Be sure to check out my new blog “The Second Coming of Christ” for an in depth look at prophecies related to the Second Coming and discussions about getting spiritually and physically prepared.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Atonement Part 1: The Parables

I've been sudying the atonement lately. It seems that quite often parables are used to help explain the atonement. What I'd like to do is get a collection of parables together so that we can discuss them and how they help in our understanding of the atonement. If you know of a parable that aids in understanding the atonement, please add it in this post.
We will reserve discussion of these parables to a different post that will be coming soon. Be sure to title your atonement parable so that we can refer to it easily when we discuss them.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fulness of joy

Here is something interesting from 3 Nephi chapter 28. Notice what the 8 are promised.

2. And they all spake, save it were three, saying: We desire that after we have lived unto the age of man, that our ministry, wherein thou hast called us, may have an end, that we may speedily come unto thee in thy kingdom.
3. And he said unto them: Blessed are ye because ye desired this thing of me; therefore, after that ye are seventy and two years old ye shall come unto me in my kingdom; and with me ye shall find rest.

Notice what the 3 are promised

8. And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father.
9. And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the sins of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand.
10. And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;

Very interesting. One might ask the questions:
What is the difference in the promises given to the 8 and the 3?
Why were the 3 given greater promises?
Just what is a "fullness" of joy and why won't the 8 expirience a fulness in Christ's kingdom?

Thursday, December 13, 2007


So I've got this question. Hopefully I can explain it well enough. I'm wondering about faith. We are all faced with situations where we are told we should exercise faith. I'm going to pick one from the scriptures that we are all familiar with. The brother of jared and the stones. We are taught that because the brother of Jared had so much faith, that the lord reached down and touched the stones to make them light. Here's the question. Did he have "so much faith" that the lord would light up the stones, or did he just have "so much faith" in the lord that whatever happened was right. Do you see the difference. When we have a situation or decision, are we supposed to have faith that a certain outcome will happen or should our faith be such that the outcome doesn't matter, but that we trust the outcome is right because of our faith in the lord. The scriptures seem to teach both, but to me they seem different. On the one hand they say if we had enough faith we could move a mountain (faith in the outcome of a certain event) and on the other hand they tell us that we should just have faith in the lord. It seems to me that the faith in the outcome of an event is more difficult because of the great risk involved. The second, while it seems to sound better because our faith is centered in Christ, doesn't seem to me to have the power to help the event happen. It kind of seems to me like the low risk alternative. "yeah, I want it to happen, but if it doesn't that's just because the lord didn't want it to" It seems to take all the responsibility off our shoulders and leaves a way out if the outcome isn't the one we want.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Nephi and Mary

With Christmas time coming around the corner. I want to post a question to see others views on the subject. Do the prayers of Nephi determine the day that Mary gave birth to Christ? Let me expound.

We read in Helaman 14:3-5 that Samuel the Lamanite prophecies the signs of Christ birth on the American continent. Now here is 3 Nephi 1: 9-13

9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers , that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.

10 Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.

11 And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.

12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:

13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

This story gives me the impression that Nephi prayed for his people so they wouldn’t be put to death, and than the sign came that very night. Back in Bethlehem all I can find to back this hypothesize up is “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered” Luke 2:6

Did Nephi’s prayers “accomplish” what need to be done to cause Mary to go into labor and give birth to Christ? Or if Nephi had not prayed would the signs have come anyway and the people been spared regardless? Or were the signs in the American completely unrelated to the actual birth of Christ?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Who says nobody's perfect?

"Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." (3 Nephi 12:48) So I read this verse this week and begin to think about perfection. Where did we get the idea that "nobody's perfect" Everybody I talk to says that nobody can be perfect in this life. I decided to go to the scriptures. I went to the church website and did a scripture search on the word perfect. I looked at over 250 references that came up on the search and not one of them said perfection in this life in unattainable. In fact they seem to say quite the opposite. As I pondered 3 Nephi 12:48, I wondered why Christ would ask us to do something that was impossible. I think he asked it because it's not impossible. The scriptures say that Job was a perfect man (Job 1:8), So was Noah (Genesis 6:9), as was Seth (D&C 107:43) There are a number of scriptures that tell us to be perfect. (my favorite probably being Moroni 10:32-33) One of the very missions of the church is to "Perfect the Saints", and contrary to what most Priesthood holders think, that does not mean planning a ward outing. I say that half joking...but half serious, as I have sat in on many perfecting the saints disscussion where that is what has happened. I don't think the word perfect was chosen accidentally. And if anybody knows anything about mission statements, they must be attainable. I just wonder if many people are going to get to the other side and be suprised to find that they aren't any more perfect there than they were here. ("for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world"...Alma 34:34) Anyway, just some thoughts...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I remember once in a Seminary class asking the question, “If the sacrament is a renewal of baptismal covenants, then why do we give the sacrament to children who are younger than eight years old?” The answer that I got was one that stuck with me even until this day, to get into the habit of taking the sacrament. Habits, huh, is that all taking the sacrament is ... a habit. As I wrote out a tithing check the other day, I questioned this idea. Not to wear my religion on my coat sleeves, but every time I get paidI write out a check. Is this nothing more than a habit? What about temple attendance or other routine things in the church. Ward temple night...make it a “habit” of attending. It is said, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Overall the habits that the church try to promote in us are good, but I want more out of a religion than just breeding good habits.

Does anybody else feel this way? How do we go about breaking out of the habit or guilt-trip mode to the next level? What is the next level? Is it seeing visions and having visitations from angles? Or is it just doing the right things for the right reasons?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Harry Potter and Star Wars

I love Harry Potter and Star Wars. Both complex battles of good verses evil. In both of these worlds/universes there are a special set of people who have extra-ordinary powers. In Star Wars they are the Jedi and the power is called "the force". In Harry Potter they are wizards and the power is called magic. Whatever they call it, those that have learned how to use it can do things that "normal" individuals can't. In both cases there is a power that is an eternal part of their universe. Do we believe in a power like that? Is the priesthood analogous to this power or is it not as universal? What is the definition of priesthood? In the church it seems we commonly define it as the power given to man to act in God's name. Is that a good definition or is there more? In both Harry Potter and Star Wars there are those that also draw on this universal power for selfish, evil purposes. Where does Satan's power come from? Could he be analogous to Voldemort or Darth Vader, drawing on the same power that God uses only for a different purpose? What about faith? It says in the scriptures that faith is the power that God used to form the worlds (Heb 11:3). Is faith different than priesthood? The same? More encompassing or less?
Anyway, just some things I've been thinking about. I've almost got a theory worked out but I need to chew on it for a few days. I'll post it soon. Until then let me know what you think.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What is love? (that Haddaway song didn't help at all)

Just doing a bit of pondering last night...thought I'd throw some thoughts out and see what anybody else here goes. My thoughts may be a bit jumbled and not organized, since I've only been thinking since last night. To preface these thoughts I need to give you a quote that I've been thinking about for a while that my institute teacher said. He said "sometimes the lord holds back blessings just long enough to make sure your in love with him and not the blessing."ok...on with the show. Think about somebody that you love...parents, kids, siblings, spouce...whoever. Got someone in mind? Now, imagine that they did something special for you...I mean really special. Maybe something that required sacrafice on their part, maybe not, but definately something that meant the world to you. Would your love for them deepen and increase. I think most of us would say that it would. Now lets apply this situation to God. Lets suppose that you had been praying for a particular blessing for a while, and it is super important to you. Keeping my institute teachers quote in mind, if we didn't get our blessing, we shouldn't love God any less.Well, when I got into bed last night after my prayers I thought, well, if I don't get my blessing, it's ok, I won't love God any less. So I figured I was good. Then I thought, but I'd sure love him more if I did get my blessing. That's when the guilt trip started. If I'd love him more if I got this super important blessing, why not now before I get it. That's when the pondering started and the analogy that I shared at first. Perhaps, I thought, love isn't the right word to describe the feeling...maybe just an increase in appreciation, or gratitude maybe? or maybe it is love? Are there degrees of love, or do you either love someone or you don't? I know for sure if God blessed me I'd sure feel it more love, more gratitude, what? Anyway, what do ya'll think? Is there anyone else that will go on this guilt trip with me?