Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Pure Love of Christ (Moroni 7) QUESTIONS

 Good vs Evil

 

READ Moroni 7:1-4

What does it mean to have “obtained a sufficient hope by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord”?

What is implied by the phrase “from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with Him in heaven”?

Why does Mormon think these church members have obtained this hope from Christ?

 

READ Moroni 7:5-10

Is it always true that those who “do” good “are” good?

Why can’t “evil” people be “good”?

How do the intents of one’s heart define what “counts” as good or evil?

 

READ Moroni 7:11-13

What is the definition of “good” and “evil” that Moroni is asserting here?

What is implied by the fact that both God and the devil “invite and entice” us to follow them?

 

READ Moroni 7:14-19

Why must we “take heed” or be cautious of not misjudging good and evil?

How might we think evil could be of God or that which is good to be of the devil?

What way to judge good from evil has the Lord given us and how is it used effectively?

 

 

Laying Hold of Every Good Thing

 

READ Moroni 7:20-21

What are “good things”?

 

READ Moroni 7:22-28

What is Christ’s role in enabling that we can receive every good thing?

What is our role in receiving every good thing?

 

 

Faith: Manifested by Receiving Angels and the Occurrence of Miracles

 

READ Moroni 7:29-34

What principles govern the ministering of angels?

What is the role of ministering angels?

 

READ Moroni 7:35-39

Why do people not receive the ministering of angels?

Does it matter if we don’t have angels appearing to us?

Why would people (and leaders) devalue spiritual gifts, miracles and the ministry of angels by enthroning standards of behavior and outward performances while discouraging the sharing of experiences associated with the power of Godliness?

Has God stopped sending angels to minister to men and women in our day?

What is a “chosen vessel” and who are the “residue”?

What must we do to receive the ministry of angels and have miracles (“supernatural spiritual experiences”) occur in our lives?

 

 

Hope in Christ

 

READ Moroni 7:40-44

What does it mean to “attain unto faith?”

What is hope?

Why must you have a hope to be able to attain unto faith?

How is such a hope gained?

Why must such a person be meek and lowly of heart?

 

 

Charity, the Pure Love of Christ

 

READ Moroni 7:45-48

What is charity?

What does it mean to say that charity "begins with and centers in and emanates from God?"

What does it mean that charity is a gift of the Spirit?

What does it mean to say that charity is a primary characteristic of the divine nature?

How is charity a prime indicator of our covenant relationship with Christ?

How does charity endure all things?

How do we receive the Gift of Charity?

What is the relationship between charity and hope?

How is the gift of charity manifested by mortals in this life?

Going back to Mormon’s question in verse 20, “how can we lay hold upon every good thing?”

 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Few Things of Worth (Moroni 1-6)

READ Moroni 1:1, 4

Why did Moroni intend to have ended the Book of Mormon with his abridgement of Ether and Mahonri’s vision?

Ether’s account of the destruction of the Jaredites must parallel what Moroni saw happening to the Gentiles and the world so well that he felt it had to be added to Mormon’s account of the Nephites’ destruction, given his opportunity to add more to the record (see Mormon 8:1-5; Ether 1:1-2).

The Lord commanded him to abridge the record of Mahonri and seal it up, unlike the rest of the plates (see Ether 4:4-7).

He didn’t think he’d have that long to live after the great effort of abridging Mahonri’s vision.

 

READ Moroni 1:2-3

How does Moroni know the Lamanites are putting to death all those who will not deny Christ?

He’s seen it himself and/or he’s heard it from first-hand witnesses.

He may have also either seen it in vision or been told through the Spirit.

How would you describe Moroni’s statement that he will not deny the Christ, even if captured and compelled to do so or be killed?

He is valiant in the testimony of Jesus (see D&C 76:51, 79; Alma 53:20).

He has received a promise, via revelation from God, regarding his standing before God and the blessings he will receive if he continues faithful to the covenants he’s made (see LoF 6:2-5, 11-12), and he will not deny that he has received these promises and the God who gave them to him; the prospect of suffering death has been lessened because of the eternal promises he’s been given.

 

 

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

 

READ Moroni 2:1-3

What is “mighty” prayer?

Prayer that results in the visitation and ministry of angels (see 2 Nephi 4:24).

Prayer that results in a visit from the Lord, through the veil, to forgive, bless and give further light and knowledge (see Enos 1:4; 3 Nephi 27:1-2).

Intercessory prayer for the souls of those who do not know God and are in danger of eternal proportions (see Alma 6:6).

A prayer that enables one to “wrestle” with God for blessings and knowledge (see Alma 8:10; Enos 1:2; D&C 5:24; Genesis 32:24-31).

What is implied by the fact that on as many people as they laid their hands on, fell the Holy Ghost?

They had power to give the Holy Ghost, not just the authority to invite people to go out and receive it by living the terms of the covenant themselves (see 3 Nephi 18:36-37).

Why is mighty prayer required before giving the Gift of the Holy Ghost?

Because they have the power to actually give the Holy Ghost, they must receive revelation directly from God, through the veil, for guidance regarding who to lay hands upon.

Otherwise they risked damning them by giving them the Gift of the Holy Ghost unprepared – as the individual would be unlikely to keep the covenant they’ve been given but would be sinning against greater light.



Ordination to Offices Within the Church

 

READ Moroni 3:1-3

What is the difference between callings/offices in the church vs in the priesthood?

Church callings and offices codify roles and responsibilities within the organization of the Church; they are made/extended by men to administer the activities and achieve the goals or mission of the Church; people are called by leaders to positions and offices and then are accepted by the membership of the Church to serve in those positions via common consent or voting to sustain (i.e. support) them in these tasks/responsibilities.

There is no “priesthood of deacon” or priesthood of elder”; these are offices in the Church.

The occupants of these offices are presumed to hold Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthood to be able to perform the required duties; although many callings do not require priesthood.

What is a priesthood?

An association or connection or fellowship between mankind and those on the other side of the veil (the “Powers of heaven”) wherein light, truth/knowledge and power which impact the physical, mortal world (up to and including “sealing” or “making sure” things done in “time” or on this mortal earth will be honored or will continue into “eternity” or the life after this) is drawn or extended through the veil from those who possess it in heaven to those who become worthy to receive and use it here on earth, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man through service, sacrifice, persuasion, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned.

Priesthood is given to mankind to enable valid ordinances that will be honored in heaven, to obtain answers/knowledge and power/blessings from God through the veil, and to rend the veil and walk back into God’s presence to be redeemed and sealed up as a Son or Daughter of God (see D&C 84:19-22; Ether 3:13; Psalms 2:7; D&C 88:75; Mosiah 5:15; D&C 132:21-25); all three objectives enable the immortality and eternal life of man – which is what priesthood enables.

 

READ Moroni 3:4

How does the Church ordain people to offices and callings?

In the name of Jesus Christ, as it is His Church.

Via the laying on of hands.

By those with authority from Christ to do so – and through common consent of the Church membership.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost, which was in them.

After having prayed unto the Father.

How does one obtain a priesthood?

First via ordination by one who already holds the priesthood they are seeking to obtain (see D&C 107:48-49; Moses 6:25-36; Abraham 1:2-4 and JST Genesis 14:25, 33; D&C 84:6; D&C 107:52; 2 Nephi 5:26); an ordination is an invitation to receive a blessing (in this case, priesthood or an association with the Powers of Heaven) from God.

Directly from the mouth of God; priesthood (particularly the High Priesthood After the Order of the Son of God) is received only from God alone (see JST Genesis 14:26-32; Abraham 3:12; D&C 128:21; Moses 1:1-6; Moses 8:19; Jacob 1:17).

The earthly association (between fellow mortals) is just the beginning – it is a foreshadowing; it should lead to a heavenly association if one is to receive “power in the priesthood” through a connection with the “Powers of Heaven” or angels and Gods (see D&C 121:36, 41-46).

If priesthood is an association or brotherhood with the powers of heaven through the veil, why can it not also be a sisterhood or association for women who attain to the same connection with the powers of heaven – i.e. a “prophetess”?



The Sacrament

 

READ Moroni 4:1-2

What is the sacrament?

A renewal and remembrance ceremony of the covenant made during the ordinance of baptism, to become Christ’s people (see 3 Nephi 18:11).

It signifies, symbolically, our acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice for sin and our commitment to emulate Him in all things (see 2 Nephi 31:12-13; 1 Nephi 10:9-10; Mosiah 18:8-10).

As Christ remembers His Father at all times, so must we always remember Christ, and as we do, we retain His name written always in our hearts (see Mosiah 5:12; Alma 37:36-37) and remember our nothingness, His goodness and how great things He has done for us (see Mosiah 4:11; Mosiah 27:16).

It symbolizes the great promised “Wedding Feast” which is to come, where the Lord will celebrate His success in redeeming the few, poor souls who accepted His invitation and wore His wedding garment (see Matthew 22:1-14).

Why do the priests and church members kneel down together at the blessing of the sacrament?

They are all petitioning God in humility, that they might remember the covenant they have made.

 

READ Moroni 4:3

What is another word we could substitute for “witness”?

Covenant.

What three things do we witness?

Take upon ourselves the name of Christ.

Always remember Him.

Keep His commandments.

What does it mean to take upon ourselves the name of Christ?

Join with Him in a covenant relationship such that we become His family and bear His family name; we become His children and He becomes our Father.

How can we keep His commandments?

To keep His commandments, we must follow Christ’s example and live perfectly as He did.

We can attempt to live a perfect minute and then another one.

But “keep His commandments” does not mean “try really hard to keep His commandments and succeed most or some of the time”…

So, we cannot yet keep ALL of His commandments – at least not 100% throughout our whole lives, as Christ did.

What word makes the covenant doable?

“Willing”.

The covenant is about the deepest desire of our heart, not our perfect performance – at least not at this point in our progression (see D&C 93:12-14; LoF 7:9, 15-16; 3 Nephi 12:48; TPJS 390-393).

Isn’t being “willing” to do these things a “soft grace” cop-out?

It means to be willing with your whole soul (see Omni 1:26).

It is to offer a broken heart and contrite spirit (see 3 Nephi 9:19-20).

God can tell if you are truly sincere or not.

How can you tell if you are sincere in keeping this covenant?

You can tell in that He will not bless you with the baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost unless or until you live the terms of the covenant by offering the required sacrifice; so if you haven’t received the baptism of fire, you are not truly sincere in keeping the covenant or you do not yet fully understand the covenant He has extended to you to keep – and thus cannot keep it.

The baptism of Fire is the “earnest money” of our inheritance until the time that we receive a confirmation that our sacrifice has been fully accepted; at that time, we will receive a more sure word of prophesy from Christ and the Father themselves (see Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5; D&C 88:75; 2 Peter 1:19; D&C 131:5-6).

For what three reasons does the priest ask the Father to bless and sanctify the bread?

So that those who eat may do so in remembrance of Christ’s body.

So that those who eat may become witnesses of Christ.

So that those who eat may have “His Spirit” to be with them.

What is “Christ’s Spirit”?

That which gives light to every person that comes into the world (see D&C 84:45-46).

It leads the listener back into God’s presence (see D&C 84:47).

It is light, truth and Christ’s word (see D&C 84:45).

It proceeds forth from God and is His power (see D&C 88:12).

It comes to us through Jesus Christ (see D&C 88:5).

He has a fullness of this Spirit because He ascended above all and descended below all so that He could comprehend all things (see D&C 88:6).

It is in and through all things and fills the immensity of space (see D&C 88:6, 12, 41).

It shines and lights the sun, moon, stars, and earth (see D&C 88:7-10).

It quickens mankind’s understanding (see D&C 88:11, 67).

It gives life to all things (see D&C 88:13, 50).

It is the law by which all things are governed (see D&C 88:13).

It is His presence and to have it within you is to have Christ within you; it is to be “one” with Him (see John 14:10-11; 3 Nephi 9:15; 3 Nephi 11:27; D&C 50:43; D&C 93:2-4).

This is not to have another personage, named the “Holy Ghost” within you, but to have the Lord’s Spirit within you; but this is how He sanctifies your spirit such that it becomes holy itself, by having His presence within you and becoming one with Him – your spirit becomes like Him, otherwise it could not abide in His presence (or perhaps more appropriately, it grieves His Spirit so that He departs from you until you repent and you receive His Spirit or light within you) – your spirit becomes a “holy spirit” or a “holy ghost”, which is a personage of spirit and dwells in your body because it is you (a transformed you or a new creature – it is you but it is the version of you after having been quickened by an infusion of His Spirit); we gain access to the mind of God ourselves (see LoF 5:2).

What does it mean to have Christ’s Spirit always with us?

It means to be filled with His Spirit; to be quickened, animated or enlightened by it.

And by definition, it means to have no darkness within us (see D&C 88:66-68; 1 John 1:5).

Connecting with His Spirit puts us in contact with everything else governed by Him.

It means to discern between truth and error as greater light means clearer perception; it allows you to see what is dark, and who is dark, and what is light and who is filled with light as light cleaves to light; you can see others as God sees them as the light or darkness of a person’s countenance is clear to you (see D&C 88:40).

It is more intimate than touching His side, hands and feet; this is to have His Spirit within your touch at all times; you become an extension of Him, properly taking His name upon you.

He will christen or anoint you, not with the symbol of oil but with the reality of His Spirit.

 

READ Moroni 5:1-2

What does it mean to “always remember” our Lord and how can we do it?

When we love Christ, we will always remember Him; those with whom we have the deepest relationships in this life fundamentally influence our way of being – we don’t have to “think” about them, as they are always present in our thoughts, emotions and decisions; it should be the same for us with Christ as it is for us with these loved ones.

We show we love Him (and by definition remember Him) when we keep His commandments and serve Him (see Mosiah 5:12-13).

We think about Him and the time we have spent with Him – the words He has spoken to us and the things He has shown us (see Psalms 63:6-8; 2 Nephi 4:16, 20-25, 28-35).

When His Spirit is continually within us, and we are quickened by it, we will always remember Him because He is with us.

And we love Christ when we finally realize all He has done for us, despite being unworthy creatures – when we see how much He first loved us, perfecting His love for us by offering His body and blood in sacrifice for us, that it might touch our hearts and give us the reason to always remember Him and keep His commandments which He has given us (see John 15:13).

But without being born again (receiving the baptism of Fire), a strict law of outward performances and ordinances is required to keep people in remembrance of God (see Mosiah 13:29-30); so the covenant to “always remember Him” supposes that the individual has actually met the terms of the covenant and has received the mighty change of heart (see Mosiah 5:2), which has filled them with Christ’s Spirit; otherwise, always remembering Him will require a great deal of “white knuckling” and “outward” reminders because the Lord Himself is not “inside” the individual’s heart.

What are the differences between the prayer on the bread and the wine and what accounts for the differences?

In the prayer on the bread we eat in remembrance of Christ’s body (which was “broken” or pierced on the cross).

In the prayer on the wine we drink in remembrance of Christ’s blood (which was shed in the Garden of Gethsemane).

In the first prayer, we witness that we are WILLING to do three things (take upon ourselves Christ’s name, always remember Him, and keep His commandments).

In the second prayer, we witness that we DO one thing (always remember Him).

In the first prayer, we partake and covenant that we may “always” have His Spirit to be with us, if we are truly willing to do the three things we have covenanted to do.

In the second prayer, we partake and covenant that we may have His Spirit to be with us but the word “always” is left out, so the implication is that we will have His Spirit with us as long as we DO actually remember Him and the blood He spilt for us in the Garden.

 

 

Baptism

 

READ Moroni 6:1-3

What “fruit” shows that one is worthy of baptism?

Not sinlessness…

Faith in the Lord.

Repentance, which was witnessed of before the Church.

Coming forth to the Lord with a broken heart and contrite spirit; implied is that the earthly administrators could also discern this.

A desire to take upon themselves the name of Christ; the desire to be cleansed, changed and sanctified.

A determination to serve Christ to the End (Moses 1:3).

 

READ Moroni 6:4

Is it possible to be baptized but not “wrought upon by the Holy Ghost”?

Yes.

If one does not live the terms of the covenant, it will not be honored by God.

The ordinance is just an invitation to fulfill the terms and receive the real thing, which in this case is the baptism by fire and the Holy Ghost.

What is implied that only those who were wrought upon by the Holy Ghost were numbered among the Church of Christ?

Either Church membership and the recording of one’s name was not extended until it could be proved that one had experienced the baptism of Fire.

Or the “Church of Christ” is not an earthly institution and the recording of names was done by angels in heaven (see D&C 76:51-70; Hebrews 12:22-24).

What different implications exist regarding the activities of the “Church” if the church was an earthly organization vs. a heavenly one?

If earthly, they took the names so that they could “nourish” their membership with the “good word of God” taught from the scriptures and the various spiritual experiences each had received with angels and gods; to help them “always remember” the Lord such that they stay in the “right way” through the testimony of others; to encourage them to keep their personal connection to heaven strong through prayer; to minister to them but not to insert themselves between each other and their Lord who was the author and finisher of each individual’s salvation.

If heavenly, angels took the names so that they could “nourish” their membership with the “good word of God” taught from the scriptures (“opening” the scriptures to each other – see Luke 24:32, 45; Alma 12:1; JSH 1:74) and through visitations, visions and taking the individuals up with them to the heavenly temple to be taught; to help them “always remember” the Lord such that they stay in the “right way” because they know Him with a surety; to encourage them to engage in regular mighty prayer such that true messengers would continue to visit with them, as they must be invited – one must knock, ask, seek (see Ether 2:14); to minister to them and prepare them to enter the presence of the Lord, who will in turn prepare them to enter the presence of the Father (see Moroni 7:25, 29-31; 2 Nephi 32:6; Alma 13:24)

 

 

The Church of Christ On Earth

 

READ Moroni 6:5-6, 9

How were the Nephites’ church meetings different from ours today?

They met together “oft” – was this more than once a week?  We meet together more than once a week with youth activities and the occasional service project but not to “fast and pray and speak to each other concerning the welfare of our souls”

To fast, pray and partake of the sacrament; again, we partake weekly, did they partake more?  Did they partake at every meeting?  They use bread and wine while we use bread and water…

Their meetings were much more unstructured than ours; they conducted their meetings “after the manner of the workings of the Spirit” which cannot be controlled by a man’s agenda

As a result, their meetings were conducted by the power of the Holy Ghost, which led them to do whatever activities (preach doctrine, exhort to repentance, pray in thanksgiving, supplicate for blessings or knowledge, worship through song, etc.) were most pleasing to the Lord on that particular day with those particular people, to maximize their connection to heaven; it is the rare “good meeting” that our structured approach enables to be conducted by and filled with the Holy Ghost and as a result, our meetings are not edifying or spiritually nourishing; having said that, to the degree that we go to serve and love others, we can still be about our Father’s business regardless of the rest of the meeting block.

 

READ Moroni 6:7-8

Why did the Nephites deal with iniquity in such a Draconian way?

For the same reason that in a prayer circle (which is done with the direct intent of parting the veil and communing directly with God) those with feelings of contention toward others are asked to withdraw so that the Holy Spirit can operate without constraint.

These instructions must have predated Moroni, as the “Church” he and Mormon lived among was apostate; they were probably from records Moroni had from the Nephite Zion period.

Why did the Nephites offer forgiveness “as oft” as people repented?

Because the Lord commanded it (see Mosiah 26:30-31; Alma 34:31).

He is a “first watch God” when it comes to forgiveness (see 3 Nephi 10:6; D&C 10:64-67; D&C 98:40).

He will forgive who He will forgive, but we must forgive all people (see D&C 64:10).

 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Few Things of Worth (Moroni 1-6) QUESTIONS

READ Moroni 1:1, 4

Why did Moroni intend to have ended the Book of Mormon with his abridgement of Ether and Mahonri’s vision?

 

READ Moroni 1:2-3

How does Moroni know the Lamanites are putting to death all those who will not deny Christ?

How would you describe Moroni’s statement that he will not deny the Christ, even if captured and compelled to do so or be killed?

 

 

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

 

READ Moroni 2:1-3

What is “mighty” prayer?

What is implied by the fact that on as many people as they laid their hands on, fell the Holy Ghost?

Why is mighty prayer required before giving the Gift of the Holy Ghost?



Ordination to Offices Within the Church

 

READ Moroni 3:1-3

What is the difference between callings/offices in the church vs in the priesthood?

What is a priesthood?

 

READ Moroni 3:4

How does the Church ordain people to offices and callings?

How does one obtain a priesthood?



The Sacrament

 

READ Moroni 4:1-2

What is the sacrament?

Why do the priests and church members kneel down together at the blessing of the sacrament?

 

READ Moroni 4:3

What is another word we could substitute for “witness”?

What three things do we witness?

What does it mean to take upon ourselves the name of Christ?

How can we keep His commandments?

What word makes the covenant doable?

Isn’t being “willing” to do these things a “soft grace” cop-out?

How can you tell if you are sincere in keeping this covenant?

For what three reasons does the priest ask the Father to bless and sanctify the bread?

What is “Christ’s Spirit”?

What does it mean to have Christ’s Spirit always with us?

 

READ Moroni 5:1-2

What does it mean to “always remember” our Lord and how can we do it?

What are the differences between the prayer on the bread and the wine and what accounts for the differences?

 

 

Baptism

 

READ Moroni 6:1-3

What “fruit” shows that one is worthy of baptism?

 

READ Moroni 6:4

Is it possible to be baptized but not “wrought upon by the Holy Ghost”?

What is implied that only those who were wrought upon by the Holy Ghost were numbered among the Church of Christ?

What different implications exist regarding the activities of the “Church” if the church was an earthly organization vs. a heavenly one?

 

 

The Church of Christ On Earth

 

READ Moroni 6:5-6, 9

How were the Nephites’ church meetings different from ours today?

 

READ Moroni 6:7-8

Why did the Nephites deal with iniquity in such a Draconian way?

Why did the Nephites offer forgiveness “as oft” as people repented?

 

Knowledge Through Sacrifice (Lectures on Faith 6)

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