Our Predicament and Our Choice
OUR PREDICAMENT AND OUR CHOICE
1. 1 John 1:7-10 says: If we (any of us) say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”.
2. James said: If you offend (or transgress) in one point of the law, then you are guilty of ALL the law. James 2:10
3. Jesus said to the Pharisees who were the “priesthood leaders” of the ancient church: Matt 23: 21 JST Ye Pharisees do everything according to the Law, and appear unto men to not commit the least sin, and yet ye, yourselves, transgress THE WHOLE LAW. We may have the same problem.
4. Lehi said: Everyone is given a knowledge of the law of good and evil and by the law all men are cut off. By the temporal law, men are cut off and cannot be justified by the law. And by the spiritual law, you perish from that which is good and become miserable forever. 2 Nephi 2: 4-8
5. Paul said: By the law no flesh is justified! The Law made NOTHING PERFECT (Hebrews 7:19). The law is to give us a knowledge of sin and make all men guilty. “And all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:19-23. 1 Kings 8:46 says: “For there is NO man that sinneth not.” And Ezekial 18:4 says: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” And Isaiah 59:2 says: “Your Iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hid His Face from you.” (you cannot see His Face when you insist on Sin. So what is Sin? Sin is a greek word meaning: TO MISS THE MARK. Whenever we focus on our self as the key to our happiness by getting power and possessions and praise of others, we are “IN” sin, and therefore in discontent and “want” because we can never find fulfillment and peace IN our Selves, but ONLY In the true “Mark” – which is Jesus, the Messenger of God’s Peace and Love, The Author and Finisher of our Lives.
6. Joseph Smith said: “The righteousness of man is SIN.” (Page 317 TPJS) Why is that so?
7. Now then the question is: Do I have any sin? If so, then I am guilty of transgressing the whole law and I am scheduled to perish from that which is “good” and become miserable forever, which means to live in a telestial state of hell without God forever – or until we choose to “Come unto Christ – who answers the ends of the Law for us.
8. This is the place in which Alma the Younger found himself when he said he was in exquisite pain and suffering and about to be cast off forever. And he said in Alma 34 that this same spirit which now possesses us will have power to possess us in the next world. Do I want to be possessed by the spirit of misery forever?
9. I have not said this to bring anyone down. I have said this to bring us to the same place of Alma the Younger, Nephi and Lehi, so that we may recognize that in our true position in that abyss of hell, we have two options that Lehi gave clearly: 2 Nephi 2: 27 “And all are free to choose: (a.) Captivity and death according to the power of the devil OR (b.) Liberty and Eternal Life and salvation through the Great Mediator of ALL mankind” - Christ
11. Then Lehi said this with all the fervor of his soul: “How great the importance to make this known unto all men and (women), that there is NO FLESH THAT CAN DWELL IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD…...save it be through the merits and mercy and grace of Christ the Holy Messiah. And they that believe in Him SHALL BE SAVED”.
12. He explained that The Holy Messiah offered a “sacrifice to answer the ends (the consequences) of the law for you, but only to those who have a broken heart and contrite spirit. And he reiterated that: UNTO NONE ELSE can the ends of the law be answered. Redemption cometh ONLY IN & through the Holy Messiah.” 2 Nephi 2:6-7
13. Alma pointed out the whole purpose of the Law in Alma 34: This is the WHOLE meaning of the Law, every whit of it pointing to that great and last sacrifice the Son of God. And thus He shall bring Salvation to ALL those who believe on His Name. Notice: The whole meaning of giving us the law is to give us experience of living in the bitterness of living on the Tree of Knowledge, and then He points us to the ONLY way we can be saved and perfected and given Eternal Life – by Him and Him ONLY! HE IS THE WAY!
14. Now the Lord said to Moroni: “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble and if they ARE humble and see their weakness (that I gave them or recognize their true condition of sin before Me) then I can make weak things (sin) strong unto them. And this is because MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT to make weak things (us) strong.” But understand it is not us that makes us strong in weakness – it is Him. Ether 12: 27,37
15. Now Nephi said; “We keep the law as far as it is expedient, but we teach our children the deadness of the law. Why? So that they may know to what source they MUST look to for salvation” and for redemption from that sin of which we are ALL guilty – the WHOLE LAW. 2 Nephi 25: 23-29
16. Alma explained in Alma 22:14 that “since man (all of us) had fallen (the same way Adam and Eve had fallen – by focusing on ME, and trying to win the war between good and evil so that I can earn God’s love), that he (man and woman) can merit NOTHING OF HIMSELF.” This means we cannot save ourselves, we cannot redeem ourselves, we cannot perfect ourselves, we cannot exalt ourselves and we cannot earn Eternal Life. I looked and never found the “earn” in the scriptures. I did find where He said: Exalt NOT Yourselves.
17. Alma the Younger was snatched out of that abyss of hell and then he said: Because I was snatched out of the abyss of hell, you may likewise (in the same way), by being Born of God. Mosiah 27:23-31 Alma 36:4-26 So were Lehi and Nephi, and the others in scripture who testify of Him.
18. Alma 11: 40 points out that: “HE shall come into the world to REDEEM HIS PEOPLE, and He shall take upon Him the transgressions of those who Believe on His NAME and these are they that shall have Eternal Life,………….and salvation cometh unto NONE else”
19. Lehi told his son Jacob: 2 Nephi 2:1-3 I know that thou art redeemed because of the Righteousness of thy Redeemer, for He shall bring Salvation unto men.”
20. Helaman 5: 8-12 “O remember, remember my sons, that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come to redeem the world”.
21. Mormon told us: Moroni 7: 37-38 For NO man can be saved, save they shall have faith on His NAME.
22. Abinadi’s message to the wicked Nephites who were trying to keep the law of Moses was:
Mosiah 12-16 “And now, ought ye not to tremble and remember that ONLY In and through Christ can ye be saved? Therefore, if ye teach the Law, also teach them the Law is only a shadow (a symbol to teach us to come unto Christ) and that redemption cometh ONLY through Christ the Lord.”
23. And Moroni summarized the entire book of Mormon by sharing the bottom-line of all scripture by explaining how we might receive the GIFTS of perfection and cleansing redemption and Eternal Life: Moroni 10: 32-33 “Come unto Christ, and be PERFECTED in Him, for His grace is sufficient for you, that by His grace ye may be PERFECT in Christ. Then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, that ye become holy, without spot!”
24. Now if anyone wants to know what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is, here is what the Lord himself said (so that we don’t become confused about the Gospel really is): D&C 76: 40-42 “THIS IS THE GOSPEL, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us--That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness; That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him; Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except the sons of perdition.” (NO, the gospel is not the Commandments nor is it a Law that will save us if we learn how to keep that Law or laws perfectly. The Gospel is the glad tidings that He has offered to save us and cleanse us all individually from ALL unrighteousness so we may dwell with Him eternally basking in His Love and His Glory, instead of separately and singly living out our meager existence living apart from Him in a shack that we supposedly have built for ourselves with our own hands.)
25. Now understand then that a gifts of salvation and perfection and eternal Life and Pure Love and RePentance and His Rest, has been offered to each of us and we are free to choose Liberty and Eternal Life through Him but we are also free to choose captivity and death through our own plan of SELF righteousness or what the Prophet Joseph called “Sin”. Do we want to go on in our self destructive plan of saving and perfecting our Selves? Because “what doth it profit a man if a Gift is bestowed upon him, and he receives not the gift? He neither rejoices in the Gift nor in the Giver of the Gift.” D&C 88:33
26. To understand how to “receive” this gift, let’s go again to the Lord: D&C 132: 22-26 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye “RECEIVE” Me not in the world neither do ye know Me. But if ye “RECEIVE” Me in the world, then shall ye know Me, and shall “RECEIVE” your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also. This is Eternal Life--to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. I am He. For broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they “RECEIVE” Me not (in this world)”.
27. The Prophet Joseph said: “Reading the experience of others can never give a comprehensive view of our true condition before God (which I have just explained to is our true condition before God). Knowledge (true knowledge and understanding) of these things can ONLY BE HAD BY EXPERIENCE in these things.” This means that no other person can KNOW God for us and we cannot just get in a line and follow someone there. It is an individual personal Relationship with God.
28. Now understand that Joseph was not trying to get us to just believe in Joseph’s relationship with God. He said; “The first principle of the gospel is to KNOW for a certainty (for oneself) the true character of God (and our personal relationship with God); that we may walk and talk with Him as one man does with another.”
29. In fact Joseph said: “I do not want you to think I am a righteous man, for I am not.” TPJS Pg 303 Remember that: “The righteousness of man is SIN.” TPJS Pg. 317
30. Pres. John Taylor said: “The only question with us is whether we will cooperate with God (and partake of His redeeming power), OR whether we will individually (and foolishly) attempt to work out our own salvation.”
30. The point here is that there is no one who will ever receive Eternal Life in the Presence of God, except by coming unto Christ and believing in Him and actually “RECEIVE” the Gifts. So the real questions are:
How do I “Come unto Christ”? And How do I “Believe in His Name”? And How do I “Receive” the Gift of Eternal Life? We can only begin to come to understanding the answer to these questions once we have got it into our hearts that: I am fallen and can merit NOTHING of myself, and Salvation and Eternal Life is ONLY found in Christ, not in myself. When we begin to believe that, and let go of our pride and ego and self-righteousness, then He can teach us the way to Him.
He said: Look unto Me in EVERY thought” This means Focus on Him, and STOP focusing on Self. So the first step is: to REPENT, which means literally “to turn back to God”; to turn back our focus to God. Where are we usually focusing? On our SELF! What is Self? The natural man; an enemy to God. What comes of Focusing on the Natural Man? A magnified, larger version the Natural Man - focusing more on Self! How do we put off the Natural Man? By turning our focus to our Savior and His At-One-ment, which is what it means to Re-Pent.