Thursday, January 19, 2012

THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS


We are now 19 days into the New Year, and I am still psyched!! I have been studying Lehi’s Dream in the Book of Mormon. Suffice it to say, there is a lot of symbolism and I won’t even try to go there. But Nephi has offered a challenge to all who read the book of Mormon and that is to “feast upon the words”and to“liken the scriptures as ourselves”.
My boss sent me a list of about 30 challenges to improve myself in 30 days. It’s not a list of resolutions, but a list of challenges. Here is one that I chose #13:
• Don’t tell a single lie for 30 days. – With all the seemingly innocent, white lies that trickle out of us, this is way harder than it sounds. But you can do it. Stop deceiving yourself and others, speak from the heart, speak the whole truth.
Wow, this one stopped me cold. Stop lying; I know that there are many, many reasons people lie. I googled the word lie and I could not believe what I found. There was a site that broke down the various types of lies. I talked to my husband about this and even he had to pause. My husband is from the “good ole boy” school of telling stories and stretching the truth. I could say that “I know he means well, no harm intended, just having fun. But you know that Nephi, this is what he had to say about lies:
2Nephi 28:8
And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
Lying is serious business. The scriptures report that the Lord “abhors” the liar. Now wait does that mean that I will suffer from “eternal hatred” if I lie. No, and then yes if I don’t repent. But to lie and become a liar, to live a lie is a lifestyle choice. In the scriptures a liar and his lifestyle is often referred to as a “crooked path”. The word lie means “prevariance” which is related to a medical term called “pre-varus” or bowleg. It literally means to straddle, or to straddle the truth. So in “likening myself” to the scripture, I put myself on that path, the strait and narrow path. I think that everyone who has been baptized starts out at that tree. We start at the tree because we have all accepted Christ as our Savior; we have performed the required ordinances, so we have a chance to taste of that fruit. Then we start out on the path, which is the same path we were on before baptism and now it’s changed a bit. Instead of a wide road, it is more narrow, but as we continue to hold on to the iron rod, we have road maps; the scriptures, the sacrament, church meetings, the Temple, etc. All of those are road maps that help guide us, back to the tree. So I have pondered on what it means to live in the truth where no lie will be found in me.
Ephesians 4:24-26
24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.
We are now “new men and women” after the order of God. What is that order?
Doctrine & Covenants 3:2
2 For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.
I love the language that is articulated in this verse. I have noticed that there are at least 2, possibly 3 “voices” of expression of language documented in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. Maybe Joseph Smith noted it too. The one voice or language I have noted is “archaic”, which means this:

1. Archaic of, relating to or characteristic of a much earlier, often more primitive period, especially one that develops into a classical stage of civilization: an archaic bronze statuette; Archaic Greece.
2. Of, relating to, or characteristic of words and language that were once in regular use but are now relatively rare and suggestive of an earlier style or period.
From the Greek arkhaikos: old-fashioned, from arkhaios: ancient, from arkhē: beginning, from arkhein: to begin. (In the beginning; original language of God)
So Heavenly Father has spoken this truth from the very foundation, from the beginning and throughout eternity. This is our guide to the abundant life.
Note: In a previous post I wrote about language, specifically concerning the confounding of the language of the people at the tower of Babel. There has been much speculation about that and I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I have to consider that not only was the “spoken word” confused or confounded, but the language that was used to worship, pray, and even officiate sacrifices to God were confounded also. The language or speech of the people had become corrupt not only in their verbal communication but also in their hearts and their ability to be truthful and obedient to God. At Babel the Lord is taking a preemptive strike.
(I am diverging the path, but stay with me and you will see where this leads)
Genesis 11:6-7
6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech
By confounding the speech, then this would hold back, at least temporarily a means where “false prophets” could continue to teach false doctrine, and lead away many from God. Now why would the Lord allow a temporary fix? It is probably not temporary but it is a “way” to allow those who choose to continue to worship the Lord in the spirit of truth will have an opportunity to do so.
D&C 3:1;3-2 (Note: Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, July 1828, relating to the loss of 116 pages of manuscript translated from the first part of the Book of Mormon, which was called the book of Lehi. The Prophet had reluctantly allowed these pages to pass from his custody to that of Martin Harris, who had served for a brief period as scribe in the translation of the Book of Mormon. (Martin Harris was a big fat liar and in subsequent revelations he was called “that wicked man”.
1 The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.
3 Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men;
4 For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.
This is where the record in the book of Ether comes in.
Ether 1:34 And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord, Jared, his brother, said unto him: Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words
I have been curious about the brother of Jared. When I first read this, I wondered why Jared was so adamant that his brother pray to the Lord for mercy and not to confound the language. Why didn’t Jared pray? But, look at the description of Jared’s brother, not only was he physically imposing, but he was a man “highly favored of the Lord”. Does that mean he had the ability to communicate with God in the language that was appropriate? Was he a prophet of God, a priesthood holder who had not “defiled” his priesthood authority? Who are these people anyway? They were the posterity of Adam. The Lord considered them “His people”. They were a Zion type, with all things in common; set apart, all worthy men were ordained of the High Priest hood. The Lord granted that Jared and his family and friends retain the “spoken” language of Adam or Adamic, also he granted that they would not be cut off from his presence, that they would be allowed to “speak” with Him, worship Him, receive blessing from Him; as long as they obeyed his commandments.
This people residing in “Babel” were the posterity of Noah, the posterity of Adam. They all spoke the same language at the time, which was Adamic or the language of Adam, which was a pure language.
Moses 6:5-6
5 And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration;
6 And by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled.
Zeph 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.
But what happened? The Tower of Babel was a “temple” built to worship false gods.
Moses 6: 49 Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempt them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God
Moses 5:55 And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men
So cue in the “mists of darkness”, according to the symbolism of that word, it’s all about the evils of the world, or in other words Satan’s devices. I believe that “opportunities to lie” are in the mists. They come “shrouded” in the truth, using the truth as a cover up. Lies can come as things just too good to be true, asking us to buy into them. A lie is part of that filthy garment of the wicked. There it is. Prayer can absolutely help to discern the truth from the lie. It is definitely an ongoing process.
I know that this a big honking post. But I feel that the events from the tower of Babel, the event of the losing of 116 pages of the book of Mormon, the events of the family of Jared. They were on the on the path, we are on the path. I want to be the best I can be for God. I don't know if I am one of the highly favored ones, but I hope that I am in favor. I want to speak the truth in love and in deed. I am believing I can.
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