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


 
 
 

 

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.

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