Sept. 19, 2012 Tallahassee Singles Ward
The main pillars of our theology are centered in the family. Qualifying for blessings of Eternal Life is the same as qualifying for the blessings of an Eternal Family. This is part of the Doctrine of Christ, part of what was restored- understanding and clarity about family. Without these blessings, the earth is wasted.
-Creation: of an earth where a family could live, creation of a man and woman who were two essential halves of a family. It was not a happenstance family, they were meant to form an eternal family.
-The Fall: provided a way for the family to grow. Through the leadership of Eve and Adam (her order was intentional) they chose to have a mortal experience. The Fall made it possible for them to have a family. to grow in numbers and grow in experience. Like a seed falling from a tree.
-The Atonement: allows for the family to be sealed together eternally. The Plan was a plan created for families, to have eternal growth and perfection. (Paraphrased notes from Julie B. Beck Aug. 2009)
Brother Livingston had us read 2 Nephi 1:13-23 looking for how a father spike to his wayward sons.
vs. 14 & 21 Arise from the dust.
For some reason this stuck out to me and I was reminded of the phrase “dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” Moses 4:20.
vs. 14 also demonstrates the love Lehi has for his children “hear the words of a trembling parent”.
We then read 2 Nephi 2 and were invited to look for the Theology of The Family in it.
My Findings: vs. 1 “Jacob, my firstborn in the days of my tribulation, in the wilderness”.
Jacob is a type for Adam’s children, Lehi being a type for Adam. In the day’s of tribulation is Lehi’s “Fall” experience.
vs. 1 “thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow because of the rudeness of they brethren.” shows how it was a family affair, Laman being a type of Satan and Lemuel being a type of a deceived follower (Cain). Also added to this type is the fact that Laman was angry for not having the birthright. Lucifer was angry for not being chosen as the Only Begotten.
vs. 2 Despite his rough life, Jacob knows and lives the Plan of Happiness.
vs. 3 “Thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi.” Nephi is a type for Christ. Older brother of Jacob, received the birthright.
vs. 4 The way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free. The seed drops from the tree. [Study Jacob 5 for Theology of The Family]
vs. 6 Wherefore, a forever family (redemption) cometh through Christ.
vs. 8 How great the importance to make these things known unto the family of the earth. [Study Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service Lesson 2: The Plan of Salvation and How Do I Find People to Teach?.]
Brother Livingston gave us a diagram Agency Choice either leads to the right bringing blessing, happiness, and Eternal Life as consequences or wrong bringing punishment, misery, and endless woe.
Without law, there is no choice. Doctrine and Covenants 130:20 Obedience is the first law of Heaven, it allows for choice and freedom to choose.
Jacob 5 As we grow older we need the new life of children and posterity or else we begin to decay. Parents and grandparents feel life vicariously through their children and grandchildren. This is but a small taste of Eternal Life. My first sentence describes decay in the sense of a life essentially empty, having unfulfilled purpose. To clarify further, I am NOT saying anybody that doesn’t have kids or grandkids is not fulfilling their purpose, there are myriad circumstances where someone is unable to have children. Often these people find ways to have “adopted children” through jobs, callings, and service to families. On the other hand, when the family unit deteriorates through purposeful disregard or negligence, so do nations deteriorate. This is what causes the earth to possibly be utterly wasted.
How does the family deteriorate? Marriage is no longer for the purpose of unity and multiplying and replenishing the earth, Marriage is no longer about having family. The commitment of marriage is no longer considered lifelong or Eternal. The essential units of the Family; Husband and Wife, Mother and Father, are individually attacked and the very definition of marriage being between a man and woman is changed or disregarded. Marriage is no longer considered necessary for acts of procreation. Procreation is no longer considered for the purpose of children and building Families but rather for recreation. Fathers and Mothers abuse spouse and children, or are unwilling to unite as a Family unit for this life or Eternity. Families lose the knowledge that God intends their union to be for Eternity (part of the Great Apostasy) Career and other distractions become more important priorities than having a family. A Career is no longer for the purpose of supporting a family. In Jacob 5, these are the sorts of things that had been occurring. The Family: A Proclamation to the World is our Father’s warning voice, through medium of His Prophets against the deterioration of The Family we are now witnessing.
vs. 6 The Lord prunes, digs and nourishes it (teaches the Gospel) that perhaps it will shoot forth young and tender branches. The Gospel is designed so that we will have families young and tender. When families are centered in the Gospel, they change entire communities and Nations, bringing family happiness and the fruit’s of Eternal Families. The wild branches are blessed with opportunities to join the family.
Digged about- protected with commandments and righteous traditions.
Pruned- families make covenants to remain together.
The branches and everything of the tree include not just individuals but also cultures, traditions, practices- Everything you do and are. Thus pruning and digging about involve getting rid of culture, traditions, and practices that would endanger the Family and thus endanger the community and Nation.
vs. 11 “It grieveth me that I should lose this tree.” How the Lord loves His family!
vs. 14 The Lord hid the natural branches some in one place some in another.
Why? So that His servants would nourish all of the trees, that all Nations might bring forth families.
-It is evident that the Servant worked in all the Vineyard because he knew which trees had been planted in poor spots of ground. He was able to guess one of the spots the Master hid a branch.
vs. 17 But the servant was confused why the Master planted a tree in a poor spot of ground.
vs. 25 The Master demonstrates how a good spot of ground, (a family already established with traditions, wealth, and prosperity) sometimes doesn’t bring forth good fruit, good family relationships. The Master tests the Servant again to see how he loves the vineyard by saying:
vs. 26 Pluck off the branches that have not brought forth good fruit and cast them into the fire.
vs. 27 The servant responds with compassion. He desires to keep working diligently to preserve good fruit and perhaps bring some of the corrupt fruit back into the family. The Master also loves the vineyard and was hopeful His servant (His son) was learning and gaining His divine attribute of Charity.
vs. 30 When they come back, it is the time of the Great Apostasy and no tree is bringing forth good fruit (families with the Gospel), except, perhaps the unmentioned 4th tree.