Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sermon: The Law of Opposition

Earlier this month the United Kingdom held an election. There were several parties to vote for. Their manifestos were all very diverse. All different polls were predicting similar outcome. However the exit polls showed a totally different outcome. The word comes from the Greek word from which the title of Aristotle's books Politics (politika) derives: "affairs of the cities", a dissertation on governing and governments, which was rendered in English in the mid-15th century as Latinised "Polettiques". Thus it became "politics" in Middle English. The singular politic first attested in English 1430 and comes from Middle French politique, in turn from Latin politicus, which is the Latinisation of the Greek  (politikos), meaning amongst others "of, for, or relating to citizens", "civil", "civic", "belonging to the state", in turn from  (polites), "citizen" and that from (polis), "city". From a gospel centred perspective there is always an opposition too. Some of us can find it almost impossible to believe that while living in the presence of our Father in heaven we could choose to follow someone who was seeking to take God's power. This was a political opposition. In the book of Mormon we are given some insight in to the war in heaven, which was a political battle. The kingdom of heaven has a definite policy or system of government a political community. Redemption cometh through the Holy Messiah. Freedom of choice (agency) is essential to existence and progression? Adam fell that men might be? Men are free to choose liberty and eternal life. About 588-570 B.C.
1  AND now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my first born in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren.
2  Nevertheless, Jacob, my first? born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.
3  Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God.  Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.
4  And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.  And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.
5  And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil.  And the law is given unto men.  And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off.  Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.
6  Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
7  Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
8  Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
9  Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
10  And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him.  Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement?
11  For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.  If not so, my first? born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.  Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
(Book of Mormon  2 Nephi 2: 1 - 11)
Here in the United Kingdom, and in other countries we are greatly blessed to be a free people. The law of opposition, which is an eternal law allows us to experience the good from the evil. As we strive to live the gospel we appreciate this divine law.
In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Apostle Elder Peter Barber



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