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.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Work to my Glory

Although I have no way of proving or disproving it I have heard that Moses 1:39 is the most commonly quoted scripture in General Conference. This is the scripture that reads in its current form, “For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Now for those of you who are keen in your reading you will notice that I mentioned “in its current form” This is because, when Joseph Smith first received the revelation we now know as Moses 1 the wording was different, it was as follows, “for behold this is my work to my glory to the immortality & the eternal life of man.” One of the places this can be seen is Jackson, Matthews and Faulring’s “Joseph Smith's New Translation Of The Bible: Original Manuscripts”

Now the differences seem small the use of “and” instead of “to” plus the addition of the phrase “to bring to pass.” Nonetheless I have found that having known this I cringe whenever this scripture is quoted as what is God’s purpose. But is there really a difference?

The real difference I am seeing on this doctrinally is by using “to” instead of “and” makes creation of worlds and everything else Moses is seeing a stepping stone in progression and to give the glory to God. (Side note can you imagine if that vision Moses had was placed on a Blue Ray disk and anyone could watch it in HD, that would be totally AWESOME!!!!!)

I also have found more mentioned on this subject here:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eternal Life vs. Exaltation

So today during my Gospel Doctrine lesson I got called to the carpet by a gentleman after I stated there is a fine line between Eternal Life and Exaltation. He just wanted to clarify that there is NO difference between Eternal Life and Exaltation. So once I got home I started to study up a bit.

Personality I believe that eternal life is with Jesus Christ, while Exaltation is life with God the father. Here is that the definition from the reads on Eternal Life:

"Eternal life is the phrase used in scripture to define the quality of life that our Eternal Father lives. The Lord declared, "This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). Immortality is to live forever as a resurrected being. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everyone will receive this gift. Eternal life, or exaltation, is to live in God's presence and to continue as families (see D&C 131:1–4). Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, to inherit eternal life requires our "obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel" (Articles of Faith 1:3). "

While the entry for Exaltation reads: "See eternal life"

So I have adjusted my believe to be as follows. Eternal life and Exaltation are the same. Just like Elders Quorum and High Priests are the same Melchizedek Priesthood. Exaltation is just a higher part of eternal life. The same concept can go like this, all rectangles are squares, but not all squares are rectangles.

If you are exalted you will have already have achieved eternal life, but it is just a higher step.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, April 23, 2009


So the missionaries in my area have been teaching someone in my department at work. Due to schedule changes and such I really don’t know the person, but they have been trying to get me to go out on a discussion with them, however when ever they schedule a time where I can go, the appointment seems to get cancelled. This has gotten me to thinking about what could I share with someone investigating the church that might be beneficial. I mean I’d rather talk to a member who has been reading anti-Mormon literature, verses the person learning about the gospel any day! This soul searching has gotten me to think about my testimony. What is it exactly that I believe? This is what I have so far:

I believe that Jesus is the Christ and by living his teachings we are better off in the world and can find peace. I believe the Bible and Book of Mormon contain truths that when followed lead to greater happiness in life. I hope that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the correct church. I can not say that I know this, nor can I say it is the only true church on the earth but I really hope it is so. However I have made the decision after much thought and prayer that this is where I am going to worship, and I can’t really think of a better church to raise a family in. This not knowing about the true church makes me feel weak and that if I where more righteous I could “know” that the church is true.

I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he revealed much to the earth. I also believe that like the great prophets before him people never fully understood as much as he did. Therefore we practice differently that the way the church was first set up. This does not mean that we are in a state of apostasy, we are still lead my the spirit. It just means that there are great truths that are lost and will not be preached from the pulpit, but can be understood through personal revelation.

I believe in the concept of eternal rounds, Multiple Mortal Probations, Remortalization or whatever you want to call it. (Just as long as it isn’t reincarnation!) This is one of the only ways that I can see a system of line upon line precept upon precept that would be consistent through out the eternities. I also believe that if I were to teach this publicly I could loose my membership in the church.

Well I’ll just leave it at this for now, but as I think of others I will add them.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Do we ever really listen to ourselves?

Recently a friend of mine send a letter home from his mission upset about bible bashing here is an excerpt from that letter. I have changed it some to protect the writer. But here are his thoughts.

“Bible bashing is an insult. It is pretty much saying that what others believe in is a lie, and here are vague scriptures that says your faith is wrong! Why don't you just go ahead and say the two years I've dedicated to preaching the gospel I believe in is wasted!...Where do they get their authority to tell me how to live my life or to tell me my faith and testimony are wrong, and why do they think I should listen to them if they are telling me I am in an evil church!”

I really don’t mean for this post to demean anyone, especially my friend. However I believe it shows one of the traps that people can get into when discussing the gospel. This trap is one of not really listening to what we are saying. Let me illustrate. I know it has been awhile since I did the whole two year thing, however I do remember that one of the first things we discussed was the first vision and the answer to Joseph Smith prayer. Here are Josephs words of what the answer was.

“18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
19 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.”

Granted yes we believe we are the only true church. Yes we believe that we have authority to preach the gospel, but if they don’t believe in that authority, it is nothing more than a fantasy story for them. People we discuss the gospel with also believe that they belong to Christ’s church. My missionary friend is going about sharing the gospel with people, trying to get them to listen to him when and getting upset when they call his beliefs evil, however if he teaches them he will do the same thing to them telling them there church is untrue. Now I am hoping that the subject of him being upset is one of the attitude of the people. That they are proud when they say we are evil, while missionaries, hopefully, are humble saying we are the only true church.

Just some thoughts I had while reading missionary letters.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Breaking the eternal cycle

Just as a precursor to this post, this isn't the most in depth doctrine or insightful topic, but it has been puzzling me nonetheless.

Lately it seems like whenever I go to solve a problem, I am only creating more problems. For instance, as spring approaches here in Southeast New Mexico I am trying to get my sprinkler system to work. I was out of the country last fall when my sprinkler system was no longer needed for the winter, but it was showing some problems when it was put to rest. So as I attempt to fix a sprinkler head, or a valve, it seems like for every one problem I fix, I find two more problems some where else in the sprinkler system.

It is not limited to just my sprinkler. The same at work. Like a good time manager, I make a list of things to accomplish, prioritize, start with the most important and work on it. However while working on it I find more problems that trump what I am working on and by the time my 12 hr shifts are over, I leave with nothing fully accomplished with more problems then when I started the day.

The previous two examples are ones where negative things have created more negative. I believe there is a balance to all things. Therefore I am believing that this system will also work for the good. Hopefully my belief, will increase to hope, which will increase to faith, which will increase to knowledge. (My take on a hybrid between Alma 32 and Moroni 7) For example if I attempt to go out and perform one good act, like share the gospel with my neighbor, it might create more good than intended. As members of the church we tend to butter people up before this, I don't know why, so I might make a batch of cookies to take some to the neighbor. Having made too big a batch. I end up taking cookies to more neighbors. I might loose the nerve to bring up the gospel, but I have spread the good of the cookies around. Which would lead to more buttering up and more possibilities of neighbors to share the gospel with. At the end of this buttering up phase, because of the propagating effects of the good, I might never share the gospel with the person I intended to in the beginning, however I might end up with a couple families who are interested in the gospel when I only intended to share it with one.

Is this a viable option? If so, now all that is left for me to do is break the eternal cycle of exponentially growing problems, and start the eternal cycle of goodness. Hopefully I will accomplish this.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gospel Doctrine what is it?

So I have never really been a big fan of Sunday School in particular Gospel Doctrine class. I have always found some way or another to get out of going, whether it was clerking duties years ago or recently helping my wife in the nursery. I mean I have tried to go, but i just would get so frustrated with the trite phrases, that really made no sense like "once a Bishop, always a bishop" or "The world changes yet the church has never changed because it is lead by God." I think you can see where this post is going, if I were to say I just got a calling again in the ward. Yep, Gospel Doctrine Teacher.

So as I am trying to be a good teacher I started to read the Lesson Manual. This is a passage I found interesting in the introduction:

"This manual is a tool to help you teach the doctrines of the gospel from the scriptures and Church history. It has been written for youth and adult Gospel Doctrine classes and is to be used every four years. Additional references and commentaries should not be necessary to teach the lessons."

I have always enjoyed the supplemental information a teacher can bring to a class. If I wanted to learn from the Manual I could read it by myself. So I was a little disappointed. However the next paragraph gave me a way out:
"Elder M. Russell Ballard said:

“Teachers would be well advised to study carefully the scriptures and their manuals before reaching out for supplemental materials. Far too many teachers seem to stray from the approved curriculum materials without fully reviewing them. If teachers feel a need to use some good supplemental resources beyond the scriptures and manuals in presenting a lesson, they should first consider the use of the Church magazines” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1983, 93; or Ensign, May 1983, 68)emphasis added." I can carefully read the lesson first and consider the Church Magazines first, but then I can move onto Words of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

I really want them to know the sing-sang phrases of the church are most of the time doctrinally wrong. Part of me wants to teach "fringe" doctrine. Like none of us are really going to make it to the Celestrial Kingdom immediately after this life, and that is OKAY and part of the plan. However, I don't want to offend people, and also I want to keep my membership in the church. So after thinking about it My real goal is to help the members of the audience feel the spirit and have a desire to come closer to the lord. So here are my real questions:

1) What is Gospel Doctrine?

2) How can knowing this doctrine bring people the spirit and desire to change?

3) What are some things that you would want out of a good Gospel Doctrine class?