1 Nephi 19

1 Nephi 19: Nephi makes History of People on Plates

                Nephi makes plates of ore, one which would include their journey and the teachings of his father Lehi, and the other would include the contentions and wars of his people. Nephi explains that he does this for a wise purpose in the Lord that these records be passed down from one generation to another throughout time. Nephi explains that he is human; “…if I do err, even did they err of old; not that I would excuse myself because of other men, but because of the weakness which is in me, according to the flesh, I would excuse myself. For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.” (1 Nephi 19:6-7) Nephi explains that he makes mistakes and his writings (just like prophets of old) will contain these mistakes. He explains that his record will be as preserved as possible, and not like other records which would be ‘esteemed as naught’ and trampled under the feet of men. In other words, some records do not contain all the words of God, because wicked men, thinking it is of no worth, will eliminate things from records to suite their own agenda. These men doe no hearken unto the voice of God’s command and counsel.

Nephi explains that roughly 600 years from the time of this writing the Lord Jesus Christ will come among the children of men, but because of their iniquity, they; “…shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.” (1 Nephi 19:9)

                Nephi explains that after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Jews will be hated, scattered and despised among all nations throughout time, until the time when Jesus Christ comes again and shall restore them among and preserve them. Nephi read a lot of these things from the Books of Moses; “…that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.” (1 Nephi 19:25) Because Nephi had the Books of Moses [the first five books of the Bible], Nephi was able to teach his brethren and family many things of ‘profit and learning’. This emphasizes the fact that the Book of Mormon and Bible go hand in hand.

1 Nephi 5

1 Nephi 5: Nephi, Laman, Lemuel and Zoram return to Lehi with the Brass Plates

                Upon returning to Sariah and Lehi in the wilderness, Sariah [the mother] was filled with joy; “For she had supposed that we had perished in the wilderness; and she also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a visionary man; saying: Behold thou hast led us forth from the land of our inheritance, and my sons are no more, and we perish in the wilderness.” (1 Nephi 5:2)

However, Lehi [the father] comforted her in the wilderness while they were away, saying; “…I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God, but had tarried at Jerusalem, and had perished with my brethren.” (1 Nephi 5:4)

After seeing her sons returned safely to her in the wilderness, Sariah exclaimed; “…Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them…” (1 Nephi 5:8) Sariah was overwhelmed with joy and filled with the Spirit of the Lord, because she now believed that Lehi was a prophet of God.

They all rejoiced and offered sacrifices unto the Lord, they then searched through the plates to find; “…that they did contain the five books of Moses, which gave an account of the creation of the world, and also of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents; And also a record of the Jews from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah;” (1 Nephi 5:11-13) Nephi and his family now had the first five books of the Bible that we know today, they would be blessed with this information in their day of prophets that had lived before them, as we are blessed by the Book of Mormon and Bible today in modern times.

Lehi learns that his geneology goes back to Joseph, who was the son of Jacob who was the very same Joseph who was sold into Egypt (See Genesis 37) “…Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph; yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father, Jacob, and all his household from perishing with famine.” (1 Nephi 5:14)

They also discover that Laban was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records. Lehi was filled with the Spirit and began to prophecy exclaiming that these plates of brass would go forth among all nations, and tongues!

Nephi explains that they; “…had obtained the records which the Lord had commanded us, and searched them and found that they were desirable; yea, even of great worth unto us, insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children. Wherefore, it was wisdom in the Lord that we should carry them with us, as we journeyed in the wilderness towards the land of promise.” (1 Nephi 4:21-22)

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.

Moses 2

Moses 2: God Created All Things

                The Lord speaks to Moses and declares how heaven and earth were formed…

“And the earth was without form, and void; and I caused darkness to come up upon the face of the deep and my Spirit moved upon the face of the water; for I am God. And I God said: Let there be light; and there was light.” (Moses 2:2-3) Here God begins the story of the Creation…

Day 1: God Creates Day and Night

“And I, God, called the light Day; and the darkness, I called Night; and this I did by the word of my power… And again, I, God, said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water… And I, God, called the firmament Heaven; and the evening and the morning were the second day.” (Moses 2:6-8) God created both the night and day.

Day 2: God Creates the Land and Sea

“And I, God, said: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and it was so; and I, God, said: Let there be dry land; and it was so. And I, God, called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, called I the Sea; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good.” (Moses 2:9-10) God divided the waters from the dry land and called the dry land earth and the water, the sea.

“And I, God, said: Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind…  And the earth brought forth grass, every herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself, after his kind; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good;” (Moses 2:11-12) God makes sure to create vegetation across the earth.

Day 3: God Creates Time and Seasons

“And I, God, said: Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years; And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so. And I, God, made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the greater light was the sun, and the lesser light was the moon…” (Moses 2:14-16) Not only did God create time (as we know it, in a linear sense), but He also created Seasons and the Sun to rule the day and the Moon to rule the night, so that we would always have a way to see.

“And I, God, set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And the sun to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good;” (Moses 2:17-18)

Day 4: God creates ‘creatures’ on the Earth

“And I, God, said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl which may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And I, God, created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind…And I, God, blessed them, saying: Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the sea; and let fowl multiply in the earth;” (Moses 2:20-22) God created all the animals on the earth, in the sea and those who dwell in the air. He commanded all of these creatures to procreate within their own species.

Day 5: God Creates Men and Women

“And I, God, said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind, and it was so; And I, God, made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything which creepeth upon the earth after his kind; and I, God, saw that all these things were good. (Moses 2:24-25) After God finishes creating all of the creatures and beasts, He moves His attention to creating a man to take care of the earth.

“And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them. (Moses 2:26-27) God creates MEN and WOMEN after HIS LIKENESS! That means that we are like our Heavenly Father! We are literally His offspring!

“And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Moses 2:28) God commands man to multiply and replenish the earth and gives authority and dominion over the care of the earth.

Day 6: God Finishes His work

“And I, God, saw everything that I had made, and, behold, all things which I had made were very good; and the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Moses 2:31) God makes the final touches to His work and then admires it.

 

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.

Introduction to the Pearl of Great Price

Introduction to the Pearl of Great Price

“A merchant man, seeking goodly pearls … , when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:45–46).

The Pearl of Great Price contains four books and the Articles of Faith; Selections from the Book of Moses, The Book of Abraham, Joseph Smith Translation of the Gospel of Matthew and the History of Joseph Smith. The Articles of Faith outline the basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. All of the books are divine in nature, and were originally published in Church publications and were declared by Joseph Smith to be; “a source of much instruction and edification to many thousands of the Saints, who will by an acquaintance with its precious contents, be more abundantly qualified to set forth and defend the principles of our Holy Faith before all men” (Millennial Star, 15 July 1851, 217).

                On 10 October 1880, by action of the First Presidency and the general conference, the Pearl of Great Price became part of the standard works of the Church. In the beginning of the Book it states;

“Several revisions have been made in the contents as the needs of the Church have required. In 1878 portions of the Book of Moses not contained in the first edition were added. In 1902 certain parts of the Pearl of Great Price that duplicated material also published in the Doctrine and Covenants were omitted. … [In 1976] two items of revelation were added. In 1979 these two items were removed from the Pearl of Great Price and placed in the Doctrine and Covenants, where they now appear as sections 137 and 138” (Pearl of Great Price, Introductory Note)

Selections of the Book of Moses:

The book of Moses is a small excerpt from Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the Bible. It is a more complete record of Moses’s writings at the beginning of the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. It contains many doctrines and teachings that were lost from the Bible and gives additional information about the plan of salvation, the creation of the earth, and the Lord’s dealings with Adam and Enoch.

The Book of Abraham:

The book of Abraham is a translation of ancient records written on papyrus that came into the possession of the Church in 1835. The records were translated by Joseph Smith through revelation. This book contains truths about the premortal Council in Heaven, the creation of the earth, the nature of God, and the priesthood.

Joseph Smith – Matthew:

Joseph Smith—Matthew is an excerpt (Matthew 24) from Joseph Smith’s inspired revision of the Bible and adds to our knowledge of the Savior’s teachings about His Second Coming.

Joseph Smith – History:

Joseph Smith—History, which is an excerpt from the Prophet’s history of the Church. This book contains a narrative of the events leading to the restoration of the Church, including the First Vision, the visits of Moroni to the Prophet Joseph, the obtaining of the gold plates, and the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood.

The Articles of Faith:

The Articles of Faith, were written by the Prophet Joseph Smith to help explain the basic teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There are 13 of them and anyone who reads them can quickly understand what the LDS (aka Mormon) Church and its members believe.

Truths taught in the Pearl of Great Price

  • Adam was taught the Plan of Salvation and made sacrifices in the similitude of Christ’s eternal sacrifice.
  • All prophets, beginning with Adam, have known of and testified of Jesus the Christ and His atonement.
  • Moses was shown many visions by the Lord and saw all the inhabitants of the earth.  Moses was tempted by Satan, but withstood Satan’s influence Moses 1:12–23.
  • “As far as men on this earth are concerned, evil had its beginning in pre-(mortal) existence. The Eternal Father begat spirit children, ordained laws to enable them to progress, and endowed them with free agency. Disobedience to those laws was in its nature evil, and consequently without the possibility of committing evil there could be no hope of progression toward exaltation. Lucifer and one-third of the spirit hosts of heaven chose evil rather than good, failed to exercise their free agency in righteousness, and finally coming out in open rebellion against the Lord, they were cast out onto the earth and denied (mortal) bodies. (Moses 4:1–4; Abr. 3:24–28; D&C 29:36–40; Rev. 12:7–13.)” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, [Bookcraft, 1966], p. 245.)
  • “Secret combinations,” or evil oaths, began with Cain and have been in existence on the earth from the beginning.  These combinations are revealed and encouraged by Satan himself (Moses 5:29–30; Moses 5:51–55).
  • We lived with God before we were born onto the earth (Abraham 3:22).
  • Enoch preached of Christ, established a city, and led a people so righteous, that they were “translated” and taken into heaven (Moses 7).
  • Adam kept a book of remembrance that was passed down through the prophets to Abraham (Abraham 1:28, 31).
  • Adam was baptized and came to understand the fall, the atonement, faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, as well as the doctrines of justification and sanctification. Adam’s spiritual rebirth was attested to and his possession of priesthood after the order of the Son of God was announced. (See Moses 6:15–68.)
  • Abraham was taught principles of astronomy by God.  Abraham traveled to Egypt and conveyed this knowledge in the high courts of the Egyptians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Corinthians 3

2 Corinthians 3: The Vail is taken away…

                Paul explains that he does not need praise for what he writes and explains is the Gospel of Jesus Christ; “…written not with ink, but with the Spirit…” (2 Corinthians 3:3) Essentially he is saying that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not made of men, sure it can be written down… but the Gospel of Jesus Christ comes from the Spirit.

Paul explains a little about the veil that was taken from Moses when he saw God face-to-face in Exodus 33-34. For we too have a veil over our eyes that makes us see things plainly. However, to fully understand the workings of God we cannot understand them in our Physical state, the veil must be removed.

Paul goes on to explain that “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17). Essentially, any nation or person that turns away from God will lose its Liberty.

Luke 20

Luke 20: Caesar and God

                Jesus is asked by what Authority He is able to perform the many miracles, Jesus then asks them; “The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?” (Luke 20:4) And the people didn’t know how to answer, because if they said of men, then the people who believed and followed Jesus would get mad, because they thought of John as a prophet. They reasoned a bit more and thought that if they say it was from heaven, then Jesus would ask them why they don’t believe in His works. So after some time they tell Jesus that they cannot answer His question, and He responds; “…Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” (Luke 20:8)

                Jesus then tells of the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen;

                “…A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.

And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.

And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.

But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him…” (Luke 20:9-15)

In this Parable, God creates the world and gives men to rule over it, but he sends servants (the Prophets) to check up on those who are entreated to protect and take care of the world and others. After several attempts, God sends His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ… but they too kill him. Jesus then asks those gathered, if the Son was killed, how much more of punishments will the Father give, when he returns?

Those gathered against Jesus, sought to kill Him, but feared the retaliation of His followers, so they left… but sent spies to watch Him.

Some, trying to tempt Jesus asked; “Is it lawful for us to give a tribute unto Cæsar, or no? But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Cæsar’s. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which be Cæsar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” (Luke 20:22-25)

The people marveled at His answer and kept their silence. Then one of the Sadducees came and tempted Jesus with questions of the Resurrection;  

“…Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

                There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.” (Luke 20:28-33)

Jesus answered them and taught about the Law of Marriage “…The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.” (Luke 20:34-38)

Essentially in the next life Marriage would not be performed, but if the wife had married all the brothers, then God would sort those things out.

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)

Mark 9

Mark 9: Transfigured on the Mount

                Jesus and the Apostles stand at the top of a mountain, with Peter, James and John. Jesus “…was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.” (Mark 9:2-4) Shortly after, they saw a cloud come over them and a voice saying; “…This is my beloved Son: hear him.” (Mark 9:7)

                Suddenly, the Apostles found them alone with Jesus again as if nothing had happened. On their journey down from the Mountain, Jesus tells them that they must not speak of the things they saw until after He has risen from the dead. The Apostles then asked Jesus “…Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?  And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things…” (Mark 9:11-12)

                Jesus arrives, where a group is gathered for Him. A man in the crowd yells out to Jesus; “…Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.” (Mark 9:17-18) Jesus, at this point, was a little upset because His own Apostles could not remove the evil spirit. So Jesus turns to the Apostles and says;  “…O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.” (Mark 9:19-20)

                Jesus, moved with compassion, asks the father how long this evil Spirit had resided in the child. The father tells Him from birth. Jesus tells the father, who was in disbelief as casting this devil out; “…If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:23-24) Jesus then cast the evil spirit out and commanded it to no more enter or molest the child. As Jesus and His Apostles were leaving the area, the Apostles ask Jesus privately; “…Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:28-29)

                Jesus and the Apostles then depart through Galilee and while on their journey the Apostles had questions about who was greatest among the Apostles and what it meant that Jesus would die and come back three days later, but every one of them was too afraid to ask. Jesus of course knew their questions and called the twelve to sit and listen; “… If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) Jesus then continues by speaking about children and their importance in the Gospel “…whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)