Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

Here is an outstanding video and warning to America by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn.  He is a Messianic Jew - meaning he has converted to Jesus Christ as his Savior and the Messiah.  I love these converted Jews because they bring to us a unique view of the Old Testament.  I have his book, The Harbinger.  However if you watch the first 50 minutes of this video you will not need to read the book.  There are way too many incidents involved in 9/11 associated with Isaiah 9:10 to be  a coincidence.  He makes a powerful case that 9/11 was meant to be a wake up call to America to return to God.  Isaiah 9:10 is a negative scripture meant to defy the God of Israel and the curse that He had placed on them because they were turning from Him. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Family Watch International update

Here is an update from Family Watch International.  It seems like those trying to lead a righteous, spiritual life are being thwarted and attacked from every direction.  Sharon Slater (head of Family Watch International) tirelessly works to keep the United Nations from destroying the family and gender identification.  Here is her update:

The Deceit of Sex-Obsessed Nations at UN

Dear Robert,
I am tired.  I am sick and tired of the sexual garbage that is being pushed via the UN onto the developing world by rich Western countries.   
This past month the attacks by sexually obsessed UN agencies and some Member States have been more aggressive and deceptive than ever, so we have had to step up our efforts to help developing nations uncover and defeat them.  
What has been happening this past month at the UN is truly insane.
Here is a summary of the good, the bad and the ugly.   
First, we received an urgent email from a UN diplomat warning us about a deceptive ploy to establish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender “rights” in a UN General Assembly resolution on youth.  Sexual rights activists were trying to get nations to endorse the radical Bali Global Forum Youth Declaration.  This troublesome declaration was facilitated by International Planned Parenthood and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). 
The Bali Declaration purports to represent what all the youth of the world want, and among other things, says the world’s youth are demanding that governments grant them abortion on demand and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.  It even claims that the youth of the world want prostitution to be legalized!
You would think that such an outrageous document would be laughed at by all clear thinking policymakers, but this was no laughing matter.  A number of developed countries were pressuring developing countries to accept these sexual “wrongs” as sexual “rights.”
The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) was involved in this scheme and posted the Bali Global Youth Forum Declaration on their website here as though it were a UN consensus document.  This was highly irregular and angered many of the delegations we alerted.
This Declaration is so controversial that the country of Indonesia, which innocently co-sponsored the youth forum in Bali where the document was created, has now disassociated from it.   
The proposed youth resolution also sought to establish LGBTQI “rights” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and intersex) for the world’s youth, as well as a right to  controversial comprehensive sexuality education, which is really just a euphemism for education to mainstream LGBT sex and abortion rights education. 
Then we received word from another UN delegate that the United States and a few allies would be proposing “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in a resolution on “the situation of women in rural areas.”  This is some of the most controversial language because it would protect “sexual rights.”  This undefined term can be interpreted basically to protect sexual anarchy.
Then, if that weren’t enough, the resolution being negotiated on the “rights of the girl child” was polluted with a reference seeking to advance the notorious Comments 14 and 15 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.  You may recall that we rallied nations at the Human Rights Council in Geneva in June to reject these comments in a resolution on preventing death in children under five. 
But these people are relentless and are continually trying to insert this garbage wherever they can, hoping that everyone will be too busy keeping up with so many resolutions that they will eventually get something slipped in.  Click here to read our previous alert outlining how these Comments are especially bad because they seek to grant, among other things, sexual and reproductive freedom to children of all ages.
Now, you might think I am done with the ugly section, but I am not.
We received an urgent plea from yet another delegate informing us that the resolution on the family to kick off the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family was being corrupted by the European Union (EU), Brazil, the U.S., and other liberal countries with hostile amendments seeking to redefine the family.  
And finally, we were also alerted to a serious problem with a resolution on protecting “women human rights defenders.”  This resolution is filled with multiple references to gender including “gender oppression,” “gender dimension,” “gender-sensitive,” and “gender rights,” etc.
Norway, which facilitated the resolution, refused to let nations actually negotiate it.  They insisted instead that each delegation could only make one comment per paragraph and rejected any proposals that would define gender as male or female or define what kind of rights these so called women human rights defenders are supposed to be protecting and defending.
Family Watch did some research and found that page 16 of the Foreign Ministry Guidelines of Norway calls for the protection of: “Those working for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people” as a subcategory of  “women human rights defenders” who are at particular risk.”  In other words, Norway, through this resolution, was trying to force their national LGBT policies on all UN Member States.
We also found that the UN-appointed expert called a “Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders” has been abusing her official mandate and is trying to use her position to advance LGBT “rights” as well as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which considers “human rights defenders” to include those who promote the rights of “sexual minorities” (i.e., lesbians, gays, transsexuals, bisexuals, etc.). 
So what happened in all these battles?
We are pleased to announce that a number of UN Member States, mostly G77 countries, (mostly developing nations) from Africa, the Caribbean, and Islamic countries, along with Russia, achieved the following hard won victories after intense battles.
They doggedly refused to accept the unacceptable especially when it came to sexualizing children and won these victories:
  • The references to the Bali Declaration and the LGBTQI rights were removed from the youth declaration.
  • The references to Comments 14 and 15 from the CRC Committee granting sexual and reproductive freedom to children were removed from the child’s rights resolution.
  • The reference to “sexual and reproductive rights” was removed from the social inclusion resolution.
  • References seeking to redefine the family were removed from the resolution on the family.
The Third Committee of the General Assembly, the committee that deals with these kinds of issues, is still negotiating some of these resolutions, and then they still have to be adopted at a formal session of the General Assembly.
We pray that none of the pro-family victories above are reversed before they are adopted.
Surely the children of the world would be better served if the liberal nations and rogue UN agencies stopped pushing LGBT rights and the sexualization of children as the answer to every world problem and instead focused on their true needs.
Pro-family citizens around the world owe a huge debt of gratitude to the valiant and dedicated delegates who are holding the line right now in defense of the family and family values at the UN.
Family Watch will continue to assist these delegates in whatever way we can to stop the continual assaults on the health and innocence of children.
Sincerely, Sharon Slater
Sharon Slater

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Was The Government Shutdown Planned Months Ago?

Subject:   Storming the Barricades in Washington
I have worked in the government on and off for 40 years. During that time I became quite familiar with requisitions, bidding, awarding contracts etc. It is a time consuming process with bean-counters and pencil-necked bureaucrats every step of the way. The simplest request takes months.. not days or hours.
Now follow me please.. let it sink in of what it takes...... In less than 8 hours of the shutdown, miraculously, professionally printed 3X4 foot signs appeared all over the country in the tens of thousands saying this [park, facility, etc. with custom logos for EACH parks name on it] was closed due to government shutdown.. let THAT sink in...
There has not been a government shutdown in 17 years. These signs were designed, specifications were determined, signs were then requisitioned, bids were posted and vetted, government contracts were awarded...... in 8 HOURS!!
The materials were then ordered and the signs manufactured then distributed by U. S. Mails or freight companies.. the fastest they could possibly have had them would be over-night...... ALL of this in EIGHT HOURS!!!!

Something as simple as a sign PROVES This shutdown was orchestrated and planned well in advance at least 6-8 month ago.
Millions of tax dollars were appropriated and spent in this process.... in 8 hours
There is a paper trail a mile long leading directly to the White House.. Like that's a big surprise...

However, something as simple as a freshly painted sign being made AND SHOWN in just a few hours raises suspicion... it seems like a simple overlook to everyone else, but after 40 years of Government work I knew the TRUTH was right there driven into the ground, or posted at the Main gate. Let me remind you, 10's of THOUSANDS were made! With the Parks names on them!! Common sense must kick in at some point. At LEAST 6 to 8 months ago.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Priesthood and the Feminist Movement

Here is an open letter by Maurine Proctor the founder of Meridian Magazine.  This is something to contemplate.

An open letter. Click here

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stake Missionary Preparation Class Article

For those in the Stake Missionary Preparation Class here is a link to the article "The Golden Plates and The Feast of Trumpets."

The Golden Plates and The Feast of Trumpets

Monday, August 5, 2013

Expanded View Of The Degrees Of Glory

David Larson has just posted a very interesting post in which he integrates the kingdoms of glory as found in D&C sections 76 and 88 with a diagram produced by Elder Orson Hyde and material from the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It is certainly something to ponder.

Double click below to see the post:

David Larson post

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Gospel Preached To All

Gospel Doctrine Lesson #41
“Every Member A Missionary”
Written By: Robert J. Norman

Missionary work is as old as the history of the world.  From the first generations of time the righteous were called upon to be missionaries to their own kindred.  Adam, himself, was commanded by God to be a missionary to his own children, “And Adam hearkened unto the voice of God, and called upon his sons to repent” (Moses 6:1).

Adam’s righteous posterity followed the great example of their father:

And they were preachers of righteousness, and spake and prophesied, and called upon all men, everywhere, to repent; and faith was taught unto the children of men. (Moses 6:23)

Missionary work has forever been under the direction of the House of Israel to whom belong the keys for that work.  As the Apostle Paul taught, Israel would have the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises (Romans 9:4).  The Lord declared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and the early elders of the Church that they were lawful heirs according to the flesh (D&C 132:30-31; 86:8-11). 

Elder Bruce R. McConkie expands on the doctrine that missionary work is from the beginning of time:

From Adam down, whenever the Lord has had a people on earth who would receive his word and hearken to his voice, he has had among them "preachers of righteousness" who have spoken, prophesied, taught faith, and called upon men to repent. (Moses 6:23.) These preachers, these teachers, these personal representatives of the Lord in heaven have made known to the residue of men the things which must be done to return to the Eternal Presence. That the Son of God, ministering as a mortal, should be the preeminent Preacher of Righteousness, the greatest Teacher ever to grace the earth, is an obvious and self-evident reality. As the Chief Prophet and the Presiding Apostle, as the Pattern and Exemplar in all things, it follows that he was destined to be the Master Teacher whose message and methods would set the perfect standard for all apostles, all prophets, all preachers of righteousness, all teachers, of all ages. And so, as we would expect, we find prophetic pronouncements in profuse abundance telling of the teaching ministry of the Messiah, and we find in the life of our Lord a flow of spoken words and performed deeds that woven together comprise the greatest teaching labor ever performed among men on this or any of the endless creations of Him whose we are.[i]

The Lord promised Abraham that the gospel would always be given first to his literal seed and then be taken, as a blessing, to all the world:

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;

And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.  Abraham 2:9-11

Moses reiterated the missionary responsibility of the House of Israel when he gave blessings to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh:

His glory [is like] the firstling of his bullock, and his horns [are like] the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they [are] the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they [are] the thousands of Manasseh.  (Deuteronomy 33:17)

Here it is prophesied that Ephraim and Manasseh would be the two main tribes responsible to, “push the people together to the ends of the earth.”  The Lord used this phrase when instructing the early missionaries in the Church (see D&C 58:45).  The LDS Bible dictionary says, “Epharaim was given the birthright in Israel (1 Chr. 5:1-2; Jer. 31:9), and in the last days it has been the tribe of Ephraim’s privilege first to bear the message of the restoration of the gospel to the world and to gather scattered Israel.  (See entry on Ephraim)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie further explains this concept:

How shall Israel be gathered? First will come the conversion and gathering of the tribe of Joseph. Then Joseph shall gather the other tribes. "His horns are like the horns of the unicorns [wild oxen]: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth." It will not be an easy work. Every lost sheep must be taught the gospel; every new convert must believe the Book of Mormon; all must repent and forsake the world and come voluntarily, often in the face of great opposition, into the latter-day kingdom of the God of their fathers. Missionaries must labor with zeal and in the face of great odds. They must "push the people together." And who shall do this work? Moses says: "They are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh." (Deuteronomy 33:17.) And such is an apt and accurate definition of the missionary force of the great latter-day kingdom.[ii]

Already "the ten thousands of Ephraim, and... the thousands of Manasseh" have been pushed together from "the ends of the earth." (Deut. 33:13-17.) Already there has been some political preparation for the future return of the Jews, an event which shall finally occur when they accept Christ. (2 Ne. 10:7-9.) And in due course the one who holds the keys shall direct the return of the ten tribes from the land of the north. With "their rich treasures" they shall come to their American Zion to "be crowned with glory" by "the children of Ephraim," who already have assembled at the Lord's house in the tops of the mountains. (D. & C. 133:26-35.) And finally, in a millennial setting, the full political kingdom shall be restored. Then shall "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,... be given to the people of the saints of the most High"; then shall the kingdom be "an everlasting kingdom"; and then "all dominions shall serve and obey" Christ the King of Israel. (Dan. 7:27.)

How evident it is that the true Church and kingdom of God on earth must know the doctrine of the gathering of Israel, and must have the power to do the mighty work involved, the work which will build up and establish, in all its glory and perfection, the long-desired government. Where this knowledge and power is, there the true Church of Christ is found; and where these things are not, there the true Church of Christ is not.[iii]

The Book of Mormon was designed by the Lord to play a powerful role in missionary work during the last days.  It is the tool the Lord designed to bring his children back to Him, both Israel and Gentile.  Isaiah 29 lists some of the great things that the Book of Mormon will do for missionary work:
1.  Cause the spiritually deaf and blind to hear and see. (Verse 18)
2.  Cause to meek and poor (in spirit) to increase their joy in Christ and rejoice in him.                   (Verse 19)
3.  Cause to House of Israel to come back to Christ and sanctify his name. (Verse 23)
4.  Bring understanding and doctrine to those who have erred in spirit and who have                             murmured. (Verse 24)

Elder Hyrum M. Smith and Brother Janne M. Sjodahl have this to say about the Book of Mormon as a missionary tool:

 The Book of Mormon is a marvelous work, no matter from what angle it is viewed. It was marvelous because it was brought to light by immortal hands. It was marvelous that a young man, with only a limited school education, and poor as far as this world's riches go, should be called upon to translate and publish it. It is marvelous in the story it tells, the teachings it gives and the prophecies it contains. It is marvelous in the effects it has produced. It has encountered the most bitter opposition. Is it because it is a fable? No, there are many works of fiction, ranging all the way from Aesop's far-famed Fables, or the Arabian Nights, down to Cervantes' Don Quixote, Rider Haggard's He, or Muenchausen's absurdities; but none of them has aroused a storm, except the Book of Mormon. That sacred volume is not fable. Owing to its influence, thousands upon thousands of God's children have been saved from spiritual and temporal poverty, degradation, and sin, and lifted up to the highest level. The prediction of Isaiah has been fulfilled literally, "The deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One in Israel" (Isaiah 29:18, 19). However, the marvelous work is not confined to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, but has reference to all that pertains to the restoration in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.[iv]

Elder Neal A. Maxwell has some deep insights as to what the phrase means that Isaiah used when he said, “. . . they that murmured shall learn doctrine” (Isaiah 29:24):

We do know, individually, that we shall have a bright recollection of our guilt and a perfect remembrance of our past. (Alma 5:18; 11:43.) If needed, there could be a collective equivalent in which human folly is graphically recounted, so that all will be forever disabused of any mistaken, provincial, or lingering notions about what really happened during the second estate.

Very importantly, we know that our memories of the first estate will eventually be fully restored; and, upon regaining our premortal perspectives, we will acknowledge that we did indeed come here under certain conditions to which we earlier agreed—with the risks and rewards adequately explained beforehand.

Only with such a final cleansing of our perceptions about mortality could we then, profitably and without disabling backward glances, get on with immortality and eternal life. Perhaps this is part of what it means when a prophet said, "they that murmured shall learn doctrine." (Isaiah 29:24.)[v]

President Spencer W. Kimball had a powerful vision of missionary work:

We must teach the world. We must teach the gospel. The duty of teaching the world is clearly that of the Church and especially that of the Twelve, and those sent by them. (68-06)

Evangelistic harvest is always urgent. The destiny of man and of nations is always being decided. Every generation is crucial; every generation is strategic.

We may not be responsible for past generations, but we cannot escape the full responsibility for this one, and we have our time and our generation and our missionaries and our great potential. (74-14)

Is it not time that we sent out a great army, not of uniformed men, but an army of missionaries to preach repentance to a world that is dying? (55-09)

Our objective as the Lord's army of missionaries is to (1) warn the world, (2) bring about conversions, (3) baptize people, (4) organize membership, (5) teach and train, and (6) develop activity toward (7) stake organizations. (68-08)

Your faith and knowledge of truth are the result of missionary work of days gone by, which you can repay only by giving to others the same opportunities. Hence it is well for every worthy and prepared young man, as he grows up, to desire mightily to fill a mission. Of course, there is no compulsion. Each person makes up his mind on this matter as he does in receiving the priesthood, paying his tithes, marrying in the temple, serving in the Church. He ought to do all these things, but has his free agency. (73-03)

We must warn the world. We are not interested in numbers. They are secondary. We are interested in warning the nations of the world. I believe we have not scratched the surface. We are like the person who said, "Pull up the ladder; I'm aboard." (74-29)

Our goal is nothing less than the penetration of the entire world. Our new office building is a world building with four giant maps, each showing a particular part of the globe. We are not promised that the whole world will believe. Evangelization of the world does not mean that all men will respond, but all men must be given the opportunity to respond as they are confronted with the Christ. (74-29)

We do not need to baptize all the world, but we do need to warn them and bring to their attention, in an effective manner, the blessings available to them, and the regrets and deprivations which will follow a rejection of the plan of salvation. (58-09)[vi]

President Gordon B. Hinckley has great expectations of missionary work by Church members:

I believe . . . with all my heart that the field is white ready to harvest. . . . I think the answer to an increased number of converts does not lie particularly in our methods—effective as those methods are. Rather, I think we are living in the day of the fulfillment of the word of the Lord given through the Prophet Joel, and repeated by Moroni in his first visitation to the Prophet Joseph.

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. . . ." (Joel 2:28.)

. . . Great and magnificent as is the work of the . . . missionaries who have been set apart, I am convinced that we have a far greater force for teaching the gospel to the world in the membership of the Church—"every man a missionary"—as has been said here so convincingly tonight. "Every man a missionary!" (Conference Report, April 1961, pp. 87-88.)

I think every member of the Church has the capacity to teach the gospel to nonmembers. I was told the other day of a crippled woman, homebound, who spends her days in a wheelchair, who has been the means of bringing thirty-seven people into the Church. . . . We need an awareness, an everyday awareness of the great power that we have to do this thing.

Second, a desire. I think many of us realize that we could do it, but we lack the desire. Let every man single out another, a friend. Let him get on his knees and pray to the Lord to help him bring that man into the Church. I am as satisfied as I am of anything that with that kind of prayerful, conscientious, directed effort, there isn't a man in this Church who could not convert another. . . .

Third, the faith to try. It is so simple. . . . This is not complex. It is simple. We have in the Northern Far East Mission of the Church today a beautiful and capable Japanese girl, born in Honolulu. I said to her, "Were your folks members of the Church?" "No, they were Buddhists." "How is it then that you are here?" She said, "I had a high school friend who took me to Mutual once a week and then gave me a tract to read." That girl went on to the University of Hawaii and then to Illinois Wesleyan University, from which school she was graduated. Today she is a missionary in Japan. ("Ready to Harvest," Improvement Era, July 1961, p. 508.)

It is an inspiring experience . . . to witness the manner in which the Lord is weaving the tapestry of his grand design in those foreign parts of the earth. He is gathering his children there as elsewhere—"one of a city and two of a family." He is remembering the promises made of old as he works among those who have seen so much of poverty and misery and evil and oppression. He is answering the prayers of those who have gone before, and who struggled to establish a foothold for the gospel in those distant places. . . .

. . . The work is becoming very much enlarged. It does require a commensurate accumulation of men and means. It requires an expansion of mind and energy, ability and perseverance. Let us prepare ourselves more diligently for the great assignment which God has laid upon us to carry this work to the children of the earth wherever we may be permitted to go. (Conference Report, April 1962, p . 71, 73.)[vii]                                                                                                        

President David O. McKay emphasized the power of individual influence in missionary service:

Every member is a missionary. He or she has the responsibility of bringing somebody: a mother, a father, a neighbor, a fellow worker, an associate, somebody in touch with the messengers of the gospel. If every member will carry that responsibility, and if the arrangement to have that mother, or that father, or somebody meet the authorized representatives of the Church, no power on earth can stop this Church from growing. And personal contact is what will influence those investigators. That personal contact, the nature of it, its effect depends upon you. And that's one thing which I wish to emphasize. There's one responsibility which no man can evade, and that's the responsibility of personal influence. What you are thunders so loud in my ears, I cannot hear what you say. And what you are is the result of a silent, subtle radiation of your personality. The effect of your words and acts is tremendous in this world. Every moment of life you are changing, to a degree, the life of the whole world. (Address to the North British Mission, 1961.)  This was a quote used by President Ezra Taft Benson.[viii]

As I served as mission president of the New Hampshire Manchester Mission (1992-1995) I saw the power of members and missionaries working together to change the lives of friends and neighbors.  I was heartened by the dedication of my missionaries and the willingness of members to work with them to help convert others.  I have a strong testimony that the missionary program is divinely inspired and directed by the hand of our Father in Heaven.  I know that those who get involved in this work are blessed in their lives.

[i].(Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 510.)

[ii].(Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 528.)

[iii].(Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 2: 26.)
[iv].(Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 23 - 24.)
[v].(Neal A. Maxwell, We Will Prove Them Herewith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 56 - 57.)
[vi].(Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 544.)

[vii].(Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 365 - 366.)

[viii].(Ezra Taft Benson, Come unto Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 95.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Prophet Joseph Smith's Name Known For Good And Evil In All The World

This week's Gospel Doctrine lesson was on "Deception."  One area of deception that I wanted the class to understand was the negative things that are said about the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Moroni told him that his name would be had for good or evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people (JS-History 1:33).  The prophet found that he had to defend himself verbally toward the end of his life even among some of the saints.  Several months before his death he made this statement:

 When did I ever teach anything wrong from this stand? When was I ever confounded? I want to triumph in Israel before I depart hence and am no more seen. I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught. Must I, then, be thrown away as a thing of naught?   
            (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.368)

D&C 132 has some very important statements about the Prophet Joseph.  The Lord tells him that his calling and election is made sure and why it was made sure or that he was sealed up unto eternal life.

D&C  132:49-50
 49 For I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.
 50 Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.

Here the Lord tells the Prophet that He will forgive all of his sins because of the sacrifices that he has made.  Then the Lord makes this statement to him:

D&C  132:60
 60 Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.

It is important to know that the word "set" as used in the verse above means "to oppose or reject" according the the 1828 dictionary.  So, what the Lord is saying is that Joseph is not perfect but that his sins are between Joseph and the Lord and not between us and the Prophet.  His sins are none of our business.  The Lord is handling him as he sees fit just like he will do with each of us. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Word of Wisdom

When the revelation was given on the word of wisdom (D&C 89) verses 1-3 were written as an introduction to the revelation.  The actual revelation started on verse 4.  Over the years there were varying degrees of adherence to the Word of Wisdom.  It took all the way though President Heber J. Grant's administration (1945)  to set the word of wisdom solidly in the lives of the saints.  It was in 1906 when the Church stopped using wine in the sacrament and started using water. 

The Lord did not make the Word of Wisdom a commandment at first.  As the Lord taught:

D&C  63:22
 22 And now, verily I say unto you, that as I said that I would make known my will unto you, behold I will make it known unto you, not by the way of commandment, for there are many who observe not to keep my commandments.

Notice the Lord differentiates between his will and a commandment.  If the Lord would have made the Word of Wisdom a commandment from the beginning we would have lost too many members of the Church who were entrenched in the bad habits of the world. 

I think it is important to note that the Savior never said that he came to keep all of the commandments of the Father but rather he said,

John  5:30
 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

3 Ne  11:11
 11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

D&C  19:24
 24 I am Jesus Christ; I came by the will of the Father, and I do his will.

As the Lord taught in D&C 58:26, ". . . it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward."

If we truly love the Lord with all of our hearts, soul, mind, and strength (Deut. 6:5) and we know that our bodies are a gift from Him and that we are to keep them for the eternities then we would treat them accordingly.  If he gives us instruction on how to treat them how could be do anything else than to follow those instructions and honor the gift that he has given us.  To us it is as if it were a commandment because we know that it is His will and we love him and want to honor Him.  On top of all that we are promised wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, and even hidden treasures (D&C 89:19). 

It is interesting that in D&C 89:11 He tells us to use all of the foods with prudence. 

Definition of PRUDENCE

: the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
: sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
: skill and good judgment in the use of resources
: caution or circumspection as to danger or risk

If that were the case then no one would be overweight, addicted to anything, etc.  Our quality in our older life would be at a very high level.  However, many ignore the "prudence" counsel and misuse their bodies and then when they get sick and their bodies don't work right they blame God and wonder how He could let this happen to them.  You can almost hear Him answer back, "did you follow my instructions?"  But no, He is kind and works with them and helps them.  

When we stand back and take a look at the larger picture it is not too hard to figure out what the Lord wants for us to do and those who truly love Him have no problem bringing their lives in harmony with His will.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Second Coming May Be Some Distance Off Before It Happens

Here are some quotes and scriptures that list some things that must happen before the Second Coming of Christ:

And so, guided by inspiration, we began to go from one nation and one culture to another. Someday, in the providences of the Lord, we shall get into Red China and Russia and the Middle East, and so on, until eventually the gospel will have been preached everywhere, to all people; and this will occur before the second coming of the Son of Man (Matt. 24:14; JS-M 1:31).  
Not only is the gospel to go, on a priority basis and harmonious to a divine timetable, to one nation after another, but the whole history of God's dealings with men on earth indicates that such has been the case in the past; it has been restricted and limited where many people are concerned. For instance, in the day between Moses and Christ, the gospel went to the house of Israel almost exclusively. By the time of Jesus, the legal administrators and prophetic associates that he had were so fully indoctrinated with the concept of having the gospel go only to the house of Israel that they were totally unable to envision the true significance of his proclamation that after the Resurrection they should then go to all the world. They did not go to the gentile nations initially. In his own ministration, Jesus preached only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and had so commanded the Apostles (Matt. 10:6).  
It is true that he made a few minor exceptions because of the faith and devotion of some gentile people. There was one woman who wanted to eat the crumbs that fell from the table of the children, causing him to say, "O woman, great is thy faith." (Matt. 15:28; see also Mark 7:27-28; Matt. 9:10; Luke 7:9.) With some minor exceptions, the gospel in that day went exclusively to Israel. The Lord had to give Peter the vision and revelation of the sheet coming down from heaven with the unclean meat on it, following which Cornelius sent the messenger to Peter to learn what he, Cornelius, and his gentile associates should do. The Lord commanded them that the gospel should go to the Gentiles, and so it was. (Acts 10:1-35.) There was about a quarter of a century, then, in New Testament times, when there were extreme difficulties among the Saints. They were weighing and evaluating, struggling with the problems of whether the gospel was to go only to the house of Israel or whether it now went to all men. Could all men come to him on an equal basis with the seed of Abraham?  
There have been these problems, and the Lord has permitted them to arise. There is not any question about that. We do not envision the whole reason and purpose behind all of this; we can only suppose and reason that it is on the basis of preexistence and of our premortal devotion and faith.  
You know this principle: God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him" (Acts 17:26-27)-meaning that there is an appointed time for successive nations and peoples and races and cultures to be offered the saving truths of the gospel. There are nations today to whom we have not gone-notably Red China and Russia. But you can rest assured that we will fulfill the requirement of taking the gospel to those nations before the second coming of the Son of Man.   

And I have no hesitancy whatever in saying that before the Lord comes, in all those nations we will have congregations that are stable, secure, devoted, and sound. We will have stakes of Zion. We will have people who have progressed in spiritual things to the point where they have received all of the blessings of the house of the Lord. That is the destiny.  
            (Bruce R. McConkie, Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie , pp. 163-164)

 Judah must return, Jerusalem must be rebuilt, and the temple, and water come out from under the temple, and the waters of the Dead Sea be healed. It will take some time to rebuild the walls of the city and the temple, &tc.; and all this must be done before the Son of Man will make His appearance. There will be wars and rumors of wars, signs in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, the sun turned into darkness and the moon to blood, earthquakes in divers places, the seas heaving beyond their bounds; then will appear one grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven. But what will the world do? They will say it is a planet, a comet, etc. But the Son of man will come as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the east. (April 6, 1843.)    
            (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.286)

D&C  42:26-36
 26 But if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out.
 27 Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm.
 28 Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my scriptures; he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out.
 29 If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments.
 30 And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken.
 31 And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church and his counselors, two of the elders, or high priests, such as he shall appoint or has appointed and set apart for that purpose.
 32 And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church, that they cannot be taken from the church, agreeable to my commandments, every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, as much as is sufficient for himself and family.
 33 And again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support after this first consecration, which is a residue to be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied and receive according to his wants.
 34 Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the high council of the church, and the bishop and his council;
 35 And for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the church, and building houses of worship, and building up of the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed--
 36 That my covenant people may be gathered in one in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.

Teenagers also sometimes think: "What's the use? The world will soon be blown all apart and come to an end." That feeling comes from fear, not from faith. No one knows the hour or the day (see D&C 49:7), but the end cannot come until all of the purposes of the Lord are fulfilled. Everything that I have learned from the revelations and from life convinces me that there is time and to spare for you to carefully prepare for a long life.     
One day you will cope with teenage children of your own. That will serve you right. Later, you will spoil your grandchildren, and they in turn will spoil theirs. If an earlier end should happen to be in store for someone, that is more reason to do things right.     

            (Boyd K. Packer, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled , p.52-)

Moses  7:62-64
 62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; (notice that they will look for the coming of the Lord after they have gathered to the New Jerusalem)  for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.
 63 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
 64 And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.

D&C  45:26
 26 And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men's hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth.  (notice that Joseph Smith - Matthew defines the destruction of the wicked at the Second Coming as the end of the world whereas the end of the earth is at the end of the Millennium when the earth dies and is resurrected again - see JS-M 1 4, 55 and D&C 88:25-26)  

JS-M  1:4
 4 And Jesus left them, and went upon the Mount of Olives. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be which thou hast said concerning the destruction of the temple, and the Jews; and what is the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world, or the destruction of the wicked, which is the end of the world?    

JS-M  1:55
 55 And thus cometh the end of the wicked, according to the prophecy of Moses, saying: They shall be cut off from among the people; but the end of the earth is not yet, but by and by.  

D&C  88:25-26
 25 And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law--
 26 Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it.