Zechariah 5 is a very strange and cryptic revelation about a woman in a basket that flies through the air enclosed with a lead lid that becomes a curse to all the thieves and liars in Babylon. But a Seventh-Day Adventist on YouTube has figured this one out. By simply looking up the Hebrew and making some simple translation corrections, it becomes easily apparent what this terrible curse is that Zechariah is being shown.
Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. (megillah = flying cylinder)
2 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll (megillah = flying cylinder); the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. (30 ft x 15 ft circ = 15/3.14 = 5 ft)
3 Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it (Communist nations?); and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it (apostate Christian nations?).
4 I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief (Communist nations?), and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name (apostate Christians nations?): and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof. (curse consumes timber and stones of houses)
5 ¶ Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth.
6 And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth (nuclear missiles about the same size throughout the Earth).
7 And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead (lead = plutonium): and this is a woman (ishshah = fire offering) that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.
8 And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead (lead = plutonium) upon the mouth thereof (piha = beak, warhead).
9 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women (fire offerings), and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork (bomber aircraft or cruise missile): and they lifted up the ephah (nuclear warheads) between the earth and the heaven (sky).
10 Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? (ie Where are they taking these warheads?)
11 And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar (Babylon): and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base (makon = foundation, pedestal).
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Zechariah 5 is a very strange and cryptic revelation about a woman in a basket that flies through the air enclosed with a lead lid that becomes a curse to all the thieves and liars in Babylon. But a Seventh-Day Adventist on YouTube has figured this one out. By simply looking up the Hebrew and making some simple translation corrections, it becomes easily apparent what this terrible curse is that Zechariah is being shown.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
In this post I am going to try and briefly summerize LDS Theology:
EXAMPLE OF MOSES
When God called Moses up into the mountain, God desired all the Elders of Israel to first purify and sanctify themselves and then ascend the mountain with Moses (Ex 19:10,22). God didn't just want one chief and a nation of indians. God wanted a royal priesthood, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex 19:6)(Num 11:29). God wanted every man to be a King and Queen, Priest and Priestess in their own homes. God wants to be the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Rev 19:16). However, the Elders of Israel refused, they told Moses that they were scared and that Moses should go alone and come back and tell them what God said (Ex 20:19).
As Israel approached the Mountain of the Lord, the top of the mountain was burning with fire, the sky was dark, and the gound shook beneath thier feet. The Elders of Israel refused to ascend the mountain because they feared what would happen if they put their life into the hands of the LORD. Similarily, many today refuse to sanctify themselves and ascent the mountain also. Many still fear what would happen if they fully give their lives into the hands of God. (ie He will ask me to do things I may not want to do)
In addition to being very afraid, the Elders of Israel didn't want to repent and change and keep the commandments. They didn't want to do what was required to have a close relationship with God and see His face as Moses had. So, while Moses was away, the people said Moses delayeth his return, they then gave all their gold/money to Aaron (anti-Christ type) who fashioned the golden calf and began worshipping it through lude and immoral behavior (type of the Last Days, false relgion, and sexual permissivness). When Moses came down from the mountain (type of Second Comming), and caught the people in their sins, he drew a line in the sand and only the Levites stood with Moses and the LORD (Moses 32:26).
Today, God again wants all believers to purify and sanctify themselves and ascend the mountain so that they can have a personal relationship with Him. But just as in Moses' time, we still must sanctify ourselves, and many of us just as the Elders of Israel choose to worship false religion that makes no such expectation of us. Many religions let us go through the motions of being Christian without giving us any of the of expectations and requirements that go along with enjoying a personal relationship with the LORD.
So, in the next sections, I will explain how God has revealed what we must do to ascend the mountain and enjoy a personal relationship with Him. This process involves 2 steps: Justification and Sanctification. (1Cor6 :11) Thankfully, God makes the first move and empowers every part of the process thereafter. We can do nothing good without Him. Joseph Smith taught that through the ordinaces of the Gospel the power of God is manifest. (D&C 84:20). So, nothing in the LDS Church is being done without the LORD.
#1 Justification: acquital, posponement of judgement, initial rescue/salvation
God makes the first move. Christ stand at our door and knocks (Rev 3:20). If we accept Christ, we become Justified and Christ's righteousness is imputed to us. We are innocent until proven guilty, thus since judgement is posponed, we can have access to the Holy Ghost through Christ's rightousenss and not our own. Justification and this innitial salvation and rescue is by grace and is a free gift from God. That said, the Bible teaches that we accept Christ by 1. Confession of Faith (Rom 10:9-10), , 2. Repentance (1Cor5:11), 3. Baptism by Immersion, 4. Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (1Tim 4:14)(Acts 2:38).
The Lords Supper/Sacrament is the way the Bible teaches that we renew our acceptance of Christ and our Justification. The need to examine ourselves and continually renew this convenant points us to Christ and the need of Christ's atonment and the power of the Holy Ghost to Sanctify and further change us. We promise promise to accept Christ, remember Him, and He promises to give us His Spirit.
#2 Sanctification: becoming perfected in Christ through the sanctifying presence of the Holy Ghost such that we lose all desire for sin but desire to do good continually.
Justification is only the first part of the Atonement of Christ. But not only does the Atonement of Christ have the grace and mercy to rescue us in our sins, but Christ's atonement also has the power to overcome our flesh and save us from our sins (Matt 1:21). The next step involves the Spirit-empowered process of Sanctification. Santification is so important a life-long process, Christian believers in the NT were called SANCTS or SAINTS.
Christ told the rich young ruler "If thou wilt be perfect, sell all that thou hast, give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me." (Matt 19:21) Paul in Hebrews teaches that the Levitical priesthood had not the power to pefect but the higher covenant and priesthood of Melchezidek did through Christ. (Heb 7:11,19) Latter-day SANCTS or Latter-day Saints make the covenant of Consecration in the New Testament/Latter-day Temple. (Acts 2:46).
Consecration means to give all time, talents and everything to the work and kingdom of God. Allegorically, the temple symbolizes, "The MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD" (Isa 2:2) In the old testament the temple and the priesthood was only availible to one kingdom, nation, tongue and people and one tribe. But in the Last Days, John saw an angel fly with the everlasting gospel to give to all kingdoms, nations, tongues and people (Rev 14:6). In the OT God made His priesthood and covenants excluseive by limiting them to the oldest son, or only one tribe. This was done, not because God is a respecter of persons, but because He wanted man to appreciate the importance of these blessings. However, in the NT, God is promising these blessings to all people. This is what the angel on the top of LDS Temples is announcing and why LDS build temples among all nations and peoples.
While the blessings of the Temple are now inclusive and availible to all people now in the Last Days, to ascend to the Mountain of the Lord, the People of the LORD are still required to Sanctify themselves, or in other words to receive the Holy Ghost and allow the Holy Ghost to sanctify them. Paul in 1 Cor 5:11 gives us God's requirement for spiritual preparation and purification to be worthy to enter into the presence of the LORD.
1 Cor 5:11 "if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat".
This verse by Paul is the basis for worthiness to enter into an LDS Temple. LDS are interviewed by our Bishops who serve as the High Priest to determine ritual purity. However instead of external purity, Bishops who serve as Judges in Israel and who are not just "Preachers" verify our inward and spiritual purity. LDS demonstrate our compliance with 1 Cor 5:11 by confessing any sexual sin and living complete abstainance before marriage and fidelity within marriage. LDS demonstrate a Spirit-empowered love of God over money by paying tithing. Latter-day SANCTS are asked if they accept Christ as their Savior and are asked to confess any support or partipation with anti-Christian groups. LDS who are worthy of the temple and have the Holy Ghost would never abuse their wives or children (railer), Also, LDS would never take any chemical or substance for the purposes of getting "high" or drunk. God expects His SANCTS to turn to Him and not to drugs and alcohol when we are tired, bored, or stressed. And finally, God promises that though His Spirit, His SANCTS will be empowered to be honest in our dealings with our fellow man. God's temple-worthy people should never be found taking and offering bribes, kickbacks, or defauding our neighbors.
In the end the Temple is a beautiful allegory and symbol that teaches the follower of Christ who God is, who we are, and our relationship to God. The Temple teaches us about God's plan of happiness and Salvation and gives us an Eternal Perspective of what is really important. Through the temple, God's people come to receive the Holy Ghost more prefectly, and feel God's love and power. After receiving this Eternal Perspective about the purpose of life, God's' people are empowered and "endowed" and immunized against sin. Sin and being ruled by the passions and appetities of the flesh, just doesn't have the appeal that it used to have. The closer of a relationship a person has with God, the less he is subject to sin and temptation. Just as Christ promised the Rich young ruler, LDS make the covenant of consecration in the temple, and God in turn promises us greater sanctification.
So, why bother being sanctified? Well, in addition to being told that no unlcean thing can dwell in the presence of God (1Cor6:9). And this is more than just being "called clean". The issue is that despite being Justified, sin still has very real and very painful consequences. That is why I am grateful to Christ for His faithfullness, and the power of His Atonement that promises the power to overcome and escape my sins. (1 Cor 10:13)
However, Sanctification is not something that man can do on his own, or even part way. The Holy Ghost empowers the entire process. But when Nephi says "it is by grace we are save after all we can do" (2Ne25:23) or Moroni says "deny yourselves of all ungodliness and then is His grace sufficent for you" (Moro 10:32-33) LDS Scripture is not saying that we can meet God half-way or save oursleves by our works without Christ. What Nephi was saying was explainining why they observed the Law of Moses knowing that salvation was in Christ. What Nephi was saying was, becasue Christ gave the Law, they were going to receive the grace Christ had already given them before expecting to recieve more. So, in other words, Nephi and Moroni were saying we should "finish with the grace that Christ has already put on our plate, before asking for seconds".
Justification and Sanctification both occur at the time a believer truely accepts Christ and is Born again. The Temple is given to keep believers continuing in our Sanctification. Therefore, just like in the days of Moses, God is inviting us to receive His grace, and His Spirit and sanctify and purify ourselves and ascend into the mountain into His presence. So, for those who have accepted Christ and saved by His grace, will we allow the Holy Ghost to continue to sanctify us according to 1Cor 5:11 and ascend the mountain wth Moses, or will we stay behind and backslide into worshipping the golden calf? (2 Cor6:17)
Ezekiel 37:26-28 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God. and they will be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do ***sanctify*** Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Most people know that the LDS Church practiced polygamy back when it first started, beginning in 1833 and ceased this practice not long after in compliance with US Law and a supreme court decision. My wife has ancestors on both her maternal and paternal side that practiced polygamy over 150 years ago. Unfortunately, when most people think of polygamy, they immediately think of the fundamentalists and people like Warren Jeffs. However, this was nothing like how polygamy was practiced by the LDS. That said, a friend recently asked about the several wives of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Some of these wives were from 14 to 17 years old when they were sealed. The following is a brief comment listing some of the things I have learned concering the case of Fanny Alger who was the first spiritual wife of Joseph Smith.
Critics of the LDS Church love to say things like, this is just the typical thing that happens with cult leaders. They are such megalomaniacs, they think the rules don't apply to them, and they can just do whatever they want. And true to form, the first chance they get, they try to justify their desires for sin. This is just another blatant yet typical example of the bad fruit of a false prophet.
Considering this case, it seems to me that its the age of a few of these young women that is the real issue here. Most Christian know in their heart that God would never permit sexual perversion of any sort. Enemies of the LDS Church love to make Joseph Smith sound like some sort of predator. Critics even mistakenly use the word pedophilia which by definition does not fit because that would involve abuse of children before they reach puberty. And there is absolutely not a single shred of evidence of anything like that. But, understandably, a 16 year-old is considered a minor and marital relations would be considered statutory abuse as a minor cannot give consent. However, it needs to be said that in every case, the parents of these young women did give their consent to what was a non-physical, platonic, spiritual sealing.
There are several cases were there are hearsay accounts and rumors that the first child of some of Joseph Smith's "spiritual wives" belonged to Joseph Smith. However, recent Y-Chromosome DNA testing has been done on almost all the direct descentants of these possible offspring of Joseph Smith. Turns out, JOSEPH WAS NOT THE FATHER in any of the cases. In 2005, DNA testing showed that Orrison Smith, son of Fanny Alger, was not the offspring of Joseph Smith. (Perego et al., 2005). So, Joseph Smith entered into these "spiritual sealings" and there is no evidence that there was any "physical" aspect to any of these relationships except rumors and hearsay.
In the case of Fanny Alger, she was about 16 at the time and was working as a nanny and housekeeper for Joseph and Emma. It seems that Emma did know from the beginning about polygamy and was supportive. It is also clear that Fanny Alger's parents were also aware and supportive. However, not long after the sealing, it turns out that Fanny Alger became pregnant while living with Joseph Smith and Emma. Upon learning of the pregnancy, Fanny Alger was kicked out of the house. Joseph made arrangements for her to stay with the school teacher Chauncery Webb.
So, here is the facinating and unfortunate facts of the case. Here you have a 16-year-old helping out Smith and Emma. Joseph Smith is given the revelation on Plural marriage and he feels inspired to ask Miss Alger to be a "spiritual wife" all the white assuring Emma that everything is going to be platonic and that its not going to be physical. So, Emma and Miss Alger's parents are supportive and positive. Alger comes from the Hancock family who were very early and strong members of the church. And the Hancocks stayed active in the LDS Church. My wife ancestor is a Hancock.
However, when Fanny Alger mysteriously becomes pregnant, not everyone in Kirkland were aware of the sealing, and now the accusations and rumours fly. Even Emma is thinking that Joseph and Algers had relations and was angry even though they were spiritually married. Emma wasn't angry because she didn't know what everyone else knew, that Joseph and Algers were "sealed", she was angry because Joseph was assuring her everything was going to be non-physical at least until Fanny was much older.
But now with the DNA evidence, we know what must have happened. Fanny Algers might have had an affair and got pregnant by someone else. And her pregnancy made it look like Joseph Smith was the one who was responsible. And this was what caused all the headaches and problems and accusations and roumors surrounding Joseph Smith and the practice of "sealing" which followed.
Annother issue at play here is the coverup for Fanny Alger's protection. It can be easy to forget that Joseph and Fanny are "Sealed". Therefore, Joseph had the responsibility to protect Fanny. So, instead of directing rumors and blame onto Fanny, Joseph Smith seemed to allow the rumors, and gossip, and accusations focus on him. Instead of "outing" Fanny for being the one who had the affair, he only insisted that he was not guilty of adultery. He never put any blame on Fanny, he only defended himself.
Again, from several journal accounts at the time, it is clear that a handful of people were present at the sealing of Joseph Smith and Fanny Alger including Emma, and Algers parents and extended family (Hancocks) as well as other church leadership and several non-lds like Chauncery Webb (Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness).
So, the issue is, if all the necessary people knew that the sealing had taken place, why the scandal when Algers becomes pregnant and not before when they were sealed in the first place. Also, why did Fanny Algers' parents, uncle, and brother stay active strong members of the LDS church. The point I am making is, all these facts prove that that the relationship between Joseph Smith and Fanny Alger was a purely non-physical "spiritual sealing."
Jo Kester, a living descendant of Fanny Alger reports that Brigham Young accompanied by Fanny's brother John Alger asked to marry Fanny after the death of Joseph Smith. (he and John Taylor offered to care for all of Joseph Smith's spiritual wives.) Fanny replied, "You are a nice young man, but I want to be an only wife."
Fanny then went on to marrying Solomon Custer and leaving Missouri and settling in Indiana. After the death of Joseph Smith she was asked by her brother about her relationship with Joseph Smith to which responded, "that is all a matter of my own, and I have nothing to communicate." (bushman)
So, what do we know:
1. Joseph Smith and Fanny Algers were sealed in 1833. Fanny Algers was about 16.
2. Emma Smith, parents and uncle of Fanny Algers and church leadership were aware and/or witnesses of the sealing.
3. Fanny Algers becomes pregnant will working in the home of the Smiths as a housekeeper
4. Emma Smith is angry and there are rumors, speculation, accusations
5. Fanny is taken by uncle Levi Hancock to stay with teacher Chauncery Webb
6. Fanny remarries Solomon Custer after Joseph Smith's death and settles in Indiana
7. Fanny's parents, uncle, and brother stay active members in the LDS Church and follow the Church to Nauvoo, Il and to Utah.
Before, I end this post, I just want to emphasize something. I am really blown away by how Joseph Smith delt with this. He could have so easily diverted all the criticism and accusations toward Fanny Alger and "thrown her under the bus" so-to-speak. But Joseph Smith never did. Many of his closest friends deserted him over this. But Joseph was beyond honorable in his protection of Fanny Alger.
Monday, October 31, 2011
The Book of Mormon, like the Bible, is the word of God given to us in the Last Days as a witness and a warning. First, the Book of Mormon is another witness and testament that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God. The Book of Mormon is proof that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the only True and Living God who didn't just call prophets and manifest Himself to those in Canaan and Israel, but has called prophets and given commandments among all His children and throughout all generations of time.
Second, the Book is record of two civilizations that resided upon the American Continent that were destroyed by Secret Combinations. God thru the Book of Mormon prophets, warns the Gentiles in the Last Days, that our land will be filled with Secret Conspiracies, and that if we don't repent, our civilization will be destroyed just like theirs was. Moroni, the son of Mormon, wrote:
Mormon 8:35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
Morm 9:31 Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.
Unless you have been blinded enough to belive that “All is well in Zion,” Moroni writes in the Book of Ether that in the Last Days, Secret Combinations would spread over all the nations of the Gentiles:
Ether 8:21-22And they [Conspiracies] have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi. And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; . . . Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, . . . Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this asecret combination which shall be among you; . . . For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the afreedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people,
So, what is a Secret Combination? When did this sort of thing get going. Well, unfortunately, it turns out that Conspiracy has been around since the beginning of time. It is difficult to tell the complete history of conspiracy because those that commit conspiracy and enter into secret combinations swear to keep their wickedness a secret. But Scripture gives us an brief overview and we are promised that in the Millennium, Christ will go through and reveal to us everything good and bad has happened in this Earth's history. Why, you may ask, would Christ bother to retell us our history from starting to ending? Don't the history books have all that information? Why not just open up a book? Well, if the history books were correct, then this would not be necessary. However, it appears what is accepted as history is not correct and Christ is going to tell us the real “rest of the story.”
D&C 88:108-10 And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God in the first thousand years. And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God in the second thousand years—And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump;
2 Nephi 27:11; 22 And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth. . . Wherefore, when thou hast read the words which I have commanded thee, and obtained the witnesses which I have promised unto thee, then shalt thou seal up the book again, and hide it up unto me, that I may preserve the words which thou hast not read, until I shall see fit in mine own wisdom to reveal all things unto the children of men.
Wisdom tells us that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” We also know that “history is written by the victors.” Well, despite what pop-culture may have us believe, the “Good-guys” don't always win. Sadly, much of our accepted history has been written by the wicked who conceal their wickedness, paint themselves as the good side, and frame their opponents as the bad. Consequently, the wicked have an many cases gone out of their way to conceal true history so that they are enabled to fool us using the same tricks over and over again. The Book of Mormon teaches that the revealing the Earth's true history may be a major component to what binds Satan and ushurs in the promised thousand years of peace.
2 Nephi 30:17-18 There is nothing which is secret save it shall be revealed; there is no work of darkness save it shall be made manifest in the light; and there is nothing which is sealed upon the earth save it shall be loosed. Wherefore, all things which have been revealed unto the children of men shall at that day be revealed; and Satan shall have power over the hearts of the children of men no more, for a long time.
Ether 8:26 Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have ano power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.
Because of the pricess value of truth and the difficulty in detecting a lie, man has failed time and again to produce the perfect truth serum, and lie detector. Lies can be difficult to detect especially when they are buried amongst truth. And Truth of itself can be difficult to decern, especially when it is difficult to accept. Accordingly, God has prepared a special revelatory device for the revealing of truth and uncovering of lies. These devices are known as Seer Stones, or “Urim and Thummin.” Many prophets in the Bible and the Book of Mormon used the Seer Stones to translate ancient scripture and receive revelation from God. Aaron, the High Priest, used the Urim and Thummin to judge Israel. In the Last Days, scripture foretells that God would raise up another Seer like unto Moses. We know that the mission of Joseph Smith was a fulfillment of this prophecy.
And again, as we enter into the Great Tribulation period, and coming upon the restoration and gathering of Israel, and the establishment of the Great City of New Jerusalem, we expect the prophetic powers of the Urim and Thummin to be manifest again. However, in our current political state, I don't see Seer Stones being used to acquire evidence in the court room just. But if your remember the example of the later Nephi in the Book of Mormon (Book of Helaman), this prophet of God was able to use the prophetic gift to acquire the necessary hard evidence to uncover the plot behind the assassination of the Chief Judge.
Alma 37:23 And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me, that I may discover unto them the works of their brethren, yea, their secret works, their works of darkness, and their wickedness and abominations.
Doctrine and Covenants 35:7 And it shall come to pass that there shall be a great work in the land, even among the Gentiles, for their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest in the eyes of all people.
Seer Stones aside, I hope it won't take until the Millennium for the Gentiles to “wake up” to the Conspiracy that is already “among us.” But while waking up to the reality of our "awful situation" may uncover various aspects of wickedness and corruption, we should remember that it will be the "disintegration of the family" that will bring upon us "the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets".
"The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" - author unknown
"Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars" -author unknown
"None Dare Call It Conspiracy" -Gary Allen
"Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion" -Gary Webb
"Behold a Pale Horse" -William Cooper
"The Naked Capitalist" -Cleon Skousen
"Tragedy and Hope" -Carroll Quigley
"Other Losses" -James Bacque (Eisenhower and Operation Keelhaul)
"Target: Patton: The Plot to Assassinate General George S. Patton" -Robert K. Wilcox
The Tea Party Deception - Joel Skousen (Interview)
The Brotherhood of Darkness - Dr. Stanley Monteith (Lecture)
The Bohemian Grove Exposed- Alex Jones (Documentary)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
“our relationship to living prophets is not one in which their sayings are a smorgasbord from which we may take only that which pleases us. We are to partake of all that is placed before us, including the spinach, and to leave a clean plate!” Elder Maxwell, Things As They Really Are, P.74
The Scriptures as well as modern prophets love to liken spiritual truth with food. Paul spoke of milk before meat. Christ taught that He is the "bread of life" and the "living water". In the Book of Mormon, Nephi invites us to "feast upon the word". And, a latter-day Apostle, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, loved to speak about remembering to eat our spiritual spinach. When thinking about the differences between the many Christian religions, it seems that many denominations and non-denominations serve a meal that is missing a food group or two. Only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers the completely balanced spiritual diet.
Some Christian denominations have been critical of the LDS Church for following Christ in offering the Christian sacraments of water baptism by immersion, the bestowing of the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and the offering of the emblems of the Lord's Supper. Other Christians have criticized the LDS Temple and its exercise of of the sealing power to bind marriages and families for "time and all eternity" and not just "for as long as you both shall live". Those critical of the LDS sacraments, claim that confessing Christ is all that is needed for Salvation, and that ordinances and covenants are just a bunch of unnecessary "dead works". However, I will use the Bible to show that the ritual ordinances given by Christ are a integral and critical part of of a balanced Christian diet.
Christ = Bread, Justification = Milk
Paul taught that milk should come before meat, and Jesus Christ taught that He is the "bread of life." While meat and vegetables are important, we cannot forget the the “stay” and “staff” of life. Jesus Christ is the only way to Salvation and Eternal Life. When the believer becomes born again, and truly accepts Christ as his Savior and Redeemer, he is justified. Justification means that judgment is postponed. Therefore, the justified individual is given a probationary time to prepare to meet God. During this time of probation, a just God considers him innocent until proven guilty. Also, Christ's righteousness is "imputed" upon him, enabling him the opportunity to enjoy the purifying presence of the Holy Ghost.
However, the Holy Ghost is easily offended by sin. So, the process of Justification must be renewed again and again. During the days of the Law of Moses, Israel continually offered up sacrifices which reminded them of their sinful natures. In the New Testament, believers continually partook of the bread and wine of Christ's Last Supper to receive the Justification of the infinite atonement. While, a person might subsist on a diet of milk and bread, thankfully the gospel of Jesus Christ does not end with Justification. Through the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, all true believers can also enjoy the real Meat and Potatoes of the gospel.
Meat = Sanctifying Covenants, Vegetables = Consecration
The New Testament tells the story of a rich young man who asked the Savior what he should to to have Eternal Life. Jesus Christ answered by asking "what saith the Law?" In response, the young man began reciting the 10 Commandments, and then declared "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" Impressed, Christ taught, "If thou wilt be made perfect, sell all that thou hast, give to the poor and come and follow me." To be made "perfect" is to become "Sanctified".
While, it is wonderful to be justified and have judgment day postponed, sin still has very painful consequences. Thankfully, the Atonement of Christ possess both sufficient mercy to both forgive and overcome sin. Overcoming sin, the flesh, or "the natural man" is the power of Sanctification. Thus, through Christ, we are not just saved "in" our sins, but also saved "from" our sins. Sanctification is the purifying process whereby the Holy Ghost purges from us any desire or disposition to do evil (Mos 5:2). Therefore, as we receive the Holy Ghost more perfectly, like a refiners fire, we eventually will lose any and all desire for sin. When all desire from sin has been purged from us, we are then clean and prepared to dwell in the presence of Our Father in Heaven.
Heb 7: 11,19 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?. . . 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
In case you think Sanctification is too big a concept for you, consider that all believers of Christ in the New Testament where called "Saints". Saints is derived from the Latin "Sancts" and is short for Sanctification. With this in mind, the concept of Sanctification should be a central Christian principle for any "Latter-day Sanct".
The Promise of Consecration is Sanctification
We learn in the New Testament and through latter-day revelation that after we have accepted Christ and are Justified, Christ desires us to enter into a special covenant relationship with Him.. We enter into a covenant relationship with God through ritual ordinances such as Baptism, the Lord's Supper and in the Temple. Only through the ordinances of the Latter-day temple can Christians enter into the most sacred and sublime covenant with God; the covenant of Consecration. Just like the rich young man, Christ invites all believers though the temple to be willing to devote all we possess to serving Him and building up His kingdom. In return, we are promised to be made perfect, to become sanctified, and to be prepared to receive Eternal Life. Sanctification is composed of the principles of both obedience and sacrifice. As Samuel reminded King Saul, great sacrifice didn't preclude him from also being expected to keep the Lord's commandments.
1 Sam 15:22 Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
In the Old Testament, the temple was only built up to one kingdom, nation, tongue and people. But in the New Testament, John in Revelation saw an angel fly in the midst of heaven with the everlasting gospel to preach to all kingdoms, nations tongues and people. So, while the blessing, priesthood, and the covenants in the OT were exclusive to one tribe and one people, today in the Last Days, the blessings and covenants of the temple are inclusive and available to all people. This is the message that the angel is sounding at the top of each LDS Temple.
Saved By Grace After All We Can Do
LDS Doctrine is a Christ-Centered, Sanctification-focused doctrine. Our message is always one of how we can, through Christ, try a little harder to do a little better. Many Christians have a difficult time with LDS Theology and feel we are teaching that we can somehow save ourselves, or meet God part way. This false perspective represents an unfortunate misunderstanding of LDS theology. Some of this mistaken impression can be traced to a misunderstanding of the words of Nephi in the Book of Mormon who says "we are save by grace, after all we can do." Evangelicals correctly argue that "we can do nothing without the grace of Christ." However, this interpretation takes Nephi's words out of context. What Nephi is explaining is why they bothered to observe the Law of Moses knowing that salvation was in Christ. Nephi was not saying he could do anything without Christ. What he was saying was that Christ gave the Law of Moses and they were going to joyfully and faithfully receive and apply what grace God had already given them, before asking for more. Going back to our food analogy, what Nephi is saying is, "don't asks for seconds before finishing your firsts".
2 Ne 25:23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.
In the same sense, Moroni, at the close of the Book of Mormon, invites all men everywhere to "deny themselves of all ungodliness". Moroni then declares that if we would deny ourselves, then would "His grace be sufficient for us." Again, what Moroni means is that God has already given us the grace and power, though Christ, to overcome our sins. If we receive and apply the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become justified by his atoning sacrifice and sanctified though His Holy Spirit. Then we can have the faith and assurance that when He appears we will be like Him and we will see Him as He is.
Moroni 10:32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ;
Sunday, October 02, 2011
This weekend, leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held their semi-annual General Conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by a President who is the Prophet and Chief Apostle, his two counselors, and a Quorum of Twelve Apostles. President Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency, in the latest First Presidency message in the Ensign challenged church members to listen carefully to General Conference and to be knowledgable about what our leaders are telling us. Our church leaders are called and choosen by God, and speak his word. Therefore, church members should know what the Lord's Apostles and Prophets are saying.
During this weekend's October Conference the world received wonderful counsel. Church leaders discussed a variety of subjects. Here are some of the more memorable quotes and thoughts:
Members are encouraged to refer to the Church by its full inspired name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. - Elder Ballard
"The greatest thing a father can do for his daughter is to lover her mother." Also, when you daughter is late coming home from a date, "go and get her!" LDS members should lead the way in a return to virtue - Sister Dalton
"To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship" "Angels speak . . . the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ, for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" (2Ne32:3) - Elder Scott
[When my wife complains that I've already told her something, I tell her that ideas are like friends who I enjoy revisiting again and again]
"It is as tragic to think you are too sinful to pray as it is to think you are too sick to go to the doctor" "Prayer, like medicine, works best when used as directed" - Elder Cornish
"The 10 Commandments have become the 10 creative suggestions" "May we realize and understand how close to us He is and how far he is willing to come to bless us" - President Monson
"The Atonement covers all the unfairness of life. There is a lifeboat for everyone" - Elder Cook
[My father-in-law is Elder J. Devin Cornish of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. We were talking last week and I asked him which session of Conference he was going to speak in. I then ribbed him that I hoped he didn't give the "humility talk." It turns that he didn't. He spoke on Prayer. But it turns out that my favorite talk in this Conference was the "humility talk". One of the Seventy spoke about how overwelmed he felt and he was hanging his head staring at the floor when President Monson got on his elevator and told him in the President Monson way, "it looks better when you look up". This Seventy said this experience with President Monson was a simple witness of the Prophets job to inspire us to look up and look to Christ. He then related another teaching of President Monson that said when working out a problem, never forget the person we have the responsibility to love.]
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
With the popularity of the Tea Party Movement, some have asked why the LDS Church leadership isn't as vocal on government corruption and Constitutional issues like President Ezra Taft Benson or President J. Ruben Clark. With the 2012 presidential elections approaching the LDS Leadership faithfully releases the usual statements that the LDS Church does not endorse specific political parties or candidates but keeps itself politically neutral except when it comes to specific social issues like Protecting Traditional Marriage for example. in addition to realizing that the LDS Church is a world-wide organization and not just an American Church, I had the following thoughts on this issue with regard to some of the problems and challenges in America.
The first step in America's IDEOLOGICAL SUBVERSION was our DEMORALIZATION. Therefore, the only way to defend the Constitution is not to fight constitutional issues, put to fight SIN and to preach repentance and to encourage keeping Gods law. We must somehow REMORALALIZE America.
Remember our covenant with God according to the Book of Mormon, Inasmuch as we will keep the commandments of God we will be a free people on this continent. And inasmuch as we do not keep the commandments of God we will be cut off.
It's that simple. Preaching repentance is much more important than preaching against government corruption or individual constitutional issues. SIN is the root of the problem. if the LDS leadership were to preach about government corruption, 911, ect. They would open themselves up for being infiltrated by agent provocateur anarchists and for inciting anti-government and anti-American sentiments just as has been done with Islam.
Fighting the battles to "End the Fed" or "Legalizing Marijuana" or the "Police State" or whatever else Constitutional issue is just treating symptoms but not getting at the root of the problems in America. Yuri Bezmenov (ex-KGB? I think current) talked about demoralization resulting in ideological subversion but made the same mistake in telling America it needed to fight Constitutional issues and said nothing about repentance. But he was correct when he said a demoralized person can't even recognize truth until the boot of reality comes crushing down on their neck.
Ether 8:23 "Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins,"
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
The stories of the Old Testament are a type and shadow of the Last Days. First we see the higher covenant being given to Abraham. The covenant continues through Isaac and Jacob. However, we then see Joseph sold into Egypt. While in Egypt, Joseph serves to save the rest of the house of Israel from the famine. Safe in Egypt, it seems that Israel doesn't take long to fall into a period of apostasy. If Israel had remained faithful to the Lord, I am sure that God would have not suffered that His covenant poeple would fall into captivity. After a period of apostasy and captivity in Egypt, then we see the rise of Moses who leads Israel out of Egypt and promises to renew with them the coveants that God made with Abraham. However, the people rebell and are hard-hearted. Consequently, instead of renewing the higher Abrahamic Covenant, God gives Israel a preparatory Law of Moses which was to point them and prepare them to receive Jesus Christ who would later renew the Abrahamic Covenant to His people. lsrael would be required to wander in the wilderness in Sinai for 40 years, and then wait over one thousand more years for Christ's coming.
How does the Old Testament Story relate to the Last Days? In my mind, there is a clear parallel here. Abraham is a type of Christ. So, God's establishment of a higher covenant with Abraham is akin to God's establishment of the same higher covenant through His Son Jesus Christ. That covenant continues for a short time until the people quickly fall into apostasy. Hundreds of years later, God would raise up a Moses to save the people from spiritual bondage. In the Last Days, our Moses is Joseph Smith. However, like the Israelites at the time of Moses, the Latter-Day Saints needed some time to grow in faith and obedience. The Latter-Day Saints enjoy the blessings of the higher Abrahamic Covenant and the fullness of the gospel of Christ, but we were not strong enough to establish a perfect Zion society at the time of Joseph Smith. So, the Latter-Day Saints are wandering through a metaphorical wilderness awaiting the coming of Jesus Christ who will ushur in a thousand-year period of peace on the Earth. However, like Joseph in Egypt, we have and will continue to see the saving of the remnant of the House of Israel from spiritual famine by modern day Ephraim.
And, through the power of God and direct assistance of heaven, the LDS Church has been and will continue to lay the foundations of the Kingdom of God on the Earth. Isaiah likened Zion to a tent. His instructions for Israel to prepare for the coming of the Messiah was for Zion to "put on righteousness", "expand her boarders", and "strengthen her stakes." Modern spring-bar tents are set up by placing the poles first. However, when pitching a tent in ancient times, you started by driving in the stakes first before you placed the center pole. If you were to place the poles first in an ancient tent without first having placed the stakes, the center pole wouldn't have any opposing force to keep it standing and the the pole and tent would immediately fall. This is why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints refer to groups of congregations as "Stake of Zion." Christ is the center pole, Zion or the Kingdom of God is the tent, and the LDS Church is rolling out and expanding the borders of the tent, and preparing and strengthening the stakes before the Second Coming of Christ when finally the Kingdom of God will be fully and gloriously realized.
Law of Moses
Jesus Christ First Coming
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Jesus Christ Second Coming
Priesthood and Auxiliaries:
Priesthood is the power and authority given to man to act in God's name for the salvation of His children.
Ordinances of salvation
blessing of healing, comfort, and counsel.
God is all powerful and it could be said that He could do all the work himself without any of our involvement. But in God's plan, man is blessed to participate in His work. It is still His work, and he is still doing the work. But He allows us to participate, minister, and witness His power in the lives of others.
D&C 1:38 "whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by Jesus Christ through apostles and prophts just as in Bible times.
Eph 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists; and some, pastors, and teachers; Forst the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:"
So, when the Church leaders are telling us to reading our scriptures, and pray as a family, or warns us against taking harmful chemicals inside our bodies, its not men telling us what to do and how we should live our lives, but God telling us throught them.
Priesthood authority was restored in 1929 when John the Baptist and later Peter James and John appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and conferred the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods. Peter James and John had received the Melchizedek priesthood from Jesus Christ.
Heb 5:4 "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron"
Tim 4:14 "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands fo the presbytery (Elders)."
John 15:16 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen, you, and ordained you"
Matt 16:19 "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be lossed in heaven"
A man can receive priesthood authority only by proper ordination by the laying on of hands by one who has the authority. Charles Wesley who was one of the greatest English poets and song writers ever and the brother of John Wesley criticized his brother for starting his own church and ordaining priests. Some of the Hymns in our LDS Hymnal from Charles Wesley include "Hark the Herld Angels Sing", "Rejoice, the Lord is King", "Jesus, Lover of my soul", "Ye Simple souls who stray", "Christ the Lord is Risn Today, "Come, Let us anew.".
"How easily are bishops made by man or woman's whim, Wesley his hands on Coke hath layed, but who laid hands on him?" - Charles Wesley
That said, the scriptures say that only a desire to serve God is enough to qualify us for the work. But the laying on of hands by the proper authority authorizes us for that work.
D&C 4:3 "Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work" Remember many are "called" but few are "choosen". Matt 22:14
D&C 63:57 "And again, verily I say unto you, those who desire in their hearts, in meekness, to warn sinners to repentance, let them be ordained unto this power".
Holders of the priesthood enter into a covenant and recieve callings and duties to serve others, help build up the church. Also to perform sacred ordinances, such as baptism, confirmation. (Here the power of God is manifest (changing peoples lives via the Holy Ghost). Priesthood power can only be used only in righteousness, love, and patients. No unrighteous dominion, and never by coercion but only by persuasion.
All priesthood comes from God, There are 2 priesthoods in the Church the Aaronic and Melchizedek. The Aaronic Priesthood administers ordinacnes such as baptism and sacrament (Lords Supper). Worthy males ages 12 and over recieve this preisthood soon after baptism and confirmation. This is a preparatory priesthood to prepare for the higher priesthood that Christ restored to the Earth. and that Peter James and John restored to Joseph Smith.
Worthy adult males will eventually receive the Melchizedek priesthood. Through this preisthood members receive many temporal and spiritual blessings. Worthy holders confer the gift of the Holy Ghost, ordain others to the preisthood as assigned, and anoint the sick with consecrated oil, and give blessing of healing and comfort. Fathers have give special blessings to spouse and children, and Home Teachers visit homes of the members and ccan care for and bless individuals and families.
Bishops and Stake Presidents are Judges in isreal and spend most of their time helping those who have sinned. Just like the Priests in the Old Testament, Bishops are not "preachers" but when you become unclean, you had to appear before the priest and he would determine that you should bathe in the river jordan 7 times, After doing this you would return to the priest and be declared ritually clean to return to the temple. in the same way Bishops today do the same work but are more concerned with inward purity.
As memebers of the church we have covenanted to stand as a witness of God in all times, all places. And we should want to share with others the truths that bring us so much hope, and joy. We have been commanded to preach the gospel of Christ to all peopel and give them a chance to accept or reject it. As we live the gospel we can be an example to others, we can also invite others to church, or other activities, or introduce them to the missionaries or give them a pass along card or video or book of mormon. We should pray for others, pray for missionary opportunities, and have have faith and be sure that the Holy Ghost will help us know what to say when we "open our mouths"
Great test of religion and the preisthood is this:
James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspottted from the world"
1 Cor 5:11 "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?"
Posted by David B at 6:22 PM
Monday, September 05, 2011
I was getting my hair cut last week, and I was making the usual small talk with the hair stylist. We were talking about work and family and I told this person that I enjoyed staying home and being with my family. She then asked me when Iwas born and what astrological sign I was. She commented how I must have been a "Cancer" because being a "homebody" was typical of those born under that sign. I told her that I thought it was good to know that there are many others who have the same type of temperment. She then asked me if I had ever looked up my birth chart to see how the planets were aligned. I responded by saying that I thought it was much more important how my life was aligned, then how the planets were aligned. For me, being in right kind of places, and doing the right kinds of things have made all the difference.
Friday, September 02, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
August 20, 2011
Thank you for the DVD. I also enjoyed our conversation and I appreciate your thoughtful study, prayer and concern. As you focus on “God's word” for guidance, I would caution you about what other “anti-Mormon” sources you rely upon for information. Many of these sources contain much misinformation and half-truths. I thoughtfully watched the DVD and made a few notes. The DVD warns about “cognitive dissonance” and seems to try to diagnose LDS as suffering from some kind of mental disorder. I believe that we should beware of false arguments like we should beware of false prophets.
BOOK OF MORMON TESTIFIES OF THE BIBLE
First, to answer your question, “is the Bible inerrant or not?” Yes, the Bible is inerrant. To support this belief, let's read what the Book of Mormon actually says about the Bible. This is the part the DVD producers failed to include.
In this first example, we see at the opening of the Book of Mormon, God reaffirms His pattern of revelation. God has a plan for the salvation of His Children and revels that plan to prophets who record His word in scripture. A prophet Lehi is commanded of God to preach repentance to the people at Jerusalem. God then warns Lehi that he must flee Jerusalem or be killed. Nephi has faith in his Father, and seeks a his own spiritual witness through prayer after reasoning things out. While on their way out of town, Lehi sends his sons back to retrieve the family Bible from a wealthy yet wicked relative so that they could carry the laws, commandments, and covenants of God with them to their new home. After retrieving what is called, the Brass Plates; Lehi prophesies that those words [Old Testament] would go forth to all nations and that they would not “be dimmed any more by time.”
1Nephi 5:18-19 That these plates of brass [Old Testament] should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who were of his seed. Wherefore, he said that these plates of brass should never perish; neither should they be dimmed any more by time. And he prophesied many things concerning his seed.
The DVD uses the Great Isaiah Scroll, which dates to 100 BC, as a proof against the Book of Mormon. In actual fact, the Great Isaiah Scroll is a vindication and validation of the prophecy by Lehi. Whether you believe this prophecy in the Book of Mormon was made by Lehi 600 BC or by Joseph Smith in 1830 AD, the prophecy predicts that the Old Testament would go forth to all nations undimmed from 600 BC. Now we have the Great Isaiah scroll that supports the Book of Mormon claim that the Old Testament books that we possess today has not changed significantly since at least 100 BC.
Next we can read in the Book of Mormon what Lehi's son, Nephi, says about the Old Testament. Nephi does not say that there is anything “corrupt” about the Bible. On the contrary, Nephi clearly says that the Old Testament would come from the Jews to the Gentiles “in purity.” And again, Nephi rightly predicts that although the portion of the Old Testament we would have would be “pure”, some books and prophecies would be missing. Several notable examples of lost books include the Book of Jasher and the Book of Enoch.
1Nephi 13:23-25 And he said: Behold it [Old Testament] proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book [Old Testament] that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles. . . 25 Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.
Now, here is part of Nephi's prophesy that the DVD does discuss:
1Ne 13:29 —because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.
In context, when one considers the many lost books of the Bible, the pseudo-pigripha, the Apocrypha, the example of the “Comma Johanneum,” the hundreds of Bible translations, and the innumerable ways in which people interpret the Bible; it is not difficult to see how Nephi's prophecy accurately describes our lack of a “unity of faith” in the Last Day (Eph 4:11-13).
Joseph Smith, by request, wrote to John Wentworth of the Chicago Democrat a series of articles of faith detailing some of the core LDS beliefs. The 8th article of faith declares that the LDS believe that “the Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly”. Or it could also be said, “interpreted correctly.” This statement is in no way demeaning or degrading the Bible, but is a commentary on the reality of how perception and tradition shape what is considered the “generally accepted” or “scholarly accepted” interpretation of the Bible. There is nothing “corrupt” about the Bible. What has been corrupted is our understanding of it and our living it.
ALMA AND JERUSALEM
The DVD goes on to attack Alma's prophecy that Jesus Christ would be born “at Jerusalem, which is the land of our forefathers” instead of specifying Bethlehem exactly.
Alma 7:10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
Despite the DVD's appeal to authority, I am not sure what the big deal here is. When people ask me where I am from, I say “Augusta, GA.” I usually do not specify Evans exactly unless they are familiar with the area. And this is in spite of the fact that the city of Martinez lies in between Evans and Augusta. The scholar's reaction to Alma's prophecy stems from an assumption that most people are familiar with the specific geography of Israel. However, this was not the case with the Nephites. Nephi tells us that he did not teach his children “after the manner of the things of the Jews.” Therefore, in reality, Alma saying that Jesus would be born “at [the land of] Jerusalem” is more of an internal consistency and not a false prophecy.
2 Nephi 25:5-6 Yea, and my soul delighteth in the words of Isaiah, for I came out from Jerusalem, and mine eyes hath beheld the things of the Jews, and I know that the Jews do understand the things of the prophets, and there is none other people that understand the things which were spoken unto the Jews like unto them, save it be that they are taught after the manner of the things of the Jews. But behold, I, Nephi, have not taught my children after the manner of the Jews; but behold, I, of myself, have dwelt at Jerusalem, wherefore I know concerning the regions round about; and I have made mention unto my children concerning the judgments of God, which hath come to pass among the Jews, unto my children, according to all that which Isaiah hath spoken, and I do not write them.
JOSEPH SMITH TRANSLATION
The DVD criticizes Joseph Smith for his attempt at translating the Bible. While Joseph Smith never, considered this project complete, what is called the “Joseph Smith Translation” is not a translation in the scholarly sense. Joseph Smith did not have access to ancient texts. Instead, LDS consider Joseph Smith's translation more of an inspired commentary, which does not replace or supplant the King James Version.
Why would Joseph Smith feel to change the wording of verses? As time passes, the meaning of the words can change even if their translation does not. Faith is a good example. Today, the word 'faith' has become almost synonymous with the word 'hope.' People often say they have “faith” that their loved one will be healed from a terminal medical condition. However, what they really mean is that they are trying to “maintain hope.” Therefore, in preserving the original meaning and intent of the New Testament writers, Joseph Smith felt it necessary to emphasize that salvation through the grace of Christ involves both faith (belief) and works (action or obedience). It is also important to point out that Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and the LDS Church recognize and testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ.
JOSEPH SMITH AND ZION
Doctrine and Covenants 84:4 records “Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation.” First, the word “shall” and not “will” means this is a command and not an immediate prediction. It is regrettably true that the Saints in that day were not faithful enough to obey this command. Consequently, the church in a sense is wandering in the dessert waiting a more faithful rising generation to realized the blessings of this prophecy. However, when one takes the time to read this command in context, Joseph Smith prophesies in D&C 58 that the wicked would criticize the Saints inability to fulfill God's commandments as unfulfilled prophecy.
D&C 58:31-33 Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled? I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing. Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above.
Second, “in this generation” was said in the same spirit as Matt 24:34. Here Christ foretold many signs which would mark both the destruction of the Temple as well as the Last Day. However, Christ said that all these signs would be fulfilled in “this generation.” The phrase, “In this generation” is found throughout the D&C; and in every case this phrase is used in a broader sense: D&C 6:8, 11:22, 10:33, 11:8, 84:31,
While it is important to not cast Logic out the window, these anti-Mormon propaganda “hit” pieces are carefully crafted tools of the devil to divert you from doing a productive and truthful investigation of the Book of Mormon. Instead of reading the Book of Mormon and focusing on what the Book of Mormon teaches, this DVD distracts you from the true message of the Book of Mormon that Jesus is the Christ.
The Bible equates the sin of Idolatry with Adultery. Pornography and Infidelity like false religion have become a terrible plague that is destroying marriages and families. And it is this demoralization that has led to our complete ideological subversion away from Constitutional principles of self government and personal responsibility. Fixing this nation must begin with a return to traditional family and moral values.
Just like the days of Isaiah and Micah, people are attracted to false prophets and teachers because those teachers do not make the same moral demands, nor do they have the same high expectations that a covenant relationship with God requires. Most people have an inherent appetite for spirituality as well as intimacy. However, many will settle for a counterfeit version if the path appears easier. When it comes to a marriage relationship, the Internet is rarely ever sick or too tired, and never expects you to help wash the dishes. In the same way, many faiths let people go through the motions of religious observance without empowering them to keep the high standards of righteousness a true relationship with Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ requires. Paul details these standards in 1 Cor 5:11 (1 Cor 5:7-12).
The end of the DVD talks about freedom. But what the presenter means is freedom from God's high expectations and freedom from any moral requirements. Yes, Christ accepts us as we are (justification), but he doesn't leave us that way (sanctification). Remember the story of the rich young man? This parable reveals the covenant requirements for sanctification and exaltation. “If thou will be perfect [sanctification], sell all that thou hast, give to the poor, and come and follow me [consecration].”
For me, being LDS helps me and my family live the gospel of Jesus Christ better then any other religion. The LDS allows me to consecrate myself to God and empowers be to live up to the high covenant expectations and moral requirements that a relationship with our Heavenly Father requires. Lastly, the Bible promises that those who add or subtract from scripture will suffer the plagues detailed in the Book of Revelation. Thus far, living the LDS faith has saved me any my family from numerous spiritual and temporal plagues and pitfalls. Part of true religion is its ability to “care for the fatherless and widows” and to keep us “unspotted from the world”. This is another critical test of true religion.
Your brother in Christ,
Saturday, August 06, 2011
The scriptures relate the sin of idolatry (unfaithfulness to God) with adultery (unfaithfulness to spouse). Today's generation faces difficult challenges in both areas. False religion has spread like wildfire all over the world. So too, the plague of pornography is destroying marriages and families. In addition to being a Health Care professional, I am also an authorized spiritual and social therapist (ward missionary, home teacher). And while thinking about why these two sins are such a problem today, I came to the following conclusion.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Elder Robert C. Gay, Area Seventy for the Southeast Area, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to the Augusta, Georgia Stake yesterday and discussed the focus of our newest revision of the LDS Handbook of Instruction to focus on ministering to the one, and not just managing or administering to the ninety and nine.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I was listening to an agnostic author who also was a federal prosecutor for several high profile murder cases today discuss his new book which attacks the Bible, and Christianity and claims that God is unknowable. I am not going to give the authors name or book name because, I don't feel like advertising. And, nothing of what he is saying is any different than the old tired arguments of atheists; try as he might to distance himself from them.
Theists believe in God, Atheists do not. Agnostics say they don't know. However, a newer flavor of agnosticism affirms that you can't know. While average agnostics innocently claim they don't know, these new agnostics say that logic proves that God is unknowable. Agnostics usually argue from a position of moral high ground they call intellectual honesty. Except, then they go on to claim that they know God is unknowable. How can you say anything about what God is or isn't (in this case unknowable), at the same time you claiming you don't know. In my mind, reason suggests that only a truly intellectually honest agnostic would say, I don't know if God exists, and I don't know if it is possible to know if God exists since I don't know anything about God.
After trying to distance himself from Atheists, this author goes on to use the same old atheistic arguments. All of his attacks on God go back to one main issue, "The Problem of Evil." This new agnostic attacks free will by latching onto Calvinism and quotes from Martin Luther and scriptures in the Old Testament and New Testament that have been translated to suggest to some that God made man do evil or good and the idea of Predestination. But this argument assumes that 1. Calvin and Luther's quotes reflect true Christianity. 2. The Bible verse being cited was translated correctly and is being interpreted correctly.
The real attack on God using the "Problem of Evil" attacks God's goodness and all-powerfulness. He claims, that because bad things happen, God can't be all good or all-powerful. He wraps prayer into it saying that God must have not answered the Jews prayers when they were asking for deliverance during the holocaust.
When the interviewer bore witness that He felt he had felt and experienced God in his life, and that God had answered many prayers, the agnostic writer said that he didn't deny that there wasn't some supernatural force at work in the universe, but that supernatural experiences alone were not necessarily a proof for God suggesting some other force could be at work. But then again, he fails to discuss the issue, of first cause, and what created the force at work that is affecting and manifesting itself in your life.
When it comes to the problem of evil, free will, and God's infinite power and goodness; here is the key issue. Only LDS Doctrine can satisfactorily answer this question. That is, if God created our spirits out of nothing, then he created some of us good and some of us bad and then let us loose on each other. If ex-nihlo creation were true, then I would say that #1 some creation were defective therefore God was not all-powerful to create them good in the first place, #2 God knowingly gave evil spirits agency and is an accomplice to evil. or #3 God doesn't know what would happen.
However, according to LDS Doctrine, and Justin Martyr, and the Bible, spirits are eternal and were not created ex nihlo. Spirits and intelligence has always existed and is what it is. It is good or bad inherently. We are here in this life to interact and discover which kind we are, and what we are made of so-to-speak. Only by coming into contact with our opposite, do we comprehend what we are. The Bible says, "Without God, was not anything made, that was made". Which suggests that not everything required making. If it did, God made it. If it was co-eternal like spirit is, then it has existed eternally with Him and didn't require being brought into existence; just being formed and refined. Justin Martyr to Trypho says that God did not make the angels. God said he was I AM THAT I AM, or in other words "The Self-Existent of self-existent." We are all spirit children of God and share His ontology.
Furthermore, the creation story in Genesis does not discuss the creation of the angels. Later in the NT God is called the Father of Spirits. But this does not suggest ex-nihlo. So, the essence of Lucifer (his will) always existed and he was given every opportunity and honor to do good and choose good in the Pre-mortal realm, but used His free will to rebel. God does allow evil to operate, using them for his higher purpose. But this doesn't mean that evil people won't receive punishment for their evil. They will receive the wages of sin that are promised.
Many say God gave us free will. Will is the essence of existence and our eternal nature. But will is not necessarily free to choose or act. So, It is okay to say God gave us free will (freed our will), or agency, but, it is false to say God gave us our will. That would mean God created our essence from nothing and that he brought us into existence and not just bringing our spirits into being which is what the NT suggests again and again in the original Greek.
That said, there is one more important point here. Death and dying is bad and usually painful. Life is good. But we all came to Earth knowing that we would die and that we would be subject to pain and suffering in this life. So we all came to Earth with our eyes open and knowing that Satan was here. We even accepted the veil over our memories. So, we all had proper prior disclosure and informed consent. But in addition, we are promised that Christ's atonement reverses all death and separation from God, and covers all pain. God promises that all our loses will be made up to us. There is no wound he cannot heal. Then we are left to stand before God and be judged based upon our own works based on the knowledge and understanding we had. So, the plan is perfectly legal and just; even for a high-profile federal prosecutor.
Monday, May 09, 2011
In the Old Testament the Lord invited the Elders of Israel to come up into the Mountain with Moses. However, initially as he spoke with them, he caused the elders to stand at the base of the mountain and gave them the 10 Commandments and come other laws and requirements of purification that he expected they observe before coming up into the Holy Mountain. Unfortunately, while Moses was away, the people made the golden calf, and engaged in idol worship. Consequently, a preparatory Law of Moses was given to the people with additional outward rules and requirements of purification to enter the Jewish Temple.
Today, temples and the everlasting gospel are available to all kingdoms, nations, tongues, and peoples, and not just one nation. However, the rules and requirements of individual inward purification are still required. Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:11 says "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat."
Now, while no one is absolutely perfect in this life, their is a minimum standard of holiness and inward purity that we can achieve and which the Lord expects. 1 Cor 5:11 is the basis for the purification requirements of the New Testament Temple:
Fornication: all moral sin is forbidden. All Christian disciples are expected to observe strict abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity within marriage.
Covetous: we are to live God more than money. A wonderful measure and gauge of this is that all Christian disciples are required to pay a full tithing or 10% of their increase to Christ's Church. In the temple we covenant to consecrate and devote all we have to God, but 10% is the minimum to enter the temple. It doesn't make sense to want to covenant to give 100%, when we can't give 10%.
Idolater: All Christian disciples should posses a love and testimony of Jesus Christ as their Savior, as well as their faith and testimony in the Restoration of the Gospel in the Last Days through Joseph Smith which continues on to the present with our current Prophet President Thomas S. Monson.
Railer: Christian disciples worthy of the Lord's House should never be guilty of any type of abuse to wife or offspring.
Drunkard: Isaiah warns us of "following after strong drink" and allowing "wine to inflame us". Similarly, the Word of Wisdom which is the Lord's Latter-day law of health which requires that we abstain from any alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea or any other type of illicit drugs.
Extortioner: We should be honest in all our dealings with our fellow man avoiding any type of lying, cheating, or stealing.
During the time of the Law of Moses, if a Jew were to become unclean, he would have to come before the Priest and confess his uncleanliness, and submit to the requirements of purification, and return to the Priest after fulfilling these requirements and be declared ritually pure to enter into the Temple. Today, the New Testament LDS Bishop serves as a Judge in Israel in the same way the Priest did in the Old Testament. LDS Bishop's are not necessarily "preachers." Sermons and lessons on Sunday are assigned out and given by the members to members. Bishop's are tasked with receiving confession, assisting with repentance and the determination of the requirements of purification, and in determining ritual purity for a person to participate in the rites and ordinances of the gospel such as the Lord's Supper or Sacrament every Sunday and in determining worthiness to go to the LDS Temple. The Bishop also helps with the poor and needy under his stewardship.
Someone asked why the requirements to not drink beer will keep you out of the temple while the Word of Wisdom requirement to "eat food in its season" is not generally observed in America and is not required. The answer is that 1 Cor 5:11 discusses drunkenness as the requirement. Nevertheless, the American people are not immune from the grave health consequences of eating foods loaded with preservatives.
It is well recognized in scripture in D&C 1, that the people of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are far from perfect. The Lord says he is pleased with His church "collectively and not individually". And in another place, the Lord says that the church is under condemnation for neglecting the Book of Mormon. So, it can be said, that the LDS Church is under some degree of condemnation. The people of the church have not become perfected yet and therefore, we are not enjoying all the blessings me might enjoy and will one day enjoy in the Millennium when Christ's Kingdom will become perfected. In a way, we are sojourning through the Deserts of Sinai. I am sure there weren't many converts who saw Israel out in the desert and were attracted to come join God's people as they suffered through their days of chastisement.
Temple, Constitution, and Self-Government
If you really understood and loved the great Constitution of the United States, then you should immediately love the LDS Temple as a great institution and mechanism of freedom and social therapy and rehabilitation. The Money Elite who control this world are ready to destroy the American Empire they have Infiltrated, Corrupted, and Subverted and move on to China. They would like us in America, who will survive the great tribulations that they have already begun to unleash upon us, to believe that Constitutional and Representative Democracy is a failed experiment no more noteworthy than Greece or Rome.
In the mind of the Power and Money Elite, man is incapable of governing himself. According to them, man is corrupt, completely controlled by his passions, and requires some sort of monarchy, or oligarchy to rule over him. The Constitution, on the other hand, is established on the premise that all men are created equal, all men should be subject to the same laws, and that man can and should be able to govern himself. However, as Alexis De'Tocqueville commented in "Democracy in America" the Christian Churches and the peoples faith in Christ is what makes Self Government work.
However, we have seen a failure of Christianity in America. Christian Churches are no longer supporting our Constitutional Government by helping their people to govern their own behavior. While the US does not endorse any one Church over another, we do have a national faith that 1. all men will stand before God to be judged. 2. all men are subject and all laws should support and reflect natural law which is the "golden rule" that no man should do to another when he wouldn't want another to do to him. Instead the Money Elite practice a different golden rule: "he who has the gold makes the rules."
Many Christian churches make no requirements and have no expectations of their people. They do not receive confession, they do not assign punishment, and they do not provide social rehabilitation. Most Churches today allow anyone to go through the motions of Christian observance, without any expectations. You can pretty much do whatever you want, and as long as you haven't been arrested, you can be baptized, and partake of the Lord's Supper unworthily. Sure, many Christian Churches will excommunicate if a particular member commits some terrible crime out of embarrassment, but Churches rarely provide mechanisms which allow people to confess their sins before they become public scandals. Consequently, many people look at the hypocrisy of Christianity and become disillusioned with organized religion altogether.
So, I am not saying that there have never been temple-going LDS members who have never committed a terrible crime. There is nothing to prevent a person from lying to their bishop. And there is nothing about being baptized, or taking the Lord's Supper, or going to the Temple that guarantees Eternal Life by themselves. But, what the LDS Church provides is a great system which provides opportunities for all people to make confession, receive correction, receive social/spiritual rehabilitation and rewards and positively reinforces righteous self-government. The LDS Church will forever uphold the foundation principles of our Constitutional Government.
One of the many complaints against the LDS Temple and it's worthiness requirements, is that so many of the requirements are very socially acceptable behaviors. Because of this, it is very easy for people to excuse themselves and rationalize, "Drinking coffee cannot possibly be all that bad since most of good Christian people I know do it." You cannot tell me that only good little LDS people who go to the temple and refuse coffee are going to be blessed and rewarded more than everyone else. God absolutely hates this argument. In fact, this is precisely the argument that God says make a nation ripe for total destruction.
Mosiah 29: 26-27 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people. And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity (sin becomes socially acceptable), then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.Today, America has and is further undergoing a process of Ideological Subversion and Demoralization. The Power and Money Elite want us to lose faith in the Constitution and America. To do that they need to fill our head with false ideas and propaganda. To get people to accept lies and false propaganda, they need to be corrupted and demoralized. A demoralized person cannot determine truth because truth would cause pierce their conscience and cut them to the very center. The truth tells a wicked demoralized person to change and repent. Change is difficult and painful so, the demoralized person would rather accept lies as reality.
But, the key here is that the real threat to the US is our demoralization and that for the past decades, fornication, pornography, drunkenness, use of other illicit psychoactive substances and drugs is commonplace. The sins of abortion, and same-sex marriage have become false civil rights issues totally neglecting the rights of the child to live and to be raised in a home with both a father and a mother when possible. And if you speak out against the behavior of homosexuality, you are labeled a "homophob" and a "bigot." All these are grave sins, that the true and living God has clearly stated are sinful and are forbidden. While there will aways be a minority of people who struggle with sin and addiction, the problem for America is that we have allowed ourselves to become Demoralized to the point where all these things are now socially acceptable and are not any longer even considered sin.
Why is using any type of psychotropic drug wrong. The brain develops via positive and negative feelings and reinforcement. We are emotional creatures, therefore, good feelings and negative feelings reinforce certain connections in the brain and therefore certain behaviors that lead to better health and better survival fitness. Buy taking psychoactive substances for the purposes of getting "high", this totally short-circuits these mechanisms. In a very real sense, Doing drugs is stealing. You didn't earn that "high" feeling. The feelings of elation should be reserved for moments of accomplishment, discovery, and natural social interactions with family and friends.
Even if you don't believe in God, if you are any student of history, you must recognize that the Power and Money Elite of this world have used the importation of drugs to demoralize, economically drain, and then destroy one empire after another. The economic drain of a nation requires a massive expansion of territory via a military industrial complex to keep an advanced economy going and keep pace with the economic drain from the trade deficit. However, eventually the cost to maintain the trade deficit and the empire becomes to great and the entire Ponzi scheme comes crashing down.
S0, if you love freedom, and you love the Constitution of the United States, come join in the cause to save America by preaching repentance, supporting the re-moralization, and Social and Spiritual Rehabilitation of this country. Many Christians ask why LDS Missionaries preach to other Christians. One main reason is because many Christians require the social and spiritual rehabilitation. LDS Missionaries and Members alike could be considered trained Social and Spiritual Therapist. And we do it all free of charge.
Remember the purpose of the New Testament Temple is inscribed on each one "Holiness to the Lord." The purpose of the LDS Temple is to help reward and reinforce righteous behavior and habits. The covenants and promises of the temple are to consecrate your life to Christ, and to help the poor and needy in exchange for the promise of sanctification or a decrease in the desire for sin. Christ taught the rich young man to have eternal life, "'if thou wilt be made perfect, sell all that thou hast, give to the poor, and come and follow me." Consecration is the covenant of the temple, and Sanctification is the blessing.