16 June 2014

Ye may know with a perfect knowledge

The Saviour Jesus Christ personally invited all in Matt11:28 ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ This is very clear and inclusive. At the same time, He personally said in Matt 7:21 ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.’ He clarified that it is those who do the will of the Father that shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

On the one hand he offers a free gift, but on the other hand he tells the cost of discipleship. I certainly would not feel comfortable sitting at a celestial banquet with the likes of Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ and others who paid the high prices of discipleship and feel like their peer if I had done nothing in line with the will of the Father. I would feel like a fraud.

It is true in this life that we do not get anything for nothing, and I suggest that it is equally true in the promise of celestial glory. Let it be quite clear that it is by grace that we are saved. All will be resurrected. The physical redemption is free and applies to every mortal who has lived, does live or will live. But the spiritual redemption, exaltation and eternal life, which I visualise as ‘sitting with the noble and great ones at the celestial banquet’ will be for those who do the will of the Father, but the redemption is still a free gift, for we cannot save ourselves.

If you ever have the feeling that these promises apply to others and not to you, then I would suggest that you ‘can know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night’ (Moroni 7:15) that such thoughts are inspired by the devil because Christ’s invitation is always to all – ‘Come unto me’. Verse 13 of Moroni 7 says ‘But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God’, and verse 17 says ‘But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.’

Moroni 7:16 says ‘For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.’

We invite you to each write your own 13 Articles of Faith next to those of the Church. Please do not give in to the temptation to say ‘Oh, I don’t believe that’. Write what you do believe and commit to it. It is fine if it is different to those that we believe, then at least you have something by which to measure your belief and associated actions. But if our beliefs are not in harmony with your beliefs, then please ask yourself seriously if you will feel comfortable standing before God one day and explaining why you had your name associated with a Church whose beliefs you did not support.

If this is the Church of Jesus Christ as we claim, then you have made covenants, and you will be asked by God to account for how you kept those covenants. If you do not subscribe to them, then why is your name associated with us? If we are not the Church of Jesus Christ then you will be asked why you had your name associated with the church of the devil. How are you doing the will of the Father?
1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

In Gethsemane Jesus Christ said in Doctrine and Covenants19:18 that He did ‘tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink’. He preceded this by saying in verses 16 and 17 ‘For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I’.

I had thought that as each of us faces our own Gethsemane, that we need to suffer, but I am impressed that Alma the younger suffered until he cried within his heart ‘O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.’

I have come to realise that my Gethsemane will have as much suffering as it takes for me to cry within my heart for salvation, saying as Christ is recorded in Luke 22:42 to have said ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.’ The sooner we offer our will to God, the sooner we will remember our pains no more, and be harrowed up by the memory of our sins no more.

We invite you with open arms, as does the Saviour Jesus Christ, whose servants we are, to do good and to come unto Christ, believe in Him, believe Him, and be perfected in Him. Please come back if you have strayed. We need you, and we all need the atonement.