Jesus The Christ – Study Guide
(2) The Premortal Existence
Genesis 1:26-27 is the biblical account of what is left of the premortal life, which according to some LDS scholars was over 2.5 billion years of existence. In this organizational meeting (Abraham 3:22-28), we were all present and witnessed the Savior’s appointment as the Redeemer. Jesus explained that some souls would be lost and not make it back. Lucifer argued that he could save them (v. 26). In verses 24-25, Jesus is already the Chosen One. He is speaking in past tense that we (God the Father and Him) we prove us to determine if we keep our covenants made (in the premortal existence).
“No man knows had bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.”
Bad people don’t know wickedness because they live a sheltered life. Sheltered from the resistance of evil. If we resist evil, evil fights back. If we don’t resist evil, evil leaves us alone.
Lying down in a windstorm doesn’t give one an appreciation for the strength of the wind. Only standing up against the wind can one appreciate the power of the wind.
The following is a talk given by my son Andrew in Leander, TX. He and his family just moved into the ward and joined his older brother Charles.
Insights on Mortal Life
Insights on Mortal Life
Leander TX !!
It’s always a pleasure to attend the same ward as my older brother Charles. Moments to embarrass him don’t present themselves very often. So, when I responded to Br. Bishop that I was delighted to receive the assignment to speak, I really meant it.
Those of you who have served missions will readily recall certain companions who were more challenging than others. Some companions were introverted and others never shut up. It was a great learning ground for us as we prepared for the bonds of matrimony. Statistically it appears that many of us still struggle with interpersonal relationships. It’s possible that the source of frustration may be an intrapersonal conflict.
I attended a Little Philmont training for Scout Leaders yesterday. One of the take aways from the meeting was Pres. Fields concept of “Selective Neglect.” It’s another way of explaining priorities in life. There is too much to accomplish during any given day, therefore, we must filter our activities through a set of priorities. Here are our family’s priorities in life:
This talk was delivered on June 9, 2013 in the Wollochet Ward.
It was a cold blustery morning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when Frank Daly, a local teenager was taking the bus home. The bus driver, John Williams, shivered each time he opened the door to let new passengers on. Inside the bus was warm, outside it was 10 degrees. Not far from his stop, Frank noticed a pregnant woman board the bus.
Her clothes were tattered, her socks were ripped and she had no shoes. The woman was heading in the opposite direction of her destination, but she boarded the bus to escape the cold. She was a mother of eight children and had enough money for the children’s’ shoes but not for her own.
The practical application of prayer is akin to communicating with a parent; with the notable exception that communicating with earthly parents carries different nuances. The most apparent difference is the predictably irrational behavior of earthly parental units during times of frustration and anger.
If prayer is the process of communicating with God, then an understanding of effective communication is necessary. Pure communication is an exchange of understanding. However, for the purposes of learning, the process starts with seeking to understand the other person. No expectation of reciprocity. In other words, do not expect them to seek your opinions or thoughts.
As the story was related to me, many years ago, as a missionary, Elder Jack Welch was admiring the stain glass art work in a German Cathedral. This particular glasswork depicted the parable of the Good Samaritan. It was then he connected the meaning of the parable to the Plan of Salvation. Years later and many hours discussing and pondering his discovery, this is my understanding of the Savior’s immortal words. My thanks to Brother Welch’s insights.
The parable is found in Luke 10:25-37
When teaching the gospel to an investigator, it is common for the teaching missionaries to warn the investigator of impending temptations and trials the closer they come to the truth. “Satan will have you,” we warn.
While on my mission, one of the major stumbling blocks encountered was the story of Nephi dispatching Laban with his own sword. Sometimes the investigator would return the Book of Mormon with a brief, but firm explanation that such a story was inappropriate for scripture, while others would place the book on the porch with a short message.
We live in a world that glorifies bad behavior. Neural science can trace the electrochemicals (self-manufactured chemicals or internal chemicals) that flow through our system when we behave in ways that are harmful. The effect is a temporary good feeling when we behave poorly.
The external manifestation of this behavior is rationalization.
You hit my sister because she hit you. You feel good about hitting your sister because your mind was able to manufacture a chemical that covered the pain (electrochemical) that is the natural consequence of behaving poorly. After a period of time, the effect of the behaviorally induced drug wears off and you feel guilty.
When I was a young boy my friend had a go-cart his dad fixed up for him. He explained that his dad had put a governor on the throttle so he wouldn’t go too fast. To my 9-year old mind that was foolishness. Why have a machine that can give you all these great thrills and then bridle it. I told my friend that was stupid. In reply he summed up the situation like an adult, “he doesn’t want me to get hurt.”
I received a phone call from a young friend who is a recent convert. While visiting his family and disclosing his newly acquired faith, many questions and statements have been entertained. Last night he called asking how to handle his grandma’s statement, which is roughly as follows:
The bible is the last word from God; there is no more. When Jesus was on the cross he said, “It is finished”, which means there is no more church organization and no more scripture.
The answer is two-parts:
The scene is now set for Samuel the Lamanite who comes into the land of Zarahemla and delivers his message of repentance along with a specific timeline of events. He indicates that Zarahemla would already be destroyed by fire if it were not for the righteous within the city.
Now if you’re among the wicked, at whom do you turn your wrath? A wicked mind accepts no blame, therefore, the righteous are going to get the consequences. To those who repent he gives them an out, but to those not willing to change Samuel says that their days of probation are over. Imagine a prophet of God telling you that your mortal probation is over while you are still alive.
Around 41 BC we read: “And so great was the prosperity of the church, and so many the blessings which were poured out upon the people, that even the high priests and the teachers were themselves astonished beyond measure.”
Seven years later (34 BC) Nephite dissenters join forces with the Lamanites and take the land of Zarahemla. In other words, they overthrow the capital in a military coup. In 30 BC we read the following: “For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.”
From an economic standpoint, people who hang Christmas lights make no sense? My sister-in-law starts decorating her Christmas tree and house on Black Friday. You can’t go to the bathroom in her without a motion-detecting Santa Claus accompanying your tinkling with music. What is the return on investment?
How many times have you heard the concept that we should have Christmas all year round? The feelings that are generated through the holiday season are like sunshine in the Northwest. It doesn’t happen much, you feel good all over when it happens, and you want to celebrate because you feel so good.