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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

That which is in Part... Shall Cease

My companion and I pushed down our legs on our bike pedals in search of an address of one of our members. While on our travel there, we saw an older man who had just emptied out a plant pot. We thought to ourselves, "let's talk with him. The address should be near here, so let's ask what this address is." We approached him, and were welcomed by a warm greeting. He asked us, "What church are y'all from?" We told him, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." "Great," he replied, "there are many people around here that could use your help." "Alright, who do you know that we can see and teach?" He directed us to his neighbor. He said she was sweet, but needed some conversion to Christianity. We promptly volunteered. He then invited us to join him in a conversation, which was longer than we had anticipated. We wanted a short 5-10 min teaching opportunity with him, but it turned into a 20-30 min conversation with him bragging about his knowledge of the Bible, and how most Christians are wrong. Further, he didn't try to understand our point of view and rejected every word we taught before we could fully teach it. He told us there could be no more revelation after the original apostles, and believing such talk will damn us. He said,"It's in the Bible, there will not be anymore prophets." Of course, this was not the first time either of us had heard this. It is a vastly different teaching than most other Christian faith's. I have addressed, previously, the main two scripture's which people use to reject us and our message. But, there is a third which I have been introduced to only a few times on my mission.

"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." (1 Corinthians 13: 8-10)
Those who quote this scripture say, "that which is perfect HAS come. Therefore, that which is in part, like prophecy, is done away. So God will not have anymore prophets. The Bible is complete, and perfect." As I have mentioned before, "I don't disagree with the Bible which is God's word." The Son of God, Jesus Christ, was the only perfect person, and he came, but that does not mean prophecy has ceased, as so many now believe. The evidence of what I bear testimony of is the fact the Apostles continued to prophesy AFTER Jesus Christ ascended to the right hand of His Father. "I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues" said the prophet Mormon, "behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them. For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?" (Mormon 9: 7-9) In quite a few previous posts, the pattern of our unchanging God has been described.
"And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles. But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are." (Mormon 9:10-11)
With Mormon's quote,"he that denieth these things... has not read the scriptures [or]... does not understand them," in the forefront of my mind, the purpose of this post is going to be understanding and expounding 1 Corinthians 13: 8-10:

"Charity never faileth..." These three words declare to all ends of the earth, "the pure love of Christ will exist forever!" Further, actions done because we are filled with this love will not fail. Volumes can be written on these small words. Paul showed the importance of charity earlier in the chapter. Further, the prophet Mormon sermonized on it as well in Moroni 7.

"whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away..." This part is simple to understand. The part which I want to emphasize is the word, "shall," which implies a future time. Within this part, it is not clear the time period which these failings will cease. If we had just stopped there, the doors to the interpretation of man would be swung open, and man's estimations would be incorrect (which this part describes... in part). As described by the Savior Himself, "Men’s hearts [shall fail] them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." (Luke 21: 26) Because, "we know in part, and we prophesy in part." The full understanding of God is not given to us, but it will be. "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." This section of scripture was written AFTER the first ministry of Jesus Christ. "When" and "shall" imply a future time. Hence, the time which all our knowledge will be complete and full will be when perfection comes—again. The "unknown time-frame" in the first section of the mentioned scripture is made known here. "And then shall they see the Son of man," said Christ, "coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21: 27)

"And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles... who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles. And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles. And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust. Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth." (Mormon 9: 15, 18-21; bold and italics added)

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