TEXT

Have I done any good in the world today? If not, I have failed indeed! Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above.
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Flee From Temptation

In ancient Egypt there was a man named Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph was eventually sold to a man named Potiphar who was the captain of the guard for the pharaoh. The Lord was with Joseph and helped him do the work Potiphar assigned to him.

Potiphar saw the work that Joseph did and realized that God was with him. The scriptures say, "And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand." Because of this, Potiphar assigned Joseph to be the overseer of his house and everything he owned.

Joseph was well taken care of by Potiphar. The scriptures say his house was blessed because Joseph was living there. The scriptures also say that Joseph was a "goodly person and highly favored".

Potiphar wasn't the only one who favored Joseph though. Potiphar's wife also liked Joseph. The scriptures say after Joseph did all these great things, "that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me." Or in other words, "Sleep with me."

Uh-oh. She ain't up to no good.

However, Joseph knew that this home-wrecker wasn't any good for him or his eternal salvation. He said, "There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"

This wasn't the last time Potiphar's wife tempted Joseph. The scriptures say, "she spake to Joseph day by day" trying to get him to break the commandments of God. Joseph was very obedient to the commands of God. I'm sure Potiphar's wife may have been gorgeous, but because Joseph loved God more than momentary pleasure, he resisted her temptings. I'm also going to take some nonscriptural liberty in saying that Joseph wasn't the only man Potiphar's wife tried to seduceIn the words of Alma to his son Corianton, "Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son."

One day Joseph went down to Potiphar's house and found that there weren't any men in the home.

Bad sign, Joseph. Get. Out. Of. There.

The bad news: Joseph was accused of adultery
and thrown into prison. The good news: In prison
he met a couple of men that helped prove him innocent.
And the scriptures say that Potiphar's wife jumped on him, grabbed his clothes and told him to sleep with her. But good guy Joseph, "left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out" or in other words, he up and booked it out of there!

I love the wording used here. "Got him out". There seems to be a sense of urgency in that phrase.

This story reminds me of another story. Remember in the New Testament when the money changers were camped on temple grounds doing their thing? Christ saw this and in righteous indignation started to flip over the tables they were working at and forced everyone to leave.

The temple is just a building. We are a living soul whose actions have eternal consequences. How much more would Christ rather flip our inner tables and cleanse our temples than a physical temple, or house of God?

I'd also like to make note here on the similarities between how Potiphar's wife tempted Joseph and how Satan tempts us. Now I'm not saying that Potiphar's wife is Lucifer, but I am inferring that she was a tempter and a snake.

Notice how the scriptures say Potiphar's wife "she spake to Joseph day by day". She didn't speak to him once, not twice, but everyday! Then when Joseph showed that he would not give into temptation or lower his standards, Potiphar's wife came to him and ripped his clothing off.

Satan works the same way. He puts temptations in our paths every single day. And when he sees that we won't let our defenses down and grab hold of evil and delight ourselves with sinful pleasures, he goes looking for us. He puts it right there in front of us. I've often heard the saying, "When I was a boy, I had to go looking for trouble. Nowadays, trouble finds me."

However, just as quickly as Joseph fled temptation and "got him out" of the situation, we must flee temptation so we do not do "great wickedness, and sin against God." Let us be be like Joseph. Let us flee from temptation quickly and "get us out" of Satan's grasp. We must do what is right!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

The Angel Moroni appears to the
prophet Joseph Smith
"It Came upon the Midnight Clear." Whenever I hear this favorite Christmas song, I always have in my mind the painting of the angel Moroni appearing to Joseph Smith. It came upon the midnight clear. What came? The restored gospel of Jesus Christ! I would like to take this hymn apart and give it to you from my perspective, just as I did previously with the hymn "Do What Is Right."

1. 
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:

Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heav’n’s all-gracious King.
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

"It came upon the midnight clear,
That 
glorious song of old,"

In the prophet Joseph's own words, he says, "While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor."

The "glorious song" is none other than the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. How long the earth has been waiting for the gospel to return! In every dispensation of time, the gospel of Jesus Christ had been taken off the earth after apostasy; this time, however, the "song of old" will never leave the earth again.

"
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:"

The glorified and resurrected ancient Book of Mormon prophet Moroni appeared to Joseph:

He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people."

"“
Peace on the earth, good will to men
Merry Christmas!
From heav’n’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing."

In Luke 2:10-11 it reads:

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

From the introduction of the Book of Mormon:
Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

Sounds like peace on earth and good will to me. Millions of people have read the Book of Mormon and their lives have been changed as a result of it. Millions have asked of God through prayer if this book is true.

In D&C 25:12 if says, "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

Those angels' songs will be and have been answered!


2. Still thru the cloven skies they come

The Angel Moroni delivering the
gold plates to Joseph
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heav’nly music floats
O’er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hov’ring wing,
And ever o’er its babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

Revelation 14:6-7
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Moroni is the angel referred to in this passage. He brought forth the Book of Mormon to the inhabitants of the earth, "the sad and lowly plains." The gospel today is preached to everyone, in their own tongue.



3. For lo! the days are hast’ning on,

"He said there was a book deposited,
written upon gold plates"
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heav’n and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

"
For lo! the days are hast’ning on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,,"

"He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;"

Moroni told Joseph of the ancient record he was to translate. This event had been long foretold by prophets, by both Bible and Book of Mormon prophets. What a wonderful time the people of the earth were living in in the early 1830's, to witness the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

"
When the new heav’n and earth shall own
The Second Coming of the Messiah
The Prince of Peace their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing."

"Those who gain this 
divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah."

Moroni was a powerful Book of Mormon prophet with a powerful message. As part of his final few words, Moroni left his testimony of the Book of Mormon. In Moroni 10:3-5 it reads:

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.

I did. Will you?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Climbing The Ladder

It's that time of year again. We're getting all kinds of calls to do service projects: "Elders, Brother and Sister Soandso needs some help doing [insert winter project here]. Can you help with that?"

Our response: "SURE WE CAN!"

Yes, I am an expert at this.
The other day we got a call to put up Christmas lights on a house. I thought we were just going to be putting up lights around the house like lawn decorations and such. When we got there it was revealed that we were going to have to climb a ladder to string lights along the top of a house.

As the person we were helping prepared the ladder I volunteered to go up it and string the lights. The top didn't look so far away-- it would be easy to climb up there. I was super brave until I got to the base of the ladder and looked up...

Internal monologue: "Yeah right! He expects me to climb that long and shaky ladder all the way to the top all by myself, then risk killing myself to string lights along his house? What if I fall down? What if the ladder breaks or messes up? Splat. There's the end of me. No more Elder Hill."

So reluctantly I started to climb up the ladder. I carefully watched each step I made on the way up, looking up only a few times to see if I was at the top. If I saw I wasn't at the top, I would look down and continue climbing until I was at the top. 


"Oh, great. Another death trap." 

I started climbing up the ladder again. This time though, I didn't look down. I wanted to get up that ladder the quickest I could. I put one hand in front of the other, not looking down once. I was at the top in no time. 


Then it hit me. Get this-- Pulling up and climbing forward wasn't as hard or scary as going down and crawling back. In fact, it was way easier to climb up the ladder than it was to go down it. 

Let's take a spiritual approach to this situation. Think of life as a ladder. We are always constantly moving either up or down. Sometimes we stop, but that is when we are trying to figure out where to go. 

Liken the looking down to looking back on past sins or transgressions, feelings of guilt or unworthiness, or other negative emotions. If we don't look up and see where we're going, it is a lot harder to climb life's ladders. However, if we look forward with an eye of faith, life's ladders won't be hard to climb up at all.

You could also apply this to a less active member coming back to the church. Sure, it may seem daunting at the beginning, but when you are back enjoying the peace of the gospel of Jesus Christ, won't it be worth it?

Joseph Smith said, "When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel."

Liken the ladder to the iron rod in the prophet Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon (See 1 Nephi 8). The iron rod is the word of God. If we hold onto the rod (or in this case a ladder) we will reach our end goal successfully.

Hold to the rod! Climb life's spiritual ladders-- you can do it!






Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Good Tidings Of Great Joy

There are many stories told at Christmastime. The one about that little mouse running around when everyone else was asleep. There's the Nutcracker and the book about the green goblin who stole Christmas.

There are TV shows and movies about Christmas: You have Charlie Brown and his pitiful Christmas tree. You have my family's favorite Christmas movie, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." There's the movie "The Santa Clause" with Tim Allen. There's even the classic "A Christmas Story." And my personal favorite: "Mr. Krueger's Christmas."

The journey to Bethlehem wasn't
exactly enjoyable for Mary.
Most Christians are familiar with the story of Christ's birth in Luke 2. It was time for everyone in the land to pay taxes. Mary and Joseph traveled some 60 miles or so from Nazareth to Bethlehem to pay them, however the journey was going to be rough for Mary because she was nine months pregnant. When Mary and Joseph got to Bethlehem they looked for a place to stay the night, but there wasn't a single room available except for a stable where the animals stayed. Mary had her baby, and His name was Jesus Christ.

On the night Christ was born, a few shepherds were tending their flocks. Suddenly, an messenger angel from heaven appeared and scared the living day-lights out of them. The angel knew he had scared them because he had to comfort them and told them not to be afraid because he had great news. He said Christ was born that night and told them where to find Him.

It then tells the story of how the wise men (who were different from the shepherds the angel appeared to) went to see Jesus Christ and gave Him gifts. And that's why we celebrate Christmas by giving presents to people we love. Great, isn't it?

But often times, I think we overlook the message the angel gave to the shepherds. In Luke 2:10-11 it reads:

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.


Fear not. Christ is born!
Or in other words: "Hey guys! Jesus Christ was born today! You know, the Messiah? The Savior? The Redeemer of the world who has been prophesied would come to save man from their from their sins almost since the beginning of the world on both sides of the globe? He is going to bring many billions of people peace and happiness! Isn't that great?"

What better message is there out there than that? There is a Savior who was born, what more important thing could the angel Gabriel have told them?

"Jesus Christ will heal people!" or "Jesus Christ will fulfill the Law of Moses!" or "Jesus Christ will raise the dead!"

All of that stuff is cool and great and all, but the most important message we were supposed to get out of the Christmas story isn't the gold, frankincense, and myrrh that were brought to Jesus by the wise men. It wasn't the new star appearing in the sky or that Mary and Joseph paid taxes. It was that Jesus Christ was born.

Jesus Christ didn't only die for us, but He was also born for us. We can more easily pass through life's sorrows. He was born to free us from our sins. We can perform and take part in ordinances essential to our eternal salvation. We can have guidance and direction in our lives. We have the opportunity to enter the kingdom of God. (Just a little hint: follow the links in this paragraph to see the message.)

So during this Christmas season, take a little more time to reflect on the "good tidings of great joy" brought to the shepherds by Gabriel. Think about why Christ came into the world. Think of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Think of the real reason for Christmas.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Most Correct Of Any Book On Earth


A painting of the prophet Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith said the following about the Book of Mormon: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

In saying this, however, Joseph did not say the Bible was not correct. He was simply implying that the Book of Mormon was more correct. To read Joseph Smith's own account of how the Book of Mormon came to be, click HERE.

Before anyone flips out because they think I was saying the Bible is false, let's go back to pre-school for this example. Let's say that Mary has six apples. Mary gives John three apples. Mary gives Sam two apples. Does John have apples? Does Sam have apples? Does Mary still have apples? The answer to all three of these questions is "yes."

I hope I illustrated my point. The Bible has truth and correct principles. The Book of Mormon does also, but is simply more correct than the Bible. Does that mean the Bible does not have truth or is incorrect if the Book of Mormon has more truth and is more correct? No.

The Bible and the Book of Mormon
support each other.
Self explanatory. If the Book of Mormon has errors it is the mistakes of men.

The Bible was also written by men. Whether those men be prophets or translators, they are nonetheless men. The Bible is not inerrant. It has errors. It has mistakes. In fact, the Bible contradicts itself many times.

One of those contradictions is the fact that there are four different descriptions of the sign nailed to the cross above Christ when he was crucified.

Matthew's account: "And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus the King of the Jews." (Matthew 27:37)

Mark's account: "And the superscription of his accusation was written over, The King of the Jews." (Mark 15:26)

Luke's account: "And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is the King of the Jews." (Luke 23:38)

John's account: "And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews. (John 19:19)

So my consensus is either that these four gentlemen were all looking at different signs, that they couldn't read, or that in the translation process of the Bible someone forgot to proofread these descriptions to make sure they matched. I doubt the first two. (For more information on the translation of the Holy Bible, READ HERE)

If the Holy Bible, in its entirety, is correct, then why are there four different descriptions of what the sign said above the cross Christ was crucified on?
Another contradiction is in John 3:22, which reads:

22 ¶After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Jud├Ža; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

In this verse it says Christ baptized. However in John 4:2 it says Christ did not baptize.

The Holy Bible contains many truths.
However, it does not have
a fulness of truth.
2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

The story of Paul's conversion told in Acts 9 contradicts the re-telling of the same story in Acts 22. In Acts 9:7, it says the men heard a voice, but in Acts 22:9 it says they heard no voice.


Acts 22:9
9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

There are many other numerous similar examples I could list off, but to respect the word of God I will not do so. I don't want to seem like I'm just bashing it.

Now let's go back to the passage found in the front of the Book of Mormon: "And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ."

I believe this passage to apply to the Holy Bible as well as the Book of Mormon. The mistakes in translation are from the faults of men. Does that make the Bible untrue? No.

Although I do not believe the Holy Bible as a whole is correct and without error, I do believe the stories and parables contained within its pages are useful in portraying symbolism, demonstrating basic gospel principles, and supporting the teachings and things found in the Book of Mormon.

Members of the LDS church don't just think
reading the scriptures is a good idea--  for
us it is considered a commandment of God.
In the eighth Article of Faith written by the Prophet Joseph Smith, he declares the Church's official stance on the Bible:

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

Also, the ninth Article of Faith says the following about the word of God:

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

So lets put this out there in clear wording. The Holy Bible is a correct book as long as it meets one criteria. That is, it must be translated correctly. Also, because God is not silent, He can give us as much as His word as it pleases Him.

The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi had a revelation from God and he included it in the 29th chapter of the second book he wrote in his time as a prophet. This is his record of what the Lord said:

3 And because my words shall hiss forth--many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.

4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?

5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.

6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.
(See John 10:16 and 3 Nephi 15:17)
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.

11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

Wow! Could you imagine being on the other end of that conversation with the Lord? What a powerful passage.

I have always wondered what people mean when they say, "the heavens are closed" or "God doesn't speak to man anymore."

Hearing these statements makes me wonder... Who are you to say that God doesn't speak to people nowadays? Don't you think God loves us today just as much as He loved His children back in ancient times? Don't you think we need His help more than any other people in any period of history? If God can do such great miracles back in the day, how is it that He cannot help me in my small and insignificant every day life?

Nephi said it best when speaking to his hard headed and hard hearted brothers in 1 Nephi 17:50-51:

50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.

51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?
To read the rest of the chapter in context, read 1 Nephi 17 HERE.

Just because He doesn't speak to you doesn't mean He doesn't speak to me. I've received revelation (messages or inspiration from God) for my life and others. Very rarely is it some voice. I've never seen God, Jesus Christ, or their angels-- more often it is thoughts or impressions on my mind that this revelation comes. However, I know these things come from God and I cannot deny it. You can't refute a testimony.

And for anyone who says all revelation and communication from God stopped with the death of the Apostles-- think again.

Just as God's children in ancient times,
we have a living prophet on the earth today.
His name is Thomas S Monson.
Amos 3:7 states: "Surely The Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets." Or in other words, if a church doesn't have a prophet, that means The Lord is "doing nothing" in them.

Oh, what? There are no prophets today? You guessed it. Think again.

Ephesians 4:11-14:

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
And he gave some what? Prophets and apostles.
Look at all the different religions out there. Mormon, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Jehovah's Witness, Methodist, etc. Does it look like we are unified in the faith? Nope. We will continue to have prophets and apostles on the earth until we are all in the unity of the faith.
For the people that say that Christ's church never left the earth-- think again.

"BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GREAT APOSTASY?"

Correct. You are right in saying that Christ's church was taken off the earth. The apostles were killed and the priesthood removed from the earth. However, there were still apostles and prophets on the earth. I'll let you do some of your own research on this one. Read these: THREE NEPHITES and JOHN THE BELOVED.

So you see, after the death of Jesus Christ and His apostles, these four prophets and apostles (I say prophets and apostles because apostles are still considered prophets, seers, and revelators) were still on the earth and still held the priesthood, or God's power and authority, and still remain on the earth today.

While in His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ called prophet
 and apostles, gave them His priesthood, and
organized His church.
But now back to Christ's church. Many people quote Daniel 2:44, which says the Lord will will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and would not be left to other people, but will break into pieces and consume all the kingdoms.

Many say this refers to the church Christ set up during His mortal ministry. This kingdom could not be created without a prophet because the Lord does not work, as Amos says, except through his servants the prophets.

The kingdom that Christ set up could not have been the one mentioned because in Matthew 21:43 it says, "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." So the kingdom Christ organized was left and given to another people. Therefore, Christ's church was not on the earth at the death of the apostles. The kingdom referred to in Daniel 2:44 refers to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ever hear in the scriptures "the dispensation of the fullness of times?" (See Ephesians 1:10 for reference) Well I got a question for ya. How could something be restored if it was never on the earth or had not been taken off to begin with? Riddle me that.

Okay, so let's take a little break. Hopefully now I've established a few things.

First, that the Bible, in it's entirety is not 100% correct. It is not infallible or inerrant. However, it is still not false and is read and revered as the word of God by the LDS church.

If you didn't get those three points out of the above text, please STOP, go back, and read it again!

Now let's move onto the big one. Many people try to bash the Book of Mormon by quoting Revelation 22:18-19. Let's take a look at what the passage says:

18 For 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:

19 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, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

So if the Book of Mormon is "adding to" the book, then where are the plagues? There aren't any on the Mormon church. Look at the Dark Ages. Ever heard of the Black Death AKA the Bubonic Plague? Looks like we found the plagues...

And just as a side note, if people have no problem accepting the Dead Sea Scrolls as scripture, why is it so hard to accept the Book of Mormon?

Now look at John's wording here. He says "this book" or "the book of this prophecy" four times in the course of this passage. Clearly, John is not referring to the Holy Bible. He is referring to the "book of prophecy" meaning the book of his prophecy, the Book of Revelation. He wasn't referring to the Bible-- the word "Bible" means "a collection of books," so he was talking about one of the books in the collection. Not to mention, the Book of Revelation was not the last book of the Bible written chronologically. Don't believe me? Go look it up. That's one thing the Internet is useful for. I did it for you... Just click the link.

Need direction in your life? The Book of Mromon
will help you find it.
This passage of scripture written by John is a favorite among Book of Mormon critics, however very few of them are familiar with Deuteronomy 4:2, which says pretty much the exact same thing: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."

So wait-- by their logic, everything after Deuteronomy 4:2 is false scripture and should be considered invalid? No, that doesn't make sense. How can that be possible? Perhaps because it wasn't referring to the whole book as a total. 

I hope anyone who reads this post does not think I do not respect the Holy Bible as the word of God. I love the Bible and read from it often. However, I know from reading it it is not infallible. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God also and know it to be the most correct of any book on Earth.
The Book of Mormon WILL change your life.
You just have to let it.

To the critics of the Book of Mormon who say they have read the Book of Mormon and claim it is of the devil: If you feel that way, crush the spiritual wall around your stubborn heart and read it again with an open mind and open heart. Allow the spirit to talk to your soul and nourish you spiritually. Read it as Moroni invites you to do in Moroni 10:3-5. Read with a sincere heart, with real intent, and having faith in Christ, and it WILL change your life! I did, and it changed mine.

A book nothing to be scared of. It won't eat your soul and send it to me in a package if you read it. It won't make you burst in flames, but it will set your heart on fire. Spiritually, of course.

If you knew your salvation depended on a 531 page book, wouldn't you want to read it?

___________________________________


Additional links:
Read the Book of Mormon online: HERE
Request your own FREE copy of the Book of Mormon: HERE
Chat with representatives of the LDS church online: HERE

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Are We Grateful Lepers?

In this holiday season, there are many things we should be thankful for, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner. I can think of many blessings which the Lord has blessed me with. For one, my family. Other blessings include: the gift of the Atonement, the scriptures, the gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ, temples, the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, the prophets, and other spiritual blessings. The Lord has also blessed me with many temporal things: money to provide for food and other groceries, neat and comely clothes, a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, and a coat to keep me warm.

Do we always fall at the feet of
Christ in thanks of all of our
blessings?
There is a story in the New Testament that demonstrates the principle of thanks-giving. While walking through Samaria and Galilee, Christ went into a certain village where He came across ten men who were stricken with leprosy. They all cried to Him saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." Christ, being the kind and loving one that He is, told the lepers to go and show themselves to the priests, and as they did they were healed.

The scriptures say there was one, when he realized he was no longer cursed with leprosy, turned back and glorified God, falling down at Christ's feet to give Him thanks. Just as a side note, this man was also a Samaritan.

When Christ saw there was only one man who had returned to give thanks, He asked, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?" He then says the others who were healed were not found giving thanks to God, except for the man at his feet. Christ then said to the man, "Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."

Often times we tend to petition our Heavenly Father through prayer for blessings we desire. Sometimes our prayers and desires may be good-hearted and sincere. However, more often than not, once God blesses us with what we prayed for we do not stop to thank Him for the blessings we receive.

So which of the healed lepers are we? Are we the one man who comes back to thank the Lord? Or are we the other nine which run off and forget the Lord after He blesses us?

Let us show our gratitude to those who give us gifts or who help us in our lives. Be especially grateful to our Heavenly Father who loves us and watches over us to protect us. He provides for us in more ways than we can imagine.