Monday, August 24, 2009

Sabbath - What are Correct Sabbath Activities?

What should a person honouring the sabbath day do, and be expecting of the day?

In regard the first of these I have heard mothers say that the Sabbath is a constant run around; getting the kids ready for church and getting home to prepare meals etc. Then it has added challenge if they have a teaching calling. They question what kind of a rest day is it? I knew a man who went to church and then slept most of the day, as that was his rest day. Should I watch TV or listen to the radio?

Exodus 35:2-3 states _ "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whoever does work in it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire in a place you inhabit on the sabbath day."

To light a fire required cutting and carrying wood, starting a fire. This would have restricted food preparation which would have additionally required heavy lifting of cooking utensils. It was quite a chore compared to switching on a stove or microwave and carrying a saucepan. Obviously though, involved cooking would be an infringement still. But this is for you to decide, with help from the Holy Spirit. Whatever you do must rest well with your conscience in reality.

To understand this we need to consider what the idea of a sabbath day actually is. Why did God give the sabbath day commandment? How can taking one day aside out of seven help us spiritually?

To answer that let's look at what if God gave no sabbath day. What spiritual thought would the average Israelite have had? The vast majority would have had almost none. And would quickly have turned to idol worship and sacrificed their firstborn children in the fires of Molech etc. This is an extreme example to demonstrate God's wisdom and purpose in making a sabbath day.

In reality we should attempt to make our entire life built around spiritual things and being more God like. Thus we would have seven sabbath days a week in our hearts. However because we don't do this we need to have a sabbath day. This day should be a day of spiritual rest from unspiritual things of the world. These unspiritual things don't include motherly or fatherly duties. In regard such work on the sabbath day Jesus said, "My Father has been working up until this time, and I am working" (John 5:17). That work for the Father is looking after us His children.

So is watching TV or listening to the radio what would constitute "unspiritual things of the world"? I don't see too much spirituality on the TV myself (though I hardly ever watch it for that reason anyway). There are spiritual things that could be watched on the sabbath, such as conference videos or wholesome religious movies. The LDS distribution centre put out some of these. And the radio commentators often express sexual inuendo to suggest this thinking is normal. Thus it lowers moral standards in people's heads, suggesting we should think like that. As a side issue here, I find it a typical trick of Satan that those with one track minds are termed "broad minded", to hide the opposite reality.

To summarise then it is important to remain focused on the whole point of a sabbath. Whatever you do it should support God's concept of increasing you as a spiritual person by getting closer to Him. Scripture study, pondering upon spiritual things, prayer and service to others are the best things to accomplish this.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Protestants and Judgement - God is Love?

As an LDS I know that an acceptance of Jesus as my Savior is necessary. Yet I also know that this salvation is from the hell faced after sinning. And that then sanctification is required to obtain the greatest gift of following God - eternal life. Yet Protestantism believes that there is only one hell situation and only one other state - Heaven (that the "Paradise" referred to is the same as the Kingdom of Heaven etc). Therefore they conclude that salvation from hell automatically MUST put you in heaven.

In this post I will create a glimpse into this judgement, as mankind are judged; for you to explore how scripturally and morally correct or incorrect Protestant judgement seems to you.

The prophet Abraham questioned God and asked, "...Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" Gen 18:25

God's response to this question was to demonstrate to Abraham that he would do right (by Abraham's standard) (Gen 18:23-32).

In Romans 3:5-6 Paul poses that if God were not ethical in his judgement " could God judge the world?"

"...That God is unjust ... (speaking from a MAN'S viewpoint). Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?"

A clear statement that God's judgement is FAIR and true from OUR perspective of such also. This is further evidence that God's judgement will be right by a standard that even we can understand.

However the Protestants inform us that the criteria for God's judgement is that all those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior while alive will go to heaven, regardless of their spiritual lifestyle. They further claim that the rest will all go to the final hell: You must accept the name of Jesus or spend forever burning. They say that those living before Jesus are to be judged by a different criteria. They are to be judged by their obedience to the Laws that God gave to Moses or those before.

This afore mentioned acceptance of Jesus is proposed to only need be performed with the mouth, and that inside you passively accept the idea that God raised him from the dead. And Romans 10:9 is quoted to support this claim.

"For if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved."

Their interpretation of this verse makes it that this acceptance can even be done on your death bed.

So I would like to make an examination of the final judgement looking at it from a Protestant viewpoint. This following is a glimpse of the judgement as books are opened and the dead are judged, by the God of Protestantism, from those things written (Rev 20:12). Remember that we are informed that even we humans will realise the judgement of the real God is just.

I've made an unconfirmed assumption in regard one historical figure, purely for the sake of the point. We begin our look as one person's judgement has been concluded and the next needs to be called in.

God speaking: "Who is next to be judged, clerk?"

Clerk: "Jim Brown, Your Worship."

God: "Well send him in."

God: "Jim, the books say that you spent your life as a thief. You did help your mother sometimes: Apparently she was suffering with an inability to move. However you murdered the butcher when caught stealing from him. There is a large list of other medium offences. This should send you to hell, of course. But the books further inform us that you confessed the name of Jesus. You will go to heaven. Clerk, send him to heaven and bring in the next one."

Clerk: "This next person is Wati Haini."

God: "Wati you risked your life to save your tribe from tigers on several occasions and did many other good things. Only some minor bad things occurred. But I note you didn't get to confess the name of Jesus before you died."

Wati: "I never heard such a name."

God: "Ignorance is no exception to the law. You MUST have confessed the name of Jesus to get into heaven, regardless of where you are born. Clerk, send him to hell forever."

God: "Clerk, there is no sense sending in anyone who never heard the name of Jesus in their lifetime, as they will be automatically going to hell, having not accepted his name. So just send them to hell and that should at least save the court's time with many senseless cases."

Clerk: "Yes, Your Worship. I'll see to that. The next case is Adolf Hitler."

God: "Adolf, it is noted that you didn't smoke or drink alcohol. Those were, at least, good examples to others. However it mentions that you are responsible for the death of millions. You murdered and began wars that caused not only death but many other atrocities. You would be well and truly a candidate for hell. But I note here that you confessed Jesus as your Savior before dying. You will therefore go to heaven. Clerk, send him to heaven and bring in the next one."

Clerk: "The next one is Gandhi, Your Worship."

God: "It says here that you were a pacifist and curbed a lot of potential violence in India. And it also says that you did a lot of service and gave encouragement to others. Unfortunately it says nothing of you confessing Jesus as your personal Savior. Clerk, send him to hell and bring in the next."

Clerk: "We felt it easier to bring in the next two together as they both got struck by a bus at the same time. Paul Amos died instantly, but his brother Peter lived for about 5 minutes before dying."

God: "I see here that both of you lived lives of about the same value: Some small good, some small bad. No major infringements. However I note here Peter that you decided to confess the name of Jesus in the 5 minutes before dying. You therefore go to heaven and your brother, who didn't get such time to confess, goes to hell. Next case."

Clerk: "Since we did so well with the last dual case we thought we may present the next 2 together as well." We have Samuel Ben Joseph an Israelite who lived before Christ and Thomas Handel who lived after Christ."

God: "I see Samuel that you lived a very upright life overall. You visited those in prison, gave relief to the sick, clothed the naked, fed the poor and did very little wrong. So you can go to heaven. Yet you, Thomas, stole from people, raped women, murdered children and did almost no good at all. But it states here that you confessed Jesus as your Savior. You both obviously go to heaven. Next."

Clerk: "I've got 2 men here who lived before Christ, David Ben Judah and Levi Ben Eli."

God: "David, your good works obtain a good work value (GWV) of 10,001 and your evil works obtain a evil work value (EWV) of 10,002 in your lifetime. As you lived before Jesus you are judged on these works and your bad ones outweigh your good ones by 1, you go to hell forever. Levi, you get 10,002 in GWV but only 10,001 in EWV. As your good works outweigh your bad works by 1 you go to heaven forever."

Clerk: "We've got 2 women here who lived next to each other. Jill Smith and Betty Jones."

Jill Smith: "Yes, God, I told Betty that if she didn't come to church with me she would go to hell. And that I would look down from heaven and say to her, 'I told you that you should have listened to me and come to church.'"

God: "I see here that you both lived lives about the same. But, of course, Jill is right Betty, you should have listened; and now she can spend eternity telling you that, as you are burning in hell. Next case."

Clerk: "Purity Young is next."

God: "Purity, I see you were well named. Truly a beautiful person. An enormous love of others. A dedication to your husband, children and grandchildren. Appreciated for all your hard work for others. You apparently risked your life on several occasions to save other people. And eventually gave your life in such an event. However it is noted that you had some problem accepting that I, the God of Protestantism, could be a true God, yet so unjust. You quoted 1 John 4:8 that says, 'God is love.' You failed to understand that was just propaganda. As you therefore haven't accepted Jesus you go to hell. Next."

Clerk: "The next one was Doug Towers. But he said that if you're God he'd feel more comfortable with his conscience by going and burning in hell with Purity and Gandhi, so he went there."

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Effect We can have in Eternity

As I have pondered upon just how the whole system of eternity and intelligences is, I have from time to time come across the thought of how Heavenly Father has effected things.

We know that we all have a spirit body (including the animals D&C 77:2A) that was born to heavenly parents (Heb 12:9). And we know that we have always (even before our spirit body was born) been an intelligence that was never created or made, and can't be (D&C 93:29).

When this time has ceased if we have been faithful we know that we will take upon ourselves to assist existing Heavenly Fathers and Mothers by becoming Heavenly Fathers or Mothers elsewhere.

So what is it that they do?

"For behold, this is my work and my glory - To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." Moses 1:39

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ work in our service 24-7.

"Jesus said to them, 'My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.'" (NIV) John 5:17

"And whoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be the servant of all. For even the Son of man didn't come to be ministered to, but to minister..." Mark 10:45

Part of our heavenly parents' work was to bear our intelligence a spirit body. It would seem that eternity is not only full of endless space, but also endless intelligences within it. So heavenly parents provide the opportunity for these intelligences (as ourselves) to receive a fullness of joy through providing a spirit body and a process whereby we obtain a physical body. This gives us greater experience and enlargens us as individual intelligences.

As we know Heavenly Father also had a Heavenly Father who taught him. And this is an endless process back, as eternal as "time" (written for simplicity) and space itself - having neither beginning nor ending.

When I consider upon the endless intelligences and this process that exists, I can't help but see the eternally increasing immense difference one man or one woman can make by living correctly. Even if, on this planet, only 14 million women receive eternal life, can you begin to perceive the eternal consequences of our Heavenly Father's actions?

Each of those 14 million women will end up having countless future heavenly parents. Who will go on and do the same. And the man's effect is even greater in the numbers sense.

The mind truly boggles at what we can do, as just one individual, by assisting in this continued act of service.