Archive for January, 2018

God’s Love

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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Psalm 136:26

O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.
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Romans 5:8

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

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People argue whether God’s love for us is conditional or unconditional. But I say, Who is man to set bounds on God’s love?

– Tom Irvine

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First Law of Heaven

There is a widely-taught principle in my church that “Obedience is the first law of heaven.”   This may have been an extrapolation from Alexander Pope’s quote that “Order is heaven’s first law.”  But discernment must precede obedience.

The Lord placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.   The two were in a childlike state of innocence.  Even so, the Lord gave them a dilemma.  Note that Eve’s original name was “Woman.”  She did not receive the name Eve until she and Adam were being cast out of the Garden per the Genesis account.

Genesis 1

[27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
[28] And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 2

[15] And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
[16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
[17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

[20] And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
[21] And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
[22] And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
[23] And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

The “Serpent” then appears to the Woman by herself.  He tempts her to eat of the fruit from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”   There is an exegesis in the teachings of my church that the Serpent actually reasoned  with the Woman.  She came to realize that she must partake of the forbidden fruit in order to gain knowledge, progress and bear children.  She thus partook.  She then plead with Adam that he must also eat the fruit for these same reasons and reminded him that the Lord instructed them that they should remain together.  And Adam did eat.

This action brought about the course of human history.  The Lord appeared to Adam and the Woman to pronounce the consequences which included…

Genesis 3

[16] Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
[17] And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
[18] Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
[19] In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

It was on the verge of the pair being cast out of the Garden that the Woman became Eve.

[20] And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

The simple explanation is that Adam and Eve did not have the power of procreation until they had eaten the forbidden fruit and were cast out of the Garden.  In order to keep the law of “multiplying and replenishing the earth,”  they had to break the law of abstaining from the forbidden fruit.   Keeping the one commandment meant breaking the other.

Even in their childlike state, Adam and Eve had to develop and exercise reason and discernment.  They had to differentiate between a higher and lesser law.

So must we at times throughout our lives.

– Tom Irvine

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We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)

Quoted by:

President Thomas S. Monson, BYU Devotional Be a Light to the World, November 1, 2011

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“God left the world unfinished; the pictures unpainted,
the songs unsung, and the problems unsolved,
that man might know the joys of creation.”

Thomas S. Monson, In Quest of the Abundant Life, March 1988.

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Unlike toy boats, we have been provided divine attributes to guide our journey. We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life but with the power to think, to reason, and to achieve.

Thomas S. Monson, The Race of Life, April 2012

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President Thomas S. Monson has used the following story in several of his talks. See for example: The Three Rs of Choice, October 2010.

Let us not find ourselves as indecisive as is Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?”

The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”

Unlike Alice, we all know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for by choosing our path, we choose our destination.

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