Sunday, February 28, 2010

Isaac and Jacob Continue the Covenant Line

Genesis 24–36
The Covenant Line Continues with Isaac and Jacob

man in robes praying

(7-1) Introduction

Why did the Lord choose Isaac and Jacob? How were they chosen to perpetuate the covenant the Lord had made with Abraham? The purpose of this chapter is to assist you in picking out the significant events as the God of Abraham became the God of Isaac and Jacob. You will learn that of the eight sons of Abraham recorded in scripture the Lord singled out Isaac to become the heir to the covenant. Later, God chose Jacob over Esau, even though Esau was the firstborn and seemed to be his father’s favorite.
Isaac and Jacob were foreordained to their responsibilities. Through their personal worthiness, however, they justified their callings in the covenant line. Since the time of these mighty patriarchs, all of the chosen people of the Lord have come through their lineage or have been adopted into their lineage. In the Old Testament, Jehovah is repeatedly called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thus, it is significant that you understand not only who Abraham is but also why the Lord chose Isaac and Jacob to be the first of the house of Israel.
As you begin to study the expansion of the covenant line, remember one thing. Sometimes we tend to oversimplify the concept of a covenant people and the heritage of certain groups of people. For example, we tend to think of the Arabs as descendants of Ishmael or Esau, the Jews as descendants of Judah, the American Indians and South Pacific Islanders as descendants of Laman, and so forth. In broad terms all of these statements are true, of course, but through centuries of intermarriage and conversion, the “pure blood lines” (an impossible term in reality) of the various ancestors have been vastly intermingled. Surely down through nearly four thousand years the descendants of Isaac have intermarried with the descendants of Ishmael and the other sons of Abraham. We know that after the ten tribes were taken into captivity the term Jew was used in a nationalistic sense (to mean a member of the kingdom of Judah) and not just in a tribal sense (to mean a descendant of Judah, son of Jacob). Thus, Lehi, who was of Manasseh (see Alma 10:3 ), and Ishmael, who was of Ephraim (see Erastus Snow, in Journal of Discourses, 23:184–85), were Jews, that is, were living in Judah.
In the Book of Mormon, Lamanite was used in a spiritual sense (to mean one who had apostatized from the truth), as well as in the sense of lineage from Laman (see 4 Nephi 1:38 ). A later example of how blood lines mix is found in the conversion of a whole nation to Judaism in the eighth century A.D. The majority of the people in the kingdom of the Khazars, in what is present-day Russia, became Jews by religion (see Encyclopaedia Judaica, s.v. “Khazars,” 10:944–47). Many modern Jews from Europe can trace their lineage to the Khazars who, before 740 A.D. , were Gentiles.
The black Africans of Ethiopia claim to be descendants of King David through the marriage of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (see 1 Kings 10:1–13 ; Encyclopaedia Judaica, s.v. “Ethiopia,” 6:943). So it is possible that the blood of Israel spread through Africa as well.
Even though there are groups today that could be thought of as predominantly Israel or predominantly Gentile, almost certainly blood of both lines can be found in most peoples of the earth. The important thing is that being Israel, or a covenant person, involves faithfulness as well as blood lineage. Thus, as Nephi said, repentance and faith in the Holy One of Israel is what determines whether one is of the covenant (see 2 Nephi 30:2 ), a concept also taught by Paul (see Romans 2:28–29 ). In other words, while the blood lineage is significant, it can be overridden by one’s own faithfulness or lack of faithfulness. You will see this concept taught from the beginning as you read the early history of the covenant people. 
(Old Testament Institute Student Manual Genesis - 2 Samuel, p. 83)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Sacrifice of Isaac by Hugh W. Nibley

The following is taken from the book, Abraham In Egypt, chapter 7, as posted on the Neal A. Maxwell Institute website:  Click here to read the post.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Truth Woven Into Our Bodies

I have always loved this quote.  I have come to know that it is true and the we become what we love and what we study and put into practice.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Trials Of Living In Abraham's World

Abraham’s World

I've been frantically looking over all sorts of old traditions on the life of Abraham. They have been collected. He is the best documented of all ancient persons. Some say he didn't live. Don't fool yourself; he was a real person. But what a sad story. It was one prolonged horror of great darkness, as Gen. 15 tells us. His life was a continual trial-the ten trials of Abraham. He lived in a world that was a hell. This has been caught up with recently. In recent years Abraham has had great attention because of new documents, etc.

(Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon--Semester 1: Transcripts of Lectures Presented to an Honors Book of Mormon Class at Brigham Young University, 1988--1990 [Provo: Foundation for Ancient Re 83.)

." It's a world famine. It's everywhere; you can't escape. It was bad in Egypt as a matter of fact. Of the ten great famines which afflict the world, according to Jewish tradition, the greatest was that which hit in Abraham's time, the first world famine. This was one of the ten trials of Abraham, the hunger he had to face. Everywhere he goes, he is hungry. The flocks have trouble grazing. They are driven out, etc.

(Hugh Nibley, Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, edited by Robert Smith and Robert Smythe [n.p., n.d.], 3 .)

So here he starts out by saying that he has to leave home. All his life he has to keep going (the ten trials of Abraham). He was never able to settle at all. Remember, he has to rent ground to bury his wife and a tomb at Hebron where Abraham is supposed to be buried. He had to buy the land from the Hittite, Ephron. The Hittites owned that territory at the time. Everywhere he has to keep moving.

(Hugh Nibley, Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, edited by Robert Smith and Robert Smythe [n.p., n.d.], 7.)

The leader of the dispensation was Enoch, whose city of Zion was a tremendous breakthrough and also a "breaking out," the mass evacuation of a polluted planet, due for a thorough purging. "From Noah to Abraham, ten generations" goes the saying, and the world was in darkness again, for Noah's posterity had also gone astray; it was time for God to speak with Abraham face to face, restore the covenants, and organize the church, beginning with his 318 servants.

(Hugh Nibley, Approaching Zion, edited by Don E. Norton [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989], 382.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Adam's and Your Book of Remembrance

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President Spencer W. Kimball on Journal Keeping:
Keep journals and family records. Let us then continue on in this important work of recording the things we do, the things we say, the things we think, to be in accordance with the instructions of the Lord. For those of you who may not have already started your books of remembrance and your records, we would suggest that this very day you begin to write your records quite fully and completely. We hope that you will do this, our brothers and sisters, for this is what the Lord has commanded. (79-20)    

Family home evenings are a most appropriate time and place to engage in such activities [as compiling family histories] and especially to train young children in the art of writing about their lives. (78-27)    

Keeping journals reminds us of blessings. Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity. (78-08)    

Personal history is a teaching tool. We renew our appeal for the keeping of individual histories and accounts of sacred experiences in our lives-answered prayers, inspiration from the Lord, administrations in our behalf, a record of the special times and events of our lives. From these records you can also appropriately draw as you relay faith-promoting stories in your family circles and discussions. Stories of inspiration from our own lives and those of our forebears as well as stories from our scriptures and our history are powerful teaching tools. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grandchildren, and others throughout the generations. (82-01)    

Keep an honest, interesting journal. Again, how happy we are as we find our grandparents' journals and follow them through their trials and joys and gain for our own lives much from the experiences and faith and courage of our ancestors.    
Accordingly, we urge our young people to begin today to write and keep records of all the important things in their own lives and also the lives of their antecedents in the event that their parents should fail to record all the important incidents in their own lives. Your own private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you. Do not suppose life changes so much that your experiences will not be interesting to your posterity. Experiences of work, relations with people, and an awareness of the rightness and wrongness of actions will always be relevant. ...    

No one is commonplace, and I doubt if you can ever read a biography from which you cannot learn something from the difficulties overcome and the struggles made to succeed. These are the measuring rods for the progress of humanity.    

As we read the stories of great men, we discover that they did not become famous overnight nor were they born professionals or skilled craftsmen. The story of how they became what they are may be helpful to us all.    
Your own journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world and how you dealt with them.    

Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are "made up" for a public performance. There is a temptation to paint one's virtues in rich color and whitewash the vices, but there is also the opposite pitfall of accentuating the negative. Personally I have little respect for anyone who delves into the ugly phases of the life he is portraying, whether it be his own or another's. The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative. Even a long life full of inspiring experiences can be brought to the dust by one ugly story. Why dwell on that one ugly truth about someone whose life has been largely circumspect?    

The good biographer will not depend on passion but on good sense. He will weed out the irrelevant and seek the strong, novel, and interesting. Perhaps we might gain some help from reading Plutarch's Lives where he grouped forty-six lives in pairs, a Greek and a Roman in each pair. He tried to epitomize the most celebrated parts of their stories rather than to insist upon every slightest detail of them.    

Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life. There may be a flash of illumination here and a story of faithfulness there; you should truthfully record your real self and not what other people may see in you. 
Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available.    
A journal is the literature of superiority. Each individual can become superior in his own humble life.    

What could you do better for your children and your children's children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved?    
Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity. 
Get a notebook, my young folks, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events. (75-52)    

            (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball, p.349-351)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hand and Body of Man

Here is a quote that some asked me to put on the blog:

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Abrahamic Covenant

 Below is a talk that I gave at BYU Women's Converence (April 2003)

Here is a link to the talk if you want the video or audio MP3 click here.

SESSION TITLE: Those Who Are Heirs to the Covenant
PRESENTER: Robert J. Norman (April 2003)

I. Covenants are revealed by God to man in order to exalt man and to bless man with the glory of God. These covenants have been given various names throughout history.
From the Abrahamic covenant to the temple endowment the Lord has instituted covenants for the benefit of His Children. Making, understanding, and keeping these covenants "endows" us with power from on high and sanctifies our souls.

The most exemplary of all covenants is the Abrahamic covenant. Speaking of covenants the Encyclopedia of Mormonism says,

The divine archetypal covenant, of which Abraham's covenant is an example, is the everlasting covenant of the gospel of Jesus Christ. By accepting the gospel, humankind can be redeemed from the doom of death and the blight of sin to enjoy eternal life with God.

Abraham's mission was not new; it was like the mission of Adam, Enoch, and Noah. The same divine power-or priesthood-that gave them authority to promulgate the covenant of divine redemption for God's children in their time was renewed with Abraham and his seed; it was explicitly to be perpetuated by him and his literal and spiritual heirs for all time (Gen. 12:1-3; Abr. 1:18-19; 2:6, 9-11).[i]

In short, the Abrahamic covenant contains all the elements needed for the exaltation of God’s faithful children.

Two major objectives the Lord is seeking to accomplish by giving promises to his children and by having them enter into the Abrahamic covenant are, (1) to establish the earth as a Celestial Kingdom and (2) to cause His children to emulate Himself so that they may enjoy His glory and inherit what He has. In order for man to become like his God he must become sanctified from all sin. Therefore, sanctification from sin must be part of the design of the promises and covenants which God makes with His children.

II. The Abrahamic Covenant incorporates these two objectives.
At first glance the wording of the Abrahamic covenant seems to have nothing to do with turning the earth into a Celestial Glory nor making man like his maker. The two principal promises of the Abrahamic covenant are as follows:

A. The Lord promises Abraham a land of inheritance for ever (Gen. 12:7; 13:15)

B. God also promises Abraham and Sarah posterity as numerous as the dust of the earth

(Gen. 13:16) From (Abraham 2:11) we learn that the priesthood is part of the
promise of this seed.

It isn’t until we get to latter day revelation that we find out the true meaning of these two promises of the Abrahamic covenant.

III. The land as an everlasting inheritance
From latter day revelation we find that the promise of a land of inheritance forever was an inference that the earth was to become the eternal inheritance of the righteous as the Celestial Kingdom. Shortly after the organization of the Church the Lord made the promise to give a promised land forever to the Prophet Joseph Smith and the latter-day saints.

Doctrine and Covenants 38:18-21 reads as follows:

18 And I hold forth and deign to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh;
19 And I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts.
20 And this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever, while the earth shall stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity, no more to pass away.
21 But, verily I say unto you that in time ye shall have no king nor ruler, for I will be your king and watch over you.

This promise contains two elements: (1) This promise land functions as a mortal inheritance for the heirs of the covenant while the earth stands in a mortal probationary state. (2) Then, they again posses the promised land again in eternity, no more to pass away. Thus, the earth has become their land of inheritance forever over which the Lord himself personally reigns as their king.

Therefore, the land of promise was to extend beyond this mortal existence into the world to come and will be the eternal inheritance of the saints. Again, the Lord explains this promise that the earth is to become the Celestial Kingdom in Doctrine and Covenants 88:17-20:

17 And the redemption of the soul is through him that quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it.
[I will read the antecedent for “it” - “the earth” in the next three verses]
18 Therefore, it (the earth) must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it (the earth) may be prepared for the celestial glory;
19 For after it (the earth) hath filled the measure of its (the earth’s) creation, it (the earth) shall be crowned with glory, even with the presence of God the Father;
20 That bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it (the earth) forever and ever; for, for this intent was it (the earth) made and created, and for this intent are they sanctified.

Thus we can see that this part of the covenant reveals the doctrine that earth will be sanctified and will become the eternal inheritance of the heirs according to the covenant.

IV.  Posterity as numerous as the dust of the earth
The second promise, the promise of posterity as numerous as the dust of the earth, at first glance does not appear to be a promise to make man like his God with Godlike power. Again, latter day revelation explains the mystery behind this very import part of the Abrahamic covenant. Doctrine and Covenants 132:29-31 explains:

29 Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.
30 Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins‑‑from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph‑‑which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them.
31 This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.

First and most important, the Lord explains that the Abrahamic covenant exalted Abraham and he now sits enthroned in glory. This part of the covenant gives Abraham and Sarah power to give life throughout the eternities and is indeed the power that makes man like his God. As here explained, it is the power by which our own God is glorified. The God of life shares his power and glory with his faithful children who make and keep their covenants. No wonder Satan attacks parenthood, demeans procreation and motherhood, for it is the very power which most makes us like our God. What a wonderful privilege it is for us to go to the temple to help those who have passed on receive these powerful covenants of godliness. Satan is the avowed enemy of this whole process, as it builds the kingdom of his arch-rival, Jesus Christ.

These promises and covenants are governed and administered by the priesthood of God. He has allowed us to participate in the power of the priesthood for the purposes of our receiving an eternal inheritance and glorification. As our Lord has explained to us in Doctrine and Covenants 84:19-22:

19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.

The Lord makes it clear that the power of godliness is manifested in the ordinances of the priesthood. Later in this same revelation He says, “. . . wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood . . .” (D&C 84:42). Therefore, the Lord has made his sons and daughters equal in receiving the ordinances of the priesthood by having both receive them from someone else that has the power to perform these ordinances. Even though a man holds the priesthood, he is not allowed to perform any ordinances or blessing upon himself. All receive the blessings of the priesthood and the power of godliness equally, by obtaining them from a worthy priesthood holder.

V. The sanctification of man
In order for us to enjoy the blessings that come from the covenants we make with God, we must, like the earth, be sanctified from all unrighteousness. From Alma 40:26 we learn that no unclean thing can inherit the Kingdom of God. Therefore we must be sanctified and be made pure before we can be exalted.

From the scriptures we learn that sanctification is a process that takes the gift of Christ’s atonement and our own efforts. From Moses 6:60 we learn that it is by the blood of Christ that we are sanctified. The Savior’s gift to us in leading to our sanctification is the shedding of His own blood and paying the price for our sins. We are also told in Doctrine and Covenants 43:16 to, “Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power . . .” Our role is to sanctify ourselves so that the atonement may make us clean. What must we do to sanctify ourselves? One of the first commandments that the Lord gave to Adam for his sanctification was the law of sacrifice. Let us read the instructions for this law as given by an angel to Adam:

(Moses 5:6-8.)
6 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
7 And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
8 Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.

Here we see that Adam is asked to give up his will to do all things in the name of his savior, Jesus Christ. As just explained, this will also require continued repentance and prayer. This law established, for us, the name of Christ as the only name whereby we may be saved. All day, every day, we are to be evaluating our deeds to see if they are acceptable to our God as if done by His son, Jesus Christ. Using Christ as the model for our lives, we begin to conform to His spiritual image, thus becoming sanctified and purified from all sin. The Apostle Paul understood this principle when counseling servants in the Roman Empire. His counsel to them was as follows:

(Colossians 3:22-24.)
22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; (an idiom meaning, “not just while they are watching you”) but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Paul clearly teaches these servants to live their life as if they are serving Christ and not their masters. For doing this, they will receive a reward of inheritance in God’s Kingdom, because they served Christ as if he were their master. Here we can see the sanctifying power of this law, because we are doing all that we do as if we are the Savior to please Him and to glorify His name. Therefore, there is no task complex or menial that cannot be accepted for reward in the God’s Kingdom. Everything from serving in the community or the Relief Society to the changing of diapers, or vacuuming the carpet, can be accepted by God as an offering in righteousness. Through this law we come to understand the full meaning of Omni 1:26, which commands:

. . . I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.

Again, we are reminded by the Lord in Doctrine and Covenants 132:9, “Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name?” Through this law our whole lives can be acceptable to our God when done with the right spirit and attitude and in the name of Christ.

The Lord instructed the ancient Israelites that gathered latter day Israel would be sanctified through their temple worship. He explained that in their temple worship they would be accepted by Him and that their offerings would sanctify his name before the heathens:

(Ezekiel 20:40-41.)
40 For in mine holy mountain (metaphor for the temple), in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
41 I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.

The Lord suggests that by Israel living up to their temple covenants they will represent him in purity before the heathen and be sanctified before them. Similarly, he instructed the Nephites in the sermon He gave them at the temple, “(3 Nephi 12:16.) Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

By living the law of sacrifice the way that it was intended, each day can be meaningful, fulfilling and satisfying. We become sanctified by the blood of Christ and by our offering up our wills to do God’s will in the name of His Son. By so doing we earn the reward of eternal inheritance and joy in the Celestial Kingdom. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.”[ii]

VI. Power comes from keeping covenants

We have already been made aware in this presentation that the power of Godliness is revealed in the ordinances of the priesthood even the key of the knowledge of God. The Lord teaches us that as we continue in the keeping of covenants in obedience to His laws we will grow in grace and in the knowledge of truth (D&C 50:40).

President Thomas Monson taught, “The expression ‘Knowledge is power’ is attributed to Francis Bacon, but it had its origin long before his time, in the saying of Solomon that ‘a wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.’ (Proverbs 24:5.)[iii]

The Prophet Joseph Smith also taught, “. . . that knowledge is power; and the man who has the most knowledge has the greatest power.”[iv]

In another talk the Prophet taught this about knowledge:

We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed in the government and laws of that kingdom by proper degrees, until his mind is capable in some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality, and consistency of the same.[v]

Also, the prophet explained the blessings of this endowment of knowledge and power:

. . . He (God) will endow you with power, wisdom, might and intelligence, and every qualification necessary; while your minds will expand wider and wider, until you can circumscribe the earth and the heavens, reach forth into eternity, and contemplate the mighty acts of Jehovah in all their variety and glory.[vi]

VII. Conclusion

Understanding the deep meaning behind the Abrahamic Covenant unlocks the purposes of the endowment with which we have been blessed. We come to know the processes by which we are sanctified and made pure. The knowledge that comes with understanding the blessings of the endowment and the covenants associated with it, expands our minds and has power to move us in the direction of exaltation. This understanding gives us the perspective of our eternal potential and the powers that we can enjoy here in mortality and in the world to come. To those who are heirs according to the covenant and have been endowed the power of godliness has been manifest.

[i].(Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), Vol. 1, p9.)

[ii].(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Five 1842–43, p.255)

[iii].(Thomas S. Monson, Be Your Best Self [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 195.)

[iv].(Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951], 5: 392.)

[v].(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Two 1834–37, p.51)

[vi].(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Four 1839–42, p.163)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Two Trees

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Like all broad highways of life which beckon to that prison, there are allurements that we are ofttimes encouraged to follow. As Father Lehi explained to his son Jacob:      
. . . it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. (2 Nephi 2:15.)      
In other words, he set the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in opposition to the tree of life. The fruit of the one which was "bitter" was the tree of life, and the forbidden fruit was the one which was "sweet to the taste."  (emphasis added)    
            (Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places, p.364)