Friday, June 11, 2010

Alma 13:10

Alma 13: 10:

"Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish;"

Immediately following the formula, the explanation continues that "many" were able to become ordained as such "high priests of God." But the way they did this was through several specific actions.
They had "exceeding faith." What do you suppose "exceeding faith" means? Why not "faith?"  What is the difference between "faith" and "exceeding faith?"

They went through "repentance."  So we know they made the same kinds of mortal mistakes as we do. They experience the bitter and then are able to prefer the sweet. They knew what it was like to feel the bitterness of hell, because they felt the sting of sin. So they repented. These great souls are NOT perfect, after all! They "repented" because they didn't do it right the first time. What a refreshing idea. They weren't fake. They didn't feign virtue.  They had failing. They were filled with life, made errors, and needed to repent. They were not immune to the circumstances of this fallen world.

More importantly, do the terms "exceeding faith" and "repentance" go together? That is, do you necessarily have to possess "exceeding faith" in order to become one who fully "repents?" If so, why? How is it done? This may be an important clue to the process of "keeping the second estate" and "proving" that you are ready to move on.  Perhaps it is in this manner that some will then have "glory added upon their heads forever," (Abr. 3: 26) and in another cycle of existence and eternal progression then also join in the ranks of those belonging to the "holy order after the Son of God."

These called persons are, despite everything, "righteous before God." God measures differently than do we. Being "righteous before God" may not mean the same thing we think "righteous" means. We want outward signs, symbols, dress, grooming and conformity. God looks at the intent of the heart.

Interestingly, they "choose to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish." What do you suppose that means? First, they "repent," then they "work righteousness." Because of this, they do not "perish."  So do these things all go together? Can a person "repent" but then not "work righteousness?"  Does a person have to  "repent" and "work righteousness" in order to not "perish?"   


  1. Denver:

    What do you mean by "another cycle of existence and eternal progression"?

    Another cycle? Is it repeating?

  2. So just to be clear... if these things happened before the foundation of the world, it would necessarily mean that there was another probation, possibly similar to this one... in order to have faith, good works and repentance. A previous poster said that it could be faith in the Plan, but that doesn't make sense when there is repentance involved.

    But then you said, "They were filled with life, made errors, and needed to repent. They were not immune to the circumstances of this fallen world.

    So now I'm confused. Is it this fallen world or another... or the same at an earlier time??

  3. They obtained it before coming here. They came here, sinned again, repented, realized who they were, and obtained the high priesthood after the order of the Son of God. They renewed who they were, resumed the authority they held before, and entered into the Lord's rest. Then began to seek and bring others into that same rest.

  4. So after you are done going through Alma 13 are you going to head over to 3 Nep. 19 and pose questions there as well? There are two chapters I always come back to over and over again looking for answers. Alma 13, 3 Nep. 19 and then I try to use D&C 84 and 121 as my guide of how to be as a priesthood holder. I have so much work to do.... but I am more hopeful then ever! :0)

  5. Denver/Sister Snuffer-please DO NOT POST this comment if you think I'm being too direct when subtlety is called for.

    “Another cycle of existence”

    In earlier Alma 13 blogs, Denver has hinted at the concept of earlier existences, what some have called multiple mortal probations. In this blog he comes out and uses the phrase "another cycle of existence" without the veil. This concept makes sense of Alma's reference to some high priests developing great faith and repenting of sins before this earthly probation.

    Some might consider earlier probations a reincarnation. Reincarnation is a "heresy" (McKonkie) and a "doctrine of devils" (Joseph Smith). The doctrine of reincarnation as taught by virtually everyone who teaches reincarnation, including Mathias (of Joseph Smith's time)and Jim Harmston of the True and Living Manti, carrys with it the devilish doctrine that man will not be judged of his works in this life and enjoy either the Endless joy OR Endless suffering and Eternal punishment hereafter based on his works in this life.

    Multiple cycles of existence is a wholly different concept. If one fails to repent in this life, rather than get a "second chance" they are "judged according to their works, whether they be good or evil" and placed in a kingdom of glory after suffering the pains of a damned soul in hell until they have paid the uttermost price for unrepented sins. The next cycle begins only long after the suffering for sins or reward for faith and obedience.

    W W Phelps indicated that he learned from the Egyptian papyrus that the Council in Heaven was 2.555 billion years ago, my favorite estimate for the length of a cycle. (2.555 billion is 7000years made up of a 1000 years to man is as a day to God).

    Cycles explain SO MANY gospel dilemmas:
    -How did Michael, the Holy Ghost and Jehovah rise to the stature of God without an earlier probation?
    -Why did Jesus choose this earth to be born, live, atone for sins, die & resurrect, among countless creations? (Standard answer: We're the most wicked). OK. Why is this world the most wicked? Slightly different question, same dilemma.
    -Why was Lucifer and his hosts cast down to this world among so many?
    -Why did the Lord in Section 19 go to the trouble of telling us that eternity DOES NOT mean without end? Did He mean that to apply ONLY to Eternal punishment or more broadly to all things Eternal?
    -Why did Jacob refer to the "duration of eternity"? Was he just being cute or does eternity have a duration?

    Denver, Thank you for putting out in the open this beautiful doctrine.

  6. ..."on account of their exceeding faith" To exceed is to go above and beyond.... so might they have gone beyond faith to knowledge?

  7. The 'works of righteousness' (one being-restitution) are the 'proof' that a person has truely repented. It is quite easy to confess, feel bad & say sorry & even stop the sin & say we've repented, but few go on to make true restitution like Alma the Younger & show forth real works of righteousness, which is vital to complete the repentance process. Restitution & Righteous works is biggest & most important part of repenting. No one has truely repented until they do this as much as they can.

    The change in someone who truely & completely repents is like night & day, very easy to see.

    All those(except maybe Sons of P.) who don't completely repent in this life must repent fully in Hell, if it takes a 1000 years, as it will for many, (not in some other round of existence) until they accept Christ & his Gospel & become new creatures & can thus be released into Paradise & assigned to the Terrestrial or Telestial Kingdom.

  8. So I wonder... is repenting and realizing who they are one in the same? Could it be that they are repenting of who they think they are or who the world tells them they are, and then come to the belief and then knowledge of who they REALLY are? Then they have access to the priesthood and the sanctification (which had already taken place)?

    Now the answer to the question I anxiously await (which hopefully will be forthcoming): how did they "remember" who they are? How did they repent in a way that was different than what they had been taught so that the understanding of their pre-earthly ordinations became clear?

    This whole perspective makes me realize just what is at stake here in this probation: eons and eons of preparation culminating in the "rest of the Lord" or possible regression.


  9. Doug keep up those questions.

    I love em. Just you asking them has already lead me to some fun answers.

  10. I notice that Alma and all the sons of Mosiah spent the rest of their lives preaching repentance and bringing souls to Christ, but I believe this to be the fruits of repentance and not the process. Alma was "born again" while still lying paralyzed on his cot. King Lamoni, his household, his father -- the big King of the Lamanites, and all his household were baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost while lying on the floor of their homes in what looked like comas or death. They were forgiven and maybe even entered into the Lord's rest before they had any chance to make restitution.

    Having been forgiven, though, it was their greatest desire to share what they had received with everyone they could, and they all spent the rest of their lives in righteous service to God and His children.

    I don't think we typically teach repentance correctly. But rather, we hold people hostage, waiting for the fruits of repentance from them as though the fruits are the price. Jesus paid the price. We show forth the fruits of His gift unto us.

  11. Doug and McKay, Keep those questions and comments coming. Great thoughts! Wow, I'm practically choking to death on how amazing all of this is. I'm over here biting my hands off.

    McKay -- look at these:

    Alma 7: 25
    25 And may the Lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless, that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the holy prophets who have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless even as their garments are spotless, in the kingdom of heaven TO GO NO MORE OUT.

    Alma 29: 17
    17 And now may God grant unto these, my brethren, that they may sit down in the kingdom of God; yea, and also all those who are the fruit of their labors that they may GO NO MORE OUT, but that they may praise him forever. And may God grant that it may be done according to my words, even as I have spoken. Amen.

    Alma 34: 36
    36 And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, TO GO NO MORE OUT; but their garments should be made white through the blood of the Lamb.

    Hel. 3: 30
    30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, TO GO NO MORE OUT.

    3 Ne. 28: 40
    40 And in this state they were to remain until the judgment day of Christ; and at that day they were to receive a greater change, and to be received into the kingdom of the Father TO GO NO MORE OUT, but to dwell with God eternally in the heavens.

  12. The church cannot forgive sin. Even when they are entrusted with judgment, it is carefully circumscribed so as to make it the Lord's and not theirs. (3 Ne. 27: 27.) They DON'T have discretion and don't have power to forgive sin. That is the Lord's.

    He forgives freely. Confess your sins and He is faithful to forgive. All that is required is real intent. The process is essentially immediate. Read the scriptures, the Book of Mormon in particular, and you see how immediate it is.

    Fruits follow.

    The church's use of the concept gives them the authority to exercise control and dominion and compulsion over others, it is true. But it does not grant them repentance. The Lord does that.

    If a person feels compelled to confess their sins, it would be better to do that to a victim, accompanied with expressions of regret. Telling a bishop may only get your "permanent record" annotated. Which may in itself be a very good thing, but it isn't repentance.

    That is not to say that a good, caring and loving priesthood leader can't help someone. I've known some great men who have helped others by using the church's processes. But in the end the forgiving comes from the Lord. And it needn't take long.

  13. Hello everyone, I had a post that didn't get through for whatever reason and I decided then it was probably best. Now I think the stage is set better for it and I hope it is supportive to what Denver is writing in this recent analysis of Alma 13. I'm just going to say it plainly because this is so fundamental, the sacred fruits and signs that attend it will come easy enough to any that experiment on this so that I don't even have to breach that territory, but here's the simple truth:
    I'm going to throw out Pres. Kimball's description of the steps of repentance, not because I don't like it, but because I believe it was his way of likening the truth to himself and there are more powerful ways. Steps make us want to move into institutionalism instead of seeing the beauty of the principles Pres. Kimball was talking about. Also, even though he emphasized some steps more than others, a step framework begs to have us treat each step with equal value. It has caused us to come short of the mark. Not because of Pres. Kimball, but because of a poor mode of teaching example he used. I say toss it out and try this new one (I will try my best to put the thoughts in a better framework, but they are built up to, and I'm sure there are better ways still, but here goes):
    These are progressions of principles, not steps...
    1. We have 6 senses, including our conscience, with which to view observable facts in the world we live in. Through the light of Christ, we believe in what we witness and increase our capacities to learn and do more. I call this true science.
    2. When we come across hearing about things that are beyond our 6 senses, we can believe in them and use the same tool we learned in principle 1 to continue learning and doing more. Only this time, I call this faith, because it is belief in things which are not seen, but which are true.
    3. Now a clarification: when we know we've done something wrong and our six senses witness it, we can make amends. This may be part of repentance, but I'm going to relegate it to just making amends. We use Pres. Kimball's step-program for this section a lot and call it repentance. Not good enough even if it does apply.
    4. The scriptures say that the first-fruits of faith are repentance. This is where it gets interesting... I'll put it in the next post.

  14. 4. cont... Just as we can use the tool of belief gained with our experiments with the light of Christ, we can use the tool of faith for true repentance. It is so natural to realize after gaining faith to yearn to apply it to making amends to enhance that to repentance. I call this finding out "roots" from "root at that evil spirit from my breast". We can witness what parts of a situation led to our mistake and try to make amends for it, but it is easy to notice also that we suffer the same tempation every time and if we are off our guard of intense focus, we will fall to it again. What we can't "see" is what is at the root of the problem. We are trapped by false perspectives about our behavior that imprison us into worse behavior. Based on principles in the Sermon on the Mount, we can ask the following two questions to exercise faith unto repentance for any given situation: "What do I feel like is being done to me?" if we can answer that question, then we must ask the next "How have I done that to someone else before?" If we accept all trials as God revealing something about ourselves that we haven't "seen" before with our 6 senses, then we can exercise faith unto repentance. If we continue this work, getting answers eventually from the Holy Ghost for lost memories, we can "cite our minds forward" to the time when we were little children, and then beyond until we remember our true identities. In this way we approach the veil. God will reveal trial after trial until we have worked out our salvation by uprooting the real causes of our behavior until all our life is pure back to when we were little children.

  15. I agree with Kisi that Alma & the others mentioned did experience a Change of Heart & Spriit 'before' they went out & made restitution & did other righteous works.

    My point is that someone who has this true change of heart will always make such restitution & do the works or righteousness, & it will be the 'proof' to let themselves & others around them know they have truely repented, for by their 'fruits' we shall know them.

    Still, 'Restitution' is a vital part of Repentance, even though, it may occur after the change of heart stage. Sometimes restitution comes even before the change of heart, for the acts of making restitution can acutally change & soften our hearts if it hasn't already occured.

    Restitution is the most vital part of the repentance process because it helps strengthen us & keeps us from going back to the sin. Even Alma the Younger said it was possible for him to backslide. The Restitution part is what keeps us strong & determined not to backslide. Without making restitution we will surely go back to our wicked ways, every time.

    I have noticed how 'Restitution' is not a popular concept today. For it is the step of repentance that requires the most work & sacrifice of the whole process. For some restitutions can require years to make or even a lifetime if the sin was grave enough, like with abuse or adultery.

    Many people today believe they can repent without putting things right again for the ones they hurt, as far as it is in their power to do so. Without making restitution a person shows & you can feel, that they have not truely repented completely & have not had that real change of heart yet, even though they say they have & have stopped the sin.

    It is so true that we really can tell a person by their fruits, & if we have the Spirit we can know by the Spirit too & be doubly sure that someone has truely repented.

  16. ...cont. "Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord, for though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." I know by experience for more than a decade of excruciating but exhilarating work that this is what the previous posts are what the Lord meant by reasoning. Watch out, this means that rationalizing that we must forget about our past based on a warped justification from the Lord's statement that "He will remember our sins no more" is out the window if the Lord has to reason with us in depth about our past behavior. If the Lord knows everything, how can He forget? This scratches at the surface of the sacred knowledge that can't be revealed. Try my experiment and find out yourselves. I will say this: Just as faith is used as a tool for repentance, when we free ourselves with true repentance and gradually lose the disposition to sin because of Christ's grace in this process, we then can immerse ourselves in the word of the Lord to look for new heights. We come across a mystery and use the same previous processes to discover the answers. Uncumbered by sin, we can begin to learn about eternity and its truths. It is true then that the first fruits of repentance is baptism, and so on! As we discover more mysteries, our power to gain faith and repent more fully increases, so we don't leave the old paths behind. They overlap beautifully in a progression of light and truth. Now consider how you might help others along this path. You don't need to force people into results that flow naturally from these prescribed principles, and conversely, they can't move faster than they have strength if they still need to repent of things properly. No telling them of what they "need" to do will help them if they haven't done the things that enable them to do it!

  17. I wish we could all be in a congregation together because often when the Lord reveals a trial that reminds us of something difficult, the firmness in our mind goes out the window and we are left to work it out in darkness and confusion, with maybe only a glimmer of remembrance of what we did the last time to answer those two questions. The two questions are easily forgotten, and it takes supportive family and a congregation of support to help get it going, even though the completion of it is lonely and solitary between the person and the Lord. But since we are all scattered, probably acting as the salt of the earth a little here and a little there, it must take "exceeding faith" to work hard at this without such support. I suggest giving up all other pursuits (in your heart, not practically) and keep your eye single to this goal as you go about normal duties. Your strength will increase as fast as the trials come, so don't be afraid. If you have a supportive spouse, when you are bewildered by a trial, having them help remind you with a clear head what to ask yourself and the Lord is of inestimable worth. Remember not to "curse the Lord" when you are bewildered, and no matter what you feel and how horrible it may get, you will still come out on top. Be willing to see it through until you are fully restore to peace with God and have the knowledge you seek of the "root". It is worth the effort and that's why I make no qualms about the difficulty, even if it may scare some away. Everyone is scared already, but there is not need, for "He is mighty to save". Read Denver's books to find out just how mighty and determined He is to be blunt and honest with you and be with you through each trial to get the precious fruit.

  18. Wasn't it Alma who said to do this kind of repentance and not procrastinate, that it caused him anxiety and pain to yearn for you to do it? Please don't delay! Please test it out! What good is any of what Denver says if you don't? Can you witness the suffering of a God in your behalf and refuse to even try? Do you think He will give you trials you can't handle in an effort to knock you down and leave you in the dust? Never! Bring it on! Come, Lord Jesus! Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you with a fire that burns but doesn't consume!

  19. Just an FYI, it occurred to me that if my comments are taken out of context, it would look like I'm saying something different than what Denver said about repentance above:

    "He forgives freely. Confess your sins and He is faithful to forgive. All that is required is real intent. The process is essentially immediate. Read the scriptures, the Book of Mormon in particular, and you see how immediate it is."

    What I'm saying looks like it might take a long time, but if you take an individual situation where you encounter a loss of peace, if you can get real intent quickly (which may be difficult for some or during tougher situations, and that may spell a delay for you), but if you get real intent quickly, the Lord will reveal to you the answer to those two questions immediately and restore peace to you. I live 1000's of miles away from people I grew up with and can't immediately make restitution when I'm reminded of something I've done wrong, but the Lord still forgives me immediately and I lose the disposition to continue to commit those crimes to people around me today. If I came across the person from the past and had a chance to say I'm sorry, of course I would! But, the forgiveness came in advance. I just want to make the distinction between making amends and repenting more clear. Making amends may take long, and the Lord may interrupt your making amends and take over, saying He'll make the amends. Will we let Him do that if He says He will? My pride used to stop me from receiving that and I'd try to fix things when I had already done enough making amends, and then I made things worse. Don't make my mistake. No wonder the Lord is angry with us because we will not understand His mercies. But, it may take a long time before the trials stop coming. That is the long part. We must be willing to submit to the whole path until He finishes our faith. That is consistent with other things Denver has said concerning needing repentance continually. If I haven't made these things clear enough so that you can follow on and connect the rest of the dots for yourself, then I don't think that's from any lack of my not trying. God be with you! He'll confirm what I say or I'm still a fool as I've always been either way. If anyone else can witness to what I'm saying, then it may help some others to see I'm not just a lone voice, but I'm not calling for any debate. I've said what I've said and its true. Denver has said as much on here anyway but we all use different ways to describe it. I hope my perspective is helpful to some.

  20. Dear Z Family,

    Thank you for your insights. What I say may represent the ideas of others in my position... then again maybe not.

    I think the biggest challenge is overcoming the years of being trained in the MO of following steps. Need to repent? Follow these steps. Want to be more spiritual? Here are the steps. Are you striving to have charity? Here come the steps. Just watch any general conference and take a look at how many speakers solve your problems with steps. It's as if my life is the equivalent of a golf swing. Perfect these steps, and I'm set. But why doesn't it feel that way? It seems that there is more, much more.

    I do like how you referred to it as progression. That I can chew on. But reading your posts makes me think, "Okay, step one: start with belief. Alright, I did that. Here's a little check mark on my list.." and so it goes.

    I want to change out of these traditions I've learned. But it seems that every time I think about the "how," I find myself mentally working on the steps. Such a paradox. If it were a book, I'd title it, "Easy as 1, 2, 3. How to Stop Thinking in Terms of Steps (In Simple Outline Form!)"

    I think once this is overcome, the rest will come naturally. But until then I'll 1)Finish this post, 2)Hope someone comments with some insight, and 3)Figure out something that works better.


  21. Hi Doug,

    What better way to ween someone off of steps then by using language they are familiar with? If you reread my posts carefully you will notice (or maybe you won't) that the "steps" are not things you do, but declarations of how the truths surrounding repentance build up from a seed of faith to mature into repentance happening naturally (or should we say spiritually). The only thing I suggested that someone do is when presented with a situation that takes away their peace, receive the situation as symbolic of something you need to repent of. The result is you will know what the interpretation of the symbol is. How you get from point A to point B varies so differently that its impossible to put it in steps. That's why I said you have to connect the dots for yourself. The above is simply the doctrine, and it doesn't matter how you or I feel about it or change our minds about it, it exists outside of us. You don't have to accept it. I'm just telling you how God behaves. Those two questions get answered for anyone who repents, regardless of whether or not they know the questions that are getting answered for them. To them it is a miracle, and it is. I said in my post I hoped to help some. Perhaps as you point out, it may be best helpful for those who are addicted to steps. You seem to have moved beyond that, so Bravo! Go and strengthen your brethren!

  22. Besides Doug, at least we agree on one thing: I already said in my posts that I am a fool and lack insight! If I said anything insightful, it's not because I know anything about it, and it seems like you don't know anything about it either, so we're on pretty equal footing, I'd say. But even then, it sounds like you know you need to work on overcoming an addiction to institutionalized step-programs masquerading as the gospel, so you're already one "step" ahead of me ;-) I'm sincere in my compliments.

  23. Doug's comment helps me present a case example: It was tempting to conclude he meant it as an insult that made fun of my use of words. I didn't feel at peace about it. It dawned on me that I've insulted others for the way they've used words and now I can see it's possible he didn't mean it that way. My lack of peace came from my perception of his intentions, (which I'm incapable of knowing), all because it reminded me of my own behavior in the past. I was the culprit, not Doug. Because I gave into that behavior in the past and followed Satan, he cashed in on me at this occassion and stole away my peace, yet the Savior was there to reveal that the problem came from when I followed Satan in the past, and now I've repented. He forgave me and I'm at peace. Again, I hope this helps some. The Savior may interact with me differently then He does with others, but His intentions are always the same. All I did in the above example was try my best to resist the temptation to judge, then try to hear the still, small voice. I had to confess that what I was told about my behavior was right. I didn't work on some steps in my mind and create peace within myself. It came from an outside source. Thanks Doug for being inadvertantly helpful! You can see how weak and foolish I am to even think there was an offense intended and have to pray for peace. But what do I care about that? I have peace now. For those who have ears to hear...

  24. I could add, What do you feel like is being done to you with all these exhortations for step programs, Doug? Do you feel imposed upon? Have you ever imposed on someone else in a similar way? This is assuming you're not at peace when you hear "steps" mentioned in any or certain contexts. You don't have to answer these questions here, I'm doing this more for case examples for the people who this might help. No insult intended. My name is Brian, by the way, if I change the tag line, it messes up a family picture blog of mine.

  25. To McKay and Brian Amen!

    McKay that idea has been one my mind has considered and I understand it in similar terms, it is a wonderful idea to consider in context of "the holy calling" and this Chapter Denver is reflecting on.

    Brian, the peace guide is the same I use and the only one that has kept me sane as I have walked in dark valleys. Those questions hit the process to a T. I had not thought in that way but it fits in the way I feel and seek to repentance/peace.

  26. Brian,

    Internet posting is an interesting and challenging medium in which to communicate. The point in my post was to let you know that I appreciated your perspective and I wanted to try it, but was lost in how to leave the "steps" paradigm. I begged the question of how to do that and cited an example of how my brain is used to working (making everything about steps, including your thoughtful process, which stated it was not at all about steps). Obviously my explanation was ill-stated (and after re-reading it, I can see why). I will endeavor to be more direct in the future (and resist attempts at humor).

    But, I guess in the end, it provided what I was after, and I thank you for that. You went on to explain how one misunderstanding of my question could use this formula. Perhaps that is the answer... the institutionalized step-by-step programs are so sterile and general, that it is difficult to find personalized answers. But what it seems you are saying is that we work these things out directly with the Savior, and while it might be a process with some elements in common with the steps programs, I am actually communing with the Lord in my weakness (working through it together), rather than marking off some nebulous checklist.

    There is nothing like first-hand experience to learn these things. Thanks for that. And also, my apologies for the misunderstanding. I really do appreciate your suggestions.


  27. Mckay, I should have read your comment before I commented on the Al:9 post; I’ve been wondering if someone would bring that up.

  28. No problem, Doug, the misunderstanding was mine. I was just glad I could use myself as an example. I think Paul wasn't just being self-effacing like we think when he said he was the least of the apostles - he really had problems that spilled over from being a Pharisee. He learned how to use his weaknesses on behalf of the Lord's work, though, so he contented himself on being weak, but not after pleading three times for it to be removed and getting a no. The Pharisee in him still put up a fight to be clean on the outside. That's just a guess interpretation. He was aristocracy and he struggled to become filth for the Lord's sake, but he put up a good fight and won, so to the Lord, he became clean. Sometimes I hate the reality contained in those questions I wrote. It is not easy for me. I am a reforming Mormon Pharisee. But I am a prisoner to facing those realities whenever a trial comes because I can't go back to what I was. I have nothing left but to move forward. I don't blame anyone who sees repentance as difficult, but you have to understand, I have nothing else. I have no one else to turn to but the Lord. All I can say is, turn to Him before having to get to the point that I had to and you'll be much more blessed than I ever was. I may think I see an enemy too quickly, but I learn I have a closer friend ;-)

  29. Jeremiah 18:2-6

    2 Arise, and go down to the apotter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

    3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.

    4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

    5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

    6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

    Brigham Young comments on these verses:

    "The clay that marred in the potter's hand was thrown back into the unprepared portion, to be prepared over again. So it will be with every wicked man and woman, and every wicked nation, kingdom and government upon earth, sooner or later; they will be thrown back to the native element from which they originated, to be worker over again, and be prepared to enjoy some sort of a kingdom." (JD 2:124)


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