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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Scripture for Sunday

Recently I was reading in the New Testament Paul's 2nd epistle to Timothy, a fellow missionary. In 2nd Timothy Chapter 3, verses 1-7, Paul prophesies about the last days. (I take verses here from the King James Version of the Bible, using online scriptures available through lds.org from 2 Tim 3)

1 This know also, that in the alast days perilous btimes shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, acovetous, boasters, bproud, blasphemers, cdisobedient to parents, dunthankful, unholy,
3 Without anatural baffection, ctrucebreakers, dfalse accusers, eincontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 aTraitors, bheady, chighminded, lovers of dpleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a aform of godliness, but bdenying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly awomen laden with sins, led away with divers blusts,
7 Ever alearning, and never able to come to the bknowledge of the ctruth.

Sound familiar? There is evidence of this all over the news, in the way people treat each other and in the very way the media portrays the news (as in, they're anti-religious). People are growing more selfish, less religious, less trustworthy, more materialistic, and more proud. The days when parents could trust their children to be safe in their neighborhoods are behind us. The days when people left their doors unlocked are behind us. The days when people are actively taught morals are waning also.

Verse 7 talks about continual learning but not knowing truth. What I believe that scripture refers to is that truth comes from God alone, and that one can obtain a testimony of truth through the influence of the Holy Ghost. Without seeking truth from God, we are seeking it where it is not available, and are likely to be misled. Christians believe that one can believe and come to a knowledge of spiritual thing by following spiritual laws, just as one can believe and come to a knowledge of things in the natural world by following natural laws. Said another way, one can't apply the scientific method to establish things of the spirit, but only temporal or material or natural things. If one is not willing to accept the possibility of a spiritual world, one will be like a boat driven by the wind and waves without steering.
What are the spiritual ways one must follow to gain spiritual knowledge? The answers are in the scriptures many times over (Old Testament, New Testament, and the Book of Mormon). Desire to believe, act as if one did believe by obeying the commandments of God, and the testimony and knowledge will follow. As Jesus said as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 7, verse 7, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." God will force no man to learn of Him, it must be a personal choice. We cannot, in fact, know God without seeking Him first. He will not force knowledge of Himself upon us, because we can't learn and progress that way! We must choose to find Him.

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