"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
April 16, 2006

Enough!

“The Book of Mormon is full of such scriptural patterns that are prophetic for the last days, all of which tie into the prophecies of Isaiah.  Knowing how to recognize these patterns, and the ‘manner’ in which Isaiah prophesies, become invaluable tools for learning about that time.  God expects more of us than to gloss over the substance of his word.  Rather than read the Book of Mormon superficially, we do well to ’search’ its layered meaning.”

” Because we are not familiar with literary methods doesn’t mean they are not valid.  Or because we haven’t heard something repeated a hundred times doesn’t mean it is not true.  Haven’t we learned life’s most valuable lessons when we have kept an open mind?  That was essential to our gaining a testimony of the gospel in the first place.  But those who set up stakes for themselves say. ‘I know enough; I don’t need to know more!’”  — Avraham Gileadi, The Last Days, Introduction, p 4

April 14, 2006

Individual Repentance

“Prophecy tells us that things are going to change and that there is nothing we can do to stop it. Certain things are going to happen. Must we therefore resign ourselves to our fate? Not at all. There is a vital rule that leaves the door wide open to effective individual repentance and escape. We have Professor Heisenberg to thank for that. He found that though you can predict with absolute certainty how masses of particles are going to act, you can never predict how any one particle is going to behave. That is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which used to be called the ‘free will of the atom.’ The single particle is unpredictable; only the mass is absolutely bound to behave according to the unimpeachable laws of physics. In the same way one can prophesy with absolute certainty what a nation of people or society is going to do: you can talk about aggregates and predict the behavior of the masses, but you can never deny any individual the freedom to repent and go the other way. ‘Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.’ The prophets and Professor Heisenberg show us the way out. You do not have to wait for the group to change. for the society to repent, nor do you have to change your ways to comply with theirs; the individual is free to ignore the multitude, and only he is free. Only an individual can repent. Repent is reflexive verb — you can’t repent someone else or force somebody else [to repent]; you just repent…” — Hugh Nibley, Approaching Zion, pp. 416-417

April 12, 2006

By Personal Study

“It is a paradox that men will gladly devote time every day for many years to learn a science or an art; yet will expect to win a knowledge of the gospel, which comprehends all sciences and arts, through perfunctory glances at books or occasional listening to sermons.  The gospel should be studied more intensively than any school or college subject.  They who pass opinion on the gospel without having given it intimate and careful study are not lovers of truth, and their opinions are worthless.” — James A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 16-17

April 11, 2006

Too Wise?

“There are a great many wise men and women too in our midst who are too wise to be taught; therefore they must die in their ignorance, and in the resurrection they will find their mistake. Many seal up the door of heaven by saying, So far God may reveal and I will believe.” — Joseph Smith (D.H.C., Vol. V, p. 424)

April 10, 2006

Good Salt

“…We are a people of covenant. We have made supernal promises, some of us in holy places, to stand as lights to a world desperately in need of direction and focus. We are under solemn obligation to be the salt of the earth (see D&C 101:39-40), to bring out the best in the world, to preserve the world from decay and destruction. It is important to remember that salt does not lose its savor or influence with age; salt loses its savor through mixture and contamination.” — Robert L. Millet, A Call to Holiness

April 4, 2006

Pillars

Exodus 6:2

And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord; 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. 4 And I have ESTABLISHED MY COVENANT with them, to give them the land of Canaan….” 5 And I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in BONDAGE; and I have remembered my COVENANT. 6 Wherefore, say unto the Children of Israel, I AM THE LORD, and I will BRING YOU OUT from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their BONDAGE and I will REDEEM you with a STRETCHED OUT ARM, and with great judgment. 7 AND I WILL TAKE YOU TO ME FOR A PEOPLE, AND I WILL BE TO YOU A GOD, AND YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, WHICH BRINGETH YOU OUT from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you in unto the LAND concerning the which I did swear to give it to ABRAHAM, to ISAAC, and to JACOB; and I will give it you for an HERITAGE; I AM THE LORD.

“Remember, this God, Jehovah establishes covenant, brings out from bondage, and REDEEMS. You are MY PEOPLE. From this time forth you are either in Israel with the covenant people, and referred to as “a PEOPLE” or “MY PEOPLE”, or you are considered by God as “NOT A PEOPLE.”

“REMEMBER, THERE ARE ONLY TWO PEOPLE ON THE EARTH IN COVENANT LANGUAGE. EITHER THE COVENANT PEOPLE WHO REPRESENT CHRIST, AND HIS NAME, OR SATAN, AND NOT A PEOPLE. That is harsh, but that is the covenant language that God gives. THIS IS THE COVENANT. I AM GOD, YOU ARE MY PEOPLE; I WILL ESTABLISH YOU, REDEEM YOU AND DELIVER YOU.

“The word “established” becomes a key word, all the way through the scriptures. When He has the temple built, with Solomon, he has two standing pillars just before you entered. One was called JACHIN, and the other, BOAZ. One meant, THE LORD WILL ESTABLISH, and the other, IN THE STRENGTH OF JEHOVAH. So that when you pick up the New Testament and you are reading the blessings the Lord gives, notice Jesus says that he will “make them a pillar in the temple of God.” Rev. 3:12. That means that if you overcome, you will be established in the covenant and in the strength of Jehovah. You become those pillars.

“In establishing the covenant, notice when Alma wants to create a church in the Book of Mormon.  Notice that the wording that is used comes right out of Exodus.  The Lord shows Alma that the covenant in the church that he is forming will be the same one that is found in the law of Moses.

Put yourself in Alma’s shoes.  He is establishing a church, just having “delivered” a group of people from bondage.  You might wonder if you have done the right thing in organizing the church.  Mosiah 26:17-20

  17  Blessed art thou because thou hast ESTABLISHED a church among THIS PEOPLE; and they shall BE ESTABLISHED, and they shall be MY PEOPLE.

The Lord only establishes in one thing, and that is in the covenant, in the promised land, with posterity as numerous as the sands upon the seashore.

18  Yea, blessed is THIS PEOPLE who are willing to bear MY NAME; for in MY NAME shall THEY BE CALLED, and they are mine. 19  And because thou hast inquired of me concerning the transgressor, thou art blessed.  20 Thou art MY SERVANT; and I COVENANT with thee that thou shalt have ETERNAL LIFE; and thou shalt SERVE ME and GO FORTH IN MY NAME [out of Egypt?] and shalt gather together MY SHEEP.

“So this covenant will get them, and you, how far?  All the way into Eternal Life.  Established, their God, His People, …this is covenant language, and it is carried throughout the scriptures.  Land, People, God, Redeem, Establish.” — Robert J. Norman

What Does Egypt Represent?

“What does Egypt represent?  This world, and the bondage of the world.  What are you taught in the temple.  How does Satan control people?  By the economy.  The closer you get to the Coming of the Lord, the more and more hours are required to eat, and to survive.  Satan keeps you busy so you don’t have time to go worship.  The Prophet tells you one thing, and the devil tells you another, and you are caught in between.  What is it that some tell the prophet?  Go away, leave us alone.  It gets tougher and tougher as we move to the Exodus.   Also, who goes after those who try to leave the world and go after God?  Satan (Pharaoh).  He doesn’t let go easily. If you have been in his employ, he goes after you.” — Robert J. Norman

I AM

Exodus 3:6

Moreover he said, I AM the God of thy father, the God of Abraham….”

“Notice that the words I AM in Exodus 3:6, and the words I WILL in verse 12, are the same thing in Hebrew. I AM, I WILL, I WAS. He says that he is a God of Deliverance. (v8) The God of Exodus is the Delivering God. Keeping the Law makes you free. The same word for “etch”, as in God etched the words in the stone tablets, is the same word for Freedom. Therefore, the law makes you free.

“Carried over into the New Testament, Jesus teaches that if you continue in his word, you are his disciples, and the truth makes you FREE. The truth was etched on the tablets. Jehovah feels that laws and commandments are also freedom-giving. Not binding, but freeing. Another paradox, isn’t it?

“So Moses asks “WHAT IS HIS NAME?” This is what theologians have struggled with. What is the name of God in Genesis. Gen.2:4- LORD God - remember this: every time King James people wrote that, they took that from the Hebrew YHWY, which is pronounced “YAHWAY”, OR “JAWVEY” but we call it JEHOVAH. So the term “LORD God” in Hebrew is “Jehovah Elohim”. The Lord God, is Jehovah Elohim. “Why is that plural?” they ask. What is the relation between Jehovah and Elohim? Scholars have wondered.

14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

“You read all the way through Exodus, and it appears that Moses never said. “I AM hath sent me,” to the Children of Israel. Not only that, but here is the confusing part; in Hebrew, guess what God says?

“EHYEH ASHE EHYEH” which is a form of the verb “to be.” The same as in verse 12. I will, I am, I was. Thus God could be saying to Moses, I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE; or I AM WHAT I WILL BE or I WILL BE WHAT I AM or I AM THAT I AM or I WAS WHAT I AM or I WAS WHAT I WILL BE, ETC. All we get in Hebrew are the consonants. Now look at what God says in D&C 68:

6. Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I AM THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD, THAT I WAS, THAT I AM, AND THAT I AM TO COME.

“What is all this, past, present and future? There is another possibility also; “It came to pass” or “to bring to pass” is another form of the same word in Hebrew. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Notice how the Book of Mormon ties in. There is something more divine in that form of words that finally ends up in English. The NAME of the God who is bringing “everything to pass” is included in that phrase. That is also found in the Old Testament because that phrase would indicate to a hebrew that the God of the Old Testament is the one that is causing everything to come to pass. He is the one in charge. Joseph Smith didn’t know any better in translating the Book of Mormon, so he left them all in there. Even the King James translators, who tried to keep the translation as pure as they could, had to take a lot of them out, because there were just too many. It is rooted in the divine.

“Let me tell you what I think was going on there. The Rabbis look at this and believe that Moses saw God in a way that had not happened before. Therefore, he never took that name and explained it to anyone. But I think what is happening to Moses on the Mount, with the Burning Bush, is the same thing that is happening with the brother of Jared and the hand of the Lord coming through the veil. My guess is that He shows him the wounds in his hands, in his side and in his feet, and says, I WILL BECOME WHAT I AM, and I AM WHAT I WILL BECOME. He is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.

“Notice that “I was the Son of the Living God, I am the Son of God, and I will be the Son of God.” D&C 68:6. The Atonement is what? Infinite and eternal from everlasting to everlasting. It has to be worked out down here, but Christ is everything past, present and future. It is all there. What must Moses know? He knows who the Savior is. How does he show it? I WILL BECOME WHAT I AM, AND WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT I WILL BECOME.” — Robert J. Norman