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Everything posted by CV75

  1. I suspect it was more a chemical (bio-, neuro- or other) change at that point than a structural change, and it affected in both their bodies. But where the message is primarily spiritual, being parents would entail great effort (multiplied "sorrow") and descendants (multiplied "conception" as children become parents generation after generation). The "husband" of course was given the priesthood sealing keys to ensures this happen in the Lord's way.
  2. It seems to me that verses 4-9 are a characterization or description, indicating that it was set up, at least in “in spirit,” from the very beginning of Adam’s civilization, and has fought against God and His people (the saints) ever since. Verse 10 picks up an actual “historical” timeline and goes back and forth in history through the rest of the chapter (“And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations…). Verse 26, as part of the historical timeline, shows that this church of the devil intensified its activity against the Church of the Lamb sometime after the twelve disciples carried out the great commission. Verse 28 indicates the church of the devil had some control over the books (which I take to be literal books as well as figurative in terms of proper record or witness, which is the role of the apostles). This could only have been accomplished by force per the description in verses 4-9, by destroying the saints.
  3. Adam and Eve experienced a good deal of physical and mental change and development by the time they said those things in Moses 5: 10 -11, they had become far more advanced than in the days leading up to the Fall. I believe Adam and Eve’s experience in physical bodies began with very basic sensations, perceptions and understanding and grew from there, and continued after they fell. Subjectively speaking, sweetness and bitterness can be equally enticing, especially when we are exposed to one in excess (I’m thinking of the principle used in culinary pairings), and together they interact at the right time, place and other conditions to create a full experience. Perfumes are another example – they often contain small, imperceptible amounts of foul-smelling ingredients to enhance the overall result). So, one fruit being sweet and the other being bitter allows both fruits to be subjectively enticing. God commanded them to eat all but one fruit, and the serpent invited them to eat that one fruit (ignoring the others), but the actual enticement came from the interplay between the couple, these other persons and their environment. God told them they would die (whatever that might mean to beings who knew nothing but immortality), which is more of a dissuasion than an enticement, and the serpent told them they would not die but have knowledge (whatever that could mean to submissive, childlike beings), and subtly prompted their need for independence, but these came from the persons, not the fruit itself. Fruit is an object and does not act, so the enticement is in the eye of the subjective beholders who act for themselves.
  4. See Posted July 17 and Quahal. 2 Nephi 28:3 ("not unto the Lord") seems to refer to contending denominations within Christendom; :12 seems to refer to secular and materialistic philosophies; and :18 to the church of the devil. Mosiah 25 refers to congregations or assemblies of believers under the same covenant Mosiah established under his priest-king authority.
  5. I would say that faith in Christ initiates the spirit of discipleship, and following His discipline is the practice of taking His yoke upon us. He carries our burdens with His yoke, which represents our covenant relationship with Him. When we face specific trials or burdens, we act as disciples every way we can, and comfort comes one way or time or another.
  6. Perhaps the voice was pre-recorded, perhaps someone else delivered the message by delegation (including by divine investiture of authority), as angels often do.
  7. Nephi is prophesying about a future entity that he is likely conceptualizing from his point of view as a “qahal” -- see Quahal. As used in 1 Nephi 4:26, the “church” seems to be a translation of "quahal" to describe a group of key elders who were called out to a meeting. So, a great and abominable assembly might well describe a secret combination formed among the nations of the Gentiles (1 Nephi 13:4) since a secret combination is similarly described elsewhere in the Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 13: 4 And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the aGentiles the formation of a bgreat church. 5 And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a achurch which is most abominable above all other churches, which bslayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a cyoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. 6 And it came to pass that I beheld this agreat and babominable church; and I saw the cdevil that he was the founder of it. 7 And I also saw agold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined blinen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots. 8 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the adesires of this great and abominable church. 9 And also for the apraise of the world do they bdestroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity. Ether 8: 9 Now the daughter of Jared was exceedingly fair. And it came to pass that she did talk with her father, and said unto him: Whereby hath my father so much sorrow? Hath he not read the arecord which our fathers brought across the great deep? Behold, is there not an baccount concerning them of cold, that they by their dsecret plans did obtain kingdoms and great glory? 18 And it came to pass that they formed a asecret combination, even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God; 22 And whatsoever anation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the bblood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for cvengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not. This would render the great and abominable church a specific secret group that knowing better, deliberately sought to advance their gain of the world over the gain of Zion. Similar efforts had been attempted before (Master Mahan, the Tower, etc.).
  8. Where preserving and maximizing agency is the purpose of the plan of salvation and the Lord's Atonement, I think that such conditions are the only way that we can exercise our agency to enjoy the mercy we are willing to receive (D&C 88).
  9. Thank you for clarifying that this is not the next Disney Princess!
  10. While the final judgement not a performance/rewards program, it is the conclusion of a testing program (Abraham 3: 25 -26). From D&C 88, 36 All kingdoms have a law given; 37 And there are many akingdoms; for there is no bspace in the which there is no ckingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom. 38 And unto every kingdom is given a alaw; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions. 39 All beings who abide not in those aconditions are not bjustified. 40 For aintelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; bwisdom receiveth wisdom; ctruth embraceth truth; dvirtue loveth virtue; elight cleaveth unto light; fmercy hath gcompassion on mercy and claimeth her own; hjustice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things. I think that God's grace enables the willing to qualify for eventually attaining a fulness of intelligence, wisdom, truth, virtue, light, mercy, justice so that we too can govern and execute all things.
  11. According to Alma 42, mercy is conditional: 13 Therefore, according to justice, the aplan of bredemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would ccease to be God. I take the Lord's Atonement to be a charitable act, with the greatest desire to extend mercy, but this mercy can only be extended upon conditions of repentance.
  12. Because these are spiritual concepts, it might help to describe the message, rather than define the term, since the former is what is being taught. 1 Nephi 14 is a prophecy of the last days, when the great and marvelous work (of which our Church is a key element) shall come forth, which either convinces men to peace and life eternal (church of the Lamb of God) or delivers them to captivity (that great church, the church of the devil). Christ is the founder of His Church, and the devil the founder of his. People, by subjecting their lives to the light of Christ, sustain one or the other, albeit by degrees. John the Revelator taught similar things, but this chapter focuses on the role of the Gentiles – the land or nation of the Restoration and what the Gentiles are called upon to do to bring a fulness of the church of the Lamb of God to the rest of the world. 2 Nephi 26 reiterates this theme from verse 12 onward. The “many churches” in verse 21 are built up by those men who lean toward the church of the devil. Secular wisdom (verse 20) and secret combinations (verse 22) are a form of church as well. Subsequent verses mention priestcraft (29) and sin (32). All of these churches, whether a member of one or larger combinations, are outgrowths or fruits of the church of the devil. This chapter focuses on both Gentile and Jew
  13. I think the most merciful arrangement is reflected by 2 Nephi 25:23, "it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." I think this phrase encompasses the principle that Christ saves us (i.e., enables us to become like Him, free of sin and death), by His Atonement on one hand, and by our doing in faith all He gave us to do on the other hand. What He gives us to do is quite a bit less than what He did, which aligns with our intelligence per Abraham 3:19, but which grows and grows unto the perfect day.
  14. No, I don't think the outcome would have been different, as I think they would have eventually partaken of the forbidden fruit on their own and fallen into mortality had there been no serpent getting involved. I think this is because, according to Abraham 3:19, they would have lacked the intelligence to perpetually resist something so enticing already on its own*. God had already told them it was for them to choose, and He did not keep them away from the tree as He did later with the tree of life. This was known and expected when the plan was laid out in the first estate; the knowledge of good an evil was requisite to multiplying and replenishing the earth. The serpent acting differently in this world on this point still allows his presence in other worlds, providing the element of testing through opposition to the Lord. There may be consistent imagery and principle using the temple as a template for other things, but the meaning of the imagery and principles in different estates and kingdoms, and for different intelligences, can change accordingly. For example, we have the first estate of spirits, but then the second estate of connected spirit and element, in a variety of kingdoms: paradise/Eden, the fallen world, and Zion above/Millennium, and then the third estate, the resurrection with innumerable kingdoms of glory. The highest of these is exaltation, where we multiply and replenish the earth eternally and possess a fullness of knowledge of good and evil. * I hope this isn't too tangential, but my personal working model for this is that there were three parts of the heavenly host: the devil and his followers (third part); the other children of God (the second part); and Christ, the Father and all those with whom they dwell, greater than they all of the second part (the first part).
  15. Thank you for the article! I agree with Nibley, but I would say that "legitimately" in footnote 62 could refer to Adam and Eve's entirely, independent, unincited volition (and not necessarily of the Lord Himself when He saw fit to give it to them, since He already gave them access to partake by telling them it was for them to choose), rather than a usurping serpent hindering their obedience to the prohibition with his enticements.
  16. The tree of life provides immortality. It kept Adam and Eve alive in Eden, and it will keep us alive in the resurrection. So once they fell, they were kept away from it so they could die in due time and not continue forever as immortal telestial beings. They were also given a space wherein they could learn and practice the ways of God before their resurrection and the immortality that follows.
  17. Yes, I think the scriptures and the Spirit work together to proclaim both literal and figurative descriptions as we ponder and act.
  18. Given the emphasis placed on the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement of Christ, His Second Coming, Final Judgement and the estates and kingdoms along the plan of happiness, yes, I would say the kinds of differences I pointed out are significant. Adam and Eve’s experience in Eden is different from that of their posterity born in the Millennium (any similarities notwithstanding). Their experience entering the fallen world and building a “Zion” community was also very different from their experience in Eden. My conceptualization of the Millennium is that the Lord will use scriptures, prophecy and family history among other things to reign in a way that helps repentant people receive and progress along the covenant path. While it will be a much better temporal and spiritual environment than that in which we now live, not everyone will be born in Zion or use their agency to join or remain there. The principles and practices of the Gospel as restored throughout the dispensation of the fulness of times will continue to apply, and none but a very few of these principles and practices ever applied in Eden.
  19. I think that is the crux; the Millennium is not entirely like Eden. There will still be death; we will have scripture and prophecy (which Adam and Eve did not have in Eden); family histories and traditions with associated multiplicities of ways of life other than Zion; the dispensation of the fulness of times; the doctrines, covenants and ordinances of the Gospel; and so forth.
  20. As long as there is agency, we have the natural man to deal with until we do what it takes to attain the fulness of the stature of Christ, including the mastery of all our feelings.
  21. #1, yes, dead in a manner of speaking (“as dead”) in that they were not “as one of us [the Gods].” #2, the were enticed, in some manner, to partake already since one was sweet and the other bitter (verse 15). #3, the timing is after the fall in which case they are now able to choose good and evil (spiritual), not just sweet and bitter (temporal). They are placed in advancing realms, estates or kingdoms, and in this way, God gives them advancing agency with advancing consequences. #4, I see no difference in meaning/intent. The newer the edition, the more accurate it is in conforming to the original manuscript.
  22. I think the point of negation is when the companionship of the Holy Ghost is muted to the point of disunity with Zion, and where the covenants of the Restoration are avoided and broken. The Family Proclamation is a great guide for every family or any denomination or faith tradition.
  23. Adam and Eve knew and partook of the tree of life first, so knowledge of just how good it is was not attained or appreciated until they partook of the tree of knowledge. I was saying that the fuller knowledge of just how good the tree of life was did not not come to them until after they partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, even by definition according to the names of the trees. I think they understandably felt a measure of trepidation and guilt at first, and that this escalated to a spiritually unhealthy level of fear and shame at the behest of the serpent. I take this from Genesis 3 where Adam does not answer the question of who told him he was naked (verse 11), but given that the serpent beguiled Eve, I believe he also coached them both to hide from the Lord by telling them it was shameful to be naked (which was also a lie in contrast to Genesis 2:25). Eventually their fear and shame after partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was replaced with the hope of the Savior and the joy of repentance through His merits.
  24. I was just thinking: the difference between knowledge and foreknowledge is timing and perspective (foreknowledge fulfilled becomes knowledge, and foreknowledge builds upon knowledge). From our perceptive, God knows certain things as surely ahead of their fulfillment as He does once they are fulfilled. In either case, He is perfect in His awareness (an process of knowledge representing a kind exercised in the present), wisdom (a process representing a kind exercised toward the future) and understanding (a process developed from the past).
  25. I did not say that creatio ex nihilo guarantees anything, only that it would equally allow (with creatio ex materia and ex nihilo nihil fit) that God does not determine our faith and choices. I don’t think a critique of the means by which He created or organized us is relevant to questions concerning the development of our moral agency. My logic is that He created or organized us one way or another, and rather than determine, enables and facilitates our exercise and expansion of faith, knowledge and agency through the various progressive estates offered in His plan. Thus, we always possessed agency (an attribute of intelligence that is not created or made) in some respects, and He also gave us our agency in other respects.