Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

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.

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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?

2012, January 4

“Holy Bible | Book of Mormon: Why Having a King Would Be the Death of America” by grego

Holy Bible | Book of Mormon: Why Having a King Would Be the Death of America

grego
(c)2012

It’s without a doubt that some people would love to put a king in charge of America. As one man said, “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier” and “[The Constitution]’s just a g.d.mned piece of paper!” I believe that an attempt will be made to do this in the future.

I’d like to remind people now, before it happens, about a few things concerning kings, from the Bible:

1 Samuel 8:5 And said unto him…now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
6 ¶But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.
7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
10 ¶And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.

1 Samuel 10:18 And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you:
19 And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us…

1 Samuel 12:11 And the Lord sent [others] and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.
12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the Lord your God was your king…
17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking you a king.

From the Book of Mormon, King Mosiah teaches his people as they transform from a kingship to judges (see my other article for more depth and context of this):

Mosiah 29:5 Behold, O ye my people, or my brethren, for I esteem you as such, I desire that ye should consider the cause which ye are called to consider—for ye are desirous to have a king.
6 Now I declare unto you that he to whom the kingdom doth rightly belong has declined, and will not take upon him the kingdom.
7 And now if there should be another appointed in his stead, behold I fear there would rise contentions among you. And who knoweth but what my son, to whom the kingdom doth belong, should turn to be angry and draw away a part of this people after him, which would cause wars and contentions among you, which would be the cause of shedding much blood and perverting the way of the Lord, yea, and destroy the souls of many people.
8 Now I say unto you let us be wise and consider these things, for we have no right to destroy my son, neither should we have any right to destroy another if he should be appointed in his stead.
9 And if my son should turn again to his pride and vain things he would recall the things which he had said, and claim his right to the kingdom, which would cause him and also this people to commit much sin.
10 And now let us be wise and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people.
11 Therefore I will be your king the remainder of my days; nevertheless, let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our law; and we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God.
12 Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just.
13 Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, yea, if ye could have men for your kings who would do even as my father Benjamin did for this people—I say unto you, if this could always be the case then it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you.
14 And even I myself have labored with all the power and faculties which I have possessed, to teach you the commandments of God, and to establish peace throughout the land, that there should be no wars nor contentions, no stealing, nor plundering, nor murdering, nor any manner of iniquity;
15 And whosoever has committed iniquity, him have I punished according to the crime which he has committed, according to the law which has been given to us by our fathers.
16 Now I say unto you, that because all men are not just it is not expedient that ye should have a king or kings to rule over you.
17 For behold, how much iniquity doth one wicked king cause to be committed, yea, and what great destruction!
18 Yea, remember king Noah, his wickedness and his abominations, and also the wickedness and abominations of his people. Behold what great destruction did come upon them; and also because of their iniquities they were brought into bondage.
19 And were it not for the interposition of their all-wise Creator, and this because of their sincere repentance, they must unavoidably remain in bondage until now.
20 But behold, he did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power in all cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him.
21 And behold, now I say unto you, ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood.
22 For behold, he has his friends in iniquity, and he keepeth his guards about him; and he teareth up the laws of those who have reigned in righteousness before him; and he trampleth under his feet the commandments of God;
23 And he enacteth laws, and sendeth them forth among his people, yea, laws after the manner of his own wickedness; and whosoever doth not obey his laws he causeth to be destroyed; and whosoever doth rebel against him he will send his armies against them to war, and if he can he will destroy them; and thus an unrighteous king doth pervert the ways of all righteousness.
24 And now behold I say unto you, it is not expedient that such abominations should come upon you.

King Mosiah then comes up with another plan, that at least has some balance of power in it; it sounds like a democracy, but there were no doubt rights and laws:
25 Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.
26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
28 And now if ye have judges, and they do not judge you according to the law which has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge.
29 If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgments, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the voice of the people.
30 And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads.
31 For behold I say unto you, the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings; therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of their kings.
32 And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land.
33 And many more things did king Mosiah write unto them, unfolding unto them all the trials and troubles of a righteous king, yea, all the travails of soul for their people, and also all the murmurings of the people to their king; and he explained it all unto them.
34 And he told them that these things ought not to be; but that the burden should come upon all the people, that every man might bear his part.
35 And he also unfolded unto them all the disadvantages they labored under, by having an unrighteous king to rule over them;
36 Yea, all his iniquities and abominations, and all the wars, and contentions, and bloodshed, and the stealing, and the plundering, and the committing of whoredoms, and all manner of iniquities which cannot be enumerated—telling them that these things ought not to be, that they were expressly repugnant to the commandments of God.

The people accept his thoughts and will:
37 And now it came to pass, after king Mosiah had sent these things forth among the people they were convinced of the truth of his words.
38 Therefore they relinquished their desires for a king, and became exceedingly anxious that every man should have an equal chance throughout all the land; yea, and every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins.
39 Therefore, it came to pass that they assembled themselves together in bodies throughout the land, to cast in their voices concerning who should be their judges, to judge them according to the law which had been given them; and they were exceedingly rejoiced because of the liberty which had been granted unto them.

Interestingly, there is an important point in the last part: people want a king because liberty requires hard work, time, and responsibility; and its fruits are fairness!

There was one other time in USA history when a US president acted as a dictator, and it resulted in the WORST time in the history of the country. The Constitution was disregarded, the courts were ignored, rights expressly set forth in the Bill of Rights were violently violated; people were dragged off in the middle of the night never to be seen again, and more…

(By the way, the president was Abraham Lincoln, the time was the War of Secession (the “Civil War”), and it was pretty much de facto martial law (see more about this and links here: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/critique-of-abraham-lincoln-or-why-abraham-lincoln-might-still-be-in-hell-by-grego/ , especially the long list about halfway down).)

IF A KING RULES OVER THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in the future, IT WILL BE WORSE THIS TIME than it was with Lincoln. Perhaps comparable to or even much worse than the conditions right before and during the Revolutionary War. There will be no rights, only privileges extended to his friends; no justice, only judgments based on his will (and the will of those that control him).

Lastly, there is one great and final reason why America CANNOT have a king: America is a chosen land, and always has been.
2 Nephi 10:11 And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.
12 And I will fortify this land against all other nations.
13 And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God.
14 For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.
15 Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations.

To want a king is to be like Israel of old—it’s truly to reject the true king of America, Jesus Christ. If that day comes, it will not go well for America and those that try to raise up a king! And who that is, is also clear: those that work “secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations”.

2011, December 26

Holy Bible | “Moses’ Unheeded Warnings about Kings Could Have Saved the Israelites (Deuteronomy 17)” by grego

Holy Bible | Moses’ Unheeded Warnings about Kings Could Have Saved the Israelites (Deuteronomy 17)

grego
(c)2011

I found Moses’ words in Deuteronomy 17 interesting, regarding his prophecy of kings over Israel (that was fulfilled with Samuel and Saul in 1 Samuel 8, 10, 12) and problems they would have:

Deuteronomy 17:14 ¶When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;

15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Had Jehoiakim, Zedekiah, et. al. remembered verse 16, Jeremiah might not have had all those problems. (Jeremiah 42)

Had David remembered verse 17, he might not have lost his soul. (2 Samuel 12:8; 2 Samuel 3, 5, 11, etc.)

Had Solomon remembered verse 17, he might not have lost his way. (1 Kings 11:3, etc.)

Had all the kings remembered 18-20, Israel would have had fewer problems!

2011, December 14

“Holy Bible | Numbers 27: Moses and the Daughters of Zelophehad: Feedback to LDS Church Leaders Can Nourish the Church and the Kingdom” by grego

Holy Bible | Numbers 27: Moses and the Daughters of Zelophehad: Feedback to LDS Church Leaders Can Nourish the Church and the Kingdom

grego
(c)2011

Numbers 27 presents a case that the leaders hadn’t considered, and that the Lord hadn’t first revealed information to them about:
1 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad…
2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
3 Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.
4 Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.

There’s a question, and a request based on a situation not covered.

Moses does not blow them off, give them an excuse, answer hastily to please them or himself or others; he does something all leaders would be wise to do:
5 And Moses brought their cause before the Lord.

He gets a revelation for this case:
6 ¶And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
7 The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.

And as sometimes is the case, he gets further revelation on the principle and topic:
8 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.
9 And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren.
10 And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father’s brethren.
11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the Lord commanded Moses.

On one hand, I’ve asked local leaders questions and gotten better answers than “LDS Church Headquarters” could ever give.

On the other hand, I’ve seen the following feedback problems first-hand, and had to write “LDS Church Headquarters” a few times because of some:
1. The leader(s) (local and further-up) weren’t willing to open up their minds to listen to people and their hearts to listen to the spirit. (They already had their own ideas and answered accordingly; they didn’t like the person; they were embarrassed by the problem; etc.)
2. The local leaders(s) felt that “feedback” = “complaining against the called leaders” (which often is/ can be!), so they didn’t even touch it.
3. The local leader(s) didn’t want to upset local people.
4. The local leader(s) didn’t want to upset those further up!
5. The local leaders were unfamiliar with programs and precedents, etc.
6. The local leaders weren’t willing, capable, or courageous enough to understand, consider, or communicate the questions/ problems further up.
7. Busy further-up leaders didn’t understand the context or reason for the asking, and perhaps being busy and foreign, didn’t ask; or perhaps if they did, local leaders felt embarrassed and stopped the communication instead of clarifying it.
8. It’s nicer to have a better answer than “Well, the guy in the Church Office Building on temporary assignment figures that, according to his secretary”, it’s probably ok/ not ok to do it.
9. A woman says, “I’ve talked with top LDS leaders and they all agree with me”. It’s not enough for a press release statement, but more than enough to sway some people from the truth.

If more leaders were to follow the example of Moses–whether it be feedback from local members to local leaders, or from local leaders to further-up leaders–I am confident “LDS Church Headquarters” would have less work on their hands.

The example in Numbers 27 clearly shows that feedback is a very necessary tool in the work of the Lord that can:
–bring new situations to light/ keep the leaders current and focused;
–solve real people problems;
–keep leaders humble;
–bring clarification and revelation;
–and provide a better understanding of the principles of both the gospel and the kingdom.

2011, October 13

“Holy Bible: A Suggested Viewpoint for Reading and Gaining from Matthew 5:38-48: God?” by grego

Holy Bible: A Suggested Viewpoint for Reading and Gaining from Matthew 5:38-48: Jesus?

grego
(c)2011

Here are the verses in consideration:
Matthew 5:38 ¶Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43 ¶Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I started out reading these verses as talking about bad people.

Then I have read these verses before linking the words: “evil, whosoever, man, him, enemy” to Satan and his.

Just a few days ago, I had a different thought: What if I read “enemy” et. al. in these verses as God?

At first, it seems preposterous, a sick twisting of the scriptures. But to me, it brought more insight than it ever has.

Matthew 5:38 ¶Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
[We want God to be fair with us, right? We want that “eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”. And we really don’t like it when He’s not fair; when “life’s not fair”. In our eyes, He, His plan for us, life—become “evil”, our “enemy”, etc.]

That’s when Jesus’ advice is most pertinent:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not God: but if God(/ life) shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to Him the other also.
[How many times do we resist God? How many times do we try to run away like Jonah?]
40 And if God will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let Him have thy cloke also.
[What if we could be like Job, always ready to give back everything He has given us?]
41 And if God shall compel thee to go a mile, go with Him twain.
[What if we were like Elisha, voluntarily going with Elijah when asked three times to turn back, passing all obstacles and hardships, going all the way to the end?]
42 Give to Him that asketh thee, and from Him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
[What if we were ready to give all we had for his Church, kingdom, and will, even our entire lives through obedience, preparation, service, sacrifice, and death, like Jesus? What if we treated God and His requests as the most honest, righteous, pious, piteous beggar? What if we applied the teaching of king Benjamin (Mosiah 4) to God?]

43 ¶Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
[It’s easy to like and love God when “things are going well”; what about when they’re not? What if in the hardships God allows us and gives us, even when we know He’s cursed us through no big disobedience on our part, we were to remember, thank, and remain faithful to Him?]
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
[Still thinking on this one… :) ]
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
[If we’re faithful to God when we (and others? ;) ) can clearly see He’s blessing and helping us be bountiful, isn’t that normal?; shouldn’t we be?]
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The ideal disciple will remain faithful to, obey, serve, thank, and love Him.

2011, October 6

“Book of Mormon: Prophecy of Isaiah (2 Nephi 15:23) about False Judgment and Its Consequences Happens to the Nephites and Lamanites (Helaman 7-11)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Prophecy of Isaiah (2 Nephi 15:23) about False Judgment and Its Consequences Happens to the Nephites and Lamanites (Helaman 7-11)

grego
(c)2011

This prophecy of Isaiah (see also Isaiah 5) in the Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi 15:23 Who justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
24 Therefore, as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, *their root shall be rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up as dust*; because *they have cast away the law of the Lord of Hosts*, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore, is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and *hath smitten them*; and *the hills did tremble*, and *their carcasses* were torn in the midst of the streets. *For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still*.

happens here:
(Helaman 7:4 And seeing the people in a state of such awful wickedness, and those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment-seats—having usurped the power and authority of the land; *laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him*; doing no justice unto the children of men;)
5 *Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money;*

Helaman 10:6 …ye (Nephi) shall have power over this people, and shall *smite the earth* with famine, and with pestilence, and destruction…
9 And if ye shall say unto *this mountain, Be thou cast down and become smooth, it shall be done*.
10 And behold, if ye shall say that *God shall smite this people*, it shall come to pass.
11 And now behold, I command you, that ye shall go and declare unto this people, that thus saith the Lord God, who is the Almighty: Except ye repent *ye shall be smitten, even unto destruction*.
18 And it came to pass that they would not hearken unto his words; and there began to be contentions, insomuch that they were divided against themselves and began to *slay one another* with the sword.

Helaman 11:6 And this work of destruction did also continue in the seventy and fifth year. For *the earth was smitten* that it was dry, and did not yield forth grain in the season of grain; and *the whole earth was smitten*, even among the Lamanites as well as among the Nephites, so that *they were smitten* that *they did perish by thousands* in the more wicked parts of the land.
7 And it came to pass that the people saw that they were about to perish by famine, and they began to remember the Lord their God…
10 O Lord, behold this people repenteth; and they have swept away the band of Gadianton from amongst them insomuch that they have become extinct…

2011, August 13

“LDS/ Mormons: Are We Saved by Grace or Works in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” by grego

LDS/ Mormons: Are We Saved by Grace or Works in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

grego
(c)2011

The scriptures are clear: both.

Grace has its limits (Jesus was very clear about that, notwithstanding what some may think Paul says). For example, grace can’t save an unrepentant sinner.

Works can’t save anyone, as everyone who passes the state of grace (past the age of eight) sins. Even one sin will keep us from returning to God—even if we pay for it.

God’s plan of redemption is pretty simple: by agreeing to accept and follow Jesus Christ—according to His stipulations, *not* otherwise—one is able to accept his grace and mercy.

When asked about grace and works, many Mormons/ LDS will quote this verse from the Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi 25:23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

Without Nephi’s work of teaching and writing, his children wouldn’t even know of Christ and wouldn’t be able to accept His grace. Without grace, there would be no reason to teach about Christ with such diligence.

Here are two more verses about grace from the Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi 10:24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

25 Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen.

On the other hand, for those who don’t reconcile themselves to the will of God… sorry.

So will those people go to Hell forever and ever?

No.

After death, they will go the spirit world (where all spirits go after death, including where Jesus went after death). Everyone will have a chance to accept Jesus Christ and his gospel and commandments, and receive a just reward; because those that did those things while in this life will preach to them. From the Doctrine and Covenants:

Doctrine and Covenants 138:16 They (grego NOTE: the righteous who died before Jesus Christ) were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.

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;

28 And I wondered at the words of Peter—wherein he said that the Son of God preached unto the spirits in prison, who sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah—and how it was possible for [Jesus] to preach to those spirits and perform the necessary labor among them in so short a time.

29 …I perceived that the Lord went not in person among the wicked and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them;

30 But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.

31 And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.

32 Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.

33 These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,

34 And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

35 And so it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross.

So after death everyone definitely gets either a first chance (never had a good opportunity) or a second chance (had an opportunity but rejected it).

Everyone who hasn’t received the gospel will be in Hell, but there will be varying degrees of it. For those who never had an opportunity to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is like a continuation of this life, but without a few bad things (like death, illness, etc.). For those who were believing but were blinded and hadn’t accepted the true gospel, it will be the time they will find what they were really looking for.

For the wicked others, it is a time of misery as they contemplate their sins, reap their temporary rewards for evil, and pay for their sins before being resurrected. After paying for their sins, they will receive help from God’s grace through the Atonement of Jesus Christ to receive a lesser degree of glory in heaven. The place where they won’t be with God or in family units that can increase, but where they can still enjoy a wonderful portion of His goodness.

But what about everlasting death? Adam dwelt in the presence of God the Father; when he was cast out of the Garden of Eden, he (and mankind) was cut off from His presence. Even though the great majority of the wicked in this life will be in heaven, they will be forever cut off from the presence of God the Father, our Heavenly Father—though they can enjoy the presences of Jesus Christ (more righteous wicked) or the Holy Ghost (more wicked).

All of these blessings come through the grace of Jesus Christ.

The sons of perdition will not partake of the grace of Jesus Christ. These are ones who knew the truth through the Holy Ghost and covenanted with God, then chose Satan over Him in clearness, according to their desires. Cain is their king, and they will dwell with him and Satan (previously Lucifer).

Grace? Works? Both! One without the other is incomplete and doesn’t work in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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.

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.

2011, April 22

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons: Are Jesus and Satan Brothers? But the Bible Doesn’t Say So! ” by grego

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons: Are Jesus and Satan Brothers? But the Bible Doesn’t Say So!

grego
(c)2011

Are Jesus and Satan brothers? I guess that depends on what you mean. Frankly, I don’t think 9/10 of the people asking this question or getting caught up on this question understand what they’re asking.

Before you were born, you already existed, as a spirit. We all have—everyone who has lived on this earth, or will. We have a common father of our spirits—Heavenly Father, or God (the Father).

Jesus was the firstborn of the spirit children. Everyone else that has to do with our earth was either His little spirit brother or sister. That includes not only you and your family, but Satan, all the wicked people, and all the demons.

We really are one big family.

Heavenly Father chose Jesus to be the Christ, but Lucifer (/Satan/ the devil) didn’t like that idea, and convinced others his idea was better, and God wasn’t good (or something like that).

Satan and those that followed him made some wrong choices, lost blessings and opportunities, and had to leave home. Being miserable, they decided to make others miserable, too, and thus continued their quest of disobeying and rebelling against God. They tempt humans to also disobey and rebel against God, but generally only have as much power over them as the humans allow.

They are still spirits, and will remain that way (at least a long time, possibly forever, who knows).

Everyone else who stayed loyal to God came/ will come to earth and gain a body.

Is that clearer? Now, any further questions about all that? I’ll try to answer. :)

But it’s not in the Bible, is it? (Ha, listening to different preachers, you’ll find out that they all have different ideas about what’s in the same Bible.) You can find references that allude to much of the above, but no, you will not find it all in the Bible.

Then, how can one know? Why, the same way all that was written in the Bible could be the word of God—it came from God to a person. It was revealed. And much of the above came to Joseph Smith or other prophets and apostles. A small part of it is shown in the Book of Mormon, and more is in the Doctrine and Covenants. Then more is in other teachings of the prophets and apostles.

2011, April 20

“Don’t Pray about the Devil’s Book of Mormon Or Else…!!” by grego

Don’t Pray about the Devil’s Book of Mormon Or Else…!!

grego
(c)2011

I’ve heard a few comments like that, especially from Christian ministers. Don’t know why, eh.

Here’s an example:
http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/book-of-mormon.htm

He’s actually got a few interesting points. But for someone who has never done the experience… I wonder how much he can help others understand.

You know what’s interesting to me? I figured for sure this guy would get a burning in the bosom after having read and prayed about the Book of Mormon—I mean, really, if Satan can give you that feeling, why would Satan pass on this great opportunity to lead someone astray? ;) Whoops, he didn’t get a burning in the bosom. :( Well, perhaps he shared how he knew the Bible was true? Nope, no help there, either.

If you want to know if something’s true—the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or whatever—read it, study it, pray for help and guidance (which is what many Christians teach their congregation and converts from other religions about finding the truth about/ in the Bible—in fact, I was reading an example of this last night), etc.

How do you know the Bible is true/ from God? What heavenly manifestation have you received? If you haven’t gotten one, you need one. Read the Bible, study it, pray for help and guidance to understand it, and stay with it until you get an answer.

Then, use that answer as a standard for judging other things.

Chances are, you’re not going to get an answer the first time; but if you continue, it will likely come, for yes or no.

Answers to prayers are not always easy to get or understand, even for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ Mormons (check the latest General Conference for talks by apostles on this very subject). But as you show your sincerity, your faith, your reading and studying and effort, etc., answers do come, and you learn more about answers with each experience.

If an answer truly comes from God by the power of the Holy Ghost, you will probably at least understand that it’s not from Satan.

What about this? “Again the Mormons, like many others, are wrong. Yes, the devil can duplicate peace. That is what he does in transcendental meditation (TM) and also in Catholicism after one receives the Eucharist. The devil uses these and other experiences to deceive. Please remember this: Any experience, testimony, dream, vision, prophecy, teaching, etc. that is supposed to be from God but doesn’t align itself with the Bible is not from God at all. The devil can and has used all of the above.”

OK, so… Seriously, where is all *that* in the Bible, that the devil can duplicate God’s peace?
I wonder, is this man really aligned with the Bible in *his* teaching??
How about this instead:
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

or this:
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

It is true that a man might believe he has the Holy Ghost when in fact he has the spirit of the devil; but this peace of God cannot be perfectly counterfeited, not even close; it is impossible for Satan/ the devil to give peace like the peace of God.

I disagree with him on this part, too:
“Burning In The Bosom
Sometimes the Mormons will also misuse Bible passages for confirmation about praying to see if you get that special burning in the bosom:
“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'” (Luke 24:27-32)
As one Mormon wrote regarding that passage: ‘Are you familiar with Luke 24:27-32? As Christ expounds the scriptures concerning himself, the Holy Spirit testifies of the truths He is speaking.’
Did you notice the differences between what the Mormon suggested about the BOM from that passage and what the disciples experienced, as cited in Luke 24:27-32? Please note the following: (1) They were already in the true faith before getting that burning; (2) The disciples didn’t pray about anything before getting that burning, not one thing, (3) What happened came after Jesus taught about himself from the Old Testament (Moses and all the Prophets .) Hence, there can justly be no connection between Lk. 24:27-32 and praying about a spurious book…”

Um, what differences do any of those points make, or what do they prove? I’m missing it. Jesus and a whole lot of others added to the scriptures (it’s called the New Testament, in case anyone has forgotten); somehow, though, this adding to scriptures is “biblical”, but the Book of Mormon has to be from the devil. Quite a few prophets added to what would become the Old Testament, too. Somehow, I’m missing the logic of all this “you can’t have more scripture” slant?

Here, let me show you what’s in the Bible:
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
*Try the spirits*. How? Pray and ask God for guidance and help to distinguish between His things and the things of man and the things of the devil. It might not be easy, or come all at once, but it will come.

NOW: Do you know what? If you’re not going to read it, you don’t care, you don’t want to believe it, you’re not willing to change, and you aren’t going to follow an answer to a prayer anyway, do you think God will grant you and your dog that “burning in the bosom” that the Book of Mormon is true? Millions of people have experienced the Holy Ghost, especially after praying about the Book of Mormon. Many don’t follow those promptings, which only makes it worse for them for now…

However, if you truly desire to know God, I encourage you to onward…

2011, April 16

“Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormon: The Bible Proves May 21, 2011 Will not Be Judgment Day: Noah Hardly Knew, and Likely neither Will I” by grego

Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormon: The Bible Proves May 21, 2011 Will not Be Judgment Day: Noah Hardly Knew, and Likely neither Will I

grego
(c)2011

Noah didn’t know years before. He didn’t know months before. He didn’t know weeks before.

He was finally told *one week* before the Flood to get it all together:
Genesis 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

That would be necessary due to the incredible amount of animals and provisions–something not needed this time.

And in fact, that’s what he was doing for that week—getting his family and everything on the ark.

On the day of the beginning of the flood, they get in the ark, and the rain starts:
10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
11¶ In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

All the time before, he knew it was going to rain; he just didn’t know when. He knew it wouldn’t be before his ark et. al. were ready.

Others could have known the same, had they watched Noah. But they didn’t believe, so what good would watching have done?

It’s the same thing that happened in the Book of Mormon with the birth and death of Jesus Christ. Not even the prophets knew the exact day. In fact, after much pleading prayer in a life-and-death situation, Nephi was told the sign of Christ’s birth would be given a few hours later—the same day!

Signs had been given, and those that had faith watched for them, believed them, and were largely prepared for what happened. Those that didn’t have faith usually disregarded signs, though some watched for them only to not believe them and to think up excuses.

Seeing isn’t believing, and seeing isn’t not believing, either. It’s what you allow yourself to make of it.

Signs have been given about Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, too.

Will Christians survive the second coming? Some will. They won’t be caught up to be with Christ as he comes, but they will survive, and continue to live with Christ on the earth.

Will non-Christians survive the second coming? See above for the same answer.

I’ve found these scriptures that people claim show that you can know. I’ll comment on them just a little:
-=
1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not asleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

If members of the church knew “perfectly” that they *couldn’t* know, how does this support that one might know when Christ will come? How will we be able to closely ascertain when Crhist will come? By the signs that are given.
Can you know by signs when something will come? Not necessarily.
Can you know by signs when something won’t come? Yes!

-=
Ecclesiastes 8:6 ¶Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.

Yes, there is time and judgment; and??

-=
Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Is this talking about the Second Coming?? Nope. But the principle is the same: watch for the signs.

There is one clear conclusion: Noah didn’t know the date until the week before, and only because he needed to know it to carry out his part in God’s plan correctly; unless I need that knowledge for similar reasons, neither will I know.

I can, however, watch for the signs and have faith in them. And that’s what we should all do.

So what are some of the signs given in the Bible that will occur before the Second Coming?
**Ezekiel prophesied that Gog, kind of Magog, would invade Israel at the time of the Lord’s second coming (Ezekiel 38–39):
Ezekiel 39:9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:
10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God.
11¶ And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog.
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.

Seven years and seven months, and then more… Has this happened yet? No. Has it even started? I don’t think so.

More:
# The sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not cause her light to shine, Isa. 13:10 (Joel 3:15).
# Israel shall be gathered with power, Isa. 49:22–23.
# God shall set up a kingdom which shall not be destroyed, Dan. 2:44.
# All nations will gather against Jerusalem to battle, Zech. 14:2 (Ezek. 38–39).
# Great calamities shall precede the Second Coming, Matt. 24.
# Paul described apostasy and perilous times of the last days, 2 Tim. 3–4.
# Two prophets will be slain and resurrected in Jerusalem, Rev. 11.
# The gospel shall be restored in the last days by angelic ministry, Rev. 14:6–7.
# Babylon will be established and fall, Rev. 17–18.

Some of them have time limits, too, such as this one:
Revelation 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

Two of God’s servants will prophesy in Jerusalem for about 3 1/2 years; have they even started? No.

There are more Biblical prophecies, such as those found under “Major Events Preceding the Second Coming”, found at: http://www.mormonwiki.com/Second_Coming.

So, the Bible itself proves that Judgment Day *cannot be* May 21, 2011, or even anytime soon after.

Could the Second Coming occur within 20 years? Might. Will it come this year? Absolutely not.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has other signs, not in the Bible (or made much clearer), for those who are interested. These are in the scriptures (especially the Doctrine and Covenants) and the words of the prophets.

Once more, I urge everyone to listen to the words of God’s true prophets: www.lds.org/study/prophets-speak-today?lang=eng

More on this blog: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/is-may-21-2011-judgment-day-for-the-mormons-lds-church-by-grego/

Words of Joseph Smith on signs and the Second Coming:
“We shall … do well to discern the signs of the times as we pass along, that the day of the Lord may not ‘overtake us as a thief in the night.’ [See D&C 106:4–5.]”4

“I will prophesy that the signs of the coming of the Son of Man are already commenced. One pestilence will desolate after another. We shall soon have war and bloodshed. The moon will be turned into blood. I testify of these things, and that the coming of the Son of Man is nigh, even at your doors. If our souls and our bodies are not looking forth for the coming of the Son of Man; and after we are dead, if we are not looking forth, we shall be among those who are calling for the rocks to fall upon them [see Revelation 6:15–17].”5

“Dearly and beloved brethren, we see that perilous times have come, as was testified of [see 2 Timothy 3:1]. We may look, then, with most perfect assurance, for the fulfillment of all those things that have been written, and with more confidence than ever before, lift up our eyes to the luminary of day, and say in our hearts, Soon thou wilt veil thy blushing face. He that said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light [see Genesis 1:3], hath spoken this word. And again, Thou moon, thou dimmer light, thou luminary of night, shalt turn to blood.

“We see that everything is being fulfilled; and that the time shall soon come when the Son of Man shall descend in the clouds of heaven.”6

“The earth will soon be reaped—that is, the wicked must soon be destroyed from off the face of the earth, for the Lord hath spoken it, and who can stay the hand of the Lord, or who is there that can measure arms with the Almighty, for at his commands the heavens and the earth must pass away. The day is fast hastening on when the restoration of all things shall be fulfilled, which all the holy prophets have prophesied of, even unto the gathering in of the house of Israel. Then shall come to pass that the lion shall lie down with the lamb, etc.

“But, brethren, be not discouraged when we tell you of perilous times, for they must shortly come, for the sword, famine, and pestilence are approaching. There shall be great destructions upon the face of this land, for ye need not suppose that one jot or tittle of the prophecies of all the holy prophets shall fail, and there are many that remain to be fulfilled yet. The Lord hath said that a short work will he make of it, and the righteous shall be saved if it be as by fire [see Romans 9:28; 1 Nephi 22:17].”7

“The scripture is ready to be fulfilled when great wars, famines, pestilence, great distress, judgments, etc., are ready to be poured out on the inhabitants of the earth.”8

“We see that perilous times have truly come, and the things which we have so long expected have at last begun to usher in; but when you see the fig tree begin to put forth its leaves, you may know that the summer is nigh at hand [see Matthew 24:32–33]. There will be a short work on the earth. It has now commenced. I suppose there will soon be perplexity all over the earth. Do not let our hearts faint when these things come upon us, for they must come, or the word cannot be fulfilled.”9

“I have asked of the Lord concerning His coming; and while asking the Lord, He gave a sign and said, ‘In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come; but there should be seed time and harvest during that year: but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant.’ ”10

“Judah must return, Jerusalem must be rebuilt, and the temple, and water come out from under the temple, and the waters of the Dead Sea be healed [see Ezekiel 47:1–9]. It will take some time to rebuild the walls of the city and the temple, etc.; and all this must be done before the Son of Man will make His appearance. There will be wars and rumors of wars, signs in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, the sun turned into darkness and the moon to blood, earthquakes in divers places, the seas heaving beyond their bounds; then will appear one grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven. But what will the world do? They will say it is a planet, a comet, etc. But the Son of Man will come as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the east [see Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:26].”11

“[I] explained concerning the coming of the Son of Man; also that it is a false idea that the Saints will escape all the judgments, whilst the wicked suffer; for all flesh is subject to suffer, and ‘the righteous shall hardly escape’ [see D&C 63:34]; still many of the Saints will escape, for the just shall live by faith [see Habakkuk 2:4]; yet many of the righteous shall fall a prey to disease, to pestilence, etc., by reason of the weakness of the flesh, and yet be saved in the Kingdom of God. So that it is an unhallowed principle to say that such and such have transgressed because they have been preyed upon by disease or death, for all flesh is subject to death; and the Savior has said, ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged.’ [See Matthew 7:1.]”12

Others:
“There is no country in the world with such unruly elements in its population as the
United States. The North American has been prosperous for so long that he is likely to
be driven mad by adversity. The real testing time of the United States is at hand, and
we shall all watch her carefully to see how she carries herself in her darkest hour.
“It has been revealed that the time WILL come in the history of our nation, that one
state will rise against another, one city against another even, even every man’s hand
shall be against his neighbor, until the whole republic will be in general commotion
and warfare. How and when this will take place, the Lord, in his wisdom, has not told
us; but it is sufficient for us to say, that he has told us of the facts that such and such
will be the case.16
“If a war of this description should take place, who could carry on his business in safe-
ty? Who would feel safe to put his crops in the ground, or to carry on any enterprise?
There would be feeling from one state to another and general confusion would exist
throughout the whole Republic. Such eventuality is to be the condition of this whole
nation, and not only this nation, but the nations of Europe.” (Orson Prat, J.D. Vol. 18,
pg. 341)

When we were ready to return, our guide observed, PERHAPS YOU WOULD LIKE TO
LOOK THROUGH THE URIM AND THUMMIM OF GOD, UPON THEIR ABOMINATIONS OF
THE WORLD IN THE DAY OF ITS SIN. YES, WAS OUR REPLY. HE HANDED US THE HOLY
INSTRUMENT. One look and the soul sickened. Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard,
neither hath it entered into the heart of man what folly, corruptions, and abominations are wrought among men to gratify the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the cunning of the devil. But they shall come.” (Parley P. Prat, printed in the Nauvoo Neighbor)

“An inland Empire will be established in these valleys of mountains, which will be a
place of refuge for millions of people to gather to. When the great day of the judg-
ments of God comes upon the earth, and the righteous come here for safety. Our peo-
ple will go east, west, north and south, but the day will come when they will be glad to
come back. We will be shut out from the rest of the world. (Brigham Young, in Provo Utah)

“I DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE SAINTS IN POVERTY, BUT WHEN THER LORD SEES FIT TO OPEN THE GREAT OIL RESERVES IN UTAH, I TREMBLE FOR THEM.” (A prophecy made in St. George, Utah by President Brigham Young.

A VISION OF CHARLES D. EVANS
(The following is a vision received by Charles D. Evans, who was a Patriarch to the Church in Springville, Utah, and was a school teacher by profession. In 1893 his vision was published in Volume 15 of The Contributor magazine which was later known as The Improvement Era.)
My vision now became extended in a marvelous manner, and the import of the past labors of Elders was made plain to me. I saw multitudes fleeing to our place of safety in our mountain heights, that was established in the wilderness. Simultaneously, the nation had reached an unparalleled prosperity. Wealth abounded, new territory was acquired, commerce extended, fnance strengthened, confidence was maintained, and people abroad pointed to her as a model nation, the ideal of the past now realized and perfected, the embodiment of the liberty which was sung by poets and sought for by sages.
“But,” continued the messenger, “Thou beholdest a change. Confidence is lost, wealth is arrayed against labor, labor against wealth, yet the land abounds in plenty of food and raiment, and silver and gold in abundance. Thou seest also the letters written by a Jew have wrought a great confusion in the finance of our nation; which altogether with the policy of many wealthy ones, has produced distress and do produce further sorrows.”
Factions now sprang up as if by magic. Capital had entrenched itself against labor, and throughout the land labor was organized in opposition to capital. The voice of the wise sought to tranquilize their powerful factors in vain. Excited multitudes ran wildly about, strikes increased, lawlessness sought a place in the regular government.
At this juncture, I saw floating in the air a banner whereupon was written, “BANKRUPTCY, FAMINE, FLOODS, CYCLONES, BLOOD, AND PLAGUES.” Mad with rage, men and women rushed upon each other. Blood flowed down the streets of cites like water. Thousands of bodies lay unentombed in the streets. Men and women fell dead from terror inspired by fear. This was but the precursor of the bloody work of the morrow. All around lay the mournfulness of a past in ruins. Monuments erected to perpetuate the names of the noble and brave men, were ruthlessly destroyed by combustibles.
A voice now sounded these words; “Yet once again I shake not only the earth, but also heaven, and this word once again signifies the removing of things that are made, that those things that cannot be shaken may remain.”
Earthquakes rent the earth in vast chasms which engulfed multitudes. Terrible groaning and wailings filled the air. The shrieks of the suffering were indescribably awful. Waters rushed in from the tumultuous ocean, whose very roaring under the mad rage of fierce cyclones was unendurable to the ear.
Cites were carried away in an instant. Missiles were hurled through the atmosphere at a terrible velocity, and people were carried upward only to fall. Islands appeared where ocean waves once tossed the gigantic steamer. In other parts, voluminous flames emanated from vast fires, rolled with fearful velocity, destroying life and property in their destructive course.
The seal of the dread menace of despair was stamped on every human visage. Men fell exhausted, appalled and trembling. Every element of agitated nature seemed a demon of wrathful fury. Dense clouds, blacker than midnight, obscured the sunlight with a thunder that reverberated with intonations which shook the earth. Darkness reigned unrivaled and supreme.
Again the light shone revealing an atmosphere tinged with a leaden hue; which was the precursor of an unparalleled plague, whose first symptoms were recognized by a purple spot which appeared on the cheek or on the back of the hand, and which invariably enlarges untl it spread over the inner surface of the body, producing certain death. Mothers, at the sight of it cast away their own children as if they were poisonous reptiles. This plague in grown persons, rotted the eyes from their sockets and consumed the tongue as would a powerful acid or an intense heat. Wicked men, suffering under its writhing agonies, cursed God and died while they yet stood on their feet, and birds of prey feasted on their carcasses.
I saw again in my dream the messenger appear with a vial in his right hand. He addressed me saying, “Thou knowest somewhat of the chemistry taught in the schools of human learning. Behold now a chemical sufficiently powerful to change the waters of the sea.”
He then poured out his vial upon the sea and it became as the blood of a dead man, and every living thing died. Then other plagues followed which I forbear to record.
A foreign power had inroaded the nation, and from every human indication, it appeared as if it would seize the government and supplant it with monarchy.
I stood trembling at the aspect, when a power arose in the west which declared itself in favor of the Constitution IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM. To this suddenly rising power, every lover of constitutional rights gave hearty support. The struggles was fercely contested, but the stars and stripes floated in the breeze, and bidding liberty to all, waved proudly over the land.
Among the many banners, I saw one inscribed thus: “THE GOVERNMENT BASED ON THE CONSTITUTION NOW AND FOREVER!” On another there was, “LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE.” There were several others both religious and political.

“A time is coming when the great and populous city of New York, the greatest city of
the American Republic, will be left without inhabitants. The houses will stand, some of
them, not all. They will stand unoccupied, no people to inherit them. It will be the same
in numerous other cites, or in the words of the Lord, I will throw down all their strong-
holds and will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such
as they have not heard. It will all be fulfilled, but there will be a remnant who will be
spared.” (Orson Prat, J.D. pg. 295)

“The time is coming when a good man will be more precious than fine gold.” (J.D. Vol.
10, Brigham Young, pg. 295)

“The sinner will slay the sinner, the wicked will fall upon the wicked, until there is an
utter overthrow and consumption upon the face of the whole earth, until God reigns.”
(J.D. 2:190, Brigham Young)

“If we live, we shall see the nations of the Earth arrayed against this people (Later-
day Saints) for that time must come in fulfillment of prophecy.” (J.D. 5:339, Brigham
Young)

“When the testimony of the Elders ceases to be given; and the Lord says to them COME HOME: I WILL NOW PREACH MY OWN SERMONS TO THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH, all you now know can scarcely be called a preface to the sermon that will be preached
with fire and sword, tempests, earthquakes, hail, rain, thunders and lightnings, and
fearful destructions. You will hear of magnificent cites, idolized by the people sinking
in the earth, entombing the inhabitants. The sea will heave itself beyond its bounds,
engulfing mighty cites. Famine will spread over the nations and nation will rise up
against nation, kingdom against kingdom and states against states in our own country
and in foreign lands; and they will destroy each other.”

“All that you know now can scarcely be called a preface to the sermon that will be preached with fire and sword, tempests, earthquakes, hail, rain and fearful destruction. What matters the destruction of a few railway cars? You will hear of magnificent cities, now idolized by the people, sinking in the earth entombing its inhabitants. The sea will heave itself beyond its bounds, engulfing many cities. Famine will spread over the nation, and nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, states against states, in our own country and in foreign lands.” Brigham Young

“What then will be the condition of the people when the great and dreadful war will come? It will be very different from the war between the North and South. It will be neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city, town against town, state against state, and they will go forth destroying and being destroyed. Manufacturing will almost cease, great cities will be left desolate. The time will come when the great city of New York will be left without inhabitants…

“When that day shall come (when the missionaries will be called home) there shall be wars, not such wars as have come in centuries and years that are past and gone, but a dsolating war. When I say desolating, I mean that it will lay these european nations in waste. Cities will be left vacated, without inhabitants. The people will be destroyed by the sword of their own hands. Not only this but many other cities will be burned; for when contending armies are wrought up with the terrible anger, without the Spirit of God upon them, when they have not that spirit of humanity that now characterizes many of the wars amongst nations, when they are left to themselves, there will be no quarter given, no prisoners taken, but a war of destruction, of desolation, of the burning of the cities and villages, until the land is laid desolate.” (J. Disc. 20: 150) Orson Pratt

2011, March 3

“Book of Mormon: Do the Cardinal Point Directions (North-South-East-West) References in the Book of Mormon Follow a Pattern?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Do the Cardinal Point Directions (North-South-East-West) References in the Book of Mormon Follow a Pattern?”

grego
(c)2010

So, what are the references to multiple cardinal points/ directions in the Book of Mormon, and is there any pattern in their mention?
(I have numbered the following to match up the summaries at the end.)

1. 2 Nephi 29:11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

2. Mosiah 27:6 And there began to be much peace again in the land; and the people began to be very numerous, and began to scatter abroad upon the face of the earth, yea, on the north and on the south, on the east and on the west, building large cities and villages in all quarters of the land.

3. Alma 22:27 And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west—and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided.

4. Alma 22:29 And also there were many Lamanites on the east by the seashore, whither the Nephites had driven them. And thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; nevertheless the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon, from the east to the west, round about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful.

5. Alma 22:32 And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half’s journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.

6. Alma 22:33 And it came to pass that the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.

7. Alma 43:53 Therefore when Zerahemnah saw the men of Lehi on the east of the river Sidon, and the armies of Moroni on the west of the river Sidon, that they were encircled about by the Nephites, they were struck with terror.

8. Alma 46:17 And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named all the land which was south of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine, all the land, both on the north and on the south—A chosen land, and the land of liberty.

9. Alma 50:8 And the land of Nephi did run in a straight course from the east sea to the west.

10. Alma 50:11 And thus he cut off all the strongholds of the Lamanites in the east wilderness, yea, and also on the west, fortifying the line between the Nephites and the Lamanites, between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Nephi, from the west sea, running by the head of the river Sidon—the Nephites possessing all the land northward, yea, even all the land which was northward of the land Bountiful, according to their pleasure.

11. Alma 50:34 And it came to pass that they did not head them until they had come to the borders of the land Desolation; and there they did head them, by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east.

12. Helaman 1:31 And now, behold, the Lamanites could not retreat either way, neither on the north, nor on the south, nor on the east, nor on the west, for they were surrounded on every hand by the Nephites.

13. Helaman 3:8 And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east.

14. Helaman 4:7 And there they did fortify against the Lamanites, from the west sea, even unto the east; it being a day’s journey for a Nephite, on the line which they had fortified and stationed their armies to defend their north country.

15. Helaman 6:9 And it came to pass that they became exceedingly rich, both the Lamanites and the Nephites; and they did have an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, and of all manner of precious metals, both in the land south and in the land north.

16. Helaman 6:10 Now the land south was called Lehi, and the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north, and Lehi into the land south.

17. Helaman 6:12 They did raise grain in abundance, both in the north and in the south; and they did flourish exceedingly, both in the north and in the south. And they did multiply and wax exceedingly strong in the land. And they did raise many flocks and herds, yea, many fatlings.

18. 3 Nephi 1:17 And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth.

19. 3 Nephi 4:1 And it came to pass that in the latter end of the eighteenth year those armies of robbers had prepared for battle, and began to come down and to sally forth from the hills, and out of the mountains, and the wilderness, and their strongholds, and their secret places, and began to take possession of the lands, both which were in the land south and which were in the land north, and began to take possession of all the lands which had been deserted by the Nephites, and the cities which had been left desolate.

20. 3 Nephi 6:2 And it came to pass that they had not eaten up all their provisions; therefore they did take with them all that they had not devoured, of all their grain of every kind, and their gold, and their silver, and all their precious things, and they did return to their own lands and their possessions, both on the north and on the south, both on the land northward and on the land southward.

21. 3 Nephi 20:13 And then shall the remnants, which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, be gathered in from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God, who hath redeemed them.

Here’s a summary of the directions:
1. the east… west… north… south
2. on the north… south… east… west.
3. on the east… west… from the sea east… sea west (… north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west.)
4. (on the east by the seashore… all the northern parts…) from the east… west (…; … on the north…)
5. from the east to the west sea; … between the land northward… southward.
6. from the east unto… west sea; (… on the south… no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.)
(7. on the east of the river Sidon, and the armies of Moroni on the west…)
8. all the land which was south… both on the north and on the south…
9. from the east sea to the west.
10. the east wilderness… west… from the west sea
11. on the west… east.
12. neither on the north… south… east… west
13. (from the land southward to the land northward)… (from the sea south to the sea north), from the sea west to the sea east.
14. from the west sea… east
15. both in the land south… land north.
16. the land south… the land north; …land north… land south
17. both in the north… south; both in the north… south
18. from the west… east, both in the land north… south
19. both which were in the land south… land north
20. both on the north… south, both on the land northward… southward
21. from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north

Well, it looks like the opposite directions are usually grouped (east/ west; north/ south). East/ west both come first in examples, and north/ south both come first in examples. This is not clearly “north/ south/ east/ west”.

-=
In contrast, take a look at the cardinal points in the Doctrine and Covenants:

1. Doctrine and Covenants 42:63 And behold, it shall come to pass that my servants shall be sent forth to the east and to the west, to the north and to the south.

2. Doctrine and Covenants 44:1 Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, it is expedient in me that the elders of my church should be called together, from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the south, by letter or some other way.

3. Doctrine and Covenants 75:26 And let all such as can obtain places for their families, and support of the church for them, not fail to go into the world, whether to the east or to the west, or to the north, or to the south.

4. Doctrine and Covenants 80:3 Wherefore, go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss.

5. Doctrine and Covenants 125:4 And let all those who come from the east, and the west, and the north, and the south, that have desires to dwell therein, take up their inheritance in the same, as well as in the city of Nashville, or in the city of Nauvoo, and in all the stakes which I have appointed, saith the Lord.

(6. Doctrine and Covenants 43:22 Yea, and again, when the lightnings shall streak forth from the east unto the west, and shall utter forth their voices unto all that live, and make the ears of all tingle that hear, saying these words—Repent ye, for the great day of the Lord is come?)

1. to the east… west… north… south
2. from the east… west… north… south
3. to the east… west… north… south
4. north or to the south… east… west
5. from the east…west… north… south
(6. east unto the west)

Most are “east/ west/ north/ south”.

-=
Let’s take a look at the New Testament:

1. Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

(2. Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.)

3. Luke 13:29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

4. Revelation 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

1. from the east and west
(2. east… unto the west)
3. from the east… west… north… south
4. On the east… north… south… west.

Ok, east/ west, north/ south, and for variety (?!), east/ north/ south/ west.

-=
Was there an established way of saying the directions it in the 1820’s? Whatever it might have been (if so), the Book of Mormon doesn’t follow it all the time, nor does it match the Doctrine and Covenants, nor the New Testament.

2010, September 29

“Can You Be Rich and Be Saved Also? A Critique of S. Michael Wilcox’s ‘What the Scriptures Teach Us About Prosperity’ (2010 Deseret Book)” by grego

“Can You Be Rich and Be Saved Also? A Critique of S. Michael Wilcox’s ‘What the Scriptures Teach Us About Prosperity’ (2010 Deseret Book)”

grego
(c) 2010

“Yes, you can”, our mission president answered in priesthood class. I tapped him on the shoulder from behind and added, “Yeah, but that’s coming from a multimillionaire”. He chuckled and the lesson continued.

So…?

Reading the review of the book “What the Scriptures Teach Us About Prosperity” (2010 Deseret Book)” at http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2010/02/mormons-and-prosperity/, I heard another answer: NO. However, the short review at http://www.mormontimes.com/article/15482/Whats-New-What-the-Scriptures-Teach-Us-about-Prosperity seems to say that the book says yes.

I’ll take an excerpt from the blog about the book here:
What then is the scriptural view of wealth? “There is very little about wealth in the standard works that is optimistic in nature. I usually ask the [institute] class if they can cite a single verse that speaks positively about money. In all my years of teaching, no class has produced a single verse.” Instead, the scriptures contain “a great deal of warning and counsel” (p. 2).

Well, maybe because he teaches at the University of Utah… ;)

Let’s see if I can dig up a few verses and stories, let’s see…

Book of Mormon
—It’s possible that without Lehi’s wealth, Nephi wouldn’t have been able to write his records.
—Without Lehi’s wealth, he wouldn’t have been able to leave Jerusalem so fast and well-prepared.
—Without Lehi’s wealth, Nephi wouldn’t have gotten the Brass Plates (see my brass plates articles if in doubt).
—Jacob, given the perfect opportunity to condemn riches in Jacob 2, does not.
—Where does the master of the oliveyard get his servants if he doesn’t make any money? Does he perhaps run it under an NPO, and get donations from wicked rich men?
—Where does Alma get all his money to go preach everywhere, for years? Another freeloading prophet (not that I’m against that!)? Zeezrom? Amulek?
—“Prosper” sections of verses show up 46 times; the great majority are about living well, and the connection between prospering and riches is often explicit, such as in the verses below.
—The Nephites/ church and its members get rich over and over, as the Lord promises that those who obey his commandments will prosper in the land:
Jarom 1:8 And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war…
9 And thus being prepared to meet the Lamanites, they did not prosper against us. But the word of the Lord was verified, which he spake unto our fathers, saying that: Inasmuch as ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land.

Alma 1:29 And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need—an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth.
30 And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.
31 And thus they did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their church.

Alma 9:22 Yea, and after having been delivered of God out of the land of Jerusalem, by the hand of the Lord; having been saved from famine, and from sickness, and all manner of diseases of every kind; and they having waxed strong in battle, that they might not be destroyed; having been brought out of bondage time after time, and having been kept and preserved until now; and they have been prospered until they are rich in all manner of things—

Alma 50:18 And they did prosper exceedingly, and they became exceedingly rich; yea, and they did multiply and wax strong in the land.
19 And thus we see how merciful and just are all the dealings of the Lord, to the fulfilling of all his words unto the children of men; yea, we can behold that his words are verified, even at this time, which he spake unto Lehi, saying:
20 Blessed art thou and thy children; and they shall be blessed, inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land. But remember, inasmuch as they will not keep my commandments they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.

Alma 62:48 And the people of Nephi began to prosper again in the land, and began to multiply and to wax exceedingly strong again in the land. And they began to grow exceedingly rich.
51 And they did pray unto the Lord their God continually, insomuch that the Lord did bless them, according to his word, so that they did wax strong and prosper in the land.

4 Nephi 1:23 And now I, Mormon, would that ye should know that the people had multiplied, insomuch that they were spread upon all the face of the land, and that they had become exceedingly rich, because of their prosperity in Christ.

Ether 6:28 And he began to reign, and the people began to prosper; and they became exceedingly rich.

Ether 9:16 And the Lord began again to take the curse from off the land, and the house of Emer did prosper exceedingly under the reign of Emer; and in the space of sixty and two years they had become exceedingly strong, insomuch that they became exceedingly rich—
17 Having all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks, and of fine linen, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things;
18 And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man.
19 And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.
20 And thus the Lord did pour out his blessings upon this land, which was choice above all other lands; and he commanded that whoso should possess the land should possess it unto the Lord…

Ether 10:16 And after he had obtained unto himself the kingdom he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord; and the people did prosper in the land; and he did live to a good old age, and begat sons and daughters; and he also begat Corom, whom he anointed king in his stead.
28 And never could be a people more blessed than were they, and more prospered by the hand of the Lord. And they were in a land that was choice above all lands, for the Lord had spoken it.

Old Testament
—Abraham (Genesis 24:35), Isaac (Genesis 26:12-14, 16), and Jacob (Genesis 30, 32) had vast riches.
—Money and prosperity were important in the Joseph in Egypt story, his family’s survival, the fulfillment of God’s promises made to Abraham, including those regarding the promised land.

New Testament
—Gold, frankincense, and myrrh sure didn’t hurt Joseph, Mary, and Jesus on their travel and long stay in Egypt; in fact, without it, Jesus might not have lived.
—I doubt Jesus and his apostles were scavengers and freeloaders for years.
—The parable of the talents.

Doctrine and Covenants
—Doctrine and Covenants 38:16 And for your salvation I give unto you a commandment, for I have heard your prayers, and the poor have complained before me, and the rich have I made, and all flesh is mine, and I am no respecter of persons.
18 And I hold forth and deign to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh;
39 And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity; and it must needs be that the riches of the earth are mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.

Doctrine and Covenants 67:2 Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give.

Doctrine and Covenants 90:22 And let the bishop search diligently to obtain an agent, and let him be a man who has got riches in store—a man of God, and of strong faith—

Modern church
No money = no church buildings, no temples, no land, …

Is that a complete list? Nope. Just what I got for the time I put in.

-=
So…?

First, let’s drop the belief that the scriptures have little positive or optimistic to say about riches/ money.

Being rich is like being smart, being strong, being ___ (put in any positive attribute here), being good at ___, having a talent, etc.—a positive attribute that can either bless or curse the person. Sure, riches are often a stumbling block to being saved for many; for those who don’t use them properly; for those whose hearts are set upon them.

Man is made to prosper, which certainly includes being rich. However, riches, as other blessings and “property”, are the Lord’s—we are stewards—and to be used the way He would have us use them: to bless.

In closing, I believe Wilcox does better when he says:
“Because it is such an important part of our mortal test, and because so much unhappiness and misery is caused by not using the resources of the earth properly, it is not at all surprising that the Lord has filled his sacred books with counsel for us all, no matter what income level we have or hope to achieve,” Wilcox wrote in the book’s introduction. “If we can master his lessons we can not only anticipate greater security and happiness in our financial endeavors, but also healthier family relationships; for problems dealing with money are the number one divider of family unity.”

2010, September 24

“Holy Bible: Rebekah and Jacob’s Trickery Keeps the Lord’s Word Straight” by grego

“Holy Bible: Rebekah and Jacob’s Trickery Keeps the Lord’s Word Straight”

grego
(c)2010

There’s a story in the Bible that just doesn’t seem right. It’s the story of Jacob receiving Isaac’s blessing. I want to share a little that might shed some light on what I believe really happened.

(I have put the pertinent scriptures at the end of this article, for easy reference.)

1. Isaac is not Abraham’s first son; but, he is the birthright son. His mother (Sarah) chases off the first son, Ishmael. Isaac should understand so much more than he seems to…
2. Isaac has heavenly intervention to find his wife, due to Abraham’s desire to fulfill the covenant and his servant’s faithfulness. Once more, he should understand so much more than he seems to…
3. Rebekah has a revelation about her two sons; particularly, that Esau would serve Jacob. It is possible Rebekah never tells Isaac.
4. Jacob’s hand on Esau’s heel is a prophetic sign to Rebekah.
5. Jacob loves Esau because of his cooking (and likely his “manliness”).
6. Esau sells his birthright to Jacob. It is possible that neither tell Isaac before the blessing, though it is much more likely that Jacob tells Rebekah.
7. Against his parents’ wishes, Esau marries two women outside the covenant.
8. Rebekah overhears Isaac talking to Esau, wishing to bless him.
9. Isaac does not tell anyone else, nor offer to bless Jacob.
10. Rebekah commands Jacob to do as she tells him.
11. Rebekah, by foreknowledge, prepares all things for Jacob to pass all the tests that Isaac has.
12. Truthfully, Jacob tells Isaac that the reason he got the venison so quickly was because “the Lord thy God brought it to me”.
13. Isaac blesses Jacob.
14. When Isaac discovers that it was Jacob, he realizes that the blessing was to be given to Jacob.
15. Esau blames Jacob for Esau’s own action of selling the birthright.
16. Esau gets a blessing; a good one; just not the great one Jacob gets.
17. Notwithstanding the blessing Isaac gave Jacob that he was to be the top son, Esau plans to slay him. This shows the contempt/ utter disregard that Esau has not only for his brother, but for the priesthood and the covenant.
18. Esau’s plans are overheard, and Rebekah tells Jacob to escape, and hopes he will find a wife; Esau’s wives have been a pain in the tail to her.
19. Esau, still clueless after years and years, marries again, this time to the non-covenant Ishmael’s daughter.
20. Isaac blesses Jacob and sends him off.

My take on it all:
Isaac wasn’t really in touch with all that was going on, including: regarding his sons and the covenants that his father Abraham had made with God, his wife’s thoughts, his son’s relationships with God, the meaning of birthright and blessings, etc.
Isaac’s personal bias got in the way of doing God’s work the way it was to be done. Rebekah understood, and made sure that God’s work was done the proper way.

This is similar to Moses’ wife Zipporah circumcising their son (Exodus 4:24-26). The Joseph Smith Translation of Exodus 4:24-26 reads:
24 And it came to pass, that the Lord appeared unto [Moses] as he was in the way, by the inn. The Lord was angry with Moses, and his hand was about to fall upon him, to kill him; for he had not circumcised his son.
25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and circumcised her son, and cast the stone at his feet, and said, Surely thou art a bloody husband unto me.
26 And the Lord spared Moses and let him go, because Zipporah, his wife, circumcised the child…

I wonder what the last part of this means?:
Genesis 27:45 Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?

I don’t think Rebekah is talking about Isaac, but that both Esau and Jacob would die if Esau were to carry out his plan. Why?

-=-=-=
Scriptures:
Genesis 24:3 …thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7 ¶ The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.
8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.

25:5 ¶ And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.
8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.
9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;

19 ¶ And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:
20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
21 And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord.
23 And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
24 ¶ And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 ¶ And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 26:34 ¶And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:
35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

Genesis 27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:
3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
6 ¶ And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,
7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death.
8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.
9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:
10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.
11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.
15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:
16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18 ¶ And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me.
21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.
24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.
26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed:
28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
30 ¶ And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me.
32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.
34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
41 ¶ And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.
43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;
44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away;
45 Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?
46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?

Genesis 28:1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
2 Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother.
3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.
5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.
6 ¶ When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padan-aram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan;
7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padan-aram;
8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;
9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.

2010, August 31

“‘Eye to Eye’ in the Scriptures” by grego

“‘Eye to Eye’ in the Scriptures”

grego
(c) 2010

What does seeing “eye to eye” in the scriptures mean?

First, here are a few references in the Book of Mormon about seeing “eye to eye”:
Mosiah 12:22 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion;

Mosiah 15:29 Yea, Lord, thy watchmen shall lift up their voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.

Mosiah 16:1 And now, it came to pass that after Abinadi had spoken these words he stretched forth his hand and said: The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just.

Alma 36:26 For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God.

3 Nephi 16:18 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing, for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion.

3 Nephi 20:32 Then shall their watchmen lift up their voice, and with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye.

Moroni 7:48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

The Doctrine and Covenants says:
Doctrine and Covenants 84:96 For I, the Almighty, have laid my hands upon the nations, to scourge them for their wickedness.
97 And plagues shall go forth, and they shall not be taken from the earth until I have completed my work, which shall be cut short in righteousness—
98 Until all shall know me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye, and shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together sing this new song, saying:
98 Until all shall know me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye, and shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together sing this new song, saying:

Doctrine and Covenants 88: 66, 68
66 Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.
68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.

Doctrine and Covenants 130:1 When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves.

The Holy Bible says (I’ve left out the Isaiah verses basically covered in the Book of Mormon):
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

When people see eye to eye, they have the same understanding. Their eyes have been purified. The scales of impurity—frames, points of view, bias (personal, social, cultural, religious, philosophical, etc.), conditioning, etc. are all removed. To see God, we must become like God; when we see Jesus as he is, it is because we are in that same state.

2010, August 2

Book of Mormon | “Symbolism of the Title of Liberty: ‘In Memory of’ on a Rent Coat” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Symbolism of the Title of Liberty: ‘In Memory of’ on a Rent Coat”

grego
(c) 2010

In Alma 46 we read:
7 And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the affairs of the people of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous, notwithstanding their great victory which they had had over the Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had had because of their deliverance by the hand of the Lord.
8 Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one.
10 Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.
11 And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah.
12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

The words finally connected today—“in memory of”—like the writing on a gravestone. Like God, religion, freedom, peace, wives, and children had already died—and it had, for the dissenting Nephites. And it might, for the remaining Nephites.

Where does Moroni write it? On his rent coat. When does one rend a coat? Let’s see, from the Bible Dictionary:
“It was the office of the hired mourners to express sorrow by music, praises of the dead, loud wailings, with other outward signs of woe, such as beating of the breast and rending of the garments.”
“Along with the fasting were often combined other ceremonies, e.g., rending of the garments, putting on sackcloth, refraining from washing the face or anointing with oil.”
“Smiting on the breast and rending of the garments signified special sorrow.”

Here are some examples from the Bible:
Genesis 37:29 ¶ And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

Joshua 7:6 ¶ And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.

Judges 11:35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.

1 Kings 21:27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.

2 Samuel 3:31 ¶ And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And king David himself followed the bier.

2 Chronicles 34:27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the Lord.

Ezra 9:5 ¶ And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God,
6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.

So, in essence, Moroni writes an epitaph on his funeral clothing!

The Book of Mormon also explains a little more about a different symbolism of the rent coat of Joseph. First, a look at the Bible:
Genesis 37:23 ¶ And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

The Book of Mormon adds more to the story: Jacob’s prophecy.

Alma 46:23 Moroni said unto them: Behold, we are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; yea, we are a remnant of the seed of Joseph, whose coat was rent by his brethren into many pieces; yea, and now behold, let us remember to keep the commandments of God, or our garments shall be rent by our brethren, and we be cast into prison, or be sold, or be slain.
24 Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of Joseph; yea, let us remember the words of Jacob, before his death, for behold, he saw that a part of the remnant of the coat of Joseph was preserved and had not decayed. And he said—Even as this remnant of garment of my son hath been preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed of my son be preserved by the hand of God, and be taken unto himself, while the remainder of the seed of Joseph shall perish, even as the remnant of his garment.
25 Now behold, this giveth my soul sorrow; nevertheless, my soul hath joy in my son, because of that part of his seed which shall be taken unto God.
26 Now behold, this was the language of Jacob.
27 And now who knoweth but what the remnant of the seed of Joseph, which shall perish as his garment, are those who have dissented from us? Yea, and even it shall be ourselves if we do not stand fast in the faith of Christ.

The Nephites covenant in response to Moroni’s Title of Liberty:
Alma 46:21 And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or, in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments.
22 Now this was the covenant which they made, and they cast their garments at the feet of Moroni, saying: We covenant with our God, that we shall be destroyed, even as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall fall into transgression; yea, he may cast us at the feet of our enemies, even as we have cast our garments at thy feet to be trodden under foot, if we shall fall into transgression.

As their clothes were rent, even so would God rend them if they would forget Him; in other words, they consent to their own funerals if they die spiritually first.

In contrast, note the prophecy about Jesus’ coat not being rent, but being left whole; and fulfillment of this prophecy:
John 19:23 ¶ Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

2010, July 1

“Are Shem and Melchizedek in the Bible the Same Person?” by grego

Are Shem and Melchizedek in the Bible the Same Person?

grego
(c) 2010

There’s not much about these guys when it comes to certain aspects. What did Shem do? Nothing is said (other than “had children”). What about Melchizedek’s lineage? Nothing (other than descended from Noah).

Joseph F. Smith wrote in Doctrine and Covenants 138:41: “Noah, who gave warning of the flood; Shem, the great high priest; Abraham, the father of the faithful; Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, the great law-giver of Israel;”

Shem, the great high priest?? The Bible is silent on that, and more interestingly, the New Testament has no mention of Shem, unlike other Old Testament leaders (Moses, Melchizedek, etc.). In this list, there is nothing about Melchizedek, though it’s probably because he and Enoch are not there in the spirit world because they didn’t die, but were translated.

In the Pearl of Great Price, we read a little about Shem:
Moses 8:27 And thus Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord; for Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generation; and he walked with God, as did also his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

He was also blessed with the priesthood:
Gen. 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.
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.
26 And [Noah] 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.

Here’s the genealogy of Shem and Abraham:
Genesis 11:10 ¶ These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:
11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. (Shem gives birth at 100, lives 500 more.)
12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah (his son gives birth at 35 years old):
13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber: (his grandson gives birth at 30 years)
15 And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: (his great-grandson gives birth at 34 years)
17 And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.
18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: (his great-great grandson gives birth at 30 years)
19 And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.
20 And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug: (his great-great grandson gives birth at 32 years)
21 And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.
22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor: (his great-great-great grandson gives birth at 30 years)
23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah: (his great-great-great-great grandson gives birth at 29 years)
25 And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.
26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. (his great-great-great-great-great grandson gives birth at 70 years)
27 ¶ Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

Abraham meets Melchizedek. They meet in Genesis 14; in Genesis 16, Abraham is 86 when Ishmael is born, so it’s earlier than that.

Shem lives 500 years from the point of counting down.

35 + 30 + 34 + 30 + 32 + 30 + 29 + 70 + 86(or less) (Abraham was younger when he met Melchizedek; this is the first clear firm date after their meeting) = x

So, 500 – 290 + 86(or less) = 210 + 86(or less) = 296.

This 296 years is well within 500 years, so at least on that account it’s possible.

Also note that in all that genealogy, there is no mention of Melchizedek.

On the other hand, it is true that the line only links up Noah to Abraham, and doesn’t deal much with anyone else.

What is known about Melchizedek? From the “GS Melchizedek” we learn:
A great Old Testament high priest, prophet, and leader who lived after the flood and during the time of Abraham. He was called the king of Salem (Jerusalem), king of peace, king of righteousness (which is the Hebrew meaning of Melchizedek), and priest of the most high God.
Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, Gen. 14: 18-20. Melchizedek’s people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, JST, Gen. 14: 25-40. Christ was a high priest after the order of Melchizedek, Heb. 5: 6. Melchizedek was King of Salem, priest of the most high God, Heb. 7: 1-3. None were greater than Melchizedek, Alma 13: 14-19. Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, Doctrine and Covenants84: 14. In respect for the Lord’s name, the ancient Church called the higher priesthood the Melchizedek Priesthood, Doctrine and Covenants107: 1-4.

Ahhh, so Melchizedek is a title (“king of righteousness”), not a name—he won’t be mentioned by this title in the genealogy.

In Doctrine and Covenants 84:14, we read: “Which Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek, who received it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah;”
and similar but looser language in Abraham 1. So, Melchizedek is likely a direct relative between Noah and Abraham.

So, it is at least possible, from what we have, that Shem is Melchizedek.

More about Melchizedek, from JOSEPH SMITH TRANSLATION GENESIS 14: 25-40:
25 And Melchizedek lifted up his voice and blessed Abram.
26 Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.
27 And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,
28 It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God;
29 And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.
30 For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;
31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.
32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.
33 And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace.
34 And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world;
35 And hath said, and sworn with an oath, that the heavens and the earth should come together; and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire.
36 And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace.
37 And he lifted up his voice, and he blessed Abram, being the high priest, and the keeper of the storehouse of God;
38 Him whom God had appointed to receive tithes for the poor.
39 Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need.
40 And it came to pass, that God blessed Abram, and gave unto him riches, and honor, and lands for an everlasting possession; according to the covenant which he had made, and according to the blessing wherewith Melchizedek had blessed him.

Here, we see that Enoch and his people were translated, and Melchizedek and his people sought for the same destiny and reached it, too (JST Genesis 14:34). So, Melchizedek is likely not Shem, as neither Enoch nor Melchizedek are noted as being in the spirit world by Joseph F. Smith; but Shem was there.

2010, June 30

“Bible: David and Repentance” by grego

Bible: David and Repentance

grego
(c) 2010

Years ago I attended a Sunday meeting where one young man who wanted to go on a mission but wasn’t allowed to by his bishop stood at the stand for a long time, cried, proclaimed his righteousness and desire, blamed, and tried to gather pity.

Why wouldn’t the bishop let him go? In the 15-20 minute story he told, it came out that he had a child.

Um, dude, you have a *responsibility* that you need to take care of, no matter how badly you want to go on a mission. You can’t just “wash your hands”, pretend it didn’t happen, give the child to your parents to care for while you go, whatever.

I felt bad for the bishop that such an immature, misguided, unreasoning member would do that…

Skip back generations to David…

Here’s his story in 2 Samuel 11:
1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
2 ¶ And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David aroPse from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
6 ¶ And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king.
9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.
10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?
11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.
12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.
13 And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
14 ¶ And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
18 ¶ Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war;
19 And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,
20 And if so be that the king’s wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall?
21 Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
22 ¶ So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for.
23 And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate.
24 And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king’s servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
25 Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.
26 ¶ And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

We later read in Psalms 51:
TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN, A PSALM OF DAVID, WHEN NATHAN THE PROPHET CAME UNTO HIM, AFTER HE HAD GONE IN TO BATH-SHEBA.

grego: Dear David,
Stop worrying so much about having committed adultery with Bathsheba one time; worry more about killing Uriah and getting “blessings” through cursed ways.

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

grego: Dear David,
Acknowledging sin is not enough; that is not repenting. You took a man’s life, in exchange for his wife. God can’t just wipe that out because you acknowledge. Yes, your sin will ever be before you in this life; but one day you will have fully paid the price.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

grego: Dear David,
You did not sin against “[God] only”. You sinned against God, Uriah, Joab, Bathsheba, your other wives and concubines, and your other children. Oh, and yourself. *You* need to “be clear”.

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

grego: Dear David,
God’s spirit cannot dwell in an unclean tabernacle. The heart of a murderer is not a clean tabernacle. It’s good you want a clean heart, but the spirit, and the presence of God which you once enjoyed, can no longer be yours.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

grego: Dear David,
Teach them anyway.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

grego: Dear David,
Good to finally hear you acknowledge a little more…

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

I believe David was pretty out of touch with what he had done and the consequences his actions brought at the time of writing this Psalm.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I can imagine some pretty wicked things. Killing a wonderful servant willing to give his life for me, so I could get his wife, make her my favorite wife, sleep with her many times afterward, and look at her every day—that would be really hard to imagine… I’d always be thinking about the man I murdered in cold blood every time I saw her. “Well, I murdered your husband after we committed adultery and you got pregnant, but since he’s dead now and you’re single, yahoo, we can get married and have sex as much as we want and be happy!!
God, see my repentant heart?!” :-(

How does that square up with real repentance? Is that “a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart”??

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