Part 3 What the Scriptures actually tell us about the Light of Christ

October 31, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 9:10 am   Category: Scriptures

So far, the most we can say Alma 28 explicitly has told us is that the Light of Christ is “unto life”(vs 14). Moroni 7, says the Light of Christ is the “Spirit of Christ” which is “given to every man, that he may know good from evil” (vs 16) and so that he may “lay hold of every good thing”.(vs 19) Moroni 7 still says man has to judge rightly, even though he has this light with which to judge. (vs 18) This is just a brief recap of what ground we have already covered. Now, let’s move on.

D&C 88 also tells us what the Light of Christ is, and it gets a bit more complicated. It says, in a single sentence: this is the light of Christ. , but the question which first must be answered is “What is this?” (more…)

What the scriptures actually tell us about the Light of Christ. Part 2

October 25, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 10:29 am   Category: Scriptures

This continues my analysis of scriptures directly related to “the light of Christ”. I did Alma 28 already.

Moroni 7:18-19 is perhaps the most critical text to understanding the Standard LDS conception of the Light of Christ as our conscience. To begin in medias res, as it were, it says:

And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged. Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.

(more…)

What the scriptures actually tell us about the Light of Christ. Part 1

October 24, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 12:07 pm   Category: Scriptures

First of all, the light of Christ is not mentioned at all in the bible. It is a concept strictly found in modern scripture. Even there, there are only three times were the term is used, the earliest use being in Alma 28:14. As NCT author Jacob J has dedicated much time to this topic, I felt I should do an independent study of it, and return and report.

Alma 28:14 notes only that we have reason for “joy because of the light of Christ unto life.” This is contrasted with sorrow because of the “death and destruction” caused by a great war where tens and thousands were slain, making the author (either Mormon or Alma) to reflect on the state of the souls of those who had been slain. Poignantly he notes the inequality of man, due to our choices, due to our sins and transgressions, and due also to the influence of Satan upon the world, which is a deterministic force compelling us on to misery. Realizing the power of this opposition, the Author feels, is a great call to diligence for men to go forth and “labor in the vineyards of the lord.” This is the set up for the reference to the “light of Christ unto life.” We must “labor in the vineyard” to give the “light of Christ unto life” or at least a knowledge of how to utilize it or increase it to man, so that he or she may “dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness”. (more…)

READ THIS POST!!!!!!!

October 22, 2007    By: Kristen J @ 9:42 pm   Category: Life

I’m beginning to realize that I have a “rage problem”. It’s weird because I think if you knew me in person you would never guess that I’m just two steps away from enrolling in an anger management program.

I’ve decided to come forward with my problem in hope that I might help others who are suffering in silence from this same disorder. Maybe we can work together to find a cure, maybe those who suffer can offer love and support to each other, or at the very least maybe we can even come up with a name for this disorder. (more…)

Questions on the nature of Christ’s Death

   By: Matt W. @ 12:51 pm   Category: Life

Christ died on a cross, killed by the very people he was sent to teach.

Was that a necassary part of the atonement? If so, how so?

What I am asking is could Christ have done whatever it was that he did in Gethsemane(taking upon himself pain, sin, suffering, and other forms of affliction), and then lived a long and happy life in the countryside, to die of old age, and then break the bands of death and be resurrected? Could he have suffered the injustice of being the Son of God, only to then be run over by a careless drunken charioteer?

Is it possible that just as his infinite atonement covered all manner of sin, it also covered all forms and manners of death?

Are there any components you consider essential to the manner in which Christ died? (Must he have been hated? Did he need to be sinned against in death? Did he have to be betrayed?)

“Offend the Spirit” — Poor Choice of Words?

October 21, 2007    By: Jacob J @ 12:10 pm   Category: Uncategorized

Vulgarity, profanity, immodesty, violence in movies, and being up past midnight are examples of things that we commonly refer to as “offending the spirit.” I don’t disagree, in general, with the badness of the things on this list but I find the word choice to be a bit problematic. The picture it paints in my mind is different than what I think is actually going on. This language has always conjured for me an image of the Holy Ghost standing up and leaving the movie theater in disgust. In fact, I think that is the image that speakers are trying to evoke by using such language. However, I think there is an important problem with that image. (more…)

So are you sold on BYU football this year?

October 20, 2007    By: Geoff J @ 8:23 pm   Category: Sports

BYU has taken care of business the last three weeks, but I am not yet convinced this team is going to prove to be top 25 material this year.

Three weeks ago the Cougs made it out of Albuquerque with a win. It was not pretty — the Cougs gave up a couple of late touchdowns on turnovers — but a W if is a W. Here are some highlights those of you not living in Utah (essentially the only place one can see the games again this season):

(more…)

The Winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God

October 18, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 10:28 am   Category: Theology

One argument some make for the idea that Christ takes our punishment for us (like some form of whipping boy) in the atonement is found twice in the Doctrine and Covenants. It is found in D&C 76:107 and in D&C 88:106.

These read (with context)

D&C 76
These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work; When he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying: I have overcome and have trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.

D&C 88
And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the seventh angel, saying: It is finished; it is finished! The Lamb of God hath overcome and trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God

(more…)

Habit, Character, and Stains on the Soul

October 14, 2007    By: Jacob J @ 11:32 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

In his Principles of Psychology, William James has a chapter exploring the nature of habits.

Point One: Habits are physical. If a substance can be shaped or manipulated and then hold its new configuration, it is capable of developing a habit. For example, “everyone knows how a garment, after having been worn a certain time, clings to the shape of the body better than when it was new; there has been a change in the tissue, and this change is a new habit.” Similarly, “when a bar of iron becomes magnetic or crystalline through the action of certain outward causes” it has developed a habit. The structure of these materials resists change, which is why the developement of a habit takes time. However, “when the structure has yielded, the same inertia becomes a condition of its comparative permanence in the new form.” (more…)

Nine Years Up and Running

October 11, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 7:43 am   Category: Life

Today is sort of a special anniversary for me. Nine years ago today I was baptized, marking my leap of faith into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It’s an odd story, with an odd beginning. I had been offered two summer job opportunities. One working for the boy scouts in New Mexico, the other sailing on a barge up and down the Mississippi River. The barge job paid 4 times as much as the New Mexico Job, but the scouting Job meant being close to mountains, which I had never done up to that point in my life. I felt like I needed the money. I was agnostic, and sometimes considered myself an atheist, but on a whim, I decided to pray about which job to take. When I finished praying, my dad called and told me I didn’t need the money and to do what I thought would give me the best experience for the rest of my life. At the time, I thought it was a happy coincidence, and I decided to take the job working at a Boy Scout Camp, as I really felt like there was something really important for me there. I was 20 years old.
(more…)

An Atonement Parable from Truman G. Madsen.

October 7, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 3:11 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

A while back, Jacob brougt up the idea of posting something devotional on sundays. It being conference weekend and all, I thought I’d make an effort. This is what I did between sessions.

On this blog there have been many stories or parables discussed. We have, of course, argued the intent of Packer’s Mediator. We have discussed “the parable of the bicycle”, and Geoff J has graced us with his own piano player parable,and another financial parable. In discussing the atonement in a recent thread, Blake brought up the idea of using the story of a Bishop who has a great capacity for empathy as a parable of the Atonement. Heck, I even once tried to compare the atonement to an eagle teaching her children to fly. (Sorry If I missed any.)
(more…)

Fantasizing about apostles

October 2, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 12:00 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

I admit it, when I first joined the church, I fantasized about apostles. Their names were Darius Gray and Truman G. Madsen. I fantasized about when they would become apostles, and how great that would be. Now, I’ve grown up a bit since then, and I am somewhat skeptical that Truman is young enough to make it into the 12, or that Brother Gray is in good enough health, but somewhere deep inside, I still have the fantasy of it, I guess. Perhaps it is wrong, But it’s a way I guess I honor these men for the amazing spiritual gifts they’ve given me.

Who’s your “fantasy” apostle?

Worshiping the Bible

October 1, 2007    By: Geoff J @ 12:02 am   Category: Calvinism,Mormon Culture/Practices,Personal Revelation,Scriptures,Theology

I have long suspected that some of our creedal Christian friends have inadvertently begun worshiping the Bible itself in place of, or at least in addition to, the living God. Recently Aaron Shafovaloff (of the Fluffy Bunny Nice Nice Club) seems to have confirmed that suspicion for me in his case at least.

We were discussing how he knows the Bible is the word of God over at his blog and he kept saying things that made no sense at all to me. I kept asking things like “Did God tell you it is true or not”? And he kept saying things like “No, not in the way Mormonism talks about this “yes” answer.” Well his last comment finally started clearing up this issue for me. Here are some of his quotes: (more…)