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Everything posted by laronius

  1. Elder Oaks' talk got me wondering about the lesser kingdoms of glory when he spoke about inheriting a kingdom according to the laws we are willing to abide. Does this mean that the commandment to obey the same laws as the celestial kingdom will still exist for them but with the realization that they won't obey them all, in other words they still sin, or are there few laws that exist for them but they are expected to obey them or is there some other state of "law abiding" altogether that exists in those kingdoms?
  2. I like your thoughts. To me the answer to his problem hasn't changed. Gaining a testimony is still what matters most. He needs to understand who God is, who he is in relation to God and how God will communicate to him (both personally and through righteous church leaders). I would also assure him that he doesn't have to make any final decisions about anything right this minute. Satan wants to pressure him to feel like he has to choose now in response to fear but that is not necessary. If he has not yet started praying this would be a good time for him to begin praying for peace while he figures things out. An answer to that prayer can be a blessing to him in more ways than one. Your opening comments made me think of Lehi and Nephi's vision of the tree of life and the mists of darkness. That may be something good to ponder on. Might be good for him to ponder on as well. Good luck!!!!
  3. This is an interesting point. As Joseph Smith stated, some things that are not allowed at one point are allowed and even encouraged at other times. I think this is the case here. As Alma stated: 12:26 And now behold, if it were possible that our first parents could have gone forth and partaken of the tree of life they would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state; and thus the plan of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect. Eating of the tree of life at that point would have brought damnation upon Adam and Eve because they were not ready for it. It is the atonement of Jesus Christ that makes the fruit sweet. And that could not have happened unless Adam and Eve were expelled from their paradise and set the plan of salvation in motion. The tree Lehi saw was the post-fall tree of life with it's fruit ripened by the love of God.
  4. I think this is a really important point because we aren't reading daily journal entries from Nephi but rather a retrospective narrative that tells a story with an overarching purpose. And he tells that purpose right up front. In 1 Nephi 1:1 he makes this seemingly contradictory statement of "having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days..." This statement is a perfect lead in to what's coming. Later in that same chapter he records a vision of his father where he sees in imagery the Savior and his 12 disciples during their mortal ministry. It's not elaborated greatly upon but it must have been significant because while he also sees the horrific destruction of Jerusalem, his home and people his response is one of rejoicing. Why? "Because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!" Then to end the chapter Nephi tells about how the life of his father is in danger for preaching to the people about the coming of the Messiah but once again we see no fretful handwringing but rather a declaration of hope and Nephi's overall intended purpose in his writing: "But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." This message of deliverance and the Deliverer can be found all throughout Nephi's writings and ultimately the entire Book of Mormon and if we miss it then we have failed to understand it's true message, regardless of what else we may have learned in the process of reading it.
  5. I'm in. I usually like to study by topic but as long as we aren't covering a lot of material each week it should be no problem adding this to my study schedule. But don't base the schedule on me. I can jump ahead if needed. Maybe you should give everyone an idea of what you are comfortable with @Jamie123 since this will be your first time going all the way through. How long did it take you to go through the first 18 chapters?
  6. That is an interesting point. We are commanded to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost but the act of receiving actually requires some effort on our part. Other gifts of the Spirit are probably similar.
  7. In A Guide to the Scriptures on the tools app it defines gifts of the Spirit as: Special spiritual blessings given by the Lord to worthy individuals for their own benefit and for them to use in blessing others. I have not read anywhere that specifically states that receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is a prerequisite to having a gift of the Spirit, though that could be the case, but I think it would be safe to say that receiving the Holy Ghost is prerequisite to the full development of those gifts.
  8. My go to response for anything that the Bible is not super clear on is: "You can make the Bible say anything you want. That's why there are so many different Christian churches with conflicting views. It's also why God continues to reveal his word in our day to prophets and that word clearly states that there is only male and female."
  9. In Sunday School we were talking about gifts of the Spirit and the teacher had us list different gifts either found in the scriptures or from patriarchal blessings. Many of those listed were ones you expect to hear: healing, knowledge, tongues, etc. But there were other ones like kindness, cheerfulness, gratitude, etc. This made me start to wonder what exactly is a gift of the Spirit. We could technically call any positive attribute a gift of the Spirit because the Spirit can help us develop those attributes. But is that what the scriptures are actually talking about? So I guess my question is how do we distinguish between gifts of the Spirit and other positive qualities or should we not try to differentiate between them because they are all gifts?
  10. I agree. Having a change of heart is so key to true conversion. It is essentially what Elder Maxwell was speaking of when saying that our will is really the only thing that is uniquely ours that we have to offer God.
  11. You make a good point. The scriptures specifically speak of praying but without real intent or giving a gift but doing so begrudgingly. The Jewish leaders of Christ's time were particularly guilty of impure motives for obedience.
  12. D&C 137:9 For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts. We know that we will be judged by our works but that judgement may be tempered according to the light and knowledge we possess. Is this verse saying something similar about our desires in relation to our works? I know from personal experience, and I don't think I'm alone in this, that I can desire both good and bad at the same time. In most cases I think we end up choosing that which we desire the most. But does that negate the righteous desire as an indicator of who we are? For example, a drug addict may really, really want to get clean but end up succumbing to an even stronger desire to get a fix. There are many other examples we could site. Often it's a physical pull that is at odds with our spirit and we know that the physical part of our existence can leverage significant influence over our decision making, even to the point that it could be argued that agency has been lost. But assuming that agency has not been compromised and that sufficient light and knowledge exist, how much of a roll do you think our righteous desires will play when it comes to judgement day if those desires are not always reflected in our works?
  13. I think we could add temple work to the process of taking upon us the name of Christ. For one thing, doing work for the dead helps us become saviors on Mount Zion. But also, when you consider the covenants made during the endowment what we are really talking about are the qualities that defined Christ's mortal ministry and prepared the way for the atonement. I really like the recent changes they have made showing just how much it revolves around the Savior.
  14. I know for me, if I'm going to be lazy and just let something go it will be facial hair. Not that I let it get to full beard but 3-4 days growth before I shave. Maybe they see that as the first sign of becoming slovenly. I guess there needs to be something that sets guys apart from the rest of the world.
  15. My initial response to the Lord's command to "Awake" is to do something to fix the problem. But that may not actually be the expectation of the Lord. Do what we can, sure, but otherwise fortify ourselves for what's coming.
  16. A significant portion of the Book of Mormon deals with secret combinations. Even though it played a major role in the history of the Nephites the Lord instructed Moroni to also include the Book of Ether as a second witness of the threat. In that account Moroni says: 8:24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you... Awake and do what? Obviously we need to vote and take part in civic affairs. But secret combinations are by nature secret. So while we may have suspicions or even some evidences that seem to point to their existence it would be very difficult, imo, to convince someone of them who did not already believe it. Years ago you could have pointed at communism and said that's it and the general public would have agreed. Now days it's not so simple. I think secret combinations work both sides of the aisle here in the US and seek to influence any major political party around the world. I guess I'm just uncertain what Moroni, or the Lord more specifically, had in mind when telling us to "awake" to the danger they present. Awake and do what?
  17. Of course murder is spoken of in similar terms but we generally don't put that in the same category.
  18. This was the role Jesus filled. There is no way we would have been admitted into one of their "clubs" (Sadducees, Pharisees, etc) but rather went about doing good nonetheless and lead by example. Proving to others that we are true Christians will never happen via doctrinal debate. It will only happen as we take upon us His name and let His light shine through us.
  19. Some prophecies have multiple fulfillments. Could this be one of them? Maybe. But you might get an argument from those living in small towns. 😁
  20. Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. In our Bible Dictionary under the topic of prayer it states "We pray in Christ’s name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ—when His words abide in us (John 15:7). We then ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent His mind but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart." I think this principle applies to all forms of worship of God. Worshipping is part of the process of taking upon us the name of Christ and becoming one with him, if done with the right attitude and righteous desire.
  21. If Moroni did not translate that portion of the Jaredite record then it wouldn't be part of the gold plates Joseph had, sealed or unsealed.
  22. That is one theory that I heard once upon a time, that separated from God's life sustaining light those in outer darkness essentially de-evolve back into their original state as intelligences. Of course, we don't know because God has specifically withheld the "end" of these individual's state. But if this is correct, what of those that have been resurrected? Maybe this is why God said it was better if they had never been born. Perhaps they are stuck there.
  23. Perhaps a brief tangent, from the current tangent: My understanding was that sons of perdition are to be resurrected but this kind of appears to leave the other possibility open. D&C 76:37 And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power; 38 Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath. 39 For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.
  24. I agree. I don't think marriage was really the point in all this. Mr Higgins set out to turn her into a "lady" but in the meantime she was also having a refining influence upon him, as loath as he may have been to admit it. Had they tried to force some defined relationship the whole point might have been missed. I actually like how it ends.
  25. I'm one of those rare exceptions you leave room for. 😃