2 Nephi 9

2 Nephi 9: The Last Days and the Spirits of the Dead

                Jacob speaks to his brethren and tells them that he has come to the knowledge of the things he is about to teach as being part of the covenants of the Lord, that was promised through the house of Israel. Jacob explains that he knew; “…he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down, from generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored to the true church and fold of God; when they shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise.” (2 Nephi 9:2)

In the Last Days, the Jews will come to the knowledge of their Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Jacob explains to his people that he teaches of these things, so that they may be filled with joy, because of the promised blessings the Lord has in store for them.

What is the meaning of Life?

                Jacob knows that many of his people, and many of us in present day are searching for the answers to questions like; what is the meaning to life? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going after death? Etc. Jacob explains; “…I know that ye have searched much, many of you, to know of things to come; wherefore I know that ye know that our flesh must waste away and die; nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God.” (2 Nephi 9:4)

Jacob makes the obvious point, we all must die. Has there ever been a recorded history of mortal men living forever? No. However, this does not mean that our life does not go on after death. If one is to believe that we have life after death, that means that there must be some sort of plan for this, correct? Our Heavenly Father has a plan for us, this plan was created before the world was!

Jacob explains this Plan of Salvation;

“…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. For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord. Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.” (2 Nephi 9:5-7)

Let’s step back and understand what Jacob is teaching. We know that Jesus Christ was sent to earth (our Redeemer) to Redeem us from our sins! What sins? In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve something called Agency, this Agency would allow for Adam and Eve to make their own choices, even if they were contrary to the commandments of God. This was necessary for God to give His children the ability to choose for themselves, whether they wanted to follow good or evil. This gave our life meaning and purpose, however, God was not about to leave us without a plan to return to Him.

Here we have the Plan of Salvation, God knew that Adam and Eve would disobey Him, but this was all part of the plan. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God by following the enticing’s of the Devil they were cast out of the Garden of Eden and thus given the opportunity to prove themselves in the world and become the first parents of all the Spirit Children of God. Because man was in a “fallen” state, i.e. we were unable to be in God’s presence. God gave us the Resurrection through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, who DIED FOR OUR SINS! Because Jesus Christ died for our sins, we were given a gift from God, Salvation! Because of Jesus Christ, we know had a way to return to God! But, we again have to use our Agency… Follow Jesus Christ on the pathway back to God? OR Follow Satan on the pathway to disobedience and destruction?

If God had not given us a Redeemer, Jesus Christ… we would have been dead spiritually. The Free gift of Salvation is ours to take as long as we can be a disciple of Christ. This means that we are disciple-ined (disciplined in the teachings of Christ, i.e. we follow His commandments). Jacob goes on to teach his people and praise God; “….O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.” (2 Nephi 9:13) God’s plan for us is perfect, we must choose who to follow in this life.

The purpose of Life? Follow God’s commandments, obtain knowledge and become as perfect as we can in this life. If we make mistakes, we recognize the mistakes and move past them, always bettering ourselves and those around us.

Jacob teaches that in the next life, when were are judged; “…we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and the irrighteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness…. it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God.” (2 Nephi 9:14-15)

The only thing that goes with us into the next life is our knowledge and memories. Nothing else will go with us, therefore we should strive to value friendship and family… love for our neighbor and our God. Jacob explains that after we die, those; “….who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end.” (2 Nephi 9:16) Essentially not much changes from the time we die. If we are miserable in this life and only desire material wealth… we will desire material wealth in the next life. If we are happy with our life and the basics we have, we will enjoy the next life.

Those who follow God will be delivered from the devil in the last days! “…he [Jesus Christ] cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam. And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day… he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God… if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.” (2 Nephi 9:22-24) Jesus Christ died for all our sins that we might be given a chance to prove ourselves in this life, be baptized and follow His commandments until the day the Lord calls us home.

No Law… No Punishment

                “…he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him. For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; and they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel.” (2 Nephi 9:25-26)

God has given us laws and commandments so that there might be punishment and reward. For those who follow the commandments, the Lord has sent His Son to die for our sins, so that we can return to our Heavenly Father! Jacob warns of those who have been given the law, and chose to disobey… knowing full well that they are doing wickedness; “…wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!” (2 Nephi 9:27)

Wo unto those who think they are WISE:

Jacob explains that many who think they are wise, are actually foolish.

“…O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.” (2 Nephi 9:28)

Wo unto the…

  • “…unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also.” (2 Nephi 9:30)
  •  “…wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for they shall perish.” (2 Nephi 9:31)
  •  “…Wo unto the blind that will not see; for they shall perish also.” (2 Nephi 9:32)
  • “…Wo unto the uncircumcised of heart, for a knowledge of their iniquities shall smite them at the last day.” (2 Nephi 9:33)
  • “…Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell.” (2 Nephi 9:34)
  • “…Wo unto the murderer who deliberately killeth, for he shall die.” (2 Nephi 9:35)
  • “…Wo unto them who commit whoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to hell.” (2 Nephi 9:36)
  • “….wo unto those that worship idols, for the devil of all devils delighteth in them.” (2 Nephi 9:37)
  • “…wo unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.” (2 Nephi 9:38)

Jacob encourages his people to follow the Lord and not to give into the enticing’s of the Devil; “…But behold, my brethren, is it expedient that I should awake you to an awful reality of these things? Would I harrow up your souls if your minds were pure? Would I be plain unto you according to the plainness of the truth if ye were freed from sin? Behold, if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness; but as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a teacher, it must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequences of sin.” (2 Nephi 9:47-48)

Because Jacob was called of God to speak unto his people, he must act as a teacher unto them… so that they might become holy. Jacob exhorts [urges] his people to follow God, that they might be quenched of their spiritual thirst

“Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.” (2 Nephi 9:50-51)

2 Nephi 2

2 Nephi 2: Agency is Important

                Lehi speaks to Jacob and promises him that God; “…shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.” (2 Nephi 2:2) Jacob shall find comfort and shall dwell in safety with his brother Nephi. Lehi explains that; “…the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.” (2 Nephi 2:4) Lehi goes on to explain that men are instructed to know good from evil and by the laws that are given unto mankind, we shall be justified. Lehi then explains that NO man can return to the presence of God without the merits and mercy of Jesus Christ. Even though Salvation if FREE, one has to have a broken heart and contrite spirit in order to accept this free gift.

“…redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth… he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah…” (2 Nephi 2:6-8)

Why does God permit suffering?

Lehi goes on to explain that there needs to be opposition in all things! He answers the grand old question; why does God permit suffering?

“…it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so…righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.” (2 Nephi 2:11)

But why is this? For if there was no opposition in all things, there would have been no reason for our creation, for our very being! All things would; “…have been created for… naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.” (2 Nephi 2:12)

Atheists claim that there is no God, others who believe in God claim no need to follow God’s commandments, because salvation is free and no works are required for entering the Kingdom of God.

Lehi explains that this is not so;

“…if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.” (2 Nephi 2:13)

Science explains that every action, has an equal and opposite reaction. Here we see that there must be opposition in all things. We also see that without anything to be acted upon, all things would have vanished. Who or What acted first in the creation of all things? Science explains that everything was created from the Big Bang. We do not have to discredit science, for the universe most likely was created by something similar to what science has explained as the Big Bang. But what caused that? One could easily argue that science, as we know it, was created by a higher power. God must exist, or we would not exist.

Everything has its opposite

                From the very beginning, God has given us the ability to CHOOSE for ourselves. This choice is known as agency. We have been given the gift of agency, to ACT on our own accord, to be our own AGENTS. Go has given us this agency, and the ability to act as our own agents so that we could exist and have a reason for existence. After God had created the earth, the fowls of the air and the fields, God created our first parents [Adam and Eve] and gave the opposition; “…it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.” (2 Nephi 2:15)

The Fall of Mankind: The Purpose of Mankind

                After rebelling against God in the pre-mortal existence, Satan was cast out of heaven and became a fallen angel. He was there [because God permitted him to be there] when Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden. God did this, so that man could be their own agents. In order to choose for themselves, God needed to place opposition to the good. After being tempted by the devil to partake of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve were cast out into the world so that men might be.

“And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.” (2 Nephi 2:21)

God gave the children of men [all mankind] a time of probation [their lives] to repent and follow the commandments of God that they might one day return to live with their Heavenly Father. Nevertheless, we were given the ability to choose to return to our Father in Heaven.

What if Adam did not Fall?

                Some look at the Fall of Adam as the ‘Original Sin’ that prevents us from having a paradise in this life. These same people claim that if Adam and Eve would not have partaken of the fruit, that we would be living in paradise in the Garden of Eden. All of the world’s problems today, would not exist. But, we too would not exist!

“…if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end… they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Nephi 2:22-25)

                ADAM FELL, THAT MEN MIGHT BE! Without the fall of Adam and Eve, WE WOULD NOT EXIST! God is all knowing, the opposition in the Garden of Eden was all part of the plan, He had for His children! Because Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, men were destined to be apart from God. But, God had this in mind, when he called a Savior for mankind!

“…the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.” (2 Nephi 2:26)

God made it possible for Jesus Christ to come and die for all our sins! Through His Atonement and Sacrifice we ARE ALL SAVED from the Original Sin. Jesus Christ RESTORED our ability to return to God! This ability to return to God, is FREE. Salvation is FREE. But, we are all FREE to choose good from evil. Therefore it is our choice to accept Salvation.

“…men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” (2 Nephi 2:27)

Satan chose not to follow the Plan of Salvation, and because of His rebellion he was cast out of the presence of God. We, being FREE agents, have the ability to choose to follow God. If we choose to follow God, we must follow His commandments. Only then, can we accept His free gift of Salvation.

Abraham 5

Abraham 5: The Creation of the Plans

“…thus we will finish the heavens and the earth…” (Abraham 5:1)

 Day 7:

                “…the Gods said among themselves: On the seventh time we will end our work, which we have counseled; and we will rest on the seventh time from all our work… and sanctified it…” (Abraham 2-3)

The Gods rested on the seventh day from all their labors and sanctified that day as a Holy day, the Sabbath Day. Abraham explains that everything was created spiritually before it was created physically, the Gods rested from their plans on the seventh day.

“…there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground… the Gods created man from the dust of the ground… the Gods planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there they put man… And out of the ground made the Gods to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food… the Gods took man and put him in the Garden of Eden, to dress it and keep it.” (Abraham 5:6-9;11)

Abraham chapter 5, goes over the story of Adam and Eve and how they were put into the Garden of Eden. Eve was formed from the rib of Adam and thus became a woman.  They became one flesh and were naked and not ashamed.

 

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Moses 5

Moses 5: Adam and Eve Bring Forth Children

 

“And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, as I the Lord had commanded him. And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.” (Moses 5:1) God tells Moses that Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden and were now required to till the land and work for their food. It is interesting to note that God said that Adam and Eve worked together, Adam and Eve were not alone, they had each other.

“And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth. And from that time forth, the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons and daughters.” (Moses 5:2-3) Here we learn that Adam and Eve had many Sons and Daughters, who then separated off and had more sons and daughters. By this, Adam and Eve were able to fulfill the commandment of God to ‘multiple and replenish the earth’.

God tells Moses that since Adam and Eve man has had some sort of religion, Adam and Eve would pray unto the Lord and would hear His voice, but would not see His presence; “And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.” (Moses 5:4)

From here, the Lord God gave them commandments and they fulfilled these commandments, even when they did not understand them. And he gave unto them commandments, that they shouldworship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of theirflocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.

God explains that Adam was filled with the Holy Ghost and that he bore witness of the Lord. Adam was also able to come to a knowledge of the reason both him and Eve had to transgress and break the commandments of God;  “… as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will. And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God. And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” (Moses 5:9-11) Here we learn that the Fall of Adam and Eve (or what some consider the ‘Original Sin’) was actually part of God’s Plan, for if they did not partake of the fruit, they would not have had their eyes opened and would not have had the knowledge that they now had. Eve even realized that if they had not partaken of the fruit, they would not have had children, for they knew not good or evil. Adam and Eve were both innocent and did not even know that they were both naked before they partook of the fruit; How were they supposed to of reproduced?

Here is the part of Moses where some may argue the thought of ‘Original Sin’ comes from; “…Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God…” (Moses 5:13) From this moment on, many of the decedents of Adam and Eve became; “…carnal, sensual, and devilish.” (Moses 5:13)

Adam and Eve have two more sons; Cain and Abel; “…Cain loved Satan more than God…” (Moses 5:18) Abel was loved by the Lord, because he brought forth great offerings unto the Lord; however Cain did not offer any good offerings unto the Lord, for he loved Satan. Cain begins to call himself “…Master Mahan, and he glorified in wickedness.” (Moses 5:31) Some believe that ‘Mahan’ refers to ‘Mind Destroyer’ and the ‘Great One’.

Cain calls Abel to the fields and while they are talking, Cain kills Abel. God knew that this would happen, but decides to ask Cain about what had happened; “…Cain: Where is Abel, thy brothers? And he [Cain] said: I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Moses 5:34) God becomes angry and asks why Cain had done such a thing? Cain responds that he was jealous of the things that Abel had and wanted to kill him because of that. God then punishes Cain, and curses him; “…thou shalt be curse from the earth…A fugitive and a vagabond [wanderer] shalt thou be in the earth…” (Moses 5:37) Cain, coming to the knowledge of what he had done, pleads with God; “…my punishment is great than I can bear.” (Moses 5:38)

In this chapter of Moses we are then drawn to the following family tree;

“…Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Enoch, and he also begat many sons and daughters. And he builded a city, and he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.

“…unto Enoch was born Irad, and other sons and daughters. And Irad begat Mahujael, and other sons and daughters. And Mahujael begat Methusael, and other sons and daughters. And Methusael begat Lamech.

“…Lamech took unto himself two wives; the name of one being Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah… Adah bare Jabal… And Zillah, she also bare Tubal Cain…  the sister of Tubal Cain was called Naamah…. “ (Moses 5:42-46)

Lamech had entered into a covenant with Satan, wherein he became Master Mahan, who was; “…master of that great secret which was administered unto Cain by Satan; and Irad, the son of Enoch, having known their secret, began to reveal it unto the sons of Adam; Wherefore Lamech, being angry, slew him, not like unto Cain, his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, but he slew him for the oath’s sake. For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.” (Moses 5:49-51) Here we learn that after Cain was cursed, part of his family continued to worship Satan and from that time forward, they worked in secret combinations. Think about what is going on in the world today, or throughout all history! Who is behind all of the wars? Plagues? Etc… it is Satan.

The disbelief and wickedness of the Devil was spread throughout all of the earth to all of God’s children. Lamech and his entire house were also cursed by God, but the Devil continued to work hard to spread the word of wickedness and evil.

Because of this spread of wickedness, it was necessary from day one to preach the Gospel; “…thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost. And thus all things were confirmed unto Adam, by an holy ordinance, and the Gospel preached, and a decree sent forth, that it should be in the world, until the end thereof; and thus it was. Amen.” (Moses 5:58-59)

God had a plan for his children, and part of that plan is agency. God has given us a choice on who we should follow. It is obvious that we should follow God, and slowly learn our way back to him. Because Satan disobeyed and rebelled, He was cast out of Heaven and never given the ability to obtain an earthly body. For this reason Satan desires that all be miserable like unto himself.

Moses 4

Moses 4: How Satan Became the Devil

 

In the pre-mortal existence, before the world was, God created a plan for His children and during this plan Satan rebelled against God. The Lord speaks to Moses and explains to him how Satan became the Devil;

“…That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.” (Moses 4:1) Satan came to God in the pre-mortal existence and told God to send him as the Redeemer of Mankind. Satan promised that NO SOULS would be lost, but he demanded the entire honor for doing so. This of course would defeat the purpose of coming to the earth to obtain a body and earthly experiences; to be tried and tested.

But in that pre-mortal existence Jesus Christ came forth and said; “…Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.” (Moses 4:2) Jesus Christ would do as commanded and would give all the glory to the Father.

The Lord goes on to explain to Moses that; “…because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down; And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.” (Moses 4:3-4) Because Satan was cast out of the presence of God, this angered Him and Satan desired to make ALL miserable like unto himself.

God explains to Moses that “…the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which I, the Lord God, had made. And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world.

And he said unto the woman: Yea, hath God said—Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (And he spake by the mouth of the serpent.)

And the woman said unto the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; But of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God hath said—Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

And the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not surely die; For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Moses 4:5-11)

When Satan was cast out of Heaven, He brought with Him 1/3 of all the host of heaven. These were his followers. Satan knew that God had a plan for man (at this time, Adam and Eve). So Satan, knowing this plan came to Eve and tempted her to partake of the forbidden fruit.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they had been naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.” (Moses 4:12-13) After Satan had tempted Eve, she partook of the fruit, because she desired to be wise. Adam, having no other choice partook of the fruit also. God had commanded them to multiple and replenish the earth. If Adam had not partaken of the fruit, Eve would have been cast out of the Garden and reproduction would not have been possible. So Adam partook, that men might be!

Because Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, they now had knowledge of good and evil, and shortly after eating the fruit they were walking in the garden and heard the voice of God;  “…and Adam and his wife went to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

And I, the Lord God, called unto Adam, and said unto him: Where goest thou?

And he said: I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I beheld that I was naked, and I hid myself.

And I, the Lord God, said unto Adam: Who told thee thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, if so thou shouldst surely die?

And the man said: The woman thou gavest me, and commandest that she should remain with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree and I did eat.

And I, the Lord God, said unto the woman: What is this thing which thou hast done? And the woman said: The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Moses 4:14-18)

Before partaking of the fruit, Adam and Eve did not know they were naked. They were both as little children in the garden. Partaking of the fruit was part of God’s plan, and part of our gift of Agency. Adam and Eve’s actions are known by some as the ‘Original Sin’, however, Adam and Eve did not sin, but rather used their agency to further the plan of God. As a result, we are separated from God physically and must rely on faith of His existence. Because of our Redeemer Jesus Christ, He gave us the ability to overcome this physical death and return to live with our Heavenly Father again.

Because of what had just occurred in the Garden of Eden, God punishes the Devil;

“…I, the Lord God, said unto the serpent: Because thou hast done this thou shalt be cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life; And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Moses 4:20) God gave man the ability to overcome Satan. God in fact took away much of the power of Satan from those who do not wish to follow him.

Because of Eve’s disobedience, God said; “…I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Moses 4:22) Child birth would be painful and Man would be placed as head of household.

God tells Moses that he also instructed Adam directly after their disobedience in the Garden of Eden;

“And unto Adam, I, the Lord God, said: Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the fruit of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying—Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed shall be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also, and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, until thou shalt return unto the ground—for thou shalt surely die—for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou wast, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Moses 4:23-25) When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden they were taken care of, now because of their disobedience they would have to work for their food and endure hardships of the Earth.

Adam names Eve and calls her; “…the mother of all living…” (Moses 4:26) God makes them coats of skin to wear as clothing and God says to His Only Begotten [Jesus Christ]; “…Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil…” (Moses 4:28) Adam and Eve made one step closer to becoming like their/our Heavenly Parents. We too, being offspring of an Eternal God, have the ability to become like Him and become gods. For Jesus Christ Said; “…Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (John 10:34)

God drove both Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden into the Earth, and placed a; “…cherubim and a flaming sword, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Moses 4:31) So that no one could gain access to the tree of life.

Joel 1-3 + Summary of Joel

Joel 1-3 + Summary of Joel

Summary of Joel:

Joel is a Narrative and Prophetic source of wisdom. The prophet Joel wrote the book around 841-835 B.C. sometime before the fall and exiles of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. The book discusses Joel himself, and the people of Judah. Its purpose was to call the Southern Kingdom to repentance or prepare for the coming judgment and Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

•    In chapter 1: Joel compares the destruction and judgment of God like a plague of locusts. This is the warning and penalty for disobedience and evilness.

•    In chapters 2-3: God calls His people to repent and return, if not, they will all be judged. The promise and deliverance of the Lord is given. He will restore the land and his people.

Chapter 1: Gather the House of the Lord

The word of the Lord came to Joel, who was the son of Pethuel. A plague of locusts come upon Judah:

“That which the palmerworm [the larva of a tineid moth] hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm [the striped, green caterpillar of any of several geometrid moths] eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left the caterpillar eaten” (Joel 1:4).

The drunkards weep, because the nation of locusts has laid waste of the vine. Everything has withered.  There can be no grain or drink offering to offset the Lord’s anger. Joel urges the people to repent with wailing, sackcloth and a fast. The rivers have dried up, and the animals suffer in the drought.

Chapter 2: The Second Coming

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain… for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is night at hand;” (Joel 2:1)

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is described as a day of darkness and gloominess, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. In the last days you will see a land like the Garden of Eden before you and a desolate wilderness behind you.

“The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:” (Joel 2:10) The Lord, however, gives voice before His army. He commands the people; “…turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evils.” (Joel 2:12-13)

The Lord will be zealous for His land, and pity His people, removing the northern army to a barren and desolate land. The Lord will pour out His Spirit on all flesh;

“Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things….I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten… And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God… my people shall never be ashamed.” (Joel 2:21;25-26) The Lord will restore that which is taken away from man in this life. He will also bless those who love and praise His name. In the last days, when Jesus comes for the Second time, those who are righteous shall be glad and should not fear His coming. At His Second Coming… Blood and fire and pillars of smoke will be seen; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood.

Chapter 3: The Last Days at War

All nations, who have scattered and cast lots for the Lord’s people, will be gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat and judged. God warns the nations that He will retaliate against those who have mistreated His people, and looted His gold and silver. The nations must prepare for war, beating their plowshares into swords and their pruning hooks into spears. The sun and the moon will go dark and the stars will cease to give light.