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.

Hebrews 13

Hebrews 13: Marriage is Honorable

                Paul opens his address to the Hebrews by exclaiming; “Let brotherly love continue.” (Hebrews 13:1) Paul explains that we should be kind to everyone, including strangers. Paul explains that often times you may run into an angel and not even know, just as the Apostles did not recognize Jesus Christ (see Luke 24)

Paul explains that “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4) Essentially Paul is telling us that marriage is a very honorable thing to do, and is even encouraged. However we should never cheat on our spouse and anyone who commits adultery or fornication will be judged by God.

Paul explains that we should “…be content with such things as we have.” (Hebrews 13:5) We should never complain about or situation or want things that are beyond our basic needs. Be content! We should never fear man, because; “…The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:6)

Paul explains that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8) He warns us to “Be not carried about with… strange doctrines…” (Hebrews 13:9), because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple.

2 Corinthians 6

2 Corinthians 6: Today is the day to Repent!

Paul opens this letter by explaining that we as believers in Jesus Christ should not take His grace in vain. Essentially, Jesus died for our sins and made it possible for us to return and live with our Heavenly Father; we should not abuse this grace. We need to be actively engaged in doing good. We need to work hard through our afflictions and trials and learn from them! Paul delivers a wonderfully written piece that we can all live by day to day:

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;  As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (2 Corinthians 6:1-10)

Paul then reminds the believers in Christ, to be around people that share their beliefs. Light and darkness should not coincide, righteousness cannot fellowship with unrighteousness.

“Be ye no unequally yoked [attached, coupled] with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Essentially, Paul is telling us that we need to choose our friends and our spouse carefully that we might; “…come out from among them, and be ye separate…” (2 Corinthians 6:17) Separate from the world, but still living in the world. We should never cave into the temptations of the world, just because it is being “accepted”. If we do these things, Paul promises that God; “…will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

 

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.

1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 7: Marriage

                Paul addresses the Corinthians and explains that; “…It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (1 Corinthian 7:1-2) Some will argue that Paul is teaching that being single and without sex is more pure than being married with sex. However, I don’t believe that is what Paul was teaching… but rather he was teaching that sex should only occur between a man and woman who are lawfully wedded.

It is interesting to note that Paul (an Apostle of the Lord) speaks of a man having a woman and a woman having a man. He speaks out against fornication, but rather stresses the importance of marriage between a man and a woman. Why? Because Marriage is important in the eyes of God; “…for it is better to marry than to burn.” (1 Corinthians 7:9)

Paul explains that marriage should not end in divorce, divorce should not be considered except in rare cases. Paul does stress that if a marriage starts to crumble that both the husband and the wife should; “…give yourself to fasting and prayer; and come together again…” (1 Corinthians 7:5)

Paul goes on to explain how the husband and the wife (working in equal partnership) should strengthen one another in the Faith of Jesus Christ. Not only should they both strengthen each other in Spiritual matters, but in all matters. Husbands and Wives should lean on each other and show their children a good example. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” (1 Corinthians 7:14)

Paul explains that it is wise to get married at a younger age, as to not commit sin. “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.” (1 Corinthians 7:28) Especially in today’s modern world, where sex is considered ok outside of marriage, it is important to not wait around to get married so as to not be tempted into sexual relations before marriage.

Paul ends by explaining why some people believe it is more pure to be single and without sex; “But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:33-34)

Here is the question; does being married mean you will care only for the things of the world? No, husbands and wives should bring each other sexual joy, along with friendship, and a loving relationship throughout all life and ETERNITY. But husbands and wives should also build one another up in everything from Spiritual matters, to education, work, physical well-being and emotional support.

Mark 10

Mark 10: High Law of Marriage

                Jesus comes to the coasts of Judea by the far side of Jordan, where He is met by Pharisees who want to tempt Him with questions. They ask Jesus; “…Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? [divorce]” (Mark 10:2) Jesus responds by asking them what Moses had written about the matter. The Pharisees respond that Moses commanded them to “…write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.” (Mark 10:4) But Jesus quickly puts them in their place; “…For the hardness of your heart he wrote this precept.” (Mark 10:5)

                Jesus then goes on to remind them and us today of the importance of the Sacred Matrimony between MAN and WOMAN! Jesus said; “…from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife… they twain shall be one flesh… What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:6-9) Jesus warns that marriage is sacred, and should be performed between MAN and WOMAN, that they might become one flesh. Those who disrespect this sanctity will face the wrath of God.

After Jesus was done speaking to the Pharisees, He noticed that His Apostles were not letting little children come to see Him. Jesus was displeased and said unto His Apostles; “…Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God… Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:14-15) The Apostles had forgotten that little children are alive in Christ. If you do not humble yourself as a child, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven! This is why, little children before an age of accountability HAVE NO NEED FOR BAPTISM! Baptism is for sinners. Except Jesus, who also had no need for baptism, but did so to show us the way.

Jesus then leaves and runs into a man who when came across Jesus knelt down and asked Him; “…Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17) Jesus asks the man why he called Him “Good”, for “…there is none good but one, that is God.” (Mark 10:18) This little mention proves that God the Father, and the Son, Jesus Christ are TWO SEPARATE BEINGS. How can God and Jesus be one? Except ONE in PURPOSE.

The man then says that from his youth he has followed all the commandments, but Jesus quickly tells him that he has one more to follow; “…One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up thy cross, and follow me.” (Mark 10:21) After hearing these words, the man departs in sadness because he had many possessions.  Jesus then tells the Apostles that “…With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)

                In the end of chapter 10 we learn that James and John ask to be on the right and left hand of Jesus in the next life. Jesus reminds them that it is not up to Him and that they should think in terms of the service they are giving and not in the self-glory that they would receive. When they arrive at Jericho they are met by a blind man, who was named Bartimaeus. Jesus heals the man and tells him to be of good comfort. “…Go thy why, thy faith hath made thee whole…” (Mark 10:52)

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)