• Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Vanhin

  1. We have a similar situation. I just try not to worry about it too much, and just let it be a mess. When I am home I take care of the job apparently everyone else in my house hates, the dishes... I try to keep it to myself, but I love doing the dishes, especially when the dishwasher is broke (which it is at the moment). It's just like playing in warm sudsy water, and I get to ponder the deep things of life while doing it. I love it when the counters and the floors are all clean and tidy, ready to be messed up again. Its too fun, but I try to look miserable when I'm doing it.
  2. The commentary was his original work. There is no book that you can buy, but, thekabalist did have a desire to compile a manuscript on his commentary about the Book of Mormon using the stuff he was writing out here. A couple of us were enlisted to help him, and we got started. However, it doesn't appear that this will ever be finished since he's been gone for a while now. I think he has passed away, but I keep hoping that I am wrong. Maybe I should at least finish compiling what we do have out here. I miss Aharon. Vanhin
  3. Paying tithing is so that God can bless you and others. In his great wisdom, God provides both a perfectly just and merciful way for us to receive blessings from him for our benefit. 20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. (D&C 130:20-21) When we are obedient to God's laws, it enables him to bless us in his great mercy. In the case of tithing, if you will act in faith, and make your tithes and offerings regardless of your circumstances, God will open the "windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10). That's the promise, the rest is up to you. Regards, Vanhin
  4. Good thoughts Vort. Hell is what one experiences as a result of separation from God and his influences. In very real ways, we experience varying degrees of hell already because of our sins here in mortality. In the scriptures it can be said that hell and spiritual death are synonymous, so I think the idea that you are talking about concerning the destruction of our own souls (in the case of sons of perdition) has validity. God's power to save his children is truly great. In fact, the scriptures give us the assurance that spiritual death, or hell, is limited and temporary for even the vilest of unrepentant sinners, who will suffer for their sins and still enter a degree of glory in Heaven. For those, who "deny the Son after the Father has revealed him", however, there will be no such redemption from spiritual death, and it will be a "second death" where they will be cut off from the presence of God forever. 43 Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him. 44 Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment— 45 And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows; 46 Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof; (D&C 76:43-46) It is easy to see how the concept of Heaven and Hell is derived in traditional Christianity when you make perdition the breaking point. But it is actually more complex and comprehensive than that, yet simple at the same time. Exaltation aside, those in the Celestial glory will "dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever" (D&C 76:62). They enjoy no separation from God. In the Terrestrial glory, those who dwell there will not receive the fullness of the Father, but will receive "of the presence of the Son" (D&C 76:77). In the Telestial glory, those who dwell there will only enjoy the ministration of the Holy Spirit (D&C 76:86). I think it is interesting that D&C 76:84 says that those who dwell in the Telestial kingdom "are they who are thrust down to hell". Yet, we know it is still a kingdom of glory. So, just like there are varying degrees of glory in the kingdom of Heaven, it can also be extrapolated that there are then varying degrees of hell, representing varying degrees of separation from God and his influence. So, for me personally the threshold is much higher than the divide between some glory and no glory. The divide between heaven and hell for me is Exaltation and no exaltation. To be forever separated from the Father, and from the blessings of exaltation and eternal matrimony and family would be a "flame" that "ascendeth forever" to me. Regards, Vanhin
  5. My thought on this is the following. There is a distinction when we make certain covenants in the temple between "time and all eternity". Time is in reference to our mortal lives, which is marked by the change and decay of our fallen state. That's what gives us the perception of time. It follows then that eternity is a state different than time, marked by the absence of the change and decay typical of mortality. However, obviously the many generations of time granted, that have come and gone in the worlds without number created by God, are all part of the whole of eternity as well... Excursions, albeit, but part of eternity nonetheless. Reminds me of the second verse in "Abide With Me". Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day; earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me. I'm grateful for the time God has given us to work out our salvation - to repent and prepare to return to His presence. Elder Christofferson's talk last year really struck home for me when he said: "Perhaps as much as praying for mercy, we should pray for time and opportunity to work and strive and overcome." (The Divine Gift of Repentance - Liahona Nov. 2011 - liahona) Regards, Vanhin
  6. Well, I think it's a little bit of both. Like other passages in the Bible, our interpretation is a product of the teachings of modern prophets and revelation. Our belief in kingdoms or degrees of glory associated with the resurrection, and vicarious works for the dead (such as baptism for the dead) are concepts found in the Bible, but it's hard to arrive at our understanding based on those passages alone (see 1 Cor. 15:40-41, 1 Cor. 15:29). The Bible teaches that repentance and the remission of sin is made possible by the shedding of Christ's blood, and his suffering for the sins of the world (1 Jn. 1:7, 1 Pet. 3:18). Though crucifixion is indeed a gruesome way to die, and was the foretold method the Messiah would be slain, it is his suffering for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and again on the cross, that is most significant. His pain was so great that he bled from every pore, as if he was sweating blood (Luke 22:39-44). He sufferent the burden of our sins, in a manner that only God can endure. Those who will not apply his atonement, by repenting of their sins, will suffer in a like manner. This is where our modern revelation gives us more information. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink— Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men. (D&C 19:16-19) Regards, Vanhin
  7. I know I am resurrecting a very old thread, but I just wanted to update rameumptom on this. :) Check this book out. Here's the description from Amazon. "Evidence gathered from physical anthropology, archeology, and comparative ethnology clearly indicates that the American Indians are of Asian origin. Since the discovery of America, now more than 500 years ago, various scholars have been searching for linguistic links between the Native American languages and the languages of Eurasia. In this work the author proposes a comprehensive linguistic relationship between the Central California Indian languages and the Uralic language family. The volume contains an essay concerning the discovery of California written for a well-informed public, a great amount of ethnographic material, an extensive comparative grammar and phonology, several vocabularies and a comparative linguistic analysis of a shamanistic text. The author introduces a new word 'Cal-Ugrian'. It stands for California Ugrian. It represents a new concept in comparative culture and linguistics. The author trusts that the reader, after carefully having studied the evidence, will agree that the languages of Native Central Californians are indeed closely related to the Uralic, Finno-Ugrian and specifically the Ugrian languages spoken in Northwest Siberia." The Discovery of California: a Cal-Ugrian Comparative Study (ISTOR books) (9789630566308): Otto J. Von Sadovszky: Books Finnish is a Finno-Ugric language and apparently so are Central California Indian languages. Pretty interesting. Vanhin
  8. I think I agree with Vort. Even most of the instances when the "Father" appears and speaks, it is actually God the Son, who is quite authorized to speak as the Father, and can be considered "Father" by virtue of His central role in the Plan of Salvation. Indeed, Christ is the Father in every significant way described in scripture, except he is not the Father of our spirits, or his own Father. This reality allowed Amulek to teach the following to Zeezrom: Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last; (Alma 11:38-39) The following is some really good reading concerning the topic: The Father and the Son - Ensign Apr. 2002 - ensign Regards, Vanhin
  9. cobbettj, The spirits of man have no beginning and will have no end, they are eternal and immortal. "God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all" -Joseph Smith. Here is a nice compilation of ideas from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith: In April 1844, the Prophet taught: “I have another subject to dwell upon, which is calculated to exalt man. … It is associated with the subject of the resurrection of the dead,—namely, the soul—the mind of man—the immortal spirit. Where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning; but it is not so: the very idea lessens man in my estimation. I do not believe the doctrine; I know better. Hear it, all ye ends of the world; for God has told me so; and if you don’t believe me, it will not make the truth without effect. … “I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it has a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic. That which has a beginning may have an end. There never was a time when there were not spirits. … “… I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man—the immortal part, because it had no beginning. Suppose you cut it in two; then it has a beginning and an end; but join it again, and it continues one eternal round. So with the spirit of man. As the Lord liveth, if it had a beginning, it will have an end. All the fools and learned and wise men from the beginning of creation, who say that the spirit of man had a beginning, prove that it must have an end; and if that doctrine is true, then the doctrine of annihilation would be true. But if I am right, I might with boldness proclaim from the house-tops that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself. “Intelligence is eternal and exists upon a self-existent principle. It is a spirit from age to age and there is no creation about it. All the minds and spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible of enlargement. “The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits.” Though it is difficult for us to understand such things in our current temporal state, it helps to bear in mind that birth into this world did not bring us into existence, since we existend before. Likewise, we existed already when we were "born again" at our baptism, as children of Christ. Our relationship with God, that allows us to advance, is a covenant relationship - whatever it means specifically to "bear the souls of men", is still unknown to us (see D&C 132:63). Regards, Vanhin
  10. Angel333, The Spirit World for us is here on earth, all around us (see Chapter 41: The Postmortal Spirit World). Brigham Young taught that the spirits around us can see us but we cannot see them, unless "our eyes are opened" by God (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 279-280). So, it doesn't look like there is much of a choice as far as where we "go" after death. The distictions of "prison" and "paradise" in the Spirit World, are more conditions, or states of our being, rather than distict divisions - one being a state of misery and the other a state of happiness, until the resurrection when we are received into our permanent abode(Alma 40:11-21). Not unlike our conditions right now, the unrepentant experiencing a sample of the misery already, and the righteous experiencing peace and joy dispite their trials (Alma 34:34). Regards, Vanhin
  11. "...and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue— And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death;" (Moroni 9:9) Mormon is describing the sacred powers of procreation, and the chastity of women, as God sees it, not necessarily as your friends would currently see it. Of course in Moroni 9:9 very gruesome acts are depicted, which are perpetuated against unwilling individuals, but in the case of your friends, their virtue is important to God whether it is important to your friends or not. "For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts." (Jacob 2:28) Though God is pleased in the chastity of men as well, I think he is especially concerned with women who are often the recipients of abuse and exploitation. Regards, Vanhin
  12. Hey Maygraceabound, Though latter-day saints consider the Scriptures, including the Bible, to be the word of God, and are bound to regard them as such, we do not worship the scriptures or any object. God's Word, according to the New Testament, is Jesus Christ, not any particular book (see John 1:1). We accept the revelations of Christ, as they were received in purity, as His words. Christ reveals his words to his servants, the prophets and apostles, and they in turn cause those words to be written down. This enables others to read and ponder the revelations for themselves, and in a process not that different from the prophets, gain a witness for themselves of the truthfulness of the message. Thus prophets and revelation are greater than scripture. If you were to gather up all the Bibles in the world, and pile them up and burn them, God can reveal them again in their entirety through his prophets, as He has always done. And the rest of us can find out the truth of the things we hear or read through the process of revelation, exactly as it has always been done. That's the program. I do have a couple of questions for you. How do you know "God is real" and that "He loves us"? Any book can claim to be the "word" of God. How are you certain that the Bible is in fact God's word? Thanks, Vanhin
  13. Favorite LDS Doctrines: Agency, The Fall of Adam, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and Exaltation Least-favorite non-LDS Doctrines: The Five Points of Calvinism (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints)
  14. I think I already answered that. I think if you look over my previous posts (quotes and scripture references) you will see that subject of sons of perdition is covered. They have committed the unpardonable sin... I don't think Laman and Lemuel were qualified to be sons of perdition. But Cain was the first son of perdition on this earth. He actually spoke with God and sinned against a greater knowledge. He was in a position to commit the unpardonable sin and did so by slaying his innocent brother Able. I sense that you are still under the impression that this doctrine means that a child of sealed parents will be exalted no matter what, even if they do not want it. Clearly this doctrine must be in harmony with the rest of the scriptures, and should be viewed from that stand point. In no way can it rob justice, nor can it violate the principles of agency. No doubt. I can't say for certain how it is accomplished, but I believe the doctrine, and I believe that if I am faithful to my covenants, that everyone of my children who want to be exalted will do so. If they don't care too much for exaltation, then they will inhabit a lesser degree of glory, and if they progress to a point of greater knowledge, and commit the unpardonable sin, then they will inhabit outer darkness. The tender mercies of God are truly marvelous. Regards, Vanhin
  15. For LDS the reason for us laboring to bring souls unto Christ, has more to do with priesthood ordinances and covenants than righteous living alone. Even though persuading people to live righteously is an honorable objective, that righteousness alone does not result in Exaltation from an LDS perspective. The grace of God is made manifest in the blessings of gospel ordinances. We seek to bring people before the Lord, that He may covenant with them and their posterity. These covenants are entered into through gospel ordinances performed by duly authorized priesthood holders, who we believe hold the priesthood of Jesus Christ. The ordinances required for salvation include baptism, confirmation, priesthood (for men), and the temple ordinances and sealings. We are so motivated to preach the gospel to others mainly because we believe that this priesthood authority is only found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Without receiving these ordinances and covenants, and being true to them, the good and honorable people of the earth can only be received into one of the other kingdoms of glory (See D&C 76:75). Regards, Vanhin
  16. No one is left out of an opportunity to be exalted. However, not every couple has received the sealing ordinances, from Adam and Eve to today. Those who received the ordinances, and are true to them, whether they received them in this life or vicariously in the next, are whose children are affected. Only children either born to parents who are sealed, or later sealed to their parents are recepients of these blessings. The doctrine does not negate agency, as has been clarified by myself and by some of the quotations I have posted. What it appears to do is offer extra time, extra opportunity for the children to repent, or suffer the penalties, if they want to be exalted. If they choose not to be exalted, then of course they will not be, but will instead be received into one of the other kingdoms of glory. Well, parents who never receive the sealing ordinances, of their own choice, are not able to give their children this extra benefit in their quest for salvation. That's what is unique. It's no different, from a secular perspective, when you have children born into circumstances where there is some form of dysfunction, such as substance abuse or physical abuse, compared to children born into stable families. One group is arguably at an advantage over the other, yet both have an opportunity to succeed in life. I think your statement about outer darkness is flawed. Accepting the ordinances and obeying the commandements does not save you from outer darkness, but rather from the other degrees of glory. Exaltation is salvation in the kingdom of God. Righteous parents whose election is made sure by the sealing of the Holy Spirit of promise, because they have proven themselves to be true and faithful, are the ones in peril of becoming sons of perdition - if they then turn around and commit the unpardonable sin (see D&C 132). Everyone else is destined for a kingdom of glory even if they don't accept the gospel. So, this doctrine cannot mean what you are saying. The sealing power is not needed for a person to end up in one of the other kingdoms of glory. In any case, it seems to me that you simply don't want to believe the doctrine until you you fully understand it. My advice is, just believe it, and do your best to be that parent. But if you don't want to, I'm ok with that too. As long as you understand that the interpretation given by the leaders of the Church is "exaltation", not just salvation from outer darkness. That is what Lorenzo Snow is saying in the quote of mine that you posted. I'll put it out here again, because it is perhaps the most clear understanding on the matter. If you succeed in passing through these trials and afflictions and receive a resurrection, you will, by the power of the Priesthood, work and labor, as the Son of God has, until you get all your sons and daughters in the path of exaltation and glory. This is just as sure as that the sun rose this morning over yonder mountains. Therefore, mourn not because all your sons and daughters do not follow in the path that you have marked out to them, or give heed to your counsels. Inasmuch as we succeed in securing eternal glory, and stand as saviors, and as kings and priests to our God, we will save our posterity.[9] Regards, Vanhin
  17. When the ordinances of the new and everlasting covenant are administered and received through the authorized use of priesthood power, and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, it means they are recorded on earth and in heaven. Those holy acts, and the associated promises, are thus valid and in force in the life to come, and they cannot "be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah" (See D&C 128:9) except through subsequent used of the priesthood power that bound the individuals involved to begin with (and of course by us not living up to the promises we make). The binding implied in the sealing ordinances are synonymous with recording, and record keeping. Now, the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; (D&C 128:8) And we should never forget, that we covenant with God, when we receive these sealings,. As others have said, we are being recorded into the family of God. We will become His sons and daughters, in the sense that Christ is His Son - heirs to his kingdom (Rom. 8:17). Regards, Vanhin
  18. One more quick note. The late councilor in the First Presidency, James E. Faust, made the following comment in a talk concerning the above quote by Elder Orson F. Whitney. A principle in this statement that is often overlooked is that they must fully repent and “suffer for their sins” and “pay their debt to justice.” I recognize that now is the time “to prepare to meet God.” 9 If the repentance of the wayward children does not happen in this life, is it still possible for the cords of the sealing to be strong enough for them yet to work out their repentance? In the Doctrine and Covenants we are told, “The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God, “And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.” 10(Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered) Regards, Vanhin
  19. Shine7, Thank you for sharing your heartfelt experience. I share your faith and hope. Sincerely, Vanhin
  20. My apologies for delaying my response. For those who are sealed, the doctrine is that most if not all will be exalted through, in part, the vicarious actions and efforts of their parents, and the enabling power of the Atonement as manifested in Priesthood ordinances. The intention of this thread is not to convince those who disbelieve such doctrine, or to offer alternate interpretations than what is taught in the Church, but to offer hope to those with wayward family members. If you disbelieve the doctrine you will have to take it up with those authorized servants of the Lord who have taught it and who teach it. This doctrine is taught consistently from Joseph Smith until now, and is found in the current curriculum of the Church. But ultimately, you will have to decide for yourself what you believe in, like I have. Some of you have expressed your objection to the doctrine on the basis that it appears to be contrary to the principles of personal agency. I never saw it that way, and based on the teachings that I have heard and read on this topic, I don't know where you get that. If that is your only objection to believing the doctrine, then you can rest assured that it is not the case. We cannot be saved in our sins, no matter what. Here is more on the topic, that I gleaned from while researching. What is the fate of the wayward? Lorenzo Snow taught a doctrine of hope: If you succeed in passing through these trials and afflictions and receive a resurrection, you will, by the power of the Priesthood, work and labor, as the Son of God has, until you get all your sons and daughters in the path of exaltation and glory. This is just as sure as that the sun rose this morning over yonder mountains. Therefore, mourn not because all your sons and daughters do not follow in the path that you have marked out to them, or give heed to your counsels. Inasmuch as we succeed in securing eternal glory, and stand as saviors, and as kings and priests to our God, we will save our posterity.[9] President Snow is very clear: this promise applies in the eternities—unless the critic believes he is already a “king and priest to [his] God” who has received “a resurrection” there are no grounds for despair. This doctrine goes back to Joseph Smith, as Orson F. Whitney taught: You parents of the wilful and the wayward! Don’t give them up. Don’t cast them off. They are not utterly lost. The Shepherd will find his sheep. They were his before they were yours—long before he entrusted them to your care; and you cannot begin to love them as he loves them. They have but strayed in ignorance from the Path of Right, and God is merciful to ignorance. Only the fulness of knowledge brings the fulness of accountability. Our Heavenly Father is far more merciful, infinitely more charitable, than even the best of his servants, and the Everlasting Gospel is mightier in power to save than our narrow finite minds can comprehend…the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. … They will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God…[10] And, President Howard W. Hunter gave perspective and reassurance on these issues: [E]veryone is different. Each of us is unique. Each child is unique. Just as each of us starts at a different point in the race of life, and just as each of us has different strengths and weaknesses and talents, so each child is blessed with his own special set of characteristics. We must not assume that the Lord will judge the success of one in precisely the same way as another. As parents we often assume that, if our child doesn’t become an overachiever in every way, we have failed. We should be careful in our judgments.[11] (Mormonism and culture/Wayward family members - FAIRMormon)I hope that there are parents who find comfort and a renewed commitment to the gospel from prayerfully pondering this doctrine concerning their wayward children. Regards, Vanhin
  21. Well sure, you can interpret it that way. Though I think it is more plausible that Brigham Young is referring to the "father and mother, who are members of this Church and Kingdom", as in the beginning of the quote. Personally I'm happy with the interpretation that the quote means "exaltation", which would be consistent with longstanding doctrine taught in the Church concerning sealings and wayward children. Especially considering the fact that it can be established that those in lesser degrees of glory remain single, not enjoying the same relationship with one another as the exalted will. Even those who merit the celestial kingdom, who are not exalted, will "remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity" (D&C 132:17). So, I think that rules out any condition in the other degrees of glory that "will allow the relationship to continue". You see what I mean? Our temple president made reference to this doctrine just recently, quoting general authorities who have taught the same things when visiting/training temple presidencies, which is consistent with curriculum in the Church, like the Eternal Marriage Student Manual. He was trying to make the case for how important temple work was. Now, I personally don't think that the doctrine is meant to relieve anyone of their own accountability, or to work outside of the principles of agency. I've tried to express as much in my posts above. I generally believe that somehow God will help those of our wayward children who desire it, to work out their salvation in one way or another, or to suffer the demands of justice for any sins that they haven't repented of, before entering their exaltation. Obviously, those who do not want to be exalted, will not be. No one will be forced against their will into exaltation. But that is in the realm of speculation for me. I really don't know how God intends to accomplish this feat, even though I don't doubt he is capable of it. I will say this, what this doctrine means is that parents should increase their efforts to receive the blessings of the temple, and to remain true their covenants for their own and their children's sake. So, regardless of the true nature of the doctrine, the implication is good. It doesn't hurt for us to strive even more diligently to be true to our covenants anyway. :) Think about the faith and prayers of Alma Sr., for example. His prayers were heard, and a spectacular thing happened to Alma Jr., when an angel appeared to convince him to turn from the path that he was on, and to repent. And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith. (Mosiah 27:14) I think faithful latter-day saint parents, who have children sealed to them, can tap into the powers of heaven in that fashion, and God will hear their pleas and provide every opportunity for their wayward children to repent, in this world or the next, before it is too late. It is so important for us to prepare for and receive the ordinances of salvation, for ourselves, our families, and our dead. Regards, Vanhin
  22. I totally understand what you mean Vort. I think like many promises made to the covenant people of Lord, they are often realized beyond the scope of this mortal life. Many people have talked about their patriarchal blessings, for example, or about the patriarchal blessings of people who have died, where promises were made but not fulfilled during their life time. I cannot say that I know how the promises will be fulfilled, in each case, but I have no doubt that God is faithful in this matter, since He has spoken this doctrine through his servants many times. At the same time I acknowledge that one must receive the ordinances and be faithful to the covenants they make in order to be exalted. All sin must be repented of, or one must suffer as Christ did (D&C 19:17). But having to suffer for our sins does not necessarily exempt us from exaltation. We have at least one clear example in scripture that explains that even such a person can enter their exaltation. At the very least it gives us a glimpse into the extent that God will go to save his children. How eternally merciful he really is. Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God. (D&C 132:26) Some food for thought anyway. Clearly a son of perdition is beyond salvation, no matter what. But I for one believe the doctrine, though my understanding of how it is possible necessarily remains speculation at this point. Regards, Vanhin
  23. When Moroni first appeared to Joseph Smith, he quoted from the 3rd chapter of Malachi slighty differently than it is in our Bible. For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. I think that rendition of the passage is hauntingly important for all generations of the world to understand. The wicked will be cut off from not only the presence of God and the righteous, which they cannot abide, but will sadly be left with neither root nor branch. I picture in my mind a charred tree, with no life, no connection to the source from which it came, and barren from further producing life. And I love what Moroni teaches next, which I view as the remedy to preventing the condition described above. Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming. (Joseph Smith—History 1Â*) There is real power, beyond our own capacity to fully comprehend, offered by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, as it is manifested in the covenants and ordinances of His gospel. They are called "saving ordinances" for a reason. The New and Everlasting Covenant, which encompasses all required ordiances performed in mortality, from baptism to temple sealings, will carry not only ourselves, but our forebearers and posterity from this life safely into the eternal abode of God. Of course covenants must ultimately be kept, however, God intends to save as many of his Children that he can, without violating the precious agency which He has given them. I especially take comfort in knowing that my children are born under the covenant, and are thus bound to my wife and I. The following quote should comfort LDS parents who are sealed, who have wayward children. “When a seal is put upon the father and mother, it secures their posterity, so that they cannot be lost, but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their father and mother” (Joseph SMith, in History of the Church, 5:530). And this one. “Let the father and mother, who are members of this Church and Kingdom, take a righteous course, and strive with all their might never to do a wrong, but to do good all their lives; if they have one child or one hundred children, if they conduct themselves towards them as they should, binding them to the Lord by their faith and prayers, I care not where those children go, they are bound up to their parents by an everlasting tie, and no power of earth or hell can separate them from their parents in eternity; they will return again to the fountain from whence they sprang” (in Discourses of Brigham Young, 208). I found these while reading through the Eternal Marriage Student Manual (see Eternal Marriage Student Manual - Wayward Children Born under the Covenant). Regards, Vanhin
  24. His payment on my behalf was infinite and eternal, and I never could have paid it myself. So, as far as I am personally concerned, I am infinitely and eternally indebted to Christ forever. Regards, Vanhin
  25. No, the Book of Mormon is not inherently opposed to the idea of monarchy. Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, yea, if ye could have men for your kings who would do even as my father Benjamin did for this people—I say unto you, if this could always be the case then it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you. (See Mosiah 29) The kingmen were bad because they were rebellious and wanted to forcefully overthrow the Nephite government, against the will of the people. In any case, Mosiah 29 is good reading concerning the matter. Also, the Book of Mormon, like our other scriptures, recognize Christ as the King over the kingdom of God on earth. He would definitively fit the bill described by Mosiah - being a righteous King. :) Regards, Vanhin