Acts 2

Acts 2: The Gift of Tongues

                On the day of the Pentecost many people gathered together in one place. During this meeting “…there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as fire, and it sat upon each of them.” (Acts 2:2-3) So, we are told that the Holy Ghost came down and put on them the ability to speak in tongues. So what exactly does it mean to speak in tongues? We continue to read; “…they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) Some believe today that speaking in tongues means that the Spirit of God comes down and causes you to lose control of your physical body and spew nonsense that only the Spirit can understand. Is this speaking in “tongues”? No. We continue to read; “…every man heard them speak in his own language.” (Acts 2:6) So what does it mean to speak in tongues? To literally speak in other languages, for example in Spanish you would say “lenguas” for languages, but “lenguas” also translates as “tongues”.

However, some gathered believe that those speaking in tongues are only drunk, why? Because they don’t believe that God can give someone the power to communicate in other languages. I personally can say that the Gift of Tongues is real, I served as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and found that I could learn Spanish a lot faster than if I were to try on my own. The Prophet Joel spoke to the unbelievers; “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17) Joel brought up a good point, God has the power to do anything, including giving the Gift of Tongues or causing someone to have a vision. Joel prophesies of the coming doom in the last days and encourages those that are gathered (and more importantly those living in the Last Days) to “…that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) Does this mean that to be saved, all we have to do is accept Christ in our lives? No. If we go back and read in Matthew, Jesus taught; “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) So, accepting Christ in our lives is only the first step, Salvation was never easy… but yet again it wasn’t easy for Christ to die for all of our Sins, the least we can do is follow His commandments.

Joel explains that Jesus was take and tried by wicked men to be beaten, and die on the Cross with no crime. The Apostles that Jesus had called recount what Joel had prophesied in days of old. The Apostles continue to teach those gathered about Jesus and their message “…pricked in their heart…” (Acts 2:37) so much so, that they turned to Peter and asked how they might return to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and he responded to those gathered; “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

The people did as the Apostles had directed them and many were baptized and did receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, by the Authority given to the Apostles. Many departed of their belongings and gave to those in need and “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)

John 17

John 17: The Great Intercessory Prayer

Jesus offers the Great Intercessory Prayer;

“Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou has given him power of all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:1-3) Jesus was sent on a divine mission from His Father to save all of God’s children, and that during this life we might learn and know of our Father in Heaven, this is what life is all about!

Jesus goes on; “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:4-5) In this address to Father, Jesus Christ explained that He was with God the Father before the world was, and that He had been given a task before that creation of the world, to be the savior of that world. Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten of the Father and He did complete the work the Father gave to Him.

Jesus continues; “…I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” (John 17:9-11) Jesus prays for those who are following Him, but will not be able to leave the world as He is about to. We learn that everything the Father has, is shared with the Son. We are one as followers in Christ, as Jesus and His Father are one. Meaning, ONE in Purpose.

Jesus asks the Father to look out for those who are not of the world, for those who have given themselves over to following the Lord. Jesus continues to address the Father; “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of this world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14-16) Jesus knows that those who have followed His word, are not of the world. Jesus asks the Father to make living in the world easier, by removing the evil from them, but He specifically says not to remove them from the world. This means that even when the hardships of the world come forth, we must lift our head up and overcome the world, just as Jesus overcame the world.

The Bible: God’s Only Word?

                Jesus then says; “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” (John 17:17) This is a famous scripture, and is used often to claim that there can only be the Bible and no more of God’s word. So the question is, does all the truth of God come from His words, and His words only? If we read further in the New Testament we read; “For the kingdom of God is not in the world, but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20) Does this devalue the word of God? Absolutely not, the word of God is that, it comes from God! But without the proper power and authority from God, nothing besides knowledge can come from those words. In order to participate in all of God’s life saving ordinances, we must have the Power and Authority given to us. The word of God is also not in the confines of the Old and New Testament. If this were true, I can only imagine those of old, who only had the Old Testament and then found out that there was a New Testament. Well, we already know that outcome… the Scribes and Pharisees believed only in the Old Testament, and when a new Prophet came forth (who happened to be Jesus Christ) they did not believe on Him and instead murdered Him. Any Christian would say that of course the Old and New Testaments are the word of God. So the question is, can God call a new prophet and given them Another Testament? Yes, and it happened. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Having more than the Bible does not devalue it. In fact, having the Bible and the Book of Mormon only makes ones heart grow fonder of both.

Jesus continues His prayer and confirms once again that Jesus and His Father are one in purpose and not one in flesh or spirit; “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:20-21) We are one in purpose, just as the Son and Father are one in purpose. With that, we are all ONE in purpose, all of God’s children, Jesus Christ and the Father.

The Story of CHRISTmas

 The Story of CHRISTmas

Nativity-Baby-Jesus-Christmas-2008-christmas-2806967-1000-558

(I have included a 3 part video: ‘Joy to the World’ to accompany the story of CHRISTmas) Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

                Tis the season for Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells and of course; Santa Claus! It is the season of bad traffic, great store sales and angry shoppers fighting over some “must have” electronic or gadget. During this HoliDAZE, we often forget the true meaning of Christmas, that is Jesus Christ, our Lord and the Savior of the World.

Since the beginning of time, Prophets have foretold of the coming of a Messiah, a Christ King who would be born in Bethlehem and suffer the sins of the world. The story of the Birth of our Savior begins when the Angel Gabriel visits Mary, and tells her of the coming of her son, Jesus Christ…

“…the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women… when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying… And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God… behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest…” (Luke 1:26-31)

                “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow  thee… that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)

                Mary was engaged to Joseph, and being a virgin she was confused as to how she could become pregnant and have a son. Angel Gabriel comforts her and tells her that the Son of God shall be born, and that she had been chosen, being highly favored of God to bring forth Jesus into this world. “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)

                The Story of the Birth of Jesus Christ continues in the Bible;

                “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed… And all went out to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem… To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child [pregnant]… And so it was, that… the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:1, 3-7)

                It was part of the law in those days for every man to go to his village to pay taxes; Joseph went to Galilee, because that is where he needed to pay his taxes. Because of the great number of people there, they were unable to find a proper place to sleep, and were forced to deliver the baby in a manger. The Son of God was Born, His name;  Jesus Christ!

                During this time, a star was seen in the east, and shepherds abiding in their fields saw that Jesus Christ had been born…

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men… as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass… And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-16)

The Shepherds had surely heard the words of the Prophets of old, and their prophecy of the coming of the Son of God, upon seeing the Multitude of Heavenly Hosts, sing “Glory to God in the highest” they knew that the Lord had been born and immediately went to see their King. The Star in the East could be seen, round about the world…

                “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem Judaea… there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled…And he sent them [the wise men] to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word… that I may come and worship him also… they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced…And when they were come…they saw the young child with Mary…and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gift; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:1-3; 8-11)

                The Wise Men, in most accounts are referred to ask the “Three Wise Men”, most likely because of the three gifts (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) that are given to Jesus. However the scriptures never tell us how man wise men there were. Nevertheless, the wise men are warned in a dream to depart and not to return unto Herod, for he had other plans…

                “And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country…when they departed, behold the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt… for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” (Matthew 2:12-13)

                “…Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and inall the coasts thereof, from two years and under…” (Matthew 2:16)

                Herod, fearing that the Son of God had been born, attempts a cowardly action of killing all children age 2 and below. However, God the Father had other plans and protected His Only Begotten Son, so that He might go among the world and die for everyone and their sins, to enable us to return again one day to Our Heavenly Father…

                “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn not the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

                God knew of the divine plan of His Son, and allowed Him to grow strong in the spirit. For God was with Him; “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” (Luke 2:40)

                The Bible teaches clearly that Jesus is the Christ and that through Him we might be saved, and given the opportunity to return to live with God. However, it is important to note that the Star in the East was seen throughout the World! The Ancient Inhabitants of the Americas saw the Star too, and their account is written in the Book of Mormon, which also testifies of Christ and His divine mission. A Book of Mormon Prophet named Alma, testified of Jesus Christ…

                “…I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgression of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it. For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish… yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.” (Alma 34:8-10, The Book of Mormon)

What Does the Book of Mormon Say?

                Shortly before the Birth of Jesus Christ, people lived in Ancient Americas, where God also called Prophets to guide His children. One of these Prophets was named Samuel, and Samuel testified of Christ and His coming into this world. However, there was a great division of believers and non-believers. Those who did not believe, decided that that time of preaching Christ’s coming was to come to an end…

“…it came to pass that… the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully; for there were greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people. But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken of by Samuel, the Lamanite. And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled therefore your joy and your faith concerning this things hath been vain… and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful…But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if it were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been in vain.” (3 Nephi 1:4-8, Book of Mormon)

Samuel the Lamanite (A Prophet in Ancient America) had told his believers that the sign of Christ’s birth would come when the sun would go down, but no darkness would come. The unbelievers grew impatient and set a date to which the sign must be accomplished for them to “believe”…

“…it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet… when Nephi… saw this wickedness… he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people… and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying: Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into this world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouths of the prophets. Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfill all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world … and this night shall the sign be given.” (3 Nephi 1:9-14, The Book of Mormon)

Nephi, seeing the wickedness and disbelief of the people bowed humbly in prayer before his maker, and was heard! The Lord told him to be of good cheer, for he would soon come into the world, to fulfill all that was prophesied by prophets of old…

“And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled… at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came. And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth… for they knew… they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear… and it came to pass that there was no darkness in all the night… the son did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given…. A new star did appear…” (3 Nephi 1:15-21, The Book of Mormon)

When the evening came, and then the night, the sun did not go down. This made many who believed and disbelieved to fall to the earth in fear. However, the sign had been given, fulfilled and a new star did appear. The announcement of the coming of Jesus Christ did not just come unto the people of the old world, in the Middle East. Rather, God the Father made the announcement to ALL His Children, in ALL parts of the world. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ teaches of His divine mission, and anyone who thoughtfully and prayerfully reads it will come closer to Him.

This Christmas, remember CHRISTmas, for Jesus Christ came unto the world, to be rejected and die for all the sins of mankind so that we might be given the gift of Salvation and Eternal Life.

Matthew 4

Matthew 4:

Jesus Tempted of the Devil

 

                Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, because of this Jesus fasted for “…forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.” (Matthew 4:2)

After he had fasted for many days, Satan came to tempt Jesus.

Satan tries to use his incredible knowledge of the gospel and the scriptures to trick Jesus. Remember just because Satan is evil, does not mean that he is dumb. In fact, I would say that second to only Jesus and God the Eternal Father, Satan’s scripture knowledge tops the charts.

Satan tries to outsmart Jesus…

“…If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (Matthew 4:3)

Jesus responds quickly and firmly; “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

Satan then takes Jesus upon the top of the pinnacle of the temple and tells him; “…If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:6)

Jesus responds simply; “…It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:7)

Upon Satan’s last and desperate try to trick Jesus, takes Him upon the top of an exceedingly high mountain top and shows Jesus the kingdoms of the world and tells Him; “…All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:9)

Jesus at this point has had enough and tells Satan; “…Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10)

Even the most spiritually grounded individuals; the ones that wear the armor of God can be weakened and beaten down. Jesus, after having fasted for 40 days and nights was at one of the weakest moments in his earthly life. He let Satan tempt him 3 times, each time resisting his demands. By doing so, Jesus was able to feel the pressure of evil temptation from the devil himself! These temptations allowed Jesus to enter into our own shoes, so that he would know what we would go through during our lives. Jesus suffered the greatest temptations, and yet overcame them for our benefit.

In the end, Satan was spewing lies. Could he have offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world? No, because they were never his to give. Jesus knew this and garnered enough strength to fight the adversary and become triumphant. We too can overcome Satan’s temptations and become triumphant! After Jesus casts Satan out of his presence, angels came to administer to Jesus. If we focus on ridding the devil from our own lives and overcome the temptations of the world, we too can feel the presence of administering angels.

With full strength and victory over evil, Jesus departs into Galilee to follow word that John the Baptist has been imprisoned. From that time forward; “…Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17) Jesus walks by the Sea of Galilee and calls the fisherman; “…Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) These men, being called to serve “…straightway left their nets, and followed him.” (Matthew 4:20). In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is no waiting, there is no hesitation. When you are called to serve, to preach the word of God you GO and you DO.

Jesus began his ministry and “…went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” (Matthew 4:23)

 

 

Jeremiah 23-24

Jeremiah 23-24

Chapter 23: False Prophets

Woe to those that have scattered the sheep of the Lord’s pasture. A king shall arise from the branch of David, and he shall be called the King of Righteousness (Jesus Christ). Jeremiah writes; “Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man…” (Jeremiah 23:9) The priests and prophets of Judah are wicked, and divine vengeance is hanging over them. The people should not listen to their false promises: they will face destruction if they do.

Jeremiah continues to write about the land being filled with evil and “…swearing…” (Jeremiah 23:10) which goes to show that keeping your words clean is important to God. Jeremiah writes that “…both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness…” (Jeremiah 23:11) The so called prophets of the Lord have “…caused my [God’s] people Israel to err.” (Jeremiah 23:13) But the Lord counsels the people that are hearing the false prophets; “…Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say… unto them… Ye shall have peace; and they say unto you everyone one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.” (Jeremiah 23:16-17) The world today is filled with prophets/pastors who say that as long as you profess the name of the Lord you shall be saved. It doesn’t matter what you do! But in reality, it does matter what you do! If you don’t make proper choices, like following all of God’s commandments, your calling of the Lord in your heart is in vain.

Jeremiah tells us that “…in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.” (Jeremiah 23:20). Jeremiah was right! We are in the latter days and we are seeing it happen, perfectly, all around us. I hear you can’t do wrong, and if for some reason you do… confess the name of God in your heart, accept Him as your Savior and you will be freed from sin! Do you realize what kinds of lies are being taught? The people are being misled and because of the false teacher/preacher/pastor/prophet they are causing the Lord’s people to err.

So if there are so many False Prophets, how do we know which ones are TRUE messengers of God? Well this is where we get into a very unique LDS Doctrine. In the past God has called prophets, like Jeremiah for instance, but God knew that they would not believe him, so He gave Jeremiah “fruits” to prove that he was a messenger of God. Jesus speaks of these False Prophets and gives a formula for proving their truthfulness… “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17)

Jesus tells us that good prophets (men who are called of God, and given His authority to act and speak in His name) will bring forth good fruits, and bad or FALSE prophets will show forth evil or rotten fruit. It goes on to say “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruity… Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:18,20)

In the LDS church, we have a church that was RESTORED. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the RESTORE church of Jesus Christ. God restored HIS church through the hand of Joseph Smith and continues on this day with a living Prophet and Apostles. No other church on earth has this, the Authority and power of God is back on the earth! How can you know this to be true? God gave Joseph Smith a “Fruit” to prove that he was truly called of God. This fruit is known as the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the Ancient record of the people of the Americas, which was buried for thousands of years! God told Joseph Smith the location of this ancient buried record and had him translate it from an ancient language. The Book of Mormon is the fruit. If anyone wants to know the truth of these statements they must read the Book of Mormon and ask God themselves to manifest the truthfulness of this message.

Chapter 24: Jews shall be scattered and cursed

A vision after Jeconiah had been taken away captive: good figs and bad figs. The good figs symbolize those the Lord shall preserve in captivity, and the bad figs Zedekiah, his princes, the residue of Jerusalem, and those that dwell in Egypt. A scattering of people will occur.

Isaiah 23-24

Isaiah 23-24

Chapter 23: Tyre shall be overthrown

The burden against Tyre. The sailors will agonize when they hear about the destruction of their home port. The pride of Tyre will be dishonored. Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years. God will allow Tyre, symbolized by a prostitute, to continue her gross materialism with all the kingdoms of the world, but her gain and her pay will be set apart for the Lord.

Chapter 24: Men Shall Change the Scriptures

The land will be emptied and laid waste. The earth will mourn and fade away, because people “…have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” (Isaiah 23:5). The simple doctrines and ordinances taught by the Savior were debated and changed to conform to worldly ideas. This would lead to the need for a Restoration of the Gospel.

The Book of Mormon expands on what happened:

“And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away…this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men… after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book… And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles… Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen….

 behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb…. And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true…. These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.(1 Nephi 13:26-40)

                In the last days the Book of Mormon will come forth as Another Testament (or evidence) of Jesus Christ.

Psalms 119

Psalms 119

Chapter 119: The Laws of God

Psalms 119 is the largest Psalm in all of the Psalms, the author is unnamed; most historians however, almost universally say it is a Psalm of David, composed throughout his entire life. The Psalm does not flow perfectly from one Psalm to another, which means that if it were written by David, it was written over his life and then compiled later.

The Psalm is arranged in an acrostic pattern. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this Psalm contains 22 units of 8 verses each. Each of the 22 sections is given to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each line in that section begins with that letter. The closest parallel to this pattern in Scripture is found in Lamentations 3, which is also divided into 22 sections.

Because this is a Psalm glorifying God and His Word, it refers to Scripture over and over again. The psalm is remarkable for how often it refers to God’s written revelation.

In this Psalm there are 8 basic words used to describe the Scriptures, God’s written revelation to us:

  • Law (torah, used 25 times):  Its parent verb means ‘teach’ or ‘direct’; therefore coming from God it means both ‘law’ and ‘revelation.’
  • Word (dabar, used 24 times): The idea is of the spoken word, God’s revealed word to man.
  • Judgments (mispatim, used 23 times)
  • Testimonies (edut/edot, used 23 times): This word is related to the word for witness.
  • Commandments (miswah/miswot, used 22 times)
  • Statutes (huqqim, used 21 times): The noun is derived from the root verb “engrave” or “inscribe”; the idea is of the written word of God and the authority of His written word.
  • Precepts (piqqudim, used 21 times): (principle: a rule, instruction, or principle that guides somebody’s actions, especially one that guides moral behavior)
  • Word (imrah, used 19 times): Similar in meaning to dabar, yet a different term. More of a promise from the Lord.

Being such a long Psalm – and the longest chapter in the Bible – this Psalm has been of some historical note. There have been many lengthy works written on this Psalm. I hope that I can give a simple, yet in depth understanding of this Psalm.

א Aleph (1-8)

In beginning to describe man’s blessedness, the Psalmist starts with the idea that being undefiled in the way is a blessing. “Blessed are they… that seek him with the whole heart.” (Psalms 119:2)

ב Beth (9-16)

                Ponder the precepts and ways of the Lord. The author tells us; “I will… have respect unto thy ways… I will not forget thy word” (Psalms 119:15-16)

                This reminds me of the scripture in Isaiah 55:8; “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways me ways, saith the Lord” We need to remember that even when we don’t understand a commandment, we must obey them anyways. We cannot pick and chose what commandments we will follow. We must follow them all and have respect for them.

ג Gimel (17-24)

                The author asks the Lord to help “Open… [our]…eyes, that [we] may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalms 119:18) Many people in the world keep their eyes shut out of fear or ignorance. We must open them and see the truth.

ד Daleth (25-32)

                “…teach me thy statutes. Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so I shall talk of thy wondrous works” (Psalms 119:26-27)

This reminds me of the LDS Hymn: I am a child of God.

“Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do. To live with him someday.” (LDS Hymns, 301)

ה He (33-40)

                “Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end” (Psalms 119:33)

We need to learn, understand and practice the commandments which the Lord has given to us. If we do this we can be blessed.

ו Vau (41-48)

                The Lord gives us mercy, truth and salvation. The author says; “I will speak of ty testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.” (Psalms 119:46) We need to be able to give testimony, even before people that might not favor our testimony. Be not afraid to testify.

 

ז Zain (49-56)

“This is my comfort in my afflication: for thy word hath quickened me.” (Psalms 119:50) If we follow the commandments of the Lord, we will find peace and joy.

ח Cheth (57-64)

                “I am a companion of all them that fear thee [the Lord], and of them that keep thy precepts” (Psalms 119:63) we should make friends that love and fear the Lord and keep His commandments. I think it is even more important to have a companion (husband or wife) who also fears the Lord.

ט Teth (65-72)

                “Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.” (Psalms 119:66) Ask the Lord for his good judgment, and for His knowledge.

י Jod (73-80)

                “Let my heart be sound in thy statues; that I be not ashamed” (Psalms 119:80) We need to pray that the Lord will keep our heart strong, because we may feel out of place in a world that doesn’t hold to the values, statutes or commandments of the Lord.

כ Caph (81-88)

                Those who do not follow the commandments of the Lord will persecute those who do follow the Lord. Pray to the Lord to be lifted up, so that they may not consume you.

ל Lamed (89-96)

                “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants” (Psalms 119:89-91)

The above scripture is often used by many to claim that the Bible is the ULTIMATE Word of God and that it is PERFECT and will ENDURE forever. Other scriptures that some may use to explain how perfect the Bible is would be: Isaiah 55:11 and Mark 13:31.

I do agree with the scriptures in the sense that God’s WORD will not pass away. But I don’t believe that the Bible is 100% of God’s WORD, nor do I believe that it has been translated correctly. In LDS belief the 8th Article of Faith says: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly…” I don’t believe that the Bible is translated correctly and throughout thousands of years too much has been changed or lost to take every word literally.

מ Mem (97-104)

                “I have more understanding than all my teachers… I understand more than the ancients, because I kept thy precepts” (Psalms 119:99-100) If we put our faith in the Lord, by following His commandments, we can become more knowledgable. Knowledge can be gained in this life, however a full knowledge of life and everything else can never be gained without God.

נ Nun (105-112)

                “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105)

If we put the Lord’s words into action, we will find our paths (lives) much more illuminated and full of joy.

ס Samech (113-120)

                “I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love” (Psalms 119:113) Hate wickedness and Love God and His commandments.

ע Ain (121-128)

                “I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies” (Psalms 119:125)

We are all servants of the Lord and in order to fulfill our purpose as servants (or missionaries) we must pray to have His understanding to know the gospel.

פ Pe (129-136)

                “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psalms 119:130) God’s Word or His Gospel are so simple to understand that even the most simple/humble person can understand.

While serving a 2 year mission in Honduras for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I found that the most uneducated, illiterate person could understand the simple truthes of the Gospel more than the most educated and “complex” person.

צ Tzaddi (137-144)

                “The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live” (Psalms 119:144) If we have the Lord’s understanding we will live a longer life and in the end live forever with Him in His kingdom. God and His testimony (or Gospel) is forever.

ק Koph (145-152)

                The Lord’s testimonies are founded forever. All of God’s commandments are full of truth.

ר Resh (153-160)

                “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever.” (Psalms 119:160)

God’s word is forever, even if man distorts changes or removes important parts of the Bible. God’s word is also not limited to one single book. This is something important that we must remember. God’s canon of scripture is not closed.

ש Schin (161-168)

                “I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love” (Psalms 119:163) the author; who is most likely “David” hated lying and told the Lord that he hated it. The Lord himself also hates lying and it is a reminder for us all to keep from lies and abound in God’s commandments.

ת Tau (169-176)

                All of the Lord’s commandments are in righteousness. We need to delight in His law and have our souls saved through His salvation.

 

Psalms 81-82

Psalms 81-82

Chapter 81: Walk in the Ways of the Lord

To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of Asaph

                Here, the Lord speaks to Asaph;

“I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt… But my people would not hearken to my voice… So I gave them up to their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should have soon subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.” (Psalms 81:10-14)

We need to remember that God will help us, but because he has given us agency… he will not force us to do anything. If we chose to live without God, he will leave us alone and not help us in our times of need.

Chapter 82: Ye are Gods of the Most High

A Psalm of Asaph

                “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods” (Psalms 82:1) The Lord God (Jesus Christ) is a God, but not THE GOD (The Father).

“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” (Psalms 82:6)

This is a very important verse. First we learn that we are “gods” notice how it is a lowercase “g” and not an uppercase “G”, because we all have the ability to become “gods” like our Father, or in other words, we have the ability to become like our Father in Heaven. This leads to the second important part of this verse… we are children of the most High God. That means that God is literally OUR FATHER!

Psalms 41-42

Psalms 41-42

Chapter 41: Treachery of Judas Foretold

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

                David starts off by telling the reader that the man who considers the poor will be delivered in times of trouble by the Lord, because a man who takes care of the poor will be a blessed man. David also asks the Lord to “…heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.” (Psalms 41:4). This is a great reminder of how sin works; once we have committed the sin we must understand that to be completely forgiven we must go through a process. I have no doubt in my mind that David was already forgiven of the sin that he had committed, but his soul was still in the healing process.

We also learn about a future event;

“…mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalms 41:9). This particular verse is a scripture that would be fulfilled much later in John 13:18… “I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me” Jesus was talking to his disciples and one of them Judas Iscariot he was specifically talking to, because he would betray Jesus!

Chapter 42: The Righteous Thirst for God; The wicked say… “Where is thy God?”

To the chief Musician, Maschill, for the sons of Korah.

                This is a relatively short Psalm and the most important thing we can understand and learn from this Psalm is that we need to be constantly seeking the Lord as we do for water and sustenance.

David clearly opens this Psalm; “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…” (Psalms 42:2)

 

Psalms 27-28

Psalms 27-28

Chapter 27: Be of Good Courage

A Psalm of David.

                “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psalms 27:1)

                “…though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” (Psalms 27:3)

                “…he shall set me upon his rock.” (Psalms 27:5)

                David explains that with the Lord we can have His light and salvation. With this light and salvation we have no reason to fear.

                “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalms 27:14) David reminds us that the even in the tough times, we need to be patience and wait on the Lord with courage.

Chapter 28: Save the People

A Psalm of David.

                David makes a simple plea with the Lord to grant his petitions, save his people and bless his inheritance.