The doctrine of destruction


Question: when does destruction come from the Lord?

Answer: only when a people has rejected every word of God.

Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God. But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against them unto their destruction, and he did bless it unto our fathers unto their obtaining power over it. (1 Nephi 17: 35)

Why the Lamanites were never destroyed

The Lamanites, despite their many years of wickedness, never rejected every word of God. There was always some commandment that they obeyed and it was for this reason, and this reason alone, that they were continually spared, although they were cursed for their disobedience to the commandments of God. Said Jacob:

Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.

And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people.

Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children; and their unbelief and their hatred towards you is because of the iniquity of their fathers; wherefore, how much better are you than they, in the sight of your great Creator? (Jacob 3: 5-7)

Even at the end of the Nephite and Lamanite civilizations, when both had turned from their righteousness and rejected the gospel, the Lamanites were not ripe to destruction, like the Nephites, because they still obeyed something that had been given to them by the Lord.

Lehi prophesied to the sons and daughters of Laman and Lemuel the following:

But behold, my sons and my daughters, I cannot go down to my grave save I should leave a blessing upon you; for behold, I know that if ye are brought up in the way ye should go ye will not depart from it.

Wherefore, if ye are cursed, behold, I leave my blessing upon you, that the cursing may be taken from you and be answered upon the heads of your parents.

Wherefore, because of my blessing the Lord God will not suffer that ye shall perish; wherefore, he will be merciful unto you and unto your seed forever.

And it came to pass that after my father had made an end of speaking to the sons and daughters of Laman, he caused the sons and daughters of Lemuel to be brought before him.

And he spake unto them, saying: Behold, my sons and my daughters, who are the sons and the daughters of my second son; behold I leave unto you the same blessing which I left unto the sons and daughters of Laman; wherefore, thou shalt not utterly be destroyed; but in the end thy seed shall be blessed. (2 Nephi 4: 5-9)

Once the Lamanites were all converted to the Lord, they never fully departed from it. There was always some part of it they kept. As a result, we have the descendents of the Lamanites with us to this very day.

Why the Nephites were destroyed

Whenever the Nephites rejected the word of God, they tended to reject the whole of it. At the end of their civilization, they had broken every commandment except one. The first three chapters of the book of Mormon explain that the Nephites were an exceedingly wicked and damned people, full of abominations, yet the Lord still preserved them. It was only when they broke the last remaining commandment of God, namely, to not invade the Lamanites, that the Lord allowed the Lamanites to wipe them off the face of the land.

When the Gentiles will be destroyed

But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come. (D&C 84: 41)

The Nephites and the abridged history we have been given of them were to serve as a lesson to both the Lamanites and the Gentiles of the latter-day. The Lamanites, of course, would remain cursed right up to the moment they received the gospel from the Gentiles and then they would blossom as the rose and never turn from it. But the Gentiles would receive the gospel and, like the Nephites, eventually turn altogether from it. This is why is it prophesied that the Gentiles will be destroyed at some future day.

And now his disciples came to him, and Jesus said unto them,

Marvel ye at the words of the parable which I spake unto them? Verily, I say unto you, I am the stone, and those wicked ones reject me. I am the head of the corner. These Jews shall fall upon me, and shall be broken. And the kingdom of God shall be taken from them, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof; (meaning the Gentiles.) Wherefore, on whomsoever this stone shall fall, it shall grind him to powder. And when the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, he will destroy those miserable, wicked men, and will let again his vineyard unto other husbandmen, even in the last days, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

And then understood they the parable which he spake unto them, that the Gentiles should be destroyed also, when the Lord should descend out of heaven to reign in his vineyard, which is the earth and the inhabitants thereof. (JST Matt. 21: 50-56)

The apostate Mormon Gentile church and the doctrine of destruction

There are many among us today who recognize that many things are not right in the Mormon church. There are some that believe that the church went into apostasy during the times of Joseph Smith, for failing to build the Nauvoo temple in the appointed time. Others believe it became apostate after Joseph’s death. Others, after plural marriage was phased out. Others, during the administration of this or that church president. Still others, when the blacks were given access to the priesthood. And even fairly recently, others see the temple changes of 1990 to be an indication of the apostate nature of the church.

Because of these many perceived apostasies, there are those among us who are patiently waiting for the Lord to clean out His house and for destruction to come upon the latter-day saints. Some have left the church already, thinking its doom is near and all is lost.

Like the ancient Nephites and Lamanites, the Mormon Gentile church has been in a state of apostasy pretty much since its inception. Nevertheless, just as the Lord preserved the Nephites and Lamanites until they had rejected every one of His words, so the Lord will preserve the Mormon Gentile church as long as they continue to obey even one single commandment that He has given them.

The Nephites and the Lamanites, even in their times of wickedness, were still the Lord’s people. He never altogether rejected them until they altogether rejected Him. The same principle applies to the Mormon Gentile church. It is still the church of God, even in its condemned (or damned) state. The church of God has not been rejected, not during the time of Joseph Smith nor any time since, up to and including today. Nor will it be rejected at any time after today, until the church altogether turns from the Lord.

This is why the Lord says:

Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you; and if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.

But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return. (3 Nephi 27: 9-11)

The church of God can be built upon the gospel of Christ, and if so, the Father will show forth his own works in it; or, the church of God can be built upon the works of men; or, the church of God can be built upon the works of the devil. All three scenarios are still talking about the church of God. The church does not cease to be the church of God because it is built upon the works of men or upon the works of the devil. It is still considered God’s church, just as the Nephites and Lamanites were considered God’s people even in their states of wickedness. As long as the church of God is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, and does not reject every word of God, it will still have joy in its works for a season. Rejection and destruction of the church will only come to it when it has altogether turned from the Lord, rejecting every word of God.

We, the church of God, are still in the mercy phase and the Spirit is still striving with us. Yes, it is true that we are in a state of apostasy, but we are still not ripe in iniquity and have not, yet, been altogether rejected, although we have been cursed (or condemned). This means that we have not, as yet, broken every single commandment we have received.

May I suggest a sin that signals impending destruction?

The day may come that Mormon Gentiles are routinely or systematically breaking nine of the Ten Commandments. The day may come that no Mormon worships the Lord God Almighty anymore, but instead lifts up men called prophets, seers, revelators, apostles, general authorities, bishops, stake presidents, and other leaders. The day may come that no Mormon keeps the sabbath day holy, or honors his father and mother, or refrains from killing. The day may come that all Mormons take the name of the Lord in vain and commit adultery and steal and lie and covet all that is their neighbor’s. But if and when that day comes and all these nine commandments are broken by the whole of the Mormon people, it will still be a day a mercy for them and the Lord will still preserve them and not reject them as a church, nor bring upon them destruction, as long as they refrain from breaking the tenth.

But the moment they break the tenth commandment, even if the others have not yet been broken, that will be the day that destruction will loom over them. For there is one commandment that when broken leads to the breaking of all commandments: the making of graven images and bowing down to them.

Idolatry, the sin of destruction

Now, some may take issue with me and claim that the Mormon Gentiles already practice idolatry. To answer this charge, let’s look at the first two commandments.

The first commandment is: thou shalt have no other gods before me. When we put anyone or anything before God, we break the first commandment, not the second. Breaking the first one consists of devoting ourselves to people (leaders, celebrities, etc.) or things (material possessions, money, etc.) or pleasurable activities (sports, sex, drug use) or ideas and concepts (politics, science, fame, etc.) more than we devote ourselves to God. There is a tendency to label this devotion as idolatry. For example, we say that the celebrity is our idol, or we idolize our leaders, or money is his idol, etc. But this is all just figurative expression. Such behavior doesn’t literally break the second commandment, though it does literally break the first one.

The second commandment is: thou shalt not make any graven image and bow down and serve it. This is literal or real idolatry, or the worship of an idol, meaning a graven image. This commandment is kept to this very day by the Mormon Gentiles. And as long as it is kept, the Mormon Gentiles will not be destroyed.

It is idolatry (the real kind) that brings destruction. (See Alma 50: 21 and Ether 7: 23.) It is the gateway sin, that facilitates and brings about the commission of all other sins. Every civilization that has been destroyed by the Lord has practiced idolatry.

Real idolatry is coming back

At some point this sin will be introduced among the Mormon Gentiles, as well as among the Gentiles at large. When the Lord sends the Lamanites forth against the wicked Gentiles, He will send them among a people whose land is full of graven images (see 2 Nephi 12: 8).

Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots; and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds; and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers; thy graven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands; and I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities. (3 Nephi 21: 14-18)

In the preface to the Book of Commandments, the Lord prophesied of a day to come in which idolatry would be widespread:

Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:

Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh; and the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.

And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; for they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant; they seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall. (D&C 1: 11-16)

LDS typically interpret the above verses as referring to the non-members of the time of Joseph Smith, but this is a prophecy of the future, which is why the Lord starts it by saying, “Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come” and “the arm of the Lord shall be revealed” and “the day cometh …that they..shall be cut off from among the people,” etc. These are all future references, or references to a future day. When the Lord says “for they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant,” He is not speaking of the people who lived in 1831, when the revelation was received, but of the people who would be living during that future day of the fulfillment of the prophecy.

The people that the Lord is talking about is a people that will have received the ordinances of the gospel and then will have strayed from them, and will have entered into the everlasting covenant and then will have broken it. In other words, this prophecy is pointing to the Mormon Gentiles of a future day, a day way past 1831. Of particular note is that this wicked people will be practicing idolatry. Not figurative or symbolic idolatry, which is the charge often laid to the church today, but actual or real idolatry, meaning that they will bow down and serve graven images made with their own hands. The people living during the time of Joseph Smith did not do this.

It is for this reason (idolatry and all the sins it introduces) that this future people of the Lord (having received the ordinances of salvation and the everlasting covenant) will be cut off.

Because the Lord knew that the Gentile Mormons would one day begin practicing idolatry, He gave commandments to the elders so that this sin of destruction would not be found among them.

Let the residue of the elders watch over the churches, and declare the word in the regions round about them; and let them labor with their own hands that there be no idolatry nor wickedness practised. (D&C 52: 39)

The instinct to worship

Mankind has a natural tendency or instinct to worship. This instinct appears to be tied to what happens in the heavens, among the planets. When the planets are active, all mankind feels the urge to worship something, anything, in fanatical devotion. This urge is basic or fundamental, as basic as the sexual urge. It is a part of our natural state of existence.

In all ages of the world in which the heavens were active, it has ever been the devil’s strategy to take the urge to worship and lead it in the wrong direction by introducing idolatry. However, the current age we live in is different. This is the scientific age, the age of reason, the day of the intellectual man. And the skies are asleep. As a result, the instinct to worship does not pull on us as greatly and so the devil has changed strategies. Now, instead of diverting our urge to worship towards idols, he uses his influence to suppress it altogether.

The devil’s new strategy has resulted in what we see today: atheists, agnostics, intellectuals, left-brain dominant society, etc. The suppression of this basic urge has many people breaking the first commandment, but not the second. The breaking of the first commandment never, ever reaches the level of devotion that occurs with idol worship. No one literally prays to the celebrity or leader they “idolize.” No one literally bows down before their money and worships it. No one literally treats any of the people, things, concepts or causes they devote their time, thoughts and energy to as real gods. This is because the devil inspires modern man to suppress our worship instinct.

At some point the heavens will begin to wake up again, and when that happens, our instinctual urge to worship will also begin to wake up and pull strongly on us. At that day, there will be no more atheists, agnostics, etc. All will be believers in some form of god and will have a desire to worship something. This is because human brain cycles are tied to the cycles of the heavenly bodies (planets, sun, comets, etc.) The devil, then, will no longer inspire men to suppress their instinctual urge to worship, because he will have no power to do so, for the urge will be too strong to suppress, and so he will go back to his old strategy and re-introduce among the people of the world the sin of idolatry. At that point graven and standing images will be had everywhere, for there will be a real market for them. Idols, in those days, will be the biggest selling items around, to fill the need that people will have to worship something.

Worship is not what we do

Worship entails a level of devotion that is just not had among our modern society. The Lord defined worship best:

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. (D&C 4: 2)

The instinct to worship is the urge to bow down before something and serve it “with all your heart, might, mind and strength.” It is total and complete devotion to something. Such level of devotion, when directed towards God, pleases Him. This is the very reason why we have been given this instinct. When it is suppressed, God is offended and withholds the abundances of the manifestations of the Spirit. The sin we are guilty of, then, is in not using the instinct God gave us. But when it is not suppressed but instead is directed towards dumb idols, God becomes jealous and His anger is kindled, unsheathing the sword of destruction. Now our sin is in perverting the use of a God-given instinct.

The urge to worship is so very strong (when the planets are awake), that man will go to almost any length to please and gain favor of the object of his worship. So, on the one hand we have righteous men and women willing to die instead of denying the one true God, and on the other hand we have wicked men and women sacrificing their own children to dumb idols. It is because of the extremely strong pull that the worship instinct has upon mankind that idolatry becomes the gateway sin to all other sins. People will lie, steal, cheat, covet, commit adultery, kill and commit every other form of wickedness to gain favor of their idols.

Don’t be deceived

The Lord will not outright destroy this church without first sending messengers to preach repentance to it. If we start hearing a message of “repent or be destroyed” from any quarter, as long as the church is not engaged in idolatry you can know of a surety that the messenger is not sent from God. It is only when His people are ripening in iniquity, meaning that they are beginning to break every commandment, that He will begin threatening them with destruction. However, even if no messengers are sent, if you start to see real idolatry among the church, know that destruction looms on the horizon and that the Lord will soon be sending messengers to threaten the people. All of this is according to the principle and doctrine of destruction, as I understand it.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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37 Comments

  1. Enjoyed this post very much.

    To me, most are forgetting the importance of the keys of the church. The true-blue members forget them to the point that they “follow the prophet” — and the more critical members that I know of online forget them to the point that they forget that the LDS church’s priesthood keys are validly authorized by them.

    Someone wrote a post some months back about coming across the LDSA blog — in which he laughingly referenced the concept of mankind’s natural tendency or instinct to worship [Mormon Anarchists]. The post’s author said he first visited this site:

    when I saw a strange comment on Irresistible (Dis)Grace stating with full confidence that it is seeing plasma in the sky that makes humans believe in God.

    The comment he refers to was:

    “What evidence would convert an atheist?”

    I’ll assume that you mean convert an atheist into a believer in God and answer from there.

    My understanding is that there are certain events that cause all mankind to start to worship gods: planetary and interplanetary high powered plasma displays. When displays are on a solar system level, everyone “converts” into a believer in (some sort of) god and starts worshipping something. The skies are currently “sleeping” but soon will “awake” and begin manifesting the various plasma forms found in laboratory experiments. At that moment, everyone, even the atheists, will start worshipping one or more gods. This is because humans, by nature, respond in this way when the electrical current of the solar system powers up. It strikes us on a primitive level. Historically, this is how it has always been. Atheism only creeps in among men when the skies are asleep, such as now.

    Between the break-up of the unified LDS church and the waking up of the heavens — I worry how many will be frantic and confused at the time these events unfold. Many do not understand this topics or have never heard about them.

  2. Interesting post. I’ve never made the correlation between destruction and an abandonment of ALL commandments.

    I’ll admit that I’ve never heard the concept of the heavens being asleep and this leading to atheism. Where do you get the idea from?

  3. Good post.

    Certainly makes sense with a few thoughts I’ve been having…

    I had two questions: (a) do you put any stock into David Cohen’s (and others) predictions about the 22-23rd of September of this year being some big planetary event that everyone will see and (b) will the “repent or be destroyed” be directed at the LDS Church, specifically, or at everyone, generally?

    One guy I know stated, in relation to (a) above, this:

    “The Day of the Awakening Blast (Feast of the First Trumpet) is Sept 23rd – just when the BDS Elenin is directly between earth and sun – the sun will probably be darkened for up to a week (depending on the actual size of Elenin), and the moon will probably turn to blood.”

  4. I have also heard this theory about elenin. I will be watching the skies closely around this time period.

  5. Mormon Man said,

    I’ll admit that I’ve never heard the concept of the heavens being asleep and this leading to atheism. Where do you get the idea from?

    I didn’t get it from anywhere. It’s been floating around in my right-brain-heart for who-knows-how-long. I think the first time I pulled it into my left-brain-mind was when I answered Andrew’s question last year on his Irresistible (Dis)Grace blog. Sometimes when I write or say, “My understanding is…,” the information that comes out of my mouth or is written by my hand is something that has already been formulated in my left-brain-mind. At other times, though, I’ll say, “My understanding is…,” and then look into my right-brain-heart and whatever I see there at that very moment is what I’ll say or write. I believe my answer to Andrew was such an on-the-fly understanding. I don’t think I had ever verbalized or written it down or conceptualized it in my left-brain-mind prior to that comment. After I wrote it, I recall contacting a friend of mine and telling him that I had just written something that I had never heard before. That might sound weird to you, but a lot of the stuff I’ve written on this blog is stuff I’ve never heard of before.

    This past week, though, I came across some scientific research that potentially corroborates the comment on Andrew’s blog. I briefly mentioned in the OP about human brain cycles. I have been in talks with the scientist directly involved in all this research and have been looking over his findings, which tie us to the planets. Then there is plasma cosmology, plasma science, plasma mythology, plasma theology, plasma biology, as well as the prophecies, etc. If we are linked to energy systems (planets) which affect us throughout the day, weeks, months and years, through cycles, then any change in those energy systems will cause corresponding changes in everything linked to them. So, based upon my knowledge of all these things, saying that atheism is caused by sleeping skies does not seem to me to be far fetched.

    The flip side to this, of course, is that when these energy systems power up, so does human potential. This includes the potential for greater wickedness, but also the potential for greater righteousness, in the form of marvelous works and wonders (miracles), which are supposed to be rampant in the last days.

  6. Green Wombat asked,

    I had two questions: (a) do you put any stock into David Cohen’s (and others) predictions about the 22-23rd of September of this year being some big planetary event that everyone will see and (b) will the “repent or be destroyed” be directed at the LDS Church, specifically, or at everyone, generally?

    (a) This is the first I’ve heard of David Cohen and his predictions. I’ll have to do a search on him. (b) Doesn’t the Lord say, “Upon my house shall it begin”? So, I would imagine that the unrepentant Mormon Gentiles will get that “repent or be destroyed” message first. Later, the unrepentant Gentiles at large will receive it.

  7. I haven’t read much of what Cohen has actually stated, but he is quite adamant about something significant happening Sept 22-23 or thereabouts.

    Here’s a start on Cohen that someone once emailed me:

    http://woodyoubelieveit.blogspot.com/2009/01/cohen-fireside-second-coming.html

    Re: Plasma

    This reminded me of something: what are your thoughts (warning: tangent) on giving plasma… like donating blood?

  8. This is in regards to Green Wombat’s comment about David Cohen. LDSA I highly recommend you purchase his book regarding the Adamic Language and the Adamic Calendar. My mother gifted his book to me after I mentioned reading the above fireside. I believe there is truth in his work. He believes he has reconstructed the Adamic Language and the Enoch/Adamic Calendar. He is of dual lineage through Judah and Ephraim and is of the priestly Cohen line. His work can only be described as inspired and prophetic. According to the reconstructed calendar, he states that the 7th seal will be broken on Sept 22-23 with the heralding of light from the supernova from Betelguese in the constallation Orion. There is no room to describe the majesty of the history as he tells it behind this date and how it fits so beautifully within the Lord’s divine calendar.

    I have been meaning for some time to comment on this book to you LDSA to inquire if you have heard of D. Cohen or his book. There is a ‘sweetness’ to his work that I believe you will enjoy. I came across your website and the many different essays and comments a few months ago in my search for truths to issues and feelings I have had for some time. I frequently leave stuffed to the spiritual gills with a seemingly insatiable appetite. It is difficult to express my gratitude and joy at finding this site and reading the many ideas and truths that are presented. I have refrained from commenting as I have not felt moved by the spirit to add or in fear detract from the narrative with my clumsy words. My spirit would sing with joy but I cannot yet write the things in my heart.

    I thank you for your work, time sacrifice and the contributions of so many on this site. It is both humbling and overwhelming when i read this feast of knowledge. I desire to add my testimony to so many testimonies given but I feel the interloper as such among scriptural giants. I desire to learn my gifts from my Father in Heaven and desire use them to serve others. I will try and get the nerve to compose in brief the novel I wish to talk with you about all that I have learned from this site and the many things I have already pondered in my heart. My only wish is that I had found your site a few years ago.

    There is so much and the water in deed is deep!!! I fear not to swim!

  9. Green Wombat, I see nothing wrong with donating whole blood or blood plasma.

    Salvation comes in and through the atoning blood of Christ and so the people of King Benjamin cried out for mercy, pleading that God would apply “the atoning blood of Christ” to them. Also, Christ took of the cup of wine and told His disciples to drink all of it, saying, “This is my blood.” He also said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”

    All of that sounds a lot like blood donation. Christ donates His blood to all those who are willing to receive it. Thus we become new creatures in Christ. So, if it is a work of Christ to donate His blood, I suppose donating one’s own whole blood or blood plasma to another could also be considered a Christian work.

    Personally, though, if I were on the receiving end and needed some blood plasma, I’d ask to be injected with ocean plasma, instead.

  10. […] Despite the awful situation we are currently in, being lead by the latter day hirelings of the flock, no portion of the church will be fully ripe in iniquity until after they have been warned by the properly ordained servants and then rejected their message. […]

  11. If you want to read more about the plasma universe/solar system go to http://www.mormonprophecy.com. In fact I originally thought that the author of this blog got his ideas from this website.

  12. I was explaining this post to my wife because I want us to be prepared to not bow down and worship idols. I thought it may be hard for someone today to believe that the visible heavens will ever change so much that what we see will trigger that no atheists in a foxhole type reaction to intensely worship anyone that we think can save us.
    For myself I have read and prayed about the writings of LDSA often enough that it is easy to believe what he says.
    Then I remembered a few things which make perfect sense. In Matt 24:30 Jesus said And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn.
    Joseph Smith said that there would be a great sign of the coming of the Son of Man and the people will say it is a comet or a planet or some other heavenly body. That is from TPJS. I suppose many of you are familiar with this quote and of course have heard of planet X and Dec 2012. But even if planet X is bunk and the Dec 2012 date is bogus, the fact remains that it looks pretty sure that a similar event will come.
    It is one thing to hear of some pending doom, Y2K etc. But even with expert testimony it is simple enough to disbelieve. And how nicely a false alarm helps Satan convince more people to disbelieve.
    But when we can look up in the sky and see a heavenly body hanging there and we know it is moving towards us and in fact we can’t ignore it because it is literally hanging over our heads no one will be unmoved. And how simple and how true to form for today’s LDS church to do everything required to gain the acceptance of the world. I would not even be surprised if there is a law passed requiring all to worship an idol. Then by the 12th commandment of faith all LDS members are obligated to obey it.
    No when you look at reality such a future is not hard to believe, it is certain.

  13. LDSA wrote:

    It is idolatry (the real kind) that brings destruction.

    I was reading through D&C 20 this evening after reading the comments on Pure Mormonism’s new post concerning the sacrament.

    I thought of this post and the comments on the sin of worshipping other Gods when I read verses 18-20

    [God] created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them;

    And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship.

    But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man.

    Before reading these verses this time — I had been under the impression that it was the partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil by virtue of the deceptions of Satan that caused the fall of Adam and Eve.

    However — it seems that man actually became carnal, devilish, and fallen by transgressing the commandments to love and serve the only true and living God our Creator and to worship only Him.

    Or in other words, the Fall came by idolatry — not by transgressing the command to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Lord told them that they would surely die in the day that they ate thereof — but He did not say that they would become carnal, sensual, and fallen by eating.

  14. I suppose it makes sense that idolatry would be a problem from the beginning, considering the original configuration of the planets.

    Are you saying that this scripture indicates that Adam and Eve were guilty of idolatry, or their posterity, or perhaps both? In other words, is the “man” in verse 18 the same “man” in verse 20? Or are they different men? For example, is man in verse 18 referring to Adam and Eve, who were created and received these commandments, and man in verse 20 referring to their posterity, who transgressed these laws? Or are both referring to Adam and Eve, or are both referring to Adam, Eve and posterity?

    What are your thoughts on this?

  15. Are you saying that this scripture indicates that Adam and Eve were guilty of idolatry,

    I read verses 18-20 as a single unit — therefore I read the “man” as the same throughout, i.e. referring to Adam and Eve.

    or their posterity,

    I guess the beauty of the word “man” is that it is ambiguous enough to be able to refer to Adam and Eve in verse 18, but can then be used by verse 20 to mean the posterity of Adam and Eve.

    or perhaps both?

    However, given that the fall is consistently referred to as the fall of Adam or the transgression of our first parents — I think that “both” is a better fit for what the word “man” means in these verses.

    God] created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them; [Referring specifically to the creation of Adam and Eve, but can also apply to us as their descendants who are still patterned after God’s image and likeness as males and females]

    And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship. [Referring specifically to Adam and Eve who were originally the first ones given these holy laws, but can also apply to us since we have these commandments given to us too]

    But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man. [Referring specifically to Adam and Eve, thus “the fall of Adam”, but also applies to us insofar as we have not been transfigured in the flesh. If we still have sensual, devilish, and fallen flesh — then it is by transgression of these holy laws and only by living these holy laws can that be reversed, and the flesh transfigured]

    Since “man” is often used as a collective term — I would say that it is more likely that many people were in on the transgression of these holy laws and caused the fall of man, than it is that just Adam or just Adam and Eve transgressed these holy laws and thereby caused all other humans to become carnal, sensual and fallen.

  16. http://webspace.webring.com/people/np/potai/tempbook.pdf

    This is a link to download the temple book which talks about some symbolism and meaning behind it in the endowment story. In chapters 7 and 8 I believe it explains the idea that it wasn’t a fruit which was eaten, but it was a mindset or doctrine which was accepted, the “knowledge” or concept of “Good” and “Evil” which is to say that the “bad” things in life, hardships, pain, loss etc are “evil” and to be avoided and the comfortable things are “good” and to be experienced.

  17. In chapters 7 and 8 I believe it explains the idea that it wasn’t a fruit which was eaten, but it was a mindset or doctrine which was accepted, the “knowledge” or concept of “Good” and “Evil” which is to say that the “bad” things in life, hardships, pain, loss etc are “evil” and to be avoided and the comfortable things are “good” and to be experienced.

    Sounds like this.

  18. Thanks Justin. Yes, when I made the comment I didn’t have much time and I did not read over your other post more than once. Now I remember because it was saying exactly what I had recently learned. There is so much of that happening that it is evidence the we are all being taught the same precepts even if from different sources.
    But your post on the tree of this and that does convey the concept. And I see that as a form of idolatry. So I believe the gospel of Christ is a single directive.
    When He says, “Repent, and believe in me” He is saying repent from not believing in me. I guess that is what I ended up saying in my post on the doctrine of Christ. I find myself seeing that over and over again.

  19. LDSA wrote:

    Mankind has a natural tendency or instinct to worship. This instinct appears to be tied to what happens in the heavens, among the planets. When the planets are active, all mankind feels the urge to worship something, anything, in fanatical devotion. This urge is basic or fundamental, as basic as the sexual urge. It is a part of our natural state of existence.
    In all ages of the world in which the heavens were active, it has ever been the devil’s strategy to take the urge to worship and lead it in the wrong direction by introducing idolatry. However, the current age we live in is different. This is the scientific age, the age of reason, the day of the intellectual man. And the skies are asleep. As a result, the instinct to worship does not pull on us as greatly and so the devil has changed strategies. Now, instead of diverting our urge to worship towards idols, he uses his influence to suppress it altogether.

    I thought of this when I read the following from a post titled “Thoughts on constant worship“:

    There is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already — it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on.

    The author goes on to say that the insidious thing about these later forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful — but that they are unconscious. They are default-settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.

    However, what makes religion beautiful it is when we become constantly conscious of our worship, choosing to worship rather than “gradually slipping into it.” It is this conscious choice that can make life deliberate, because we are always aware of our aim. A belief in a higher power requires us to consciously look outside of ourselves and our attempts at ruling over our lives to look to something greater.

  20. To go further on this topic of idolatry and the fall of Adam, etc. — I was thinking about the general assumption that a “Satan” figure is essential in Father’s plan [which I disagree with].

    I see the Satan figure as a gift from God — rather than an essential component in our mortal probation.

    Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself;

    I gave unto” is scriptural language for any one of the gifts of God. Adam being an agent unto himself was a merciful gift given to him by God.

    And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves

    The devil needs to tempt or otherwise humans could not be agent unto themselves — thus by extension [reading this with the previous verse] — Satan is a gift from God.

    However, I don’t think we could go so far as to say that the devil is an essential component of the Father’s plan. I mean to say that if there were no devil, I think that mortal probation and redemption in and through the Holy Messiah would still be possible.

    the devil tempted Adam, and he partook of the forbidden fruit and transgressed the commandment, wherein he became subject to the will of the devil, because he yielded unto temptation.

    So the devil tempted Adam:
    (1) Because that was Satan’s desire, and God gives all things to His children according to their desires.
    (2) Because it was a gift to Adam to be an agent unto himself — meaning this is the point where Father and Christ left Adam and Eve alone, promising to return later with further instructions.

    Partaking of the fruit of the tree was forbidden during that duration of time that God left Adam unto himself to be tempted of the devil. In essence — the fruit was not forbidden — it was yielding to temptation that was forbidden.

    The purpose of the fruit was to introduce mortality — not to introduce carnality, sensuality, devilishness [“fallen man”]. Mankind became fallen man by subjecting themselves to the devil by engaging in idolatry — transgressing “these holy commandments”.

    Wherefore, I, the Lord God, caused that he should be cast out from the Garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression,

    Here, planet Earth — now captivated by the gravitational power of Satan — is cast out from the presence of EEAAOOAAEE.
    Though being mortal is necessary to Father’s plan — hence the fruit of the tree of knowledge which will cause one to “surely die” — heeding to the temptations of the devil, becoming subject to him, is not necessary to Father’s plan.

    It would have been possible to for Adam and Eve to have partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge [after God returned and it was no longer a “forbidden fruit”], initiated the process of reproduction and death, all while remaining in a transfigured/Millennial state. If this were to have been the case — it would have been as though there was no devil.

    The absence of a devil does not prohibit one from attaining a mortal body and enduring through one’s probation — achieving a sanctified state through the atonement of Christ and a resurrection through His merits.
    Mortal children:

    But behold, I say unto you, that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten;

    Wherefore, they cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me;

    Faithful men and women of God:

    Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

    Transfigured believers in Christ:

    Therefore, that they might not taste of death there was a change wrought upon their bodies, that they might not suffer pain nor sorrow save it were for the sins of the world.

    Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt them; and they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them.

    The duration of the Millennium:

    And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.

    and

    And in that day whatsoever any man shall ask, it shall be given unto him.

    And in that day Satan shall not have power to tempt any man.

    And there shall be no sorrow because there is no death.

    In that day an infant shall not die until he is old; and his life shall be as the age of a tree;

    And when he dies he shall not sleep, that is to say in the earth, but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious.

    Perhaps this should have been made into a post — or perhaps I will expand on it and do it at a later date — but essentially:

    Though mankind needed to become mortal [the result of the fruit of the tree], they have no need to become carnal, devilish, or fallen [the result of heeding the temptations of the devil, becoming subject to him]. The scriptures have many examples of specific people or classes of people who work out their own salvation without sin and without the devil having power to tempt them.

  21. dyc4557

    Do you know who wrote that Temple Book regarding the endownment you listed up above and perhaps an email address?

  22. Justin,

    I’m a little late in getting back to the discussion of D&C 20: 18-20, but better late than never, I suppose…

    Anyway, a question that popped into my head concerning that scripture was, “When were these commandments received, before or after the fall of Adam?”

    When I looked over the scriptures, I didn’t notice any such commandments given to Adam and Eve prior to the fall. The only commandments I found were in Moses 3: 17 (15-17) and Moses 4: 9, which was a commandment to not partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and in Moses 4: 18, which was a commandment to Adam that Eve remain with him.

    Adam was placed in the garden “to dress it, and to keep it” but the record doesn’t indicate that this was a direct commandment to Adam to do so, merely that this was God’s purpose in placing him there. As the trees that were planted were all “pleasant to the sight of man” (Moses 3: 9), there may have been no necessity of commanding Adam to dress and keep the garden. He may have been naturally disposed to do so just by being placed there, thus naturally fulfilling the purpose of God.

    Later, God says to Adam that he (and Eve) “mayest freely eat” of every tree of the garden. This, again, doesn’t sound like a commandment, at all. If you invite some guests to a party you have prepared in their honor and tell them they can eat whatever they want, whatever food they find there, this isn’t a direct command to do so. It simply is letting them know of your hospitality.

    So, the only commandment I find is, “Ye shall not eat of [this], neither shall ye touch it.’

    “Don’t touch or eat this” and “make sure Eve remains with you” don’t sound at all, to my ears, like commandments to “love and serve [God], and that he should be the only being whom they should worship.”

    However, after the fall, Adam and Eve were given new instructions that pertained to actual Deity worship, recorded in Moses 5: 4-5 (4-15). Specifically: “And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord.”

    Later, the record states that Adam and Eve “made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.” It was only after they had received this new set of post-fall commandments and had taught them to their children, that “Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.”

    So, to me this seems to indicate that the “man…became fallen man” wording found in D&C 20: 18-20 is a post-Fall of Adam fall and not the same fall as the Fall of Adam.

  23. Justin,

    D&C 29: 39 has come up before on this blog. It was discussed by PallasAthena, Derek P. Moore and myself (here and here). But as yet I have never actually given my understanding of it. Since you are now the fourth person to bring it up, I guess I will finally throw in my two cents concerning this scripture.

    My understanding is that when the Lord stated “it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves,” He was saying that in the courts on high, before any of us came down to earth, we used our agency and we chose to have the devil to be here tempting the children of men. We were “agents unto [our]selves” in the heavens and had voted in that distant past to have the devil here doing this work among us. God has to honor our agency or He ceases to be God, meaning that everything must be done with the consent of the governed, or, in other words, the keys of the heavenly tribe must be honored, so “it must needs be that the devil should tempt” us here, otherwise, our agency choice, chosen in yonder heavens, would have been abridged or nullified. Again, God gave to us our agency and honors it, so if we decide that Satan should be here tempting us, God must permit Satan to be here. This is the meaning of the scripture, as I understand it. It doesn’t mean that God needs Satan here to fulfill His plan of salvation, but that God needs Satan here “that we might be agents unto ourselves,” or in other words, that our agency choice, made in our pre-mortal existence, in which we voted and chose that the devil be here to tempt Adam, Eve and the rest of us, had to be honored.

    Lucifer expressed a desire in the heavens to have the opportunity to destroy agency and God conceded to his desire, but God doesn’t operate without common consent. We had a say in the issue of the devil coming here. It is my belief that it was possibly more us, using our agency, that got Satan to come here instead of him immediately being banished to outer darkness, than it was God making this decision for us. Mortality is, for the most part, a hands-off approach. God treats us in very much the same way that He treated Adam when he brought all the animals to Adam “to see what he would call them.” God puts us in a learning environment (mortality) and then sees what we do with it. Earth-life is patterned after the heavens so there is every reason to believe that our childhood in the heavens operated much the same way. It may be that Lucifer presented a case for coming to earth and becoming the destroyer (of agency) and he was persuasive enough that we voted to have him come here. The kingdom is set up where sometimes the Lord appoints and then the people ratify, but other times the people appoint and the Lord ratifies. The Lord has stated that it is not meet that He command in all things, so the issue of whether Lucifer would come to earth and tempt us may have been a people decision, ratified by the Lord. This was to be our probationary and preparatory state, so we had a vested interest in whether Satan was here or not. In other words, his presence here would very directly impact our future earth lives.

    God always prepares for every contingency, so even with Satan here, voted in by us, He had means to save us from Satan’s power, should we choose to be liberated by the prepared Savior. The principle is this: all things are done according to the desires of the children of men, regardless of what they desire. Or, in the words of Alma, God “granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.” Regardless of what men choose with their agency, the plan of salvation that God has prepared cannot be frustrated, even with a devil among us.

    So, D&C 29: 39 strikes me as a “God granting unto man according to their desires” principle, so that their agency, which was used in the heavens concerning Satan’s place among us here, was not abridged. Even the phrase at the end of the verse, “for if they never should have the bitter they could not know the sweet,” strikes me as a quotation of something stated in the heavens during the discussions that ensued over the issue of whether the devil and his angels should be immediately cast into outer darkness or placed on earth to tempt us. To me it feels like a clouded memory, something perhaps stated by Lucifer in his defense of the power position he sought to obtain, even that of destroyer of agency. At any rate, whenever I read this verse my mind immediately puts the whole thing as referring to an event that occurred in the pre-mortal existence. In fact, verses 36-38 are talking about the agency of the “hosts of heaven,” so it naturally (in my mind) follows that verse 39 is still talking of the pre-mortal agency of the hosts of heaven and not specifically of them as agents during mortality.

  24. LDSA:

    God gave to us our agency and honors it, so if we decide that Satan should be here tempting us, God must permit Satan to be here. This is the meaning of the scripture, as I understand it. It doesn’t mean that God needs Satan here to fulfill His plan of salvation, but that God needs Satan here “that we might be agents unto ourselves,” or in other words, that our agency choice, made in our pre-mortal existence, in which we voted and chose that the devil be here to tempt Adam, Eve and the rest of us, had to be honored.

    I agree with your exposition.

    Just for further discussion:

    Do you believe that the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was forbidden only during the duration of time that God left Adam and Eve unto themselves to be tempted of the devil…
    …or that the fruit was in some sense intrinsically forbidden?

    Do you believe that it would have been possible for Adam and Eve to have partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge [after God returned and it was no longer a “forbidden fruit”] and initiated the process of reproduction and death — all while remaining in a transfigured/Millennial state, making it as though there was no devil…
    …or would that have nullified the vote of others to have a devil tempting them?

  25. ELOHIM: What hast thou been doing here?

    LUCIFER: I have been doing that which has been done on other worlds.

    ELOHIM: What is that?

    LUCIFER: I have been giving some of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil to them.

    ELOHIM: Lucifer, because thou hast done this, thou shalt be cursed above all the beasts of the field. Upon thy belly thou shalt go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.

    LUCIFER: If thou cursest me for doing the same thing which has been done on other worlds, I will take the spirits that follow me, and they shall possess the bodies thou createst for Adam and Eve!

    There is nothing intrisically wrong with partaking of the fruit, just as there is nothing intrinsically wrong with sex. The wrongness comes when you do these things outside of the parameters set by God, according to His eternal purposes.

    The devil’s supposed justification doesn’t hold up because his intent was to create a perversion, or to use the instrument outside of the proper bounds.

    Had Adam and Eve not heeded to the devil’s temptation, God would have returned and given them the further instructions (“We shall go away, but we shall visit you again and give you further instructions. “) necessary to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil without the earth falling from its paradisiacal state. It was always necessary that they partake of the fruit, for “the forbidden fruit [was] in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter,” according to Lehi, and “if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet,” but there was a specific time and manner that God had ordained to partake of this fruit, or bounds and limits set to it, outside of which cursings would come, instead of blessings.

    To take this even further, let’s suppose for a moment that the forbidden fruit had nothing magical to it, no miraculous properties to it whatsoever. Let’s suppose that all it was was a bitter fruit, like the Morinda Citrifolia fruit, or Noni fruit, which tastes horrible. And let’s suppose that everything in the garden was sweet and pleasant to the sight, etc., so that there was no contrast whatsoever. Everything was perfectly pleasant, but they couldn’t know it because they had nothing to contrast it with. So, they were clueless of the beauty of the garden and sweetness of the fruit they were eating.

    Now, once they partook of the bitter fruit, awareness of opposition was suddenly thrust upon them. But in the instant they became aware of the existence of bitter, their minds also became aware that they had broken a commandment. Now a new feeling came upon them: guilt. And it is this guilt which caused their fall. We are all aware (or should be) that guilt is a very powerful emotion and can cause a person to get sick and even die. Guilt alone could have caused the change on both their bodies and the rest of creation may have followed suit, for they had been given dominion. All of this being triggered by the mere bitterness of the fruit.

    But the bitterness of the fruit is not sufficient to cause a fall to occur to all creation. It is the guilt of transgressing a commandment that caused the fall. So, partaking of the forbidden fruit under commandment of God would open their eyes just as it did when they partook of it when they broke the commandment, but without the associated feelings of guilt.

    So, there may have been absolutely nothing magical, whatsoever, about that particular fruit. It may have just been a bitter fruit, creating the contrast needed to cause their brains to replicate the opposition pattern to all things, thereby gaining a knowledge of good and evil. Just as you took the male-female/split brain model and used your imagination to apply it to all things, in the same manner all that is needed is awareness of a contrast (bitter/sweet) and Adam and Eve were able to use their imagination to see the universal contrast in all things.

  26. A couple more things. I made the forbidden fruit be the bitter fruit, but the endowment text has the forbidden fruit be the sweet fruit. Satan says it is delicious to the taste and so does Eve, when tempting Adam. It may be that both were lying so as to get the other person to partake of it, or it may be that they weren’t lying and that the forbidden fruit was, indeed, the sweet fruit, while the fruits of the other trees of the garden were the bitter fruits. Who knows? The important thing is that one was sweet and the other bitter, creating a contrast.

    Also, it seems to me that God left Adam and Eve alone so that Satan would have a chance to tempt them. There is no need to leave them alone and then come back to give them further instructions. He could have just given them the further instructions right then and there. So, I think it was necessary to allow Satan a chance to tempt them (which kept our agency intact), but not necessary that they heed to that temptation.

  27. What do we make of Lehi’s and Nephi’s testimony that the fruit of the tree of life was sweet?

  28. Steve:

    I would make of it that Satan and Eve were lying. “Misery loves company” and all that.

  29. I think a great scripture to support the idea of the strength of influence the skies have over us, is in 3 Nephi 1:22.
    “And it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might no believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen; but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings, the more part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord.”
    Unfortunately, in the next few years they forgot the signs and wonders and blinded their eyes to believe the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing.

  30. Believeallthings that is a good point. That sign in heaven did convert a=everyone for awhile.

    Regarding Eve lying here is a little different slant on it. It is the problem of perspective or available contrast. All of the fruits previously available to Adam and Eve were of the same character, good. There were no shades of bitter or possibly sour or bland.
    Satan had her deceived, which was also a first for her, She had never been lied to before. She was told it was sweet before she partook. She did accept at some point that what she was being told was the truth. So when she experiences the actual taste of the fruit which she believed was by definition “sweet and desirable” she can hardly be said to be lying when she is passing on what she believes to be true. not having had a sweet / bitter distinction previously we can not reasonably assume that Adam and Eve had gone around saying, “Oh, wow this fruit is sweet, oh this one is sweet also!” They were all sweet there was no sour so how could they even have used such comparative terms?
    This is an extremely common event in all our lives even now.
    How many of us say, “My wife is the best wife…blah blah”
    How many other wives have you had? Well none. Then you really don’t have much to compare this to do you?
    My parents were so loving and such good parents. How many other parents have you been raised by? Well none of course.

    Without a contrasting experience we have no idea whether what we are experiencing is a good thing or a bad thing. And if we are told from birth that such and such is sweet then by definition it is sweet.
    I know I know we can observe other spouses and see to a degree how they compare to ours. But that only covers so far. And with our parents the comparison is even more limited.
    Eve was passing on a lie I believe. But I don’t know if she knew it was a lie.
    The objective truth is not available to the average person.

  31. dyc4557, that is an excellent observation.

  32. The Book of Mormon doesn’t specify which fruit was bitter and which was sweet:

    2 Ne 2:15 And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.

    Genesis 3 says only that “the tree was good for food,” pleasant to the eyes,” and “a tree to be desired to make one wise.” Moses 4 says the same thing. The temple version may or may not be correct. I think its main purpose is to teach by imagery and allegory, not to be a correct history in every particular.

    I think idolatry is very much alive. I know of a person who admitted to praying to Warren Jeffs. People may not bow down before the general authorities, but far too many worship every word that comes out of their mouths. When Pres. Hinckley died, we were invited to a memorial in his honor. There were many of these going on. None of these people knew him personally, so there was no real need for a special meeting to honor his memory. Photos of the current president, whoever he was at the time, has graced the walls of many an LDS home for many years.

    Have you experienced the hostility that comes when you or someone else dares to insinuate that these men aren’t perfect or, perhaps, some policy or word didn’t come directly from God in a revelation?

    Perhaps we aren’t making little statues of them and bowing down in front of them, but I do believe that we do have the idols (photos, statuettes, television/computers are also idols that are cherished by the way).

    God is sending messengers to us, to warn us to repent. There is one on the internet who is opening the scriptures to us, showing us that the Book of Mormon is prophesying that the gentiles will reject the gospel and that we are in jeopardy, that we will be destroyed if we don’t repent.

    http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/06/and-why-stand-we-in-jeopardy-every-hour.html

  33. Of course, in @ Ne 2:15, “forbidden” is listed first and “tree of life” last – and “sweet” is listed first and “tree of life” listed last. One could assume a logical connection.

  34. Okay, not sure why the numeral two turned into a @ in the post above.

  35. I read these scriptures today and they made me think of this post:

    and he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of jared | that whoso should possess this land of promise | from that time | henceforth and forever | should serve him | the true and only god | or they should be swept off | when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them |

    and now | we can behold the decrees of god | concerning this land | that it is a land of promise | and whatsoever nation shall possess it | shall serve god | or they shall be swept off | when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them and the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them | when they are ripened in iniquity |

    for behold | this is a land | which is choice | above all other lands | wherefore | he | that doth possess it | shall serve god | or shall be swept off | for it is the everlasting decree of god | and it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land | that they are swept off |

    and this cometh unto you | o ye gentiles | that ye may know the decrees of god | that ye may repent | and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come | that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of god upon you | as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done | (Ether 2:8-11)

  36. There ate some who do literally bore before idols such as Bohemian grove. There ate some who literally pray to idols, little figures of saints. These things ate not yet widespread among the children if the land, but they do exist among us

  37. lot of typos there. meant are not ate, and bow not bore. my bad


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