Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Official Church Statement: Terror Attacks Condemned

The First Council of The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ would like to express our deep sorrow and heartfelt sadness with much of the world in the wake of the evil terror attacks that have taken place in Belgium today, and condemn all those that have brought this evil upon the land, the news is heart breaking and hard to understand. We extend our prayers to the families of the deceased and injured. We also pray for the people of Belgium and all of Europe as they continue to deal with the devastation that has been caused by these evil acts of terror. We call upon the Lord to heal the broken hearts of all effected and ask him to be with and comfort them at the terrible time.
 

 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

How Did Noah Build The Ark

It is the most seminal moment in the history of the world. The building of the Ark by Noah is a moment that has and will live with civilisation until the end of days. It is a moment in human history that is still being debated and talked about across the religious world from Christians to Muslims and on to Mormons and beyond. It is a moment that almost every culture in the world have a legend about and it is a moment that we as Bible believing Latter Day Mormons see as divinely appointed and divinely inspired. As the world stood on the brink of destruction God command that an Ark be built to save the righteous and the pure.
 
However even after all that is written and spoken about the building of this great spectacle it still amazes me and I shake my head when I read or hear some of the comments people make concerning the building of the Ark. Some of the arguments given are amazing and and I want to address a few here in my sermon to try and explain our position on how Noah and what Noah was able to use in building his Ark, because to many people are still stuck in the mind set that we are the greatest civilisation that has ever lived  upon the earth and they ask with this in mind how such a thing was possible.  Some of the arguments people make are, how could Noah have built the ark without using modern tools, it's impossible. Noah wouldn’t have had the adequate tools he needed to do the job! Didn't ancient man use stone on stone to build. Besides the fact that we don’t know what tools Noah had, we point out that many people wittingly or unwittingly have an evolutionary view or evolutionary influenced view of the history of mankind. Many think Noah must have been some primitive person using primitive stone tools. When God made man, man was made highly intelligent in the image of God. Genesis 5:31-33 tell us that within a few generations people were making musical instruments and working in brass and iron. By the time of Noah, and with people living for hundreds of years before the Flood, who knows what sort of knowledge was accumulated and the kinds of sophisticated technology that might have been developed? We stand by the conviction that the civilisation of Noah was a type two civilisation that it was very advanced and would have had tools and other impressive technology that we would be jealous of even today! It is important for us to remember that we don’t know how ancient people built many of the stone structures in Great Britain, Europe, South America or even the remarkably constructed Egyptian pyramids. The ancients obviously had technology at a level that we just aren’t aware of, as it seems no record was kept or the records were destroyed. In this area of ancient technologies, we need to think in terms of a Christian Latter Day Mormon worldview based on the history in the scriptures and when the scriptures give us an insight in to advanced technologies we should embrace that idea and not be jealous but rather praise them and embrace the idea that we are not the highest that the children of God have ever been.
 
But still again and again we hear their problems and their evolutionary based history shouting above the evidence and the recorded history. What about cranes and metals, Noah didn’t use metals because it would have been too early, man didn't use metals back then. Well the Bible does not tell us whether Noah did or did not use cranes made of metal. From a Christian Latter day Mormon worldview, ancient people, including those living before the Flood, would have been highly intelligent, and no doubt would have understood about remedial things such as leverage. Noah may have had ingeniously designed cranes and levers that would make us stand in awe today!  Yet again we know what the Bible says about metal it did exist and man did work it in fact, in Genesis 5:31-32, just a few generations after Adam, we read, “And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron.” So if they were using bronze and iron then, by the time of Noah people may have developed all sorts of sophisticated uses of metals. Noah may have used more metal than we do today. However we know why these question keep being asked, because mans mind has left the road that God put them on and has gone down a road of corrupt science. Our answer is simple. Where are we ever told what tools Noah used? There is no mention in the Bible or even any hint as to what tools Noah used. So the answer to this argument is, we don’t know what the tools were, and no one knows! So why do you keep making that argument? Well we know!
 
Yet another argument that is made is that it took Noah took 120 years to build the Ark, First of all, we don’t know how long Noah took to build the Ark. The 120 years reference in Scripture (Genesis 8:5) is not in the context of Noah building the Ark. The best explanation of the 120 years seems to be that it was the length of God’s patience, and then He sent the Flood. Shem was 99 when the Flood ended and he came out of the Ark, this indicates that when God spoke to Noah about building the Ark, he already had sons and they were married. So it seems logical to say that the Ark took fewer than 99 years to build. Second, Noah may have taken quite a number of years to build the Ark. Perhaps Noah took several years to build the Ark to give plenty of time to warn the population that they needed to believe God’s Word, that he would indeed flood the earth. Noah Built his Ark because God said there was a flood coming he didn't say when he just said it was coming and we don't know how long he took to build it, but the important thing is he did build it. Yet they still say again and again there’s no way Noah could have built a wooden ship that size, especially not by himself. Actually, there are records going back over 2,000 years of ancient wooden ships as big as and even bigger than the Ark. It’s just that we are not used to seeing such massive wooden ships today, and, therefore, many people think it couldn’t be done! Also why do they think he did it alone, Noah had his three sons to help him, and there’s no reason to doubt he would have hired people as well has having help from God in the form of Angelic helpers. We don’t know what materials Noah did or didn’t have, as we are not told and we don't know how he built it or how long it took. According to material experts, the ancient Egyptians who are the descendants of Noah’s grandson Mizraim/Aegyptus used a highly advanced form of concrete while constructing the Great Pyramid. We do know that Noah used timber to build an Ark, and we are given the dimensions in Scripture. We know it was built to float because a massive Flood was coming and that all we need to know.
 
However time and time again these arguments are made and more than ever even more absurd arguments are made, like how did he fit all the animals of the world in that one boat, how did he get the whales in. I could go one. Much of what is said about the Ark and its construction by these so called men of knowledge is utter rubbish and they do all they can not to look at the text of the scriptures to find answer but continue to look at other texts like the epic of Gilgamesh which is nothing like the story of Noah. It is our duty to educate the world and bring them to an understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the scriptures and through fact not fiction. We believe in our church that our past pre-history is littered with great achievements and technologies, that we have been high beyond the starts and brought low again to learn from our mistakes many times in human history. We are told that the world will be as it was in Noah's day before Christ comes again and I believe that means more than just sin and evil but that it also refers to our achievements in technology as well.
 
Let us not be out done by these naysayers, but rather let us cling to the sure word that is God and try him and see if he will indeed bless us with the knowledge and answers we need to understand these wondrous things.
In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Matthew P Gill
First Elder & Prophet

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Differences That Define Us

Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos 3:3. There is no question that our relations with the LDS Mormon Church and its membership along with other Mormon groups is less amicable than we would like them to be. Without a doubt This church believes that as religious neighbours we should endeavour to promote mutual good will and eliminate the hostile feelings between our faiths. It is the goal of The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ and its leadership to explain that although we wish there to be no ill feelings we are very different and we view the restored Gospel in a very different light, however we should not let these differences stand in the way of mutual good will and cooperation.
 
The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ like the LDS Mormons and other Mormon groups believe in the restoration of the church of Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith. So in considering this we have at least this in common as distinguished from all other so-called Christian denominations, a belief in “the Restoration” of the church of Jesus Christ. This is an important point that is so often overlooked when we discuss our faith with others, there are many things we agree upon but lots that we do not and these things can seem to us any way as massive insurmountable hurdles that can not be overlooked. However let us for a moment remember that we hold in common the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ as given through the prophet Joseph Smith.
 
Let us therefore look at the revelations contained within the seminal works of the Prophet and the early church. We all believe in the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, although we differ radically in our understanding of some of its teachings. We all accept and publish many of the revelations given through the Prophet Joseph Smith in our respective versions and editions of the Doctrine and Covenants. However differences come in here at two points. First, the LDS Mormons include in their book some sections, most notably a purported revelation on celestial or plural marriage (Section 132) that we challenge deeply, indeed that we proclaim it to be fraudulent and not written by the prophet at all. Secondly, our Doctrine and Covenants continues as an open canon of Scripture and we have added and continue to add revelations as they come to us from time to time from the Lord through the prophet of the church. Many other Mormon and restored braches do not even hold the Doctrine and Covenants as scripture and many do not use it and many believe it is a dead book meant for another age. Many Mormons in many restored churches have added nothing to their book of revelations that has been received by them including the LDS Mormons who have done little to add to it at all with the noted exception of the declarations which are published as revelations. However there remain some that have added to this book, but I would argue that many do not have a living prophet at the head of their churches and so no medium is in place for the Lord to send revelations unto them for their churches.
 
Let us now look at the subject of the Gospel.  On the surface, all Mormon faiths or churches believe in and affirm the fundamental principles of the gospel, all of them make these the basis of their missionary work and the basis of their statements of faith and doctrinal belief. However many differences develop soon when these Mormons deviate from the doctrines laid down in the Doctrine & Covenants and do things contrary to the will of God. For example one of the  biggest principles that we disagree with is set forth in the LDS Mormon church and embraced by many other Mormon faiths. It is the doctrine of celestial marriage, including polygamy, and this is indeed added revelation of  their doctrine, as a new and everlasting covenant, through which salvation and exaltation are assured, whereas we hold that the principles of the gospel referred in the standard works are themselves quite adequate to assure salvation and any degree of exaltation possible and this can be achieved through righteous living in obedience to the will of God contained within the standard works of the church and those written in the life time of the prophet Joseph Smith. It must be remembered that any new revelations would not contradict those already given but rather testify of them and support them in their doctrinal basis.
 
What then of Zion?  Well all of the Mormon faiths and churches that I have come across have a major objective in mind when they say the word Zion. However many have opposite views on what this means and what this stands for. Many of us have come to differ over the question of location, meaning and purpose, at least temporarily it would seem so. For the LDS Mormons, since their settlement in Utah, they have designated it as Zion, indeed any place that a stake is established is called Zion hence the doctrine that Zion is any place that the saints can be found. This is of course contrary to what was said and written by the prophet. Other restored churches or restoration churches hold that Zion has passed that it was and is for another age, that the church found itself unworthy to fulfil that promise and it is now over. We on the other hand hold to the position that Missouri in the United States was and still is designated as Zion, with Independence as the central gathering place for the saints and the people of the church, and that the revelation is specific on this and as God spoke it can not be wished or washed away to suite our present circumstances. For we read “Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered. They that remain, and are pure in heart shall return, and come to their inheritances, they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:4).   It is only fair to add that we look beyond the immediate horizon to a time when Zion shall be established in Missouri. It would seem that at the present time many are content to be left alone doing what they see fit, either writing of the concept of Zion our as the LDS have done have found themselves content to entrench themselves in Utah as far as their spiritual headquarters and commercial interests are concerned and have talked of it and thought of it as their Zion, while we and many others of the Mormon faith have given immediate attention to gathering in the place designated as Zion and are this very day endeavouring to develop the conditions that will lead to a Zionic life and settlement now, not in a distant far off time but now.  My point is it would seem that there is a starting point of common belief for many Mormon faiths and groups, however on the whole we have many developing differences that instead of bringing us together keep us apart.
 
One of the biggest differences and one that is fundamental to our lives as Latter Day Mormons is our understanding of the character and nature of God. I don't know of any Mormon faith that does not join with us in the initial statement of the Epitome of Faith drafted by Prophet Joseph in which it says “ We believe in God the Eternal Father.” However as we endeavour to interpret and understand the character of God there comes the widest imaginable divergence in views between many of us and one that can seem like a hurdle that is to high to over come. As Latter Day Mormons we take the view and the opinion of God as given to us in the scriptures as eternally unchangeable, and we assume that there can be no other view taken, but we know this is not true. Many of our Mormon friends in many other churches take a very different view. There has been a saying among many Mormons for many years that has polluted and distorted the very nature of God, this saying is “As man is, God once was, as God is, man may become.” This very statement given by LDS Mormon representatives has been official doctrine since its inception not just for them but for other Mormon faiths and churches as well and has continued to be carried down to current generations to this very time. It accounts for more problems amongst Mormon sects than any others doctrine I believe. It is a point that in many respects keeps us from uniting and will do for as long as it is accepted by those that teach it.  In his book entitled The Articles of Faith James E. Talmage, author makes the following statement, “We believe in a God who is himself progressive. In spite of the opposition of all other sects, in the face of direct charges of blasphemy, the church proclaims the eternal truth, ‘As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become’” (pages 442,443).   Another LDS Mormon church authority John A. Widtsoe, stated in a book for the Melchizedeck priesthood, given by the General Priesthood Committee, “As man is, God once was” (page 25). In this same vain they have taught but no longer believe that Adam was God that he came here with eve ,one of his many wives and that he made the world and came in to being as a man, the Adam-God theory as it is called is still taught by many Mormon groups and held as a true doctrine by many Mormon faiths and does a lot to stop our union one with another. In deed we read in Brigham Young’s theology the particular man who progressed to the stature and power of God was Adam:   "When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days, about whom holy men have written and spoken, he is our father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do." (Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, Volume 1, page 50). This doctrine is evil and blasphemous and should not be taught by any Mormons whatever their faith. many will claim they have rescinded it and it is no longer taught, however anyone who has been through a temple in the LDS Mormon faith knows that much of this is still taught and the essence is still believed the doctrine of a progressive God is still very much alive. Let us therefore let our attention rest on the position that many Mormon faiths hold that God is progressive and has climbed up from man’s stature and station. This view would argue that at one time He God our Father was an experimenting, blundering personality, that He passed that stage of evolution and it would also carry the weight of the argument that it is a possibility of an ensuing process of devolution, that He could therefore begin a process of decline in power and wisdom, such an idea is absurd and heretical that it blows out of the water any teaching of Joseph Smith to the extent that Joseph was not a prophet, that he did not understand the nature of God at all and that the lectures on faith that he brought forth were and are just a footnote in the history of the Mormon movement, not worth the paper they are written on.
 
To some it might seem a little absurd that it matters what view we take on the question of God, since we cannot change God’s nature, whatever it may be, but we believe sincerely that it matters very much. Let us not forget that our entire Mormon thought and philosophy of conduct is shaped by our fundamental beliefs concerning God. It must be understood that such differing views as those held by the many of the Mormon and restoration churches inevitably results in vastly different systems of theology. If we think of God as progressive, feeling his way through eternity, his personal attitudes and his laws undergo radical and irreconcilable changes. However if we believe in an unchangeable God, as the scriptures tell us he is, both old and new, we expect his laws and we find ourselves not deviating from the fundamental principles laid down  to us in holy writ. Let us consider what is written in the scriptures “I am the Lord, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6)  “There is a God in heaven...from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God.” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:4)  Book of Mormon: “He changeth not, if so, he would cease to be God.” (Book of Mormon). It would seem that the law on God our Father has been written and was given by holy write, and so could not be challenged, at least it is not challenged by us, but unfortunately it is not the same for all Mormon sects.
 
The biggest problem, the biggest issue witch separates many Mormons still today is the law set down by Brigham Young, that is the doctrine of polygamy which was publicly proclaimed in Salt Lake City in 1852. It is clear that the early church during the days of Joseph Smith never officially received or sanctioned the doctrine or practice of polygamy, it is no longer in dispute that Joseph fought all his life along with Emma to stamp out this evil and vile practice. But still today this issue plagues us and stops much work being done. We must remember that much of the damage was done by the LDS Mormon church, it took eight years after Joseph's death for Brigham Young to bring this doctrine before his people and he layed it before them as a hidden revelation given to Joseph Smith, July 12, 1843. He claimed to have kept this document secretly after the death of Joseph Smith until he chose to make it public. In Brighams own words he stated "This revelation has been in my possession many years, and who has known it? None but those who should know it. I keep a patent lock on my desk, and there does not anything leak out that should not" (Supplement to Millennial Star, Volume 15, page 31)   Unable to produce the original document, he declared that Emma Smith had burned it (Millennial Star Supplement, Volume 15, page 30). To this Emma Smith replied that she had never seen such a document, and added concerning the story that she had destroyed the original "It is false in all its parts, made out of whole cloth, without any foundation in truth" (Church History, Volume 3, page 352). We vigorously maintain that no word from the pen of Joseph Smith was favourable to polygamy, that no authentic publication representing the church on this issue was published prior to his death. We also state that the teachings of the Standard Books of the church all encourage monogamy in all its forms, these books include the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Inspired Version of the Bible, and the latest book of scripture the Book of Jeraneck, all of these apart from the Bok of Jeraneck he left to the Mormon faith as its law, presumably representing his own mind and will as well as the mind and will of God. Furthermore, the official organ of the church, the Times and Seasons, shortly before his death, contained his signed denunciation of polygamy and notice of expulsion from the church of one who had advocated it (Times and Seasons, Volume 5, page 423, see also Volume 5, page 474; Volume 5, pages 490,491). 
 
In an interwiew given in 1857 by officials of the reorganised church the wife of the prophet Emma Smith stated “I was threatened by Brigham Young because I opposed and denounced his measures and would not go west with them. At that time, they did not know where they were going themselves, but he told me that he would yet bring me prostrate to his feet. My house was set on fire several times, and one time wood was piled up at the side of the house and set afire. It burned the siding considerably and went out before we discovered it. It was either set on fire, or by accident or carelessness caught afire a number of times, and went out of itself when we did not discover it and put it out; but I never had any fear that the house would bum down as long as the Inspired Translation of the Bible was in it. I always felt safe when it was in the house, for I knew it could not be destroyed.” . The Interviwer Edmund C. Briggs was also present when his bother, Jason Briggs, asked Sister Emma about the purported revelation on polygamy, published by Orson Pratt in 1852, and she again denied that her husband ever taught polygamy, or that she ever burned any manuscript of a revelation purporting to favour polygamy, and that “the statement that I burned the original of the copy Brigham Young claimed to have, is false, and made out of whole cloth, and not true in any particular. I  never saw anything purporting to be a revelation authorizing polygamy until I saw it in the Seer, published by Orson Pratt.” Several were present at the time, and I shall never forget the candid manner of her expression when she, without a single hesitancy, with honesty and truthfulness marking her countenance, gave the lie to Brigham Young’s assertion on the twenty-ninth of August 1852 in Salt Lake City, when he said, “The original of this revelation was burned up.... Sister Emma burned the original. The reason I mention this is because that the people who did know of the revelation, supposed it was not now in existence.” Mark the thought: “The people who did know of the revelation, supposed it was not now in existence.” (Early History of the Reorganization, Apostle Edmund C. Briggs, pp. 88, 93-95).
 
In closing I would like to say that today there remain many issues which unite us but far more that divide us. I have heard the argument that many of these issues can only be solved once the Saviour returns and then we will all know the truth and embrace the change, however I do not agree with this. While Christ, the Son of God walked the earth there were many that knew who he was n had that witnessed to them and still did not follow him, indeed some even betrayed and helped to murder him, let us not forget that Peter, probably one of Christ's most ardent followers denied him thrice. I think it is a massive miss calculation to say that our problems can only be solved when He returns, it gives us an excuse to continue on the paths we are on, it allows us to indulge in our own self importance and our own egos, but most of all it allows us the continue to be divided and weak. We must learn that when God calls a man to stand as a prophet of God under the conditions laid down in holy scripture it is for a reason, to set right what has been wrong for so long. We must lay aside our egos and our pride if we are ever to fulfil the wish of the Lord in uniting the Mormon faith and redeeming Zion, because if we fool ourselves in to waiting for the perfect time and the perfect place and He who shall come in triumph through the skies then it will never be done and we shall stand accountable before Him at the last day. I for one proclaim this is His work and His glory and we ought to be about the work of doing that work, or what else are we other than those professing to be of Christ but in their heats are men of the world full of pride and puffed up unto their own importance. The call for unity must go forth and it has gone forth today from this pulpit, that we must unite or fall. Let us not fall, but unite under the banner of God and lay to rest our differences and bring in to being what is written before us in Holy Scripture.
 
In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Prophet & First Elder Matthew P. Gill

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sunday's Sermon: Recognising Our Personal Guidance of The Spirit

A serious difficulty that we experience in our desire to receive guidance of the spirit are as to our thoughts, impressions, and opinions are generated by our own thoughts or from the Holy Ghost.
 
Most of us do not receive great visions, or visits from angels. So the question is how can we know for certain when we are being guided by God. We can find an exceptional example of personal revelation from an experience by Oliver Cowdery. Two important revelations, and counsels were revealed to him in April 1829.
 
1 Oliver Cowdery, verily, verily, I say unto you, that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God and your Redeemer, even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive a knowledge concerning the engravings of old records, which are ancient, which contain those parts of my scripture of which has been spoken by the manifestation of my Spirit. Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
 
2 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground. (D&C 8:1-2)
 
The second revelation to Oliver defines a very clear format, or structure.
 
3 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me. (D&C 9:3)
 
Another example is found in Acts. Philip was travelling along the road to Gaza and passed by a chariot of a high Ethiopian court official. The spirit said unto Philip go near and join thyself to this chariot.
 
26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
 
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
 
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
 
29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. (Acts 8 26-29)
 
There are three specific physiognomies to understand any message by the Holy Ghost. A definite message; a definite purpose, and a persistence until they are either accepted, or rejected. There is a physical sensation connected with these revelations from the Holy Ghost. A burning in the bosom and a feeling that the inspiration, decision, or instruction is correct. As we read in Luke 24:32
 
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:31)
 
In closing Moroni taught that the testing process can only be carried out in faith, and without doubt as we read in Mormon 9:49-51
 
49 And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth. And now, behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny his sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ?

50 Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish. O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need.

51 Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.
 
In closing we can experience the blessing of personal guidance, and have these feeling of Certainty, joy and happiness, peace, calmness, and security, fearlessness, an attraction, and a heavenly feelings.
 
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Apostle & Third Elder Peter Barber

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Sunday's Sermons: Be happy With Yourself A Body Principle & Doing What Is Right Again and Again


Be Happy With Yourself
A Body Principle

The prophet Joseph Smith stated  “we came to the earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the Celestial Kingdom”.  Our spirits will be united with our body that is the great principle we are taught. D&C 88
 
Joseph taught that Satan’s punishment for open rebellion is that he shall not have a mortal body and without this he cannot progress.
 
The natural man is led by his bodily passions. To control these is important just as it is important to control our spiritual passions. We must not forget that before our mortal probation and before we came to earth and gained a body we were still capable of sin, hence the third of hosts who followed Satan.
 
The doctrines of many modern religions maintain that the spirit is immaterial and therefore only the spirit is immortal. At death accordingly, the body ceases to be: The resurrection is of the spirit only. After death our immortal selves will be spirit only. Modern day revelation states we will receive a uniting of the body and the spirit, only God the father is of spirit only.
 
Amulek taught that in the resurrection men are raised “from the first death unto life. That they can die no more: their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided …. They can no more see corruption (Alma 11.45)
 
D&C 88-4 states “the spirit and the body are the soul of man” The famous theologian James Talmage wrote “it is peculiar to the theology of followers of Mormonism that we regard the body as an essential part of the soul…. Nowhere outside of our faith is the solemn and eternal truth taught. The apostle Paul spoke of the glory of the body when he asked the Corinthians, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God” (1cor. 3:16) the Lord often brings the holiness of our bodies to our attention. Read section 93 of the D&C. Having a body is a blessing. It is a gift we received for following the plan of salvation and keeping our first estate. It is fundamental to our theology that the process of sanctification involves. Not only the spirit but the body as well. The Lord promises “your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
 
To be truly in tune we need an eye single to the glory of God our Heavenly Father. He is a being who has through obedience to the laws that govern our very existence become deity an exalted entity that does not need a physical body, we however not only need it but it is our duty to understand we will be resurrected to have both. It is a wicked teaching that says our Father has a body of flesh and bone, our Prophet Joseph Smith never taught this as a law. And so I proclaim that this doctrine taught by the prophet Joseph Smith and re-taught by our living Prophet Matthew Gill will remain as it is an eternal truth and one that will follow us from this life unto the next whatever kingdom we achieve.
 
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Apostle Elder Philip A. Gill
 
 
 
Doing What is Right Again and Again
The first cordless phone was made by God. It was the model called Prayer. It never loses its signal. The recharging is done by the holy spirit and sending text through the scriptures. When we spread His word around the world, we're not only smart, we also shine brighter than the sun!! Use our resources of prayer to connect with God.
 
"Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we". (GK Chesterton).
 
“No sight so sad as that of a naughty child," he began, "especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death
"They go to hell," was my ready and orthodox answer.
"And what is hell? Can you tell me that?"
"A pit full of fire."
"And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?"
"No, sir."
"What must you do to avoid it?"
I deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: "I must keep in good health and not die.” (Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre).
 
My Brothers and sisters. I love the gospel and I love God and I love prayer and speaking to God and as long as I live I will always do it repeatedly over and over again until the day I die so that I may be in good standing with God when I meet him in the world to come. Although it may be hard and sometimes it may feel as if the phone line is busy, keep calling because God is always listening he never forgets. let us remember that he asked us to pray unto him in secret and promised that he would answer all prayers. With this sure knowledge that God our Father does answer prayers we should strive all our lives to pray and offer our supplications unto him in a and through the name of our saviour Jesus Christ. I know prayer works I have seen it in my own life many times ands o I bear witness that it is a true principle and something that is right and we should be doing what is right again and again.
 
In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Priest Sister Alyson Gill
Church Compassionate Service Provider

 

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Sunday's Sermon: The Priesthood

Dear Brothers and sisters, it is an honour to be standing up here today for the first time as a conducting Elder and been given the chance to give this sermon. Today my talk will be about the priesthood.
 
The priesthood is the power and authority of God given to man, to act in the name of God within his church. The priesthood is the power of God on earth given to worthy males and females it includes the power Jesus gave his apostles to perform miracles such as the casting out of devils and the healing of sick (Luke 9:1). As Latter Day Mormons we believe that the Biblical miracles performed by prophets and apostles were performed by the power of priesthood, including the miracles of Jesus, who holds all of the keys of the priesthood. Priesthood is the authority by which a bearer may perform ecclesiastical acts of service in the name of God. Latter Day Mormons believe that acts performed by one with priesthood authority are recognised by God and are binding in heaven, on earth, and in the afterlife. In addition, Latter Day Mormons believe that leadership positions within the church are given with the aid of priesthood authority. For the most part of the history of the Mormon movement, only men have been ordained to specific offices in the priesthood. However we know that this is not what God wanted for his people. The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ in accordance with the will of God and the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842 allow all women under revelation the privilege of holding the Aaronic Priesthood of God and holding all the offices with that priesthood office. We do this not because it is popular or because it is easy but because it is what the Lord wishes and is what has been revealed to us by the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Lord. What follows is an explanation on how the Priesthood blessings were conferred upon the women of the early church and in turn have now been conferred upon the women of The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ.
 
Two weeks after he organised the Relief Society of Nauvoo, Illinois, and gave them complete autonomy in running this organisation Joseph Smith announced his intention to confer the priesthood upon women. He told the gathered sisters at Relief Society on the 30 March 1842 that “the Society should move according to the ancient Priesthood” and that he was “going to make of this Society a kingdom of priests as in Enoch's day and as in Paul's day.”  It must be remembered that the early Mormon sisters did not request the priesthood; however the Prophet Joseph Smith would soon confer it upon them as part of the restoration of the gospel. His private journal, called the Book of the Law of the Lord, specified the priesthood promise in his instructions to the women on 28 April 1842 it states, “gave a lecture on the priesthood showing how the Sisters would come in possession of the privileges & blessings & gifts of the priesthood & that the signs should follow them. Such as healing the sick casting out devils & that they might attain unto these blessings. By a virtuous life & conversation & diligence in keeping all the commandments.”  It is clear for all to see who wish to see that our dear and much beloved Prophet Joseph Smith clearly intended that Mormon women in 1842 were to be bestowed  the “gifts of the priesthood”  upon them not merely as simply ministrations of faith but as actual holders and partakers of the gifts of the priesthood. The conferral of the priesthood on individual women occurred on 4 May 1842, six days after his remarks to the Relief Society. Emma Smith the wife of the Prophet became the first women to receive the “fullness of the priesthood”. Thus Emma Smith began the fulfilment of the Prophet's promise to make the Relief Society “a kingdom of priests”. She was anointed to become a “queen and priestess” and was ordained to the fullness of those offices by the Prophet himself. Joseph Smiths first counsellor and friend Sidney Rigdon later commented on this event in his history of the church when he stated, “Emma was female to whom the priesthood was first given.”  Unfortunately over time many Mormon have relegated the role of women in their churches and have made every attempt to whitewash this from the history of Mormonism. However today The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ not only recognise the importance and independence of the Relief Society program but that the women of the church have the right given them by God to have bestowed upon them the Aaronic Priesthood of God.
 
I am so grateful that I have a chance to hold the priesthood of God and that I am now ordained an elder in his church. I have been blessed with the Melchizedeck priesthood to do a duty to God to help others to bless them and to fulfil my role within his kingdom. I pray that I may be able to live up to the standards that God has asked of me. Thank you for listening to me today, sorry if I was a little nervous but I have many years left to improve. God bless you all in his holy name Amen.
 
Elder Levi M. Gill

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sunday's Sermon: The Sciptures Hold The Answers

Today we live in an age that has yielded some of the most spectacular scriptures known to man. We have the Book of Mormon, The Book of Jeraneck, soon to be added upon and we have the D&C. These books along with the Bible have allowed us to more fully understand the mind of God and what he wants of us. At the start of this year we are studying the Inspired Version if the Bible and it is to that book that I want to focus my sermon on today. Throughout the history of recorded scriptures we have been told that God is the same yesterday today and forever. He gives us commandments and a code of ethics to live by. In the restoration some of these things were forgotten or misunderstood, that is why we needed Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon to help us more fully understand what our place was and what God wanted for us. However even in this time of great enlightenment there came those who wished to do things their own way and as a result practices were introduced in to the church like polygamy for example. I know that you know that God forbids such things and that Joseph himself fought tirelessly all his life to stop the church from falling in to this sin. Josephs fight ended with his death.
 
Today I want us to look at what the Bible says about polygamy. I often thought whilst studying that Joseph must have had such a hard time trying to teach unreachable wilful people and he must have quoted these scriptures time and time gain along with the new revealed word of God to try and get the people to be righteous. So for our own sake as we study the Bible lets see what it says about polygamy and what we can do to strengthen our testimonies that this is not a policy given to us by God but by corrupt men.
 
1 Kings 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober–minded, of good behaviour, hospitable, able to teach . 
 
As we look at the Bible, it is clear that polygamous relationships are presented in the Bible. But, does that mean that they are acceptable in God’s eyes? We also see instances of lying, murder, and rape in the Bible, but these are clearly not acceptable. Just because the events are described does not mean they are condoned. There is no passage in the Bible that condones polygamy. From the beginning in Genesis it is clear that God intended marriage to be between one woman and one man. Genesis 2 records the creation of one woman for Adam, and in verse 24 we see that because of this “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” If two makes one flesh, then three or more cannot also make one flesh. This is confirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19:3–9 as He is being questioned about divorce. Jesus quotes Genesis 2:24 as support for the idea of marriage being between one man and one woman “from the beginning.” God’s plan, from the beginning, was not for polygamous relationships. As the Israelites were in the desert after the Exodus, God announces a prophecy through Moses. The Israelites will eventually call for a king to be set over them (Deuteronomy 17:14). Following that, God pronounces standards for the kings to come. In Deuteronomy 17:17 we see the command that the king shall not “multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away.” God clearly commands that the king should not practice polygamy. So, why would He condone its practice for anyone else?
 
Many Jewish leaders and patriarchs, including kings, were recorded to have polygamous relationships. However, these relationships brought about judgment and hardship. David was punished for his relationship with Bathsheba; Abraham’s relationship with Hagar brought strife into the family; and other examples would also bear out this point. Some may argue that Jacob’s polygamous lifestyle was blessed by God, but just because God used a sinful relationship to fulfil His plan does not mean that that action was right. Likewise, Jesus’s lineage can be traced back to Bathsheba. Polygamy was popular in many cultures, and still is today but that does not mean that it was or is right in God’s eyes. Divorce was also allowed because of the hardness of the hearts of the Israelites (Matthew 19:8), but it was not part of God’s “very good” creation. Jesus called the Jews of the day an “adulterous generation” who chose to live outside of God’s rules and, instead, made their own. Just because the Jews (or any other peoples) tolerated polygamy does not mean that God condoned it. We must never lose sight of what is important. We must realise that God has given us scriptures to help us in our lives to help us walk the paths that the Lord wants us to walk. We must never allow ourselves to think that we know better than God or that social sins that have become acceptable are right in his sight. Even if the law of the land allowed the practice of polygamy God doesn't not and never will, and so it is up to us as his chosen people to always look to what he wants for us and then to the scriptures for in them is our salvation, in them lies Zion and if we are ever to be able to be ready to build Zion we must be one in thought an din spirit.
 
So study the word of God, only God has the answers and he is and was and will always be our God.
 
Matthew P Gill

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