As always, this post is a presentation of my thoughts and beliefs and is not intended to be offensive to anyone in any way. Feel free to comment or share as you wish.
The program which I currently attend for higher education is based on the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Daily study of scripture is a requirement for one of my courses. There are varying study skills/methods recommended so that students gain more from scripture than they would by ‘just’ reading it. “Principles & Doctrine” is my assigned Scripture Study Skill for this week. The person who chose this Skill for our class mentioned that this is the best skill for the current reading block, Alma 30-35. I appreciate that she was right and that I benefited from it right away.
This block of scripture includes the teaching, preaching and testimony of two ordained Missionaries. Part of their teaching includes other scriptures and testimony from other prophets, teachers and missionaries. Many people have been converted to the church because of these teachings at the time they were first delivered right up until today. The ideas I am presenting as principles and doctrine are not new to me; this is a re-discovery and a reminder to reinforce the foundation of my faith.
I found several nuggets of truth that are applicable to many different situations, which is the broad definition of “principle” given for this study skill. Doctrine is the core set of beliefs that defines a given group of people. The following are some of the scriptures within this block that contain principles and doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and my understanding of what those principles and doctrine are.
21 O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in aunbelief, and be bslothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish?
22 If so, wo shall come upon you; but if not so, then cast about your eyes and abegin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to batone for their sins; and that he shall crise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the dresurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be ejudged at the last and judgment day, according to their fworks.
23 And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall aplant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, bspringing up in you unto ceverlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your dburdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye ewill. Amen.
Having faith in simple things can be hard for the hard-hearted and those who do not want to look inward and pursue self-improvement. Having faith in relatively simple things is the source of our salvation.
The simple things (though they may seem complicated at first) are: believing there is a Son of God, that he came to earth to redeem the faithful, that He came in a mortal body to suffer and die in atonement for all sinners, that He was resurrected, that He will be the final judge in whether we are his people, and that we will be judged according to our works.
Exercising the smallest particle of faith is enough, because that faith will grow. Faith leads to everlasting life. As one exercises faith, Heavenly Father will help that person to feel less burdened by worldly concerns; that person will find joy in their faith in God’s Son. All it takes to feel less burdened and more joyful is making a decision to exercise faith and sticking to that decision.
3 And as ye have desired of my beloved brother that he should make known unto you awhat ye should do, because of your afflictions; and he hath spoken somewhat unto you to prepare your minds; yea, and he hath exhorted you unto faith and to patience—
4 Yea, even that ye would have so much faith as even to aplant the word in your hearts, that ye may try the experiment of its goodness.
5 And we have beheld that the great question which is in your minds is whether the word be in the Son of God, or whether there shall be ano Christ.
6 And ye also beheld that my brother has proved unto you, in many instances, that the aword is in Christ unto salvation.
Prophets and called teachers guide us to right action, help us to have the right mindset for that action, and remind us of the things we need on our journey toward righteousness. If one exercises faith, one will see results, as long as one is patient and persistent.
My brother has called upon the words of aZenos, that redemption cometh through the Son of God, and also upon the words of bZenock; and also he has appealed unto cMoses, to prove that these things are true.
There were more prophets in Old Testament times than are mentioned in the Bible. The similar words of different prophets prove that what they say is true; without agreement or unity of message from different sources, the truth cannot be known.
And now, behold, I will atestify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the btransgressions of his people, and that he shall catone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
Prophets confirm what the word of God is and what words aren’t His. Christ did come to earth, felt all that mortal wo/man can feel (especially negative feelings and experiences), and atoned for everyone’s sins.
For it is expedient that an aatonement should be made; for according to the great bplan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are cfallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.
Heavenly Father’s plan for all of us requires Christ’s Atonement to give us eternal life. All have suffered the consequences of sin, whether it’s their own sin or someone else’s. The Atonement redeems all who accept it and abide by its requirements; those who refuse the Atonement, who refuse to repent, will suffer continuing separation from God and His blessings.
For it is expedient that there should be a great and last asacrifice; yea, not a bsacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an cinfinite and deternal esacrifice.
The Son of God is the only personage that could perform the Atonement because He is infinite and eternal, like His father. His sacrifice was the last one ever required for wo/man to be redeemed.