I have a friend who suffered a series of heart attacks resulting in two near-death experiences. He told me about his experience meeting the Savior and being shown a comprehensive view of the Savior’s life.
He said that the Savior stood by his side as the events we’re familiar with from the scriptures unfolded in real time. He said it was a three-dimensional view of things as they took place. He stood in the stable when the Savior was born and saw all that occurred there. He was observing events as they happened. He couldn’t interact with others, but he was actually there observing and hearing all that transpired.
NDE (near death experiences) can’t be ignored, especially by people of faith, there are just too many of them. The NDE I am familiar with can be backed-up by hospital records of a health crisis resulting in “death”. This of course adds to there validity.
This will be the first time I’ve discussed NDE on my blog. I’ve tried to keep my focus on subjects that build faith in Jesus Christ. After talking with Ralph V. Jensen, I decided that discussing his NDE is a legitimate means of increasing faith. That said, I am aware that church leaders don’t discuss NDE in General Conference or the Ensign magazine—with one important exception. In Oct 1989 General Conference, Elder David B. Haight related his health crisis and apparent NDE and the “panoramic view” of the Saviors life he was shown (Another apostle, Elder Jedidiah M. Grant related his NDE from the 1850’s). Continue reading
Moroni wrote: “the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing” (Ether 12:23). I am aware of my weakness in writing. Nevertheless, I am persuaded by an undeniable desire to testify of the necessity of “repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ” (3 Nephi 7:16) to do what I can to increase faith.
My reason for writing is not academic, a church calling, or monetary. I am writing because of the tender mercies of the Lord that I’ve experienced. I’ve learned God is no respecter of persons, answers prayer, forgives sin, provides the gift of the Holy Ghost with the attending gifts of the spirit to all those who love him and keep his commandments, and those that seeketh so to do.
The apostle Peter said, “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…” 1 Peter 3:15. With Paul’s admonition in mind, I desire to do what I can (with the hope that is in me) to encourage church members in their efforts to heed the counsel of Moroni when he declared, “I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written…” Ether 12:41.
Sacred Experiences Continue reading
The purpose of nearly every talk in General Conference, every talk in sacrament meeting, and every gospel doctrine class we attend is to help us come unto Christ and be perfected in him.
The prophet Joseph Smith said:
“When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation”.
In the 4th Article of Faith Joseph Smith enumerated the first four principles of the gospel: Continue reading
The scripture teach that Latter-Day-Saints have a rendezvous with the last days. The Lord has provided a great deal of information about the events that lead up to the second coming of Christ. None of it is very appealing to those who enjoy living in Babylon, because the time is coming when the world as we now know it, will fail, and great will be the fall. Out of the ashes of Babylon will emerge the city of Zion. The 10th Article declares:
We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
The death of Babylon will be tumultuous for all who live in that day. Gone will be the legislated and regulated evil, decadence, and lasciviousness of Babylon, but in addition the collapse of the economy will bring misery to all, including the saints. Gone will be the availability of the seemingly endless supply of goods and services that modern society thrives on. The result will be much suffering and death due to starvation, disease, and exposure. The absence of medical wonders will leave us vulnerable to causes of death that were nearly conquered while Babylon flourished-stroke, heart attack, and appendicitis to name a few. The surviving saints will need to learn the skills of the pioneers to provide for themselves and reacquire the gifts of the Spirit we’ve lost as a people by relying on the arm of flesh.
Before discussing the things of the Spirit, I think it is important to underscore something we experience often, almost daily: people differ in their abilities. To illustrate, consider two unrelated activities; running a 5K race and taking an algebra class. Suppose there are 100 people participating in each endeavor. What would you expect to happen as the race and the math class progressed? Based on my experience, I would expect there would be a range of abilities manifest in both efforts; fast and slow runners, fast and slow algebra students, with the majority being average.
I think it is safe to say that the same is true when it comes to things of the Spirit. I’ve learned that not everyone experiences things of the Spirit in exactly the same way. The Lord knows how to help each of us accomplish the purposes of our mortal experience. Most of us are going to have average experiences with the things of the Spirit, while some will have experiences that are unusual, and still others who say they’ve never had a spiritual experience. Elder McConkie addressing this topic said: “All men do not come into this world with the same inclination toward or receptiveness of spiritual things.” Continue reading
The video is the third in Book of Mormon Central’s Evidence video series, the two previous videos being one on the archaeological evidence for the place called Nahom, mentioned by Nephi (1 Nephi 16:34), and another on the historical evidence supporting the translation of the Book of Mormon.
This latest video reviews the lives and testimonies of the three and eight witnesses who testified of seeing the Book of Mormon plates. In the video, Stephen Smoot explains that although each of the three witnesses left the Church for a time, they never denied their testimonies of seeing both the angel and the plates. This adds to their credibility because it shows they were unlikely to be colluding with Joseph Smith. Continue reading
By Steve Densley Jr.
Jared: I read this recently and wanted pass it on to you.
Within the past year, the Church published an article addressing the fact that for a long period in the Church’s history, black men were not allowed to be ordained to the priesthood.[i] The article acknowledged that leaders of the Church gave explanations for the ban that we now recognize as being incorrect. For some people, this article has raised as many questions as it answered. While many have experienced a sense of relief in seeing the Church disavow explanations for the ban that denigrated those of African descent, others have experienced a new sense of anxiety over the question of the extent to which we can rely on the teachings of the prophets and apostles. And to what extent can we be confident that the policies adopted by the Church are ordained of God?
Asking is a law of heaven. We can ask, petition, request, beg, and implore the Lord, depending on our need.
Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. D&C 4:7 Continue reading
Boyd K. Packer, “The Gift of the Holy Ghost: What Every Member Should Know,” Ensign, Aug 2006, 46–52. Click here to go to the churches website for this article. Highlighting is mine.
From an address given on June 24, 2003, at a seminar for new mission presidents, Missionary Training Center, Provo, Utah.
My purpose is to teach you through doctrine and scripture why it is that we do things as we do. I will give some direction and suggestions as to how we can do things better in order that each member of the Church will be thoroughly converted and never will fall away.
Joseph Smith said: “You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half-that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost” (History of the Church, 5:499). Continue reading
Eugene England wrote a book titled, Converted to Christ Through the Book of Mormon. Following is part of the introduction he wrote for the book. He makes several important observation about the power of the Book of Mormon:
1. To reconvert life-long church members by bringing them to Christ.
2. “What can we do about our sins?”
I had my “reconversion” to the Book of Mormon (to use the word I have chosen for the experiences of life-long Mormons) when I was a missionary in Hawaii in 1956. Yes, I had read the book and studied passages for talks, but I had not been brought to Christ by it. Continue reading