In our last lesson we discussed the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to his temple in the America's and the message that he gave to them. The very first thing that he did is organize his church among them - calling 12 disciples and giving them authority to teach/Baptiste the people.
What is the importance of an organized religion?
Why is being a member of the church so important that we even confirm the dead?
What does it mean to be Confirmed a member of the church?
Bible Dictionary - Confirmation
make more sure.” The ordinance of confirmation completes the ceremonial process of becoming a member of the Church, and as such, it is complementary to water baptism.
Is confirmation a saving ordinance then...? Yes! everyone must become a member of his church...
Ensign July 2012 Understanding our covenants
What is the trend in society concening organized religion and religious beliefs in general?
The Christian share of the U.S.. population is declining, while the number of U.S.. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing
America's Changing Landscape - PewForum May 12, 2015
A seismic shift is under way. The fastest-growing religious affiliation in the country is now…no affiliation at all. Many adults are simply leaving religion behind. But as they become parents they’re confronting an uneasy question: What about the kids?
Losing Our Religion - Boston Magazine Jan 2013
The World's Newest Major Religion: No Religion...
You don’t usually think of churches as going out of business, but it happens. In March, driven by parishioner deaths and lack of interest, the U.K.. Mennonites held their last collective service.
National Geographic News - April 2016
Twenty-three percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation. What do they believe? And what does it mean for the country? When opinion researchers ask about religious affiliation, they lay out the obvious choices — Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu. If you check “No Affiliation,” or “None,” what do we call you? The n-o-n-e, or “Nones,” are the fastest-growing faith group in the country, and a major Democratic Party constituency. After decades of religiously flavored politics, and culture, how will America change?
March 2016 - WBUR - Boston NPR News
Why does the devil lead people away from Organized religion?
How can we combat this?
Other Sheep I have that are not of this fold they also I must bring!
The Lord's fold is his church he is speaking of a new church in America differentiated from the church in the Old World.
3 Nephi 15:12-18
15 I never told them concening the other tribes of the House of Israel
17 Other sheep I have not of this fold (church)
18 because of stifneckedness they understood not my words
22 They thought it was the Gentiles
23 Gentiles shall not at any time hear my voice - save through the Holy Ghost
Who are these other sheep? (they aren't the Gentiles (see vs 23 above)
Another fold would be another group of individuals - another church that we don't know of.
This will be revealed during the Millennium when the people of the northland retun... whoever they are.
(See Signs of the Times Retun of the people from the Northlands)
Retun of people from Northlands
D&C 133:26 Then those in north countries shall come – smite rocks, ice shall flow down
Jer. 23:7-8 People will be amazed by the retun from the north
D&C 133:25 highway cast up in midst of the deep
D&C 133:26 enemies become prey unto them
D&C 133:27 barren deserts shall have water
D&C 133:30-34 They shall bring their treasures, and shall be crowned with glory by my servants
D&C 133:36 So that this can be known – I have sent my angel
Prophecy of the Gentiles - WHEN the gentiles sin against the Gospel - Curse pronounced upon them.
3 Nephi 16:4 Jesus was commanded to have the Nephites write these things - that they shall be manifest to the Gentiles!
3 Nephi 16:6-7
7 because of their belief - truth shall come to them
9 After they have scattered my people and mad them a hiss and a byword among them
10 at that day
WHENthe Gentiles shall sin against my Gospel and be lifted up in pride... etc.
10 I will bring the fullness of my gospel from among them!
11 I will remember my covenant with the house of Israel - and bring my gospel unto them
12-14 Gentiles will have no power over you - If Gentiles don't repent - you shall go through them and tread them down!
15 They shall be as salt that hath lost its savor - and is good for nothing but to be treaded down!
Has this prophecy been fulfilled? (Is it being fulfilled now...?)
Have the gentiles who have scattered his people in this land tuned away from God and sinned against his Gospel? (This is us you know Americans, Europe, Gentiles...)
What can we expect to happen next - if the Gentiles (Americans, Europeans, etc.) don't repent?
This is describing an event known as the the Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled: (See Signs of the Times)
When the times of the Gentiles is fulfilled the gospel will be taken from them and sent back to the House of Israel.
Who is the House of Israel today - Jews, Arabs, etc.
Jesus's time is at hand and he has to leave them.
3 Nephi 17:1-4
2 Ye are weak and don't understand all my words
3 Go unto your homes - and ponder upon what he has said - and pray that you may understand - I come again tomorrow
4 But, now I go unto the lost tribes of Israel - they are not lost unto the Father!
Why does he say they are "weak"?
Do we ponder upon the things of God that we find difficult to understand?
Do we pray for answers to what we don't understand?
Do we rely upon our own understanding - claiming we have enough - or that we understand already without considering there may be more?
Do we wait for his coming with excitement or dread?
The Nephites desire him to stay!
3 Nephi 17:5-11
6-9 he has compassion on them and calls the sick afflicted to come and be healed
10 They were all healed and bathed his feet with their tears
What was the response of the people to his compassion?
What do you think it means "your faith is sufficient that I should heal you"?
Hadn't they just seen him... isn't being an eye-witness enough? Why is it more than that?
Why would their faith not have been sufficient - is ours insufficient? Why?
Jesus Blesses the little children! The most impressive and intensely spiritual experience of the day!
3 Nephi 17:11-25
13-15 everyone kneels Jesus prays - with words that can't be written
16-17 so great and marvelous were his words they couldn't be written or even spoken again
18-19 The people are overcome with joy
20-21 Jesus's Joy is full and he weeps - took each child and blessed them
22 Jesus weeps again
23-25 Angels come down and minister unto the little ones - 2,500 people witnessed this!
Why were the little children the ones to experience this... and not the whole multitude?
What is the difference between the faith of an Adult, and a child? Is this bad?
Why did Jesus Weep - when he said his joy was full?
Have you ever been "Overcome" as these people were?
What do you think that means...
Jesus Institutes the Sacrament:
3 Nephi 18;1-11
2 While they went to fetch it tells everyone to sit down
3 When they came he broke and blessed it gave to disciples
4 when they had eaten and were filled they gave to multitude
5 when multitude had eaten and were filled - taught of authority
6 they shall always observe to do this
7 in remembrance of his body if always remember - spirit to be with them
8 commanded disciples to take of wine and drink - and give to multitude
9 they did drink and were filled
10 This is a witness that you are willing to do what I have commanded you
11 this ye shall always do to those who repent and are baptized - have spirit to be with them
Baptism is a Covenant between God and Man - so is the taking of the Sacrament! (See Covenants)
What do you think it meant that they were filled?
“The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is a covenant between God and his people. … When baptized by an authorized servant of God, we covenant to do God’s will and to obey his commandments. … By partaking of the Sacrament we renew all covenants entered into with the Lord and pledge ourselves to take upon us the name of his Son, to always remember him and keep his commandments” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1965, 14).
When we partake of the sacrament worthily, we remember the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, that He gave up His life and took upon Himself the sins of the world that we may have the blessing of immortality. We take upon ourselves the name of our Savior and promise to always remember Him and to keep His commandments—that is, to “live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God” (D&C 84:44).
Parents, you have the responsibility of teaching your families the importance of attending sacrament meeting weekly. It should be a regular family practice. Every family needs that time of renewing and committing to live the gospel in accordance with the teachings of the Savior. Families, properly prepared, will attend sacrament meeting with a spirit of reverence and with gratitude for the opportunity of partaking of the sacred emblems.
Ensign April 2006 - L. Tom Perry - As now we take the sacrament
Why do you think individuals feel renewed when taking the sacrament?
Have you ever gone a long time without taking it... how did you feel?
3 Nephi 18:28-30
28 Do not suffer anyone to eat unworthily
29 Whoso does so - drinks damnation to his soul - forbid him
30 Don't cast him out - but pray for him so he repents and is baptized
31 if he repents not - he will not be numbered with my people
What makes a person unworthy of taking the sacrament?
Who decides if you should/should not take the sacrament?
From what the Savior told the Nephites, we understand that those who administer the sacrament have a responsibility not to allow those who are unworthy to partake of the sacrament. As the presiding authority over the ward, this responsibility falls on the bishop. A person who comes to his bishop to confess a sin may be counseled by the bishop not to partake of the sacrament for a certain period of time—depending on the seriousness of the sin, the degree of repentance, and other factors that only the bishop can decide based on each individual case. Those who are disfellowshipped or excommunicated by a Church court are automatically disqualified from taking the sacrament until they are reinstated or rebaptized.
Also, from what Paul tells us, we have a major responsibility to examine our own worthiness to take the sacrament. Obviously, if we are guilty of a sin that is serious enough to require confession to the bishop, then we should not partake until we have properly cleared up the matter. “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43). If upon self-examination you have doubts about whether or not something needs to be confessed, I would urge you to discuss the matter with your bishop. He cares; he keeps confidences. He can help you put the matter into perspective and can help you know what you must do to obtain forgiveness and feel good about yourself once more.
Ensign 1981 - Questions/Answers When should I not take the sacrament
Jesus gives his disciples authority to give the Holy Ghost
3 Nephi 18:36-37
36 Jesus touches them and speaks to them - giving them authority
37 Multitude heard not his words - disciples tell them he gave the power to give the holy ghost