A profound and oft-quoted dialogue occurred between the Master of Life and the Roman governor of Judaea as follows, “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?” (John 18:37-38). Jesus’ critically important statement was that, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” And this brings us to the heart of the matter regarding the Word of God. A choice is placed before each of us every hour of every day whether we will believe the truth of God’s voice found in the scriptures, or whether we will believe men and their philosophies— Most of us reading this blog have at one time or another carried the scriptures in one hand and the theories of men in the other hand while trying to blend them together. The writer of Psalms tells us, “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psm 12:6). The philosophies of men are constantly changing as men dream up ever more complicated theories to explain away God, yet The Word is purified seven times and we find that many prophets and apostles testify to these purified truths in the holy scriptures. The truth in scripture NEVER changes unlike the empty and vain pronouncements of men!
Again Jesus states, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” Only in the Word of God are we assured that pure truth has been tried by each prophetic writer. Each writer in turn had their own visionary journey with God to learn these eternal truths for themselves. This is a crucially important KEY to remember… Anyone claiming to be a prophet who writes for doctrine, teachings that are unsubstantiated by other prophets in the scriptures, can be discounted and dismissed! If truth therefore is found in the holy scriptures, which has been tried and purified seven times, shouldn’t we sweep our desks clean of the things of lesser importance and search the Word of God diligently until we can comprehend The Word as a single unified message from God? Wouldn’t it be worth everything in our lives to attain to the truth Jesus spoke of saying, “… for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” When one experiences tasting the pure truth of God, it changes you forever! Your whole being changes because you experience pure truth that God reveals directly to you. If the KEYS to life are encoded in The Word of life, wouldn’t we spend our whole lives in search of precious gems to carry us across the gulf of misery? Wouldn’t we want to know the truth by which we should live our lives? Shouldn’t the “Iron Rod” become as dear to us as it clearly was to Nephi and the other prophets who wrote of it? And finally wouldn’t we want the KEYS to overcome the darkness which surrounds us in this world if we could find truth found in the Word of God?
As time passed on our individual journeys and the urgency of finding answers for the questions above loomed ever larger, our focus centered on the Word of God and the theories of men were set aside in the search for ultimate truth. The scriptures themselves unveiled layer upon layer of complexity as vast and as intriguing as one could ever hope for— they were a wilderness awaiting exploration with nuance and spectacular vistas around every corner. After leaving the trailhead behind so to speak, the tracks of other courageous explorers soon faded away, and we found an empty uncharted country without any footprints of modern man. The majority of the mysteries were unexplored and unexplained and to our utmost surprise, the signposts of discovery were clearly marked in the writings of the holy prophets and apostles and we simply followed the trail of their footsteps where it led us. The map was comprised of trail markers of simple faith and belief in the Word of God exactly as it was prophetically written. The path had to be swept clean of the stumbling blocks of the precepts and traditions of men who claim to believe and teach from the scriptures whether as Mormons or Christians— But taking this path proved we had not believed the scriptures at all. We had fallen into the trap of trusting in the arm of flesh and we only dared to believe what we were told, regardless of what the prophetic text of scripture actually said. This was no minor undertaking as a lifetime of indoctrination had to be overcome step by step.
Returning to the KEYS mentioned above, it was emancipating to recognize that every pure truth was spoken of multiple times by the true prophets. These KEYS helped to expose Joseph Smith’s sermons and his Doctrine and Covenants as impure and polluted doctrine because Smith was the only one to state those contaminated and unholy things! Again and again we ran headlong into barriers that we couldn’t cross because of precepts we were trained to believe. Those precepts obscured our vision and closed our ears to the Word of God. If you’re new to the blog and haven’t made that journey yet, we promise you’ll have steep mountains to climb on your journey to learn to read and believe the scriptures for what Jesus and the prophets and apostles have declared. It’s nothing you’ve been taught before in your religious traditions. Is it any wonder the writers of scripture have stressed over and over the need to awaken from our awful condition? We each must take this same journey and learn to shake off the chains with which we are bound and hear with our ears and see with our eyes the wondrous things God has given us in the Holy Scriptures. They are beyond compare and of inestimable worth!
Organized religion gives us old sour milk as a poor substitute; whereas the scriptures are a sumptuous banquet with every good thing our hearts could desire! Our intent from the outset of this blog has been to share with you the banquet we’ve enjoyed from the first day we determined to follow God at all cost and believe everything He caused to be written in The Word. With that determination, followed by diligent study to search the scriptures, we have seen the vistas painted magnificently as the strokes of Prophets’ pens have portrayed God’s merciful plan for this world. It is as plain as word can be. We invite you to walk this path as every stone and every tree branch is examined.
During the years of relentless study, our world view has evolved. It’s no longer a rocky outcrop of humanity whirling through space, rather it’s a very intimate stage on which we participate in a drama that has been carefully choreographed by God. The prophetic screen writers of this drama have given every conceivable detail that God has allowed us to have within the pages of the holy script. It describes exactly where we are and how the stage was organized and lit. It carefully explains each mystery of the drama and foretells with exactness the outcome of the drama in which we find ourselves. If your personal journey has not already unveiled the grandeur and majesty of God’s work on this stage, then we submit for your consideration the Word of God as the one and only place where you will find the handwriting of the Playwright and Director of life.
Here in part 2 of our post on The Word of God, we examine five more areas of emphasis which make The Word of God central to a seeker of light. These five areas are touchstones by which we measure our lives and walk with God. This collection is far from comprehensive. It’s simply a beginning for one’s journey!
The Word of the Lord is Truth
6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psm 12)
30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. (Psm 18)
The Word of God Will Carry You Across the Gulf of Misery
27 Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name. 28 Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. 29 Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked— 30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out. (Hel 3:27-30. cf. Hel 5:12; Alma 26:20; 1Nep 12:18; 2Nep 1:13.)
Live by The Word of God
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: 5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deut 6)
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (Josh 1)
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matt 4)
1 Now after Alma had spoken these words, they sent forth unto him desiring to know whether they should believe in one God, that they might obtain this fruit of which he had spoken, or how they should plant the seed, or the word of which he had spoken, which he said must be planted in their hearts; or in what manner they should begin to exercise their faith. 19 Behold, he was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live. 20 But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them. 21 O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish? 22 If so, wo shall come upon you; but if not so, then cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works. 23 And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen. (Alma 33)
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8)
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1 Peter 1)
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. (Romans 10)
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. 20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. (2 Ne 31)
3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. (2 Ne 32)
44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land. 45 And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise. 46 O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever. 47 And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell. (Alma 37)
103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. 105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Ps 119)
16 And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming— 17 That they might not be hardened against the word, that they might not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God. (Alma 16)
4 And how merciful is our God unto us, for he remembereth the house of Israel, both roots and branches; and he stretches forth his hands unto them all the day long; and they are a stiffnecked and a gainsaying people; but as many as will not harden their hearts shall be saved in the kingdom of God. 5 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts. 6 Yea, today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts; for why will ye die? 7 For behold, after ye have been nourished by the good word of God all the day long, will ye bring forth evil fruit, that ye must be hewn down and cast into the fire? 8 Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye reject all the words which have been spoken concerning Christ, after so many have spoken concerning him; and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you? 9 Know ye not that if ye will do these things, that the power of the redemption and the resurrection, which is in Christ, will bring you to stand with shame and awful guilt before the bar of God? 10 And according to the power of justice, for justice cannot be denied, ye must go away into that lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever, which lake of fire and brimstone is endless torment. 11 O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life. 12 O be wise; what can I say more? 13 Finally, I bid you farewell, until I shall meet you before the pleasing bar of God, which bar striketh the wicked with awful dread and fear. Amen. (Jacob 6)
The Iron Rod is The Word
25 And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God. (1 Ne 11)
23 And they said unto me: What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree? 24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction. 25 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things. 26 And they said unto me: What meaneth the river of water which our father saw? 27 And I said unto them that the water which my father saw was filthiness; and so much was his mind swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water. 28 And I said unto them that it was an awful gulf, which separated the wicked from the tree of life, and also from the saints of God. 29 And I said unto them that it was a representation of that awful hell, which the angel said unto me was prepared for the wicked. 30 And I said unto them that our father also saw that the justice of God did also divide the wicked from the righteous; and the brightness thereof was like unto the brightness of a flaming fire, which ascendeth up unto God forever and ever, and hath no end. 31 And they said unto me: Doth this thing mean the torment of the body in the days of probation, or doth it mean the final state of the soul after the death of the temporal body, or doth it speak of the things which are temporal? 32 And it came to pass that I said unto them that it was a representation of things both temporal and spiritual; for the day should come that they must be judged of their works, yea, even the works which were done by the temporal body in their days of probation. 33 Wherefore, if they should die in their wickedness they must be cast off also, as to the things which are spiritual, which are pertaining to righteousness; wherefore, they must be brought to stand before God, to be judged of their works; and if their works have been filthiness they must needs be filthy; and if they be filthy it must needs be that they cannot dwell in the kingdom of God; if so, the kingdom of God must be filthy also. 34 But behold, I say unto you, the kingdom of God is not filthy, and there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God; wherefore there must needs be a place of filthiness prepared for that which is filthy. 35 And there is a place prepared, yea, even that awful hell of which I have spoken, and the devil is the preparator of it; wherefore the final state of the souls of men is to dwell in the kingdom of God, or to be cast out because of that justice of which I have spoken. 36 Wherefore, the wicked are rejected from the righteous, and also from that tree of life, whose fruit is most precious and most desirable above all other fruits; yea, and it is the greatest of all the gifts of God. And thus I spake unto my brethren. Amen. (1 Nep 15)
The Word Overcomes Darkness
17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. 18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. 19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. 20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! 21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy. 22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there. 23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God. 24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors; 26 For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God. (Alma 36)
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Rev 12)