Sunday, May 31, 2015

My Spirit Shall Not Always Strive With Man

In Genesis 5&6 we see in 5:32 that Noah was five-hundred years old.  In Genesis 7:5-6, we see that Noah was " six-hundred years when the flood of waters was upon the earth ".

This is one way that we can see that Noah was given 100 years to preach righteousness unto the wicked men that he lived among.

One of those witnesses of Noah working to persuade those around him to choose to be righteous is found in the New Testament :

Peter 2: 5

  • New Testament
5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness , bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 

An impacting statement from Genesis 6, in regards to Noah and the reason for God flooding the whole earth is found, as we read:

Genesis 6:12 

" And God looked upon the earth and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. "

As well, in Genesis 6 :3 as it states:

" And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be one-hundred and twenty years. "

One of the most important things that we learn from the account of Noah and the Ark is the value of faith and obedience to our Father in Heaven. 

In Faith Precedes the Miracle  we read :

As Noah Preached 

" There was no evidence of rain and flood. Noah's people mocked him and called him a fool. His preaching fell on deaf ears. His warnings were considered irrational. There was no precedent; never had it been known that a deluge could cover the earth. How foolish to build an ark on dry ground with the sun shinning and life moving forward as usual! but time ran out. The ark was finished. The floods came. The disobedient and rebellious were drowned. The miracle of the ark followed the faith manifested in its building." 

Because those Noah lived among were so wicked, they were " past feeling " as Mormon describes of the wickedness of his people to Moroni, he states :

Moroni 9:20

  • Book of Mormon
And now, my son, I dwell no longer upon this horrible scene. Behold, thou knowest the wickedness of this people; thou knowest that they are without principle, and past feeling; and their wickedness doth exceed that of the Lamanites. 

Not only was " Gods spirit not always striving with man " referring to Noah preaching for that time, and their eventual destruction in the flood ( Genesis 6:3 ), but it is also reminding us that God's Spirit or the Holy Ghost, can not dwell among those whom are not willing to listen, or whom are " past feeling " or can not be touched by the spirit any longer. 

A couple of days ago I was watching a movie with my husband. His standards of movies and their content is much different than mine. I thought it would be okay because of the rating of this movie. However, I was left to be gasping at a scene that I wish I had not seen. After discontinuing my viewing of this movie, and the next day, I felt I should express to my husband why I am so careful about the movies that I watch. I explained to him that that scene had come to my mind since the occasion of first seeing it, and I had not liked it, even the first time that I saw it, it had upset me. 

What my husband proceeded to tell me explains perfectly what "past feeling" is, and because he said it himself, I do not show disrespect as he witnesses himself of what is happening here. 

My husband explained, " Well, I do not have recollections of scenes like that coming into my mind, after I watch them, because I am " used to it ". They do not affect me the same. It doesn't bother me or upset me, because I am used to it." 

This was a perfect description of being " past feeling ". 

When we allow ourselves to do things that are offensive to the spirit of God, or if we continually expose ourselves to offensive material before God, His spirit does not continue to manifest it's error to us. 

I am so thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost in my life. He is a wonderful influence for me as He gives me thoughts and feelings that remind me what is, and what is not,  pleasing to my God.  

Although, I am not finished with my entries about Noah and the flood, I end with the reminder in the New Testament, that explains; When Christ comes again, it will be just as in the days of Noah:

Matthew 24:

 37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
 42 ¶Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

There is nothing that I want more in my life than to be able to stand before my Savior Jesus Christ, bow at His feet, kiss His feet, and express great love to Him. I can not wait to thank Him in person, for the mercy, and chance that He has given me, to be His Servant. 

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Offering The Best Of Me

As I consider what I can learn from Genesis 4, as I compare Cain's offering verses Abel's offering, I consider these things.

Verse 4 states that Abel brought forth the " first ling of his flock and of the fat thereof", which can be considered the best part, or the choicest portion of what he had.

The reason Cain's offering was rejected was because of his inner heart, that was merely giving with the wrong attitude, and not giving his very best, thus he could not bring forth his offering in faith. But, actually Cain was not just , not giving his best. He was being sinful.

" If I brought money as an offering during the sacrament instead of a broken heart band contrite spirit, not only would it not be my best, it would also be wrong. In fact, it would be disrespectful, rebellious, and blasphemous.
Another example would be paying money to my favorite charity and then rationalizing that I don’t need to pay tithing. Another example would be confessing my sins to the bishop and offering a bribe instead of repenting." - David Shumway

In my own life, I hope that I will not be sinful in my offering, but I will consider how I can be like Abel, and give my very best.
These things cause me to consider as I wake each day, if I am truly giving my Father in Heaven my best as I lay my own life down as my offering unto him daily, thus losing myself for Him? Or do I choose to serve Him in the convenient ways for myself?

Do I wake up daily and decide that I will serve Him, but not even consider asking in my prayers,
" What way would you like me to serve you this day? Please help me to know what you would have me do this day? " and, go on with out a pause or a desire to truly listen to the thoughts that may come?

Do I validate myself because I consider all of the things that I think I need to do , and think of one thing I did that day for Him? And, lay my one action at the feet of God as Cain did, yet, not consider in what way that I could have given Him my best that day? And ask Him in prayer how I could do better the following day?

Do I compare myself to the unbelieving world, and validate my habits of daily prayer, and scripture study as enough of an offering, and not consider stretching myself for Him? Or giving up something that I may want to do, in order to do more for Him in building His kingdom?

I  personally desire to work on offering my very best of myself each and everyday to my God.

I can testify that when you do ask what He would like to you to give up for Him, or how you can offer Him the very best, or the fat portion of what you have, He will give the the small and subtle promptings about what you can do, to offer your whole self unto Him, each and everyday. I can also testify that what He would like us to give up each and everyday, will change often. This is why it is important to ask, and listen.

Lastly, I am thankful for the example that Joseph Smith left us in Joseph Smith History 1:29, as he asked our Father in Heaven in prayer that he might know,

" of his state before him" ?

I hope that we can all pray and desire to know what state we are standing in before Him? If we are offering our very best or our fat portions to Him as Abel did?

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cain and Abel

I am thankful for Brother Shumway, whom had a friend that he knew when he taught Seminary, whom wrote a wonderful write up about Cain and Abel. This was incredibly helpful to me as It can seem unfair about God, rejecting Cain's offering....but all of this information allows us to see the senerio with much more clarity.  Thank you Jan James!

What We Know about Cain

1.       He was not the eldest son (Moses 5:1-2, 16)
2.       He was a tiller of the ground (Moses 5:17)
3.       He had accepted the gospel, but became offended and apostatized (Moses 5:16-24)
                “Cain knew the Lord and believed in his father Adam’s scripture, or revelation. But one revelation was enough; he could not bear new ones and fell.”
-          Joseph Smith’s Commentary on the Bible,  p. 18
                “Cain’s great sin was not committed in ignorance. We have every reason to believe that he had the privilege of standing in the presence of messengers from heaven. In fact, the scriptures infer that he was blessed by communication with the Father and was instructed by messengers from his presence. No doubt he held the Priesthood; otherwise his sin could not make him Perdition. He sinned against the light. And this he did, so we are told, because he loved Satan more than he loved God. Cain conversed with his God every day, and he knew all about the plan of creating this earth, for his father told him. But, for the want of humility, and through jealousy, and an anxiety to possess the kingdom, and to have the whole of it under his own control, and not allow anybody else the right to say one word, what did he do? He killed his brother. Then the Lord put a mark on him.”
-          Discourses of Brigham Young,  p. 104
“Unto Adam and Eve was born Cain, who no doubt was a spirit of a lower division of the pre-mortal realm. The processes of earth-life obedience to the gospel, necessary to return to God’s presence, found Cain rebellious against the family order of the priesthood. Even though the Lord counseled him in the way he could be accepted . . . he rejected the Lord’s counsel and persisted in his rebellion against the patriarchal order, described as the same priesthood that was in the beginning and would be in the end.”
- Meaning of Truth, Alvin R. Dyer, p. 28

4.       Cain loved Satan more than God (Moses 5:18), rejected God (Moses 5:25), and worked in evil ways (Jude 1:11).

5.       Cain offered an unrighteous sacrifice by order of Satan (Moses 5:18; D&C 10:20-21; Heb. 11:4).

                “Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted, because he could not do it in faith, he could have no faith, or could not exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven . . . As the sacrifice was instituted for a type, by which man was to discern the great Sacrifice which God had prepared, to offer a sacrifice contrary to that, no faith could be exercised, because redemption was not purchased in that way, nor the power of the atonement instituted after that order; consequently, Cain could have no faith; and whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
- Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,  p. 58

“But this offering, so advocated by Lucifer, was not in accordance with the commandments of God and, therefore, was a deception. The Lord God, detecting this, told Cain that he could still be saved from Lucifer if he would hearken unto his words, but if he would not, that notwithstanding he would rule over Satan, (because of a resurrected body) he nevertheless would become the father of all lies to the children of men, and he himself perdition because of the initiation of these principles unto the children of men upon the earth.
“Cain continued to follow Satan and covenanted with him to establish more firmly these doctrines upon the earth. This was all done through he principles of  priestcraft, involving unrighteous dominion over the lives of men, which constitutes the very plan of that great Sacrifice for a remission of sins.”
- History of the Church, 2:15-16

6.       Cain was tempted by greed to obtain Abel’s possessions (Moses 5:38).

7.       Cain slew Abel (1 John 3:12; D&C 84:16).

“To think that Cain would glory in obtaining dominion in the empire of evil, and in becoming the author of falsehood and holding the sceptor of power in the kingdom of darkness, is almost beyond belief. . . . Here we have the first and most pronounced case in history of one glorying in wickedness. Cain chose knowingly but not intelligently. He killed his brother, not so much for his flocks as for the glory of being Master Mahan. Not so much with the expediency of obtaining his brother’s worldly possessions, but to cut off without posterity that righteous brother, and, because Satan had commanded him!”
-          Joseph Fielding Smith,  Way to Perfection,  p. 100-101
“The difference between God and the devil is that God creates and organizes while the whole study of the devil is to destroy.”
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,  13:4

8.       Cain became a Son of Perdition (Moses 5:24).

                “As Adam represented the Lord on earth, so Cain acted for and on behalf of Lucifer. Indeed, this first murderer of all murderers is himself Perdition. . . He will rule over Satan himself when the devil and his angels are cast out everlastingly. Cain apostatized, left the church, and, as Abel’s blood cried out against him, fled from the presence of Adam and the faithful saints. He thereupon set up his own government, both civil and religious, patterned after the Adamic theocracy, except that Cain received no revelation and the Lord gave him no direction. Hence, his government was illegitimate; it imitated the true order but was man-made and Satan-inspired.”
- Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith,  p. 167

9.       Cain was cursed for his wickedness: he was given a mark of blackness (Moses 5:40), he would become a fugitive and vagabond (Moses 5:37-38), and the ground would no longer yield to him (Moses 5:37-38).

“Here be it observed that unlike his father, Adam, Cain himself was cursed; Adam was not. In the Lord’s judgment of Adam, the earth was cursed ‘for thy sake,’ while in Cain’s case the cursing was personal. To Cain’s labors the ground henceforth would not respond to his tilling thereof. It would not yield of its bounties as of yore. Cain had polluted the ground by spilling thereon his brother’s blood. . . Instead of a vagabond, the Revised Version has wanderer. Cain was condemned to perpetuate disgrace and reproach among men; to perpetual horror in his own mind. His conscience full to the brim with guilt would haunt him wherever he sojourned and make of him a nomad and an unwanted guest. No one would seek his presence because with him was terror and dismay.”
- Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price,  Reynolds and Sjodahl,  p. 169

10.   God protected Cain and permitted him to live (Moses 5:40).

“Notwithstanding his wickedness, the Lord spread a protecting canopy over Cain that in case others recognizing him as his brother’s slayer, should slay him also. To the end that other evil men should not slay him the Lord ‘set a mark upon Cain.’”
-          Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price,  Reynolds and Sjodahl,  p. 171
“When men have come into our midst as corrupt as the devil himself, many have supposed it would have been better to have cut their throats with a feather and exposed their sink of corruption, and let them go to hell where they belonged, than to have borne with them as Brother Joseph Smith did; but this course would meet with a conflicting argument. To stop a man in his career would be taking away his agency. Cain was permitted to live, peradventure, he might repent of his wickedness, and redeem a portion of his time, and thereby obtain a glory and salvation, though not a full salvation . . .”
- Brigham Young, History of the Church,  7:366-367

11.   Cain chose his path himself.

“If Cain had fulfilled the law of righteousness as did Enoch, he could have walked with God all the days of this life and never failed of a blessing.”
- Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith,  p. 54-55
“In the exercise of agency, where man chooses to follow evil rather than good, such as it was, in varying degrees with those who followed Lucifer in the pre-existence and also as with the sons of Adam who disobeyed God and hearkened unto the teachings of Lucifer, he himself can become an agency of evil, to promote this influence within the perimeter of his existence, be he a servant, a king, or a dictator. Cain, the son of Adam, developed evil tendencies, whereas as a master of lies and deceit, and because of his rejection of God, he became a son of perdition.”
- The Meaning of Truth, Alvin R. Dyer

“Every soul coming into this world came here with the promise that through obedience he would receive the blessings of salvation. No person was foreordained or appointed to sin or to perform a mission of evil. No person is ever predestined to salvation or damnation. Every person has free agency. Cain was promised by the Lord that if he would do well, he would be accepted . . . If men were appointed to sin and betray their brethren, then justice could not demand that they be punished for sin and betrayal when they are guilty.”
- Joseph Fielding Smith,  Doctrines of Salvation,  1:61

“Jesus knew that one of His apostles would be a devil. But it was not foreordained that Judas should be a devil. He chose that part himself, in the exercise of agency. He betrayed the Son of God and brought upon himself the dreadful fate which befell him. So with Esau. He had equal opportunities with Jacob. Cain had equal opportunities with Abel. God told him that his offering would be accepted if he would do right. God pled with him; his father, no doubt also pled with him to forsake sin and unrighteousness. But he took the other course.”
- George Q. Cannon,  Gospel Truth,  p. 112

12.   Cain involved himself in secret combinations with Satan (Moses 5:29-31; Hel. 6:27; Ether 8:15).

13.   Cain will have power over Satan after he is resurrected (Moses 5:30).

“Satan could act only through his representative, and the success with which Satan prevailed in bringing to pass his wicked designs depended on the willingness of his associate in sin to spearhead his purposes. Cain was an ideal conspirator with Satan in those iniquitous schemes. Cain was the evil type. It is here where Cain can be said to rule over Satan because Satan, as we have pointed out, could accomplish his nefarious ways no faster than Cain’s movements allowed. Cain, no doubt, will be resurrected and in his resurrected body will be greater, if we understand it correctly, than Satan, having no body of flesh and blood ever could be. Thus, Cain would be the most powerful and this rule over Satan.”
- Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price,  Reynolds and Sjodahl,  p. 163

Using the Book of Mormon to Better Understand the Curse upon Cain
          What is the best definition for each term?
1.“Soar cursing, because of their iniquity” (2 Nephi 25:20-21)
                a. Skin of blackness
                b. Cut off from the presence of the Lord
2. “Become like a flint”  (v. 21)
                a. Loathsome, not enticing
                b. Hard-hearted, will not hearken unto the prophet
3. “Delightsome”  (v.21-25)
                a. White
                b. Repentant

The Dark Skin
“The dark skin was placed upon the Lamanites so that they could be distinguished from the Nephites and to keep the two peoples from mixing. The dark skin was a sign of the curse. The curse was a withdrawal of the Spirit of the Lord. The dark skin . . . is no longer considered a sign of the curse. Many of these converts are delightsome and have the Spirit of the Lord.
- Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:123-124

“So it was a blessing to the Nephites after all to have the Lamanites on their doorstep to stir them up to remembrance. . . No matter how wicked and ferocious and depraved the Lamanites might be (and they were that!), no matter by how much they outnumbered the Nephites . . . They were not the Nephite problem. They were merely kept there to remind the Nephites of their real problem, which was to walk uprightly before the Lord.”
Hugh Nibley, Since Cumorah,  p.376

Dispelling False Doctrine
“The opinion is held by many members of the church that because the negro was neutral in the great council, held in the heavens before the foundations of the earth were laid, he has been punished with a black skin. There is no evidence, as far as found, to justify this belief. On the other hand, there is ample evidence to support the Church doctrine that all who have been permitted to come upon this earth and take upon themselves bodies, accepted the plan of salvation.”
- Bruce R. McConkie,  Mortal Messiah,  3:73

Egyptian and Priesthood History - Abraham 1:21-28
*      Who was Pharaoh, king of Egypt, a descendent of? (Abr. 1:21-24)
*      Who was Ham’s wife?
n  Egyptus
*      Who was she a descendent from?
n  Cain
*      Who were the Canaanites? (Moses 7:6-8)
n  Note that this land of Canaan is different than the land of Canaan Abraham is promised (Abr. 2)
*      Note the insight from your student manual:
“At times in the past, the power and authority to act in the name of the Lord was bestowed upon only a few worthy males and withheld from all others. In the days’ of Moses leadership of the children of Israel, for example, only the tribe of Levi had the privilege to hold the priesthood. Our day is the long-promised day when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood” (p.32).
*      Do we know why it was this way?

“For many years preceding the time of Abraham the descendents of Egyptus occupied and governed in Egypt. They extended their dominion into the land of Canaan and oppressed the people, but the time came when the people of Asia, who were of the Semitic race, rebelled and made war on the Egyptians and conquered the country, driving the original inhabitants farther south and up the Nile. These Semitic people known as Hyksos, or shepherds, for they had many flocks and herds, were in possession of the land of Egypt for many years before the time of Abraham. Their rule lasted for some five hundred years, and they were in possession of the land when Joseph was taken into Egypt. It was a Hyksos king who befriended Joseph and who was friendly with Abraham and Isaac. While these people occupied the land of Egypt, they were called Egyptians, although they were relatives of Abraham and Joseph, being descendents of Shem.”
- Joseph Fielding Smith,  Answers to Gospel Questions,  1:169-170

“It is generally believed that the curse placed on Cain was continued in his posterity and that through the seed of Ham this curse was brought through the flood. Since Ham was the son of Noah, we must conclude that it was not Ham who had the black skin and was a descendant of Cain. However, there is in the Church the general belief that Ham married a woman who was a descendant of Cain, and in this way the curse of Cain was continued after the flood in Ham's posterity. Some of the brethren who were associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith have declared that he taught this doctrine. That the wife of Ham was a descendant of Cain seems to be embodied in the following passages in the Book of Abraham: (Abraham 1:21-24 cited.) We see that the wife of Ham was named Egyptus, which name signifies ‘that which is forbidden.’ We know it was the custom in those early times to give to children names conveying a definite meaning based upon some striking event connected with birth or early life, or to point out and fix attention on some peculiarity of character or habit which they may have formed. . . . So it appears very probable that Egyptus was so named because she partook of the curse of her fathers. Moreover, this thought is strengthened in the statement that from Ham sprang the race which preserved the curse in the land. The implication seems to be very strong that this curse preserved through the seed of Ham was a curse which came from the other side of the flood.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Way To Perfection, pp. 103-105
*      Who is “Egyptus” in verse 23-24?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained:
                “Two women of note, a mother and her daughter, both carried the name Egyptus. The mother, a descendant of Cain, was the wife of Ham; the daughter was the mother of Pharaoh, the first ruler of Egypt. Abraham says that in the Chaldean tongue Egyptus ‘signifies that which is forbidden,’ meaning apparently that Ham married outside the approved lineage. (Abra. 1:20-27; Gen. 6:2.) (Mormon Doctrine, p. 214.)

The Curse of Cain - Abraham 1:26
“Cain was cursed with respect to the Gospel, the society of believers and earthly prosperity. The lineage of Cain carried with it a continued curse with respect to the privileges of the Gospel but not with respect to the ‘the blessings of the earth’ (prosperity) nor to ‘the blessings of wisdom’ (knowledge, judgment, discernment, etc.). The ‘curse’ spoken of in this verse is the one that came to Cain and was passed on through his posterity to the time Ham took Egyptus to wife. Abraham's expression that Noah ‘cursed’ Pharaoh as to the Priesthood could mislead us to conclude that Noah had personal responsibility for keeping the Priesthood from his grandson. Obviously, the righteous prophet followed the Lord in continuing to withhold the Priesthood from the descendants of Cain.
- Judd King, Pearl of Great Price Commentary,  p. 309

"the Pharaohs would fain (happily, willingly) claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry" - Abraham 1:27
“While it appears that the righteous first Pharaoh would have delightedly claimed the Priesthood rights through his righteous grandfather, Ham, he did not attempt to do so. However, the Pharaohs who followed the first did not continue to live according to this righteous deficiency but rather attempted to claim the Priesthood rights through Ham to Noah. ‘Therefore’ suggests ‘for that reason’ or ‘because of that.’ Abraham's father, Terah, followed the Egyptian and Chaldean gods to the point of wanting Abraham to be offered as a human sacrifice. There seems to be some relationship between  these Pharaohs' attempted usurpation of the Priesthood and Terah's willingness to follow their idolatry. The first Pharaoh who was righteous imitated the Priesthood order without attempting to claim it. Apparently, by the time of Terah other Pharaohs used the imitation of the Priesthood order to lead people to idolatry, one of which was Terah.” - Judd King, Pearl of Great Price Commentary,  p. 309


“. . . [For] reasons which we believe are known to God, but which he has not made fully known to man.”
-          First Presidency, 15 December 1969

-          During this time of restrictions, Church leaders did teach that these children of God would someday receive these blessings.

There is much that I do not know. I do not know the details of the organization of matter into the beautiful world we live in. I do not understand the intricacies of the Atonement, how the Savior’s sacrifice can cleanse all repentant people, or how the Savior could suffer “the pain of all men” (D&C 18:11). I do not know where the city of Zarahemla was, as referred to in the Book of Mormon. I do not know why my beliefs sometimes conflict with assumed scientific or secular knowledge. Perhaps these are matters our Father in Heaven described as the “mysteries . . . of heaven” (D&C 107:19) that will be revealed at a later date.
But while I don’t know everything, I know the important. I know the plain and simple gospel truths that lead to salvation and exaltation. I know that the Savior did suffer the pain of all men and that all repentant people can be cleansed from sin. And what I don’t know or don’t completely understand, with the powerful aid of my faith, I bridge the gap and move on, partaking of the promises and blessings of the gospel. And then, as Alma teaches, our faith brings us to a perfect knowledge (see Alma 32:34). By moving forward into the unknown, armed only with hope and desire, we show evidence of our faith and our devotion to the Lord. – Bishop Richard C. Edgley , Ensign, Nov. 2010

What can we share with others when asked about this apparently “politically incorrect” dilemma?
§  Do you believe in the Bible?
§  Who held the priesthood in the days of the tribes of Israel?

§  When is the first time (that we know of) that God has allowed all worthy males to hold the priesthood? 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

We have been given added scriptures for a wonderful reason

As I read in chapter four of the Old Testament, I found the witness that we needed more scripture, beyond the Bible; to be the most beneficial truth that learned this week, during my Old Testament Study.

In Genesis 4, it is perceived that Eve's first children were Abel and Cain.

Even without the added knowledge that we have as members of Jesus Christ's church on the earth;

that there was  a need for a more complete scripture on our earth...

Anyone can clearly see that there is missing information in this chapter in Genesis.

In verse 17 of Genesis Chapter 4 it states that " Cain knew his wife ; and she conceived and bare Enoch."

(Note that in the footnote of Genesis 4:17(b) it states, "Do not confuse Enoch of Cain's lineage and the city of his name with the Enoch of Seth's lineage and the city (Zion) of his name. See Moses 6:21-7:69.)

Yet, without the Pearl of Great Price, one is left to wonder where this wife came from? As no other reference to Eve having more children was given.

In Moses 5:2 we have that missing information,as it explains that Adam and Eve had many children before Cain and Abel were born.

I am continually thankful for the sacred addition of books, beyond the Bible, that we have in Jesus Christ's church.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

All things Shall Work For Thy Good - The Fall

Over the years, I have struggled to understand Adam and Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit, at the depth that I truly desire.

After prayer and study, I believe that the scripture that was presented to my mind, as I studied these things, is  key ; to the depth that I was seeking.

This time as I pondered the " Fall of Adam ", the scripture in D&C 90:24, replayed over and over in my mind: the phrase from it, as it states, is the answer that I was seeking:

" All things shall work together for thy good "....

After the tree of knowledge of good and evil was placed in the garden, fulfilling God's laws of agency provided for all,...

We learn in The Pearl of Great Price, in Moses 4:6, " Satan, as he approached Eve to tempt her, knew not the mind of God ."

Satan did not realize that what he was doing to tempt Eve, was in fact already known by God, and that his actions were being used, as Christ always does, if we allow Him, to:

" Work together for our good "

In D&C 130:7 it states, " Where all thing for their glory are manifest, past , present, and future,and are continually before the Lord."

This reminds us that God knew exactly what Satan would do, and how He could use these actions to benefit His children. Although this does not mean that what Satan would do was good for anyone, just a matter of fact that he would do it, and infact would be cursed for his actions....

Many times in the world, Adam and Eve get blamed or accused of all that is bad in the world. It is quite disrespectful that even innocent infants are baptized daily, with the explanation that they are unclean, because of Adam and Eve....

The truth of the matter is this: Adam and Eve provided the opportunity for us to be here upon this earth because of their choice, and God knowing all things, allowed what He knew that Satan would do, to work for our good.

As I consider the consequences to Adam and Eve's actions, I can clearly see how they were a blessing, and more solid that ever, I can see how our Father;

Allows all things to work for our good, when we turn to Him....Look at all the blessings that came from Adam and Eve, and our Father letting this work for our good!

vs. 15 - I will put enmity( natural dislike) between Satan and the woman, and between Satan's seed    ( his followers both mortal and those who received not their first estate ), and the woman's seed, which is Jesus Christ, as He is part mortal, and all of His children (those whom turn to Him).

The Seed of the woman, or Jesus Christ, shall crush the head of the serpent, while satan can only bruise his heel.

vs.16 - " I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and conception" . As women sorrow in child birth they are more prepared to come to Christ, and they understand and value what He did for us all more, as they know with deeper understanding what it is like to suffer selflessly for His children; they are becoming more like Him.

Multiplying conception is an eternal blessing.

" Thy desire shall be to thy husband " ... This is a blessing, as we desire for something, we are more likely to serve for it; and love it, which brings us closer to Christ.

" Thy husband shall rule over thee " is a blessing, as it allows woman the chance to be given less accountability, as her husband is called to lead her. This blesses the man because he is given the chance to serve and desire to be a better leader to his wife; Thus, becoming more like Jesus Christ.

vs.17 - " cursed is the ground for thy sake ", This is a blessing because Adam learns to work, solve problems, create and build through a process of perfecting something. This gives Adam the opportunity to learn how it is to  build a kingdom, at a much lower level; nevertheless, Adam is becoming more like Jesus, as all things were turned for his good.

vs.18- " Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth " , this is representation of trials. Trials are of key blessing in turning us, His children to Him, and helping us to become more like His son, Jesus Christ.

vs 19 - " Thou will return to the ground ", this is a blessing because these things are only temporary, and will allow for progression, until more blessings can be provided.

In my own life, I have seen the Lord turn everything to my good on countless occasions. I have seen even senerios that would seem completely horrible, turned into the greatest blessings of my life.

I know with every part of me, that in any senerio, and at all times, if we pray, ask Father for help, and try our best to follow the instructions that He has given us; even the seemingly impossible can be turned for our good.

As I ponder these things and consider all of these blessings, I marvel at whom my Father and His Son Jesus Christ are. I feel the beauty of whom they are. I see their glory manifest in my own life, and all around me. I love them with depth and passion that I can not begin to describe.

I hope that we can all strive to make them happy, each and every day....Thinking of them before ourselves and our momentary desires.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Help Meet : Translates Into " Ezer " in Hebrew, which means Savior

In Genesis 2:18-25 we witness man, having the " breath of life " placed into his nostrils, and then God mentions that man can not be alone, but that he needs a " help meet ". 

This phrase " help meet " is mentioned twice, and it is of vital importance, as we seek to understand the position of both man and woman in our Father in Heaven's eyes. 

The common way in which the term "help meet" is interpreted is to mean that God gave Adam a helper. As the world has misinterpreted the meaning of women; much that is sacred about woman's role is lost.

 The term, " help meet " in it's original Hebrew, means something much more sacred and powerful. When we really understand what God was saying to Adam, we come to see Eve's role and the role of women on this earth.

In Hebrew the two words that "help meet" are derived from are the words "ezer" and the word 'k’enegdo".
“According to biblical scholar David Freedman, the Hebrew word translated thee into English as “help” is ezer. This word is a combination of two roots, one meaning “to rescue”, “to save,” and the other meaning “to be strong.” Just as the roots merged into one word, so did their meanings. At first ezer meant either “to save” or “to be strong,” but in time, said Freedman, ezer “ was always interpreted as ‘to help’ a mixture of both nuances.”
Diana Webb in her book "Forgotten Women of God " also clarifies this word by explaining,
"The noun ezer occurs 21 times in the Hebrew Bible. In eight of these instances the word means “savior”. These examples are easy to identify because they are associated with other expressions of deliverance or saving. Elsewhere in the Bible, the root ezer means “strength.... the word is most frequently used to describe how God is an ezer to man. "
For example the word "ebenezer" in 1 Samuel 7:12 is used to describe the power of God's deliverance. "Eben" means rock and "ezer" means "help" or "salvation". Ebenezer therefore means "rock of help" or "rock of salvation". The root "ezer" is the same word that God used to describe to Adam who Eve was. She was not intended to be just his helper or his companion, rather she was intended to be his savior, his deliverer.

The other part of the term "help meet" which is commonly translated as "meet for" or "fit for" is the word "k’enegdo". It is hard to know exactly what the word k’enegdo means because it only appears once in the entire Bible. Yet Diana Webb explained that,
"Neged, a related word which means “against”, was one of the first words I learned in Hebrew. I thought it was very strange that God would create a companion for Adam that was “against” him! Later, I learned that kenegdo could also mean “in front of” or “opposite.” This still didn’t help much. Finally I heard it explained as being “exactly corresponding to,” like when you look at yourself in a mirror."
"Eve was not created to be like Adam. Heavenly Father knew that Eve must be Adam's opposite, possessing the other half of the qualities, responsibilities, and attributes which he lacked. Just like Adam and Eve's sexual organs were physically mirror opposites (one being internal and the other external) so were their their divine stewardship designed to be opposite but fit together perfectly to create life. Eve was Adam's spiritual equal, endowed with the attributes and characteristics that He would need to have full access to through her; and also to obtain all the saving ordinances that God provides through His son Jesus Christ; which includes the sealing ordinance. 

Women are "saviors" to men by the fact that they give them life and nurture them towards the light of Christ. By conceiving, creating and bearing mortal bodies, women make it possible for God's children to start on their mortal journey and have the opportunity to become perfected. Without women there would be no opportunity for progression  or exaltation. In addition, by being willing to sacrifice ( their very lives if necessary) to bring children into this world, women demonstrate the true meaning of charity. From the very first breath a child takes he or she has been the recipient of charity and unconditional love. This is a powerful gift that a mother gives her child and it will be her love which will first reminded the child of God and points him or her towards Christ. Each woman, regardless of her ability to give birth, is a savior to mankind when she loves men and nurtures a child closer to Christ. "             ( Women in the scriptures - Heather Ferrell )

Every single day that I awake to see my beautiful, and healthy children, I feel the love that my Father in Heaven has for me. I marvel that He has given such an inadequate woman as myself, the chance to be in partnership with Him in His work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, or bringing His children back to Him.

Even on the days that my children argue, fight or just act wildly energetic, I never forget the privilege of mine that is - Motherhood. I often think " Oh my Father in Heaven, I am so sorry that I do this to you as well." When my children complain, whine or just over-react at times, I think to myself, " This is exactly what my Father in Heaven must have been feeling like as I  over-react, or cry to Him." He was probably thinking the exact same thing that I am right now...." How could you be so sad that one little thing didn't happen that you'd like, and yet I have worked all day to provide you with comfort and happiness.".....I am no longer frustrated for even one moment with my children as I remember how patient that He is with  me when I am sad for silly reasons.
Many times He sent me a tender mercy even though I was being over-emotional, ungrateful and un-trusting. 

I am thankful every day that I can be a partner to my husband in seeking for eternal life and exhaltation. Even on the days that can be trying in all relationships, as I think of my chance to work with my wonderful husband, I see the opportunity that my Father in Heaven is giving me yet again; to aide Him in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. 

I am overwhelmed at times that my Father in Heaven seems to have great trust in the qualities and attributes that I have been given in womanhood, but as I remember that His ways and His plan is perfect; I feel a stronger to desire to turn to Him through His son, and the enabling power of grace, to help me accomplish His great work that I love. 

This too is my work and my glory, as I seek to serve and love Him. What a privilege and miracle that He is giving me in this chance to help Him. I hope and pray that I will not fail Him.

"Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels. " ( President J. Reuben Clark Jr. , Oct.1942 )

" No man achieves the supernal exalting status of worthy fatherhood except as a gift from his wife." 
 President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign , May 1998, p.72-74 )

"No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed." (Godfrey Winn)

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Thou Mayest Choose

This week I have been studying what is known as " Adam's Fall ". My eyes have seemed to open to this one message that I am continually presented with in my scripture study.

First, I saw the Lord separate or sift the light from the dark, as this material that was already existent, likely had chosen what it was ; Therefore, light or dark was separated with like material.

Second, He laid out laws that could or could not be followed, as He created all things spiritually and reared them to maturity in His mansions.

 I read, and pondered upon Revelations 12 ; before man would come to earth, the great war in Heaven took place. In this war, His children decided whom they would follow- The adversary, or Jesus Christ?

Lastly, I am witnessing his pattern of sifting, separating, and providing the option of which way, and after what order that His children desire to become, as I began to study the events in the Garden of Eden. 

This message of AGENCY is being presented in GENESIS once again...........

In Genesis 2 as I ponder upon the Garden of Eden and the fact that there are two trees to choose from; and yet even that tree of knowledge of good and evil was placed " in the midst of the garden", or in other words,  in plain site ; we see again how agency choices form a vital part of what we are here on the earth to learn, experience and finally to do: We are here to choose what we want!

A great analogy of agency can be seen in even the most basic element named : Carbon 

There are many different elements on the periodic table. Carbon is an unstable element as it attaches to other elements very easy. It is as if this element is in a like state as we are, as His children on earth. This state where we are choosing what we want to be when the Lord follows His pattern of sifting out and providing agency yet again; but for the final time, as we will be placed into His organizations in the eternities.

 Although Carbon can combine with many other elements to make so many useful elements, even one such as Carbon dioxide; 

Carbon, as it can make a " Covelant Bond ", can be changed into a diamond; a useful, precious and desirable substance..but it had to make a covenant first!

"Diamonds are essentially just pressurized carbon atoms. When carbon atoms are exposed to extreme pressure and high temperatures, they stick together in an organized fashion to form crystals. One carbon atom covalently bonds to four others during this process, and the longer the carbon stays under extreme pressure and heat, the more carbon atoms will lock together in this rigid formation, and the bigger the diamond will be." )

Moses 3:17 as the Lord states to Adam in the Garden of Eden:

" Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee, but remember that I forbid it for in the day thou eatest thereof  thou shalt surely die." 

What the Lord in essence was saying, " If Adam wished to remain in the garden, then he was not to eat the fruit, but if he desired to eat if and partake of death he was at liberty to do so. So really it was not a transgression of a divine commandment. Adam made a wise decision, and the only decision that he could make." ( Answers to Gospel Questions Vol.4 pg.81 )

"Heavenly Father and the Savior are our perfect examples of what we can and must do. They never force righteousness because righteousness must be chosen. They make righteousness discernible to us, and They let us see that its fruits are delicious. Every person born into the world receives the Light of Christ, which helps us see and feel what is right and what is wrong. God has sent mortal servants who can, by the Holy Ghost, help us recognize what He would have us do and what He forbids. God makes it attractive to choose the right by letting us feel the effects of our choices. If we choose the right, we will find happiness—in time. If we choose evil, there comes sorrow and regret—in time. Those effects are sure. Yet they are often delayed for a purpose. If the blessings were immediate, choosing the right would not build faith. And since sorrow is also sometimes greatly delayed, it takes faith to feel the need to seek forgiveness for sin early rather than after we feel its sorrowful and painful effects."
- Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, May 2014

" The final judgment it will not be the unrepentant sinner begging Jesus, “Let me stay.” No, he will probably be saying, “Get me out of here!” Knowing Christ’s character, I believe that if anyone is going to be begging on that occasion, it would probably be Jesus begging the unrepentant sinner, “Please, choose to stay. Please, use my Atonement—not just to be cleansed but to be changed so that you want to stay.” ( His Grace is Sufficient - Brad Wilcox)
 I consider my own life experiences and the numerous occasions that the Lord has reached out to me to come to Him. He must in some ways struggle with the fact that He must give us agency as He loves us and wants us to choose to be with Him? However, in His presented patterns, we can see that it is clear that He presents agency as the only way that we can come to know if we do in fact want to live by His order and His ways, or not? 
Agency, in fact- is so important to His plan that in actuality, even when our Savior Jesus Christ comes back to the earth there will still be those whom do not want to be members of His true church.....
“Since all who are living at least a terrestrial law—the law of honesty, uprightness, and integrity—will be able to abide the day of our Lord’s coming, there will be nonmembers of the Church on the earth during the millennium. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 86-87; vol. 3 pp. 63-64).  Honest and upright people who have been deceived by the false religions and false philosophies of the world will not have their free agency abridged.  They will continue to believe their false doctrines until they voluntarily elect to receive gospel light."
Mormon Doctrine, pp 498-499 (Elder Bruce R. McConkie)
I hope that I can help others use their agency to become closer to Him. I hope that I can work to become an individual whom is worthy to live with Him in the next life, as I have made covenants with Him in the temple. I feel the bond that I have made with Him and the pressures of life that He has provided me with, are allowing me the chance to experience what I need to, in order to come unto Him.

 Just like Carbon is an unstable element, yet can become a most precious diamond; I pray and desire to choose to become the best that I can be, by keeping my covenants with Him.

"The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go home but that—miraculously—we can feel at home there. If Christ did not require faith and repentance, then there would be no desire to change. Think of your friends and family members who have chosen to live without faith and without repentance. They don’t want to change. They are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God. Rather, they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin. " ( Brad Wilcox- His Grace is Sufficient )
D&C 88
  He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;
 Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.
 As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made;
 As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made;
 10 And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.
 11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
 12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—
 13 The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.
 14 Now, verily I say unto you, that through the redemption which is made for you is brought to pass the resurrection from the dead.
 15 And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.
 16 And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul.
 17 And the redemption of the soul is through him that quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it.
 18 Therefore, it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestial glory;
 19 For after it hath filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with glory, even with the presence of God the Father;
 20 That bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it forever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created, and for this intent are they sanctified.
 21 And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.
 22 For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.
 23 And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.
 24 And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.
 25 And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—
 26 Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it.
 27 For notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again, a spiritual body.
 28 They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.
 29 Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
 30 And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
 31 And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
 32 And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.
 33 For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.
 34 And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.
 35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.
 36 All kingdoms have a law given;
 37 And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom.
 38 And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.
 39 All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.
 40 For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.
 41 He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.