A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Relieving Suffering

The following scripture has been the driving force in my life for the past 5 years:

"Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;" D&C 93:1

I consistently ask the Lord, “What are my sins?” He had shown me my abomination and idolatry in worshiping and following men. We've already discussed that topic on this blog. I have no desire to return to that sin.

There is a new theme that keeps showing up, “If you want to repent, relieve the suffering of others.” As a gentile, I see need for repentance in this area.

"And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor." 2 Nephi 26:20 

"And remember in all things the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted, for he that doeth not these things, the same is not my disciple." D&C 52:40

I desire to be a disciple of Jesus.

"Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.

"Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;" Alma 4:12-13

There are many ways to help.  The Lord will guide us as we have the desire.

If you are looking for ways to help relieve the suffering of others, here is something to look at.

The Liahona Children's Nutrition and Education Foundation (LCF) is a grass-roots organization dedicated to nurturing the potential of children to lead healthy and productive lives. They do this by providing nutritional supplements to malnourished and underweight LDS children and their friends ages 6 months through 5 years who live in resource poor countries. They also promote sustained breastfeeding for infants and young children and provide education in hygienic and healthy food preparation. In areas where funds permit, LCF also provides small scholarships to elementary students to enable them to attend local school programs. They currently have programs in operation in the countries of Cambodia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru. The foundation is run entirely by volunteers except for native coordinators who are provided a small stipend for their services in measuring children and in purchasing and distributing the nutritional supplements.

The Liahona Children's Foundation is a federally recognized 501 (c)3 non-profit organization. It is not endorsed by or affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Danger of Anger

In the English language, danger and anger are only differentiated by one letter. Why is anger so dangerous?


We loose our power when we succumb to anger and fear.

There are two types of power. One is an everlasting power, the power by which God operates.
    No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; D&C 121:41-43

The other is a temporary, worldly power illustrated in the following definition:

Power: the ability or right to control people or things, political control of a country or area, a person or organization that has a lot of control and influence over other people or organizations Mirriam Webster 

When we choose to obey to the laws of God and obtain his power, “[our] dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto [us] forever and ever.” D&C 121:46

Those who choose to exercise unrighteous dominion or temporary power over the souls of others, will find their life riddled with insecurity, turmoil, and fear.

How is anger used as a tool of control?

The Book of Mormon teaches us how corrupt leaders use anger to control their people and promote their purposes. People who would normally be at peace one with one another allow themselves to be stirred up to anger by evil and conspiring men. These men are not concerned about their people; they seek for worldly power.
    3 Therefore he had accomplished his design, for he had hardened the hearts of the Lamanites and blinded their minds, and stirred them unto anger, insomuch that he had gathered together a numerous host to go to battle against the Nephites.

We are taught how anger is used as a tool of the devil.
    19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;
    20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good. 2 Nephi 28:19-20

When we feel ourselves stirred up to anger, we can know it is not of God.
    Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away. 3 Nephi 11:30

Warning: The following video is full of violence and anger. You will notice that violence and anger come from both sides. No one can claim to be innocent in the riots that ensue. Those who participate in the fighting bring bondage and destruction upon themselves.

    I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man; D&C 63:33 

    But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed. Mormon 4:5

Who is in control?

While we all like to believe we have the fortitude to stand by our own convictions during any situation, most of us tend to follow the behaviors of others. But what’s particularly strange is that when enough of us get together, we end up doing some really bizarre, nonsensical, and downright violent things that we’d never consider on our own. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as herd or mob mentality, and when you consider the past and present, you realize it’s led to some major “What were they thinking?!” moments.” Top 10 Instances Of Mob Mentality 

Why I don't watch the news

I don't believe pretending all is well when it is not, but watching the news promoted by the mainstream media doesn't help solve the problems. The news is almost entirely fear based.
I find it interesting that the fearful are ranked right in with the liars, whoremongers, and sorcerers.
    Wherefore, I, the Lord, have said that the fearful, and the unbelieving, and all liars, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, and the whoremonger, and the sorcerer, shall have their part in that lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. D&C 63:17
Here are the headlines of Fox News October 26, 2013, 10:16 a.m. Are they fear based or faith promoting?

Latest News
How can we more easily be controlled when we are fed a daily diet of fearsome events? Why would someone want to promote anger and fear? How are these tools used against us?  What can we do?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why be married in the temple, when the scriptures teach otherwise?

We found another treasure in our newly acquired 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.  My daughter was thumbing through the book and came across the Marriage section. When she read it to us, we realized that this section challenges our temple marriage paradigms.

Note: The 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants was compiled and edited by Joseph Smith and the first presidency. It was accepted as scripture by a unanimous vote. See General Assembly page 255

The last paragraph of the preface reads as follows: 

We do not present this little volume with any other expectation than that we are to be called to answer to every principle advanced, in that day when the secrets of all hearts will be revealed, and the reward of every man's labor will be given him.
    With sentiments of esteem
      and sincere respect, we subscribe
        ourselves your brethren in the bonds of
          the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Kirtland, Ohio, February 17, 1835.

    The section on Marriage is included in the Kirtland 1835 edition but not in the Salt Lake City edition (1876 Utah Mormon Church). It is interesting to note that the section on marriage is included in four of the five editions of the Doctrine and Covenants: Kirtland edition1835; Nauvoo editions 1844, 1845, 1846; Cincinnati edition 1864 (RLDS church); Lamoni edition 1911 (RLDS church).

Why did the Salt Lake City Mormon church choose to delete this section?

M A R R I A G E.

1 According to the custom of all civilized nations, marriage is regulated by laws and ceremonies; therefore we believe that all marriages in this Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints should be solemnized in a public meeting or feast prepared for that purpose, and that the solemnization should be performed by a Presiding High Priest, High Priest, Bishop, Elder or Priest, not even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married, of being married by other authority. We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this Church from marrying out of the Church, if it be their determination so to do; but such persons will be considered weak in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

2 Marriage should be celebrated with prayer and thanksgiving, and at the solemnization, the persons to be married, standing together, the man on the right and the woman on the left, shall be addressed by the person officiating as he shall be directed by the Holy Spirit, and if there be no legal objections, he shall say, calling each by name: 'You both mutually agree to be each other's companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights belonging to this condition: that is, keeping yourselves wholly for each other, and from all others, during your lives?' And when they have both answered 'yes,' he shall pronounce them 'husband and wife,' in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the laws of the country and authority vested in him. 'May God add His blessing and keep you to fulfill your covenants from henceforth and forever. Amen.'

3 The clerk of every church should keep a record of all marriages solemnized in his branch.

4 All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this Church should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband; neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent, is unlawful and unjust. We believe that all persons who exercise control over their fellow beings, and prevent them from embracing the truth, will have to answer for that sin.  

After reading this section that is accepted by Joseph Smith and the church as scripture, I wonder why temple marriages are even promoted. I looked on the LDS church's website and found an article:

"We talk a lot about temple marriage in the Church. Have you ever wondered why?

"There’s been a lot of talk lately about marriage—what it is, why we have it, the role it plays in society. In church we talk a lot about temple marriage. You know it’s important because you’ve heard about this since you were taught your first lessons about the gospel, whether you were a Sunbeam or a convert in your youth.

"But some of you may be wondering, “Why?” To you it may be more than a question of what temple marriage is all about. You want to know—in your heart, not just in your mind—why you should work so hard to marry in the temple . . ."

The only scripture reference given in this article is D&C 132:7, 15–19 , and these scriptures don't even mention a temple marriage. In these verses we are taught about being sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the  keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. D&C 132:19 

So, what does it mean to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise? Who is the Holy Spirit of Promise?

2 Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth , and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.

 3 Wherefore, I now send upon you another  Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.

 4 This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom;

 5 Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son— D&C 88:2-5

What is required to be sanctified? Who is the Second Comforter? How does one receive the promise of eternal life? When are you promised the glory of the celestial kingdom? Who are the members of the church of the Firstborn?

Are these eternal blessings to be conflated and blended with the wedding ceremony? Have most young couples even qualified to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise?

So, when the scriptures say, “We believe that all marriages in this Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints should be solemnized in a public meeting or feast prepared for that purpose,” why do we ignore/delete the scriptures and encourage temple marriages? Does Joseph Smith know what he is talking about?

Our family is excited about this information. Everyone gets to be included in the weddings. No one has to wait outside closed doors while a select few get to witness the ceremony. Our little children can watch their older brothers and sisters be married. There are no “worthiness” interviews for those in attendance. Come as you are and join the celebration:)!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Where is the doctrine in the Salt Lake City edition of the Doctrine and Covenants?

We recently bought a facsimile reprint of the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants because this edition of the Doctrine and Covenants was edited by Joseph Smith and accepted as scripture by a unanimous vote. See General Assembly page 255

In the 1835 edition, there are two parts. Part one is the Lectures on Faith.

T H E O L O G Y.




Of  Faith. 

Part two is comprised of the covenants and commandments of the Lord. 




to his servants of the church of the 


I am familiar with most of the revelations in the second part because they are included in the Salt Lake City edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, and this is the edition I have studied.

It appears that the Lectures on Faith is the doctrine of the church and the other revelations are the covenants and commandments of the Lord.

So, if the Lectures on Faith was removed, where is the doctrine in the Salt Lake City edition of the Doctrine and Covenants?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Make Believe

Can you imagine the best-case scenario in life?  What do you desire to experience now? In this lifetime? In the eternities?

As I was having a discussion with a friend about receiving an upgraded life, Jesus said, “Tell her to Make Believe.”

In my mind, I questioned, “Jesus, what do you mean?”

“You know, you need to make believe. There are so many unbelievers on the earth.  I need more believers who follow me.  Make believe.  Make believers;)”

My friend said, “That makes sense, I’ll work on it.”

Jesus made a quick correction, “You don't work on make believe, you play make believe.  Become as a child and play with me.”

Playing make believe with Jesus sounds like a lot of fun because he can do anything. 

We were born creators.  We are in the image of our God. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26

We are constantly creating whether we know it or not.  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he . . .” Proverbs 23:7  As thought (male)  and emotion (female) come together, a new seed is planted.

Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me. Alma 32:28

The adversary also understands our ability to create. Through the media, educational systems, and societal pressures, he plants seeds of despair, fear, doubt, arrogance, depression, trepidation, anger, bitterness, smugness, dread, boredom, envy, anxiety, jealousy, greed, resentment, lust, hatred, prejudice, self-pity, enmity, pride, self-importance, inferior complex, etc. There are many times when we let others do the thinking for us. 

For example: When we sit down to watch a movie, we go into semi-hypnotic state.  I know this because I’ve tried getting the attention of my children when they are watching a movie. Many times they aren’t even aware I am in the room. The intensity of the scenes, the music, the words and actions all combine to plant seeds that begin to grow.  Things are created spiritually and then manifest in the physical world.  Those who are not aware will use their creative gifts to the destruction of their soul.

We are seeing the creation of the collective thoughts of mankind.  We are the ones that can turn the tide and make a different decision.  God desires to give us power and gifts.

23 And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.
 24 And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief.
 25 And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God. Moroni 10:23-25

Jesus has prepared the way for us to do greater works than he did. 

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12

I believe Jesus speaks the truth.  When he says all things are possible, I believe him.

14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:14-20

As we make believe with Jesus, nothing shall be impossible.  Whatever the heart and mind conceives becomes our new reality.  This process works both ways.

But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not. Mosiah 4:30

I am more aware of this process today, but for a long time I’ve known the power of my desires and thoughts.  With spring in the air, I am reminded of an experience that happened 24 years ago.

I was serving a mission in Arizona for the LDS church.  Everyone was out of school for spring break and our threesome companionship was working overtime.  We didn’t have time to go to all of our appointments, so we split up and went with stake missionaries.  I was working hard and was tired. I wanted a rest.  On a March afternoon, I remember saying, “Everyone else is having a break; I want a break.”

That night as we were finishing up the work of the day, a drunk driver hit our little car.  My two companions were in the front seats and received minor injuries. I was in the backseat.  When I came back to consciousness, the sirens were flashing, and I realized they were there for me.  The Jaws of Life was used to pry away the metal so they could get me out of the car, and I was taken to the hospital.  

The socket of my hip was broken, and I spent two months lying around letting my hip heal.  God has a sense of humor.  I didn’t specify which kind of break I wanted, so he gave me two different breaks just to make sure I knew I had received my request.  

I know this seed planting works because I’ve had other experiences manifest as I’ve planted seeds of faith with intention.  It’s spring and gardeners are ordering seeds.  Which seeds do you want to order?  You can have everything Father has.  What do you want?

"And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him." D&C 84:38

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

Friday, February 22, 2013

How Can I Obtain Priesthood?

Who can obtain priesthood? Who confers priesthood? What does God mean when he says, “The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven”? How is Melchizedek priesthood obtained? 

It would be helpful to read What is Melchizedek Priesthood? and  How Does Aaronic Priesthood Prepare? before reading this post.

First, let’s look at how priesthood is maintained.  That’ll give us a big clue as to how the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God is obtained.

Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson— That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen. D&C 121:34-40

Can someone have priesthood if they: Set their heart on the things of this world? Aspire to the honors of men? Cover their sins? (As a side note: who covers sins?) Gratifies their pride? Exercises control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness? Why do many men suppose they have even a little authority? 

How do we maintain priesthood?

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. 

The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. D&C 121:41-46

Does someone who has priesthood stand in the presence of God just as Melchizedek? What are the qualities of someone who holds High Priesthood? How is the doctrine of the priesthood distilled? What is a scepter? What is it used for? What is the scepter of the Priesthood?  

As I was reading about the fruits of the spirit, it sounded just like what I read in D&C 121. The fruits of the Spirit are the qualities of priesthood holders. Just like in D&C 121, there is also a warning to put off the carnal man. 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26

Is it important to look at the fruits of “priesthood holders”? Why? Do true High Priests-Priestesses after the Order of the Son of God come clothed, manifesting the fruits of the spirit? 

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s 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. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:16-20

Look at what Moroni says about charity . .

 . . .  for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.

45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

 47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

 48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. Moroni7:44-48

It looks like the fruits of the priesthood, the fruits of the spirit, and the fruits of charity are all the same thing. As I pondered over this, everything started to come together in my mind.

Who bestows charity? Who bestows priesthood? Is charity the same things as the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God? How do I become a son of God? Does God give his sons priesthood? (Side note: If men can be a bride of Christ, then women can be sons of God) What is the power of love? How does charity seal, bind, and govern? How does priesthood seal, bind, and govern? Is there any difference?

 19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
 20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
 21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
 22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. D&C 84:19-22

What is the key of the mysteries of the kingdom? What is the key of the knowledge of God? (Notice key is singular.) Is charity the key to see the face of God, even the Father, and live? 

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— D&C 130:20
What is the law? Is there one law or many laws? Is this the law of charity?
How is priesthood obtained? Can children obtain priesthood? Can women obtain priesthood? Can men obtain priesthood? Are there both priests and priestesses in God’s kingdom? Can anyone obtain priesthood?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

What does Paul mean, “Against such there is no law?” Do the dead works and laws of the Aaronic priesthood give way and pass away under the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God? Is the law fulfilled in Charity, the pure love of Christ?

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. [emphasis added] Moroni 7: 48

When are you considered a true follower of Jesus Christ? When is charity bestowed? (pay careful attention to the verb tenses) After the gift is bestowed, how is the gift used in becoming sons? Do we open the gift? Play with gift? See all the wonderful things that we can do with this gift? Are we excited when we see opportunities to use and exercise this gift? 

Who is willing to receive priesthood? What happens when I use every experience to play with charity?

Wow! What many call “challenge” and “trial” are actually great gifts from God.  Isn’t it so awesome that God is stripping me of all of my attachment to outward stuff? How can I have charity if I’m attached and shackled to the things of the natural, profane man? 

The carnal man tries to find happiness by changing his environment. The man of God changes the world by allowing God to change his heart. What does this have to do with having a broken heart and contrite spirit?

Can a man and woman full of charity bind the enemy with love?  Is charity power? Who can resist it? Was the atonement was wrought through charity? Are the chains and shackles of hell broken through love?

And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace. JST, Genesis 14:36

Why was Melchizedek given the name King of peace? What does this have to do with priesthood power?

I can see Jesus shaking his head as he watches us and interacts with us.  It’s probably quite comical.  We’re scampering around trying to find out who is the best and who is the greatest in the kingdom, and he replies:

He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son. D&C 50:26-27

Or in other words, he who is charity has the greatest priesthood.

24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
25  And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
26  But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27  For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
28  Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
29  And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
30  That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke 22:24-30

Every day is an opportunity to open myself and let God fill me with charity. Instead of resisting the gift of charity, I choose to glory in my God for teaching me to be even as he is.  The greater the “challenge” the greater the opportunity is.

Satan lies to us and tells us to avoid the very experiences that imbue charity into our being. The carnal man agrees with the enemy and would rather live a life of ease and luxury. The devil knows that charity is the only power that can bind him.  It totally disarms him.

On the other hand, the man of God glories in the obstacle course.  God is good and his mercy endures forever!!! Yippee, hooray for life’s adventures!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How Does Aaronic Priesthood Prepare?

The Aaronic priesthood is a preparatory priesthood, but what does that mean? How does Aaronic priesthood prepare us for Melchizedek Priesthood? Read "What is Melchizedek Priesthood?" before reading this post.
19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
 20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
 21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
 22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
 23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;

What was the first priesthood offered to the children of Israel in the wilderness? 

 24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
 25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;

How did the children of Israel respond to God’s offer to give them the Melchizedek priesthood? How did God respond to their rejection of Him? Why were the children of Israel given Aaronic priesthood after they rejected the Lord at Mt. Sinai? Why was Moses and the Melchizedek priesthood taken from the Israelites?

 26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
 27 Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.
 28 For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power. D&C 84:19-28

Was the Aaronic priesthood a sign of God’s favor and blessing? “Which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel” - What does that mean? What kind of priesthood did John have?

And the Lord said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood. Numbers 18:1

What does it mean to “bear the iniquity of the sanctuary” or “bear the iniquity of your priesthood’? Is this some kind of burden?

When Joseph and Hyrum were alive, the church had the signs, wonders, tokens, and fruits of the Melchizedek priesthood. Why did the heavens close up again at the death of Joseph and Hyrum? What happened to the Latter-Day Saints when we failed to build the Nauvoo temple during the appointed time? D&C 124: 31-33 Why were Joseph, Hyrum, and the Melchizedek priesthood taken from us?

Many will say, “We still have Melchizedek priesthood.” But as a member of the church, I don’t see the manifestations of the Melchizedek priesthood. From what I can observe, we are left with the outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance, and the keys of the ministering of angels.  

The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments. D&C 107:20

For those who think we have Melchizedek priesthood, ask yourself, “As a church, are we receiving new revelations and views on the things of heaven? Are the heavens open to our high priests? Have we really received anything new since the days of Joseph? Are the heavens open to us like they were for Joseph?” 

Is this what we have? “The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church— To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.” D&C 107:18-19

Or do we “deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men; Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.” 2 Nephi 28:5-6

Do we fall into this category,  “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

If we have the higher priesthood, the signs, tokens, fruits, and wonders of the Melchizedek priesthood should be present with us as in former times.  We don’t seek for signs, but signs do follow those that believe.

But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe. Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God. Yea, signs come by faith, unto mighty works, for without faith no man pleaseth God; and with whom God is angry he is not well pleased; wherefore, unto such he showeth no signs, only in wrath unto their condemnation. D&C 63:9-11

Are we just like the Israelites who suffered the wrath of God and were left with the Aaronic priesthood? Why?

Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works. D&C 22:2

Why did God even give the Law of Moses if you can’t enter in at the strait gate by it?  What is a Law of Moses anyway?  To me, it looks like a lot of laws, rituals, and endless effort. There is a continual striving and falling short, only to feel spiritually dead inside. It’s almost like trying to earn a heavenly reward by good works.  It just doesn’t work.  The more orthodox I get, the greater my disappointment. 

There is a breaking point.  The obedience and sacrifice are not yielding the fruits of the spirit. How can I try so hard and yet be such a failure?   The gospel is supposed to bring happiness, right?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

What do you mean, “against such there is no law”? Life under the preparatory priesthood is full of endless laws. Do this, don’t do that. If I don’t walk up to every covenant and commandment, I’m unworthy, right?  It’s all about choosing the right, am I getting it? 

No! No! No! I’ll never get, no matter how hard I try.  The preparatory priesthood moves me to a place of utter frustration with the outward ordinances and the letter of the gospel. 

The carnal man is consumed with and concerned about what is happening on the outside: how are my children performing, what kind of house do I live in, what do I look like, what kind of car do I drive, what do others think of me, what is my calling, etc. etc. Why is the natural, carnal man given outward ordinances, commandments, rituals, and endless regulations? Can he understand anything else?
Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God. Moses 6:49

Why is the carnal man shut out from the presence of God?

And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness. Alma 41:11

Can the carnal man ever be happy and at peace?

And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; Mosiah 27:25

What does it mean to be born again? Where do we find the kingdom of God?

And when he (Jesus) was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke17:20-21

Can the carnal man even understand what Jesus is talking about? Why must the carnal man be crucified? Why must we be born again?

Up until now, I’ve been unwilling to crucify the carnal man because I believed the lie. I thought the outward stuff meant something.

The Aaronic priesthood has done a perfect job in preparing me for a new birth. Put another way, the Aaronic priesthood is the law of complete frustration.

I am now willing to give up my carnal man and go inside my heart to find God.  The Law of Frustration has prepared me to accept what God has always been willing to bestow upon me.

Upcoming Post: 
How Can I Obtain Priesthood?