Irony in the Life of Christ

Ironically, He wasn't passively taken by the wicked people and slain, but He actively and mercifully, and obediently and charitably and knowingly sacrificed Himself by the hands of those wicked men...  "Oh, how wonderful..."

And back in the Book of 1 Nephi, in the Book of Mormon, verse 33, we see irony when the wicked Jews "judge" Him as being worthy of death by crucifixion and hang Him on a tree!


The Condescention of God

Condescension of God:

Condescension of Christ Elohim = leaves the clouds of light to become the Father of Jesus

Condescension of Christ Jesus = leaves the clouds of light to be born in a manger, to live without a roof over His head, to eat w/ sinners, to be despised by His own people, to be despised and to bear our griefs, and to carry our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted; to be wounded for our transgressions, to be bruised for our iniquities; to have the chastisement of our peace upon him; and to be healed with his stripes, to be cast Him out from among them, and be he Redeemer of the world...  The God of Lights obeying His Father and being baptized, meeting with and teaching and ministering unto the multitudes, and choosing 12 others to assist Him in His work...



Moroni 7:19 — in the light of Christ

In the Book of Mormon, book of Moroni, chapter seven, verse 19 (Moroni 7:19), we read: “Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.”

Start by choosing the right, and you won’t be able to choose poorly without being prompted to return to the path, or warned not to get off, but also, if you know you’re on the right path and stay on the right path for long, you will be able to see/feel the difference between what is right and what is wrong...  you’ll be able to see what else/who else is similar to that from which you started—it becomes your “standard” to judge from!



Money and consecration

When there are poor among us, in some ways, they are not free...  not free to make all the choices they would make if they weren’t poor, like, whether or not to go to school, whether or not to buy that (and how large of a car/house/ring to buy), what sort of clothes to wear, how many children to have, who to be friends with, what neighborhood to live in, how much to pay in tithing, and how much to give back to the bishop in consecration...

Righteousness is the great leveler and money is the ultimate separator!When there are poor among us, in some ways, they are not free...  not free to make all the choices they would make if they weren’t poor, like, whether or not to go to school, whether or not to buy that (and how large of a car/house/ring to buy), what sort of clothes to wear, how many children to have, who to be friends with, what neighborhood to live in, how much to pay in tithing, and how much to give back to the bishop in consecration...

Righteousness is the great leveler and money is the ultimate separator!



Get on the Path Again

We read in the Book of Mormon, in the book of Alma, chapter 10 verse 8: “And it came to pass that I obeyed the voice of the angel, and returned towards my house. And as I was going thither I found the man whom the angel said unto me: Thou shalt receive into thy house--and behold it was this same man who has been speaking unto you concerning the things of God.”

All it takes is one right choice to get-back on the right track...  and now a whole field of correct or true options are open and available to you!

Doctrine and Covenants 64:7 “Nevertheless, he has sinned; but verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.”

Make sure you take advantage of that offer to forgive, just about anything (and, just in case you were worried, if you have any doubt in your mind, you have not sinned unto death!).  Just keep repenting and partaking of the Sacrament, for:

3 Nephi 27:19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom

All it takes is any sin, and you’re kept out of the presence of God.  Yet, just repent and you’re forgiven!



Pondering leads to Revelation

1 Nephi 11:1
For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat apondering in mine heart I was bcaught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high cmountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.

Helaman 10:2-3
And it came to pass that Nephi went his way towards his own house, pondering upon the things which the Lord had shown unto him.

D&C section 138:
1 On the third of October, in the year nineteen hundred and eighteen, I sat in my room pondering over the scriptures;
2 And reflecting upon the great atoning sacrifice that was made by the Son of God, for the redemption of the world;
3 And the great and wonderful love made manifest by the Father and the Son in the coming of the Redeemer into the world;
That through his atonement, and by obedience to the principles of the gospel, mankind might be saved.
While I was thus engaged, my mind reverted to the writings of the apostle Peter, to the primitive saints scattered abroad throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and other parts of Asia, where the gospel had been preached after the crucifixion of the Lord.
I opened the Bible and read the third and fourth chapters of the first epistle of Peter, and as I read I was greatly impressed, more than I had ever been before, with the following passages:
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
“By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
“Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” (1 Peter 3:18–20.)
10 “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6.)
11 As I pondered over these things which are written, the eyes of my understanding were opened, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great.

Book of Mormon Introduction:
... We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)

Being your own Judge!?!

In Alma 41:7 (These are they that are redeemed of the Lord; yea, these are they that are taken out, that are delivered from that endless night of darkness; and thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges, whether to do good or do evil.) it looks, like, from this verse, that the only souls who are going to be their own judges are going to be those who have chosen righteousness--those who choose wickedness are consigned to torment and have no part in their own judgment--only Celestial Bodies judge themselves...

So, you're your own judge, and you're righteous, so you have the mind of Christ, so who is going to be your judge?  Christ--"Christ in se" or Christ's judgement coming through you...  

The image that comes to mind, though, is of those latter-day-saints who are too hard on themselves and who sound like they are being too hard on themselves (whether or not they actually are); is it really an affect?  Is it actually righteous?  And, the point of being judged of yourself, with the same judgment that Christ gives?  Wouldn't that mean that the affect is disingenuous?

Or, whosoever is righteous can walk wherever they want WITHIN the path and be saved (see vs 8)...  some choose to walk on the path of exaltation, others won't, but walking on the path will take you to the Celestial Kingdom!  Once you're in the Celestial Kingdom and have been resurrected with a Celestial Body, then, except for an exalted body, couldn't you choose different paths?



Owing our happiness to the way we read the scriptures

Alma 44:5

“And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty which binds us to our lands and our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us--”

We owe our happiness to the maintenance of the word of God!  I see that (catch that really; for the first time in my life--after having read it dozens and hundreds of times!) and need to ask myself: How well am I maintaining the word of God in my life?  How well am I infusing the doctrine of Christ into my soul?  How else can I learn to become like God better than I am now (because really that's what the scriptures are: a guidebook to becoming like Jesus Christ)?  

Think of President Nelson and all of his self-assessed projects (and we only have the ones he's mentioned in a general conference talk...).  Do I read the scriptures like he does?  No?  Good thing he is telling is some ways that he is doing it.  I suppose I should not feel bad about piggy-back-riding on the prophet to become better...

I suppose I should pray about that until I receive an answer...



Lessons from "Unbreakable"

A few years ago I had told my eldest son, Addison, that I would't buy him Airpods because I would be afraid that he would "cut-himself off" entirely from the Spirit of God and cut him off from the people around him--mostly from his classmates at school.  Funny enough, after time and questions that have made me trust him more (in that regard), we bought him airpods last Christmas...

Last LDS General Conference, the same or a similar issue was raised by Bonnie L. Oscarson, the President of the wold-wide LDS Young Women's program when she delivered her talk, "Who Needs Me Now?"  She says, "We are touched when we see the suffering and great needs of those halfway around the world, but we may fail to see there is a person who needs our friendship sitting right next to us in class."  Or seeing the needs of someone walking down the hallway, literally right in front of us!

However, we can look to a lesson from the movie, Unbreakable, starring Bruce Willis ("David") and Samuel L. Jackson ("Elijah").  David feels an emptiness in his life, maybe always has felt that emptiness.   David has some sort of super-power that makes his body impenetrable.  His cells are "unbreakable."  He is also strong, in an undetermined way or amount.   He was a super-star football player in high school but decided to use the car accident that he was involved in (where his then-girlfriend, now-wife was almost killed) with the girl that would become his wife.

Elijah tells him, after David performs his fist superhero-esque feat of saving a houseful of children that have been kidnapped by a house-napper and killer:

Go to where people are. You won't have to look very long. It's all right to be afraid David. Because this part won't be like a comic book. Real life doesn't fit into little boxes that were drawn for it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utMjBw3mz3Y).

David has to be that superhero that he was born to be if he doesn't want to feel that emptiness and not fulfill his destiny!

Likewise, Addison and all the hearers-of-Who Needs Me Now?", (including my entire family--that means you too, Quentin!) just like David, needs to pay attention to the Spirit whispering to them (all of us!) to help those who stand in need.  Imagine, you're walking down the hallway at school and someone does need you.  Imagine that you're listening to your favorite steaming station or your new favorite album using your bluetooth connection through your new airpods.  You might have heard the whispering of the Spirit say to you to help or why or in what way you should help, but you are busy focusing on your music or even a broadcast (wouldn't it have been absolutely ironic if you were even listening to "'Good, Better, Best' by Elder Dallin H. Oaks when you ignore that prompting to reach-out and talk to your fellow student?) and can't hear the Holy Ghost whisper to you to help your fellow classmate.

So, who needs us now?  Listen, and you'll hear!  Elder Boyd Kenneth Packer, of the quorum of the twelve apostles, said to the youth of the church:

The gift of the Holy Ghost, if you consent, will guide and protect you and even correct your actions. It is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought or a feeling put into your heart. … It is not expected that you go through life without making mistakes, but you will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Spirit. This promise applies to all members of the Church. (President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Counsel to Youth,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 17–18.)

see Learning to Hear and Understand the SpiritObeying the Whisperings of the Holy Ghost

The Whisperings of the Spirit, Helping Others recognize the Whisperings..., & Acting on Promptings ("It is the privilege of every Latter-day Saint to receive daily inspiration through the Spirit. By being worthy of and willing to heed spiritual promptings, we can obtain the guidance Heavenly Father wishes to bless us with. Below, three members share how they listened and responded to promptings of the Spirit and, in turn, received abundant blessings.").


Lessons from "Babe"

Movies can sometimes teach us new things, but mostly they can remind us of truths that we already have learned or know.  That's why I love watching movies--they show us new (maybe unique) ways in which a truth can apply in a certain situation!

For example, Babe--I was watching the movie with my kiddeos and paused to think about what was going on and what my youngest son and daughter might learn (tacitly and probably even unconsciously [that's right, UNCONSCIOUSLY, like how your heart beats without you thinking about it or how an involuntary reflex is triggered without you thinking about it or choosing to move...]).

The truths that I saw being taught in the movie, "Babe":

1) Anyone can accomplish almost anything if you believe in yourself (have a correct idea of who you are and what you can do!).

2) Anyone can accomplish almost anything if someone believes in you (buoys you up with correct ideas of who you are and what you can do!).

3) It's infinitely better to lead by example than to coerce or force (see D&C 121:41-43 "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; 42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— 43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;"), and follow Jesus Christ's example!

4) Love can conquer almost anything (as God is Love 1 John 4:8 "He that liveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.")!  God can conquer or achieve or do anything that He sets His mind to!

5) YOU can accomplish almost anything since someone loves you (and all you need to do is realize that God loves you, infinitely!).