2 Nephi 28

2 Nephi 28: Apostasy

                Nephi explains to his people that in the Last Days, many false churches shall be built up;

“…it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord—And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.” (2 Nephi 28:3-4)

This foretelling of the Last Days by Nephi was incredibly accurate, anyone who takes a close look into the many religions and churches that have been built up in even the last 20 years can see that this has come true. So many churches that proclaim to have the “truth”, without offering any evidence of their divine “truth”, the same churches that are built up for gain.

Nephi knew that this would happen, and continues to explain; “…they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men; Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.” (2 Nephi 28:5-6)

How many churches or religions would say that all we have and ever will have of God is the Holy Bible? These same people fail to understand that the Bible itself, by definition, is a “collection of books” and this ‘collection’ was put together by men who (denying the Holy Ghost) put together the ‘Bible’ omitting parts of the words of God, and did all this by their own precepts and usually by VOTE. God however does not VOTE on these things. His word, and what He wants in His Gospel is to be determined by HIM and not a counsel of so called religious experts.

Today we see so many churches that will claim to preach the Gospel, however, many will actually say its ok to commit a little sin, for if God loves us He will have mercy on us… Nephi explains; “….there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.” (2 Nephi 28:8)

How many see people who claim that all we need is FAITH in Jesus Christ in order to be saved? They claim that good works are not necessary in order to enter into the Kingdom of God. However, by saying this they are doing exactly what Nephi said they would, they justify committing sin if we just place Jesus in our hearts. Is that really how it works?

Are we saved by Faith alone?

The simple answer is YES. However, one must first ask… What is Faith? Is Faith simply believing that Jesus Christ is your Savior? Could it really be that SIMPLE?

In order for us to BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, we must believe in all of His teachings! If we believe in His teachings we will desire to follow HIS commandments! If we follow His commandments… we will do good works! So yes, Faith requires good works, and it requires us to be good people.

What if I commit sin and then commit good works, will that get me into the Kingdom of God? No, we cannot JUST do good works. We have to have a desire in our hearts to do the good works and to be good people without the reward of ‘getting into Heaven’, so to speak. Faith alone is dead without works.  It is also important to know, that while sinning “a little” is not encouraged with the idea that someone can “repent later”, it is good to know that if we do mess up, we can be forgiven because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ… for He took upon Himself all the sins of the world!

Nephi explains that in the Last Days many intelligent and ‘learned’ men will pervert the right way of God and fool the poor into believing their false doctrines;  “…O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!” (2 Nephi 28:15)

Nephi, speaking of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the Last Days, explains that many will exclaim that; “…We have received, and we need no more!” (2 Nephi 28:27) However, Nephi reminds us that even the Bible explains that we (the Children of God) will receive His Gospel; “…line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.” (2 Nephi 28:30)

We must ask ourselves, why would God only leave His children with the Old and New Testaments? Surely an Eternal God would have more to say and teach to His children!

Matthew 22

Matthew 22:

Worldly Marriages 

                Jesus spake unto those gathered and told them of the Parable of the King’s Son; Jesus explains that a king invited people to a wedding feast, but those invited did not come. So the man sends more servants to invite them to the wedding, instead of accepting the invitation they kill the messengers. When the king heard what had happened, he was upset and sent armies to kill them and burn their cities. The king then sends out a broad invitation to ALL GOOD AND BAD, essentially inviting everyone that wanted to come to his son’s wedding. Once the guests had arrived, the king noticed one of the guests was not wearing proper wedding garments, and has the man bound and thrown into outer darkness, where there is “…weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:13-14)

                What does this Parable mean? God was the King, and He was celebrating His son’s (Jesus Christ) wedding. God called many to come and celebrate, however the servants He sent (the prophets) were always rejected. Finally he invites all to come unto Christ, yet some still don’t come. Those who came and had their heart set towards Jesus were properly dressed. One man, however, just wanted to come and enjoy the feast without really having his heart set upon the things of God or His son, Jesus Christ. This man, just like anyone else who doesn’t have their heart set on the right things is in jeopardy of being sent to “outer darkness”. Thus we see why Jesus said; many are called but few are chosen. Everyone is called to repentance and do good, but only a handful will do the will of God, and therefore be chosen.

The Pharisees, like usual are trying to ensnare Jesus by asking Him difficult questions. They ask; “…What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” (Matthew 22:17) Jesus knew that they were tempting Him and asks them why they are such hypocrites! Jesus responds; “Shew me the tribute money…Whose is this image and superscription?” (Matthew 22:19-20) The Pharisees responded with the obvious, that it is an image of Caesar. So Jesus responds to them with the simple, yet blunt; “…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21)

                Shortly after responding to the Pharisees, the Sadducees, who did not believe in the Resurrection, came to also tempt Jesus with questions. They ask Jesus; “…Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.” (Matthew 22:24) They propose a hypothetical situation where all seven brothers end up marrying the same wife until they all die. Thus all seven brothers were with the same woman, making the woman a widow seven times over. They ask Jesus, if this were the case; “…whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her.” (Matthew 22:28) At this point Jesus was probably a little irritated after being berated by the Pharisees, so He responds; “…Ye do err, not knowing the scripture, nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) The Sadducees had done nothing, and yet had been in error simply because their beliefs were based on falsehoods. Jesus explains that there will be no marriage in the resurrection.

So will there or will there not be marriage in Heaven?

The Bible does not go into much detail about marriage in heaven. We do know that “…whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever…” (Ecclesiastes 3:14), therefore if Marriage is an institution before God of the binding of man and woman in Holy Matrimony; one would believe that marriage, Eternal Marriage, exists in Heaven.

James E. Talmage writes;

“In the resurrection there will be no marrying nor giving in marriage; for all questions of marital status must be settled before that time, under the authority of the Holy Priesthood, which holds the power to seal in marriage for both time and eternity.” (Jesus the Christ, p. 548.)

                LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

 “What then is the Master Teacher affirming by saying, ‘in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven’? He is not denying but limiting the prevailing concept that there will be marrying and giving in marriage in heaven. He is saying that as far as ‘they’ (the Sadducees) are concerned, that as far as ‘they’ (‘the children of this world’) are concerned, the family unit does not and will not continue in the resurrection. Because he does not choose to cast his pearls before swine, and because the point at issue is not marriage but resurrection anyway, Jesus does not here amplify his teaching to explain that there is marrying and giving of marriage in heaven only for those who live the fullness of gospel law -a requirement which excludes worldly people” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 1:605,606).

While this may seem like a difficult subject for man to understand, LDS Doctrine believes that Marriage will continue on, after this life. Will marriage be performed in the next life? It seems that this is not the case. Many LDS members and leaders believe that marriage must be taken care of in this life and will probably exist now through the Resurrection, but not after the Resurrection.

After the Sadducees were put to silence, the Pharisees gathered together to see how they might tempt Jesus. One of the lawyers asked Jesus; “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 is, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:36-39)