Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lesson 6: The Birth of Israel


The chapters of this lesson covered the rest of Genesis, so there is a lot that is breezed over. Like I said this is a fast pace class.

Abraham "was gathered to His People." "The early patriarchs had a clear knowledge of gospel principles taught to them from Adam down to Abraham. The phrase “gathered to his people” is one more evidence of their gospel knowledge. Two Bible scholars commented on the significance of that phrase: “This expression . . . denotes the reunion in Sheol with friends who have gone before, and therefore presupposes faith in the personal continuance of a man after death, as a presentiment which the promises of God had exalted in the case of the patriarchs into a firm assurance of faith [see Hebrews 11:13 ]” (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 1:1:263). Sheol is the Hebrew word for the world of spirits where one goes when one dies, the equivalent of the spirit world. The Hebrews had not only a concept of life after death but also a correct concept of the intermediate place between death and the Resurrection." (Old Testament Student Manual Genesis–2 Samuel)

In these chapters Jacob receive the birthright and the name of Israel. Rachel guided Jacob to receive the birthright and the bless of the Father, for she knew that it was good for Jacob just as Paul knew that he should not heed to the warning of man even if it is by the words of God by his spirit, which we studied this past Sunday School Class in Acts 21-28, for they know by prophecy what should happen.

The story of how Jacob obtained the birthright blessing from Isaac with the help of his mother is a troubling one in many respects. Typically, commentators who do not have access to latter-day scriptures come to one of two conclusions: either they emphasize Esau’s unworthiness for the birthright and therefore justify the deception, or else they criticize Jacob’s shrewd and crafty nature.

Genesis 27:1–40 . Jacob Obtains the Birthright from Esau

A more complete knowledge of gospel principles, however, may pose some additional problems. Can a person deceive a patriarch and get a blessing that belongs to someone else? Was Jacob a deceitful and crafty man? Was Isaac blindly favorable to certain children? Can one be dishonest and still get a valid patriarchal blessing? The following points should be carefully considered:
1. As the record in Genesis now reads, there is little option but to conclude that Rebekah and Jacob deliberately deceived Isaac and that Jacob explicitly lied to his father (see v. 24 ). Rebekah and Jacob believed the deception was necessary because Isaac obviously favored Esau. Joseph Smith, however, taught that certain errors had crept into the Bible through “ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests” ( Teachings, p. 327). For example, a comparison of the early chapters of Genesis with the fuller accounts revealed to the Prophet (now found in the books of Moses and Abraham) shows how much has been lost. It is possible that the story of Jacob’s obtaining the birthright has also lost much or been changed by unbelievers. These changes could then explain the contradictions.
2. Rebekah knew by personal revelation that Jacob was to be the son of the covenant (see Genesis 25:22–23 ). Jacob reluctantly gave in to his mother’s wishes after she told him that she would take the responsibility for what they were about to do.
3. Although the early patriarchs and their wives were great and righteous men and women who eventually were exalted and perfected (see D&C 132:37 ), this fact does not mean that they were perfect in every respect while in mortality. If the story is correct as found in Genesis, Isaac may have been temporarily shortsighted in favoring Esau. Or Rebekah may have had insufficient faith in the Lord to let Him work His will and therefore undertook a plan of her own to ensure that the promised blessings would come to pass. These shortcomings do not lessen their later greatness and their eventual perfection.
4. Whatever the explanation for the circumstances surrounding the reception of the blessing, one thing is perfectly clear. Priesthood holders are given the keys to bind and loose on earth and have that action validated in heaven (see Matthew 16:19 ). Once Isaac learned of the deception, he could have revoked the blessing and given it to Esau. Instead, he told Esau, “Yea, and he shall be blessed” ( Genesis 27:33 ). Later, when Jacob was preparing to leave for Padan-aram to escape Esau’s wrath, Isaac clearly gave him the blessing of Abraham (see Genesis 28:3–4 ), an additional proof that Jacob received the blessing meant for him and that Isaac confirmed it upon him. Thus, if the Genesis record is correct as it now is, Jacob, like others, received a call and a promise of eventual blessings because of his potential and in spite of his weaknesses. Like anyone, he had then to live worthily in order to obtain the promised blessings.

Jacob is the Father of the House of Israel. The House of Israel from the beginning does not seem to be a obedient and temperate to the ways of the Gospel. After Reuben and Levi committed genocide, Jacob receive counsel of God to leave the land; however before they could leave, Jacob had to reprove his house, saying.



2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange agods that are among you, and bebclean, and change your garments:
3 And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my adistress, and was with me in the way which I went.
4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

Joseph was basically the only obedient son.



"Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught that all prophets are types of Christ: “A prophet is one who has the testimony of Jesus, who knows by the revelations of the Holy Ghost to his soul that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. In addition to this divine knowledge, many of them lived in special situations or did particular things that singled them out as types and patterns and shadows of that which was to be in the life of him who is our Lord.” ( The Promised Messiah, p. 448.)
Likewise, the life and mission of Joseph typifies the life and mission of Jesus. Consider the following:
1. Joseph was the favored son of his father; so was Jesus (see Genesis 37:3 ; Matthew 3:17)
2. Joseph was rejected by his brothers, the Israelites, as was Jesus (see Genesis 37:4 ; John 1:11 ; Isaiah 53:3 ; 1 Nephi 19:13–14)
3. Joseph was sold by his brothers into the hands of the Gentiles, just as Jesus was (see Genesis 37:25–27 ; Matthew 20:19)
4. Judah, the head of the tribe of Judah, proposed the sale of Joseph. Certain leaders of the Jews in Jesus’ day turned Jesus over to the Romans. Judas (the Greek spelling of Judah ) was the one who actually sold Jesus. (See Genesis 37:26 ; Matthew 27:3)
5. Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver, the price of a slave his age. Christ was sold for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave His age. (See Genesis 37:28 ; Matthew 27:3 ; Exodus 21:32 ; Leviticus 27:5)
6. In their very attempt to destroy Joseph, his brothers actually set up the conditions that would bring about their eventual temporal salvation—that is, Joseph, by virtue of being sold, would become their deliverer. Jesus, by His being given into the hands of the Gentiles, was crucified and completed the atoning sacrifice, becoming the Deliverer for all mankind.
7. Joseph began his mission of preparing salvation for Israel at age thirty, just as Jesus began His ministry of preparing salvation for the world at age thirty (see Genesis 41:46 ; Luke 3:23)
8. When Joseph was finally raised to his exalted position in Egypt, all bowed the knee to him. All will eventually bow the knee to Jesus. (SeeGenesis 41:43 ; D&C 88:104)
9. Joseph provided bread for Israel and saved them from death, all without cost. Jesus, the Bread of Life, did the same for all men. (SeeGenesis 42:35 ; John 6:48–57 ; 2 Nephi 9:50)



Hope to see you all tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's Institute Week!

It's Institute week! Institute is a bible study, going on to it's sixth week. I summarized all the lessons so far. Check out the Institute page above, and you can chose to be caught up. I will keep the summaries coming each week, so you can make plans to come next week. If you can't make it tomorrow, I hope to see you there! :)

Institute is starts at seven pm on Thursdays!

Week 3: The Fall

The Third lesson was done by Matt Muirhead. His lesson taught about the fall, covering many other things as well. His lesson taught very simply as if it was from the beginning. First addressing a view of the character of God. It seems to be overlooked, limiting it to a "starchy" angry person. Jehovah a God of the Old Testament is the spirit of Jesus Christ before he lived on Earth. God the Father is a different being from the Son. They are one and of perfect love. Perfect love is hard to understand; however, we can witness it as we learn of the character of God in the scriptures and try to emulate it now. The natural man cannot perceive the great glory of the identity of our Savior that is why Matt spoke of this weird stigma about the scriptures as they are confused, when they read the scriptures. Let us pray and humbly search the scriptures that we may not be ignorant to the life of the perfect beings of Christ and the Father.
     The notes that I take is not a summary of the class, so I will discuss what I learned. It was a basic lesson about the fall though. The Fall is the acts that plunged man into mortality with sin, death, pain, work, and everything. This could only happen by partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Satan was the main force to propel the Plan of Salvation forward by partaking of this fruit.
    One thing that I learn, concerning the desire of Satan that I never realized before, was spelled out in Moses 4:6. "he sought also to cbeguile Eve, for he dknew not the emind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world." I wrote in the last summary that the world is necessary to the Plan of Salvation. The destruction thereof will also fulfill his will to destroy the Plan of Salvation. Other parts of Satan's will is the destruction of our agency as revealed in verse 3 of Moses 4. He wants to be able to control every person, leading them into carnal security until they forget faith and lose hope, "for he seeketh that all men might be hmiserable like unto himself." Ezra Taft Benson further describes the designs of Satan in his talk called Beware of Pride. "The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us." Speaking of Satan is odd because he is like an insane evil genius, who most of the time makes no sense. We have to make sure that we can recognize his insanity quickly before we are led to do foolish things.

Week 5: Abraham


The reading for the past lesson is a must to read, for it is Genesis 12-23. I enjoyed the reading, and the pure life that Abraham has; furthermore, the reading has the rare chance to read of a communion with God. Abraham's is an extraordinary person, and he shows how a prophet lives a perfect life with the grace of God.
A glue-in expounds from the writing of President Joseph Fielding Smith in the Doctrines of Salvation



"Salvation does not come all at once; we are commanded to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect. It will take us ages to accomplish this end, for there will be greater progress beyond the grave, and it will be there that the faithful will overcome all things, and receive all things, even the fulness of the Father's glory.
I believe the Lord meant just what he said: that we should be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect. That will not come all at once, but line upon line, and precept upon precept, example upon example, and even then not as long as we live in this mortal life, for we will have to go even beyond the grave before we reach that perfection and shall be like God.
But here we lay the foundation. Here is where we are taught these simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in this probationary state, to prepare us for that perfection. It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today. Why? Because we are on that road, if we are keeping the commandments of the Lord, we are on that road to perfection, and that can only come through obedience and the desire in our hearts to overcome the world."

When I was reading of how Abraham received the commandment to sacrifice his only son, I saw a complete obedience to God. He did not question. The emotions of his soul was not written out; although, his reaction is usually written. I saw that his attitude was in the spirit of the commandment.



Elder Melvin J. Ballard wrote: “You remember the story of how Abraham’s son came after long years of waiting and was looked upon by his worthy sire, Abraham, as more precious than all his other possessions, yet, in the midst of his rejoicing, Abraham was told to take this only son and offer him as a sacrifice to the Lord. He responded. Can you feel what was in the heart of Abraham on that occasion? You love your son just as Abraham did, perhaps not quite so much, because of the peculiar circumstances, but what do you think was in his heart when he started away from Mother Sarah, and they bade her goodbye? What do you think was in his heart when he saw Isaac bidding farewell to his mother to take that three days’ journey to the appointed place where the sacrifice was to be made? I imagine it was about all Father Abraham could do to keep from showing his great grief and sorrow at that parting, but he and his son trudged along three days toward the appointed place, Isaac carrying the fagots that were to consume the sacrifice. The two travelers rested, finally, at the mountainside, and the men who had accompanied them were told to remain while Abraham and his son started up the hill.
“The boy then said to his father: ‘Why, Father, we have the fagots; we have the fire to burn the sacrifice; but where is the sacrifice?’
“It must have pierced the heart of Father Abraham to hear the trusting and confiding son say: ‘You have forgotten the sacrifice.’ Looking at the youth, his son of promise, the poor father could only say: ‘The Lord will provide.’
“They ascended the mountain, gathered the stones together, and placed the fagots upon them. Then Isaac was bound, hand and foot, kneeling upon the altar. I presume Abraham, like a true father, must have given his son his farewell kiss, his blessing, his love, and his soul must have been drawn out in that hour of agony toward his son who was to die by the hand of his own father. Every step proceeded until the cold steel was drawn, and the hand raised that was to strike the blow to let out the life’s blood.” (“The Sacramental Covenant,” New Era, Jan. 1976, pp. 9–10.)
Bear in mind that Abraham was saved from a similar fate instigated in wickedness by his own father. As with most people, Abraham must have abhorred human sacrifice. Why would the Lord require such a trial of his faith? What can be learned from the life of Abraham, who was faithful to the end?

In the lesson Lisa Muirhead spoke of three great intelligences:

God                                      Man                                              Satan
                                            D&C 10:5                                      2 Nephi 2:29
                                            Ephesians 6:10-13                          Alma 34:15

We can only bind ourselves to one of the two: God or Satan. God provides the way to happiness and truth, and Satan leads the way to misery and ignorance. 

Week 4: Learning of a few of the first Patriarchs

In the fourth spoke of the first great patriarchs of mortality. Lisa did speak of many people including the following: Cain, Abel, Enoch, and Noah.
The story of Cain and Abel is a basic one. Lisa printed out a Glue-in that sets everything straight from the world's misunderstanding of the Gospel.


The Pearl of Great Price supplies many answers. (See Moses 5:1-41, especially verses 16-38, along with the notes and commentary provided in this study guide.) For example, Adam and Eve taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to their family, including Cain and Abel. Cain held the Melchizedek Priesthood and had been taught proper sacrifice, which was the blood sacrifice of a firstling of the flock. Cain had a bad and arrogant attitude to begin with. Satan is the one who commanded Cain to offer sacrifice and encouraged him to mock God by offering a sacrifice of produce from his farm. Cain received repeated warnings from God, inviting him to do things right and receive the promised blessings. Cain rebelled against Adam and Eve and kept his evil doings from them. He surrounded himself with wicked peers, including a wicked wife. Satan taught Cain how to murder Abel. Cain gloried in his wickedness and murdered Abel in order to get his material possessions; thus, Cain was fully accountable for rebelling against God and making covenants with Satan. His punishment was completely fair according to the law of justice.


Enoch


In the lesson Lisa reviewed the writing of Moses as he saw Enoch in vision, when he was translated, meaning to be changed to an immortal being without dying. His glorious Zion people lived 365 years in the Gospel; so well so, the entire community was taken up to live with God. Moses' words can be read concerning the scope of Satan’s triumph and the resultant sorrows of God in chapter 7:29-40.





29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
30 And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy b

osom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;
31 And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?
32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;
34 And the afire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.
35 Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.
36 Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren.
37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?
38 But behold, these which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods; and behold, I will shut them up; a prison have I prepared for them.
39 And that which I have chosen hath pled before my face. Wherefore, he suffereth for their sins; inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment;
40 Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands.

Noah

Methuselah was the prophet left after Enoch's Zion people of God were taken up, and Noah was his son. They taught the gospel to the world for many decades, mainly being the only people that would receive it. Noah was a "perfect man," and I am humble to see how his sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth did not fall into the ways of the world. Noah must must have been a great father.

A glue-in, quoting from the book The Old Testament Made Easier by David J. Ridges, says on page 198.

"One of the important messages we learn form the account of Noah and the ark is the value of faith obedience. For example, securing a year's supply of emergency food storage, as commanded by the Lord through our modern prophets, may be difficult during times of plenty because the need is not constantly pressed upon our minds by current circumstances. Therefore, it requires faith obedience to gather food storage. Elder Spencer W. Kimball spoke of Noah and this principle. He taught:

"Paul, speaking to the Hebrews, said:

By faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house...
(Hebrews 11:7).

"As yet there was no evidence of rain and flood. His people mocked and called him a fool. His preaching fell on deaf ears. His warnings were considered irrational. There was no precedent; never had it been known that a deluge could cover the earth. How foolish to build an ark on dry ground with the sun shining and life moving forward as usual! But time ran out. The ark was finished. The floods came. The disobedient and rebellious were drowned. The miracle of the ark followed the faith manifested in its building" (Faith Precedes the Miracle, 5)"