Tuesday, April 26, 2016

4th Week in Japan -- 1st area; Temple Tuesday P-Day

Sister Parker with Sister Riggs, at the Tokyo Temple grounds

I-Spy game:  Find the golden angel symbolic of Revelation 14:6

Good morning, lovelies!!
Sorry my P-Day is today instead of Monday this week, because we are going to the temple. We go to the temple once every transfer and when we do, our P-Day is on Tuesday.    

~ 11 hours later.... ~

So the Tokyo Temple was really pretty! They had an English session.  Our zone and Tokyo West Zone went together.  I love endowment sessions.  They're so cool.  The Holy Spirit is so peaceful in there.  It relieves stress and clears your mind just being inside.  I learned that it's going to be closed in August for a year for reconstruction.  So I'll only get to go to the Temple like 3 more times I think.  After the Temple, the sisters in our zone went to a Hawaiian restaurant that has all-natural food. It was really good! 

Okay, this part (the rest of this post) is added by Kirsten's mom so people not familiar with an LDS temple and the doctrine behind it, can have some of your questions answered.   There are a bunch of scripture passages mentioned and explained.   Maybe it's a bit much for some of you to read (I like to be thorough).   You can jot down the references listed, and read them from your Bibles at your convenience.  If you wish to reference any LDS (Mormon scriptures) and are good at finding your way around a website, you can go to https://www.lds.org/scriptures/   It also has the Bible online (KJV) along with some study aids.  
I do have a picture at the bottom of this blog which is worth seeing if you wish to skip the paragraphs of scriptures.  Please first read my FYI paragraph immediately below this one, before skipping to the picture art at the the bottom of the post.

[FYI, for those not familiar with Mormon Christianity, the temple endowment service is in a quiet building called a temple, open to faithful members; it is a re-enactment of the Biblical Creation story (movie style), along with ceremonial promises which the attendees make with God to be, in summary, good people.  It is done for oneself, or for the dead (as a proxy attendee) as in Mormonism they believe that all people, living and dead, are entitled to make covenantal promises with God, through the gospel of Christ, to follow Him and live according to his precepts.   Baptism is also provided in temples in a separate area, mainly for the dead who are baptized by a living proxy (often a direct descendant or other living relative).   NO we are not creepy people who dig up the dead and dunk them, according to foul rumors.   That is the stuff made up by demented or paranoid people looking for lies and sensationalism.   I mean, that's just gross!!!  Some others pick on Mormons for their time and money spent doing genealogy to identify the dead, quoting 1 Timothy 1:4.  In a study aid at lds.org/scriptures, it says: 
In 1 Tim. 1:4Timothy is urged to give no heed to “fables and endless 
genealogies.” The reference is probably to exaggerated stories of the heroes and patriarchs of early Hebrew history, such stories being at that time very popular among the Jews. Paul’s denunciation of “endless genealogies” was not of the scriptural and spiritually rewarding study of one’s ancestry (as even the Lord's ancestry was included in the New Testament) but was a criticism of the self-deceptive practice of assuming that one can be saved by virtue of one’s lineage. See Matt. 3:9 and Luke 3:8, wherein John the Baptist rebuked those who put too much emphasis on ancestry and attempted to use lineage as a substitute for righteousness (see also 1 Ne. 17:34–35). See also Adoption. ]

Scriptural backing for ordinances (which are recorded in books and now also, electronic format)  for the dead comes from the New Testament,  Revelation 20:12 ,  1 Peter 4:6 and 3:18, and others,  as well as commentary from modern revelation (especially D&C 128).   While Jesus Christ's body lay in the tomb, He opened the spirit world for missionary work.   This is because He had finished the atonement and thus the dead qualified to have the opportunity to receive the gospel while they await their resurrection.
The account of Jesus' baptism showing that immersion baptism is required, is recounted in the Gospels.
Jesus Christ also told his followers to baptise all nations, in Matthew 28.  Water baptism by complete immersion (which is the ONLY form of baptism symbolic of the promises given to us by Christ-- you just have to think about this to realize why it's true), and then baptism by spiritual fire of the Holy Ghost (another promise given based upon our continued faithfulness when a person is confirmed by the ordinance called, Laying on of Hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost).

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 

1 Peter 4:6
For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

1 Peter 3: 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
1 Corinthians 15:29:Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?
Matthew 28: 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

 19 ¶Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Jesus Christ knew that the descendants of Israel had been scattered and would be further scattered throughout the earth.  He knew that many of them had fallen and would fall out of covenant (as prophesied in Hosea 1:9 and other scriptures); they had and would intermingle with the Gentiles and forget their identity.   The gospel, even in the Old Testament, allowed provision for converts from those who were not descendants of Abraham, yes it is a gospel for the world.  The Jews who are of the ancient covenant, need to be brought into the fullness of the covenant through Christ, as do the other non-Jew but still part Israelite descendants.  Many of these souls are deceased, and that is why the gospel word is for them also.  It is inferred that present and past peoples need to be brought into the gospel, as written in Malachi (Old Testament), chapter 4, verses 4-6
¶Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
¶Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Often with scriptures, there is more than one meaning that can be derived from them.  It refers to 1.  the disobedient descendants getting converted to the correct teachings of their ancestors (not the false traditions);  2. The righteous ancestors hearts will guide their children's (descendants') hearts back to them in remembrance of them, as well as to the gospel, and that this will be achieved through genealogical work and gospel ordinances such as baptism in temples, bringing the dead fathers back into covenant with Christ,  3.  In the end times (before the armies of the world are converged upon the Jewish nation, that Elijah would perform a work to turn the heart of the still unconverted Jews to Christ (as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses (etc)  accepted Christ whether they realize it or not).
Mormons believe that Moses and Elijah returned to the Latter Day Saints on April 3, 1836, to reopen the gospel to all peoples, both living and dead, and to the Jews also.  As promised in the scriptures, God said that he would gather His people again.
Moses and Elijah appeared together to a transfigured Christ, also to Peter, James and John in Matthew 17 of the New Testament.   They also heard the voice of Heavenly Father coming out from a bright cloud, introducing Christ as the son of Heavenly Father, that he was well-pleased with him, and that we should listen to him.  Heavenly Father also introduced Jesus Christ as His Son (and that he was well-pleased with him) at the baptism.  Matthew 3.   Two times the Father witnessed that he was well-pleased with Jesus.   There is a scriptural rule in the Bible about two or three witnesses being important to establish truth.  That is why there are two witnesses from the Old World (Bible) and two witnesses from the New World (Book of Mormon, and, Doctrine and Covenants).   {In Deuteronomy 17:6 in fact, a person never received the death penalty by just one witness.}
Some people believe that Moses and Elijah will make other appearances too, in the Last Days (some people think Revelation 11 applies here).   The Jews set an empty seat at the Passover meal dinner table, for Elijah.
D&C 110:11-16  Moses & Elijah appear to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland, Ohio temple, on  Sunday, April 3, 1836.  This was during the Passover season of 1836.
Right now 4/26/2016, it is also during Passover, because the Hebrew calendar is based on the moon and the sun, not just the sun.

Now you know why the LDS church is a missionary church.   We are commanded to spread the gospel among the living, and to facilitate the gospel ordinances (such as covenant-making baptism) for the dead.  As it teaches briefly in the New Testament, they have missionary work going on in the realm of the dead.

Some people may argue that a person was already baptized while they were alive.   Baptism for (not of) the dead is still offered to them, and performed by proxy because a deceased person may not have received all needed teachings associated with their baptism when they were alive (thus making their covenant attached to only a part of needed teachings), OR, they might've fallen away into a life of spiritual laziness or sin, and thus need to renew their covenant with the Lord.

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