Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Gentile "Remnant" in Prophecy

RE Matthew 10:17
and Jesus answered the people again
and spoke unto them in parables
and said the kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king
who made a marriage for his son
and when the marriage was ready
he sent forth his servants
to call them that were bidden to the wedding
and they would not come
again he sent forth other servants saying
tell them that are bidden
behold I have prepared my oxen
and my fatlings have been killed
and my dinner is ready
and all things are prepared
therefore come unto the marriage
but they made light of the servants
and went their ways
one to his farm
and another to his merchandise
and the remnant took his servants
and treated them spitefully
and slew them

but when the king heard that his servants were dead
he was angry
and he sent forth his armies
and destroyed those murderers
and burnt up their city
If "the remnant" refers to the self-named Gentile "Remnant" movement, then this passage would be entirely consistent with the prophecy which immediately preceded it in which the Gentiles which possess the kingdom of God shall be destroyed when the Lord shall descend out of heaven (RE Matthew 10:15-16). It would be consistent as well with the prophesied denial of the Lord by the Gentiles (RE 2 Nephi 12:7), and their rejection of the fulness of the gospel and their trampling underfoot by the remnant of Jacob (RE 3 Nephi 7:5, which trampling underfoot is the execution of the covenant curse in the Book of Mormon [RE 3 Nephi 5:11]). And it would be consistent as well with the Lord's description of the character of the Gentile "Remnant" movement in the A&C.

And, since Nephi referred to the latter-day Gentile Church directly by the title of "Zion" (RE 2 Nephi 12:4), the possibility that "the remnant" is indeed a direct reference to the Gentile "Remnant" movement cannot be ruled out on textual grounds even if the phrase "the remnant" could have been translated differently. The Lord is just that kind of guy.

Nothing Doubting

The modern English word for "unbelief" is "disbelief." In the Bible, "unbelief" is the translation for two separate yet related words which in Greek mean "disobedience; opposition; obstinancy" (apeitheia) and "distrust; doubt" (apistia). Apistia is the combination of the prefix "a" (negation) and "pistia" (meaning faith / trust), hence conveying the meaning "anti-trust," the opposite of trust, or "anti-faith," the opposite of faith, hence distrust and doubt.

As Joseph said, faith and doubt cannot coexist in the same person simultaneously; the one is the negation of the other - faith and doubt are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive. There is no middle ground between them. Faith and doubt are as matter and anti-matter.

Since believing in and trusting Jesus entails keeping his commandments as they are written, disobedience to the commandments of Jesus as they are written is necessarily caused by unbelief: disbelief, distrust, and doubt.

Therefore, to be without doubt, and to have faith in Jesus, entails keeping Jesus's commandments as they are written. Those who have Jesus's commandments in the scriptures and do not keep them as they are written distrust and disbelieve Jesus, and lack faith, or, in other words, they are faithless and unbelieving.

There is a cure for unbelief, and that cure is exerting all the strength of mind and heart in prayer to Jesus until one believes, while doing the things Jesus commanded, as they are written, to the best of one's sincere understanding.

Mormon 9:21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Rock of Jesus Christ Through the Ages

The gospel of Adam, cited by Enoch, quoted by Moses:
Moses 6:52 If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you.
The preaching of Enoch:
Moses 7:10-11
10 And the Lord said unto me: Go to this people, and say unto them—Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they die.
11 And he gave unto me a commandment that I should baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, which is full of grace and truth, and of the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son.
The gospel and preaching of Noah and Enoch:
Moses 8:19-20, 23-24
19 And the Lord ordained Noah after his own order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch.
20 And it came to pass that Noah called upon the children of men that they should repent; but they hearkened not unto his words[.]
23 And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: Hearken, and give heed unto my words;
24 Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not.
The ministry of Abraham:
Abraham 1:19 As it was with Noah so shall it be with thee; but through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth forever, for I am thy God.
The preaching of Melchizedek:
Alma 13:17-18
17 Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness;
18 But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father.
The preaching of Nephi:
2 Nephi 31:13, 17, 20
13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
The preaching of John:
JST Matt 3:38 I indeed baptize you with water, upon your repentance; and when he of whom I bear record cometh, who is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear (or whose place I am not able to fill), as I said, I indeed baptize you before he cometh, that when he cometh, he may baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire (see also JST Luke 3:2-3, 12-24).
The preaching of Jesus (believing on Jesus entails doing what he commands in the Sermon, which defines "repentance" and "coming down into the depth of humility"):
JST Matthew 5:3-4
3 Blessed are they who shall believe on me; and again, more blessed are they who shall believe on your words when ye shall testify that ye have seen me and that I am.
4 Yea, blessed are they who shall believe on your words, and come down into the depth of humility, and be baptized in my name; for they shall be visited with fire and the Holy Ghost and shall receive a remission of their sins.
3 Nephi 27:20-21
20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel[.]
The preaching of the Apostles:
Acts 2:38-39
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
The preaching of Joseph:
And now to show our doctrine on this subject, we shall commence with the first principles of the Gospel, which are faith, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands. This we believe to be our duty--to teach to all mankind the doctrine of repentance (TPJS, p. 80)[.]
We are commanded to preach this same gospel:
2 Nephi 26:27 [H]e hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
Cry peace. Proclaim my words. Invite those who will repent to be baptized and forgiven, and they shall obtain my Spirit to guide them. The time is short and I come quickly, therefore open your mouths and warn others to flee the wrath which is to come as men in anger destroy one another. The wicked shall destroy the wicked, and I will hold the peacemakers in the palm of my hand and none can take them from me (A&C, p. 9).
But, even if we should refuse to obey and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, his rock and his salvation, it shall be done, even if it be by another people.
JST Matthew 24:32 And again, this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Believing in Christ Entails Obeying His Commandments as They Are Written

Alma 32:22 God is merciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word.
The first test is simply to believe the messengers when they come to you.
Mosiah 15:22 And now, the resurrection of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God, shall come forth in the first resurrection[.]
Those who do what the messengers say are those who believe in their words.
Alma 37:20 Therefore I command you... that ye be diligent in keeping the commandments of God as they are written.
Those who keep the Lord's commandments as they are written are those who believe in the Lord.
3 Nephi 12:1 [B]lessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am[.]
One may know that the Lord exists and yet not believe in him, meaning believe his words and keep his commandments as they are written.
Ether 4:12 [H]e that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me.
Those who do not believe the Lord's words, which means that they do not keep his commandments as they are written, do not believe that he exists.
Ether 4:10 [H]e that believeth not my words believeth not my disciples[.]
Those who do not believe the Lord's words and do not keep his commandments as they are written do not believe his disciples.
3 Nephi 11:35 [W]hoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
Those who believe in Christ, meaning they believe his words and keep his commandments as they are written, believe in the Father also, and they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
2 Nephi 31:17 [T]he gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
Believing Christ's words and keeping his commandments as they are written is repentance.
Helaman 14:13 [I]f ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins, that thereby ye may have a remission of them through his merits.
Believing Christ's words and keeping his commandments as they are written is how we repent of all our sins.
D&C 82:10 I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.
If we do not believe his words and do not keep his commandments as they are written, then we have no promise from him that he will do what he says, and we cannot hope to receive the Holy Ghost nor can we hope to have our sins remitted.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Merely Adopting The Rock of Jesus Christ Is Not Enough

Merely adopting The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles as our written guide and standard will not be enough.

Each one of us must also put into actual practice the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ as contained therein, and not merely pay lip service to our Lord's commandments as have those who have come before us.

Not only must we actually do what the Lord has commanded in The Rock of Jesus Christ, but we must do so equally.

Not only must we equally put into actual practice the things which the Lord has commanded in The Rock of Jesus Christ, but we must also teach others to do those very same things.