Sunday, January 10, 2010

39m - The Holy Scriptures Tell Us That Jesus and His Great Redemption Breathe Additional Spiritual Life Into the World!

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In A.D. 34 the Resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ descends to instruct the Nephites. by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
This painting is a second artist's depiction of Jesus as He descended from Heaven to meet with that portion of the Nephite people who lived sufficiently worthy to survive the devastating disaster that had killed a very large number of people in their land in ancient Central America in the year A.D. 34.

After the Resurrected Jesus Christ had been with them for just a relatively short time he demonstrated his divine love and patience by inviting each one of the approximately 2,500 people there with him to personally.
"come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and feel the prints of the nails in my hands and and in my feet that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world." " (3 Nephi 11:14)
Jesus then called twelve men from among them to serve as his disciples or apostles, special witnesses of him, Jesus Christ, in their particular part of the world.

How did He know which twelve men to call? The same way he did when he called the twelve in Palestine. It was by the Spirit of Prophecy and Revelation which flows forth from him, Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost, who are of one mind and heart, yet three separate beings. This gift is made available to all of his worthy and faithful followers who submit to baptism.

Jesus had been teaching the Nephites principles that he had taught during His mortal life in Palestine, such as His "Sermon on the Mount" which we reviewed in the just previous post.

In the my just previous post, 39l, dated December 21, 2009, we determined that there were a number of insignificant differences in wording between that which Jesus taught his flock in Palestine before his Atonement, Crucifixion and Resurrection which brought about his glorification and after those holy events.

However, there were also some significant differences between what he taught in those two different locations (Palestine and Central America).

I tried to show in my just previous post how our Savior's perspective of the things he taught in Palestine had been altered in some details by experiencing the atonement, crucifixion and resurrection by the time he taught the same basic Gospel truths to the Nephites in ancient America.

Surely he had fully anticipated all of those changes. It wasn't that his doctrines had changed, it was that he had received a fullness of glory through having experienced the great challenges of his succesful atonement and crucifixion and then having achieved the fully new status of his being the first resurrected individual of all those who have or ever will in the future be born on this earth!

In my previous post, 39l, I dealt with that part of our Savior's Sermon at the Temple in Ancient Central America which was covered by 3 Nephi, Chapter 12 and that part of his Sermon on the Mount which was covered in Matthew, Chapter 5.

I have decided to cover Chapters 13 and 14 of 3 Nephi and Chapters 6 and 7 of Matthew in my next post which should be identified as post 39n.


As many of you regular viewers and followers of my blog know, I customarily, for over a year and a half, have published a new post every three days. The reasons for my non-publishing the past two and a half weeks are as follows:

1. Our only computer in our home needed upgrading urgently. My good friend and computer expert, Rick Dansie, who lives not too far from us here in Murray, UT (U.S.A.) was able to provide the upgrade needed rather quickly, effectively and inexpensively. However, this delay caused me to use some extra time to focus on several things:

1. I fine-tuned (edited) rather extensively my just previous post, 39l: "The Calling of the Nephite "12." The Resurrected Christ's Ancient American Version of His Sermon of the Mount has an adjusted Point of View!"

I thought that for several very good reasons I should make that particular post as accurate as possible. Especially I had come to more fully appreciate the role of the Book of Third Nephi (in the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ), in accurately describing the added capacities and extended view point that had come to our Savior because of his atonement, crucifixion and resurrection.

2. I felt very good about what I had written in my just previous post, but decided to read what several authorities on the subject had written about that. Therefore, I have been devoting time that I would have usually spent in writing additional posts in reading several books which you also may desire to read. They are:
Illuminating the Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount, written by: John W. Welch, written for the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, of Provo Utah. That organization's name has been changed to: The Neal A. Maxwell Institute Institute for Religious Scholarship, headquartered at the Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, U.S.A - That Book was Published in 1999.
Christ and The New Covenant, written by: Jeffrey R. Holland (an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and a former president of Brigham Young University in Provo, UT - Published in 1997.
Some of the editing I had been doing on my Post 39l came about because of what I read in the two aforementioned books and also from some e-mail correspondence with my oldest child, a daughter, A. Jane Birch, (a professional educator and a long-time employee of Brigham Young University - Provo, Utah). She made several helpful suggestions that I followed. I have not yet, however, been able to meet her standard of brevity. Perhaps I will become gradually more able to meet the standard she advocates, in the not too distant future. It would take some real effort on my part to do so!

I stand firmly behind what I wrote in that just previous post, 39l on which I spent some time in the past two weeks editing. I wanted to get the wording just right because of the importance of the subject of that post.

Another reason for my taking time off of my usually very much on-time publishing of posts every three days, is that I've been striving to lift my level of spiritual energy. This is being done primarily by reading Elder Jeffrey K. Holland's book listed above. I'm continuing to finish reading his book before very long. I feel that is strongly helping me.

I believe Elder Holland's subject for his book is very similar to the purpose of my Blog: to Show that the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ is, along with the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, a very crucial and substantive witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As a modern-day apostle of our Lord, Jesus Christ, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in our day, Elder Holland's inspired views are continuing to uplift me. I also enjoy reading the words of the other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and those of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including the present Prophet, Seer and Revelator, Thomas S. Monson, and his two counselors all three of which are also apostles and special witnesses of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in our day and time on earth!

It also goes, without saying, that I also greatly benefit from reading the words from the New Testament of the apostles that Jesus called while serving his earthly ministry. Included with these witnesses is also the great apostle, Paul, who was chosen by Jesus to serve as one of his special witnesses soon after the time of our Savior's ascension into Heaven.

All of those special witnesses of our Savior Jesus Christ were previously and then now, authorized by him. However, there is special application to our present day spiritual needs which can best be addressed by apostles of the Lord who live in our day and time who know and understand our very challenging and complicated needs while we hopefully are all striving to live righteously in this very tumultuous and challenging time in this world's history. You Just Have to read the newspapers and watch the News on Television to see how challenging things are right now!
The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ -by Harry Anderson
Many of you may realize that it isn't too long until the Lord's Second Coming (depicted in the painting above, will take place. This means much preparation needs to be made by each of us and we need the help of those who the Lord, Jesus Christ personally has authorized, before and then now, to represent him in helping us meet these challenges we are now facing and will continue to face!

I have decided to end this post with something I wrote in one of my posts about one year ago. I did this mostly because of a kindly admonishment from my daughter Jane Birch who I mentioned above. These are reflections from my youth of things which I learned about our Savior, Jesus Christ that helped me then:
When I was about ten or eleven years of age, living in Roseville, California when those teachings of the Savior to the Nephites might have meant much more to me then, than a few years later in my teenage years (despite my relatively young age of ten or eleven). It was in about early 1942.

World War II was the big news then and was of very great concern in this and in many other nations, including in some of the nations, where you, my readers, reside.
I had lots of personal concerns. One of my perhaps most serious concerns was that my father might be drafted to serve in the U.S. armed forces. My mother had mentioned this possibility to me and my two brothers, one who is two years younger than me and the other one who had been born in 1940.

Neither of my brothers, were really old enough to know much about what World War II meant to them. My being almost ten years of age I really began feeling, early on, strongly about what the war meant to us as a family. I'll never forget reading the huge headlines in one of the Sacramento, CA (U.S.A.) newspapers on that day, Sunday, December 7, 1941 when the Nation of Japan's military forces attacked Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. I also remember later hearing a radio broadcast made by the then President of the United States of America, Franklin Delano Roosevelt informing the nation of that which had occurred.

U.S. sailors in a motor launch rescue a survivor from the water alongside the sunken USS West Virginia. The USS Tennessee is inboard of the sunken battleship. Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941
I continued worrying about my father being drafted to serve in the U.S. military, but after awhile, my father was able to discuss with me personally this concern of mine, after he finally found some time from his busy work schedule to talk with me. (He worked so much overtime as a Railway Clerk with the Southern Pacific Railroad that he didn't have much time to talk with his three children). There were so many troops and war supplies being shipped by railway in those very urgent times.
My Dad eased my concern about him having to become a part of the American military force, by telling me that, as a Southern Pacific Railroad clerk in a very key railroad terminal in the American West, (it was the largest railway terminal in the U.S.A. west of the Mississippi River at that time and still is) his skills were a vital part of the war effort and he learned that he wouldn't be "drafted," into the United States military effort. That brought peace to my mind on that worrisome subject.

Another worry that was talked about on the radio some was that the Japanese might invade our state, California, which at that time was the most westerly (of all the 48 states in the U.S.A. then) and was the nearest U.S. state to Japan at that time.)
In my young mind I, at times, imagined Japanese troops sweeping into our home town of Roseville, California which was only about 110 miles North-east from San Francisco, CA. That big concern kept coming back to my mind, but finally went away. It was very sad for me to see newscasts at the local movie theater (There was no Television then) showing the deaths of soldiers serving in the military forces of both the U.S.A and the Empire of Japan, in the battles on the islands of the Pacific Ocean.

About that time there was a Sunday afternoon radio broadcast that I was drawn to.

Hold on: I just now stopped typing and involuntarily cried silently for several minutes while thinking about what I was going to type next. I think what I have to tell you now may have value to each of you who read the Savior's teachings to the Nephites in that chapter I asked you to read and listen to in the just previous post.

Back to my telling about that Sunday afternoon radio program. I was strongly drawn to it for quite a few months after discovering it on a radio station when I was about nine years of age. I'm not sure who was sponsoring it. The title of the program might have been: "Our Savior's Voice."
Events from the New Testament were acted out over the radio. When the man who was to speak what the Savior had to say, (which were exact quotes from the New Testament), we would hear a special sound effect to Jesus' voice which made listeners pay more attention to what he had said through the man speaking Jesus' part.
The ten year old me, really paid close attention to every word that was spoken by the actor playing the part of our Savior. There was a good reason for my paying attention to that weekly program.

It was during this time of my life when the World War seemed so very threatening to the ten year old me, that the teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that I heard on that Sunday program each week began to really cause me to begin "feeling" the meaning of what I heard Jesus' "voice" telling me. I wish that feeling about what he had taught had stayed in me as strongly while going through my teen-age concerns, etc.
My weeping today that I mentioned above came because I remembered the feelings I had when listening to that radio program. I realized I was strengthened when listening to someone taking the part of our Savior. The special sound effects, mentioned above, helped. Jesus had become real to me.
I attended church regularly with my family, but perhaps radio then had a greater effect on me than my Sunday school and Primary teachers. My parents didn't really notice the radio program I was listening to.
It actually was that weekly radio program which helped me realize later why the Nephites, listening to the resurrected Savior's voice, after having just barely survived a great cataclysmic destruction that had killed huge numbers of their people, some of whom were close relatives; had become so emotionally and spiritually prepared by what they had just been through for what He was to soon teach them.
Like me and my concerns about how World War II might be effecting me and my family, these Nephites, the Savior was teaching, had deep emotions that had come to the surface in their lives. In other words, the Savior came to them at a very teachable point in their lives. Are you and I at a very teachable point in our lives right now? A good question for each of us to answer! I'll be back in about five days!

Here is the most recent Mormon Messages video.


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TO ACCESS NEIL BIRCH'S BLOG INDEX To Either Read the Full Index Item Which Refers To This Blog Post, (Or An Item Which Refers To Any Other Blog Post You May Desire To Access): After Reading All of This Paragraph Please Click on the Following: (The Resurrected) Jesus Christ by His Great Atonement and Resurrection Has Breathed New Spiritual Life Into This World -Post 39m. When You See the Picture of Our Savior Jesus Christ Sitting Next To a Little Boy, Please, Scroll Down In The Index To Your Target Item Or Use The Alphabetical Scrolling Device (When It Has Been Installed.)


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Neil Birch

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