Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A closer look at scriptural words

Repentance is a top Gospel priority (D&C 133:16).  So then it would make sense understanding what it is and what exactly it is we are supposed to repent of.

Some not so nice scriptural words get glossed over so much and other times have a dark blinding veil that covers their meanings. We teach each other that the words don't apply to us.  So rather than head down that treacherous line of thought I thought I'd attempt to look at some of these words as perhaps they may be helpful. And for us to see perhaps how they apply to us.  We sometimes DO in fact have things in common with the "bad" guys in scripture. (link) Scripture authors (Book of Mormon) had to etch words onto metal plates. So I want to additionally show respect to carefully chosen words that required a chisel to write.

Here's just one sample list of scriptural warning words in no particular order.  While I did research and include things from multiple sources, and various dictionaries, I also will say there was inspiration from the Spirit.  You are welcomed and encouraged to verify all of this for yourself.  And yes I should have included a footnote citing each dictionary and source.  I will at some point go back and do that.

So much could be said about each word, but I only want to provide enough to spark thought.  I hope it's a bit of a resource.  If you have a definition or clarification that adds light, understanding, or applicability, leave a comment.  Some specifically chosen scriptural links were added to each one that shows the word in context.

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Filthiness -  Not personal hygiene.  It's religious practices that fail to clean.  When a rite or ordinance is changed or altered it doesn't clean and so the result is filthiness.  It would be a "form" of godliness without the "power".  When false teachings and false doctrine are accepted they will not lead to Christ, and therefore the person will remain in a state of unclean filthiness before God.  (1 Nephi 15:34) (Mormon 9:14)

Pollutions -  Not the smog that currently covers Salt Lake City.  But more spiritual degeneracy.  It's teachings, actions, doctrine and beliefs that are no longer pure, but instead have become contaminated.  Just because we inhale things and ideas that are common in our religious culture, in business, or shown on the news does not mean it's not polluted.  A "church" becomes polluted not by environmental waste, but by spiritual contamination. We Mormons are the subject of these pollutions according to Mormon.  (Mormon 8:31) (Mormon 8:38) (2 Peter 2:20)

Whoredoms  -  Whoredoms implies both sexual imagery along with a very interesting analogy to an intimacy with "false lovers" or "false Gods".  The root word is whore.  The great illusion of a whore is to imagine she likes you. To imagine she cares for you. To imagine she (or the relationship) desires what you desire and is cooperating with you because she finds you attractive, appealing, and that you fulfill her longing. It is a lie, an illusion, and a fraud.  Folks would not be a customer of such services if not for the lies. The seductive character "Babylon" is prophesied to be great whore in our day.  People sell themselves to it,  purchase her goods, and are under the illusion she loves them and that she plans on satisfying them.  But it will not.  Fidelity to Christ, not men, no matter their calling is where the longing of the soul will find true lasting fulfillment.  (Mormon 8:31)

Pride-   The natural man "me" and the "I" that fails to accept and perceive the reality of our utter dependence and reliance on God.  A fallen nature cannot evict it's own pride, it cannot even "see" the need, so we must yield to the Holy Spirit and follow Christ through the things he sees fit to inflict upon us.  Otherwise we remain in our competitive, stubborn, blind, stiff necked, and puffed up state.  Alma asks us all a brutal question:  Are ye stripped of pride?  Believing we can save ourselves comes from pride. (Mormon 8:36)  (2 Nephi 28:12)

Abominations-   These involve actual religious justification of wrongdoing.  Something becomes "abominable" when it is motivated out of a false form of religious observance, or is justified because of religious error.  But of course it's not viewed as "wrong" until it's exposed.  These are altered ordinances, wicked practices which pervert, and blind the people.  Often the people participating do not think their religious actions have become corrupt. Quite the contrary, they think themselves justified by them, and see themselves as devoted.  It all serves to increases their pride.  Scriptures teach that abominations bring destruction upon a people.  Things "most abominable" either affect children, or involve secret combinations. (Mormon 8:31)   

Apostasy - Not helpful if we think apostasy is "what other churches are in".  Even (especially?) God's chosen people are prone to fall away, depart from the truth, let it erode, neglect it, abandon it, reject it, or be part of some a unrecognized "revolt" against the truth.  Prophets in scriptures have fallen.  We apostatize from the truth when we refuse to believe people who lead us are incapable of being astray. The Book of Mormon prophesies we will depart from the ways of the Lord, and we're the Church that believes in that book.  Part of the difficulty with understanding the word apostasy is that the people are almost always distracted from the fact it may currently be under way.  They think it's not possible, and they can cite a number of foolish reasons why. (1 Nephi 1:19)    

Wickedness-  One of Satan's titles is "the wicked one" (D&C 93:39).  Wickedness therefore an alignment of some kind with the father of lies.  It's a parallel behavior or action with something Godlike but which has become ineffective and therefore unable to elevate the soul.  According to our culture wicked refers only to things like Ted Bundy.... Satan worshipers....or various villains.  However in Hebrew wicked means "to destroy," to break something into pieces and destroy it.  Satan also carries the title "the destroyer".  When God gives us something, like a true prophet, true doctrine, or scripture and we neglect it, correlate it, reject it, circumvent it, pervert it, destroy it, or eliminate it, we play the part of destroying what it was intended to do.  It's wicked.  Isaiah  says wickedness is like a troubled sea, who's waters cast up mire and dirt. (D&C 133:14) (1 John 5:19) (2 Nehpi 12:5

Iniquity -  The wrong course.  In hebrew the root is twisted, or crooked. Christ quoting a final judgement day scene responds to a few statements with this phrase: "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (3 Nephi 14:22-23) Unrighteous rulers/leaders/presidents can cause a lot of it.  Isaiah 53:5 Adds an interesting thought: “He was bruised for our iniquities.” Iniquities are not superficial. They are under the skin; they are deeply embedded.  Iniquity can sometimes gets a "politically correct" name by society which blinds.  When people become increasingly determined or committed to the wrong course, the prophets call this sort of thing "waxing strong" or "ripening in iniquity".  (Mosiah 29:17)  (Ether 2:9)

Arm of the Flesh - Not your upper bodies extremity. It's "trusting in man" (relying on "man" to save instead of God). It's trusting in man's credentials, degrees, theories, formulas, tools, methods and philosophies that are substituted for, and then relied upon, instead of the Spirit. It would be relying on and trusting in man made things as if they were the Spirit. Such things as public opinion, or academic inquiry, or social science, opinion polls, mood lightening, musical manipulation and any such thing dependent on man's unstable wisdom instead of the simple, meekness of the Spirit. The alternative to the arm of the flesh is to trust in and learn things of Salvation from the Spirit and revelation. (2 Nephi 28:31)  (2 Nephi 4:34)  

Corruption - Infected with error.  Something corrupt has been made useless due to alterations or or errors. Truth being mingled with philosophies of man denotes corruption. (D&C 33:4) (2 Nephi 28:12)         

False doctrine -  When everyone believes it, or "disbelieves it" that means it must be true, right?  False doctrine is anything that prevents or misleads a person from coming to Christ.  It's all around us by the way.... we are up to our ears in it but for the most part are oblivious.  (2 Nephi 28:12) (Mormon 8:33)

Murder -  not restricted to physically ending someones life, but also leading them towards the destruction of their soul through lies, deceptions...etc.  (Alma 36:14)

Robbing -  Not breaking into someones car and stealing their laptop, although yes that is stealing.  In the scriptures the idea here is that it's the poor and God that so often get robbed.  It's to deprive one of what they should receive.  Robbery occurs when the poor are passed over in favor of puffing up and lavishing the rich.  It's when "fine sanctuaries" deprive those in need.  It's when value is taken from people who have inherent worth and instead extended to "things" which will all pass away.  (2 Nephi 28:13).          

Unbelief  -  Doesn't only mean you don't have any beliefs inside you, it means the form of your belief is not correct, and produces no fruit.  Your belief produces no signs (signs follow them that believe D&C 63:9).  So unbelief denotes you have the wrong understanding, or such false perceptions that it causes you to continually miss the mark. (D&C 84:55)

Vanity -  is not a slave to fashion, or the sink/mirror combination in your bathroom.  It means ineffective or lacking power. (i.e. your faith is vain)…  Vanity is also "That which is empty".  It's making your self look good in the eyes of others.  Drawing attention to self in favor of pointing to God.  The self centered, self flattering, or self vaunting mindset that leads to ignoring or denying God's presence, and influence.  Vanity is focus on the wrong thing, and ascribing value where there is none.  (D&C 84:55)

Idolatry -  Not just bowing to a gold calf, but mistaking the "thing", or "symbol" for the underlying truth or meaning.  Idolatry includes beliefs and thus actions that idolize or pay undue adoration to someone, or some thing which distracts you from God.  People can make a church, a person, a thing, or an obsession into an idol.  Tradition can be an idol.  It's possible to hearken to the President of the Church's inspired counsel.  It is also possible to make him, or the Church into an idol, and participate in a form of idol worship.  Idolatry seems to be one of the most common errors scriptures say people fall into.  (Alma 31:1) (Amla 50:21)

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