Saturday, March 27, 2010

Some Items On Resurrection

There was conversation among the Brethren in Nauvoo about whether or not a person received his same bodily elements in the resurrection. Elder Orson Pratt observed that a man's body is constantly changing, losing old cells and producing new ones, and in the course of seven years a complete change has taken place. This would seem to complicate the idea of a literal bodily resurrection and of one getting his own bodily elements in the resurrection. 
In a conference session on Friday, 7 April 1843, the Prophet responded to this concept. The report reads as follows: 
"In response to a comment by Elder Orson Pratt that a man's body changes every seven years, the Prophet replied: 
"There is no fundamental principle belonging to a human system that ever goes into another in this world or in the world to come; I care not what the theories of men are. We have the testimony that God will raise us up, and he has the power to do it. If any one supposes that any part of our bodies, that is, the fundamental parts thereof, ever goes into another body, he is mistaken."10 
            (Robert J. Matthews, Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews: Gospel Scholars Series , p.517-)

The spirits of our children are immortal before they come to us, and their spirits, after bodily death, are like they were before they came. They are as they would have appeared if they had lived in the flesh, to grow to maturity, or to develop their physical bodies to the full stature of their spirits. If you see one of your children that has passed away it may appear to you in the form in which you would recognize it, the form of childhood; but if it came to you as a messenger bearing some important truth, it would perhaps come as the spirit of Bishop Edward Hunter's son (who died when a little child) came to him, in the stature of full-grown manhood, and revealed himself to his father, and said: "I am your son."     
Bishop Hunter did not understand it. He went to my father and said: "Hyrum, what does that mean? I buried my son when he was only a little boy, but he has come to me as a full-grown man-a noble, glorious, young man, and declared himself my son. What does it mean?"     
Father (Hyrum Smith, the Patriarch) told him that the Spirit of Jesus Christ was full-grown before he was born into the world; and so our children were full-grown and possessed their full stature in the spirit, before they entered mortality, the same stature that they will possess after they have passed away from mortality, and as they will also appear after the resurrection, when they shall have completed their mission.     
Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: "You will have the joy, the pleasure, and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit." There is restitution, there is growth, there is development, after the resurrection from death. I love this truth. It speaks volumes of happiness, of joy and gratitude to my soul. Thank the Lord he has revealed these principles to us.     
In 1854, I met with my aunt, the wife of my uncle, Don Carlos Smith, who was the mother of that little girl that Joseph Smith, the Prophet, was speaking about when he told the mother that she should have the joy, the pleasure, and the satisfaction of rearing that child, after the resurrection, until it reached the full stature of its spirit; and that it would be a far greater joy than she could possibly have in mortality, because she would be free from the sorrow and fear and disabilities of mortal life, and she would know more than she could know in this life. I met that widow, the mother of that child, and she told me this circumstance and bore testimony to me that this was what the Prophet Joseph Smith said when he was speaking at the funeral of her little daughter.     
One day I was conversing with a brother-in-law of mine, Lorin Walker, who married my oldest sister. In the course of the conversation he happened to mention that he was present at the funeral of my cousin Sophronia, and that be heard the Prophet Joseph Smith declare the very words that Aunt Agnes had told me.     
I said to him, "Lorin, what did the Prophet say?" and be repeated, as nearly as be could remember, what the Prophet Joseph said in relation to little children. The body remains undeveloped in the grave, but the spirit returns to God who gave it. Afterwards, in the resurrection, the spirit and body will be reunited; the body will develop and grow to the full stature of the spirit; and the resurrected soul will go on to perfection. So I had the statement of two witnesses who heard this doctrine announced by the Prophet Joseph Smith, the source of intelligence.     
            (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith, compiled by John A. Widtsoe, p.445-,456-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Star Parker's Personal Experience With Socialism and Capitalism

Star Parker is an syndicated columnist that shares her experience as a poor black woman on welfare in America and her transition out of poverty.

 (Click here to read her article)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Abraham Chapter Three Is From A Specific Point Of View

Hugh Nibley points out that Abraham chapter three is only a view from where Abraham stands. 

Notice in the third chapter verses three, four, five, six, seven, and nine, he repeats that you must always understand what you are seeing in terms of the earth on which thou standest, from where you view it. You don't see things from above or with the eye of God that embraces all things at once. You have a limited point of view, and that's going to restrict you. So throughout that third chapter, he says things like: "And I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God [there's a multitude of beings, verse 2 ]." Then he says here, "I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest [verse 3 ]." So  Abraham  lives on a particular order that belongs to a particular star. We know that the sun is a particular kind of star of a particular order. This is the order to which  Abraham  belongs, where he stands at present. This is where he is now, and he says everything has to be seen from that point of view. In the next verse you notice, after his manner of reckoning, a thousand years, according to the time of your order, "unto that [order] whereon thou standest [verse 4 ]." In the next verse he says, "The planet which is the lesser light, lesser than that which is to rule the day, even the night, is above or greater than that upon which thou[standest[here is a planet greater than that upon which thou standest, verse 5]." Again this formula, "the earth upon which thou standest," is used twice here. So it used seven times in this one chapter. It always specifies that all your reckonings and all your views and pictures of the universe are only what can be seen from the place where you are standing. And this, of course, is a very important principle today. It's the anthropic principle. It has become absolutely basic in astronomy in the last ten years or so. It's new and it's extremely important. Seventh verse, "reckoning of the time of the earth upon which thou standest." Again, the ninth verse, "Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God to govern all those planets which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest." Notice, Kolob doesn't govern all the planets in the universe, only those of the same order that concern Abraham. So he is shown Kolob for that purpose, because it concerns him. Then in eleven and twelve, "Thus I, Abraham, talked with the Lord face to faceand he told me of the works which his hands had made, And he said unto me: My son, my son (and his hand was stretched out), behold I will show you all these. And he put his hand upon mine eyes, and I saw those things which his hands had made, which were many [the same hand that had made all these things] and they multipled before mine eyes, and I could not see the end thereof." We can make it very plain here what the situation  is.  Then in verse 13 it talks about Abraham's local system: This is Shinehah, which means in Egyptian, one eternal round. Shenha means to go around forever. This is the sun, and that is what the Egyptians call it. "And he said unto me: Kokob" That's the Hebrew word for a star. It's a very interesting word, the same as the Babylonian word and the Arabic word also, Kakkabum and Kawakibu "And he said unto me: Kokaubeam, [that which is the plural of Hebrew], which signifies stars, or all the great lights, which were in the firmament of heaven." So here we are getting local systems and all the rest of it. Then we are told about the council in verses 21-28 of this same chapter where they get together and start making things. We are talking about plurality now, not about the creation.     
            (Hugh Nibley, Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, edited by Robert Smith and Robert Smythe, p.5)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Egyptian Papyri

The Church purchased four mummies from Michael Chandler.  The papyri that the Prophet Joseph Smith translated were with the mummies.  (click on the images below to enlarge them)

The Church acquired 11 fragments from the papyri in 1967
 These fragments fit into larger scrolls.

As a boy President Joseph F. Smith saw one of the scrolls in the Mansion House where the Prophet and his wife lived.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Joseph As A Type For Christ

(picture taken from the Institute Old Testament Student Manual Genesis - 2 Samuel p. 96)

Joseph served as a type for Christ in the following ways: I) Both were granted a new name: Joseph was denominated Zaphnath-paaneah by Pharaoh  (Gen. 41:45) Jesus' divine name was Christ. 2) Both were good shepherds. 3) Both were known as the most loved of their father. 4) Both were clothed in authority and power of their father. Joseph, for instance, was given the "coat of many colours"  (Gen. 37:3),  a symbol of priesthood authority. 5) Both were revelators, and revealed things pertaining to the future (JST,  Gen. 50:24-38;  Matt. 24).  6) Both were fully obedient to the will and wishes of their fathers and responded to their calls to serve, saying, "Here am I"  (Gen. 37:13;  Abr. 3:27).  7) Both were promised a future sovereignty, speaking equally of a temporal and an eternal role. 8) Both were betrayed by their brothers, at which time they were stripped of their garments. 9) Both were cast into a pit-Christ to the world of spirits, Joseph into an empty cistern. 10) Both were betrayed with the utmost hypocrisy  (Gen. 37:27;  John 18:31).  11) Both were sold. It was Judah that sold Joseph for twenty pieces of silver  (Gen. 37:26-28),  as it was Judas (Greek for Judah) who sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver  (Matt. 26:15).  12) The blood-sprinkled coat of each was presented to his father. Joseph's coat of many colors was dipped in the blood of the goat  (Gen. 37:31-32) the blood of Jesus Christ as the blood of the scapegoat, a sin offering, was symbolically presented to the Father. 13) Both blessed those with whom they labored in prison  (Gen. 39:21-23;  D&C 138).  14) Both were servants, and as such all that they touched were blessed. 15) Both were tempted with great sin and both refused its enticements  (Gen. 39;  Matt. 4:1-11).  16) Both were falsely accused: Joseph by Potiphar's wife, Christ by false witnesses. 17) Both stood as the source of divine knowledge to their day and generation. 18) Both were triumphant, overcoming all. 19) Both were granted rule over all  (Gen. 41:40;  1 Pet. 3:22).  20) Both were thirty years old when they began their life's work  (Gen. 41:46;  Luke 3:23).  21) Both were saviors to their people, giving them the bread of life. Joseph saved his family with a temporal salvation; Christ as the Bread of Life saves the family of mankind with a spiritual salvation. 22) The rejection of both brought bondage upon the people. 23) Both were unrecognized by their people  (Gen. 45:3-5;  D&C 45:51-53).  24) Both would be recognized and accepted by their brothers only at the "second time"  (Acts 7:13;  D&C 45:51-53).  25) As Joseph's brothers bowed to him in fulfillment of prophecy, so all will yet bow the knee to Christ  (Gen. 43:26-28;  D&C 76:110).  26) Through both, mercy is granted to a repentant people. As Joseph's brothers sought forgiveness of him, so Christ's brothers will eventually seek forgiveness of him. 27) After the reconciliation, Israel is gathered. Having manifest himself to his brothers, Joseph charged them to return and bring their father and families to Egypt. So it shall be in the last days. After Israel have returned to their God, they, like Joseph's brothers, shall be sent to bring all the family of Israel into the kingdom ruled by Christ. (Adapted from Joseph Fielding McConkie, Gospel Symbolism, pp. 30-36.)        
            (Joseph Fielding McConkie and Donald W. Parry, A Guide to Scriptural Symbols , p.72)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The City of Enoch and The New Jerusalem

In the great day of restoration-a day that has commenced, but in which many things yet remain to be restored-there will finally be two world capitals, both called Zion, both called Jerusalem. One shall be the seat of government, the other the spiritual capital of the world, for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:1-5.) That is to say, Jerusalem of old shall be restored, built up anew in glory and beauty, according to the promises, and also, another Jerusalem, a New Jerusalem, shall be established. Moroni tells us "of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven," and of "the holy sanctuary of the Lord." He says that Ether wrote both of this New Jerusalem, which should be upon the American continent, and of the restoration of the Jerusalem in the Old World, the one whence Lehi came. "And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth," the account says; "and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new. And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb. . . . And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham." (Ether 13:1-12; 3 Ne. 20:22; 21:23-24.)  
That the New Jerusalem, the latter-day Zion, the Zion to which Enoch and his city shall return, shall be in Jackson County, Missouri, has been set forth plainly in latter-day revelation. (D&C 84:1-4.) Of this millennial Zion, the New Testament apostle says: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:1-4.)  
To complete our vision of the concept of holy cities, as the New Testament account records, there will also be a day a celestial day, when this earth becomes a heaven in the full, complete and eternal sense, when the celestial New Jerusalem shall be with men. It was John, also, who saw this "holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God." This is the city having twelve gates and twelve foundations, "and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." This is the city with streets of pure gold, "as it were transparent glass." Of it John says: "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Rev. 21:10-27.)  
            (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols., 1:, p.95-96)