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.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Why The Rock of Jesus Christ Can Be the G&S

The Lord commanded Lehi to command Lehi's sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi, to get the brass plates from Laban. Lehi was excluded from participating in the project: it was his sons' commandment to fulfill. The Lord did not dictate to Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi how to accomplish the task - it was up to them to figure out how to proceed.

When they got to Jerusalem, they conferred amongst each other and decided to cast lots to see who would go get the plates from Laban - the only time lots are used in the Book of Mormon. The lot fell upon Laman, the eldest and the heir of the family, who went to ask Laban for the record. It didn't work. The one chosen by lot failed to accomplish the assignment.

Next, Nephi convinced them all to take all their gold and silver and precious things and offer them all to Laban in exchange for the plates. This group attempt at the project also failed.

Then, Nephi went alone, led by the Spirit, and fulfilled the Lord's commandment and obtained the plates.

From this, we see that just because the lot falls upon someone, and they attempt the task, it doesn't mean they will, or even can, succeed.

We also see that even if a group is charged to accomplish a task by the Lord, it is not necessary for all of the group to have an equal opportunity to participate in order to accomplish the task. One alone of the group, being led by the Spirit, is enough.

Therefore, equality of opportunity for all members of the group to participate in accomplishing the task is not sufficient, nor is it necessary.

Another principle has been held up - the claim that "the voice of the people," otherwise known as "majority rules," should be followed in the matter of the G&S. Mosiah 29 is cited to this effect:
Mosiah 29:26-27
26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

There are two problems with this viewpoint.
  1. The Lord has required that we adopt the G&S by mutual agreement, and not by majority rules.
  2. The Lord, in the A&C, has made it perfectly clear, in plain language, that the majority of this people at this time does, in fact, choose iniquity.
Therefore, the voice of the people should not be followed, lest we fall into this pattern:
Helaman 5:2-3
2 For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.
3 Yea, and this was not all; they were a stiffnecked people, insomuch that they could not be governed by the law nor justice, save it were to their destruction.

Finally, coincidences, synchronicities, or statistical unlikelihoods, also called signs and wonders, do not suffice to establish the hand of God. As Paul wrote:
RE 2 Thessalonians 1:3
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work, and he it is who now worketh, and Christ suffereth him to work, until the time in fulfilled that he shall be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. Yea, the Lord, even Jesus, whose coming is not until after there cometh a falling away, by the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Logical Case for The Rock of Jesus Christ

  • We have nothing to say to those who have taken the Holy Ghost for their guide; they have no need for any mortal to teach them.
  • Therefore the written guide and standard is only for those who have not yet received the Holy Ghost.
  • The only thing we have to offer them that is of any benefit to them is how to receive the Holy Ghost, which is the channel by which the Lord informs men of his work, and is the means by which the Lord leads men unto salvation, the greatest of blessings.
  • The way to receive the Holy Ghost is to repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in the name of Christ by one of his sent servants.
  • Believing the Sermon as literally as a little child would understand the words therein is to become as a little child.
  • Doing always the works commanded in the Sermon while trusting the Lord above all defines repentance.
  • For me to teach more than these things to those who have not received the Holy Ghost, without a direct commandment from God to me, is to usurp the role of the Holy Ghost - deciding myself what others should know or do, becoming their guide, bringing them to trust in me - and would curse, harm, and misinform, and does not fulfill the Lord's requirements.
  • For me to teach less than these things will not enable men to receive the Holy Ghost and will not bless, benefit, nor inform those who know nothing of the Lord's work, and does not fulfill the Lord's requirements.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

That They May Stumble

Jacob 4:14-16
[T]he Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble. [B]y the stumbling of the Jews they will reject the stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation. But behold, according to the scriptures, this stone shall become the great, and the last, and the only sure foundation, upon which the Jews can build.
The Jews rejected and killed the prophets, despised plain words, and sought for things which they could not understand. So God took away his plainness and gave them many things that they could not understand, because they wanted it; and because they wanted it, God did it, that they could stumble. And this stumbling caused them to reject Jesus Christ, his gospel and his rock and his salvation, the only sure foundation upon which can be built.

The blindness of the Jews came by looking beyond the mark. Sin means "to miss the mark," according to the concordances. James tells us that sin is transgression of the law. If transgression of the law is to miss the mark, then the mark the Jews looked beyond was the law and commandments of God. They weren't interested in the plainly stated message of repentance and faith in God, therefore they did not obtain nor were they led by the Holy Ghost.

The Jews wanted to know what the future held in part for the purpose of making a profit, and they wanted to know about the ordinances of God as part of their conceit as the covenant people of the Lord. So God, by the prophets whom the people had rejected, told the people of the coming of the Lord, the redemption of Israel, the establishment of Zion, and the millennial reign of Christ. They spoke of priesthoods, powers, authority, endowments, and anointings. These were things the people couldn't understand, because they lacked the Holy Ghost, because they would not keep the commandments given in plainness. God gave the people what they wanted once they rejected the prophets' initial message of repentance.

The prophets know they are giving people things which will bring them to stumble and fall. As the Lord said to Isaiah:
Isaiah 6:9-12
And [the Lord] said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, and the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
Isaiah taught repentance, and gave the covenant people things they could not understand, and they eventually killed him.

One can see this pattern in the ministry of Jesus Christ himself. His first message to the people was the gospel: his doctrine and his law and commandments - the Sermon on the Mount. Once they heard the gospel, he taught in parables which the many unrighteous - which means disobedient - could not understand, while fully explaining them to the few righteous - the obedient. He gave hard sayings which offended the unbelieving and did not explain them even to the righteous. Eventually his covenant people killed him.

So when you hear the prophets speak of priesthoods and powers and authority and orders of angels and other matters of the unseen heavens and rites and the coming of Zion and the latter-day temple and the millennial reign of the Lord, it means the people have rejected the prophets' message of repentance and faith in Christ, and God is giving them what they want, so that they can stumble and fall.

The first message a prophet brings, to turn away from wickedness and keep the commandments of God, is the most important. If that message is rejected, so is the prophet.

Listen to the Lord's words through Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 33:30-32
As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.’ My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their lips they profess to love, but their hearts follow the profits. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.
Even while acclaiming him as an "authorized servant," a "true messenger," they rejected Ezekiel's teachings.

We're doing it now. The first message was the one that mattered.

The Way Mutual Agreement Works

In a request for "clarification" on what he meant by "mutual agreement," the Lord said: "As between one another, you choose to not dispute."  If there are no dissenting voices, then we are mutually agreed to a proposition.  The only "votes" that matter are the dissenters', if there are any.

This simplifies the matter of determining when we as a body are mutually agreed: when nobody publicly dissents.  Silence is assent with this "clarification" from the Lord.  We need not track down every covenant participant to poll them for their agreement; all those who care are already participating.

However, the majority faction decided this meant that they could feign that the body had mutual agreement to the majority proposal so long as the majority declines to speak with the dissenters.

In reality, if you choose not to dispute adopting a proposal, such as The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles, you signify your agreement with it.

In other words, mutual agreement works exactly the opposite of the way the majority faction purports to understand it.  When the majority faction gives the silent treatment to the dissenters, they are agreeing with the dissenters' position, which then carries the dissenters' proposal, which in my case is the adoption of The Rock of Jesus Christ, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, as our sole written guide and standard.

If you abide the Lord's requirements, you shall not get the G&S you want, but you shall get the G&S you need, and the body may be saved.

If you do not abide the Lord's requirements, you shall get the G&S you want, but you shall not get the G&S you need, and the body cannot be saved.

If you do choose to dispute the adoption of The Rock of Jesus Christ, then come, humble yourselves and discuss openly and publicly as equals, as befits the covenant people of God, at a neutral forum provided for this purpose: http://remnantofjacobforum.com/viewforum.php?f=37  Make your reasoning and your name known to the body.  For surely the covenant people of the Lord must have a strong reason to reject the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as our written guide and standard.

Thus far, there has been no consistent dissent against adopting The Rock of Jesus Christ.

If you choose not to dispute the adoption of The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles as our written guide and standard, then publish it in the scriptures and let us move on to other tasks the Lord may lay upon us.

Jared Livesey