Saturday, January 21, 2012

Should We go to War?

There is question that arises in the hearts of some as to the rights or wrongs of going to war. While the Scriptures present some positive aspects, relative to war, many don't feel right in themselves about killing other people. There is quotes such as "thou shalt not kill," don't get angry at others and "love your enemies." It is questioned that Christ taught the latter two things as higher doctrines.

When I was young I was into the westerns and the goody beating the baddy. The goody had a faster draw in westerns or was a better shot in war movies. Both were good at ducking bullets and knowing what else to do to avoid getting shot. It was glorified in my eyes.

When I was about to turn 19 I joined the army for 3 years of service. When I got out on the range they showed us what modern weapons do. I was stunned to find that 1. You couldn't possibly duck a bullet as it travels so fast that it will hit you before you get to hear it. 2. You can't duck behind a tree or a brick wall as the bullet will travel through them. 3. It was demonstrated what a bullet does to a person by ripping their entire back out.

Yet the biggest wake-up was when firing down range at a human like target. The reality of the fact that they were expecting me to actually kill someone really hit home. For the first 2 and a half years of my time in the army I doubt that I would have fired a shot had I been called upon to go to a warzone.

One day I was called upon to be in primary. As I looked at the children sitting there I began to think about them and their chances of obtaining eternal life. It occurred to me that if the communists took over that none of them would have any chance of receiving the gospel in this life. It suddenly hit me that if we didn't reserve the right to hear the truth that these children wouldn't have that hope that I had. For that last half year I believe that it was possible that I might have gone to war if called upon to do so.

Years later amidst the hysteria about children and abuse, suspicions were raised about me as a father, by a neighbor of a different religion. I suddenly realised that I was prepared to defend my children to the death if these (?) attempted to take my children from me. I realised that my children's chance of receiving the gospel would be very slim if they were removed. It was amazing to me how I suddenly transformed from a real pacifist to someone ready to take on the whole country if necessary. All my army training came flooding back: Suddenly I could remember everything I had ever been taught.

I came to understand Nephi, Moroni, Mormon and all the rest of them. The eternal life of a person means more than the physical life of a million people who refuse to accept the truth.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Who's Son was Jesus Christ?

Having just had Christmas pass I reflected on that birth and what brought it about. I was reminded of the confusion that exists to some over who actually fathered the child.

Tradition from the Catholics has passed down the idea that Jesus Christ was somehow fathered by the Holy Ghost. This is understandable if all we had was the version in Matthew. It sounds like it could be suggesting that the Holy Ghost actually fathered the child.

"Now the birth of Jesus happened like this: When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost....for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Matt 1:18 & 20

Let's look at what it actually says in the most original Greek text that we have _

"Of the now Jesus Anointed the birth thus was. Being espoused for the mother of him Mary to the Joseph, before either came together them, she was found in womb having by a spirit holy. Joseph and the husband of her, a just man being and not willing her to publicly expose, was inclined secretly to release her. These but of him thinking on, lo a messenger of a Lord in a dream appeared to him, saying: Joseph, son of David, not thou shouldst fear to take Mary the wife of thee; that for in her being found, by a spirit is holy." The Emphatic Diaglott (Interlinear Text) 1865 by Benjamin Wilson

This is a very different statement altogether. While this presents the presence of the Holy Ghost it doesn't say that the Holy Ghost fathered the child, as the King James Version implies.

Luke presents that while the Holy Ghost came upon Mary so also did the Father. Further Luke presents firstly that he shall be referred to as God's Son and secondly he repeats this with the comment that this was because of the actions of the Father during the process of overshadowing.

"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David...Then Mary said to the angel, How will this be seeing I have not known a man? And the angel answered and said to her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon you and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:32 & 34-35

Looking at the original Greek doesn't alter this perspective _

"This shall be great, and a son of highest he shall be called; and shall give to him a Lord the God the throne of David the father of him... Said but Mary to the messenger: How shall be this, since a man not I know? And answering the messenger said to her: A spirit holy shall come upon thee, and a power of highest shall overshadow thee; therefore and the being begotten holy, shall be called a son of God." The Emphatic Diaglott (Interlinear Text) 1865 by Benjamin Wilson

references to the Diaglott can be found at the following site _

It is interesting to note that he isn't referred to as "the Son of God" but "a Son of God." This is consistent with other parts of Scripture such as the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus prays to "our" Father which is in Heaven. And the many notes to God being our Father. Also Adam is referred to as having God as the literal father of his flesh (Luke 3:38). Yet Jesus Christ is the only begotten in the fallen flesh and the special Anointed One.