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I agree that these questions would fit very nicely into a christian syllabus.  This sermon would sound right at home to any protestant congregation in the nineteenth century as it would today.

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4 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

I agree that these questions would fit very nicely into a christian syllabus.  This sermon would sound right at home to any protestant congregation in the nineteenth century as it would today.

Ergo, the Book of Mormon is a product of the 19th century!  :D :rofl: :D 

Well played, Sun-"Stoned"!  Well played! :D 

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32 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

I agree that these questions would fit very nicely into a christian syllabus.  This sermon would sound right at home to any protestant congregation in the nineteenth century as it would today.

Right on cue! I can set my watch and determine the exact number of sand particles I need in my kitchen egg timer by the regularity of your comments. They are as dependable as Old Faithful. :)

Yes, they are sound Christian doctrine. Even the Protestants get it right once in a while.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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Is "song of redeeming love" 19th century Christian?

xxxxxxx

Anyway, love this spotlight, Brother Gui.

I once read through all the questions throughout the entire Book of Mormon. Very enlightening.

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I was thinking about the last two questions.

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33.  What shepherd is there among you having many sheep doth not watch over them, that the wolves enter not and devour his flock?

34.  If a wolf enter his flock doth he not drive him out?

What are the wolves that want to devour us today? Do we let them into our flock or families? Do we drive them out or ask them to stay?

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I do love Alma 5, but I struggle to see the Atonement in it sometimes because it seems to teach that if we are not doing everything in the list then we are damned.

He does touch on repenting when we have sinned but the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness being applied to all who are in the covenant, even when their own righteousness isn’t present, seems to be missing.  I worry that chapter 5 causes some to believe that salvation is impossible so why bother. Alma seems to set a standard that one must die without sin to be saved.

If someone, who has been sincerely trying to follow Christ dies with some envy in their heart, Alma’s words seem to condemn that person to hell, for example. 

Edited by bluebell
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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

I do love Alma 5, but I struggle to see the Atonement in it sometimes because it seems to teach that if we are not doing everything in the list then we are damned.

He does touch on repenting when we have sinned but the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness being applied to all who are in the covenant, even when their own righteousness isn’t present, seems to be missing.  I worry that chapter 5 causes some to believe that salvation is impossible so why bother. Alma seems to set a standard that one must die without sin to be saved.

If someone, who has been sincerely trying to follow Christ dies with some envy in their heart, Alma’s words seem to condemn that person to hell, for example. 

I agree that we need to have the proper perspective to be able to properly understand scripture. We need to be humble with a fair amount of self esteem while doing our best to avoid feeling pride or proud in what we have done.

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10 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

I was thinking about the last two questions.

What are the wolves that want to devour us today? Do we let them into our flock or families? Do we drive them out or ask them to stay?

That can be a delicate balance, because we are commanded to “continue to minister” to those who have strayed from the flock. How do we do that while safeguarding the flock from any corrupting influence they might bring to bear? 

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10 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

That can be a delicate balance, because we are commanded to “continue to minister” to those who have strayed from the flock. How do we do that while safeguarding the flock from any corrupting influence they might bring to bear? 

Yes. I was also thinking that the wolf is symbolic of the influence of the world. 

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On 6/1/2020 at 10:12 AM, bluebell said:

I do love Alma 5, but I struggle to see the Atonement in it sometimes because it seems to teach that if we are not doing everything in the list then we are damned.

He does touch on repenting when we have sinned but the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness being applied to all who are in the covenant, even when their own righteousness isn’t present, seems to be missing.  I worry that chapter 5 causes some to believe that salvation is impossible so why bother. Alma seems to set a standard that one must die without sin to be saved.

If someone, who has been sincerely trying to follow Christ dies with some envy in their heart, Alma’s words seem to condemn that person to hell, for example. 

This is a recurring difficulty throughout any holistic study of the scriptures. The same mechanism is in play with the so-called "dark sayings of Jesus", those times when the Savior calls for impossible standards of perfection, asks us to be willing to leave father and mothers and brothers and sisters, and declares that He came not to bring peace but a sword. 

I can only conclude that such statements as Alma's refer to a yet future, perfected condition, which the Savior bids us attain progressively, with His help. After all, all of these must eventually be met in order for us to partake of the divine nature. That's where the Atonement comes in and beyond that I cannot say. 

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On 5/31/2020 at 9:36 PM, Bernard Gui said:

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?

On 5/31/2020 at 10:03 PM, sunstoned said:

I agree that these questions would fit very nicely into a christian syllabus.  This sermon would sound right at home to any protestant congregation in the nineteenth century as it would today.

First of all, great questions and thanks for the opportunity to reconsider them for myself.

However, I think many protestant Christians would be at odds with several of these questions as they highlight the importance of works in salvation.  

For example:

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6.     Can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: “Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth”? 

7.     Do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—“Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth”—and that he will save you? 

8.     Can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God? 

9.     Can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands?

They would probably suggest that as far as salvation goes, none of that matters as long as you have faith - Christ will take care of the rest. 

This one would be particularly upsetting to the OSAS crowd, as it highlights the importance of enduring to the end:

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16.  If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? 

To the following, they might suggest that we should not try to walk blameless before God, but instead let God cover our guilt.  They would suggest that no amount of humility is sufficient in terms of salvation.  

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17.  Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God?  

18.   Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble?  

 

Edited by pogi
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On 5/31/2020 at 10:12 PM, Maidservant said:

Is "song of redeeming love" 19th century Christian?

xxxxxxx

Anyway, love this spotlight, Brother Gui.

I once read through all the questions throughout the entire Book of Mormon. Very enlightening.

You might  enjoy this... https://thelunchisfree.com/2016/08/04/the-song-of-redeeming-love/

 

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On 6/1/2020 at 7:12 AM, bluebell said:

I do love Alma 5, but I struggle to see the Atonement in it sometimes because it seems to teach that if we are not doing everything in the list then we are damned.

He does touch on repenting when we have sinned but the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness being applied to all who are in the covenant, even when their own righteousness isn’t present, seems to be missing.  I worry that chapter 5 causes some to believe that salvation is impossible so why bother. Alma seems to set a standard that one must die without sin to be saved.

If someone, who has been sincerely trying to follow Christ dies with some envy in their heart, Alma’s words seem to condemn that person to hell, for example. 

It may seem somewhat harsh, but I think if we read this sermon in the context of chapter 4, those concerns can be alleviated. This sermon is a call to repentance aimed at a church rapidly moving into apostasy.

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Alma 4:11 And it came to pass in the commencement of the ninth year, Alma saw the wickedness of the church, and he saw also that the example of the church began to lead those who were unbelievers on from one piece of iniquity to another, thus bringing on the destruction of the people.
12 Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.
13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;
14 Looking forward to that day, thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death.
15 And now it came to pass that Alma, having seen the afflictions of the humble followers of God, and the persecutions which were heaped upon them by the remainder of his people, and seeing all their inequality, began to be very sorrowful; nevertheless the Spirit of the Lord did not fail him.....
19 And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.

In 12-Step addiction recovery programs, participants are invited to write a fearless and honest moral inventory of themselves, both good and bad attributes. As a participant in such a program for loved ones of people in addictions, I resisted this at first feeling it was my loved one, not me, who needed such deep self-inspection, but eventualIy I chose to do it. It took several weeks to complete. Although it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, it proved to be one of the most valuable. This sermon would be a good resource for those who choose to do it.

It is daunting to identify and admit our weaknesses and to identify our strengths honestly and humbly. It’s easy to feel a sense of hopelessness when looking at our inventory, but if we do so in the spirit of humility and repentance, remembering Alma’s assurance and his own astonishing conversion, we can greatly benefit from his words.

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Alma 5:33 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.
34 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely;
35 Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire—

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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I always thought it was 42? 
going by the number ? Marks.

 

anyways love the chapter study it often.

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On 6/1/2020 at 8:12 AM, bluebell said:

I do love Alma 5, but I struggle to see the Atonement in it sometimes because it seems to teach that if we are not doing everything in the list then we are damned. ...


While I hesitate to call the entire chapter redundant ;), to be fair, several of the questions are simply different ways at looking at the same or similar things.  That is, if one thinks he's doing OK with respect to [x] as addressed by [Question #], [Question #] also looks at [x], but from a slightly different angle.  I think Alma uses some rhetorical devices to actually get his readers to think about the questions and about one's relationship to God in light of the answers to them, rather than simply casually perusing yet another "checklist" and saying, "Yep, sure enough!  I'm doing well with respect to #1 through #34!"

 

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On 6/2/2020 at 5:50 PM, Bernard Gui said:

It may seem somewhat harsh, but I think if we read this sermon in the context of chapter 4, those concerns can alleviated. This sermon is a call to repentance aimed at a church rapidly moving into apostasy.

In 12-Step addiction recovery programs, participants are invited to write a fearless and honest moral inventory of themselves, both good and bad attributes. As a participant in such a program for loved ones of people in addictions, I resisted this at first feeling it was my loved one, not me, who needed such deep self-inspection, but eventualIy I chose to do it. It took several weeks to complete. Although it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, it proved to be one of the most valuable. This sermon would be a good resource for those who choose to do it.

It is daunting to identify and admit our weaknesses and to identify our strengths honestly and humbly. It’s easy to feel a sense of hopelessness when looking at our inventory, but if we do so in the spirit of humility and repentance, remembering Alma’s assurance and his own astonishing conversion, we can greatly benefit from his words.

 

King Benjamin invites us to consider our nothingness before God, not because we are nothing (the best blood in all of recorded history was shed for us!  I'd hardly call that "nothing"!), but, rather, because it is without Him that we are nothing!
 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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On 6/3/2020 at 10:14 PM, Kenngo1969 said:

King Benjamin invites us to consider our nothingness before God, not because we are nothing (the best blood in all of recorded history was shed for us!  I'd hardly call that "nothing"!), but, rather, because it is without Him that we are nothing!
 

Amen to that. The Sermon on the Mount is truly the most clear and expansive explanation of the Gospel according to the Savior. Only those that are truly humble, meek and aware of their nothingness before God will enter His kingdom. King Benjamin really hit the mark with that expression. Thank you. I welcome your insights. 

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On 6/1/2020 at 12:24 PM, Scott Lloyd said:

That can be a delicate balance, because we are commanded to “continue to minister” to those who have strayed from the flock. How do we do that while safeguarding the flock from any corrupting influence they might bring to bear? 

If we are strong in the faith we have nothing to fear. We are to counsel, comfort, instruct and strengthen those who repent and are seeking to be reconciled to God, regardless of their past transgression. If they do not repent they remain at enmity with God. We are to reprove and correct in truth but in love with a warning. They have placed themselves in jeopardy and have no place in His kingdom if they do not repent.But we should not fea.

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1 hour ago, Islander said:

If we are strong in the faith we have nothing to fear. We are to counsel, comfort, instruct and strengthen those who repent and are seeking to be reconciled to God, regardless of their past transgression. If they do not repent they remain at enmity with God. We are to reprove and correct in truth but in love with a warning. They have placed themselves in jeopardy and have no place in His kingdom if they do not repent.But we should not fea.

Even as we are strong in the faith we ought to heed the injunction to beware of those in sheep’s clothing who inwardly are ravening wolves. I can think of no better application of that metaphor than those who keep their names upon the rolls of the Church and who profess to be believers but whose intent is to weaken or destroy the faith of the innocent and weak among us. 
 

I will welcome and succor those whose feeble knees need strengthening and whose hands need lifting, but I will resist  and denounce those who would harm in any way the faith of my brothers and sisters in the gospel. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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At the beginning of chapter 5, Alma asked some questions of the people of Zarahemla. I did not include them because they seem to be directed at a specific group of people, but on further reflection, perhaps they could also apply to us today. How do you think they might apply?
 

“And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church...

1. have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers?
2. have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? 
3. have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell?
4. were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed?
5. on what conditions are they saved?
6. what grounds had they to hope for salvation?

7. What is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death?

8. yea, and also the chains of hell?
9. did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi?
10. was he not a holy prophet?
11. Did he not speak the words of God?12. [did] my father Alma believe them?”

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On 6/3/2020 at 8:14 PM, Kenngo1969 said:

King Benjamin invites us to consider our nothingness before God, not because we are nothing (the best blood in all of recorded history was shed for us!  I'd hardly call that "nothing"!), but, rather, because it is without Him that we are nothing!

That’s true. 

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3 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

1. have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers?
2. have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? 
3. have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell?
4. were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed?
5. on what conditions are they saved?
6. what grounds had they to hope for salvation?

I remember the captivity to sin of my father before he was baptized  into the Church. He had been visited by missionaries for 11 years before. That’s some long-suffering by the Lord. He often expressed gratitude for Elder Mark E. Peterson who was instrumental in his conversion and for the elders who baptized him. He had their missionary cards in his wallet when he passed away. It fortifies my faith to remember what happened to him.

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