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
• Revelation 22:12
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his workshall be.
• Revelation 18:6
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
• Revelation 22:12
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his workshall be.
• 2 Timothy 2:21
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
• 1 Corinthians 15:58
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in thework of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
• Mark 6:14
14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mightyworks do shew forth themselves in him.
• Revelation 9:20
20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
• 2 Peter 3:10
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and theworks that are therein shall be burned up.

John 8:39
39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
• Acts 26:20
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judæa, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

• 1 John 3:12
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

• Philippians 3:21
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
• Ephesians 4:16
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
• Ephesians 4:28
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

• 1 Thessalonians 1:3
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

• Revelation 2:2
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
• Revelation 2:5
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
• Revelation 2:9
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
• Revelation 2:13
13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
• Revelation 2:23
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
• Luke 13:14
14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.

• Acts 13:2
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
• Acts 9:36
36 ¶Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
• Matthew 11:21
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
• Matthew 11:23
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
• Mark 13:34
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

• Titus 3:8
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain goodworks. These things are good and profitable unto men.

• 1 Peter 2:12
12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

• Hebrews 9:14
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from deadworks to serve the living God?

• Philippians 2:12
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
• Luke 10:13
13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty workshad been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

Revelation 3:1
1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
• Mark 6:2
2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

(*Jesus told us to do the things we have seen him do!)
Revelation 20:12
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to theirworks.
Modern Scriptures:
– “thrust in your sickle with all your soul” (D&C 31:5)
-work with “all your heart, might, mind, and strength” (D&C 4:2).
–Through every major Nephite prophet, for example, the Lord declared: “Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.” (2 Ne. 1:20—Lehi; see also 1 Ne. 2:20–21—Nephi; 2 Ne. 10:19–20—Jacob; Mosiah 1:7—Benjamin; Alma 9:13—Alma; Alma 48:25—Mormon;Ether 2:7–9—Moroni and the brother of Jared.)
-“wickedness never was happiness.” (Alma 41:10.)
-“the joy of the saints.” (Enos 1:3.)
Old Testament Scriptures:
– Psalms 141:4
4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that workiniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
– Psalms 90:17
17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
– Exodus 36:4
4 And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;
– Nehemiah 6:3
3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
– Exodus 28:15
15 ¶And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
– Nehemiah 5:16
16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.
– Exodus 36:1
1 Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded.
– Ecclesiastes 8:14
14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.
– Numbers 8:4
4 And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the Lord had shewed Moses, so he made the candlestick.
–Exodus 31:15
15 Six days may work be done
–Leviticus 23:3
3 Six days shall work be done
– Exodus 36:8
8 ¶And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them.
– 2 Kings 22:5
5 And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord: and let them give it to the doers of the workwhich is in the house of the Lord, to repair the breaches of the house,
– Exodus 39:3
3 And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, with cunning work.
– Exodus 35:2
Six days shall work be done
-Exo. 36:1 work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded.
– Nehemiah 7:71
71 And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver.
– Psalms 28:4
4 Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.
– Proverbs 16:3
3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
– Proverbs 20:11
11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether hiswork be pure, and whether it be right.
– Jeremiah 48:10
10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.
– 2 Chronicles 3:10
10 And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.
– Nehemiah 9:35
35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wickedworks.
– Proverbs 18:9
9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
– Job 14:15
15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
– 2 Chronicles 24:13
13 So the workmen wrought, and the work was perfected by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it.
– Proverbs 24:27
27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
– Proverbs 24:29
29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.
–Psalms 104:23
23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
– Job 1:10
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
– Hosea 6:8
8 Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood.
-Ps. 106: 23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.
-Ps. 106: 25 But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.
– Psalms 106:39
39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
– Nehemiah 13:10
10 ¶And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
– Psalms 77:12
12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.
– Psalms 145:4
4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
– Psalms 145:5
5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
– Psalms 145:10
10 All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.
– Isaiah 66:18
18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.
– Jeremiah 25:6
6 And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with theworks of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.
– Jeremiah 25:7
7 Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.
– Jeremiah 25:14
14 For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the worksof their own hands.
– Ezra 6:7
…let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.
– Exodus 23:24
24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.
–1 Chronicles 23:4
4 Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the Lord; and six thousand were officers and judges:
– Exodus 25:18
18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
– Ecclesiastes 3:17
17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
– Psalms 118:17
17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.
– Psalms 17:4
4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.
– Job 34:11
11 For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.
– Job 34:25
25 Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed.
– Exodus 31:5
5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
– Leviticus 23:8
8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days…
– Psalms 95:9
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
– Job 36:9
9 Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
– Job 36:24
24 Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.
– Psalms 58:2
2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.
– Psalms 62:12
12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
– Psalms 9:16
16 The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
– Psalms 9:16
16 The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
– Nehemiah 4:19
19 ¶And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.
• Nehemiah 4:21
21 So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.
– Jeremiah 10:15
15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
– Ecclesiastes 9:7
7 ¶Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thyworks.
• Ecclesiastes 9:10
10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
– Nehemiah 6:9
9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
– Nehemiah 6:14
14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
– Isaiah 49:4
4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.
• 2 Chronicles 15:7
7 Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.
– Exodus 37:29
29 ¶And he made the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the workof the apothecary.
– Jeremiah 51:18
18 They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
• 2 Chronicles 2:18
18 And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.
– Psalms 33:15
15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
– Ezekiel 33:26
26 Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour’s wife: and shall ye possess the land?
– Exodus 39:42
42 According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work.
– Exodus 39:43
43 And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.
• Proverbs 21:8
8 The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
• Psalms 101:3
3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
– 2 Chronicles 4:11
11 And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;
– Lamentations 3:64
64 ¶Render unto them a recompence, O Lord, according to the work of their hands.

 

 

 

Salvation Includes Grace as seen in the Old Testament: God is the Same Today Yesterday & Forever

 

 

 

Grace is the work God does for us. “Works” are the things we do for God.
Old Testament scriptures on grace show that God is unchanging, not just nice in New Testament, not just mean in the Old, but the same yesterday today and forever.

This is to show how grace of God has always played a role with God’s people and their salvation.

For a document on scriptures commanding works from the New Testament, see my document “The Imploring God of the New Testament: Scripture References”
This refutes the idea that God was mean in the Old Testament and just nice in the New Testament / without any real requirements or expectations.

– Psalms 86:8
8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.

– Psalms 143:5
5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

– Psalms 92:4
4 For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

– Habakkuk 1:5
5 ¶Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work awork in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

– Isaiah 28:21
21 For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.

– Isaiah 29:14
14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

– Exodus 31:15
in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

–Leviticus 23:3
the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
– Exodus 35:2
on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.

– Psalms 26:7
7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

– 5 ¶And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make.

6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.

7 For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.

– Exodus 40:33
33 And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.

– 2 Kings 19:18
18 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

– Jeremiah 50:25
25 The Lord hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

– Deuteronomy 33:11
11 Bless, Lord, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.

– Psalms 28:5
5 Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

– Isaiah 54:16
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

– Proverbs 16:11
11 A just weight and balance are the Lord’s: all the weights of the bag are his work.

– Isaiah 17:8
8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.

– Psalms 135:15
15 The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, thework of men’s hands.

– Psalms 102:25
25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.

– Psalms 73:28
28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

– Jeremiah 17:22
22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

– Psalms 104:13
13 He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

– Psalms 104:31
31 The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.

– Job 1:10
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

– Psalms 75:1
1 Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

– Psalms 139:14
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

– Numbers 28:18
18 In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein:

– Numbers 28:25
25 And on the seventh day ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work.

– Isaiah 64:8
8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

– Psalms 106:13
13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:

– Ps. 106:21-22 21 They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;

22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.

– Ps. 106:24 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:

– Psalms 77:11
11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

– Psalms 77:12
12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

– Psalms 145:4
4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

– Psalms 145:5
5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

– Psalms 145:9
9 The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

– Exodus 5:4
4 And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from theirworks? get you unto your burdens.

– Genesis 2:3
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his workwhich God created and made.

– Psalms 46:8
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

– Ecclesiastes 1:14
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

– Isaiah 37:19
19 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

– Isaiah 41:24
24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.

– Isaiah 41:29
29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.

– Micah 5:13
13 Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.

– Psalms 118:17
17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

– Psalms 17:4
4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

– Isaiah 43:13
13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

– Job 34:19
19 How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.

– Proverbs 8:22
22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

– Leviticus 23:8
… in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

– Leviticus 23:25
25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

– Leviticus 23:28
28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.

– Leviticus 23:30
30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

– Leviticus 23:31
31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

–Leviticus 23:35

35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein

– Job 36:24
24 Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.

– Ecclesiastes 7:13
13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

– Habakkuk 2:18
18 ¶What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?

– Psalms 9:1
1 I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

– Jeremiah 10:3
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

– Psalms 64:9
9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the workof God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

–Deuteronomy 32:4
4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
– Nehemiah 6:9
9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

– Nehemiah 6:14
14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.

– Isaiah 49:4
4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.

– Psalms 66:3
3 Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

– Psalms 66:5
5 Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

Jeremiah 51:10
10 The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.
– Psalms 33:4
4 For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.

 

 

Verse by Verse Study of The Book of Isaiah

 

Going chronologically through the 66 chapters defining hard words and ancient ideas etc.

-Ch2-5 is not past, it applies to me and my day.

No since of time. No chronology. Rollercoaster. Most beautiful promises toward the end. 36-39 is prose.

This book is not as bad translated as others because nobody that was bad could understand it and understand how to mess it up.

*study Isaiah for personal development.

Hebrew mindset is big picture need step back to see.

Why quote Isaiah? They’re Jesus’ words.

He a well poet. Melchizedik=Lord is my king. Isaiah was an aristrocrat. Elijah was something of a hermit. Others were shepherds. Joseph Smith even had shortcomings. This gives us home that God can take imperfect men like us and make things out of it!

Isaiah 770 BC born 740 BC made prophet. 692 BC stops preaching. Jonah is mostly poetry Hebraic and taught in the same time as Isa.

Jesus was more close related to pharacee’s

oral tradition=unwritten law from God. Misnah (200 AD) Gamara (500 AD) these are interpretations of it. A combo of them is the Talmud.

Begged God and Isa’s life extended 15 years.

Talmages JTC McConkie’s for M’s have JST.

Only ¼ JST in LDS scrips. Pres. Packer said the miracle of his lifetime was the LDS version of scriptures.

1/3 of Isa in BFM.

Isa. Assumes we know the doctrine, and teaches other. Need know the bible before Isa to get Isa namely the law in Dueteronomy etc.

Past present and future all one eternal “now” to Jehovah. Omniscient. Moses 1 all things are present with me. Time is an illusion given to us to understand mortality. We understand in linear fasion. God sees in 360 degrees. If can effect later, turute may effect past also. Like The atonement effected past people. Maybe once plates gien to another, God maybe said once plates lent out, hey Nephi, make another set of plates. God knows what kingdom we will end up in, we are here to discover it for ourselves. Alma “time only is measured unto man”. Revelations says eventually time will be o more. If we become slightly more angry, or slightly more plesasant as time goes, by eternity, we will become that perfected. That is said in “Mere Christianity” by CS Lewis.

Job is like a play, each their pard. Many think it’s a true story. Prose 250 words. English poetry 100 words. Heb. Poetry 50 words (Psalm 23). 90 of Isa is sophisticated Heb. Poetry. Heb not use ryme or meter, but repetition/beauty.

LORD=Jehovah. 6,800 times in NT. This is Heb. Translation.

Jewish leaders in Christs time put a fence up around the law so you cant’ get close enough to break them was the idea.

Poetry in Heb. Is ryming ideas not words.

Ch1 is a preface

find principals of the gospel in ch1.

The great arraignment- meaning, to call someone accused to answer for what they did.

Pophetic perfect: Mosiah 16:6, 2Ne314-8, Isa1:4. Jesus’ baptism and other things were very much as though they had already happened to God.

Heading ch1: great expectations. God is reaching out to them like he always does.

-masters crib: manger comes from French world meaning to feed

-1:4 Gone away backward’ is referring to an animal how they back up, it’s to say Israel goes backward in progress at times or is stubborn at times.

-1:7 your country is desolate” is prophetic perfect tence/ past tense as though it had happened already for it was so sure to happen soon.

-1:8 lodge cucumber= to say that not even a watchtower to respond to enemies has this gardener. Cucumber guard is left alone that is how the people would be.

1:13 vian oblations” is to say offerings, saying things repeatedly without feeling. Getting into the rut of doing ordinances and not seeing their significance. It is speaking to the LDS also, we His convenant people fall into this trap as well… “incense is an abomination” may represente their prayers which were vain, to stop them! They did everything in the wrong spirit. Perhaps they thought “all is well in zion, yea zion prosterpeth” tand they will lose their souls.

1:15 heart not protected in cultural Mormonism. Separate and seed spiritual Mormonism. “hands full of blood” is because it’s become culture not religion. Full is to say they have blown it in every possible way. Their hands having it on them is to say they are covered in sin! i see Isaiah is trying to teach the people the same things Jesus came to teach in his ministry, that they needed to do the right and not just performances.

1:17 do all with eye single to glory of God. “plead for widow”’s welfare is true religion. “seek judgement” is to say, learn to judge well, ada to do well. To “judge the fatherless and the widow” is to say don’t just give time in court to who is rich to pay for lawyers, rather see to it that every one sees justice.

1:18 scarlet is bright red. Crimson is deep red. To say that weather our sins be terrible, or deep, or what have you, they can be gone via the LORD.

-1:23 like Christmas time all we want now is gifts

?-124 they don’t judge widow and fatherless” is to say they bring them not justice in courts of law, not dealing with them because of their poverty.

-1:26 Cry not any more ye desolate, for the Lord shall set up amond his people judges of truth, councelors of righteousness, them called of the Lamb of God to redeem His people.

-1:30 “whose leaf fadeth” is to say, you’ll be like a tree dying, that is, you’ll die!

-1:31 the proud catch flame easily.

-2:2 mountain” go up symbolically. Spiritually flabby/ out of shape won’t make it up the mountain of the Lord’s standard for His people and not be able to commune with him.

-2:4 no peace unilt the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Violence: many apostles still carry “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlets in their pockets, to say that violence is not good for any age.

-2:5 “light” see D&C 50:23 what does not uplift spiritually or morally is dark and not of God. Skiing for example could be uplifting!

-2:9 they are humble towards idols bowing to them

-2:11 this is my earth let me tell you how things go around here.

-2:13 to say pride- ceders of Lebanon

-2:14 mountains cease and melt before the Lord, for He alone shall be exhaulted in the Millenial day.

-2:20 they’ll say “hurry throw the idols under the couch!”

-2:22 are you taking wimpy mans advice over God’s?

-3:3 even the high of status will be wanton. all the wise are carried away captive since they are hard to rule over.

-3:7 “I don’t want to be bishop!” “refuse to be healer”. Who thought had food doesn’t.

-3:9 you can tell a lot about someone by intently looking at them. Some may look into pupils of one and tell how much of the spirit they have with them. The gift of priesthood keys enables them to do that. “can’t you do anything about the light in their eyes?” said one who did not want us to proselyte in Jerusalem. Many look down to the ground there in Jerusalem.

-3:10 this is a commandment. compliment who you have compliment for or it is a sin -Kimball in Miracle of Forgiveness

-3:14 Nephi uses this in his commentary expounding on it.

-4:1 perhaps is to say that they persist in doing wickedness that they will not change. that they will work hard to sustain their wickedness.

-4:6 there will be physical protection from mighty storm for Zion

-5:1 there often were vineyard servant songs. these pointed to Jesus Christ. they may be dualistic pointing to Isaiah or others who deliver Israel at times.

-5:2 Masoretic text wild grapes means berushim, worthless stinking things.

-5:4 failed expectations of the Lord’s people

-5:5 Jehovah leaves us on our own when we don’t respond to His care, not cut us down

-5:8 land mongers. trying to enrich themselves. the larger the farm the more money they can make. in the Mosaic law they were supposed to give their land to their inheritors, and if land was sold, in the year of jubilee they were supposed to give it back to the original owner of the land.

-5:10 the Lord won’t let them prosper in sin. *All prosperity comes from the Lord.

-5:11 party mongers. “all [they] want to do is party”.

-5:12 wo to who just want to party. they don’t care about the Lord, don’t read His words, etc.

-5:18 sin mongers. they should be fleeing from evil, but they are drawing it towards them, getting closer and closer to it, then they fall in perhaps not meaning to at first.

-5:21 pride mongers. shouldn’t we, if need be mongers, be righteousness mongers?

-5:23 bribes sell judges to let evil go free

-5:27 the ppl coming to general conference quickly in jets etc as Elder Richards says in “A Marvelous work and a Wonder.” it may also mean that people will come take over us so fast they won’t even have to unlatch their shoes. carry away safe could mean in a car or plane, or the other example it could mean taken away as a slave.

-6: prose

-6:2 BD calls them fiery beings.

im is already plural this translation is wrong.

-6:3 3 times in Hebrew was the most you could say something and it make sense

-6:5 we will be accountable for all idol words, and all idol silence a church leader said.

-6:9 in Matthew and Acts its clear, unclear translation here, this means people hear but chose not understand.

-6:11 burdensome call to preach forever

-6:13 substance means sap. it’s to say the tree is still alive. How piece this verse together?

-7: background: Assyria is the bully after everyone doing damage after Israel, Judah (the Northern kingdom) and Syria. Tribe of Judah mostly inhabits Judah. Ephraim chief tribe inhabiting there. Jerusalem is capital of Judah. Samaria capital of Israel. Damascus capital of Syria.

king of Judah is Ahaz. king of Israel is Pekah, son of Remaliah, and King of Syria is Rezin.

Isa being poetic doesn’t use same name to call each place over and again to not be repeated.

Assyria capital is Nineveh. the bully.

Israel and Syria are slave vassalages to Assyria. Judah doesn’t want to join these two in warring against Assyria, so they go after Judah to conquer Ahaz so they can have more power to go after Assyria.

Ahaz goes out to the well to cover it so the Syrians and Israelis don’t discover it and get them.

can make 3 column chart to show which name goes with which place.

Place Capital Tribe King Region Social System

Syria Damascus Ahaz /Rezin? Vassalage to

Assyria

Israel Samaria Pekah “ “

(son of Remelia)

Judah Jerusalem Ephraim Northern Kingdom

Assyria Nineveh

(the bully)

The Syria-Ephraim(Israel) alliance wanted to rid Ahaz of the throne and put son of Tibial on the throne so they’ll help them go against Assyria.

Israel and Syria still exist today and have the same names.

-7:2 moving trees make groaning sounds, the heart of the people sounded thus.

-7:4 firebrand is like a torch put out with embers on the end. they’re only embers. the light is gone. they can’t hurt you.

-7:7 they won’t get you don’t worry about it

-7:11 God wants to give him a sign

-7:12 he does not want to get the Lord involved he wants to do things his way

-7:14 since he wants to he will weather you like it or not.

-7:14 virgin means pure and chaste in one sense, or not having had carnal relations with man in the other sense.

-7:14 dualism speaking of Christ and of the children his wife would have (she being a virgin in the pure good lady sense of the word) saying things will happen by the time of the birth of that one

-7:18 Egypt is known as the land of the fly, and Assyria as the land of the flea. saying the armies of these nations will attack.

-7:20 Assyria shaved entirely whoever they captured.

-7:20 Tiglath king of Damascus Ahaz goes to meet. Assyrians had conquered the other 2 nations. Ahaz asks their mercy. he makes one of their god’s erected in the temple by the Levites. displeases God.

-7:25 their land used to be cultivated but it would just all turn to briers. desolate.

-8:4 prophecy telling what will happen by a certain time come. prophecy refers oft to Isa son and Christ. dualism.

-8:8 because rejected the Lord he brings other waters to you. the bad guys will come to you and surround you, and even to your neck then a miracle to deliver you. Also, Jerusalem was called the neck of the land because of it’s geographical position, and the Assyrians were about to get them, and got even to the neck, but never prevailed.

-8:15 Lord says you need not make treaty with bad guys. if you do they will crush you. if not i will defend you.

-8:16 disciples of Christ to be bound to the law of the gospel in their lives.

-8:18 family of Isa as signs to Israel

-9:1 2 tribes of Israel. see 20 years ago bible maps. the area of Galilea is where these were, where Jesus would be raised.

-9:2 dark black stone basalt. literal. and figurative, for Jesus the light would be raised there.

all roads toward holy land go through Megiddo. Valley of Jezreel it’s called now. all go through there. Josiah at age 39 is killed here by king of Egypt. Harmagedo. Har in Hebrew is hill. it’s like Armagedon, it’s to be the scene of so much carnage. is this Galilea where armaggedon will be?

THERE WERE A PEOPLE IN THE REGION OF GALILEA THAT LIVED IN A DARK PLACE. THEIR LAND WAS MADE MOSTLY OF VOLCANIC ROCK, AND SO THE GEOGRAPHICAL LANDSCAPE OF THE LAND WAS DARK ITSELF. BUT Jesus CHRIST WAS GOING TO BE SENT TO THEM SO THEY WOULD BE DELIVERED FROM THE POVERTY OF THEIR APOSTASY, THAT DARKNESS OF NOT HAVING Jesus THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD NOR HIS TEACHINGS, FOR THEY HAD REJECTED THE PRIOR PROPHETS , AND THE TIME HAD COME AGAIN AS IT ALWAYS DOES, TO SENT ANOTHER MESSENGER TO THE CHILDREN OF GOD TO GIVE THEM MORE OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT. THIS TIME THEIR PROPHET TO THEM WOULD BE WHO WOULD SET THEM FREE FROM THE DARKNESS AND YOKE OF SIN.

-9:3 in BFM ‘not’ is removed.

-9:4 yoke staff and rod represent slavery

-9:7 these first 7 verses perfectly describe what happens in Isaiah’s day.

Judah is the child going to be born to Ahaz and save them.

also applies to 2nd Coming. advanced dualism.

-9:10 refers to 9/11 quoted by political leaders of USA to say we won’t be beaten. but really it’s Ephraim and the Lord is going to destroy them.

-9:19 holocaust

-10 this Ch. is a prophecy to Assyria. from here in the book prophecies to other nations come.

these are all types and shadows of the end of days destructions.

-11:4 The Lord won’t let people go to jail just because they have no money and vice versa

-11:16 millennium preparation bridge like when Moses parted the Red Sea for people to come to Zion

-13:3 these are whom the Lord calls

-13:8 face flame like Indiana Jones and Raiders of the lost Arc.

-13:12 slavery abolished

-14:8 a feller is one who cuts down trees

-14:11 he is dead

-14:13 refers to the children of God

-14:14 Satan has an “I” problem

-14:19 Satan never gets to even have a body. JS said Satan’s punishment for doing all he did to this earth will be that he never gets to have a body

-14:19 the person who found the body of this ruler of Isa’s day when found the body had asses run over his body until nothing was left but dust from him. the prophet saw it all.

-15:2 mourning for Assyria moves south and conquers everyone as she goes

-15:5 one of the southmost cities they would go to to get away

-15:5 a young cow at the height of her strength and image. this is the time they were just right for breeding

-15:6 not only destruction from Assyria but drought for full destruction

-15:9 either to mean destroyed by lions or that so few ppl that there would be a lot of lions in the land

– 16 Ch15 and 16 Isa about Moab. It’s SE of Israel, E of dead sea, towards s, Edom below that. Moab was the son of Lot’s oldest daughter Lot and his daughter had a child.

-16:4 Syria and Damascus are gone Moab goes to king of Jerusalem for help. Jerusalem says I don’t trust you have never been trustworthy.

Moab was destroyed by Assyria.

Moab turns to Judah for help for the one on the thrown in Judah is known for his mercy. the Judah king says I didn’t trust you before and I don’t trust you now. it’s like the final judgement where the Lord says depart, I never knew you.

The problem with death bed repentance is obvious. it has not to do with death or age but when we meet trouble.

Elder Scott gen conf 2013 Oct says diff between willful rebellion and weakness how the Lord is more patient with weakness.

Pres Kimball said “Death makes us spirits not angels”

ppl make the choice between eternal damnation and repentance every day of their lives.

-16:11 bowl is sight of emotion. heart is sign of character of a man “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he”. the seed of character.

bowl harp is to say a sad song.

-16:14 time specific prophecy

-17:5 in the law of Moses you use a scythe. that is hard to use if you don’t know how. like milking a cow.

some wheat berries fall to the ground.

Law of Moses required the corners to not be cut down so the poor could eat them.

wheat berries are very small you have to be very hungry to eat

-17:6 Law of Moses you don’t take every fruit off the tree leave some on the top for the poor.

Isa is saying almost all the fruit is gone. only a few left and they will be humble and come back to God.

-17:10 you are planting the wrong things there is a reason they looked like the wrong thing when you planted them for they are going to reap sadness. see the following verses as well.

for example, biting off more than you can chew can get you into trouble. Pres. Hinckley said “survey large fields and plant small ones.”

-17:13 they look big but with a little wind they’re blown away. tumble weeds have such shallow roots when they die the root breaks and they just roll around.

-19: for 2,000 years they of Egypt were in charge. they destroy themselves. (this is from Ch. 19 somewhere: Judah a terror to Egypt wasn’t so but now see it is

Nile river will dry up- they in 1960 took a dam to it and now econ in Egypt is gone

Anoint your shield= wooden shield tempers the wood better, and makes arrows slip off of it and not go through.

Camels pull wagons. Chariot means wheeled vehicle.

Lion usually reps Assyria. Assyria ceased to exist before Babylon came into power. The watchmen on the tower waits to see but all he sees is a chariot with several men come with a message Babylon is fallen.

Rev 6:8 Babylon fallen in the last days maybe ISA saw this as well as the other.

DC1:18 says Babylon will fall

DC133:5 go ye out from Babylon (the Lord is saying we all live there. So the fall of it will be massive.) v7 go ye out from Babylon. V11 watch for you know not the day or hour. Go out from among the nations which is Babylon which is spiritual Babylon it says.)

-19:2 contention starts in the home then spreads to the community then the world. homes falling apart make the world fall apart.

-19:3 aka necromancer. wizard is male witch. they’re trying to council with these to hear from the dead etc. their council will fall.

-19:4 Islam rulers of terror, and USA rulers of terror who lie to us etc.

-19:5 the Nile river is still powerful it will dry up someday. along the river they farm, make paper from things growing by it, etc. starting in 1960 soviets tried to buy off Egypt to stop the Nile. they want to build a dam so they can become a superpower. the dam was not a success, but it filled with silk and they got the silk out and it turned to a desert ruined the land. where the Nile overflow stops there is pure desert no vegetation. the dam stopped ag and turned it’s econ upside down in the last 40 years. Cairo has 17 million it’s way too full there in Egypt. people live 1 mil on the graveyard. the city smells.

-19:17 anciently that was not so. in 1948 when the brand-new united nations that wanted to rule the world (2/5/14 they issued a statement against the Vatican saying they should not abuse do abortion or so forth). watch the news and go there and you’ll see that this is being fulfilled today.

-22 ch22 is the Eliakim prophecy. 1 2 6 7 9 11 are all Jesus chapters. others have allusions.

-22:1 why are you celebrating on the roof when all this destruction around us?

-22:4 there is a sense of woe in this chapter from the beginning for he sees what is coming.

-22:6 war is coming there. seeing the valley filled with horsemen

-22:10 Hezekiah knocked down houses and filled the breeches of the wall. this is the 7th century BC.

-22:11 Hezekiah’s tunnel was to get water from pool of Siloam to Gijon spring to reroute the water for prep for Assyrian attack.

-22:11 making temporal but not spiritual preparations

-22:12 Isaiah said Jerusalem was going to be besieged by Assyrians. this did not happen. it’s because they became righteous. ch36 to 39 Hezekiah becomes righteous and that’s why this happens. the prophecy has an “unless you repent”. this happens with Jonah as well, and around Josiah king of Judah. Prophecies are full of “if’s”.

-22:15 Shebna is a type of the apostate people. if you don’t repent Assyrians wipe you out and not be buried in a sepulture for you are so apostate. but it must be that they came around for they were spared. Eliakim replaced him. Eliakim means God going up or My God shall arise etc. something. His association with the king causes many to come to him which causes him to fall.

-22:21 refers to the temple

-22:22 key on shoulder: in the holy land keys were worn around neck or pinned to shoulder for they’re some 10 lbs. see also “the government shall be upon his shoulder” means keys, power, the work if it.

-22:25 Hezekiah sees he is getting so many favors that he shall be kicked out. and when Christ’s nail removed his agony removed for He done suffering on the cross. Hymn “once all things He meekly bore, now He will bare no more.”

-23:1 Tyre is going to be overthrown. Tyre is on the coast. it’s an island in Isaiah’s day. a great center for mercantile.

-23:1 Tarshish is probably Italy

-23:2 Hyrum of Tyre helped build the temple he was a good man. He was the most famous Phoenician. Phoenicians brought us phonetic alphabet. it’s from them.

-23:3 Everybody who is anybody goes through there.

-23:6 it’s hard to conquer an island for when you come to it they flee the other way on ships. Senacrib conquers it then they have 70 years freedom then they begin to “sing like a harlot” and are conquered then Alexander the great wants it and they build something to get there and by the time he gets there he is so mad that he destroys it. the cosway that Alexander built makes it so it’s no longer an island but is connected.

-23:15 “sing as an harlot” suggests the person is proud and doesn’t care

-23:18 means they’ll be dedicated for destruction

-24 ch24-35 are the apocalypse cycle in Isa. Apocrypha is what is not canonized and they are doubtable. apocalypse means revelation. these chapters are emotional roller coaster, middle is nice, first and end are destruction. Isa is repetitive. like making a tapestry or helping us to know and not fear it.

-24:2 no matter what your social status you need obey. “world overtaken with sin and iniquity” Pres. Kimbal said in the 70’s that that was the type of world we live in now. a world of sin.

-24:5 the 3 reasons for the destruction. these 3 laws of God being broken today. honesty is not well, morality, caring for the poor, chastity, sabbath, all the ordinances changed, etc. Everlasting covenant: theomorphic God we believe in. that we can become like God, being made in His image.

-24:6 avoid this fire by getting the earth to repent. every member a missionary. Some of this language is really rough. this is literal and figurative language.

-24:11 this is ADDICTION. they want wine and drugs but are never happy when they get it.

-25:1 full of wonder, like awesome, awe inspiring. here we read extraordinary/amazing

-25:1 councils aka covenants

-25:6 “this mountain” refers to last chapter. “Of fat things” means the very best. wine on the lee’s for days gets very good. bad lees=bad wine

-25:7 mountain=Zion; the veil =that is between us and seeing the face of God

-25:8 resurrection

-25:9 patience, or like a waitress serving someone. our society won’t wait. Satan gives right away then he takes away. The Lord says you should have waited. may use hope as a word for wait. *I waited before committing to Megan until after my mission and I knew it was right.

when you pray hear Elder Maxwell, “I know God loves me so much by the prayers he has not answered”.

Isa speaks of the prayer being answered faster if we fast.

-26:1 a song of praise of 2 cities, righteous Zion and wicked Babylon

-26:2 literal or baptism

-26:3 perfect peace can mean the peace Jesus has, the peace of being innocent via living His gospel.

1 free to every 25 slaves for a long time in Brazil.

-26:4 the word JEHOVAH only printed 4 times in KJV and 2 of them are in Isaiah

-26:9 judgement has to be there if we are to grow. there has to be accountability.

-26:10 God rains on the good and the bad. Do good to people even if they won’t repent or change. Preech the gospel to all.

-26:12 God makes us good

-26:13 Canaanites’ religion was Baalism. this word means Baalim meaning several Gods. After all the Lord has done for us at times we turn to other things. 1920 a Syrian was plotting his field. there was Cananitish text on a thing he found, and they found an ancient city of Hugart? There was a great library there about their polytheism. so in the last 100 years we learn much of this bad polytheism. it was seductive to the Israelites. when not harvest there is famine. Now (Feb 2014 in California there is not much water so fruit and meat coming from there the price will increase by a lot). there was 2 in Baalism a man and a woman Asherah was the female (groves). Yaux/Zadud (Ba’al) was another. Astarte the Goddess of fertility is given to Baal. Baal likes her so he kills Yaux. another god of death, Mat, is banished from the earth by Ba’al thinking problems would come. Baal means rain and thunder and clouds. At Mat’s home Ba’al goes to a feast and is poisoned by Mat and dies then Mat rules the world and the world is in turmoil. Astarte kills the god of death in Sept or Oct being frustrated then all starts to grow again. *Perhaps it’s to excuse the Israelites from their behavior by blaming i ton God’s. they say that every year this reoccurs. They all die and come back to life once a year. Israelites started to make idols and Hezekiah wanted to have people only worship at Jerusalem to keep things in hand.

-26:14 Isaiah is saying don’t believe in the mythology those are dead. Forget about Baal and this whole myth. Take away the people who pour grief upon us.

-26:18 we were pregnant with all these lies and it brought us nothing but bad gas; there never was pregnancy, it was a lie. All it was bad gas in our digestive system, it was a lie, and at the end of the day, the lie produced nothing whereas it was to produce everything.

-26:19 Jehovah Himself will die and be Resurrected. This happened.

real resurrection will occur. ch26 is called a Baal polemic (arguing about religious thing). They thought they would bring forth something happy but they brought forth nothing. But Jesus Christ will rise again, with all mankind.

-26:20 Second Coming. see JS teachings P.17. Jews were told to gather to Jerusalem. Why this fascinating?

-27:7 does God deal with you the same way you deal with each other?

-27:8 The Holy land was a Mediterranean climate, like California. the winds bring in the hot air from the desert. God sends the east wind when people want the west wind to purge the fruit. Plants can be drown if you water them too much. East wind in the scriptures is a bad thing, west wind a good thing. The church discipline has to excommunicate people from the church because He loves them so much that he is giving them another chance. it may be said, “because you are loved so much by the Lord He wants to give you another chance. you are hereby excommunicated from the church.” Rarely will you feel the Spirit as much as you do in church disciplinary council. Mercy can’t rob justice, but a lot of mercy is found in the Old Testament. It’s seen in these verses even.

-27:12 one by one is the way of the gathering of Israel, we teach one person then they make personal commitments then they are baptized with their own service. Rarely it’s more than this.

-28:9 babies don’t need much knowledge for they are already lovely

-28:10 God would reveal everything he revealed to Joseph Smith to the least of the church members, but he waits to give it to them until they are ready for it.

look into the heavens open for 5 minutes and you’ll know more than all the doctors about it said Joseph Smith.

there is a scale. 1 precept 2 line 3 little. precept may be commandment, precept may be specific challenges, little may be guidelines that we set for ourselves so that we avoid the temptations that beset us.

-28:10 set curfews, start dating no sooner than 16, start by going on group dates for the young are like wild apes who can’t control themselves so stay away from them until they have returned from their missions, or at least until they are 18 about and ready to think about marriage, the age of adulthood.

-28:24 the parable of the wise farmer. Fiches and Cumin you plant on their own as they are fragile. God knows which type person is which type, and how they will grow in which place. Loving Heavenly Father puts us where we are in the opportune moment. It’s probably so that we developed many talents in the tens of thousands of years of pre-mortality that they would be able to employ in a certain time and place, and around the people who would be best.

-28:27 only need tap the cumin and it comes out. need to really grind the wheat for the wheat berries to come out.

-28:29 Maxwell said that the generation are prepared for this time and need be kept by parents. they’ve been kept for this time, and now they need to be pushed forward. The parents are also there in place for them. The paths of the young and the old cross paths many times.

-29:1 Nephi explains this in 2 Nephi 26 and 27 the rest of the world does not get it.

-29:10 JST says the people close their eyes not God doing it to them. Maybe God puts them into a deep sleep as they close their eyes to the truth.

-29:11 non LDS think this is some buried unknown thing. Charles Anthon is a professor at Columbia. He sees the reformed Egyptian, can’t read it but lies and says it looks like good translation to Him. it’s professor craft. JS is the not learned. JS said he and Charles Anthon fulfilled this prophecy.

-29:14 the origin of this work must be the coming forth of the BFM because see the rejecting of it happens then this verse is placed.

-29:15 people think they are not seen in the dark. They hide from others if they know there is a God, to try and avoid temporal damnation as well as spiritual damnation.

-29:21 The Lord cuts out this type, who jump on others for a word. Like getting mad that the scripture men not saying men and women. God created man, male and female created he them. It’s not a sexist term it’s a generic term.

-30:1 They are going to Egypt again.

-30:1 atonement means cover. They are trying to do so in other ways than Jesus Christ’s Atonement. Trying to get rid of guilt in ways other than repentance like blaming it on others is adding sin upon sin.

-30:2 They go to Egypt for council not to Jehovah

-30:6 all of the beasts of burden carry gifts to try to persuade them to help

-30:7 they have no strength

-30:9-10 don’t tell me what’s really right, i just want to be comfortable and happy in my sins. The prophet will say things that hit home to us. Pres. Hinckley to seminary/institute teachers:

“what a frightening change in our culture. much sleaze. language on campus today never before. internet and porn to deliver filth and evil into our homes. it’s taking it’s toll. this is the era of gutter talk, of sloppy ways. at the same time this is the season when so many of our youth show such capacity to do right. they are more educated, know the scriptures better, go on missions more prepared, and become better parents. you have both kinds of students. try to hold onto who are being pulled away. now people want to leave the holy and go to the sleaze. music and entertainment are a part. there is no melody or uplift in the music. there is no beauty in it. here they hop and swoon and act like animals acting to their passions. drugs are often involved and destroys most of them except a few that get away via great pain. sex becomes all a part of it too.”

-30:15 you chose not to go there. if you had just returned you would have been saved.

-30:21 if you are doing as you should you will listen to your teachers and you will understand it and you’ll hear the Spirit tell you what to do

-30:25 the twin towers of 2001?

-31:1 chariots are the armed tanks of the ancient world

-31:3 the lord can fight your battles but he will not if you go and make a treaty with Egypt, if you rely on your own strength

-31:7-8 God will make it so we recognize good and evil, and see it clear, and people will not be able to lead us in hypocrisy anymore

-31:10 this may refer to women, or the Lord’s people in general. He uses careless 3 times in 3 verses. The care less about the gospel. Nephi said the devil makes some mad in the last days to rage against the truth, and others to merely think all is well in Zion, and we can just relax. when you buy into that you are in trouble.

-32:7-8 God will make it so we recognize good and evil, and see it clear, and people will not be able to lead us in hypocrisy anymore

-32:10 this may refer to women, or the Lord’s people in general. He uses careless 3 times in 3 verses. The care less about the gospel. Nephi said the devil makes some mad in the last days to rage against the truth, and others to merely think all is well in Zion, and we can just relax. when you buy into that you are in trouble.

-32:12 is to say nourishment

-32:17 Egypt seemed like so strong and close to get help, but God said no, just trust me.

-33:15 violence and immorality go hand in hand. “lusts in the eyes” means movies television and magazines etc that are bad. No concerned parent would let someone in their home making sexual and vulgar comments in their home by the hour, so why let a tv do it?

-33:20 about 3100 stakes in the church today. It’s the basic unit of the church. Wards are merely a convenient way to gather.

-33:20 Jesus will be all 3 roles of government.

-34:11 These are the same 2 words as when in Genesis 1 it says the world was without form and void. Things will go back to where they started.

-34:16 dc128 3ne24

-34:16 want means lack here. Eternal marriage is required for exaltation.

-35:3 Pres. Monson quotes this often.

-35:8 Hebrew word way is the exact word Jesus uses when he ways I am the way the truth and the life. He is the way… This shows that it’s not a free for all in the gospel, there is a laid out path that we are to walk.

-35:9 Much hard will come and we need to get through it to be able to stand. John Taylor quoting Joseph Smith said that “God will reach in and pull the strings of our heart so hard until it seems that they will break that we will want to give up, but if we do we will lose all our glory.” We must come to know who we really are, what we are willing to sacrifice. If we make it through that we will have an eternal marriage “none will be without her mate” sing is always the opposite of crying is Hebrew, never laughing.

-37:3 It’s time of deliverance, but mother doesn’t have enough energy to push the baby out. They are close to liberty but aren’t on God’s side so they don’t make it.

-37:7 4 prophecies

-37:9 the rumor

-37:9 Ethiopia is south of Egypt, but rumor has it they are coming the long way to interfere. He will have 3 battles at once. Rabshakeh is sent to try and get Judah to surrender so they’ll only have 2 battle fronts.

-37:16 Hezekiah great prayer. He bares his testimony (Pres. Packer says each time we bear our testimony it becomes stronger. doing it verbally helps.)

-37:21 The answers to our prayers may come through the Lord’s prophets. It may come very personally.

-37:30 Too much chaos now, you won’t plant this year.

-37:33 The entire city was surrounded. Hezekiah needed a lot of faith to trust this message from Isaiah the prophet.

-37:35 JST in 1 kings 3. shows that the Lord was very frustrated with David when he fell. for David’s sake may have to do with lineage. read Donald Parry Isaiah on this.

-39:3 Babylon was a vasal state at this time to Assyria, I think.

-39:7 Eunuch is a servant to the king.

-41:29 our idols America idolizes are not so easy to see.

-42:1 42:1-8, 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:13-14; 53.

these are the servant songs

53 is Mosiah Ch. 14 quoted by Abinadi. Christians think these point to Christ. Scholars think they are to some current king of that day since they do not believe that prophets can prophecy.

-42:3 Jesus’ ministry to be gentle, quiet, and mostly unknown to people of his day. the smoking flax can mean that those with even the smallest amount of potential he will help.

-42:4 he will accomplish His mission.

-42:19 JST says it’s to the blind whom he sends his servant.

-43:3 the Lord= Jehovah

-43:10 To live as He would, showing He is real. *That’s how I got a testimony that God lives, it’s that I saw others who were standing where I learned God is. Being married is exalting, for we witness to each other all of the time.

-43:10 perhaps it’s to say that all were created at once, and is referring to how no idols are God’s.

-43:11 Shows Jehovah is JC. Abraham is a God but not of this world so we don’t worship Him. Elder McConkie at BYU said we worship the Father in the name of the son, we don’t worship the sun. In the NT Paul says that God and the Savoir Lord are 2 different beings.

-43:19 I will write my new covenant in your heart

-43:24 People give God not pleasantries but all their problems and sins. He blotted them out for your sake and won’t remember them more. This speaks of the Savior.

-44:15 so ridiculous that he repeats it 3 times. Making a tree, using part for warmth, part for an idol to worship. Also like money from a tree, practical, yet worshipped it. Can refer to our bodies, honing them in the gym, or eating wrong to make yourself an idol for you and others to worship.

-44:20 worshiping a false God. You can’t make covenants with a false god. It’s like going to eat and nothing is there, like a large cheese puff.

-44:22 in pre-mortality we even repented via the Atonement. Jesus was a God, so he was totally trustable and we based all on His future eternal Atonement.

-45:1 Cyrus means Messiah. It also means Cyrus the Mede who becomes first king of what we now call the Persian Empire.

-45:13 Isa knew Cyrus by prophecy. People think Isa did not write this, but he did. In “Antiquities” by Josephus, it says that Cyrus read Isa’s words predicting him, and he fulfilled what was written of him.

-45:23 Paul says this in the NT, saying it’s JC. So Jehovah is JC., for it says there is none else beside this person to whom the people will bow and confess.

-46:1 the idols weigh them down and slow them down. Breaks down the beasts and the people.

-46:4 The idols can’t deliver you, they weigh you down, but I will deliver you.

-46:11 Cyrus comes from the east, he does not spare, and destroys Babylon. He is a type of Christ.

-47:13 astrology for guidance is not how it is to be. they’ll be destroyed.

-47:14 this is not a get warm fire, this is a consume you fire.

-48:3-4 God does these things, declaring it from the beginning because of our tendency to blame others for what God does.

-48:9 I should just wipe you out but because you bare my name I’ll wait. I will let you stay a while, since I’m the one that chose you after all.

-48:11 You are my chosen people.

-48:13 creation

-48:18 righteousness as the wave of the sea like when an Apostle speaks to you and you feel like you got hit by a wave. If you keep the commandments you can have a serious impact on people by the righteous things you do. We can become wells of living water like Jesus Christ. As the waves of the sea may also refer to how our righteousness will never cease. It will always respond the to signals of the sun. To what Jesus Christ asks us to do, we will always be capable if we start with the little things and try to keep all of his commandments. Also waves have a large impact on large amounts of land. D&C 121 teaches that flowing unto thee. People are always coming back to great leaders and wanting more of them.

-49:1 BFM has the whole first half of this verse. He is talking to those who have been scattered because of the wickedness of pastors in Israel. You can be in trouble for following leaders who choose evil.

-49:2 an arrow. Christ is a polished one, of all the arrows, he is the one who is prepared to do his mission perfectly.

-49:2 Could mean that Christ was there to publish his Father’s name. Also could mean that Christ’s ministry was quiet.

-49:6 could mean to say that light is referring to brightness.

-49:6 He is saying he is the hope of every human being.

-49:15 as impossible as it seems that a woman would forget her child, it’s even more impossible that God will forget about us.

-49:15 Ancient people would put tattoos on their hands to remind them of things important, like one of a temple to remind them of their covenants. Jerusalem was and is the Lord’s city. You can’t get away from that if you are a LDS.

-49:16 Ancient people would put tattoos on their hands to remind them of things important, like one of a temple to remind them of their covenants. Jerusalem was and is the Lord’s city. You can’t get away from that if you are a LDS.

-49:17 haste against thy destroyers is how the BFM reads

-49:18 God swearing with his own life. He can’t swear by any higher; there is no such thing as any higher. This is it.

-49:18 The brides would put on all of their family’s wealth just before the wedding. Jesus is having people come by the thousands and millions. Zion who thought she was forsaken will clothe herself with all of these people.

-49:20 could mean like a strait jacket. could be spiritually speaking of who say LDS have too many commandments. (God says if we are really good, he will give us more commandments; in the footnotes to one of Elder Bednar’s general conference talks, he says we should pray for more commandments.) Straight could mean literal like too narrow, not enough room in the building for them all to fit.

-52:7 Abinadi has this quoted to him by the wicked priests, them asking him what it means. In response he quotes the 53 chapter of Isaiah. They asked him a question out of Isaiah, he responds out of Isaiah. Abinadi’s problem is that they don’t have a clue what the law of Moses is about. Abinadi says you can’t be saved by the Law of Moses alone. It points to the Atonement. You need that to be saved. You need the LDS church to be saved for it has the ordinances of the Atonement. Abinadi lacks a companion. God can’t hold them accountable without a witness for there is a law of multiple witnesses. Alma’s heart is pricked when he reads to them Isaiah.

-54:1 the sense of this chapter is where did all of these children come from. It’s the Gentiles coming to Zion.

-54:2 it takes 100’s of men to put up a circus tent, and elephants to help also. If they collapse it can be tragic.

-54:10 peace is used very often in this, and the flip side is it saying at the end there is no peace to the wicked. Peace is not necessarily an absence of warfare. Even in a peaceful place you can have inner turmoil. Standing before God ready for that is true peace.

-55:2 Spiritually fat as Buddha The Lord wants us to be.

-55:11 missionaries get the lords priorities done not, theirs

-55:12 see D&C128:23 about how all rejoice about the gospel

-56:1 Judgment: result of judging. Justice: quality of being just, rendering what is due.

-56:2 is to mean happy. Same word as used in the Sermon on the Mount.

-56:2 people should know that LDS are different on Sabbath. we need to re-enthrone the Sabbath. Mark E Peterson said someone who breaks the Sabbath is a covenant breaker.

-56:5 place and a name is yod veshem it translates to a hand and a name. That is what happens in God’s hand, He gives them those things.

-56:6-7 You’ll be happy in the temple if you are keeping the Sabbath day holy. There are people who look natural inside the temple who like to be there, and others who check their watches a lot and are biting at the bit to get out of the temple. There will be thousands of temples in the Millennium and we will be doing work for the flood gates of people that the work of the Lord is opened up to. Some of the most blatant miracles come as we do family history work. Brother Merrill couldn’t find a person where they were buried, and he is impressed to walk down an isle, stop midway, put his arm up and pull out that book and there is the person. Or feeling that something is missing, then finding out the family had an infant who died. SO be glad when your people are glad in the temple, it means they are honoring the Sabbath. THOSE who honor the Sabbath CRAVE the temple, to go there and receive the reward of their doings.

-56:10 a watchdog that can’t bark is worth less than 0. So we unbind our tongues for heavens gates to flow. We shepherds in Israel, and that is all of us, need to open our mouths for our people for God giving others commandments is what will let us have more opportunity in life and allow the Holy Ghost to prick ourselves.

-56:10 throwing down on idleness.

-57:1 LDS funerals are happy

-57:5 recently in spring 2014 there were men arrested for child abuse. On the other end, there was a woman recently who sacrificed her life for her child soon to be born.

-58:5 fasting is not for looking poor

-58:6 the next verse is probably about helping the poor, and this verse is oppressed meaning under sin. Fasting is a consciousness of victory over self.

-58:7 you don’t get all of the blessings if you don’t pay the fast offering. Pres. Foust said we at times categorize how much our food costs for how much to pay. We should give ten times that much if we can. We aren’t paying enough until it hurts. If you can’t fast, then find other ways to make that day one of sacrifice.

-58:8 fast blessings D&C 59 equates joy with fasting.

-58:8 It’s righteousness that is the breast plate of the armor of the Lord.

-59:1-2 the avenger and the redeemer. whatever you deserve at the 2nd Coming is what you’ll get.

-59:3 one youth was excommunicated for lying to his priesthood leader. Lying is a cardinal sin and you go the same place with that as you do the whores and thieves.

-59:5 a poisonous serpent they’re incubating.

-59:19 like now how Satan is putting evil all through the world

-59:19 the cross is the standard, the Hebrew word comes from the word meaning standard bearing, like a tee shape standard without the flag part looks like a cross. E Maxwell said our light still is not shining bright enough to be a light against the nations. At times it’s like Elijah to the priests of Baal, or JS against all the religionists of his day.

-60:7 all these Gentiles will be gathered to the House of Israel

-60:7 temple Gentiles to.

-60:11 ancient cities are always closed at night for protection, but the holy city so powerful that it need not protectin. People don’t understand the text of Isaiah so they were mad at Acts 11 about how the gospel is to go to the Jews

-60:22 hastening the work

-61:1 there was a seat in the synagogues where you would give commentary on the law. Jesus says this in Nazareth and the people say isn’t this Joseph the Carpenter’s son? Wondering at how this person could say he is Jehovah. Jesus basically said if you want to see a miracle here you have to have as much faith as the gentiles who had great faith and obedience which the Jews did not have. It’s like how many LDS are not righteous but are self-righteous self-serving seeking honors of man.

-62:4 The Lord will marry the land.

-62:8 we don’t have to work hard and have others eat and drink the fruits of our labors

-63:1 Edom also means red

-63:2 red because of dyed from blood in Gethsemane and because he trod down his enemies. Which side are we on?

-63:3 the grapes that Christ treads are the wicked

-63:9 he became like us so he could suffer with us and pity us. Paul says the sinless one became the great sinner, aka he stepped into our shoes. All people come to earth to suffer, but Christ went to suffer “enormity multiplied by infinity” says Elder Maxwell.

-63:15 intercessory prayer like in John 17. Like D&C121 also.

-64:3 many will probably have to move away from the mountains

-64:6 we as filthy rags is like saying that no matter how much good we go we keep getting dirty again and staining ourselves. God never “owes us one”.

-65:1 in the last few chapters Isaiah summarizes, condemning apostates, pronouncing blessings for the righteous, and speaking of the destiny of the gentiles.

-65:1 JST says how God is found by who seeks them (not vice versa). Says God tried to reach out to the Apostates but they did not care about him.

-65:3 law of Moses said only use unhewn stones for altars not bricks

-65:5 they frustrate him

-65:6 God will give some so called Saints what they really deserve they not being saints at all.

-65:17 not remember the reproach of thy youth or widowhood anymore

-65:20 no more infants dying

-65:25 This is Isa 11 but you don’t get any better than that. Take this literally there is no other way to take it.

-66:1 Take the Lord in by making him a temple. Don’t forget about him the poorest of poor.

-66:7 the Coming of the Lord will happen very fast. The New Jerusalem will come miraculously overnight. The Jews get the gospel as in a day as well, it says, and that will happen at the time they see prints in his hands. They are the last to get the gospel,

-66:17 we have a different Word of Wisdom, law of health now.

-66:19 missionaries right now are being sent to those nations considered gentiles.

-66:20 they=the gentiles

-66:21 them=the gentiles

-66: all flesh worshipping the Lord- flesh means things that are alive and can die; all the people left standing at the Second Coming of the Lord, those not destroyed from wickedness, will worship the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of this world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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