13 August 2010

"We Knew of Christ and His Kingdom," Jacob 1

Jacob 1

Jacob paints an interesting picture of the state of the Chruch of Christ in his day, some 540 years before the coming of the Messiah.

In verse 5, Jacob observes that because of great faith and much anxiety for the welfare of their own people, they had been shown what would come of their own people. Christ does that for those who sincerely desire to know of and seek after the welfare of their fellowmen.

Then in verse 6, Jacob makes an even more interesting observation: "And we also had many revelations and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come." I feel that as I read these verses that, because of their diligence and faith, they were lacking in nothing in regards to the spiritual knowledge required to establish the kingdom of God among their own people.

This strikes me as being very important for the very fact that time and location are irrelevant in regards to establishing the kingdom of God among a people. Understanding this makes even more important personal diligence in all things related to the kingdom of God. In other words, I must do my duty and work as if the establishment of the Kingdom of God were dependent upon my own labors. For surely, within my own small sphere of influence, this is how His kingdom is to be established.

05 August 2010

"Many of Us, If Not All... Saved in His Kingdom," 2 Nephi 33

2 Nephi 33

Persuasive concluding arguments-- these final words of Nephi's are an irrefutable testimony of truth, and the reality of things as they really are (see Jacob 4:13).

I am reminded of the universality of the doctrine as I review Nephi's remarks. Verses 7 and 12 both express Nephi's hope that he expects to see many if not all saved in the kingdom of God.

This reminds me of the dialog between Joseph Smith, Sr. and his son, Joseph Smith, Jr. from the video about the First Vision.  The father, who is depicted as being aloof from the churches of their day, says to his son, "I don't expect God intends to save just a few of his children."

This seems like such an important part of our doctrine, yet I can't find a word that describes it succinctly. Equality, maybe. But it's more than just the thought that all men are created equal. It's the reality that salvation is obtainable for all. The plan is setup so that we can expect salvation by being obedient to principles that we can understand.

The doctrine of the plan of God is such that it is universally accessible to all. God has not created a plan in which some are more privileged or more prone to repent of their sins than would be others.  He surely is not foreordained any man to fail because of the conditions of the plan. In fact, it is just the opposite so that any man, having taken the effort to understand the plan of God, can -- wherever he is -- obtain salvation according to the principles of life.

I've spent a good amount of time crying lately. Nephi wrote, "...and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry." (vs. 3)