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By Bernard Gui
Something I wonder about...
In 3 Nephi 12, Jesus says to the people at the temple,
How are they more blessed if they believe the words of the eyewitnesses? Those who witnessed, believed, and were baptized also received forgiveness and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. I understand the implication that greater faith is required, but in what way are they “more blessed”? Is this a quantitative or qualitative increase?
Those who were at the temple already had their faith sorely tried. They survived persecution, threats of death because of their faith, cataclysmic destruction, and days of darkness. They were allowed to see and touch the risen Savior. That in itself is an incomparable blessing reserved for very few mortals. Their obligation then was to be His witnesses. Without them, we would not know of the Resurrection.
I understand that signs do not necessarily lead to faith. Many who see signs never believe or fall away, but none of these Nephites nor the disciples in Jerusalem who saw and touched the risen Lord fell away. Sister Gui suggested it means those who hear the testimony of the witnesses and believe are more blessed than those who hear the testimony and don’t believe. It seems to me, though, that the Savior is comparing two groups - the witnesses and those who believe the witnesses - and the latter are the more blessed.
On two other occasions, some people are declared more blessed.
1. Those who humble themselves without compulsion.
2. The three Nephite disciples who desired to tarry.
However, speaking to Thomas, the Lord said,
In this instance, those who believe without seeing are not more blessed.
I understand how these people are more blessed because of their faith. What do you think the Savior meant in 3 Nephi 12?
By Bernard Gui
Alma chapter 5 contains one of the most extraordinary sermons in all scripture. Faced with an alarming rise of sin and apostasy in the church, he left his secular duties in order to concentrate his time and effort into reclaiming his people and restoring righteousness. He began his ministry in Zarahemla with this oration which he asks 34 questions of the members and invites non-members also to consider them.
After these queries, he issues this call to repentance with a blessing and a cursing:
These questions form a comprehensive syllabus of the Christian religion. What better way to examine our own relationship with God than to ask them of ourselves?
By Bernard Gui
In sacrament meeting today, a brother announced that he had been asked to give a talk about President Oaks’ April Conference address. Most of the time, this type of talk is like a book report “Elder Oaks said this....,” “then Elder Oaks said that.....” I prefer to read the book myself rather than hear someone’s rehash of it.
Today, however, was not one of those days. Today was transformational. Taking this quote as his starting point
our speaker gave perhaps the best sermon I have ever heard and felt on repentance. He said at first he worried that his words might not be appropriate, but then he came to the conclusion that what he had to say was what the Lord wanted him to say. He told his story...
A life-long member, seminary graduate, returned missionary young man who had made some very poor choices and ended up in many years of inactivity, moral degradation, addiction, depression, homelessness, self-loathing, and despondency. At a point when he was making the decision whether or not to live any longer, he thought of his father. He called him and asked if they could meet. They agreed and at that visit in their home, his father gave him a blessing during which the slate was wiped clean. Embraced by his parents, from that moment he began to take the steps that would restore his spirit, mind, and body through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Now three years later, he is sealed to a sister from our ward who had earlier suffered at the hands of an abusive ex-husband. They and their little baby boy are now a healthy and whole loving family. God be praised!
There were many tearful eyes in the congregation, and some wept openly. We did not know of his journey, only that he had come as a great blessing into the life of our friend. I am sure many were thinking of loved ones they fear have slipped forever away from the path into forbidden areas from which there will be no return. Or perhaps there were those who are having similar feelings of uselessness and despair themselves. As the Spirit bore witness, we were given the hope that “Where will this lead?” does not necessarily have to be to tragedy, but rather to deliverance, and redemption, and joy. It is possible for all of us.
Thanks to this good brother for sharing his story of repentance, and thanks be to God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Why do members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe the priesthood keys and presiding priesthood were taken from the earth?
1) Not all apostles were killed, John an apostle who held Apostolic keys was granted "apower over bdeath, that I may live and bring souls unto thee. " according to D&Cov7 Joseph and Oliver use the seer stone and receive a vision of a parchment of John and given power to translate it that they may obtain an answer to their question. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/7?lang=eng
2) Paul teaches immortal church that the gospel of Christ Jesus would be upon the earth "throughout all ages, world without end." Ephesians 3:21
3) The letter of 1Clement (first century dated 80 - 140AD) says the Apostles themselves instructed the bishops and ordained them with power to call and ordain other bishops to retain succession and authority. 1Clem 44:1 And our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife over the name of the bishop's office. 1Clem 44:2 For this cause therefore, having received complete foreknowledge, they appointed the aforesaid persons, and afterwards they provided a continuance, that if these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed to their ministration.
4) Brigham Young teaches robust quorum succession in the event of catastrophe (see Wilford Woodruff journal July 28, 1860) that if either the first presidency or the twelve or both are killed the seventy can recreate the church and can re-organize the higher quorums - which matches the letter of Clement.
Quote: "The President of the Church holds the keys of the sealing powers & his Council act in Concert with him [in] all things. Should the Presidency die The Twelve Could organize another Presidency & should the Presidency & Twelve all be slain the Seventies being Equal in power & Authority to the Twelve or first Presidency Could organize both Quorums. He also taught that a high priest is a primal seed and can re-organize the church if all authorities are dead (nuclear holocaust, alien uprising, voyages to new planets etc). Quote: "The High Priest Could organize the Church in all its parts if all other Authorities were dead for they have the Melchizedek Priesthood out of which grow all of the Higher offices of the Church."
5) John Taylor teaches of revelations received during the time of "darkness" which coincides with Ephesians 3
John Taylor, 7-Sept 1873 "Say some—'Oh, we are so enlightened and intelligent now. In former ages, when the people were degraded and in darkness, it was necessary that he should communicate intelligence to the human family; but we live in the blaze of Gospel day, in an age of light and intelligence.' Perhaps we do; I rather doubt it. I have a great many misgivings about the intelligence that men boast so much of in this enlightened day. There were men in those dark ages who could commune with God, and who, by the power of faith, could draw aside the curtain of eternity and gaze upon the invisible world. There were men who could tell the destiny of the human family, and the events which would transpire throughout every subsequent period of time until the final winding-up scene. There were men who could gaze upon the face of God, have the ministering of angels, and unfold the future destinies of the world. If those were dark ages I pray God to give me a little darkness, and deliver me from the light and intelligence that prevail in our day;"
Just to be clear I believe in restoration - these points arose as I studied the matter more closely when I served as a ward mission leader and the update of Preach my gospel released.
Y'all know that lesson with the cups?
12 Disciples of Jesus - pics of them on one side - pics of the current 12 Apostles on the other side.
Then you build the cups up into a pyramid / tower and the cups have labels on them like priesthood, tithing, scriptures, fasting, Temple, etc.
Been wonderin' about the Sanhedrin - read somewhere that they were the literal/genealogical descendants of the quorum of the 70 from the time of Moses
Was the Sanherin apostate?
Seems like they practiced what they were supposed to / followed the rules they had in place.
If they got the Levitical priesthood from their elders (did they?), as did John the Baptist who followed his own path, clearly not the Sanhedrin's path.
Seems like if the Sanhedrin didnt have authority , then how did John?