Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2013, April 18

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons | Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Noah, Ham, and the Priesthood Curse–What Really Happened?” by grego

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons | Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Noah, Ham, and the Priesthood Curse–What Really Happened?

grego
(c)2013

In the Bible we read of the story of Noah and Ham, and Canaan’s priesthood curse:

Genesis 9
18 ¶And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Because of Ham’s telling his brothers that his father was naked, Canaan, the son of Ham, was cursed with no priesthood. What?? Why?

What did Ham really do? Why didn’t Noah curse Ham instead of his son? Are the children punished for the sins of their fathers? Is there more to this story?

Sure, it’s simply possible that Ham didn’t just tell his brothers, but perhaps mocked Noah, or such.

Now, here are two other chapters in the Old Testament dealing with “nakedness”:
Leviticus 18
6 ¶None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord.
7 The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
8 The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness.
15 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
19 Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.
20 Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her.

Leviticus 20
10 ¶And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
11 And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

In light of these Leviticus verses, I wonder, was there something sexual that was done? Was there something similar to Lot being drunk and his daughters taking advantage of that in a wicked way (Genesis 19)?

(Note: only Canaan was cursed, not the other sons of Ham and his wife.)

And if so: was it really Noah, or Noah’s wife? (See Leviticus 20:11 above.)

Was it really Ham, or Ham’s wife?

Did Ham, worried or mad about his father’s attitude towards his wife, seeing his father drunk, send his wife in to have sexual relations with him, and bear Noah’s fifth child? Would Noah dare refuse to give the priesthood to this son?

We read that eight specific people were saved on the ark (in other words, nothing about any of Noah’s grandchildren having been born yet); that this wicked act occurred at least a few years (if not more) after the Flood; and that Canaan is Ham’s fourth and last child.

Also, though it seems he said those things immediately afterward, it’s possible that he said them much later, just that they were connected.

If the child that came from this act, Noah’s son, were Canaan, is that why he specifically was cursed by Noah to not have the priesthood?

Or did Ham or Canaan have illicit relations with Noah?

Or was Canaan already grown, and Canaan was already sexually deviant like his dad, and that’s why he was cursed?

Or is there something even greater—before, or after—that added to this event, and effected the curse? Had something already happened between Noah and Ham, perhaps regarding his marriage to someone outside-the-covenant, and this was Ham’s retribution or revenge?

My best speculation: It is possible that the curse and mark of Cain were “supposed to” be passed on to Ham’s children through his wife, but that Noah took them away from Ham’s children; but after the incident, the curse was returned to and added upon Ham’s last child, Canaan, possibly for a part–directly or indirectly–that he had in the incident. In other words, “How could a redeemed son of God commit such a dirty and in-the-face sin toward one who had originally helped redeem and blessed him greatly?” And thus Canaan fell back under the original curse, and more.

Or…?

Hugh Nibley’s comment, quoted in the Old Testament Institute Manual:
“(4-20) Genesis 9:20–27. Why Did Noah Curse Canaan in This Event When He Was Not Even Present?
The account of Noah’s “nakedness” and the role his sons played in the event is a puzzling one, especially the part in which Noah awakens and pronounces a curse upon Canaan, the son of Ham (see Genesis 10:6), who does not even seem to be present at the time.
Hugh Nibley discussed some of these ancient writings and their implications for the passage in Genesis:

“Incidentally the story of the stolen garment as told by the rabbis, including the great Eleazer, calls for an entirely different rendering of the strange story in Genesis [9] from the version in our King James Bible. They seemed to think that the ’erwath of Genesis [9:22] did not mean ‘nakedness’ at all, but should be given its primary root meaning of ‘skin covering.’ Read thus, we are to understand that Ham
took the garment of his father while he was sleeping and showed it to his brethren, Shem and Japheth, who took a pattern or copy of it (salmah) or else a woven garment like it (simlah) which they put upon their own shoulders, returning the skin garment to their father. Upon awaking, Noah recognized the priesthood of two sons but cursed the son who tried to rob him of his garment.” (Lehi in the Desert and the World of Jaredites, pp. 160–62.)
Therefore, although Ham himself had the right to the priesthood, Canaan, his son, did not. Ham had married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain (Abraham 1:21–24), and so his sons were denied the priesthood.”

(It seems that last sentence is incorrect: as far as we know, Canaan was cursed, but not his three older brothers.)

UPDATE:
After writing this, I searched on the internet, and there are many sites with similar possible insights and explanations, such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_Ham. I encourage anyone interested to do their own searches. I did not find anything like the last paragraph, however.

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2013, April 15

“A Mormon/ LDS’s Thoughts on Death and Dying” by grego

On Death and Dying

grego
(c) 2012

I guess we worry and stress a lot about dying. I find that the gospel and the scriptures help a lot, but that it’s often hard to keep my attitude and faith in the right zone.

I’ve wished I could die a few times, but I haven”t chosen to. I figure it’s my responsibility to manage my life for the best, as long as it’s my stewardship. Doing anything to end it prematurely, including slowly, shows a lack of responsibility. It also shows a lack of gratitude towards, and faith in, God. For me, that includes not trying to keep it alive when it is in danger (and similarly for others’).

That doesn’t mean that I have to extend my life “artificially”, even if I were young and there were a choice and I had the means to do so. Being older, not having much choice, and not having the means to do so lessens that choice… I have no desire to stay alive, just to “stay alive”.

I understand that living the best I can is an integral part of “enduring to the end”, a necessary requirement for exaltation (salvation). Anything to end it, or the lives of others, has to be in accord with God’s will and also part of my righteous responsibilities.

On the other hand, the opportunity to live is not a right–it’s a privilege and a gift from God, who gave it and allows it every moment; and only He has the right to ask for it back, unless I were to place myself under justice through murdering his children.

I guess the time I would feel best about dying was when my life purpose had been fulfilled, all my matters were finished and in order, and I could help God’s work better as a spirit than as a mortal.

I assume and believe that if those things weren’t met, I would still live; and that even if they were all met and I were still alive, that would mean that there would be purpose in my being alive, no matter how much it seemed that there wasn’t. Perhaps either that God still had something for me to learn or do, or that Satan still had hope to win me over.

Death is a passing, from this mortal life to a continuation, minus the mortal body for a time.

If only we feared sin/ spiritual death as much or more than we feared physical death…

Isaiah is the most powerful verses for overcoming fear of death. If you fear death, start with the Isaiah selections in 1 Nephi, 2 Nephi, and 3 Nephi of the Book of Mormon (pretty much same ones as in the Bible). (Remember that Nephi was in constant danger of his brothers killing him…)

Here are some scriptures from the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Holy Bible that help me:

Alma 14:8 And they brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they should be cast into the fire; and they also brought forth their records which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be burned and destroyed by fire.
9 And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of martyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire.
10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.
11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.
12 Now Amulek said unto Alma: Behold, perhaps they will burn us also.
13 And Alma said: Be it according to the will of the Lord…

Alma 24:21 Now when the people saw that they were coming against them they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword.
22 And thus without meeting any resistance, they did slay a thousand and five of them; and we know that they are blessed, for they have gone to dwell with their God.
23 Now when the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee from the sword, neither would they turn aside to the right hand or to the left, but that they would lie down and perish, and praised God even in the very act of perishing under the sword—
24 Now when the Lamanites saw this they did forbear from slaying them; and there were many whose hearts had swollen in them for those of their brethren who had fallen under the sword, for they repented of the things which they had done.
25 And it came to pass that they threw down their weapons of war, and they would not take them again, for they were stung for the murders which they had committed; and they came down even as their brethren, relying upon the mercies of those whose arms were lifted to slay them.
26 And it came to pass that the people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore we have no reason to doubt but what they were saved.
27 And there was not a wicked man slain among them; but there were more than a thousand brought to the knowledge of the truth; thus we see that the Lord worketh in many ways to the salvation of his people.

Alma 27:27 And they were among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people who were of the church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.
28 And they did look upon shedding the blood of their brethren with the greatest abhorrence; and they never could be prevailed upon to take up arms against their brethren; and they never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore, death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it.
29 Therefore, they would suffer death in the most aggravating and distressing manner which could be inflicted by their brethren, before they would take the sword or cimeter to smite them.
30 And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, a highly favored people of the Lord.

Alma 56:47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Moroni 9:5 For so exceedingly do they anger that it seemeth me that they have no fear of death; and they have lost their love, one towards another; and they thirst after blood and revenge continually.

Job 20:5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

Job 21:13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.

Job 34:20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

Psalms 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Psalms 73:19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.

Proverbs 12:19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Isaiah 26:20 ¶ Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
19 ¶ Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Doctrine and Covenants 121:7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

Doctrine and Covenants 122:4 And although their influence shall cast thee into trouble, and into bars and walls, thou shalt be had in honor; and but for a small moment and thy voice shall be more terrible in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce lion, because of thy righteousness; and thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever.
5 If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;
6 If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;
7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

“UPDATE: Moroni the Man; Pahoran the Political Propagandist–‘The Wall’ ” by grego

UPDATE: Moroni the Man, Pahoran the Political Propagandist…

grego
(c) 2012

For those who have Volume I, here is an update you’ll understand:

Doctrine and Covenants 121:13 Also because their hearts are corrupted, and the things which they are willing to bring upon others, and love to have others suffer, may come upon themselves to the very uttermost;
14 That they may be disappointed also, and their hopes may be cut off;
15 And not many years hence, that they and their posterity shall be swept from under heaven, saith God, that NOT ONE OF THEM IS LEFT TO STAND BY THE WALL.

2013, April 7

“Valleys and Mountains: Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism” by grego

Valleys and Mountains: Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism

grego
(c) 2013

I’ve heard a lot of things about these just horrible bad man killers recently and over the years. We here about them on the news, each time there is a school shooting, an attempted terrorist attack, etc.

The more I learn about actual circumstances and not rely on “official stories” and propaganda, the more these verses come to mind:
Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

Helaman 14:23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

This will be what happens when the Lord returns.

This will also be what happens at the last judgment, in addition to this:
2 Nephi 9:46 Prepare your souls for that glorious day when justice shall be administered unto the righteous, even the day of judgment, that ye may not *shrink* with awful fear; that ye may not remember your awful guilt in perfectness, and be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy judgments, O Lord God Almighty—but I know my guilt; I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine; and the devil hath obtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery.

The righteous OF THE LORD (not of the people) will be exalted, and the wicked rejected BY THE LORD (not by the people) will be brought low.

God and the righteous will judge, not man. Which is a good thing, because, as you can see, we don’t a very good job of it:
1 Nephi 11:32 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.
33 And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.

So don’t be surprised, whether at that day or earlier, to find out that what everyone proclaimed was “evil” is “good” and what everyone proclaimed was “good” is “evil”–maybe even including reports you read about people in the news, including horrific, insane, etc. mass-killing killers.

There will be a lot of raised eyebrows and gasps when we see some people who we thought close to perdition (in the lowest “valleys” in the eyes of man) be exalted, and some we thought were next to saintliness (on the tops of the “mountains” in the eyes of man) be brought low.

Where will you be, at that day?

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