Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gospel Prinicples Chapter 4

"Freedom to Choose"
 Our freedom to choose is so important. We are told through the scriptures that Agency has been given to us from the very beginning. We were able to choose to come down to earth and to get a body or to follow the plan that Satan had proposed in our pre-earth life. Agency was the principle issue that we fought over in our pre-earth life. Satan's plan was to take away our agency from the beginning and to force us to return to live with God again. Agency is the thing that makes this life a time of testing. It is what allows us to make choices and to either follow what Christ would have us do or to follow what Satan would have us do. An analogy that I really like comes from the manual, it says, "When we follow the temptations of Satan, we limit our choices. The following example suggests how this works. Imagine seeing a sign on the seashore that reads: 'Danger—whirlpool. No swimming allowed here.' We might think that is a restriction. But is it? We still have many choices. We are free to swim somewhere else. We are free to walk along the beach and pick up seashells. We are free to watch the sunset. We are free to go home. We are also free to ignore the sign and swim in the dangerous place. But once the whirlpool has us in its grasp and we are pulled under, we have very few choices. We can try to escape, or we can call for help, but we may drown." We are told how to escape the grasp of Satan many times in the scriptures. We are told to "watch and pray continually," as we do that we will be able to overcome the temptations of Satan and be able to make correct choices.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gospel Principles Chapter 3

"Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior"

Why was the need for a Savior so important? The answer: Because our Heavenly Father knew that we would all come here and make mistakes, and that we would need help along our way. "We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father" (Gospel Principles, 13). The scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ was foreordained and chosen to be our Savior. In the Book of Mormon, there is an account of the Savior appearing to a man named the Brother of Jared and Christ tells him, "Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. … In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name" (Ether 3:14) Even though Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior, Lucifer stepped up and said, "Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor" (Moses 4:1). Satan wanted to take away some vital things from us and Heavenly Father. The first thing he wanted was to take away our agency, or our right to chose, which we will discuss more in Chapter 4, and the second thing is he wanted Heavenly Father's glory. After hearing this he said, "I will send the first" (Abraham 3:27). Because Heavenly Father chose Jesus Christ, Lucifer got angry and rebelled against God. In his rebellion, Satan managed to convince one third of the hosts of heaven to come with him, and in doing so, they were also cast out of heaven along with Satan. We know that we made the right choice because we are here today. "By following [Christ's] teachings, we can inherit a place in the celestial kingdom. He did His part to help us return to our heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation" (Gospel Principles, 16).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gospel Principles Chapter 2

Chapter 2 is entitled, "Our Heavenly Family." Family is such a basic unit of society. Joseph F. Smith teaches us, "Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body”(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 335). That makes us all brothers and sisters, spiritually anyway. Just like on Earth, we were all different in our pre-earth state. "A veil covers our memories of our premortal life, but our Father in Heaven knows who we are and what we did before we came here. He has chosen the time and place for each of us to be born so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our individual talents and personalities" (Gospel Principles, 10). While we were in our premortal life, we sat down with Heavenly Father and we talked about what was going to happen to us. He told us that we would leave his presence, and we would come to this earth. We were also told that we would have to do some things in our lives to show our Heavenly Father that we really wanted to come back to live with him once more. We learned that we would go through trials, and if we allowed them to they would purify us rather than defeat us. "They would teach us to have endurance, patience, and charity" (Gospel Principles, 11). And finally, that last thing we learned is that we were all going to make mistakes by our nature, and that a Savior was going to be provided for us. He would overcome all things that needed to be overcome, namely death and sin. Jesus Christ was chosen at that time to be our Savior and Redeemer.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gospel Principles Chapter 1

Chapter 1 is one of my favorites. The title is "Our Heavenly Father." We learn all about our Heavenly Father in this chapter. First off, how can we know that there is a God? Alma, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, tells us, "All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44).  Everything around us tells us that there is a God, and that he exists. That leads us into what is He like, or in other words, what is the nature of God? One of the first attributes we know is, because we are made in his image--he has a body like ours. "He is a God of righteousness, with attributes such as love, mercy, charity, truth, power, faith, knowledge, and judgment. He has all power. He knows all things. He is full of goodness" (Gospel Principles, 5). After we know the nature of our Heavenly Father, we would like to get to know him, right? I would think so anyway. So there's a few ways that we can do this. First, we need to believe that he is actually there. Second, we need to study his word, or the scriptures. Third, we gotta communicate, or pray. And fourth, is we need to be obedient to His commandments. "As we do these things, we will come to know God and eventually have eternal life" (Gospel Principles, 7). That is one of my favorite quotes in the whole chapter. I know this to be true.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gospel Principles Introduction

So I had been thinking about what else I could write my blog on, and so I was pondering and praying and looking up some things, and the thought came, "You could do a blog on the Gospel Principles manual." So this is going to be fairly similar to the Articles of Faith blogs I did. I am really excited to do this blog set, and it should be a good one. There's quite a few chapters in the manual, but it should be really good. Thanks for following my blog! You're awesome.