Sunday, December 27, 2020

New Years Reflection

There's a popular Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

When it comes to making changes in our life, becoming a better person and improving our lives; the best time to have started would have been 20 years ago. But since going back on time is not possible, the next best time is today.

Friday, November 20, 2020

President Nelson Call for Gratitude

President Russell M. Nelson is the presiding authority, chief apostle, and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ if Latter-day Saints. At the start of this holiday and Thanksgiving season, President Nelson has invited us to pray and use social media to express our gratitude for our blessings each day for 7 days using #givethanks. Gratitude is scientifically proven to biologically change our brain and brain chemistry and help us feel happier and more satisfied with life. Expressing gratitude daily is a therapy better than taking any pill.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Apostolic Succession

This is from an account of Orson F. Whitney, who was an Apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:
"Many years ago a learned man, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, came to Utah and spoke from the stand of the Salt Lake Tabernacle. I became well-acquanted with him, and we conversed freely and frankly. A great scholar, with perhaps a dozen languages at his tongue’s end, he seemed to know all about theology, law, literature, science and philosophy. One day he said to me: 'You Mormons are all ignoramuses. You don’t even know the strength of your own position. It is so strong that there is only one other tenable in the whole Christian world, and that is the position of the Catholic Church. The issue is between Catholicism and Mormonism. If we are right, your are wrong; if you are right, we are wrong; and that’s all there is to it. The Protestants haven’t a leg to stand on. For, if we are wrong, they are wrong with us, since they were a part of us and went out from us; while if we are right, they are apostates whom we cut off long ago. If we have apostolic succession from St. Peter, as we claim, there is no need of Joseph Smith and Mormonism; but if we have not that succession, then such a man as Joseph Smith was necessary, and Mormonism’s attitude is the only consistent one. It is either the perpetuation of the gospel from ancient times, or the restoration of the gospel in latter days."

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Becoming Like God

D&C 132:20 “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) accepts four sacred texts as scripture which contains the words of Christ. LDS accept the Bible including both the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pear of Great Price. Revelation 22:18 warns not to add nor subtract from the “prophecy of this book”. LDS understand that the “prophecy of this book” is only referring to the prophecy contained in the Book of Revelation. The New Testament wasn't even put together in its current form at the time. Also, John wrote several letters (John 1, John 2, John 3) found near the end of the New Testament which were written after the Book of Revelation chronologically. Rev 22:18 is not meant to be some kind of seal or final end of the Bible in the same way Muslims consider Muhammad to be the “seal of the prophets”. For LDS, God can and will continue to reveal truth and scripture from heaven. LDS believe “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and that God will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Articles of Faith, Pearl of Great Price)

The Doctrine and Covenants is a book of scripture that contains the words of Jesus Christ received through Joseph Smith concerning the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. These revelations were received from about 1830-1844. The Book of Mormon, on the other hand, is a collection of ancient writings of “lost ten tribe” prophets who lived in the Americas from 600 BC to 400 AD. Joseph Smith received these ancient writings on gold-appearing plates and translated the writings into English. The Book of Mormon records the events of the appearance of Jesus Christ in America after His resurrection and ascension in Israel.

Many Christians raise concern over a few misunderstood scriptures found in the LDS Doctrine and Covenants. One of these scripture is D&C 132:20 which speaks of the promise that God's children would one day, through Christ, become gods like Heavenly Father who is the Most High God.

D&C 132:20 is NOT saying that men take God's place, or become gods unto themselves. This scripture is NOT saying that LDS people are superior and will rule over everyone else. This is just saying that we are all children of God who is our Heavenly Father. God describes Himself in the Bible as the God of gods, who seeks to exalt His children to become gods (little 'g') like Himself who is and will continue to always be the Most High God (big 'G').

The way God's children become like our Father in Heaven, through Christ and with Christ, is to participate with God in His work of eternal parenting. LDS believe that our spirits existed and lived with God before coming to Earth (Jer 1:5). The angels that are “subject” to us, are not other Christians, but other spirits who have not yet come to their Earth. Faithful followers of Christ will be blessed to help prepare others of God's children to gain a body, come to their Earth, and be tested as we have done. There are likely many jobs and calling in heaven, but the job of preparing spirits to come to Earth is the highest reward reserved only to the most faithful in Christ. This is Eternal Life and Celestial glory.

The Wiki article [Divinization (Christian)] contains quotes from 12 very respected Early Christian writers including Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Athanasius, etc. who say the same thing. But more importantly is what the Bible says on the matter.

Deut 10:17 “For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:”

Psalm 82:1 “ God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.”

Psalm 82:6 “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”

John 10:33-35 “The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;”

Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

2 Corinthians 3:18 “And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.”

Rev 3:21 “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Sacred Purpose of Music, Poetry, and Art

I was listening to a Christian Bible  lecture yesterday and they were talking about Gen 4:23

"And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold" (Gen 4:23-24).

This was the first time art, music, poetry was used to celebrate evil in commemorating Lamech's own murder of Cain. Sadly, we see how much of modern popular music and art continues to rejoice and celebrate evil , ghetto culture, poverty. ignorance,  and immorality. However, scriptures remind us that charity (agape, the love of God, the pure love of Christ); "rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth" (1 Cor 13:6). 

This youtube video is talking about how Mr. Roger's didn't "dumb down" his music or show topics for his kids audience. (jazz music on the show was unbelievible). Watching this video  made me think and appreciate how the the LDS church doesn't dumb down it's children's music either.  The Church of Jesus Christ uses music in its Primary Song Book to teach children the most sacred and important doctrines of Christ.  

This is one of my favorite LDS Children Songs:

Easter Hosanna

1-. The prophecies of long ago were now at last fulfilled,
When Jesus, risen from the dead, to man Himself revealed.
As he came down from heav’n above, white-robed and glorified,
The people of the promised land received their Lord and cried:

“Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God!
Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God!”

2. When Jesus Christ appeared to Nephites in the promised land,
The righteous people saw his wounds and came to understand
That he, once dead, was risen up as Savior, Lord, and King.
As they rejoiced, now we rejoice, and joyfully we sing:

“Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God!
Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God!”