Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Change of Pace

I know it's been many months since my last post. I've been dealing with a fractured ankle and illnesses. I have still been doing my studies and I have them written down. But I feel inspired to blog about the things in my heart, the things that come to me when I lay awake in my bed. I'll still bring my questions here and please feel free and welcome to comment. Let us sit down and reason with one another. 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Doctrine and Covenants, Section 5 part 1

This section was for Martin Harris through Joseph Smith around the time he is granted to take the manuscript and loses it.

In verse 2, Harris is called to be a witness in all things.

In verse 3, God grants Harris permission to take the manuscript under the condition that he shows no one save those whom have been cleared by the Lord. He goes onto the say "You have no power over them except I grant it to you."

Does anyone know what this means? I am uncertain whether this is in reference to the manuscript itself or the people that have permission to said manuscript.

My second question is for verse 4: And you have a gift to atranslate the plates; and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you; and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished.

Was this a promise or a warning to Martin Harris?????????????

Verse 5 warns that "woe shall come unto the inhabitants of the earth" if they do not pay heed to the words of the Lord. The question to ask here is will that warning become action in this life or the next? If we don't pay heed will we live wretched lives unless we repent? Or will we be exiled to Outer Darkness and become a son or daughter of Perdition?

Martin is called to be a witness in many ways, one of them included being a missionary.

Just out of fun, can anyone find out where he served his various missions?

Verse 7 warns that people will not believe in the gospel, even when it is revealed to them through the Spirit. They will not accept Joseph as the Lord's mouth piece or the Book of Mormon.

This is very unfortunate as verse 8 continues to sat that Joseph's generation is in big trouble. His generation have become very stiff-necked and hard hearted which greatly displeased the Lord. I find that rather interesting as America at that time was going through various Religious Movements. During what was known as the "Second Great Awakening", there was a boom in Religious activity especially in the Palmyra area.

Upstate New York was referred to as a "burned out district" because of the many revivals that came through the region.

This term came from Charles G. Finney in his autobiography on page 78 to denote the Central and Western parts of the state had been "so heavily evangelized as to have no 'fuel' left to 'burn''. The fuel being the unconverted as opposed to burnt being the converted.

Is it any surprise that young Joseph was so confused where to go for the nourishing of his soul??????

Then to make things any more interesting for the young man, verse 9 speaks: Behold, verily I say unto you, I have reserved those things which I have entrusted unto you, my servant Joseph, for a wise purpose in me, and it shall be made known unto future generations; (Doctrine and Covenants 5:9)

Joseph was given a special trust from the Lord that will affect the generations after him . To this day The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is currently at 14, 131, 467 members in 176 nations. The church currently have 152 working Temple in many countries with three announced at this month's General Conference. There are also 52, 225 full time missionaries preaching the gospel in 350 missions. I dare say that this prophesy has not only been fulfilled but the will also cover the generations that will follow us.

Verse 10 speaks again of Joseph's generation that will be blessed by witnessing the restoration of all the keys of Heaven. I have to admit that I have on occasion envied the original Saints whom have sat at Joseph's feet hearing the gospel and having their minds and hearts opened at the truths he spoke, preached in the what was then the western border of our country and overseas in England, built the Kirtland temple and then the Nauvoo temple. Could you imagine the spirit of testimony then? The strong fellowship among the Saints as they endured one trial after another?

Verses 11 and 12 speak of the three witness. These witnesses were Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris and David Whitmer. They differ from the eight witnesses because they heard the voice of the Lord testifying to the validity of the Book of Mormon. In verse 12 God will reveal all to these three brethren.

Which leads to a question...What is the difference between Inspiration and a Revelation???

Verses 13 and 14 say the following: I will give them power that they may behold and view these things as they are; And to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony among this generation, in this the beginning of the rising up and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness—clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners. (Doctrine and Covenants 5:13-14)

My first reaction to these verses was "What does that mean? 'To none else I will grant this power'" Then I came to realize He was speaking of foreordination. These men were chosen in the Premortal existence to be witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Just like Jesus was foreordained to be our saviour and Joseph as the prophet of the Restoration. Mind you, they had to be worthy to have that blessing in life, but it also carried a tremendous amount of responsibility.

Verse 15 also emphasize their position by saying that the Lord will speak through them.

I would like to include their testimony that is found in the Introduction of the Book of Mormon:

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, his brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seeen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shewn unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvellous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.

Oliver Cowdery

David Whitmer

Martin Harris

This testimony is found in every copy of the Book of Mormon. Verse 16 tells us that all of us who read this testimony and show faith with will not only receive confirmation from the Holy Ghost but will also be baptized by fire.

For my readers whom are more theologically inclined could you give some insight into the universal doctrines concerning baptism by fire?

There's a catch, however. Verse 17 commands that these witnesses are not to testify of this experience until they are properly ordained.

Section 5 Discussion from BYU TV


Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Absence

I apologize that I haven't been posting lately. I have been dealing with family emergencies, health problems and other issues that have prevented me from making my posts. I'll be finishing two of my posts over the next couple of days. I will resume my project on 01 April. Thank you for your continued support in my project. I encourage you to keep reading and commenting. I look forward to hearing more from you at a later date. God be with you. Christ be with you.