"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
March 23, 2006

Our Love Needs to Be Developed

“God loves us all — saint and sinner alike — with a perfect and everlasting love. We have His love, if not His approval. It is our love for Him that remains to be developed. When we come to be genuinely concerned with pleasing God — more than with pleasing any in the world, even ourselves — then our behavior improves and His blessings can engulf us. This sublime feeling can be experienced only if we come to know enough about Him so that our awe melts into adoration, and our respect into utter reverence.” — Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, p. 3 (italics added)

March 21, 2006

Except By Revelation

…the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11-12)

That, of course, is the grand secret, the great key: no man ever receives true religion and the pure gospel except by revelation. — Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 142

The World Cannot Receive the Holy Ghost

“The world cannot receive the Holy Ghost because the world is evil; the Spirit will not dwell in unclean and unholy places. There is no way for carnal men to gain the companionship of the Spirit unless they forsake the World and live by godly standards.” — Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 263

March 20, 2006

The Essential Vice

“There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves. I have heard people admit that they are bad-tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they are cowards. I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to it in others. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it in ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.”

“The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility. You may remember, when I was talking about sexual morality, I warned you that the centre of Christian morals did not lie there. Well, now, we have come to the centre. According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkeness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Understanding Evil

“Remember that, as I said, the right direction leads not only to peace but to knowledge. When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bads man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Only the good know how bad they are.

Love at Home

A recent study conducted by the Church has forcefully confirmed
statistically what we have been told again and again. That is, if loving,
inspired instruction and example are not provided at home, then our related
efforts for sucess in and around Church programs are severely limited. It
is increasingly clear that we must teach the gospel to our families
personally, live those teachings in our homes, or run the risk of
discovering too late that a Primary teacher or priesthood adviser or
seminary instructor COULD not do for our children what we WOULD not do for
them — Jeffrey R. and Patricia T. Holland

March 19, 2006

Revelation vs philosophy

“Tertullian likens the philosophers to men stumbling and groping about in the dark. Once in a while, he says, they do ’stumble on the truth by a happy accident,’ but it is inexcusable for a Christian to follow such blind and unreliable guides since he has something far better — a revelation from Heaven.” — Hugh Nibley, The World and the Prophets, p. 9, Tertullian, De Anima, c. 2.

Only the Repentant Truly Understand the Scriptures

“There are several things that are helpful to understand to help reading … scripture. First, in order to understand and enjoy scripture is REPENTANCE. I don’t fully understand how the body and spirit are put together, nor do I understand the ecology of the universe which the Lord has created. I don’t know clearly the relationship between NOT keeping the commandments, and NOT enjoying spiritual things, but they are absolutely contrary to each other (See Alma 41:11 - man in the world, without God, is living contrary to the nature of happiness).”

When Ammon was coming back from his mission with his brethren, he made this statement found in Alma 26:21-22:

21 Now behold my brethren, what natural man is there that knoweth these things. Behold, I say unto you, that there is none that knoweth these thing, save it be the penitent.

“In other words, there is something about spiritual things where the spirit bears record, and if you are not repentant, you cannot know it. Even if you once knew it, you cannot know it now.”

22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringing forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed,; yea, and unto such it shall be give to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

“So, the only thing that can happen to an unrepentant person, in this context, is that they can know a lot about the Lord, and a lot about scripture; they can even be a scriptural scholar, but THEY CANNOT KNOW IT. YOU MUST BE REPENTANT. THERE IS NO ONE THAT TRULY UNDERSTANDS THE SCRIPTURES, SAVE IT BE THE PENITENT.” — Robert J. Norman

Rhetoric vs Spirit

It is interesting to note an observation made by a man centuries old regarding rhetoric. Clement states:

“I frequented the schools of the philosophers, where, however, I heard nothing but dogmatic assertions and equally dogmatic refutations endlessly put forth — formal disputations, artfully constructed syllogisms, and subtle conclusions … Neither side ever brought forth proof that really convinced me inside, because the statements and definitions of things passed as true or false not from the actual nature of things or the real truth, but always according to the skill and cleverness of the people putting them forth.” (Clementine Recognitions, I, 3, in Patrol. Graec I, 1208)

Beware the Korihors, for they are many.

March 7, 2006

Abraham Becoming like God

“Who was Abraham trying to become like? God. The ultimate end of the covenant is to become perfect, like God. The Hebrew word for that is THUMMIM. That means ‘perfection’ in the whole and complete sense and not the LDS cultural sense, where you bake all your bread, paint your house, have all your kids clean and dressed and studying the scriptures every morning at 5:30. It is the perfection of God in uprightness and dependability, and integrity. The name of the Urim and Thummim is ‘lights’ and ‘perfections.’”

“What color are they? White. White stones shining in a dark place teaching uprightness and perfection. They are a type of Christ, to reveal the name of God. They teach you to become like him. So how did the Book of Mormon get to us? Through the Urim and Thummim, a light in darkness. Recall also that the Book of Mormon came through the veil. Where did Joseph sit, and where was Oliver? Joseph was on one side of the veil, and Oliver on the other. It came by Urim and Thummim, through the veil! It ended up on this side of the veil, with Oliver writing it. It is typological, isn’t it? Right now, the Lord is hidden, and cannot be seen. But at the Second Coming, the veil is lifted and all will see. So the Urim and Thummim are on one side, because they represent Him, and the word coming through the veil to Oliver, and we get the Book of Mormon. All this is done through the wisdom of God who does all things from the beginning to typify Christ. It may seem a strange thing to have a translation that way, but the whole thing is strange, from beginning to end. That is scriptural.”– Robert J. Norman