Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Not long ago I began to question the necessity of Christ's death on the cross. I didn't believe that a loving Father would require that for the redemption of his children. In other words, couldn't redemption come a different way.

Now, I have come to a new understanding that seems reasonable and loving.

I no longer believe that God the Father sent another to die for us. I believe God died for us. This feels right to me in several ways. First, a father would gladly give his life for his child. Second, there is plenty of scriptural evidence to support the idea that Jehovah is our Eternal Father and condescended to be our Savior. Third, it is hard to understand why God would make one of his other (innocent) children to die to save the rest. I'm not going to say I fully comprehend the Godhead or how this all works, but I know that through accepting the Atonement we become children of Christ. So, however you slice it, we are (or become) his sons and daughters.

I have been given a small glimpse into the beauty of birth and rebirth. I've discovered it doesn't have to be logical or something we can reason out in our minds. But I do believe it is perfectly merciful and loving.


Our sacred mortal birth is through water, blood and spirit. It is messy. It is painful. Our mother sacrifices herself to give us this gift. Our mothers work and glory is bringing to pass our mortal life and nurturing us in all ways.


Our second or spiritual birth is also through water, spirit and blood. It is messy and painful. Our Father sacrificed himself to give us this gift. Our Father's work and glory is to bring to pass the eternal life and immortality of all mankind. He offers us living water that we might never thirst again.


Why blood? I don't know that I fully comprehend the symbolism. It is ironic to me that we are "cleansed" through the blood of Christ.
But I do know that my babies were born in blood and water and yet pure as driven snow.

Moses 6:59 That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;

I also think it is amazingly perfect that we are born of mother and of Father. They both bleed for us. They both nourish us. They both give us a gift we cannot give ourselves.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jesus Points out Two Ways

Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

There are some amazing lessons in this parable. I am not going to write too much about it because I don't want to detract from the simplicity and beauty of these scriptures.

I think the concept of working for our "exaltation" is a dangerous one.

One of these men was seeking to be justified by the law. The other was justified by the mercy of the Lord. Jesus called the sinner justified for his confession and humility. The man who obeyed the law did not go home justified.

We also have this beautiful account of the woman, a sinner, who washed the Savior's feet with her tears.

Luke 7:36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a
woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and
anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred
pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly
forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are
forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are
49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that
forgiveth sins also?
50 And he said to the woman, Thy
faith hath saved thee; go in peace.




These are the keys to salvation. It is by faith that we are made whole. Faith in what? The Atonement of Jesus Christ. If we rely upon the merits of he who is mighty to save.

2 Nephi 31:19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

Alma 22:14 And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king.

Moroni 6:4 And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.

I hope we all will feel the love of our Savior and learn to rely on him. If you want to listen to one of my favorite Christian worship songs on youtube click here. It is called "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong United.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Love Books!!!

I am so excited! I was going through my parents library and found the box set of the History of the Church. Woohoo! So I have been reading through it for the past week.
Today I looked closer and found they have another box set which contains the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1-3, the Discourses of Brigham Young and a few other books (that we all have in triplicate). I also discovered they have the Life of Joseph Smith the Prophet, by George Q. Cannon.

I just got my own copy of Joseph Smith's "New Translation" of the Bible a couple days ago. It has been great to reference. Especially since I am taking the Old Testament Institute class at church. Today at class I noticed another person using this book.

I am anxiously awaiting my copy of the brand new book The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text by Royal Skousen. I ordered my copy from Amazon for $23 and after adding some tape I qualified for FREE shipping. I had earned $10 in gift cards and so I only paid $15 and change! Yay!!!

I'm not sure if being this excited about books makes me a nerd or not. Either way, I wish I could find more time to read!