Archive for December, 2009

04
Dec
09

Not Even God

Have you ever talked to, or listened to, teenage boys?  I mean, the kind who are about fifteen or sixteen years old?  It is amazing.  Apparently, they can respond to the most complicated inquiries, saying all that need be said, with a grunt and a sigh.  And if they’re asked to do something?  Short of nuclear war there is nothing that can motivate timely action beyond Oscar-class eye rolling.  OK, maybe nuclear war, but who knows for sure?

So I got to thinking about the religious implications of all this.  And you know what?   Joseph Smith experienced the first vision when he was fourteen or so.  And then he didn’t have another vision until he was almost eighteen (21 Sep 1823).  Do you think that is coincidental?  I don’t.

Apparently,  not even God can bear to talk to boys when they’re that age!!!

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02
Dec
09

Mormon Rapture?

One of the things I noticed when I was preparing for a GD lesson was the final sentence in the concluding verse of Section 27:

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out on you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come,  and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.

What attracted my attention was the expression “caught up.”   This expression occurs three times in the NT (AV).  The man-child of Revelation 13 is “caught up” into heaven for his preservation, Paul was “caught up” as part of his vision of the third heaven (2 Cor 12:2-4) and most famously, in First Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17  6 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This is what some Protestants call the Rapture.  Now on one level it’s an innocuous phrase and it could be used in imitation of Paul’s ascent.  But both Paul and the man-child are temporary visits to heaven, while the context of both First Thessalonians and Section 27 is eschatological.  Moreover, both First Thessalonians and Section 27 share the idea that behind the ascent is a more permanent association with Jesus.

So hm.  We don’t usually do much talking about the Rapture, do we?

01
Dec
09

Armor of God (LSN 43)

So yes, I teach Gospel Doctrine…

Two things interested me about this lesson.  First, I was intrigued by the changes made in the DC when compared to Ephesians 6.  Second, I wondered why this particular metaphor was in Section 27.

Here’s how the section breaks out:

27:1-4: elements of the Lord’s Supper (Mt 26:29; Mk 14:25; Lk 22:18 for prediction)

27:5-14: extended meditation on the guest list for the eschatological banquet

27:15-18: armor of God

And here are the verses in question:

15 Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all that ye may be able to stand. 16 Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,  having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you; 17 Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; 18 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.

Continue reading ‘Armor of God (LSN 43)’




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