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rameumptom last won the day on June 24 2015

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About rameumptom

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  1. In Mesoamerica, there are jungles, mountains, deserts and large bodies of water that can separate people. Most scholars believe the Nephites in the BoM were in a 250 mile area. Jaredites would have been north of that. It may be the Nephites were aware of other nations around them, for matters of trade, but not much else. That isn't an uncommon thing in a world of little communication, etc. Besides, most Jaredites were wiped out while the Nephites were in the far south Land of Nephi, prior to their coming to the land of Zarahemla. The book of Omni suggests the people of Zarahemla were aware of the Jaredites. Coriantumr dwelt with them for 9 months. Besides that, it seems the Mulekites may have lived on the edge of the Jaredites for a few centuries, as they had forgotten their language and religion, and fled south of the narrow neck of land because of war. Was that Jaredite wars they were fleeing? Once the Nephites move in with the Mulekites, Jaredite names begin to appear and be common in the record, suggesting Jaredite influence on the Mulekites. So, it isn't as cut and dried as one would think.
  2. From the way I read recent General Conference talks, we probably will not be viewed by our sins or deeds, but by what we have BECOME. We do not earn salvation nor exaltation. These are gifts of Christ, received by faith in Christ. We do not have a ledger that marks our good and bad deeds. Instead, it is about what we've become. The Pharisees tried to keep commandments and earn their salvation. Jesus condemned them for it. Salvation comes from developing faith, and allowing good works to come from our new birth in Christ. DC 88 explains that if we become, even in part, a celestial person, then we will gain a celestial glory. Ditto for the lower kingdoms. God will ask us, "what have you become?" That will determine all. As for sin, when we repent of it, the Lord promises that he will remember it no more. Why? Because we are no longer the sinner we once were. We will have become a holier being, a saint.
  3. When you tax a church, you are really double taxing the individuals who donate to the Church. It also affects the First Amendment in two ways. First, freedom of religion is affected, because taxation reduces the ability for individuals to create churches due to the financial burden created by government. Imagine if Joseph Smith could not have created the LDS church, because he could not afford to pay the taxes required! Second, it affects Freedom of Speech, as one's beliefs and speech are now taxable. The problem is too much government, not whether there is enough money. We collect Trillions of dollars annually in taxation, and yet it is not enough for bloated government. James Madison stated that except during war, the federal government should only be about 10 percent of all government! Welfare, education, and most other things should be done on the local or state level, if done at all. With the hundreds of billions the Fed has spent on education, for example, we have not improved overall education scores since the 1970s (when the Dept of Education began under Jimmy Carter). We probably would have done better to leave education with the states and parents. This is why I'm a Constitutional Libertarian. There's always an emotional reason for getting government involved. Yet, when Gov lifts up one end of the stick, it always lifts up the other end as well. Unintended consequences end up hurting more than helping. Imagine all the good that could occur, if people kept most of their money, and of their free will, could donate to the charities of their choosing, rather than the organizations of the Fed's choice.
  4. The Doctrine of Christ is spelled out in 2 Nephi 31 and 3 Nephi 11. It is that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One God (one Godhead), and that we must become one with them through Faith in Christ, Repentance, Baptism (and other saving ordinances), and Receiving the Holy Ghost. It is a process of becoming as Christ is, wherein he went from grace to grace, receiving grace for grace (DC 93). As we develop a level of faith in Christ, we recognize our weakness and repent. We are baptized, receive the Sacrament or other ordinance, the Spirit seals us to a higher level of grace and holiness. With increased faith in Christ, we can repeat the process until we are fully holy and one with the Godhead.
  5. Possibly. Or he was seeing a representation, based on current righteousness and holy desires.
  6. Carborendum, Actually, Benjamin Franklin Johnson quotes Joseph in his journal. It isn't a third hand Nibley quote. So the Masonic rite is an apostate endowment. As Vort mentioned, Joseph likely took the story oh Masonry at face value. b f Johnson my life's review autobiography
  7. For those who have studied Masonry, there is no connection with Satanism. Because of their secrecy in their rites some have claimed a connection. While Joseph may have used a few parts of the Masonic rite to develop the endowment, the ties are rather insignificant. Masonic rites go through several levels that discuss/teach moral concepts, based upon a history where King Solomon, Hyrum of Tyre and Hiram Abiff the temple builder, all held portions of a great secret. The portions were combined to create the original temple ceremony, according to Masonic lore. The first levels are tied to the murder of Hiram Abiff, and the importance of being a Mason in building the temple. This is very different from the LDS endowment, the purpose being to prepare us to enter into the presence of God. We do not go through several levels of moral teaching as in Masonry. Our endowment is for both men and women, and is geared towards preparing us to enter the Celestial Kingdom, God's presence, and unite with eternal family. Fearing any small connection with Masonry as a reason to stay away from the temple is being short sighted and placing fear in the way of what can create great faith. Masonry is not Satanic. I know several Mormons who have been Masons, and I have read some of the rites, and there is nothing Satanic about it. In fact, Joseph Smith had no problem with it, telling his friend B. F. Johnson that it was the "apostate endowment", or an endowment that had lost much of the truth (like much of Christianity).
  8. Spirit Prison is where many will go, usually as a temporary place, where even many of the righteous will suffer the "buffetings of Satan" (DC 132). For most of us, it is because we've held onto some of our sins, our pride, our fears, our weaknesses. As with Alma, we suffer temporarily in Darkness until we are ready and willing to give it all up and turn everything over to Christ through repentance and humility (Alma 36). Most of us try to save ourselves, attempting to earn our way into heaven. We cannot do that. In fact, Jesus condemned the Pharisees and Sadducees for trying to do that. What Paul, King Benjamin, Alma and others try to explain to us is that only Christ can save us. We turn everything over to Christ, and he exalts us. All we can do is repent and have enough faith to let Him change us. Obedience, ordinances, and everything else become a natural outgrowth of our faith and reliance on Christ's Grace. And Grace is not a backup plan. It is found everywhere since before the Creation. Grace IS Creation. Just as we breathe in air that is all around us, so we can breathe in Christ's Grace, which is all around us. However, most of us attempt to create our own little form of gospel, wherein we save ourselves. In doing so, we deny Christ's power to save us. So, do not fear too much about having spent time in Spirit Prison, as others (like Alma) have also spent time there. Instead, use it as a gauge to know that there are things to change. Realize that God wants to save and exalt you, because He loves you. Then develop your loving relationship and faith in Him. Allow Him to save you, for you cannot do it yourself. Then allow that growing faith to build your Hope, so that Hope becomes an anchor to your soul (Ether 12).
  9. In the Creation, we learn there is a battle between order and chaos. Water and Darkness are symbols of Chaos in the Creation. God puts them in abeyance by ordering, "Let there be Light", and then dividing the lands from the waters. When the Garden arose from the waters, it became a symbol of God's Order. Today's temples, just like Mt Sinai, Noah's Ark, and the Garden of Eden, are places of God's Order (a House of Order) in a world of Chaos and Darkness. In ancient times, prior to physical temples, altars in the wilderness were temples. The story of Jacob's ladder (staircase) is a perfect example of a sacred space in the wilderness. In the early days of Nauvoo, God allowed baptisms for the dead to occur in the river. God determines what is a holy site/temple, not us. And sealings and ordinances are provided by God in his own way for each generation. So, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were sealed, etc., in God's way for their time. Also, we learn in D&C 137, that God gives to people the blessings they would have accepted in life, even if they have yet to receive them (Joseph Smith's brother Alvin was in heaven, even though he had yet to be baptized). What is most important in the temple ceremony are the covenants and promises made. Secondly, the temple becomes a place of revelation, specifically on the mysteries of godliness (D&C 84). The endowment and initiatory prepare us to enter into God's presence and see Him face to face. We practice entering God's presence. In the sealing, we join ourselves and our families to the Family of God. The Book of Mormon tells us that children who die before the age of 8, only need to be sealed to their parents. They are alive in Christ. We do not know whether they will receive some ordinances, once they become spiritual adults. As it is, it seems to me that someday they will receive priesthood and to be sealed to their own spouses, as a minimum.
  10. JAG, I said it, so it must be true. But if you need a second witness: LeGrand Baker and Stephen Ricks have a book that discuss it. You can download the PDF for free here:
  11. The problem does not lie in us worshiping different gods, but that we define God differently. The scriptures describe many of God's attributes, but not a complete description. This is true of LDS teaching too. God does not change simply because one Christian thinks God loves all his children, while another sees him as angry and choosing to rescue only a select few. He is the same whether he is only spirit or embodied spirit. He is the same whether we believe he accepts gay relations or not. He is the same whether we think works are necessary or just simple belief. Many Christians are often like the Pharisees that Jesus condemned for straining at gnats and swallowing camels. And when I say Christians, I include many Mormons.
  12. Jojo, There was a time when Christianity was militant. Remember hearing about the Crusades? How about the Inquisition? Just a few decades ago, Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland were killing each other. In Bosnia, Christian Serbs were killing and burying Muslims in mass graves. So Muslims are in company with Christians of the recent past. Most who want to immigrate far waiting decades to come here. Not everyone has an American spouse. Eventhen, I have a friend who waited eight years to get his wife in. The system is broken. Many come illegally, whether we like it or not. They are not integrated properly, which leads to many of the problems we now see. The current system does not work and it is insane to think that doing more of the same will yield a different outcome. We can control our borders and open up legal immigration tomore immigrants, especially refugees.
  13. This is a copy of a blog post I posted at MillennialStar.org: http://www.millennialstar.org/the-church-and-immigration/ In a world where many are afraid of terrorist attacks from radical Islam and drugs from Mexico, some think the Church is insane to have its current pro-immigration stance. However, there are two important points the Church considers in establishing its stance. First, immigration has long been the lifeblood of the Church. When Joseph and the Church were struggling in Kirtland, Missouri and Nauvoo, he did not hunker the members down to weather storm. Instead, he sent out missionaries. In the middle of the Missouri trials, Joseph sent one of his staunchest supporters, Heber C. Kimball to England. While there, Heber converted hundreds of people, the majority of whom immigrated to join the Saints. Parley P. Pratt traveled to eastern Canada and converted John Taylor, the future third president of the Church. When Joseph Smith was slain at Carthage, 10 of the 12 apostles were off on missions, mostly in the eastern United States. Brigham Young would continue the missionary work, sending elders to Europe, Hawaii, and into Asia. All of this, while Johnston's army and anti-polygamy forces were continually buffeting and threatening the Church. All of those immigrants that braved the Atlantic crossing, only to then hitch wagon teams or pull handcarts, became the heart and soul of Deseret. Without all of those immigrants, there would not be a Mormon Church today. So important was this early immigration period that Isaiah prophesied about it: The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:1-3) But what about now and into the future? This is where the second point on immigration comes into play. The Lord foresaw a point of massive immigration from around the world of a people that would join the Saints and build the city of Zion in the last days: Here we see the lost tribes of Israel, and perhaps others, coming to the Americas from the "north countries", which were lands north of the country of Israel, to receive a blessing from Ephraim (the LDS Church). This must occur as part and parcel of the establishment of Zion, as the lost tribes are to help build the city and temple. The very core of the gospel revolves around immigrants. It is a repeated story of the children of God seeking the Promised Land. Enoch built a city for refugees from the violence of Noah's time Noah escaped the wickedness of the world and the Floods, as a refugee on a boat. Melchizedek built the city of Salem as a refuge from Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham wandered from Ur to find a land promised to him by God. The Jaredites escaped the Tower of Babel and traveled across the sea in barges. Lehi and Nephi were guided from the evils of Jerusalem to a Promised Land in a ship built by Nephi. The Pilgrims were guided by God to the New World, where they could worship God as they saw fit. The problem with much of today's immigration is that we allow people to immigrate without having them embrace their new life and culture. When Muslims are not integrated into western society, they retain the best and worst of their previous culture. When we do not let Hispanics enter and join our society fully, they remain on the edges, encouraging the darkest parts of culture to come forward. We see the same occurring with those forced to come to America in the bounds of slavery, often left on the edges of society, where they do not feel like a part of the Promised Land. The new call for the Relief Society to reach out a hand to refugees and immigrants is not a new call. After World War II, the Relief Society sent train car loads of grain, food, clothing and blankets to the refugees in war-torn Europe. When the immigrants in the Willie and Martin handcart companies were brought in from the storms, the sisters were ready to take them into their homes, often for years, There is a consistent pattern in how the Church invites refugees and immigrants. They are the children of God. As such, they deserve a chance to be loved and helped.
  14. Have her consider this: God wishes her to have the maximum amount of joy and happiness she is willing and able tor receive. If she receives baptism and the temple covenants, then God is able to give her the maximum joy in the celestial kingdom. Exaltation is promised to all those who faithfully accept and keep the temple covenants. The promises extend way beyond being sealed to family members. If she accepts the fulness of the gospel, she opens the door for her husband to someday also accept it. If she closes the door on herself, she closes it on her husband, also. My non-member uncle was married to my LDS aunt for 40 years. When she died of cancer, he began to think about his family, children and grandchildren, and decided he did want to be with them for eternity. He joined the Church and was sealed to his deceased wife and his living children. He gained the blessing, because his wife did the right thing and never gave up hope, even in death.