Sunday, September 4, 2016

Education Week Class Notes: Classes on Spirits, Trials, and the Pearl of Great Price

“What Is This Thing That Men Call Death?” – LDS Teachings about the Spirit World: “Enveloped in Flaming Fire:--Attributes and Abilities of the Spirit Body (by Brent L. Top)
The Apocrypha principle from D&C 91: There are many things that are true, many things that are not true that are interpolations.  Read with the Spirit and to obtain benefit from it.

“enveloped in flaming fire” symbolic of God’s power.

Those departed from us are not far from us.

D&C 77:2  Spiritual beings in the likeness of that which is temporal, and temporal like spiritual.   Systems of spiritual world like here, here like there.

The spirit of man in the likeness of his person (D&C 77:2)  We think spirits looks like our bodies.  This isn’t true.  Genetics determines physical appearance. Spirits have a different appearance, like our Heavenly Father and mother.
Our spirits recognize other spirits.
Tabernacles become deformed by accident, but this doesn’t deform the spirit. (Orson Pratt)
We’re part genetics, part our ourselves, part department store.

The body is the clothing of the spirit. (first presidency)  (Glove analogy)
Take the spirit from the body, and the body is lifeless.
Experience of feeling the departure at the death of father.  Something is missing, and it’s more than just life.  It doesn’t seem like it is really them.
A hospice worker.  Did lots of study. Elizabeth Cooper Ross.
Someone dying was surprised she still had hands and a feet and a form.
The quadriplegics were no longer paralyzed outside their body. Wheelchair patients were able to stand and dance.

We can’t understand after-life without understanding pre-mortality and spirit birth.
We gain a spirit body from heavenly parents.
Immanuel Swedenborg wrote a book about experiences of spirits.
Many people believe spirits to be minds without form, like gases containing something living. They think they can’t sense without organs. 
Top insists spirits are completely people in form. 
Swedenborg published that in 1852. We take that info for granted.

Alma 40:12 – Righteous spirits received into paradise a state of rest, peace, where they rest from trouble, care, and sorrow.
Spirit is free from difficulties, fatigue, troubles, sickness, etc.
The state between death and resurrection. The spirit continues to live after the body dies.  “What do we know about interaction between pre-mortal and post-mortal spirits?”  We know NOTHING about this.  Top is comfortable with the idea of interaction between the two. (his personal opinion)

Alma doesn’t tell us some things. But we tend to make charts and Powerpoints and lists about things the scriptures don’t teach.
The scriptures just say they are in a “state” of being.

Spirits enjoy life, glory, intelligence. Have the father to speak to us, we enjoy the society of the just and pure until the resurrection. (Brigham Young JD 14:231)

Why can’t we confine the evil ones and confine them in spirit prison?
Answer: Why can’t you have prison where righteous and wicked mingle together?  Certain places are free from pollution of the wicked.   The separation isn’t necessarily the place but the state of being of the spirit.

Enhanced capacities of spirit body
--Travel/movement!   Brigham Young JD 14:231  Spirits move like lightning, think and you’re there.  Think of a time, and you’re there to see it spiritually.  God has revealed some little things with regard to his movements and power. When we pass into the spirit world, we will possess a measure of this power.
--When the veil is no more, then time will be no more.
Time whispers to us that we are strangers here. 
--Communication!   How do spirits communicate with each other?  They might have a more refined system of communicating ideas.  (JD 3:100) Orson Pratt    Heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind, spirit-to-spirit.
Emanuel Swedenborg – speech so full of wisdom, word full of meaning, things men can’t grasp or verbalize. Inexpressible that the ear or eye couldn’t see or hear.
--Telepathy?  (Careful with your thoughts)
--Learning!  Learning without fatigue. Learning easier, 1000X faster, (JD 8:10) Brigham Young.
We shall learn many more things there, more than five senses.
Orson Pratt speculated God would give us new senses, maybe many more.  See things we couldn’t see before.   Telescope of the spirit to see farther and learn more.
Mind is strengthened in proportion to the knowledge imparted to bear it.
Learning and remembering so we don’t forget.  The spirit can remember much better without the imperfection of the body.
--Sociality!  Familiar, conversation, naturalness, more friends, rejoicing to see friends.   What is more desirable than meeting all our families, knowing each other, and the experiences we have?  What is there in any religion superior to that?  (Joseph F. smith)
little children die and are mature spirits in the spirit world.
“They are only absent for a moment, we shall soon meet again. It will be an eternity of felicity.” (Joseph Smith)

“Wading through Much Tribulation: Powerful Principles from the Book of Mormon for Dealing with Trials: Jaredite Ocean Voyage—Parallels of Our Earthly Voyage (by C. Robert Line) 
[We came in the middle of this class]

Isaac as a type of Christ

Joseph was a type of Christ
--Favored son of the father
--Prophesied to be ruler
--Rejected by brothers
--Falsely accused
--Sold into hands of gentiles
--Sold for silver, price of a slave
--Judah made the sale (Judas)
--Plan backfires, a blessing in disguise
--Mission to save Israel starting age 30
--Raised to exalted station
--Provided bread for Israel

The promised and another promised land comparing to the latter-days
1950 National Geographic article on the comparison.
Jaredite ocean voyage parallel to our earthly voyage. (Ether 6)

1 Nephi 4 Nephi trying to get the plates, led by the spirit.
D&C 133:42  Christ will come wearing red, symbol of the atonement, treading the winefat. He became sin for us. He had the Spirit withdraw from him for our sins.
Compares Christ to Laban. Laban had to die so that a nation would not dwindle in unbelief. (sort of a left-handed type)

Jaredite Voyage
Ether 2 – receiving revelation. Problems: can’t steer, no air, no light.  Solution: Lord will steer so don’t worry. Here’s instructions for getting air. What do you want to get light, because it can’t be ___?  These are different ways of receiving revelations.
Solutions can come a piece at a time without the end in sight. 
Ether 6
We have two lights. Light of Christ and light of the holy ghost.

Prepared all manner of food – we had to be prepared pre-mortally before going off into our bodies.
The whole house of Israel was inclined toward spiritual things.
God caused the winds to blow toward the promised land – Trials blow us toward the promised land.  (Impression: Pray for our trials to bring us closer to God)
No pain we suffer is wasted. It ministers to our education to development of our character. (Orson F. Whitney, Improvement Era, Mar 1966, 211)
When trials are not a consequence of disobedience, then they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. So he gives experience that stimulates growth, understanding, and compassion.  Ask better questions.
The 11 moves of Joseph Smith’s family made before they got to Palmyra.  They were the things that brought them closer to where they needed to be. It looked by one failure after another, but from the larger view, they were all progress.

Jaredites buried in the depths of the sea. But no water could hurt them because their vessels were tight like a dish. – We can’t always control outward influences and temptations, but we can control our responses to them. We are to be in the world, but not of the world.
1 Ne 15:16-27  Lehi’s mind was swallowed up in other things and didn’t behold the filthiness of the water.

The wind did never cease to blow toward the promised land. – we will always have trials in our life. The sharp side-by-side contrast of sweet and bitter is essential until the end of mortality.  Blessings may be quickly followed by needed spiritual stretching. This prevents us from forgetting others in deep need. 
We can have trials ourselves or in bearing others’ burdens.  Why not help others?

Jaredites sang praises to the lord all the day long, not ceasing. – People who are always happy and praising God are a blessing.
Your religion isn’t just part of Sunday. It’s 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
Story of a SLC police officer undercover detective. He was also a high counselor. He had to go undercover as a gang member. He came home at night and infiltrate gangs during the day.  He had temp tatoos. He went for a year with the gang.  The toughest thing was an incident with a son of stake president who was having a gang party at the stake president’s house.  Raucous party. The detective saw the young man standing between a picture of the temple and the prophet; detective got so mad he almost blew his cover right there. He went up to the young man and asked him, “Isn’t that your prophet right there? Didn’t he say something about this stuff?” The young man said, “Both the prophet and gang-banging are two different things and they are both important to me.”   (Very sad how religion was not affecting the young man’s everyday life.)

Jaredites had light continually , whether above or under the water. – True happiness is not a function of our circumstances, but a function of how much light we have in ourselves.
A happy person is a person with a certain set of attitudes.

Jaredites humbled themselves and cried with joy because of the multitude of his tender mercies
Out of 70,000 people, only 3000 pioneers when west in handcarts.
While we have stories of handcart pioneers who were faithful, there were also handcart pioneers who were broken down by their trials and afflictions. 
Story of a pioneer family with eleven children who lost the mom and dad and about six siblings. The oldest 18-year-old son was so devastated by the loss of all those family he left the pioneer company and went back east.  His younger siblings were taken in by other families and continued west.
We must see the tender mercies in midst of the trials.

Pearls from the Pearl of Great Price: As it was in the Days of Noah, Zion and the second coming  From Moses 7:28-69, 8:1-30  (by Larry W. Barkdull)
God Weeps when he sees the residue of the people (Moses 7:28-39) 
Similar to the Allegory of the Olive Tree as God is distraught by how corrupted things have become.

How is it God can weep?
“I have them their knowledge, agency, commandments to love me and each other” They hate me and they hate each other.
When God foresaw the suffering that would inevitably follow this self-willed, rebellious course of sin, he wept. (Marion D. Hanks)
Among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren. (Moses 7:36)  God can see it all inside and out, and nothing has been worse.

The last days are equally wicked. “But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man” (JST Matt. V41)
Wickedness once localized is now out in the open, and even accorded legal protection.
The fate of these people: Their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers, Satan shall be their father, misery shall be their doom, the whole heavens shall weep over them.  Shouldn’t the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?  These shall perish in the flood, I will shut them up in a prepared prison. (Moses 7:37-38)
In our day, they will be burned up,
but Jesus suffers for them..   And as much they will repent, and until then, they shall be in torment.

The Rest of the Story in D&C 138 28-34 
Joseph F. Smith saw Jesus didn’t go in person to the wicked, but organized His forces and appointed messengers to teach to the captives.  This was the gospel preached to those who 1) died in their sins 2) without a knowledge of the truth 3) in transgression having rejected the prophets in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Enoch wept
He had capacity to feel as deeply as God feels. He sees as God sees, views the destruction of the world. Refuses to be comforted when he sees the flood come.

Conditions that define ancient and modern times:
--Lack of affection
--Vengeance, wide-spread violence
--Every man lifted up in imagination of thoughts being only wicked continually
--Widespread corruption .  Attempts to change things from original purpose
--Easily offended, betrayal, hatred, deception
--Wars and rumors of wars
--Denial of God
--False Christs, prophets, churches, secret combinations, great pollutions, murders, thievery, widespread sexual sinning, every form of abomination, denial of accountability
--Scoffing at God and true religion, follow the lusts of the heart, denial of sings of times.

The Lord comforts Enoch
The Solutions: Noah, Jesus, Zion

Enoch sees Noah would be saved by the Lord’s destroying the wicked and preserving the righteous.
Enoch’s distress over the death of his brethren brings forth the promise of a Savior. The blood of the Righteous (Christ) would be shed that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?
When? In the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance.
Enoch received some relief 
Because of Jesus’s atonement, Enoch and his family could receive eternal life and live forever in the society of Zion.  He wants to preserve it.

The Lord and Enoch are not the only ones who mourn.
Enoch heard the earth mourn in weariness and pain because of the wickedness and filthiness on her face, wondering when she would rest and be cleansed.

Enoch’s Prayer
Enoch prayed for the Lord to have compassion on the earth. Also asks for the earth to never have a flood again.
The Lord promised to call on the children of Noah and not flood the earth again.
The everlasting Covenant is given as an act of compassion by the Father and the Son.
Promised: 1) No more universal destruction by water, 2) All children offered the everlasting covenant, 3) Enoch’s seed would always be found on the earth.  (Moses 7:51-52) Could be Noah’s seed too…

When the Son of Man comes in the flesh, shall the earth rest?
Answer is delayed, but he’s shown more stuff.
Again the question, “When shall the earth rest?”

The question changes “Wilt thou come again upon the earth?”
The Lord says “I will come in the last days in the days of wickedness and vengeance to fulfill the oath I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah (all offered the everlasting covenant)
The earth shall rest, but before then, the heavens shall be darkened, the veil of darkness shall cover the earth, the heavens shall shake, and also the earth, and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve (Moses 7:60-61)
Process of giving rest to the earth 1)Break the grip of wickedness with the restoration, angels, Book of Mormon, coming forth of Zion.  (Moses 7:62)  Righteousness and truth will sweep the earth like a flood to gather the elect out to the Holy City the Lord will prepare.. (Moses 7:62)

Another Flood.
The Book of Mormon is the instrument of God designed to sweep the earth as with a flood to gather out God’s elect.
Men and angels are to be coworkers.
Zion is to be prepared for the elect to be gathered from the four quarters of the earth, to be established an holy city.

D&C 45 Talks about Zion.
Place of safety, peace, refuge. The wicked won’t come to it.  Everyone who won’t fight will flee there. The wicked will be scared to fight Zion.

Enoch and Zion is Translated.  God received it to himself and people said “Zion is fled”
Zion will Return – A reunion.
Enoch’s Zion and modern Zion will joyously greet.
Rainbow is an everlasting covenant that Zion will come down again.
(JST Genesis 9:21-23)

When thy posterity shall embrace the truth and look upward, then Zion looks downward and all the heavens shall shake with gladness, and the earth shall tremble with joy.
Zion and Enoch finally rest!!


Rozy Lass said...

Interesting information about spirits. My grandfather experienced the veil being parted several times. He told us that we are surrounded by spirits, both righteous and evil. I didn't think to ask him (I was young) how he could tell, but he said it was easy to tell the difference. I believe it was Brigham Young who said that the spirit world is here on earth. We'll just have to wait for our own graduations to learn the complete truth. Won't that be an exciting day!

Michaela Stephens said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Rozy Lass! I think I agree on both your points.