"There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah"
2 Nephi 2:8 (The Book of Mormon)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Answers for Questions: Part 2 :)

This is part 2 of my response to some questions I have received.  
Please see last week's post for the complete picture:)
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Why do Latter-day Saints follow "rules not found in the Bible"?
Through out the history of the world, God has given prophets to help people navigate the specific circumstances of their day.  Each generation faces challenges and matters unique to their time.  For the people of Noah's day, it was the flood.  For the people of Moses' day, it was bondage in Egypt and the ensuing 40 years in the wilderness.

The direction or "rule" given by the Lord to get on the boat in Noah's day, would not have saved those who lived in Moses' time.  The same is true of those who lived in Enoch's time in regard to the direction or "rules" given through Moses to the Israelites.  While the principles and precepts of the gospel are unchanging from generation to generation- the specific counsel of a loving Father to His children, changes to best help them navigate the times they are called to live in.

People of all ages have chosen to either accept the prophets and their corresponding counsel... or to reject them.  Satan has effectively convinced people in each generation that following the prophet is a sad and restricted life. 
  
I see it very differently!  Can you not imagine, among the many rationalizations to disregard Noah's direction, the thought "This boat will restrict my freedom.  What a sad existence it would be on the ark.  I will stay out here where I can move around freely and come and go as I please."  History teaches us that indeed the ark was the means given to maintain freedom... not to restrict it.  It is my testimony that this principle is applicable to our day as well.  As I have followed the direction or "rules" laid out by latter-day prophets, I have experienced pure enlargement of my freedom... absolutely ZERO restriction here!!!  God's precepts are unchanging, yet His direction is custom tailored to the specific needs of the day.

I want to specifically address the practices you have asked about. 

First, drinking coffee and other addictive "liquids".  God revealed the Word of Wisdom through the prophet Joseph Smith in 1833.  To read it in completeness, click here.  I basically view it as God's program to maintain a healthy body.  Among the things we are counseled to avoid are wine and strong drink and tobacco.  Coffee and alcohol would definitely be included in this list.  God does not promise salvation to those who follow the Word of Wisdom, but He does promise health and wisdom.  I have absolutely found this to be the case as I have made the effort to follow this direction.  Among the many blessings I have received is freedom from addiction.  Is it a sad life under the law to not be reliant on a cup of coffee to get me functioning in the morning?  I think not!!!  I am grateful beyond measure, that God cares enough to tell me how to take care of this precious gift... my body!

Second, wearing garments and modest clothes.  Paul questioned, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?"  My garments serve as a constant reminder of promises I have made to honor and follow God.  They remind me of the purpose of my body which is to be a "living sacrifice".  Wearing garments effects the clothing I wear and how I present myself to those around me.  My reverence for my body and understanding of it's purpose has been enlarged as I have made my best effort to worthily wear the garment.  The freedom that has come as I have tried to let go of the worldly messages about the value of my body, has been one of the greatest gifts I have received.  Falling into the fallacies of the world in regard to the body brings nothing but misery and captivity.  I praise God for this precious freedom!

Finally, temple marriage.  Throughout time, God has commanded His children to build temples.  While this is chronicled in detail throughout the Old Testament, you have to look a little closer to see evidence of this after Christ's fulfillment of the Law of Moses.  Paul referenced the work happening in temples, post-Christ when he asked 
 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
In latter-days God, through His prophets, has revealed the fulness of the doctrine of temples.  Simply put, the temple is a place of instruction and covenant making.  It is the most sacred place on earth... where earth and heaven meet and where we can feel closest to the Father and His Son.

Among the covenants made there, is the covenant of eternal marriage.  It is the entering of a 3 way companionship with God, husband, and wife.  Temple marriage is not "until death do us part", but seals a husband and wife for eternity.  The family is central to God's plan for His children.  Consequently, eternal marriage is one of the most important covenants we can enter into.
God's presence in my marriage to Todd has been indispensable.  The eternal perspective Todd and I have as a result of our temple marriage has been foundational  to our commitment to build something larger than either of our flawed selves could add up to.  This has once again blessed my life with peace, power and freedom which can only come as a result of God's blessing.  This ordinance is not necessary to receive the salvation I explained in last week's post.  It is however a necessary piece of obtaining the ultimate blessings and happiness the Father wishes to bestow.  For me... heaven wouldn't be heaven without my family!
 
How is that for not long-winded??? Ha Ha... Please know how grateful I am to get to share with you these things which mean so much to me!  Your interest in having this discussion means SO VERY much to me!  Next week I will wrap this all up with a post discussing my views on honoring Christ's gift on the cross.  I love you Erin <3 <3 <3

2 comments:

  1. I love you too Carey! Thanks for taking the time to explain the thought process and reasoning behind these practices. I truly appreciate your honest answers! So long as no one ties their salvation to these practices I think they are a good thing! For there is no "thing" I can ever do to know Jesus and live with Him forever in heaven beyond simply accepting His gift of salvation. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins! I know that I am not only unworthy of this gift, but I could NEVER have been "holy" enough on my own!
    Thank you again Carey for loving me enough to share your heart with me! (:

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