Filed under: Family Research & Teaching, Mormon Church, Videos
Oftentimes those who preach sexual abstinence before marriage, and fidelity after marriage, have been told to stop trying to impose their beliefs on others. But what if science could prove sexual permissiveness does great damage to future sexual happiness?
That’s what Dr. Joe McIlhaney of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health in Austin says. New research shows that sleeping around now could ruin your chances of having a happy, fulfilling marriage later.
But some teenagers may never get married. In fact, McIlhaney explains that ”if adolescents are sexually involved, they’re more likely to be suicidal than their friends who are not sexually involved… Girls are three times as likely to be suicidal. Boys seven times as likely to be suicidal as their friends who are still virgins.”
I love to go to the temple. I have recently moved and now I live very close to one of the beautiful Mormon temples. Everything that there is or that we do in the temple is a symbol of Jesus Christ and his life and atonement.
Recently I was reading from the scriptures while in there and I was struck by this scripture in the New Testament, John 12:27:
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
When troubles come and problems seem to overcome our confidence in the Lord and in what we are trying to do, this is a good verse to remember. The Lord Jesus was troubled. So, it is acceptable to be troubled, it is normal to have really bad moments in our lives, but “what shall we say? Father save us from this hour?”
Troubles and problems are part of lives and are important for our progression, therefore we should better ask for strength to endure and overcome them, instead of praying to avoid them.
In the previous verses (24 and 25) we are taught that
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
It is easy to forget these principles, especially when everything seems to go well in our lives and over time we start thinking that someway we are almost entitled to those blessings because we are keeping the commandments.
In part this may be true, we receive many blessings because we keep the commandments. However, we are never so obedient that we do not need correction once in a while to help us move to a higher level, and even more important, there are things we can only learn through adversity. Moreover,
(our) adversity and (our) afflictions shall be but a small moment (D&C 121:7)
and as the Lord told Joseph Smith in a very difficult moment of his life,
The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?" (D&C 122:8).
Properly Elder Holland responded to this question in his talk Lessons from Liberty Jail
No, Joseph was not greater than the Savior, and neither are we. And when we promise to follow the Savior, to walk in His footsteps, and be His disciples, we are promising to go where that divine path leads us. And the path of salvation has always led one way or another through Gethsemane. So if the Savior faced such injustices and discouragements, such persecutions, unrighteousness, and suffering, we cannot expect that we are not going to face some of that if we still intend to call ourselves His true disciples and faithful followers.
Filed under: Mormon Doctrine, Mormon Prophets and Apostles
I have noticed that there are some people who think that prophets are a thing of the past, and that after Jesus came on earth, we do not really need them anymore.
Usually, people who think this, also think that a modern prophet must be a false prophet by default, and they even use the scriptures to show passages about false prophets.
What many of these people seem to miss, is that the scriptures talk about false prophets to distinguish them from the true prophets. Therefore, there must also be true prophets. And even more important, people may be acting and teaching as a prophet even if they call themselves with other names. Political leaders in many cases act as prophets, even rock bands spread their “gospel” through their music.
I think that the following discussion from Bruce McConkie is very useful to help us understand the purpose of prophets and the real difference between true and false prophets.
True Prophets Reveal True Doctrines (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man, p.68)
Our attention now turns to what the inspired word has to say about the false teachers, false ministers, and false prophets who shall spew forth their damning doctrines in the days of desolation and sorrow that precede the Second Coming of the true Teacher, the chief Minister, and the presiding Prophet. Their presence is one of the signs of the times, and they shall prophesy and teach so near the truth “that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (JS-M 1:22.)
Lest we be deceived, we must know the differences between true and false prophets. “Beware of false prophets,” Jesus said (Matt. 7:15), and we cannot recognize a false prophet unless we know what a true one is.
Our whole system of revealed religion calls for us to believe in true prophets, to cleave unto their counsels, and to conform to the word of the Lord that falls from their lips. Prophets and seers, how great they are! They stand in the place and stead of the Lord Jesus in administering salvation to fallen man. Their vision is endless and their understanding reaches to heaven. What, then, is the nature and mission of a true prophet?
A prophet is a living witness of the divine Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is one who knows by personal revelation that Jesus is the Lord who worked out the infinite and eternal atonement by which salvation comes. This “testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10), and one so gifted and so endowed has power, if need be, to “prophesy of all things” (Mosiah 5:3).
A prophet is a legal administrator who has been called of God to represent him in teaching the doctrines of salvation to men on earth. He is one who is empowered to perform the ordinances of salvation so they will be binding on earth and sealed everlastingly in the heavens. He is a teacher of eternal truth; he expounds the plan of salvation. He is a witness of the Lord; he testifies of Christ. He is a minister; he does everything for mortal men that is needed to save and exalt them in the highest heaven. When called to the ministry, he holds the priesthood and is endowed with power from on high. It is his privilege to receive revelation, to see visions, to entertain angels, and to see the face of God.
True prophets are always found in the true Church, and false prophets, as we shall see, are always found in false churches. In setting forth the chief identifying characteristics of the Lord’s Church, Paul said: “God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 Cor. 12:28.) Indeed, the saints and the Church “are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” (Eph. 2:19-20.)
Where there are apostles and prophets, there is the Church and kingdom of God on earth; and where these are not, the true Church and the divine kingdom are not present. How can a church be the Lord’s Church unless it receives revelation from him? Who can head up the Lord’s work on earth if there are no prophets? Who can preach and teach true doctrines without prophetic insight? Who can perform the ordinances of salvation with binding certainty and sealing surety unless they are legal administrators endowed with power from on high?
And so it is written that Christ “gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”-all given as “gifts unto men.” For what purpose? They are given “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
How long are they to remain in the Church? “Till we all come in the unity of the faith”; until that millennial day when every living soul is converted to the truth; until righteous men are prepared to receive their own instructions direct from the Lord.
What blessings come to men because there are apostles and prophets? These are many. The chief are that obedient persons have power to press forward in righteousness, to gain “the knowledge of the Son of God,” to perfect their souls, and to become joint-heirs with Christ, than which there are no greater blessings. Further, those who give heed to true prophets and who take apostolic counsel are not “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” They know the truth and are not deceived by false prophets and teachers. Those who “lie in wait to deceive” to have no power over them. They are not moved “by the sleight of men, and [the] cunning craftiness” of evil and designing persons. (Eph. 4:11-14.)
In this probationary estate we must choose between good and evil, virtue and vice, light and darkness. We must pursue an upward or a downward course; we must get nearer to the Lord or nearer to the devil. God’s voice and his counsel come from the light of Christ and by way of his prophets; the devil’s enticements are whispered into the minds of men from an evil source and are taught by false prophets who represent him whose word they teach. All men follow either true or false prophets. Those who do not give heed to the divinely sent representatives of the Lord, by virtue of that fact alone, follow those who are not of God.
(more later about false prophets)
What Bruce McConkie wrote in the past is not necessarily Mormon Doctrine, but this excerpt from his book, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man ( p.30) is a good explanation of when Mormons expect to be the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
” Many scriptures attest that “the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.” (D&C 110:16.) In our revelations the Lord says, “The time is soon at hand that I shall come in a cloud with power and great glory” (D&C 34:7), and that “the great day of the Lord is nigh at hand. . . . For in mine own due time will I come upon the earth in judgment” (D&C 43:17, 29). Speaking of his coming, the Lord says in one revelation that it shall be “not many days hence” (D&C 88:87), and in another, that the wars to precede it are “not yet, but by and by” (D&C 63:35). These and like sayings fall into perspective when we hear him say: “These are the things that ye must look for; and, speaking after the manner of the Lord, they are now nigh at hand, and in a time to come, even in the day of the coming of the Son of Man.” (D&C 63:53.) We conclude that in the eternal perspective the coming of the Lord is nigh, but that from man’s viewpoint many years may yet pass away before that awesome and dreadful day. And we must remind ourselves that he will not come until all that is promised has come to pass.
Time, as measured “after the manner of the Lord,” is that which prevails on Kolob. One revolution of that planet is “a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning,” such “being one thousand years according to the time appointed” for our earth. (Abr. 3:4.) This earth was created and destined to pass through “seven thousand years of . . . continuance, or . . . temporal existence,” with the millennial era becoming its Sabbath of rest. “We are to understand,” as it is set forth in the revealed word, “that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things.” Certain named events are then specified to precede his coming. They are “the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years-the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.” (D&C 77:6, 12.) That is to say, the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come “in the beginning of the seventh thousand years.” We, of course, cannot tell with certainty how many years passed from the fall of Adam to the birth of Jesus, nor whether the number of years counted by our present calendar has been tabulated without error. But no one will doubt that we are in the Saturday night of time and that on Sunday morning the Lord will come.
Peter had the Lord’s time in mind when he wrote that “there shall come in the last days scoffers,” mockers who do not believe the scriptural accounts stating that God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. They will say: “Where is the promise of his coming?” They will reject the Second Coming with its millennial era of peace, with its new heaven and new earth wherein death and sorrow cease, because, as they falsely reason: “Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” They will say such things as: ‘How can there be a millennial era during which men will live to the age of a tree, when everyone knows we are the end product of evolution and that death has always existed on earth?’ But Peter says that they “willingly are ignorant” of God’s true dealings with reference to the creation, with reference to the flood of Noah, and with reference to the coming day of judgment, a day when “the elements shall melt with fervent heat” and all things shall become new.
To the saints, among whom are we, he says: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise. . . . But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise.” (2 Pet. 3:3-13.)
Thus, also, we read in latter-day revelation: “Now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man. . . . For after today cometh the burning-this is speaking after the manner of the Lord.” (D&C 64:23-24.)
With reference to that day of which we write, Joseph Smith said: “I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following: Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter. I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face. I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.” (D&C 130:14-17.) A few days after making this statement the Prophet referred to it in a sermon and said: “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written-the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old.”
It was in this same sermon that he said: “Were I going to prophesy, I would say the end [of the world] would not come in 1844, 5, or 6, or in forty years. There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till Christ comes.” The rising generation includes all those yet to be born to parents then living. Manifestly many of these are now among us and will be living after the year A.D. 2000 has come and gone.
In this sermon also the Prophet said: “The coming of the Son of Man never will be-never can be till the judgments spoken of for this hour are poured out: which judgments are commenced.” (Teachings, p. 286.) At this point he alluded to Paul’s statements that the saints are the children of light and not of darkness and that the coming day should not overtake them as a thief in the night. And it is on these points-that he will not come until the signs of the times are fulfilled and that the children of light will recognize the signs-that we shall take our stand as we go forward in our studies.
To all of this we must append this verity: When the day arrives, he will come quickly. The time for repentance and preparation will be passed; the day of judgment will be upon us. His presence “shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. . . . And it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day.” (Isa. 10:16-17.)
Hear, then, this counsel, O ye saints: “Be patient in tribulation until I come; and, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, and they who have sought me early shall find rest to their souls.” (D&C 54:10.) Also: “Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord.” (D&C 87:8.)