Month: March 2016


We remember Easter foremost for the resurrection. The Lord remembers it foremost for the suffering in Gethsemane. In 1829, the Lord shared His reflection in a revelation to Joseph:

Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink— Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men. Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit. (D&C 19:15-20.)

It was important for the Lord to attain the resurrection, for it completed the process that frees mankind from death. But it was more important for the Lord to free us from sin. Because of what He accomplished in Gethsemane, we are able to be reconciled to God. It was “sore… exquisite… hard to bear…” and caused Him to “tremble because of pain,” and ask His Father that He might not drink the bitter cup. It caused the “greatest of all” to “shrink” away from the abyss of suffering.

By partaking anyway, and despite His desire to be spared, He “finished [His] preparations unto the children of men.” It was only “preparation” of an atonement because we are required in turn to receive its benefit through baptism and repentance. If we are unwilling to do this then it is as if no atonement were made for our sins, and we then are called upon to likewise suffer. The Lord has explained that if we refuse to repent then “our sufferings shall be sore.” Almost incomprehensibly difficult for us to bear.

The greatest response to the Easter celebration would be repentance and baptism.

Tangible? Spiritual?

I have exchanged emails with a man who is preoccupied with the distinction between a physical and spiritual appearance of Christ. I sent an email this morning trying to make it clear this distinction is not what he thinks:

The problem you are allowing to divert you is the issue of “tangibility” or “physicality.” You shouldn’t give that the attention you are allowing it to receive.

When the Lord appeared to Daniel only Daniel saw Him. All the others did not. (Dan. 10:7.) Daniel even calls it a “vision” and so, according to your separation of events it clearly it wasn’t physical.
But when Daniel collapsed onto his face the Lord picked him up and set him on his knees. ((Dan. 10:10.) So according to your separation of events, it clearly was physical. 
When Adam was baptized, it was through the medium of the Spirit, and so according to your separation it was clearly spiritual. (Moses 6:4)  
But he was “laid under the water” and then was “brought forth out of the water” and so according to your separation it was clearly physical.
When Christ appeared suddenly in the upper room where the door was shut and His appearance was clearly spiritual (John 20:19) according to your separation.
Yet He showed to them His wounds, and therefore according to your separation it was clearly physical. (John 10:20).
You are like Vizzini in Princess Bride, and do not see how it is possible for BOTH cups of wine to be involved in the same phenomena.  You want someone else to choose the wine in front of them so you can determine that, according to your understanding, it is the wrong cup.
It is for the reason that our Lord can appear physically to one, and yet be hidden and unrevealed to another, all at the same time, that Paul wrote: “whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell.” This was not an attempt to differentiate between physical and spiritual, but instead an acknowledgement by a man who encountered God that God is real, tangible, glorious and pure, and we may need to enter an altered state to behold Him. But He is nevertheless real and His appearance is physical to the one to whom He appears, and a mystery and entirely otherworldly to those who remain without. 


In an email exchange about Passing the Heavenly Gift I sent the following:

I think it is a more correct account of the restoration than anything else that has been written. The Book of Mormon was not an attempt to give a “fair” or a “compete” account of events. It was selected precisely to accomplish the object of telling the truth about the Nephites and their failure. 

If you shaded the account with what Laman and Lemuel said, thought, wrote or did in response to Nephi, then we might not have the same view of Nephi at all. Nephi didn’t give us their story, except insofar as he recounts their reactions to him.
Mormon did not give more than a highly selective summary in the rest of the book.  It is because the history was condensed, edited, and abridged that we can treat it as scripture and inspired. Inspiration is not generally shared across competing viewpoints. Generally there is “right” and “wrong” and the scriptures identify which one is correct. There is no competing voice ever allowed to speak.
So PTHG took the words of scripture and prophecy and recast the story of our history to fit the prophetic model concerning us and our events. It is not balanced with opposing materials because the other opposing materials project a false narrative, a prideful vindication of ourselves while altogether ignoring the obvious failures along the way.