Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2011, July 25

“The Holy Bible | John 19:28-30: Jesus Prolongs His Suffering on the Cross to Purposefully Fulfill Prophecy” by grego

The Holy Bible | John 19:28-30: Jesus Prolongs His Suffering on the Cross to Purposefully Fulfill Prophecy

grego
(c)2011

The Holy Bible says:

John 19:28 ¶After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

It was all done; the Atonement, started in the Garden of Gethsemane, was now finished on the cross.

And yet, Jesus chose to not die yet. Why? He knew there was still one prophecy to fulfill. Oh, but it was so infinitessimaly little, especially compared to the Atonement he had just wrought and the pain he was feeling!! And it was so unessential to the Atonement!

But He knew that it had to be done–not one little part could be left undone, not one little thing left uncompleted.

It’s amazing that in the condition of lack of sleep, betrayal, the great hypocrisy and illegality of it all, the multiple psychological and physical pain, the shock and drain on the body, etc.—that Jesus still kept the scriptures not only in memory, and in mind, but in heart, too. His Father’s will was done in *all* things.

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2011, July 13

“Book of Mormon: Does Belief Come through Faith and the Holy Ghost or also through Seeing?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Does Belief Come through the Holy Ghost or also through Seeing?

grego
(c)2011

Is seeing believing? We often say it’s not, that true belief needs to come by way of faith and the Holy Spirit. Let’s see what the Book of Mormon says about it.

This is a list off the top of my head:

–Ammon and king Lamoni (Alma 18)
When the king sees all those arms, and hears the stories about what Ammon did, something happens!

–Ammon and king Lamoni’s wife (Alma 19)
Alma 19:2 Now the queen having heard of the fame of Ammon, therefore she
sent and desired that he should come in unto her.
3 And it came to pass that Ammon did as he was commanded…
4 And she said unto him: The servants of my husband have made it
known unto me that thou art a prophet of a holy God, and that
thou hast power to do many mighty works in his name;
5 Therefore, if this is the case, I would that ye should go in and
see my husband, for he has been laid upon his bed for the space of
two days and two nights… but as for myself, to me he doth not stink.
7 Therefore, what the queen desired of him was his only desire…
8 And he said unto the queen: He is not dead, but he sleepeth in
God, and on the morrow he shall rise again; therefore bury him not.
9 And Ammon said unto her: Believest thou this? And she said
unto him: I have had no witness save thy word, and the word of
our servants; nevertheless I believe that it shall be according
as thou hast said.
(Interestingly, Ammon commends her great faith…)

–Ammon and king Lamoni’s father (Alma 20)
When the king is almost killed, he begs for mercy; the act of sparing his life, and asking for little in return, helps him believe.

–The Beaten Lamanites (Alma 25:6)
The Lamanites, after seeing themselves get beat time and time again by the fewer Nephites, put 2 and 2 together, and believe.
Alma 25:6 For many of them, after having suffered much loss and so many
afflictions, began to be stirred up in remembrance of the words
which Aaron and his brethren had preached to them in their land;
therefore they began to disbelieve the traditions of their
fathers, and to believe in the Lord, and that he gave great power
unto the Nephites; and thus there were many of them converted in
the wilderness.

–Korihor’s followers (Alma 30:57-58)
“Hey, look what happened to Korihor!” and those following his teachings repent.
Alma 30:57 Now the knowledge of what had happened unto Korihor was
immediately published throughout all the land; yea, the
proclamation was sent forth by the chief judge to all the people
in the land, declaring unto those who had believed in the words
of Korihor that they must speedily repent, lest the same
judgments would come unto them.
58 And it came to pass that they were all convinced of the
wickedness of Korihor; therefore they were all converted again
unto the Lord; and this put an end to the iniquity after the
manner of Korihor. And Korihor did go about from house to house,
begging food for his support.

–The 300 Lamanites (Helaman 5:22-)
These Lamanites, ready to kill Nephi and Lehi, suddenly see them surrounded by a fire that doesn’t burn them; many scary real “theatrics” later, they start to exercise faith in God by crying for mercy.

–The Five sent to ascertain the truthfulness of Nephi’s story of the chief judge (Helaman 7,8)
They don’t believe, but say if it’s like Nephi says, then they’ll believe.
Helaman 9:2 Behold, now we will know of a surety whether this man be a
prophet and God hath commanded him to prophesy such marvelous
things unto us. Behold, we do not believe that he hath; yea, we
do not believe that he is a prophet; nevertheless, if this thing
which he has said concerning the chief judge be true, that he be
dead, then will we believe that the other words which he has
spoken are true.
3 And it came to pass that they ran in their might, and came in
unto the judgment-seat; and behold, the chief judge had fallen to
the earth, and did lie in his blood.
4 And now behold, when they saw this they were astonished
exceedingly, insomuch that they fell to the earth; for they had
not believed the words which Nephi had spoken concerning the
chief judge.
5 But now, when they saw they believed, and fear came upon them
lest all the judgments which Nephi had spoken should come upon
the people; therefore they did quake, and had fallen to the
earth.

–Samuel the Lamanite (Helaman 16:1-3)
When people see that Samuel can’t get hit by stones and arrows, they believe.
Helaman 16:1 And now, it came to pass that there were many who heard the
words of Samuel, the Lamanite, which he spake upon the walls of
the city. And as many as believed on his word went forth and
sought for Nephi…
2 But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of
Samuel were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the
wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall;
but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could
not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.
3 Now when they saw that they could not hit him, there were many
more who did believe on his words, insomuch that they went away
unto Nephi to be baptized.

So, is seeing believing? No, it’s not, but it *can* lead to it, and it sure helps sometimes!! It seems the difference between seeing and believing is a very short step, but a necessary one.

As Alma says, before we can believe, we need to make space for belief to take root:
Alma 32:28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, *if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart*, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

And sometimes it takes this to do it:
Alma 32:13 And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are
ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh
repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy;
and he that findeth mercy and endureth to the end the same shall
be saved.

Or through a shocking/ stunning/ amazing/ insightful event.

However, just having that kind of experience will not *make* anyone believe or repent. Here is just one example (there are many more!):
Helaman 16:22 And many more things did the people imagine up in their hearts, which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come.
23 And notwithstanding the signs and the wonders which were wrought among the people of the Lord, and the many miracles which they did, Satan did get great hold upon the hearts of the people upon all the face of the land.

Alma says this to those who seek signs to believe:
Alma 32:17 Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a
sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall
believe.
Alma 32:18 Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for
if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he
knoweth it.

And if those people receive signs:
Alma 32:19 And now, how much more cursed is he that knoweth the will of
God and doeth it not, than he that only believeth, or only hath
cause to believe, and falleth into transgression?

and:
Helaman 14:19 Therefore repent ye, repent ye, lest by knowing these things and not doing them ye shall suffer yourselves to come under condemnation, and ye are brought down unto this second death.
28 And the angel said unto me that many shall see greater things than these, to the intent that they might believe that these signs and these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land, to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men—
29 And this to the intent that whosoever will believe might be saved, and that whosoever will not believe, a righteous judgment might come upon them; and also if they are condemned they bring upon themselves their own condemnation.

2011, July 7

“Will the Coming Split in the Mormon/ LDS/ Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Be over Politics and Secret Combinations?” by grego

“Will the Coming Split in the Mormon/ LDS/ ‘Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Be over Politics and Secret Combinations?”

grego
(c)2011

I had a thought recently about the coming split in the church…

Might it be an incident like in Helaman 7-9?

What would happen if church leaders announced something like Nephi’s garden prayer in General Conference—that Gadianton robbers had taken over the government and were “doing no justice” to the people?

And if the leaders prophesied and the prophecy(/ies) came true? Would it end like this?:

Helaman 9:39 And there were some of the Nephites who believed on the words of Nephi; and there were some also, who believed because of the testimony of the five, for they had been converted while they were in prison.
40 And now there were some among the people, who said that Nephi was a prophet.
41 And there were others who said: Behold, he is a god, for except he was a god he could not know of all things. For behold, he has told us the thoughts of our hearts, and also has told us things; and even he has brought unto our knowledge the true murderer of our chief judge.
Helaman 10:1 And it came to pass that there arose a division among the people, insomuch that they divided hither and thither and went their ways, leaving Nephi alone, as he was standing in the midst of them.

Would there be a division among the church members regarding the prophets at this point?

If church members were called to support this declaration, and then were persecuted for it… would that make 50% go away?

“Book of Mormon: Alma 30: Korihor–Will I Ever Be Like That??” by grego

Book of Mormon: Alma 30: Korihor–Will I Ever Be Like That??

grego
(c)2011

(If you are looking for articles about Korihor/ Alma 30, use “Search” to find many more—it’s one of the biggest sections on this blog!)

As I was reading Alma 30, I thought of how I am sometimes, and how my children are. Just the other day one of them was really stubborn—couldn’t wait, didn’t want to listen, had to do what she wanted to do, etc.—to the point that there were problems…

Korihor wasn’t just a liar; he was an unrepentant obstinate liar that no matter what Alma or anyone else said, he just would not stop. And he was irresponsible, too—it was Satan’s fault, and I got tricked!

I put myself in Alma’s shoes; I felt Alma’s pain.

I put myself in Korihor’s shoes; I felt the weight of the consequences of his hard-heartedness and his stiff-neckedness.

I wondered, Would I ever do that? Would I recognize the need to STOP by at least the last point?

2011, July 6

“Did Jesus Christ’s Apostles Pray Only after His Resurrection?” by grego

Did Jesus Christ’s Apostles Pray Only after His Resurrection?

grego
(c)2011

(This is more a few thoughts and findings than anything really authoritative…)

How much did the “common man” pray from “Moses the mediator” to Jesus? It seems not much. The prophets did. Others like Zacharias, Simeon, and Anna did.

In Luke 11 we read that his disciples wanted instruction on how to pray:
1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Here is the more-referenced version of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6, and its preface:
5 ¶And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Before that, it seems “prayer” was more or less reciting psalms, hymns to Jehovah.

No doubt Jesus’ understanding of true prayer is what gave Him so much growth and power.

This time around with John 16 I noticed the following:
23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

This sounds like the disciples didn’t pray! All “praying” while Jesus was with them were requests made directly to Jesus, who intermediated to God the Father for them; thus, there was no need to pray. (This also puts 3 Nephi 19 into a clearer perspective.)

However, after Jesus left them, the apostles prayed to God in Jesus’ name:
Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphæus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

This seems similar to the situation with the Holy Ghost. Before Jesus left, the Holy Ghost bore testimony of truth to all, including the apostles; but no one, including the apostles, received the active gift of the Holy Ghost, until after Jesus left.

“LDS/ Mormon/ Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | What I Learned about the Church while Moving House” by grego

In our latest move, it was interesting: when the bishop showed up and started directing, the work went much better and faster.

The bishop was not perfect.

His plan was not perfect, either. There were better ways to do things. Etc.

—But because of the obedience and honor to the imperfect but trying man imperfectly but trying to fulfilling his calling: there was direction, purpose, and unity in the activity.

Yes, things got rearranged afterward, but, surprisingly, not as much as I would have thought; and in fact, a few things turned out even better than I had considered.

Overall, it was much better having him do it than not.

Sometimes, it’s in the doing that we understand our plans and their strengths/ weaknesses.

After this experience, I was thinking… if all the Saints were to obey the counsel of our leaders, I’m sure the leaders could understand quickly about their plans and change them accordingly, much faster and easier. (I’ve experienced that as a leader and as a father many times, too.)

2011, July 1

“Mormon/ LDS | Battleground Pre-Earth Life and this Earth Life: God’s Plan of Salvation vs. Satan’s Plan of Making Men ‘Be as Gods’ and Transhumanism” by grego

Mormon/ LDS | Battleground Pre-Earth Life and this Earth Life: God’s Plan of Salvation vs. Satan’s Plan of Making Men ‘Be as Gods’

grego
(c)2011

In the beginning, there were two plans.

One was God the Father’s plan: a sifting, and a Savior—Jesus volunteered, and was accepted.

The other was Satan’s plan: no sifting but Godhood for all, and a Savior–him. Of course his plan was impossible (I wrote another article on this), but he still pushed it.

A war was fought, and 1/3 of the spirits in heaven (not having come here to earth yet to receive a body) were compelled to leave.

I’ve thought, so how did Satan convince so many others, even in the presence of God the Father, Jesus, and many more righteous people, that his plan was better?

I think you’ll see many of his same strategies being used now for the same purposes, often morphed just a bit to fit each situation and person better.

I think the biggest and strongest is something like this: “God does not love you, and in fact He is your enemy; He has a hidden evil purpose in not wanting to give you eternal life; I am your true friend that can help you overcome Him”.

Genesis 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, *Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil*.

Remember the first great temptation: “ye shall be as Gods”, with the impression that if Eve obeyed him and ate the fruit, it would be such. Well, yes, Eve and Adam would know good and evil—but this would hardly make them Gods!

This has always been Satan’s big lie—“Listen to me, follow me, and I will teach you the real way, and you will be Gods; because God is scared of you, so he oppresses, misleads, and lies to you.”

“I am the way to “get back at” God when He hurts you—by not receiving your sacrifices (Cain), by not answering your prayers like you want, by not giving you the power, the money, the faith, the lack of negativity, the knowledge/ light that you want.

The blessings of obedience to God are not discussed; the ills inherent with mortal experience are not acknowledged; the curses of disobedience to God are not discussed.

Adam and Eve are cursed for partaking of the fruit. Interestingly, they are also blessed! They can now fulfill the commandment to multiply and fill the earth with children, they gain knowledge necessary to become gods, they learn and experience the atonement and gospel of Jesus Christ, and they die—to be later resurrected.

Many myths have the same type of theme as Satan in the Adam and Eve story, the main one being Prometheus, who helps Zeus become god; Prometheus and a tricky false sacrifice that angers Zeus; the witholding of fire (and knowledge) from mankind; Prometheus steals the fire of the gods and gives it to man; etc. Note that in these myths, the “helper” or “champion of mankind” is good and the gods are stingy, distant, cold, unforgiving, not to be topped, and punish the helper and the humans that have been helped.

Some do not equate Satan with Lucifer, but with God; Lucifer is man’s friend: “Gnostics believe that this Serpent Lucifer is the liberator of man and the world. It is wisdom, the liberating Gnosis that wakes man up and saves him. Of course, this Messenger of the Unknowable God, Lucifer, is an opponent and an enemy of the creator of the world” (http://theforbiddenreligion.com/lucifer-the-liberator.htm).

Then, there is this:
Genesis 3:22 ¶And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Ah, see, God is scared! God doesn’t want man to live forever/ be immortal like Him! He is selfish of this gift. As one gnostic believer has put it:

“When we were talking about the creator of the world, we said that for Gnostics, the creator, the demiurge, the creator of matter, the universe and man can be likened to satan, since matter is satanic, all creation is satanic and the creator is a satanic being. This creator oppresses man. Since the creation of man, he has forced him to carry out his orders and obey his precepts and commands. This creator wants to be obeyed by man, admired, feared and adored by him by means of sacrifices and rituals. He wants to impose his oppressive rules on man. He wants man to obey him and renounce his own wishes, which are very often the desires of his Spirit, of this Spiritual Self that, although ignored by man is carried within him. The creator, according to Gnosis, has a plan for his creation, which is why he created the universe and placed man in it. He has a plan he wants to press ahead with and he needs man in order to do this. However he needs man to act in agreement with his orders, those of the creator, and not according to the desires of the Spirit. The demiurge does not allow the Spirit, shackled in the soul of man, to manifest Itself. He wants man to act through his soul and not his Spirit. For this reason it is necessary to oppress man, frighten and worry him. He is a god who oppresses his creatures completely” (http://theforbiddenreligion.com/satan-the-oppressor.htm).

The Nehorites picked up on man’s desire for immortality and this “God is in opposition of man” theme of Satan’s:
Alma 12:20 But there was one Antionah, who was a chief ruler among them, came forth and said unto him: What is this that thou hast said, that man should rise from the dead and be changed from this mortal to an immortal state, that the soul can never die?
21 What does the scripture mean, which saith that God placed cherubim and a flaming sword on the east of the garden of Eden, lest our first parents should enter and partake of the fruit of the tree of life, and live forever? And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever.
22 Now Alma said unto him: This is the thing which I was about to explain. Now we see that Adam did fall by the partaking of the forbidden fruit, according to the word of God; and thus we see, that by his fall, all mankind became a lost and fallen people.
23 And now behold, I say unto you that if it had been possible for Adam to have partaken of the fruit of the tree of life at that time, there would have been no death, and the word would have been void, making God a liar, for he said: If thou eat thou shalt surely die.

Alma turns the tables: God is not a liar, and if He had given Adam and Eve immortality, He would have lied. He has a much better plan that includes death, but then something greater than just “living forever”.

Here’s the real truth: the natural man is fearful of death. The natural man wants immortality, NOW—not death, judgment by God, and then something much better than immortality. He wants special knowledge that puts him beyond God, “unto himself”, and gives him the edge in all things in this life—including being able to remain “at the top” forever.

It is interesting to note that Cain, Satan’s first full follower, seems to be in a state of “immortality”, from his normal life to now (almost 6,000 years now), as related by President Kimball (quoting Smoot relating the incident regarding the apostle, Elder David Patten):
“As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange personage walking beside me… I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die…”

Also interesting, is that in that human-envied state of immortality, Cain “earnestly seeks death”, but can never find it. (I guess that helps him with “his mission… to destroy the souls of men”.)

So, true Satanists/ Luciferians are in a search for immortality.

In steps Transhumanism.

First, to transhumanists: just being a transhumanist isn’t the same as being a Luciferian using transhumanism for immortality. There, is that enough? I hope so.

Lucifer has great wordly and natural-law knowledge, and he can give this to his followers—for a price.

By stepping up transhumanism, followers of Lucifer can prolong life easier, better, and longer than before. In other words, through power, money/ riches, and knowledge, followers of Lucifer can better attain “immortality”, in addition to power, money/riches, and knowledge.

UPDATE: Judging by the comments, I can see that most flew by this part: “First, to transhumanists: just being a transhumanist isn’t the same as being a Luciferian using transhumanism for immortality. There, is that enough? I hope so.” Either that, or it wasn’t enough. Please, reread that before commenting.

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