Sunday, February 25, 2007
Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood
Soon after the bestowal of the Aaronic Priesthood, Peter, James, and John, as glorified, resurrected personages, appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and bestowed upon the the Melchizedek Priesthood. (See Hebrews chapters 5-7). And Peter, James, and John also ordained Joseph and Oliver Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Offices Within the Priesthood
The man whom Mormons refer to as "the Prophet" changes for our Prophet is also the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thus, during the time of Joseph Smith, he was "the Prophet;" during the time of Brigham Young, he was "the Prophet," and so it continues with each of their successors. Today, our Prophet’s name is Gordon B. Hinckley.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
God kept His promise that Adam and Eve would die in the day that they ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. No, they did not forfeit their physical bodies the same day that ate the fruit, but they did forfeit the privilege of remaining eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Alma said that "our first parents were cut off both temporally and spiritually from the presence of the Lord; . . ." (Alma 42:7). By partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve died spiritually in the day they ate of it. Furthermore, "it was appointed unto man to die [physically]" (Alma 42:6). These two deaths are what the scriptures call "the first judgment" (2 Nephi 9:7).
No matter how wicked or vile a person is, he will return to see the God who gave him life. But this reunion may not be permanent. Rather, it is when he will be judged of his works, whether they were good or evil (Alma 11:44). And if a person failed in this life to accept Jesus as his Savior and to keep His commandments, then it is necessary to be cast off forever from the presence of his Heavenly Father. But if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and obeyed his commandments, we will enter into eternal life, which is to dwell with God eternally.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Faith is a difficult thing to articulate. But it is central to every theological discussion. I would add that it is vital to every scientific discussion, too, at least for those who profess to believe in God and carry on scientific discussions. It's not that science and faith are opposites. Science is not an inherent threat to faith. On the contrary, science can be the "evidence of things not seen."
Yet it is not God's desire to veil his purposes from us. We do that well enough ourselves. God's purpose is not the creation of galaxies and stars; it is the perfection of his children. You see, He forms the stars for the same reason He created the Earth: "This is my work and my glory," He said, "to bring to pass [our] immortality and eternal life." That is the impetus of all His works. And that is a statement of His purposes in the broadest sense.
Although God's children are legion, his purposes extend to us individually, not in some trickle-down sort of way but as a straight and strong rod directly from his throne. I've felt such purpose in my life as I've listened to the whisperings that come in quiet times. I suppose faith is trusting in those whisperings.
But faith in God's purposes may wane when it seems his promises remain unfulfilled. So why do promises fail? The answer is simple, "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." God's promises are always conditioned on our obedience.
We may think God is cruel to promise what He knows will not come to pass. But His purposes are deeper. Oliver did try to translate. He commenced well, but because he did not continue as he commenced, he failed. And I believe it was only in Oliver's failure that he, and we through him, could learn the lesson that the Lord wished to teach him.
The process of revelation that the Lord tried to teach Oliver is the essence of faith. So often, we go to the Lord with a question, and so often, we take no thought but to ask Him. Elder David Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles compared this process to having a pillar of light surrounding us. Everything else is black. We don't know if we are to turn around, to step right or left, or to move forward, so we go to the Lord and say, "Lord, move the light, and I will follow."
Then, as we look back on the path we have taken, we will see the ever present guidance of Deity.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
To read the article, click here.