Captain Moroni and Christ

It is tragic that we can read  a verse saying:

Alma 48:17 Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

and yet exalt all the opposites of Captain Moroni’s traits as Christlike living and spirituality and condemn anything that represents the way Captain Moroni lived as being unchristlike.

Can living so that the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men possibly be unchristlike? Doesn’t every good thing come from Christ? And is it not good for the devil to have no power over the hearts of men?

Tragically, even if we acknowledge the plain meaning of the verse, we privately consider it heresy to believe and live it, and think in our hearts it is the very antithesis of following Christ.

Our picture of Christ seems limited to a small part of what we read in his mortal life, and to cast out many of his own words in mortality, as well as such plain teachings as, say, his actual words in Moroni 8, his words in the old testament, and his words in the doctrine and covenants. When we reject 90% of what Christ has said personally in preference to our favorite 10% in order to understand who he is can we at least acknowledge our own bias?

Joseph Smith wrote: “Some of the company thought I was not a very meek Prophet; so I told them: ‘I am meek and lowly in heart,’ and will personify Jesus for a moment, to illustrate the principle, and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Woe unto you, ye doctors; woe unto you, ye lawyers; woe unto you, ye scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites!'”

How can we be so wrapped up in our nonjudgemental inclusive political correctness that we can still read this verse about Captain Moroni and not immediately conclude that it is really true: that if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever and that the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

In the millennium the devil will be bound by the righteousness of the people. Will it be a day when everyone acts the way a wicked world claims that Christ behaved, or will it be a day when men finally learn to live so the devil will not have power over the hearts of the children of men as Captain Moroni lived?

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Holy Cow, yes, God is still not a racist

Ugh, someone claimed Brigham Young was a racist by appealing to a church article they claimed effectively said Brigham Young and the early brethren were racist. They didn’t give a reference, though to hazard a guess I would expect it to be an lds.org topics article on blacks and the priesthood. Those articles are utter tripe and I have given examples of that before. They are happy to discard truth in favor of good PR.

There is an enormous difference between racism, which is to hold arbitrary prejudice against some race, and between accepting and submitting to the perfectly plain teachings in the scriptures and of the prophets and submitting to the words of the Lord and his servants as truth.

The scriptures themselves are horribly politically incorrect. That is the reality of it. We can either stand by God and his word, or we can pander to the world and worship a God made in the image of man’s dictates. According to the scriptures God made a covenant that his most righteous spirit children would be born into Abraham’s posterity. That means that his less righteous spirit children were born outside Abraham’s posterity. Christ gives many teachings that are based on ethnicity, including such blunt statements as “Salvation is of the Jews” and initially refusing not only to do a miracle for a gentile woman, but even to answer her. Large portions of his teachings to the Nephites are based on different things he will do for different ethnic groups (the gentiles and the Israelites). The Book of Mormon is not written equally to everybody, but written more especially to the Lamanites according to the title page.

We can choose to accept that God and his prophets have been horribly politically incorrect since almost the beginning, or we can pander to the world and worship a God made in the images of man’s ideas.

If we can’t stand by the brethren’s teachings over 150 years, including a statement by the first presidency spelling the doctrine out in great detail, plain teaching by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and many others, about matters involving the personal salvation and exaltation of millions of God’s children then we can’t say we belong to the true church of Jesus Christ and are led by e prophet of God. And I testify that we can stand by those whose sacrifices gave us the gospel. When comfortable arm chair mormons write about how racist the brethren were who literally risked their lives to take the gospel into new and foreign lands like Hawaii, Tongo, Somoa, the whole of South and Central America, to Asia while leaving their family behind to live of the land in the desert of Utah I am filled with disgust. We cannot defame them without offending God. We will be judged as we judge God’s servants. As far back as 1969 Ezra Taft Benson wrote that sometimes false teachings appear in our magazines. Since when do we believe an article above a prophet, much less above prophet, after prophet, after prophet over 150 years. Shall we say “I read an article that Jesus Christ was no Son of God” and believe it or should we listen to the spirit of the living God.

Judged out of the books

The scriptures speak of men being judged out of the books that are written, and this verse gives a very explicit description of exactly that taking place (which helps us understand what it means)

Moroni 10: 27 And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust?
..
29 And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true.

The type of Israel entering the promised land.

I remember one interesting note from Joseph Fielding McConkies book of Mormon class. He recalled that the Israelites left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. They then wander 40 years in the wilderness. This typifies leaving the world, being baptized, and following the prophet in our days of testing. He then made an insightful addition. He explained that as the Israelites gained a new leader, Joshua, and entered the promised land crossing the Jordan river on dry ground, so also we follow the prophet until Christ takes us through the veil and then we take him on as our leader instead.

He pointed out that Jesus was actually just the Aramaic form of the name Joshua.

I find that extremely insightful. It lends meaning to Christ’s discussion in John 14 and the D&C clarification on that discussion.

Obviously some will object because there are any number of weirdos that make claims about visions. But such individuals are just one of the adversary’s tools to harden our hearts against the doctrine of revelation found in the scriptures. Only those with the keys can give instruction by revelation. You can pass on anyone else who wants to tell you about, or hint about, their own grand manifestations as a fraud.

The church must be defined by the righteousness of its members.

The famous verses about this being the only true and living church give a little more insight and help our membership understand why the Lord is well pleased with us if we include just a bit more in our quotation.

D&C 1:30 And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—
31 For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;

That last verse adds important meaning to why the Lord is well pleased: “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance”.

In fact, in D&C 63, the Lord expands on this, intentionally using the words “well pleased” he had formerly used when speaking of his church.

D&C 63:2 Yea, verily, I say, hear the word of him whose anger is kindled against the wicked and rebellious;
3 Who willeth to take even them whom he will take, and preserveth in life them whom he will preserve;
4 Who buildeth up at his own will and pleasure; and destroyeth when he pleases, and is able to cast the soul down to hell.
5 Behold, I, the Lord, utter my voice, and it shall be obeyed.
6 Wherefore, verily I say, let the wicked take heed, and let the rebellious fear and tremble; and let the unbelieving hold their lips, for the day of wrath shall come upon them as a whirlwind, and all flesh shall know that I am God.
7 And he that seeketh signs shall see signs, but not unto salvation.
8 Verily, I say unto you, there are those among you who seek signs, and there have been such even from the beginning;
9 But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.
10 Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God.
11 Yea, signs come by faith, unto mighty works, for without faith no man pleaseth God; and with whom God is angry he is not well pleased; wherefore, unto such he showeth no signs, only in wrath unto their condemnation.

In D&C 63 the Lord actually threatens to cut his church off if they don’t repent.

D&C 63:63 Wherefore, let the church repent of their sins, and I, the Lord, will own them; otherwise they shall be cut off.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be defined by the righteousness of its members or it is not his church. We must not excuse our sins rationalizing that membership in the true church excuses its members, believing in our hearts that Christ will save us in our sins instead of saving them from them.