You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Jesus’ tag.

As a backdrop for this post, here is John 4:7-11:

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

When I read this scripture, I yearn to feel this kind of love.  Often, I feel selfish, full of sin and imperfect.  I am all of those things.  Sometimes I ponder and try to understand things of the gospel like the Atonement of Christ, God’s plan, scriptures, why things happen,etc. and there isn’t any answer.  I’ve also struggled in the past with forgiving others and have shared experiences with miracles that have happened in my life to be able to not only forgive, but to forgive and love those who wronged me.  It’s a miracle when this happens.

My mother shared with me an interesting story about love, accepting Jesus into one’s life, repentance, and forgiveness, which I’ll outline below.

A New Friend

alzheimersMy mom had some friends who asked her to visit their ailing grandfather, who was in a care center that focuses on Alzheimers patients.  When she started visiting the patient, she felt moved to get to know other patients as well, going above and beyond her “duty”.

As she made bi-weekly visits, she got to know many people in the facility and their family members.  One lady she got to know very well along with her brother who would visit her daily.  This lady was special because no one in the center had been able to speak or communicate with her for years except for her brother, but my mom was blessed to be able to connect with her.

Over the years, they not only connected, but became friends.  Mom knew the lady well and would share stories back and forth with her.  However, every time she asked the lady if she could pray, the lady declined.  Her brother told my mom that it was because she was mad at God and had decided she didn’t want to communicate with Him.

The End

One day, my mom came to visit and her friend was deathly ill.  Actually, they thought she was in a coma because she hadn’t communicated for over a week with anyone and also hadn’t eaten.  She should have been dead.  Her brother told her it was OK to go, but for some reason she was still holding on.

When my mother came, she said that day she was filled with the Holy Spirit and knelt down beside her friend.  She took her friends hand and immediately, the friend’s corners of her mouth turned upward in a slight smile.  My mother offered words of comfort, encouragement, and hope to her.  Then she asked her if she could pray with her.  This time, the lady squoze mom’s hand and indicated she did indeed want a prayer.

During the prayer, mom said she was speaking words completely guided by the Holy Spirit.  At one point, she said something about the lady being able to forgive the man who had abused her.  Mom didn’t know anything about this, but the words just came out of her mouth.  She went on to pray for healing, and for the lady to have the ability to repent for her hard feelings she had harbored.

After the prayer, her brother pointed down to her eyes and a little tear was coming out of her eye.  Her brother told my mom that she had been abused as a young lady by someone and that was what my mom had been prompted to pray for.  My mom continued speaking with the lady and over the course of a few minutes the lady indicated through squeezing my mothers hand that she had forgiven the man, accepted Jesus’ healing power of the Atonement and had repented.  Peacefulness settled into her tortured body, mom asked her if she would be there to greet her when it was her time. Within 1/2 hour she passed on.

Love

In this situation, my mother was an excellent example of how we can open up ourselves to feeling the love of God and reaching out to love others.

She could have just done her “duty” and visited the man her friends wanted her to visit.  However, through the love of God she has, she was moved to visit others and do as Jesus would do had he been there.

Not only did she visit others, but she witnessed of Christ and His atonement to others as she felt guided by the Spirit.  This led to miracles in the life of at least one lady, and I’m sure there are others that were blessed through my mothers’ efforts that she hasn’t told me about.

I pray that I can feel this kind of love and not be afraid to act on the promptings I receive from the Spirit.  I know that as we open ourselves up to the Lord, we can make a huge difference in the world.

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, to keep oneself unspotted from the world. Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.–James 1:27

Advertisements
Belief in God Importance of Religion in One’s Life Church Attendance Religious Affiliation Believe their Religion is One True Faith
71% Absolutely Certain 56% Very Important 39% Once a week 79% Christian 24% Their religion is one true faith leading to Eternal Life
17% Fairly Certain 26% Somewhat Important 33% Once/Twice per month 16% Unaffiliated 70% Many religions lead to Eternal Life
4% Uncertain 16% Not Important 27% Seldom or Never 2% Jewish 3% Neither
      1% Muslim 4% Don’t Know
      1% Buddhist  
A few things I find interesting included:
– Most of the country are Christians, yet most of the country believe in more than one way to eternal life.  I am personally under the impression that most Christians are pretty direct and cut-and-dry with who goes to heaven or not.  I’m suprised by this statistic, but also happy.  I feel God is very merciful and also just and therefore, the many mansions in heaven that await those who accept Him.  I just wasn’t under the impression that this many people were Christians.
– An overwhelming majority of the country believes in God, yet our laws dictate how we are or are not supposed to pray in public schools.  If the overwhelming majority of the country is Christian, wouldn’t you think Christian prayers would be a given for the 1% of other faiths who are in the country as well?  I think it is absurd not to allow prayers and talk of God in public places when the overwhelming majority of the country expresses belief in a Christian God.
– Finally, I’m impressed that so many people still go to church.
What stands out to you about these statistics?

It was a cold, fall morning as we pulled up to church and were just a bit late (Mormon Standard Time).  As I was unbuckling my seatbelt, I looked up and noticed someone out under the pavilion.  He was wearing shabby clothing and it looked like he was cooking on the barbeque grill. 

My thoughts were:  “I wonder if he’s o.k., or if he needs some type of assistance.”  followed by “We’re late for church and he’s shabby and dirty and what if he turns out to be a psycho like that Elisabeth Smart guy…” followed by “Dude, you’re on your way to church and you will learn about helping those in need.  What hypocrite would you be to walk past this guy and then go study about Jesus.  Didn’t Jesus say to help those in need and love your neighbor?” 

The words of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon also came to mind.  In Mosiah Chapter 4 he says:

16 And also, ye yourselves will asuccor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the bbeggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

  17 Perhaps thou shalt asay: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
  18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
  19 For behold, are we not all abeggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
  20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a aremission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his bSpirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with cjoy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.
  21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to aimpart of the substance that ye have one to another.
  22 And if ye ajudge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your bcondemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life cbelongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
  23 I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are arich as pertaining to the things of this world.

I decided to follow the last inside voice and told my wife I’d be right back and walked towards the gentleman.

As I walked over to the gentleman, I noticed he had a bicycle and a trailer with all of his belongings in them.  I greeted him and asked him his name.  He told me his name was Bill and we started talking.  I watched him roll his cigarrete as he told me he was homeless and had chosen to be so.  He explained of how he had been baptized in 1972 in California, and made it up to the Seattle area, where we live. 

As he described his circumstances I tried to imagine what it must be like to live in the cold, especially during the rainy winters in Seattle.  My heart went out to him, and he further explained how he wanted to get a Bible and Book of Mormon and that he wasn’t there to mooch off of anyone, but wanted spiritual nourishment.  He had chosen to be homeless rather than live in the shelters where drugs and other bad influences were, and he wanted to come to church to feel closer to God and cleanse his inner soul.  He even showed me his church clothes he had specially packed in his trailer.  I told him he would be welcome in church and that I’d connect him with our bishop and also with a set of scriptures. 

He came to church and participated in both sacrament meeting and the Gospel Principles class and even shared some of his experiences with faith.  He was able to get some scriptures and waved and thanked me when church was over.

As we drove home, I felt glad to have helped him and prayed for his safety and spiritual strength.  However, my thoughts also turned to the Elizabeth Smart case once again and how the person who had abducted her was a homeless guy that her father had brought home to help.

The questions came to mind “How can we help our neighbors and still be wary of the safety of our families and those around us?”  “How can we avoid being manipulated?” “Should we just follow our hearts and help those in need without thinking of possible consequences?”

Jesus gives us the answers to some of these questions in Matthew chapter 25.  He says about those who help the needy:

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his aright hand, Come, ye bblessed of my Father, cinherit the dkingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

  35 For I was an ahungred, and ye bgave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a cstranger, and ye took me in:
  36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye avisited me: I was in bprison, and ye came unto me.
He then goes on to say this about those who do not help those in need:
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the aleft hand, bDepart from me, ye ccursed, into everlasting dfire, eprepared for the devil and his angels:
  42 For I was an ahungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
  43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Personally, I feel it is very important to help those in need and give them support as Jesus and King Benjamin admonish us to.  However, we do need to be wary if we’re not sure we can trust the individual of how much information we give them and allow them to come into our lives.  “Taking someone in” as Jesus suggests doesn’t mean (in my opinion) bringing them into your home and giving them full access to everything.  It means finding a place to give them shelter, giving them a good meal, helping them find a job, etc.  I am very happy to help people and love them, but love and trust are not the same thing.

My reasons for doing this could be viewed as fear-based and I realize that fear is the opposite of faith.  I could see how someone would say that if we don’t bring someone in and treat them like a brother, that is lacking in faith.  My opinion is that helping people while still being cautious until they’ve proved trustworthy is being wise…not fearful. 

How do you feel about this and what do you do to help those in need?

 

I teach Elders Quorum (men’s group) once a month and this month we focused on the excellent talk given last April by Jeffery R Holland, one of the 12 apostles entitled “None Were With Him.”

The talk focuses on Jesus’ journey to the cross the week before his crucifixtion and all the hardships he faced so he could die for our sins. It’s a very moving talk that I wrote about last April.

We read about Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. We discussed what led up to him betraying Jesus. All of us agreed that greed, selfishness, fear, jealousy, and other sins all left unchecked within Judas led up to his betrayal.

We then stopped and analyzed ourselves. We’re all human as well. How often are we tempted to be greedy, selfish, and to have fear instead of faith? Judas’ experience shows us what can happen if we leave things unchecked.

The question then for all of us is what can we do to “get the Judas” out of us and overcome feelings of sin that can ultimately lead us away from Jesus?

Please share what you do to “get the Judas” out of you.

The official statement from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) says the following about the purpose for temple garments:

Like members of many religious faiths, Latter-day Saints wear religious clothing. But members of other faiths — typically those involved in permanent pastoral ministries or religious services — usually wear religious garments as outer ceremonial vestments or symbols of recognition. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, garments are worn beneath street clothing as a personal and private reminder of commitments to God.

Garments are considered sacred by Church members and are not regarded as a topic for casual conversation. (LDS Newsroom)

I’ve personally never really paid that much attention to why people of various religions wear certain clothes…especially their underwear!  However, as a Mormon, somehow this topic gets brought up on occasion and I can understand our friends of other faiths having questions about why we wear garments. 

For example, I was on a business trip a few years ago and shared a room with a colleague.  When we were changing he looked at me and had a hard time not doing a double take.  He had questions…a lot of them.  All I knew was that it is emphasized that garments are not used for casual conversation and I’m afraid I confused him more than helped him with my vague explanation of why we wear garments. 

Today I was reading in the scriptures and also a talk on how the garment is an outward expression of an inner commitment.  The verse I read today that impressed me was in Alma 34:36:

…the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out; but their garments should be made white through the blood of the Lamb.

I’m not sure why I hadn’t really paid attention to this before, but one purpose for the garment is to remind us of the suffering that Jesus went through for all of us and to remind us that our sins are washed away through his blood.  I then became curious and thought I’d look up more scriptures with this imagery and I found quite a few that share similar imagery.

I’m sure if I had sat down with my friend and showed him the scriptures related to the garment, it would have made a lot more sense to him rather than giving a vague answer and telling him it is too sacred to talk about.  Our friends may or may not agree with wearing the garments, but they should definitely gain more understanding if we approach it with confidence and understanding from their perspective.

Have any of you had a similar experience?  If so, what approach have you taken on explaining the purpose behind wearing the garment?

Other Good posts about Garments:

Some History of Mormon Underwear

In the book “How Wide the Divide,” Craig Blomberg from a Denver seminary and Stephen Robinson, from BYU (both have PhD’s in religion) attempt to “bridge the gap” between Evangelicals and Mormons.  The first step is to have a correct understanding of what the other believes.  The following is an excerpt from their book:

Since very few Latter-day Saints and Evangelicals are theologically bilingual, the same misunderstandings tend to be compounded over and over, which is grist for the mills of prejudice on both sides…(How Wide the Divide, page 14)

In an attempt for both Evangelicals and LDS people to learn about each other’s beliefs, both Blomberg and Robinson share a modern-day translation of “Articles of Faith” for both religions.  I will now share their thoughts.  Feel free to share yours in your comments.

LDS Articles of Faith Translated for Christians of other Faiths

  1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.  We accept the biblical doctrine that God is three and that God is also one, but we reject the post-New Testament attempts to explain how these two truths are to be reconciled
  2. We believe that humankind fell through the transgression of Adam and Eve and that humans in their present state are subject to sin, death and corruption.  However, we believe that individuals are accountable for thier own sins, not for guilt inherited from Adam and Eve.  We accept both divine justice and human accountability, but we do not believe in original sin.
  3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ, fallen humanity may be saved by accepting and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ.  No one is predestined either to salvation or to damnation; anyone may be saved who responds appropriately to the good news of Christ.
  4. We believe that we respond appropirately to Christ and we accept his gospel by having faith in and being faithful to Christ as Son of God and Savior, that is, by accepting him as Lord and Savior and making him Lord of and in our lives.  We cannot merit salvation of ourselves, nor is it possible to “earn” the grace by which we are saved, but the obedience of faith, a godly walk and conversation, is a necessary component of faith in Christ.  Jesus will save us from our sins but not with our sins.  Beyond having faith in Christ, we must also repent of sin, consent to baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and receive the regenerating and sanctifying gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.
  5. We believe that the Christianity of the first century, New Testament Christianity, is true Christianity.  As such, it is the only standard by which to define Chrisitanity, as opposed to defining it by post-New Testament councils and creeds.  We believe that the priesthood authority, church organization, spiritual gifts, sacraments (i.e. ordinances) and doctrines of the modern church must be as they were in the New Testament church.  This obviously includes the presence of apostles and prophets who receive direct, continuing revelation for the church in the world.
  6. We accept the Bible (the King James Version) as the inspired word of God–every book, every chapter, every verse of it–as revealed to the apostles and prophets who wrote it.  We also hold the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price to be the word of God.
  7. We believe in the divine conception, subsitutionary atonement, sacrificial death, bodily resurrection and present glory of Jesus Christ and that he will return to this earth in judgment and in his glory to cleanse it from all wickedness and to establish his personal millennial reign.  Both the saved and the lost will be resurrected, the former at Christ’s coming or during his reign, the latter at the end of th millennium.
  8. We believe that the church established by Christ in the New Testament was changed by later Chrisitan intellectuals who believed the simple New Testament proclamation to be inadequate.  Feeling the language of Scripture to be unsophisticated, incomplete, vague, ambiguous or imprecise, the second, thrud and fourth-century church sougt to “improve” the New Testament gospel by the standards of Hellenistic philosophy, but compromised it instead.
  9. We believe that the Lord in preparation for his imminent second coming has “restored” New Testament Chrisitanity in the latter days through the prophet Joseph Smith.  Nevertheless, all honest Christians of whatever deonmination, not just LDS Christians, will be among the saved at the last day…(How Wide the Divide, pgs 16-17)

Evangelical “Article of Faith” or “Confession Statement”

  1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  2. We believe that there is one God eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
  3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His personal return in power and glory.
  4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. (How Wide the Divide pgs 29-30)

My wife and I have most recently been reading Truman G Madsen’s book entitled “Christ and the Inner Life.”  This is a very good book and some of the concepts from it I’ve written about in previous posts.

I’ll share some quotes from the book that recently caught my attention:

I say to you that when he (Jesus) said to the woman of Samaria and to others, “He that believeth on me, shall never thirst”; I say to you that when on the cross he looked down and back, under the searing sun, and said, “I thirst,” he was reflecting both the promise and the need that all of us have.  We, too, thirst until we ache.  We, too, are living and dying on deserts.

A few paragraphs later, Madsen further concludes by saying:

May God help us to walk in the light; and, when we do not feel that we have it, to walk in the memory of it with integrity.

I thought it was interesting to note that Jesus, who had stated those who follow Him will never thirst was left alone and thirsted not only physically, but spiritually on the cross when he said “Father why hast thou forsaken me?”  While his enemies scoffed and ridiculed him telling him to save himself.  At this moment Jesus didn’t feel like he had the light anymore as His father had withdrawn himself from him.  Jesus, who was all-powerful could have used his powers to save himself and destroy his enemies, but he didn’t because he had integrity.  Jesus proved to be conquerer by holding on to the memory of the light he had felt and his mission and finished his mission with integrity. 

How often do we feel like we’re alone in life?  How often do we feel the darkness of sin, doubt, or discouragement and cry out to God and feel that we are yet alone?  How often do we just simply not feel like walking with God, or doubt that He is there walking with us?  What do we do when we feel that God has forsaken us?

I like what Madsen says about walking in the memory of the light.  When all seems to be lost, the memories may be all that we have to rely on for a season.

First, we need to make sure we’re in the light. In a previous post, I shared ways to “plug” into the light throughy keeping the commandments and scripture study.  I would add sincere prayer to this as well.  We should continue to do these things even when we don’t feel like it because these are ways to stay in God’s light and feel His Holy Spirit.

Second, we need to remember.  We’re probably all familiar with scriptures relating both those who remembered and those who forgot.  I’ll share a few examples that come to mind.   

Poor examples in the scriptures include: Laman and Lemuel in the Book of Mormon, King David and Solomon, the Isrealites during Moses’ time.  In each of these individuals’ lives they had marvelous spiritual experiences.  David and Laman and Lemuel both saw heavenly beings with their eyes.  However due to negligence in keeping their eyes focused towards God, each of these individuals erred greatly and suffered because of it.  A side note is to remember that repentance is always there for us, but the further we fall from God’s light and love, the harder it is to get back.

Good examples in the scriptures of those who remembered in spite of hardship and despair include: Paul, Nephi, Moroni, and Joseph Smith.  There are of course numerous other examples, but these are the ones who come to mind. 

In 2 Nephi 4, Nephi turns to God in prayer when he feels his strength slacken, Paul states numerous times in the Bible to count it a joy to suffer for the Lord and reflects on Jesus’ sacrifice to help him “stay the course”, Moroni refuses to deny Jesus despite the fact he is the last believer left in his world.  Joseph Smith certainly wasn’t perfect by any means, but when times were hard and he felt like God wasn’t there for him anymore he didn’t give up on God, rather he turned to him in prayer and in turn received revelation.

There are numerous other means and ways given to us to remember God today.  Temple attendance and partaking the sacrament (in the prayer we promise to “always remember Him”) are two more examples. 

I know life probably isn’t easy for you, and it’s definitely not always easy for me.  But I know that life would be much harder without God in my life and the belief I have in Jesus as well.  As I’ve built memories with them, and try to further develop my relationship with them on a daily basis through scripture study and prayer as well as weekly partaking of the sacrament, I feel that life is much better.  I also believe that when we develop these habits it makes it that much easier to look back on the good feelings and spiritual strength we receive gradually over time. In addition, when we don’t feel the Spirit for a season we realize our dependance on God and become grateful for His mercy. 

When we’re down and don’t feel the light anymore I hope we can all remember to call upon God and keep walking in His light with integrity. 

A couple months back I was reading the temple study blog and he had an excersize to find temple imagery in 2 Nephi chapter 4

Recently I was reading in Hebrews as well as in Alma in the Book of Mormon and found some significant temple imagery as well.  Here are some verses that stuck out to me:

Alma 13:11,16

Hebrews 10:15-22

These are very beautiful scriptures that are filled with temple imagery (garments washed white, the veil is represents Christ’s flesh, covenants, etc.).  In addition scriptures such as Hebrews 9:5 talk about how there are certain things they can’t talk about regarding sacred things, just as LDS are told not to disclose certain sacred things about the temple.  All throughout Hebrews is excellent temple imagery and is worth a good read.

In Hebrews chapters 6-10, Paul discusses the temple ordinances conducted in the Law of Moses and in chapter ten says that through the blood of Jesus we enter into the holiest and that the veil represents his flesh. 

In Hebrews 9:12 it states that Jesus “entered into the holy place” and therefore obtained eternal redemption for us. 

Having read this, one could argue that there isn’t a need for temple ordinances anymore because Jesus already died and this has replaced the need for a temple.  Furthermore, if it is the blood of Jesus that saves us, what need is there for temple ordinances?

What are your thoughts on this?

In college, I skimmed through the book by Victor Frankl entitled “Man’s Search for Meaning.”  Recently I decided to read it again and spend a little more time digesting the concepts. 

For those unfamiliar with this book, it is a book written by Victor Frankl about his experiences in a concentration camp.  What is so impressive with this man is that before he was sent to the concentration camp he was a doctor of psychology.  He had been working on some essays and a book that defined man’s search for meaning and happiness and what motivates man to keep trying.  In his book, he describes how he was offered a position at a college in the United States before the Nazis came into Austria, where he lived.  Had he taken this position, he would have been safe and would have never entered into the concentration camp.  However, one day when he found out his parents were going to more than likely be sent to the camps he felt torn because he felt responsibilty to care for them.  He describes how one day he read in the Bible (Frankl was Jewish) to honor your father and your mother.  He took this as an answer from God and sacrificed his trip to America.  A few months later, he was caring for his father in a concentration camp as his father passed away. 

Going back to the concentration camp experience, Frankl describes what happened when he arrived.  First, they took all of his belongings, which only consisted of a suitcase, coat, etc. and disposed of them.  Next, they stripped the prisoners down to nothing and then shaved them completely naked.  Very humiliating. 

As I was reading this I had a thought about who we as human beings really are.  How would I view myself if I had a similar situation?  If everything was taken from me…my house, money, job, clothes…hair (that’s actually on it’s way out right now: )…how would I view myself?  Would I still view myself with dignity knowing that I am a child of God?  Would I still act and think thoughts about myself as a divine being with unlimited potential? 

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of someone who went through this when he was stripped down to nothing and whipped, beaten, and hung on the cross.  Jesus taught to love in spite of all hell coming at you and he lived the perfect example of how to do this in dignity.  He spoke with purpose.  He chose not to speak at times such as when before kings and people mocking him and showed quite dignity.  He taught to forsake all earthly posessions and to not set our hearts on riches.

Trying to love Jesus more fully and live His teachings is how we can ultimately find more meaning in our lives.  When all is said and done, we are nothing without Him. 

I encourage us all to take steps in prayer and read God’s Word so we can continually develop traits and find our ultimate meaning and purpose in life.

One of the main concerns many people have from other faiths is that for certain sins within the Mormon church the members need to confess to their Bishop.  LDS bishops are considered “judges of Israel” and therefore the concept is they sit in judgement in place of the Lord.  This practice isn’t uncommon as I know the Catholic church also has confession. 

 I’m unfamiliar with the history of confession and if someone knows, that would be great to add to the comments.  I did however go through the scriptures and see what I could find scripturally in support of or against confession to a person rather than the lord. 

Conflicting scriptures:

Morm. 8: 20 man shall not . . . judge: for judgment is mine.
D&C 20: 13 by them (the scriptures) shall the world be judged.
John 12: 47 I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world.
Mosiah 29: 12 better that a man should be judged of God than of man.

Scriptures of People judging in place of Lord:

Ex. 18: 13 Moses sat to judge the people.
Obad. 1: 21 saviours shall . . . judge the mount of Esau.
1 Cor. 6: 2 saints shall judge the world.
1 Cor. 6: 3 know ye not that we shall judge angels.
1 Ne. 12: 9 twelve apostles . . . shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
D&C 29: 12 to judge the whole house of Israel.
D&C 58: 17 appointed to be a judge in Israel.
Morm. 3: 18 twelve tribes of Israel, who shall be judged . . . by the twelve whom Jesus chose.
Morm. 3: 19 this people . . . judged by the twelve whom Jesus chose in this land.

Lord is judge:

Isa. 33: 22 Lord is our judge.
John 5: 22 Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.

Final Judgement:

D&C 29: 12 to judge (Christ’s apostles) the whole house of Israel.
D&C 88: 99 (1 Pet. 4: 6; D&C 138: 34) be judged according to men in the flesh.
D&C 137: 9 Lord, will judge all men according to their works.
2 Ne. 28: 23 stand before the throne of God, and be judged.
1 Ne. 15: 33 stand before God, to be judged.
Alma 11: 41 rise from the dead and . . . be judged.
Alma 41: 3 men should be judged according to their works.

I would love to hear peoples’ thoughts on why or why not is it necessary to confess sins to clergy?

Cleanse your Soul with Grace for Grace “Spiritual SOAP”

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 890 other followers

GraceforGrace Community

Pages

Blog Stats

  • 488,961 hits
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: