Friday, January 30, 2015

The Sacrament

An important word that Luke and Nephi use to describe the sacrament is that Jesus’ body was “given” for us. Paul did not use this word. It is important to remember that the Lord gave of his own blood and flesh for us.
When not to partake of the sacrament:
Corinthians 11:27-29 - Do not partake of if you are unworthy
3 Nephi 18:28-29 - Do not let anyone partake of the sacrament if you know that they are not worthy.

     We talked about these things in my discussion group this week and we decided that the 3 Nephi           reference is mostly referring to the duty of Priesthood holders, especially Bishops.

If we partake unworthily we are guilty of the blood of the Lord. We will be damned if we do so.
It is important for me to remember that the Savior actually instituted the sacrament Himself. It was that important for Him to have us remember what He did for us. If I keep that in my mind it is easier for me to have a meaningful experience during sacrament meeting and throughout the week.

My thoughts: The sacramental prayer is one of the only prayers that needs to be recited as it is written. It is important that it be done right, or it has to be re-done.

From the prophets: Joseph Smith was told not to purchase alcohol form enemies so the church focused on producing its own wine until he received the Word of Wisdom which said that alcohol consumption is harmful to the body. In the late 19th century church leaders started to take the Word of Wisdom as a commandment and changed the wine to water. (Taken from Wikipedia).

Elder Dallin H. Oaks says, “Those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood open the door for all Church members who worthily partake of the sacrament to enjoy the companionship of the Spirit of the Lord and the ministering of angels.” My oldest son, Liam, will turn 12 this summer and he is so looking forward to holding the Priesthood so that he can pass the sacrament in our meetings. 
This is Liam with his little brother Mosiah and their Daddy (my awesome, amazing, wonderful Hubby.) Liam will be 12 in August.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Proper Authority

In Acts 19:1-12 and 20:7-12 Paul performed five priesthood ordinances. They were:
  •  Baptism
  • Giving the gift of the Holy Ghost
  • Healing
  •  Casting out evil spirits
  •  Raising the dead

In Acts 19:3-5 Paul finds out that the Corinthian saints have not been baptized under the right authority so he re-baptizes them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Side note, I was looking for a picture of Paul baptizing the Saints, but all I could find were pictures of him sprinkling them. I personally think that Paul would baptize by immersion, in the same way that John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. So I posted a picture of Jesus’ baptism.)

Some people who are investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints wonder why they would need to be baptized to join our church when they have already been baptized. This question is answered in these verses. The answer is, they were not baptized under the correct authority. After the saints were baptized Paul laid his hands upon their heads and gave them the gift of the Holy Ghost.

In the LDS church members are baptized at the age of 8. They are baptized by immersion and are given the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands afterwards.

On the first day of the week Paul met with the saints to break bread, or have the sacrament with them. This would be Sunday. In John 20:1 we find that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week which became the new Sabbath. Jesus also appeared to His disciples on this new Sabbath day.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Missionary Comparisons

This Map is called Paul’s first Journey and is from from the New Testament Institute Student Manual. It traces Paul’s first mission and includes places such as Antioch, Salamis, Paphos, Perga, and Lystra.  Paul (also known as Saul) and Barnabas journeyed over 1400 miles on this first mission.

Paul was a great missionary. From him we can learn some great things to help our missionaries in the field who may feel discouraged:

  • Paul was called by prophets to serve his mission, as are missionaries from the LDS church today. 
  • Careful prayer and fasting was used to select the missionaries and to choose where they would go, as well as following impressions from the Holy Ghost.
  • Missionaries are blessed and set apart by those in authority to help them on their way.
  • The Holy Ghost dwells with the missionaries as they serve the Lord.

Barnabas was Paul’s missionary companion. He sold all of his possessions and gave the proceeds to the Apostles . He basically vouched for Paul to the Apostles. He was called by the Apostles to help Paul serve a mission. He was known as a good man who was full of the Holy Ghost. He acted by faith.  Though he was not one of the Twelve Apostles, he was regarded as an Apostle.

In Acts 14: 8-18 Paul heals a cripple who has never been able to walk. The people of Lystra at this point are shocked and say “The gods are come down to us in the likenss of men.” They give the missionaries/apostles the names Jupiter and Mercurius (also known as Zeus and Hermes). They want to give sacrifices for them. Barnabas and Paul assure them that they are just men that are testifying for and of Christ. They stop the people from doing the sacrifices.

In the same chapter verses 19-22 we read that these men were treated completely different by certain Jews from Antioch and Iconiym. They stoned Paul and pulled him out of the city thinking that he was dead. The Apostles gathered around him and he rose up and went back into the city and then left the next day with Barnabas to continue their mission. Paul pointed out in verse 22 that “we must [go] through much tribulation [or adversity and tests to] enter the kingdom of God.

Both of these examples of what happened to these missionaries while they are doing the Lords work are examples of this principle (that we must go through tribulation to enter the kingdom of God). Obviously being stoned and cast out of the city is a trial, but also being treated as a god and having to stop people from being sacrilegious is a test as well.

Today missionaries serve throughout the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and although they are not being treated as gods, or being stoned or travelling on foot 1400 miles, they are sacrificing a lot for their Father in Heaven. I believe that missionary work is of the Lord. I believe that the Lord sends the Holy Ghost to guide these young men and women (and sometimes older men and women as well) to go where they should go.