Jacob 4

Jacob 4: Prophets

                Jacob explains that he spoke a lot of things to his people; however, because of the difficulty in engraving upon the plates… a lot of what he said is not recorded. Nevertheless, he hopes that when people in the future read these words that they will; “…receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt…” (Jacob 4:3)

Jacob explains the purpose of the plates and really all of the Book of Mormon; “…for this intent have we written these thing, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming…” (Jacob 4:4) Jacob tells us that him and his people and those who came before him in the Americas knew of Jesus Christ, and worshiped God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. His people also followed the Law of Moses, because; “…we search the prophets, and we have many revelation and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountain, or the waves of the sea.” (Jacob 4:6)

Jacob explains that God will give us and show us our own weaknesses that we might know of the true power of God, but also understand our potential and power as His children.

Jacob exclaims; “Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.” (Jacob 4:8) The mysteries of God are great, and we will never truly understand his ways. Denying that He has commanded more than just the Bible to be written is not only denying the power of God, but also saying that we know more than God or that we know His ways. Do we know all of His ways? No. The Book of Mormon was written by men who were commanded of God to write. For it was His will to insure that His children in the New World as well as the Old World would have access to His word. In modern days, The Book of Mormon serves as yet ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRST.

Jacob gives us great counsel; “…seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand…” (Jacob 4:10) In other words, stop trying to deny His great works. The Bible is not the ONLY word of God. Jacob continues to explain how God has called prophets throughout the ages to manifest His word unto us. God has done it in the past, and He will do it again… for God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

“…he that prophesieth let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not… these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls… we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old…. The jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand… because they desired it God hath done it, and they may stumble.” (Jacob 4:13-14)

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Revelation

Summary of Revelation

                As the last book of most modern Bibles (although not chronologically last), the Book of Revelations was written by John the Revelator. John wrote Revelation while a prisoner on the Island of Patmos. He wrote the book to warn the followers of Christ about the destruction of the world and to give Christians encouragement for the return of Jesus Christ during the Second Coming.

John opens the book with a blessing upon those who read the book; “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy…” (Revelation 1:3)

In Chapters 1-3: John describes the details of how he is receiving his revelations. While a prisoner on the island of Patmos, John received  an apocalyptic vision from an angel. With this vision he was instructed to write to seven churches about what he had seen.

In Chapters 4-20: John depicts what he sees in his vision and describes the 7 Seals on the book. Each one will bring about some sort of judgment on the face of the earth. After the 6th seal had been opened and 1/3 of the earth was killed from plagues, and those who had survived “…repented not of the works of their hands…” (Revelation 9:20)

After this, John receivesmore visions of which include the antichrist and Satan and 7 more plagues that are poured out upon the earth. Shockingly, yet believable after the 7th plague; “…men blasphemed God because of the plague of hail: for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” (Revelation 16:21) So, instead of repenting they cursed God!

In Chapters 21-22: John describes the New Heaven and the New Earth. He explains that from Heaven, God sends down the holy city of the New Jerusalem. There will no longer be any crying or tears, pain, mourning, or death. Only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter this place to live eternally with Jesus Christ.

“Behold, I [Jesus Christ] come quickly…” (Revelation 22:7) We must be prepared always from the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and for Judgment Day. For we might not have tomorrow, to repent for today.

 

 

 

Revelation 22

Revelation 22: Christ shall Come

                John saw; “…a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God… and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits… the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse…And they [the followers of Christ] shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:1-4) Here we see that old things are once again done away. Curses will go away from the earth and out of the throne of God will the nations of the world be healed. Those who follow God will have His name on their foreheads (this might not mean literally). Those who follow God will have no need for light, because they will carry His light with them always. God told John; “Behold, I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:7) We need to be prepared always, for we do not know when the Second Coming will occur and therefore might not have time to repent tomorrow.

John explains of the consequences of those who change or add to HIS BOOK [i.e. The Book of Revelations]; “…I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life…” (Revelation 22:18-19) John explains of the consequences of adding, changing or taking away from the Book of Revelations and not from the Bible as a whole.

The Book of Revelations, The New Testament and the Bible as a whole end;

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Revelation 22:21)

Revelation 19

Revelation 19: The Spirit of Prophecy = Testimony

                John explains that the Great Whore is brought down and judged by the Lord and how heaven shouted; “…Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God…” (Revelation 19:1) and the 24 Elders and the four beasts in heaven fell down and worshipped God.

John hears a voice in heaven say; “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come… Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb…” (Revelation 19:7; 9) This of course is likened unto the Covenant relationship that Israel had made with God.  This marriage is a symbolic representation of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints explained;

“In this dispensation the Bridegroom, who is the Lamb of God, shall come to claim his bride, which is the Church composed of the faithful saints who have watched for his return. As he taught in the parable of the marriage of the king’s son, the great marriage supper of the Lamb shall then be celebrated. (Matt. 22:1–14.)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 469).

 

John saw the Lord, and explained that he was “…arrayed in fine linen, clean and white [made clean through His Atonement]…” (Revelation 19:8) John explained that when he fell at His feet to worship Him; “…he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10) Here we learn that Jesus does not see himself as superior (even though He is), but He treats everyone with respect. If Jesus Christ does that, shouldn’t we do that to our fellow man? Also, we learn that having a testimony in Jesus Christ means that you also believe in prophecy, and if someone believes in prophecy they will understand the need for a modern day prophet and obtain a testimony of those things.

 

John goes on to explain that when Jesus Christ comes for the Second Coming, He will come on a white horse and “…clothed with a vesture dipped in blood…And the armies which were in heaven followed him in upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:13-14) and written upon the thigh of the Lord; “…KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16) And the world went to battle Him and those who had followed the False Prophet, who had placed the mark of the beast (666) were destroyed from the face of the Earth.

 

Revelation 9

Revelation 9: Wars and Plagues

                The Fifth Angel sounded; “…I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth; and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit… and there arose a smoke out of the pit… and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locust upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power… it was commanded of them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing… but only those men which have not the seal of God on their foreheads…” (Revelation 9:1-4) Here we have the Fifth Angel sounding the trumpet and a large hole opening from the earth, this hole would darken the sun and the air (so thick black air) and out of the smoke will come Locusts that have the ability to sting like scorpions, basically flying scorpions come out of the smoke. These locusts are commanded to only hurt men (and women) who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Essentially they are commanded to only go after the wicked people of the earth.

In the next verse we read; “…to them [the locusts] it was given that they should not kill them [the wicked people], but that they should be tormented five months…And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Revelation 9:5-6) So when this Fifth Angel sounds the trumpets, all the wicked people of the earth will be stun by locusts [essentially flying scorpions] and be tormented to the point of wanting to die, but be unable to die! John describes the locusts as “…horses prepared unto battle… faces of men… hair of women… teeth of lions… breastplates of iron… sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle… tails like unto scorpions…” (Revelation 9:7-10) John also explains that they are led into “battle” by Abaddon, which in Greek is Apollyon. Apollyon means destruction and is often times used to describe Satan.

Will there really be locusts that can sting like scorpions? The simple answer is no. We must understand that John was describing things that he saw from a perspective of his time. How would someone from thousands of years past describe an airplane, tank, machine gun? In the words and descriptions of that time, so perhaps the “locusts” he saw were actually modern infantry coming out of thick dark smoke that was caused from bombs. We don’t know, and we won’t know. But we can kind of understand what John might have been seeing.

The Sixth Angel sounded; “…and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God. Saying to the sixth angel… Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were release… [and]… were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year… to slay the third part of men… by these three was the third part of men killed.” (Revelation 9:13-15; 18) John explains that these last third of the worlds wicked were to be destroyed, because they never once felt bad for their sins and never desired to repent.

Revelation 8

Revelation 8: Destruction in the Last Days

                John describes what he sees when the angel opens the seven seals of the book; “…there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” (Revelation 8:1-2) and another angel came and stood by the altar, having a gold censer [container of burning incense] and the angel offered prayers on the alter, which made their way up to God. Then angel then took the censer and cast it onto the ground burning, and there were; “…voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and a earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” (Revelation 8:5)

The Seven Angels Sound their Trumpets

                The First Angel sounded; “…and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass burnt up.” (Revelation :7)

The Second Angel sounded; “…as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and a third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures where were in the sea… died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” (Revelation 8:8-9)

The Third Angel sounded; “…and there fell a great start from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called wormwood… and many men died in the waters, because they were made bitter.” (Revelation 8:10-11)

The Fourth Angel sounded; “…and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them were darkened…” (Revelation 8:12)

“…I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound.” (Revelation 8:13)

The worst hasn’t even arrived from all the trumpets, yet everything is already in chaos, and the angels lament seeing mankind ruin themselves.

Revelation 4

Revelation 4: The Celestial Earth

                John is called up to heaven, where in the Spirit he sees ‘one’ who sits on a throne like a jasper and roundabout there is a rainbow. Surrounding the thrown are 24 crowned elders, who have their own thrones. Seven lamps burn around the thrones, which represent the seven Spirits of God, the throne itself is like a sea of glass. Near the throne were also four creatures that were full of eyes; one was like a lion, one like a calf, one like and eagle and one like man. All of these creatures proclaimed; “…Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty…” (Revelation 4:8)

 

                In the Doctrine and Covenants we get a better insight into what John wrote;

  • What is the sea of glass spoken of? “It is the earth, in its sanctified immortal, and eternal state.” (Doctrine and Covenants 77:1)
  • What are the four beasts? “They are figurative expressions, used by the Revelator, John, in describing heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of what which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created.” (Doctrine and Covenants 77:2)
  • Who are the 24 elders? They “…were elders who had been faithful in the work of the ministry and were dead; who belonged to the seven churches, and were then in the paradise of God.” (Doctrine and Covenants 77:5)

2 Peter 1

2 Peter 1: Prophecy comes by the Power of the Holy Ghost

                Peter writes a general letter to the members of the Church of Christ, he reminds them of why they were baptized and why they are followers of Jesus Christ. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, he explains, we; “…are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust… giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance [abstinence/restraint]; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity…” (2 Peter 1:4-7)

Peter is telling every follower of Jesus Christ that the purpose for following Him is to partake in the divine nature of God Himself. We are His offspring, and by accepting His promise we were sent to earth to prove ourselves and to overcome the lusts of the world to eventually be perfected and return to live with Him. For if we overcome the world we will be given knowledge, faith, patience and the ability to love with the ultimate goal of becoming like unto our Father in Heaven. We are literally partakers in this Great Plan of Salvation! When our trial on this earth is over we will; “…be ministered unto… the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:11) For this purpose, Peter explains that he will not be negligent in stirring up those who have forgotten unto remembrance of their duty in this life. Remember, we are saved only after all we can do. For example, the gift of salvation has been given to everyone, however if we chose to do evil in this world we cannot return to our Heavenly Father. Therefore Salvation requires us to put forth an effort to follow Jesus Christ in all that He would do.

Peter goes on to explain that as followers of Jesus Christ (especially those who heard the voice of God on the holy mount) have a knowledge that; “…no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:20-21) In other words, we can interpret the scriptures as much as we want, but without Holy Men of God, that is, Apostles and Prophets we cannot know the true meaning and interpretation of all things. However, God as He did in old times, still calls AUTHORIZED Apostles and Prophets to serve as His mount piece, even in these modern days.

The message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that exact message; God Lives! Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, and Savior. Because of the Love that God and His Son have for us, we have been given a mouth piece in these latter days. The Prophecies and Revelations of the Bible exist today, with Revelations that pertain specifically to the changing times.

Hebrews 6

Hebrews 6: Importance of the Priesthood

                Paul continues to address the subject of Priesthood in this letter to the Hebrews; he starts out by urging the members of the Church to “…go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works…” (Hebrews 6:1) In other words, we should move towards becoming perfect, this doesn’t mean that we are currently perfect. However, if we continue to sin (especially if it is the same sin) over and over again, and ask for repentance the same number of times… we are not moving towards perfection.

Paul explains that certain ordinances must be performed when God permits them to be performed; “…baptisms, and… laying on of hands… resurrection of the dead… this will we do, if God permits.” (Hebrews 6:2-3)

So a big question arises, how do we know when God permits? Looking back one chapter; we read that we cannot take upon ourselves “…this honour…  [except] …he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Hebrews 5:4) This is where having a modern day prophet on the earth is IMPORTANT. With the Authority restored on the earth, we can know God’s will today. We don’t have to rely on prophets of old to help us solve our problems of today. Therefore, proper Priesthood Authority is needed… a direct line back to Jesus Christ Himself MUST exist.

Assuming that someone has proper priesthood authority, doesn’t mean that they can’t lose that priesthood authority. Paul, addressing the Hebrews and most likely their concerns, explains the process for returning to full fellowship, with priesthood keys restored; “If they [priesthood holders] fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:6) This means that if a priesthood bearer, fall away from the Gospel and His covenant at Baptism; he must repent, crucify themselves (spiritually) and be publicly dis-fellowshipped from the congregation. This means that they would not participate in the more sacred callings and privileges reserved for obedient members of the church. Until, a time when priesthood leaders through revelation, determine that the member be restored to full fellowship.

Paul explains that those who do fall away should not feel as if they have failed in the eyes of God; “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name…” (Hebrews 6:10) If someone fails to live righteously, but earnestly seeks to do well… will be granted forgiveness, in that; “They be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:12) How marvelous is God, being merciful unto all men!

Paul explains that God made a promise to Abraham, and because God could swore to no one greater than He; “…he swear by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.” (Hebrews 6:13-14) Abraham was given a promise, and the Lord made sure that if Abraham fulfilled his promise, God would swear by His promise. “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” (Hebrews 6:15)

                Paul mentions this to help us better understand that we have purpose in this life; “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast…” (Hebrews 6:19)