Posts Tagged 'Valiant'

1 Chronicles Chapter 10

The children of Israel had been led by judges, chosen by God and under His direction. This went on for many years, until the Israelites allowed the influence of surrounding nations to persuade them to have a king instead of following after the Lord’s pattern. This was around 1095 B.C. As their first king, the Lord chose a Benjamite named Saul. He was a very good, humble, young man when chosen by God. However, he gave in to personal weaknesses over time, and lost the favor of God (see 1 Samuel 15:23).

The Philistines had risen in power during the reign of Saul and he became afraid. He tried to pray for answers, but because of his disobedience, they were not answered. He went to the witch of Endor, and the spirit of Samuel told Saul he and his sons would die (see 1 Samuel 28). This chapter of Chronicles occurs somewhere around 1047 B.C. (according to the chronology of the Bible), after Saul had been told he would die. It begins as follows:

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
2 And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul.
3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.
4 Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died.
6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together.
7 And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

The Philistines went against Israel and fought them hard. The Israelite army retreated to mount Gilboa, but the Philistines pursued them and killed many, including the sons of Saul. The Philistines chased after Saul and he was shot by an arrow. Saul asked his servant to kill him, so that he would not be tortured by their enemies, but the servant refused to do it because he was afraid. Saul chose to do it himself (see also 1 Samuel 31). Once the servant saw it, he also killed himself. The men of the land where this happened, saw that Saul and his sons were dead, and they ran away, leaving their cities for the Philistines to take and live in them. (see also 2 Samuel 1:10 for another witness of Saul’s death)

8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa.
9 And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people.
10 And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.

The Philistines went to the dead to take what they could from them, and they found the bodies of Saul and his sons. They stripped Saul, took his head and armor, and sent word to their people. They displayed his armor in their temple (the house of Ashtaroth) and his head in the temple of Dagon. (see also 1 Samuel 31:8-10 – his body was displayed on the wall of Beth-shan).

11 And when all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,
12 They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

The men of Jabesh-gilead heard of the things that the Philistines had done to body of Saul. The valiant men went to the place where the bodies of Saul and his sons had been disrespected, and took their bodies to Jabesh where they buried them. Then they fasted for seven days, which was tradition according to the law of Moses. In the law, the Lord declared that any who touched the dead, were unclean for seven days. (see Numbers 19:11)

13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;
14 And inquired not of the Lord: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

The reason that the Lord allowed Saul to die in battle, was because he had transgressed and gone against the word of the Lord. He had knowingly turned to the forbidden choice of seeking after speaking with the dead, instead of turning to the Lord. In the law found in Leviticus 20:6, we read, “And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.” As a result, Saul was not protected in battle and the kingdom was then given to David, the son of Jesse, whom the Lord had chosen to be his successor. This was fulfillment of the prophecy of Samuel to Saul which said, “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.” (see 1 Samuel 13:14)

I have been thinking about the description of the men in verse 12, which says they were valiant men. Which means men showing courage and determination. At first glance, it may seem to mean that these men had the courage necessary to enter the land of the Philistines, at the risk of their own lives, to gather the bodies of their royal family. This would indeed make them men worthy of the description of being valiant. However, I think it is possible that the recorder of this event felt something more about these men. As I said above, it was law that a person who touched the dead were considered unclean. It would seem that more often than not, those who could avoid even looking upon a dead body, would avoid it, so as to avoid all possibility of uncleanliness. Yet these men had such a respect for Saul and his sons (this does not mean they supported him or followed him, but that they respected that he was their leader who had been chosen for them by the Lord), that they were willing to make a personal sacrifice of cleanliness, in order to give them the honor they deserved and no longer be mistreated by their enemies. They were valiant men, because they honored the law of Moses in a time when many of their brethren were not faithful to the law. They made their choice knowing it would have personal consequences both physical and spiritual, but also knowing that their leaders deserved more in death then they had received. They were definitely valiant men of Israel.


D&C Section 76 (Part 4)

This is a continuation of a previous post (D&C Section 76 Part 3).

This section was recieved by the prophet, Joseph Smith, and Sidney Rigdon, in a vision. It is regarding some of the truths that were taken from the translation of the Bible. It is a revelation that teaches us about the nature of heaven and the exaltation of men. These truths came after they had been pondering over the translations they had done. There were others who witnessed them receiving this vision and have testified to the glory that was with them when it was received. In this vision, we have learned about the fall of Lucifer and the state of sons of Perdition (see previous posts).

What Is the Resurrection of the Just?

“And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just (v. 50)—They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given (v. 51)—That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; (v. 52)”.

In the resurrection, there are two parts. The first resurrection will be for those who are just, and the second will be for the unjust. The resurrection of the just will be for all those who lived righteously according to the knowledge they had in this life. This includes those who made all the covenants they could in this life and have earned a place in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, as well as those who did not know the true and full gospel, but who lived a good life, did their best to do what they knew to be right, and will inherit the terrestrial kingdom. Specifically in these verses, the resurrection of the just will include those who have been baptized by immersion.

What Does It Mean to Be Sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise?

“And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true (v. 53).” The Saints were given a promise that would be able to have the holy spirit with them. All men are able to feel the influence of the holy spirit. The spirit is what testifies of the truth of the gospel and brings people to baptism. We are promised that when we are baptized we will be given the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands. The Holy Spirit of Promise is the gift of the Holy Ghost we receive at that time. The Holy Spirit of Promise seals the eternal covenants we make with our Father in Heaven when we are righteous and worthy of it. The resurrection of the just will include those who are worthy and have received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

What Is the Church of the Firstborn?

“They are they who are the church of the Firstborn (v. 54).” The Firstborn is the Lord, Jesus Christ. The Church of the Firstborn, are those who are committed to keeping His commandments and living his gospel. The resurrection of the just, will include those who follow the commandments.

This section goes on to say that those who are part of the resurrection of the just will have been promised all that the Father has, and will be priests and kings full of his glory (v. 55-56). They will be those that have the Melchizedek priesthood (v. 57). They will be those who are literal sons of God, belonging to Christ and blessed with the power to overcome all things (v. 58-60). Those who are resurrected with the just and are these things mentioned above, will glorify God and live with God and Jesus Christ forever (v. 61-62). They will be resurrected in the first resurrection, when the Savior comes to the earth to reign (v. 63-64). They will be the choice souls who will come to Zion with the angels and will be a part of the church of the Lord (v. 65-67). The will have been made perfect through the atonement of Jesus Christ (v. 69). Those who are resurrected as part of the resurrection of the just, will include those who have earned the glory of the celestial kingdom, which is the greatest glory of God (v. 70).

Do Those Who Receive the Gospel in the Spirit World Inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom?

“And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament (v. 71). Behold, these are they who died without law (v.72); And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh (v. 73); Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it (v. 74).” The spirits who received the gospel while in the spirit world, will be part of the Terrestrial Kingdom. These spirits will have heard the gospel in mortality, but did not accept it and make the sacred covenants that are necessary to be worthy of a celestial glory. In D&C 137:7 we read, “Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God”. Those who did not know of the gospel in mortality, but who the Lord knows would have received it, will be taught the gospel in the spirit world and when the accept it along with the sacred covenants that are completed in proxy by those who are living, they will be given the glory of the celestial kingdom. All of those who accept the gospel in the spirit world, will be part of the resurrection of the Just.

“These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men (v. 75). These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness (v. 76). These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father (v. 77). Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun (v. 78 ).” Those who reject the gospel in this life, but lived good lives still, will receive the glory of the terrestrial kingdom.

What Does It Mean to Be Valiant in the Testimony of the Savior?

“These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God (v. 79). And now this is the end of the vision which we saw of the terrestrial, that the Lord commanded us to write while we were yet in the Spirit (v. 80).” One who is valiant, is brave. To be valiant in the testimony of the Savior, is to be courageous and brave in sharing this testimony. It is to not be ashamed of the Gospel and to stand up for what you believe, even when everything around you is fighting against it. To be valiant in this, is to choose to follow the commandments and stand firm in faith. To be valiant in the testimony of the Savior, is to live the life of a true disciple of Christ and act as He would have acted. Those who falter in the strength of the testimony in Jesus Christ and follow the world in life, but choose to follow Christ in death, will be part of the terrestrial kingdom.

(This section is to be continued.)

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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