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Archive for the ‘Children of Israel’ Category

Deuteronomy 5

[13] Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:
[14] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.
[15] And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

* * *

Deuteronomy 8

[1] All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.
[2] And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
[3] And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
[4] Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
[5] Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.
[6] Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
[7] For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;
[8] A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;
[9] A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.
[10] When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
[11] Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
[12] Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
[13] And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
[14] Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
[15] Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
[16] Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
[17] And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
[18] But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
[19] And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
[20] As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.

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The Children of Israel were required by Pharoah to work seven days per week when they were slaves in Egypt.

After they were liberated, the Lord commanded them:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)

The Lord expected the Children of Israel to remember on the the following on Sabbath day.

* * *

God’s work in creation

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. (Genesis 2:2)

* * *

Their liberation from Egyptian bondage

12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.

13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:

14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

Deuteronomy 5

* * *

Their need for personal refreshment

12 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.

14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Exodus 31

* * *

– Tom Irvine

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Last Sunday I gave a talk in my church at the request of my bishop. The assigned topic was “The Five Elements of Missionary Preparation,” presumably for the benefit of young men and women.

I have been concerned, however, that many of our young people who earnestly want to serve missions cannot do so for medical and other reasons beyond their control. They often feel disheartened as a result. I thus wanted to reassure them that there are plenty of other ways for them to serve the Lord and their fellow man.

From there, it was an easy step to reach out to all those in the congregation who are suffering from health problems or other afflictions.

I am including a link to my written talk. The one I actually gave had some minor variations. And I gave the talk with a depth of emotion that the written words may be unable to convey.

Yes, I strayed from the assigned topic, but several of the members were moved to tears. We are a very perfection-driven people in my church. We need to pause and admit that we are imperfect people living in a fallen world. And acknowledge that salvation comes only through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Download Link/Tom_talk2013.pdf

– Tom Irvine

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The Ten Commandments were given by Jehovah to the Children of Israel, as recorded in the Old Testament, Exodus 20.

* * *

Exodus 20

[1] And God spake all these words, saying,
[2] I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
[3] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
[4] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
[5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
[6] And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
[7] Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
[8] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
[9] Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
[10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
[11] For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
[12] Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
[13] Thou shalt not kill.
[14] Thou shalt not commit adultery.
[15] Thou shalt not steal.
[16] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
[17] Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

* * *

Which is the first of the Ten?

The “Sunday School” answer is:

[3] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

But a Rabbi taught me that the first is actually:

[2] I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thus the first commandment is to remember the mercy of the Lord and to express gratitude to Him for all of the blessings that He has given to the Children of Israel, to our forefathers, and to ourselves.

– Tom Irvine

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[9] And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

[10] And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

[11] And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

[12] And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

1 Kings 19

* * *

[16] And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
[17] Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

[26] But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 14

* * *

The resurrected Jesus appears to the disciples:

[21] Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
[22] And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

John 20

* * *

Paul taught that spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Ghost. See 1 Corinthians 12.

These gifts are:

1. Word of wisdom
2. Word of knowledge
3. Faith
4. Gifts of healing
5. Working of miracles
6. Prophesy
7. Discerning of spirits
8. Diverse kinds of tongues
9. Interpretation of tongues.

Paul taught that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)

* * *

“The gifts of the Holy Spirit are testimony, faith, knowledge, wisdom, revelations, miracles, healing, and charity, to name but a few (see D&C 46:13-26).”

— D. Todd Christofferson

* * *

[3] Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down unto the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

[4] And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

[5] And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Moroni 10

* * *

President Joseph Fielding Smith said:

“When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even the Son of God himself, would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase.”(Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:151).

President Smith also said, “Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:48).

* * *

Do You Know? By Elder Glenn L. Pace, April 2007 General Conference

How does this spiritual witness feel? It is as difficult to describe as the scent of a rose or the song of a bird or the beauty of a landscape. Nevertheless, you know it when you feel it.

The scriptures give us some insights into these feelings:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy; and then shall ye know” (D&C 11:13–14).

Sometimes the feeling is like a memory. We first learned the gospel in our heavenly home. We have come to this Earth with a veil of forgetfulness. And yet lingering in each of our spirits are those dormant memories. The Holy Ghost can part the veil and bring those things out of their dormancy. Often my reaction to a supposedly newfound truth is, “Oh, I remember that!”
“The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost . . . [will] bring all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26).

* * *

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This morning I took a walk around my neighborhood. My family and I live in an area with hills and pine trees.

I remembered that the Bible has hundreds of verses containing the verb walk. Here are just a few…

Adam and Eve heard the Lord in the Garden of Eden.

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8.

The children of Israel crossed the Red Sea.

But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Exodus 14:29.

* * *

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God.

* * *

In Matthew 5:41, Jesus instructs, “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”

This teaching deals with the Roman practice of commandeering civilians to carry soldiers’ luggage for, in this case, one mile.

* * *

Jesus healed a lame man at the pool of Bethesda by commanding him “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” John 5:1-9.

Jesus walked across the Sea of Galilee to rescue his disciples who were in boat rocked by wind and waves. Matthew 14:22-33.

Jesus, as a Resurrected Being, walked with Cleopas and another disciple along the road to Emmaus. He taught the two disciples from the scriptures as they walked. The disciples did not recognize Jesus but nevertheless invited him to stay with them. The story continues…

Luke 24

[30] And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
[31] And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
[32] And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

* * *

The scriptures teach us that we should walk by faith, in obedience and in truth.

Luke 1

[6] And they (Zacharias and Elisabeth) were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

2 Corinthians 5

[7] For we walk by faith, not by sight:

2 John 1

[4] I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
[5] And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
[6] And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

* * *

And let us walk with gratitude.

[6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
[7] Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving

Colossians 2

* * *

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Psalm 37:23

* * *

Let us learn and contemplate our duty. Let us be willing and worthy to serve. Let us in the performance of our duty follow in the footsteps of the Master. As you and I walk the pathway Jesus walked, we will discover He is more than the babe in Bethlehem, more than the carpenter’s son, more than the greatest teacher ever to live. We will come to know Him as the Son of God, our Savior and our Redeemer.

– President Thomas S. Monson, Willing and Worthy to Serve, April 2012

* * *

Out of the darkness and the horror of Calvary came the voice of the Lamb, saying, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” And the dark was no longer dark, for He was with His Father. He had come from God, and to Him He had returned. So also those who walk with God in this earthly pilgrimage know from blessed experience that He will not abandon His children who trust in Him. In the night of death, His presence will be “better than [a] light and safer than a known way.”

– President Thomas S. Monson, May We So Live, August 2008

* * *

May the Lord bless you as walk with him,

– Tom Irvine

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To my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ . . .

The Ten Commandments were given by Jehovah to the Children of Israel, as recorded in the Old Testament, Exodus 20.

* * *

Exodus 20

[1] And God spake all these words, saying,
[2] I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
[3] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
[4] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
[5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
[6] And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
[7] Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
[8] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
[9] Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
[10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
[11] For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
[12] Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
[13] Thou shalt not kill.
[14] Thou shalt not commit adultery.
[15] Thou shalt not steal.
[16] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
[17] Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

* * *

A friend asked me “Are these laws and commandments still relevant to us after the death of our Lord Jesus Christ?”

The answer is Yes!

Jesus taught “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

Jesus of the New Testament is the same being as Jehovah of the Old Testament.

* * *

Our Lord reaffirmed the Ten Commandments in the following New Testament scriptures. He also gave higher laws built upon the foundation of the Ten Commandments.

Matthew 5

[21] Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
[22] But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

[27] Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
[28] But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Mark 12

[28] And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
[29] And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
[30] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
[31] And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Mark 10

[17] And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
[18] And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
[19] Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
[20] And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
[21] Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
[22] And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

* * *

The Apostle Paul warned:

Romans 6

[1] What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
[2] God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
[12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

* * *

The Apostle Paul reaffirmed the Ten Commandments after Christ’s death and resurrection.

Romans 13

[9] For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

* * *

Please remember that obedience to the voice of the Lord is greater than sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22)

And to revere God and obey him are the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

* * *

We are unworthy creatures. We can only be saved through the Grace of Jesus Christ.

But we must still obey the Lord’s commandments in order to become his disciples and to have the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

May the Lord bless you,
Tom

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The children of Israel traveled through the Sinai wilderness. The following story is given in Numbers 21.

[4] And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
[5] And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
[6] And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
[7] Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
[8] And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
[9] And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Jesus referenced this story in John 3.

[14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.

* * *

The Book of Mormon provides additional insight.

1 Nephi 17

[41] And he (The Lord) did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.

2 Nephi 25

[20] And now, my brethren, I have spoken plainly that ye cannot err. And as the Lord God liveth that brought Israel up out of the land of Egypt, and gave unto Moses power that he should heal the nations after they had been bitten by the poisonous serpents, if they would cast their eyes unto the serpent which he did raise up before them, and also gave him power that he should smite the rock and the water should come forth; yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved.

Helaman 8

[14] Yea, did he not bear record that the Son of God should come? And as he lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, even so shall he be lifted up who should come.
[15] And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal.

* * *

Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of the world in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross at Calvary. The serpent on Moses’ pole represented these sins. The pole symbolized Jesus’ cross.

The children of Israel got into trouble because they became discouraged and complained bitterly. The Lord had provided manna to them, but they were very ungrateful. The manna itself represented Jesus Christ who is the “Bread of Life.” (John 6:35)

Perhaps we are all like the complaining children of Israel sometimes. I admit my own guilt in this regard.

We must thank the Lord every day for the blessings that he has given us. We must confess and repent of our sins. Then the Lord will heal us from our wounds.

Remember his words:

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 45:22)

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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Forgiving others is the most challenging commandment for me.

I will not tell you the stories of people who have acted abusive toward me. Retelling those stories would be counter productive.

But the scriptures are very clear on this point.

Jesus Christ taught:

Matthew 5

[43] Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
[44] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

And Jesus forgave the soldiers who nailed him to the cross.

Luke 23

[34] Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

* * *

I am well aware that I need to follow Christ’s teachings on forgiveness, but I am still tempted to seek some sort of justice or even revenge by publically exposing what “my enemies” have done to me.

In such instances, the following Book of Mormon and Bible verses comes to my mind:

Mormon 8

[20] Behold what the scripture says — man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.

1 Peter 3

[8] Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
[9] Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

See also Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 12:19 & Hebrews 10:30.

* * *

Well I am making some progress toward forgiving people who have hurt me, but I still have a ways to go.

In each case, I have had to physically move away from each of these people due to the circumstances of the abuse. In some ways, it would have been better to have had full reconciliation with each of them. But I needed to “move on.” Perhaps this was similar in a small way to the Children of Israel who needed to leave Egypt in order to go to the promised land of Canaan.

Afterward, I wrote letters to each of these people, expressing my desired for reconciliation, but I have not received any replies. But I still need to forgive each of them.

Also, I try to spend some time helping others. When I serve others, I think less about my own problems.

Ghandi said: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Let us seek strength in Christ by forgiving those who have hurt us.

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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Jewish teachings outside of the Torah refer to a Messiah Ben-Joseph (aka Messiah ben Ephraim).

“According to the Talmud, the Messiah will be a descendant of the House of David and will be preceded by a secondary Messiah, from the House of Joseph . . .”
Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.

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When the Chief Rabbi, Avraham HaKohen Kook (1865–1935) was appointed in Palestine in the 1920’s, he was asked if the Jews could now build the Temple (destroyed since year 70 A.D.). His response was that the priestly rights had gone and referred to the great 12th century rabbi Moses Maimonides. Maimonides said, in effect, “We are waiting for a Messiah Ben-Joseph, to him will be given the keys of the gathering of Israel, he will restore Temple worship.”

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Other legends state that Messiah Ben-Joseph will rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple, and bring to pass the restoration of the ten tribes.

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The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. (1805-1844) fulfilled some, but not all, of these roles.

Joseph Smith was an Ephraimite and thus a descendent of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.

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Visions manifested to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, April 3, 1836. HC 2: 435–436. The occasion was that of a Sabbath day meeting.

The Prophet prefaces his record of the manifestations with these words: “In the afternoon, I assisted the other Presidents in distributing the Lord’s Supper to the Church, receiving it from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate at the sacred desk this day.

After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us.”

[11] After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
[12] After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
[13] After this vision had closed, another great and glorious avision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
[14] Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—
[15] To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—
[16] Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.
Doctrine & Covenants 110
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Joseph Smith sent Apostle Orson Hyde to Jerusalem in 1841 to offer a dedicatory prayer.

Orson Hyde blessed the land ” . . for the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy Prophets — for the building up of Jerusalem again after it has been trodden down by the Gentiles so long, and for rearing a Temple in honor of Thy name (the Lord’s name).”

The complete prayer is given at: http://www.vibrationdata.com/Orson_Hyde.htm

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