Posts Tagged 'Godhead'

Our Father in Heaven

I recently studied the last chapter of the LDS Gospel Principles manual, but I realized that when I had studied the first few chapters back in 2010, I did not post about them. I want that category to be complete, so I am going to do a few posts from the beginning of the book. To view the entire lesson, go here: Our Father in Heaven.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe that there truly is a God. I believe that there is only one true God and that He is our creator and Father of our spirits. I believe that he loves us and that he wants us to become like Him and live with Him again someday.

What are some things that testify to you that there is a God?

There is evidence of God all around us. In my opinion, it is impossible to look at the expanse of the stars in heaven and doubt that something wonderful created them for us. There is evidence of a creator in the amazing things of nature that are all around us. How the planets move is evidence to me. The cycle of water is evidence to me. The way our bodies work is evidence to me. Just the other day, I was watching a flock of birds in their v-shaped pattern. There was one in front making it easier for the rest to fly and then moving gracefully together. As I watched, I thought of how perfect the natural instinct to work together was for those birds and how there must have been a God to create such beauty and skill. My favorite scripture passage is about nature in relation to God. In Doctrine and Covenants 88 we read the following:

42 And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
43 And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
44 And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are one year with God, but not with man.
45 The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.

This is a testimony of the power and majesty of God. I have grown up in the church, so I’ve heard of God for as long as I can remember. This however, is not the reason for my belief in God. I have felt the witness of the spirit in my own heart, confirming that God is real and that he loves me. The spirit testifies to me that there is a God.

The scriptures, which I believe to be true, testify of God. In Moses 7:4 we read, “And I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face; and he said unto me: Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations.” Moses saw God and talked with him face-to-face. Also, in Genesis 32 we read the following:

29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Jacob also saw God face to face. These are just two witnesses of a physical manifestation of God to man on the earth.

What are some of God’s attributes?

God is eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, wise, loving, merciful and kind. As a member of the LDS faith, I believe that there is a great deal we can understand about God’s physical attributes as well. God is our spiritual Father, and therefore we are created in His image. In Genesis 1:27 we read, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” This means that God has a body with flesh and bones, just as we do. In Genesis 32:30 we read, “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” God has a face, just as we have a face. In Exodus 24:10 we read, “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” He has feet, as we have feet. In Exodus 31:18 we read, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” God has hands with fingers, just as we do. Then in Matthew 3:17 we read, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God speaks as we speak. He is not always understood by mankind, but he does speak to us.He is a resurrected, perfected being Himself, so he does not have the blood of mortality, but I believe that He did at one time. His body is one of glory, which has been described with words such as fire and light. In short, God is not some unknown mass in his physical nature, but we can know what He looks like, because He created us to be like Him.

He is a separate being from His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Spirit, the Holy Ghost. When He appeared with His Son, to the prophet, Joseph Smith, it was witnessed that they were two personages. In Joseph Smith-History 1:17 we read the account, “It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Likewise, we read in Acts 7:55, “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,” God, the Father, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Savior of all mankind. God is a being of order and has a plan laid out for all people, so that we would have the best opportunity to have eternal life and salvation. In his great love, He does all that He we allow Him to do, to bring us back to dwell with him forever. He is the master teacher and gives us every opportunity to learn of Him. He knows us better than anyone else and therefore knows just how we will learn eternal principles the best. He gives us the gift of His Spirit to be with us and help us in so many ways. God is the giver of agency and awesome spiritual gifts as well. I am so grateful for the gifts that God gives me.

Why is it important for us to understand the nature of God?

If we are able to understand the nature of God, we can better understand His plan and why we should do what is right. When we understand that God is a loving and kind father, we know that all things that make us feel unloved and mis-treated are not from Him, but are counterfeits of Satan. God’s ways are always good because that is the nature of God. In Alma 7:20 we read, ” 20 I perceive that it has been made known unto you, by the testimony of his word, that he cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round.” When we understand that God is the same now as he was in ancient times, we will not be led astray by those who say we need to change with the times. When we understand that God is a being that we are created after, we can better see ourselves coming closer to Him, and eventually being able to be like Him. When we understand that his plan is to give us joy and happiness forever, we can make choices that will lead us down His path of righteousness. In John 17:3 we read, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Knowing God is what will bring us salvation. If we do not try to understand and know Him, when the opportunity has been placed before us, then we bring about our own destruction here and damnation in the spirit world.

How can we come to know God?

In Doctrine and Covenants 93:1 we read, “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;”. These are the ways that we come to know God: repentance, faith, prayer, and obedience to the commandments. This may sound like the typical Sunday School response, but sometimes the simplest answer is the best. I believe that this is true. We come to know God by following His words, which we find when we study the scriptures and listen to the prophets today. His words teach us these principles of repentance, faith, prayer, and obedience. We cannot expect to live with God again, if we do not take the time to understand the ways of His kingdom. When we live His word, we will become more like Him and will be deserving of His glory when we face Him again someday.

Jesus taught his disciples that if we would look to Him, we would come to know God, the Father. In John 14:6-9 we read the following:

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

We know the Father, by following His Son. I am so grateful that we have the example of Jesus Christ to look towards, so that we can become more like God. I know that God lives and that He loves each of us. I know that we can truly know Him, by following His commandments. I am so grateful for the gospel which teaches us these things, and that the scriptures are made available to us in so many ways today. I hope that all people can discover the nature of God and experience the blessings of joy that come from living to know God.

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The First Article of Faith

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

This is the heart of everything that we do in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It pushes us to do what we know to be right. It gives us hope in a glorious future. It gives us purpose and comfort in this life. There are three separate members of the Godhead.

First of all, we believe in God, the Eternal Father. We believe that there is a God, or a supreme being, who watches over all of us. We believe that he created each of us. In Mosiah 4:9 we read, “Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth…”. We believe that he is the Father of our spirits. We believe that we are His children. We believe that as God, he is all-knowing and all-powerful. We believe that he is perfect and as His spiritual offspring, we too can become perfect. Throughout the scriptures we have witnesses which teach us of God. Even the Savior, often referred to His Father, who sent Him. In John 17:3 we read, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Because of the witness of the prophet, Joseph Smith, we believe that we are created in His image. We believe that He also has a body, and that because of that he is more than a spiritual being or some unknown entity. Something that I have not felt the need to question in my life, is where I came from. I have felt this in my heart and mind. I am a daughter of God and I came from His presence to live on this earth.

Second, we believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus is the spiritual and physical Son of God the Father. In 1 John we read the following:

20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

We believe that he is the Only Begotten Son of God. He did not have an earthly father as the rest of us do. In Luke 1:35 we read, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” He is not one in being with God, but he is one in purpose with Him. We believe that he was chosen before this life, to be the Savior and redeemer of all mankind. We believe that because of His divinity, He was the only person who ever lived, who could experience the atonement and therefore make it possible for all of us to return to live with God again. In 1 Peter 3:18 we read, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit”. Also, in Hebrews 2:9 we read, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” We believe that he was resurrected, and that because of Him, we all will be resurrected some day. We believe that he also has a body of flesh and blood, just as the Father. As a resurrected being he appeared to his disciples and said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have (Luke 24:39).” We believe that he is perfect, and that he lived a perfect life. We believe that in His perfection, He has been completely obedient to the will of God. We believe that he created all things physically, under the direction of God the Father. In Doctrine and Covenants 14:9 we read, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, who created the heavens and the earth, a light which cannot be hid in darkness”. He lived his life as an example to each of us, of how we should live. He is loving and kind, merciful and charitable, forgiving and always waiting for us. We believe that He is our spirit brother. He led the way for us and we believe that he has a desire for us to return to live with Him. I have turned to Christ for many things in my life, most especially for forgiveness of my sins. I am so grateful for the atonement and for his never-ending love for me.

Third, we believe in the Holy Ghost. We believe that He is also a separate being without a body of flesh and bone, and that He has the power to influence each and every one of us if we are trying to live a good life. We believe that He is also one in purpose with God and Jesus Christ. He has the power to influence each of us for good. We believe that He inspires all people to choose the right. We believe that He is the eternal witness of truth. In John 15:26 we read, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me”. We believe that He is the teacher to our spirits, and that it is through Him, that we can gain a testimony of the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 2:13 we read, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” We believe that when we are baptized, we can receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion in our lives. In Acts 2:38 we read, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” We believe that He will help us to stay on the path that leads us back to God. We believe that he can only do this, if we are living righteously, because as a member of the Godhead, He cannot dwell in unholy places. This gives us a greater purpose for doing those things that we know are right. When we are worthy of Him, he can warn us of the dangers that are coming our way. We believe that we can receive gifts from him. These gifts are to be used for good and righteous purposes. These gifts include things like the gift of tongues and the gift of healing. In Acts 19:6 we read, “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” We believe that he can give us comfort at all times in our lives. I have had experiences with this in my life, at times when I needed comfort the most. I have prayed for help and have felt as if arms were wrapped around me with love and support. The Holy Ghost has been so important to me in my life and I am so grateful that I have been baptized and given this gift to bless my life.

I don’t know what my life would be like without the knowledge of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful for all that they give to me, have done for me, and are to me. I have a knowledge of where I came from, why I am here, and where I am going because of my understanding of the Godhead and their purpose. I hope that more people will be able to come to know God the Father and their Savior, Jesus Christ, through the witness of the Holy Ghost in their own lives.

D&C Section 130

This section includes instructions given by the prophet, Joseph Smith, to the early saints. This was during the early part of 1843, while he was in Illinois. I understand that the prophet had listened to a talk given by Orson Hyde, and this section is a record of the corrections to what had been said. It must have been amazing to be in the presence of one who had come to know deity and had been taught by angels.

1 When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves.
2 And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.
3 John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.

Joseph Smith described the appearance of the Savior in what is known as the first vision, as well as when He stood upon the alter of the temple. From these descriptions we know that we are as the Savior in appearance, except that we do not have his glory. I believe that his glory is what makes Him unable to be seen with the natural eye. This is not an principle that all Christians understand. Some feel that He is some unexplained manifestation, other that He is a spirit or a power. We know that we are created in the image of God the Father and of His Son. The prophet quotes 3 John 14:23, which reads, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Joseph explains that this means that They will appear physically to those who love Them, not that they will spiritual inhabit them. This does not mean that we all can expect to have a personal visit from the Savior, but that if we are true and faithful, we may have that opportunity.

4 In answer to the question—Is not the reckoning of God’s time, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, according to the planet on which they reside?
5 I answer, Yes. But there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.
6 The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth;
7 But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.

I think that this means that even though all of God’s children may reside in one heaven with God, that we have each been given our own planet to experience this life. Those who are angels after this life, will only return to this planet to assist with the work here. They do not remain here on this earth after they had died, but they live with God in heaven, celestially and eternally.

8 The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim.
9 This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s.

A Urim and Thummim is a tool that is used to interpret or translate by the power of God, the words and works of God. When it says that heaven is one, to me it means that where God is, all are able to understand fully the works and words of God. Those who live on the earth will have the earth to use as a means to fully understand these things as well, because the earth will be in a perfected, celestial state.

10 Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;
11 And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.

In Revelations 2:17, this same stone is mentioned, which in the foot note indicates a Urim and Thummim. This stone will be the celestial tool which will make all things known to those who inherit a celestial glory. Those who are faithful will be able to receive a new name from God. These things are important to receiving the fullness of the blessings which have been promised to the faithful. The preparation for this in our lives, is to become worthy and then to receive endowments in the house of the Lord, the temple. It is only through temple ordinances that this will be possible.

12 I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina.
13 It may probably arise through the slave question. This a voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25th, 1832.
14 I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:
15 Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.
16 I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face.
17 I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.

The prophet had already revealed to the saints, the prophecies concerning the beginning of the Civil War, which were over the issue of Slavery. Here is a reminder of that fighting which was to come. Joseph also says here that he had asked the Lord about the timing of the Second Coming. The response was not so much a non-answer, as it was a reminder that it would be better for him to be concerned with other things rather than focusing his attention on when it would happen. It sounds like Joseph was told that even if he lived to his old age and died naturally, he would be blessed to see the Savior’s face, so it did not matter when the second coming was exactly. This is important for us to understand. If the prophet had been told the date of the coming of the Savior, it would require less faithful righteousness on the part of the saints. What I mean is that if we knew that we needed to be as righteous as we could for tomorrow, we would spend all day today repenting, probably choosing to live our lives however we want all the days before. When we don’t know when it will happen, we learn to live as righteously as we can each and every day in preparation for that unknown time.

18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

For myself, I have found that I am ready and willing to have a deeper understanding of the gospel and hopefully a higher intelligence to the things of God. These verses make feel like this search for a greater knowledge will be a great blessing after this life. I know that I can gain a greater intelligence through scripture study, listening to the lessons from the prophets, and especially going to the temple. I also understand that we should be looking for a greater intelligence in the things of the world around us, because all of these things are created and inspired by God. Learning more of the things that would seem to be secular, increases our intelligence and advantage as well. I think that the key is to seek for the intelligence of the spiritual first, and then the intelligence of the secular, with a hope that all knowledge will be for our good.

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

This is such an important gospel principle. God is a just being. Because He is just, there are laws that have been created. Every law has blessings connected to it, and if we obey the law, He is bound to bless us. We can actively show our faith in this principle through our obedience to the commandments. Obedience is the key to unlocking all the blessings of heaven, that God has in store for us.

22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
23 A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.

Finally, just in case this was not already made clear in previous revelations, the prophet teaches us that the Godhead includes God, the Father, who has a body of flesh and bones; God, the Son, who also has a body of flesh and bones; and the Holy Ghost, who is a Spirit. We learn from this that the reason for the Holy Ghost being a spirit, is so that He may come into the hearts of each and every man. I have a firm belief that this is true.

I love the gospel. I am so grateful to have the fulness of it in my life, through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have faith in the words of the prophet, Joseph Smith, and I believe that they are true to the doctrine of Christ. I hope for the blessings that have been promised to the righteous, and I look forward to the amazing things that are still yet to come both while I am living in this life, and after it.

D&C Section 20 (Part 2)

(Continued from previous post: Part 1)

This section was given as the “Articles and Covenants of the Church”, at the time the church was first organized.

The Lord is speaking about the Book of Mormon. He says that it is inspired and has been witnessed by others so that they could stand as witnesses of its truth (v. 10-13). “And those who receive it in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life (v. 14); But those who harden their hearts in unbelief, and reject it, it shall turn to their own condemnation (v. 15)—For the Lord God has spoken it; and we, the elders of the church, have heard and bear witness to the words of the glorious Majesty on high, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (v. 16).” The elders of the Church gave their witness to the truth of the Book of Mormon and the truth of these words.

The Natural or Fallen Man

“By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them (v. 17); And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them (v. 18 ); And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship (v. 19). But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man (v. 20).”

We are created in God’s image, therefore we inherit his attributes. However, because we are in a fallen state and are mortal, our transgressions cause us to become the natural man. We do not inherit wickedness from God. And we can perfect ourselves through the atonement and repentance for those things we do wrong. In Mosiah 3:19 we read, “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Repentance is the key to putting off the natural man that we all become because we all sin.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost Are One God

This section is laying out the basic principles of this gospel. “Wherefore, the Almighty God gave his Only Begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him (v. 21). He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them (v. 22). He was crucified, died, and rose again the third day (v. 23); And ascended into heaven, to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father (v. 24); That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved (v. 25)—Not only those who believed after he came in the meridian of time, in the flesh, but all those from the beginning, even as many as were before he came, who believed in the words of the holy prophets, who spake as they were inspired by the gift of the Holy Ghost, who truly testified of him in all things, should have eternal life (v. 26), As well as those who should come after, who should believe in the gifts and callings of God by the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and of the Son (v. 27);”

“Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen (v. 28 ).” We know that there are three separate beings; God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which make up the one Godhead. One God meaning one Godhead. In Alma 11:44 we read, “Now, this restoration shall come to all . . . and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.” This is the only true and Eternal God. There are however, other Gods that exist, that we may be tempted to worship, but they are not the true and living God.

How Does One Receive “Justification”?

“And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God (v. 29). And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true (v. 30);” One basic principle of this gospel, is that God is just. We have commandments and covenants that we must follow and make, which have consequences and rewards (both good and bad). All the laws of the gospel must be fulfilled. However, the Savior has fulfilled all the laws through his atonement, so if we repent and believe in the Savior, we can have His grace. His grace will make us whole and we will receive justification for our transgressions.

What Is “Sanctification”?

“And we know also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength (v. 31).” Sanctification is purification. It is being rid of all sin and having the change of heart that moves us to be entirely in tune with the will of the Lord. We will never be completely sanctified in this life, but we can take the steps toward sanctification and when the time comes, the Lord will complete the process for us.

What Does Is Mean to “Fall from Grace”?

“But there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God (v. 32);” None of us is free from temptations and sin. Even the most righteous will be tempted and sin from time to time. If we do this without later repenting, we fall from grace. To fall from grace is to choose not to partake in the amazing power of the atonement, but live and possibly die in sin.

7 The Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost Came to Adam and Eve

Why did Adam and Eve need the guidance of the Holy Ghost?

We learn in Chapter 6, that a consequence of the fall of Adam and Eve, was that they were separated from God’s presence.  When they were in the Garden of Eden, they were able to talk face-to-face with God.  Once they were cast out, they could no longer speak with Him like this.  They had a veil placed over their minds, just as we do when we are born.  Without the guidance of the Holy Ghost, they would have been left alone.  Adam and Eve had visits from angels, to teach them the gospel, but the gift of the Spirit was a blessing from God to help them and their families to know it was true.

In Moses, chapter 6, we learn that God told Adam that he and his family needed to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost after they were baptized.  “Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment (Moses 6:61).” In verse 65 we read, “And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.”

How is our need for guidance from the Holy Ghost similar to that of Adam and Eve?

I have never had some miraculous visitation by an angel to teach me gospel principles.  We today, are separated from God as well and we do not have anything to help us build our testimonies without the guidance of the Holy Ghost.  God’s plan is that we all return to live with Him again and without inspiration we would not realize what is truth.  I know that without the Holy Ghost, the temptations of Satan would be too difficult to avoid completely.  I also know that without the Holy Ghost, we would not have the confirming feelings of truth, which build our faith and give us the hope to endure.

Attributes of the Holy Ghost

How does the Holy Ghost differ from the Father and the Son?  Why is that difference important to us?

As a member of this gospel, I believe that the Holy Ghost, or the spirit of God, is a member of the godhead.  I believe that he is a separate being from God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.  I believe that the Holy Ghost is the only member of the Godhead that is a spirit and does not have a physical body.  In D&C 130:22 we read, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.”  This difference is important to us, because he has the ability to influence all people in their hearts and minds.  When we feel his revelations so personally, there is no way to deny the truth.  In order for us to be able to witness the Father and Jesus Christ, we would have to have our mortal bodies changed.  The Holy Ghost can dwell in all men as long as we are living worthy of it.

The Mission of the Holy Ghost

What are some of the truths that the Holy Ghost reveals to us?

I believe that we really know all that we did before coming to this earth, but that the veil placed over our minds is stopping us from remembering it.  As the Holy Ghost gives us impressions, we are being reminded of what we already know to be true.  In John 14:26 we read, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

The Holy Ghost also reveals truths of greater knowledge to us as we become ready to receive them.  We have truths revealed to us as we study and search for answers.  Truths such as the nature of God and the Godhead, the plan of salvation, the life and mission of the Savior, and so much more.  In John 16:13 we read, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”  The spirit can reveal truths of what will be in the future to us.  These truths can be inspirations of things that may happen in our lives on this earth, but they can also be witnesses to the truths of the plan of salvation.  We can have a greater hope in the blessings of exaltation, because of the witness of the Holy Ghost.

***

I know that the Holy Ghost has been given to me by my Father in Heaven.  I am grateful for the inspiration that the Spirit gives me.  I know that the more I listen to the promptings and follow them, I am given more inspiration.  I have felt the Holy Ghost open my mind to a greater understanding of the principles of the gospel.  I have felt the spirit leave in times when I have followed temptation and it is not a good feeling.  I hope to continue to become better and be worthy to continually have this gift with me at all times.

Gospel Principles Chapter 7 – The Holy Ghost

Alma, Chapter 11

How did Nephite lawyers get paid?

“Now it was in the law of Mosiah that every man who was a judge of the law, or those who were appointed to be judges, should receive wages according to the time which they labored to judge those who were brought before them to be judged (v. 1).  Now if a man owed another, and he would not pay that which he did owe, he was complained of to the judge; and the judge executed authority, and sent forth officers that the man should be brought before him; and he judged the man according to the law and the evidences which were brought against him, and thus the man was compelled to pay that which he owed, or be stripped, or be cast out from among the people as a thief and a robber (v. 2).  And the judge received for his wages according to his time—a senine of gold for a day, or a senum of silver, which is equal to a senine of gold; and this is according to the law which was given (v. 3). . . Now, it was for the sole purpose to get gain, because they received their wages according to their employ, therefore, they did stir up the people to riotings, and all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that they might have more employ, that they might get money according to the suits which were brought before them; therefore they did stir up the people against Alma and Amulek (v. 20).”

If there was a situation where there was a farmer wrongly accused of taking a cow who was brought before the judge by the court assistant, and he pled his case and after the day in court was not found guilty of the crime, the farmer would pay a silver senum for his day in court and return home.  Then if the next day there was a merchant and a man who owes the merchant money brought before the judge, and the merchant says that the man owes him two silver senums, and the man was found guilty after the day in court, he would have the money taken from his pocket, or he would be humiliated in front of the people by being stripped or cast out.  Then the next day, a wealthy landowner who was caught selling grain for too much money was brought before the judge, and is found guilty after his day in court, but since the landowner knows that the judges are greedy men, he pays the judge directly ten silver senums (because he can afford it) and is set free with no other punishment.  For three days of work, the judge would make 12 silver senums (day 1 = 1, day 2 = 1, and day 3 = 10) for what would usually be 3 silver senums worth of work.

In that day, the judges were working to get gain and so they would get more people to do wicked things so that they could get paid more money.  The lawyers of course would also be paid more, for having more cases to work.  I don’t think that things are this bad today in our legal system.  The Nephite system worked in the favor of those who were working there, so they wanted more people to be doing what was wrong. This is why they stirred the people up against Alma and Amulek.

Would you sell the gospel for money?

  • 1/8 day of wages = 1 leah or 1/8 measure of grain (v. 17)
  • 1/4 day of wages = 1 shiblum or 1/4 measure of grain (v. 16)
  • 1/2 day of wages = 1 shiblon or 1/2 measure of grain (v. 15)
  • 1 day of wages = 1 senum of silver, a senine of gold or 1 measure of grain (see above and v. 7)
  • 1-1/2 days of wages = 1 antion of gold or 1-1/2 measure of grain (v. 19)
  • 2 days of wages = 1 amnor of silver, a seon of gold, or 2 measures of grain (v. 8, 11)
  • 4 days of wages = 1 ezrom of silver, a shum of gold, or 4 measures of grain (v. 9, 12)
  • 7 days of wages = 1 onti of silver, a limnah of gold, or 7 measures of grain (v. 10, 13)

“And this Zeezrom began to question Amulek, saying: Will ye answer me a few questions which I shall ask you? Now Zeezrom was a man who was expert in the devices of the devil, that he might destroy that which was good; therefore, he said unto Amulek: Will ye answer the questions which I shall put unto you (v. 21)?  And Amulek said unto him: Yea, if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord, which is in me; for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord. And Zeezrom said unto him: Behold, here are six onties of silver, and all these will I give thee if thou wilt deny the existence of a Supreme Being (v. 22).”  Zeezrom had learned how to deal with people from the devil and his intent was to destroy things that were good. Zeezrom tried to bribe Amulek with six onties, which was equal to 42 days of work.  (Just to think of it in more modern ideas, say I made $1,000 for a week of work.  A typical week of work is for 5 days.  Zeezrom would be offering me over $8,000.)  He offered him so much money to truly appeal to the greed, which I think he thought every man in his day had because he did.  Zeezrom probably never intended to pay this much, because if Amulek chose to take it and deny God, he would be saying that he was a liar and would be punished for it by the courts.

In Alma 15:16 we read, “… Amulek having forsaken all his gold, and silver, and his precious things, which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred …”.  Amulek gave up everything for God and the gospel.  There is no possible way that he would have taken Zeezrom’s bribe.

I know that finances are an issue in our society today.  Worldwide people are suffering because of the lack of money.  This would be a perfect time for Satan to use money to lure people to his side.  I know that no matter what someone offered me, I would not deny God.  I know that denying God is a sin that is worse above all others.  I know that there is a God, and have felt the comfort of the spirit.  To deny it now would take away the eternal blessings that I have been working hard to gain, I could not give that up for money.

“Now Amulek said: O thou child of hell, why tempt ye me? Knowest thou that the righteous yieldeth to no such temptations (v. 23)?”  This is the perfect answer and if ever I was put into this situation, I hope that I could be this smart in my reply.  Amulek was a righteous man and therefore would not deny God.

Amulek contends with Zeezrom

Amulek called Zeezrom a child of hell (see above).  “Believest thou that there is no God? I say unto you, Nay, thou knowest that there is a God, but thou lovest that lucre more than him (v. 24).  And now thou hast lied before God unto me. Thou saidst unto me—Behold these six onties, which are of great worth, I will give unto thee—when thou hadst it in thy heart to retain them from me; and it was only thy desire that I should deny the true and living God, that thou mightest have cause to destroy me. And now behold, for this great evil thou shalt have thy reward (v. 25).”  Zeezrom offered Amulek the money to trick him.

“And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God (v. 26)?  And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God (v. 27).  Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God (v. 28 )?  And he answered, No (v. 29).  Now Zeezrom said unto him again: How knowest thou these things (v. 30)?  And he said: An aangel hath made them known unto me (v. 31).  And Zeezrom said again: Who is he that shall come? Is it the Son of God (v. 32)?  And he said unto him, Yea (v. 33).  And Zeezrom said again: Shall he save his people in their sins? And Amulek answered and said unto him: I say unto you he shall not, for it is impossible for him to deny his word (v. 34).  Now Zeezrom said unto the people: See that ye remember these things; for he said there is but one God; yet he saith that the Son of God shall come, but he shall not save his people—as though he had authority to command God (v. 35).”  Zeezrom tried to catch Amulek by asking about the Savior saving the people.

“Now Amulek saith again unto him: Behold thou hast lied, for thou sayest that I spake as though I had authority to command God because I said he shall not save his people in their sins (v. 36).  And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins (v. 37).  Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father (v. 38 )?”  Here he tried to trick him again because Amulek has already said their is only one God and that the Savior was the Son of God.

Amulek answers him by saying, “Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last (v. 39);  And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else (v. 40).”  The Son of God is the Father of the earth because He created it for us.  He will only save those who believe in him and forsake their sins.  They cannot be saved in their sins.  “Therefore the wicked remain as though there had been no redemption made, except it be the loosing of the bands of death; for behold, the day cometh that all shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works (v. 41).”

What doctrine made Zeezrom tremble with fear?

(See verses 40-41 above.) “Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death (v. 42).”  Temporal death will not be forever.  All will be resurrected to stand before God at the judgement seat.  Those who believe will have eternal life. Those who remain wicked with have no redemption.  This would have made Zeezrom nervous because he knew he was not a righteous man.

“The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt (v. 43).  Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil (v. 44).”  The resurrection will make our bodies perfect, but we will remember all of our sins (that we have not repented for).  Right after the resurrection, we will be judged.

“Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption (v. 45).”  The resurrected body will be different than the mortal body because not only will it be perfect, but it will be immortal and connected eternally to our spirit, so that we cannot sin from that point on.

“Now, when Amulek had finished these words the people began again to be astonished, and also Zeezrom began to tremble. And thus ended the words of Amulek, or this is all that I have written (v. 46).”  These words made Zeezrom tremble because he recognized truth and began to fear for what he had been doing.

As I get older, more of my life is spent thinking of the eternal plan of God.  When I was a youth, I thought about this when I was asked to think about it (at church and during family night).  When you are young you really do tend to think that nothing can effect you and if it does, you really don’t see it in the sense of the big picture.  (At least I didn’t.)  Now that I have grown up a little and have been to the temple, I can’t help but reflect on this often.  Nearly everyday, I am thinking about how the decisions I make right now, may effect me and my family in the future.  The promise of the resurrection was once something I could not imagine and now it is something that I look forward to.  I pray that I can remember to repent, so that I will not live eternally with a heavy heart and a guilty mind.  I want to use the Savior’s atonement because it is a gift that He has given to me.  I want to be the best that I can, so that I can stand without fear in that day.

Now it was in the law of Mosiah that every man who was a judge of the law, or those who were appointed to be judges, should receive awages baccording to the time which they labored to judge those who were brought before them to be judged.
2 Now if a man owed another, and he would not apay that which he did owe, he was complained of to the judge; and the judge executed authority, and sent forth officers that the man should be brought before him; and he judged the man according to the law and the evidences which were brought against him, and thus the man was compelled to pay that which he owed, or be stripped, or be cast out from among the people as a thief and a robber.
3 And the judge received for his wages aaccording to his time—a bsenine of gold for a day, or a senum of silver, which is equal to a senine of gold; and this is according to the law which was given.
20
Now, it was for the sole purpose to get again, because they received their wages according to their bemploy, therefore, they did cstir up the people to driotings, and all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that they might have more employ, that they might eget fmoney according to the suits which were brought before them; therefore they did stir up the people against Alma and Amulek.

Mosiah, Chapter 15

Who is the God that is being referred to in Mosiah 15?

The Godhead is made up of three members, God the Eternal Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.  They are three separate beings who are one in purpose.  In D&C 130:22 we read, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.”

“And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people (v. 1).”

Jesus was the member of the Godhead, who came to earth and was born of a virgin.  In D&C 110:1-4 we read, “THE veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened (v. 1).  We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber (v. 2).  His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying (v. 3):  I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father (v. 4).”  In the old testament we know of Jesus as the Lord, Jehovah.  When Abinadi was saying that God himself would come down, he was talking about Jesus.

How is Jesus Christ both the Father and the Son?

“All fathers and are sons, but not all sons are fathers.”  This statement is true.  We must all be born to someone and are a son to them, but not all men have fathered children.  In this chapter we see how jesus Christ is both a son and a father.

“And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son (v. 2)— The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son (v. 3)— And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth (v. 4).”  Then in Alma 11:38-39 we read, “Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father (v. 38 )?  And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last (v. 39);”

To better understand this, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland wrote of examples of how Christ is the Father:

  1. Christ is the heir of all that the Father has.
  2. Christ created the earth and is thus the Father of creation.
  3. Christ atoned for our sins and thus becomes the spiritual Father of the redeemed.
  4. Christ was the first resurrected and thus becomes the Father of the resurrection.  (Christ and the New Covenant)

This makes much better sense to me now.  “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (Hebrews 1:2);”  God, our Father in Heaven, instructed His son, Jesus on what to create, but Jesus was the creator.  Fathers become such, when they create, so therefore, Jesus was the Father of all on the earth.  In the same way, he created the redemption.  “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent (D&C 19:16);”  And finally, he created the resurrection because he was the first to go through it.

What does it mean to be the seed of Christ?

Baptism

I was eight when I was baptized, so I don’t remember a lot about it.  I have a little journal entry from that weekend and it seems that I was excited to be clean and to be a member of the church.

The sacrament is a reminder and a renewal of the covenants we make at baptism.  The bread represents the body of the savior and the water represents His blood.  In Moroni 4:3 we read, “O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.”  As we take the sacrament we willingly take upon us the name of Christ, which we did at baptism.

Christ will do several things for those who are willing to take upon themselves His name.  “Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain… (v. 7)”, He will “… make intercession for the children of men (v. 8 )-“, and He will have “… the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice (v. 9).”  His soul will also be “… an offering for sin (v. 10) …”.  Those who take upon them His name will be “… his seed, or they are the heirs of the kingdom of God (v. 11).”

Abinadi says that two groups of people are Christ’s seed, those who have heard and hearkened unto the words of His prophets and believed in Christ and His coming (v. 11), “… and are not the prophets, every one that has opened his mouth to prophesy, that has not fallen into transgression… since the world began? I say unto you that they are his seed (v. 13).”  When we are baptized and accept all that the prophets have taught, we are born again into Christ’s family.  Elder Russell M. Nelson said that with this He becomes “the Father of our new life.”

What does “How beautiful . . . are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace” mean?

In Mosiah 12 the priests of Noah asked Abinadi, “What meaneth the words which are written, and which have been taught by our fathers, saying (v. 20):  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth (v. 21);”  In chapter 15, Abinadi gives his explanation of this meaning.

“Yea, and are not the prophets, every one that has opened his mouth to prophesy, that has not fallen into transgression, I mean all the holy prophets ever since the world began? I say unto you that they are his seed (v. 13).  And these are they who have published peace, who have brought good tidings of good, who have published salvation; and said unto Zion: Thy God reigneth (v. 14)!  And O how beautiful upon the mountains were their feet (v. 15)!  And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that are still publishing peace (v. 16)!  And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever (v. 17)!  And behold, I say unto you, this is not all. For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people (v. 18 ); For were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, I say unto you, were it not for this, all mankind must have perished (v. 19).”

Those who have “published peace” are the prophets that have come before Abinadi.  They publish peace because they bring people the gospel, which gives them a peace in their lives.  Those who publish peace now are the prophets and church leaders today, the missionaries who are serving throughout the world, and even those members who are introducing others to the gospel of Christ.  If Christ’s message had never been published or if Christ’s life had not gone the way that it did, no person could ever be saved.  It is because of His redemption that we have the opportunity to gain eternal life and return to live with our Father in Heaven again.  Missionaries are a wonderful instrument in the Lord’s hand, in publishing peace to the world.  Those who are converts to the gospel, usually express a great love for the Missionaries that taught them, because they introduced them to a better and happier life.  I never had missionary discussions myself, because I was raised in the gospel, so I do not exactly know what that is like.  I do know that I am ever grateful for the words that are spoken in conferences, by the prophet and other general authorities.  I am so grateful for the spirit that touches me when they speak and for all the inspiration that it gives me in my life, to be better and work harder.  I agree with Abinadi when he said, “O how beautiful upon the mountains were their feet!”  How wonderful it is to have the gospel shared with me so that I can be truly happy. I pray that someday I can make others feel this way as well.

Who will come forth in the first resurrection?

Winter is a darker, colder time of year.  The plants and animals around us, hide and hibernate during the cold. Then spring comes and things begin to bloom.  Animals become busy and full of life again, creating families of animals also.  Gardens become more colorful and fragrant.  Browns of winter turn into greens of spring.  It is a beautiful time of renewal and growth.  I think my favorite part about spring is all the wonderful smells of different flowers as they bloom.

These seasons are a lot like the death and resurrection of the Savior.  When he died, the earth became dark, cold and still.  But when He was resurrected, new life came.  And with it came a new found happiness and joy from the knowledge of the atonement and resurrection.

“And there cometh a resurrection, even a first resurrection; yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who are, and who shall be, even until the resurrection of Christ—for so shall he be called (v. 21).  And now, the resurrection of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God, shall come forth in the first resurrection; therefore, they are the first resurrection (v. 22).  They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have eternal life through Christ, who has broken the bands of death (v. 23).  And these are those who have part in the first resurrection; and these are they that have died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them. And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord (v. 24).  And little achildren also have eternal life (v. 25).  But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began, that have wilfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep them; these are they that have no part in the first resurrection (v. 26).”

The promise of the first resurrection is even greater than spring because spring will always fade into the other seasons and eventually winter comes again, but with the first resurrection comes eternal life which will never fade and is forever.

There are three groups that Abinadi says are part of the first resurrection.  First, the prophets and their followers, second, those who die in ignorance of the gospel, and third, the little children.  The footnote for “Salvation” on verse 24 refers to D&C 137: 7, where we read, “Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;”  The Lord knows are thoughts.  There are a lot of really good people who don’t know of the gospel.  If He knows that they would have accepted the gospel if they had been allowed to hear it, then they will be brought forth in part of the first resurrection.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie clarifies the meaning of the “first resurrection”.  Before Christ, the people knew the first resurrection to be the day that Christ was resurrected.  Since Christ, we have thought of the first resurrection as the beginning of the Second Coming.  No one knows when the first resurrection will take place, what we do know that Christ was resurrected and that Peter, James, and Moroni were also resurrected so that they could do what was required of them.

I look forward to the promises of the first resurrection and I hope and pray that I will be worthy of it and that those I know and love will also be a part of it with me.

THE aveil was taken from our minds, and the beyes of our cunderstanding were opened.
2 We asaw the Lord bstanding upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure cgold, in color like amber.
3 His aeyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his bcountenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his cvoice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of dJehovah, saying:
4 I am the afirst and the last; I am he who bliveth, I am he who was slain; I am your cadvocate with the Father.

About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
Testimony

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Current Study

Currently I am studying the The Old Testament. I will be studying from the LDS - King James Version of the Bible (see link below). I am studying along with the book, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament by Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen.

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