1 Peter 3

1 Peter 3: Christ Preached in the Spirit World

                Peter writes about how wives should be in subjection of their husbands, Peter gives the explain that “…Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord…” (1 Peter 3:6). Some might say that this is sexist, however Peter explains exactly what this relationship between husband and wife should look like; “…husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife… being heirs together of the grace of life… be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another.” (1 Peter 3:6-8)

Wives being subject to their husbands really means that the husband acts as the head of the household… but does so as an equal partner. In the Family: A Proclamation to the World the Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lay out the roles for husband and wife:

“HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children… Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners…” (Family: A Proclamation to the World – The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of theChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – September 23, 1995)

Peter continues to explain that we need to “…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in your with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15) – Peter is telling us that if someone comes asking a sincere question, we should be ready to answer them. However if someone is just trying to fight with you or to argue over different beliefs…then you should not answer them.

Peter explains that “…Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which some were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” (1 Peter 3:18-20) Essentially Christ suffered our sins, so why wouldn’t we not suffer for the consequence of our sins in the flesh? Here we also learn that Christ after he was crucified went to teach Spirits in the spirit prison. This is sort of like “purgatory” but not exactly, it is more of a waiting room for those who were not baptized with the proper authority while on the earth or who never learned about Jesus Christ. Once Jesus Christ returns for the Second Coming, then those people will be judged and given their kingdom in heaven. Remember what Jesus Christ said to the thieves that were on either side of Him? “…Jesus said unto him… To day shalt thou be with me in paradise…” (Luke 23:43) After death, and before we pass over into “heaven”, we go to Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison.

Philippians 2

Philippians 2: Every Knee Shall Bow, and Every Tongue Shall Confess

                Paul urges the Philippians to be “…likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2) Paul explains that the Saints should not act from selfish ambitions. He urges the members to be like Jesus Christ; “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” (Philippians 2:6)

What does Paul mean when he said that Jesus Christ thought it was not robbery to be equal with God? What does that mean for the followers of Christ? It means that as Jesus Christ wanted to be like His Father, we too want to be like our Father. It is ok to have a desire to become like God, Paul himself said; “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there by gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6)

Can we become like God?

                The question arises, can we as children of God, become like Him? OR in other words, is it possible for mankind to become gods? Notice I used a lowercase “g” for “gods”, instead of the uppercase “G” for God the Eternal Father. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that we are of divine nature and therefore have the potential to be like our Heavenly Father, and the Bible agrees with this doctrine;

From the beginning; “…God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness…” (Genesis 1:26) Later, after Adam and Eve had partaken of the fruit; “…the Lord God said, behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…” (Genesis 3:22) This suggested that the purpose for Adam and Eve to have partaken of the fruit and to have knowledge of Good and Evil was part of God’s plan from the beginning, for mankind (His Children) to one day return and live with Him in His Kingdom, and to become like Him. Remember we have divine potential to become LIKE Him, but NOT BECOME Him.

Later we read in the New Testament when Jesus Christ is being accused of blasphemy, they charge Him by saying; “…because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:33) Jesus responds to them saying; “…Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:34-35) Jesus Christ was referencing an Old Testament Scripture; Psalms 82:6.

We need to understand that having a belief that one day a human can become a “god” is in no way devaluing our relationship with THE God. If we truly are His offspring, it is only natural for us to want to become like our Father. He has shown us the way, and has asked us to follow Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. If we truly believe in Them and have a desire to follow Them, we will also want to become like Them! It is like a father on earth who is an accountant, who has a son, who also grows up to be an accountant. Like father, like son.

Paul goes on to explain the divine nature of our Savior Jesus Christ, and how being obedient to the Father, He was exalted on High; “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things of earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11)

                Paul explains that because of this great sacrifice from Jesus Christ we must do the work and will of God and “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) This means that through Jesus Christ we can be saved, but we still have our part to accept His gift to us, therefore we must ‘work out’ our own Salvation, and do so; “…without murmurings and disputings:” (Philippians 2:14)

Paul then tells the Philippians that he will soon send Timotheus to them.

1 Corinthians 11

1 Corinthians 11: Hair and Grooming

                Paul invites everyone to be followers of Christ, he explains that the head of man is Christ and the head of Christ is God and the head of the woman is man. Paul explains that when you pray you should not have your head covered; “Every man praying… having his head covered, dishonoureth his head [Christ]” (1 Corinthians 11:4) essentially those who pray with a hat on or having their head covered are being disrespectful to God.

Here is where the idea of a woman needing to cover herself up comes from… “…if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn [to be broken off]…” (1 Corinthians 11:6) So the question is, does a woman need to be covered up? Let’s remember a few things…

“And God said, Let us [Our Heavenly Parents ‘Father and Mother’] make man in our own image, after our likeness… God created man in his own image… male and female…” (Genesis 1:26-27)

So God said ‘let us’ create man in our own image, male and female. Does that mean that we have a Heavenly Mother and Father? I believe we do, and while there isn’t much information about our Heavenly Mother, one LDS Hymn hints that our Heavenly Mother does exist: “When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by, Father, Mother, may I meet you In your royal courts on high?” (LDS Hymns, 292)

So, if we have a Heavenly Mother and the head of the woman is the man, does that mean that women are beneath men? No. In fact, God puts women as equal to men; “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:11) Therefore men and women are equal and in marriage should act as EQUAL partners.

Paul goes on to give some great advice:

“Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” (1 Corinthians 11:14) Men should be clean shaven and properly groomed.

“But if any many seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” (1 Corinthians 11:16) Anyone who likes to argue the things of God, outside of  constructive discussions regarding faith is contentious and is not welcome among the Churches of God. Basically, different beliefs and religions should be respected. Disagreeing with someone else’s beliefs is ok, but criticizing them for their beliefs is wrong.

“…he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself…” (1 Corinthians 11:29) Do not partake of the Sacrament unworthily, or else you will drink unto damnation.