Posts Tagged 'Satan'

A Question on Pity

(I had to rename my post due to specific attention it received. Hopefully this helps.)

A friend of mine asked a question over dinner the other night, and I thought it an interesting topic to study and discuss. Should we pity Satan? My immediate answer to the question was a reflection on the commandment to love everyone, as well as the idea in my head, that pity did not seem like something God would want us to have. I spent some time thinking about whether or not there was something wrong with having pity for someone or something, and the conclusion that I have come to is that it is not wrong. Pity for others, in the general sense, leads us to care more about them. In Psalms 103:13 we read, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” God has pity for His children often, and that pity leads to the mercy he extends when difficulties of life happen, or when justice halts our spiritual and physical progression. If God has pity for us, then we, as his offspring may also have pity on others. It is not uplifting or righteous, however, to have self-pity, which is a negative form of pity which Satan will use to bring us down to destruction.

So, how do pity and love fit into our feelings towards Satan? To feel pity for any being, is to feel sorrow for their misfortunes. If it is okay for me to have pity, should I feel sorrow for Satan’s misfortunes? Is it bad luck that he is in the state he is? No, it was a consequence of his choice in the pre-mortal existence. I feel sorrow, however, for the unfortunate result of the choice he made. This is also pity. I pity the possibilities he had, which he threw away. Satan has not always been that satan we refer to now. He became Satan after he, as Lucifer, rebelled and fought against God and His Son, and was thrust out of God’s presence. In Doctrine and Covenants, section 76, we read the following:

25 And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son,
26 And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.
27 And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning!

“His eventual rebellion and fall were so tragic and complete that he lost all hope for any degree of salvation, which is why the heavens wept over him” (see this lesson on Satan). I think we can feel pity for our spiritual brother, Lucifer, who was lost forever by his choices. I think that we can also feel pity for the third of our spiritual family, which he enticed and led away, lost for eternity as well.

The question still remains, should we pity Satan as the being he is now? If we were to believe that we should treat all beings in the same manner, including those who will never gain a body and experience earth life as we know it, then we would be expected to follow all the commandments in regards to Satan as well. We learn from the scriptures, that when those who know and fear God, suffer in trials of life, the Lord has pity on them. In Isaiah 63:9 we read, “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” There comes a point, though, where God no longer pities those who openly rebel. Rather, the Lord executes righteous judgement against them. In Zechariah 11:6 it says, “For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour’s hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.” If this is the pattern of God, with living souls, how does it apply to Satan?

We can know what the outcome is for the rebelliously wicked. In Mosiah 2 we learn the following:

38 Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever.
39 And now I say unto you, that mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to endure a never-ending torment.

Again in 3 Nephi 29:7, “Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!”

God loved his son Lucifer, but Satan is an enemy to God. He has already received God’s judgement and we can know for sure, that he will be eternally damned without the mercy of God. He will never be shown pity for his circumstances. He is the source of all evil. It is my belief even though he once was our spiritual brother Lucifer, that we are not expected to treat him as we are commanded to treat the souls of God who chose to follow Christ and kept their first estate. Psalms 97:10 reads, “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.” We are told to hate evil, and as the source of all evil, Satan himself is evil. In Romans 12:9 we read, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” We must not love the effects of evil. We cannot love the source of evil. We loved Lucifer before this life and mourned his loss. I think we will feel that again when we return to God and the veil which blocks our memory of our pre-mortal life is lifted. However, it is my belief that we are not commanded or expected to treat Satan as we would other people.

Moreover, pity is akin to compassion, mercy, and sympathy. Pity is often followed by the compassion and mercy which leads to love and acceptance. With human beings, this would be a good way to forgive, love, and have the charity we desire to have towards them. There is a stanza to a poem, which I found often in my study of this topic, that I thought worth pondering.

‘Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.’
[Alexander Pope, Essay on Man, lines 217–20]

If we think of Satan as we read this, the last line would be, “We first endure Satan, then pity Satan, then embrace Satan”. Pity for Satan may just lead the way to embracing him. There would be a fine line there, and having pity for him may open the doors for justification of what he has done and is doing to mankind.

Finally, I found the following statement in the lesson on Satan, that I referenced above. “Although it is useful to understand who Satan is and why he is our adversary, there is potential danger in thinking and talking about Satan too much.” We should learn about Satan, that he is a real being, and come to know how he behaves and what his motivations are. But, there is danger in thinking and talking about Satan too much. I know that when I pity someone or their situations, they are on my mind often. Sometimes their situation can become all-consuming to me. I believe that having pity for Satan, would lead to spending far too much time thinking of him and not nearly enough time focusing on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I’m grateful to my friend for posing this question and giving me the desire to ponder it. My final answer is no. I believe that we should not pity Satan. We should not put that much energy into thinking of him. Instead, we pity the unfortunate people in our own sphere, have compassion on them, help them to see the light of Christ through us, and focus our energy on what the Lord would have us do.

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Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior

This is the third chapter of the Gospel Principles manual for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To view the entire lesson, go here: Jesus Christ Our Chosen Leader and Savior.

A Savior and Leader Was Needed – Why did we need to leave Heavenly Father’s presence? Why do we need a Savior?

As part of the plan of God, or the plan of Salvation, we were to leave the pre-mortal world and the presence of our Heavenly Father. The reason for this, is that our progression would have been halted and none would have been able to truly become like God, the Father. We needed to be able to gain a physical body and experience mortality, where we could use our agency without the constant connection with God. We needed a chance to prove ourselves faithful to Him and we needed to experience the opposition that is found in the world, so that we could fully appreciate the blessings of eternity. Alma 12:24 reads, “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.” In was necessary for us to enter this state of probation so that we could be ready to meet God again. Also, in Abraham 3 we read the following:

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.

There would have been no way to return to God, without a Savior. As part of the plan, Adam and Eve had to choose mortality. This was the only way for us to come to the earth. However, in being cast out of the Garden, they were separated physically and spiritually from God. The only way to return to live with God, was to live perfect lives, which is not a condition for any except for the Savior himself. The Savior provided the only way for us to return, when he experienced the atonement for everyone.

Jesus Christ Became Our Chosen Leader and Savior – What are some feelings you have about the Savior?

As a member of the LDS faith, I believe that there was a council held in heaven, during the pre-mortal existence. In this council, God revealed His plan to all of us. Because a Savior was necessary to His plan, a Savior presented himself. Jesus Christ had already been chosen to be the Savior, as he was the firstborn Son of God. Satan, however, wanted to gain the glory, and so he offered himself to be the Savior of our world. Christ was chosen and Satan was angry. We can read about this in Moses, chapter 4 which says the following:

1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

The Only Begotten of God was chosen from the beginning to be the Savior of the world. Satan could not change that, and in his anger he rebelled against God.

The War in Heaven – In what ways does the War in Heaven continue today?

When Satan rebelled against God, he took all the souls with him who wanted to rebel as well. These souls made up one-third of the host of heaven. In Revelation, chapter 12 we read the following:

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

As a combined force in rebellion, they began a war in heaven, which continues today. Much of the world does not recognize that a war continues to be fought with Satan. He and his forces are among us, constantly attacking us and the things that we should hold dear. They desire for us to join them, by wasting away our lives in sin and destruction. They tempt us to do the things that bind us to Satan. Not enough recognize the strength that we have over our spiritual enemies. We kept our first estate by following our Savior, Jesus Christ, and coming to live on this earth. Because of this, we are stronger and have the power and ability to use our agency righteously. The angels of Satan are bound to do his will for eternity. In 2 Nephi 2:27 we read, “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” We can be blessed with the power of God on our side, if we are faithful to the Lord. We have the power to choose our own liberty and eternal life, if we look to the Savior and His teachings.

We Have the Savior’s Teachings to Follow – How have the Savior’s teachings influenced you?

Personally, I don’t think I have studied the teachings of the Savior nearly enough in my life. I plan on changing that through this medium of study and through a study of with my family this year. I can say that my life is constantly affected by His teachings which I have studied. I think the greatest influence it has on me, is that I see my life as a small moment of a much greater picture. I believe that the Savior has taught us there is something greater than what we now understand. He taught of higher laws and greater rewards for becoming more like Him. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5, the Savior teaches the following:

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment . . .

There are things that we can do which take us a step closer to Godliness. The temptation to kill another has never come to my mind. I could never imagine myself, in my right mind, ever even contemplating it. This is not a temptation that I believe I will have in this life. I do find myself, however, getting frustrated to a point that can lead to being angry with another. The Savior teaches me that I should take the law a step further and live a life void of anger towards another. This is just one of many examples of this in his teachings. With each of these teachings, the Savior makes amazing promises to those who follow His teachings. I find myself yearning for those things that He promises us. The Savior’s teachings encourage me to look forward with hope by trying every day to be better than the day before. The teachings of the Lord, help me to be strong in the face of the adversary. I have a hope that the righteous and faithful will be victorious in the end and will receive the promised blessings of the Lord.

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.

Overcome to Receive

Last week I didn’t do much of posting here, because I was asked to teach the lesson in our Sunday School class. This lesson was on four chapters in the book of Revelations. Revelations is a difficult book to teach about, because of its symbolism. However, I enjoyed the challenge a lot. They key for me, is to try to find the message that John was writing, and not to focus too much on the names of the places, or the deep doctrinal stuff found there. Those things will come to me after I have gained a simple understanding of these chapters.

The thing that I got most out of this lesson, was that we all will have something or multiple things in this life that we will need to overcome. The list of things that come from these chapters included not being willing to give service and love, fearing our trials or the things others may say or do when we stand for truth and righteousness, pride, greed, immorality, apathy, and so on. Satan, who we are currently fighting against every day, knows which of these things we struggle with the most. However, we have the Savior on our side.

Through His atonement and saving power, we have the power to overcome. When we choose to accept His power and atonement in our lives, we will overcome. Then we can receive the amazing promised blessings, which John writes about. We can live with God again, we can have our sins forgiven, we can achieve salvation and become like our Father in Heaven, and ultimately receive all the blessings that He has to give. What an encouraging and powerful message this is in my life. I find a great deal of hope in this lesson and it gives me the push I need to continue trying to live a righteous life and stand firm in the face of all the temptations and trials that Satan places in my path.

Genesis Chapter 3

In Genesis, the first two chapters have taught about the creation of the heaven and earth, all things upon the earth, and the creation of man and woman. It taught about the establishment of marriage and the law given which forbade the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Chapter three continues teaching about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

The serpent, who is the devil, planned to deceive Adam and Eve and cause that all mankind would be miserable through his purposes. The devil was sneaky and sly in his plan, which he is in all things even now. He knows how to twist our understanding and perception of righteous things, and we must be constantly on guard for his deceptions. Satan wanted to play on the desires of humankind to know more and to want for more. He belittled God, by questioning what God had commanded of Adam and Eve. He truly is the father of lies and he proved this by saying that eating the fruit would not cause death, which it most certainly did. This lie was hidden in the truth that the fruit would cause them to know good and evil, which it did. This is a typical tactic of Satan, to distort truth and hide it among lies and false teachings, which are designed to lead us astray.

Satan did not know that he was being allowed by God to tempt Adam and Eve. Because they were given the opportunity to choose between the eternal nature of the Garden of Eden and a life of mortality on the earth, we are all here living today. Because Adam and Eve saw that the only way for mankind to increase was by their remaining with one another, they made the choice to transgress the law and be separated from the presence of God for a time. I am so glad that they made the choice they did and that I have the opportunity to prove myself worthy in this life. I love the explanation we find in 2 Nephi about the purpose of this choice. In chapter 2 we read the following:

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

I believe this to be true. The transgression of Eve followed by the choice by Adam to transgress, meant life for all of us. This choice meant that we may all have the opportunity to find joy in this life and in the eternities.

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Adam and Eve experienced an immediate change, and became aware of themselves in a way that they had not known without the knowledge they received through partaking of the fruit. With this knowledge came the understanding of shame, which caused them to want to hide from the Lord. After giving an explanation of their choices to the Lord, Satan was cursed for his deceptions. God blessed mankind that we would have all power over the devil. He can tempt us and persuade us, but we have agency and the power to choose if we will follow Satan or the Lord. If we choose to follow Christ, Satan has no power over us, because the power of Christ will save us and destroy Satan. Satan’s temptations will not bind us, if we make use of the saving power of the atonement.

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Women were given the role of bearing children through sorrow and pain. This does not mean that we are to be sorrowful in bearing children, but rather that the physical experience would not be easy. I can attest to this fact. Pregnancy is painful, uncomfortable and causes women to grown physically and spiritually in a way that other things cannot. Men were given the role of working to provide. Husbands, are the established patriarchs and leaders of the home. This responsibility is the way that men are able to grow both physically and spiritually. Becoming responsible providers and leaders causes men to mature from the natural child-like state of mind, and pushes them to put others ahead of themselves. Life is not easy. There is constant struggle for many men, to be able to be the providers for family. It requires a great deal of strength and faith to do this well. Husbands and wives work in union, side-by-side with their wife, to create and provide for their children and family. Eve became the first mother on the earth and Adam became the first patriarch and father on the earth. However, they were not left to fend entirely for themselves at this point. Before they were cast out of the garden, the Lord made clothing for them, so that they would have some protection from the world. We are given the tools for our own protection, because God loves us. We need only seek out these tools and we will be able to find the protection that we need.

22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Mankind was given the ability to know and discern between good and evil, just as God has knowledge and discernment. In order to prevent Adam and Eve from eating of the eternal fruit of the tree of life, which would give them an eternity of separation from God, the Lord cast them out of the garden and put Cherubim and a flaming sword in place to guard the tree of life. We all must live a life of trial and hardship, learning for ourselves that their is opposition in all things and that we have the agency to choose how we should live, before we can be allowed to partake of the fruit of the tree of life. It is through our turning to Christ and repenting of sins, that we may choose to return to be with God again someday. The purpose of this life is for us to learn and grow, so that we may realize the true joy of salvation and eternal life or the great sorrow and pain of eternal separation from God. I am so glad that we have the power to choose for ourselves how we may live. I am glad that the Savior made the choice to sacrifice himself for my sake. I know that their are great blessings that come through proper repentance and I have felt the joy of turning over my burdens to the Lord.

The Necessity of Agency

As I was reading 2 Nephi, Chapter 2 today, I am thinking a lot of Lehi’s testimony to his sons. He testifies of the role of the Messiah in the plan of Salvation. The whole point of this life is lost if we cannot have the opportunity to live with God again. This opportunity is only possible through the Savior, because the law would forbid all other men from entering into the presence of God. The only way for law to work is if we have two sides to all things. We cannot have the good without the bad, we cannot have eternal life with the possibility of eternal death. Lehi teaches us that there is an opposition in all things, and that if there wasn’t then there would be no value in any individual thing. We cannot understand true joy without understanding sorrow. We cannot understand worthiness without the possibility of transgression and sin.

In order for the slightest bit of progression on our part, it is absolutely necessary that we have agency. Agency is the ability to choose for ourselves. Without agency, we are strictly being acted upon by some higher power. This is the plan of Satan. In verse 14, Lehi teaches us, “And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.” These are the two possibilities in all things. We can either act or be acted upon. Without agency we can only be acted upon. With agency, we have the power to act for ourselves. I know that it is only through the gift of agency that we can grow, learn, and ultimately become like our Father in Heaven.

The challenge in this life, is recognizing that when we give in to temptation, we essentially give away some of the precious agency we have. Then we become bound by him. If we use our agency to act for good, we are keeping ourselves free from Satan. I have felt this in my own life at those times when I have made choices that have taken my freedom away, as well as those choices that I have felt remove those bonds and bring me freedom and joy. I know that it is important for us to ponder on our own lives and choices and see if we have handed over our agency to Satan. Whatever those things may be, Christ can free us of those bonds through repentance. I know that we can have great joy in this life and I hope for great joy in the life to come, through the freeing power of repentance and the gift of the atonement from our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Joseph Smith-History (Part 1)

This portion of The Pearl of Great Price is part of the History of Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith was the first modern day prophet, and the instrument through which the church and gospel were restored to the earth. I am so glad to have the opportunity to study this history, because it is one of the most important things that has ever occurred in the history of the world. These things can be found also in the History of the Church (Volume 1, Chapters 1 through 5). I believe that these are the words of the prophet, but they may have been partially recorded by some others who were there to assist him in his work. The record starts with the following:

1 Owing to the many reports which have been put in circulation by evil-disposed and designing persons, in relation to the rise and progress of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, all of which have been designed by the authors thereof to militate against its character as a Church and its progress in the world—I have been induced to write this history, to disabuse the public mind, and put all inquirers after truth in possession of the facts, as they have transpired, in relation both to myself and the Church, so far as I have such facts in my possession.
2 In this history I shall present the various events in relation to this Church, in truth and righteousness, as they have transpired, or as they at present exist, being now [1838] the eighth year since the organization of the said Church.

The prophet begins this record, by giving an explanation for it. Apparently there were people who were putting out false statements or reports to make the church look bad. This doesn’t surprise me at all. Whenever good things are happening, Satan does his best to persuade people to bring it down. There were so many things pushing against the church and its members. Joseph Smith took on this project to help to get rid of some of the wild stories and rumors that were going around. This record was written and I think reviewed and edited a number of times before it came to be a part of The Pearl of Great Price pamphlet, and eventually part of The Pearl of Great Price we have now. This record stands as a witness and a testimony of how the restoration of the church began.

3 I was born in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five, on the twenty-third day of December, in the town of Sharon, Windsor county, State of Vermont … My father, Joseph Smith, Sen., left the State of Vermont, and moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) county, in the State of New York, when I was in my tenth year, or thereabouts. In about four years after my father’s arrival in Palmyra, he moved with his family into Manchester in the same county of Ontario—
4 His family consisting of eleven souls, namely, my father, Joseph Smith; my mother, Lucy Smith (whose name, previous to her marriage, was Mack, daughter of Solomon Mack); my brothers, Alvin (who died November 19th, 1823, in the 26th year of his age), Hyrum, myself, Samuel Harrison, William, Don Carlos; and my sisters, Sophronia, Catherine, and Lucy.

Joseph Smith Jr., and his family (parents, 5 brothers, 3 sisters, and himself) had relocated from Sharon, Vermont, to Palmyra, New York. I’ve learned over the years, that Joseph Smith Jr. was a good young man. He was raised to care for his family and with a good religious background. His parents were God-fearing people, who read the bible with their family. He was raised working on the family farm and helping to provide for those he loved. He had high standards from pretty young. I remember hearing the story of when he was in need of leg surgery and he refused any alcohol to take away or dull the pain. He was not able to have much in the way of schooling because of his circumstances, so he was not an extremely knowledgable young man.

5 Some time in the second year after our removal to Manchester, there was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general among all the sects in that region of country. Indeed, the whole district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, “Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!” Some were contending for the Methodist faith, some for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptist.
6 For, notwithstanding the great love which the converts to these different faiths expressed at the time of their conversion, and the great zeal manifested by the respective clergy, who were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling, in order to have everybody converted, as they were pleased to call it, let them join what sect they pleased; yet when the converts began to file off, some to one party and some to another, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the priests and the converts were more pretended than real; for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions.
7 I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My father’s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that church, namely, my mother, Lucy; my brothers Hyrum and Samuel Harrison; and my sister Sophronia.
8 During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.

The different churches were experiences what is now called the second great awakening. There were camp meetings and revivals which were full of excitement and emotions. All the churches in the area were trying to persuade those who had not found religion, to join their sect. The young Joseph Smith, noticed that there was a lot of confusion and contention between the different churches and their leaders. Some of his family members had decided to join one of the churches. Joseph went to several different meetings, but he could not decide who he thought had the true gospel. When he says that they were “more pretended than real”, I think that the churches members and leaders were not living as they preached, and so there was a lot of confusion about what they truly believed. This goes to show the character that Joseph had even as a teenage boy. He did not want to join a church unless he could believe the teachings to be true.

9 My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant. The Presbyterians were most decided against the Baptists and Methodists, and used all the powers of both reason and sophistry to prove their errors, or, at least, to make the people think they were in error. On the other hand, the Baptists and Methodists in their turn were equally zealous in endeavoring to establish their own tenets and disprove all others.
10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?

The question that was on Joseph’s mind had to do with the fact that all the churches were claiming to be right, while saying that the others were wrong. Joseph wanted to know which was the right church, or which one was teaching the truth. I think that a key to what was to follow for him, was that he had a sincere desire to know. Sometimes, I am a little interested in knowing something, but I don’t think that the desire is quite so great. Answers will not come if we are only mildly interested in understanding them. The Lord knows the intentions of our hearts, and this was a sincere and great desire for Joseph.

11 While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
12 Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.
13 At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.

Joseph had been raised with the Bible as scripture, in his life. When he had a question, he turned to what he trusted to be the word of God. In searching the scriptures, he found James 1:5, which after much pondering, taught him that he should ask God. He was touched powerfully by the spirit of God, as he read this verse. This inspiration led him to decide to ask God to get his answer. Joseph was truly an example of how answers to prayers may come to us as well. If we are struggling with understanding, we too can find inspiration in the scriptures. We have plenty of men willing to teach us what the scriptures mean, and it can still be rather confusing. Only the spirit can testify to us of the truth of the gospel. It is important for us to search, ponder and pray about our own questions. If we do these things in faith, our answers will come. Our faith is an important factor in this understanding. If we do not believe the answers will come, there is no promise that the Lord will answer us. Or rather, the answer may come still, but we will not be in the right frame of mind to receive it.

14 So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
15 After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

He picked a quiet place to be alone for this prayer. I imagine that he knew he wanted to devote all his attention to this prayer and the answer he would receive, so he did not want to be in a place where he might be interrupted. I think that Joseph was probably also following the example from the scriptures. Throughout the Bible, there are examples of prophets, and even the Savior, going away to the mountains to pray where they could be alone. It would be wise for us to find a quiet place where we can offer up the concerns of our own hearts. This was his first time praying out loud. In my own experience of personal prayers, I find that when I do not pray vocally, my mind wanders and I loose focus. Sometimes, depending on the time of day, I find myself drifting off into sleep. This always results in my apologizing to my Father in Heaven and trying again to pray. However, when I pray vocally, even in a quiet whisper, I am more focused on what I say and I can often feel the spirit stronger.

As a member of the LDS faith, I believe that Joseph was foreordained to bring about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The prophets of old knew about him, and some had prophesied of what he would do, going so far as to know his name. Satan has known the plan, because he was there in that grand council in heaven. He would do anything in his power to stop the work of God from moving forward. Here, Satan tried to stop Joseph from his prayer, with darkness and stopping him from being able to speak. Had his hold been successful, Satan would have been able to keep the light of the gospel from the world for a time, but this was not the case.

16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

Joseph actually felt himself physically being destroyed by the powers of Satan. I cannot say that I recall feeling anything quite like that, but I know how it feels to have a dark feeling around you, which to me felt like something I could not get myself out from under it. Just like Joseph, I had to rely on God to release me from that dark feeling. When Joseph felt like all was lost, he saw a glorious vision.

A great light came down upon him and that light took away the darkness. Darkness cannot continue when there is light. Satan’s powers cannot continue in the presence of the light of the Lord. Joseph was freed from the powers of Satan. It makes perfect sense that the light of heaven would be brighter than the sun. In studying Abraham, I have learned that things become greater, more glorious and brighter when they are nearer to God. Therefore, God is in the brightest light that exists.

I believe that at this point, as soon as the light was upon Joseph, he was transfigured to be able to have this vision. Joseph saw God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, in the air above him. This is a testimony to me that God and Jesus Christ are two separate beings, one in purpose, but not in physical body. God called Joseph by name, which teaches us that God knows us individually and personally. God introduced the Savior to Joseph as His Beloved Son. This is a testimony of the divinity of the Savior, by God himself, and that the Savior has been chosen since the beginning for the greatest purposes. Finally, Joseph was told to listen to Him, the Son of God. I think that this teaches me that God knew His Son would deliver the message just as He had intended it to be. It shows that God is one who delegates His work and allows others to grow from doing things themselves. God would have been able to bring His message to Joseph Himself, but just as all things in the gospel, there is a witness of two or three to establish all things. God and His Son were both there to witness to the young Joseph of the divinity of the Savior, and of the truth of His gospel.

18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, “Never mind, all is well—I am well enough off.” I then said to my mother, “I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.” It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?

As soon as he was able, Joseph got right to asking the question on his mind. The answer he received was that he should not join any of the existing churches, because they were all wrong. The leaders of those churches preached some of the gospel, but they did not live the gospel. They may have had the word of the gospel, but they did not have the power of the gospel, which I think is the priesthood power and authority of God. The churches of this time had been in an apostasy from the true church of God. This is because they had lost the rights to the priesthood and precious truths had been lost or altered to fit the ways of the world. This is not to say that all people were bad. There were many who were living as righteously as they knew how, and they would and will be blessed for their own choices. We can only be judged according to our own individual knowledge. But there were people who had chosen to corrupt righteous things, and they had done a very good job of leading many people astray with false doctrine.

After receiving this vision, Joseph was left drained of energy, lying on the ground. I know that things of the spirit can drain us emotionally, mentally and physically. I am most tired after attending the temple and going to specially conferences where I can feel the spirit very strong. I think that this is a lesson to me that I need to have my body physically prepared with rest and good food when I want to be spiritually fed. Otherwise, I may wear myself down and be unable to function properly, which does not promote acting on the things we learn. After he got his energy back, Joseph returned home and told his mother that he learned her church was not true. I love that he had the kind of relationship with his mother, where he could openly tell her things that touched him spiritually. We do not all have that kind of relationship. I love coming home from church and being able to share the things I have learned with my own husband and children. It has been such a blessing to me and has strengthened my testimony even more. Joseph also came to the realization that he knew he was going to do work for the Lord, because that would explain why Satan and other things in opposition would fight against him so hard. When we are trying to do what is right, life does not get easier. There will be great opposition and trials when we are standing up for truth and righteousness, but at the same time, the Lord can give us strength to endure all of it.

I am so grateful for Joseph Smith. I believe that he truly did see God and Jesus Christ, and that they told him not to join any church at the time. I believe that Joseph was called to be a prophet of God, and that he restored the gospel of Christ to the earth once more. I am so grateful for his righteous service, and that he had the desire to know what was true, because it led eventually to me having this truth in my own life. I am so grateful that the gospel has been restored to the earth, and that I have the privilege of being a member of the true church of God. I encourage anyone who is not sure if this is true, to sincerely ponder over these scriptures, and to ask God for themselves. I have received my own witness of the spirit and I know that anyone else can as well.

Moses Chapter 5 (Part 2)

This is a continuation of the previous post (Moses Chapter 5 Part 1).

In the previous post, we learned what life was like for Adam and Eve once they were driven out of the Garden of Eden. They had children and two of their sons were Cain and Abel. Cain had made the choice to love Satan and follow his commandments, while Abel was a righteous man. Both had made an offering to the Lord, but Cain’s was not a righteous offering and had not been accepted. Cain was told that if he did not repent, he would become Perdition and earn the same reward as Satan would eventually earn. This section continues:

28 And it came to pass that Cain took one of his brothers’ daughters to wife, and they loved Satan more than God.
29 And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it; and this day I will deliver thy brother Abel into thine hands.
30 And Satan sware unto Cain that he would do according to his commands. And all these things were done in secret.
31 And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness.

Cain made a secret covenant and oath with Satan. Here is where the first instance of this took place. We learn of the Gadianton Robbers in the Book of Mormon, who were doing as Cain had done in the beginning. They made covenants with their lives, and I would add with their souls, that they would serve Satan and he would in turn serve them. Cain cared more for power and wickedneses than anything else and he did just as he had planned with Satan.

32 And Cain went into the field, and Cain talked with Abel, his brother. And it came to pass that while they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and slew him.
33 And Cain gloried in that which he had done, saying: I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands.
34 And the Lord said unto Cain: Where is Abel, thy brother? And he said: I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?
35 And the Lord said: What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood cries unto me from the ground.
36 And now thou shalt be cursed from the earth which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand.
37 When thou tillest the ground it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength. A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
38 And Cain said unto the Lord: Satan tempted me because of my brother’s flocks. And I was wroth also; for his offering thou didst accept and not mine; my punishment is greater than I can bear.
39 Behold thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the Lord, and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that he that findeth me will slay me, because of mine iniquities, for these things are not hid from the Lord.
40 And I the Lord said unto him: Whosoever slayeth thee, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And I the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

Cain killed his brother in hopes that he would get his brother’s flocks and I think he was also hoping to gain his brother’s honor. However, wickedness never was happiness and doing evil things will never bring the happiness that people are expecting. Instead, Cain was cursed by the Lord and became bound to the same fate as Satan himself. It is interesting that Cain asked if he was his brother’s keeper? It is complete evidence of the natural man when we question if we are supposed to help others or be responsible for knowing and loving them. We have been given the commandment to love one another, and to be the keeper of those around us, especially when we have been taught what is right. Anything other than this, is pure selfishness and pride, which are both qualities of Satan himself.

Cain was given a mark to set him apart from those who were living righteously, so that no one who kill him for his wickedness and, I think, in turn be cursed for their own sin. In my study, I read about the difference between the mark and the curse. They are not the same thing. The curse placed on Cain, had to do with his level of righteousness and it was a personal thing. If his posterity would live in righteousness, they would not have the curse upon them, but would be blessed instead. The mark was not related to the righteousness, and so it would possibly remain even long after the people had become righteous. This is helpful to me, because it separates the two and takes away any possible judgment on an individual because of any mark, what ever that may be. My understanding was that this mark was a change in the color of his skin, but I don’t know this for sure. I think that there are some who do judge based on the color of skin, relating it to sin and wickedness. It is truly not our place to judge another in this way.

41 And Cain was shut out from the presence of the Lord, and with his wife and many of his brethren dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
42 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Enoch, and he also begat many sons and daughters. And he builded a city, and he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
43 And unto Enoch was born Irad, and other sons and daughters. And Irad begat Mahujael, and other sons and daughters. And Mahujael begat Methusael, and other sons and daughters. And Methusael begat Lamech.
44 And Lamech took unto himself two wives; the name of one being Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah.
45 And Adah bare Jabal; he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and they were keepers of cattle; and his brother’s name was Jubal, who was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
46 And Zillah, she also bare Tubal Cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. And the sister of Tubal Cain was called Naamah.
47 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah: Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech; for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
48 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech shall be seventy and seven fold;
49 For Lamech having entered into a covenant with Satan, after the manner of Cain, wherein he became Master Mahan, master of that great secret which was administered unto Cain by Satan; and Irad, the son of Enoch, having known their secret, began to reveal it unto the sons of Adam;
50 Wherefore Lamech, being angry, slew him, not like unto Cain, his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, but he slew him for the oath’s sake.
51 For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.
52 Wherefore the Lord cursed Lamech, and his house, and all them that had covenanted with Satan; for they kept not the commandments of God, and it displeased God, and he ministered not unto them, and their works were abominations, and began to spread among all the sons of men. And it was among the sons of men.
53 And among the daughters of men these things were not spoken, because that Lamech had spoken the secret unto his wives, and they rebelled against him, and declared these things abroad, and had not compassion;
54 Wherefore Lamech was despised, and cast out, and came not among the sons of men, lest he should die.
55 And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men.

Lamech, who was, I think, the great-great-great-grandson of Cain, had also made secret combinations with Satan, which had continued since the time of Cain. His great-grandfather Irad, knew of his secrets and began to tell the sons of Adam. Lamech killed Irad to keep his oath with Satan and was consequently cursed for his wickedness. Lamech told his wives that he was sure to be avenged even greater than Cain. The women told his secrets, and Lamech became a despised man and he was separated from others so that he would not be killed by them. My study guide says that those who were the sons of men, were the wicked, so Lamech was cast out from among the wicked. (Those who are righteous are the sons of God.) Wickedness has been around since the time of the children of Adam and Eve and it continues today. I think that we still have secret combinations and works of great wickedness that go on because people continue to make covenants with Satan instead of making covenants with God. I think that we learn of these things, so that we can recognize that they exist and we need to avoid them at all costs.

56 And God cursed the earth with a sore curse, and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom he had made;
57 For they would not hearken unto his voice, nor believe on his Only Begotten Son, even him whom he declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world.
58 And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost.
59 And thus all things were confirmed unto Adam, by an holy ordinance, and the Gospel preached, and a decree sent forth, that it should be in the world, until the end thereof; and thus it was. Amen.

At the same time that wickedness was spreading on the earth, righteousness was also spreading. The gospel was being preached by angels and by men. The sons of God had the gift of the Holy Ghost, which teaches and testifies of Christ and His gospel. Adam and Eve and their posterity were taught by ministering angels. The gospel which they were taught then, is the same gospel that we have today. The only difference is that they looked forward to the time when Christ would come to save all men from Sin, and that has happened. We look forward to the time when Christ will come again and their will be great works done upon the earth.

I am glad to have an understanding of the path towards wickedness. I am so grateful that I have been raised in the gospel and that I did not have to grow up in darkness. It must take great strength of character and strong will to separate oneself from such great wickedness. The gospel truly is a source of joy and good news to me. I know that I have a responsibility to spread the gospel and I hope that I can do more in my life to bring others to Christ.

Moses Chapter 5 (Part 1)

The Lord is teaching Moses about the beginning of mankind on the earth. At this point, Adam and Eve have transgressed the law of God and consequently have been sent out of the Garden of Eden. They have become mortal beings, who are capable of both spiritual and physical death.

1 And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, as I the Lord had commanded him. And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.
2 And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth.
3 And from that time forth, the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons and daughters.

Adam and Eve worked together to provide for their family. Even though Adam had been cast out of the garden, he still had dominion over the animals. I think that verse 1 teaches us that Adam hunted for food, used animals skins for clothing and so on, as well as worked the ground to grow food and create things to make life livable. Adam did not do these things alone, but with Eve working by his side. This was the initial design of marriage and family relationships. Husbands and wives need to work together to provide for the family. We each have our roles, and need to do what we can do best, but doing them as partners is the ideal way to build and strengthen our families.

Next, Adam and Eve began to have children, just as they had been commanded in the beginning. Then their children learned to marry and work together just as their parents had. Finally, they began to have children as well. I think it will be fun to know someday, my own individual lineage back to Adam and Eve. They truly are our first parents and I am grateful for the lessons that come from learning about what they experienced.

4 And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.
5 And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
6 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
7 And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
8 Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.
9 And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will.
10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.
11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
12 And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.

Adam and Eve wanted to continue to speak with the Lord, even though they were no longer in His presence. They were able to speak through prayer. When we pray, we call upon our Father in Heaven, but we also cannot see Him because we have been separated from him for this time of life. I’ve thought quite a bit about prayer lately and how I should take my own approach towards it. We live in a time of instant communication with many people on the earth. We have amazing abilities that come from the technology of the cell phone that are just so simple. I’ve watched as many people have become inseparable from these phones. They will call and text people at any time of day and for any reason. I wonder how it would be if we were taking this kind of approach with our prayers. I challenge anyone who reads this, to take a day of your life and every time you have the desire to call or text someone on the phone, say a prayer instead. What an amazing world it would be if this approach was taken more often.

God answered their prayers and conversed with them. Adam and Eve were given more commandments. They were commanded to make sacrifices and worship the Lord, which they did because they were obedient to God. Adam trusted the word of the Lord and willingly gave the firstlings of his flock. He did this because he knew that whatever the Lord commanded of him, it would be for good. Adam was a man of great faith in the Lord. Once he showed his faith through his actions, he was given the explanation for the commandment. The sacrifice was meant to represent the sacrifice of the Son of God. It was a reminder of the great sacrifice that would eventually be made in behalf of all of us. It is because of this sacrifice, that everything we do should be dedicated to the Lord. Most importantly, we need to make use of that sacrifice, by repenting and pleading for forgiveness from the Lord.

The Holy Ghost came upon Adam. I looked at that footnote for Holy Ghost and it references the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which I think means that Adam received the gift of the Holy Ghost at this time, not just that he was touched by the spirit. Adam could now feel the Holy Ghost, and it bore witness to him that his redemption would come through the Lord. It also taught him that this is how all mankind would be redeemed. The spirit testified of God and Jesus Christ, just as it does to all people. Adam needed to learn this and to gain a testimony of it, now that he had been separated from God’s presence. With this knowledge and testimony, Adam was able to teach his children and their families about repentance and redemption from sin and transgression. It was at this time, that Adam and Eve could understand the joy that comes to all of us from the fall. They must have previously felt a great weight for their transgression, but now they had a change of heart and could be filled with a hope in the saving power of God. I know that there are some who believe that Eve is at fault for some great sin, but really her transgression is a blessing to all mankind, because through the experience and knowledge that we can all have in this life, comes the blessings of eternal life with our Father in Heaven.

It is so important that we teach others what the spirit has taught to us. This applies most to those whom we are given stewardship over in this life, especially our children. I have learned that the more I share what the spirit has borne witness of to me, the greater my testimony of that thing becomes. We not here to stand alone. We are on this earth, with families, so that we can learn and grow together. When we share these teachings, the spirit has the opportunity to give a witness to others as well. I am reminded of Lehi, who had great things revealed to him and right away he taught his children. Then Nephi took those teachings and asked for himself if they were true. When he did this, greater knowledge was revealed and we have great scripture lessons that come from his learning. When we feel the spirit touch us, we should share those things with others so that we can all be blessed by them.

13 And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.
14 And the Lord God called upon men by the Holy Ghost everywhere and commanded them that they should repent;
15 And as many as believed in the Son, and repented of their sins, should be saved; and as many as believed not and repented not, should be damned; and the words went forth out of the mouth of God in a firm decree; wherefore they must be fulfilled.

Once again, Satan tries to take the place of the Lord. He tells a truth by leading others astray when saying that he is the son of God, but then covers it in lies when he tells them not to believe what Adam and Eve have taught. We are all children of God, but there is only one Savior, Jesus Christ. Satan is so cunning and he has practiced his craft since the beginning, when he led the children of Adam away from what was true and right. We are born with the “natural man” inside us. Our desires are naturally carnal, sesual, and devilish, because we are born in a fallen state. This is not to say that we are not born innocent, because I believe that we are, but we will have tendencies to want for earthly things, and to desire for immediate gratification instead of eternal joy. Our test in this life is overcoming that natural desire. We can choose to love God or love Satan, because they are spiritual enemies and we cannot love both and gain the blessings of eternal life. Whenever we choose to sin, we choose to love Satan over God. Verse 15 is a promise of our own salvation and reward after this life. We will either be saved or be damned when we choose if we will believe and repent, or not.

16 And Adam and Eve, his wife, ceased not to call upon God. And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare Cain, and said: I have gotten a man from the Lord; wherefore he may not reject his words. But behold, Cain hearkened not, saying: Who is the Lord that I should know him?
17 And she again conceived and bare his brother Abel. And Abel hearkened unto the voice of the Lord. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

I have heard some people say that with each new child it is a new chance to get it right. The problem with believing this is that each new child has his or her own agency and even if we are teaching and raising them the best we know how, it will not guarantee that they will believe our words and choose the right. This is a good example of that. Cain could have been a good and righteous man, but he made the choice not to listen to the teachings of his parents. Abel probably had the same types of teachings, but he listened. Our own individual choices and experiences is the thing that will separate us or bring us closer to God.

18 And Cain loved Satan more than God. And Satan commanded him, saying: Make an offering unto the Lord.
19 And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
20 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering;
21 But unto Cain, and to his offering, he had not respect. Now Satan knew this, and it pleased him. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
22 And the Lord said unto Cain: Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen?
23 If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire. And thou shalt rule over him;
24 For from this time forth thou shalt be the father of his lies; thou shalt be called Perdition; for thou wast also before the world.
25 And it shall be said in time to come—That these abominations were had from Cain; for he rejected the greater counsel which was had from God; and this is a cursing which I will put upon thee, except thou repent.
26 And Cain was wroth, and listened not any more to the voice of the Lord, neither to Abel, his brother, who walked in holiness before the Lord.
27 And Adam and his wife mourned before the Lord, because of Cain and his brethren.

Cain allowed himself to be persuaded by Satan, and he began to love Satan more than God. Cain’s offering was not acceptable to the Lord, because the Lord had already commanded what that offering should be. God had commanded Adam and Eve that the offering should be the firstling of the flock, which means that only those who had flock, could make a worthy offering. Satan wanted Cain to be denied and knew he would be, before tempting him to do this. We can already tell that Cain was a selfish and worldly person, because he made the choice not to listen to the teachings of Adam, but this shows it even further. Cain felt that he was better than the commandments of God. To the mortal and natural mind, it may seem that this offering should have been acceptable because it is what he had to give. This cannot be the case though, because we learned before that this offering was supposed to be like the offering of the Son of God. Placing anything less then a perfect firstborn of the flock is a sign of disrespect for the Lord and His sacrifice.

The Lord teaches Cain that he would be accepted too, if he did what was right. Cain is promised also that if he did not do what was right, that the Lord would allow Satan to have his way. I think that Cain would rule over Satan because Cain had kept his first estate and gained a body and therefore had the power to do this. Plus, Cain had the opportunity to make covenants with the Lord through the power of the priesthood. He made the choice after knowing the truth, because he had been taught all the ways of his father Adam. The Lord said that Cain may be considered Perdition, utterly wasted and lost, and in effect would rule over all those who would earn the reward of eternal torment and separation from God. Those who would join him in this, would be called the sons of Perdition. When they receive their own reward after all is done, Cain himself will rule over Satan. Instead of listening to the Lord and changing his ways, Cain became angry and placed himself in a position even further from the Lord.

I believe that Cain was given every opportunity to repent and change his ways. He was warned of what would happen if he continued to love and serve Satan. We are all given a wonderful gift of agency and the Lord allows us to exercise that gift regularly. With every choice there is a consequence that either is a blessing or a curse. I am grateful for agency and the opportunity to live my life how I would like to live it. I believe that when we choose to follow Satan, we give up the freedom of our agency and become bound to do what he would have us do. It is only through repentance that we can be released from the bond. That repentance can only come through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This section will be continued.

Moses Chapter 4

In the preceding chapters of Moses, the Lord has taught Moses face to face, about the creation of all things on the earth, that these things existed before their earthly creation, about the first commandments given to man, and about eternal marriage. He continues to teach Moses about the things that happened in the pre-mortal existence:

1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

God refers to the confrontation that Moses just had with Satan, who had tried to tempt him to obey and worship him. The Lord teaches Moses that this same spirit sat in the council in heaven with us. In the premortal existence, we heard the plan of God, which included having a Savior to redeem us, so that we could return. Satan, or Lucifer, volunteered to bring all the children of God back to the presence of God. I think we see here the selfishness of Satan. He wanted the honor of God to be his, and he wanted to be the one with the power to save everyone else. Satan was not the “Beloved and Chosen from the beginning”, but he wanted to have the greatest purpose. Instead, our Savior said that He would do the will of God, and the glory would be God’s. Satan wanted to make us all return by taking away the gift of agency, which had been given to us for our learning and progression. The will of God, our Father in Heaven, is that we should use our agency to decide for ourselves how to live in this life and the eternities. A lot of unrighteous things come from wanting the best for people, but trying to get the result by doing the wrong things. This is a tactic that Satan has used from the beginning, to get us to fall away from God.

When Satan rebelled, he was removed from the presence of God and became the devil of this world. His desire is to lead men astray. When we fall into temptations, we hand over a portion of our agency to Him and become his servants. Satan will continue to attack those who are trying to live righteously and we will be better prepared against him, if we know what his purposes are.

5 And now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which I, the Lord God, had made.
6 And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world.
7 And he said unto the woman: Yea, hath God said—Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (And he spake by the mouth of the serpent.)
8 And the woman said unto the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;
9 But of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God hath said—Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
10 And the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not surely die;
11 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
12 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

Satan began his work to destroy God’s plan for man, with Adam and Eve. As the Father of all lies, he has a way of taking the truth and distorting or manipulating it so that people will think it is true. Eve had been given the commandment not to eat the fruit, but Satan lied to her and told her she would not die as God has said. Satan was trying here, to make God look like the liar. I think that he would have hoped that she would trust Satan over God if she believed this lie. We know that God was the one who spoke the truth, because we now experience both spiritual death (separation from God) and physical death (separation from our bodies).

Satan was able to convince Eve to partake of the fruit, and even though this is what he wanted in hopes of destroying God’s plan, he made the remainder of God’s plan possible. Satan did not know that this fall would be necessary for the plan of God to go forward. Satan told Eve about the gift of knowledge and wisdom that would come from eating the fruit, which did come. This knowledge makes us more like God, because we can have experiences, learn and grow. I think that Satan wanted Eve to feel like God’s commandment was meant to stop them from being like Him. Eve had a desire for wisdom, and so she partook of the fruit. Then she gave some to Adam so that he would also have wisdom. In the LDS church, we do not believe that Adam and Eve sinned against God by partaking of the fruit. Rather, we believe that they made a transgression of the law that God had given them, because if they had not done this, the plan of God would have been frustrated. I am so grateful to have the knowledge of what happened with Adam and Eve, and to celebrate Eve’s decision, because it means that I could live my life and learn and grow to be more like my Savior and Father in Heaven.

13 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they had been naked. And they sewed fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons.
14 And they heard the voice of the Lord God, as they were walking in the garden, in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife went to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

Partaking of the fruit, gave them the ability to have feelings and emotions that they did not know before then. One of these was the feeling of shame. Because of their shame, Adam and Eve covered themselves with leaves. Then, they hid themselves from God when they heard him coming. I think they did this out of shame and the feeling that they were not worthy to be in the Lord’s presence. We will all have the opportunity to face the Lord after this life and if we have not made use of the atonement through repentance, we will also feel unworthy to be in His presence.

15 And I, the Lord God, called unto Adam, and said unto him: Where goest thou?
16 And he said: I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I beheld that I was naked, and I hid myself.
17 And I, the Lord God, said unto Adam: Who told thee thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, if so thou shouldst surely die?
18 And the man said: The woman thou gavest me, and commandest that she should remain with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree and I did eat.
19 And I, the Lord God, said unto the woman: What is this thing which thou hast done? And the woman said: The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Part of the repentance process is confessing our sins and transgressions to God. This is the pattern that we must follow in order to being the repentance process. First, we must realize that we have done something wrong, and feel sorrow for it. Adam admitted that he felt ashamed for his nakedness, and acknowledged his unworthiness. Then, we must admit to the things we have done wrong and acknowledge our participation in them. Adam admitted to eating the fruit. I like that our example has an explanation of why he did this. It is not wrong for us to explain why we have done things wrong, as long as we are truthful and take proper responsibility for our own actions. When we blame our actions entirely on others, we are not going to be able to truly repent or be forgiven for what we do. Recently, because of my own children, I have been able to understand the reason God asked Adam if he had done this thing. As a parent, I understand that our children learn more from an experience, when they can explain what they did or what they learned from it. When we give all the answers, they are not being given the chance to ponder it for themselves. God knew exactly what had been done and why, but He needed to give Adam and Eve the opportunity to think about what they had done so that they could be completely honest and therefore learn the most from the experience.

20 And I, the Lord God, said unto the serpent: Because thou hast done this thou shalt be cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life;
21 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
22 Unto the woman, I, the Lord God, said: I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
23 And unto Adam, I, the Lord God, said: Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the fruit of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying—Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed shall be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
24 Thorns also, and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.
25 By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, until thou shalt return unto the ground—for thou shalt surely die—for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou wast, and unto dust shalt thou return.
26 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living; for thus have I, the Lord God, called the first of all women, which are many.
27 Unto Adam, and also unto his wife, did I, the Lord God, make coats of skins, and clothed them.
28 And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten: Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil; and now lest he put forth his hand and partake also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever,
29 Therefore I, the Lord God, will send him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken;
30 For as I, the Lord God, liveth, even so my words cannot return void, for as they go forth out of my mouth they must be fulfilled.
31 So I drove out the man, and I placed at the east of the Garden of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.
32 (And these are the words which I spake unto my servant Moses, and they are true even as I will; and I have spoken them unto you. See thou show them unto no man, until I command you, except to them that believe. Amen.)

There are always consequences for our actions. In a lot of instances, the consequences reach a lot farther than just ourselves. In the case of Adam’s transgression, the consequences affect every person who has ever come to the earth since that time. Women bear and raise children through sorrow and pain. We all have to work our “by the sweat of [our] face” in order to survive. We have to deal with temptations of Satan and with the weeds and other obnoxious things in our lives. And finally, we all will experience physical death because of Adam and Eve’s choice, but we choose for ourselves if we will experience spiritual death. Our strength comes in knowing that God has given us the power to be stronger then these things, especially the workings of the devil. We just have to realize that this strength comes from our Father in Heaven and so we must turn to Him. More specifically, the power to bruise the head of the serpent comes through the posterity of Eve, or of woman, because the Savior came and He saves us all from anything that Satan can do. The Savior has made it so that we will all overcome physical death through the resurrection, and we all have the ability to overcome spiritual death through repentance.

Even though Adam and Eve had transgressed, God was still there for them. He had clothes made to cover them and then they were kept safe from partaking of the fruit again, be being sent out of the garden and by the tree being guarded from them. Even though the consequence was to be away from the presence of God, God was still there as their loving Father in Heaven. All of the consequences given to Adam and Eve, are actually the ways that cause us to learn and grow the most. I am grateful for the opportunity to have children even though there is a lot of hardship and pain that comes from it. I am also very glad to have hardships and to have the ability to make mistakes in life, because these are the things that I can get the most out of later on. I am most grateful for my Savior and that He has made it possible for me to find strength, hope, and guidance in every area of my life.


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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