Saturday, October 3, 2015

Why Nephi writing on the plates was so impotent to the world.

         The name of the God that is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is Jesus Christ. In the days of the Jews before He was born as Jesus Christ, He was known as Jehovah or I am that I am. It does not say Jesus Christ name in Nephi 6 or Nephi 19. The Title page names Him as Jesus Christ. In Nephi 6 it only states that it is Him because He is the God Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and that if men come unto him they will be saved. We can only be saved by Jesus Christ’s grace. In Nephi 19:10 it tells of the things in which Jesus Christ will do when He comes onto the earth and what will happen as the sing of His death. Again, this is how we know it is Him (Jesus Christ). Why is the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob so important to Nephi some would ask? It is because of this, Nephi knew that He (Jesus Christ) wanted him (Nephi) to be writing down the things of Him (Jesus Christ) for all to know of Him (Jesus Christ). This is why Nephi did what was asked of him.
Nephi states that he is writing on the plates to make it clear to all man that he desires the things of God to be written upon the plates and for the things of the world are not to be upon the plates. Nephi also gives a commandment that his seed shall also do the same. In the Title page of the Book of Mormon, it states that the book is the work of Jesus Christ and that all men will know Him by the convincing of the Jew and the Gentile, that He is the Christ. Nephi states that he is of the House of Joseph which is of the House of Israel. The Book of Mormon is for the whole House of Israel, that they who read it will know that the Lord Jesus Christ has made it known the covenants He has made with their fathers are coming back to the earth and that the Lord has not forgotten them and that they are not cast out of His presence.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Forbidden Paths

Those persons who fell away into forbidden paths (1 Nephi 8:28), as seen in Lehi vision, are the people of the LDS church that have made covenants with the Lord and then have chosen to turn away from those covenants. These persons made it all the way to the tree, partook of the fruit, and then became ashamed “because of those that were scoffing at them.” The forbidden paths are only accessible once you have partaken of the fruit. Those persons who turned away from the path even before reaching the Tree of Life, were not able to access the forbidden paths. They were simply lost in the mist of darkness. Being lost in the mist of darkness is not the same as being lost on a forbidden path. Once we have made covenants with the Lord, our Heavenly Father, we must stay true to the faith and not partake of anything that would rob us of our closeness and the love that God and His son Jesus Christ have for us. Otherwise, we too are likely to fall into forbidden paths.

In the temple we make covenants with the Lord, the forbidden paths are the breaking of those covenants. When we break our baptism covenants we are lost in the mist of darkness, or not holding onto the iron rod, or we are being led away by the people in the great and spacious building. These paths are leading people away from the truth and are following the things of the world. When people chose to be led away after having eaten of the fruit from the tree and then go down a path that leads away from God, then those persons are on the forbidden paths. Those who choose to walk into the mist of darkness or choose not to hold on to the iron rod, and have not been baptized have not made any covenants. It is only after they have been baptized that a covenant has been made. And those who have been endowed in the temple have not only made covenants, they have also been given the gift of having God power with them. While the priesthood is the authority to act in God’s name; the gift of the Endowment is the power and gift to be like God and have his power so long as we hold up to the covenants made therein the temple. 

Covenants made at baptism are not to the same degree as those that have been made in the temple. After making covenants in the temple we are then held to a higher standard and that is why Lehi mentions the forbidden paths. Nephi too, sees the same things that his father saw and was told what each of the things he saw meant. Although Nephi explains what many of the things that he saw mean, he did not explain the forbidden paths, at least not as far as I can tell. Once we go down a forbidden path, it’s not that we can’t turn back towards the tree but it is very difficult to do so. Those who wander off into the mist of darkness, or simply let go of the rod do not have as hard of a time being able to come back to the path that leads to the Tree. Whereas those who have fallen away into forbidden paths have already tasted the fruit of the tree and then they rejected it, therefore they have a much harder time being able to turn back to the Tree.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Plain and Precious Truths of The Gospel

Satin tried to remove the plain and precious truths of the gospel. I do not like to play the devil’s advocate here. However, if I was Satin (also known as Lucifer) I would try to take away any and all references to Jesus Christ being the Son of God and His mission or purpose is his Life while He was on the Earth and try to make people forget their convents that was made unto the Lord by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is not to say that any and all practices that do not lead people back to God through Jesus Christ are of the Church of Satin. It is to say that Satin has his hand in all things that leadeth people away from the real truth of all things. 

The first Church of Christ was the true church at that time in history. However, over time the church was changed either by Satin or by man under his influence. Theses change caused the people to lose their plain and precious things. This is one of many reasons why Nephi had to write the things that he did in his record. For the Lord knoweth that in the coming forth of Joseph Smith time, the things of the Lord would be forgotten in a manner of wickedness that would be to confuse the people even unto not knowing that the things of their hearts, would not get them closer to the Lord. Their action would say that they know of God. However, their words were not reflecting their hearts. “I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof” (Joseph Smith History 1:19). This is to say that the convents made with the Jews, were change by the Gentiles and lost over time do to the apostasy of the people. 

The only true church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is not to say that other churches do not have some element of truth; they just do not have the fullness of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not all Churches are of Satin. However, if those churches that leadeth people away from the true church of God, then they are being used by Satin for his purposes. Sometimes this is referred to as evil working for good concept. If Satin was not allowed to try us with wrong and false doctrines, how could we know by the power of the Holy Ghost that this church is the true and only church of God and of His Son Jesus Christ, as given in Moroni or in James that by the power of the Holy Ghost we will know the truth of all things that man wants to know from God. 

Nephi is shown many things regarding the early church and the works of Jesus Christ and his 12 apostles. I think it is impotent to note that Nephi was told that another book or books that would come unto his brethren and that “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” (Nephi 13:40). This is to say that the only way in which to get back to God is through Jesus Christ. Satin would try to prevent people from doing this and this is what I think is the most important part of Nephi’s vision to help people know that all things will come back to those that are faithful unto having them reviled unto them.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My Tender Mercies of the Lord.

Something I was thinking about this week in my Book of Mormon class was the Tender Mercies of the Lord. I was thinking about all the times the Lord has like in Nephi 1:20 has "show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

I have seen many times in my life the tender Mercies of the Lord. When I was born I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. It caused brain damaged to the point that I was unable to walk and had no control over my arms and legs. I think they called it Delayed Development Disorder or Delayed Neurological Disorder. Anyway, I was giving a blessing to help me over come this Disorder. Today the only thing that I have from this is a form of Dyslexia.

A few years ago I had fallen out of a moving vehicle while as I working at the Airport in Tampa Florida. My friend was driving and he hit the breaks to hard and fast (after I had dropped a battery to a handheld scanner we use for keeping track of the cargo and mail) that I was unable to keep my hold of the vehicle and went out the passenger side door of what looks like a UPS or FedEx type truck. The door was open and not closed. We had no A/C and we had the doors open to get air in. Florida in the summer time is hot without any A/C. Anyway I hit my head on the ground and blacked out. I was still awake. However, I cannot recall anything that happen between the time I hit the ground until the time I woke up so the speak at the hospital.
I think Heavenly Father was looking out for me again that day. I have some short term and long term memory loss. However, it is not to the point that I cannot recall anything at all. It just takes longer for me to recall information without any notes to help refresh my memory. This is why I write long reports when I work as a Security Officer. I had had a lot of people say "you do not need to write a novel on a short indecent which not that much happened." However, ever report can be called into court, no matter how small others may think it is. Six months to years later I will not recall any things unless I have taken good notes and have written a good detailed report.

I have also seen the Tender Mercies of the Lord when I was working as an Armed Security Officer in Florida. Many times my back up is the local police and sheriff's office. They can be more than 10 to 30 minutes away and I have to be able to handle any issue myself. Most of the time, I was able to do this without having to call them for backup. Sometimes I would have to call them for little things like a trespass warning or a car accident or something along that line. However, if things hit the fan and sometime they did, I had no back up right away. I have found myself in harm’s way more times than I care to count and every time the Lord has saved my life or the life of the person that got hurt. Example: a car accident where someone got hurt so bad they had to be airlifted out in-order to get to the hospital.

Recently I was up in Yellowstone a few weeks ago and was coming home with my wife and kids when we hit a deer on the road way. The deer hit the side of our van and I had to swerve to the left side of the road in order to not hit the deer straight head on. The good thing about this was that no one was coming on the other side of the road and the car that was behind me was far enough back that they had time to stop and not hit me or the deer, after I had hit it. This shows to me that even if He (The Lord) cannot make the deer not hit our van, that we did not get hurt and no one else got hurt and or worse, that we did not needed to get into an accident were we had to go to the hospital. This help me know that He (The Lord) is always watching over me and is mindful to protecting my life and that my work is not yet done and that my life is not over yet, nor that of my wife and kids.

In short, the Lord knows what he wants me to do and my life is important to Him. I do not know everything the Lord has in-store for me. However, whatever it is, my work is not yet done on this earth. He always, somehow because of my faith in this life or the per-mortal life, has shown me deliverance over my enemies that have tried to hurt me and the power of evil that has tried to take my life in one way or another.

Monday, September 7, 2015

12 Steps to a better you. Powerful videos to help anyone that needs the power and love of God.

The videos is apart of a 12 step program The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has to help people overcome their addiction. If you need help, please get the help you need. If you know of someone that needs help, please help them the best you can by being there for them and loving towards them. The love of God and his son Jesus Christ can save lives. It is not to late to change your live or help someone save theirs. I have seen many things while working as a Security Officer and working with Law Enforcement in my almost ten years from Florida to North Carolina to Tennessee and back. I have seen how drugs and other addictions have changed peoples lives and ruin peoples lives and their families. It is a hard road to walk, to get back to the life you or someone else once had, however, it can be done. The love of God and his son Jesus Christ is enough to save your live or the live of another. Do it today. Do it for yourself. Do it for someone else that needs it.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Divine Command Theory

            God’s will or direct and indirect will, as some would call it, is the result of many issues regarding Ethics in the world as a whole. Societies around the world may agree that lying, stealing, and murders are wrong things to do and that God has said not to do these things. The issue here is that not all societies can agree on what God or Gods have said this and what book(s) of Scriptures, if any, to follow, are right. The agreement of whether or not a God or The God exists is not the question or topic of discussion. The question or topic at hand is the fact that God, our Heavenly Father, has said these things either by revelations directly or indirectly on a personal level or by a spokesperson called a prophet. The focus or direction that I am taking here is that God’s will, can be a morally good one for people to follow, an ethical code in which to follow and to live by at the time that God says it directly or indirectly at the time in which a person received His will.

            Let’s first address some of the issues regarding Divine Command Theory in order to better understand why it is an issue for most people to wrap their heads around in the first place. According to the text book, one problem with Divine Command Theory is a lack of agreement on which, if any, book(s) or text(s) have authority coming from God. Another, according to the text book, is that even if we all live under the same religious tradition, we may disagree as to understand what is being thought. Lastly, again, according to the text book, some questions cannot be answered by traditional religious teachings even if many religious traditions are clear on the issues or topics, most ethical dilemmas in contemporary societies are not addressed by these traditions (Lawhead p. 419-20). 

            In addition to the above stated, within the L.D.S. Church/community, people within the Church have seen when they are told by a or the Prophet(s) or President(s) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when God has said something by direct revelations to them that when something is morally good at one point in time, it may be morally wrong at another point in time or vise versa. For example, in 1978, when the then Prophet of the Church or Church President Spencer W. Kimball declared men of African American or African decent or Black in general, along with all men of every color and race would be able to have the priesthood. It was an issue of Morally with the L.D.S. Church. For some view that the priesthood is for all man that have repented of their sins and have been baptized unto God’s son Jesus Christ’s Church should have this right given unto them. It was given early on in church history and then over time due to one reason or another was changed to not allow men of African American decent to hold such priesthood.  Is this to say that God had changed his mind or to imply that God’s moral judgments are not consistent?  I do not think that this is the case. However, it is to show that within a community of the same religious traditions, we can see over time that even if people or in this case the Prophets or Presidents of the Church talking to God, God has reveled when it is and is not the right time for something to happen, even if there is no rational reasonable reason to justify it as being morally good or morally bad in terms of being an ethically good action that is or is not to come about at a particular time and place. Please take note that the above does not reflect my views on the issue of the whether or not African Americans should or should not have had the priesthood within the L.D.S. Church. I was just using this as an example to show that Divine Command Theory has issues within its own theory. 

            My stand on the Divine Command Theory is that of God leading and guiding us in what is and what is not right for us to do. The 10 commandments along with other laws given by revelation and/or commandment and covenants made by those that choose to do so in and outside of L.D.S. Church buildings and the Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are just one way in which God has given us a way to live by or Code of Moral Good, which is his ethical code. What I am stating here is that God has given us an answer to that in which is morally right and that which is morally wrong or ethically right and wrong. We have the word of wisdom, the law of tithing, and the law of chastity just to name a few, that are in a way a moral code and an ethical code given unto the world, not just the L.D.S. Church/community in which to live by. My focus is to say that when we do what God, our Heavenly Father, has asked us to do at that point in time whether or not we agree with that action, it is Morally a good action even if the action in of itself is a bad one to bring about the ends in which God himself would want to have happen at that point in time; for example Nephi killing of Laban in 1 Nephi Chapter 4. We see that Nephi was told to kill Laban, and we also know that by God’s own Code or comments given unto Moses that killing is wrong. However, God said unto Nephi Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief” (1 Nephi 4:13). This is not to say that God wants people to go around doing evil action. This is to say that sometimes morally wrong actions must be done in order for morally righteous actions and life to be preserved. 

            At this point it would look like I am agreeing for Utilitarian or Kant view of Ethics in which the greatest amount of happiness is for the greater good of all people involved and to a degree on a level, it is. However, my focus is to say that when God asks or commands us to do something, because it is his will, we are better off following His words, then to not follow His words. I have seen in my own life when this is the case. I will not go into any one example on any one issue. However, just stating the fact that when I do what God asks of me at that point in time, it is the right thing to do whether or not I can see the benefits of that action at that time or not. Most of the time, if not all of the time, I have seen that the benefits are worth it rather than if I had not listen and or followed His words.

            Some of, not all of, the arguments or stands against the Divine Command Theory are as follows. God has not said something on everything. Another is the fact that some people do not believe in a God, let alone the God that the L.D.S. Church and other faiths of Jesus Christ base their foundations upon. Some have also stated that we can know for ourselves whether or not an action is morally good and morally wrong or ethically right or wrong. They also would state according to the text book that “things are not good according to any standard of goodness, but simply by the will of God, it seems that one destroys, without realizing it, all love of God and all of His glory, for why praise Him for what He has done, if He would be equally praiseworthy in doing the contrary? (Lawhead p. 421). This is to say that if we can come to the same determination of what is right or wrong without God to tell us what is, then why do what God tells us to do in the first place even if it is what God want you to do. This is also to say that people can have ethical guidance without authority from God or a religion and that people need to engage in such issues of ethics based on experience and reason (Lawhead p.421). 

            In rebuttal to the above, the Divine Command Theory is justified by one of a few ways, in which God uses His will for how to act morally good when it come to issues relating to Ethics any or how to be a good person over all. This can be done in one of a few ways, either directly or indirectly. Directly, by Him talking to you by means of the Spirit of God and indirectly, by the holy scriptures or by the words of the prophets. Either way, both can be seen as a moral code or ethical code in which things are to be done relating to any issue. More so in the Book of Mormon than any other book and a person would be closer to God if he or she would follow its teaching. This is not to say that the Bible or other scriptures are not important. It is just what L.D.S. Church people tend to follow when listening to the words of God in terms of holy scripture. Also, on that note God has stated what to do on everything. The sealed part of the Book of Mormon has not been given unto to the world at this time. This is for one reason or another, best known unto God for His own reasons. However, God has said things relating to our day. The answer is to ask of Him and He shall give it unto you or the prophets when the time is right. 

            All things state above can be fit into and unto the Divine Command Theory. I have stated some of the issues with this theory and how it is a hard theory to follow for those people in the Christian Faith and why it is looked at as if not a good theory to follow when some people do not believe in a God or The God, our Heavenly Father, the God of all of us. I have addressed the fact that a person is better off following God’s commands, whether direct or indirect, compared to when a person does not follow His direct or indirect will. The questions or issue not addressed were that of how to answer the Atheists point of view directly when it comes to a God, nor did I address Agnostics point of view or that of another person’s faith on how they handle the issue of morality. Nor did I address the issue of why some people who do follow a God can be seen as following the divine will of that God. Nor have I address why or how doing God’s will can make a person appear as if the person is doing so based on the appearance of being virtuous.  I have just simply stated that the Divine Command Theory is the will of God, and that it can be morally good for people to follow, an ethical code in which to follow and to live by at the time that God says it directly or indirectly at the time in which a person received His will.