"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
March 17, 2008

The Desires of our Heart

…how can a few brief years spent here, born to trouble as we are, have a significant impact on [our] eternal existence?…This life, Lehi tells us, is only a probation, only a test (1 Nephi 10:21; 2 Nephi 2:21; Alma 34:32).  A test, to be searching and definitive, need last only a few seconds…The test for this life is not for knowledge; it is not for intelligence, or for courage, or for anything like that…As Alma said, we are only to be tested on one thing — the desires of our heart (Alma 43:3); that is what we are really after. (Hugh Nibley, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 9, Ch. 10, p. 300)

January 26, 2008

A Plan of Action

The conditions which enable man to win eternal life are included in the plan of salvation. In fact, the plan is but a series of invariable, unalterable laws, obedience to each of which increases man’s power to triumph over evil. That means that there is knowledge to be acquired (Teachings of the Prophet Jopseph Smith, p. 297): principles of action to be accepted: ordinances to be received (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 12, 331): duties to be performed through life: and the complete acceptance of Jesus, the Christ (John 17:3): that is, full health of body mind and spirit to be won. All this that man “might be raised in immortality unto eternal life” (D&C 29:43). (John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, pg. 190)

July 20, 2006

Humility?

“I think that many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious nuisance, are inclined to feel (though we do not put it into words) that we are now good enough. He has done all we wanted Him to do, and we should be obliged if He would now leave us alone. As we say, ‘I never expected to be a saint, I only wanted to be a decent ordinary chap.’ And we imagine when we say this that we are being humble.

“But this is the fatal mistake. Of course we never wanted, and never asked to be made into the sort of creatures He is going to make us into. But the question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what He intended us to be when He made us. He is the inventor, we are only the machine. He is the painter, we are only the picture. How should we know what He means us to be like? You see, He has already made us something very different from what we were. Long ago, before we were born, when we were inside our mothers’ bodies, we passed through various stages. We were once rather like vegetables, and once rather like fish: it was only at a later stage that we became like human babies. And if we had been conscious at those earlier stages, I daresay we should have been quite contented to stay as vegetables or fish — should not have wanted to be made into babies. But all the time He knew His plan for us and was determined to carry it out. Something the same is now happening at a higher level. We may be content to remain what we call ‘ordinary people’: but He is determined to carry out a quite different plan. To shrink back from that plan is not humility: it is laziness and cowardice. To submit to it is not conceit or meglomania; it is obedience.” — C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

While ‘Brother’ Lewis, not being afforded the Plan of Salvation ‘lectures’, erroneously surmises that we never intended to be like Heavenly Father, he rightfully asserts that perfection is what He intends.  I enjoy this thought so very much because he astutely points out how - if left to ourselves - we would settle for something way below ‘our privileges.’  Thankfully, and unlike ourselves, He has not forgotten premortal promises.

April 4, 2006

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

March 30, 2006

The Relentless Plan

“… this grand plan and design for our happiness is not something that exists merely to strike awe in us or to evoke gasps of gladness.  It does not exist apart from us, but involves us — painfully at times and happily at other times, but relentlessy always.”  — Neal A. Maxwell, We Will Prove Them Herewith, p. 3