Posts Tagged church of jesus christ of latter-day saints

Deseret Industries

I have a job again.  And I get a paycheck with the name of my church on it!  Yesterday, I received my first check and left work early to buy a Nintendo Switch.  But I didn’t forget that I need to tithe!

I work at the Deseret Industries in Glendale, Arizona.  I stock books, movies, music, electronics, knick-knacks, metal house décor, wicker baskets, plates, cups, kitchen utensils, office supplies, crafts, toys, glassware, and domestic goods.  I also answer questions from customers as I work on the sales floor.  I wear a shirt and tie (not to mention my Deseret Industries apron over it).

I am so lucky to have this job.  It’s the only job I can do right now.  My church believes in self-reliance, and they are helping me become more self-reliant.

I recently applied for social security benefits because I’m disabled.  But now that Trump is president I don’t think I’m going to get approved.  I did get approved for government housing and food stamps but the social security check never came.  I’ve been spending a lot of money on a credit card so I need to get a job.  For example, I bought the PC that I’m typing this on right now on credit.  I won’t lie: I bought some games too.  And I spent a heck of a lot of money on food.  I’ve maxed out the credit card.

My former Elders Quorum president warned me this would happen.  But the good thing is with my job I can afford the minimum payment on my credit.  And I even got to buy a Nintendo Switch!

But it hasn’t been all fun and games.  My prayer life has been great.  But I’ve had a spiritual crisis because I don’t feel like God is talking to me.  Working at the DI in Glendale is great because we have team meetings that open and close with a prayer.  These are people who have no doubt in their minds that God is listening to them.  I am learning from their great faith.

I used to work at the DI in Mesa, Arizona.  But my panic attacks kept me from working all my shifts.  The medication I’m on now has curbed my panic attacks which is why I felt like asking my new bishop for a referral to work at the DI here in Glendale (I recently moved to Glendale from Chandler).  I’ve made some great improvements.  I don’t live with my parents anymore.  I’m paying bills.  I’m learning to manage my food stamp money to buy groceries wisely.  And I’m cutting down on my smoking again.

But I’m still not ready to bear my testimony at church yet, though this is the only way I can magnify my priesthood calling.  I have less teaching authority than a teacher in the church (I don’t have a home-teaching assignment).  I’ve never handed out sacrament like a deacon.  I only have memories of being a 17-year-old convert and saying the prayer over the sacrament as a priest.  Now, I’m 33 and suffer from meth-induced schizophrenia.  I exercise the same priesthood authority that an unmarried woman in the church exercises — bearing my testimony.  But I promised God I wouldn’t bear my testimony again until I went at least 90 days without smoking.

I’m so lucky my church owns a thrift shop that will offer me employment.  But I can’t stay here forever.  I have an employment counselor through my clinic that is helping me find a call-center job.  That’s what I really want to do.  I just need to develop solid work habits.  No one will hire me unless I can prove here at DI that I can work all my shifts, be on time, take breaks only when scheduled, and stay until the end of my shift.  I developed some bad habits at the DI in Mesa because of my panic attacks.  But my panic attacks are under control now and I’m still leaving work early like I did today to play with my Nintendo Switch.

I’m writing this mostly for myself: I’ve identified a problem and want to fix it.  I’m pulling an all-nighter and working from open to close today.  Then I can easily fall asleep tonight so I can go to church tomorrow.  Besides, I need to make up the hours I missed yesterday.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably from the WordPress ward or one of my friends from church who I gave this blog’s address to.  Please pray for me that I will establish reliable work habits so I can get a real job.  While I am working, this job is pretty much like welfare.  I get paid for very easy work.  Easy money.  I feel guilty getting paid.  But I’ll feel better once I put my tithe in.

Thank you for reading this and caring about me (whoever you may be).

 

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Adam-God Doctrine Explained

Former prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Brigham Young once said, “Adam is our father and our god, and the only god with whom we have to do.”  A more recent apostle, Bruce R. McConkie, declared that Brigham Young falsely taught that Adam was the “father of spirits” and that this was false doctrine.  According to him, anybody who believes this should be excommunicated.

Some people take this to mean that Brigham Young, speaking as the prophet of God, and declaring this doctrine with the infallibility-invoking precursor “thus saith the Lord,” must have taught false doctrine.  So he was a false prophet.

But Bruce R. McConkie was not denying the truth of the Adam-God doctrine.  He was merely saying that Brigham Young’s opinion of the prophecy, that Adam was a father not only to the human race but to their spirits, was erroneous.  Brigham Young never said “thus saith the Lord” with regards to that opinion.

When Brigham Young said “thus saith the Lord,” he merely said that “Adam is our father and our god, and the only god with whom we have to do.  I just read the entry for Adam-God in Bruce R. McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine and I assure you that this apostle was not rescinding the Adam-God doctrine.  He defends it quite plainly in his compendium of LDS theology.

To understand how Latter-day Saints believe that we can become “gods” you MUST understand how Adam is our father and our god.  Let me explain.

First of all, there is a patriarchal priesthood order that binds all humans.  Priesthood is the authority to act in the name of God.  And one of the powers of the priesthood is to deliver messages to and receives messages from God.  When I say God with a capital G I mean Heavenly Father.  This is the man who talks to Adam and Eve up until the Fall.  After the Fall, all manifestations of deity are Jehovah, or Jesus Christ.  And Jesus Christ is our high priest according to Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews.

So what exactly is a high priest?  You see, ancient Jews believed that in order to talk to God you had to go to your high priest.  They didn’t just pray to God like everyone now does.  The high priest was their intercessor before God.

But Jesus, as our presiding high priest, is an intercessor that doesn’t have to offer sacrifice for himself before he offers sacrifice for others.  And this he only had to do once when he died on the cross.  Before Jesus was anointed as the Messiah, Jews were looking for a human sacrifice to end the practice of sacrificing lambs.  Jesus was the Lamb of God (or Lamb of Heavenly Father).

So when Jesus is your high priest you can talk to God whenever you want.  That is why we pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  We don’t have to go through a mortal human being who has the high priesthood.  Jesus is our presiding high priest.

And Adam is our presiding high priest under Jesus.  But we’ll get to that in just a second.

Jesus is a member of the Godhead and is one in purpose with Heavenly Father.  He is God’s son literally in the flesh and he is also God a.k.a. Heavenly Father’s firstborn spirit.  We are all his spirit brothers.  Jesus, as our eldest brother, has the power to act in the name of the Father in a perfect way.  Like they are the same person.  This is called divine investiture.  He can speak as if he is the Father.  He and the Father are one.  That is why he is a member of the Godhead, along with the Holy Ghost.  Jesus, like the Holy Ghost, and ultimately like the Father, is fully God in and of himself.

So what does this have to do with Adam?  Well, Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus was Jehovah in the Old Testament.  Jehovah is the name of the preexistent soul of Jesus.  We all lived with God in the preexistence.  And Jesus, or Jehovah, was a god even in the preexistence.  While Heavenly Father overlooked the creation of this Earth and presided over it, Jesus did the actual work.  Heavenly Father, the one true God, has created worlds without number.  But he let his firstborn spirit, Jehovah (Jesus Christ), create OUR Earth.  And Michael the Archangel helped him.

Now here is the catch.  Adam was Michael the Archangel in the preexistence.  So Adam literally helped Jesus do the manual labor of creating our Earth in the preexistence.  Adam also had a taste of godhood in the preexistence.

Furthermore, as former prophet and president Lorenzo Snow taught, Latter-day Saints believe that “as man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.”  Joseph Smith plainly taught that our God, our Heavenly Father, once dwelt on an earth with a body of flesh and bones.  Many anti-Mormons claim this means that God used to be a Mormon on some other god’s planet and gained exaltation from some other god and became our God.  But this is simply not true.

You see, there is only one God the Father who created worlds without number and who let Jesus and Michael create this Earth and who will eventually allow all his spirit children who are saved in the highest degree of celestial kingdom to have their own spirit children who inhabit their own worlds that they will create under the direction of the one God the Father (just like Jesus and Michael created THIS Earth under the direction of the one and only God).

In the King James Version (and even in the Catholic Douay-Rheims Version)  Revelation 1:6 reads “[Jesus] hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father…”  I substitute “And” with “Jesus” because if you read the verse before, they are clearly talking about Jesus.  Many false translations of the Bible make this read “unto Jesus and his Father” or “unto Jesus’s Father” or something along those lines.  But the King James Version got it right.  Jesus can’t be making us kings and priests unto himself and his own Father.  They are talking about a Father of God the Father!

Anti-Mormons claim Latter-day Saints thus believe, because of our interpretation of this scripture, that we believe there are other gods who appointed our God.  For Joseph Smith taught that if God the Father of Jesus had a father, then he probably also had a father.  There was never a father without first being a son of another father.  But this does not mean that the one and only God had a father who was a god!

You see, the ancient Greeks believed 3 different cosmogonies: first, that the very first god was time itself like a river flowing; second, that the very first god was eternal time who is more like a pond which we throw rocks in to cause ripples; and third, that the first gods were primal matter and love.  Most Greeks knew that primal matter, earth, hell, and love were the primordial gods.  And they were created by Father Time of the first cosmogony who mated with a goddess that he created named Ananke, or inevitability.  Inevitability was the mother of all primordial gods.

So what does this paganism have to do with Christianity?  Well, Latter-day Saints believe that we have a Heavenly Mother just like we have a Heavenly Father.  In Genesis 1:27, God creates mankind in the image of God — male and female.  You see, males and females were part of God’s plan from the very beginning.  In the beginning, God was a spirit surrounded by nothing.  He knew everything because he knew that he existed and that’s all there was to know.  But in order for God to learn everything he knows now, he had to learn it.  We’ll get to that in just a second.

First, when God was just a spirit surrounded by nothing he already had the morphology of a human being because human beings were part of God’s plan from the beginning.  And he already had a wife because husbands and wives (i.e. males and females) were part of God’s plan from the beginning.  But God had no actual beginning.  Primordial godhood goes back in time forever.  There is an eternity in the past just like there is an eternity in the future.  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  And there are infinite eternities in the one, eternal round of God’s existence.  But you can imagine time not existing?  Time, in a way, is God’s father.  And time itself is now an exalted being — a god.  So the LDS doctrine of patriarchal priesthood forces Christians in the latter days to reach out to ALL exalted beings.  Including Adam.

Now, remember I said that in order for God to know everything he knows now he had to learn it?  God spent an eternity watching everything in time so he could know everything that was going to happen.  And God, a spirit, had to learn everything about mortality by becoming a mortal.  This is where Adam’s high priesthood comes into play.

We are all spirit children of the one and only God.  And Mormons believe that spirit cannot be created or destroyed.  We were in the beginning with God, just like Jesus (John 1:1, Doctrine and Covenants 93:23,29).  There really is only one spirit, and that is God.  And we are spirit children of God.  We don’t remember being God, but we do remember being with God once he put us into our respective spheres.  Otherwise there is no existence.  God becomes his spirit children because they were created from Him.  We descended from God.  We are divine in nature.  And we have a divine potential.  We can return to live with God.  To be in God’s presence we must be like him.

But first we have to pass through mortality.  And God himself had to learn about mortality by BECOMING Adam.  If you read the account in Genesis carefully, Adam was the only person on the Earth for a short while.  While we all already existed in the preexistence, the Bible’s creation story begins “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1).  Adam was the man that Heavenly Father was and THIS EARTH was the earth he dwelt on — not some other god’s earth.  Adam quickly gained a companion.  Male and female was mankind created — in the image of God.  God is male and female.  We have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother.

Now, we talked about how Adam, or Michael the Archangel, tasted of godhood in the preexistence.  He helped Jesus create this Earth.  And, as God’s first son on the Earth in the beginning which happened in the beginning of time according to Genesis 1:1 he roamed the Earth simultaneously with God and Heavenly Mother creating spirit children in the preexistence.  But Adam was Michael in the preexistence.  Michael helped create this Earth BEFORE the beginning.  You have to understand this circular logic to fully grasp the Adam-God doctrine.  Put it this way: The grand beginning is still happening because it took an eternity.  We have our agency in this life, and God in the beginning is watching us and learning everything that has happened and is going to happen.  The grand beginning, which lasted an eternity, is currently happening but at the same time it has ALREADY happened.  God ALREADY KNOWS what’s going to happen.  The Bible many times mentions God’s foreknowledge.  He is an eternal being.  And he acquired this eternal nature from his father — time itself.

Adam is the son of God almost more than Jesus, because Adam had no earthly father AND no earthly mother.

Finally, to fully grasp the Adam-God doctrine, read 2 Nephi 2:25, 26.  Jesus comes in the MERIDIAN of time, though he is the FIRSTBORN spirit.  Jesus was literally the first spirit-man.  God, a spirit, BECAME Jesus by CREATING him.  Jesus was foreordained FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD to be the redeemer.  So the life of Jesus was in God’s mind from the very beginning.  That is why Jesus is our presiding high priest.  That is why we pray in the name of Jesus to talk to God.

Adam is the presiding high priest under Jesus because the FALL, which led to the multiplication of man and the creation of mankind — the human race — was also foreordained from the foundation of the world.  In the beginning, God created the Earth (i.e. Jesus and Michael created the Earth), and formed Adam from the dust of the ground.

Adam is our father in the sense that he is our literal father by virtue of ancestry.  He is our god because he is an exalted being (literally a god) who is presiding high priest under Jesus.  And he is the only god with whom we have to do because he is the god that brought sin into the world and caused mankind to come about.  God BECAME Adam and learned everything there was to know about mortality.  God became Jesus as Jesus was the first spirit-man.  We were all in the beginning with God so thus God became all of us too.  There is only one spirit, or rather there WAS only one spirit in the beginning but the works of God continue and worlds and lives abound.  We can someday have our own spirit children and create our own worlds under the direction of the one and only God.

The only point Brigham Young was mistaken about was that Adam was the father of spirits.

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Does the Book of Mormon have the same errors as the King James Version of the Bible?

Anti-Mormons argue that the Book of Mormon couldn’t have been divinely translated because it makes the same grammatical mistakes as the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible.  They ask why a book written in the 19th century has the same type of language used in the 1700s.  Did Joseph Smith use a KJV Bible to write the Book of Mormon?

It is true that the BOM has many passages where the language mirrors that of the KJV.  This only can add to one’s testimony that the BOM must be holy scripture.  But why does it make the same mistakes?

If language is rendered a certain way in the KJV, we should assume that that was the correct way to render it.  The KJV is the greatest piece of literature in Jacobean English and perhaps in all of English.  Some contest that language is rendered a different way in other pieces of literature of the time.  None of these were as great as the KJV.

Critics admit that the introduction to the KJV contains no grammatical mistakes.  If you read that introduction, you’ll know that the KJV was composed under his majesty’s special command.  There is no room for errors in the KJV.  If something appears a certain way in the KJV, we should assume it was the authors’ intent and that it was the correct way to translate.

So why does the Book of Mormon language mirror KJV language?  Because God wanted us to see it as just as great a piece of literature as the KJV!  FairMormon defends the faith by saying, “…we do not claim to know why the Lord chose to reveal the Biblical passages in that manner.”  They claim that the BOM passages were revealed in the same manner so that both books would be heavenly sealed together.

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