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
Critics of the Church of Jesus Christ are delighted when events make LDS prophets and apostles look foolish. Such is the case with the Mark Hofmann forgeries. Critics reason:
How is it that church leaders could meet several times with Mark Hofmann and never discern the dark spirit inside him? How could they not recognize the devil within their midst? LDS prophets, seers, and revelators were unable to see and discern that they were in the same room as a liar, forger, and soon to be murderer.
Did Mark Hofmann fool LDS prophets and apostles? It appears he did. Is that surprising? It shouldn’t be. There is a notion that prophets and apostles should be infallible because they are on the Lord’s errand.
Where did this notion start that prophets and apostles can not be fooled or deceived? Do the scriptures teach that the prophets and apostles can discern the thoughts, intents, and motives of every person they come in contact with? No, the scripture do not teach such a principle. In fact, the scriptures teach that prophets and apostles can be fooled. The Lord taught Joseph Smith:
But as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous… D&C 10:37. Continue reading
The Book of Mormon uses the phrase “favored of the Lord” to communicate the idea that a follower of Christ can arrive at a point where they are “supplied with advantages”. In other words, they are “regarded with kindness; as a favored friend” by the Lord (the preceding words in quotes are taken from the1828 Webster’s Dictionary, under the heading: “favored”).
The Righteous are Favored
Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God. 1 Nephi 17:35
This scripture from the Book of Mormon is to the point: The Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; that is, highly valued or prized on account of worth. Everyone is a valued son or daughter of God; however, the righteous have a favored status in His eyes. Continue reading