"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
February 7, 2008

One Reason Why Truth Hurts

Like Jesus, a lot of prophets were put to death for testifying of the truth. What is it about the truth that so provokes a society that it starts killing people? My answer is that a particular truth caused this violent reaction — for Jesus and the prophets alike. It wasn’t just the everyday little truths that teach you to be good. Rather, the truth which Jesus and the prophets testified ran completely counter to the teachings of the day — religious teachings, that is.

People get fanatical over religion. When evils in society cause the lights to go out, religion inevitably changes into a superficial version of the truth once it is promoted. Its perception of God becomes virtually that of a false god, and people, unaware of this mutation, are offended by the real thing….

…It is no wonder, then, that tensions should arise between….those who may be living side by side in the same world but who have completely different philosophies of life. Babylon deals with this tension by tormenting and persecuting those higher than itself, attempting to justify itself in the face of its own inherent failings. In that way, it momentarily alleviates feelings of guilt and paranoia… (Avraham Gileadi, Isaiah Decoded, pp. 1, 71-72)

January 1, 2008

Will you know?

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.  (John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, page 17)

August 18, 2006

He IS the Son of God

Fifty years ago or more (circa 1921), when I was a missionary, our greatest responsibility was to defend the great truth that the Prophet Joseph Smith was divinely called and inspired and that the Book of Mormon was indeed the word of God.  But even at that time there were the unmistakable evidences that there was coming into the religious world actually a question about the Bible and about the divine calling of the Master himself.  Now, fifty years later, our greatest responsibility and anxiety is to defend the divine mission of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, for all about us, even among those who claim to be professors of the Christian faith, are those not willing to stand squarely in defense of the great truth that our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, was indeed the Son of God.  — President Harold B, Lee in an address to the LDS Student Association, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, 10 October 1971

May 11, 2006

I Know

“I have a testimony of the gospel which I wish to bear. Again, as Brigham Young says, because I say it’s true doesn’t make it true, does it? But I know it is, and I would recommend you to pursue a way of finding out. And there are ways in which you can come to a knowledge of the truth.

“When is a thing proven? When you personally think it’s so, and that’s all you can do. . . . Then you have your testimony, and all you can do is bear your testimony and point to the evidence. That’s all you can do. But you can’t impose your testimony on another. And you can’t make the other person see the evidence as you do. Things that just thrill me through and through in the Book of Mormon leave another person completely cold. And the other way around, too. So we can’t use evidence, and we can’t say, I know this is true, therefore you’d better know it is true. But I know it is true, and I pray our Heavenly Father that we may all come to a knowledge of the truth, each in his own way. — Hugh Nibley, “Brigham Young as a Theologian,” 4

Dichotomy?

“The true rule, in determining to embrace or reject anything, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more of evil than of good.  There are few things wholly evil or wholly good.  Almost everything … is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.”  –  Abraham Lincoln

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 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