Welcome, to the Understanding and Application of Plain Precious Truths

The Glory of God

I glory in plainness, in the glory of the Lord, and keeping his commandments and my commitment covenants. It is He who has set upon me the love of knowledge, wisdom and favor.

May we all find the Lord in His true church upon the earth, and enter in, through faith, repentance, baptism by immersion by one holding the proper priesthood authority, and then being confirmed a member of His church upon the receipt of the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

I love being a son of God with full access to the atonement of His Son Jesus Christ. I love the church and kingdom of God here on the earth. It is burning with the glory of the redeemer of the world in the darkest night.

We can all be a light to the world around us. May these insights help you find your way, and better your walk with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Shane

Featured post

Searching For Truth

Introduction

Joseph Smith called the Book of Mormon “the keystone of our religion.” It is tangible evidence that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true.

President Ezra Taft Benson asked “How important is the Book of Mormon? …all the church stands or falls with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the Church understand this clearly. This is why they go to such great lengths to try to disprove the Book of Mormon, for if it can be discredited, the Prophet Joseph Smith goes with it” (Teachings Presidents of the Church, Ezra Taft Benson, p. 128).

In the world today many people have tried to attack or at the very least, dismiss the Prophet Joseph Smith’s claim that the Book of Mormon has a divine origin. Some have called it a fake or a fraud. Others have called it a genius work from the mind of Joseph himself, rather than a divine ancient record of scripture. Each individual must decide for themselves whether the Book of Mormon is fact or fiction, devilish or divine.

Regarding this challenge, President Gordon B. Hinckley taught that “Joseph’s story of the gold plates was fantastic. It was hard to believe and easy to challenge. Could he have written it of his own capacity? It is here, my brothers and sisters, for everyone to see, to handle, to read. Every attempt to explain its origin, other than that which he gave, has fallen of its own weight. He was largely unschooled; and yet, in a very brief time, he brought forth the translation which in published form comes to more than 500 pages…through all of these years critics have tried to explain it. They have spoken against it. They have ridiculed it. But it has outlived them all, and its influence today is greater than at any time in its history” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain,” Ensign, Nov. 2007).

The Book of Mormon is exactly what it claims to be. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is a record of inspired scripture, written by ancient prophets. Joseph Smith brought it forth “by the gift and power of God” (Title Page). As you study the Book of Mormon, you can pray for a witness to know if it is true, if its message that Jesus is the Christ is true, and if its messenger, Joseph Smith was a true prophet.

Question & Answer Section

Q: What does The Book of Mormon teach about its divine origin and inspired purposes?

A: In the Title Page it states that it was brought forth by the interpretation and means of the gift of God. The Book of Mormon remembers its roots and purpose to save the posterity of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas known as the Nephites and Lamanites, but its purpose is to all the world, both Gentile, Jew and all the House of Israel.

In both the Title page and the Introduction, it iterates that it is brought forth by way of the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, meaning that it has relevance to all of God’s children, not just a nice read meant for some.

The purposes of the book are many, but can be stated in three distinct points. First, to prove that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Second, that Joseph Smith is Christ’s revelator and prophet in these last days, and third, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord’s true church once again established on the earth, preparatory for the second coming of the Lord.

Q: What does The Book of Mormon teach about witnesses to the book?

A: The Lord establishes His words by witnesses, to, “…as many witnesses as seemeth Him good…”. God has an established eternal pattern, in which His works are proved by the testimony of three. With The Book of Mormon, the first witness is the work itself, in the miracle of the way in which it came about.

Second, the eleven witnesses to the original gold plates, plus Joseph Smith, whose testimonies are written in the preface of the book to all the world.
The Lord uses different types of witnesses to share the proof of His works and kingdom. Sometimes it’s directly through His divine power, as when the Savior performed his miracles. Another way is by a more temporal manner, as when the eleven witnesses bore record, in a way only some would believe.

The third witness, is in the works of God, shown in the lives of those who partake of this great work through the words of The Book of Mormon, as a declarative witness.

As Latter-Day Saints, we are now given the call to bear testimony of our living witness to the world, through the way we live. As we remain faithful to our witness and covenants, progressively moving forward as Later-Day Saints, we shall be free from the spots, blood and sins of this world. We must honor our witness to one day be ready to dwell in the heavens with our Father and Savior Jesus Christ, and the honor shall all be theirs.

Q: What did Joseph Smith share about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon?

A: Joseph Smith shared how he learned about the golden plates through the heavenly visitation of the angel Moroni, who was the final prophet to write in The Book of Mormon. Joseph was warned that he needed to use every endeavor to keep them safe, until their return to Moroni. He also shared in what manner the plates were translated in his history.

Q: What can we learn, in The Book of Mormon, about its divine origin?

A: In the book we read about how Joseph of Egypt, prophesied that God would raise up a seer out of his loins, which would bring forth the book unto light, by the power of God. His name would also be Joseph. Because of the faith of The Book of Mormon prophets, their words proceed out of God’s mouth, by means of The Book of Mormon, unto their seed, unto the remembering of the covenants which God made with their fathers unto salvation.

Q: What can we learn in The Book of Mormon, which testifies about the way it was written, and how it would be translated?

A: The Book of Mormon was written by way of the ministries of Christ through His prophets, which took place among the people of the middle Americas. Nothing was added unless it was sacred. Nephi commanded his succeeding stewards of the work, to only add things which were pleasing unto the Lord God, for their profit and learning.

Mormon compiled The Book of Mormon from the plates of Nephi and other sacred records. He also searched, and found an even spiritually greater version of the words of Nephi, from the time he left Jerusalem. He added it to the record he had been abridging, now found in The Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon was written that it might reclaim the Lamanites, that they might once again become a delightsome people. No one could bring the book to light, save he be given power by God, with singleness of heart, and the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord.

There was a sealed portion of The Book of Mormon, written in a language that no one could interpret, because the Lord had confounded it. It is yet to be revealed, and tells more completely the revelations of the end of the world as was shown to Mahonri from The Book of Mormon.

The seer stone which Joseph used to help translate, which Mahonri was commanded to hide up and not show to anyone, “…until the Lord should show them unto the children of men…” was recently fulfilled, when the church revealed the visual of the stone to the world.

Seer stones are called interpreters, and no man can “look in” them, save he be commanded to. The time has been fulfilled that the world may see them, but not use them.

Q: What do Book of Mormon writers teach about the great worth of the Biblical record as they had it on the brass plates?

A: The Book of Mormon bears witness of the truthfulness of the Bible. Lehi and his family had the scriptural record of the prophets from the beginning, down to the time of Lehi and Jerimiah. Nephi states, “[so that] …we could preserve the commandments unto our children.”
King Benjamin also had The Plates of Brass, which were written in the Egyptian language, and taught this language to his three sons, saying, “…were it not for these plates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God.”
Without the Old Testament record as found on the plates of brass, we would not have The Book of Mormon, for, “…it were not possible that our father, Lehi, could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates.”

It says in both 1 Nephi 5 and Alma 37, that the plates of brass will one day go forth, and be known by every nation, kindred, tongue and people, probably much like our scriptural cannon is available today. Possibly even being a supplement or replacement to the current Old Testament, for the time frame it covers, for in that some of the words of the prophets of God were changed or even lost.

However, this fulfillment of revealed scripture will be brought to pass on a much larger scale than the bringing forth of The Book of Mormon. For with the communication and technology available today, the world will know and word will spread quickly.

Alma 37 also mentions that ALL plates which contain holy writ shall be kept bright and brought forth, even as the plates of brass. In other words, they too will come forth unto the children of men for our profit and learning.

Q: What does Nephi teach about the origins and truthfulness of the Bible?

A: The angel who spoke with Nephi, tells him that those most plain and precious things which were taken away from the book of the Lamb, by the formation of that great and abominable church, of which Nephi was shown in vision, before that church was forced to give the Holy Bible up to the public by means of the reformers, were all restored by the writings of the ministrations of the Lord to His prophets, through The Book of Mormon.

The verses also illustrate that the book of the Lamb of God, or the Holy Bible, came forth in purity by the hand of a Jew, and that when it went out by the Jew, it contained all the covenants and many of the prophecies of the holy prophets.

Q: What do Book of Mormon writers teach about the importance of the Book of Mormon in establishing the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the Bible?

A: The Book of Mormon teaches that both the Bible and The Book of Mormon, “…shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.”

The Book of Mormon says that it is written for the intent that, “ye may believe [the Bible]; and if ye believe that (The Bible), ye will believe [The Book of Mormon] also; and if ye believe this ye will know concerning your fathers, and also the marvelous works which were wrought by the power of God among them.

The Book of Mormon perfectly parallels the experience of the Son of God coming to earth, and His ministry, exactly as the Bible proclaims.

Q: In what ways did Book of Mormon prophets and missionaries use the brass plates to effectively teach the gospel?

A: The Lord used the Brass Plates to unfold the plan of salvation to the people through their prophets, teachers and missionaries. Nephi used the scriptures found in the brass Plates to encourage his brethren to go with him to go and get the Brass Plates.
Laman and Lemuel were also reproved by the words spoken by Nephi, which were written in the Brass Plates, that he used to help Straiten them.

The words from the books of Moses were used to preach repentance and believing on the name of the Son of God.

Q: How does The Book of Mormon bear witness of Biblical events and people, which are being denied or mythologized by the world?

A: The confounding of the tongue of Adam’s language at the building of the Tower of Babel, which is a Biblical truth, is also confirmed in The Book of Mormon.

The Apostle of the Lord John the Beloved, is verified as the writer of the revelations of the ending of the world. In The Book of Mormon, the angel said that these revelations would later come forth in their purity, from the sealed portion of The Book of Mormon.

This is significant because even the scripture in revelations 22:18, which states that the book of Revelations shall not be changed, save the curses spoken of be added towards the ones who add to it, is outlined. Consider the verse below from chapter 22 verse 18, and the suggested outcome as it is written of.

“18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:”
A more correct translation would read something like this:

“18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, for if any man shall change or take away from these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:”

Our Lord Jesus Christ is verified in The Book of Mormon, as He visits the Nephites, and bears His token witness. He is also mentioned in the Biblical account as going to visit His other sheep, who we know through The Book of Mormon are the Nephites. Adam and Eve and the books of Moses are discussed in The Book of Mormon. David and Solomon are also mentioned in The Book of Mormon.

Q: Which evidences are most compelling to you in feeling that the origin of the Book of Mormon is truly divine? What are you doing (or are you willing to do) to gain a personal testimony about the divine origins of the Book of Mormon?

A: The words of Christ within and without The Book of Mormon are my concrete evidence. I need no other evidence. As I live the life, read the words of the prophets, attend church, the Temple, and enjoy The Gift of Holy Ghost, I am willing to do family history work and Temple ordinances for my ancestors.

Q: Imagine someone you care about asks you to explain why you feel the Book of Mormon has divine origins. What three things would you use to help support your position? What scriptures could you share to personally testify of their truthfulness?

A: One, it bears witness of Jesus Christ as another testament. Two, it shares God’s continuing words from the ancestors of the American Indians, which helps clarify mishaps from translation changes and errors in the Bible, which was first presented as pure and easy to understand, but altered and taken away from before it went out to the world. Three, every writer in The Book of Mormon has an identity, easily characterized by the manner in which they express their souls, in the performance of their scripted testimonies.

Shane

To Be One, In Heart & Mind

To Become Zion

Consider this quote from Elder Dieter F. Uchdorf, of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As you do, keep in mind that another name for the Holy Ghost is, the Comforter.

“The Latin source of the word COMFORTER— com fortis—means “TOGETHER STRONG.” As the Holy Ghost visits your own spirit, you become stronger than you are by yourself. When you receive the Holy Ghost, you receive strength, power, peace, and comfort.” Elder Dieter F. Uchdorf

I would also add that the Gift of the Holy Ghost, as an added enhancement to the lives of Latter-Day Saints, would, as we live up to these privileges together, make us even stronger as a collective whole, even as the body of Christ. In other words, of one heart, and one mind. An added sealing upon our heads, the covenant of the First Born: together strong.

Shane

The Birth of Jesus Christ

All things are orchestrated by our Heavenly Father. Not with a worldly control, but with a godly power and influence. Deep down everyone knows this. This is why the first thing they do is blame God for things, but all things have their purpose, and everything has meaning.

Speaking of the birth of Christ, for Christ to be given a body that could withstand death, allowing Him to purposely and voluntarily commend His Spirit unto God, He could then voluntarily heal, bless and re-enter His body as a then perfected, resurrected being, wherein His body would be a reflection of His Righteous Spirit.

Our resurrected bodies will only be as glorious to the extent that we are when we leave this life.

Concerning our Lord’s birth, whom much is yet to be revealed, Heavenly Father had to send down His capsule of insemination with the Holy Ghost, unto Mary to give Jesus a body specific to diety and mortality.

Heavenly Farther and Jesus’ Heavenly Mother (even though there are plural wives), are the ones that birthed Him in the Pre-mortal life, calling Him through to His role as Savior.

Mary was called and chosen to house and tabernacle Christ with an earthen body, wherein He could perform the function and will of His Father’s design concerning His children.

Shane

Praying Without Ceasing

In the Lord’s church we are told to pray without ceasing. How? By living with the constant companionship of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. To be in continual communion with the Father through His Son Jesus Christ, with the Gift and power of the Holy Ghost.

As the Holy Ghost is a revelator, and revelation is communication, our communication with the Father is as we commune with Him our thoughts, feelings and prayers. To have a continual flow of revelation from Him, who is the only true source, even the light of the world.

As there are only two sources, as is discussed in my post Ones and Zeros: Part One, having this great revelatory power from God, we learn great things and receive guidance, promptings and God’s will, to help us avoid deception and all other pitfalls.

Obeying this important law to pray without ceasing, is different than just having the influence of the Holy Ghost. For to have such a gift, we need to first have sacred priesthood ordinances performed on our behalf, by those who have this power and authority. These are baptism and receiving the confirmation of The Gift of the Holy Ghost through covenant, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Then to be partakers of this, we must first understand these promises we make, obey the Lord, and live them to the very best of our knowledge and ability. In this we can then truly be guided, and always have His Spirit to be with us, thus fulfilling the commandment for us to truly pray without ceasing.

Shane

Calming the Storm: Part Two

Is there peace on earth? We can have peace in Christ. Now that peace has been taken from the earth as was written, how do we play our part as peacemakers, to help calm the storms surrounding us. Yes, the tempests all around.

We have power through the power of faith, acting within the power of Christ, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, to calm every storm in our personal lives, and aid those around us causing, or caught up in these storms.

Let’s discuss the Holy Ghost’s role in this for a moment, for everyone has access to the Holy Ghost, in which He teaches truth, comforts and bears witnesses of Jesus Christ. There is however, something far greater and more powerful found in the difference of having the influence of the Holy Ghost, which everyone can have with them, and having what is called the Gift of the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit).

The Gift of the Holy Ghost is a beautiful, sealing, binding power, given to mankind through sacred priesthood ordinances and covenants, whose authority is found only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

When these ordinances are performed, namely baptism and the confirmation of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, by the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood, and lived up to, we are then fully enabled to keep these our higher sacred covenant commitments.

With this gift, we can then have full access the atonement and gifts of the Spirit, which bless us unto the perfecting of our souls and the Saints, provided we live worthy of it.

In this way, the Gift of the Holy Ghost is a far greater influence in us, and we can more fully develop, and help others add to the peace within and around us, in which we can all have peace in Christ.

Shane

The Fruits of the Atonement: Part One

I Testify

Includes a short report of 10 Scriptural References of the gospel principle, the Atonement.

The First Reference:
Under atonement, taken from the Bible Dictionary.

Note: I have altered and supplemented the definition of atonement, as found in The Bible Dictionary, to more fully and accurately define the aspects found therein.

The word atonement describes the setting “at one” of those who have been estranged and denotes the reconciliation of man to God. Sin is the cause of the estrangement, and therefore the purpose of atonement is to correct or overcome the consequences of sin. From the time of Adam to the death of Jesus Christ, true believers were instructed to offer animal sacrifices to the Lord. These sacrifices were symbolic of the forthcoming death of Jesus Christ and were done by faith in Him (Moses 5:5–8).

Jesus Christ, as the anointed One, and Only Begotten Son of God and the only sinless person to live on this earth, was the only one capable of making an atonement for mankind. By His selection and foreordination in the Grand Council before the world was formed, His divine Sonship, His sinless life, the shedding of His blood in the garden of Gethsemane, His death on the cross and subsequent bodily resurrection from the grave, He made a perfect atonement for all mankind.

All are covered as pertaining to the resurrection, for all shall rise from the dead with immortal bodies because of Jesus’ Atonement. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22)
All little children are innocent at birth, and will automatically be covered by the atonement until developmentally accountable. For this reason little children need no baptism until age eight, or until deemed accountable by the Lord.

The forgiveness of sins is conditional however, on repentance. Each person’s individual forgiveness touches them to the degree that they have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, and obey the gospel.

The services of the Day of Atonement foreshadowed the atoning work of Christ (Lev. 4; 23:26–32; Heb. 9). The scriptures point out that no law, ordinance, or sacrifice would be satisfactory if it were not for the Atonement of Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:1–9; 2 Ne. 9:5–24; Mosiah 13:27–32).

Sin is rebellion. (1 Jn. 3:4) It is a refusal on men’s part to submit to the laws of God (Rom. 8:7). By transgression, man loses control over his own will, and becomes the slave of sin (addiction). (Rom. 7:14) So incurs the penalty of spiritual death, which is separation from God (Rom. 6:23). The Atonement of Jesus Christ brings all mankind before the bar of God, to be answerable for their own manner of life. The means of atonement is provided by the Father (John 3:16–17), and is offered in the life and person of His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:19).

Second Reference:
Under Atonement, the measure of Grace, as it relates to the atonement.
2 Nephi 10:24

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

In other words, pray to the Father for forgiveness, repent and know that it is not your penitence alone, or even the good works you do through the enabling atonement and grace, but that even after all this we fall short and need Him. For we can do no good thing without Him. We would even die spiritually and physically, except for the atonement. This is why God’s statement is correct and true. “Ye shall surely die (as a result thereby). It was the preinstated act of our Savior of both before and beyond, which made providence for our probationary state and test here on earth even possible. With this act in place, why else would the adversary be purposely sent here, but as part of God’s plan to test us?

That’s the second great secret, that even the adversary will at one point, come to himself, and make his way back as the ultimate prodigal son, after his complete burning and purging clean in outer darkness comes to an end.

So too are we in both body and spirit, collectively held together as organized perfection, through the atonement, under the sublime honor of God and all his creations, unto the most holy, highest, infinite, majestic glory of our spirits and bodies – the highest and most sacred stewardship of all. To foster the good, and “bleed out” the bad through Christ.

Third Reference:
Under Atonement, Mercy, as it relates to the atonement as a fruit of the atonement.

Isaiah 54:7
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

A poem I wrote which substantiates this scripture.

Mercy

Mercy is the substance,
Which stops our downward fall,
And gives place for grace,
To then lift us to our potential.

It is the sure steady rock,
Which we can all rely upon.
It’s essence and founder,
Is Christ our Savior.

He gained this victory and power,
As He lived and sacrificed His life,
With charity as the oath and standard held,
And champion which prevailed.

Christ is the Word, possessing
Every perfect godly attribute,
Which were poured forth,
From the garden, cross, and tomb.

He bought our way to freedom,
Living and giving His life in perfect light,
Shewing us mercy in loving submission,
And giving all the power to rise.

Mercy and grace work side by side,
And hand in hand, for without them,
We could not comprehend,
Or be lifted out of the power of Satan.

Mercy is God’s gracious gift,
Our great loving rescuer.
Grace is shared by Christ,
His gifts of perfecting power.

Forth Reference:
Under Atonement, Charity, the pure love of Jesus Christ.

2 Nephi 33:7
I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat.

Nephi had developed great charity for all his people, and knew that he would be greeted with such a wonderful reunion on the other side when he passed.

Fifth Reference:
Under Atonement, Hope, as a gift of the Spirit from the atonement.
Listen to the powerful words from Joel as he relates the word of the Lord.

Joel 3:16
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

This refers to Zion the New Jerusalem on the American continent, where His power shall manifest, and Jerusalem in Judea, where His word shall still go forth. All until He comes again, to establish His kingdom on earth. The two governing bodies as one, even His power from Zion, and His word from Jerusalem, for we need both.

Sixth Reference:
Under atonement, Faith, as it is a gift of the Spirit from the atonement.

Matthew 9:29
Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And they were healed.

Seventh Reference:
Under Atonement, Repentance, as a gift of the atonement.

Acts 3:19
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;…

The refreshing spoken of for us is the second coming, when the presence of the Lord will be here, and refresh the earth, and all that be from the time since the world began.

Eighth Reference:
Under the Atonement, Perfection, a fruit of conversion through the atonement.

Moses 8:27
And thus Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord; for Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generation; and he walked with God, as did also his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

To me being a perfect man in this life, in understanding and in grace, means nothing more than to be born again, walking in the love of the Lord, and having the constant companionship of the Gift of the Holy Ghost; knowing to whom you belong, and in living according to all that you know, to the very best of your ability.

Ninth Reference:
Under the Atonement, Humility, as is a gift of the Spirit.

James 4:10
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Humility is a strength.

Tenth Reference:
Under the Atonement, Patience, a parent virtue of many other attributes of Christ.

Revelations 14:12
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Shane

God’s Perpetual Growth as Father

As is stated, God grows through his children, and through carrying out his work and glory, to bring us up to be as He.

Although God is perfect and able to do all, except sin, and knows and has all power over all his creations and children, He still grows. To say otherwise is to try to limit Him.

Let’s face it, we all grow and change throughout all the eons and eternal lives we go through throughout all the eternities. Once we’ve finished our cycle of the current eternal life, we are then called up to the next larger, more powerful, bigger and better phase of life.

What awaits us then? Another premortal, mortal and postmortal existence, only on a much larger scale. The extremes will be extended, both good and bad, with the inherent, endowed ability to be a higher form of entity than is attainable in our current eternal life of premortal, mortal and postmortal experience.

To then focus more on our current state, we are all in the progression of life in the present, past and future. What we do impacts the future, just as our past has effected our present. However, did you know that our future also effects our present? It does! It goes both ways, back and forth, ’round and ’round again, as we roll up the progressive “hill” of advancement in eternal life.

There’s more, but it cannot be written, be it forbidden.

Shane

The Fall and Atonement Provide Agency For Man

Adam and Eve were innocent before the Fall, in which they had choice, but not agency. For agency is the ability to do good, under the knowledge of good and evil. They used their choice to chose to be given agency, by surcombing to the Fall. But there had to be an opposition to the Fall to allow this to take place, and for mankind to be given the opportunity to be reconciled with the Father. Only Jesus could do this. He is the perpetuation of the plan of God for man. It was God’s holy will to offer up His Son, and to swallow up sin, via the bitter cup (literally speaking). But he shank not, and drank the utter dregs, finishing His preparations for man, as was His father’s will.

Before the Fall in Adam and Eve’s innocents, there could be no good, for there was no evil. See 2 Nephi 2:11 below.

11 It must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. (2 Nephi 2:11)

Adam and Eve chose to trust in the feelings they had, and in their redeemer, without fully knowing the import of their decision’s outcome. It was a well thought out, as well as well felt out decision, relying on the feelings of their hearts and spirits, which helped them to ultimately make their choice.

God knew that they would eventually come to the point where they would realize that they needed more to help them grow, in which they would choose to and need the Lord’s saving atonement. This is why a redeemer was chosen and prepared from before the foundations of the earth.

The Fall, or Adam’s transgression, is a spiritual death because Adam and Eve were separated from the presence of God and given agency to act for themselves and not to be acted upon. See 2 Nephi 2:26

They were also given the great power of procreation, so that they could keep the commandment to multiply, and replenish the earth and have joy in their posterity. See Genisis 1:28

In this new state, God gave them the bodily change to have children. This is so because God gave them the commandment to multiply, and He always provides a way to obey Him.

If it were possible for them to have had children before the Fall, God would have had no purpose in the Earth for our mortal test period of probation, for we needed death in both the separation from God spiritually, as well as our physical death, for us to be brought before Him to be judged, and move forward to progress onward to become like Him.

This is why resurrection is so important. We need to be tried, reproved and repent, in order grow up to become like Him, even as a child can grow up to be like their parents.

God had to create Adam and Eve in innocence, and give them the commandments He did, for God is a God of righteousness, and cannot create a state of sin or Fall.

It is an eternal principle that to everything good there is a little bad, and to everything bad there is a little good. This is why out of all the trees in the garden of Eden (which is our Earth’s real mortal name), there was only one poisened tree, which was the fig tree (which has changed over the years now from being what it once was in the beginning).

  • The principle of perfection

Because it is not within Heavenly Father’s nature to do or introduce error, He had to say to them, do not eat, or you shall surely die, all of which is true. Yet, He also wanted us to become like Him. In doing so we would have to walk where He has walked, do as He has done, and follow the course He has gone. This is why we need a redeemer.

See Teachings of the Presidents of the Church- Joseph Smith, pg 41 below.

God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible,—I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church – Joseph Smith, pg 41)

Now, speaking of God’s plan, the adversary is very much a part of it. We need opposition to permit, or rather give us permission to grow. This need is stated in the afore mentioned scripture in 2 Nephi 2:11, that there must be an opposition in all things.

Because the Lord took on all sins, and the source from which they spring, He also takes the ones from which they spring. Yes, somewhere, sometime, in the great eons of the eternal lives and onward, the ultimate prodigal son will, having burned and purged clean in the lake of fire and brimstone in outter darkness, come to himself, and begin his long trek home. For God is a perfect God with perfect love, and a perfect plan, and He will not lose any of His children.

So, is there hope for the rest of us? Definitely!

Shane

Grace, Salvation & Judgement: Part Two

When we approach the judgement bar of God to be judged, we will be exactly as we were spiritually before we died. We will face Christ, and see ourselves exactly for who we are. This is so because Christ is the “true mirror,” which means that our true self will be reflected back to us, in the image and countenance of Christ.

We will look on Him, and see our standing with Him. Compassionate, kind, loving, refined, or sorrow, sadness, disappointment, badness.

However we have been on our mortal sojourn on earth, justice, mercy and grace, will determine our salvation, and the extent thereof.

Shane

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