Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ether - Chapter 11

  8 And the people began to repent of their iniquity; and inasmuch as they did the Lord did have mercy on them.
Too often we think of repentance as a bad thing, or at least distasteful, rather than the great refreshing blessing that it is.  Too often we look at the prophets and "pains in the neck" who are trying to restrict or inconvenience our lives.  I guess it's because Satan is messing with our heads.  Repentance is a blessing beyond measure, a joy, a relief!  Still, if we persist in Satan's view of it, it is all too easy to become like the Jaredites.

I've discovered that the destruction promised and delivered to the Jaredites was a good thing.  It was an opportunity to, in their extremity, discover the blessed Atonement, which they otherwise seemed determined to ignore.

22 And they did reject all the words of the prophets, because of their secret society and wicked abominations.
That rejection of the prophets, most certainly led to their destruction, but even that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.  It stopped them from victimizing themselves and others.  I caused them to pass into that portion of the Spirit World we call prison or hell, but which Dr. John Lund calls "God's Alternative High School."  Many of them will according to the prophets, accept there, what they rejected here.

Read President Joseph F. Smith's account of that from the 138th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants:
  29 And as I wondered, my eyes were opened, and my understanding quickened, and I perceived that the Lord went not in person among the wicked and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them;

  30 But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.
Note Jesus didn't go to those who had "rejected the truth."  But sent messengers to them as follows:
 31 And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.

  32 Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.

  33 These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,
  34 And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 

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