Day 2 August 11 - Matthew 8-12

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Judging Others - Examining Ourselves

Scripture Reference - Matthew 7:1-5

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Whether we are realize it or not, we live in a very judgmental world. We are all judged in one way or another -- by the way we talk, the way we walk, the way we dress, the way we act or react in given situations, the people we associate with, the car we drive, the house we live in, the music we listen to, the type of job we have, our level of education, and on the list goes. Not only are we judged, but whether we are willing to admit it or not, we all tend to be a bit judgmental at times of others for one reason or another. The act of judging even reaches into the Church. Often times the level of someone's faithfulness as a member is unfairly based on the perceptions of others. Too often we are quick to criticize what we think someone else is doing wrong, but fail to see, or refuse to admit, our own short comings.

Before rushing to judge someone else, we should take a step back and place ourselves on the witness stand and do a little cross examination of our own lives. What makes us so holy, righteous and perfect? Are we doing everything that we are supposed to do to live up to the standards of the Church and in keeping the covenants that we have made?

During the cross examination of our lives we should perhaps ask ourselves questions similar to the following:

First, is the type of music that I listen to uplifting and edifying? Are the lyrics of the songs in harmony with the teachings of the Church and does the music I am listening to help to strengthen my testimony in any way? Is this the type of music that I would feel comfortable listening to if my Bishop, Branch President, other Church leaders or Church members were around? Is the music that I am listening really any better than the music that someone else listens to and I am quick to judge them for listening to that type of music?

Second, are the types of movies that I watch in harmony with the teachings of the Church? Are they edifying and uplifting? Do I use wisdom and discernment in chosing the types of movies that I watch? Or, do I turn a deaf ear and a blind eye and dismiss the fact that there may be such things as nudity and profanity in the movie, or even an excessive amount of violence? What exactly do I consider to be a good movie? Are some of my movie choices really that different from the ones that I criticize or judge others for watching?

Third, let us not forget about our internet activity. The internet is a great tool. Unfortunately, just as it can be used for good, there is a lot of darkness that lurks within its many pages. Before judging others for their internet activities let's ask ourselves about the places that we visit on the internet. Do we avoid places that we know we should not tread, or do we take the attitude that a "little peak" won't hurt anything? Do we take the attitude that no one will ever know that I visit certain sites? Do we tell ourselves that it is ok because we are not really hurting anyone when in reality we are indeed hurting our own testimonies?

Fourth, what about our conversations with others? Do we enjoy listening to profanity or off color jokes? Do we use profanity or initiate off color jokes? Do we tolerate certain conversations so that we can appear to be a part of the crowd? In our conversations do we make jokes about or say unkind things about others (even if we know what we are saying is not true) just to gain favor of our "friends"?

The bottom line is that we should examine our own lives and see whether or not we measure up to the standards that we are trying to hold others to. We need to first make sure our own houses are in order and then we will be more capable of helping others put theirs in order.

I am reminded of the words found in Mosiah 29:12 - "Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just." I am also reminded of the words found in 1 Corinthians 6:2-5 - "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?" And also the words found in John 8:15-16 - "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me."
In Alma chapter 5, Alma asks us some serious questions that we should ponder and consider on our journey through life. As we read these questions, let us picture ourselves sitting on the witness stand in a court room [The Judgment Bar of God] and having the prosecution [God our Heavenly Father] asking us the same types of questions that Alma is asking and asking us to give an account of our lives. What would our answers be?

In this life it is so easy at times to be quick to judge others for their behaviors, but I submit that we should take some time and do a little cross examination of our own lives and after doing so, ask ourselves the question, "Have we experienced a mighty change of heart in our own personal lives?" Before we race to pronounce judgment on others, let us take some time to examine ourselves. Let me close my thoughts with the words found in Romans chapter 14:3, 10, 13:

3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8). Edited by pam
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Keith, thank you for the above post, very good. That kind of comes close to home as over the last couple days I have been reviewing some things in my life and asking myself if I perform to the standards that I except from others. The answer I have come up with is no. When i went to church last Sunday all the talks were based on service to others. I realized that I was always wanting others to do lots while I did little using work as an excuse at times at home. That scripture reading yesterday just reinforced what I already knew to be right. Two days into the challenge and I am already seeing the benefits. I have drastically changed the way I view work both at work and at home. Things seem to be making a great turn and I really feel at peace right now.

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Matt 8:12 the children of the kingdom shall be cast out

Religious pride ran high among the Jews. To even consider that Gentiles might have a place in heaven above what an Israelite could expect was practically blasphemy. Elder James E. Talmage wrote, “Judaism held that the posterity of Abraham had an assured place in the kingdom of the expected Messiah, and that no proselyte from among the Gentiles could possibly attain the rank and distinction of which the ‘children’ were sure.” (Jesus the Christ, 115)

There is a modern day corollary, in that there are some members of the Church who take more pride in belonging to the only true church than they do in living its precepts. For them, we might say, “that many shall come from among the Christians and Moslems, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But many members of the Church shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” If you don’t think that statement is fair, consider the following:

‘Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation…

And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;

First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.’ (DC 112:24-26)

Mark E. Petersen

’But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matt. 8:11Matt. 8:12Matt. 8:11-12.)

“And what does that mean? That unfaithful descendants of Abraham will be cast out regardless of their blood line, and that some from the east and west of non-Abrahamic lineage will be taken into the kingdom of heaven to dwell there with Abraham if they will obey.

“So the Ishmaelites need not worry. If they will be faithful to the teachings of Christ, they can and will go with Abraham into the kingdom of heaven. This will come to them even while covenanted descendants of Abraham are being cast out because of their disobedience.

“Obedience is the thing! God, who is no respecter of persons, offers salvation to all who will accept it on terms of true compliance with the commandments, regardless of race.” (Abraham: Friend of God, 110.)

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Matt 9:12 They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick

Carlos E. Asay

“One weekend when I had no Church assignments, I decided to attend a sacrament service in a local ward…Just moments before the meeting started, I saw two missionaries come in through a side door with a woman—a very worldly-looking woman. It was obvious that she was new to the group because she looked apprehensively from side to side and had to be guided to her seat. She was dressed in faded jeans and a tight sweater, and her face was heavily made up. Her dark and hardened countenance seemed to reflect a life of sin that was frightening to contemplate.

“I couldn't help but wonder who would be successful in influencing the other—she the missionaries, or the missionaries her. Immediately following the service, I sought out one of the missionaries and spoke with him privately about the woman he and his companion had brought to church. My initial question was: ‘Elder, where did you meet that worldly woman?’ My tone of voice was Pharisaic, inferring that he had brought to church someone who was unworthy of the privilege of worshiping with our group. The missionary bristled a little bit, stood his ground, and replied, ‘Elder Asay, who has need of the physician, the sick or the whole?’ (See Matt. 9:9Matt. 9:10Matt. 9:11Matt. 9:12Matt. 9:13Matt. 9:9-13.) Well, he had backed me into a corner. How could I question or refute what he and his good companion were attempting to do for someone who was spiritually sick and in desperate need of help from Christ, the Great Physician?

“…Time passed, and I almost completely forgot the incident. But some months later I attended a fast and testimony meeting in the same chapel. The crowd was much the same as before; some I recognized, some I didn't. One woman entered alone, walked down the aisle, and seated herself near the front of the chapel. She sat quietly, meditated, and waited for the start of the meeting. She was dressed tastefully and her face reflected a special saintliness. In fact, she was beautiful. There was something familiar about her, but I couldn't be sure whether I had ever seen her before. No one in the congregation seemed to worship as intently as she did during the service. She seemed to sing and pray with all her heart.

“It was a fast Sunday. The bishop bore his testimony and then invited others to bear theirs. The beautiful young woman was the first to respond. She stepped to the pulpit and began to speak. Among other things she tearfully told of how the missionaries had literally fished her out of the gutter, encouraged her to repent, and introduced her to members of the Church and to the fulness of the gospel. It was then that I realized she was the woman dressed in jeans that I had seen in church with the missionaries only a few weeks before. A miraculous transformation had taken place through the efforts of two dedicated missionaries who looked upon the woman not as she was but as she could become.

“I have often wondered about that woman who forsook the ways of the world and embraced saving truths at the invitation of two caring and loving missionaries.” (The Seven M's of Missionary Service: Proclaiming the Gospel as a Member or Full-time Missionary, Chap 1.)

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Matt 10:34 I came not to send peace, but a sword

Harold B. Lee

“The Master said this: ‘I have not come to bring peace but I have come with a sword to set the son against the father, the daughter against the mother, and the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law’ (see "#matt. 10:34"#matt. 10:35"#matt. 10:36Matthew 10:34-36).

Oppositiona-Lee, Harold B.TP

“Those sound strange words coming from the Master, after the angels had heralded his coming in the words, ‘Peace on earth, good will to men’ (see "#luke 2:14Luke 2:14). Oppositiona-Lee, Harold B.TPWhat did he mean?” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 393.)

Joseph Fielding Smith

“Do you find in this a conflict with the message delivered by the angel thirty-odd years before? There is no conflict. The coming of the Son of God was the message of good tidings of peace and it has been the blessing of peace to all those who sincerely have followed his teachings; but among the wicked, those who have rejected his teachings, even though with their lips they have professed to believe in him, there has come the sword. The preaching of the gospel has brought strife, hatred, bloodshed among those who have failed to grasp the significance of his mission and among those who have opposed it. Moreover, this strife and bloodshed has not been confined to those who have not professed belief in his name. The greatest number of wars and the greatest misery through wars, during the past 1,000 years, have been between those who have professed to be his followers.” (The Restoration of All Things, 281.)

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

“Christ did proclaim a peace—the peace of everlasting righteousness, which is the eternal and mortal enemy of sin. Between righteousness and sin, in whatever form, there can only be unceasing war, whether in one man, among the people, or between nations in armed conflict. This war is the sword of Christ; whatever its form this war cannot end until sin is crushed and Christ brings all flesh under his dominion. Righteousness is peace wherever it abides; sin in itself is war wherever it is found.” (Conference Report, April 1939, Third Day—Morning Meeting 105.)

David O. McKay

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of peace. War is its antithesis, and produces hate. It is vain to attempt to reconcile war with true Christianity….They who would quote this saying (Matt 10:34) as indicating that Jesus approves of war surely put a strained interpretation on its true meaning, which refers most clearly to the incompatibility between truth and error. It refers to the necessity of a choice, which has been made by thousands, between accepting the gospel or continuing in ease and comfort with relatives. There is not in that quotation any justification for one Christian nation's declaring war upon another.” (Pathways to Happiness, 364.)

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Matt 10:35 I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother

“There is a pathetic irony in the Savior's words. Surely no one wants families to be forever, joined and united, more than Jesus. No one wants father and mother, brother and sister, parents and children—families—to be close and at peace more than the Christ. And yet the Lord here highlights a less than pleasant point—that gospel living costs something, even occasionally the loss of family and friends. It may well result in division and variance.” (Robert L. Millet, An Eye Single to the Glory of God: Reflections on the Cost of Discipleship, 87.)

Marvin J. Ashton

“In the mission field I once met a young woman who had been a member of the Church for three years and who had been serving as a full-time missionary for three months. ‘How is your missionary life going?’ I asked. ‘Quite well,’ she said. I could tell by her tone that perhaps she wanted to say more, so I said, ‘Share with me. Why do you report 'quite well' instead of 'very well'?’ She replied, ‘Sometimes my heart aches when I look back and realize what a decisive choice I had to make.’ When I probed further, she told me this story:

“I had to make a choice between membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my mother's continuing love. My testimony and the conviction of my heart and mind told me the Church was true and that I must accept it. When I went to my mother and shared with her my desires and feelings, she told me, 'If you join the Mormon Church, just remember you don't have a mother anymore.' Elder Ashton, it wasn't easy for me to say to my mother, 'I must join the Church. It is true, and I cannot deny it. I hope, Mother, that this will not be your decision, but if I must choose, I must choose the Church.' Then she concluded, ‘It is not a pleasant and happy situation to be without a mother, but I know that with God's help I will win her back.’

“Not many of us must choose between church and parents. We have to admire a person who not only has joined the Church, accepted it fully, and is now sharing with others, but who also has the courage, after having made this important choice, to say, "I know that with God's help I will win my mother back."

“…In today's society it often takes extreme courage to choose Jesus Christ to be our best friend and Savior when others would try to convince us that He doesn't even exist, that He doesn't know us, that He doesn't care. It takes courage to share His life, His ways, and His peace when others about us would cause confusion.” (Be of Good Cheer, 96.)

LeGrand Richards

“In the restoration of his gospel in these latter days, the above statement of the Savior is equally true, as many Latter-day Saints can attest. Many have been turned out of their own homes by their own parents for no other reason than the fact that they have joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Without understanding how Satan works upon the minds of men to achieve his purposes and destroy the work of the Lord, such actions cannot be understood. Parents will follow their children even to the gallows, and yet turn their backs upon them when they accept the truth. One mother was so terribly perturbed because her daughter wanted to join the Church that she remarked to the author, ‘I cannot understand it—she has always been the best child we have.’” (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, 402.)

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Matt 11:6 blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me

The story is repeated all to often. Why doesn’t Brother So-and-so come to Church anymore? The answer: he was offended by a rude comment, a counseling bishop, a generalized indifference, or a perception of hypocrisy. When invited to return, he is no longer able to step over the molehill, for it has become a mountain of his own making. His inactivity seems to be designed to punish the offender, but sadly, only punishes himself. Hence, the Lord counseled, ‘blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.’

The quality of being not easily offended is highly underrated. It is a quality of godliness which puts at ease all those around you. No longer must they tread lightly, walking all the time on unnecessary eggshells. The principle has eternal application, for if we are not offended at our family, friends, and ward members, we will not be offended at the Lord’s servants or the Savior himself.

Neal A. Maxwell

“Meekness can also help us in coping with the injustices of life—of which there are quite a few…Furthermore, not only are the meek less easily offended, but they are less likely to give offense to others. In contrast, there are some in life who seem, perpetually, to be waiting to be offended. Their pride covers them like boils which will inevitably be bumped.” (“Meekness—A Dimension of True Discipleship,” Ensign, Mar. 1983, 70)

Neal A. Maxwell

“Jesus foresaw how and why He and His prophets would, in His mortal Messiahship, be rejected by so many. What He did, what He said, and what He was, offended many. The pattern is there, as well, with regard to the prophets sent by Jesus. The same meekness needed to accept Him is needed to accept His emissaries. Perhaps more is needed, the latter being good but imperfect. Without humbleness of mind, we are apt to reject those whom He has sent. There can be many excuses for rejecting the prophets. When meek enough, we know a prophet is a prophet.” (Meek and Lowly, 103.)

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Matt 11:20-24 Woe unto thee Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida!…And thou Capernaum

Spencer W. Kimball

“With our Testament open we read of the ministry of Christ, for this was the scene of much of it. We ask for the cities in which he lived and performed so many miracles, for we remember that in this area of but a few miles much of his work was done, much of his ministry was accomplished. We would like to walk through the triplet cities so often visited: Bethsaida, Chorazin and Capernaum. We see no spires nor towers, nor walls. We ask our guide: ‘Where is Chorazin?’ He shakes his head. There is no Chorazin. We conclude it must have been on those hills above where now are sprouting grain and vegetables and dry weeds.

“’Then where is Bethsaida?’ we ask. ‘Where is that noted city where so many sick were healed and the lame were made to walk; where deaf could hear and lepers lost their curse? Where is his favorite place he often lodged, the home of Andrew, Peter, and Philip his dearest friends? Where is old Bethsaida, the house of fishers, the place of miracles, the seat of gospel teachings, where fishermen became apostles?’ In these very few miles much of interest happened. ‘Where is Bethsaida?’ Our guide shakes his head again. There is no Bethsaida. ‘Capernaum, then?’ we ask, ‘Where is that important place, the port where fish were loaded, traded, marketed?’ He shakes his head again, then smiles as he thinks it through and changes the accent, and ‘Oh, you mean Capernaum.’ He shows us the ruins of a large synagogue.

“If this was of the Messianic period it is the sole survivor. A back wall great stones tumbled in disarray, some olive presses are mute reminders of long ago. But that can't be Capernaum, his own city, the great Capernaum, the haughty, wicked, rebellious, Capernaum!

“Now we realize that we should not have expected to see these cities, for were they not doomed 1,900 years ago? Have we forgotten the prophetic curse of the Master? In their unrepentant attitudes toward the Savior of the world and his exalting message, Christ warned: ‘Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

“’But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.’ We found that Tyre and Sidon still exist on the Mediterranean coast.

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.’ (Matt. 11:21-24.)

“And then we remember that only prophets and angels had visited Sodom to call that people to repentance, but for these tri-cities the Creator, the Lord, the Christ had come in person and for nearly three years had dwelt among them and performed the miracles and taught the gospel. They had ignored and rejected him. (We cannot remember ever reading about any Church branches in these cities.) Sodom and Gomorrah went up in smoke ‘as the smoke of a furnace.’ If these cities were more rebellious than Tyre and Sidon, more corrupt than Sodom, and more wicked than Gomorrah, we think we understand.” (Conference Report, April 1961, Afternoon Meeting 77 - 78.)

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Matt 12:2 thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day

James E. Talmage

“On a certain Sabbath, He and the disciples walked through a field of grain, and, being hungry, the disciples began to pluck some of the ripening ears; rubbing out the kernels between their hands, they ate. There was no element of theft in what they did, for the Mosaic law provided that in passing through another's vineyard or corn field one might pluck grapes or corn to relieve hunger; but it was forbidden to use a sickle in the field, or to carry away any of the grapes in a vessel. (Deut. 23:24,25) The permission extended only to the relief of present need. When the disciples of Jesus availed themselves of this lawful privilege, there were Pharisees on the watch, and these came at once to the Master, saying: ‘Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.’ The accusers doubtless had in mind the rabbinical dictum that rubbing out an ear of grain in the hands was a species of threshing; that blowing away the chaff was winnowing; and that it was unlawful to thresh or winnow on the Sabbath. Indeed, some learned rabbis had held it to be a sin to walk on grass during the Sabbath, inasmuch as the grass might be in seed, and the treading out of the seed would be as the threshing of grain.” (Jesus the Christ, 198-99)

Bruce R. McConkie

“By this one Sabbath-performed act, our Lord's fellow travelers were guilty of two violations, not of biblical, but of Rabbinic law. They had both reaped and harvested. The plucking of the ears of corn constituted reaping, and the rubbing off of the husks fell under the sabbatical prohibition against sifting in a sieve, threshing, sifting out fruit, grinding, or fanning. Each of these sins merited punishment and required a sin offering on the great altar in the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.” (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 2: 84.)

Matt 12:3-5 Have ye not read what David did?

After finding out that king Saul intended to kill him, David fled from Jerusalem. He arrived in a place called Nob where he met with a priest, Ahimelech (1 Sam 21:1-6). Hungry from his hurried journey, he petitioned the good priest for food, but Ahimelech had only the table of shewbread. Along with vessels of wine, the shewbread sat on a table in the tabernacle of Moses and represented “the bread of life.” (See Old Testament Institute Manual, Gen – 2 Sam., 1981, p. 149) The old loaves were usually eaten by the priests. David was not a priest. He had no right by Jewish law to eat the holy bread. Yet Ahimelech understood that the life of David was more holy than the shewbread, for it was the tabernacle of Moses which made the bread holy not the bread itself (1 Sam 21:5). The modern day corollary would be for the teachers to give leftover sacrament bread to a famished traveler who was not worthy to take the sacrament. Hereby, we learn what is holy about the sacrament bread is not the bread itself but what it represents.

“‘In truth, the reason why David was blameless in eating the shewbread was the same as that which made the Sabbath-labour of the priests lawful. The Sabbath-Law was not one merely of rest, but of rest for worship. The Service of the Lord was the object in view. The priests worked on the Sabbath, because this service was the object of the Sabbath; and David was allowed to eat of the shewbread, not because there was danger to life from starvation, but because he pleaded that he was on the service of the Lord and needed this provision. The disciples, when following the Lord, were similarly on the service of the Lord; ministering to Him was more than ministering in the Temple, for He was greater than the Temple. If the Pharisees had believed this, they would not have questioned their conduct, nor in so doing have themselves infringed that higher law which enjoined mercy, not sacrifice.’ (Edersheim 2:58.)” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 2: 87.)

Matt 12:12 Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days

Christ’s message regarding Sabbath worship was that the spirit of the law was to do good, regardless of the restrictions of the letter—the letter calls for sacrifice, but the spirit calls for mercy. Bruce R. McConkie noted, “There is a higher law. Mercy is greater than sacrifice. The ‘letter,’ as it were, of sacrificial performances, or of Sabbath observance, or of tithe paying, or of keeping the Word of Wisdom, or of any act or performance, ‘killeth’; only the spirit giveth ‘life.’ Sabbath restrictions are not to be compared with Sabbath acts involving mercy and goodness and grace. The lesser law is superseded by the higher. ‘The Sabbath was expressly designed for mercy, and therefore not only might all acts of mercy be blamelessly performed thereon, but such acts would be more pleasing to God than all the insensate and self-satisfied scrupulosities which had turned a rich blessing into a burden and a snare.’ (Farrar, p. 337.)” (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 2: 87.)

Unfortunately, even today, we can become more like these Pharisees in our approach to the Sabbath. We often will make long lists of things we should not do on the Sabbath. Sometimes we want to be told everything we can or can’t do, forgetting that ‘he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant’ (DC 58:26) Accordingly, in the writings of the General Authorities, long lists of “thou shalt nots” for the Sabbath are notably absent. The reason is that Sabbath worship is not about bad things we don’t do but good things we need to do. Hence, the Savior’s focus is to ‘do well on the sabbath days.’

Spencer W. Kimball

“The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things. Abstinence from work and recreation is important but insufficient. The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, sleeping, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day to which he is expected. To fail to do these proper things is a transgression on the omission side.” (James E. Faust, Finding Light in a Dark World, 116.)

James E. Faust

“On February 1, 1980, when the First Presidency announced the consolidated Sunday meeting schedule, the following counsel was given:

A greater responsibility will be placed upon the individual members and families for properly observing the Sabbath day. More time will be available for personal study of the scriptures and family-centered gospel study.

‘Other appropriate Sabbath activities, such as strengthening family ties, visiting the sick and homebound, giving service to others, writing personal and family histories, genealogical work, and missionary work, should be carefully planned and carried out.

‘It is expected that this new schedule of meetings and activities will result in greater spiritual growth for members of the Church.’” (Finding Light in a Dark World, 116.)

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  • 1 year later...

I really like this explanation/commenting chapter by chapter. I even started reading the NT again so that I can use your commentary:)

Could somebody comment on the following passage:

Mathew 12:

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Thank you in advance:p

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Sins or blasphemy against the Holy Ghost are not covered by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore it is an unpardonable sin.

While we can be forgiven of pretty much anything else, this is the ONE thing we can't be forgiven for.

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