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!

Moses 1

Moses 1: Worlds Without Number, created by Jesus Christ

                God reveals himself to Moses; “And he [Moses] saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses…” (Moses 1:2) The Lord also spoke with Moses and said; “…Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years… And, behold, thou art my son: wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my word, for they never cease. Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth.” (Moses 1:3-5) We know that Moses spoke with God ‘face to face’ (See Exodus 33-34) And others have seen and spoken with God face to face as well (see: Acts 25; Psalms 17-18; Deuteronomy 5-6; Genesis 31-33; Revelations). What is neat about the Book of Moses is we learn more about what the conversations were about. God explains to Moses that His works are without end and no man shall behold or understand His works, without having His glory. No man can have His glory or even a piece large enough to behold all of His works and remain alive on the earth. So even though Moses is seeing God face to face, he is not seeing everything about God, while still in the flesh.

God tells Moses that He has a work for him to accomplish while he is still on the earth, and Moses; “…looked and behold the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created… And the presence of God withdrew from Moses… [and] he fell unto the earth…” (Moses 1:8-9) Here Moses saw the creation of the world, and all of the worlds that God had created, and all of God’s children past, present and future. The vision then fell from Moses and he was left unto himself.

“And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence… I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him.” (Moses 1:10-11) Here we learn that Moses in his natural state would not be able to behold the glory of God and see him face to face if it were not for God transfiguring him, so he could behold the face of God in Moses’ spiritual form.

After re-gaining his strength, Moses was visited by Satan who came tempting him, saying: “…Moses, son of man, worship me.” (Moses 1:12) and Moses responded that he would not worship him and asked why he should worship him, because he had no glory. Moses exclaimed; “…I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so, surely?” (Moses 1:14) Here we learn that God cannot be seen with the natural eye, but Satan can be seen with the natural eye. Satan tempts Moses again and Moses responded that he would not worship him, for God told Moses that he was like unto His Only Begotten Son.  Satan was angry with this and; “…cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.” (Moses 1:19) Because of the anger of Satan, Moses began to fear, because he saw; “…the bitterness of hell…” (Moses 1:20), but Moses called upon God and God gave him strength, with this strength Satan began to tremble and eventually depart from Moses.

Moses gave thanks and glory to God and God responded; “…Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.” (Moses 1:25) Here we learn that God gave Moses power over the waters, and blessed him for being faithful. God explains that Moses will lead and; “…deliver my people from bondage, even Israel my chosen.” (Moses 1:26) While Moses was still speaking to God, he beheld all of the particles of the earth and all of the souls of the earth, through the discerning power of the Spirit of God. Moses also beheld; “…many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.” (Moses 1:29) Here we learn what the Bible has already taught us, that God created many worlds. However, in this verse we learn that many of those worlds are also called “earth” and have people living on them. Moses was so confused when he saw this that he asked God what the purpose of these worlds were, and God responded; “…For mine own purpose have I made these things… And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten” (Moses 1:31) God’s response to Moses was simple, I created worlds without number for my own purpose. Interestingly, we also learn that God was like an Architect, and the Son (Jesus Christ) was the builder.

God goes on to explain to Moses that; “…the first man of all men I called Adam, which is many.” (Moses 1:34) Here we learn that Adam, is a title and NOT a name. But God explains that; “…only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many world that have passed away by the word of my power, And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.” (Moses 1:35) God created many worlds, and was only going to tell Moses of this earth. But many have already passed away, and many still exist.

Moses, perplexed by this asks God; “…tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens…And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many… And as one earth shall pass away, and the heaven thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.” (Moses 1:36-38) Here we learn that even after one earth is destroyed, another will come forth. This process repeats, for there is no end to His works.

“For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39) Here we learn that God works, He does not just sit on His throne and do nothing. In fact He is Eternally working! All so that He can bring to pass our immortality and eternal life!

                “And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou [Moses] shall write, behold I will raise up another like unto thee; and they shall be had again among the children of men – among as many as shall believe.” (Moses 1:41) Because many wicked man took precious parts away from the Bible it was necessary for God to raise another prophet like Moses in the Last Days to bring forth the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that had been lost. This prophet was Joseph Smith and through him, God was able to restore His Church.