And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Character of God: The light by Which Ye Shall Judge

Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the Devil. ... For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil. ... And the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge as the daylight is from the dark night. ... And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge, yeshall also be judged. ... Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil. (NC Moroni 7:3)
Walking in the Lords Path:
What is the way that light operates in regards to the darkness? If you look at the night verus the day, the light reveals darkness. It brings all things into view. It allows you to see. Darkness on the other hand still has different levels of "light". Pitch black is the absence of light. But as you grow in light the path becomes more visible in front of you. After gaining light it begins to reveal things you never have before may have seen or understood. But still it may look like the day time in regards to what you were previously exposed to and in comparison is bright. Yet It could still only be the light that is comparable to the stars. Or the moon which is yet brighter but not as bright as the sun. 

What is light?:
Mormonism is truth, in other words the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, is truth (Joseph Smith)
The lord tells us "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ...How can you say, You shall be made free? (NC TofJ 6:14)". In another place the Lord defines light and how He uses that light versus the "wicked one"
"The glory of God is intelligence, or in other words, Light and Truth. ...Light and Truth forsake that evil one. ... And that wicked one comes and takes away light and truth through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers. ... But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth." (TC 93:11)
The light that exposed the darkness is light and truth or intelligence. Whereas the wicked one that brings darkness does so by taking "away light and truth". By the "tradition of their fathers" he brings that about or men failing to give heed to that light when it enters the world. Because the lord only invites with persuasion he will never force us to receive what he offers always willing to allow us to continue in our own way.

How to Judge the Light?
To avoid deception we must have light. Light comes to us by keeping His commandments (TC 93:9). The defect Moses perceived in Lucifer tempting him (as stated in Genesis 1:3) was not merely in his presence. Satan was (and is) an angel. Section 69 of Teachings & Commandments, verse 6 describes him as “an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God” and was cast down. Such a being does not look vile. Visually, he may appear to have light and glory. Although a liar, he uses his appearance as a pretense to be an angel of light.

Moses was able to discern between Satan and an actual messenger from God, but that had nothing to do with the appearance of Satan. It was because of the content of the message. Moses distinguished between his message and the Lord’s. The Lord’s was a message of glory, which is intelligence, or in other words, light and truth. Satan’s message takes you into a dark and dreary waste (See TC Glossary "Angel of Light")

The Holy Ghost:
When the Lord works among the children of men he does so by giving us light and truth that we may know how to judge correctly. Joseph Smith said this of the Holy Ghost, "The Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge..." (The Words of Joseph Smith, page 4)

Holy Ghost is always accompanied by intelligence. It brings understanding. It expands the mind. Whereas when Satan speaks what he offers may appear at first as light to those who sit in darkness, those with understanding will see it for what it is, it only brings condemnation and confusion. That is why it's also called a "revelator" to reveal things hidden or reveal intelligence, light and truth. 

When Joseph received the Holy Ghost he said this regarding the scriptures,
Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of. (TC JS-H 14:4)
When the Lord works among the children of men that is how He communicates for He is "light and truth" for "the glory of god is intelligence" (TC 93:11). The Holy Ghost is the source of renewed light that always enlightens when it comes. Its witness to us that we are on the right path and is the only way to wage the necessary war against entropy which seeks to take you into darkness.

The Destroyer or Wicked One:
When a people are "cursed" is another way of saying the people have been put under "condemnation". Its the absence of light. Darkness. Its the inability to accept that light which the lord freely offers as mentioned earlier. In 1832 the Lord put the entire gentile church under condemnation for rejecting that light given. I use this to illustrate  what it "looks" like when we are condemned so that we may see, the patterns in our own lives and not come under condemnation.
And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. ... And this condemnation rests upon the children of Zion, even all, and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon, and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do, according to that which I have written, that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s Kingdom. (TC 82:20)  
Revelation is defined as "an act of revealing or communicating divine truth" or "something that is revealed by God to humans" (Websters Dictionary). To reveal or make known things you may have never before considered or thought of. Revelation is largely based upon expanding your understanding of scripture. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion but also the keystone to revelation itself. Intended to open our eyes to things we have not seen before. Its a giant Urim & Thummin for our benefit.

The Scriptures: The Book of Mormon is a Covenant:
The Book of Mormon was given for a purpose. It was given as a covenant to guide our daily lives.
The Lord always sought to reestablish people of covenant among the living, and therefore have desired that man should love one another, not begrudgingly, but as brothers and sisters indeed, that He may establish His covenant and provide us with light and truth.

The Book of Mormon was given as a standard to govern ourselves in our daily walk in life, to receive the obligations established by the Book of Mormon, and to use the scriptures to correct ourselves and to guide our words, thoughts and deeds. Also the Book of Mormon is to convince the gentiles, and a remnant of Lehi, and the Jews that Jesus Christ Savior of the world. All must come unto Him or they cannot be saved. And how do men come unto Him? It is by faith, repentance, and baptism, which bring the Holy Ghost, to then show you all things you must know. If the gentiles, unto whom the Book of Mormon was given, had hearkened unto the Holy Ghost, they would have come unto me in Hyrum and Joseph’s day. But they did not hearken, and would not allow Him to abide with them in word, and in power, and in very deed.

Causing us to Forget: The Veil of Unbelief:
All that is required for Satan to get the children of men to fall away and reject light and truth is to cause us all to forget. Forget truth, forget light, an absence of light and darkness. The opposite of the character or attributes of God. A symbol used by god of this is the Veil, as Ether called it the Veil of Unbelief. Unbelief being the opposite of belief. Incorrect idea of God or absence of truth and light. (false ideas or traditions)

For example, Woman are veiled to show that in a fallen world, trapped by decay and death, creation continues through her. Life springs anew and what is sacred and pure is born into mortal life. It would not be proper to remove the ceremonial veiling from the woman unless the intention was to abort the symbol of new life and creation. It destroys the symbol of the sacred power given to woman. The destroyer, of course, seeks to end life and impose misrule and death.

Unbelief veils us from the other side of the veil. If we had belief, the veil could be rent even now,
For behold, I am the Father. I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world. Come unto me, O ye gentiles, and I will shew unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief. Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you because of unbelief. Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you — yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name with a broken heart and a contrite spirit — then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. (NC Ether 1:19)
The Character of God:
When it comes to the character of God, that is one of the biggest unbelief's the children of men have. They have an incorrect idea of the characters, attributes and perfections of God. In the lectures on Faith Joseph said,
Let us here observe that three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.
  1. First, the idea that he actually exists. 
  2. Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes.
  3. Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing is according to His will. (TC LOF 3:2-5)
And so "that without correct ideas of his character, men could not have power to exercise faith in him unto life and salvation" (TC LOF 4:20).

God is Love: God is unchangeable: God cannot lie:
These three things are just three of the characters that were defined in the LOF. If you believed god was a changeable god than you could never exercise faith in him because you would never know what at any given time was required for salvation. It would change. Who he was would change. You could never truly understand God so that you may become like Him. But the requirement for salvation is the same for every person who walks on this earth. The commandments never change.

God cannot lie. If could lie, than we could never trust what he was saying to us. He won't lie. There is often a doctrine known among some called "lying for the lord". These ideas are false. It is never acceptable to lie to some publicly than do something different in secret. That is what is called "works in darkness" or "secret works". Doing something while proclaiming something entirely different. I know some like to claim that Abraham lied about his wife so in some cases its acceptable. But in some writings they say that Abraham had told the truth.

Another example is proclaiming that polygamy is adultery, excommunicating people for it, than having that person do it in "secret" when everything publicly proclaimed on the matter contradicts those proclaimed "secret meetings". That is what Joseph did publicly regarding polygamy but others try to claim he practiced it in secret. That's a different post.

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