Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What are the Chances that YOU are going to be Exalted?

What are the odds you and I will be exalted? This last chapter was very interesting to me because I want to know if there is a chance I will be able to return to Heavenly Father and Mother, live with them and also live eternally with my wife DeAnne, our children, grandchildren and the rest of our posterity and ancestors.

Here is the Answer.
You are pronounced clean up to the time of your baptism. When you are baptized you are still given the promise of the remission of your sins. Little children have not committed any sins up to that point in their life, but if you were baptized after you were over eight years old, your sins are remitted and you are pronounced clean from sin to that day of your life.

We also know, from the teachings of the prophets, that when we partake of the sacrament, we renew the covenants of baptism, meaning, if we repent, and partake of sacrament worthily, our sins are again washed away by the atonement of Jesus Christ. What is the covenant that we make with God? We don’t convent to be perfect from that time on. We can’t be! And God knows we can’t be. Read the sacrament prayer on the bread. It blesses those that are “willing” to take the name of Jesus Christ upon them and do what he taught us to do to the best of our physical abilities. The atonement and grace of God will make up the difference between “Willing” to follow Christ and being, “Perfect” in following Christ. If you are “willing” to follow Christ you are on the road to exaltation. But, if you are just sitting there on the road to exaltation, it is a lot easier for Satan to come along and pull you off. If you are constantly moving toward Christ, Satan has to hit a moving target.

So, we are clean from sin up to the day of our baptism and every time we partake of the sacrament worthily.

The same day we are baptized, or the Sunday after, you are given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. With the gift of the Holy Ghost, the odds of being exalted change tremendously for us. We are promised that if we will live worthy we can have the constant companionship of one of the members of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost to be with us.

The Holy Ghost cannot come and dwell in an unclean tabernacle. Meaning, and this is significant, whenever, you have felt the spirit of the Holy Ghost in your life, you have been pronounced clean of sin! Otherwise He couldn’t be with you!

Our good friend and neighbor, George Hicks, while he was the bishop of our ward, constantly asked and preached, “When was the last time you had a spiritual experience? If you are studying, praying, pondering, seeking for forgiveness, partaking of the sacrament, listening to good music or a talk, or have been warned or protected, or anything else where you feel that burning in your bosom, and feel that what you are receiving is from God, you, at that very instant have been pronounce clean of sin, and if, at that moment you were to die, you are going to be exalted! And if you live on after that, you have fewer and fewer things to repent of! So, the odds increase that you are going to be exalted.

So, in conclusion, we should do more good things in our life. More service to others, more service in the church, pray more, study more in the scriptures, ponder more about the meaning and purpose of life. Every time we have a spiritual experience, we are pronounced clean of sin. Our challenge is to put ourselves in situations were we can invite the spirit to be with us. The goal is have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Then the odds of being exalted are a constant 100%!

Monday, August 25, 2008

How Many People are Going to be Exalted?

I finished reading chapter 2 of the “Odds Are You are Going to be Exalted”, book. In chapter two he is trying to make a point as to how many people have been and will be, exalted in the history of the earth. He listed and talked about several groups:
1. A third part of Heaven followed Satan. Note, it is not 1/3 or 33%, it is a third part. A third part of what number? A third part can be a third part of a certain group, a symbolic number meaning a fraction of people followed Satan, or an unknown number. So, in the end, there is an unknown number that will not be exalted, because they followed Satan.
2. The norm from the time of Enoch to, and including many in Noah’s day, was to translate those who became repentant, and started keeping the commandments, as best they could, and thus many of them were saved and exalted with the City of Enoch.
3. Our Church teaches all those who die before the age of accountability are exalted. According to historians, 51% of all people ever born on earth have died before the age of eight.
4. All people who are mentally handicapped are not accountable, so they are exalted.
5. Millions will live and die during the Millennium and they will be exalted.
6. Presidents Woodruff and Snow taught that most, if not all, will accept the gospel when it is taught to them in the spirit world. We are told to do their temple ordinances for them so they can be exalted. Why would Heavenly Father waste time and effort doing all those ordinances if the ordinance work won‘t be use to exalt his Children?
So that just leaves you and me, (we who are currently on earth) to be exalted. That is the next chapter!

The Plan of Happiness

I finished the introduction and the first chapter of the book Tiff gave me, “Odds are you are going to be Exalted” for the second time, and thought I would write down some of things that stand out to me, and a brief synopses of the first chapter. It was about the need and role of works and grace. Why we cannot be saved without the atonement of Christ. No matter how good we are or try to be, none of us, excepting Christ will ever be perfect in living all of the commandments. But, this life is how we gain our experience. Just like God the Father did at sometime in his progression, while He was living and experiencing his earthly life. That is why God gave us commandments. To help us gain the most from our earthly experiences. Not to keep us out of His presence, but to bless our lives and get us back home with Him.

We all shouted for joy when God presented his plan, because it provided a way for us to not only return back to his presence, but also to become like Him. His plan was calculated to provide a way for a most of us to come back and live with Him and Mother Eloheim. We wouldn’t have shouted for joy if He had announced, “I have some good news and bad news. The good news is, I have a plan to satisfy justice, but most of you won’t make it back.” He called it the “Plan of Happiness”, not the “Plan of Elimination”.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Temple

Here are some of the things that I gained during my studying the Priesthood and Relief Society manual:
Joseph Smith compares the parable of the muster seed to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, not just to faith. The seed, (Book of Mormon), was planted in a field by a man, (Moroni), who had faith that it would come forth out of the ground, (taken out of the ground by Joseph Smith), and sprout into a large tree, (temple), with many branches, (many Temples and Saints), where birds, (angles), could come to teach and bless all mankind. See JS priesthood manual, lesson #11 page 142.

Also Joseph Smith, in connection with the teaching above, said that the mountains, (Temples) will melt down, (be available to all people) and the valley be exalted. To me, meaning that people who are down, (in the valley – down in spirit and down in the eyes of the world) will have the temples melt down or come down from the mountains where God dwells, and be built in their own countries and cities, so that they will be given the chance to attend the temple and be lifted up to receive the same temple blessings God has promised to all his children.

I discussed the above teaching of Josephe Smith with DeAnne. She has wonderful spiritual insights and I love to talk to her about the gospel and the doctrine and get her input and listen to her thoughts on the topics I bring up with her. You are wonderfully, amazing DeAnne! I Love You!

Monday, August 18, 2008

What I Believe

I want to create this blog as a means of interacting and sharing ideas about my religion with anyone who might be interested and as a way to teaching and testifying to my children and grandchildren. From time to time I will post new items that I feel are important and about which I have received some insights and understanding. I hope my family and friends and anyone else will find some value from my study and learning. It is my wish that anyone with questions or comments will feel free to post them so we can have an honest free exchange of ideas.

I am active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, often referred to as the “Mormon Church”. We believe the Bible to be the word of God, in addition we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. That it contains a record of Christ’s dealings with his people on the American Continent.

Just as most Christian churches, we believe the Bible to be a record of Gods dealings with his people, written by His prophets who lived in and near Jerusalem, from the time of Adam and Eve to the time of Christ and his Apostles. When Christ’s apostles were killed their writings ceased.

Mormons believe there were groups of people that left Jerusalem and came to the American continent. These groups were Christians, who believed the Bible. They had copies of it and brought it with them when they left Jerusalem. They also taught of Christ and looked forward to His coming to the earth in the flesh. Prophets led these groups, and kept records of the things God taught them. One of the last of these prophets, a man named Mormon, condensed many of the earlier records that were kept by his people, up to his day. He then added his history and testimony to the record. This record, he then passed on to his son, Moroni, who guarded it until he felt it would no longer be safe from his enemies. Having no one else to pass it on to Moroni, buried it before he died. Hundreds of years later, he appeared as a resurrected being to a young fourteen-year-old boy, by the name of Joseph Smith. This record came to be known as the Book of Mormon. It is a second witness of Jesus Christ.

I have a testimony that God does live. That Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son and through Christ’s sacrifice and atonement, we can be saved and return to their presence. I know they both love us and know our names. I also believe they know more about us than we know about ourselves.

I know the Bible and the Book of Mormon both testify of Christ and they are both the word of God given to us by holy prophets. I gained this testimony by reading, studying, pondering and praying about these things. My answers came not by logic to my mind, but by a feeling of peace and joy in my heart. I don’t ask you to take my word for any of the things I have said, but rather to find out for yourself, by asking God if these things are true. He will bring that same assurance to you if you sincerely ask Him.