Monday, January 23, 2017

An Invitation from Jesus Christ to His Discipleship

This is an invitation from Jesus Christ to his discipleship: will you hear it?

KJV Luke 6:20-49
 20 ¶And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
 21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
 22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
 23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. 
 24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
 25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. 
 27 ¶But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
 37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. 
 39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
 40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
 41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
 42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
 43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. 
 46 ¶And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
As we learn from Matthew 16:18, Jesus's church is built upon the rock and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  We see from Luke 6:48-49 that we as individuals build upon the rock by both hearing and doing these things which the Lord has commanded.  Therefore the Lord is here saying, in part, that they who hear his sayings and do them are his disciples and his church, and those who hear his sayings and do not do them are not his diciples and not his church.

The invitation Jesus Christ makes to his discipleship is, then, the invitation to begin now to do the things which the Lord has herein commanded, such as giving to every man that asks, lending to all comers hoping not to get paid back, turning the other cheek, judging not, and so forth, that the house of your soul may be established upon the rock of Jesus Christ, that you may be his disciple and his church.

A Lament and a Warning

Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, 
for which I was tormented with the pains of hell. 
Yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God 
and that I had not kept his holy commandments.
Yea, and I had murdered many of his children
-- or rather led them away unto destruction -- 
yea, and in fine, so great had been my iniquities 
that the very thoughts of coming into the presence of my God 
did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.

=====

He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts.
For behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up
for a light unto the world, 
that they may get gain and praise of the world, 
but they seek not the welfare of Zion.  
Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing.

Wherefore the Lord God hath given a commandment 
that all men should have charity, which charity is love. 
And except they should have charity, they were nothing. 
Wherefore if they should have charity, 
they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.  
But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; 
for if they labor for money they shall perish.

=====

O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, 
why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? 
Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God
that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? 
Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God, 
for behold, the time cometh at that day 
when all these things must be fulfilled.

Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things 
concerning that which must shortly come, 
at that day when these things shall come forth among you.
Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present 
-- and yet ye are not -- 
but behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, 
and I know your doing.
And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts.
And there are none, save a few only, 
which do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts 
unto the wearing of very fine apparel, 
unto envying and strifes and malice and persecutions, 
and all manner of iniquities. 
And your churches -- yea, even every one -- have become polluted 
because of the pride of your hearts.
For behold, ye do love money and your substance and your fine apparel 
and the adorning of your churches 
more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, 
ye teachers which sell yourselves for that which will canker, 
why have ye polluted the holy church of God? 
Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? 
Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness 
than that misery which never dies?
Because of the praise of the world?
Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, 
and yet suffer the hungry and the needy and the naked 
and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you and notice them not?
Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain 
and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, 
and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, 
and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands 
to cry unto the Lord from the ground for vengeance upon your heads?
Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; 
and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, 
for he will not suffer their cries any longer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Plug for Another Project

A friend of mine passed this on:
A small group of us has spent most of the year going through the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, reaching back to the original manuscripts to get as true a version of what Joseph offered us as possible and showing what changes have happened since his death. We are getting bids to have a triple combination volume printed in the coming months. For the moment we want to make people aware of this effort. Electronic versions of the scriptures are free for download at anoffenderforaword.blogspot.com in Word, PDF and some ebook formats. There are also instructions for using a Kindle reader or app with the PDFs as an ebook. The PDFs give a clear representation of how the volume will look. 
We will notify everyone when orders can be placed for your own copies. We are trying to keep the cost to around $20 per copy. These will be printed on biblestock paper and will have large margins for easy note taking. An effort to produce a complete JST bible is also underway. A complete Kindle JST KJV is available by Ken Lutes on Amazon. He is the one working on a complete print version. When that work is ready to order we will let you know. He is not a part of this movement.  
This volume of scripture is not "official" to the Remnant Movement in any sense, and we hope they may be of interest to Mormons of all types. While many of us felt inspired during the process, we offer this volume as a gift to our Lord and to our friends and families. Feel free to take this work and improve on it. 
It's the kind of project that appeals to me - I use a copy of The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text, edited by Royal Skousen, for my personal scripture study.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Discipline of Christ

If we are to love God,
if we are to love our neighbors,
if we are to make no oaths,
if we are to not swear that something is true,
if we are to be forthright in our speech rather than speak evasively,
if we are to make no preparations for tomorrow,
if we are to build up no storage of goods nor money nor food nor substance for ourselves,
if we are to do alms to the poor,
if we are to give to everyone who asks,
if we are to forgive every debt owed us,
if we are to lend to all comers without asking for our stuff back,
if we are to not ask for our stuff back from those who take it,
if we are to sell our possessions and distribute the proceeds to the poor,
if we are to avoid the desire for possessions,
if we are to refrain from lust,
if we are to pray always,
if we are to be merciful,
if we are to not resist evil,
if we are to turn the other cheek when struck,
if we are to comply with those who compel us,
if we are to concede to our opponents even before they take legal action against us,
if we are to let those who sue us have what they sue us for,
if we are to refrain from judging,
if we are to refrain from condemning,
if we are to love our enemies,
if we are to bless those that curse us,
if we are to do good to those who hate us,
if we are to pray for those who spitefully exploit these things against us and use us,
if we are to send back good for evil done to us,
if we are to forgive every offender even until seventy times seven,
if we are to not expend effort to preserve our own lives,
if we are to do every last thing we want done to ourselves to others,
if we are to wholly walk in these ways as God wholly walks in these ways,
if we are to both do and teach all these things,
and
if we do these things we are the church and family of God,
and
if we do not do these things we are not the church and family of God,
then
what else is there to talk about?

Monday, December 12, 2016

FORGIVE

KJV John 14
15 ¶If ye love me, keep my commandments.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me[.]

23 If a man love me, he will keep my words[.]

24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings[.]

KJV Luke 7:47 [T]o whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

These words, taken together, imply that whosoever does not keep the words, sayings, and commandments of Christ, the same is not forgiven - or, in other words, we are forgiven to the degree that we keep Christ's commandments.

KJV Luke 6:37 [F]orgive, and ye shall be forgiven[.]

This suggests that Christ's commandments, which are summed up by the Golden Rule, might alternatively be summed up as "FORGIVE;" that is, always and instantly forgive everyone of every debt and trespass: hold nothing against anyone, ever.

If, then, entrance into the kingdom of God is given only to the forgiven, then the only real sin - indeed, the unpardonable sin - is failure to forgive everyone of everything, including God himself, for their apparent or alleged trespasses or failures towards us.

KJV Matthew 18
21 ¶Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

23 ¶Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

This applies to all Christians who acknowledge the KJV Bible as authoritative.

As an aside, one does not normally get rich - come into possession of more than one actually needs - by always forgiving everyone every debt and trespass; rather, one normally gets rich by doing the opposite. Hence, this.

KJV Luke 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

The other woes Jesus pronounced can be likewise analyzed from the vantage of failure to forgive.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Divorce in Jesus's Teachings

3 Nephi 12:27-32, Earliest Text

Behold, it is written by them of old time
that thou shalt not commit adultery.
But I say unto you
that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her
hath committed adultery already in his heart.
Behold, I give unto you a commandment
that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart.
For it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things,
wherein ye will take up your cross,
than that ye should be cast into hell.

It hath been written that whosoever shall put away his wife,
let him give her a writing of divorcement.
Verily verily I say unto you
that whosoever shall put away his wife,
saving for the cause of fornication,
causeth her to commit adultery;
and whoso shall marry her who is divorced committeth adultery.

Fornication is the physical act of sex outside of the marriage, in context. Christ is not justifying divorce; in particular, he is not saying you should initiate a divorce against an adulterous spouse. He is merely saying that if a man divorces his wife for any reason other than her own physical adultery, then he causes her to commit adultery (and thus brings her blood upon his garments), and that whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. There is no "out" mentioned for abuse. There is no way mentioned for another man to marry a divorced woman without committing adultery.

KJV and JST Matthew 5 is substantially similar to 3 Nephi 12 on this subject. And this teaching was repeated.

KJV Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

The JST of this passage is substantially similar. Unless it is because his wife fornicated, if a man divorces his wife and marries another woman, then he commits adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. There is no "out" mentioned for abuse. There is no way mentioned for another man to marry a divorced woman without committing adultery.

KJV Mark 10:2-12

2 ¶And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?

4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.

5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.

6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Which sounds an awful lot like Jesus is forbidding human-initiated divorce. The disciples thought so, too.

10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.

11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Note - there is no "out" mentioned for adultery or abuse: human-initiated divorce and subsequent remarriage is to commit adultery. The JST of these verses is the same.

And again:

KJV Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

The JST of this passage is substantially similar. There is no "out" mentioned for adultery or abuse. A man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

To sum up that which is written:

*If a man divorces his wife for any cause other than her committing physical adultery, then he causes her to commit adultery.
*If a man divorces his wife for any cause other than her committing physical adultery, then if he marries another he also commits adultery.
*If a divorced woman marries another man, both she and her new husband commit adultery.

Notably missing from Jesus's teachings is justification for divorce for the cause of spousal abuse. The absence of this justification is consistent with the Sermon on the Mount. Read this in contemplation of applying it even towards an abusive spouse.

3 Nephi 12:38-48, Earliest Text

And behold, it is written:
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say unto you that ye shall not resist evil,
but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek,
turn to him the other also.
And if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat,
let him have thy cloak also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile,
go with him twain.
Give to him that asketh thee,
and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away.

And behold, it is written also
that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy.
But behold, I say unto you:
Love your enemies!
Bless them that curse you!
Do good to them that hate you,
and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you,
that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven,
for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good.

Therefore those things which were of old time
which were under the law,
in me are all fulfilled.
Old things are done away,
and all things have become new.
Therefore I would that ye should be perfect,
even as I or your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Or, in sum, "all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets." This applies even to the enemies, the revilers, the haters, the abusers, and the persecutors who we might be married to.

Thursday, October 27, 2016