Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Atonement

The Atonement

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.  And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly; and he sweat as at were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
(Luke 22: 43--44)

 The Atonement of Christ was and is a voluntary act. The Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ voluntarily took upon him the sins of all mankind and laid down his life and took it back up again to satisfy the eternal demands of Justice, which required his infinite atonement. The Saviour himself said ‘I lat down my life for the sheep…Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it up again. No man take it from me, but I lay it down of myself’ (John 10:10-18)
As Latter Day Mormons we understand that Christ could choose to live or die. He was always the master of life and death. Jesus had the power to die, he received that from his mother, and she was mortal therefore endowing Christ with the ability to die. Due to his mother being mortal Jesus had blood within his body just as you and I have blood within our bodies, blood is the life of our mortal body. As our hearts pumps the blood it circulates around our bodies giving us life. We must bare in mind that Christ, Jesus father was not a mortal man but rather an omnipotent being, a God. We do not have power to pay down our lives and take them up again. But Jesus had power to lay down his life, and he had power to take it up again, and when he was he was put to death on the cross, he gave up his life on his own accord. When he was nailed to the cross he meekly submitted, but he had the power within that he could have resisted, but he chose not to and therefore submitted himself to the atonement. Christ came in to the world to die that we might live, and his atonement for sin and death is the force by which we are raised to immortality and eternal life. We may not fully understand how is was that this was done or why he was required to perform the work for us by the shedding of his blood, but this is the case, and we are owe all to him for he bought us through the shedding of his blood.

As Latter Day Mormons we must understand that the atonement only works when we are prepared to accept it in our lives and that acceptance is found in repentance. Christ does not and will not redeem any man for his individual sins who will not repent and who will not accept him. All of those that refuse to accept him as their personal Saviour and refuse to turn from their sins will have to pay the price for their continued sinning and shunning of the atonement remember is was Christ who said ‘For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent’ (D&C 19:16-19)

It must be made clear that Christ took upon himself the burden and weight of sins of the whole world past, present and future. It can sometimes feel hard enough for us to carry the weight of our own sins let alone those of the whole world form the beginning of time to the end of time. It is something that we can just not comprehend. The suffering of Jesus Christ, the mental and spiritual condition is something that we can not and indeed should not for us as mortal beings it is unfathomable to understand the passion of the Christ and the effort that went in to doing what he did for us.

There are many people in Christendom that believe that when he was hosted upon the cross and the nails driven in to his hands and feet that this was the greatness  of his suffering that that all was accomplished upon the cross. However as Latter Day Mormons we believe that his great suffering took place before he was placed upon the cross and that it took place in the garden of Gethsemane. It was in the garden that of Gethsemane that the blood shed from every pore that an angel was sent from the courts of the Father to aid him and give him comfort because the pain and suffering was so intense. Christ revealed to us in these Latter Days just what he went through in the garden when he says ‘Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of the pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit and would that I might not drink the bitter cup and shrink’ (D&C 19: 18) Christ tells us here that this wasn’t upon the cross but in the garden of Gethsemane. Now it must be understood that we do not take away from the cross and place all of the atonement in the garden, for the cross was where he spoke unto the father and where the Father cried from heaven for his loss and where Christ fulfilled scripture and became like unto us and took upon himself death and therefore gained the resurrection. But it must be remembered that the pain and agony of Gethsemane was so intense so powerful that Christ the Cod of this world called unto his father and asked ‘If it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt’ (Matthew 26:39).

 Christ paid an infinite price for us and it is therefore impossible for us mere mortals to understand or comprehend fully the extent of the suffering of the Son of God. We cannot realise the price he had to pay, however it is within our grasp to understand and know that the excruciating pain and agony of his sacrifice has brought us great blessings which are beyond the power of mortal men to give to accomplish and to endure. So let us always remember that there has never been a sin committed that has not been atoned for. Christ paid the debt of my sins and your sins on the condition that we believe in him and keep his commandments. Christ did that for you and all mankind, but he never paid for any of those debts upon the cross or before the cross for the sins of any one of us if we remain rebellious and do not submit ourselves to him. This is the key to having this great blessing work in our lives; we have to be willing to give our lives fully to him who gave so much for us.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Here By Design Not By Accident

For Latter Day Mormons and members of the Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ the theory of evolution which prevails today regarding the origin of man, animal life and also that of vegetation, that they all sprung from the same original germ which formed itself out of the sea or some volcanic explosion millions of years ago in the very distant past is to us absurd. This theory assumes that life began spontaneously; this is the foundation of the theory of evolution. The question that we need to ask ourselves as mankind is if spontaneous generation could be possible in the past then is it possible now? If not, then why not? This question like so many others has not and continues to not be answered today and leads people down a dark and inescapable tunnel of lies and mistruth and subjection, one that has no basis of truth but rather one of is and maybe’s.

As Latter Day Mormons we have an obligation to teach our children truth and not fiction. The truth for us is that the Lord has given us the information regarding life and how is came in to being. The Lord has given us the information about how this earth along with the life upon it and that of other earths has been created. As Latter Day Mormons we must be clear on this subject. Life did not commence upon this earth spontaneously, not at all. We must remember that there is no beginning and there is no end to Gods creation, there never was a time when mankind did not exist somewhere in the universe and when the time was right for our world to be created God followed the same pattern as he had done many times before in creating life upon our world. We were with the Father in spirit before this world was created, for us that was our beginning, but for creation itself there is not beginning and there is no end (D&C 93: 21-26)

We know that man was created in the image of God, that we are in essence like him not only in spirit but also in body, that we resemble him. If  we had the honour and  privilege to travel the stars to other worlds that populate the heavens that our Father has created and behold the life upon it we would see that they would be peopled with beings that look like us, they too are the creations of God and so therefore are the same race as we are for we are all the children of God and therefore created in his image. We must remember that it by no means places upon them the same restrictions that are placed upon us. For example they maybe more exalted then we are they may have advanced further than we have in ideas and behaviour and in doing so may have become closer to the creator than we have done.
However it must be stressed that they would be created in his image juts as we are in his. For us Adam was no cave man, but he was in a very real sense the most nearly perfect man in the form and feature of our father in heaven. Adam was for us our beginning, here upon this earth. "And the Lord God said unto Moses, For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom, and it remaineth in me. And by the word of my power have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. And worlds without number have I created, and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many. But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you; for behold there are many worlds which have passed away by the word of my power; and there are many also which now stand, and numberless are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me; for they are mine, and I know them….The heavens, they are many and they can not be numbered unto man, but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine; and as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof, even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words; for this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality, and eternal life of man". (JST Moses Revelation v 21-25)

For us it is a false and foolish idea to believe that life, everything in it commenced from a small beginning, no matter what the evolutionist say or how they try and explain life coming in to being whether it be from the microbes in the sea or by some volcanic accident or from the rocks from a distant world falling on to this one by accident it matter not it is all false. There is no truth in it, for God has given us his word by which we can know and all who are led by the spirit of God can understand through the Holy Ghost the truth of these things. Its is perhaps a sign of the times we live in today to see that religion in its corrupt forms has led men to believe in this twisted theory of evolution. When the churches built up by man give such twisted views of God and his kingdom no wonder men stand and proclaim that there is no God and that they and they alone have the answers to the origin of man. It must however be remembered by us that this is the vain foolishness and narrow mindedness of man. These men of so called great intelligence and scientific knowledge and wisdom stand and declare that life on this earth is but a spontaneous act, and that they no nothing of life upon any other world and that even if it did exist it would be confined to the same laws that are in place here, that of Darwinism, what a foolish and arrogant statement to make. For not only are we now forced to believe that life here begin in this way but that life across the entire universe would have to begin in the same manner.

Latter Day Mormons in some cases do agree in some sense with the scientific inquisition in as much as we do think that life does come from the same single source, but we hold true to the belief that that single source is not a tiny microbe either from the sea or space but from God, our father, he is the creator of life and he placed life on this earth in varied forms, and also on other worlds as well. He is the single source and the only source that life came from. He will continue his work on this earth and upon other planets, or worlds, which will take the place of this earth when it has come into its exalted glory. He will continue to bring to pass his purposes of peopling worlds and bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of his children long after we have passed in to eternal salvation and exhalation. This is something that should enlighten the minds of men. It should strengthen their faith and give encouragement to those living life, that we are not here by accident but by design and that we have a purpose to being here and that we are sons and daughter of God. However this false theory of evolution continues to permeate every facet of life, form school right down to centres of religion and it prevails through the world so much that is debasing our world and it is not allowing us to ennoble or uplift those around us.

 It is our duty as Latter Day Mormons and as believers on Christ to show the world that Adam was a real man that he did nit evolve from a lower form of life that he was made by God in his image, that he had not developed gradually from the animal kingdom but that God breathed life in to him and gave him a mind and enlighten spirit. We must learn now before it is to late that we can not believe in both the gospel of creation and evolution, we can not at the same time accept the plan of salvation laid down by God in the holy text and then embrace the origin of man given by the corrupt men of the world, they are direct conflict with one another there is such a wide gap, even to such an extent that it is more a gulf than a gap. If you hold true to the doctrine of evolution then you must accept the view that man has evolved from a lower form of life, that we were cave men no better or advanced than the lowest form of animal life and that we have become what we are today by accident and mishap, in doing this you deny Christ and all that he was and is, you deny the atoning sacrifice of Gethsemane and the cross and that we are Gods children.

 As Latter Day Mormons we reject that life, we reject evolution and all its flaws, and we embrace the restoration of all things and that God is our father and that through him all was created. This is what we stand for in our homes in our place of work, in our places of worship and in our hearts. So the message of this sermon is stand true to Christ and to our Father in heaven and to the beauty of the creation, because when we examine the creation it is far more complex and beautiful than any theory of evolution will ever be.

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