Thursday, August 29, 2013

More Comments and Questions from Readers -- Part V

Here are some additional comments or questions, some not on geography or the Land of Promise, sent in by readers of this website:
Comment #1: “Why did the angel take the Nephi Plates back to heaven? Do they not belong with man? Would not their existence prove once for all that Mormonism is truth? God allowed the Jews to carry the 10 commandments for several centuries in their original physical form, written by the finger of God Himself!” Gerard N.
Response: Things of heaven belong to God, not to man. The Plates were here on loan to man for their translation and the future edifying of the entire human race. Once that purpose was accomplished, They were returned back into his realm. As for the tablets of Moses called the Ten Commandments, they were immediately placed into what is called the Ark of the Covenant and were not directly seen after that time;  however, on one occasion, in the area of Bethshemesh, the city of Joshua, fifty thousand and seventy men were slaughtered by the Lord because they, knowing better, looked into the Ark (1 Samuel 6:19), for the Lord had commanded no one to even touch the Ark, other than those he assigned, “or they will die” (Numbers 4:15).
Left: David leading the procession that brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, singing and playing instruments along the way; Right: Uzzah was struck dead for touching the Ark when it titled
This was clearly shown in the story of Uzzah, the son of Abinadab (2 Samuel 6:1-7). In fact, the Lord commanded that the Ark was to be borne upon men’s shoulders, and carried by the poles provided, and only by Levites, and those of the family of Kohath (Exodus 25:12-14; Numbers 7:9). Even they could not touch the Ark, but only the poles that carried it. It is interesting to note that Abinadab, who was a Levite and a Kohathite, was responsible to transport the Ark. But David went down to Abinadab’s house in Gibeah to retrieve the Ark himself after it had been in Gibeah for seventy years (2 Samuel 6:1-2), and bring it to Jerusalem, and had it placed on a cart (2 Samuel 6:3), where it never should have been, which led to the stumbling oxen, the tilting of the ark, and the grasping of the hand by Uzzah.
For those who have little faith, or little understanding, the workings of God are beyond comprehension. As Job asked: “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?” (Job 11:7). “His greatness no-one can fathom” (Psalm 145:3). “His understanding no-one can fathom” (Isaiah 40:28). Moses lost his right to enter the promised land because he felt his intervention was needed when he struck the rock, instead of speaking to it as God had commanded (Numbers 20:7-12). We need to listen carefully to what God has to say to us, and in obedience strive to do all He commands. Yes, God is loving and merciful, but He is also holy and He defends His holiness with His power, and affronts to His holiness sometimes bring about His holy wrath. “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
Thus, when God retrieved the Plates after Joseph Smith translated them, the matter is not to be trifled with, nor, it would seem, even questioned. What God chooses to do is far beyond the knowledge and understanding of mortal men.
Comment #2: “If Moroni devoutly practiced the Mormon Gospel, why is he an angel now rather than a God? (Doc. & Cov. 132:17,37)” Constance B.
Moroni has had many assignments and responsibilities assigned by the Lord, Left: Preparing Joseph Smith to receive and translate the Plates; Center: See to the protection and security of the Plates and their delivery to Joseph Smith; Right: Looking over the Church and this nation
Response: With the resurrection of Jesus Christ, many spirits came out of the grave and were resurrected (Matthew 27:52-53). We are also told that all people will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:22). We also understand that all those who lived righteously and are destined to receive a full inheritance in the kingdom of God, will be resurrected at the time of Christ's second coming. They shall be caught up to meet the Lord at this time and will descend with him to reign during the millennial era (D&C 88:97-98). Thus there is an assurance that Moroni will be resurrected, if he has not been already. On the other hand, angels are of various types and perform a variety of functions to implement the work of the Lord on the earth. Even Christ himself spoke of angels (Matthew 13:36-39), as did his apostles (Luke 1:123; 2:25; John 20:12). The angel Gabriel, whom we know to be Noah, was called an angel when he delivered his message of John the Baptist’s pending birth (Luke 1:18-19). Angels, according to Paul, are part of the whole family in Heaven (Ephesians 3:15). When the two angels visited Lot’s home (Genesis 19:1), the people, having seen them, asked “Where are the men which came in to thee this night?” (Genesis 19:5) showing us that angels, like spirits, are in the form of men.
As for the verses in the Doctrine & Covenants, the description has to do with the different levels of beings in the eternities. Those who marry, sealed in the temples, for time and all eternity, are both resurrected beings and gods, but this verse deals with those who do not so marry on earth, that when they are resurrected, they are servants to God and those of the Celestial realm. Christ told his apostles “In my Father’s house are many mansion,” (John 14:2); and those mansions are divided into different “kingdoms,” called Celestial and Terrestrial, and that each has a different glory, i.e., sun and moon (1 Corinthians 15:40-41). It is also mentioned that there is a lesser third glory, that of the stars, which LDS know is called the Telestial. Of the kingdom, or glory of the sun, the apostle said, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43), and concludes his remark with an admonition for us all: “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
It should be plain that there are various different areas in Heaven, and people earn their place by what they do: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). That we are resurrected with different bodies is also clear in 1 Corinthians 15:35): “But some man will say, how are they dead raised up? and with what body do they come?” to which the answer is given: “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the son, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory, so also is the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15:40-42).
Consequently, those who are resurrected, but not sealed in earth life, are told that there is no marrying in heaven, meaning after death, and that those individuals are servants (D&C 132:17) within a kingdom of lesser glory, and will remain such throughout all eternity. This is why LDS place such emphasis on the Temples, are sealed for time and all eternity (married) by ones with priesthood authority, and then return to the Temple often to do proxy work for their dead ancestors. The work has to be done here in earth life. As for the other quote, the verse has reference of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whose work is done, and “have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods” (D&C 132:37). However, Moroni has not finished his work. He still is involved in looking after this land and, it is understood, will until the second coming. After that time he will receive his exaltation and sit upon his throne, as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.


  1. Del.. I have a quick question. You stated above: Consequently, those who are resurrected, but not sealed in earth life, are told that there is no marrying in heaven, meaning after death, and that those individuals are servants (D&C 132:17)

    We do temple work for those who are dead and seal them to their spouses. There is no marriage in or after the resurrection, but certainly before.. True? So if these were not sealed in life.. nor after life before the resurrection, then there is no marriages performed in heaven.

  2. No marriage in heaven.That is why we do proxy work for the dead. The sealing ordinances must be performed during earth life--self or proxy to be in effect. That is why, when Paul was answering a question posed regarding the resurrection by doubtful or questioning Saints, he replied "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?" (1 Cor 15:29)