Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Thoughts of Scripture Upon 'The Trinity'

So I have had quite a few questions about the 'Trinity'.  This post is to help others understand where the Trinity came from and how it was conceived.

"And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me."
-- John 8:16
If I am not alone then there must be another person standing by, and I cannot send myself somewhere, I would just GO there.

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
-- John 14:26
Again being sent is a command from someone else, and if 'he' (the Holy Ghost) shall bring all things which Christ had said unto them, why would He not have said that, 'I shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have already told you'?

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
-- Acts 10:38
To anoint is like giving a blessing.  The priesthood of God is used to bless and help others, not yourself.  Being selfish is against the will of the Lord, and prevents one from exercising the priesthood.  When Christ was baptized by this same priesthood authority, 'God was with him'.  I cannot be with myself, I simply am myself.

"And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased."
-- Luke 3:22
The Holy Ghost has the form of a body all on his own, and if Christ was in the water then how could He be speaking from Heaven.  'Thou' and 'Thee' are pronouns like 'you' and are used when talking with someone else, not yourself.

The notion of the Trinity was conceived by men because after the Death and Resurrection of Christ, His apostles were also killed.  In war if you don't like the King you kill all of the Kings servants as well to prevent them from rebelling against your dominion.  The Jewish senate known as the Sanhedrin condemned Christ, so also afterward they sought to destroy His apostles.  After those apostles were gone there was no one left on the earth with the priesthood authority to speak with God concerning doctrines taught in the scriptures.  So several hundred years went by with honest men giving what they thought about the Bible.

These concepts were than taken to be correct because their was very little opportunity to actually read the Bible itself without having someone else who could read Greek, Latin, or Hebrew.  It wasn't until about 1500 AD that William Tyndale translated the Bible into English.  This even had to be done secretly as the church and national governments did not agree with giving the common folk access to sacred scripture.  Tyndale once said to a priest, "If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the scriptures than you!" (source)

This was realized about 300 years later when a 14 year-old farmboy in New York was reading the Bible, which was made possible by Tyndale's efforts to translate it into English. 

Excerpts from the history of how this farmboy, Joseph Smith, learned more about scripture than an educated priest, is as follows.  For the entire record see Joseph Smith History.

"There was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion.

"During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit....but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.

"In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?

"I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

"Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.

"At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.
So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.

"After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God.

"I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

"When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right and which I should join.
"I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” "

Joseph Smith was called as a Prophet of God, to restore the church that Christ had established during His mortal ministry.  Through him we have the Knowledge that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared in the year 1820, side by side.

In regard to the Godhead the scriptures teach that They are each individual, yet one in purpose.  Separate physically, but united spiritually.  Even as I and my mortal father are united in our labors when we go out into the field to work, so also was Christ united with the Father while laboring here in His vineyard.

"Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me."
I cannot be my own father.  That would require being of age before I was born.  If God works by natural laws, and is not a God of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), then Jesus Christ could not have also been His own Father.

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
Here Christ prays for His apostles, but not them alone also all who believe on their words.  Therefore there must needs be a way for us to be 'one', or 'united', with each other while still in possesion of our own individual bodies.

"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."

The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not each other.  However they each hold the title of God.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Keep Your Eyes Where They Should Be

"Look eye, always look eye!"

This is one of my Favorite parts of the Karate Kid.  You show respect by looking into your opponents eyes, and you can also learn how they are feeling.  Today, I want to relate looking into someone's eyes to looking towards Heaven.

When you look in someones eyes while they are speaking you show that you want to know what they are saying.  So when we look to Heaven we are saying that we really want to know what God has to tell us today.  You don't sit and wait for someone to say something yesterday, you wait for them to speak today because you don't need yesterday's instructions for todays problems. 

While it is true that "God is the same yesterday, today, and forever", He gives us knowledge "line upon line, precept upon precept."  This is done through a Prophet, like Moses, who can speak with God and then reveal to us what is going to happen.

"Surely the Lord God will do nothing,
but he revealeth his secret
unto his servants the prophets."

The other part I wanted to point out is that when you are looking in the eyes, you are showing respect for them whether you agree with what they are saying or not.  Not everyone believes the same, not everyone likes the same things or wears the same clothes.  This is because we are all different, and if we weren't we would be quite annoyed all the time because the wouldn't be any flavor to life.  However, just because we have differences doesn't mean we should rule out anything else just because it is in opposition to our own view.  By the time the Christ shall come and reign we will all be united in one faith.

"One Lord, one faith, one baptism,"

Lets do as Mr. Miyagi says, and "always look eye."  Always look to God for the truth, always follow His chosen Prophets, and always respect what He says, even if we don't understand it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Some Scriptures From The Bible

"Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me."
-- John 8:42

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:"
"For God is not the author of confusion"
-- 1 Corinthians 14:33

"But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."
-- Acts 7:55-56

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."

"As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."

"Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Have a Firm Foundation, Don't Fall Down

"And now, my sons, remember,
remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer,
who is Christ, the Son of God,
that ye must build your foundation;
that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds,
yea, his shafts in the whirlwind,
yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you,
it shall have no power over you
to drag you down to the gulf of misery
and endless wo,
because of the rock upon which ye are built,
which is a sure foundation,
a foundation whereon
if men build
they cannot fall."

Charlie The Unicorn - Shun The Non-Believer

Sometimes we all feel shunned, and that's not very nice.

As a missionary I get shunned all the time.  I wonder sometimes why those who say they follow Christ would mock and ridicule anyone just because they believed differently.  Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was just always friendly and really did what Christ said to do,

"But 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;"

So lets all be friends rather than enemies, and help each other rather than hurt each other.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Have You Done With Your TIME?

So my companion just informed me that he feels the pressure of being halfway through his mission.  This reminded of one of my favorite songs, TIME by Jericho Road.

The song goes over whether or not you are using the TIME the Lord has given you here on earth.  Are you using your TIME, or are you losing out on blessings by not keeping His commandments?  Are you paying attention and listening to the messages He is sending your way, or are you missing them?  Are you wishing that you had more TIME to study what is from God, or are you priorities somewhere else?

Here are the lyrics, don't just read them, study them.  At the bottom there is a link to listen to the music.  I think you will enjoy it once you know what it is that they are trying to say.

Time is a tickin'
Are you listenin'
When you find out what you're missin'
You'll be wishin'
That you would've taken

Time is a wasting
Are you waiting
To find that yours is taken
You'll awaken
When you're running out of time

Time is a moving
Are you using
Your time or are you choosin'
To be losing
The precious gift of time

It went so fast
But you thought it would last
And I wonder when you'll see that
Your time's run out
It's time
To make the best of time
Just trust and you will find
There's something you can do
To make the best of time
You gotta understand
When you reach out your hand
Someone's reaching out for you
Just leave your fears behind
It's time

Why are you waiting
To change your situation
Stop delaying
Don't live your whole life blind

He is your best friend
So remember when
Your life seemed like a whirlwind
He was waiting
Forever by your side
It goes so fast You think it's gonna last
But I wonder when you'll see
That the time is now


You can never live your life over
There's no crying on anyone's shoulder
How long can you walk the line
No more faces to hide behind

You gotta just trust and believe it
Put your faith in what you can't see yet
You know it's not too late
He's guiding you along the way


Take a step of Faith and look into that which you don't understand and haven't given the TIME.  Spend more TIME with your family.  Take time to sit and relax, WITHOUT THE TV ON.  Go outside and contemplate how things work in nature, and think of what you really want to do with the TIME you have before it is all gone.

Listen at : http://grooveshark.com/#/s/Time/1eRa4c?src=5

Lyrics taken from : http://www.lyricsera.com/

The Gospel of Jesus Christ Requires WORK

So some people think we are in a huge depression.  Others think it's just a little recession.  I think it doesn't matter because if you are doing as God would do, He will bless you with everything you need.

Even though we don't always get everything we want when we want it, God will provide for our necessities.  In the Book of Mormon there was a people who took an oath to never take up weapons of war ever again.  These people were called the Anti-Nephi-Lehites, and they had the promised protection of the Nephites.  When their mutual enemy, the Lamanites, came to war against them, the Nephites struggled to defend themselves as well as those who they had sworn to protect.  When the time came that the Anti-Nephi-Lehites wanted to take up arms to aid their brethren, Helaman forbade them lest by breaking the covenant, or promise, which they had made with the Lord, they would have been slain.  However, they had many sons who had not entered into this covenant, and these sons valued the liberty of their fathers, even more than their own lives, and they 'enlisted' to join the army against the Lamanites.  See Alma 53:14-16.

Thus we see that once you say you are going to do something, you need to do it.  We also see that the liberty of the fathers was protected by the hard work that their sons gave in service.  However we cannot look to someone else to fulfill the requirements the Lord has set to enter His kingdom.

When Joseph, son of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, was sold into Egypt, he served in several positions where everything was 'commited into his hand'.  After more than a couple years since seeing his family he was brought before Pharaoh to interpret a dream.

The dreams of Pharaoh, and Joseph's interpretation, are as follows:(the teal is my own interjections)

"And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:
And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine(good cows), fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:
And, behold, seven other kine(sick cows) came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:
And the lean and the ill favoured kine(sick cows) did eat up the first seven fat kine(good cows):
And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears(good corn) came up in one stalk, full and good:
And, behold, seven ears(bad corn), withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:
And the thin ears(bad corn) devoured the seven good ears(good corn): and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.
And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.
And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;
And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.
And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass."

Here we see that everything the Lord does is done by the 'mouth of two or more witnesses'.  He gave Pharaoh two dreams, plus the testimony of a Prophet.  Three witnesses were given that there would be a time of plenty, and then a time of famine.

"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God,
that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread,
nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord:
And they shall wander from sea to sea,
and from the north even to the east,
they shall run to and fro
to seek the word of the Lord,
and shall not find it."

"Let no man deceive you by any means: 
for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away first,"

And thus we can plainly discern,
that after a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God,
and have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness,
and then have fallen away into sin and transgression,
they become more hardened,
and thus their state becomes worse
than though they had never known these things."

Here we have more than two times that the Lord has told us there would be a falling away, or an apostasy, before His second coming.

"And he shall send Jesus Christ, 
which before was preached unto you:
Whom the heaven must receive
until the times of restitution of all things,
which God hath spoken
by the mouth of all his holy prophets
since the world began."

"I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren"

The famine of hearing the words of the Lord is over, the church that Jesus Christ established has been restored again to the earth, which is the restitution of all things, including the Priesthood which is Authority to perform sacred ordinances in the name of Christ.

We are told to "WORK out your own salvation"(Philippians 2:12), and the way has been shown in the scriptures.  The Book of Mormon stands as SECOND witness of Jesus Christ.  Through the Book of Mormon we find that we must indeed have FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ, REPENT of our sins, be BAPTIZED by someone holding the proper authority to do so, receive the GIFT of the Holy Ghost, and ENDURE to the END.

I promise that if anyone is struggling with life right now, be it because of family problems, lack of employment, depression, or addiction, by reading the Book of Mormon for 5 minutes a day you will find peace, hope, and balance in your life and family.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Commandments - More Than TEN

The First law of Heaven is Obedience.  It is by obedience to the laws of God that we receive blessings from Him. 
"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven
before the foundations of this world,
upon which all blessings are predicated—
And when we obtain any blessing from God,
it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

God gives us commandments for our benefit.  They are instructions from a loving Father in Heaven to help us have happy lives.  He also gives us agency, or the ability and opportunity to choose between good and evil.  When we obey God, we follow the influence of the Spirit and choose to conform to His will.  Obedience to the commandments brings us peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come.  Obedience shows our love for God.  Disobedience brings us sorrow.

"If ye love me, keep my commandments." --John 14:15

God commands us to pray to Him.  You can pray at any time and in any setting.  The Lord has taught us to kneel and pray in the morning and in the evening, as individuals and with our families.  Our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.  Through daily prayer we receive divine guidance and blessings.  We should always pray sincerely.  We should also pray with “real intent,” which means we are committed to act on the
answer that we receive.

We pray with faith to our Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ (see Moses 5:8).  Because He is our Father and we are His children, He will answer our prayers.  

We begin our prayers by addressing our Father in Heaven.  We then give thanks for the blessings we have received, and ask for those blessings we need from Him.  We end a prayer "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

In prayer we speak openly and honestly with our loving Father in Heaven.  We express gratitude and thanksgiving for our blessings.  We may acknowledge our love for Him.  We also ask for help, protection, and direction according to our needs.

The scriptures are written records of God’s dealings with His children as recorded by prophets under the influence of the Holy Ghost.  We show our faith by studying, believing, and obeying God’s revealed word.  We diligently search the scriptures to understand the truth.  We feast upon them because they open the door to revelation and show us what we need to do and become.  We search the scriptures to learn about Jesus Christ and His gospel.  Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from God and comes through studying and living
His word and His gospel.

"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."

Our Sabbath day behavior is a reflection of our commitment to honor and worship God.  By keeping the Sabbath day holy, we show God our willingness to keep our covenants.  Each Sabbath day we go to the Lord’s house to worship Him.  While there we partake of the sacrament to remember Jesus Christ and His Atonement.  We renew our covenants and show that we are willing to repent of our sins and mistakes.

On this day, we enjoy a rest from our labors.  As we attend Church services and worship together, we strengthen each other.  We are renewed by our association with friends and family.  Our faith is strengthened as we study the scriptures and learn more about the restored gospel.

When a community or nation grows careless in its Sabbath activities, its religious life decays and all aspects of life are negatively affected.  The blessings associated with keeping the Sabbath day holy are lost.  We should refrain from shopping on the Sabbath and participating in other commercial and sporting activities that now commonly desecrate the Sabbath.

So lets say that the entire city, town, or village you live in contracted a disease.  Everyone caught this disease, accept your only child.  Your child had an anomaly in their blood that made them immune and could cure everyone else.  But to save everyone else your child would have to die.  Your child decided they would go ahead and do it to save all of their friends.  So after everyone was cured the entire city dedicated one day a week to remember the sacrifice of your child, and on this day no one was supposed to do any work of any kind.

A few weeks go by and everyone has respect for your child's sacrifice, and everyone honors the day that was set apart.  But then the next week comes and as you sit on your porch you see someone mowing their lawn.  This is against the law of observance instated for your child.  How would you react to see them working on that day, rather than just doing it the day before or the day after?  You would probably not be pleased with the way they ignored what your child had done for them.

This is how our Heavenly Father feels when we don't pay proper respect each week for the sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son.  Jesus Christ came and suffered for us, and has asked that we set apart one day each week to honor Him.

"And the church did meet together oft,
to fast and to pray,
and to speak one with another
concerning the welfare of their souls.
And they did meet together oft
to partake of bread and wine,
in remembrance of the Lord Jesus."

The way we show our desire to follow in God’s way is through baptism and confirmation.  When we are baptized and confirmed, we enter into a covenant that we will take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ and that we will always remember Him and keep His commandments.  We also promise to stand as witnesses of God at all times and to assist those in need (see Mosiah 18:8–9).  In return, God promises the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and a remission of our sins.

Truth is a knowledge of things as they really are, were, and will be. It does not change with conditions or time. Truth is the same in every age and culture. God is the source of all truth. We can have faith in Him because we know He will teach us only truth. God wants all His children to know the truth. Therefore, He reveals the truths necessary for salvation through prophets and apostles. He reveals truth to us personally through the scriptures and personal revelation.

A prophet is called and chosen by God and is a righteous man with great faith. The Lord reveals truth to him through the Holy Ghost. He commands His prophet to teach truth to all people. Those who believe God’s words as revealed through His prophet are blessed. (see Exodus 4:16, and Hebrews 5:4)

Christ’s Church is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, who direct the Church by revelation. The Lord called Joseph Smith as the first prophet and head of this last dispensation. His successors who lead The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today are also prophets and apostles. The President of the Church today is a living prophet. We are to have faith in God’s chosen prophet, gain conviction of his divine calling, and follow his teachings.

We have frequent opportunities to sustain Church leaders publicly. Sustain means to support. We are to prepare ourselves so that when the prophets and apostles speak, the Holy Ghost can confirm the truths they teach, and we can then determine to follow the counsel they give us.

Those who listen to and follow the counsel of living prophets and apostles will not go astray. The teachings of living prophets provide an anchor of eternal truth in a world of shifting values and help us avoid misery and sorrow. The confusion and strife of the world will not overwhelm us, and we can enjoy the assurance of being in harmony with God’s will.

Heavenly Father gives us commandments so that we will know what to do and what to avoid in order to receive the blessings He wants to give us like joy, peace of conscience, and lasting happiness.  God revealed to Moses the Ten Commandments to guide His people. (see Exodus 20)  The Ten Commandments are:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  Other 'gods' may include possessions, power, authority, or vain ambitions.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Honor thy father and thy mother.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Thou shalt not covet.

These Ten Commandments are still effective today.  It will never be acceptable to go lie, cheat, and steal just because you wanted to.  To kill someone is the worst sin possible other than denying the Holy Ghost. 

God delights in chastity and hates sexual sin.  Chastity includes strict abstinence from sexual relations before marriage and complete fidelity and loyalty to one’s spouse after marriage.  Those who live the law of chastity enjoy the strength that comes from self-control.  They enjoy confidence and trust in their family relationships.  They can enjoy more fully the influence of the Holy Ghost in their lives.  Those who break this law are subject to a lasting sense of shame and guilt that burdens their lives.

Chastity requires faithfulness in thought and action. We must keep our thoughts clean and be modest in our dress, speech, and actions. We must avoid pornography in any form.  We should treat the God-given procreative power and our bodies as sacred.  Those who have committed sexual sin can repent and be forgiven.


"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Be not ye therefore partakers with them."

The Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith a law of health called the Word of Wisdom. This law teaches us what foods and substances we should and should not use to maintain the health of our bodies and to keep us free from evil influences. The Lord promises blessings of health, strength, protection against evil, and greater receptiveness to spiritual truths. 

Remember that our bodies are sacred. We should treat them with respect and reverence.  The Word of Wisdom teaches that we are to eat healthy foods. It teaches very specifically that we are to avoid harmful substances, including alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee. We must also avoid harmful drugs in any form. People who obey the Word of Wisdom are more receptive to spiritual truths.  Go to Doctrine and Covenants 89, to read the 'Word of Wisdom'.

One of the great blessings of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the privilege of contributing to the growth of the kingdom of God through paying tithing.  Tithing is an ancient, divine law.  For example, the Old Testament prophet Abraham paid tithes of all he possessed (see Alma 13:15).

To those who pay tithing, the Lord promises that He will “open . . . the windows of heaven, and pour . . . out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). These blessings may be temporal or spiritual, but they will come to those who obey this divine law.

Tithing means one-tenth, and the Lord has commanded us to give a tenth of our increase, which is understood to mean income, that we may be blessed. The law of tithing gives us the opportunity to help build His kingdom. Our tithes are holy to the Lord, and we honor Him by paying tithing. God promises to abundantly bless those who pay an honest tithe.  Those who do not pay tithing rob God (see Malachi 3:8). They keep for themselves something that rightfully belongs to Him. We should seek first the kingdom of God, and tithing is an important way of doing that. Paying tithing is an expression of our faith. It is an outward sign of our belief in God and His work.

Tithing funds are used to support the ongoing activities of the Church, such as building and maintaining temples and meetinghouses, carrying the gospel to all the world, conducting temple and family history work, youth programs, and many other worldwide activities. Tithing does not pay local Church leaders, they serve without receiving payment of any kind.
Local Church leaders send the tithing received each week directly to Church headquarters. A council comprised of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the Presiding Bishopric determines specific ways to use the sacred tithing funds.

Great blessings are available to those who obey God’s commandment to fast. Fasting means going without food and drink for a period of time. Usually the first Sunday of each month is set aside as a special day to fast for two consecutive meals, pray, and bear testimony. Fasting and prayer go together. When we fast and pray with faith, we are more receptive to receiving answers to our prayers and blessings from the Lord. He promises us that He will guide us continually. We should fast and pray for specific purposes. Fasting is private and spiritual, and we should not draw attention to the fact that we are fasting.

Pure religion includes caring for the poor. We are to help them meet their physical and spiritual needs. When we fast, we donate money to the Church for the care of the poor and the needy. We call this a fast offering. We give at least the amount of money we save by fasting for two meals. However, we need not limit our contribution to the cost of two meals. We are encouraged to be as generous as our means allow. By caring for the poor, we help fulfill our baptismal covenants and retain a remission of our sins.

Behold, I testify unto you
that I do know that these things
whereof I have spoken
 are true.
And how do ye suppose
that I know of their surety?
Behold, I say unto you
they are made known unto me
by the Holy Spirit of God.
Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days
that I might know these things of myself.
And now I do know of myself
that they are true;
for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit;
and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.

Latter-day Saints everywhere believe in obeying the laws of the country in which they live. Members of the Church are counseled to be good citizens, to participate in civil government and the political process, and to render community service. They do so, however, as concerned citizens, not as representatives of the Church.

Unlimited everything is actually not beneficial.  If there wasn't a speed limit, there would be more problems on the road.  If there was nothing declared wrong with hitting people, we would have a lot of bruised and broken people walking around.  With every law there must be a punishment, because what is the point of saying you can't do something if nothing happens when you do it?

"And when we obtain any blessing from God,
it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."
-- Doctrine and Covenants 130:21

So by obedience we obtain blessings, and by disobedience we receive punishment.  Sir Isaac Newton 'discovered' that, "For every action the is an equal and opposite reaction."  So any punishment enforced by law must be in opposition of what we did wrong, and equal to the crime.

In order to obey all of the laws of the land we must develop patience.  If we are too anxious to do whatever we want we usually end up getting into mischief.  But if we wait for the next paycheck, we won't be stealing something from the store.  If we are patient we won't be speeding down the highway as fast as possible.  If we are patient we won't be upset when the movie, concert, or party we are attending starts late.

"As parents, we know how unwise it would be to indulge our children’s every desire.
But children are not the only ones who spoil when showered with immediate gratification.
Our Heavenly Father knows what good parents come to understand over time:
if children are ever going to mature and reach their potential,
they must learn to wait."
-- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
(Continue in Patience, April 2010)

Sometimes it can be very difficult to remain patient and obey the law.