Deny Not the Gifts of God

Moroni testifies of the gifts of the Spirit and declares that they are always active among men and women as long as there is faith in Christ and an acceptance of the Holy Spirit.

“…I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them. For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; and to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; and to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; and again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles; and again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things; and again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits; and again, to another, all kinds of tongues; and again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues. And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will. And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ. And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men.” (Moroni 10:8-19)

Questions:

-Are these gifts only active in the true Church of Jesus Christ? Or, are they available to anyone who has faith in Christ?

If These Things Have Ceased: Wo Be unto the Children of Men

Moroni teaches that true faith in Christ is always accompanied by miracles of all kinds. A people who do not believe in miracles do not have true faith in Christ.

“…Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved. And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased? Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.” (Moroni 7:33-38)

Questions:

-Why does Moroni put such a strong emphasis on the importance of miracles in his writings?

-Are the prevailing philosophies and worldviews of our highly-educated and wealthy classes (who control media) friendly to the idea of a God who intervenes in the affairs of mankind through miracles?  

Angels Minister unto the Chosen Vessels of the Lord

Moroni testifies that the ministry of angels is in an ongoing part of God’s work to call all to repentance and gather Israel (i.e. gather those who will repent and covenant anew to serve God).

“…[Christ] hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens. And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.” (Moroni 7:28-32)

Questions:

-What type of person does the Lord send his heavenly angels to?

-Are they likely to be sent to a person who is not deeply engaged in His latter-day work of gathering Israel in line with the covenants He has made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

Ye Receive No Witness Until after the Trial of Your Faith

God expects his children to seek after Him in faith during this mortal life. One comes to know God through the concerted exercise of faith and not by waiting for God to reveal himself separate from this faith in action.

“…Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith…For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them…And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.” (Ether 11:6,12,18)

Questions:

-Will those who learn to earnestly seek God’s influence in this life, through faith, be in a natural position in the eternities to continue to learn from God?

The Reason Why God Ceaseth to Do Miracles among the Children of Men is Because They Dwindle in Unbelief

The prophet Moroni describes the only circumstance under which God ceases to do miracles among the people of the Earth.

“…Who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? …And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles. And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust. Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.” (Mormon 9:18-21)

Questions:

-Do some believe in God but misunderstand who He is (in that they do not trust that He works miracles in our time)?

God Has Not Ceased to Be a God of Miracles

The prophet Moroni continues to speak to those who do not believe God continues to perform miracles among the inhabitants of the Earth.

“Behold, [God] created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man. And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death.” (Mormon 9:12-13)

“And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still. And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a God who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.” (Mormon 9:14-15)

Questions:

-Is there a greater miracle than the Resurrection?

-Does the theological stance that God has ceased to do miracles make sense when the resurrection of most of the world’s population is still to occur?

Out of the Earth Shall They Come, by the Hand of the Lord, and None Can Stay It

The Nephite prophet who buried the Gold Plates (knowing that a portion would be translated by the power of God at a later date as the Book of Mormon) offers a warning to those who are tempted to set themselves against God’s work and His word.

“…I am the same who hideth up this record unto the Lord [and] the record…is of great worth; and whoso shall bring it to light, him will the Lord bless. For none can have power to bring it to light save it be given him of God; for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord. And blessed be he that shall bring this thing to light; for it shall be brought out of darkness unto light, according to the word of God; yea, it shall be brought out of the earth, and it shall shine forth out of darkness, and come unto the knowledge of the people; and it shall be done by the power of God. And if there be faults they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire. And he that saith: Show unto me, or ye shall be smitten—let him beware lest he commandeth that which is forbidden of the Lord. For behold, the same that judgeth rashly shall be judged rashly again; for according to his works shall his wages be; therefore, he that smiteth shall be smitten again, of the Lord. Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.” (Mormon 8:14-20)

“And he that shall breathe out wrath and strifes against the work of the Lord, and against the covenant people of the Lord who are the house of Israel, and shall say: We will destroy the work of the Lord, and the Lord will not remember his covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel—the same is in danger to be hewn down and cast into the fire. For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled. Search the prophecies of Isaiah. Behold, I cannot write them. Yea, behold I say unto you, that those saints who have gone before me, who have possessed this land, shall cry, yea, even from the dust will they cry unto the Lord; and as the Lord liveth he will remember the covenant which he hath made with them…And no one need say that these things shall not come, for they surely shall, for the Lord hath spoken it; for out of the earth shall they come, by the hand of the Lord, and none can stay it; and it shall come in a day when it shall be said that miracles are done away; and it shall come even as if one should speak from the dead.” (Mormon 8:21-23; 26)

Questions:

-Do you believe that giving God glory is always tied (to one degree or another) to pursuing the welfare of His ancient covenant people and their descendants (physical and spiritual)?

Wo unto Him That Spurneth at the Doings of the Lord

Leading up to Christ’s Second Coming, those who reject Christ’s work of gathering Israel — which will be accomplished to a large degree through miraculous revelation, prophecy, gifts of the Spirit, tongues, healing, and the power of the Holy Ghost — will be overtaken by the momentum of a devilish culture that mocks the idea of God’s power and, through social reinforcement, perpetuates the condemnation of those in its clutches.

“And now I say unto you that when the Lord shall see fit, in his wisdom, that these sayings [from the Book of Mormon] shall come unto the Gentiles according to his word, then ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of Israel, concerning their restoration to the lands of their inheritance, is already beginning to be fulfilled. And ye may know that the words of the Lord, which have been spoken by the holy prophets, shall all be fulfilled; and ye need not say that the Lord delays his coming unto the children of Israel. And when ye shall see these sayings coming forth among you, then ye need not any longer spurn at the doings of the Lord, for the sword of his justice is in his right hand; and behold, at that day, if ye shall spurn at his doings he will cause that it shall soon overtake you. Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord; yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works! Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost! Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!” (3 Nephi 29:1-7)

Questions:

-Are there some who profess to believe in God but also proclaim that He is no longer working with mankind as a God of miracles?

-Will those who do not seek revelation, prophecy, the gifts of the Spirit, and the power of the Holy Ghost be able to avoid succumbing to the anti-Christ culture that is building up prior to the Savior’s return?

-How many are working with a theological understanding that the events leading up to the Second Coming of Christ will be closely tied to the physical and spiritual gathering of the house of Israel according to the ancient covenants God has made?

If the Church Is Built upon My Gospel Then Will the Father Show Forth His Own Works in It

God’s power is the only non-entropic force in the universe. Every organization that does not keep His authority and His gospel tightly at its center will come to naught in the end. In the verses below, Jesus teaches this principle (in the context of church organization) to His disciples in the Americas:  

“…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 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 shall 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. For their works do follow them, for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.” (3 Nephi 27:10-12)

Questions:

-Is the search for God the search for things that last forever?

-Does it make sense to stop that search at any point and resign oneself to the temporal and fleeting?

-Is there a church on the Earth that has the authority from God to seal loving and committed family relationships as eternal relationships?

The Spirit of the Lord Doth not Dwell in Unholy Temples

Wickedness and weakness are closely tied together. The Nephites became weak when they committed sin and no longer sought a connection (through revelation and prophecy) with God.

“Because of their iniquity the church had begun to dwindle and they began to disbelieve in the spirit of prophecy and in the spirit of revelation; and the judgments of God did stare them in the face. And they saw that they had become weak…and that the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them because the Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples…” (Helaman 4:23-24)

Questions:

-Are there some who believe God is still a God of miracles and, therefore, seek the spirit of revelation and prophecy in our times?

-Is seeking revelation and prophetic insight even a consideration for most?

-Without revelation and prophetic insight, is it possible to truly be in line with God’s will?