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  1. Do you think the Brother of Jared et al met with the Hindu Rishi's/founders as they traveled the Silk Road from the Tower of Babel to northern China, where they built barges, assuming Nibley's theory on that is correct? Since they both practiced animal sacrifice by fire, perhaps they discussed other similarities, like the belief in multiple deities, belief that God (Male and Female) never had hte poer to create Themselves out of immaterial, belief in eternal progression in vairous stages/forms of existence, fasting, pilgrimage as required by divine decree, etc.? I think they would have since there weren't many people travelling the ancient Silk Road and since, if you met some other group of people at an oasis, you woudl rest there for a few days, talk to them, trade supplies/tools, etc. What are your speculative ideas, opinions? -- A Council of the Gods In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted [prepared] a plan to create the world and people it. When we begin to learn this way, we begin to learn the only true God, and what kind of a being we have got to worship. Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach Him, and how to ask so as to receive an answer. When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us. Now, I ask all who hear me, why the learned men who are preaching salvation, say that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing? The reason is, that they are unlearned in the things of God, and have not the gift of the Holy Ghost; they account it blasphemy in any one to contradict their idea. If you tell them that God made the world out of something, they will call you a fool. But I am learned, and know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does, anyhow, and he is within me, and comprehends more than all the world; and I will associate myself with him. Meaning of the Word Create You ask the learned doctors why they say the world was made out of nothing, and they will answer, “Doesn’t the Bible say he created the world?” And they infer, from the word create, that it must have been made out of nothing. Now, the word create came from the word baurau, which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time He had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and re-organized, but not destroyed. They had no beginning and can have no end. (To be concluded) Joseph Smith Jr., “The King Follett Sermon,” Ensign, May 1971, 13 [illustrations] Art by Richard D. Hull
  2. This is the first time I've posted on this forum so I do need to include a small introduction. I am LDS and currently attend the Pathway program in my area. We are studying the second half of the Book of Mormon this semester. One of the assignments that we are given every other week gives us the option of posting insights of our weekly scripture reading on some sort of blog or forum, but I have never done it. I decided to break out of my comfort zone and try this, so please have patience with me. Yesterday I was reading in Ether chapter six. When I got to verse four, a word jumped out at me. "...and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God." (Italics added) I looked up the word commending in the Webster 1828 dictionary, which is what was recommended to us by the instructor when trying to find definitions to words found in the scriptures. The definition was "committing, delivering in charge". I reflected on what I knew about the Jaredite journey from the previous chapters and what we knew about their vessels. We knew they were tight like a dish, with no windows and only a small hole for air when needed. We know that the only light was provided by the stones the brother of Jared took to the Lord and had been touched by the Lord's finger. In order to be "tight like a dish" we know there were no oars for self-propulsion or any kind of steering mechanism on these vessels. As the Jaredites pushed off into the sea, they were committing everything to this cause. They had complete trust in the Lord. For someone like me, a little bit of a control-freak, this is a terrifying thought. Last night we attended our class and in our group work, we were asked about this same verse of scripture. What does it mean to commend your life to the Lord as the Jaredites did on their journey to the promised land? We talked as a group and came up with some answers, but I knew I needed to continue to reflect on this and find parallels in my life. This morning as I turned back to this verse, I started to gain some insight as to how I have already started my own Jaredite journey, but that I needed to continue in faith. When I left my premortal life, I was much like the Jaredites. I had been taught and prepared there for my life here. I was born with the Light of Christ to help me start my journey much like the stones were the Light of Christ in those vessels. I did not know anything about my destination -- only that this step into mortality was necessary for my progression. I could not "see" what was ahead nor comprehend the experiences I would have. I was (am) NOT in control I didn't know how long my journey would be here on this earth when I started My trust was in my Father in Heaven, His plan for me and that He would guide me much like the wind and waves guided the Jaredites I have added to the Light of Christ I was born with when I received the gift of the Holy Ghost. I continue to learn and prepare as much as I can spiritually by attending church, reading my scriptures, praying and attending the temple. I still cannot see around the corners in my life and I do not know how many days, months, years I have on this earth. One thing I have definitely learned, this week especially, is that I am NOT in control. Any control I thought I may have had was an illusion. I have committed myself to God my whole life, but I realized, after this heartbreaking week, that the only hope I have for peace and joy is through delivering myself and my life to the charge of the Lord. I must have full trust in His love for me and His plan for me. I need to remind myself that 'the winds have gone forth out of [His] mouth. The rains and floods [He] has sent forth.' (Ether 2:24). I need to remember to be like the Jaredites on their journey -- sing praises, thank and praise the Lord all the day long, never ceasing. And...when I make it to the promised land, I will bow myself down and humble myself before my Lord and shed tears of joy before Him because of the multitude of tender mercies He performed on my behalf. (Ether 6:9,12)