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.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The story of Korah in Numbers 16, a chapter for our day.

Numbers 16 contains the account of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their 250 followers. These men were all levites and had right to the Aaronic priesthood. The Levites had the Aaronic priesthood and were charged the duties of the tabernacle. The events in Numbers 16 have a familiar ring to anyone who has been paying attention to those trying to sway the church in modern days.

Numbers 16:2 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said unto them Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?

Moses reproves them saying:

JST Numbers 16:8 And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi:
9 Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them?
10 And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the high priesthood also? 
11 For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the Lord: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?

So there you have it. This echos some members of our own day in many ways, and was inspired by the same being back then that inspires similar ideas today. 

It echos the women of today who demand the priesthood.

It echos those of today who claim that if the leaders of the church don't hearken to the worldly demands made by regular members then the leadership is lifting itself above the congregation of the lord, and takes too much prerogative upon themselves.

It echos those who constantly demand blessings for one group or another independent of real worthiness or even basic righteousness. The people in this chapter wanted the "high priesthood". It wasn't that the Lord was unfairly biased. The Lord gave Lehi the high priesthood when Lehi wasn't the prophet, Jeremiah was. Korah and his followers demanded the priesthood without becoming worthy of it. Instead of actually becoming worthy, they found a rationalization that would give it to them as they were. One can imagine Nehor standing by their side, saying that as God had created all men, he would save all men. Any number of other people today might join them saying that since God loves his children, he wouldn't restrict his kindness, tender mercies, and blessings, to them based on commandments, obedience, repentance, etc...

The story of Korah ends badly for his followers. It will also end badly for those who advocate similar ideas today. Moses warns the congregation to leave Korah and his followers, and not to even touch any of their things as they do so. He tells the congregation that they will know whether these men have provoked the Lord, specifying the manner of their death. And then we read:

Numbers 16:31 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them:
32 And the earth opened her moutn, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.
33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive in the the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
35 And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men ...

When we see members or nonmembers whose doctrine echos the ideas of Korah and his followers, we should follow Moses' advice, and get away from them. His counsel to leave without even touching anything that belongs to them gives us a sense of how such ideas are to be treated like a deadly disease, something to go our of our way to avoid associating with.

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