Wednesday, May 24, 2017

New Testament Evidence of Temple Ordinances and their Power to bring people to Christ

The Ordinances of the Temple were instituted by the Lord in the New Testament, as they were originally in the days of Adam, and will be the means of saving all who desire to come unto Christ. 

About the Endowment, Brigham Young has said, “Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, … and gain your eternal exaltation.” Brigham Young in Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe (1941), 416.

The Endowment is spoken of in the New Testament, where the Savior, after he was resurrected and before sending the apostles out to teach, said to "tarry ye at Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/luke/24.49)

And there are the sealing ordinances there, too.  After Peter declared that Jesus was the Christ, The Savior said to him "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:19 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/16.19)

That is what happens in Temples. This power to bind on earth and in heaven was restored to the prophet Joseph Smith and recorded in the Doctrine and covenants multiple times (D&C 127:7, D&C 124:93, D&C 132:46, D&C 128).

Additionally, the baptisms for the Dead were spoken by Paul, who said "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?  why are they then baptized for the dead?"  (1 Corinthians 15:29 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/1-cor/15.29).  In this modern era, this ordinance is done as it was done in the New Testament church, so that our ancestors who never heard the gospel, or those who never heard of Christ can return to the presence of the Lord.  For the Savior said all must be baptized in John 3:5, when he said "except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/3.5). 

We are told in modern revelation that these same ordinances were given to Adam, and later to Abraham.  For more on this topic, see the search page https://www.lds.org/search?lang=eng&query=temple+ordinances+adam

Because of the miracle of the Restoration of the Gospel, the sacred temple ordinances the Savior established in New Testament times, and back in the time of Adam, have been restored to this earth to bless our Father in Heaven's children. With the miracle of temple work, all of Father in Heaven's children who have ever lived on the earth, and who would have accepted it if they were alive, will be able to have the opportunity to accept or reject those blessings, and inherit all that our Father in Heaven has. And these blessings were spoken of in the Bible.

And for us, when we go to the temple to do the work of our dead, we are able to feel of God's presence. The Doctrine and Covenants states "my glory shall rest upon it; Yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it., and all the pure in heart shall see God" (D & C 97:15-16 http://bit.ly/14GTNd6)

The spirit in temples is stronger than in any other place on earth. While there we can perform sacred ordinances for our ancestors that are necessary for them to return to the presence of God. Find out more about temples by going to http://www.lds.org/church/temples



In Temples, we see the Saving Power of Christ.  What mercy he has, that he offers all the chance to come unto him, even if they had never heard of him when alive.  We have a role to play in that, as we attend the temple to do work for those who have gone on before us.  We are told in Modern Revelation that the work of the Dead will be accelerated in the Millenium, when Christ himself will rule and reign and will oversee the completion of this great work.  


May we ever be grateful to Christ, and come unto him in  his holy house as we engage in this saving work, is my prayer. 

Want to find out more about Christ? The Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, is the Word of God. I know it to be true. God Showed prophets what to include in the Book of Mormon for our day. Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture of the Provo City Center Temple courtesy of LDS Temple Pics

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Christ's life, love, and work in these Latter-Days

From Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, men who are witnesses of the Resurrected Savior: "Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God...He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come." (The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles http://bit.ly/2qqBpdb)

And from the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God." (Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24)

Jesus Christ is real, that he lives, and that he is the only way to return to our Heavenly Parents.  He was prophesied of by many Old Testament and Book of Mormon prophets, he came in the meridian of time and taught his gospel, taught us by example how to love, worked miracles, raised the dead, organized his church, and finally, in the garden and on the cross, atoned for our sins.  Truly he was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.

He rose again the third day, and appeared to many. Those apostles and witnesses testified of him until they were killed for that testimony, and the world plunged into the great apostasy.  And those who had seen him in the Americas similarly lost the gospel.  But God guided humankind in other ways, so that the gospel could be restored later.  On a brilliant morning, he and his Father appeared to a 14 year-old prophet, and through this and subsequent revelations and visitations, the Gospel was restored, with all of the blessings of previous dispensations.

Temples now dot the earth, and the elect are being gathered from the 4 corners of the earth. The gospel is again on the earth, never to be taken away.  Christ stands at the head of this church, yet is so personal that he can touch the tenderest parts of our hearts.  We know that through the spirit, and in other ways. 

As we pray to know that he lives, and loves us, may we feel of his love for us, and know he lives. For he is real, and we are meant to know of him, for those are the real blessings of the Restoration-that we may come to know Christ, even if we do not see him.

At some future day, Christ will come again to rule and reign upon the earth.  But may we be able to say at that time, as did Bruce R McConkie at the end of his life, "I will not know any better then than I know now that he is God's almighty Son" At that day when we see him, may we already know him and love him, as we "wet his feet with our tears."

And at the day of judgement, when we stand face to face with him, may we find it to be, as President Eyring said "a time of joy for those who have spent their lives in his service."  May we serve him, and serve others so that we may embrace him, feel of his love for us, and have him take all of our pains away.

The Savior longs to bless us in our lives.  May we reach out to him in Faith, and serve others, and he will bless us to know that he lives, through the spirit. 

Want to find out more about the Christ of the New Testament? The Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, is the Word of God. I know it to be true. God Showed prophets what to include in the Book of Mormon for our day. Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is The Lord Jesus Christ by Del Parson, courtesy of https://www.lds.org/

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Good Shepherd is Gathering his Sheep from the 4 quarters of the Earth

What wonderful promises the Lord makes to us with the analogy of sheep and the Good Shepherd. "And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture" (1 Nephi 22:25 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/22.25)

All of us are children of the Lord, and as we come to him, and are baptized, we come into his fold as we continue to keep his commandments and rely on him. 

He also speaks to those of us working in the flock, "Feed the flock of God which is among you...And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away" ( 1 Peter 5:2-4 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/1-pet/5.2-4)

As our Prophet Says, may we ever be found doing the work of the Lord, so that at the last day, we may be crowned with Glory and Immortality in his kingdom.

All of this made possible by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, who elsewhere has said "I lay down my life for the sheep." (John 10:15 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/10.15) May we come to the Good Shepherd, who gave his life for you and me, sealed by his blood.  And with the Good Shepherd, we and our families can find rest and peace that "surpasseth all". 

Find out more about Christ. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Or, Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Saturday, May 20, 2017

He who understands ALL of what we go through and can lift us

The Savior has experienced everything we can ever, and is so loving as to be able to reach into the depths of our souls and heal the pain we do not show, the sorrow that is only able to be healed by him, the fear only calmed by him.  This is the Power of the atonement, to change people's hearts.  He knows. 

As the Prophet says "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief...Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows...But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3 http://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/isa/53.3)

May we ever turn to the Savior in all things, and be comforted through the spirit, be lifted, strengthened, and truly loved by a Savior who is real, and is there for each of us.

Want to find out more about Christ? The Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, is the Word of God. I know it to be true. God Showed prophets what to include in the Book of Mormon for our day. Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is Walk with Me, by Greg Olsen.

Friday, May 19, 2017

No More Revelations? How the Flow of Revelation continues in the Church Today

Some detractors of the Church mistakenly ask the question "Why are there no new revelations if the Church is founded upon revelation?"  Often their reason for doing so is to try to discredit the church.  But for some, it is an honest question.   

The answer is that the revelation hasn't stopped.  Many of the revelations received during the time of Joseph Smith were information about how the church was to be organized, and specific to that timeframe.

But there is more than just that.  Many dealt with missionaries being called to serve.  And other revelations had to do with people being called to different positions and callings within the church. Others were specific blessings for certain people. I will give examples of how these continue today.    

Recently, Elder Dallin H Oaks on a recent Facebook post spoke of the process of calling Missionaries, and said it is always a revelatory experience, and they [the apostles] come fasting to it.  But we don't add a new section of the Doctrine and Covenants with each missionary called.  A letter is simply sent out to the missionary, and when set apart as a missionary, he or she is given revelation pertaining to his or her mission.  The church leaders do not have the time to set all of the missionaries apart.  So the revelatory experience in the church expands, and local leaders have a part in the revelatory experience.  The Lord through their leaders gives the new missionary guidance from the Lord that they can take with them on their mission.    

Above I mentioned that some of the Doctrine and Covenants was for calling people to certain positions.  Every Conference we are asked to sustain an ever increasing number of releases and sustainings to our leadership.  But each time that happens we don't add to the Doctrine and Covenants.  But the revelation goes on.  And not just at the highest levels.  It continues in over 30,000 congregations across the world. The revelation is just expanding.   

I know during times I have been set apart for callings in the church, my leaders have been prompted by the spirit to say things they could not have possibly known, because they didn't know me personally.  Only myself and the Lord knew the things they said.  And the spirit bore witness to me that they were receiving the revelation from God.  

Finally, with regards to specific blessings for certain people, that has expanded as well.  Many of the sections of the doctrine and covenants were devoted to revelations given to specific people.  That flow of revelation has not stopped today, it has expanded as well.  There are simply too many people in the church for church leaders to give individual blessings to. Most often it comes by them exercising the priesthood to invoke the blessings of heaven upon the membership of the church in general.  

But for individuals, in all of the over 3000 stakes, there is a Patriarch, a High Priest, who gives blessings to the members of the church called a Patriarchal Blessing.  This blessing happens once in a person's life (most often), and is private to that person, and is not shared with others, with exceptions being their parents and later, spouses, although church leaders are able to have access to them.  
  
This blessing is recorded and given to the person to keep, and is considered scripture for that individual person.  These blessings can contain a declaration of their lineage, and what blessings they can receive as the posterity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  It can contain insights and prophecy about their lives.  It is meant to be a guide through your life.  So, even though it is not made public, often thousands of revelations per year are recorded and sent out to worthy church members, specific to their circumstances.

I know that decades after I received my patriarchal blessing, I have now come to realize some of the blessings promised in my Patriarchal blessing.  Just as being set apart for callings, the Patriarch said things he could not have possibly known, and now that it is much later in life, I have seen the fulfillment of many of the blessings contained therein, many times being confirmed by the spirit, as personal revelation.   

What we see in our modern era is that Revelation has not stopped, but is expanding, and is alive and well.  Revelation is the lifeblood of the church and from the top of the church where new leaders are called, to the congregation level, where bishops rely on revelation through the holy ghost to lead their flocks, we see not a church that has stopped in the number of revelations given, but a church that has expanded the number of revelations given to the point that there is almost not room enough to hold the quantity of revelations given. 

The breadth and scope of this great revelatory work is incredible.  As the Late President Boyd K Packer said, "The mind of man could not conceive it"  God is behind this marvellous work.  What began in 1820 (though really began before the foundations of the world) has expanded beyond what mortal man is able to do, and that is being done through revelation given from the Lord and his authorized servants.  

That revelatory process will continue into the millenium, where the work will continue until at the last, the Lord declares the work is done, and will present it to the Father.  

All of that work will have been powered by revelation, and as we continue to seek it out, we will become a part of the Lord's work on this earth and in the life to come, eventually to inherit all the father has, to become joint-heirs with Christ, and to become, as the Savior pleaded for in the great intercessory prayer, One with the Father as he, Christ, is with him.  

That oneness is made possible by the Atonement, which makes revelation possible, both now and in the eternities.

 Find out more about Christ. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Or, Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture courtesy of https://www.lds.org

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Declaration at the Well-the Messiah Lives-and what that means to us

Said the Savior to the woman at the well; "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

The Savior and the woman speak some more, and later..."The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.  Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he."

Such a wonderful passage.  The Savior declared that he was the promised Messiah, and then fulfilled all of the Biblical prophecies.  He lived a sinless life, taught his gospel, atoned for our sins, and rose from the dead so all may.  

The Savior still lives, and is real.  He is the promised Messiah, and still works today for our Salvation.  He will ever comfort us, and as President Monson has said, he is in the details of our lives.

May we, as the woman at the well, have the Savior declare himself to us, through the spirit.  That way we can know that he lives, and loves us.  And we will never be the same again.  

Serve others, for it is the same as serving the Savior.  Seek out the Lord in all things.  And he will comfort and strengthen you, and at the last day, you will live with him forever.  

You may watch the Bible video of this story below:

Or, you may read it in John by going here https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/4.7-26

The Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, is the Word of God. I know it to be true. God Showed prophets what to include in the Book of Mormon for our day.  Find out for yourself whether it is true by reading the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G , and then pray about its truth. 

Or, Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is Woman at the Well by Simon Dewey, available at http://www.altusfineart.com/woman-at-the-well/

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Behold your little ones...saw angels descending out of heaven"

"And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.

And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.

And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.

And when he had done this he wept again;

And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.

And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.

And the multitude did see and hear and bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children." (3 Nephi 17:19-25 more at https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/17)

The Savior came to the Americas after his resurrection, and taught his gospel, performed miracles, blessed the children, and the heavens were opened.  More of this account is at the above link in the Book of Mormon.  

We will similarly be blessed if we endure to the end.  We will be able to dwell in the presence of God and the Lamb forever with our families, to dwell in, as Revelations and the Prophet Joseph said, endless burnings of the spirit.  

Looking forward to that day, may we ever follow the Savior, for he lives, and loves us, and will redeem us.  And we will dwell with him again with our families.  

This comes from the Book of Mormon. Along with the Bible, Christ's words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7 

Picture courtesy of https://www.lds.org

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Jesus of Nazareth, our Savior and King

The title Jesus of Nazareth appears many times in scripture, as in the following scriptures where Peter healed the man lame since birth;

"Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk" (Acts 3:6).  

And later he testifies boldly to the jewish leaders the following scripture (which earned him a threat to never speak in the name of Christ again-which he promptly disobeyed)

"be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole" (Acts 4:10).

Do we all have the faith of Peter and the impotent man?  Miracles can happen.  And they bring us closer to the Christ spoken of in the first verse of the hymn below: 

Jesus of Nazareth,
Savior and King!
Triumphant over death,
Life thou didst bring,
Leaving thy Father's throne,
On earth to live,
Thy work to do alone,
Thy life to give.

May we ever have faith in this Jesus of Nazareth, our Savior and King, and through whom the power of the priesthood has been restored to this earth in this latter day.  As we have faith, miracles will follow those that believe.

May we ever have faith in him, is my prayer.  

Find out more about the Christ of the Bible. Along with the Bible, his words are in the Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Questions? Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is Jesus of Nazareth by Del Parson

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Testimony of Modern-Day Apostles about the Divinity of Jesus Christ

Here is a tiny part of what Modern-Day Apostles say about Christ;

"we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world..." 

What greater testimony can there be than one that carries the spirit to the hearts of those that read or hear it?  Such is the case with the testimony of these Modern-Day Apostles.  The spirit stirs the hearts of those who love Christ, and prompts them to give their hearts to the master healer.  

There is more that they say about Christ at http://bit.ly/2qqBpdb 

The Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, is another Testament of Christ.   Find out for yourself and read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Or, Click here to chat online http://bit.ly/14NQosW or, to meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture is Jesus Healing the Blind by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Saturday, May 13, 2017

When Mothers Day Brings Sadness

To all women who have a hard time with Mothers Day, for so many different reasons, I hope you know you are loved. No matter what your imperfections, no matter what, you are loved. So many women experience sadness on a day that is supposed to be a day honoring women. Know that you are not alone.

There are other women who are feeling similar things because of trials they have or are going through, and who bear scars from past trials that seem to open anew, painfully, with each Mothers Day. And sometimes it feels like God is far away.

But know that in addition to the others who have felt as you do, there is a loving, caring, perfect Savior, Jesus Christ, who understands perfectly what you are going through. He is one who can relate to your exact situation. And he loves you, cries with you, is pained for you, and is there for you.

And there is someone else who understands. We don't talk a lot about Mother in Heaven, but since the Church has come out with essays on the subject on their website (https://www.lds.org/topics/mother-in-heaven), I will simply state a couple of things we do know. Mother in Heaven understands loss and sadness because a third of all her children were cast down, never to return, after they rejected our Father's plan.  

So you are not alone in the heavens. Loving, Heavenly Parents, and a loving Savior know what it is like to weep, and to have sorrow that seems greater than you can bear. What it is like to not have children, or to have wayward ones.  I hope you all remember that you are choice daughters of Loving Parents, and that one day all things will be made right. But until then, know that they understand, and you can be comforted by the Holy Spirit as you reach out in prayer.

Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online now at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or request a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G

Chat online if you have questions at http://bit.ly/14NQosW or To meet with representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, go to http://bit.ly/10t9mW7

Picture courtesy of http://theprayingwoman.com