Posts Tagged 'Reconciliation'

Ponderizing – Week 11 Thoughts

The verse I have chosen to ponderize this week, is 2 Nephi 10:24.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

I know there something beyond this life. I have had personal experiences in my life and have heard stories of family members and friends who have experienced things, that have taught me there is life after we die. My understanding and belief of what that life is, comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ, which teaches me that there are great blessings awaiting me there, beyond anything I can imagine. However, the blessings will not be the same for everyone. This is because, in this life we make choices and every choice has a consequence. These consequences do not only come in this life, but they will also come in our life after death. Every choice that is wrong, separates us from God. Because of the eternal laws of justice, all of us would be separated from God after this life. If this was the consequence we all were to receive, without any hope of changing it, there would have been no point in God’s plan to send us to this earth. We would be lost. God, however, made a plan, which allowed for a Savior, to be sacrificed to answer the law and to show mercy to all of us, if we would choose to accept it. This sacrifice was made by the Lord, Jesus Christ, and is called the atonement. With the atonement, Christ provides mercy and grace, which are the only reason any of us can be saved and hope to receive the blessings of God after this life.

How then, do we choose to accept this gift of sacrifice, which the Lord has provided for us? This verse gives us the answer. We must “reconcile [ourselves] to the will of God”. We have to choose the right way. Everyday we make choices. No matter what the world may tell us, there are choices that are morally right and those that are morally wrong. Not every decision we have to make, will be either right or wrong, but a lot of them will be. Those things that are right, will always be aligned with the things that God wants for us. Those things that are wrong, will always be aligned with the things that the devil wants for us, or those things of the flesh. To be reconciled is to settle differences or to bring harmony into our relationship with God. We can only do this by doing the things that He asks of us. Throughout the scriptures, their is a repeated phrase, that teaches us He wants us to keep His commandments. We become reconciled to the will of God, when we make the choice to keep the commandments of God. If we choose to do those things that we know to be morally wrong, we choose to put ourselves in harmony with the devil and his plan to destroy the work of God.

Sadly, there are things in this world, that confuse what is right and wrong. In order to know that we are doing what is right, we must know the expectations that God has set for us. We must know the commandments, expectations, and statutes of God. We can come to know these through prayerful study of the gospel as found in the holy scriptures, as well as from the mouths of His modern prophets. In order to be reconciled to God, we need to study the scriptures and pray for guidance from the Lord.

Finally, when we make mistakes, we reconcile ourselves with God by repenting of those things we have done wrong. Repentance means recognizing we’ve done wrong, asking for forgiveness, making restitution, turning away from sin, and allowing God to change our hearts through the atonement. When we repent, we settle the differences between our choices and what God wants for us. Reconciliation requires repentance.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

I know that God is real. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Knowing this helps me to know that we can either choose to stand with God, or stand with Satan. I believe that Satan offers me nothing in return for choosing to follow him, while the Lord offers me everything he has if I choose to follow Him. I know that families can be together forever and that is what I desire as my future. This blessing is only offered to me by God, and can only be made a reality if I become reconciled to God. I know that repentance is real. I know that the atonement is real. Grace is the offering that will save me, but I need to do my best to live as God wants me to live, so that I will want to accept His offering. Knowing and believing these things, gives me direction in this life and I am so grateful for that.

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Leviticus Chapter 6

By this point in the bible, the children of Israel have built a tabernacle to the Lord, and have received the laws and statutes of God. The Israelites were told how to make sacrifices and offerings to the Lord, in the tabernacle. They made different types of offerings: sin offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings. These offerings brought them forgiveness from the Lord. The instruction to the Israelites continues as follows:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;
3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:
4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,
5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.
6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:
7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the Lord: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.

If an individual lied to another knowingly or with the intent to deceive about another’s belongings, then he has sinned. In order to receive forgiveness, the liar must make restitution by returning what was taken, or making up for what was spoken. Restitution would come only with an additional fifth part added. Then the liar was to offer a trespass offering at the tabernacle, where the priest would make an atonement for him. After the offering was made, the person would be forgiven.

8 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
9 Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it.
10 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.
11 And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place.
12 And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.
13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.

Burnt offerings were to burn through the night. Then the priests were to put on his garments, and then place the ashes of the offering beside the altar. Then he was to change into new garments, to move the ashes to a clean place. During this, the fire of the altar was to continue, never to be put out.

14 And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, before the altar.
15 And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord.
16 And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it.
17 It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.
18 All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the Lord made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy.

The meat offerings were placed before the altar, by the priests. The handful of flour for certain meat offerings, would be placed on the altar. The rest of the flour would be eaten by the priests of Aaron, with the unleavened bread. This was a holy offering, and was to be had for generations.

19 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
20 This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the Lord in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.
21 In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the Lord.
22 And the priest of his sons that is anointed in his stead shall offer it: it is a statute for ever unto the Lord; it shall be wholly burnt.
23 For every meat offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten.

When a priest was to be anointed, he was to offer a tenth of an ephah of flour as a meat offering for the morning and night. The priest offering was not to be broken and eaten, but would be a burnt offering in its entirety.

24 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
25 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the Lord: it is most holy.
26 The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.
27 Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place.
28 But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water.
29 All the males among the priests shall eat thereof: it is most holy.
30 And no sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire.

The sin offering was to be sacrificed near the burnt offerings. The priests who made the sin offering, were to eat it. It was a holy offering and when it was touched, it would make the priest holy. Any blood was to be washed in the holy place. Whatever container that was used to soak it, was to be broken or scoured. I am not sure if it was a container that held the garments, or the offering. All the priests were to eat of the sin offering, which was a holy offering. The sin offerings which used blood for reconciling, were not eaten, but were burnt offerings only.

This was a lot to keep straight, and in order to know they were doing the right thing with each offering, I think they must have been told what the offerings were for. I think the priests of the tabernacle were like the bishops of today, in the sense that the Israelites went to them to confess their sins and to receive the forgiveness needed to become clean and sanctified. Bishops do not hear every little detail of every sin we commit, but there are a good number of sins that can only be handled with the help of a Bishop. I think these are the kinds of sins that the priests would have heard of in the times of the ancient Israelites. I am grateful for the mantel that the Bishops hold today. They have such great responsibility. I know that I have been greatly blessed, when I have sought forgiveness of the Lord through talking with my Bishop. He truly can lift the burdens of sin as he uses the keys of the priesthood he holds. It is such a blessing to have the priesthood on the earth today. Without it we could not be made clean from the sins of our generation, and therefore would not be able to return to live with God again. I am very grateful for the priesthood, which is that same priesthood of the Lord and Savior, because it makes living with God a possibility, through the atonement of Jesus the Christ.


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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