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"Let Your Light So Shine," Matthew 5:3-16

Matthew 5:3-16

These verses are ringing out in my ears this morning as a cry for repentance.

Alma 60:23 - "...Remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also."

Revisiting these brief statements of hope, I paused on "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." The Savior doesn't offer much explanation on how this would happen or why or anything of the sort. But then I cross referenced footnotes until I arrived at Isaiah 60:20. I went back and read the entire chapter. Doing so, it becomes clearly evident that those who ever had cause to mourn, will -- in some great future day-- never have cause to mourn again.

Understanding this also gives pause to lessen the pains of present challenges.

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This brings us to consider one of the great oxymorons of  Christ's teachings:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father…
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"To Proclaim the Acceptable Year of the Lord," Luke 4:19, Isaiah 61:2

Luke 4:19(15-30), Isaiah 61:2

In the the book of Luke, the Savior proclaims His divine sonship and he is rejected by those of his hometown. The verse of scripture that he chooses to quote from Isaiah compels me to consider just how merciful our God really is with us.

I cross-referenced the Spanish translation of "acceptable year of the Lord." In Spanish, it is literally translated as the "year of the good will of Jehovah." I had wondered what this might have meant. Then there is a footnote from the reference in Luke that confirms what Christ is saying: "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." (John 12:47)

There it is. Christ is come to redeem us. Judgment is not the purpose of our existence. Why do we feel the need to condemn, to criticize, and to destroy?

"For In Such an Hour as Ye Think Not," Matthew 24:36-51

Matthew 24:36-51,

At the end of this chapter, the Savior is discoursing on the time of his Second Coming. This proceeds the three parables about the end of times: the virgins, the talents, and the sheep and goats.

In JST-Matthew 1:39-40, it talks of how the elect will see the signs of his coming, but that ultimately, no one knows when that day shall come except that we are told that it will come when we do not expect to see it. It will be "business as usual" until the day of His Coming. That is humbling because today is a day of "business as usual." And so what Christ is saying is that it will be a day, just like today, when He comes again. 

Vs. 48 sums up the whole of it: "Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh."

A House Divided, Luke 11:14-26; Matthew 12:31-42

Luke 11:14-26; Matthew 12:31-42 (see also Luke 12:9-10)

There is a passage here that discusses blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and thanks to a Joseph Smith translation, I now understand the connection between that topic and the passages that discuss the effects of an unclean spirit going and coming from a man's house.

So here is the doctrine--

Christ in several different places talks of the comparison between blasphemy against himself as compared with blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. For example:
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Matthew 12:31-32) The Joseph Smith Translation on Luke 12, also clearly states the difference between blasphemy aga…

Mark 12 - The Final Week, At the Temple in Jerusalem

Mark 12

Here are a collection of videos that depict some of the exchanges between the Savior and those he encountered while teaching in the temple that final week before his suffering, death, and Resurrection.


Render unto Caesar and unto God
The Greatest Commandment
The Widow's Mite

"A Sower Went Forth to Sow," Matthew 13:1-23

Matthew 13:1-23

The parable of the sower as taught in these verses I feel is fairly well known. What follows the Savior's initial instructions however is notably decisive in explaining the difference between the true disciples of Christ, and those who will casually pass by to listen, but with no intent to act on what is heard.

There is much to study here, but what is curious about this passage is that I find there are distinct parallels between these fundamental teachings of Christ, and in the early recorded scriptural documents in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For example, compare Matthew 13:11 with Doctrine and Covenants 6:11-12

"The Harvest Truly Is Plenteous, but the Laborers Are Few," Matthew 9

Matthew 9

I read through this passage of scriptures this past week while I was on vacation, and was much impressed by the need for organization that the Lord Jesus observed after doing his work for a small period of time and observing the great success that resulted. (see Matt 9:36-38)

Indeed, Christ can do his own work, but in the sheer numbers of those who would believe, there must be organization. There must be other laborers called to the work, to do the works of Christ.