Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 10 of 13

Article of Faith #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 paradisaical glory."

This is such an amazing concept that goes way deeper than we could possibly cover in a short blog post. This has all to do what what we do as missionaries, and the Second Coming of Christ. So let's break this one down a  little bit as well.

First, "We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes." As we read in the Bible, the tribes of Israel were once all together, but were then split into the North and South, the North included the Ten Tribes, and the South included two tribes, Judah and Benjamin. History shows us that the prophecies in the Bible were fulfilled, and Ephraim, or the Ten Tribes, and Judah, the Two Tribes, were scattered and destroyed. Later, we also understand from history that Judah was allowed back into Jerusalem and they are the major tribe that is in Jerusalem today, but that still leaves the Ten Tribes. They got scattered all across the world, and it is our job to go and find those people, and to bring them back, or in other words restore the Ten Tribes.

Second, "We believe that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent." This one comes due to modern revelation. Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built here in America. The Lord has said that Zion will be in Independence, Missouri.

Third, "We believe that Christ will reign personally upon the earth." Christ is going to be the guy in charge! That will be a great day. The Lord himself will reign. His presence will be felt and all the world will praise him.

Fourth, "We believe that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory." The earth is going to be awesome! Everything will be perfect. It's like the earth getting resurrected, and so just like us it will be perfect. That will be the day.

All of this will be taking place before, during, and after the millennium. It is going to be a great and dreadful day. Hopefully great for many rather than a few.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 9 of 13

Article of Faith #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."

This is such a vital part of the church. This Article of Faith is talking about revelation, not only past revelation, but present and future revelation as well. President Ezra Taft Benson in an address given at Brigham Young University in 1980 gave a talk entitled, "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet." This is where I will get a majority of my quotes. One of my favorite parts of it talks about modern-day prophets. He says in his third point, "The living prophet is more important than a dead prophet." Under this third point he states, "God's revelation to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the Ark. Noah needed his own revelation. Therefore the most important prophet so far as you and I are concerned is the living one in our day and age to whom the Lord is currently revealing His will for us. Therefore the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the prophet contained each month in our Church Magazines. Our instructions about what we should do for each six months are found in the General Conference addresses which are printed in the Church magazine.
"Beware of those who would set up the dead prophets above the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence."

Also in the second point, which is called, "The living prophet is more vital to us than the Standard Works," also has some great insights for us about prophets and the scriptures. He tells of a story of Joseph Smith when he was in Kirtland, Ohio. He tells of a man who gets up and tells the people that the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants, are all that we need and that we should "confine ourselves to them." He then asked Brigham Young to get up and tell them how he felt about the same topic. Brigham Young said that the books of scripture in front of him were nothing compared to the living prophet. Joseph Smith got up and stated, "Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, and he has told you the truth."

So as you can see. Yes, the prophets of old are important, but modern day, and more importantly, living prophets are so vital for us today. The revelation that we gain from the prophet is more vital to us than any other form of scripture. Therefore we need to heed the council of the prophet. Follow what he says and we won't go astray. I know this to be true.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Articles of Faith part 8 of 13

Article of Faith #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."

I think that this is one of my favorite Articles of Faith, not because it mentions the Book of Mormon, which is one reason, but because of the Primary Song. It was one of the easiest to memorize and so because of that I remember it still today.

The Bible is such an amazing book. It helps us get a glimpse of the life of Christ, at lest the important parts. It teaches us basic doctrines that we need to follow in order to return to live with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It teaches us to be better people in a world of continuously failing values. The Bible gives us our initial Faith in Jesus Christ, and that want to do something better with our lives.

The Book of Mormon is also an amazing book. It continues to help us grow our faith in Jesus Christ. It clarifies so much about the doctrine of Christ. We can learn so much about our Savior, and what he went through by reading and studying the Book of Mormon. The Spirit of God just flows from its pages. A lot of the time I feel the Bible gives us the what we need to do, and the Book of Mormon gives us the how and why we do them.
Together these two books have changed lives. As we use them in conjunction with each other and as the word of God, we can grow stronger in our faith and closer to Jesus Christ and eventually reach our goal of returning to live with our Father in Heaven. These two books have the most influential power in the world. Together with the Spirit of the Lord, we have what we need to get back to live with Him.