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Showing posts from 2012

"Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?," John 5

John 5

Christ is found at Jerusalem during an important time of the year according to Jewish tradition. He conducts himself to a place where a great number of the sick are found, and address a man who had been in that place for many years now (38 years). The question that he asks is soul stirring for it has multiple layers of meaning: "Wilt thou be made whole?" (vs. 6)

Jesus heals the man and then commands him to pick up his bed and carry it away from that place. It so happened to be the Jewish sabbath, and the act of carrying a bed was considered to be a violation of the sabbath. When questioned why he was carrying his bed, the healed man responded, "He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk"

Later, Jesus finds the man in the temple and admonishes him, "Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." (vs. 14) The man that was healed, perhaps not fully understanding the malicious intent of the Je…

"This Is My Doctrine," 3 Nephi 11:21-40

3 Nephi 11:21-40

Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.(vs. 23) The Savior, in this introductory instruction to the Nephite disciples, clearly and simply lays out the doctrines of his gospel: faith unto repentance and baptism for the remission of sins.

Stepping back to verse 21, the significance of this verse is eternal. Christ gives to Nephi the power to perform the ordinance of baptism, which is both recognized on earth and in heaven. Outside the ordinances of the priesthood, there is none other covenant nor pact nor agreement that can be made on earth and that is recognized in the eternal realms.

Throughout these verses, the Savior iterates that with this instruction on baptism there should be no disputations, contention, nor disunity among them. He emphasizes this point by explaining h…

"Treaures in Heaven," Matthew 6:19-21; 7:1-27

Matthew 6:19-21; 7:1-27

Reviewing this block of fundamental teachings of the Savior's, I realize that I am perhaps not as familiar with these teachings as I ought to be.

The first group of verses addresses "treasures in heaven" wherein those who make such their prerogative are found to be possessed of that which is eternal, that which cannot be corrupted with time and which will not be allowed to be stolen or taken from us. One of those treasures is family. Another is who we are becoming.

I appreciate the simple fail-safe test found in 6:21,"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Moving on to chapter 7, the Savior states "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged." I have recently asked myself  is it better to be optimistically hopeful, and to hope for the best in everyone. This is to some considered to be naivety. However, in truer light, I find myself coming to terms with the reality…

"But Thou, When Thou Prayest," Matthew 6:1-13

Matthew 6:1-13

There is a very powerful Spirit that testifies of the truthfulness of what the Savior teaches in these verses. Even the angels in heaven shout glorious praises to the great King Emmanuel when they are brought to consider such doctrines as these.

There is an indescribable portal or connection between this world and the next. The reality of this connection cannot be disputed or contested. It is so perfectly veiled in faith as to not be discernible to any of the human senses, save it be our spirits which are in us. Yet, those who have experienced its power know that at the other end of the line is our Father in Heaven, who stands ready to listen and give instruction as we turn to Him.

"The Truth Shall Make You Free," John 8:31-32

John 8:31-32

How often I have heard this scripture used out of context. I believe I've even heard it used by atheists. The full context of the scripture reveals the true power of this statement.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (verses 31-32)  There is an even broader context for this discussion which starts at the beginning of the chapter.

Jesus is found in the temple, teaching. For Latter-day Saint context, a temple is place where those who have prepared themselves for sacred instruction and to perform ordinances of eternal significance. It is a holy place on all counts where one should prepare both spiritually and physically to enter therein. A major facet of that preparation is the cleansing of sin that one must undertake. Scriptures such as are found in Psalms 79:1, or maybe even 1 Corinthians 3:17, help to illustrate the sacred natur…

"So Is the Kingdom of God," Mark 4:26-34

Mark 4:26-34

Following the Savior's instructions on how to receive the words of God, our Lord offers just a couple of short parables describing how the kingdom of God will appear seemingly out of nowhere or suddenly.

I need to move on for the morning, but there is such a sweet spirit around my review of the scriptures this morning, and the service that we can render to others. (Next day) I've now resumed this study trying to connect the pieces of the impression that I have felt and made record of yesterday with the original parable.

It seems to me that what the Savior may be trying to say in these verses is that there is much work that happens in the kingdom of God which goes unnoticed, so much so that it seems like the fruit appears suddenly. With a sudden harvest as what happens in the first parable, there is not even much time to enjoy the fruit of our labors, for it passes quickly.

The second parable points out though how the kingdom of God will become a great place of re…

"Other Fell on Good Ground, and Did Yield Fruit," Mark 4:1-20

Mark 4:1-20

Here now, the Savior explains why the words of Christ doesn't work for everyone. While the parable is given in fairly straight forward terms (it's this, that, or the other), as I've reviewed, I find within myself different types of ground at different seasons, depending upon how well I've prepared myself to receive the words of Christ.

Types of Ground:
Wayside - The Savior says that when the word is sown here, "Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts." (vs. 15Stony Ground - Slightly different in its reception, the word here is received immediately with gladness. However, they are not able to establish roots and so the word has a time limit and is set to expire. Here it is after the expiration of the word or seed that "when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended." (vs. 17)Among Thorns - Here too, the word is also received, but it is surrounded by weed…

"Yet Lackest Thou One Thing," Luke 18:1-30

Luke 18:1-30 (see also Matthew 19:16-26)

This chapter begins with a parable of a widow and an unjust judge. Verse 1 explains that Jesus gave this parable for purpose of teaching "that men ought to pray always, and not to faint." As I read the other vignettes that are recorded subsequently in this chapter, these too also seem to reinforce this account and to help further illustrate the proper way in which to approach prayer.

The publican was justified in his humble prayer. We cannot receive(internalize) the kingdom of  God unless we do it as a little child would. Then the account of the rich ruler illustrates the importance of dependence upon God not worldly goods. "Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me." The Savior asked him to give up the one thing in which his confidence had been placed, which was keeping him from more fully enjoying the blessings of heaven.

In words I cannot adequately …

"And When He Had Given Thanks," John 6:11

John 6:11

This morning I awoke and being much troubled about my current circumstances, the thought came into my mind "The words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." So I went back specifically to the account of Jesus from the book of John and stopped in John 6. Here at the beginning of the chapter, there is what appears to be a financial question. But really there are more similarities between my current situation and this account than just the lack of financial resources.

Not only are they short on cash, but they are in a place where even if they had money, it wouldn't fix their current situation. Jesus assessed the situation with his disciples. They command the multitude to sit down, then he takes what little resources that they have, and after he had given thanks, took action to distribute what they had among the multitude. Though, it is written in past tense, and almost feels like an afterthought, I can't help but to think that the most notewor…

"We Speak That We Do Know," John 3:11

I have been much impressed by this passage of scripture which creates a doctrinal foundation for bearing witness of or testifying of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The full context of the scripture comes from a conversation that the Savior had with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler among the Jews of the day.

Christ explains to him the very well know and oft repeated doctrine of being born again, stating "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (verse 5)  He tells Nicodemus to not wonder about this particular statement, but still Nicodemus is compelled to ask "How can these things be?" (verse 9) Gently reproaching this leader, the Savior asks "Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?"(verse 10)

Immediately, the Master Teacher then goes on to explain why he would ask such a reproving question. He states "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen;&…

"The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me," Luke 4:15-30

Luke 4:15-30
see also Isaiah 61

As I look to follow in the ways of the Savior, I find in this passage that the Savior quotes from Isaiah, a statement of purpose and focus.
To preach the gospel to the poor.To heal the brokenheartedTo preach deliverance to the captives.[To preach] the recovering of sight to the blind.To set at liberty them that are bruised.To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.