Friday, July 11, 2014

The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Freedom

Covenants and ordinances: I think its important to talk about the big picture---- ie. why we do them.

1. Purpose of life is a test to see if we love God and will do His will over our own will: "Not as I will but as Thou wilt".
2. Life is body driver's education where we learn to control our bodies. Our spirits need to drive our bodies and not our bodies drive our spirits.
3. God gave us weaknesses so that we will be humble and look to God for help.
4. The body is weak and has a tendency to sin. The natural man is an enemy to God. Just because we may have a tendency or predisposition to sin is not an excuse to do it.
5. Covenants help make our weaknesses strong
6. My body wants to do this, but I promised God I would do something else.
7. Eating vegetables is essential for good health but children don't necessarily come into this world liking them. But children can be trained and acquire a taste for them.
8. Likewise, people dont come into the world wanting to keep Gods commandments (dont drink alcohol, no steady boy friend before college). But, like vegetables, temple ritual and covenants are designed to help us acquire a taste for keeping the commandments.
9. We participate in entering into covenants using our whole body. (ritual) Ordinances change who we are until the point that we no longer desire sin and have no more disposition to do evil.
10. The gospel is not "Chuck-o-Rama" were we pick and choose only those commandments which please us. Instead, the gospel is a well balanced meal where we are expected to even take the spiritual spinach and leave a clean plate. -Elder Maxwell
11. When God freed Israel from slavery the first thing He did was give them commandments to preserve their freedom.  Commandment free us not restrict us.
12. Satan enslaves us through sexual sin and chemical addiction.
13. Sexual sin and chemical addiction creates poverty in the world via broken families, illigitimacy and idleness. Evil men can take advantage of the poor in a democracy by instituting socialism that gives the poor money (symptomatic treatment) but doesn't address the problems of virtue that are the root cause of poverty. (how Greece and Rome fell-- Pres. Monson Ensign July 2013)
14. Pure religion in James 1:27 is welfare and virtue. The bishop will give you needed food and money but will also adress the virtue issues. Government does not which "enables" the poor and makes them dependent on government for a continual bailout instead of reform and rehabilitation and return to productivity and self-reliance. Religion in America needs to start doing its job so people don't need to turn to government handouts.
15. Only a "return to virtue" can save our nation and Constitutional government.
16. If you want to "defend the constitution", serve a full-time mission and spread the gospel and the principles of virtue and freedom. 
17. There is no such thing as missionaries being "called home to defend the Constitution". Missionaries are already 
defending the Constitution by spreading a message of virtue and family values.
18. The Book of Mormon teaches that "the Spirit of God is the spirit of freedom".
19. The Temple and its covenants and ordinances are the way God effectively passes on faith, virtue, spiritual and moral values on to the next generation. That is why we should have a picture of the temple in our children's room and the temple is to be a symbol of our faith.
20. Keeping God's commandments (chastity and sobriety) is the only source of true peace, prosperity and safety. If you believe that prosperity or peace comes in any other way, then you serve a false god.  Isaiah warned "Woe unto the drunkards of Ephraim" (Isa. 28).

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