1 Nephi 22
1 Nephi 22:Verse 27
27 And now behold, I, Nephi, say unto you that all these things must come according to the flesh.
The visions of John and Nephi are real and actual events that have and will take place upon the earth, and in the words of Nephi, will come "according to the flesh." This is not a spiritual prophecy, or symbols of heavenly events, nor unseen manifestations of the war against good and evil. The Lord tells John that "these sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done" (Revelation 22:6). Reality exists only in the realm of the sacred, not this short life of seventy plus years, if we're lucky. Eternity is real, and all that we do in this night dream must be done for our glory or damnation in the real life of eternity. A "probationary state" is a temporal, and temporary existence, it lasts only a short time, but sets our course and places us on the narrow path toward salvation and exaltation that only a "few" find, or the wide path that leads away from the presence of God. The unrelenting promise of this probationary state is that there will be trials and tribulations throughout. Satan and his demonic forces will place stumbling blocks in our way, and "tares" to choke our spiritual growth and stop our progression toward the presence and glory of the God. The thorns and tares that are set to impede eternal progression are the "cares of the world," (Matthew 13:22) and as Nephi learns that the "mists of darkness" used by Satan to confuse and mislead mankind are: "the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost" (1 Nephi 12:17). Coupled with the "mists of darkness" is the Nephite symbol of Babylon, the "large" or "great and spacious building" which represents the "vain imaginations," the "pride of the children of men," and the "world and the wisdom thereof" (1 Nephi 11:35-36; 12:18). This great and spacious building is the same as Babylon, the great and abominable church of the devil, the whore of all the earth that sitteth upon the waters and maketh war against the saints of God (see 1 Nephi 11:35-36).
Below is a comparison with passages of scriptures that relate to the great and spacious building and those types of people who find and fill it by their choice as they "feel their way" into the attitude and lifestyle of the proud. Other groups of people, can be seen, as they seek the truth but loose their way because of the "mists of darkness," letting go of the "iron rod," and others, because of the world and the wisdom thereof, leave the tree of life are led away in strange paths. The Book of Mormon begins with the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon, and ends with the destruction of the Nephites' culture and nation because of Babylon. It is a record of a fallen people, and Lehi and his son, Nephi, begin this sacred record by teaching about the sin of pride and the powers that mankind grants unto Satan because of the pride that exists in his heart. The prophets Mormon, and Moroni end their abridgement of this book of scripture, showing the readers the end result of that same unbridled pride.
The Book of Mormon contains within its' sacred pages, the elements that stand as the barriers of salvation and exaltation. They are:
1. The Fall of Man
2. The Guilt of Sin
3. The Cares of the World
4. The Deceitfulness of Riches
5. The Physical Distance
6. The Weakness of the Flesh
7. The Vanity of Man
8. Willfulness or Choice (second fall)
9. The Uncertainty of the Sacred
These barriers can only be overcome by humility and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, as we exercise faith unto repentance, and participate in the ordinances of salvation and exaltation that are patterned after the great and last sacrifice of the Son of God.
16 Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord. (Alma 13:16).
14 And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal. (Alma 34:14).
All ordinances and all law point to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, it is through him that we can enter again the presence of our Father in Heaven in exaltation, for there is no other name whereby man may be saved. Christ is the "mediator" between God and man, and thus, do the scriptures testify.
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