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Scott Lloyd

My modern reflection on the great and spacious building

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At the urging of President Monson in the last general conference, I have begun to re-read the Book of Mormon.

Thus, I have just finished reading again the account of Lehi's vision of the tree of life and Nephi's subsequent viewing of and enlargement upon that vision.

I was struck in particular by the description of the great and spacious building. By way of review, Lehi and Nephi beheld a great and spacious building that stood high in the air. They saw that it was filled with people of all ages, male and female, with fine manner of dress, who were pointing at and mocking those who were partaking of the fruit form the tree of life.

Lehi and Nephi observed further that those who had tasted of the fruit but were then being scoffed at by the inhabitants of the building "fell away into forbidden paths and were lost." Other multitudes were "feeling their way towards that great and spacious building" and "many were drowned in the depths of the fountain, and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads." Those who entered the building joined the scoffers in mocking those who had partaken of the fruit (see 1 Nephi 8:26-32).

In Chapter 11, where Nephi is privileged to behold the same vision, he learns that the great and spacious building represents "the pride of the world." Verses 34-36 (bold emphasis mine for reference):
 

Quote

 

And after he was slain i saw the multitudes of the earth that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb; for thus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord.

And the multitude of the earth was gathered together; and I beheld that they were in a large and spacious building, like unto the building which my father saw. and the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Behold the world and the wisdom thereof; yea, behold the house of Israel hath gathered together to fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

And It came to pass that I saw and bear record, that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and it fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

 

 

 

Note that the verses don't say the multitudes gathered in the great and spacious building would be fighting directly against the Lamb of God, but rather, that they would be fighting against "the apostles of the Lamb." That is, the apostles, as Christ's emissaries, would be the ones that would be confronted by those who oppose Christ and His teachings.

In context, the great and spacious building and its inhabitants are prototypical; that is, they represent the pride of the world in all ages, not just the age immediately following the death of the mortal Messiah.

Likewise, "the twelve apostles of the Lamb" in this context are prototypical, representing not just the apostles chosen by the mortal Christ, but men of all ages who have held the apostolic office, including those who live today, and including the First Presidency, each of whom also holds the apostolic office.

Ergo, those who contend against the united word of the apostles of Christ place themselves in the unhappy category of those represented in Lehi's dream as the multitude who inhabit the great and spacious building, the "pride of the world," as it were, who mock and scoff at those who are pressing forward to partake of the fruit of the tree of life.

To bring it down to our day, this applies to whatever the matter at issue might be: marriage redefinition, the handbook policy that surfaced a year ago last November, expenditure of Church funds, the authenticity of the scriptures and other revelations of the Church, the divine calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the commandments of the Lord past and present, etc.

To the extent that I continue posting on this board, I might from time to time share other insights that occur to me as I progress with my reading of the Book of Mormon. I invite others to do so as well as they undertake a reading of the book.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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37 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

At the urging of President Monson in the last general conference, I have begun to re-read the Book of Mormon.

Thus, I have just finished reading again the account of Lehi's vision of the tree of life and Nephi's subsequent viewing of and enlargement upon that vision.

I was struck in particular by the description of the great and spacious building. By way of review, Lehi and Nephi beheld a great and spacious building that stood high in the air. They saw that it was filled with people of all ages, male and female, with fine manner of dress, who were pointing at and mocking those who were partaking of the fruit form the tree of life.

Lehi and Nephi observed further that those who had tasted of the fruit but were then being scoffed at by the inhabitants of the building "fell away into forbidden paths and were lost." Other multitudes were "feeling their way towards that great and spacious building" and "many were drowned in the depths of the fountain, and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads." Those who entered the building joined the scoffers in mocking those who had partaken of the fruit (see 1 Nephi 8:26-32).

In Chapter 11, where Nephi is privileged to behold the same vision, he learns that the great and spacious building represents "the pride of the world." Verses 34-36 (bold emphasis mine for reference):
 

Note that the verses don't say the multitudes gathered in the great and spacious building would be fighting directly against the Lamb of God, but rather, that they would be fighting against "the apostles of the Lamb." That is, the apostles, as Christ's emissaries, would be the ones that would be confronted by those who oppose Christ and His teachings.

In context, the great and spacious building and its inhabitants are prototypical; that is, they represent the pride of the world in all ages, not just the age immediately following the death of the mortal Messiah.

Likewise, "the twelve apostles of the Lamb" in this context are prototypical, representing not just the apostles chosen by the mortal Christ, but men of all ages who have held the apostolic office, including those who live today, and including the First Presidency, each of whom also holds the apostolic office.

Ergo, those who contend against the united word of the apostles of Christ place themselves in the unhappy category of those represented in Lehi's dream as the multitude who inhabit the great and spacious building, the "pride of the world," as it were, who mock and scoff at those who are pressing forward to partake of the fruit of the tree of life.

To bring it down to our day, this applies to whatever the matter at issue might be: marriage redefinition, the handbook policy that surfaced a year ago last November, expenditure of Church funds, the authenticity of the scriptures and other revelations of the Church, the divine calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the commandments of the Lord past and present, etc.

To the extent that I continue posting on this board, I might from time to time share other insights that occur to me as I progress with my reading of the Book of Mormon. I invite others to do so as well as they undertake a reading of the book.

I don't know that i agree that simply disagreeing with the apostles means that someone is a part of the great and spacious building.  For one thing, a lot of those people who do disagree with the apostles on the topics you listed, are still actively seeking the tree of life and communion with the saints.  

That doesn't square with what we know about those 'in the building'.

But maybe i'm misunderstanding you and you are using the word contend to mean something different and more than just greatly disagreeing with or believe to be wrong.

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37 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I don't know that i agree that simply disagreeing with the apostles means that someone is a part of the great and spacious building.  For one thing, a lot of those people who do disagree with the apostles on the topics you listed, are still actively seeking the tree of life and communion with the saints.  

That doesn't square with what we know about those 'in the building'.

But maybe i'm misunderstanding you and you are using the word contend to mean something different and more than just greatly disagreeing with or believe to be wrong.

I think there's a clear distinction in meaning between disagree and contend.

Furthermore, the teaching value of the vision is in the fact that it allows for varying gradations and scenarios. Not everyone who has wandered from the path has ended up in the building. Some are merely "feeling their way" there and, presumably are at different points between the path and the building. Some have fallen into forbidden paths and become lost, some have been drowned in the depths of the fountain, some are lost from view, "wandering in strange roads."

Presumably some have not yet left the path but have let go of the rod of iron; others, perhaps, do not have as firm a grasp as they once did.

The flexibility in application makes this vision similar to Christ's parable of the sower in that respect. I believe the vision and the parable are closely related in message, and I like to consider them in combination with each other.

The main point I wish to emphasize with this thread is that the inhabitants of the building, even as they taunt and mock the partakers of the fruit, are contending against the apostles of the Lamb. That has never before struck me as it has with this most recent reading. Perhaps I have become more keenly aware of the extent and frequency with which the Brethren are criticized and even vilified today. I don't believe you can be contending against the apostles and, at the same time, be grasping the rod.

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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3 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The main point I wish to emphasize with this thread is that the inhabitants of the building, even as they taunt and mock the partakers of the fruit, are contending against the apostles of the Lamb. That has never before struck me as it has with this most recent reading. Perhaps I have become more keenly aware of the extent and frequency with which the Brethren are criticized and even vilified today. I don't believe you can be contending against the apostles and, at the same time, be grasping the rod.

 

I agree that the bolded part above is an interesting emphasis, and one that i had never noticed before either.  And it's an interesting question-whether one can contend (or struggle) against the apostles and still be grasping the rod.

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17 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I agree that the bolded part above is an interesting emphasis, and one that i had never noticed before either.  And it's an interesting question-whether one can contend (or struggle) against the apostles and still be grasping the rod.

And I used the word united advisedly. Individual apostles have erred in the past; when acting with unity as a quorum or a council, not so much.

 

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4 hours ago, bluebell said:

I don't know that i agree that simply disagreeing with the apostles means that someone is a part of the great and spacious building.  For one thing, a lot of those people who do disagree with the apostles on the topics you listed, are still actively seeking the tree of life and communion with the saints.  

That doesn't square with what we know about those 'in the building'.

But maybe i'm misunderstanding you and you are using the word contend to mean something different and more than just greatly disagreeing with or believe to be wrong.

Only those who are bound by temple covenant have taken an oath not to find fault with the Brethren, even if/when they are wrong.  All others of those both in and out of the LDS faith may freely find fault with the Brethren.  One might want to pause, however, before passing judgment too hastily.  For with what judgment you judge, so shall you be judged.  Might be better to say something nice.  Let the Lord pass judgment.

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5 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Ergo, those who contend against the united word of the apostles of Christ place themselves in the unhappy category of those represented in Lehi's dream as the multitude who inhabit the great and spacious building, the "pride of the world," as it were, who mock and scoff at those who are pressing forward to partake of the fruit of the tree of life.

"Map: These are the world’s least religious countries"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/14/map-these-are-the-worlds-least-religious-countries/?utm_term=.968b6200a8ec

Now find those countries (the democracies) in the Global Peace Index and World Happiness Report

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Peace_Index

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report

Now find those countries in the Homicide statistics rates 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

Now find Kentucky, Utah, Idaho, Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota (very religious and least diverse states in the US)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Peace_Index

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_homicide_rate

Please tell me how disagreeing with the Lord's prophets makes people more violent, unhappy, and wicked? 

Edited by MormonVideoGame

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My problem is timing. At the time of Lehi's vision there were no apostles to contend with and wouldn't be for 600 years. From an LDS perspective, there were about 1500 years of history in which there were also no apostles to contend with/against. What were all the folks in the great and spacious building doing? waiting? Perhaps there are more metaphorical meanings to ' the apostles of the Lamb ' .

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5 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Perhaps I have become more keenly aware of the extent and frequency with which the Brethren are criticized and even vilified today. I don't believe you can be contending against the apostles and, at the same time, be grasping the rod.

Another brother in the ward and I spent the morning of Good Friday in the temple.* Travelling there very late the night before, we started to discuss this very topic. Thank you for sharing this scriptural insight.

My statement near the end of our conversation that night: I find myself feeling ever greater appreciation for and honour toward the Lord's chosen prophets and apostles literally with every passing month.

-----

* I love that our temple is open on Good Friday! This year they even added extra sessions, and still we had to queue up to get in. It seems to me that, on the day that the Lord Himself stood as proxy for all of us to take literally every bad thing, it is an honour to be allowed to stand as proxy for another and take some of the good. :)

Edited by Hamba Tuhan

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7 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

And I used the word united advisedly. Individual apostles have erred in the past; when acting with unity as a quorum or a council, not so much.

 

The Book of Mormon verses you advisedly quoted do not mention "united." So your clarifying comment has given you a zipcode in the Great and Spacious Building, since you know when an Apostle speaks he's united or not, because you obviously have more authority than they.

You may also like the footnote reference to the word "air" in 1 Nephi 8:26 to Ephesians 2:1-3

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3. .....
 
Clarifying that the foundation of the Great and Spacious Building is the devil.

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4 hours ago, MormonVideoGame said:

"Map: These are the world’s least religious countries"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/14/map-these-are-the-worlds-least-religious-countries/?utm_term=.968b6200a8ec

Now find those countries (the democracies) in the Global Peace Index and World Happiness Report

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Peace_Index

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report

Now find those countries in the Homicide statistics rates 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

Now find Kentucky, Utah, Idaho, Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota (very religious and least diverse states in the US)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Peace_Index

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_homicide_rate

Please tell me how disagreeing with the Lord's prophets makes people more violent, unhappy, and wicked? 

Are we back to this discussion in every thread?

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4 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Only those who are bound by temple covenant have taken an oath not to find fault with the Brethren, even if/when they are wrong.  All others of those both in and out of the LDS faith may freely find fault with the Brethren.  One might want to pause, however, before passing judgment too hastily.  For with what judgment you judge, so shall you be judged.  Might be better to say something nice.  Let the Lord pass judgment.

Thank you for putting this in perspective. I think often we members play the persecution card too quickly.  Most kindred, tongues, and people have never heard of or know little about our twelve apostles, so its not correct to say they are all fighting against them.

Edited by sunstoned

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4 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Only those who are bound by temple covenant have taken an oath not to find fault with the Brethren, even if/when they are wrong.  All others of those both in and out of the LDS faith may freely find fault with the Brethren.  One might want to pause, however, before passing judgment too hastily.  For with what judgment you judge, so shall you be judged.  Might be better to say something nice.  Let the Lord pass judgment.

Wrong. You are so blatantly wrong it's unbelievable you would even entertain the thought let alone write it. Where do you come up with this stuff? "All others..in and out of the LDS faith may freely find fault with the Brethren." What?

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught to paraphrase, "when a man finds fault with his Priesthood leaders, you know he has stepped onto the road of apostasy."  

Per the Book of Mormon, there were many who entered into the Great and Spacious Building who never partook of the fruit (entered into a baptismal and additional priesthood covenants) who mocked those who did with pointed fingers of scorn and fought against the Apostles of the Lamb. And what happened to the building and its inhabitants? It fell. Seriously, do you even study the Book of Mormon? I suggest you do. It's the keystone of our religion. :)

Is this site dedicated to criticizing our Priesthood leaders, past and present? Scott Lloyd hinted at it. Bro. Smith in his post. What is wrong with you people. Is The Great and Spacious building making you embarrassed?

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13 hours ago, PeterPear said:

Wrong. You are so blatantly wrong it's unbelievable you would even entertain the thought let alone write it. Where do you come up with this stuff? "All others..in and out of the LDS faith may freely find fault with the Brethren." What?

...................................................................

I note that you dishonestly took part of my comment and highlighted it, and conveniently forgot about what else I said at the same time.  Be careful, Pete.  For with what judgment you judge, so shall you be judged.  Apparently, you feel that the Gospel allows you to bear false witness whenever it suits you.

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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18 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

To the extent that I continue posting on this board, I might from time to time share other insights that occur to me as I progress with my reading of the Book of Mormon. I invite others to do so as well as they undertake a reading of the book.

I've read it well over 100 times in the last 46 years (ever day since the 80s)--stopped counting over 15 years ago. Yes, and I know such admission is a two-edged sword(!) to which I plead, "No contest!"

But taking up President Nelson's challenge, I recently studied it out of the Topical Guide "Jesus" references. And now I'm going through studying wherever the text describes something the Lord is doing, or His role with His children individually and collectively. Reading the book makes an incredible difference. On another thread i shared that I first read it when I was 13 years old. When I prayed, I asked, "Is it true?" and got an affirmative spiritual witness. I must admit I already had a sense that it is true, but felt that something so significant (as Moroni's Promise) warranted my following through. I can only say that after 46 years, having a manifestation by the power of the Holy Ghost (versus having a sense that it is true) has kept me out of a LOT of trouble!

 

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19 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

To bring it down to our day, this applies to whatever the matter at issue might be: marriage redefinition, the handbook policy that surfaced a year ago last November, expenditure of Church funds, the authenticity of the scriptures and other revelations of the Church, the divine calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the commandments of the Lord past and present, etc.

I like to point out that the principle of heeding His ministering servants is integral to the doctrine of Christ as set forth in 3 Nephi 11:28 through 12:1. Each item on the commonly acknowledged "doctrine of Christ list" of faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation and enduring to the end (i.e. "become as a little child") all entail the exercise of these servants' authority to teach, judge, perform ordinances, and extend callings; to ordain, confer and set apart; and otherwise minister.

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11 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Are we back to this discussion in every thread?

I note MormonVideoGame is on "limited" status. That could explain it. I understand that those on limited are prevented from starting threads, so hijacking others' threads would be his only means of pushing his agenda. Just a hunch.

 

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12 hours ago, PeterPear said:

The Book of Mormon verses you advisedly quoted do not mention "united."

In so many words, charity is to agreement and unity as contention is to dispute and division. Instructing His newly called servants in 3 Nephi 11:28-30, Jesus said:
"And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been. For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away."

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16 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Only those who are bound by temple covenant have taken an oath not to find fault with the Brethren, even if/when they are wrong.  All others of those both in and out of the LDS faith may freely find fault with the Brethren.  One might want to pause, however, before passing judgment too hastily.  For with what judgment you judge, so shall you be judged.  Might be better to say something nice.  Let the Lord pass judgment.

Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly here, Bob, but I see the great and spacious building and its inhabitants -- identified as "the pride of the world" -- as being far more universal in scope than merely breakers of temple covenants, though such would certainly be included in it. Nephi beheld that its fall "was exceeding great," and "thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb." There's nothing OK about contending against divine truth or fighting against the apostles of the Lamb of God, even if done in ignorance.

Your identification of "those who are bound by temple covenants" and who subsequently find fault with the Brethren sounds more like those in Lehi's dream who partake of the fruit of the tree of life (the love of God) and then are ashamed and eventually join the multitudes in the great and spacious building.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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16 hours ago, strappinglad said:

My problem is timing. At the time of Lehi's vision there were no apostles to contend with and wouldn't be for 600 years. From an LDS perspective, there were about 1500 years of history in which there were also no apostles to contend with/against. What were all the folks in the great and spacious building doing? waiting? Perhaps there are more metaphorical meanings to ' the apostles of the Lamb ' .

I'm not understanding your problem with timing. This is a vision of the future, a great panorama that would transpire beginning hundreds of years later.

In being shown Lehi's vision, Nephi sees many things pertaining to the mortal ministry of Christ in minute detail. He sees the mother of the Son of God, he beholds that she is a virgin, he sees the birth of Christ, he sees Christ's ministry, he sees the baptism of Jesus, he sees the calling of the twelve apostles, he sees Jesus performing many miracles, he sees the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Furthermore, he sees many things that pertain to the latter days including the discovery and colonizing of America, the great apostasy and restoration and the building up of Zion. Moreover, he beholds the future ministry of John the Revelator and the vision that would be unfolded to him.

It seems as if you have not read or grasped these chapters in 1 Nephi.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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12 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Thank you for putting this in perspective. I think often we members play the persecution card too quickly.  Most kindred, tongues, and people have never heard of or know little about our twelve apostles, so its not correct to say they are all fighting against them.

Since the apostles of Jesus Christ are charged in any age with the responsibility to direct the work of proclaiming His gospel teachings and to administer His church, including the baptizing of those who embrace the gospel (see Mark 16:15-16) it follows that all who contend against the teachings of Christ and His gospel in any way or sense are by logical extension and in a symbolic way, contending against the apostles of the Lamb of God.

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34 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly here, Bob, but I see the great and spacious building and its inhabitants -- identified as "the pride of the world" -- as being far more universal in scope than merely breakers of temple covenants,

You did misread or misunderstand, either that or I was very muddled and unclear.  I was not speaking of breakers of temple covenants, but universally of those outside the oath-bound covenant, both LDS and non-LDS, who may freely find fault with the Brethren.  Then I quickly noted that this might be risky, since all will be judged by God in accordance with how they judge others.  I then recommended that we say something nice, and let God be the judge.

34 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

....................................There's nothing OK about contending against divine truth or fighting against the apostles of the Lamb of God, even if done in ignorance.

Your identification of "those who are bound by temple covenants" and who subsequently find fault with the Brethren ..............................................

Here again is what I actually said:

Quote

Only those who are bound by temple covenant have taken an oath not to find fault with the Brethren, even if/when they [the Brethren] are wrong.

Maybe the brackets help.

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So people who don't believe Noah's flood was global are in the great and spacious building.  Got it.

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17 hours ago, strappinglad said:

My problem is timing. At the time of Lehi's vision there were no apostles to contend with and wouldn't be for 600 years. From an LDS perspective, there were about 1500 years of history in which there were also no apostles to contend with/against. What were all the folks in the great and spacious building doing? waiting? Perhaps there are more metaphorical meanings to ' the apostles of the Lamb ' .

It is odd to read it as they would have understood it.  It would be like President Monson standing in conference and saying:

"I had vision, and behold, there was a great building, and in this building were people who were fighting against the Zidelbobs of Kebod, (Kebod being the daughter of God whom shall come to earth in the year 2654.)  Let us all learn from this vision to follow Kebod and her teachings in the day that she comes in power."

 

Would people really sit there and nod reverently?  Perhaps.  But I suspect there would be a lot of :blink: as well.

(I suspect there would be a lot of people saying "Uh, God doesn't have a daughter named "Kebod", and having such a being come to the Earth in 2654 doesn't really fit our doctrine...", which is also how people probably would have reacted back in Nephi's day as well.)

 

Edited by cinepro

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17 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Only those who are bound by temple covenant have taken an oath not to find fault with the Brethren, even if/when they are wrong.  All others of those both in and out of the LDS faith may freely find fault with the Brethren.  One might want to pause, however, before passing judgment too hastily.  For with what judgment you judge, so shall you be judged.  Might be better to say something nice.  Let the Lord pass judgment.

I don't know which Temple you went to, but nowhere in any Temple I've been to did I ever covenant "not to find fault with the Brethren."

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