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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

* * * * * * * *

“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.

* * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * *

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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Our Words

qwo

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Forgiveness

Hurt people, hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion and cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.

– Yehuda Berg

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Graven upon His Palms

palms

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:16)

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SM1

The Book of Mormon, Hebrew & English

Another Testament of Jesus the Messiah, Son of David, Son of God

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For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

Isaiah 62:1
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And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.

Excerpt from Book of Mormon Title Page
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Wherefore, the Jews shall be scattered among all nations; yea, and also Babylon shall be destroyed; wherefore, the Jews shall be scattered by other nations.

And after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation until they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind– and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things.

2 Nephi 25:15-16

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And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews,
that Jesus is the very Christ . . .

2 Nephi 26:12

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O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people?

2 Nephi 29:5

And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.

2 Nephi 29:13
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I have charity for the Jew.

2 Nephi 33:8
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… all things which are hid must be revealed upon the house-tops.

Mormon 5:8

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And behold, they (The Book of Mormon teachings) shall go unto the Jews; and for this intent shall they go — that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant;

Mormon 5:14

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For none can have power to bring it to light save it be given of him of God;
for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord.

Mormon 8:15

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… the stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands …

Daniel 2:45

For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled.

…and none can stay it…

Mormon 8:22,26

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And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew…

Mormon 9:33

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Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world…

Ether 4:14
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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

Psalm 122:6

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

Psalm 137:5
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And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews.

1 Corinthians 9:20

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Wherefore, I must bring forth the fulness of my gospel from the Gentiles unto
the house of Israel.

Doctrine & Covenants 14:10

And again, (seek diligently to turn) the hearts of the Jews unto the prophets, and the prophets unto the Jews; lest I come and smite the whole earth with a curse, and all flesh be consumed before me.

Doctrine & Covenants 98:17

We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed;

And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;

And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.

And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before thee.

Doctrine & Covenants 109: 62-64, 67

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Come, ye dispersed of Judah, Join in the theme and sing With harmony unceasing The praises of our King, Whose arm is now extended, On which the world may gaze, To gather up the righteous In these the latter days.

Come, All Ye Saints of Zion, LDS Hymn no. 38

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And if not now, when? – Rabbi Hillel the Elder
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The phrase “House of Israel” is given 122 times in the Book of Mormon,
and 160 times in the Bible KJV.

The Book of Mormon also references the following phrases

“House of Jacob” is given 15 times

“children of Israel” is given 8 times

“tribes of Israel” is given 6 times

“Jews” is given 76 times

“Judah” is given 22 times

“the Law of Moses” (translated as Torah) is given 43 times

“God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob” is given 8 times, including variations

“Covenant” is given 154 times

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Ongoing translation in pdf format for “personal study only.”

Primary link:  BofM_Hebrew.pdf
Alternate link:  BofM_Hebrew.pdf

– Tom Irvine

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Matthew 15

21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

25 Then came she and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me.

26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

* * *

A common explanation of this story was that Jesus was putting the woman to a test. Be that as it may, there are additional layers of meaning to this story. The key is verse 24. Jesus “was sent” by his father.

To bless the woman’s daughter, Jesus effectively broke a rule given by his father. But Jesus did not sin. Rather he followed a higher law of his own free choice.

* * *

Doctrine & Covenants 58

26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

* * *

The story also shows that we are not held to unquestioning obedience in all situations. We can reason with the Lord and plead for mercy in special cases, especially when we are praying for a loved-one.

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– Tom Irvine

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