Linking Scriptures – Part I

For some time now I have been pondering on some of the comments I have been reading on other blog sites regarding scripture, their relevance, and what purposes they really serve.

It seems that to some, they are not reliable in terms of doctrine for one reason or another. It seems that what the Lord said, or the prophet recorded, was not really what was meant – at least as it pertains to the understanding of the ignorant masses in the Church today.

I challenge this approach to the scriptures. As one of the ignorant masses, let me share what the writings of the Prophet Joseph and the scriptures have taught me.

A number of years ago, I read in the Teachings p121 the following statement: ” The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”.

I understood this to mean that the axis around which the Gospel revolved was the atonement, and everything else had to tie back into the atonement or it wasn’t true. This seemed an awesome task, but as I studied the scriptures and pondered them, some interesting things began to unfold.

Rather than being disparate pieces of information handed down from time to time by the Lord, the scriptures actually enlarge each other, and what one prophet said at one point in time, can actually fuel what another said at another point in time, and the two together add further light and knowledge.

Let me illustrate.

2 Ne. 2:5-7 says: ” And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men… Behold he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law…”

In 3 Ne. 15:9 the Saviour says: “Behold, I am the law and the light…”

Now most people might take that reference to mean He is the fulfillment of the law of Moses.

I take a deeper meaning from 3 Ne. based on what was said in 2 Ne. Why?

Since the law spoken of in 2 Ne. has to do with the atonement and the introduction of opposition, then further reading of 2 Ne. tells me that if there were no opposition there would be no God and we would not exist. Of course D&C93:30 concurs with this as well. But hold on, there is another scripture that adds even more to my understanding. In 2 Ne. 11:7 it says: ” For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation…”

D&C 88:13 tells us (speaking of the light of Christ):” The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, …” Therefore, the law spoken of in 3Ne. to me represents far more than the Law of Moses.

Pondering on these scriptures tells me a few things:

  1. Opposition is necessary for existence;
  2. the atonement thru Christ is what brought opposition into existence;
  3. without Christ there is no God and we are not;
  4. since opposition was required for agency to exist in the premortal world, then the atonement had to be in effect in that premortal existence (Moses 4:3);
  5. the light of Christ is the law by which all things are governed;
  6. therefore, the office of Christ is an eternal principle upon which all creation takes place;
  7. the office of Christ is the office of sacrifice as explained in Mosiah 15:1-12 _ and some things began to make sense.

In Moses 1:6 the Lord appears to Moses and speaks as though He were the Father. He says: “And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Saviour, for He is full of grace and truth…”

Given the time frame in which the revelation occurred – 2000 years before the atonement – guess what? – the atonement was a foregone conclusion – not a maybe, let’s hope, oh gosh type of event.

This also is confirmed in D&C 93:38 if we read it carefully.

Since that is the case then other scriptures began to make sense.

D&C 50:24 says: ” That which is of God is light…”

D&C 84:45 says: ” For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”

So, now we know that the office of Christ is responsible for everything that makes God God, since “that which is of God is light” and “whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ” and the light that proceeds from Christ is the “law” by which all things are governed – even the power of God.

This confirms 2 Ne 2 and 2 Ne 11.

Let’s leave it there for now. I am curious to see how others view these scriptures and the conclusions I have drawn so far.

Changes to Church Website

Last summer, Ron Schwendiman, Manager of Internet Operations for the Church, gave a presentation (PPT, 14 slides, 382KB) at BYU Education Week on the future of the Church’s website. Here are some of the highlights he presented on what the Church’s website may look by the end of this summer.

  • Full site navigation and content in 10 languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish)
  • Site organized by user need or interest
  • Single-source authentication (user ID and password) of users to provide content based on roles and positions (My LDS.ORG)
  • Expanded and integrated search capabilities in all 10 languages

In addition, he provided the following screenshot of a preliminary design of the new site.

Screenshot of new design for LDS.ORG

Should Mothers Stay Home?

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.

Interesting. Nowhere in this proclamation?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùwhether it is scripture or not is for another post?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùdoes it state that mothers are to stay home or that they are not allowed to go out to work.

So why is it that such an idea is taught in the Church?

Congratulations

Why is it when I receive a new calling, everyone says, “Congratulations”? It’s not like I campaigned for them. It’s not like I was running neck and neck with some other candidate for them. It’s not like it was something I had to attain.

If I graduate from university, it makes sense to be congratulated. If I place in the top ten of a marathon, it makes sense to be congratulated. If I eat a two-foot-long sub sandwich in under ten minutes, it makes sense to be congratulated.

All those things are accomplishments. Receiving a new calling is not an accomplishment.

Same goes for having babies. I am so not looking forward to everyone saying “congratulations” in the fall after our baby is born.

New Calling: Elders Quorum President

It is official. I am now the new elders quorum president of the Lethbridge First Ward. The stake presidency set us apart today.

The previous elders quorum president is moving this week and the bishop decided to put me in his place. Actually, he initially refused to give me up as ward clerk having been comfortable with how I ran things clerically. His counsellors managed to talk him into it.

I have known about it since the end of April even though the bishopric hid it from me until I was officially called by the stake presidency.

Things are different from the last time I was called as president. The quorum is smaller, I am one of the oldest in the quorum and I have learned a lot having served with a bishopric and a stake mission presidency.

I have a few ideas in mind regarding some initiatives we can implement to improve home teaching, strengthen quorum unity and grow the quorum. I meet with my counsellors this Tuesday to discuss these and we?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ll see how receptive they are to them.

If anyone is interested, here are the callings I have had since I was married in 1995:

  • elders quorum second counsellor
  • elders quorum president
  • ward mission leader
  • stake mission secretary
  • young men president
  • ward clerk
  • elders quorum president

Nope. No ward bulletin editor.