Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Truth and Practice

We live in a day when truth is sometimes regarded as being as flexible as a dead fish.

Within the last few weeks I have been involved in several brief discussions of multiplying and replenishing the earth.

In such discussions one can almost certainly count on someone stating that it is just between the parents and the Lord. What I find interesting is that such statements are made as if the person believes that by saying that, it follows that all truth taught on the topic by prophets, the apostles, and the scriptures themselves has suddenly become null and void. Which is interesting, because of course none of the actual truths surrounding the doctrine have changed.

There have been numerous times in the world's history when the church membership has, one way or another, rejected some truth from God. Ancient Israel rejected the higher law, and was thus left living the law of Moses. That did nothing to change the fundamental underlying truths of the gospel found in the higher law.

We see this all through the Book of Mormon. Through most of the book people are living the law of Moses, but despite that they are constantly being told to live the full gospel. There are those that use the law of Moses to hide from and pervert the truth such as Sherem, who states to Jacob:

Jacob 7:7 And ye have led away much of this people that they pervert the right way of God, and keep not the law of Moses which is the right way; and convert the law of Moses into the worship of a being which ye say shall come many hundred years hence. And now behold, I, Sherem, declare unto you that this is blasphemy; for no man knoweth of such things; for he cannot tell of things to come. And after this manner did Sherem contend against me.

But the truth remains and the fulness of the gospel is taught wonderfully and enjoyed by Book of Mormon people who are still living under the law of Moses.

When early church members in this dispensation failed to live the law of consecration by refusing to live it righteously, the practice was replaced with the preparatory law of tithing. But that did nothing to alter any of Christ's teachings (or Brigham Young's) on how spiritually destructive riches are. While the Lord has given us preparatory law win place of consecration, that doesn't change that the spiritually destructive consequences of riches remain despite the fact that God allows there to be both rich and poor in the church. As evidence of that, one might turn to 2 Nephi 9:30 and 42 which warns of the spiritually destructive power of riches even though the law of tithing certainly allows some church members to be rich even when others are poor.

The point is that when some law is rejected by the members we do not also get to dodge the spiritually destructive consequences of breaking it. Also the conditions to gain the blessings of keeping that law are not altered. We do not get to gain the blessings it would have brought simply because we rejected it.

We can find that taught plainly in the scriptures:

D&C 130:20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundation of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated - 
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

The laws and blessings were put in place before this earth. The choices of the membership of the church to accept or reject a law from God has no bearing on whether or not they will suffer the consequences of breaking that law, or reap the rewards when they keep it. In Jacob 3 we learn that the Lamanites, whose father rejected the gospel, still reaped the rewards of husbands and wives being faithful to each other.

There is one note to add to this though, which is knowingly breaking a law brings greater consequences than ignorantly breaking it does. That is because open rebellion or disobedience is always a more serious violation of a law than ignorant violation of a law is.

Also, while this is completely obvious, it seems to be commonly ignored: All truths remain as true before the law was accepted or rejected as they are after. The underlying truths still exist, waiting for us to benefit from them by obedience instead of suffering the consequences of breaking ourselves against them.

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