Saturday, July 3, 2010

1 Nephi 13: 40-41

1 Nephi 13: 40-41:

"And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved. And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth."
The "books" that the prior verse referred to are now called "records" by the angel. The "records" will be among and originate from the gentiles. The purpose of the "records" is to establish the truth of the original records of "the twelve apostles of the Lamb." The purpose of the whole is to confirm the reality of Christ in His mortal ministry. Christ, who came to earth, lived and died as a mortal, was the Savior of mankind. The New Testament record confirming His ministry, sacrifice and resurrection is true! Their testimonies of Christ are reliable. He is our Savior and our God!
The "plain and precious" things that got removed will be returned to us.  I've spoken of that before and won't repeat it again here. But the "plain and precious" things will become known to "all kindreds, tongues and people" again. 
I was thinking about what was required for Joseph Smith to be able to get a message out in his day. He needed a printing press, which he could not afford. He needed Martin Harris to give a $3,000 note backed by a mortgage on his home to motivate the printer to make the first printings of the Book of Mormon. He needed an army of disciples to distribute the material on foot or horseback. He needed an infrastructure that went well beyond his individual means. Today Joseph would need a keyboard and an internet connection. He could speak to more people in a few minutes, across a wider swath of the globe, as a single individual acting alone, than he was able to speak to through an army of followers who uprooted their lives to follow his teachings.
We continue to make great sacrifices in purse and time to send missionaries throughout the world even today. In truth, if Joseph Smith had access to the internet he could have restored more things to more people in less time than has been done from 1830 to the present. It makes you wonder - if the truth were not packaged, marketed, focus-grouped through approved language, and accompanied by supporting photos and digital graphics - if the truth were simply spoken plainly, would it have any effect? Does it need an infrastructure of trained professional marketing to accompany it? Does it need a slick website to attract His sheep? Is His voice enough?
What if someone were to declare "that all men must come unto the Lamb of God, who is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world, or they cannot be saved." What if they were to declare in sober words that the Lamb of God lives still! That He had appeared to and spoken with the one making the declaration.  Would there yet be those who would hear and repent?
Would that message be drowned out by the chorus of foolish and vain things being spoken in the name of Jesus Christ by those who, despite having real intent and sincere desire, have not been given power to declare His words? Would such a message only be another bit of entertainment for the bored and curious to give but passing notice? Could the world be given such a message and warned, but fail to see what it is they are being offered for one last time before the harvest is to begin? If so, would we notice?

The verse raises interesting options for the Lord to fulfill His promises in ways which have only come into existence in the last few years.  He certainly does have the ability to "hasten His work" when He chooses. (D&C 88: 73.)
Should someone choose to come, the verse reports: "they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." What does that include? Authoritative baptism? Authoritative bestowal of the gift of the Holy Ghost? Prophecy?  Revelation? The "rock" of seership we discussed a few days ago? How must they come?  The Book of Mormon suggests it must be through the gate of revelation.  (Moroni 10: 4-5.)  Without revelation you cannot obtain the testimony of Jesus; which is the spirit of prophecy. (Rev. 19: 10.) Or, in other words, unless you find prophets who can bear testimony of Him, you have not yet found the means for salvation. This becomes quite interesting and important. Very frank about the conditions for salvation.
Then the promise is that all these witnesses, all these records, and all these disciples are to become "one."  "[T]hey both (records) shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth" who in turn makes people to be "one" as well. A great assembly, a general congregation and Church of the Firstborn.
How great a promise has been offered to those who will receive! What good, however, is it to offer a gift if the one to whom it is offered refuses to accept? (D&C 88: 33.)


  1. I second what Denver says. It is possible we have to reevaluate just how literal the command to "come unto Christ" really is.

    I wonder if President Eyring's recent talk about the phrase wasn't correlated and if he wasn't harassed by the correlation department. I pray Pres. Eyring will have the courage to speak in the boldness that I believe he desires to speak, and to believe what I think he desires to believe. I hope he and other general authorities have a chance to read these comments and posts here to know that there are still lay-members who truly sustain them to achieve these lofty prophetic goals with their faith and prayers, as opposed to fawning over them and treating them like golden calves to be worshiped. I love the leaders of our Church with a pure love. What effect do you think it would have if all the members prayed that these men might have the experiences their callings deserve? How grateful these men would be for the salvation that could come with that prayerful help, and how better prepared to serve (if they haven't had the visitations and tasted the powers of heaven already)! Why not have the experiences ourselves and be examples to them to help them come along, too, (if they haven't already), as brothers and sisters in the Gospel? We can surely do this as we sustain the programs it is their right to administer, even if they are not celestial material programs yet, or even if some of them are. If it becomes our turn to serve in leadership, and if we feel inadequate, wouldn't we want the same support, the same examples to follow?

  2. "What good, however, is it to offer a gift if the one to whom it is offered refuses to accept?" Indeed, it does no good at all and thankfully, the Lord extends His arm in mercy to each of us as we come to recognize true messengers.

    As I read Beloved Enos in the early hours this morning I enjoyed many thoughts similar to those expressed by Denver in this post. I am so grateful for a confirmation of the spirit regarding the truths I was considering as I read. Similarly, yesterday as I read the preface to Nephi's Isaiah, I was so grateful to better understand the human personality element that sometimes makes it difficult for us to recognize and accept true messengers.

    Before yesterday, I had not ever considered the personality factor previously. Yet, I can say honestly that there are certain "Brethren" whom I dislike and feel a certain falseness to them, and others whom I relate to more easily, yet I've accepted each of them as Apostles and Prophets.

    If Peter and Paul knocked heads at times, then surely those intended to hear the word might knock heads, as it were, with one of God's messengers before coming to fully appreciate the veracity of the messenger.

    I know a man who lost his innocence trusting a beloved friend. He suffered many lawsuits as a result of the misplaced faith in someone who was unworthy of that faith. He also hurt many people because of his foolish and misplaced faith. God taught this man, through his former poor decisions, to trust God alone. I thank true messengers who bless my life and who have been patient with me when I deserved no such patience, or when I have questioned their intent. And I am blessed by their words as I study them intently in a new light.

  3. JDS - I'll cherish that story you told about the Indian spirits. I'm deeply grateful it was a good time for it to be presented. It supports the doctrine that these experiences come as a natural result of one's character development, not through an obsession with seeking them out of context, but seek them we must (by seeking the right character development).

  4. I had an interesting short conversation with my wife's cousin who produces original content and shows for BYU-TV's website and his wife who basically runs an in-house ad agency for BYU-TV. They are both highly creative people. They mentioned they get incredible resistance from the corporate culture there when trying to do something new and creative to make BYU-TV a channel more people will watch other than "old people" (paraphrase).

    Their view was that BYU-TV is in millions of households and it is being under utilized. Apparently it is funded by tithing so they don't depend on ad revenue so there is little incentive to change.

    I watch a number of shows on there and find them interesting.

    I don't believe the gospel needs slick marketing and ad agencies, but they are tools and they could be the means by which many important people are brought into the fold.


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