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And it came to pass that he began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ. And he preached many things which were flattering unto the people; and this he did that he might overthrow the doctrine of Christ. . . .
And he was learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people; wherefore, he could use much flattery, and much power of speech, according to the power of the devil.
Jacob 7:2, 4 Precept #1
Don’t let flattering or easy ideas distract you from or mask the truth – especially when they come from “educated” people.
Is there an idea you’ve had stuck in your mind by the people around you which is stopping your spiritual progression? How do you identify those things? What do they look like and how do you take them out?
And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken.
Jacob 7:5 Precept #2
When people try to undermine your faith hold on to your own personal sacred memories and experiences – those are still true.
Have you ever chosen to rely on the memories of spiritual promptings or other sacred events in your life rather than allow the clamorous voices around you to weaken your faith?
. . . for I have heard and also know that thou goest about much, preaching that which ye call the gospel, or the doctrine of Christ.
Jacob 7:6 Precept #3
Preach the gospel and doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Do you know the gospel of Jesus Christ well enough to share it with the world around you?
And he spake plainly unto them, that he had been deceived by the power of the devil. . . .
Jacob 7:18 Precept #4
Don’t let Satan deceive you.
What lies has Satan gotten you to believe? How are they disrupting your personal growth, spiritual progression, and relationship with your Heavenly Father?
. . . for I denied the Christ, and said that I believed the scriptures; and they truly testify of him. . . .
And it came to pass that peace and the love of God was restored again among the people; and they searched the scriptures, and hearkened no more to the words of this wicked man.
Jacob 7:19, 23 Precept #5
Don’t deny the Christ and don’t listen to or believe anyone else who does.
Are there figures in popular culture who are appealing to you, but who also work to dismiss the existence and work of God and Jesus Christ? Which part of their message do you agree with?
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I remember my first truly sacred experience when I was 12 years old. The next was somewhere around 14. My teenage years after that - after beginning a life-long study of the LDS canon of scripture - was chalked full of sacred experience after sacred experience which have developed in me a love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a devotion to His teachings as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of those experiences as a young man I can say for sure that Jesus Christ lives today and is the Son of the Living God. He atoned for me and has "redeemed my soul from hell."
It was in those years that I learned for myself that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God. That came to be a huge social battle for one young as I was growing up in the Bible belt. I spent those years trying to live my life in such a way that people would know that I was a follower of Christ only to find out after years of hanging out with my friends that none of them believed I was Christian. This was devestating to me, a young man simply trying to show a good example as a follower of Christ. I felt like I had failed. It was only after serving my two year mission for the LDS Church that I realized the reason for their opinion was simply because our definition of what it meant to be Christian was drastically different. For me it had been about following Christ and living His teachings. For them it was whether or not my beliefs fell within their narrowly defined window of what they believed about God and Jesus Christ. I realize now that I was doomed to fail from the beginning!
It was in those years while I was trying to show people that I was a follower of Christ - facing opposition from friend, minister, and teacher alike - that I began studying the scriptures not just to understand His Gospel, but to come to understand answers to the challenges I was being presented with. In short I became as much of a Mormon apologist as a teenage boy with little education could ever become. But I at least had the scriptures and and the guidance of truly devoted and inspired friends and teachers -
and that was all I needed.
It is this pattern of questioning and searching for answers which has informed all of my scripture study and learning over the years of my life since then. My research and understanding of the Gospel, the Church, The Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith have all grown and expanded because of that constant and consistent devotion to studying. And they will all continue to do so - for the knowledge of God is infinite and there is no way in the life to learn it all.
This blog is an outlet for all I have learned and considered over the years of my Gospel study. I have found - as many people who have come to know the teachings of Christ the way I have - that when the Word is a part of one's soul he or she cannot escape the desire to share It. So share it I do. There are imperfections and missing pieces in what I write, but all in all I truly feel the Lord has blessed me with the one thing I have desired more than almost anything else: a well rounded understanding of His doctrine and truth as He has given to us at this point. Please forgive my imperfections for this blog is as much about improving myself and my own knowledge and faith in God and Christ as it is for helping anyone else do the same.
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