I recently came across an issue that has troubled some members of the Church. It is simply that some scriptures and the words of some Church leaders seem to indicate that the Earth is only about 6000-7000 years old, and that there was no death before the Fall of Adam and Eve. This causes significant cognitive dissonance for some because it seems clear from geologic and biologic evidences that the Earth has been around for much longer than that, with birth and death throughout. Because of the conflict between these two thoughts, it has caused some to even lose their faith and leave the Church. Let’s explore these issues some more and see if there is a reasonably plausible solution or reconciliation of these views. [Read more…]
This is a continuation of a series of posts that I started a few years ago. Of course, it could easily fit within the series very recent posts on the same subject of the law of consecration, including Hugh Nibley quotes from Approaching Zion, “Are we required to live the law of consecration, now?“, and Mormon Channel Episodes On The Law Of Consecration And The United Order.
In this post we will examine this question – “What is tithing?”
This seems to be a pretty basic question, with a Primary answer. We all know what tithing is, right? I mean, even the etymology of the word tithe itself, coming from the Old English teoþa or even earlier to the Hebrew tithes in Malachi 3:8 (ma`aser or מַעֲשֵׂר, or an even earlier root `asar or עֶשֶׂר meaning “ten”), means a “tenth” part. What could be more simple? This seems to be a commandment that we could easily say we keep or do not keep. We either give a tenth part of our income annually, or we don’t. Is there any more to it?
The truth of the matter is that everything we think we know about tithing is most likely wrong. This could come as a shock to some, but when you get right down to what tithing is, as revealed by the Lord through the prophet Joseph Smith in this dispensation, it is not what we commonly think it is. Personally, I think this is unfortunate, because we do not know what the Lord revealed and commanded, and if we are thus ignorant, how do we expect to be able to follow His word? What does the Lord say? What do our scriptures teach? [Read more…]
The following quotes are from Hugh Nibley’s Approaching Zion volume, and were compiled by Chad Merrill. I am grateful that he shared them with me, and gave me permission to share them with you. They are great quotes from that singular book, one of my favorites of all time, and one which I am currently re-reading for the nth time.
In these quotes, Nibley is highly critical of his fellow Latter-day Saints, in our love of wealth and covetousness, lack of living the law of consecration (and our apparent confusion of it), our quibbling over free lunch, lack of faith in the Almighty, and our misunderstanding the purposes of life. “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself” (D&C 105:5). Do we truly believe the Lord? What’s our progress report? Please share your thoughts in the comments. [Read more…]
The emails I receive these days give me ample opportunity to teach the gospel. Below is my response to a fundamentalist.
I will explain why you do not understand the doctrine of continual revelation, and why it is leading you away from the truth.
First, a scripture:
And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. (2 Ne. 29:9-10)
Revelation can be a nebulous thing. It is not always so clear cut that it builds on top of prior revelations and is in harmony with them. Every prophet that has ever lived on the earth was rejected by his own generation because they thought he did not conform to the “old revelations,” that they changed them, and gave them something new. Joseph gave us the script. And I repeat. [Read more…]
Last week I was asked by our bishop to present a 10-15 minute portion of a lesson today on the importance of temple work in our combined priesthood/relief society meeting.
Our stake is preparing for a “temple month” theme for January, and our meeting today was meant to inspire us to be thinking about family history, genealogy and temple work and to do more of it. Our bishop wanted me to present some general information about the reason for the temple and why the work performed there is of such supernal import. After my part of the lesson, two sisters were to give instruction on family history work, FamilySearch, indexing, and preparing and submitting names to the temple.
Since I only had about 10 minutes, I considered carefully what I wanted to present to introduce this topic. Below are the notes from my portion of the lesson: [Read more…]