Saturday, 16 May 2015

Semon: Becoming As God

It is with a great deal of love that the Saviour accomplished the creation of this earth. We know from all scripture sources that this great feat was accomplished utilising his great mastery of the priesthood which he holds. Being a creative God is to be a God primarily devoted to the service of others, This accomplishment is however framed in the delivery of all that our Father in heaven wishes to provide for us. Using all the elements required to create the world and all that live here is not just a showcase for all of our Saviour’s mastery of his priesthood but, it is a sign post to our own fulfilling of Heavenly fathers plans for us as we progress.
 
In the Doctrine and Covenants in the lectures on faith under theology section One we read through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God: so that things which are seen were  not made of things which do appear. (See the triple D&C PAGE 3)
 
We know that Heavenly Father has provided a plan for us to be able to accomplish and attain all that He, our father has. It is his wish that we all become accomplished in the use of faith and all the other elements of God, so we may become like him.  To enable this to be realised in your life our Heavenly Father has provided a guide for us in the guise of the Saviour Jesus Christ.
 
The Holy Ghost also has our progression in his sights and he will guide our spirit to fulfil the plan of our salvation. He is the bringer of joy to our hearts as we strive to emulate more of our Saviour’s qualities. As we progress we receive temporal blessings in a similar manner by faith. We receive spiritual blessings, faith is a principle of action and also of power. (Read section  theology page 3 beginning at verse Through faith ending with in Him)
 
Faith is called the first principle of the Gospel of Christ it is however the foundation of all religion, coupled with an understanding that the pursuit of faith is to acquire more knowledge of the gospel. In the lectures on faith we read:- 'For a man to lay down his all, his character and reputation. His honour and applause, his good name among men, his house his lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children, and even his own life also, counting all things but filth and dross for the excellence of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, requires more than mere belief, or supposition that he is doing the will of God but actual knowledge: realising, that when these sufferings are ended he will enter into eternal rest; and be a partaker of the glory of God'.
 
It is fair to say that without faith it is impossible to please God. And we know that God wants us to progress and without faith it is impossible for men to be saved and as God wants us to obtain salvation we must obtain faith and increasing faith is only done by increasing our knowledge.
 
Yours in God. Amen.
By Apostle & Elder Philip Gill

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Precious Gift of The Inspired Version of The Bible

Today in the world there are many Bibles, to many to mention. New versions roll of the press every couple of years. each new version proclaims to be the definitive Bible, the one we should use to understand God. Today more than ever men seek greater understanding of the nature of God and many want this to come in a popular language. Perhaps in light of the new translations of the Scriptures many Mormons all over the world from all different sects are wondering whether they ought to give a sacred priority to the Inspired Version. I think they have every reason to think this was. We as a church have embraced the Inspired Version and it has led to countless benefits and a wondrous, deeper understanding of God and his Son Jesus Christ. In understanding the origins of the Inspired Version of the Bible one gets an deeper, more meaningful love and appreciation of the work that went in to protecting the manuscript through the years following its completion until its first printing. In June of 1830, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon continued the revision of the Scriptures which had begun previously by Joseph. on his own, knowing he needed greater help in this work he sought out the help of a man that would stand by him all his life, Sydney Rigdon was instrumental in helping bring forth this great work. They found a quiet place to work at Hiram, Ohio, about thirty miles from Kirtland, away from the hustle and bustle and the visitors and the every day life that Kirtland was. Sidney  would prove to be the most valuable assistant in this great work.
 
However in early November the work on the Bible translation was temporarily halted while Joseph Smith hurriedly tried to prepare material for the soon to be  published Book of Commandments, this was done by the middle of November, and the work of translation of the Bible resumed and continued all through the winter. The task of this great work continued through intervals on and off until the original manuscript of the Inspired Version of the Bible was completed. Joseph Smith wrote of this and said:- 'I completed the translation and receiving of the New Testament, on the 2nd of February, 1833, and sealed it up, no more to be opened till it arrived in Zion' (Times and Seasons 5:723). Any one who thinks that the work of the Bible was never finished are sadly mistaken, we have written proof that it was in a letter sent from Kirtland, Ohio, to the brethren in Zion and dated July 2,1833, by Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Jr., and F. G. Williams, it contains the following statements concerning the work:- 'We this day finished the translating of the scriptures, for which we returned gratitude to our Heavenly Father.... Having finished the translation of the bible, a few hours since...' (Times and Seasons 6:802) As an interesting side note is interesting to know that the New Testament was completed first and the Old Testament five months later.
 
Several years passed, and in 1839 the Saints were driven from their homes in Far West by mobs and expelled from the surrounding territory. James Mulholland who was acting as the secretary for the Prophet Joseph, was in Liberty Jail on spurious charges, and knowing the value of the translated document entrusted gave them to Ann Scott, his wife's oldest sister, believing the mob would be less likely to molest her. However have seen many atrocities committed by the mobs on women she took no chances, and in turn made two cotton bags large enough to contain the papers of the Inspired Version of the Bible, once secured she sewed a band around the top ends, tied them about her waist, and carried them under the folds of her dress in the daytime and under her pillow by night whenever the mob was present. in order to preserve these great documents.  My mind reflects upon this story and i ask myslef, if these early saints looked upon these documents with so much importance how much more important is it for us, who have the full edition printed today to cherish and use this great work. The answer is very important. When the time came and the saints took the perilous journey from Far West to Illinois Ann Scott gave the cotton bags with their precious contents to the wife of the Prophet Emma Smith, upon receipt of the precious cargo Emma continued to carry the documents in the same manner across the state of Missouri and over the icebound Mississippi River, with two infants in her arms and two small children tugging at her skirts. Emma knowing how much work went in to bringing us the Inspired Version and knowing how important it was carefully guarded the work all through the years of her life. On May 2, William Marks, W. W. Blair, and Israel L. Rogers of the Reorganised church went to Nauvoo to see Emma Smith with a view to procuring the manuscript. The only payment Emma wanted for her careful watch of the precious manuscript over the years was a copy of the book when it came off the press. The Reorganised Church was in a poor state, much like the church today, but funds were raised through the consecration of the Saints. Finally, in a1867 the IVB was finally published.
 
It must not and should not be overlooked that the Scriptures bear divine evidence of themselves. Possibly the greatest purpose in scripture is to reveal God to man. We are told, 'Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me' (John 5:40). This would  lead any concerned person to seek for as accurate a translation as possible. If this were not so, the world would not have seen the biblical and language scholars of the past and present. Joseph Smith was directed by the Spirit of revelation when he began the Inspired Translation. Its need was emphasised in a revelation received in June 1830. In this revelation the Lord said to Moses, 'And now, Moses, my son, I will speak unto you concerning this earth upon which you stand; and you shall write the things which I shall speak. And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught, and take many of them from the book which you shall write, behold I will raise up another like unto you, and they shall be had again among the children of men, among even as many as shall believe'. (Revelation to Moses IVB).
 
The Book of Mormon, which by this time had already been published, declared that 'many plain and precious parts' had been removed from the Bible: 'For behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away; and all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord ... because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceeding great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them'. (1 Nephi 3:168–170,175) The importance of inspired scripture is emphasized not only in content, but in the fact that it shall be preserved by the power of God:- 'Thou shalt ask, and my Scriptures shall be given as I have appointed, and they shall be preserved in safety; and it is expedient that thou shouldst hold thy peace concerning them, and not teach them until thou hast received them in full. And I give unto you a commandment, that then ye shall teach them unto all men; for they shall be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people'. (Doctrine and Covenants 42:15–16).
 
Today there are many fine translations of the Bible, these include the King James, the New English Translation, the New American Translation, the Moffatt edition, the Goodspeed New Testament. All of these are valuable for study and comparison. In them many quotations questioned through the centuries are given a clearer interpretation. However it must be remembered that as biblical scholars of the past have declared, early manuscripts written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin, and Greek differ somewhat in text, and consequently obscure any positive interpretation. There are some manuscripts of ancient origin that have been found that are of either the Old Testament or the New Testament that have been found today, some we call Gnostic and extreme therefore the same problems, plus additional problems due to language changes, face the modern translator to get to the truth Our first and only assurance for the most accurate revelation of scripture, and most definitely for the fulfilment of the "precious parts removed," is in the content of the Inspired Version of the Bible, which was given through divine providence and not the work of scholarly man. With this in mid we should never have a problem in using this great work in our missionary endeavours.  Let us never forget that God has seen fit to restore those lost precious parts that were removed, he would not have done this unless it was necessary for us to have them restored. In our homes the Inspired Version of Bible should take the place of the  King James Bible or other version, we should not hesitate to use the Inspired Version over and above all these other works, as the Lord God has seen fit to give us, so let us not regard this work with lightness of mind and heart but rather embrace it and use it. As a people we should have no difficulty accepting the Inspired Version of the bible when we are in full knowledge of the marvellous manner in which the Bible was brought forth. In my own case I have found little problem in using the Inspired Version from the beginning, but rather it has enhanced my love of God the father and His Son. The Inspired Version has allowed me to more fully understand the nature of the Gospel as a living entity, Gods relationship with us his children and our relationship with His Son. I can not stress the importance of this great work in our lives and because of this at no time should the Inspired Version be replaced in the pulpit with any other Bible. Others Bibles  may be used in making comparison in order to emphasise the greatness of the Inspired Version and in helping us understanding of the Inspired Version, but never to replace it in our church meetings.
 
In closing today can I say again to this church, which is Gods church. The Lord has emphatically commanded its use among all nations, kindred's, tongues, and people, this command given as early as February 1831.  Let us make no mistake that while other churches continue to be led astray with other limited versions of the Bible we stand with God and we substitute nothing and we use only what God has commanded, and so the Inspired Version takes pride of place in our cannon of scripture and will remain there until the great and glories day comes. Amen
 
Prophet Matthew P. Gill

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Official Statement: Changes to the Church Website

Dear friends we are proud to announce that the church have made some changes to our website. It is a our aim to continue to update and modernise the churches window to the world as often as possible making the website attractive and informative to all who view it. We ask and encourage all our members to continue to use the website and share it with friends and family.
 
We hope you enjoy the changes. please visit www.latterdaymormon.co.uk to view that changes that have been made.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Official Statement: Earthquke in Nepal

The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ would like to extend our deepest sympathies with Nepal. Our thoughts and deepest and most earnest prayers are with all those in Nepal effected by the impacted of Saturday’s deadly earthquake. Our hearts break with those that have lost loved ones. We pray that God almighty my be with all those effected and that he may have his spirit to be with them and to comfort the country as a whole at this tragic time. We will do all in our power to try and help the best we can, with prayers, fasting and donations to the red cross. God Bless you all.
 
The Office of The Prophet of The Church

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Official Statement: Priesthood Exstended to Sister Alyson Gill

The church has called and found worthy Sister Alyson Gill, mother of the prophet to stand as the Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ's Compassionate Service Coordinator and also to be called to the Office of Priest within the Aaronic priesthood. As a church we are setting the standard of the Lord for his desire to call women to the Aaronic priesthood set out in 1843. With the call of sister Gill the Aaronic priesthood presence within the church has now increased and with it all the blessings that flow from this most special priesthood.
Office of The Prophet of The Church

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Sermon: Our Search for Knowledge As a Spiritual Gift

In our search for truth to know God our Father in heaven, and in his Son Jesus Christ. Samuel the Lamanite who focused the definition of knowledge in religious terms. He taught:-
 
And this is according to the prophecy, that they shall again be brought to the true knowledge, which is the knowledge of their Redeemer, and their great and true shepherd, and be numbered among his sheep.
 
Book Of Mormon Helaman 15:13 
 
We also must consider our knowledge of good, and evil.
 
30 And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.
 
31 He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.
 
Helaman 14:30-31
 
Our desire for knowledge of God, and the guiding principles that will lead us in the direction to be with Him in the celestial kingdom will require a continued effort.Some of us can fall into a trap thinking that once we have reached a certain level of knowledge we have little further to go.  Should this ever be the case? Consider the following.
 
Alexander Pope was born to Alexander Pope Senior (1646–1717), a linen merchant of Plough Court, Lombard Street, London, and his wife Edith (née Turner) (1643–1733), who were both Catholics. Edith's sister Christiana was the wife of the famous miniature painter Samuel Cooper. Pope's education was affected by the recently enacted Test Acts, which upheld the status of the established Church of England and banned Catholics from teaching, attending a university, voting, or holding public office on pain of perpetual imprisonment. Pope was taught to read by his aunt, and went to Twyford School in about 1698/99. He then went to two Catholic schools in London. Such schools, while illegal, were tolerated in some areas.
 
Lines 215 to 232 of Pope's poem from his Essay on Criticism read:-
 
"A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. First at first sight with what the Muse imparts, In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts, While from the bounded level of our mind. Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind; But more advanced, behold with strange surprise. New distant scenes of endless science rise! So  pleased at first the towering Alps we try, Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,  The eternal snows appear already past, And the first clouds and mountains seem the last; But, those attained, we tremble to survey. The growing labours of the lengthened way, The increasing prospects tire our wandering eyes, Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!"
 
In Greek mythology, it was believed that drinking from the Pierian Spring would bring you great knowledge and inspiration. Thus, Pope is explaining how if you only learn a little it can "intoxicate" you in such a way that makes you feel as though you know a great deal. However, when "drinking largely sobers" you, you become aware of how little you truly know.
 
As we gain knowledge we will develop a greater understanding of His plan.
A greater knowledge of good, and evil.
A greater knowledge to know the will of God.
A greater knowledge to further the work of God.
A greater knowledge as a preparation for the hereafter.
I pray we will continue to realise our own limitations, and always seek for greater knowledge, and not become intoxicated with just a little knowledge. 
 
In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
 
Apostle Elder  Peter Barber  

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sermon: Faith & Knowledge

I thought that it would be great if we should here from the Prophet Joseph Smith before we move in to our normal church sermons that are posted every week. There will be lots written and said about the early church this year and so this sermon taught by Joseph Smith would give us a very good example about the sorts of issues that the early church were going through. So I give the time over to Brother Joseph.
 
Sermon given by Joseph Smith, Jr. May 14, 1843, Hancock County, Illinois
(The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 200-202.)

It is not wisdom that we should have all knowledge at once presented before us, but that we should have a little; then we can comprehend it. The prophet then read the second epistle of Peter, 1st chapter, 16th to last verse, and dwelt upon the 19th verse with these remarks.
 
The principle of knowledge is the principle of faith unto salvation. The principle of knowledge can be comprehended, for any one that cannot get knowledge to be saved will be damned. The principle of salvation is given to us through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Salvation is nothing more or less than to triumph over all our enemies and put them under our feet, and when we have power to put all enemies under our feet in this world and a knowledge to triumph over all evil spirits in the world to come, then we are saved; as in the case of Jesus, he was to reign until he had put all enemies under his feet, and the last enemy was death. Perhaps there are principles here that few men have thought of. No person can have this salvation except through a tabernacle. Now, in this world, mankind are naturally selfish, ambitious, and striving to excel one above another, yet some are willing to build up others as well as themselves. So it is in the other world, there is a variety of spirits, some who seek to excel. And this was the case with the devil. When he fell, he sought for things which were unlawful, hence, he was cast down. And it is said he drew away many with him. The greatness of his punishment is that he shall not have a tabernacle. This is his punishment. So the devil, thinking to thwart the decree of God by going up and down in the earth seeking whom he may, destroys any person he can find that will yield to him. He will bind him and take possession of the body and reign there, glorying in it mightily, not thinking that he had gotten a stolen tabernacle. And by and by, some one of authority will come along and cast him out and restore the tabernacle to its rightful owner. But the devil steals a tabernacle because he has not one of his own. But if he steals one, he is liable to be turned out of doors.
 
Now there is some grand secret there, and keys to unlock the subject. Notwithstanding the apostle exhorts them to add to their faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, yet he exhorts them to make their calling and election sure. And though they had heard the audible voice from heaven bearing testimony that Jesus was the Son of God, yet he says we have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light shining in a dark place. Now wherein could they have a more sure word of prophecy than to hear the voice of God saying this is my beloved Son. Now for the secret and grand key. Though they might hear the voice of God and know that Jesus was the Son of God, this would be no evidence that their election and calling was made sure, that they had part with Christ, and they were a joint heir with him. They then would want that more sure word of prophecy that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God. Then having this promise sealed unto them, it was an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast. Though the thunders might roll and lightning's flash and earthquakes bellow and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble, and tribulation. Then, knowledge through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the grand key that unlocks the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Compare this principle once with Christendom at the present day, and where are they, with all their boasted religion and piety and sacredness? While at the same time, they are crying out against prophets, apostles, angels, revelation, prophesying, and visions, they are just ripening for the damnation of hell, they will be damned for they reject the more glorious principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and treat with disdain and trample under foot the main key that unlocks the heavens and puts in our possession the glories of the celestial world. Yes, I say such will be damned with all their professed godliness. Then I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it.
 
By Joseph Smith the Seer.

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