Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Psalm 118:22 The Head Stone of the Corner

17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord
18 The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord:
20 This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter
21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
Christ is the cornerstone of the gate through which Eternal Life is obtained. Without Him, the gate collapses; the Plan of Salvation ceases to exist and we are all condemned to Eternal darkness. Because he takes on the burden of holding  up that gate, however, everyone shall have a chance to pass through it. Even those who once denied that the cornerstone was needed.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

1 Samuel 2:2 - No Rock Like Our God

2 There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
One of the most interesting aspects of this verse is that it is said in the middle of a prayer. It comes across as preaching, yet in actuality, it is praise. It is recognition of His support for His people. He is the rock, and he cannot be substituted with anyone else. He is the only way.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Deuteronomy 32:15 - Esteeming the Rock of Salvation

4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right he is
15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.
17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
19 And when the Lord saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters
Deuteronomy 32:4 explains that "the Rock" is the Rock because he is perfect. He is unchanging. He is the foundation upon which all should be built. The chapter then goes on to explain the laziness of the Lord's people and their unwillingness to worship God and find truth. The Lord stirs up His anger against them and they are no longer given the chance to know Him.
What do we learn from this? Eternal law is unchanging. Just because we wish one thing was a different way, that doesn't mean the other is done exactly the same.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Alma 5:34 - Drink of the Bread & Waters of Life Freely

34 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink the bread and the waters of life freely.
2 Nephi 9 tells us that there is no price to partaking of Christ's Atonement (2 Ne 9:50-51).  His Atonement is a gift. Furthermore, it is incorruptible. It will not rust or lose its value over time, but rather is totally consistent. It works the same as it did yesterday and will continue to work the same tomorrow. The only thing he requires of us is that we accept the gift (come unto him) and obey his commandments.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Revelations 2:17 - I give to eat of the hidden manna

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

John 6:35 - The Bread of Life

35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
 In the Topical Guide under Bread of Life, it's suggested that readers "See also Sacrament." By declaring himself the bread of life, Christ is essentially saying that through him, all men can be sustained. Christ's Atoning sacrifice enabled the salvation of every human being that has ever lived. In a sense, he nourishes the soul, providing strength to resist temptation and healing from sin.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
 Heavenly Father's will is that Christ overcome death, enabling the resurrection for all, and that he provide a means by which everyone can return to live with Him again someday,

Monday, April 10, 2017

Moses 6:52 - Turn, Hearken, Believe, Repent, be Baptized, Receive

52 And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and heaken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you. 
In Verse 52, Enoch outlines the process by which we can be saved and cleansed. We must turn unto Heavenly Father and hear Him. Then we must believe and ask forgiveness, and then be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Having done those things, we then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

55 And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying: And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying: Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good.
57 Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge who shall come in the meridian of time.
Teach it unto your children. What an awesome and epic responsibility. It's a daunting task, even for me, and I'm not even married, let alone have kids! I find it interesting when Enoch states that "sin conceiveth in their hearts." Because we are born in sin, we can not abandon sin, no matter how hard we might try. As human beings, sin is in our hearts. It blossoms and blooms and captivates, and it is our individual and collective responsibility to ensure that it does not consume us. How? Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, His only begotten.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

D&C 59:5 - In the name of Jesus Christ...

5 Wherefore, I give unto them a commandment saying thus: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him.

Why are we commanded to serve the Lord in the name of Jesus Christ? What does that mean?

In the Bible Dictionary under the word, "Prayer," we learn that
Christians are taught to pray in Christ's name. We pray in Christ's name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ -- when His word abide in us. We then ask for things it is possible for God to Grant.
Given the passage above, it stands to reason that we are commanded to serve God in Christ's name so that our service is precisely as Christ's service. Our goal is to serve with the same purposes that Christ served for.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Ether 3:13-19 Because thou knowest...

13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you
If faith is a hope for things which are not seen, but which are true, then based on the quote above,  the brother of Jared was beyond faith even upon his initial conversation with the Lord. Christ said, "Because thou knowest these things...I show myself unto you" (Ether 3:13). Jared's brother knew. He didn't hope, and it didn't matter that the Lord was not seen; somehow, all that mattered to him was that he had witnessed enough to know God the Son.

 14 Behold I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. 
What does it mean to be both the Father & the Son? The footnote next to the word "Father" directs readers to Mosiah 15:2-4, which reads,
"And because he dwelleth in the flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son - The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God, and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son - And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth."
So in addition to being conceived by Heavenly Father's power, it is Christ's submission to God's will is what makes Him both "the Father and the Son." Specifically, it's the flesh seems to play a key role, likely because it was necessary for Christ to live on earth in order to act according to God's will.

Could it also be that, the fact that the Savior created both the Heavens and the earth makes him a "Father?" He created life under Heavenly Father's supervision; the creation of life makes him a father.

Two other scriptures of importance...
15 And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.
19 And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus...and he had faith no longer, for He knew, nothing doubting. 
 Just as the First Vision provided us with the knowledge of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's bodies, so too does the brother of Jared's account of Christ. What's most remarkable is that Jared's brother was the first up to that point to ever have seen Christ's body.

A final point: once again, notice how important the brother of Jared's absolute knowledge of Christ is. The Lord tells him that He revealed Himself to him because he "believed in me as thou hast," and "He knew, nothing doubting" (Ether 3:15; 19).

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ether 2:12 - If they will but serve Christ

12 Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of this land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.
Two things stand out in the verse above. The first: Christ is the "God of this land" (Ether 2:12).  The second: This land could very much represent the Celestial Kingdom. These two concepts work hand in hand, really.
Christ is declared the God of this land. But isn't Christ the God of all the earth and of all mankind? Why take the time to point specifically at this land and declare Christ as the God of it? Likely because this land is promised. It is choice above all other lands. It has been especially set aside for the righteous and holy.
So what does this have to do with the Celestial Kingdom? Well, think about it; Christ is the God of this land, which has been especially set aside for His people and for the righteous. Those who practice iniquity will be wiped from off of the face of it. Likewise, we become celestial beings as we serve the master and seek after His will. The Celestial Kingdom has been especially set aside for those whom accept the gospel and live the commandments.

3 Nephi 9:15 - I am Jesus Christ the Son of God

15 Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.
If there is one thing that can be learned from the above verse, it is that everything that Christ does is Heavenly Father's will. From the creation of the universe, to His Atoning sacrifice, He has been "with the Father from the beginning" (3 Ne 9:15). He requires of us to be more like Him, meaning we must be with the Father in all that we do as well.

19 And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit...
The Savior has given us everything, yet expects next to nothing in return. Think about the humility that He shows here. "I do not want offerings, I simply want you to try to be a little kinder to one another. Just try to love one another, and serve one another." How remarkable.