This "hands-on" is in the form of what we call a personal testimony.
この「ハンズオン」は、個人の証という形に作って行きます。

My personal ideas and interpretations.
個人の発想と解釈です。

I hope it's useful. If not, I hope you'll forgive me for wasting your time.

お役立つ物ならば、うれしく存じます。そうでなければ、あなたの時間を無駄に費やしてしまって、申し訳ございません。

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Line upon Line

I have a friend, of the Evangelicals, who questions me on the validity of 2nd Nephi 28: 30:

I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, ...; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; ....

His thesis was that 2nd Timothy 3: 7, in describing the unrighteousness among men in the last days, includes this trait:

... Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

which would seem to foreclose the concept of learning by degrees.

Now this good man knows Isaiah 55: 8, 9:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

He is not asserting that the principles of godliness can be suddenly comprehended so completely that a mortal man would have no further need to learn. His contention is that Mormons, comforting themselves in 2nd Nephi 28: 30, have in general cut themselves off from the confession of faith and the knowledge of salvation.

And I must acknowledge that sometimes we behave as if his accusation is true.

We sometimes forget our first four Articles of Faith:

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The fourth Article of Faith is especially important: Faith in Jesus Christ and repentance are specified by the Lord in 3rd Nephi 27 , among many other places, as the fundamental principles upon which to build:

13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

You may need to read the whole chapter to see why I say this, but these are the ones we should return to if we get lost.

If we understand these correctly, then we can also understand the love which Jesus has for us, which is the love He commands us to have for our fellow man, as in Mark 12:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

When we build on the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can learn from God what we can understand and then proceed forward from grace to grace, to the full knowledge of God. We can understand truths that are eternal.

When we build on something other than the gospel, it does not lead us to the important truths, no matter how much we learn.

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