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I have been working on my scripture study and have started to look at ways to relate the teachings in the New Testament to teachings throughout the entire scriptures as they lead to and help with the understanding of Charity. I will start by posting this weeks studying I have done. Please feel free to comment and help me on my journey. Understanding charity to be the pure love of Christ, I let any expressions of that love and the Father's love become topics of my study to further wrap my mind around the depth and scope of charity.

 

Wednesday 4/27/16 – Reading John 3:16 it mentions that “…God so loved the world…”. When looking into the love of God from the footnotes I discovered John 15:9 “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” Jesus continues to John 15:17 talking about our commandments to love one another and spread the Gospel.

I looked to Moroni 7:47 where we read “But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; …” The footnote on charity led first to Romans 13:10 “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” This is referring to the commandments to not commit adultery, not kill, not steal, not bear false witness, and not covet; to love they neighbour as thyself. (Romans 13:9)

Thursday 4/28/16 – In John 3:17 we read “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” This led to D&C 132:59 which is hard to follow, but when substituting the pronouns and also the general “man” with Brandon, I was able to really grasp how the Lord will bless us if we are righteously following His laws even if it breaks the law of the land. This specific verse was talking about polygamy in full context, but by D&C 132:66, after the law of polygamy is laid out, the Lord makes clear that “[He] will reveal more unto [us] hereafter…”. I surmise that this “more to be revealed” was the eventual ending of the practice of polygamy after it had been restored, since all things had to be restored in this dispensation, and the need to use it for survival was over. The law did have purpose in our survival because there was much hardship for the Church to be established and I believe that was another expression of God’s love to give us a law throughout the ages that would ensure survival, but also that it be honored. In those last verses of D&C 132 the law pertaining to the women is outlined, but in D&C 132:38-45 we see how the law works for the men as well. The story of David is mentioned, who was given many wives. David, however, married women not within the bounds the Lord had set. We can find this story in 2 Samuel Chapters 11 & 12 in which we see how this led to murder as well. In 1 Kings Chapter 11 we see how Solomon didn’t follow the rules of the law as well and this led to his apostasy. We may have laws we don’t understand, but as we follow them and research them we can see how the Lord organizes them in a way that is out of love. We can still see evidence of that love and know that we are given things not to condemn us, but to give us true freedom from the adversary. We may not even have the Gospel if polygamy wasn’t restored because of the survival of the early Mormon pioneers. We could not have experienced full restoration if it was not put in place at some time in this dispensation. I feel the only appropriate time was chosen by our omnipotent Father and that it was ended when it was no longer needed.

Friday 4/29/16 – In John 3:19-21 we read “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. / For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. /  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” When I looked up light, even the light of Christ I found John 9:5 “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Jesus makes it clear that He is the light in which we can substitute His name anytime we read about the light. And in John 12:35 we read “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” We need to hold onto the light we have been given. Having the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, means that we do have His light with us as we follow His Gospel.

We know that Jesus is the light and that according to Romans 13:10 “…love is the fulfilling of the law.” Now when we look at Matthew 22:36-40 we can see a very important revelation. Jesus is asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? / Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. / This is the first and great commandment. / And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. / On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Through the light, even Jesus Christ, we learn that love is the great commandment. First, to love God and, second, to love everyone else. Love is the message of light, through light is love. So as we work to bring charity into the world which is the pure love of Christ, who is light, we are bringing love and the light to the world. As we remember this we can know why Jesus also commanded at the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. / Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. / Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Our light is our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, as we spread charity we let Him shine to the world.

Saturday 4/30/16 – As we read John 4:10 after a Samarian woman asks why a Jew would even want to talk to her, a Samarian, “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” I then looked into the gift of God, and as I found something to replace that with I came to Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Yet again we see this expression of God’s love for us as it comes through Jesus Christ. In fact, as we look back to John 3:16, and I’ll quote at full length this time, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We see that here is another testament of Jesus Christ being a gift from God, given to us that we may experience everlasting life. Recalling the reference to “living water” in John 4:10, I wanted to see how this relates to everlasting life. I found in Nephi 11:25 as Nephi goes to the Lord to understand his father, Lehi’s, dream “And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.” Then in Revelation 2:7 we read “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” The tree of life is a representation of God’s love and is in the midst of His paradise. It is through His love that He has sent His son as a gift to bring us everlasting life. The living water that Jesus offers is the way to eternal life.

In His continued conversation with the Samarian “The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. / Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.” (John 4:25-26) So another way to see John 4:10, with everything that we have taken in today and earlier this week, is to be able to read it as “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest [eternal life through Jesus Christ], and [I that speak unto thee am he]; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee [the way to everlasting life through the love of God, which is the love of Jesus Christ, which is Charity].”

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19 hours ago, karmakiro said:

Understanding charity to be the pure love of Christ

This statement is ambiguous. It could mean either that love Christ has, or the love we should have in similarity to Christ.

I believe it is purposefully ambiguous and means both of the above (and probably more, the scriptures being what they are). So, as I see it, there are two separate, albeit related and overlapping, answers.

As to the first, we know as you cited John 3:16 (For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son …). We can safely assume that Christ loved us, too, and that His love for us matches (but is not identical to) Father's love. The difference between these loves is the same as when a child of mine would dive into a torrent to save his little brother, and my not stopping him when I could. The love, in each case, is for the drowning son, whom I love, but who is in the river because he disobeyed me. That doesn't mean I don't love the rescuer, rather much the contrary. I can understand the love of the brother, I have a harder time grasping the love of the F/father. I have done things this hypothetical son did, but I have not had to do anything like the father in the story did. Now it's even "worse" because the Father not only did not intervene, but He sent His Son.

Our job is to emulate the Son (the pure love that Christ has): harder to do than say. And the problem is how to do that, how to find those to save how to do it without seeking glory for ourselves, how to sacrifice our own selves and wills to be subordinate to the Father, just as Jesus did.

The "problem" with scripture study is that we (or I, in any case) tend to use our own intelligence to understand the message. We are commanded to reflect and mediate on these things, to study it out in our minds, but to seek the real message through the Holy Ghost. So, I thank you for your presentation. It helps me see a bigger picture than what I may have done on my own.

Where it leads remains undefined.

Oh, and welcome.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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If you haven't already, i would recommend giving a listen to Elder and Sister Renlund's talk on charity from the BYU Women's Conference. It had some great insights on this topic. Here's a link: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/languages/renlund-womens-conference/2016/04?lang=eng

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Charity is often taken as one single attribute, when, in fact, it's a sum of attirbutes. 

Very regularly, we see in scriptures the differences, for example, between love and charity, making it clear to us that they are not the same attribute. Section 4 of Doctrine and Covenants and Moroni 7 are excellent example of that differentiation. 

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Tuesday - 5/24/16 – I was really taken into Matthew 16:4-12 which reads “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. / And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. / ¶Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. / And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. / Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? / Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? / Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? / How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? / Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” There are two lessons that I caught going on here.

First, if we are seeking after signs of the power and glory of the Lord then we will not receive them. We must not be only looking for signs, but be following the council given and we may know through the Spirit. In fact, later as Jesus asks who people see Him as and Peter says the Son of the Living God then Jesus responds, “…Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17) This is a reminder of the need to learn through the Spirit because all that we receive from the Father is through His Spirit. As we study the scriptures and turn to the Lord in prayer then we will find our answers and understanding. Yes, it may be through signs, but that is not what we need to be asking for. Sometimes it may come through the actions of others, the still small voice of the Spirit, our realization of the playing out of events, and so many more possible ways. The warning in verse 4 is not that we cannot accept signs as acknowledgement of information, but that we must not seek after signs as our way of gaining knowledge.

Second, is a lesson about taking in the doctrines of man. I was able to see the message, but I had trouble with noticing who Jesus was taking too. To gain a better visualization of the situation I was able to read Mark 8:11-22 which helped me to realize that He was telling the disciples, not the Sadducees and Pharisees to look out for the leaven of the Sadducees and Pharisees. It helped the lesson hit closer to home to realize this is a moment that the Lord is speaking to His disciples and not His dissenters. Jesus is trying to warn us of the dangers of men in high places (and even low) that will try to confuse us of His doctrines. This is another view of His love for us as He guides us away from the many destructive paths that lay ahead of those that lose sight of the true doctrine of Christ. In fact He gives it as warning and not commandment, hoping that we will use our agency to continue to follow Him. When the disciples don’t get the reference He rebukes them for not having their spiritual eyes and ears open. Then still, in His show of Love, He tells them exactly what He meant so that this warning is not lost.

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Wednesday 5/25/16 – When Reading Mark 9:1-9 we learn of the transfiguration of Jesus in front of Peter, James, and John as well as their meeting of Elias(John the Baptist) and Moses. They are told by Jesus not to speak of it after He has risen and in Mark 9:10 we read “And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.” As I tried to really visualize their confusion I came to think of the setting, even the timing of events. This same moment is spoken of in Matthew 17:1-9, but just before that in Matthew 16:21 -23 we read “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. / Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. / But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” This adds an interesting element to the understanding that the early apostles had of the teachings of Christ. Jesus had plainly told them He would be killed and rise again. In fact when Peter tried to deny it right in front of the Lord, He rebuked Peter as the devil. Peter, James, and John continued in so much denial that when Jesus spoke of it again after such an amazing experience they couldn’t understand what He spoke about. We see the Lord trying to prepare them for what is to come. He spoke of it many times that they may be prepared, but they are just simply in denial. This tone continues on into Mark 9:17-19 where disciples cannot get a devil out of a child. In verse 19 “He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.” In Mark 9:29-31 after He healed the boy and He is asked why they couldn’t do it “And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. / ¶And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. / For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.” Jesus reminds them that while He is gone fasting is necessary which is a message He shared when Pharisees asked why His disciples did not fast while they were with Him. He said they must return to fasting when He is gone. After reminding them of the importance of fasting and prayer He again talks of His coming martyrdom and rising on the 3rd day. This is all another manifestation of His love. Not only that He knows how He must be killed, but also that He is continually trying to get them to understand what will happen. The more they can understand before it happens, the less it will pain them, but also to faster they could grow to understand more of the principles of the Gospel.

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Thursday 5/26/16 – I really wanted to get a feel for the situation in John 8:3-11 when a woman that is caught in the act of adultery is brought before Christ and the Pharisees ask Him what should be done about her. According to the Law of Moses she is to be stoned. So Jesus asks that the person who is without sin cast the first stone. Ultimately everyone follows their conscience and no one cast a stone. Jesus then lets her know that she is forgiven and that she must sin no more. A few things really struck me. In verses 6-8 we read “This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. / So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. / And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.” I tried to get a feel for what this must look and feel like to all the others. Jesus is nearly ignoring them. He even seems almost uninterested, besides delivering a very profound wisdom. I feel that some may have felt an anger towards Him for this, but I also see that it really did allow for them to look inward and not feel that He was forcing a thought on them of their own sin. This gave time for them to see themselves without any contention being brought forward. In verse 9 we that as they “… heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” Here is another manifestation of Christ’s pure love. He knows when He can engage a situation to let us teach ourselves with our feelings. He only planted a seed and the whole mob was able to teach themselves this lesson. It takes a great deal of love for others to see when this is best applied. The next manifestation of His love comes in verse 10 and 11When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? / She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” I again want to visualize how this shows that Jesus continued to write in the ground, almost as a child without a care in the world, until all had left. This shows that He was not boastful in any way during the lesson which comes from true lessons and teachings of love. Also, Jesus lets the woman know that she is forgiven and with a strongest show of His love, tells her to sin no more. He wants her to know that she is forgiven, but she must live a life without sin. She must strive for that goal. We cannot grow and continue to be forgiven as we make mistakes unless we sincerely show that desire to want to be better and without sin. He invites her into this life and she must choose to follow.

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1 hour ago, karmakiro said:

Jesus then lets her know that she is forgiven …

No, that is not what He said. I can't count the number people who've made this erroneous assumption.

He said, "Neither do I condemn thee." That's not the same thing.

Lehi

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32 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

No, that is not what He said. I can't count the number people who've made this erroneous assumption.

He said, "Neither do I condemn thee." That's not the same thing.

Lehi

I said this same thing until I was probably 30. At some point, I finally realized (probably from careful reading) that Jesus never said "I forgive thee," but rather "neither do I condemn thee" (followed, of course, by "Go thy way and sin no more"). Jesus came into the world not to condemn it, but to save it (John 3:17). But that does not mean condemnation will not come. You can be very sure that it will, and that we will be condemned if we have not repented and turned away from our sins. This very much included the woman taken in adultery, who we can hope did turn away from her adulterous actions.

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Guest MormonGator
15 minutes ago, Vort said:

(followed, of course, by "Go thy way and sin no more")

Have you noticed that "Christians" often forget that part? The "Go thy way and sin no more"? I actually have. People rightfully love the story but only selectively quote it. 

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I agree that we must go forth and sin no more. I did also focus on that. I saw it as being forgiven as long as she goes forth to sin no more. I get where you all are coming from though. Thank you.

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On 5/27/2016 at 7:04 PM, MormonGator said:

Have you noticed that "Christians" often forget that part? The "Go thy way and sin no more"? I actually have. People rightfully love the story but only selectively quote it. 

It is so bad that I have had people tell me that, because they are "saved", they could kill me (being a "Mormon"'n all) and still go to heaven.

Not sure how they arrive at that, but they really believe it.

Lehi

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Tuesday - 5/31/16 – In Luke 11:37-41 we are told that if we just do the outward acts to look clean and do not follow in the teachings of the Lord then we are still dirty and wicked on the inside. The versus that followed seemed to really fly over my head other than being a warning against hypocrisy, I wanted to know more. Jesus used dramatic words a lot such as “woe unto you” many times which really flagged this section from Luke 11:42-52. I turned to the Institute manual which first referenced me to Matthew 23:13-33 where the topic is covered in the manual and reminds us that “hypocrite” comes from the Greek word meaning “actor” even one that pretends, exaggerates or is deceitful. Then it mentions the woes (woe meaning a condition of misery, distress, and sorrow resulting from great affliction or misfortune. – New Testament Student Manual) and how there are eight of them. I noticed six in Luke. In looking at what they had to say about the Matthew 23 versus I have been able to relate them and understand more what is being said in Luke 11. Matthew 23:23 relates to Luke 11:42 in that they point out that the Pharisees would follow laws, but then ignore doctrines and principle that influence the laws. They would pay tithes but not exercise the Love of God. Matthew 23:5-10 which isn’t a “woe” in Matthew relates to the “woe” in Luke 11:43 according to the footnotes which shows how they were being prideful men, boasting themselves up as leaders and forgetting the Christ and the Father. The footnote for Luke 11:44 relates it to Matthew 23:27 but they are different in that Matthew recounts it as graves that look nice, but still houses dead men’s bones and uncleanness while Luke mentions the graves and people walking over them not aware of them. As the comparisons continue I noticed that the hypocrisy that was talked about could hinder the progress of others as these people did most of what they did to keep themselves in power. So their pride not only caused them to be the hypocrites they were, but to also prevent the salvation of others in this mortal life. This is what pains Jesus so much and is why we see that He would say there is so much suffering for them because they would lead to the suffering of others in their actions. This is another example of Jesus’ love for us as He wants us all to have opportunities to come to Him and people that would willingly block that will suffer more for what they are doing to their fellow man.

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Wednesday 6/1/16 – In Luke 12:36-48 Jesus tells a parable of servants as they wait for the return of their master. He speaks of the blessings that master will bestow upon the servant that is ready for his return at any hour of the night or day. Then He tells of the smiting to the servant that is not ready at any time the master returns. This alone teaches us of the need to be always ready for the return of our Master even Jesus Christ. The big flag in this whole passage comes at Luke 12:40 when Jesus says “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” This moment He steps out of the story to tell us the big warning that is in store for this parable. We must be ready at all times for the return of our Lord because it will not be revealed to us when it is to happen. We are told there are blessings that await if we are ready and consequences if we aren’t, but the big lesson is that we must always be ready. This again is a symbol of His love. He wants us to know that it is unknown when He shall return so we must always be ready. It is a warning to us because He does not want us to feel the punishment of not being penitent. We must see these times as examples of His love and not of a desire to punish or control. The bonds of justice are set; He is showing us the path to mercy, of which He suffered for, that we may be able to walk.

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Thursday 6/2/16 – I really took interest in the parable in Luke 14:7-11. Noting that it was a parable to begin and that it spoke of exaltation I figured these were flags of importance for it. It is really powerful to think that humbling oneself can bring on exaltation. It also carried the reverse principle that those that self-exalting can lead to shame. I felt that this parable did teach a great lesson, but I felt it did so by attracting a certain degree of pride. Then when I read the New Testament Student Manual I began to see why. The Lord was telling this story in the face of seeing those at the chief Pharisees’ house vying for the most honorable seats in the house as they sat to eat bread. He really was speaking to their pride heavy heart hoping to still get a very non-prideful message across. This is yet again another show of the love Jesus has for us. He is so hopeful of our return that He will tailor His messages to each of us individually. There is always more room to grow as we begin to increase our devotion-to and understanding-of the Lord even through parables that once struck a chord in one way, we may see other avenues of growth. Jesus loves each and every one of us and He wants to speak to us individually. We must remember this example of love and realize that our interactions with others will not always be the same. We must speak to the hearts of those we wish to reach and express our love so that they can understand our devotion to them as individuals.

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Wednesday 6/8/16 - In Matthew 20:25-29 & Mark 10:42-45 we see that if we are to be true leaders then we will serve those that we lead. “But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. / But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: / And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. / For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”(Mark 10:42-45) I really wanted to learn more of the service of true leaders and so I began to follow the foot notes and cluster more verses together to increase my understanding. There is a footnote in Matthew 20:26 in regards to “great among you” that takes us to the topical guide for leadership. I found a reference to D&C 101:42 “He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that abaseth himself shall be exalted.” The lesson is simple here that if we are to put ourselves above other we will be lowered and vice versa. A very straight forward lesson for those that intend to lead. Mark 10:43 has a footnote for “great among you” that takes us straight to D&C 50:26-27 “He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. / Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son.” This shows us that even when ordained of God and guided by the Father, through the teachings and power of Jesus Christ, we may only exercise power over things if we are to lower ourselves and be servants of all. Mark 10:44 has a footnote for “chiefest, shall be a servant of all” which leads us to 2 Nephi 9:5 “Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.” This very plainly tells of Jesus and how He will submit Himself to man and to even die for all man that we may be subject to Him. He is putting Himself below all of us the He may serve us as our greatest master and savior. This teaches us so much of His charity, even pure love for all man, and should remind us how important it is to treat positions of leadership as a service to our peers.

I can’t help but always relate this to our government and the Constitution of the United States. We the People are the government and we elect public servants to be our leaders in making decisions that we allow them to make on our behalf. This has been long forgotten and a majority of people have forgotten that they are the government. This leads to careers in political positions and a divide of the people from the very thing they are supposed to be, the government. Jesus’ lesson to us about His pure love is supposed to remind us how to act and not allow such divisions of government from the people. These leaders are our peers and we must remember that if they are not, then they are not true leaders in the eyes of our Lord.

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Thursday 6/9/16Luke 17:10 really struck a chord with me that I wanted to explore and see what other verses would say in relation to the subject. It says, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” I was really struck by this “unprofitable” and looked to the footnotes to find what other scriptures used this wording. We can find it in Romans 3:12 and Mosiah 2:21. Both of these scriptures need a fuller reading to really give an understanding of the use of unprofitable. I needed to read all of Romans 3 to gather its message which was that we are all sinners no matter how much of the law that we follow. Since we are all sinners then we are unprofitable in the sight of the Father. It is through the grace of Christ and His atonement that we are justified and able to join in the glory of the Father. In Mosiah 2:21 it helped to read verses 20 – 26 and we see a portion of King Benjamin’s speech to his people as he reminds everyone that we are created by God and always indebted to Him for this creation and His mercy. Verses 23 and 24 say it best, “And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. / And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?” We are given so much and constantly given more as we strive to better ourselves. King Benjamin even made it clear the he himself was no more than the very people he served as their leader.

                        Jesus Christ has given His life that we may be able to join Him as heirs to the Kingdom of God. We are already in debt to the Father for so much and they want to give us so much more through Christ’s atonement. This love they have for us, their unprofitable servants, is beyond our comprehension, but we see how we can return this to others. We must show forgiveness and love to all those we deal with. We will be wronged intentionally and unintentionally which provides us the opportunity to learn from this glorious example. As we follow all our commandments and exercise this understanding of love we may grow to understand more of the charity we receive throughout our lives.

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On 5/27/2016 at 7:27 PM, karmakiro said:

 I saw it as being forgiven as long as she goes forth to sin no more. 

The problem with presuming forgiveness is that it presumes repentance, which we do not know. God cannot forgive someone who has not repented. If the woman was repentant at that point then the assumption could have some validity, but as we don't know, it is problematic.

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Tuesday 6/14/16 – From Mark 12:41 – 44 we can see that if we are to give only of our abundance while others give of everything they have then, no matter how much more in quantity we give, the others will have given more in quality. I wanted to visualize this in two different ways. First we have the basis of the account which is giving a tithe of money. The poor widow gave based on all that she had, while the rich were casting money in based on their abundance. This example alone shows that the widow saw the value in the Kingdom of God as much more than the value of any amount of money. She would rather give of herself to the Lord then to hold onto what she felt she needed and give of what she had left over. Second, I wanted to think about this as a matter of time and visualize myself in this place. When asked to give to the Lord of my time am I giving time based on all my time? Or, am I giving of what time I feel I have left over? I know the answer isn’t what I want to admit. I do give of my time to the Lord, but I often catch myself scheduling it around personal time that could be given to the Lord as well. I know this doesn’t make me evil, but it is important to be aware of how thoughtful our offerings are to the Lord.

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Thursday 6/16/16 – I found myself really wanting to understand the actions of the Pharisees more in Luke 20:1 – 8 where we read about them trying to trip up Jesus by asking who gave Him authority to do what he does. His answer is beautiful as He asked them by what authority did John the Baptist do all that he did. This put the Pharisees in an interesting position that I really wanted to visualize even better. They discussed with themselves how to answer the question. John the Baptist was revered as a prophet among the people so this put the Pharisees in a big predicament. If they say that John has his authority from God, then what prevents that same authority from being Jesus’ and if they say it is given from man then the people in which they want to maintain their power and influence over would stone them. They end up saying that they know not where the authority came from. As I really put myself in this spot I see their fear of man and not God in two ways. First, they fear losing man’s praise of them because they would be giving up their power by claiming that God could have given Jesus authority, it would mean admitting the King has come and they no longer need to be in the position they have. Second, they fear the wrath of man because if they say that John’s authority comes from man then the people will see them as the blasphemers they are and will stone them to death. In both ways they fear man over God and by doing so then Jesus is able to return the same answer to them and they have no fodder for their efforts to catch Jesus in His words.  We can see this fear in ourselves, but we must overcome it. The Lord gives us many opportunities to overcome and that is another example of His love that we must reflect into the world. People will make mistakes even towards us and we need to be able to forgive and then give them opportunities to regain trust. We can be wise in the ways we approach this and give them opportunities through ways that won’t hurt us as much or at all if they fail, but charity comes from maintaining that love to give everyone chances to repent(change).

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Wednesday 6/22/16  Matthew 24:9 – 13 shows us that if we endure all the trials of being followers of Christ even unto death then we shall be saved. “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. / And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. / And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. / And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. / But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” The word endure was labeled in the footnotes with the topical guide as steadfastness and perseverance. We can look to the topical guide to find other scriptures to give us a deeper understanding of endure. The first scripture under perseverance to catch my eye was Luke 18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” Coupled with John 8:31 – 32 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; / And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” we see that we must always pray to the Lord and follow his commandments, even those we receive as we continually pray. This perseverance even endurance will make us free and that freedom is our salvation. As we add an understanding of steadfastness we come to 1 Peter 1:23 which tells us of the endurance of the word of God. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” This is a reason why we must always follow the word of God, because it lives forever and in so following we live forever. 1 Peter 5:8 – 10 gives us an understanding that if we are vigilant and steadfast then it is Christ’s atonement that will embrace us and make us whole unto salvation. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: / Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. / But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” Through our endurance Jesus can show us His charity and bless us with all that He has to offer that we may live with the Father again in His kingdom. We are so blessed to know that through prayer and endurance to all commandments we can be saved from our weakness. We must always press forward and remember that pure love from Christ and the Father. We can take this as another example to always help others on their path as we are all brothers and sisters in this trial through mortality.

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Thursday 6/23/16  Mark 13:11 struck me because I always find it amazing that our faith can help us know what we need to say about the gospel when the time is right. And this is a gift we receive through the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:11 reads “But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.” This refers to times nearing the end of days, but the principle is there so I followed the footnotes to Matthew 10:19-20 which from Matthew 10:18 – 20 reads, “And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. / But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. / For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” I included verse 18 because even though this matches up on being scourged as followers of Jesus Christ, it is still an opportunity to share the Gospel and reach even one. I think of Abinadi as he was imprisoned by King Noah and is priests. Abinadi never gave up speaking as a disciple of Jesus Christ and was able to reach Alma (the older) whether he realized it before his death or not. Through Alma the Church of Christ had one of the most significant growths in the land of the Nephites. The footnotes in Matthew 10:19 lead us to D&C 24:6 where the Lord is commanding Joseph Smith to translate, preach and expound the scriptures. It reads, “And it shall be given thee in the very moment what thou shalt speak and write, and they shall hear it, or I will send unto them a cursing instead of a blessing.” Yet again we see that as we do what we are commanded we will be given what is needed this time we see it as a message to Joseph Smith, but it goes even further as the footnotes lead us to D&C 84:85 where The Church receives direction that we are to go forth as missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ and spread His gospel. We read, “Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.” and it is here that we can see how the Spirit will help us in times of great tragedy such as mentioned in Mark 13:11. We must always act in faith by studying our scriptures and treasuring up what it is we learn. One way to do this is to pray continually and gain a deeper knowledge of what we are studying.

 

This is another blessing of the charity, even pure love of Jesus Christ. He has continually guided us to how we may serve Him best and bring to pass the building up of the Kingdom of the Lord. As we do so we will be blessed in this life or the next. We can know this because it is promised us. The road map is laid out for us. There may be difficulty, but we can know that it is all worth it.

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