Sunday, September 17, 2017

Covenant to the Gentiles - Part 2

This is my take on breaking down the requirements, warnings, and conditional blessings in the Covenant.  I may have introduced errors so take this with a grain of salt.  I tried my best not to add to this nor to take away from it.  It's more of a reference and not a recreation of the Covenant itself.

There seem to be seven parts:
1.  Acceptance criteria for entering Covenant
2.  Repentance on an individual level for each person
3.  Commandments to work on bringing Fruit into the Lord's family/vineyard
4.  Temple-related 
5.  Conditions/warnings/curses
6.  Labor/Work
7.  Love

I think this may be some sort of progression.  Often in 7-level progressions in the scriptures there is a high point reached at the halfway mark followed immediately by a stage of testing and endurance.   Kinda like how Pentecost/Shavuot is followed by the heat of summer in order to get to the Feast of Trumpets.

==========================================================
Table 1: Covenant Questions

Acceptance Criteria

Do you believe all the words of the Lord which have been read to you this day?
Do you know them to be true and from the Lord Jesus Christ who has condescended to provide them to you?
Do you  covenant with Him to cease to do evil and to seek to continually do good?
Do you have faith in these things?
Do you receive the scriptures approved by the Lord as a standard to govern you in your daily walk in life?
Do you accept the obligations established by the Book of Mormon as a covenant and to use the scriptures to correct yourselves and to guide your words, thoughts, and deeds?
Do you agree to assist all others who covenant to likewise accept this standard to govern their lives to keep the Lord's will?
Do you agree to succor those who stand in need?
Do you agree to lighten the burdens of your brothers and sisters whenever you are able?
Do you agree to help care for the poor among you?
Do you covenant to seek to become of one heart with those who seek the Lord to establish His righteousness?


Table 2: Repentance

Individual Repentance

Blessing:

You who have turned from your wicked ways
Are now numbered with my people who are of the House of Israel
You who have repented of your evil doings, of lying and deceiving, and of all whoredoms and from all wickedness and abominations

You who have come unto me

You who have been baptized in my name

You who have received a remission of your sins

You who have received the Holy Ghost



Table 3: Additional Requirements for bringing Fruit into the Lord's Family:

Commandments to us - Bring Fruit into Family

Blessings from Lord

Blessings from Earth

Teach your children to honor me
Will be with you
Will yield her increase
Seek to recover the lost sheep remnant of this land and of Israel and no longer forsake them.
Will never forsake you
you will flourish upon the mountains and upon the hills
Seek to bring them unto me and teach them of my ways, to walk in them
Will lead you in the path which will bring peace to you in the troubling season now fast approaching


Will raise you up


Will protect you


Will abide with you


Will gather you in due time


this shall be a land of promise to you as your inheritance from me


the wicked will not come against you because the fear of the Lord will be with you



Table 4: The Temple - is this for us or the remnant of Jacob?  For now or for later?

Build a Temple

Blessings from the Lord

Angels

A house…which the remnant of my people shall build
I will visit my house
will gather the wicked into bundles to be burned

I will dwell therein, to be among you
will pass over you as my peculiar treasure

you all shall know me, from the least to the greatest


I will teach you things that have been hidden from the foundation of the world


Your understanding will reach unto Heaven


You shall be called the children of the Most High God


I will preserve you against the harvest



Table 5: Conditions and Curses

Conditions

 Curses from the Lord

If you do not honor me
You have no promise from me
If you do not seek to recover my people Israel
I will raise up other people who will honor and serve me and give unto them this land
If you do not teach your children to honor me
I will abide with them
If you do not care for the poor among you

If you do not help lighten one another's burdens



Table 6: Work

Commandments to us - Work

Blessings from the Lord

Labor with me
I will add thereto many treasures
Do not forsake my covenant to perform it

Study my words and let them be the standard for your faith



Table 7: Love

Commandment to us - Love

Blessings from the Lord

Love one another
You will be mine

I will preserve you and raise you up and abide with you forever
































Sunday, September 3, 2017

Chiasmus in the Answer - Part 1

A bit of background - after studying King Benjamin's speech and seeing all the intricate poetic structures he put in there I hoped that the Lord would use similar methods in his Answer revelation.
I asked as a sign that if the Answer was from Him I'd be able to find the same level of attention to detail and brilliance in His words as I found in King Benjamin's. 

For reference, they're found:
http://figuringoutloud.blogspot.com/2017/08/king-benjamin-part-1.html
http://figuringoutloud.blogspot.com/2017/08/king-benjamin-part-2.html
http://figuringoutloud.blogspot.com/2017/08/king-benjamin-part-3.html

After putting the Answer through the same process I used for King Benjamin's speech I was amazed to find that it was the same voice and style.  I've seen similar patterns in His words in 3 Nephi.  I'm probably boring most people with this but to me this is a miraculous sign from the Lord.  
 
For this post I put it together using images instead of text since I've been having issues with my site's text editor. The images are kinda hard to see but if you click on one it'll bring all of them up clearer and you can just progress through them in preview mode. 
Sorry for the crappy formatting. 

Also just a bit of explanation - there are 21 to 22 sections here separated by a double space. The colors are meant to be specific to each section only. For example, in the first section the yellow highlighting only matches up each side of the chiasmus in that section. The next section also has yellow highlighting but it's not related.
Finally, I admit that there are certain spots in this that I probably got wrong or patterns I missed.  I'm open to corrections or suggestions, so please feel free to share.  












Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Covenant to the Gentiles - Part 1

COVENANT:
There are four questions I will read. Please remain seated until the four questions have all been read. If after you hear all four questions you can answer, Yes to all four, then you will be asked to stand and say, Yes to accept:
  • First: Do you
    • believe all the words of the Lord which have been read to you this day,
    • and know them to be true and from the Lord Jesus Christ who has condescended to provide them to you,
    • and do you covenant with Him to cease to do evil
    • and to seek to continually do good?
  • Second: Do you
    • have faith in these things
    • and receive the scriptures approved by the Lord as a standard to govern you in your daily walk in life,
    • to accept the obligations established by the Book of Mormon as a covenant
    • and to use the scriptures
      • to correct yourselves
      • and to guide your words, thoughts and deeds?
  • Third: Do you
    • agree to assist all others who covenant to likewise accept this standard to govern their lives to keep the Lord’s will,
    • to succor those who stand in need,
    • to lighten the burdens of your brothers and sisters whenever you are able,
    • and to help care for the poor among you?
  • Fourth: And do you
    • covenant to seek to become of one heart with those who seek the Lord to establish His righteousness?

If you agree, please stand wherever you are located, either here or in a remote location, to be recognized and numbered by God and His angels. All those standing please confirm you are willing to accept this covenant by saying, Yes.
Please be seated.


============================================

Now, hear the words of the Lord to those who receive this covenant this day:

All you who
  • have turned from your wicked ways
  • and repented of your evil doings, of lying and deceiving,
  • and of all whoredoms,
  • and of secret abominations, idolatries, murders, priestcrafts, envying, and strife,
  • and from all wickedness and abominations,
  • and have come unto me,
  • and been baptized in my name,
  • and have received a remission of your sins,
  • and received the Holy Ghost,
    • are now numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.


I say to you:
  • Teach your children to honor me.
  • Seek to
    • recover the lost sheep remnant of this land and of Israel
    • and no longer forsake them.
    • Bring them unto me
    • and teach them of my ways, to walk in them.


And I, the Lord your God,
  • will be with you
  • and will never forsake you
  • and I will lead you in the path which will bring peace to you in the troubling season now fast approaching.

I will
  • raise you up
  • and protect you,
  • abide with you,
  • and gather you in due time,
  • and this shall be a land of promise to you as your inheritance from me.



The Earth will
  • yield her increase,
  • and you will flourish upon the mountains and upon the hills,
  • and the wicked will not come against you because the fear of the Lord will be with you.


I will
  • visit my house, which the remnant of my people shall build,
  • and I will dwell therein, to be among you,
  • and no one will need to say, Know ye the Lord, for you all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

I will
  • teach you things that have been hidden from the foundation of the world
  • and your understanding will reach unto Heaven.
  • And you shall be called the children of the Most High God,

and

I will
  • preserve you against the harvest.

And the angels sent to harvest the world
  • will gather the wicked into bundles to be burned,
  • but will pass over you as my peculiar treasure.


But if you do not
  • honor me,
  • nor seek to recover my people Israel,
  • nor teach your children to honor me,
  • nor care for the poor among you,
  • nor help lighten one another’s burdens,
then
  •  you have no promise from me 
  •  and I will 
    •  raise up other people who will honor and serve me
    •  and give unto them this land,
    •  and if they repent 
      •  I will 
        •  abide with them.
The time is now far spent,  therefore
  • labor with me
  • and do not forsake my covenant to perform it;
  • study my words and let them be the standard for your faith
    • and I will
      • add thereto many treasures.

Love one another
  • and you will be mine,
    • and I will
      • preserve you,
      • and raise you up,
      • and abide with you for ever.
AMEN. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

King Benjamin - Part 3

The third and final part of King Benjamin's speech is pretty short.  Three small sections. It's interesting how the last one uses opposing themes to form a chiasmus.

 -----1--------


Ye have spoken the words that I desired, and the covenant which ye have made is a righteous covenant. And now because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ,
  • his sons, and his daughters;
    • for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you,
      • for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name;
        • therefore ye are born of him
  • and have become his sons and his daughters.
    • And under this head, ye are made free,
      • and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free;
        • there is no other name given whereby salvation cometh.
Therefore I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.

  -----2--------

And now it shall come to pass that whosoever shall not take upon them the name of Christ
  • must be called by some other name;
    • therefore he findeth himself on the left hand of God.
      • And I would that ye should remember also that this is the name that I said I should give unto you
        • that never should be blotted out
          • except it be through transgression;
          • therefore take heed that ye do not transgress
        •  that the name be not blotted out of your hearts.
      • I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts,
    • that ye are not found on the left hand of God,
  • but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called
and also the name by which he shall call you. 

 -----3--------
 
For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served and who is a stranger unto him and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?
  • And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor and keep him? I say unto you, Nay.
    • He will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks but will drive him away and cast him out.
      • I say unto you that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called.
    • Therefore I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works,
  •  that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his,
that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life through the wisdom and power and justice and mercy of him who created all things in heaven and in earth, which is God above all. Amen.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

King Benjamin - Part 2

The second part of King Benjamin's speech has some interesting structures.  I don't know what these are called but in section 1 and 5 there are several "and"-separated progressions.  Section 2 has a really neat poetic parallel that John Welch talks about here:  https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/why-did-king-benjamin-use-parallelisms-so-extensively-in-his-speech

There are also two instances of chiasmus in the 3rd and 4th sections.  In total there are 5 sections and funny enough there are a lot of "5"s in this chapter:
  - in section 1 there are 5 "ands"
  - in section 2 there are 5 commands to "believe"
  - in section 3 the chiasmus has 5 levels
  - in section 4 the chiasmus has 5 levels
  - in section 5 there are 5 "ands"

-----1--------

 
My friends and my brethren, my kindred and my people, I would again call your attention that ye may hear and understand the remainder of my words which I shall speak unto you.
  • For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to
    • a sense of your nothingness and
    • your worthlessness and fallen state, I say unto you,
  • if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God
    • and his matchless power
    • and his wisdom
    • and his patience
    • and his long-suffering towards the children of men
    • and also the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world,
      • that thereby salvation might come to him that
        • should put his trust in the Lord and
        • should be diligent in keeping his commandments and
        • continue in the faith even unto the end of his life -I mean the life of the mortal body-
      • I say that this is the man who receiveth salvation through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for
        • all mankind which ever were, ever since the fall of Adam, or
        • who are or who ever shall be,
        • even unto the end of the world.
 -----2--------
 
And this is the means whereby salvation cometh.
  •  And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of;
neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved
  • except the conditions which I have told you.
Believe in God.
Believe that he is and that he created all things
  • both in heaven and in earth;
believe that he has all wisdom and all power
  • both in heaven and in earth;
believe that man doth not comprehend all the things
  • which the Lord can comprehend. And again,
believe that ye must repent of your sins
  • and forsake them
  • and humble yourselves before God
  • and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you.
And now if you believe all these things,
  • see that ye do them.

 -----3--------

And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God,
  • or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceeding great joy in your souls, even so
    • I would that ye should remember and always retain in remembrance the greatness of God and your own nothingness and his goodness and long-suffering towards you unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility,
      • calling on the name of the Lord daily and
        • standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come,
      • which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
    • And behold I say unto you that if ye do this,
  • ye shall always rejoice and be filled with the love of God and always retain a remission of your sins.
And ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.

 -----4--------
 
And ye will not have a mind to injure one another but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due. And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry or naked, neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another and to serve one another. And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor. Ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need and
  • ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.   Perhaps thou shalt say, The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand and will not give unto him of my food nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just. But I say unto you, O man, Whosoever doeth this, the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done, he perisheth forever and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
    • For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment and for gold and for silver and for all the riches which we have, of every kind? And behold even at this time ye have been calling on his name and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain?
      • Nay, he has poured out his Spirit upon you and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy
        •  and has caused that your mouths should be stopped,
        •  that ye could not find utterance,
      • so exceeding great was your joy.
    • And now if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then how had ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.
  • And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance, that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth, and yet ye put up no petition nor repent of the thing which thou hast done. I say unto you, Wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him. And now I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world. And again I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient that ye remain from day to day -I mean all you who deny the beggar because ye have not- I would that ye say in your hearts that I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give. And now if ye say this in your hearts, ye remain guiltless; otherwise, ye are condemned, and your condemnation is just, for ye covet that which ye have not received.
And now for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you -that is for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God- I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally according to their wants.

 -----5--------
 
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order,
  • for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.
And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent,
  • that thereby he might win the prize. Therefore all things must be done in order.
And I would that ye should remember that whosoever among you that borroweth of his neighbor
  • should return the thing that he borroweth, according as he doth agree, or else thou shalt commit sin and perhaps thou shalt cause thy neighbor to commit sin also.
And finally I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin;
  • for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them. But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch
    • yourselves
    • and your thoughts
    • and your words
    • and your deeds
    • and observe the commandments of God,
    • and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish.
And now O man, remember and perish not.