Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Post #3 - The Godhead; Christ's Baptism

Hello World!

I learned so much in class today (Wednesday, May 7, 2014)! I took about 5 pages of notes in my notebook and wrote countless references and little notes in my scriptures. How amazing is the Gospel?!

We covered a lot of topics today, but one of the most important topics to me was that of the Godhead.

First and foremost, we covered how we know that it truly is a Godhead- 3 personages- and not a Trinity. We discussed the argument for the Trinity and how the scriptures mention God and Christ being "one". Brother Griffin, our teacher, reminded us that while God and Christ and the Holy Ghost are "one", they are not the same. The scriptures never mention all three as one being. They are one: they are unified in all things, while still being 3 different personages.

We also discussed Christ's baptism and the Holy Ghost "descending like a dove". Because of this passage, and a few others if I'm not mistaken, people believe that the Holy Ghost can take different forms- specifically as a dove. However, it is our doctrine that the Holy Ghost is a personage- without a body. He does not take different forms, but he may have descended LIKE a dove. The Holy Ghost brings peace, which the dove is a symbol for. It may be that there was literally a dove that descended as a symbol of the Holy Ghost, or it may be that that passage just means that the Spirit came peacefully, like a dove.

Another thing that we discussed regarding Christ's baptism was the symbolism of where it happened. The Jordan River right before it enters the Dead Sea, which is where the baptism occurred, is just above 13,000 feet below sea level. This is symbolic because Christ, the Holiest of all, had to descend to the lowest of lows in order to raise us to the highest we can be.

I'm so thankful for my Savior and the chance I have to repent and become as clean as I was on the day of my baptism again and again.

Post #2 - Reactions to the Angel & Being Young

Hello everyone!

Today (Monday, May 5, 2014), I had the opportunity to learn a lot about what was going on prior to and around Christ's birth. One of the things that struck me the most was our discussion of the two different reactions of Zacharias and Mary to the angel Gabriel. When Gabriel appeared to Zacharias, he did not believe. He questioned. He feared. He doubted. Mary, however, was faithful. She did not ask why; she did not question; she only asked what she should do.

I think we can all apply this to our lives. It made me think about how I would react to a visitation of an angel. Would I be as faithful as Mary? Probably not. Would I be more faithful than Zacharias? Hopefully.

It is even more amazing that Zacharias was very faithful and very old. Ideally, he would have had the time to grow close enough to God to trust Him and respond to the angel with faith; however, he did not. On the other hand, Mary was very, very young. We don't know how young, but it is entirely possible that she was anywhere from 13-17. An angel visited her and told her that she would be the mother of the Son of God, and at her very young age, she was able to move forward in faith.

I think that we often underestimate the spiritual abilities of young people. We are taught to have the faith of little children, but maybe we should be taught to have the faith of young teenagers. Just think of all the amazing things young people have done! Mary was extremely young; Christ was only 12 when he taught in the Temple; Nephi was a young man when he went to get the plates from Laban; Esther was a young woman when she saved her people; Joseph Smith was 14 years old when he was called to restore the Gospel; the Stripling Warriors were all young men who saved their entire people; David was about 12 when he defeated Goliath. The list goes on and on.

As a young person, what can I do to further the work of the Lord?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Post #1- The Four Gospels

If you've somehow made it to this page, you know that this term, I'm taking a New Testament class and blogging about my journey! For my first assignment, I read an article on the different Gospels of the New Testament. It was a really interesting article, and I loved learning more about what each Gospel focuses on. However, the thing that struck me the most was that though each book is a little bit different they all focus on slightly different things, they all have the same general message. They are all declaring the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It makes me think about the way the Church is set up. It doesn't matter where you go to church on Sunday. Though the specific message of that meeting may be different in the Provo YSA 116th ward from the Normal Ward, the same principles and doctrines are still being taught, no matter where you are. As long as the spirit is present in the teaching, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is always the same, no matter who you are, where you are, or what is going on.

Just like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we are all separate beings with our own agency. We all have different experiences in life. These experiences may lead us to each have different view of the Gospel. This is why we each have our own different favorite scriptures, hymns, or stories. But that doesn't change the fact that each of these things are true and part of the Gospel. 

I'm so excited to learn more about the New Testament in the coming weeks, and especially to learn how each of the four Gospels work together despite their differences. I'm so happy to be a member of this church and to have been born into a family with a knowledge of the Gospel.