Our journey through the Old Testament will reveal many symbolisms and foreshadowing that point us toward the nature, purpose, mission, and ministry of Jesus Christ. Yet nothing compares to the very rich and deep symbolism we find within the story of Cain and Abel’s sacrifice and offering before God. In Genesis, we simply find that Abel’s offering, and sacrifice was acceptable before God. However, Cain’s was not. In Moses 5:16-41, we come to understand the nature between the two sacrifices and offerings brought forth.
Obedience merely means we are placing our faith and trust in God’s will and desire for us and our own lives. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). It is by this faith that Adam and Eve offered up sacrifices unto God as they worshipped and called upon His name. To this end - the Angel came and revealed unto them that this was in similitude of the sacrifice Jesus Christ will provide to answer the ends of the Law and fulfill the plan of salvation.
Let us take a moment to reflect on the past few days of our journey to see where we are at and how far we may have come.
Yes, we are clothed with mortality. Yet, as we come to faith in Jesus Christ and commit our lives over to living the principal truths of the Gospel of
The reality is that restoring broken relationships, to be reconciled with others, is quite a difficult task for us to undertake. Yet, it is significantly important to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we are humble, sincere, contrite, and motivated by the spirit and love of God to go forth with faith and purpose to seek reconciliation.
In Word: The Tree of Life is symbolism of the Plan of Salvation. The love of God who is Jesus Christ. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is the representation of moral agency. It stands in opposition to the tree of life. It represents mortality. Adam and Eve remained in a state of spiritual existence. A state of innocence. A state of perfect union and harmony. Yet, to bring about the reality of the Plan of Salvation - humanity needed to make a choice. That choice led to the temptation and partaking of the forbidden fruit. The Tree of Life represented immortality and eternal life. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil represented mortality and moral agency. All that encompasses human liberty and freedom of choice comes suffering, adversity, and sorrow. Yet, our Heavenly Father has prepared a way for us to overcome and endure temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
A vibrant and healthy fellowship and community is place where we all are able to come and know we belong. Where there is kindness, empathy, charity, compassion, forgiveness, willingness to be honest, discreet, share with confidence, and keeping in confidence those things we share one with another. All of us are walking our own spiritual paths and experiencing our own spiritual journey - however, it is not meant for us to do so alone. We strive to be complete, unified, and in harmony because of the pure love of Christ.
True discipleship is one of great cost. It requires us to take up our cross and abide in Christ by keeping his commandments (Matthew 16:24-26 and John 15:10).
So, the question stands do we truly know what happened prior to Genesis? From my point of view, studies, discussions, research, and personal revelation - yes, we do know exactly what happened prior to the creation of our world, the purpose behind the fall, and the plan of Salvation and purpose of the infinite atonement.
The call for us to go forward with faith and purpose is also a call for us to gather in small groups. This is the reason for Sunday school classes, weeknight youth activities, scripture study groups like those for single adults studying the Old Testament. Men gathering together in fellowship. Women gathering together in fellowship. Doing so, we experience the presence of Christ because when we are gathered in His name - he is there in the midst with us (Matthew 18:20).
As we seek after the Kingdom of Heaven - seek after the righteousness of God, we do so through love of our Heavenly Father and love toward others. The Savior expresses that these two teachings are the main commandments: Love God and love others (Mark 12:28-31). It is the call to allow our Heavenly Father to rule in our hearts, in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
If my life is in chaos, I want to look into myself for the cause and the cure and use a fellowship of others where I am able to safely expose my shortcomings through vulnerability and courage. I seek out a fellowship with a group of others where it is a living and functioning unit where each one of us come and sharpen ourselves in order to find the cure for our sufferings. Not only the fellowship of a weekly group of others engaged in finding solutions to their own sufferings but a connection with another to continue to learn and grow in faith, spirituality, and journey. I seek to be sharpened just as I hopefully am able to sharpen another.
Through our discipleship we come to know the nature and truth of who our Heavenly Father is and what he expects of us. To which, the Savior declared, be ye therefore perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48, Philippians 3:15-16; 3 Nephi 12:48). It means we are to be complete and full as it relates to Our Heavenly Father.
Charity is the heart and soul of service and ministry. Without compassion and mercy, no other spiritual gifts have any purpose or meaning - not even our own faith in God. The Apostle concludes that there are three important things in our lives: Faith, Hope, and Charity. His conclusion is that Charity is the greatest of the three.
The Sabbath is a time where we connect intimately with our Heavenly Father and fellowship with others. A time of opportunity to serve others. It is a time to reflect on the covenants we have made as disciples of Jesus Christ. Where we fall short, it is a time of seeking forgiveness, walking the path of repentance, and seeking wise counsel from those whom our Heavenly Father has chosen.
The scriptures constantly teach us that we are to do two things. They also teach us two fundamental truths. First, we are to seek him continually. Despite what is going on, no matter the situation, the fears, the worries, the doubts, and the anxieties, we are to seek him. Second, we are to wait patiently. Listen attentively, tune in, and continue to walk in those truths and commandments we are to keep. And the first truth is that our answers come in the Lord's due time and not ours. The second fundamental truth is that this is where our faith in God rests.
Through Adam, we have the priestly authority and fatherhood of God. Through Eve, we have the divine attributes of Motherhood. Together, Adam and Eve became the representatives of Heavenly Parents. And this is evident in the unifying of man and woman in their specific gender roles as Husband and Wife.
Meaningful and mindful worship begins when we are authentic and accurate in our attitude toward Heavenly Father. He is pleased by our thoughtfulness toward Him. Reflecting on his nature, desiring to become more like Christ, sanctified and holy. We are called to be holy as he is holy, perfect as he is perfect, and through Christ, we are perfected unto God.
We are fashioned with eternal spiritual bodies. It is then that our Heavenly Father breathes into our mortal bodies the breath of life so that we become a living soul. Scripture also declares unto us the promise that those who come to faith in Jesus Christ - by the miracle and gift of the infinite atonement - will have a new heart and spirit (Ezekiel 36:26)
The call for us to go forward in faith and purpose is a call for us to enter into a deep and intimate relationship with Christ. To come to know him and our Heavenly Father (John 17:3).
In our relationship with a sovereign God, we come to know the absolute reality of our own divine nature and heritage. We are created in the image and likeness of a Holy and Sovereign God. When we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit steps in and sanctifies us as we become more like Christ.
Again, the phrase appears in my mind, lingering like an unwanted specter. To be or not to be; that is the question. My soul groans and cries out - What is the answer? Only silence. The barren desert appears again. The warmth from the day lingers in the twilight hours. Long after the sun descended over the horizon. Only the moon glows against the velvet canopy of sky. Stars blinking in chorus for some cosmic audience. The desert wind becomes a cold talon. The desert's friend is loneliness.
When we turn our thoughts and minds over to Exodus 14:13-15 - there is a reason God wanted to bring Israel out of bondage. To bring them out of a foreign land. To no longer experience the burden and labors of Pharoah. It runs much deeper than God preforming miracles as great signs and wonders unto Pharaoh. Goes even deeper into the blessed hope of bringing the Children of Israel into the land of promise. The simple truth is that the salvation of the Lord we shall see unfold is about reconciling us to Him.
After all that our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, have accomplished - they saw that it was good. This is something we are incapable of imagining. The sweet harmony, beauty, unity, and the way all things worked together in peace. Such beautiful perfection was very good. We also have a difficult time understanding the Holy Goodness of our Heavenly Father. The goodness in His creating each one of us after His own image and likeness. The goodness in His plan of happiness for each one of us through our Savior Jesus Christ. The goodness of revealing Himself through all
The very heart of worship is our complete willingness to not only surrender our life and will over to God; but that we are willing and able to submit to seek His will and good pleasure for our lives. This is what is meant when the savior taught that if we lose our lives for His sake - we shall find it and there will a life of abundance
Today, we may feel empty, without form and void - meaningless, unassuming, empty, and desolate. However, the power of creation reveals unto us the magnificent power our Heavenly Father has in taking something that is unorganized, unassuming, and creating something magnificent and beautiful. Through the plan of salvation, we are to become creators in building
The field of apologetics is not about manipulating, deceiving, or even victimizing people. It is to give a defense of one's faith for understanding, education, and learning. Only in this context are people able to engage in real authentic conversations that challenge and uphold the character and integrity of both individuals.
The enticing of the spirit of God or the spirit of the adversary is constant and consistent. Over time, we learn how to choose one over the other. If we choose the right, we are putting on the righteousness of Christ and patterning our lives after his.
This is the great plan of Salvation whereby our Heavenly Father brings to pass the immortality and eternal life of each one of us. Attached to this is our liberty and freedom of choice. Whether we choose to walk in humility, submission, and obedience to the laws and principal doctrines of God’s revealed truth - we shall inherit eternal life. Christ himself said that those who endure as He has endured shall be granted permission to sit on the throne with Him as he sits on the Throne with the Father
The faith Moses called the Hebrews to exercise was one that had to come prior to the miracle they were about to witness. Such faith called them forth to be ready and go forward despite the great opposition they were facing. Pharoah's army behind them and the sea before them caused the children of Israel to murmur and complain. And it was their only viable option to trust in God that they would cross over to the other side.