Faith, Grace, and the Works…


FaithGrace1I decided it might be a good idea to post what my take on grace and works is so people can more fully understand where I am coming from. The works of God are very important, but even more important in my opinion is the proper understanding of how we can gain access to the power to do those works. A lot of this comes from writing that was done elsewhere, so I apologize for those who have already read s lot of this. Most of the time when I have heard people talk about grace it has been explained something like this;

“We must strive to be as righteous as possible, being obedient to the commandments the best we can, and since we cannot do it perfectly, Jesus fills in the gap.” Usually people like to use hand motions and say. “We are here, and Christ is here, and the distance between these points is filled in by the atonement.” Does this sound familiar? Also I don’t know how many times I have heard people declare that OBEDIENCE brings the Spirit. (which is true in one sense that is rarely clarified) Also I have heard the teaching that righteousness brings the Spirit. There seems to me to be a lot of people who worry that if they do not do their home teaching, attend the temple, do daily scripture study as an individual and family, do couples scripture study, have family home evening each week, magnify their calling, and be willing to do anything the “leaders” ask, that they will not be worthy to have the Spirit. What a damnable line of thought! I would like to start with a prayer that I read the other day…

Dan 9:4-7-11 – And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him……

Dan 9:14-19 – Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

What a beautiful prayer with the attitude that each of us should have each time we pray. Also a scripture from old father Lehi;

2 Ne 2:2-3 – Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain. Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.

Lehi did not tell Jacob that he would be redeemed because of Jacob’s righteousness, but rather because of the Righteousness of Jesus Christ. So how is it that we receive grace initially, which would also be the equivalent of being born again or receiving a remission of sins? Well Nephi says we are “saved by grace, after all that we can do”. Does that mean we just work as hard as we can to be perfect and keep all the commandments, then we will receive grace? NO! He made it pretty clear that we need to rely “wholly upon the merits of Christ”. Think of Alma the Younger, or King Lamoni, or Saul. What did they do but turn to Jesus Christ and cry out for His redeeming power? They couldn’t do anything else! That was the only work they could do for the grace and power of God. And it worked, and it WILL WORK FOR YOU!

In the book of Helaman, Nephi speaks about how the people in the time of Moses were afflicted by the fiery serpents and when they were bit there was nothing they could do except to turn and look to the serpent and they would be saved. He taught that the same scenario is true for us. “All that we can do”, is turn and look! If we do this we will live. Sounds easy right? The easiness of the way is oddly confusing to people.

Some reasons that people have a problem with this are: 1) They just don’t believe it. 2) They themselves want credit for earning it. 3) They have not been brought to a point in their life where they realize they themselves have been “bit by the serpent” of sin, or that they are in the same hell that Alma the younger was in and just have never realized it.

faith-that-worksI know number two of this list doesn’t seem reasonable, but how often do we hear or read people say things like, “If you want the baptism of fire, you have to do all of the things that Jesus commanded, and be righteous enough to receive it”. This is a dangerous idea because many people who have received visions or revelations can become prideful with this line of thought and think they received those experiences because they just behaved better than others, or they are more favored or righteous than others who haven’t had the same experiences. I will give it as my opinion that God has withheld revelations and visions from some of the best people FOR A TIME to try them, and some of the weakest of us are given great revelations quickly and easily to try us to see whether we will lift ourselves up and think we got them because we deserved them.

The truth is that none of us deserve revelation. None of us will ever be righteous enough to deserve a visitation from Christ. In fact, the realization of this fact (meekness) is the only thing that will bring us further light and knowledge on a continual basis.

Mos 4:11-12 – And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.

What glorious promises if we can just remember our nothingness and humble ourselves in the depths of humility daily. ALWAYS retain a remission of our sins, ALWAYS rejoice? Yes please.

After we first receive grace and a remission of sins, the Lord places a bit of His righteousness in us, and then what is our responsibility? Do we then just work hard to keep the commandments and endure to the end through behaving like Jesus the best way we know how? NO. We must repeat the process over and over again, continually “supplicating God for grace”. Grace for grace until the day comes that we are “filled with grace”.

Every time the Holy Ghost comes upon us we are being added upon and sanctified. We are being filled by the heavenly oil one drop at a time. This grace allows us to be obedient to God. Grace makes us obedient! Obedience does not bring us grace, unless it is obedience to the commandments to love God, and have faith in Jesus Christ.

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE RIGHTEOUS OR BE OBEDIENT TO GOD WITHOUT CHRIST GIVING US THE POWER TO DO SO!!!!!!

An evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit, and no man can please God without faith. This is why works can never be good works or the works of God unless God does those works through us. It is His righteousness and His works that bring about any good in any of us.

So what is grace? Grace is a literal power that can reside in us. In the scriptures we are taught that the grace is the power to heal, the power to be brought to the throne of God, the power to be perfected in Christ. Jesus Christ was and is full of grace.

If you have a question about how one receives grace it is really quite simple, it is through faith in Jesus Christ. Here are some scriptures to ponder on.

Rom 14:23 – And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Think about what that really means, this goes right along with Paul suggesting we can give all of our goods to feed the poor, give our bodies to be burned and it can be meaningless without Charity.

Heb 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

People must grasp that we can do nothing of ourselves. Faith brings grace, which empowers us to do the works of God. I know people love to quote James. “Faith without works is dead.” James knew that faith ALWAYS brings works. People cannot claim to have faith if the God is not working through them, it is not possible. The statement that “works without faith are dead”, is just as true as the reverse.

Alma 34:16-17 – And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption. YesTherefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;

Repentance and faith go hand in hand. We see very clearly in scriptures that repentance is not a checklist of a list of things we do to change behavior and make restitution. It is changing our minds and turning to Christ. Then we do the works that God leads us to do afterward.

And what are the works of God? (at least some of them)

D&C 84:65-73 – And these signs shall follow them that believe— 66 In my name they shall do many wonderful works;67 In my name they shall cast out devils 68 In my name they shall heal the sick;69 In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;70 And the tongue of the dumb shall speak;71 And if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them;72 And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.73 But a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world; for these things are given unto you for your profit and for salvation.

We cannot boast of these things because it is never by our power or righteousness that they are done!

RichYoungRulerOkay, so hopefully people can understand that I believe in works as much as the next guy, I just know that works do not bring the Spirit, but rather the Spirit brings works. It seems very plain in the scriptures. To those who love to quote the scriptures that “and by your works ye shall be judged, whether they be good, or whether they be evil…”

Think about how beautiful the power of the atonement is! I have read a lot of NDE experiences where people have life reviews and they are pained by having to relive and understand their sins. One thing the Holy Ghost told me long ago while reading one of these books is that if we accept the atonement of Christ, our life review will only be filled with good works! All else will be erased by the mercy of God. Beautiful! Even one evil work is enough to damn us to hell for eternity! One sin is all it takes. No amount of good works can ever make up for it.

Usually in my writing I imagine I am speaking to those who have already obtained a hope in Christ, and are seeking to come to know Him better. I believe everything we can learn about Christ helps us to receive greater faith in Him. As we come to learn of His attributes and teachings by revelation, are faith and love increase.

Those who continue in faith and grace can eventually receive the Spirit of the Lord. Look at these examples of those who have been blessed with this.

Dan 10:8-19 – Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.

Notice the power of the Spirit of the Lord that these angelic beings have. When they said to be strengthened, Daniel was. Even the power of their touch wrought a change upon Daniel. Can mortals be given such power? The spirit of the Lord is simply too powerful for our flesh unless we are changed.

Rev 1:7 – And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

These are a couple of examples. The Book of Mormon is full of examples of those who were wrought upon by the Spirit of the Lord and their bodies could not even handle such power. This power is going to return to the earth! Nephi said when the Spirit of God was upon him that he knew he could command water that it should be earth and it would be done, if it was God’s will. Of course we know intellectually that if God commanded to do anything we could do it, but Nephi knew because he was filled with the very power to do it!

This is the power that was given to Nephi and Lehi that no prison could hold them. They were in harmony with God and would desire nothing that God wouldn’t grant, because their desires matched the desires of God. It is my testimony that this power can be given to each of us, despite our weakness and fallen state. Our flesh must be sanctified though, and it is only through continually supplicating God for grace that anyone will ever obtain it. Is it enough to obtain the promise of redemption, or should we rather continue on until we hear the audible voice of God speak not only to our spirit, but also our body as He did to the brother of Jared, when He said that he was redeemed at that moment?

May God bless us all with grace, even though there is not a soul among us who deserves it. – Nate (Minorityofone)

 

113 Responses

  1. Interestingly enough, the gospel essentials class at the local LDS ward discussed this (the original topic was tithing), one of the home teaching elders taught it (original topic was gifts of Christmas), my girlfriend and I discussed it. And now you’ve posted about it Nate. I figure I’m supposed to learn more here… Also contacting one of my old missionaries to see what he thinks. This is exciting!

    Summarizing my understanding of your position:

    I’ve heard you say before that our obedience is not what brings the Spirit. The idea troubled me, but now I think I understand what you’re saying, so correct me if I’m wrong: We have no power to bring the Spirit to us personally. It’s not just our own actions that qualify us for any blessing. Only combined with Christ do we have that power. And we don’t take enough note of that. Am I right? I have a hard time understanding still. Might be my language, or logic…

    It seems so simple. But I notice how easy it is to take Christ out of the equation and ignore Him unless we truly understand those processes of faith and repentance personally. I think that I need to give appropriate thanks to Him much more often…I’ve forgotten His role quite a bit in the recent past.

    This is how I’ve personally understood the Atonement:

    Because of his calling as Christ and through the Atonement, Jesus enables and teaches us how to cleanse from sins by His power & fill those holes with His light, in order to become like him, being joint-heirs to receive the Father. Others still think we shall never repay debt to him, ever. I personally disagree. We have to qualify for the kingdom as He did somehow, right?

    The journey ahead:

    We, my girlfriend and I, realized yesterday in our discussion just how far we have to go. She has managed to look past the Telestial kingdom (they who are of Paul, and…some of John, and some of Moses…But received not…the testimony of Jesus) as have I, and looking forward to the terrestrial kingdom, and Celestial… After having received the Son, we must receive the Father. We are looking for the promised further light and knowledge and are beginning to receive some, hopefully soon by the hands of true messengers. It’s such a long path…Indeed, we have work to do. And I am glad that even when we have nothing, we have Christ. He is truly everything.

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    • Thank you, by the way, to everybody who writes on this site. There is a great deal of light about this community and receiving that Christian light enables me to go act so. Thanks for the participation.

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  2. Two papers I commend to the seeker.

    Cry Redemption: The Plan of Redemption as Taught in the Book of Mormon

    The True Points of My Doctrine

    I have found these two papers of immense value, and I hope you do too.

    I would also recommend this one for consideration.

    Salvation by Grace Alone?

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  3. What I am trying to suggest is that Christ qualified you for the kingdom of God. You didnt have the power to qualify yourself because even one sin disqualifies us forever.
    The Holy Ghost cleanses and purifies and sanctifies us after we have faith in Christ to receive it.
    Some questions that might help to think about. How obedient must one person be to receive the Holy Ghost? Obviously no one will be 100 percent obedient.
    I love the scripture “cry unto Him for mercy, for He is mighty to save”.
    His mercy and power are enough to save us DESPITE being unworthy.
    When we realize we are incapable of saving ourselves and have no power in us to grow spiritually, then if our desire is to grow, Christ will bless us with grace to grow.
    Pharisees were obedient outwardly to many things, yet inwardly they never exercised faith in the Messiah, so their obedience was actually sin. It was not counted unto them for good, or righteousness in any way.

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    • Dear MoO,

      I have a comment on moderation that I think contains things worthy of consideration.

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  4. Sure I would love to read it.

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    • That was the one – with the links.

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  5. If I may also proffer a view of grace – the word means, to me, “the ability to give a gift without desiring recompensation for it; the ability to give a gift without resentment of the use to which it is put; the ability to give a gift wholeheartedly; the ability to give a gift without judgement of the recipient.”

    Honestly, there’s gotta be a shorter way to say that. “The ability to completely give a gift,” or, maybe “the ability to give a good gift.”

    All of these fall short in language.

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    • I like that. And if we think of the word gift it is perfect. If someone earned grace it could not be called a gift, but rather it would have to be called payment.
      Also reminds me of a verse somewhere in the doctrine covenants about those who will not gladly receive grace from above who must go to lower kingdoms. They don’t truly want grace and so God will not give it to them because they would not rejoice in the gift, nor in the giver.
      People ultimately get exactly what they want. In the same section somewhere it says that the sons of perdition “rejoice” in returning to their own place. What an odd thought.

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      • Wait, what?. I thought I understood what you were saying until you said this:

        If someone earned grace it could not be called a gift, but rather it would have to be called payment.

        I was thinking we earned and deserved nothing. That God gives us grace and his spirit to be able to be righteous and do good works. Our part is bringing a broken heart, contrite spirit, and faith.

        But if we get anything, it is because of Him giving the gift that we do not even deserve.

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        • Yes sorry if my comment was confusing. You said it exactly right. What I was trying to say is that grace is called a gift for good reason.
          That is why the scriptures never call it payment because grace cannot be earned. It is given freely to those who see the need for it and place their trust in the only place it can be found.
          You said it much better than I did.

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  6. “22) For behold, because of Him we may become more than we are. Yea, because of His atonement, we may hope to emerge from darkness into the light of the day of His grace. Yea, and we have hope that our lives may account for a greater thing and a greater work. Behold, we may arise out of this darkness into a
    blessed state of happiness.
    23) And behold, He has provided that this life might be a type of the life that we shall enjoy hereafter. Yea, even in the midst of darkness, yet may we walk upon the Way with Him and see His face. And behold, walking with Him and in His way, we may be instructed in all things and emerge, putting down this clay and taking up great glory and exaltation.
    24) We shall not remain as we are but shall become even as He is. And if we are perfected in all things, then are we not made as the Father? Then are we not become as the Mother? And is this not a greater thing than we could ever imagine? Yea, is this not a blessing?
    25) For it is beyond hope that we could have overcome our natures without the assistance of Him who overcame all things. Yea, it is beyond hope that we could have, in this carnal, put away all carnality.
    Behold, it is beyond hope that we could have arisen with our mortality into immortality. Great is God and holy, for He has provided for us a way out of darkness.
    26) And behold, we shall rise into immortality and eternal life. Yea, because of His atonement, we shall cast aside all that is beastly. The night of our tribulation shall bring again the dawning of His glory in us. And we shall learn war no more. Surely, our swords shall we make into plowshares, and our spears into pruning hooks. And the science of war we shall teach no more unto our children. For the Lord is our
    vanguard and our rearguard. Yea, He shall go before us and we are girded up in His love.”

    How wonderful are these words that bring us to total reliance upon Him in whom all things shall rely. His merits are scripted in our behalf. How amazing you bring this piece, Nate, during this time of reflection. The Holy One of Israel will bring us to Him, not by our works but through our works we shall know Him; and, knowing Him will grant us residence with Him. God bless you.

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    • Yes, this is beautiful. Thank you.

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    • Sfort, What is the reference for your quote? Verses 22-26 of what?
      thanks
      Kast

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    • “The Holy One of Israel will bring us to Him, not by our works but through our works we shall know Him; and, knowing Him will grant us residence with Him.”

      I really like these words from sfort. We’ve been using the word “works” in these comments, but maybe using it doesn’t aide the conversation. The word “works” has a built in meaning that denotes that “we own or possess” them.

      Do we really have any ability to own or possess anything? If I am dependent upon my God for every breath, can I really claim that I own my “works.” Certainly I must acknowledge that, at the very least, the grace of God has given me the ability to make sacrifices in an attempt to come to know him. Can I do this ignorantly? Perhaps to a small degree but not to a fulness.

      Maybe we should have this conversation again and use the word sacrifice instead if “works.”

      I admit I am still trying to understand where Log is coming from. And don’t worry Log this is due to my own ignorance and stupidity.

      For my own clarification, can I ask a question? If you had to justify before God (at His judgment bar) why you should be admitted into His Family and Kingdom, what evidence would you submit?

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      • ATZ,

        I can’t answer your question as it stands. The question assumes too much. If I took it literally, my answer is none.

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      • And I guess to focus on the point on hand here is also a follow up question:

        If you were petitioning the Savior to make your garments white and to be your mediator before the Father, what would be your plea?

        Would you feel the need to cite to and claim ownership of works that you performed? Which specific works would you mention? What kind of error rate would the Savior allow before granting His grace? Would you have to perform that particular work perfectly?

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        • ATZ,

          All that can be done is to pray with all the energy of heart to be made clean.

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        • I would not put it quite like this today, but you might find this interesting.

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      • I also think that I have an inherent bias against claiming “works” are necessary for salvation (forgetting about the obvious scriptural mandate for works for a moment). The bias comes because I view works as something I own and am in control of and thus take the responsibility and credit for.

        Thus, I have a difficult time taking “credit” for saving myself–even if it a very small part. I know that this is an oversimplification, but this is a large part of my hang-up on not jumping on the “works” side of this conversation. If there was some way to reconcile this hang-up I’d be more willing to state unequivocally that works are a required part of salvation.

        The only credit I’d be willing to take is that I was willing to let Him be my God.

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        • AND… That’s probably my answer. Willingness to let Him be my God leads to works. Again, it’s not something I’d take credit for, because I wouldn’t have done the works if He wasn’t my God.

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  7. The whole faith, works, grace equation has been a stumbling block for us Gentiles. Something must have gotten lost in the translation or our understanding.

    Some of the following scriptures are hard to reconcile with each other:

    In the Lord shall all Israel be justified:Isa. 45:25; Not the hearers but the doers of the law shall be justified:Rom. 2:13; Man is justified through the blood of Christ:Rom. 5:1–2, 9; Ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus:1 Cor. 6:11;
    Being justified by his grace, we shall be made heirs:Titus 3:7; Was not Abraham our father justified by works?:James 2:21;
    By works a man is justified, and not by faith only:James 2:14–26; By the law no flesh is justified:2 Ne. 2:5; My righteous servant shall justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities:Mosiah 14:11; ( Isa. 53:11; ) Could ye say that your garments have been cleansed through Christ?:Alma 5:27; Justification through the grace of Jesus Christ is true:D&C 20:30–31; ( D&C 88:39; ) By the Spirit ye are justified:Moses 6:60;

    Here is how I try to reconcile them:

    Under the law, all men are cut off. No amount of works will justify our position before God. Our performance of the law will ALWAYS result in the death penalty (both temporal and spiritual).

    The scriptures that talk about faith and works as separate principles confuse me because I tend to view faith and works as the same thing. True faith manifests itself as the power to act. Faith, therefore, is the work. If the work isn’t there you don’t have faith.

    Performing works under the expectation of being justified before God are DEAD works. They will not lead to salvation, because they do not lead you to the grace and mercy of Christ.

    Thus, your faith in Christ (where true faith manifest itself as action) will be returned to you as His Grace.

    It is not about what do I need to do to qualify for His grace. He freely offers it. All He asks of us is to have faith in Him. I know, faith, as I am using it, is a LOADED word. Faith leads to sacrifice, and sacrificing leads to more faith. But it is His Grace that tells us what and how to sacrifice. His grace that gives us the breath and life and the ability to sacrifice.

    The only thing we can offer as WORKS is a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I believe everything else is done through His grace.

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    • That was a good example of pondering, scraping, groping, clawing and reaching out to consider this important topic. My congratulations.

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    • Awake to Zion

      Really good thoughts and way to show how multiple scriptures can be used to teach completely opposing things.

      An interesting note is that someone who is filled with grace will love to walk according to God’s will. Why would they care about the law when walking with God? Obedience will not even have to come to mind because obedience is it’s own reward. The person full of grace will love to serve and love to pray and study God’s word. Rarely will God give commandments that are not glorious to live. The difficult Abraham tests even eventually bring great joy.
      If a person continually finds themselves fighting the desire to sin and they see obedience as a chore it may well be an indication they are in need of grace.

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  8. Ok now

    Look at those words Sfort posted in his comment. I felt the Holy Ghost reading them.
    I don’t care if it was albus dumbledore who said them those words are true.
    The same things are in many places but the point is we must obtain the Spirit through faith, and then we will recognize truth when it is manifested.

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    • Nate, you realize that just saying that is the functional equivalent of saying we must narfle the garthok – jargon with no attachment to experience for the vast majority of humanity. Your imagined target audience already knows and has done it and needs no instruction in it.

      So.

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  9. But yes, I would have to say the Spirit attests to me what sfort posted.

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    • The only difference is I understood one and the language that you posted was that of a barbarian and I unfortunately did not have the interpretation of tongues during your comment : )
      Was that dwarfish?
      The vast majority of people according to nephi will not understand things that are written to them in plainness. I guess I can’t worry about it. If people don’t understand then I would imagine they are not accountable for what they couldn’t understand anyway.

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      • Then there’s no point to it.

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        • Ha ha that is classic old school.
          It wasn’t pointless to me though because I was edified…
          In the Book of Mormon some prophets were shown the Gentiles and saw that they clearly wouldn’t understand. Nephi saw his people destroyed, yet they sure tried to get their point across.
          Perhaps sharing is most often for the individual sharing. God doesn’t need me or anyone else. He could personally teach every human being. Can I alter the plan of the great God? Can I alter the course of the Mississippi River with my puny arm?
          If I speak or write God foresaw it and it fits into His plan as He planned it. I know that I am seeking to always follow the spirit, and have to always do introspection as everyone else does to see where my weakness yet needs to be turned into strength.
          If I have erred I still know where my trust lies and I continue to drink of mercy from day to day.

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        • Ah. Your target audience… is you.

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    • Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments!

      If we are observant, we realize that this life is a learning and progressing and proving state.

      We are commanded to be perfect even as Jesus is and our Father in Heaven.

      We are commanded to receive a fullness one step at a time through obedience and learning and being tried, tested and through learning and repenting.

      We are Justified through the pure life and atoning sacrifice of the Savior who was obedient in all things of the Father and was sent to show us the way.

      In James 5:20 it says: Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

      Also we learn something in the Temple Endowment about how we may become clean other that fro the washings if you recall.

      D&C 93 John, Speaking of the Savior

      13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;

      14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.

      20 For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.

      Enough said….Keep the Commandments to truly know Christ and The Father…for Jesus said – If ye do my will , ye shall know of my doctrine….

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      • Mc2dd

        How does one gain love for Christ according to the scriptures? It is by being born of God.
        How great the goodness of God and how merciful of Him to give grace to such “unworthy” creatures as us.
        How beautiful that God will pour love into our souls if we will but admit that our actions can never make is worthy.
        If and when we love Christ, then we WILL keep His commandments, before then we can’t possibly do it. This is my take from the scriptures which I pointed out in the post I wrote.

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  10. As an aside, if a man can give a good gift, that means he is not evil.

    And Sfort’s words clarified for me the meaning behind Snuffer’s first parable, and the role of works.

    Inasmuch as we give good gifts and do good works – miracles is too narrow a meaning to attach there – we show forth our desires and worthiness (readiness) to be made the sons of God.

    I speculate that if priesthood is, as section 107 shows, association with angels and gods, then the fulness thereof would be association with the Father; making a god in the flesh, a member of the council (see The Sod of YHWH and the Endowment and pay particular attention to Psalm 82 [Hamblin’s translation is inconsistent – elohim means “gods”]).

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    • Tim, this habit your comment system has of throwing any comment into moderation if it features 2 or more links is really annoying. If a post refers to two or more scriptures, the auto-scripture linker will perforce force a comment into moderation because of the links.

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      • Nate, can you fish those comments out of moderation?

        It is in doing the commandments and praying always, seeking further light and knowledge, that we come to understand the meaning behind the commandments, and the meaning of the ordinances.

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        • To be honest I don’t know how… I have never moderated anything and don’t know if I have access.
          That’s funny I thought when you said you had a comment on moderation that you meant you had a comment about the principle of moderation.
          Hopefully Tim will get it out so we can discuss it, or maybe you could copy and paste it into a new comment or something…

          Like

        • If you’re logged into wordpress, at the top bar you should see a “2”. That means there’s 2 comments in moderation. Click on the “2” and it should bring you to the comments. The rest should be relatively straightforward.

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  11. I am greatly humbled after reading this post Nate! I am reminded of where it all started for me as you and I discussed often being saved by grace and not by works. in the past year I have been guilty of relying on my own strength at times and if I could just remember that it is simply because of the grace that anything comes I would be better off. Like we say everything happens for a reason and God has been teaching us all and guiding us to where we need to be. We are Christs sheep and I know he won’t allow any of his sheep to be lost.
    The gospel is so so simple. I pray that I won’t forget this and the remembrance will stay with me. The best example of the simplicity of the gospel and us being saved by grace is a story about a Korean boy that came to America recently. This story changed the way I looked at faith, grace and works also the way I looked at the LDS church.
    The Korean boy came to LDS business college as an exchange student. He had not ever heard of God let alone Jesus Christ. He had to take religion classes because they were required. The proffesior was warned about him and was told he knew nothing so it would be best to ease him into things. When they started the year everyone but him was LDS. In his first class he saw a picture of Jesus on the wall and asked the proffessior who the man was in the picture. He said is that your president of your church.? The proffessior did not know how to respond. They then started to read in the book of Mormon and they read about Jesus christ and the atonement. The Korean boys raised his hand and asked a question that blew everyone away. He asked in the most humble manner saying, are you telling me that God is able to forgive us of ALL of our sins? Jesus christ is able to change us through this atonement?
    He was so intrigued and interessed in this new concept of God and his son Jesus Christ. A couple of weeks past while he thought about things. After a couple of weeks he came to class and the class was having testimony meeting so any student was able to get up and share. This Korean boy asked his proffessior if he would be able to get up and share something. The proffessior was a little bit nervous and reluctant to say yes, thinking that this boy was so new and knew nothing about the gospel. The proffessior agreed and the Korean boy got up and said I now know that God lives! I know that Jesus Christ is his son! I know that I can be forgiven of all of my sins. I know this because I asked God. I asked God if he was real and he answered me!
    It was so simple to this Korean boy. All he did was ask with sincere heart and he received. He did not need years of study. He did not need to be a member of the church. He did not have to work hard or change his ways yet he had experienced and learned something that probably most all of his classmates did not know truly for themselves. Christ lead him to asking with his sincere heart. It is this simpleness and humility that I pray I can have everyday. I want to be able to rely on Christ and trust whole heartedly the way this boy did. My pride gets in my way at times and I think I need to do something to deserve things rather than just trusting in God and his Son Jesus Christ.
    Thank you my brother Nate for bringing me back to my roots with this post. God is truly merciful to us sinners and blesses us with things we will never ever deserve.

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    • Thank you for this. I loved it.

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  12. God’s grace is implicit in the golden rule. All requests should be granted that do not themselves break the golden rule, and reciprocity is not expected nor desired.

    By doing so ourselves, we come to understand the grace of God, for we possess it.

    For that reason, I don’t understand why the word “deserve” keeps getting used.

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    • … because judgement is implicit in “deserve.”

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    • 4 And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.

      5 And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.

      6 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.

      7 And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.

      8 Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.

      Why do we keep the commandments? We know not until we are told.

      Thus, this.

      18 ¶Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

      19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

      20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

      21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

      22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

      23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

      To be as Christ, we do as he did.

      God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

      Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

      31 ¶When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

      32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

      33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

      34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

      35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

      36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

      37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

      38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

      39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

      40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

      41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

      42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

      43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

      44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

      45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

      46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

      Have ye an inkling where those angels who stand guard as sentinels, asking for the key words, signs, and tokens, may be standing?

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      • Again log

        Very clearly according to the scriptures all is accounted unto us as evil if we do not exercise faith unto repentance.
        We cannot begin to serve God without first obtaining the Spirit. I know your opinion on the tokens and not selling them for money by giving to those that ask.
        When God soon destroys the wicked none of them will want it in their current state. It will seemingly defy the golden rule unless one has higher understanding, and that higher understanding can’t come without revelation, which can’t come without faith and grace.
        Nephi didn’t break the golden rule at all in killing Laban. He did what Laban would have wanted if Laban would have had understanding.
        If I am a drug addict on the street often I will not have the power to even know what I want because I will not be thinking clearly enough to know.
        For instance log, if a homeless person comes and grasps your arm and says, “log, there is a heroine supplier just a block away, will you please go get me a needle full right now?”
        According to what you have written how would you proceed?

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        • Nate,

          Why do you ask me what I would do?

          The only answer that matters is what you would do. And, remember, how you answer and judge and act is how you shall be dealt with.

          But… since you asked, why not tell you. I would not buy the person drugs as that violates the counsel of God unless God so directed me.

          Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.

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        • Btw

          Money will not allow this person to get his heroine. Johnny the drug dealer will kill him if he comes back and he has no friends to get it for him EXCEPT LOG!

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        • Sucks to be him.

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        • MINO—You are flat out Wrong…If you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are in the service of God. There are plenty of good people out there who love their family and serve them and would die for them and they are serving a God they are temporarily veiled from and currently have no knowledge of. When a child goes to school for the first time, does he go straight to studying university or college level subjects…? No, he begins at the beginning, The law of Moses was prerequisite to the Grace of Christ. Christ fulfilled the law and the prophets. I think you are operating under some idea of predestination just because God has a perfect plan and all things are know until Him ahead of time. This (Predestination) is a teaching of darkness, plain and simple and can not and does not give light or edification. We have Free Agency and are here to be proven and tested and tried and afflicted and put through the Refiners Fire. I agree with Log and his argument.

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        • Mcd22

          If predestination is a teaching of darkness why is it in the bible? And why didn’t joseph smith change it in JST?
          Predestination misunderstood is darkness. Any doctrine misunderstood is.

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      • This is why what people believe doesn’t matter.

        And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

        It matters very much what we do, and what moves us – but I have no control over what moves others. All I can do is persuade and encourage people to do the works of the Lord by keeping the golden rule.

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  13. Nate,

    Since you have asked me, it must therefore needs be the case that you have done to me what you would have done to you.

    Therefore, let me ask some questions.

    A junkie with a golden arm asks you not to buy the drugs for them, but asks instead for $5. They are very direct about why they want the money. Do you give them the money?

    One of your children chooses to try heroin and through the process of experimentation becomes an addict and a fornicator, getting tattoos and piercings and starts stealing from you to feed their habits which, thankfully, s/he is discreet enough to do outside of the house. What do you do?

    I know what God says and does, but what do you say?

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  14. Log

    That is exactly my point! You could not know what to do except by revelation, and revelation is not obtained without faith and grace. Not so clear now about simply granting everyone’s requests I guess.
    Here is another real life scenario. Darnit I have been giving money to everyone that asks, and now my wife has told me that I need to stop giving them money even if they are angels standing as sentinels because we won’t be able to pay for preschool.
    Ok so when the next homeless person comes and sincerely asks me for money, should I grant the request or honor my wife’s request? By the way the homeless person declares himself to be an angel standing as a sentinel, I don’t know if he has recently read this blog or not but wow, that is interesting.
    The golden rule cannot possibly be lived correctly without revelation. It would take revelation to know that God would not want you to break the law in our first scenario.

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    • Nate,

      Your point and mine are not the same. I do not understand why you speak in a manner which appears to justify judgement. I do not understand why you speak as though your purpose was to controvert what I say rather than to understand what I say. Why do you do that? Why do you appear to trouble yourself with my beliefs? Why do you not ask rather what the fruits have been? Why do you offer philosopher’s logic-chopping scenarios which – at least in my life – haven’t arisen? Isn’t that how the pharisees approached the law of Moses, for which Jesus upbraided them?

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      • AMEN LOG

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  15. My answer is the same in each case. I pray to God and He tells me what to do. Period. I do not rely in what He may or may not have said to someone 2000 years ago, or 200 years ago.
    The only way to know is by revelation. We often have multiple people asking us to do conflicting things in this life and only can get by with revelation.
    I might as well ask if a person comes and asks if I will please go back to their apartment to have sex. Not illegal! Obviously no because the first commandment trumps all, but I cannot live the first commandment without actually being born again. It always goes back to receiving the atonement by faith.

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    • 26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

      27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

      28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

      29 But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.

      Nevertheless, do as you will.

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  16. The prioritizing of requests, for me, if anyone cares, is this.

    1. Heaven
    2. Family
    3. Employer
    4. Govt.
    5. Anyone else

    The default position, in absence of contrary revelation, is to do what the scriptures teach – that’s why they’re there, why writing was given to man – to expand our capacity to remember the words of God. Any conflicts in requests are resolved in favor of the lower number.

    So, the direction of heaven takes precedent over my wife, over my life, over my children’s lives, over my parents. And so on.

    And heaven has asked that I give unto them that ask – without judging the purposes for which they shall put my gift – and to not turn away them that would borrow of me, but rather lend without hoping to see a return.

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    • Ok log

      Let me very clearly state that you cannot know that you cannot know that anything you are saying is true without revelation. You cannot know that the scriptures are true without revelation. You cannot receive revelation without faith and grace. It ALWAYS goes back to faith in Christ. You cannot know that the golden rule is true without revelation.
      God once told me to seek revelation from the Holy Ghost in all important decisions. That trumps even the scripture you quoted. If God told me to set aside the scriptures and do what He told me from then on then I would gladly set aside the scriptures. If God told me to stop worrying about living the golden rule because the golden rule is the law and He that has the spirit is not under the law, then great.
      Again Log, all actions are accounted to us as evil without faith and the Spirit. That is taught in the scriptures. Behavior alone cannot change our spirituality.

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      • Nate,

        We’re back to what seems to me to be a fundamental problem in your approach.

        Those who don’t understand faith and grace do understand WHAT TO DO. Through doing people can come to understanding.

        Those who do understand DON’T NEED YOU. And your personal directives don’t matter to me, and I don’t need your justifications or claims to revelation in explanation for why you do what you do. I don’t care. You’re a big boy. Do what you do and care not for what men say. Sheesh. I don’t spend time justifying myself to men because I could not care less what anyone’s opinion of me is. I give explanations – not justifications – when I am asked, or when I feel there is a larger audience whose concerns need to be addressed, even if they’re not stated.

        To even utter the words “the golden rule is true” is to say purple is fuzzy. What???

        Dissuade none from well-doing.

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        • And if giving $5 to a junkie is an important decision… well. Ok.

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    • True That Log

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  17. Can any one say “The Light of Christ” ?

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  18. Mc2dd

    Thank you for aiding to what I said. The light of Christ will guide us in knowing how to live. We do not need to reason out the golden rule ever because it ought to be written in out hearts. That is what I have been trying to tell log now for some time, and anything that truly is difficult we can obtain by revelation. That is it.

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  19. How much revelation does it require to understand the directive to do to everyone else what you wish people would do to you?

    It requires none. But by even making the attempt, the agent shows trust in Christ; sufficent trust even to perform the experiment and take the obvious losses that will occur.

    Now, who benefits should people be discouraged or dissuaded from making the attempt until they have voiced assent to a dogmatic creed?

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    • Or it shows trust in Laotzi or Siddhartha Gautama or any number of other people who taught the golden rule.
      It doesn’t take much revelation at all. That’s the point. You write comment after comment and essay after essay on the subject with all sorts of complexities that just seem to confuse people log.
      From my perspective it is you who attempts to make it seem much more difficult than it is. How hard is it to say, “follow the spirit in every matter”. You are writing so much on how to live the letter of the law and the letter killeth.
      We have had this discussion. I know you think teaching behavior to people will act as a schoolmaster. The golden rule is taught from elementary school up and is taught in just about every religion I can think of. Without tapping into grace, people can behave according to the golden rule and it will never exalt anyone.

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      • Nate,

        How is it that giving a junkie $5 is apparently an important decision to you, but controverting me appears to not be an important decision to you?

        If the uniqueness of the golden rule – and, let us be clear, the golden rule is “whatever you want others to do to you, do to them” – were any kind of relevant issue, then I’d address it. It never strikes you as noteworthy that variations of the golden rule – “whatever you don’t want done to you, don’t do to others” – is nearly unversally known?

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        • Log,
          Your comments and arguments are just what you are asking for and it falls right into your belief system. The golden rule for you here is argue with Nate because you want an argument in return. Do you aregue with yourself if no one is around? Do into others as you would do into yourself. If all you would want to do to yourself is argue then I don’t see the golden rule helping out any in this situation. You need grace from God in order for this to be changed not the golden rule otherwise you are going to be on the never ending cycle of arguing with yourself for eternity.

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        • I’m sorry, TR, I’m not sure you know what I’m talking about, or why.

          So, before I attempt an explanation, if you would, please, tell me what you think I’m saying, and why you think I’m saying it. Then I will be in a position to give you something relevant.

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        • Are you not in a position to reply now? Do you not understand what I wrote? It seems pretty clear to me. I am talking about you in general and what I have read the last 6 months. the majority of your comments have been very argumentative and you seem to look for ways to kill any sort of ediification. Is this what you would have done to yourself? If it is then your golden rule theory is only getting you so far.

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  20. Nate, you seem to think I am reasoning out the golden rule, or that I require such reasoning.

    Those in whose heart the law has been written don’t need the explanation.

    For any others, such an explanation hopefully might serve to cause greater contemplation of the law with the hopeful result that they might begin to apply it of their own volition with greater diligence or in areas they haven’t been heretofore and thus begin to sow good for an eventual harvest of good.

    Your philosophers’ logic chopping rebuttals serve no good purpose. I speak this plainly.

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    • They serve the purpose of showing people that to live according to a set of pharisaic rules will get them nowhere and they must seek grace and revelation in order to ever find Christ.
      That is the purpose of me asking questions that cannot be easily answered by the golden rule.
      Paul spoke on the same subject over and over again trying to explain that works are meaningless without faith and grace. Jesus taught the same thing tirelessly to the Pharisees. The thing is you know this! Why teach behavior instead of preaching faith in Christ? It makes no sense to me even by your own reasoning.

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      • Nate,

        Then you have spent too much time reading to controvert me, rather than understand what I am saying.

        Whenever Christ opened his mouth to speak to those who followed him, it was almost always to discourse on the golden rule.

        Why do you think that is? Did you read the papers I linked to? At least, even, the abstracts?

        Do you not yet understand that faith is an empty word – largely meaning “belief without evidence” – to those who have none and have not experienced it? Do you not yet understand that grace cannot be comprehended by the carnal? Do you not yet understand – or can you hear this – that people can come to understanding by doing?

        Why is it you do not hear? Why?

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  21. A man who has no faith in Christ will NOT do unto others what he wishes were done to him.

    He cannot, for he doesn’t trust the Lord enough to give to everyone who asks, and to lend, hoping for nothing again.

    He doesn’t trust the Lord enough to turn the other cheek rather than revile.

    He doesn’t trust the Lord enough to do good to them that hate them, pray for those that persecute him,

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    • … and so on and so forth. By doing you exercise faith – trust in the Lord. By doing you come to know the Lord.

      JST, James 2:14–21.
      Compare James 2:14–22
      14 What profit is it, my brethren, for a man to say he hath faith, and hath not works? can faith save him?

      15 Yea, a man may say, I will show thee I have faith without works; but I say, Show me thy faith without works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

      16 For if a brother or sister be naked and destitute, and one of you say, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled; notwithstanding he give not those things which are needful to the body; what profit is your faith unto such?

      17 Even so faith, if it have not works is dead, being alone.

      18 Therefore wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead and cannot save you?

      19 Thou believest there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble; thou hast made thyself like unto them, not being justified.

      20 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

      21 Seest thou how works wrought with his faith, and by works was faith made perfect?

      14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

      15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

      16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

      17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.

      18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

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      • Thank you for saying that faith leads to doing works. That is what I said in the post above. It all comes back to what I already said so I don’t know why you have to continually circulate it when we both agree the first principle is faith.
        I no longer desire to discuss this because ultimately it will always return to the same thing.
        Works do not always lead to understanding and you know it. The Pharisees were full of what most of the world would consider to be “well doing”.
        We do not need to rehash this so I won’t do it anymore.

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        • Nate,

          You do not answer my questions. You do not relevantly respond when I point out – and you know I’m correct – that those who have never tasted of faith have no clue what you’re talking about – while those who have tasted of it don’t need you.

          You appear intent on building a doctrinal structure, to meddle with beliefs. I’m trying to help people to do what will be of use to them, that which bears fruit unto God.

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        • Which course is wisdom? Well, let us wait and see what your harvest is.

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        • Log

          I haven’t built anything not do I have the power to do so. I have written what God has told me. That is all. Of course I may not always have the most eloquent style in expressing it but I know whereof I speak or write.

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        • Nate,

          Once again, don’t even worry about it. Without common vocabulary, without a common goal, without a common knowledge bank, without willingness to submit one’s teachings to the scriptures as Joseph taught, without willingness to even examine what others have brought to the table, and with the trump card in play – “I’m prophesying here!” – there seems little point to continuing.

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        • Mino,
          Of course works can lead to greater understanding.
          “If you do my will , ye shall know of my doctrine”

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        • Mc2dd,

          I do not wish to argue but I will answer this. I don’t know if this will be a repeat comment or not but in order to do the will of God, we first have to know the will of God, and in order to truly know, we must receive revelation. In order to receive revelation we need to exercise faith and obtain grace.
          Abraham was justified by his works only because the works (sacrificing Isaac), were told to him from God. He didn’t decide one day to just go kill his kid, God of course revealed to him that he must do that.
          He had obtained revelation and grace before he could be commanded by God, and then He did what God told him to do.

          Like

  22. And just something to ponder on

    My boss is a wonderful boss. He treats everyone fairly and respectfully. He has a quote in his office.
    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
    He has tried his best to live by this rule for his whole life and seems to do a great job. All who know him will attest to it.

    This man is also an atheist. He believes the idea of Jesus comes from Greek mythology and laughs at the idea of the Son of God.

    I am not making this up I think of you log every time I see the quote hanging in his office.

    Like

    • I agree it is worth pondering on. See Matthew 25 and D&C 1. And thus we see the power of the Lord’s word, even among them who do not, in words, confess him explicitly.

      Like

    • Every Knee shall bow and everyone will confess..He is no atheist.

      Like

  23. The Revenger says:

    Are you not in a position to reply now? Do you not understand what I wrote? It seems pretty clear to me. I am talking about you in general and what I have read the last 6 months. the majority of your comments have been very argumentative and you seem to look for ways to kill any sort of ediification. Is this what you would have done to yourself? If it is then your golden rule theory is only getting you so far.

    If I understand this properly, it amounts to “Log, I’ve been reading your comments for 6 months. Log, I think you’re an argumentative jerk who kills the Spirit and I am never edified by anything you say. Log, I also think you’re a hypocrite.”

    Do I have this right?

    Like

    • No need to answer that, Revenger. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, and if you don’t know why, then it’s not for you.

      Be happy.

      Nate, as Sfort said, it is by doing that we come to know the Lord. If you’re going to teach faith, then you had ought to be teaching men to cry mightily unto Christ until they shall have faith in him and, in the interim, to not be weary of well-doing.

      I actually find the story of your atheist boss to be quite encouraging. Thanks for sharing that.

      I wish I knew what more to say.

      Like

      • Log,

        I am as happy as could be and I promise you that you are the last one I would give my happiness away to. You can read into things however you would like. I see you as a lost and unhappy person who is looking to argue his way into the truth. You don’t have the truth on this matter and I am very sorry. I pray that you will learn the most basic principle that you and I are worthless. We don’t earn a thing and we will be forever indebted to God. We are saved by grace before and after everything we can do. I will prophecy to you right this moment log as I am being filled with the spirit on the matter. You will soon receive a great spiritual manifestation where you will learn of your nothingness. You will learn how much God loves you and god will show you because he loves you very much and sees your pain. He will show you that its not because of anything you will have done but it is because of grace and truth. God bless

        Like

  24. Incidentally, to anyone this applies, because I seem to see sides being taken, which is not my intent, and I don’t think it’s Nate’s intent either – there’s no need to take sides.

    If what I write, or if what Nate writes, does not edify you, or if you feel we are in error on whatever point, well, try to persuade us if you can, but first see if you can understand what we are saying and why, and from there you’ll know better how to approach us. Without doing that, miscommunications will most likely ensue.

    It is particularly difficult when there is not a public set of common assumptions or knowledge that all acknowledge and can refer to in discussion. Sometimes words don’t link up as normal because the meaning is not held in common between two parties – the word “grace,” for example, does not seem to be held in common between Nate and I, and while I offered my definition, I don’t know that Nate has accepted it, which compromises the utility of any discussion we might have on the subject. So also is it with many things between us.

    Like

    • Log

      For the record everything I have taught is right out of what you call the standard works. The common assumption that we do not both hold is that I know as well as anything that joseph smith never taught the fulness of the gospel.
      I have not contradicted the scriptures in anything I have taught since I began posting. The problem seems to be that it does not jive with what the LDS church has taught for nearly 200 years and so to you it is unfathomable and you have insinuated that what I have shared must be from my own intellect and making.
      I am telling you right now that I haven’t shared one thing in the posts I have written that I haven’t obtained by revelation. There are many others that have acquired the same knowledge from God, many of them I didn’t know before I started writing.
      If you think it is simply coming from me or I am deceived that is your choice and judgement and it frankly doesn’t matter to me. It is up to you to judge righteously and I will always follow what I know to be God over anyone else. Either way I still consider you a friend and respect people of all belief systems.

      Like

      • Nate,

        When I said:

        Once again, don’t even worry about it. Without common vocabulary, without a common goal, without a common knowledge bank, without willingness to submit one’s teachings to the scriptures as Joseph taught, without willingness to even examine what others have brought to the table, and with the trump card in play – “I’m prophesying here!” – there seems little point to continuing.

        I meant it. You don’t need to justify yourself to me. In fact, I would prefer you don’t.

        I understand you think I’m wrong – correlated, hidebound, or whatever – and that you’re right – by divine fiat, perhaps, since you appear to say all your words are direct from the mouth of God – and that’s fine. Indeed, that would imply that I am speaking against the Holy Ghost while you speak purely by the Holy Ghost, since you and I disagree – somewhere – and you’re right.

        I got it the first time. Oh, believe me, I got it.

        Like

        • Log

          You have put words into my mouth. Obviously you can’t speak against the Holy Ghost if the Holy Ghost has not told you the things I have shared are true.
          I know you well enough to know that if the Holy Ghost did tell you they were true you wouldn’t deny it.

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        • Nate,

          Well, that is one way to interpret things.

          Please let me know if I have left anything off this list.

          1. Log is speaking against the Holy Ghost, since Nate is speaking by the Holy Ghost in all of his utterances, including the comment to which I am currently replying.
          2. Log has not received, or does not have, the Holy Ghost to be able to discern Nate’s prophesying by the power and authority of the Spirit.
          3. Log is lying.
          4. The Spirit does not testify of Nate’s words to Log, therefore Nate speaks without authority.

          Does this reasonably exhaust the possibilities?

          What, by the way, have I denied?

          Like

        • To be clear, once this list is complete, one of the conclusions therein must be the logical implication of your position.

          So, please – and don’t spare my feelings, as I’m a big boy – which one is it?

          Like

  25. Thanks for the link on BofF. I’m either a Lamanite and “knew it not” or have not had this happen yet for me. So, I’m still working on it.

    I think this conversation also fits well with the Parable of the Good Samaritan. And I’ll have to admit Log, that your admonishment can’t be summarily dismissed for Christ specifically says: “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (when speaking of the law of loving God and your neighbor–the golden rule). However, I think Christ is trying to teach something more… I don’t think the lesson of Christ stopped at the knee-jerk common sense answer from the wicked lawyer.

    Loving God and loving our neighbor (performing the law) will only lead us to the realization that we are not the Good Samaritan, we are actually the man who fell among thieves. This man does not “do” anything to merit the compassion of the Good Samaritan.

    Christ chose the personalities of the Levite and Priest to show us that the law does not actually save us. Christ is the only one with the oil and wine.

    Is this only an excuse of mine to NOT perform the law? I know you well enough that you would not take a position on the matter.

    I think we both agree that the law must be fulfilled, but I guess we are not currently not using the same words to describe the manner in which it is fulfilled.

    Like

    • Awesome thought on the Good Samaritan.
      Another thought is that in order to actually obtain the love of God and love for our neighbor we have to receive a remission of sins. This is found in 1 John and Mosiah and Moroni 8 and elsewhere.
      I truly believe that in order to keep the first two commandments we have to be given that love from God. I forget the scripture but it says something to the affect that it is not that we love God, but that He loved us first.
      I totally agree with the thought that we are the ones on the wayside. Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  26. Log

    You have left off the possibility that you have not been told by the Holy Ghost whether what I have written is true or false, and therefore you do not know for yourself either way.
    The Holy Ghost will not confirm something that we will not open our hearts to. God will rarely force the truth in anyone. You have already admitted you have an assumption concerning things. That assumption also implies that certain things do not need to be considered because they contradict your assumption, and therefore you never need to open your heart to it.
    I kind of am getting the idea that your comments have ill intent to make me appear a certain way because you are ticked off and do not want to have a civil discussion. Perhaps we should just agree to drop this and not comment on eachother’s posts from here on out so we don’t continually butt heads. Can you agree to that?

    Like

    • Nate,

      You have selected option 4, and are attempting to spin it as the hardness of my heart rather than your lack of authority. I appreciate that. Of course, I have a different perspective.

      Please, where have I been anything less than civil?

      And I note that I have asked many other questions you have not answered.

      I will ask one of them again: what have I denied? Please quote me, if you please.

      Like

      • Log

        You and I have had this same type of discussion on line multiple times, and in private and it seems to be the never ending discussion between us.
        If you want to have a discussion about principles and doctrine I am all for it but if you want to talk about individuals and their behavior then I don’t care to talk about it. If you find discussions like this to be uplifting and feel like you are speaking unto edification then I commend you but I have never really perceived that that is what you are trying to do.
        I do not want to talk about who is right or wrong in this discussion and who did what or was civil or would not answer questions. I am not interested. I am not interested in a scholarly debate on logic or who can verbally one up the other.
        You know where I stand on the doctrine and obviously I have let you know that I will not be moved by any human being on gospel subjects. I will never deny what I have experienced and if you want to try to make that out to be arrogance or ignorance or anything other than what it is that is your choice. You have already said beliefs and orthodoxy doesn’t matter but then you say I am meddling with people’s beliefs as if you should care. This is all I have to say. You can take all of the comments you want to let me know how you really feel about all of it. Your friend – Nate

        Like

        • So, if I am hearing you correctly, you decline to say I am wrong on any particular point. You also decline to say I have been uncivil. You also decline to say what I have denied. You also tell me you’re not interested in a host of things I never mentioned. Great. We’re both not interested in those things.

          You seem to be under the misapprehension that I am trying to change your beliefs, or care about your experiences, or are otherwise seeking to get you to deny whatever you have received. I don’t meddle with others’ beliefs. I don’t deny others’ experiences. Why should I?

          I haven’t spoken of “doctrine,” even.

          So what have I said, exactly, that you disagree with?

          Like

  27. Log and Karl,

    The way I view things is a little different from what either of you obviously believe. Let me explain how I feel this world is. We are all like 3 year old kids down on earth that know nothing and have experienced nothing when it comes to comparing ourselves to our heavenly parents. A 3 year old boy here on earth believes he knows things and is anxious to help his mom and dad out and make them proud of him when he “helps”. The parents will encourage him and of course love him unconditionally in an ideal situation. The child may believe that if he does more or works harder then he is gaining more love and respect from his father and mother but the child just simply needs to know that he is loved no matter what he does.
    The story of the prodigal son comes to mind. The brother that stayed with the father worked and labored the whole time while the prodigal son ran off. When the prodigal son ran off and realized that he was lost and was better with his father he was desired to go home but was scared and too prideful so he decided to go even lower feeding off of the corn husks. When he was finally brought to the lowest of lows he decided to go back to his father and beg for forgiveness. When he approached his father his father did not make him beg or work for his respect, love, or forgiveness. He ran towards his son and welcomed him with open arms. He threw the grandest feast for him and showed nothing but love for his son.
    We all became the prodigal son when we came to earth and when we get back to father and mother they won’t say we did not do enough. They won’t make us beg for forgiveness. They will accept us with open arms.
    I see Jesus christ as our guide. He was sacrificed and sent here to show us that we want to go home. He is like the older brother to the 3 year old that is grown up and experienced. Jesus christ is going to take all of us 3year holds that’s are willing to hold his hand and trust that he will take us back to an all forgiving father who loves us unconditionally and always has.
    It to me is that simple. This world is lonely and we need to do no works other than trust our older brother who has walked this course an infinate ammount of times.
    Those parents here on earth that make their children believe they need to work or do something to gain their respect and love are only damaging their children’s view of their heavenly parents and christ.
    The one thing I know is christ is the way and we only need to turn and look and he will take us home. I know that my parents here on earth and my heavenly parents love me unconditionally deep down and will accepts always. I just pray that once I have been taken home by christ that I can be used to help others find that way back but I can’t take people back if I haven’t been back myself. I will just be the blind leading the blind.
    in the end God is good and Christ is soon to come to take us to the father.
    god bless

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  28. TR,

    What is it you believe I obviously believe? What is it you believe Karl obviously believes? What are you addressing?

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    • Log,

      Tell me what you believe because the way I have been reading it is you believe we have to do certain things in order to obtain faith or do certain things to earn Christs presence. In your opinion how do we see christ? How do we obtain grace? What is grace in your opinion?

      Like

      • TR – if you will review all of the comments I have made under this post, including reading the papers I linked to, then I will answer your questions.

        Like

    • I don’t think I even made any comments on this blog, so I’d be interested in knowing what TR is objecting here too.

      Like

      • Karl,

        my apologies. I was addressing a different Karl on this blog who is hidden behind a screen name.

        Like

  29. Nate,

    It sure seems like you’re trying to get under Log’s skin and trip him up. To be honest, even before Tim changed his blog format, it seemed that you were trying to do so on some of your comments.

    One thing has really bothered me, along with your words toward Log (who I’ve never met by the way) and that is your accusations leveled at Joseph Smith for adultery.

    I’ve looked at several posts that you made since joining LDSFF and you write of Joseph Smith as an adulterer, which is a pretty serious accusation to say the least.

    Interestingly, these posts come from multiple threads, which have led me to wonder what your motivation has been in writing these accusations on multiple posts.

    Here’s the thing, even IF that is correct and you received that revelation from the source you claim, what is the point in belaboring Joseph Smith on that site in such a manner? The Lord has made it abundantly clear Himself that Joseph was flawed and needed correction and chastisement on a number of occasions.

    I have gone to the Lord in prayer about Log(he can be annoying online), as well as Joseph Smith and received clear answers.

    I have no animosity toward you Nate, but I’ve noticed these patterns and a red alert alarm is ringing in my head.

    Like

    • The point that I like people to consider on ldsff or elsewhere is that there is a huge double standard for people.
      People all over many of these blogs call brigham young evil and an adulterer and all sorts of vile things and cast a lot of blame for what has gone wrong on him, and rarely do people have alarm bells raised for it or even respond to it.
      Yet if someone suggests that joseph smith slipped up and committed adultery with fanny alger or through polygamy people go ballistic. They exalt joseph smith above any other human being as if every prophet is fallible except him.
      I can imagine that you have seen this on many blogs. I have been very open that I know david whitmer to be a great prophet and that polygamy has never been commanded.
      Does it ring an alarm bell for you that people have called david whitmer and oliver cowdery “fallen” and in the wrong for almost 200 years? Does it hit you the same way as it does to suggest that joseph messed up?
      The reason I bring it up is not to take away from the restoration it is to point out that people claim to not trust in men but that does not seem to apply to joseph smith for some reason.
      I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and that joseph smith was a prophet, and that he practiced polygamy, and that polygamy was never commanded. People cringe at the thought but why should they? Salvation never came from joseph smith in the first place and never will.

      Like

    • Elvis is in the house…I too have noticed those things you brought up.

      Like

      • Idaniba,

        Have you had enough fun yet?

        Like

  30. And sadly I shouldn’t use the word polygamy as I have pointed out. This is the other reason I have brought it up on a few different occasions is because technically joseph never practiced polygamy because he was never married to those women.
    In my daily walk and conversation I rarely bring up joseph smith or polygamy and I just talk about the gospel. I should probably do better at avoiding the topic because like you said it isn’t necessarily faith promoting but if some people could realize it is possible that not everything joseph taught was true it could help them tremendously in my opinion. I understand people’s concerns though. Not too long ago I would not have even considered such things and it was never a possibility that I would have liked to be true, but if that is what it took for God to teach me never to trust in men I am grateful for it.
    Btw I have prayed about log as well. After I was argumentative once with him I prayed and needed to repent and God told me log has a good soul. I know that. It doesn’t mean I agree with him in everything which is very plain to us both:)

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  31. Just one thing. You guys have been posting back and forth like crazy. When I tried to make 3 posts within a 15 minute period, my 3rd post was blocked with this comment:

    You are posting too much. Slow down.

    Or something like that. And my post never appeared.

    Not only are you guys smart, you must be magic posters too, with special “keys” to boot.

    Like

    • Lizzy

      So sorry. It should have read “Nate is making way too many comments and clogging up the commenting section”. Thanks for your patience

      Like

      • Oh no MinorityofOne. That wasn’t my intent at all to shackle your lively conversation.

        In fact the comment of mine that got snuffed out (because of my apparent over zealousness in posting—3 whole times—) was a comment in reply to you.

        It was a compliment on how much your posts made me think, and how they had added much to my life.

        There, I finally got to say it. And it’s true.

        Cheers!

        Like

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