Posts Tagged 'Preparation'

1 Chronicles Chapter 22

The children of Israel had been instructed to create the tabernacle as the place of worship, which could be moved as they traveled in the wilderness. Now that they were established in the promised land, David had the desire to build a house of the Lord, or a temple, for a more permanent place to worship God. When he had prepared to do this, the Lord had instructed him, that he was not to be the one who would build it, but that one of his children would be given that responsibility. In the meantime, David had been working to protect Israel from their enemies and other nations around them. This chapter begins:

1 Then David said, This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel.
2 And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.
3 And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight;
4 Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David.
5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.

As David grew older, he felt the continued desire for a permanent house of the Lord. He may not have been given the specific charge to build it, but he wanted to do all that he could to make the preparations for it during his life, especially since Solomon was still so young. He gathered laborers from the bondsmen and found masons to begin preparing the stones for it. He had iron nails made, which would fasten the gate doors and such. Then, he had brass gathered and trees of cedar brought from the Zidonians and Tyre. The Zidonians were known for there work with timber (see 1 Kings 5:6). David wanted the temple to be grand and glorious, so that it would be known throughout all the nations.

6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the Lord God of Israel.
7 And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God:
8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
11 Now, my son, the Lord be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the Lord thy God, as he hath said of thee.
12 Only the Lord give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the Lord thy God.
13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.
14 Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.
15 Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work.
16 Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.

David gave a charge to his son, Solomon, that he was to build the house of the Lord. He told Solomon of his desire to build the temple, and of the Lord’s instructions against it. It teaches in these verses that David was given the reason for the Lord refusing his desires to build it. David had been a force of a lot of destruction among men, and because he had killed many people, he was not worthy of or possibly prepared for the task of building it. David told Solomon that the Lord had told him he would have a son called Solomon, who would have peace from their enemies and be prepared for the task of building it. Solomon would be blessed by the Lord as the ruler of Israel. David tells Solomon to build the temple as the Lord commands him, that the Lord would be with him and prosper him. David desired for Solomon to be blessed with wisdom and understanding, and to continue faithful in keeping the laws of God. He teaches Solomon that he would prosper if he would follow all the statutes and judgments which were given to Moses. He also told him to be strong and have courage, and to be not dismayed. Solomon was told that David had prepared gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone for the building of the temple, along with laborers and artisans, who could help him in this work.

17 David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying,
18 Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side? for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the Lord, and before his people.
19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord.

Moreover, David commanded the princes of Israel to help Solomon in building the temple. He reminded them that the Lord had preserved them from all of their enemies, giving them peace and subduing the land for them. In response, they were given the duty to seek the Lord in their gratitude, by building the temple and relocating the ark and other vessels of God there, which were in the tabernacle at Gibeon during this time.

The house of the Lord that David desired to build was to be a holy place from the first stone to the last. David had lived a life that was not prepared for this. His son, Solomon, would be prepared from his youth. David recognized this as the will of the Lord, but he did not turn from the idea. Instead, he devoted time in the remainder of his days, to do all he could and prepare for his son to be able to build this holy house. This is an example of being a good parent. We should seek to prepare our own children for the service they will have the opportunity to give. The temples built in our day are every bit as holy and sacred as the temple that Solomon built. They are dedicated places for the spirit of the Lord to dwell. It is our responsibility to be worthy in our own building of these temples, and then to continue to be worthy when we serve in them. I am so grateful for temples and for the eternal significance of the teachings and sacred ordinances and covenants performed in them.

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1 Chronicles Chapter 15

In chapter 13 of Chronicles, David attempted to move the ark to Jerusalem, but after the incident with Uzza, who was destroyed for touching the ark, and out of concern for what may happen if they continued, he placed it in the house of Obed-edom. David’s intent to relocate the ark was not removed, and in this chapter the story relating to this continues. This chapter begins as follows:

1 And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.
2 Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.
3 And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord unto his place, which he had prepared for it.
4 And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:
5 Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:
6 Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty:
7 Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty:
8 Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred:
9 Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore:
10 Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.
11 And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,
12 And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.
13 For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel.

David took some time to prepare the city of David with his home and a resting place for the ark. He recognized that the Lord had called the Levites (in particular the sons of Kohath) to bear the ark of God, and so he called for them to be the only ones who should carry it. It is not stated directly, but it seems that Uzzah (who was destroyed for steadying the ark), may not have been a Levite given authority to touch sacred things, which would be part of the reason for the consequence he received. David may not have known the specific responsibilities defined by the Lord, but he had done what was needed to learn how God wanted this done, so that no one else would be harmed.

David gathered the Israelites together again, in order to finally move the ark to Jerusalem, where he had prepared a place for it. Specifically, David called upon the Levites and sons of Aaron. Among them were Uriel and 120 men of Kohath (the second son of Levi, in whose line were Moses and Aaron), Asaiah and 220 men of Merari, Joel and 130 men of Gershom, Shemaiah and 200 men of Elizaphan, Eliel and 80 men of Hebron (the Levitical city where Abraham was buried, which became the inheritance of Caleb, where David had reigned initially), and Amminadab and 112 men of Uzziel. He called for these six leaders along with Zadok (who officiated in the priesthood at Gibeon with the tabernacle) and Abiathar (who officiated at David’s camp), the priests, and commanded them to sanctify themselves and their men to bring the ark to Jerusalem. He told them that they had not been prepared properly the first time, and this is why the breach with Uzza had occurred. They needed to seek the Lord first and be prepared for this undertaking. The priests and Levites did as he commanded and sanctified or prepared themselves for the task of moving the ark of God.

It is so important for us to take the commandments of the Lord seriously and observe them with strictness. According to the words of David, the men who attempted to carry the ark the first time, had not done so. It is possible that the strict instructions of how to handle the ark had not been reviewed by Uzza, and so he had not realized what his choice would result in for himself or those who were with him. When we do things of a sacred nature, such as participating in sacred covenant making and renewing, we need to have our hearts turned to the Lord through our own sanctification, otherwise the consequences will be serious from our own offense to God. Before participating, we should prepare to administer or partake of the sacrament, and prepare to serve or make our own covenants in the temple of the Lord.

15 And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the Lord.
16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.
17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;
18 And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, the porters.
19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;
20 And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;
21 And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.
22 And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.
23 And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.
24 And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obed-edom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.

The Levites carried the ark as the Lord had instructed Moses to have them do. David asked that some of the Levites be called to sing and play music of joy. Heman, Asaph (cymbal player mentioned in Psalms), Ethan, Zechariah, Ben, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Matithiah, Elipheleh, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel, were called. Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, carried brass cymbals. Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, Benaiah carried psalteries (large harps). Mattithiah, Elipheleh, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah carried the harps on the Sheminith. Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was called to lead the music because of his skill. Berechiah and Elkanah were called to be doorkeepers. Shebaniah, Jehoshaphat, Nethaneel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, were priests called to play trumpets before the ark. Finally, Obed-edom and Jehiah were called as doorkeepers for the ark.

Of all the people called to serve with the movement of the ark, the musicians are named specifically. This is a testimony to the importance of music in worshiping the Lord. Moreover, David was a skilled musician himself, and he knew the value of worshipping God through beautiful music.

25 So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the house of Obed-edom with joy.
26 And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.
27 And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.
28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.

David, along with the elders of Israel and an army of thousands, went to the Obed-edom and took the ark of the covenant of the Lord. They did this with joy. The Levites that carried the ark, had offered a sacrifice of seven bulls and seven rams to the Lord. David dressed in fine clothes, along with all those involved in carrying the ark and providing the music. David wore the ephod of the priests. So, the ark was carried to the city of David with great joy and rejoicing.

29 And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.

When the ark reached the city of David, Michal, who was the daughter of Saul and David’s first wife, saw David out of her window, and she despised him deeply.

So, David accomplished the thing he felt inspired to do, and did it according to the pattern the Lord had established. This is an example of good, righteous leadership. He knew this thing was something to honor and celebrate, and so he called for the musicians and made this time, one of joy and rejoicing. It was a huge blessing for the ark to be with the Israelites in the place designated for worshipping the Lord.

1 Samuel Chapter 17

The Israelites were in an ongoing fight against the Philistines. Saul was the acting king of Israel, but he no longer had the support of the Lord or His spirit. David had been anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel, but he was still young at this point. He had been chosen to be the armor bearer of Saul, and played the harp for him when Saul was feeling troubled. The war with the Philistines continues in the chapter, which begins:

1 Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim.
2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.
3 And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.

In the land of Judah, a Philistine army gathered together to fight against Israel. Saul prepared his men for the fight. Both armies camped on the opposing sides of a valley.

4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.
10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

The Philistines chose to take a different approach, and sent out their champion to represent them. The champion was a giant, named Goliath. He was from Gath, where the remaining giants had been in the land. He was around 9 feet tall and very large. He was heavily armored over nearly his whole body. He and a man bearing his shield, went out of the Philistine camp. He stood and challenged the Israelite army to choose their own champion to fight him. He dared the Israelites to choose anyone who would be able to fight him. Saul and his people were afraid.

12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Beth-lehem-judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul.
13 And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.
14 And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul.
15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Beth-lehem.
16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren;
18 And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.
19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.

Three of the oldest of eight sons of Jesse (Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah) had gone to the battle front with Saul. These sons followed Saul. His youngest son, David, had returned home to the work of a shepherd, when Saul had left to fight. For forty days, Goliath challenged the Israelite army. Meanwhile, Jesse sent David to the battle lines, with food for his sons. He wanted to know how his sons were doing and I think to make sure they were okay.

20 And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.
21 For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army.
22 And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.
23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.
26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.

David arrived at the trenches, as the host of Israel went out to fight. David ran out to find his brothers, and as he greeted them, Goliath challenged the Israelites again. David heard the words and saw that the Israelites ran away in fear. They told David that any man who killed him, would be blessed by the king with riches, the hand of his daughter, and a family who was free in Israel. David tried to remind the men that this champion was an uncircumcised Philistine, and could not challenge the armies of the Lord.

28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?

David’s brother, Eliab, became angry with him for coming and saying these things to their men. He asked why David had come and left his sheep. He called David prideful for desiring to come see the battle instead of doing his own work. David asked what he had done?

30 And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.
31 And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.

Instead of leaving after the harsh words of his brother, David turned to another and asked the same questions. He got the same reply from others. Eventually Saul heard the words of David and sent for him. David’s steadfastness and determination earned him an audience with the king.

32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.

David went to Saul and said the king should not worry about another man fearing, because he would go and fight Goliath. David had the faith and courage to do what was necessary, and did not fear Goliath more than he trusted God. Saul told David he could not do this, because he was just a young man, and Goliath had been trained in battle since he was young. David to Saul that he had had to face a lion and a bear, which had attacked his flock of sheep, and that he had fought them, and after getting his lamb, the animal got up and he killed it and brought his lamb back. David believed Goliath was like the animals, and since the Lord had delivered him against them, he would deliver him out of the hand of the Philistine. Saul allowed David to go and fight Goliath.

Sometimes it is hard to trust that youth can do great things. David was seen as a young man compared to the great men of war around him, and yet he had the faith to do what others could not do. If Saul had already known his servant, he would probably have had more faith in David from the beginning, but he did not and needed to be persuaded by learning of the things which David had been able to do with the help of the Lord. We can have greater trust in our own youth, if we help them to be faithful to the Lord.

In my personal experience, the Lord gives us small steps to build our trust in him, before sending us the Goliaths in our own lives. For David, the Lord had given him the experiences with the lion and the bear, so that he would feel confident in receiving help from the Lord. David knew he was not gifted with strength, and may have cowered with the rest of the army, if he had not been prepared with the other experiences. Because he had chosen to have faith before, he knew the Lord would bless him again. If we accept the challenges that are smaller, and face them head-on with faith in the Lord, we will gain the confidence and trust in God that we will need for the more difficult things in our future.

38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.
42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.
48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.
53 And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.
54 And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.

Before sending him off, Saul put his armor on David. David attempted to make due with the armor and sword, but it was not working for him. David told Saul he could not use them and then he took them off. Instead, he grabbed his own staff and five smooth stones from the brook. He armed himself with his sling and went out to meet Goliath. Goliath and the man who bore his shield, went out to meet David. Goliath looked around for who had come, but when he saw David, he did not see him as a worthy opponent. Goliath felt this was a bit of a joke, like their amry was sending a dog to play with him, and Goliath cursed David by his own gods. Goliath threatened David by saying he would fight him and then give his body to the birds and beasts. David told him that he might come at him with weapons and a shield, but that he came with the Lord of Israel whom Goliath had challenged. David knew that the Lord could deliver Goliath into his hands, so he told Goliath this, and that his death would show to the Philistines the power of the God of Israel. It would show all the host of the Philistines that God could win the battle without the weapons of men, because this was God’s battle with the Philistines. Goliath came closer to David and David quickly went towards him. David grabbed a stone from his bag, and used his sling to hit Goliath in the forehead. The stone hit so hard that it went into his head and Goliath fell face-down upon the ground. David had beaten Goliath with only a sling and stone, so he went to the body and removed Goliath’s own sword, and cut off his head. The Philistines saw this and were afraid, so they ran away. The Israelites went after the Philistines, destroying them. Then they went back to the camp of the Philistines and took their spoil. David took the head of Goliath to Jerusalem, and took his armor to his own tent.

55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.
56 And the king said, Inquire thou whose son the stripling is.
57 And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
58 And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Beth-lehemite.

Saul saw David go against the Philistine and asked the captain of his army who the boys father was. The captain, Abner, did not know. Saul told him to find out. Abner brought David before Saul. Saul asked David who his father was, and David replied that his father was Jesse of Bethlehem.

It is amazing to think of the kind of faith and trust that David had in the Lord. Here, he was among men of war, who would have been strong and brave. By the world’s standard, he was nothing in comparison to them. To men, he was nothing in comparison to the man, who the entire Israelite army feared. This did not matter, because David knew that God would fight the battles with their enemies, if they had faith in Him. The opinions of the world and even our own families, do not matter when we put our faith in God. God matters, and if He has chosen us for some purpose in this life, great or small, God can make it possible. I think about my own purposes in life. Right now, my life is filled with the responsibilities of motherhood. God has called me to this position in life. He has given me my children and placed them in my earthly care. In this calling, I have many battles to fight, especially with the outside influences of the world. What the world may say about how I choose to raise my children, does not matter. What matters is that I trust in God and act in faith. These are His children. These are His battles. God will help me to be victorious. Even though I may seem weak and incapable, with God I have the power to do all that is necessary for my children to have what they need and be faithful and successful in those things that matter most. This is true for anything which places our faith in direct conflict with something of the world. No matter what we may stand against, if our faith is stronger, the Lord will help us.

Ponderizing – Week 1 Thoughts

Moses 1:39

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

I chose this scripture this week, because my family has been focusing a talk given by Elder Rafael E. Pino during the April 2015 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His talk is entitled “The Eternal Perspective of the Gospel“, and it references the verse I chose.

I have been looking at the bigger picture this week. This is not something new to me. In fact I do it quite frequently. But I have had some specific thoughts about it. First of all, I believe that part of the purpose of life, is to align my will with the will of God, so that I might become more like Him. If my will is to become aligned with God’s will, then my work needs to be a part of His work, the work “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”.

First, I need an understanding of what this means. What is immortality? We live in mortal bodies, in a mortal world. This means that we all will some day die. This physical death became a part of the life of mankind, when Adam and Eve fell from the presence of God in the Garden of Eden. God’s work was to create a way for mankind to become immortal beings, in order to physically live forever. The atonement of His Son provided the way back. In the Bible Dictionary we read, “All are covered unconditionally as pertaining to the Fall of Adam. Hence, all shall rise from the dead with immortal bodies.” (Bible Dictionary:Atonement) Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, all people are unconditionally provided with resurrection after this life, and therefore, all mankind will overcome physical death and become immortal beings, with bodies of flesh and bone. (Bible Dictionary:Resurrection)

How can I be a part of this work of bringing to pass the immortality of man, when the Savior has already made this possible? I can be grateful for this blessing, because it gives me hope of life after death. I can share my testimony of this with others, and most especially, I can teach this gospel truth to my children. In doing this, I can bring greater hope to others.

What is eternal life? In the Guide to the Scriptures, it is defined as, “To live forever as families in God’s presence. Eternal life is God’s greatest gift to man.” Jesus Christ made Eternal life possible through his infinite atonement. In the Bible Dictionary, we read, “his grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.” (Bible Dictionary:Grace) Eternal life is a gift, that unlike immortality, must be gained. We use our agency in this life, to choose if we will accept this gift. All are blessed to live after this mortal life, but it is up to us to choose how we will live.

How do I make this work a part of my work? First, I must choose to accept His gift of the atonement in my life. How do I do that? Eternal life is accepted when I live my life according to the commandments of God. The Savior has told men to come unto Him and to follow Him. He has shown me the importance of making covenants, such as baptism and temple covenants. The covenants of baptism are the gateway to eternal life and the temple covenants provide the blessings of eternal life, through the sealing power. In the Bible Dictionary we read, “Whenever the Lord has had a people on the earth who will obey His word, they have been commanded to build temples in which the ordinances of the gospel and other spiritual manifestations that pertain to exaltation and eternal life may be administered.” (Bible Dictionary: Temple) I have made these covenants for myself, and have taken the necessary steps to claim the blessings. Jesus taught many, the importance of renewing covenants by partaking of the sacrament, which I have the opportunity to do each week. The scriptures also teach me that I need to believe that He is the Christ, and live according to that belief. I do this most, when I live a life of charity towards others. When I do these things, I will come to know Him. In John 17:3, Jesus prayed, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

Second, I make this work my own, when I share this knowledge with others. I need to teach my children that they can have the ability to return and live with God again. I know these things to be true for myself, but if others are not taught, how will they know? I send my children off to school, so that they can become prepared for the rest of their lives. I want them to be successful, happy and have all the blessing that life has to offer them. God sends all people here, to the earth, to become prepared for the rest of their eternal lives. Now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to help others to know what amazing blessings await them. I will continue to make this my work, by helping others to know of Christ, to know the importance of baptism and temple covenants, and to know the blessings of repentance and partaking of the sacrament. Also, I have the opportunity to be a source of strength to others as they strive to endure to the end.

I hope that as part of this work, my testimony and thoughts shared on this blog, can help others to learn of these things.

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

This life is so much more that our current situations. It is so much more than even birth to death. We have so much to live for. I am so grateful for this understanding and I hope that I can have the courage and strength to do my part in the work of the Lord, that I might partake in His glory.

Numbers Chapter 4

At this point in the Bible, the Lord has been instructing Moses and the Israelites how they were to be organized into camps and tribes for their journey to the promised land. The majority of the men were called to be part of the army of Israel, while the tribe of Levi was called to serve with the tabernacle. The the three tribes within the Levites, were given specific charges, as well as Aaron and his sons. This instruction continues in this chapter as follows:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
2 Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers,
3 From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
4 This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things:

The sons of Kohath, which is the family of Moses and Aaron, who were between 30 and 50 years old, were to be counted by families. These men were to be given the responsibility of caring for sacred things in the tabernacle of the congregation, or the meeting house of their time. The age of 30, was the age that Jesus would enter his ministry as well.

5 And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering veil, and cover the ark of testimony with it:
6 And shall put thereon the covering of badgers’ skins, and shall spread over it a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof.
7 And upon the table of shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal: and the continual bread shall be thereon:
8 And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put in the staves thereof.
9 And they shall take a cloth of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and his lamps, and his tongs, and his snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it:
10 And they shall put it and all the vessels thereof within a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put it upon a bar.
11 And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue, and cover it with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put to the staves thereof:
12 And they shall take all the instruments of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put them on a bar:
13 And they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth thereon:
14 And they shall put upon it all the vessels thereof, wherewith they minister about it, even the censers, the fleshhooks, and the shovels, and the basins, all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers’ skins, and put to the staves of it.
15 And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.

The ark of the covenant was to be covered with the veil, the badger skins and then the blue cloth, by Aaron and his sons. Then they were to prepare it to be carried by placing the staves (poles) into it. They were instructed to use blue cloth to cover all the sacred items in the sanctuary, including the candlestick, lamps, tongs, snuff dishes, and containers of oil. They were to cover those with badger skins and add the poles for carrying. Again, the golden altar was to be covered with a blue cloth, badgers skin and the poles added to it. All the accessories of the sanctuary were to be covered in blue and badgers skin, with a pole for carrying. They were to remove the ashes on the altar and cover it with purple cloth. Then all the tools used for the altar, were to be covered with badgers skins and prepared for carrying with the poles. When everything was prepared with coverings and staves, in order for the camp to move, the sons of Kohath were to carry them. An important part of the instruction given, was that they were not to touch any of these sacred things. The footnote for ‘not touch any holy thing’, says that they were specifically not to touch the ark. If they touched it or any of the holy things, they would die. I think that this was probably because the glory of the Lord was there. Only those who are prepared by God to witness His glory, may even see it without dying. This is because our mortal and impure natures do not allow us to experience it without a great change.

This reminds me of the administration of the sacrament. In the LDS church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), young men of the Aaronic priesthood administer the sacred emblems of the sacrament. Those who are ordained to the office of a priest, bless, brake, and distribute the sacrament to those in the office of a deacon. A deacon does not have the proper priesthood authority to bless the sacrament. The priests are also given the sacred responsibility of setting all the items on the sacrament table, much like the sons of Aaron were in those days. I think it is a good reminder to me of the sacred nature of the responsibilities of the young men of the priesthood.

16 And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest pertaineth the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the daily meat offering, and the anointing oil, and the oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof.

Eleazar, Aaron’s son, was responsible for overseeing the movement and care of all of these sacred items.

17 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
18 Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites:
19 But thus do unto them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach unto the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint them every one to his service and to his burden:
20 But they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die.

There was not to be a separation of the sons of Kohath and their families, from the rest of the Levites, even though they had such a sacred duty. I think this means that they were not to be given the higher authority of the priesthood. They were instead, to be set apart to a very specific duty by Aaron and his sons, within the priesthood they held, and were not to look upon any of these sacred items before they were covered. If they saw any of these items, they would die.

21 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
22 Take also the sum of the sons of Gershon, throughout the houses of their fathers, by their families;
23 From thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shalt thou number them; all that enter in to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
24 This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, to serve, and for burdens:
25 And they shall bear the curtains of the tabernacle, and the tabernacle of the congregation, his covering, and the covering of the badgers’ skins that is above upon it, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,
26 And the hangings of the court, and the hanging for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the tabernacle and by the altar round about, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and all that is made for them: so shall they serve.
27 At the appointment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burdens, and in all their service: and ye shall appoint unto them in charge all their burdens.
28 This is the service of the families of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation: and their charge shall be under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

The total number of the family of Gerson, was taken for those between 30 and 50 years old. The Gershonites were instructed to carry the curtains of the tabernacle, the curtains of the tabernacle of the congregation, the covering of the tabernacle of the congregation, as well as all the hangings for the court, and all the items that went along with that. They were to be set apart for this specific service by the sons of Aaron, and Ithamar would watch over them in it.

29 As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them after their families, by the house of their fathers;
30 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that entereth into the service, to do the work of the tabernacle of the congregation.
31 And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their service in the tabernacle of the congregation; the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and sockets thereof,
32 And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service: and by name ye shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden.
33 This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their service, in the tabernacle of the congregation, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

Instruction was given regarding the family of Merair. Those between 30 and 50 years old, were to be numbered and called to serve. They were to carry the boards, bars, pillars, bases, cords and all that went with these items. They were to be watched over by Ithamar as well.

34 And Moses and Aaron and the chief of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kohathites after their families, and after the house of their fathers,
35 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation:
36 And those that were numbered of them by their families were two thousand seven hundred and fifty.
37 These were they that were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, all that might do service in the tabernacle of the congregation, which Moses and Aaron did number according to the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
38 And those that were numbered of the sons of Gershon, throughout their families, and by the house of their fathers,
39 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation,
40 Even those that were numbered of them, throughout their families, by the house of their fathers, were two thousand and six hundred and thirty.
41 These are they that were numbered of the families of the sons of Gershon, of all that might do service in the tabernacle of the congregation, whom Moses and Aaron did number according to the commandment of the Lord.

The Kohathites were totaled at 2,750 who were do service in the tabernacle of the congregation. The Gershonites were 2,630 in number who would serve in the tabernacle of the congregation.

42 And those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, throughout their families, by the house of their fathers,
43 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation,
44 Even those that were numbered of them after their families, were three thousand and two hundred.
45 These be those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
46 All those that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered, after their families, and after the house of their fathers,
47 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation,
48 Even those that were numbered of them, were eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore.
49 According to the commandment of the Lord they were numbered by the hand of Moses, every one according to his service, and according to his burden: thus were they numbered of him, as the Lord commanded Moses.

The family of Merari were numbered as Moses had been commanded, and they totaled 3,200 who would serve in the tabernacle of the congregation. In total there were 8,580 Levites, who would carry the burden of the tabernacle.

It is important for us to treat sacred things as sacred. God has given commandments in latter days on how His holy things should be managed and maintained. When we do not listen, we are not promised physical death, but our spirits will be separated from the spirit of God, which is a far greater consequence. I am glad to have studied this chapter on the Sabbath, when I can experience the blessings of the sacrament. I know that the men and men of the priesthood, young and old, are given specific responsibilities in taking care of our meeting house. Some have the duty of preparing the sacrament, while others are asked to prepare other rooms. I am often grateful for the men setting up chairs each week, so that we can enjoy our meetings. However, I don’t think I have thought of just how righteous that responsibility is. Our meeting house is the house of the Lord, just as much as the tabernacle of the congregation was in that day. The duties of the priesthood, are given all ultimately under the direction of the Lord. I hope that I will do my part to help sustain and support them in their responsibilities and callings, whatever that may be, so that I may be worthy of the blessings provided through the priesthood.

Exodus Chapter 19

The Israelites have been delivered from Egypt and are wandering in the wilderness at this point of the book of Exodus. Moses has established judges for the people, to ease his burden and keep them strong in the Lord. The people have been blessed with many miracles already and are sustained daily by the Lord. Exodus continues:

1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

After three months, they have arrived in the land of Sinai, which is a desert in the wilderness. They camped near mount Sinai. Moses went to pray to the Lord, in the mountain. The Lord told him to talk to the people about what they had witnessed in Egypt and to tell them that if they would be obedient and keep their covenants with him, they would be the treasure of the Lord, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. They would have the power of the priesthood of God, which would set them apart as a holy people, different from all others on the earth. This is an amazing promise to those who reverence and love the Lord. It is the same promise that exists today, to those who are willing to make covenants with the Lord through the proper priesthood authority.

7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.
8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.
9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.

Moses did as he was told, and the people chose to be a covenant people with the Lord. Moses returned to the Lord with this response and was told that the Lord would come to them in a thick cloud. The people would hear the Lord and then believe Moses from then on. Moses told this to the people. I think that the Lord has appeared many times in the cloud, because the human eye cannot look upon him. This gives imperfect humans the opportunity to be in the presence of God and hear his words, and to have some physical representation of God to witness. I think that this may have also been to require a certain degree of faith that seeing the Lord would not have required.

10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:
13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

The Lord told moses to have the people sanctify themselves for the next two days. They were to be clean physically and spiritually. This was in preparation for the appearance of the Lord to the people upon mount Sinai. They were instructed not to go into the mountain or even touch any of it. If they did, they would die. When they heard a trumpet sound, they were to come to the mount.

14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.

Moses went to the people and told them to do these things the Lord had commanded.

16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
20 And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
21 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish.
22 And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them.
23 And Moses said unto the Lord, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.
24 And the Lord said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the Lord, lest he break forth upon them.
25 So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.

On the third day, they witnessed thunder and lightning. Then a cloud went on the mount and a trumpet was heard. The people gathered at the base of the mountain. The mountain was shaking and had smoke and fire coming from it because of the Lord. The trumpet got louder and Moses spoke. God answered him and then the Lord appeared on mount Sinai. Moses was called up to the mount because he was the chosen prophet of the Lord. He was told to tell the people to stay where they were, so they would not die from seeing the Lord. Moses was told to go and return with Aaron, but no one else. Moses did as the Lord commanded him.

In our own lives, we need to follow these same commandments given to the Israelites. When we are preparing to do and witness sacred things of the Lord, we need to be sanctified, clean and worthy. We must be worthy before entering the waters of baptism. When we desire to enter the holy house of the Lord, his Temple, we must be worthy as well. We have not been promised death upon entering, if we are not clean. However, being unworthy to enter the temple and make covenants, and yet doing so, would bring destruction to our souls, which is far worse then physical death. I am grateful that I was baptized, have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and have been worthy to enter the holy temples of the Lord. I believe that the temple is God’s holy house and that He could be there. I know that in order to be there, I need to be living worthily and preparing myself. I cannot imagine my life without the blessings that can be received through temple attendance. I hope that I will continue to sanctify myself and become worthy to be in the presence of the Lord some day.

Notes on Patience – Trusting His Timing

Patience is something that is tested in my life every day, as I am sure it is for most of us. I thought that perhaps it would be a good idea for me to begin a study that was a bit more in depth so that I could know how to gain a self-mastery that I do not have right now. I hope that my readers will enjoy following this series of posts on patience and that it may help someone else out there, as much as it has helped me. To see more posts, check out Notes on Patience

7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (James 5:7-8)

These things remain to overcome through patience, that such may receive a more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, otherwise, a greater condemnation. Amen.(Doctrine and Covenants 63:66)

  • The Lord is patience with me. I need to be patient with him. I do not need to focus on the timing of the Lord’s coming, if I am patiently doing what is right in my life. The Lord will come when the timing is right for the fruits of his labors. Elder Dallin H. Oaks once quoted Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as saying the following:

    The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing. If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best? The same is true with the second coming and with all those matters wherein our faith needs to include faith in the Lord’s timing for us personally, not just in His overall plans and purposes.

    I don’t think that I am not a patient person when it comes to the second coming, but I do look forward to it with excitement. I realize though, that it is my job to focus on the day at hand, with hope in that day to come. If I focus on what may come, I may miss the corrections I need to make today, and consequently be unprepared to enjoy the second coming when it occurs. (Timing)

  • Genesis Chapter 41

    The story of Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob (Israel) continues in this chapter. At this point, he was sold into slavery by his brothers. He was purchased by a man named Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of taking advantage of her, so Joseph was put into prison. Two men were placed there with him, a chief butler and chief butler of pharaoh. They had dreams which Joseph correctly interpreted through a gift of the spirit which he had. The butler was again serving pharaoh, while Joseph remained in the prison for something he had not done. The story continues as follows:

    1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
    2 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.
    3 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.
    4 And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.
    5 And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.
    6 And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.
    7 And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
    8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.

    Two years after the Butler returned to his work, Pharaoh had troubling dreams, which could not be interpreted by any of his magicians or wise men. The dreams were first, that he was near the river and seven fat cows came out of the river and into the meadow to feed. Then seven skinny and sick cows came out and ate the fat cows. After he awoke and returned to sleep, he dreamed that there were seven good stalks of corn that grew. Then, seven bad stalks grew and devoured the good stalks. He did not know what to make of these dreams.

    9 Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:
    10 Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker:
    11 And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
    12 And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.
    13 And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.

    The butler, who had promised to remember Joseph when he was out of prison, finally did remember him now. He told Pharaoh about how Joseph had interpreted his dream and that it had happened just as Joseph had said for both him and the Baker.

    14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
    15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
    16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
    17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:
    18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:
    19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:
    20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:
    21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
    22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:
    23 And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:
    24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.

    Joseph was brought to Pharaoh and was told of the troubling dream. Joseph, being the righteous man of God, gave honor to God with his gift of interpretation. When Joseph says here that “God shall give Pharaoh and answer of peace”, I tend to think that in order for him to understand the interpretation that was given by Joseph, he needed to be teachable by the spirit. Joseph’s brothers had not been open to the spirit at the time when he told them of his dreams and so they did not have the peace the spirit can bring when things are right and true. Rather, they were filled with anger, which builds an automatic wall in our hearts. They could not recognize the teachings of the spirit, because they were not open to it, even though I am sure they were taught by their father, to be worthy to recognize it. So, Pharaoh trusts Joseph at this point because his heart is softened and he is humble enough. He tells him about his dream.

    25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
    26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.
    27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
    28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
    29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
    30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;
    31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.
    32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
    33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
    34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
    35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
    36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.

    Joseph explained that this dream was given to Pharaoh so that he would do according to what it meant. He told him that the dreams went together and that the seven cows and stalks represented seven years. There would be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine in the land. During the years of famine, all of the things that came in the time of plenty will be lost and forgotten. Joseph explained that God was giving Pharaoh a warning of what he was about to allow to come upon the land. Joseph told him that he should be wise and save some of their plenty during the good years, so that they would have food stored up for the years of famine.

    This is a great example of wisdom in food storage. I think that we can all take a lesson from this. We may not be shown a warning of some great catastrophe coming our way, but we all suffer from times of trials financially and such. When things are going well for us, or well enough, we should be mindful of the preparations we can do for the difficult times that come in life. We also have friends and neighbors who struggle at times, and it would be kind of us to be willing to share our plenty when we are able. If we have not prepared, we loose out on that great opportunity for service.

    37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
    38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
    39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
    40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
    41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
    42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;
    43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
    44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
    45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

    Pharaoh and his servants recognize this interpretation as right and I am sure this is because they allowed themselves to be touched by the spirit, which bears all truth. Joseph was again recognized as a man of God, and was given charge over all of Egypt, with only Pharaoh over him. Joseph was given great gifts by Pharaoh, such as his ring, a gold chain, fine clothing and a chariot. Pharaoh called him Zaphnath-paaneah and gave him a wife to marry named Asenath.

    46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
    47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.
    48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.
    49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.
    50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.
    51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.
    52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

    Joseph ruled in Egypt and led the people with wisdom during the seven years of plenty. They were able to store a lot of food in preparation for the famine. Joseph had two sons during this time, and he named them Manasseh and Ephraim.

    53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.
    54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
    55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.
    56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.
    57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

    Then the seven years of plenty ended and the famine came, just as Joseph had said. The famine was in much more land than just Egypt, but Egypt was blessed for the wisdom that came as a blessing from God. Joseph sold their grain to all who came to them in need. Egypt was blessed in a time of great difficulty, because its leader chose to listen to inspiration of God.

    All men can be influenced by the spirit, if they have a willing and open heart and mind. Even great men who do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, can be led to do great things because of the spirit. I think it is important for us to realize this and to see this as a great example of how God blesses all His children in times of plenty and of need if they will turn to the correct sources of wisdom and good. This is one of those tender mercies of the Lord and a great many lives were blessed because of this. Joseph was a good man and because he was a worthy person, he was able to do a great work for all these people. This work continues to bless the lives of people today, who hear or read this story, and are willing to see the truth and wisdom that can be found in it.

    What is the Purpose of Our Lives?

    As a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), I am a member of the largest women’s organization in the world. This group is called the Relief Society. Several years ago, a declaration was written for the Relief Society and the posts in this series are an attempt to apply this declaration to my life more. In this attempt I will be breaking down the parts of it into questions that I would like to try to answer through study. To view other posts related to this declaration, go here: Relief Society Declaration.

    One of the greatest things about the gospel, is that it teaches us the answer to this burning question. What is the purpose of our lives? The answer can be given through the plan of God, which was presented to all of us in the pre-mortal existence, or the time when we lived with God before we were born on this earth. The purpose of His plan was to bless us with the greatest blessings possible. In Moses 1:39 we read, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” To give us these blessings, we had to be allowed the opportunity to come to earth, gain a body and experience mortal life with all its blessings and hardships. In Abraham 3:25, the Lord said, “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;”. Also in Doctrine and Covenants 98:14 we read, “Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy.” This life is a time for us to prove ourselves obedient to the commands of God.

    Part of the purpose of our lives is to keep the commandments, which we can find throughout the scriptures. One of the commandments is to believe in Christ, who is the Savior of us all. 1 John 3:23 reads, “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.” Why is part of the purpose of life to have faith in Jesus Christ? Because he is our Savior and Redeemer. Through the power of His infinite atonement, the Savior made it possible for us to live with God again and to have immortality and eternal life. John 14:6 reads, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Without faith in Him, we cannot use the atonement in our lives, which means we cannot be made clean enough to live with God again through repentance. I think that coming unto the Father means also, to believe and come to know God as well. When we have faith in Christ and follow Him, we come to know God as well. 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.” The purpose of our eternal lives is to know God and Jesus Christ, and so it should therefore be part of our mortal purpose as well.

    If we believe in Christ, the next step is to repent of our sins. This is part of the purpose of life. We will all make mistakes, because that is part of the human condition. Through repentance we change our will to be like that of God’s will, so that we can become more like him. We are here to learn how to be like our Father in Heaven, who is perfectly righteous. In Doctrine and Covenants 50:28 we read, “But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin.” We are here to gain all things, which can only be done when we repent and apply the cleansing power of the atonement. The scriptures teach us time and time again about the importance of repentance in our lives. In Alma 12:24 we read, “And we see that death comes upon mankind, yea, the death which has been spoken of by Amulek, which is the temporal death; nevertheless there was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state which has been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead.” We were given this time to repent and prepare.

    Baptism

    The next commandment and step in the purpose of our lives, is to be baptized. John 3:5 teaches us this commandment, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Baptism must be followed by faithful endurance. Doctrine and Covenants 18:22 says, “And as many as repent and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved.” In Proverbs 19:16 we read, “He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul . . .”. If we are faithful to the commandments, we will be worthy of the blessings that God wants to give us. To endure, we must live as active and worthy members of God’s kingdom on earth. We need to be in the service of God. Doctrine and Covenants 115:5 reads, “Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations;”. It is our duty, to stand as a witness of God at all times, and to serve Him in all areas of our lives. Mosiah 2:17 teaches us about service. “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” Part of the purpose of our lives is to serve our fellow men.

    We learn from the story of the creation, another part of our purpose here. In Genesis 1:28 we read, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” We are here to learn how to have a righteous dominion over the things that we are given. This means over the animals, the plants and other living things on the earth, as well as all other things that are given to us by God. This earth and the things on it, will be the inheritance of the righteous. In Doctrine and Covenants 63:20 we read, “Nevertheless, he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come;”. I believe that after this life, if we are faithful, we will also be given the opportunity to rule over our own kingdoms, worlds, spiritual children, and other creations. In this life, we need to prove ourselves capable of taking care of these things and having dominion over them.

    Another part of the reason and purpose for our lives is to gain experience. It is to learn about trials as well as peace and joy. In Doctrine and Covenants 29:39, it teaches us why. “And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—”. We could not know for ourselves what is sweet, or what is joy, if we could not live through the things that are bitter, difficult, and trying. Through this experience we gain knowledge and wisdom, which when perfect, are traits of our Father in Heaven. In Doctrine and Covenants 130:18 we read, “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.” We are here to gain the intelligence that we will take with us after this life.

    Ultimately, our purpose is to have the happiness and joy that God promised was available to us. We are taught this principle very plainly in the book of 2 Nephi, chapter 2. In verse 25 we read, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” We exist on this earth, as mortal men and women, to have eternal joy. We can have this joy by proving ourselves worthy and prepared through keeping the commandments, finding faith in Christ, repenting of our sins, coming to know God, being baptized and confirmed, enduring as we serve and stand as a witness, being a good steward of the things God has given us, and gaining intelligence through experiencing the trials and blessings of life.

    I am so grateful for the knowledge of why I am here, which I have because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It gives me a greater reason for living, to know what I am living for. I know that my life matters and has a purpose. I have felt joy in my life, through living these principles and experiencing life with faith and hope. I know that if I can do my best to live up to that purpose, I will receive blessings of joy beyond what I could ever imagine.

    (To learn more about the purpose of our lives, go here: Plan of Happiness)

    The Millennium

    To view the entire Gospel Principles lesson go here: The Millennium.

    The Millennium is the time period of a thousand years, when the Savior will come to reign upon the earth. In Doctrine and Covenants 29:11 we read, “For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand.” At His coming, all the wickedness in the world will be destroyed. Many people will remain to live through this time.

    Who will be on the earth during the Millennium?

    First of all, the Savior will be on the earth during the Millennium. In Daniel 7:14 we read, “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” All the righteous will serve him. In addition, all those who are righteous, covenanted people, will be on the earth during the Millennium. They will be doing a great amount of missionary work and temple work to build up the kingdom of God. But they are not the only people who will remain in that day. All people who have lived good lives and did not go about working evil intentionally, will also be on the earth. They will have the opportunity to hear the gospel and choose if they will accept it or not. All righteous people, covenant or not, will have much that we have now. They will still build families and work to provide for them. They will still have to deal with the weaknesses of the mortal body, such as sickness and injury. But, they will live free of the whisperings of Satan and his followers. This will cause it to be a time of peace, which has not existed on the earth. There will be others on the earth, who are righteous beings who by that point have already been resurrected. They will be on the earth to do the work of the Lord along with the saints.

    What are the two great works that will be done during the Millennium?

    As I mentioned above, the saints will be doing missionary work and temple work. Through missionary work, the gospel will be taken to every soul on the earth and everyone will eventually know that Jesus is the Christ. In addition, missionary work will continue in the spirit world. Then, all people will have the opportunity to choose if they will become a member of Christ’s church and make sacred covenants with him, or to choose something else. (To read more about missionary work, see Gospel Principles: Missionary Work). Those who make covenants with him, will eventually have the opportunity to receive the blessings of the celestial kingdom, and those who do not will inherit the terrestrial kingdom. These covenants will include those of baptism, as well as those made in the temple. Temple work will be the second great work done during the Millennium. This work will be done for those living as well as for those who are dead. Only a small portion of this work is being accomplished now and there is so much left to do. Every soul will have the opportunity to have work done for them, and just like those who are living, they will have the chance to choose if they will accept it or not. (To read more about temple work, see Gospel Principles: Temple Work and Family History).

    How can we prepare now for work in the Millennium?

    We prepare for this work now, by gaining a testimony for ourselves. We must prepare by listening to the words of His holy prophets. In 1 Nephi 22:20 we read, “And the Lord will surely prepare a way for his people, unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people.” Joseph Smith was raised to be this prophet, who brought the fullness of the gospel and leads the people of God through his work and testimony. We need to discover for ourselves the truth of that testimony, so that we can take it to all people. We become the saints of God, committing ourselves to building His kingdom on the earth. We need to live worthy of doing the work of the Lord, and learn how to do missionary and temple work now. We prepare by making the will of the Lord a priority in our lives, so that it will be a priority then.

    In what ways will life during the Millennium be different from life on the earth now?

    As I said above, there will be differences in life now and that life during the Millenium. One of the differences, is that there will be no more war or fighting. In Isaiah 2:4 we read, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” I can’t even imagine the peace that will exist because there will be no war. Another difference will be in the earth itself. The earth will be renewed to a garden of eden state. In Ezekiel 36:35 we read, “And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.” The land will be beautiful all over.

    In addition, people will not be made to suffer the waiting period of death as they do now. When someone dies, they must wait until their time in the first resurrection. In that day, all who grow old and die, will be changed in a twinkling of an eye, or will become the resurrected being, ready to continue the work on the earth. In Doctrine and Covenants 63:51 we read, “Wherefore, children shall grow up until they become old; old men shall die; but they shall not sleep in the dust, but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye.” What an amazing promise of the resurrection. Those who were not righteous and died before the Second Coming of the Lord, will be made to wait until the end of the Millennium, before they will be resurrected and receive their reward.

    As I reviewed the Topical Guide, I discovered something new. There is a line in the Lord’s prayer, which is directly related to time of the Millennium. In Matthew 6:10 it reads, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Not only will the kingdom of God be established on the earth in its fullness, with the Lord at its head, but the will of God will be accomplished on the earth, just as it is in heaven. I knew this was going to be the state of the Millennium, but I never realized that it was a part of the prayer which the Lord gave as an example to us of how we should pray.

    When this kingdom is established, the people on earth will live righteously and Satan will not be able to influence the hearts of men. In 1 Nephi 22:26 we read, “And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth.” Therefore, people, who are naturally good people, who would have listened to the tempting whispering of Satan in moments of weakness, will not have those temptations from him. This is a huge difference in the world at that time. Part of the loss of power for Satan, will come from everyone having truths revealed to them. In Doctrine and Covenants 101:32 we read, “Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things—”. Everyone will know that he is the Christ, and that there is a God and an eternal purpose for us all. All things will be revealed and those who are willing, will be able to accept them.

    What are your thoughts and feelings about the conditions that will exist during the Millennium?

    I believe that the daily life will be much the same for us. We will still be working to provide for our bodies and spirits. We will still be building families, having children, building our homes, and dealing with the flaws of human bodies, but we will be doing all these things in righteousness. I look forward to this day with great anticipation and hope. I want to be there to experience it for myself. I know it will be a great blessing to live in the times of the Millennium. I also know that it will be a blessing to serve the Lord on the earth, wether in life or death.

    What will be the final destiny of the earth?

    The earth was created to be a resting place for all the righteous who inherit the glory of the Celestial kingdom. It’s destiny is of a celestial glory as well and it will be a paradise for those who deserving of it. In Doctrine and Covenants 29:23 we read, “And the end shall come, and the heaven and the earth shall be consumed and pass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth.” The earth will be a new earth. This glory and rest will come to the earth, after the final battle between good and evil. Satan will be destroyed and cast into outer darkness, never to inflict his torment on the earth again. I have great hope in this promise that the prophets have given. I pray that many souls will find Christ and accept his gospel, so that they too can inherit the blessings of a Celestial earth.


    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.
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