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    • By Broker
      Since we are focusing on the restoration and in particular the experiences of Joseph Smith, has anyone considered young Joseph's leg operation as a type of Christ?
      He was seven  years old. Seven can signify the fulfillment of a prophecy, in this case a type of the fulfillment of Christ's Atonement.
      His body had an infection that needed to be removed. Analogous to sin that needed to be cleansed.
      He declared that he would do whatever was required to remove the infection...Christ was willing to do whatever was required to remove our sins.
      The infection was removed by the shedding of a lot of blood. He endured pain that took him to his bodily and spiritual limits.
      Before the final operation, painful incisions were made in his leg, analogous to a scourging of his body.
      He was upheld through the experience by His Father.
      He refused a drink that might have made the ordeal more bearable.
      During his greatest agony, his concerned turned towards his Mother, by asking her to leave the awful scene.
      The doctors wanted to amputate his leg, but in the end, not bones were broken.
      He bore the marks, a limp, of his ordeal for the remainder of his life.
      Perhaps there are other analogies, and maybe this is a stretch comparison, but Joseph Smith was one of the greatest prophets, if not the greatest prophet to live on the earth. He had unusual spiritual and physical strength to enable him to do the work. For the Lord to use him as a type of himself would not be unusual for a prophet of God.
       
       
    • By blueglass
      Here is the 2019 end of year seminary assessment my kids received yesterday. Would love to hear your thoughts on the questions, the probable answers, and the doctrine taught.  Don't forget the last 4 questions pertaining to the Explain Doctrine section.  
      https://ibb.co/Dfz4JNr
      Read instructions before you start the test:
      Exam code: 8
      If you have difficulty taking the learning assessment in the traditional way, please talk with your teacher to figure out the best way to help you succeed.
      Use a no. 2 or HB pencil. Indicate your response by completely filling in the bubble on your answer sheet.
      Section name: Multiple Choice
        1.  Who will receive a place in a kingdom of glory? (1 mark)
      a) Every individual born into mortality
      b) All of God's children except the sons of perdition
      c) Only individuals who are worthy of exaltation
        2. Which of the following is a specific responsibility mentioned in the oath and covenant of the priesthood? (1 mar)
      a) To magnify their callings
      b) To pay a generous fast offering
      c) To not be idle
        3. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, in the Resurrection all individuals will receive ____ (1 mark)
      a) at least a terrestrial glory
      b) celestial glory
      c) glory according to the law they obeyed
        4. Which of the following blessings does God offer to those who keep the Word of Wisdom? (1 mark)
      a) They will not be burned at the Second Coming.
      b) Their bodies will be protected from all illness.
      c) They will receive wisdom and great treasures of knowledge.
        5. To be endowed in the temple means to receive ____ (1 mark)
      a) a guarantee of eternal life
      b) spiritual power and knowledge
      c) unique physical gifts from the Lord
        6. What does the existence of the precious truths in the Pearl of Great Pric teach us about the Prophet Joseph Smith? (1 mark)
      a) He no longer needed the power of God to help him translate.
      b) He was a prophet, seer, and revelator.
      c) He is the only prophet of this dispensation that can receive new scripture.
        7. As watchmen on the tower, modern prophets have a responsibility to ____ (1 mark)
      a) warn us of coming dangers
      b) stop Satan from tempting members of the Church
      c) change truth to fit modern times
        8. What is a bishop's or branch president's main responsibility when a teenager confesses sin to him? (1 mark)
      a) To prevent the person from being part of the Church
      b) To help the person receive forgiveness of the sins and regain peace of mind
      c) To inflict severe consequences and punishments from sinning
        9. Who visited the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple to restore priesthood keys? (1 mark)
      a) Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Malachi
      b) Moses, Elias, and Elijah
      c) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
        10. According to the Doctrine and Covenants, what are tithing funds used for? (1 mark)
      a) They are the main fund the Church uses to support the poor and the needy.
      b) They are used to build temples and to accomplish the work of the Lord.
      c) They are used to pay ward and branch members for serving in the Church.
        11. While the Prophet Joseph Smith was falsely imprisoned in Liberty Jail, the Lord taught him that adversity and affliction
      (1 mark)
      a) will not occur if we trust in God
      b) are always a consequence of our poor choices
      c) can give us experience and be for our good
        12. Which of the following is a true statement about Relief Society? (1 mark)
      a) It was divinely organized to assist in the work of salvation.
      b) It was established during the trek west to help Saints who were suffering.
      c) It did not exist during the lifetime of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
        13. A man and a woman will receive eternal life and glory if _____ (1 mark)
      a) they love each other more than they love themselves
      b) they keep the new and everlasting covenant of marriage they made in the temple
      c) they are married in the temple
        14. Why do our ancestors who die without having a knowledge of the gospel need us to perform ordinances for them in the temple?
      a) Without these ordinances, our ancestors cannot progress toward eternal life. (1 mark)
      b) Without these ordinances, our ancestors cannot be saved in any kingdom of glory.
      c} Without these ordinances, our ancestors will not be resurrected.
        15. Marriage between one man and one woman is the Lord's standing law. Wen is the only time plural marriage is justified?
      a) Wen there are more women than men in the Church (1 mark)
      b) Whenever local laws and traditions allow members to practice it without breaking the law
      c) When the Lord authorizes it through the priesthood keys given to the President of the Church
        16. When the President of the Church dies, which quorum becomes the presiding quorum of the Church? (1 mark)
      a) The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
      b) The Quorum of the First Presidency
      c) The Presiding Bishopric
        17. Which of the following shows the correct chronological order (first to last) of places the Saints were told to gather to? (1 mark}
      a) A stake in their homeland; Nauvoo, Illinois; Winter Quarters, Nebraska; Salt Lake City, Utah
      b) Nauvoo, Illinois; Winter Quarters, Nebraska; Salt Lake City, Utah; a stake in their homeland
      c) Winter Quarters, Nebraska; Nauvoo, Illinois; Salt Lake City, Utah; a stake in their homeland
        18. After the Savior visited the spirit world, what did righteous spirits there begin to do?
      a} They were all resurrected and began entering the highest kingdom of glory.
      b) They began performing ordinances for those who had not received them.
      c) They began teaching the gospel to those in spirit prison.
      (1 mark)
        19. According to Official Declaration 2, the Lord revealed that all worthy male Church members may ___ _ (1 mark)
      a) receive the ordinance of baptism
      b) serve a mission at age 18
      c) receive the priesthood and enjoy temple blessings
        20. What principle is emphasized in Doctrine and Covenants 121:36, 41-2? (1 mark)
      a) Priesthood holders can draw upon the powers of heaven only if they live righteously.
      b) lf we actively seek to learn through study and faith, our faith in Jesus Christ will increase.
      c) If we obey the Lord, He will always keep His promises to bless us.
        21. Which of the following accurately describes Heavenly Father? (1 mark)
      a) He is without feelings or emotions.
      b) He is a personage of Spirit and can dwell in us.
      c) He has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's.
        22. Which of the following is a requirement for receiving exaltation in the celestial kingdom? (1 mark)
      a) Bearing testimony of the Savior is all that is needed.
      b) Receiving a patriarchal blessing
      c) Receiving and being valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ
        23. Of the following groups, who will inherit the celestial kingdom? (1 mark)
      a) All children who die before they reach the age of accountability
      b) All members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
      c) All individuals who have been baptized
        24. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "God doesn't care how marriage is defined"? (1 mark)
      a) Ever individual born into morality is a child of God, and God loves each of us.
      b) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      c) God changes truth to meet the circumstances and needs of His children.
        25. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "It isn't as important for couples to have children today as it used to
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.
      b) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
      c) God's commandment fr husbands and wives to have children remains in force today.
        26. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "As long as two individuals love each other, physical intimacy is
      acceptable"? (1 mark)
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.
      b) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      c) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
        27. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "As governments continue to redefine marriage, God's definition of
      marriage will change to reflect the values of modern society"? (1 mark)
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      b) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
      c) Changes in the civil law do not change the moral law that God has established.
        28. Which eternal truth corrects the following worldly philosophy: "The only purpose of marriage is for adults to find fulfillment and
      happiness"? (1 mark)
      a) Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.
      b) Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.
      c) God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between a man and a woman who are
      lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
      Section name: Explain Doctrine _
      Instructions: Write your answer on a piece of paper. Compare your response with the correct answer received from your teacher. After self-grading the explain-doctrine question, bubble in your answer sheet.
      Self-grade your answer for each question:
      a. Yes, I explained this in my response.
      b. No, I left this out of my response.
        29. What is an example of a truth that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why the truth you chose can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        30. What is an example of an ordinance that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why the ordinance you chose can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        31. What is an example of priesthood authority that was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Explain why this authority of the priesthood can help you receive eternal life. (1 mark)
        32. Share your personal thoughts on the importance of the Prophet Joseph Smith. (1 mark)
    • By SouthernMo
      The timeline and reasons of how the idea of polygamy evolved into practice is perplexing.  It is causing me doubt how scriptures are to be obeyed, and how to trust the revelatory process.  Let's look at the pattern Joseph Smith followed:
      March 1830 - Joseph Smith publishes the Book of Mormon (supposedly scripture) which contains commandments from God.  The only discussion of polygamy is found in Jacob 2, which clearly condemns the practice.  However, there is a provision given for exceptions: only to 'raise up seed' if God commands it.
      The Gospel Topics Essay on Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo states that "After receiving a revelation commanding him to practice plural marriage, Joseph Smith married multiple wives and introduced the practice to close associates."  The only revelation I know of on polygamy came in July 1843 (D&C 132), yet Joseph Smith had married 22 (by some count) additional wives by July 1843.
      2 Big Questions:
      1. What revelation did Joseph Smith receive (per the mentioned Gospel Topic Essay) before the D&C 132 revelation that told him to practice polygamy, despite the Book of Mormon's 1830 prohibition (with exception)?
      2. In light of the Jacob 2:30 provision for the allowance of polygamy to "raise up seed unto me..." why are there no (known) children that emerged from Joseph Smith's plural wives?  Joseph apparently did not use polygamy to 'raise up seed.'
    • By Bernard Gui
      In Helaman 13, Samuel the Lamanite gives dire prophetic warnings to the Nephites from the walls of Zarahemla. He predicts their destruction will come in 400 years as the result of wickedness, rejecting the Prophets,  pride, and seeking after wealth. He warns, 
      Then he says, 
      Two questions:
      1. Is anyone aware of other literary references to such notions as slippery treasure, tools, swords, etc., especially in the Early Moden English time period?
      2. This is often used by BoM critics as evidence Joseph Smith was writing from his experience with the treasure-seeking atmosphere in early 19th-century upstate New York. Does the EModE theory that Joseph was not the author of the BoM text but was reading someone else’s words, whatever their source, resolve this issue?
    • By Benjamin Seeker
      I started a thread earlier this year addressing some verses in D&C 86 on Joseph Smith and lineal priesthood. I recently followed up on it and put the puzzle pieces together.
      D&C 86:8-10 appears to state that Joseph Smith had the priesthood through birthright. An early hint of JS' beliefs about his lineage come from 2 Ne 3, which teaches that JS is a descendant of Joseph (11th son of Israel), and though the lineage of Ephraim is one of leadership, it's not apparent that there is a lineal priesthood associated with it like there is for the Levites or the sons of Aaron. However, a Smith family lineal priesthood authority is actually well attested. JS established the position of Patriarch of the church, which originally was something akin to second in command, as a lineal position given to the eldest in a direct line from Joseph Smith Sr. This clear example of a lineal priesthood eventually disappeared when the position of church Patriarch was done away with due to conflict between the church Patriarch and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (EDIT: Robert points out later in this thread that the absence of the Church Patriarch can be seen as a result of the homosexual status of the second to last patriarch, and that the position may still be filled at a future point. Radio Free Mormon, and others I'm sure, have made other arguments, but this point is pretty peripheral to the discussion).

      The position of Patriarch to the church is only half of the story. D&C 113 states, "What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse? Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power." It is common in Mormon thought to believe these verses apply to Joseph Smith, and that seems to be a correct assumption. The line of Jesse refers to the kingly line of David, and significantly, JS prophesied "the throne and kingdom of David is to be taken from him and given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his lineage," which apparently referred to one of JS' offspring. He made this clear when he prophesied that his unborn son, David, would be a "church president and king over Israel."

      In Mormon theology, a King in the kingdom of Israel is a priesthood position. Notably, JS himself was ordained as a King in this sense in the Council of Fifty, also known in revelation as the "The Kingdom of God and His Laws with the Keys and Power thereof, and Judgment in the Hands of His Servants, Ahman Christ." According to Nauvoo theology the priesthood role of King was the ultimate leader of the Church, and according to contemporary accounts, Hyrum Smith was to fill JS' shoes should he die. All of this together gives a pretty clear answer to the lineal priesthood mentioned in D&C 86. The Smith family was a royal family in Israel destined to lead the restoration.
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