Sunday, July 20, 2014

God Is Waiting...

I've heard through word of mouth that at a recent stake conference Elder Christofferson opened up to the congregation for questions. One person asked "How much more wicked does it have to get before the Lord will come again?" Elder Christoffeerson's reply: "Oh, the world is wicked enough... the Lord is waiting for us to be righteous enough..."

So, the Lord is waiting on us. Well, I don't think he's just waiting, I'm sure he is working. And we shouldn't wait either, we should work, and we have a lot of work to do.

How do we build Zion and come to it? Elder Christofferson gives counsel on this matter:
Come to Zion, October 2008 General Conference

"Zion is Zion because of the character, attributes, and faithfulness of her citizens. Remember, “the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them” (Moses 7:18). If we would establish Zion in our homes, branches, wards, and stakes, we must rise to this standard. It will be necessary (1) to become unified in one heart and one mind; (2) to become, individually and collectively, a holy people; and (3) to care for the poor and needy with such effectiveness that we eliminate poverty among us. We cannot wait until Zion comes for these things to happen—Zion will come only as they happen."

I'm going to study this talk more, I also recommend the book "Triumph of Zion" by John Pontius.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Firm Foundation

Ethan gave a talk in sacrament meeting on June 15th. I helped him a little. His topic was "Building a Foundation of Faith on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." Here is part of his talk ~

"In Peru, Much of the city of Cusco is literally built on ancient Inca ruins. The workmanship of the carved stones, all fit together without mortar, is amazing. The walls are strong because they were made from precisely cut stones, many with interior interlocking arms, somewhat like giant ancient Legos. It is ironic that we call them “ruins” because, even though they were constructed many centuries ago, most of them remain perfectly intact today.
"Peru is a land of many earthquakes. There was terrible destruction in a 2007 earthquake there. Through the centuries disasters like this have occurred repeatedly in Peru. Buildings built recently in our time often have crumbled under these quakes, but the Inca-built foundations and structures remain secure. Somehow these ancient stones, fit together perfectly, withstand whatever natural disasters occur. They remain a firm foundation."

I've continued to think of this during the past few months, since Snuffer's excommunication last September and continuing through this past month with the Kate Kelly and John Dehlin stuff. So, I read a few of Snuffers books and liked them fine, I've followed his blog a little bit and take it with a gran of salt, and Corey and I often discuss the latest comments of other readers during our date night conversations. So, as I said in my last post, who is right? Who do we follow? Is Snuffer a sure foundation for me? He says that he's just trying to lead people to Christ and that he only teaches from scriptures. Well, what do the scriptures say? WHO were the scriptures even written by?!? PROPHETS.

"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." - Ephesians 2:20

So some think that Snuffer is a prophet because he says he has seen and spoken with the Lord. I don't doubt him, but I also don't know. If he has though, what then? What about the brethren? Have they too? Well, personally I already know they are guided by the Lord, because many of my prayers have been answered by them, and my life has been so blessed by their teachings. Are they both prophets? Can they both be led by the Lord and yet be at odds with each other? Who do we follow? Should we be more loyal to Snuffer than the Brethren? Perhaps some feel that they should, but I wouldn't. Following the brethren and remaining in the church give me anchor. I need and want the strength that comes from trusting the Lord's prophets. The prophets have been commissioned the following by Christ:

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations... teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." - Matthew 28:19-20

Those who want to follow Christ and his prophets, are to do WHATSOEVER thing the Lord commands us. Not all things that are true for you or all things that make you authentic to yourself, not all things politically correct, not all things that are culturally acceptable, not all things that are true according to law or scripture alone, BUT ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU.

And whether through is voice or the voice of his servants, it is the same (all of them together are the FOUNDATION spoken of in Ephesians). If I was told to cease publication of a book by the Lord's servants, I would have done it. If I was told to stop an organization I had started, I would have done it, even if it meant I would then be "inauthentic" to myself (quote from Kelly half way down in this article). Authenticity is not the first law of heaven. Obedience is. I'm sure Satan is being "authentic" to himself, but that's not going to get him out of his miserable situation. When Abraham went to sacrifice Issac, I'm sure that required him to be inauthentic to himself. I'm sure it went against laws and teachings that he had learned about previously. IT WAS A TEST. We are all tested. We are to be obedient, that's what the test is about, if we are willing to lay everything we want and think and are on the altar and go forward with trust in God.

We're supposed to be totally inauthentic to ourselves! Forget me and what I want and what I am, God wants me to become what He wants and like He is. That's going to require a lot of "living inauthentically" along the way. We are to kill our natural men and become new creatures in Christ. Love this quote by CS Lewis:

Christ says, "Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good...Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked--the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours."

We are to obey everything that is commanded by the Lord. So, how do we know if a commandment, rule, tradition, expectation, teaching, etc... how do we know if it's commanded by the Lord? There are three ways, and these three ways should never be at odds with each other. These three things are the Iron Rod and the sure foundation we should build our lives upon: HOLY GHOST - LIVING PROPHETS - SCRIPTURES. More on the iron rod later. For prep read John Pontius "Following the Light of Christ" and listen to this talk by President Harold B. Lee

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah

I've started to write several posts the past two weeks to offer my thoughts about the things that have been in the news and on the internet and "bloggernacle" lately about the LDS Church~ thoughts that go along with others who have written about the subjects women and the priesthood, excommunication & apostasy, and things like that. (I recommend those two posts above) Who is right - Ordain Women or the Church? Who do we follow - The Brethren or Denver Snuffer? Who is being led by the Lord? Guide me, O thou Great Jehovah! I want to be led by thee.
So, the answers always come through prayer and study. I found this quote in the Joseph F. Smith manual (Chapter 13) this week and I think it pretty much sums it up for me:

From the days of Hiram Page (Doc. and Cov, Sec. D&C 28), at different periods there have been manifestations from delusive spirits to members of the Church. Sometimes these have come to men and women who because of transgression became easy prey to the Arch-Deceiver. At other times people who pride themselves on their strict observance of the rules and ordinances and ceremonies of the Church are led astray by false spirits, who exercise an influence so imitative of that which proceeds from a Divine source that even these persons, who think they are “the very elect,” find it difficult to discern the essential difference [Matthew 24:24]. Satan himself has transformed himself to be apparently “an angel of light” [2 Corinthians 11:142 Nephi 9:9].
When visions, dreams, tongues, prophecy, impressions or any extraordinary gift or inspiration conveys something out of harmony with the accepted revelations of the Church or contrary to the decisions of its constituted authorities, Latter-day Saints may know that it is not of God, no matter how plausible it may appear. Also they should understand that directions for the guidance of the Church will come, by revelation, through the head. All faithful members are entitled to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for themselves, their families, and for those over whom they are appointed and ordained to preside. But anything at discord with that which comes from God through the head of the Church is not to be received as authoritative or reliable.6
and here's another quote by him from the beginning of that same chapter:

Among the Latter-day Saints, the preaching of false doctrines disguised as truths of the gospel, may be expected from people of two classes, and practically from these only; they are:
First—The hopelessly ignorant, whose lack of intelligence is due to their indolence and sloth, who make but feeble effort, if indeed any at all, to better themselves by reading and study; those who are afflicted with a dread disease that may develop into an incurable malady—laziness.
Second—The proud and self-vaunting ones, who read by the lamp of their own conceit; who interpret by rules of their own contriving; who have become a law unto themselves, and so pose as the sole judges of their own doings. More dangerously ignorant than the first.

Beware of the lazy and the proud.4
Strength to persevere through the midsts of darkness will come to us as we hear and hearken to the Lord's servants the prophets. Quote above by Elder Neil L. Anderson (I am loving these conference posters!)
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