Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2016, December 18

“Book of Mormon: Alma (Alma 32:27) Gets the TRUE Counseling Starting Point Question” by grego

I realized that Alma had discovered what I had discovered:

Alma 32:27 “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”

Going back to how (25 years ago or so), I remembered hearing the story about the question “Do you believe you and your wife can have a good relationship?” and the answer “No”, then the final answer, “Then I can’t help you.” were wrong.  Lots of honest people will answer, “No.” but that doesn’t mean they and the relationship can’t be helped.  Here is the real question that is important:  “Do you wish that you could believe that you and your wife could have a good relationship?”   If “Yes,”, that’s enough to work with! 

Alma got it first!

2016, June 12

“Book of Mormon: How to Be Humble?” by grego

How to Be Humble?
by grego
(c)2016

The key is in Alma 42:30: … but do you let the JUSTICE of God, and his MERCY, and his LONG-SUFFERING have FULL SWAY in your HEART; and LET IT bring you down to the dust in humility.

2015, January 3

“Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 1:29 and Involved Parenting to Protect from Wicked Influences” by grego

Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 1:29 and Involved Parenting to Protect from Wicked Influences

I have been very troubled by this verse for a long time, especially having children:

3 Nephi 1:29 And there was also a cause of much sorrow among the Lamanites; for behold, they had many children who did grow up and began to wax strong in years, that they became for themselves, and were led away by some who were Zoramites, by their lyings and their flattering words, to join those Gadianton robbers.

How did these parents who were powerful and wonderful, let their most precious things be taken away from them and Jesus, and join the most evil organization?

I could be all wrong here… but I wonder if it has to do with this:

When parents are uninformed, uninvolved, and ignorant of evil and wicked influences, they will not be there nor understand the causes, and their children will be led astray and led captive.

If you don’t know AND UNDERSTAND what your children are watching, listening to, and following, you are pretty defenseless to help them. (Coincidentally, last night at a Young Men activity a young man was wearing a pretty hardcore Satan-worship T-shirt. I don’t think anyone else caught it. Even sadder: his MOM had bought it for him, ha ha.) Is that why so many discussions about problems with teens turn into parents getting mad, yelling at, and trying to use authority to coerce children to obey them? A very far cry from what Lehi and Alma show us.

Let your kids watch Disney? Sponge Bob? CSI? Law & Order? Iron Man movies? Listen to pop music? Lots of good themes and things in them, right? AND lots of all kinds of gospel-unfriendly things going on in them and most all the others.

In addition, movies and shows like Walking Dead, first-person shooter video games, etc. are also very harmful. (Though if I had to choose, I’d prefer my children watch Terminator over CSI, for example.)

When children watch something, watch with them. When they listen to something, listen with them. Know what media they are involved with. If you don’t understand what you see or hear, ask them. Research. You would not believe the amount of powerful evil influences in seemingly innocent or “a little bad” on the surface media until you learn how to look and what to look for. Search “+[song} + lyrics” to find out what singers are singing. Search “+illuminati + hollywood”, “+illuminati + music”, etc. for videos, articles, and pictures (media, ha ha) that might be difficult to understand at first, but harder than that, to accept. When you watch the news, you think you’re getting reality. From numerous personal and historical cases, you’re not. Local news might give you 70% reality. What you will read about, it’s probably about 88% REAL.

Watch and learn, so you can protect your children. Use the Spirit to help you know what you need to know, and how.

Then, don’t be afraid to talk to your children about their media choices, even if you ban things first. They need to know that you know, and what you’re doing it for. Don’t stop there. Help them find suitable replacements that they enjoy! You and your child are core elements of a team.

2013, August 20

Pearl of Great Price: “God Delivered Abraham ‘From the Gods of Elkenah’ (Abraham 2:13)” by grego

Pearl of Great Price: God Delivered Abraham “From the Gods of Elkenah” (Abraham 2:13)

grego
(c)2013

Abraham says something I thought very interesting:
13 Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace.

Abraham does not say “from the priest of the false non-existent god of Elkenah” or such.

I guess the “pantheon of gods” idea might have a little support here…

“Pearl of Great Price: Abraham 2:13–Experiences Bring Testimony and Help Future Faith and Action” by grego

Pearl of Great Price: Abraham 2:13–Experiences Bring Testimony and Help Future Faith and Action

grego
(c)2013

God appears to Abraham, and says go to a strange land. He reminds Abraham of his power; that he knows the end from the beginning; that he is in His hand; and that He will bless him and his posterity and all nations through him–if he will obey:

Abraham 2:6 But I, Abraham, and Lot, my brother’s son, prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord appeared unto me, and said unto me: Arise, and take Lot with thee; for I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and to make of thee a minister to bear my name in a strange land which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice.
7 For I am the Lord thy God; I dwell in heaven; the earth is my footstool; I stretch my hand over the sea, and it obeys my voice; I cause the wind and the fire to be my chariot; I say to the mountains—Depart hence—and behold, they are taken away by a whirlwind, in an instant, suddenly.
8 My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.
9 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;
10 And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;
11 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.
12 Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee;
13 Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace.
14 So I, Abraham, departed as the Lord had said unto me, and Lot with me; and I, Abraham, was sixty and two years old when I departed out of Haran.

I particularly like this:
13 Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace.

Abraham was a clearly saved by God from being sacrificed, and so, why not? This was a testimony that God could save him in the future also, if needed (and which he continued to do).

And what did God tell Abraham at the time He saved him?
15 And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up and take away my life, behold, I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God, and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands;
16 And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father’s house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of;

18 Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.
19 As it was with Noah so shall it be with thee; but through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth forever, for I am thy God.

2013, July 25

“Book of Mormon | Alma 51: Why Does Liberty-Loving Captain Moroni Compel and Kill Nephite People who Resist Him?” by grego

Book of Mormon | Alma 51: Why Does Liberty-Loving Captain Moroni Compel and Kill Nephite People who Resist Him?

grego
(c)2011-2013

Some might believe that Captain Moroni wasn’t righteous because he compelled Nephites to do as he wished or die. Surely he could have come up with a more peaceful way to take care of this problem, that didn’t infringe on people’s rights or freedom?

As one put it:

**
“Captain Moroni executed king-men for not taking up arms against the enemy. Was that not compulsion? Must the Nephites have resorted to a hawkish defense policy for preservation against the Lamanites? Couldn’t they have employed a more dovish policy and still maintained peaceful relations?”

“In regards to compulsion of the state, particularly in regards to taking up arms to “defend the country,” there’s no better example of this than in Alma chapter 51. Let’s read this account, shall we? First of all, it begins with a debate between two opposing political parties. On the one hand are those who were labeled “kingmen” and on the other those who were labeled “free men.” Not sure who did the labeling. In verse 5, Mormon writes that those who wanted to alter the law “were called kingmen.” Who did the labeling is a mystery, but my guess, based on history being written by the victors, this label was given by the “freemen” who, in verse six, is written that they took the name upon themselves. In any case, these first few verses are quite fascinating because while contentious, the two sides put it up for some vote (not sure what the voting population was—probably just the men). In the end, the “free men” won, and the “kingmen” lost. They were sad, but they didn’t take up arms against the “free men.”
But here’s where it gets interesting. Amalickiah, now ruling over the Lamanites, pressed his advantage in the war. Pahoran wanted to get more soldiers for the battle. The “king men” refused to fight. Surely one has a right under “voluntarism” to not pick up a sword or a bow and arrow to kill another, right? Isn’t that what you two believe? Or are there instances where voluntarism is void and null? In any case, they refuse to take up arms.

Let’s see what happened:
Alma 51:13 And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country.
14 And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the Lamanites were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them.
15 And it came to pass that he sent a petition, with the voice of the people, unto the governor of the land, desiring that he should read it, and give him (Moroni) power to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death.

WOW! I gotta say…Imagine today General Patraeus coming out and writing a letter to the president asking him for permission to compel dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death. WOW! Do you two get it yet? A vote was put up before the people and in apparently a free and fair vote, the “kingmen” lost. They didn’t take up arms against the “free men” nor did they take up arms to defend the “free men.” So what do the “free men” do?

And it came to pass that it was granted according to the voice of the people.
17 And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty.
18 And it came to pass that the armies did march forth against them; and they did pull down their pride and their nobility, insomuch that as they did lift their weapons of war to fight against the men of Moroni they were hewn down and leveled to the earth.
19 And it came to pass that there were four thousand of those dissenters who were hewn down by the sword; and those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were taken and cast into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.
20 And the remainder of those dissenters, rather than be smitten down to the earth by the sword, yielded to the standard of liberty, and were compelled to hoist the title of liberty upon their towers, and in their cities, and to take up arms in defence of their country.
21 And thus Moroni put an end to those king-men, that there were not any known by the appellation of king-men; and thus he put an end to the stubbornness and the pride of those people who professed the blood of nobility; but they were brought down to humble themselves like unto their brethren, and to fight valiantly for their freedom from bondage.

WOW! Compelled to hoist the title of liberty. Methinks at this point the whole notion of liberty failed. You’re only free when you are compelled by someone, according to Captain Moroni. Oh, if only indeed everyone were like this man…”
**

First, one needs to understand the Nephite social contract, as explained here: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/book-of-mormon-korihor-vs-the-nephite-social-contract-the-law-of-war/ .

Liberty, freedom, and Nephite government is not all about “do what you want, even if it infringes on others’ liberty and rights to do what they want”.

Captain Moroni and Mormon explain many times what it is they’re fighting for, as in this article: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/book-of-mormon-whats-worth-fighting-and-dying-for/

Not long before the situation in Alma 51, there is the Amalickiah situation–an attack on Nephite liberty; a desire for a king; they are angry with the Christians and want to kill them; their numbers are less than the free men; they run away:
Alma 46:4 And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.
5 And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people.
6 Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren, yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over the church, for they were high priests over the church.
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.

Most of Amalckiah’s followers are captured, and the ones that covenant to support freedom can live:
Alma 46:33 And it came to pass that Amalickiah fled with a small number of his men, and the remainder were delivered up into the hands of Moroni and were taken back into the land of Zarahemla.
34 Now, Moroni being a man who was appointed by the chief judges and the voice of the people, therefore he had power according to his will with the armies of the Nephites, to establish and to exercise authority over them.
35 And it came to pass that whomsoever of the Amalickiahites that would not enter into a covenant to support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free government, he caused to be put to death; and there were but few who denied the covenant of freedom.
36 And it came to pass also, that he caused the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land, which was possessed by the Nephites; and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites.

Harsh? Sure seems that way. Necessary? Sure seems that way.

Who are the king-men in Alma 51? What do they want?

Alma 51:5 And it came to pass that those who were desirous that Pahoran should be dethroned from the judgment-seat were called king-men, for they were desirous that the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a king over the land.

8 Now those who were in favor of kings were those of high birth, and they sought to be kings; and they were supported by those who sought power and authority over the people.
13 And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country.
14 And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the Lamanites were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them.
15 And it came to pass that he sent a petition, with the voice of the people, unto the governor of the land, desiring that he should read it, and give him (Moroni) power to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death.
16 For it was his first care to put an end to such contentions and dissensions among the people; for behold, this had been hitherto a cause of all their destruction. And it came to pass that it was granted according to the voice of the people.
17 And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty.
18 And it came to pass that the armies did march forth against them; and they did pull down their pride and their nobility, insomuch that as they did lift their weapons of war to fight against the men of Moroni they were hewn down and leveled to the earth.
19 And it came to pass that there were four thousand of those dissenters who were hewn down by the sword; and those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were taken and cast into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.
20 And the remainder of those dissenters, rather than be smitten down to the earth by the sword, yielded to the standard of liberty, and were compelled to hoist the title of liberty upon their towers, and in their cities, and to take up arms in defence of their country.
21 And thus Moroni put an end to those king-men, that there were not any known by the appellation of king-men; and thus he put an end to the stubbornness and the pride of those people who professed the blood of nobility; but they were brought down to humble themselves like unto their brethren, and to fight valiantly for their freedom from bondage.
22 Behold, it came to pass that while Moroni was thus breaking down the wars and contentions among his own people, and subjecting them to peace and civilization, and making regulations to prepare for war against the Lamanites, behold, the Lamanites had come into the land of Moroni, which was in the borders by the seashore.

Moroni gives his own perspective on the king-men problem:
Alma 60:16 Yea, had it not been for the war which broke out among ourselves; yea, were it not for these king-men, who caused so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, at the time we were contending among ourselves, if we had united our strength as we hitherto have done; yea, had it not been for the desire of power and authority which those king-men had over us; had they been true to the cause of our freedom, and united with us, and gone forth against our enemies, instead of taking up their swords against us, which was the cause of so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, if we had gone forth against them in the strength of the Lord, we should have dispersed our enemies, for it would have been done, according to the fulfilling of his word.
17 But behold, now the Lamanites are coming upon us, taking possession of our lands, and they are murdering our people with the sword, yea, our women and our children, and also carrying them away captive, causing them that they should suffer all manner of afflictions, and this because of the great wickedness of those who are seeking for power and authority, yea, even those king-men.

Pahoran writes about a group of men who are against freedom, set up a king, and fight against the free men and other Nephites fighting for their freedom. This group sounds eerily like the king-men:
Alma 61: 3 But behold, there are those who do joy in your afflictions, yea, insomuch that they have risen up in rebellion against me, and also those of my people who are freemen, yea, and those who have risen up are exceedingly numerous.
4 And it is those who have sought to take away the judgment-seat from me that have been the cause of this great iniquity; for they have used great flattery, and they have led away the hearts of many people, which will be the cause of sore affliction among us; they have withheld our provisions, and have daunted our freemen that they have not come unto you.
5 And behold, they have driven me out before them, and I have fled to the land of Gideon, with as many men as it were possible that I could get.
8 They have got possession of the land, or the city, of Zarahemla; they have appointed a king over them, and he hath written unto the king of the Lamanites, in the which he hath joined an alliance with him; in the which alliance he hath agreed to maintain the city of Zarahemla, which maintenance he supposeth will enable the Lamanites to conquer the remainder of the land, and he shall be placed king over this people when they shall be conquered under the Lamanites.

This is what happens to them:
Alma 62:6 And thus, when Moroni had gathered together whatsoever men he could in all his march…
7 And it came to pass that Moroni and Pahoran went down with their armies into the land of Zarahemla, and went forth against the city, and did meet the men of Pachus, insomuch that they did come to battle.
8 And behold, Pachus was slain and his men were taken prisoners, and Pahoran was restored to his judgment-seat.
9 And the men of Pachus received their trial, according to the law, and also those king-men who had been taken and cast into prison; and they were executed according to the law; yea, those men of Pachus and those king-men, whosoever would not take up arms in the defence of their country, but would fight against it, were put to death.

Amalickiah’s followers, the king-men in Alma 51, and the rebels in Alma 60-61 are all in the same boat: they want a king, they lust after and covet positions of power and authority, and they are willing to use whatever means they can to reach their aims.

The first group was going to use lethal force to get a king, not even bothering to try a vote (unlike the Amlicites); the second group was likely going to wait for the free men to be killed by the Lamanites, then step in and take over; and the third group actually had a rebel king that tried to establish an alliance with the Lamanite king.

So why did Moroni do what he did?
Alma 61:10 And thus it became expedient that this law should be strictly observed for the safety of their country; yea, and whosoever was found denying their freedom was speedily executed according to the law.
11 And thus ended the thirtieth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi; Moroni and Pahoran having restored peace to the land of Zarahemla, among their own people, having inflicted death upon all those who were not true to the cause of freedom.

Captain Moroni didn’t compel random people to join him, or freedom-loving people who feared war but were willing to help out in other ways, or even freedom-haters who were still willing to uphold the Nephite government; he compelled those he had reason to kill because they had rebelled and used arms against him, or who likely would have. Being a Nephite capable of defending their own land and people from an invading army–not attacking or going to another country in a dubious war–meant that you supported the government. Note that there had been always been Nephite dissenters who had left the Nephites and lived under the Lamanite king–there was that freedom. But for those who had crossed the line, Moroni’s compulsion was a form of mercy. It was giving the king-men a chance to prove their loyalty to their country instead of suffering death for treason, as explained in this article: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/book-of-mormon-an-oath-of-liberty-a-critique-of-the-book-of-mormon-as-support-for-a-moral-obligation-to-fight-for-ones-government-by-grego/ :

“At this point, it is probable that the king-men are not just in a state of dissenting opinion, contention, and dispute, but are dissenters, rebels, opposers of the government in more than word–in a state of open forceful opposition to the government. Every time the word dissenter is used in the Book of Mormon, it is more than just words–there is a physical separation because of a disagreement over law or government. The king-men have chosen to be enemies of the state. They are doing this while still in Nephite land. By doing so, they could be charged with treason and likely executed.

Now, even in this state, Moroni gives them the choice to return in good standing, or suffer the consequences of their choices. Not once do we read in the Book of Mormon of any other Nephite (other than the chief judge) having to take an oath of allegience to the Nephite government. At least for the king-men, taking the oath–after rebelling against the state–allowed them to set aside their penalty and reaffirm their citizenship and rights; refusing to take the oath would just allow the just penalty to be enforced. This oath was to support their form of government, and was a protective set-up so that when Amalickiah and the Lamanites came against the Nepites, they would not be divided on the inside.

If the Amalickiahites had not committed any crime, but had decided to leave the country and go to the Lamanites, this likely would have been fine. However, by being “determined to slay” innocent people, wanting to seek kingship by force, then having the plan to leave the country with a plan to become the Lamanites allies against the Nephites, the king-men are clearly in an illegal situation.

Later, in Alma 62:7, we learn that king-men resisted the lawful Nephite government by the sword, yet the men who were not slain in battle were taken prisoners and received a fair trial. Once more, the opponenets of liberty were required to take an oath. For them, it was not just fight for the defense of the country or die, which would have still been a fair oath, I believe; but: “whosoever would not take up arms in the defence of their country, BUT WOULD FIGHT AGAINST IT, were put to death.” In Alma 62:10, it reads: “And thus it became expedient that this law should be strictly observed for the safety of their country; yea, and whosoever was found denying their freedom was speedily executed according to the law.” “Fighting against the country” and “denying freedom” are different than opposing or refusing to fight in a war, especially in an offensive one in another country.”

2013, July 22

“Book of Mormon Geography: Where Does Captain Moroni’s Prayer Take Place?” by grego

Book of Mormon Geography: Where Does Captain Moroni’s Prayer Take Place?

grego
(c) 2013

Alma 46:16 And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored.
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**.

Anti-New York geographical setting believers use the second starred section to support their claim that America is included because of the “on the north” part.

But does this land of liberty include the land of Desolation and what’s north of it, or not?

The first starred section makes it seem like it means all the lands on the north and on the south, that are south of the land Desolation. If that’s not what that part means, why was it included, as it seems to contradict what they are trying to prove in the second part?

If not, then does this section support that this must have taken place in North America, such as in New York?

“Book of Mormon: ‘Despised Christians’ among the Nephites??” by grego

Book of Mormon: ‘Despised Christians’ among the Nephites??

grego
(c) 2013

Alma 46:18 And he (note: Moroni) said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions.

I didn’t really understand this verse for a long time–why would Nephite believers be despised in Nephite land?? I think it means “despised by Amalickiah and his followers”.

2013, May 26

“Book of Mormon: Why Were the Nephites Destroyed; How Do We Currently Measure Up?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Why Were the Nephites Destroyed; How Do We Currently Measure Up?

grego
(c) 2013

I’ve compiled a lot of verses for your study that concern the destruction of the Nephites. Hopefully these will help us as individuals, families, communities, and countries to see where we stand before the Lord.

-=
1 Nephi 12:18 And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them; yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God, and the Messiah who is the Lamb of God, of whom the Holy Ghost beareth record, from the beginning of the world until this time, and from this time henceforth and forever.

1 Nephi 12:19 And while the angel spake these words, I beheld and saw that the seed of my brethren did contend against my seed, according to the word of the angel; and \\because of the pride of my seed, and the temptations of the devil, I beheld that the seed of my brethren did overpower the people of my seed.//

-=
2 Nephi 26:9 But the Son of righteousness shall appear unto them; and he shall heal them, and they shall have peace with him, until three generations shall have passed away, and many of the fourth generation shall have passed away in righteousness.

2 Nephi 26:10 And when these things have passed away a speedy destruction cometh unto my people; for, notwithstanding the pains of my soul, I have seen it; wherefore, I know that it shall come to pass; and \\they sell themselves for naught; for, for the reward of their pride and their foolishness they shall reap destruction; for because they yield unto the devil and choose works of darkness rather than light, therefore they must go down to hell.//

2 Nephi 26:11 For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And \\when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction,// and this grieveth my soul.

-=
(This deals with the inhabitants of Ammonihah:) Alma 9:18 But behold, I say unto you that \\if ye persist in your wickedness that your days shall not be prolonged in the land, for the Lamanites shall be sent upon you;// and \\if ye repent not they shall come in a time when you know not, and ye shall be visited with utter destruction;// and it shall be according to the fierce anger of the Lord.)

Alma 9:19 For he will not suffer you that ye shall live in your iniquities, to destroy his people. I say unto you, Nay; \\he would rather suffer that the Lamanites might destroy all his people who are called the people of Nephi, if it were possible that they could fall into sins and transgressions, after having had so much light and so much knowledge given unto them of the Lord their God;//

Alma 9:20 Yea, after having been such a highly favored people of the Lord; yea, after having been favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people; after having had all things made known unto them, according to their desires, and their faith, and prayers, of that which has been, and which is, and which is to come;

Alma 9:21 Having been visited by the Spirit of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation;

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 9:23 And now behold I say unto you, that \\if this people, who have received so many blessings from the hand of the Lord, should transgress contrary to the light and knowledge which they do have, I say unto you that if this be the case, that if they should fall into transgression, it would be far more tolerable for the Lamanites than for them.//

Alma 9:24 For behold, the promises of the Lord are extended to the Lamanites, but they are not unto you if ye transgress; for has not the Lord expressly promised and firmly decreed, that \\if ye will rebel against him that ye shall utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth?//

-=
Alma 45:11 Yea, and then shall they see wars and pestilences, yea, famines and bloodshed, \\even until the people of Nephi shall become extinct–

Alma 45:12 Yea, and this because they shall dwindle in unbelief and fall into the works of darkness, and lasciviousness, and all manner of iniquities; yea, I say unto you, that because they shall sin against so great light and knowledge,// yea, I say unto you, that from that day, even the fourth generation shall not all pass away before this great iniquity shall come.

Alma 45:13 And when that great day cometh, behold, the time very soon cometh that those who are now, or the seed of those who are now numbered among the people of Nephi, shall no more be numbered among the people of Nephi.

Alma 45:14 But whosoever remaineth, and is not destroyed in that great and dreadful day, shall be numbered among the Lamanites, and shall become like unto them, all, save it be a few who shall be called the disciples of the Lord; and them shall the Lamanites pursue even until they shall become extinct. And now, \\because of iniquity,// this prophecy shall be fulfilled.

-=
Helaman 2:13 And behold, in the end of this book ye shall see that \\this Gadianton did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi.//

Helaman 2:14 Behold I do not mean the end of the book of Helaman, but I mean the end of the book of Nephi, from which I have taken all the account which I have written.

-=
Helaman 13:8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord: \\Because of the hardness of the hearts of the people of the Nephites, except they repent I will take away my word from them, and I will withdraw my Spirit from them, and I will suffer them no longer, and I will turn the hearts of their brethren against them.//

Helaman 13:9 And four hundred years shall not pass away before I will cause that they shall be smitten; yea, I will visit them with the sword and with famine and with pestilence.

Helaman 13:10 Yea, I will visit them in my fierce anger, and there shall be those of the fourth generation who shall live, of your enemies, to behold your utter destruction; and \\this shall surely come except ye repent,// saith the Lord; and those of the fourth generation shall visit your destruction.

-=
Ether 8:18 And it came to pass that \\they formed a secret combination,// even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God;

Ether 8:21 And \\they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.//

-=
3 Nephi 27:32 But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for \\they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal.// And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.

-=
Moroni 8:27 Behold, my son, I will write unto you again if I go not out soon against the Lamanites. Behold, \\the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction except they should repent.//

Moroni 8:28 Pray for them, my son, that repentance may come unto them. But behold, I fear lest \\the Spirit hath ceased striving with them;// and in this part of the land \\they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God; and they are denying the Holy Ghost.//

Moroni 8:29 And \\after rejecting so great a knowledge, my son, they must perish soon,// unto the fulfilling of the prophecies which were spoken by the prophets, as well as the words of our Savior himself.

-=
Moroni 9:22 But behold, my son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved; and I pray unto God that he will spare thy life, to witness the return of his people unto him, or their utter destruction; for I know that \\they must perish except they repent and return unto him.//

Moroni 9:23 And if they perish it will be like unto the Jaredites, \\because of the wilfulness of their hearts, seeking for blood and revenge.//

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons || Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Are Blacks Marked and Cursed/ Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?” by grego

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons || Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Are Blacks Marked and Cursed/ Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?

grego

(c)2013

Are Blacks Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?

President Brigham Young, answering a question put to him by Elder Lorenzo D. Young in a meeting held December 25 , 1869, in Salt Lake City, said that Joseph Smith had declared that the Negroes were not neutral in heaven, for all the spirits took sides, but the posterity of Cain are black because he (Cain) committed murder.”
–From “The Way to Perfection”, pages 105-106.

Yet, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
“There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.” (Doctrines of Salvation, p. 61)

And Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “It is the Lord’s doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527-528)

However, this statement was removed from the second edition of “Mormon Doctrine”, likely in direction from the First Presidency (or at the least, a more senior apostle).

Is there a connection between where one is born, family, race, country, society, etc. and our faith and action in the preexistence? I believe so.

What is the connection? I have no idea! I don’t think the leaders knew/ know it all, either.

Look at Abraham–his father was an idol worshiper who tried to have him killed; he lived in a strange land, with a strange religion, and wandered forever, far from what “home” he might have had, living among heathens. From that point of view, one might say he was less valiant in the preexistence; but there is no doubt he was not in that category:
Abraham 3:23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
And since the scriptures are a lot about his story, we have much more that proves he was not cursed. But without that for others, it’s hard to tell.

Perhaps the insight that physically and mentally retarded children were choice spirits changed the perspective of leaders. Was being Black really a curse as a result of a curse, or was it a SEEMINGLY “temporary state” for other choice spirits, such as President Monson’s sick fisherman, the beautiful flower in the ugly temporary pot?

Well, more living babies and children die in Africa than about anywhere else in the world. And where do they go in the next life? They are saved in the Celestial kingdom. Is that a curse, or is that much better than where the majority of white children who grow up will go, especially nowadays?

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons: What Did Brigham Young Really Say and Mean about the Blacks and the Ban?” by grego

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons: What Did Brigham Young Really Say and Mean about the Blacks and the Ban?

grego
(c)2013

What Did Brigham Young Really Say, and Really Mean?

In 1854, Brigham Young said:

{Cain} killed his brother. The Lord put a mark on him; and there are some of his children in this room. When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity. He deprived his brother of the privilege of pursuing his journey through life, and of extending his kingdom by multiplying upon the earth; and because he did this, he is the last to share the joys of the kingdom of God.” (Journal of Discourses 2:143)

(Soon after that, in the same talk, he said:
“I would rather undertake to convert five thousand Lamanites, than to convert one of those poor miserable creatures, whose fathers killed the Savior, and who say, “Amen to the deed,” to this day. Yea, I would rather undertake to convert the devil himself, if it were possible.” Seriously?? No, lol. In other words, not everything Brigham Young taught was to be taken as strict doctrine, nor did he hold himself to that.)

Later, in October 1859, at the end of a long talk Brigham Young said:

“Do all the good you can to your fellow creatures. You are flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone. God has created of one blood all the nations and kingdoms of men that dwell upon all the face of the earth: black, white, copper-colored, or whatever their color, customs, or religion, they have all sprung from the same origin; the blood of all is from the same element. Adam and Eve are the parents of all pertaining to the flesh, and I would not say that they are not also the parents of our spirits.
You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of anyone of the children of Adam.
Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin.
Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.
How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favorable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood.
They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion.
I have but just commenced my remarks, and have presented you a few texts; and it is now time to adjourn. The exertion required to speak to you somewhat at length seems to injure me. I will therefore stop” (Journal of Discourses 7:290-1).

A few notes:
—There is a difference between the meaning in the two talks, when you get down to specifics. Five years and many incidents and miles are between the two talks. While it might be he had more time to think, it also means he had more time between what Joseph really said and meant, and more time for the thoughts and beliefs of men to sway him (and as with most of us, probably not consciously/ clearly/ overtly).

—in the second talk, he mentions the Adam-God theory in the same breath.

—he never says in either place that the seed of Cain was cursed with no priesthood; just the seed of Canaan (which would be the only remaining seed of Cain after the Flood).

**
On December 3, 1854, Brigham Young said, “When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity” (Journal of Discourses 2:143).

—“When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth…”

At the time of the preaching, there were still plenty of other races and countries where the gospel had not been preached, and it would have been correct.

Then there’s this addition: “and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity.”

Yes, “it will have be time enough”–but there is no restriction about it not being able to be earlier.

**
—“…have had the privilege”:

To “have had the privilege” does not mean that it would be accepted. I had heard in a talk or two at Brigham Young University that President Kimball was actively pursuing all countries and lands for the opening of the gospel before (and during) the supplication; the church had tried to go everywhere in the world it could, but had at that time been rejected repeatedly by everyone.

The only other places to go were where there were Blacks/ much more than “a drop” of Cain’s blood in their veins, and those countries were willing to let the church and missionaries in.

**
—be kind to everyone, we are all—including Blacks—brothers and sisters (though many at the time thought Blacks little more than creatures).

—“Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race–that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.”

And the Abolitionists didn’t, really. However, by the time of the civil rights movement, it WAS happening; not that the movement was the cause of it, but a sign of it.

“Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for Ham must be the servant of servants until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. They cannot do that, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands.” http://jod.mrm.org/10/248

Brigham Young: “Ham will continue to be the servant of servants, as the Lord has decreed, until the curse is removed. Will the present struggle free the slave? No; but they are now wasting away the black race by thousands. Many of the blacks are treated worse than we treat our dumb brutes; and men will be called to judgment for the way they have treated the negro, and they will receive the condemnation of a guilty conscience, by the just Judge whose attributes are justice and truth.”

Brigham Young does not preach racism here; in fact, he preaches much like the Indians–treat them well, be good to them, etc.

**
—“That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favorable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood.”

This time around, he says that until all the others have received them. That seems more like “sorry, you have to wait a while”, but not all of these others will receive and enjoy the priesthood blessings, especially in this life, especially as individuals (not as groups). See the “have had the privilege” and “The Messiah came through them” parts for extra clarification.

**
—“They were the first that were cursed”
–actually, Adam and Eve’s seed were the first to be cursed, and we are still under that curse. However, after the Flood, that curse was partially lifted, through the benevolence of God; and through proven righteousness, Enoch and his people, Melchizedek and his people, a few prophets are no longer under that curse, and that curse has been partially lifted for others.

—This was at the end of his talk; he says he could have said more, and we might have gotten a clearer understanding, but he stopped. I don’t think these talks were to be had as binding doctrine, either.

**
—In that same talk, speaking of the Jews, Brigham Young said:
“The Messiah came through them, and they killed him; and they will be the last of all the seed of Abraham to have the privilege of receiving the New and Everlasting Covenant. You may hand out to them gold, you may feed and clothe them, but it is impossible to convert the Jews, until the Lord God Almighty does it.” (Journal of Discourses 2:142)

As a group, yes, but not each one–some people of the tribe of Judah have been converted. And that might be said for the Blacks right now, too. (Lol, that could be said for about anyone right now.)

**
Lund says:. On page 89 of his book he quotes a statement by the First Presidency that was given on August 17, 1951. That statement read, “The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said, ‘Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their father’s rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the Holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the Priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we are now entitled to.'”
Notice Young made certain it was understood that only after “all the rest of the children” have received the priesthood that the curse be lifted. Lund wrote, “It is clearly stated in the above quotes that the Negroes must first pass through mortality before they may possess the Priesthood (‘they will go down to death’)” (p.47).

What does “the rest of the children” mean? “Every single other person” as this person who quoted Lund says? Or it could mean something different.

**
“President Wilford Woodruff noted in his journal that President Young said, “…that mark shall remain upon the seed of Cain until the seed of Abel shall be redeemed, and Cain shall not receive the Priesthood, until the time of that redemption” (History of Wilford Woodruff, p.351, as printed in The Way to Perfection, p.106).
Someone says: “Since the resurrection from the dead has not taken place, and the redemption of Abel’s posterity has not come to fruition, it is apparent that the LDS Church was premature in its 1978 decision.”

Really? Let’s see…
Is this talking about Abel, brother of Cain, or Elijah Abel?
Who are the seed of Abel? Does anyone know?
Are they redeemed? What does that mean?
Has the resurrection taken place? Well of course, from Jesus until now for many of those who died before Jesus, though a few from Jesus till now have also been resurrected. Abel would have been redeemed at that time (see Doctrine and Covenants 138).

2013, April 18

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

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

grego
(c)2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was it really Ham, or Ham’s wife?

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

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

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

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

Or did Ham or Canaan have illicit relations with Noah?

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

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

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

Or…?

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

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

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

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

2013, April 15

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

UPDATE: Moroni the Man, Pahoran the Political Propagandist…

grego
(c) 2012

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

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

2013, April 7

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

Valleys and Mountains: Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism

grego
(c) 2013

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

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

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

This will be what happens when the Lord returns.

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

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

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

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

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

Where will you be, at that day?

2013, March 21

“Book of Mormon: Stripling Anti-Nephi-Lehies ‘Rehearsed’ to Helaman the Words of Their Mothers? (Alma 56:48)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Stripling Anti-Nephi-Lehies “Rehearsed” to Helaman the Words of Their Mothers? (Alma 56:48)

grego
(c) 2013

Helaman says of his young Ammonite warriors:

Alma 56:46 For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.
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.

I think we’ve all heard the “taught by their mothers” part, but I had a thought about this other part: “they REHEARSED unto me the words of their mothers”, with the conclusion: “We do not doubt our mothers knew it”.

That begs the questions: How could 2,000 young men rehearse the same words from all their mothers, and believe all their mothers knew it?

I ask my children to recite the Primary standards and the youth standards every day (we’re far from doing it, but I hope we will continue to make progress). Those were written by the church, and I am grateful for them.

I imagine that these women did not wait for the church leaders, a church program, or the government. They got together themselves with the purpose of knowing what they knew and the things THEY knew, through the Spirit, they needed to pass on and instill in their children.

I believe that the mothers actually put together their own creed or “standards” in the form of a presentation/ play/ musical/ recitation, and presented it to their children. This could have been something in church, the community, or personal; or a combination, like say a large yearly presentation and daily personal or weekly church recitations.

Possibly even more, it could have been that in between the time the idea of their sons going off to war, and their actual going off to war, these mothers were mightily moved upon by their love to put something together to strengthen their sons’ faith–and they did it. This faith was not just a belief, but an action for good.

2013, February 5

“Book of Mormon: Enduring to the End” by grego

Book of Mormon: Enduring to the End

grego
(c) 2013

Amidst great confusion, fear, sin, uncertainty, and unrest, Jared and his brother— through thought, faithfulness, and compassion from above—retained unity for themselves and friends and obtained a promised land better than any other land in the world.

It required work, but all things were prepared for them along the way, including special revelation as to where to go, and how to get there. The journey was also a means of spiritual adventure and growth. Things generally went well, and they enjoyed many wonderful years in the promised land.

Unfortunately, the very last step of leadership failed, and this failure brought pain to countless people for over a thousand years.

Enduring to the end is very important. Some of the most moving parts of the Book of Mormon are the parts about people enduring to the end, especially in the face of great trial or adversity. Look, for example, at Abinadi; the martyrs at Ammonihah and Alma and Amulek; the sons of Helaman; the Lamanites “who would not be removed”; Mormon; Ether; Moroni; the last words of many of the prophets.

Is this one of the reasons the Book of Mormon was written for us, is this one of the lessons we can learn from reading it?

“Book of Mormon | Alma 60–Moroni’s Epistle/ Letter to Pahoran: A Type for LDS Church Leaders to LDS Members?” by grego

Book of Mormon | Alma 60–Moroni’s Epistle/ Letter to Pahoran: A Type for LDS Church Leaders to LDS Members?

grego
(c ) 2012-2013

I had a thought today, listening to this chapter. Could I apply it to us, and to me? Yes, I could, and Wow!

I’ve noticed over the years that the people who are helping shed light on the works of darkness the Gadianton robbers are committing are mostly non-LDS, while the great majority of LDS are very pro-government, brain-washed, anti-conspiracy, etc. people. Most avoid those “yucky things” by the excuse that we “just need to be good, and that’s good enough”. The truth is, it’s not. And that’s not just my opinion, but the teachings of many prophets and apostles. Yes, we are trying to do a lot, but it seems that only a very small percentage of active and “faithful” members are truly engaged in “working righteousness”. Even myself–am I sharing the gospel DAILY? If I’m not, chances are good I can improve. Are miracles occurring in my life DAILY?

Look at these Book of Mormon verses:

3 Nephi 7:18 And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him DAILY.

Helaman 11:23 And in the seventy and ninth year there began to be much strife. But it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi, and many of their brethren who knew concerning the true points of doctrine, having many revelations DAILY, therefore they did preach unto the people, insomuch that they did put an end to their strife in that same year.

Helaman 15:6 Yea, I say unto you, that the more part of them are doing this, and they are striving with unwearied diligence that they may bring the remainder of their brethren to the knowledge of the truth; therefore there are many who do add to their numbers DAILY.

If this type of thing is not happening in my life, it’s likely I’m not trying hard enough to be good.

-=
So here’s the chapter and how it might apply to us (I just changed it over):

Alma 59:13 And it came to pass that [God] was angry with the [members], because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country.

Alma 60:1 AND it came to pass that [the LDS Church leaders] wrote again to the [members], and these are the words which [they] wrote, saying: Behold, [we] direct mine epistle to [members] who have been chosen by [God] to govern and manage the affairs of [their freedom and country].

Alma 60:2 For behold, [we] have somewhat to say unto [you] by the way of condemnation; for behold, ye [members] yourselves know that ye have been appointed to gather together men, and arm them with [the gospel, principles of the Consitutution, etc. ], and all manner of [non-physical] weapons of war of every kind, and send forth against the [would-be destroyers of this country], in whatsoever parts they should come into our land.

Alma 60:3 And now behold, I say unto you that [many patriots and their families] have suffered exceedingly great sufferings; yea, even hunger, thirst, and fatigue, and all manner of afflictions of every kind.

Alma 60:4 But behold, were this all [they] had suffered [we] would not murmur nor complain.

Alma 60:5 But behold, great has been the slaughter among [the] people; yea, thousands have fallen by the sword [and through sin], while it might have otherwise been if ye [members] had rendered unto [them] your [help] sufficient strength and succor for them. Yea, great has been your neglect towards [them].

Alma 60:6 And now behold, [God and the patriots] desire to know the cause of this exceedingly great neglect; yea, … to know the cause of you [members’] thoughtless state.

Alma 60:7 Can you think to sit upon your [riches and easy life] in a state of thoughtless stupor [of “all is well in Zion” and TV and video games], while your enemies are spreading the work of death [and destruction of freedom] around you? Yea, while they are [physically and spiritually] murdering thousands of your brethren–

Alma 60:8 Yea, even they who [should] look up to you [who are to be the light of Christ] for protection, yea, [are] in a situation that ye might have succored them, yea, ye might have sent [help] unto them, to have strengthened them, and have saved thousands of them from falling by the sword [and by sin].

Alma 60:9 But behold, this is not all–ye have withheld your [minor help and vocal support] from them, insomuch that many have fought and bled out their lives because of their great desires which they had for the welfare of this [American] people [and country and its principles and freedoms]; yea, and this they have done when they were about to perish with [loneliness], because of your exceedingly great neglect towards them.

Alma 60:10 And now, my beloved brethren [and sisters of the Church]–for ye ought to be beloved; yea, and ye ought to have stirred yourselves more diligently for the welfare and the freedom of this people; but behold, ye have neglected them insomuch that the blood of thousands shall come upon your heads for vengeance; yea, for known unto God were all their cries, and all their sufferings–

Alma 60:11 Behold, could ye suppose that ye could sit upon your [riches and easy life], and because of the exceeding goodness of God ye could do nothing and he would deliver [those who love freedom and gospel principles]? Behold, if ye have supposed this ye have supposed in vain.

Alma 60:12 Do ye suppose that, because so many of your [patriots] have been killed it is because of their wickedness? I say unto you, if ye [members] have supposed this ye have supposed in vain; for I say unto you, there are many who have fallen by the sword; and behold it is to your condemnation;

Alma 60:13 For the Lord suffereth the righteous [and those who are working for him] to be slain that his justice and judgment may come upon the wicked; therefore ye need not suppose that the righteous are lost because they are slain; but behold, they do enter into the rest of the Lord their God [or will soon].

Alma 60:14 And now behold, I say unto you, I fear exceedingly that the judgments of God will come upon [these members], because of their exceeding slothfulness, yea, even the slothfulness of [some of the great ones], and their exceedingly great neglect towards their brethren, yea, towards those who have been slain.

Alma 60:15 For were it not for the wickedness which first commenced [in the church], we could have withstood our [political and other] enemies that they could have gained no power over us.

Alma 60:16 Yea, had it not been for the war which broke out among ourselves; yea, were it not for these [gadianton robbers and all those others seeking for riches and power], who caused so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, at the time we [American members] were contending among ourselves [about whether to follow the prophets and how much], if we had united our strength as we hitherto have done; yea, had it not been for the desire of power and authority which those [eugenecists, communists, bankers, etc.] had over us; had they been true to the cause of our freedom, and united with us, and gone forth against our enemies, instead of taking up their swords against us, which was the cause of so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, if we had gone forth against them in the strength of the Lord, we should have dispersed our enemies, for it would have been done, according to the fulfilling of his word.

Alma 60:17 But behold, now [our enemies] are coming upon us, taking possession of our lands, and they are murdering our people with the sword [and otherwise], yea, our women and our children, and also carrying them away captive [and brainwashing them and causing them to sin], causing them that they should suffer all manner of afflictions, and this because of the great wickedness of those who are seeking for power and authority…

Alma 60:18 But why should I say much concerning this matter [to you members]? For [we church leaders] know not but what ye yourselves are seeking for authority. We know not but what ye are also traitors to your country.

Alma 60:19 Or is it that ye have neglected us because ye are in the heart of [complacency] and ye are surrounded by security [and other rich and nice people], that ye do not cause food to be sent unto us, and also men to strengthen our armies?

Alma 60:20 Have ye [members] forgotten the commandments of the Lord your God? Yea, have ye [(American) members] forgotten the [literal and spiritual] captivity of our fathers? Have ye forgotten the many times we [and our forefathers] have been delivered out of the hands of our enemies?

Alma 60:21 Or do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us, while we sit [in our cushy jobs and houses and “let those kooky patriots do it”] and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for [you to at least help out]?

Alma 60:22 Yea, will ye sit in idleness while ye are surrounded with thousands of those, yea, and tens of thousands, who do also sit in idleness, while there are thousands round about [on] the borders of the [dark] who are falling by the sword, yea, wounded and bleeding?

Alma 60:23 Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things [, and hide your faces from them and any truth not spouted and supported by the mainstream media and the government]? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel [church members who have covenanted with God] shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel [America] be cleansed also.

Alma 60:24 And now, except ye do repent of that which ye have done, and begin to be up and doing, and send forth [support to patriots], and that we may [support] and also recover the remainder of our possessions in these parts, behold it will be expedient that we contend no more with [our enemies] until we have first cleansed our inward vessel, yea, even the great head of our government.

Alma 60:25 And except ye grant mine epistle, and come out and show unto me a true spirit of freedom, and strive to strengthen and fortify our [true patriots fighting wickedness and evil], and grant unto them [resources] for their support, behold I will leave a part of my freemen [and patriots and true saints] to maintain this part of our land, and I will leave the strength and the blessings of God upon them, that none other power can operate against them–

Alma 60:26 And this because of their exceeding faith, and their patience in their tribulations–

Alma 60:27 And I will come unto you, and if there be any among you that has a desire for freedom, yea, if there be even a spark of freedom remaining, behold I will stir up insurrections among you, even until those who have desires to usurp power and authority shall become extinct.

Alma 60:28 Yea, behold I do not fear your power nor your authority, but it is my God whom I fear; and it is according to his commandments that I do take my sword to defend the cause of my country, and it is because of your iniquity that we have suffered so much loss.

Alma 60:29 Behold it is time, yea, the time is now at hand, that except ye do bestir yourselves in the defence of your country and your little ones, the sword of justice doth hang over you; yea, and it shall fall upon you and visit you even to your utter destruction.

Alma 60:30 Behold, I wait for assistance from you; and, except ye do administer unto our relief, behold, I come unto you, even in the land of Zarahemla, and smite you with the sword, insomuch that ye can have no more power to impede the progress of this people in the cause of our freedom.

Alma 60:31 For behold, the Lord will not suffer that ye shall live and wax strong in your iniquities to destroy his righteous people.

Alma 60:32 Behold, can you suppose that the Lord will spare you and come out in judgment against the [non-Mormons/ “haters”], when it is the tradition of their fathers that has caused their hatred, yea, and it has been redoubled by those who have dissented from us, while your iniquity is for the cause of your love of glory and the vain things of the world?

Alma 60:33 Ye know that ye do transgress the laws of God, and ye do know that ye do trample them under your feet. Behold, the Lord saith unto me: If those whom ye have appointed your governors [and the salt, and the light of the earth] do not repent of their sins and iniquities, [they shall be destroyed].

Alma 60:34 And now behold, I, Moroni, am constrained, according to the covenant which I have made to keep the commandments of my God; therefore I would that ye should adhere to the word of God, and send speedily unto me of your provisions and of your men, and also to Helaman.

Alma 60:35 And behold, if ye will not do this I come unto you speedily; for behold, God will not suffer that we should perish with hunger; therefore he will give unto us of your food [and resources], even if it must be by the sword. Now see that ye fulfil the word of God.

Alma 60:36 Behold, I am Moroni, your chief captain. I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country. And thus I close mine epistle.

-=
Ok, that’s been sitting on my computer for a while, and it’s not the clearest; it could be applied in other ways, too; but there are some ideas for you.

2013, January 17

“Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism of Valleys and Mountains and the Lord” by grego

Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism of Valleys and Mountains and the Lord

grego
(c) 2013

I’ve heard a lot of things about “killers” recently and over the years. The more I learn about actual circumstances and not rely on “official stories”, 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 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 “evil” is “good” and “good” is “evil”–maybe even including reports you read about people in the news, including horrific, insane, etc. mass-killing killers. (One very small example of this is when new crime technology comes out and death-row murderers are exonerated.) Imagine how you’d feel having hated someone with a passion all your life, only to find out they were innocent all along…

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

2013, January 16

“Book of Mormon and Other Scriptures | 3 Nephi 24: Comforting Passages of Scripture for the Extremely Discouraged/ Despondent and/ or Falling Saint” by grego

Book of Mormon and Other Scriptures | 3 Nephi 24: Comforting Passages of Scripture for the Extremely Discouraged/ Despondent and/ or Falling Saint

grego
(c) 2013

One of the strongest and most comforting passages of scripture I have found is in 3 Nephi 24/ Malachi 3—right after the much, much more famous tithing scripture passage. I see it as a major question asked by those frustrated with trying to live the gospel in a lower world, such as many teenagers and newly-baptized and those who try so hard to give they forget to receive; and the answer is extremely touching and strong:
3 Nephi 24:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say: What have we spoken against thee?
14 Ye have said: It is vain to serve God, and what doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?
15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard; and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
18 Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

While we need to try much harder to LIVE and BE “here and now”, or as many would say, “being present”… It’s NOT just about “here and now”. Oh, the living righteous part is, of course; but not the consequences, nor the results—whether inside us or outside of us—of obedience.

In addition to that, in a similar situation, comes another passage of scripture. This is also comforting because it talks about situations where we are not righteous enough, and yet…:
Doctrine and Covenants 101:1 Verily I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, and persecuted, and cast out from the land of their inheritance—
2 I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions;
3 Yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels.
4 Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son.
5 For all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified.
6 Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances.
7 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble.
8 In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.
9 Verily I say unto you, notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled with compassion towards them. I will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy.
10 I have sworn, and the decree hath gone forth by a former commandment which I have given unto you, that I would let fall the sword of mine indignation in behalf of my people; and even as I have said, it shall come to pass.
11 Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations; and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full.
12 And in that day all who are found upon the watch-tower, or in other words, all mine Israel, shall be saved.
13 And they that have been scattered shall be gathered.
14 And all they who have mourned shall be comforted.
15 And all they who have given their lives for my name shall be crowned.
16 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

The section heading introduction reads: “At this time the saints who had gathered in Missouri were suffering great persecution. Mobs had driven them from their homes in Jackson County, and some of them had tried to establish themselves in Van Buren County, but persecution followed them. The main body of the saints was at that time in Clay County, Missouri. Threats of death against individuals of the Church were many. The people had lost household furniture, clothing, livestock, and other personal property, and many of their crops had been destroyed.”

The hymn that naturally follows these passages is “How Firm a Foundation”:
1. How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

2. In ev’ry condition–in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea–
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

6. E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still, like lambs shall they still,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Text: Attr. to Robert Keen, ca. 1787 (grego: and edited by LDS Church). Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.

I believe that in the coming days of trial and great discouragement, these scriptures will be of utmost importance in sustaining us in our faith and fidelity to our covenants. They go right along with the Isaiah passages (especially from Nephi) in the Book of Mormon.

2012, November 24

LDS/ Mormon Missionary Work: Planting Seeds

Filed under: Uncategorized — grego @ 9:27 am
Tags: ,

Missionary Work: Planting Seeds

grego
(c) 2012

Most people see religion as a part of life; I see life as part of religion.

Life is still good for many people. In my experience, this is USUALLY not the situation of the earnest seeker of God. (Of course, that is their decision to make after we invite them, not ours.)

However, it is CERTAIN that in the future, many people will not know where or who to turn to, not know where to go. They will fear for their children’s lives, and for their own. After a certain point (which will be different for everyone) they will not want to take part in what is happening in society. You might or might not be there when that happens. So how can you help someone? Plant seeds.

We were talking about natural disasters in class one day. I spoke to the children about Christian prophecies of destruction, and then in particular about the LDS/ Mormon prophecy of the destructions of New York by fire and Boston by tidal wave. (I don’t try to brainwash the children or make them believe, as a teacher.) The children were interested. I then told them: “If, one day, you are not satisfied with life, or very scared, and you see these things happen, REMEMBER today; go to church, and give it a chance.” Will they remember? Maybe, maybe not. But at least they now have the chance to remember.

I have seen many times in my life where I was not ready for something I needed the first time around, mostly because I just didn’t understand what it really was and what it could really do for me. It is true that if someone had persisted in explaining to me, I would have understood and had more interest; but at other times, not really. I think many people are the same way when it comes to religion and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some people need someone to really explain it to them, and some people need time.

And then hey, I’ll be honest. I usually don’t go to the dentist until my tooth hurts! Yes, I even KNOW I should go earlier, and I’m getting better at it, but… So I understand a little when people don’t take the gospel the first time around–or second, or third, or until their wife yells at them… Even when maybe they KNOW that it’s what they need.

You never know when something might happen for someone. On my mission, we were teaching a group of seven friends. I had ranked them as to how I would invite them, with the most likely at the beginning, down on to the least likely. Well, the first six rejected an invitation to be baptized, but hey, I persisted to the end! The last woman had this… kind of weird smile/ look on her face, and didn’t say anything. Ok… Well, a few days later, we got a call from her–she wanted to get baptized. Go figure, huh? The other six? Maybe their time was right, and they rejected the chance. On the other hand, MAYBE their time wasn’t right, but one day when it is right, they will accept it, and these experiences will have helped prepare them for it.

So, please don’t give up on missionary work, and especially don’t give up on family and friends. “No” means “no”–when it’s given. Things can change, and people can change. IIRC, a few weeks ago the stake relief society president gave a talk about her husband getting baptized after 50 years of marriage. So plant seeds, and give them time to grow–whether it’s an immediate harvest, or if they need years and years to mature. You’d be surprised how sometimes they can grow on their own without your constant care, too.

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