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Church Part 2 – Why does God have a church?

“If we want to know how well we stand with the Lord then let us ask ourselves how well we stand with his mortal captain.” Please see Church Part 1 – There is no Salvation in Church

  • Church is a delivery vehicle for (consistent pattern God follows):
    • Standard of Truth
      • has been erected… again
      • Consistent pattern – 6 events
    • Scriptures
    • Structure – Church
      • Sacrament – you would be starving for the sacrament without church
      • “God is not the author of confusion” 1 Cor 14:33
      • “Establish a house of order…”
      • “Gathered in one accord” Act 2:1
      • Built upon which rock? Mathew 16:18
      • Scaffolding for the soul – Steven Covey
      • ““If the candle of the Almighty does not shine from this place, you need not seek for its light anywhere else.” Brigham Young
    • Priesthood Power
      • Line of Authority
      • Elders – James 5:14-15
    • Prophets
      • there have been prophets without a congregation
      • See “Cornelius” below
      • “As we come closer to the Lords second coming you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them.”
      • “If we want to know how well we stand with the Lord then let us ask ourselves how well we stand with his mortal captain.” 14 fundamentals of a prophet
    • Community of Christ – see below
    • We don’t worship the delivery vehicle or driver but the package
    • See “blueprint for Christ’s Church” below
    • Family happiness
      • “The ultimate end of all activity in the church is that a man and his wife and their children can be happy at home and that the family continue through eternity. All Christian doctrine is formulated to protect individuals, the home, and the family.” Boyd K. Packer, that all may be edified, pg. 294
      • By protecting them here they prepare them for there
    • Covenants, mercy, forgiveness
      • “The extension of mercy will not be automatic. It will be through covenants with Him. It will be on His terms, His generous terms, which include, as an absolute essential, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.” Boyd K. Packer, That all may be edified, pg. 320
  • WIlford Woodruf
  • Brigham Young
  • M. Russel Ballard
  • A Community of Christ
    • The fellowship with Christ
    • God gives different talents to different people
    • “it is usually through another person that he meets our needs… this is why it is so important that we be active in the church… we both receive and help others receive direction from the Lord.” Seeking the Spirit pg. 56
    • Structured opportunities to fulfill his commandments, serve, bless,
  • Identity > Principle > Organization (Steven Covey)
    • all three are vital, but unless they understand #1&2 #3 is fleeting
  • Why do we have scriptures?
    • Why do we eat if it passes through us?
    • A spoon doesn’t make anyone fat any more than a pen misspells words
    • People decide to eat for fun, not fulfillment (same in church)
  • Hope is not a strategy
    • Obama words to the unwise
  • “Learn how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.” – Jim Rohn
  • Intellectual vs Internal
    • What made the difference between Nephi and Laban? Both had same parents, resources, environment, visions, etc.
    • If you don’t know … You haven’t read or asked. Scriptures are a personal urim and thumim
    • Your faith should always be greater (more important than) your knowledge or wisdom. Faith ≥ Wisdom
    • “As all have not faith, seek ye wisdom out of the best books…”
  • “The greatest enemy of a good plan, is the dream of a perfect plan” – Carl Von Clausewitz, 1780-1831 Prussian general and military theorist
    • An enemy of perfection through Christ is perfection like christ (which is without Christ because it’s not even possible or part of the appointed plan)
    • People expecting a perfect church, instead of
    • Popularity is never a test of truth
  • Conversion (change) doesn’t come without contact (scriptures, spirit, etc.) Contiuous Conversion pg.
    • “The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.”   Ann Landers
    • True measure of conversion is how he acts when he isn’t forced to
  • “The man who grasps (lives by) principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods while ignoring principles is sure to have trouble.” Ralf Waldo Emerson – As to methods there may be a million and then some. Principles are few.
    • the man who understands true doctrine successfully understands the need for a church, but the man who tried to ignore the church is sure to have trouble
  • By their fruits ye shall know them
  • We have truth but not all the answers. We have most of the answers, but they are so simple people don’t understand. Look beyond the mark (Jacob)
    • My faith always has to be greater than my knowledge. And my actions have to as great as my knowledge
  • We have to deal with personalities
    • The gospel is true but the people aren’t
    • Don’t take it personal take it personally to God
  • Policy and psychology (manipulation of men, force, reaction) is no substitute for principles (morality, self actualization/personal responsibility/accountability, action) Spiritual Roots of Human Relations pg. 271
  • Gospel is the easiest to understand and yet the hardest to follow
    • People don’t struggle with the truth, the struggle with living it
    • “People come to church with a chip on their should just waiting for it to be knocked off.” Neal Maxwell
  • Saints are looking for more exceptions/exemptions than redemption
  • See Note – apostasacy
    • Your sincerity is not the same weight as gods spirituality through truth.
  • My mind is made up so don’t confuse me with facts (truth)
    • “selfie” word of the year 2013 (Elder Uchdorf)
  • “Remove the organs, but demand the function.” C.S. Lewis
Analagies
  • Stay on the train
    • Lorenzo Snow manual pg. 282 The faster it is (more invested you are) the more painful the fall is, but if you just jumped on while it’s leaving the station you won’t feel the pain of leaving.
  • Old Ship Zion
    • Stay in the boat and hold on https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/stay-in-the-boat-and-hold-on?lang=eng&media=video
    • God is at the Helm 2015 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/god-is-at-the-helm?lang=eng&media=video
  • Don’t fall off the boat
    • Emily Chipman mayflower relative fell off the boat.  They pulled him back on, for which we are all very appreciative. Many more to come are counting on you.
  • “1 in the hand is better than 2 in the bush.”
    • Chase two rabbits and you’ll get neither
    • Focus, simplify from living prophet
    • 1 church on the earth is better than 2 ideas in your head
  • Get in bed far enough
  • Hug the trunk of the tree. Don’t go on a limb
    • “When you are arguing against God, you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all, It is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.” C.S. Lewis
    • How deep are your roots? What are they grounded in?
    • “This truth is the very root of Christian doctrine. You may know much about the gospel as it branches out from there, but if you only know the branches and those branches do not touch that root, if they have been cut free from that truth, there will be no life nor substance nor redemption in them.” Boyd K. Packer, that all may be edified, pg. 320
  • Can you hate bees and love honey?
    • tomatoes & ketchup (sister)
    • roses & thorns
    • Lemons & lemonade
  • Chicken & Egg Syndrome
    • Kill the chicken and expect
    • Family without man and woman: trying to have a kids from a only gay couple. Not possible. Good luck on that
    • Doing the same thing and expecting different results
  • Wander in the wilderness until you wake up to God
    • How long we have wandered as strangers in sin, and cried in the desert for thee
  • Copy Imitation not worth anything, real thing priceless
    • Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” offered $7.5M in 190?
    • Excellent copy willing to sell for $300 on the streets
    • “Heber J. Grant Man of Steel” pg. 139
  • Spiritual soul (spell) -checker – the Lords Lexicon
    • Too many have the standards of truth (from the church) turned off in their attempt to wax eloquent in world ways instead of drawing from the Lords Lexicon.
    • Of course the lords lexicon will recommend or automatically change mans mistakes and human hubris.
    • Is you’re turned off or on?
  • Fridge is full syndrome
    • Your fridge is full so you can pick and choose
    • “How foolish and vain the hearts of the children of men”
    • Good night syndrome
      • How many have never had a place to lay their head or food to eat?
    • Christians always choose Christ when the flames of hell are near. Pilgrims Progress. 8
    • #11 – proud who are learned and who are rich have the greatest difficulty
      • 14 points of following the prophet
  • Counterfeit Money
    • “In the payment of debts I assume no obligation to prove that the money I offer “in good faith is genuine, you may believe it is counterfeit and refuse to accept it, but if you do it is entirely up to you to prove your case or perhaps face a libel suit.” Hugh Nibley, An approach to the Book of Mormon, pg. 11
    • “professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs.” Laws of Combat
    • The world is full of imitations, counterfeits
      • money, actors, food, imitation vanilla
  • Iron Rod – Hold to
    • The word of God is where?
    • Tossed about by every wind of doctrine
  • Common Sticks
    • Follow the Brethren – “That all may be Edified,” pg 244
    • Sticks thrust into the glacial snow mark the one safe path. Common sticks. Karl G. Maeser
    • What you get will depend more on your preparation than on theirs
 
Arguments & Imposters (see note – apostasy)
  • “The kingdom of God is within you”
    • If it’s within you, one of the fruits of the inward kingdom is understanding of, acceptance for, and service in the outward kingdom
  • You don’t need a label
    • Yes you do. If you aren’t following the good Shepherd, who are you following?
    • You’ve become a “light (law) unto yourselves”
    • Christ is the good
  • God doesn’t save church’s he saves people
    • See Note “there is no salvation in church”
    • they are “blind men analyzing color” Seeking the Spirit, pg 100
  • God isn’t looking for a denomination he’s looking for a righteous nation
  • “Would to God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them.” Numbers 11:28-29
    • Did that dissolve the duty to follow Moses?
  • The church is a corporation
    • Intellectual Reserve Incorporated – IRI
    • Corporation of the presidency of the church
  • “I will prove it to you by the scriptures” from lecture on faith
    • DC1 DC1 “this is the only true church with which I am pleased”
    • Whether by mine own voice of the voice of my servants it is the same D&C 1:38
    • Article of Faith #9 – Continuing Revelation
      • We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
    • Article of Faith #6 – Church Organization
      • We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
    • Article of Faith #5 – Priesthood
      • We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
      • Reject the organization, but accept the authority?
  • God will never (cannot) lead you astray through leaders
    • “when a man begins to find fault” with Church leaders and teachings, “you may know that that person has more or less of the spirit of apostasy””
    • “No man gets power from God to raise disturbance in any Branch of the Church. Such power is obtained from an evil source (DBY, 72).”
    • One of the first steps to apostasy is to find fault with your Bishop
    • Preventing personal apostasy https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-12?lang=eng
  • It’s easier to be mormon when you’re a minority
    • Ryan, Peter
    • magnetism of the masses
  • Baptism by desire
    • No need for formal baptism.
Argument Answers
  • Dollar Store Doctrine (Dilema)
    • Buy now, but pay later is sold as “save now, pay later”
    • We used to borrow FOR our future now we’re borrowing FROM our future
    • The sweetness of love prices dissipates when the bitterness of low quality is realized
  • Where is the truth?
    • If the church is apostate, where is the truth? that follows previous patterns
    • everyman walketh after his own way and after the image of his  (own imagination) own God. DC 1
    • “you shall testify they are of me and not of man…” D&C 18:34-36
    • Ask the right questions “When they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” Thomas Pynchon
    • Disbelief cannot change truth… “that all may be Edified,” pg 150
      • Follow the apostles not the apostates
      • The test is not whether men will believe but whether the Lord has called us…
  • Do you want the Promise or the Pleasure
    • Promise – most, fulfillment, motion, peace
    • Pleasure – now, feeling, emotion, pressure
    • “Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.” Walter Mitty
  • Human Hubris seeks to manipulate VS. Divine Directive
  • They forget their faith and give up the gospel
    • “The laughter of the world is merely loneliness pathetically trying to reassure itself.”  Neal a maxwell
  • Thirsting for Water During the Flood
    • The famine in the land has ceased (doesn’t come with a price – come buy milk and honey without price) but people are still hungry and dying of famine
    • Historically, Factually, & Doctrinally incorrect
    • There is no salvation (or happiness) in false doctrine. No salvation for suckers
    • Fed but never filled. Story of dear in Cache valley general conference millville canyon
      • Story of deer in Millville Canyon (feed lots of hay, but died from undernourishment)
    • see Doctrine Vs. Teachings
    • Feasting during the famine
      • Or do you just give him your breadcrumbs
    • “Man shall not live by bread alone…” Luke 4:4
  • Fabricated Faith
    • See “harmonal revelation”
    • If foundation is not in Christ it must fall and you with it.
    • A light house without a light is… worse than no light house (not as good as the absence of the light house) spencer kimball 1975, habacook
    • Don’t Fake it, Faith It! (Joel Olsteen)
  • Eternal Espionage (snowden)
    • Jake Hilton stealing doctrine from God to determine his goodness without …
  • Peace of Mind vs. Piece of Mind
    • You can have peace of mind or give others a piece of mind – you choose
    • Teach for doctrine the philosophy/commandments of men Mathew 15:9
    • “They keep their own tradition” Mathew 7:9
  • Be One
    • If ye are not one ye are not mine
    • John 17:19-23
  • Of what fold are you? Who is your shepherd?
    • Those of His fold, know his voice and follow him
    • Sheperd, Sheephereder, or Sheep (SRHR, Pg. 263)
    • “how knoweth the master whom he has not served, who is a stranger to him and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart.” Mosiah
    • “fear not little flock (church).” Luke 12:32
  • Are you a serpent or servant?
    • God gives us what we need and are ready to receive. Not that which is pleasing unto the carnal mind.
    • “There will be many willing to preach to you.” Philosophies of men mingled with marketing and manipulation.
  • Choose reason over revelation
    • Read writings vs. receive revelation. Book – God the Father, pg. 41
    • To be learned is good IF you hearken to the councils of God
    • You have to penetrate the heart not just reach the ear
    • “The man who will not sustain the bishop of his ward and the president of his stake will not sustain the President of the church.” That all may be edified, pg.239
    • “In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive…” Mathew 13:13-15
      • from him is taken away, slowly replacing truth for trust in self.
  • Beware of false prophets
    • “Down some of those paths you have a right to go there, but in the church you don’t have a right to teach and take others there.” Boyd K. Packer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWdwnk6qADc time 21:00
    • The begin attack the leaders or core doctrine. They ride their hobby horse out of the church…
    • To be learned is wise if you….
    • Read “Causes of Personal Apostasy”
    • 3 Nephi 14:15
    • Stephen Covey “Divine Center” (intellectuals are the greatest danger to their own salvation)
    • See “Beware of False Prophets”
    • Beware of false prophets (and churches)- who come to you in sheep clothing
      • Simon Magnus at Rome (Romans 1: )
      • Satan’s kingdom is unified Mathew 12:25-26
    • Conspiracy of Confusion
      • around food http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/magazine/28nutritionism.t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
      • “When Kellogg’s can boast about its Healthy Heart Strawberry Vanilla cereal bars, health claims have become hopelessly compromised.”
      •  American food system has for a century devoted its energies and policies to increasing quantity and reducing price, not to improving quality.
    • “You cannot destroy the appointment of a prophet of God but you can cut the thread that binds you to the prophet of God, and sink yourselves to hell.” 14 fundamentals of a prophet
  • Don’t be a foolish virgin
    • “You must have both the testimony from your lamps (which the foolish virgins had) and the oil of conversion (wise had both)”  – David Bednar “Converted Unto the Lord.” Oct. 2012
      • Until that hour, there will be foolish virgins among the wise then cometh an entire separation D&C 63:53-54
      • The future is a bright as your faith (faith is action not words)
      • Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing that he will.
  • Don’t be a foolish Mormons (pamphlet by Rulon Killian)
    • Latter Day Saints and Latter Day Sinners (among us)
    • 1/2 are or will be left out. Their half efforts will produce the same results as those without any.
    • Straight is the gate narrow the way, few find it even in the church with th corrct map in front forth them.
    • Ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. Ever attending or doing but never coming to satisfaction suitable for salvation
  • Back to school “spirituality” night with God, parent teacher conference
  • Be Obedient
    • People know the church is true to the degree they are “striving” to be true to the church
    • “There is but one path to safety to the LDS and that is the path of duty, not testimony knowledge or manifestations”. Heber J. Grant “Seeking the spirit, McConkie, pg. 13
  • Putting Words to Truth
    • You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. – Ayn Rand
      • You can ignore truth, but you cannot ignore the (eternal) consequences of ignoring truth – saw
      • “What would happen if a person were to take poison unknowingly?” Spiritual Roots pg. 162
    • People are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
      • people are entitled to their own choices, but not their own outcome.
  • What is its (his or org) purpose?
    • “If it’s purpose is to encourage the recipient to give a listening ear to the Lord’s prophet, to seek counsel and authority and blessings constantly from under his hand, it comes from God…”
    • “If it’s purpose is to place on in a position wherein he rejects the Lord’s prophets, claiming he has been saved by being the recipient of some super natural experience, it does not come from God.”
    • Cornelius – directed to by God to get direction from Peter (Acts 10:1-6)
    • Seeking the Spirit, pg. 67
  • Proof vs. Testimony
    • “To prove the reality of any truth to someone who does not want to accept tit is rather a fruitless endeavor.”
    • The scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees constantly taunted Jesus for Proof and when it was set before them in overwhelming abundance they continued to disbelieve it.
    • “Oh ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky, but can ye not discern the signs of the time.” Mathew 16:23
    • We assume no obligation to answer every question or objection that might be raised. Sooner or later every man is backed up to the wall of faith where he must make his stand.
    • God has never assumed try obligation to answer all out questions or tell us all he know.
    • Seeking the Spirit, pg. 8
    • People know the church is true to the degree they are true to the church
    • “There is but one path to safety to the Latter-Day Saints and that is the path of duty. It is not a testimony; it is not a marvelous manifestation, it is not knowing that the Gospel is true — it is not actually knowing that the Savior is the redeemer; but it is the keeping of the commandments of God, living he life of a Latter-day Saint.”Heber J. Grant “Seeking the spirit, McConkie, pg. 13
    • “Show me Latter-day Saints who have to feed upon miracles, signs and visions in order to keep them steadfast in the church, and I will show you members of the Church who are not in good standing before God and who are walking in slippery paths.” Joseph F. Smith, Seeking the Spirit, pg. 14
  • Take the Lords Challenge
    • Can you write a revelation equal or “make one like unto it?” D&C 67:6-8
    • Seeking the Spirit, pg. 4
    • See “murmur” in apostasy note. Have ye inquired of the Lord?

Resources
  • 14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet – Elder Benson BYU 1980
  • 6 Events by Stephen Covey
  • http://rcg.org/books/wigtc.html#
  • Blueprint for Christ’s Church https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2014/01/what-is-the-blueprint-of-christs-church?lang=eng
  • 18 signs of the true church – audio
  • Follow the Brethren, “That all may be edified,” Boyd K. Packer, pg. 236
  • Salvation comes through the church https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1973/04/salvation-comes-through-the-church?lang=eng&media=video
  • See also note “apostasy”
  • See note “The Mind – Thinking – Mental – Thought Control”
  • Why the Church https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/why-the-church
  • The purpose of the church to perfect the individual, David O. McKay, 1965 April pg 137
  • “The whole purpose of the organization of this great Church, so complete, so perfect, is to bless the individual. How that stands out in striking contrast, in opposition, to the claim of the communist who says that the individual is but a spoke in the wheel of the state, that the state is all in all, the individual being but a contributing factor to the perpetuation and strength of the state.”
  • Scaffolding for the soul

Is the church Lacking leadership? Or the saints lacking faith?
  • When the prophet is sick, only tradition not to step down
  • Would a Joel Olstien really be better? Worship the message, not the man or messenger
  • Everyone is enlisted to help. It’s a gospel of group participation through individual effort not group entertainment
  • Sheperd, Sheephereder, or Sheep (SRHR, Pg. 263)

New Testament References to Church
(1) Acts 20:28: This verse is instruction to the elders to “feed the church of god.”
(2) I Corinthians 10:32: “Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of god.”
(3) I Corinthians 11:22: “…or despise you the church of god, and shame them that have not?”
(4) I Corinthians 15:9: Paul wrote the same thing to two congregations: “For…I persecuted the church of god.”
(5) Galatians 1:13: “I persecuted the church of god.”
(6) I Corinthians 1:2: “the church of god which is at Corinth.”
(7) II Corinthians 1:1: “the church of god which is at Corinth.”
(8) I Timothy 3:5: Paul references any elder in a local congregation: “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of god?”
(9) I Timothy 3:15: “…behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living god.” This verse adds a descriptive word to God by using the term “living.”
(10) I Corinthians 11:16: “…We have no such custom, neither the churches of god.”
(11) I Thessalonians 2:14: “For you…became followers of the churches of god which in Judea are in Christ Jesus.”
(12) II Thessalonians 1:4: “So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of god.”
Mathew 16:18 “Upon this rock will I build my church”

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