The Atonement and Fall: Part One

The Ultimate Prodigal

Adam and Eve were innocent before the Fall, in which they had choice, but not yet agency. For agency is the ability to do good, under the knowledge of good and evil. They used their choice to choose to be given agency, by succumbing to the Fall. But there also had to be an opposition to the Fall, 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, to swallow up all sin via the bitter cup (literally). But he shrank 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, they could do no good, for they knew no evil. They had only choice, but no knowledge of consequences, because they had no sin nor law given, only two commandments. To not partake of the fruit, and to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth – to have children.

God’s plan for the fall to take place, was one in which the atonement was also already in place. It worked in an eternal since, in which it would cover all of mankind, both before and beyond it actually taking place. God could not create Adam and Eve in a fallen state, because they had to be given life, and then commandments given, to then choose for themselves the partaking of The Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This way God could place them in a new world, without causing or creating sin, for God is not able to sin, as is Satan not capable of doing good.  For there must needs be an opposition in all things, thus the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as opposition for mankind, and Satan to God. 

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)

After Eve chose to trust in her feelings, and believe that they needed to understand the difference between good and evil, and Adam understanding the Father, without fully understanding the import of their decision’s outcome, they both partook. 

God knew that they would eventually come to the point where they would realize they needed something more to help them grow, in which they would choose to partake, and need the Lord’s saving atonement, for it is not just that we repent to become like Jesus, but it is in the actual repentance process itself, that we become like Him. This is one reason we needed earth life and the fall in the first place, and 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 Genesis 1:28

In this new and fallen state, they experienced a bodily change as well, to be able to have children. This is necessary 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 in our mortal test period of probation, we needed death in both the separation from God spiritually, as well as our physical death, for us to be tried. Then after death, to be brought before God to be judged in our resurrected bodies, to move forward to progress onward to become like Him. The atonement and fall provide for this purpose. This is one reason why the resurrection is so important.

 We need to be tried, reproved and repent, in order to 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 (Eden being our Earth’s real mortal name), there was only one poisoned tree, which was a fig tree, a tree originally created by Christ Jesus, but then later wrought upon by the evil influences of Lucifer and his devils, to become unhealthy and poisonous for mankind. Thus the Father commanded them not to partake of it, knowing that they would.

  • 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 have children an become like Him. In so doing, Adam and Eve would have to make their own choice to partake. In this we would have to walk where God has walked, do as He has done, and follow the course He has followed. Therefore, we needed the fall, and a redeemer. Praise be to Adam and Eve for taking the courageous leap of faith and trust, to make the choice to partake.

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)

Everything has purpose and meaning, and God is over all His children. 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 learn and grow. This need is stated in the earlier 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 been burned and purged clean in the lake of fire and brimstone in outer darkness, finally come to himself, and begin his long arduous 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

Without Faith, It is Impossible to Please God

When we first approach God to be judged, it will be a first judgement, to be sent to a temporary place, where we will either be taught the gospel, if we had never learned it on earth, where we can accept it, repent, and be given the power of deliverance. Or, if we had the gospel and were good, we will be teaching those who did not have the gospel. We will each be exactly as we were spiritually and mentally before we died, so that even as we accept the gospel in this next temporary state, we would then need the ordinance of baptism, as well as further ordinances, to be fully be endowed to enter into the presence of God. We will all face Christ, and see ourselves exactly for who we are.

This is so because as 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 see ourselves for who we truly are. We will look on Him, and see our standing, and know either compassion, kindness, love and refinement, or separation, sorrow, sadness and disappointment.

However we have been on our mortal sojourn on earth, with the understanding, light and truth we incurred and was made available to us, the justice, mercy and grace of God, will on the fulcrum and balance scale, will determine our salvation, and the extent thereof.

Shane

Relationships – We Can Change People: Part Two

Our Actions Do Influence Others

In every exchange, whether passing by someone and making eye contact, or having a good common discussion with someone, we effect each other. A person who is an agent of light, love and Spirit, will make a good change. No matter how small or big, their exchanges in light, will always extinguish dark.

This is why we must act as righteous individuals, and not be acted upon. However, for an unrepentant, darkened individual, unwilling to follow the light, who chooses to be dark in spite of a righteous exchange with someone, they will in essence harden their hearts more, and become even worse than they were before.

Every action has an equal and opposite action or reaction, meaning that we can react negatively to a negative action, or we can act positively to a negative action. The same would hold true for the opposite.

We can act positively, and have a positive outcome on someone who is negative, even if we can’t see it, or notice the change from our exchange.

We must seek the Spirit in all we do, and listen to and obey His promptings early. In this knowledge we can effectively and joyfully be successful member missionaries, and effective in all we do in life.

Shane

Professionalism: Society’s Way of Communism

Capitalism? A Far Cry From Freedom

“Everyone act the same, be the same. Don’t talk this way, say these things, or do those things. It will be offensive.”

Sounds like a bunch of people who have lost their true roots, even their beginings. Robots who have no rights to feel, express, or create according to their conscience or desires. They must, according to professionalism, by means of earning a living, be in a sense, lifeless human beings, controlled and dictated by the puppeteer of socialistic communism. In other words, professionalism. If you don’t agree, read on.

What’s the alternative then? Is there a guide that leads us down a better path? A route that leads everyone to a more express part of who we really are? Can it truly be reached in a capitalistic society? Not fully.

The old adage that money is the root of all evil, is real. After all, loving something that is good cannot be wrong. Yes, it may be the root of all evil, but it’s not the source. The adversary is the source, and he uses money to corrupt people.

As for me, money is worthless. A divide between living the law of consecration, wherein everyone gets to know each other, uses their gifts and skills, and freely provides what they have to offer for each other. In this environment there is personal growth, service and love unrestrained. May we seek to live this better way.

Shane

Ammon, a Missionary to the Lamanites

Oh, What Joy!

This sketch’s context comes out from The Book of Mormon. Even from an Ammon, a missionary to the Lamanites, who knew and witnessed his own friend Alma, undergo a forgiveness of sins, through a falling down unto the earth, in a comatose type state. While under, he underwent a major change and healing of both body and spirit, his soul purifying and acclimating towards righteousness. So too, when his investigator King Lamoni fell to the earth, Ammon knew that it was unto the same effect.

This is also witnessed afterwards, by the awakening experience of both Alma and King Lamoni. Each, when they awoke, had been born again in Christ, through His loving, saving, powerful atonement.

Lamoni exclaimed, “Blessed be the name of God, and blessed art thou, for as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer.” Alma exclaimed, “I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit. 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.”

Both Alma and Lamoni had similar saving experiences. Alma became a great missionary, and King Lamoni a great missionary to his people.

Shane

Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ’s roles in the Creation

Christ is The Word

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are two separate beings. Thus is Jesus referred to as His Son. In the creation aspect of the earth, Heavenly Father spoke the words of creation, giving Christ the instructions on how to perform the work. Then Jesus went forth and did as was spoken by Heavenly Father, even speaking forth the words of creation, for Christ is the Word of His power.

Below are two verses from the inspired translation of the Holy Bible, as found recorded in The Book of Genesis from the Old Testament.

Because much of the books in the original Bible were lost, and even some of the writings we have changed through incorrect inscribing, as well as through mal-intent, Joseph Smith, a modern day prophet, was prompted and inspired to make inspired translations of certain parts of the Bible, to help restore it to its original state. This work was never fully finished.

These two verses from the rendered restorative work out of The Book of Genesis, are distinguished from The Book of Genesis by being called, The Book of Moses, are helpful insights.

Moses 2:5 reads: And I, God, called the light Day; and the darkness, I called Night; and this I did by the word of my power [who is Christ], and it was done as I spake; and the evening and the morning were the first day.

Moses 1 also tells us of other countless earths created by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, of which additional scripture like this tells us that Christ is the Savior of them all, even the entire universe.

In Moses 1:32 we read: And by the word of my power, have I created them (all these earths), which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.

As Jesus said, He does nothing except that which He sees, or hears His Father do and / or say. So Heavenly Father spoke the elements to organize, and then Jesus fulfilled His part of the creative process, and this aspect of His role, by creating the earth, as specified by the Father, first spiritually, and then physically.

Shane

Dragons & Unicorns: Creatures of Legend?

Some Fantasy For Fun

Wow! I think it’s so cool to think about how there have been so many different species of creatures on the earth, some which have now even become extinct.

I love to see all the many different references of the two mystic-type creatures in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, properly called, The Book of the Lamb of God, which cite many instances, both figuratively and literally, of dragons and unicorns.

There are 43 total instances, between the Old and New Testaments, where they are dually mentioned.

The earth is much older than just the human years described in Holy writ, but the earth was indeed created by Jesus in the way He described. There had to be an era of dinosaurs, in the which the earth flourished while sustaining their life. Much later, human kind was put upon the earth.

We are grateful for records of such relevant events as the gigantic asteroid which hit the earth, causing all the fountains of the great deep to burst open, and rain back down the worldwide flood, in the which process the great continent split, and pieces drifted. We are grateful for all truths in all areas of study.

We know that all things have a spiritual side to them, for all things were created first spiritually, before they were physically manifested.

Perhaps one fun speculation to make, is from the folklore of humankind. We may not have these extinct creatures, but people still tell stories, and pass them down through the generations. Perhaps there is some probable truth in them.

One fun guess, is how there were firebreathing dragons. It’s possible that a creature could produce a poisonous flammable venom, which if sparked inside the oral cavity, could produce flames.

Another fun thought. The healing properties of unicorns. If unicorns were indeed a pure, innocent and righteous creature, whose bands stayed together and avoided humans, who, by virtue of their innocence and sacred kindness, had a healing agent coursing through their veins, which would heal the mortal wounds of mankind. Would this not be a reason for unwise and selfish people to try to take advantage of this holy beast, and slay them for personal use and gain? If so, wouldn’t this be plausible reason for them to stay away from mankind, and be dubbed, “wild.”

Joseph Smith, who is the inspired prophet of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the early 1800’s, said through revelation that unicorns were wild oxes.

I did some resent follow up searching, and there was some evidence in findings of there indeed being a unicorn found, but it was much different than the icon it has become today. It was even described as I would think an ox could look, and called “ugly,” which I can see, if one was expecting a white horse with a horn on its head.

This description fits the example given by Joseph Smith the prophet, by virtue of his prophetic mantle, that the unicorn was in form “a wild ox.” If men did indeed try to spill the creature’s blood for personal use, I can see why they would avoid humans and be wild, as opposed to domesticated.

I don’t think scientists have it all wrong when it comes to the physical aspect of things. For example, the timing of the earth, age wise, or even the explosion which they say took place.

In my definition, it would have occurred as God commanded it to be so. My thoughts go with the possibility that while we were living during our pre-mortal lives in heaven, that the earth had already been created, and was being inhabited by these majestic dinosaurs. Maybe that’s around how long the pre-mortal term of our lives lasted, before life for mankind began on earth?

Men can observe the same things, give them different names, and / or attach different meanings to it. Thus through the ages, legends have changed.

Shane

What Truly Enraged the Jewish Leaders

A Look Into The Savior’s Personal Life

Note: I’m venturing out a bit from what I normally do, so know that you don’t have to understand this. To me, these things are sacred and personal, but with unquenched desires to share, I’m daring to share.

Jesus had the power, ability and authority to forgive. He knew everything about people, including their hearts and circumstances. When Jesus gave forgiveness to the woman Mary taken in adultery, this incensed the Jewish leaders, showing His preeminence over their unrighteous dominion and preclusion to God. What made things worse for the Jews, was that in the law of Moses, such should be stoned.

Jesus started out by writing in the dirt, the very thoughts and intents of these men, who knew about the woman, and had secretly laid in wait to discover her, to capture her for reasons of condemning Jesus, and trying to eliminate their own personal guilt, for they even wanted what she had to offer. Jesus had started out by drawing in the dirt, each Rabbi’s personal lustful thoughts, starting with the foremost accuser, and then went down the line.

After Jesus forgave her, He, knowing who she really was, and the hard trial and weaknesses she had been given, and beyond this, truly recognized and knew who she was, and He took her, Mary, unto wife.

There is a record of the name of the wife Jesus took in the recovered dead sea scrolls, in which it simply says, speaking about his wife: and her name was Mary, one of his disciples. This would also align with how Mary Magdalene was the first one to witness Him after His resurrection. At this knowledge, then Lazarus would have been Jesus’ brother-in-law.

At any rate, this is truly what caused the Jewish leaders to hate and be completely bent and set on his death at all costs. He was turning everything upside-down, which they felt was their’s to protect, and He was doing it with miracles, forgiving, parables and confounding, all to the building up of their wrath and bitterness, to the point where they felt He had to be slain.

He was mockingly tried, for where there was no offense, for the truth can never be condemned, on earth or in hell, only accused. Christ was not killed, but He voluntarily gave up his Spirit, that He could also then heal, and voluntarily re-enter His then glorified resurrected body.

Shane

Keeping Our Little Ones Safe

“Personality provides protection.”

(Shane R. Brown)

Just as the lionesses prey on the perimeter more sickly gazelles, those too slow or young to get away, so too in society, those children who are put in survival mode, and not able to let their inner personalities shine, who by lack of nurturing parents, or having been emotionally, mentally, physically, or sexually abused, are pushed out to the perimeters of society. They are in effect shunned, sickly, and an easy target.

They then are the ones, who without the protection of societal safety, are picked out, off, and abused, by the preditors of these vulnerable children.

If our children are encouraged, treated well, blessed with confidence and acceptance of themselves, they can thus be themselves without fear. We can then see, that their personalities minister to the good of their protection.

Shane

Book of Mormon Geography

A Branch of The House of Israel & Their Lands

The family of Lehi landed in the Northern South America / Southern Central America area. When Nephi separated from his brethren, he took his people to the North. When at the time Zeniff came among them, he took a group of Nephites Southward from Zerahemla, to live in a place once inhabited by the people of Nephi, which was then inhabited by the Lamanites. The Lamanites let them have the land, only to later subject them into bondage, for use of their agricultural increase.

At a later time, these people were under a new king Limhi, who sent out some of his people to find the land of Zarahemla, that they might receive help in becoming made free.

They went North, and passed by, missing the land of Zarahemla, instead finding many great waters, which were part of the landscape, before the face of the land was changed at the death of our Savior on the Eastern hemisphere.

They also found remains of a vast civilization. A people who were named by Moroni, the second person to abridge The Book of Mormon after his father Mormon, as the Jaredites. They had come out from Babylon, at the time the Lord had confounded the languages at the tower therein.

These people had been destroyed, and their records had been kept by their kings and prophets over the years. This group of seekers sent out by king Limhi, at not finding Zarahemla, brought back with them 24 metal plates, upon which was recorded the Jaredite history.

Moroni abridged this people’s record, now known in The Book of Mormon as the Book of Ether, who was their last prophet, who also witnessed their entire destruction.

Their records were taken by this group, brought before king Limhi, then before Ammon, who had come out of Zarahemla to find these people whom Zeniff originally brought out of the land, and then to king Mosiah of Zarahemla, who translated them through the gift and power of God as a seer.

Shane

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