Monthly Archives: February 2006

Daniel Pipes Article: Civil War in Iraq?

Posted by permission from Dr. Daniel Pipes. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

Civil War In Iraq?

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
February 28, 2006
http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3423

The bombing on February 22 of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, Iraq, was a tragedy, but it was not an American or a coalition tragedy.

The destruction of the Golden Dome, built in 1905 and one of the holiest shrines of Shiite Islam, represents an escalation of the Sunni assault on the Shiites, a purposeful outrage intended to provoke an emotional backlash. It signals not Sunni weakness but the determination of elements in Iraq’s long-ruling community to reassert its dominance. Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani, has rightly warned, "The fire of sedition, when it breaks out, can burn everything in its path and spare no one." One shudders at the possible carnage ahead.

That said, Iraq’s plight is neither a coalition responsibility nor a particular danger to the West.

When Washington and its allies toppled the hideous regime of Saddam Hussein, which endangered the outside world by beginning two wars of expansion, by building a WMD arsenal, and by aspiring to control the trade in oil and gas, they bestowed a historic benefit on Iraqis, a population that had been wantonly oppressed by the Stalinist dictator.

Unsurprisingly, his regime quickly fell to outside attack, proving to be the "cakewalk" that many analysts, including myself, had expected. That six-week victory remains a glory of American foreign policy and of the coalition forces. It also represents a personal achievement for President Bush, who made the key decisions.

But the president decided that this mission was not enough. Dazzled by the examples of post-World War II Germany and Japan – whose transformations in retrospect increasingly appear to have been one-time achievements – he committed troops in the pursuit of creating a "free and democratic Iraq." This noble aim was inspired by the best of America’s idealism.

But nobility of purpose did not suffice for rehabilitating Iraq, as I predicted already in April 2003. Iraqis, a predominantly Muslim population newly liberated from their totalitarian dungeon, were disinclined to follow the American example; for their part, the American people lacked a deep interest in the welfare of Iraq. This combination of forces guarantees the coalition cannot impose its will on 26 million Iraqis.

It also implies the need for a lowering of coalition goals. I cheer the goal of a "free and democratic Iraq," but the time has come to acknowledge that the coalition’s achievement will be limited to destroying tyranny, not sponsoring its replacement. There is nothing ignoble about this limited achievement, which remains a landmark of international sanitation. It would be especially unfortunate if aiming too high spoils that attainment and thereby renders future interventions less likely. The benefits of eliminating Saddam’s rule must not be forgotten in the distress of not creating a successful new Iraq.

Fixing Iraq is neither the coalition’s responsibility nor its burden. The damage done by Saddam will take many years to repair. Americans, Britons, and others cannot be tasked with resolving Sunni-Shiite differences, an abiding Iraqi problem that only Iraqis themselves can address.

The eruption of civil war in Iraq would have many implications for the West. It would likely:

  • Invite Syrian and Iranian participation, hastening the possibility of an American confrontation with those two states, with which tensions are already high.
  • Terminate the dream of Iraq serving as a model for other Middle Eastern countries, thus delaying the push toward elections. This will have the effect of keeping Islamists from being legitimated by the popular vote, as Hamas was just a month ago.
  • Reduce coalition casualties in Iraq. As noted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Rather than killing American soldiers, the insurgents and foreign fighters are more focused on creating civil strife that could destabilize Iraq’s political process and possibly lead to outright ethnic and religious war."
  • Reduce Western casualties outside Iraq. A professor at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Vali Nasr, notes: "Just when it looked as if Muslims across the region were putting aside their differences to unite in protest against the Danish cartoons, the attack showed that Islamic sectarianism remains the greatest challenge to peace." Put differently, when Sunni terrorists target Shiites and vice-versa, non-Muslims are less likely to be hurt.

Civil war in Iraq, in short, would be a humanitarian tragedy but not a strategic one.


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Democrats Distraught By Divisions

What is the Official Democratic party position on Iraq? For it? Against it? For it before they are against it? Against it before they are for it? Who knows these days what the party believes.
 
What message do the Democrats have for America besides pure anti-Bush tripe? Nothing, not a darn thing in the least. CryingCrats, nails on a chalkboard.
 
The Left doesn’t control all press, nor all the T.V. news broadcasts, nor the internet, and this is a contributing factor to their downfall. Sorry, Soros, as last election proved, your efforts to influence opinion and buy an election failed quite miserably, didn’t it? I doubt you will fair any better this coming Presidential Election, but I sure enjoy watching you flush your money down the toilet.
 
As Webb says, “The American left has faded away. Only their bumper stickers remain, like cockroaches after a nuclear holocaust. ‘Re-defeat George Bush,’ they whine. Not knowing, not caring that the world has changed.”
 
Al Gore
Grumpy, whining, Gore.
 
 
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Militant Islamic Terrorist Controling American Ports?

The UAE may very well be a staunch ally in the war on terror. But the fact remains, many Arabs are terrorist, bent on destroying Westerners at every turn.
It seems logical that Militant Islamic terrorist could gain easier access into American ports if the UAE does takeover shipping giant P&O.
It is one thing for a for-profit company (even a foreign company at that) to handle the services of our ports. It is all together something entirely different when a foreign government is handling the servicing of our ports.
That should make all reasoning American’s feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea.
Republican and Democrat politicians argue that the US would be more vulnerable to terrorism after the takeover, which would hand control of 21 US ports to a firm from the United Arab Emirates.
Dock workers protesting against the P&O takeover
The takeover of P&O has come up against stiff resistance in the US
Freight being unloaded at the Port of Philadelphia
New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami, Philadelphia
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Palestinian “basic needs”? Murder Bombers!

What is the Palestinian “basic needs”?
 
Murder Bombers!
 
Kill Jews!
 
Destroy Israel!
 
That is there only “basic needs”.
 
Doubt it?
 
Ask Hamas, they will set the record straight.
 
Palestinians welcome EU aid deal
 
The Palestinian caretaker government has welcomed the European Union’s offer of 120m euros ($140m; £83m) in emergency aid to keep it functioning.

Finance Minister Mazen Sinukrot said it was a “wise decision” but an Israeli spokesman suggested it was misguided.

The EU said the aid would address Palestinian “basic needs”
EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero Waldner
 
 
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Iran Aims Purely Peaceful. Not!

Let me help you, El Baradei, Iran’s aims are not purely peaceful.
 
Amazing, even without co-operation, El Baradei, I can tell you the reality behind Iran’s aim.
 
No wonder we are doomed as a race. When stupidity reigns, the people will suffer.
 
Mohamed El Baradei delivered his report ahead of a crucial meeting, and said in essence, “in the absence of co-operation, he could not say if Iran’s aims were purely peaceful.”
 
Mohamed ElBaradei
 
 
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Actions Better Than Words: Talking Turkish, Who Cares!

Glad to see Turkey actually doing somthing. Besides talks, Turkey should allow US forces to access Iraq through Turkey. In March 2005, “Donald Rumsfeld, has blamed the inability to gain permission to invade Iraq through Turkey for the power of the insurgency that the US now faces.” I agreed then, and I agree now. Hey, Turkey, actions speak louder than words, didn’t your mama teach you anything?
BBC NEWS
Turkish talks on Iraqi violence

Iraqi PM Ibrahim al-Jaafari and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are due to meet in Ankara to discuss Iraq’s escalation of violence.

The BBC’s Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul says Turkey fears civil war in Iraq and the country’s potential disintegration, and is attempting to mediate directly.

Iraqi soldiers guard a Sunni mosque in Baghdad
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Iraq Poll Whacked

News Alert!
 
“It’s official. LDS Patriot thinks Citizens worldwide have made a fundamental mistake in their viewpoint on war on terror,” says LDS Patriot, president of the international polling firm IntelligentScan, which carried out the survey.
 
This to counter the findings in the poll, which are misguided viewpoints: “It’s official. Citizens worldwide think Western leaders have made a fundamental mistake in their war on terror by invading Iraq,” says Doug Miller, president of the international polling firm GlobeScan, which carried out the survey.
BBC NEWS
Iraq makes terror ‘more likely’

People across the world overwhelmingly believe the war in Iraq has increased the likelihood of terrorist attacks worldwide, a poll for the BBC reveals.

Some 60% of people in 35 countries surveyed believe this is the case, against just 12% who think terrorist attacks have become less likely.

US soldiers uncover a weapons cache in Iraq
 
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Mardi Gras returns to New Orleans

Life comes back to New Orleans.

A week so after Katrina hit I mentioned to my friend at work Mardi Gras would happen in 2006. He laughed at me.

Mardi Gras returns to New Orleans

Members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club dance in the French Quarter

Mardi Gras is as big as Easter or Christmas in New Orleans

Tens of thousands of revellers are gathering in New Orleans for the climax of the first Mardi Gras since Hurricane Katrina struck six months ago.

The festivities reach their height on Tuesday when tourists and locals line the streets to cheer on the parades.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4757420.stm

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Boat Won’t Float

Nope, will never pass muster. Jeb will not claim the presidency.

Conservatives float Jeb Bush as presidential candidate

A surprising name is being floated in conservative circles for the presidency in 2008: Jeb Bush, the incumbent’s younger brother and the two-term governor of Florida.

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Anti-Anti-Americanism Not Key To Winning Islamic World

Freedom is God’s gift to mankind. Once tasted, anything less leaves a bitter taste. So I agree with Gerecht, that encouraging and supporting democracy is a greater gain than an anti-anti-American campaign.

As well, not every Arab or Muslim is anti-American.

Making friends in the Middle East

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA agent now working at the American Enterprise Institute, argues that our goal in the Middle East and the Islamic world should not be to minimize anti-American feeling but to encourage democracy. I think Gerecht has a point. The United States is not in a popularity contest, in which the prize goes to the nation that chalks up the highest favorability ratings in polls in other nations. We’re engaged in the much more serious business of trying to ensure that we can live peaceably and safely in the world. George W. Bush has made the determination that that can best be done by promoting democracy and freedom in the Islamic world. You can disagree with that, as some thoughtful people do. But it’s at least one plausible way to try to make the world less dangerous.

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On The Hot Seat

Good article; worthy read.


On The Hot Seat

These are tough times for Pakistan’s embattled leader. Why President Bush’s visit may make them tougher

By By Thomas Omestad

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060227/27pakistan.htm?track=rss

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Spy or Die?

Spy or die?

It seems to me to be fairly clear: catch the bad guy before he can kill you.

If spying works, if tapping works, why not?

Because, rights-obsessed PC blinded people care more about so called “rights” than they do about life.

I think the right to live is a higher right than so called privacy rights.

Some people just don’t get it!

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Using All the Tools
By Mortimer B. Zuckerman

…Critics, in both the Democratic and Republican parties, charge that such NSA operations are illegal without warrants. Such arguments miss the point. What is relevant is how to develop a system that empowers government to monitor potential threats in the most agile, timely way possible while reassuring the public that it is not abusing its powers.

How? Unelected judges are not the answer. Warrants that aren’t required for listening to terrorist communications in Iraq or Afghanistan should not be needed to listen to a terrorist abroad calling a potential plotter inside the United States.

As I argued last week, there are issues that should have bipartisan support, and this is one of them. To this end, the president must delegate someone trusted by Congress to come up with a sustainable bipartisan solution exempting data mining from the constraints of FISA while providing for appropriate congressional oversight. This will require good-faith negotiations between the White House and Congress. Staff members from the congressional intelligence committees, with the benefit of joint legal counsel, could be assigned to the NSA, fully briefed on all its operations so they can report back to the committee members. We must act at once, for the revelations about the NSA program have already alerted the terrorists to change their ways.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/opinion/articles/060227/27edit.htm?track=rss

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Bush & Energy

It’s a relief to see Bush speaking so much about energy now. Will it stick or is they just an a convenient domestic agenda. Given his past performance on this key issue, I don’t think he is all that serious about energy.

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Energy costs are boosting inflation

It’s now a virtual certainty that new Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke will hike short-term interest rates at least one more time.

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Gitmo

USA can’t win. Let them starve, it’s torture. Force feed them, it’s torture. Gitmo is probably the safest place these combatants have ever lived. I’m all for freedom if they are not guilty of crimes, but hey, how about a "ThankYouVeryMuch" for being such kind jailers!

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Military says special chair stops Gitmo hunger strikes

The head of the United States Southern Command says the use of a restraint chair has helped cut the number of Guantánamo Bay detainees on a hunger strike from 130 down to five.

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A Plan: No Iran, no Hamas.

No Iran, no Hamas.

No Iran, no Hamas, less terror.

Good plan!


Iran offers Hamas financial aid

Iran offers to help finance the cash-strapped Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, after the US withdraws aid.

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A Lying Fool

So, Ahmadinejad’s an idiot. Because his feigned denial is nothing more than his blatant contempt and hatred for Jews, the reason anyone would follow him is what? Oh, yeah, they too are idiots, fools and liars!

Ahmadinejad, The Biggest Loser!

Iran leader faces Holocaust case

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Germany has condemned Mr  remarks

An Israeli lawyer, Ervin Shahar, says he has asked Germany to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with denying the Holocaust.

Mr Ahmadinejad was widely criticised when he said last year that the Holocaust was a "myth" and that Israel should be "wiped off the map".

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Kent Robbery

My greatest relief is that no one was killed. What is more, I feel for the family that went through those horrific ordeal. I’m sure it will haunt them for years to come.

Family abducted before £25m raid

A police van at the Securitas depot

The security manager’s ordeal lasted about eight hours

More than £25m in cash has been stolen from a depot in Kent after its security manager and his family were kidnapped by armed robbers posing as police.

Family abducted before £25m raid

Armed raiders steal more than £25m from a depot after tying up 15 staff members and kidnapping a security boss, his wife and child.

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Avraham Gileadi, PhD., Old Testament Lesson 4

Posted by permission from the editors of www.latterdaylight.com. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

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OLD TESTAMENT GOSPEL DOCTRINE SUPPLEMENTS by Avraham Gileadi
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Please share this email with someone you feel would enjoy the gospel insights from Dr. Avraham Gileadi, PhD. To subscribe to this newsletter, visit www.latterdaylight.com.
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ISAIAH DECODED: ASCENDING THE LADDER TO HEAVEN by Avraham Gileadi

LDS scholar Avraham Gileadi shares Isaiah’s "good news" and how the book of Isaiah teaches us God’s higher law and how God enables us to ascend to heaven. By living God’s law, we are reborn on ever higher levels of a spiritual "ladder" until we are privileged to pass through heaven’s gate. Special $1 shipping! http://www.latterdaylightbooks.com/catalog.php?Iit=78&Ict=21

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Lesson 4 – The Fall — Descent before Ascent

Some people view the fall of Adam and Eve from an exalted state–from dwelling in the presence of God to being cut off from his presence–as a huge blunder, without which we would all be better off. Without the Fall, however, we wouldn?t be able to progress beyond the most basic level, beyond our "first estate." In other words, we wouldn?t be here. Although it affected Adam and Eve differently than it did their children, in each case the Fall constituted a descent from a higher plane to a lower one. As primordial spirits, we too dwelt in holier spheres than this earthly habitation. Because God?s plan is based on individual agency, mortality was no doubt something we chose not just with enthusiasm but also with some degree of trepidation because of the hazards inherent in the journey.

Fortunately, Isaiah?s paradigm of "descent before ascent" makes immediate sense of the whole matter, providing a model of spiritual progression all can understand. While salvation and exaltation are as much a part of Isaiah?s theology as they are of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, in the book of Isaiah they appear within a holistic context that provides a clear perspective of how these goals are attained. Thus, key antithetical themes, built into the structure of the book, reveal that ruin comes before rebirth, disinheritance before inheritance, punishment before deliverance, suffering before salvation, and humiliation before exaltation. Just as night precedes day, and chaos precedes creation, so each ascent to a higher plane is preceded by a temporary descent into turmoil during which God puts a person?s loyalties to the test (see Avraham Gileadi, Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven, Hebraeus Press, 2002).

For Adam and Eve and their children, the cauldron of mortality would be a refiner?s fire from which they would emerge either as gold tried and proven or, alternatively, as dross or alloy. When God said to Adam, "Cursed shall be the ground for thy sake" (Moses 4:23; cf. Genesis 3:17), the words, "for thy sake," let us know there was something to be gained from this telestial experience. The curse of being "made partakers of misery and woe" (Moses 6:48) could turn into a blessing. Although ?sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter," their purpose was to teach God?s children to "prize the good" (Moses 6:55). Descent into mortality, with all its vicissitudes–ruin, disinheritance, punishment, suffering, and humiliation–could serve as the prelude to ascent to something more glorious than we had experienced before. Earth life would provide the optimum conditions under which we could undergo rebirth to a new life, receive a noble inheritance, find deliverance from
damnation, gain salvation from an endless disembodiment, and, ultimately, attain exaltation in the kingdom of God.

Although in mortality both the man and the woman experience "sorrow" (Moses 4:22?23; cf. Genesis 3:16?17)–the Lord?s words to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the midst of his afflictions apply here as well: "Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high" (D&C 121:7?8). A passage from Isaiah is likewise relevant: "For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee" (Isaiah 54:7?8). It is not so important, then, from whence sorrows come–how we got into this mortal mess, why things are so flawed, whose fault something is, who has offended us, etc.–but how we respond. Ultimately, all afflictions are a test from God we volunteered for.

Not only do death and sorrow come into people?s lives with the Fall, so does another enemy: "Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God" (Moses 6:49). A notable angel, who once dwelt in God?s presence (2 Nephi 9:8), has now become "Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice" (Moses 4:4). As a result of Satan?s influence, henceforth "works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men" (Moses 5:55), until men?s "hearts have waxed hard, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes cannot see afar off" (Moses 6:27).

Satan and his followers adopt the opposite paradigm of that which leads to salvation and exaltation. Instead of experiencing "descent before ascent," they undergo "ascent before descent." By proposing an alternative plan that would exalt himself, for example, Satan ends up humiliated. By being unwilling to pay the price of humanity?s salvation–but rather compelling people to behave–he nevertheless ends up suffering. Although Satan didn?t get his chance to "save" anyone by using his methods, he nevertheless still implements controlling tendencies in world religions. Moreover, his "desire" being directed towards Cain–as Eve?s desire is towards Adam (Genesis 3:16; 4:7; Moses 4:22: 5:23)–foreshadows the alternative lifestyle he advocates in a morally corrupt world. No wonder God calls his latter-day people "Sodom and Gomorrah" (Isaiah 1:10; 3:9), alluding to sexual depravity among many of them and to their ultimate demise (Isaiah 13:1?19).

The cursed condition caused by the Fall–in which all manner of evils and falsehoods are permitted to prevail–is nonetheless the perfect environment in which spiritual growth can occur. As Lehi teaches in his masterful discourse to his son Jacob, "It must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things" (2 Nephi 2:11). In this mortal probationary state, people are "free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil" (2 Nephi 2:27). On the one hand, "redemption cometh in and through the holy Messiah," who "offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit" (2 Nephi 2:6?7). On the other, "the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein…giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom" (2 Nephi 2:29).

The redeeming factor of the Fall is the opportunity to rise to new heights by availing ourselves of Christ?s atonement for transgression. To that end–in the midst of and in spite of our disadvantaged state–we must follow the commandments of God and "turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men" (Moses 6:52). In the process, we "must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory" (Moses 6:59).

When Adam, in fulfilling these commandments, "was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man," God declared, "Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons? (Moses 6:65, 68). Although Adam?s and Eve?s descent from a celestial to a telestial sphere for the sake of their posterity was greater than ours (and consequently their ascent to glory also), nevertheless all follow the same pattern in becoming "sons" of God. Without undergoing a descent into mortality–without experiencing the perils of the Fall–we cannot be called God?s "sons" in the scriptural definition of the term. The sacrifice Adam and Eve made in their descent was nonetheless eclipsed by one even greater. When making the Atonement, Christ "descended below them all" (D&C 88:6; 122:8), thereafter ascending above them all to sit on his Father?s throne (Revelation 3:21; cf. Moroni 9:26) .

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Gospel Doctrine Supplements by Avraham Gileadi is a service of the Hebreaus Foundation and Latter Day Light?www.latterdaylight.com, and distributed by email via the Latter Day Light?Gospel Doctrine Supplement mailing list. This message may be forwarded to individuals if this copyright notice is included. Posting, printing, or any other form of reproduction of this material without the permission of the owner is prohibited. Copyright 2006 The Hebreaus Foundation.
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DNA & the Book of Mormon: Summary of Scientific Facts To Date

It is scientifically unsound to claim "DNA science has disproved the Latter-day Saint assertion that the Book of Mormon is historical reality." Before you buy into that specious argument, get the facts first. Facts are our friends and shouldn’t be shunned.

Here is a summary of the scientific facts to date:

Those who make this claim have not done actual DNA studies that had the premise of being a litmus test the Book of Mormons historical claims. Rather, they have sloppily borrowed other research and cast out unwarranted accusations against the Book of Mormon. Clearly this hardly is a "scientific" approach, as I’m sure you would agree (if you know anything about science in the least, that is).

DNA has supported New World immigrations from Asiatic populace, and to that we say, "So what?" This falls short of disproving the Book of Mormon for several reasons.

1) The Book of Mormon doesn’t deal with all ancient New World peoples. Meaning, the geography and group in the Book of Mormon is very limited, and other peoples were present in the New World before Lehi’s family came over. Take this into account and that means "scientific" conclusions are impossible.

2) We don’t know what Israelite DNA from Lehi’s time looks like. Therefore, without a base line, without knowing what to look for, "scientific" conclusions are impossible.

3) DNA markers can and do disappear. Take into account the combined effects of Genetic Bottleneck, the Founder Effect and Genetic Drift, and that means "scientific" conclusions are impossible.

DNA evidence is not incompatible with a belief that the Book of Mormon is an authentic ancient document. That is the only "scientific" conclusion that can be confirmed at the moment.

Is An Historical Book of Mormon Compatible With DNA Science?
http://www.fairlds.org/apol/brochures/BoMDNA.pdf

DNA and the Book of Mormon
http://www.fairlds.org/apol/ai195.html

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Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven by Avraham Gileadi

Gileadi’s background makes him uniquely qualified to bring to light Isaiah as never before or as know one else can. His contribution to Isaiah is second to none; both in the LDS community and outside the LDS community.

As Nibley is to Book of Mormon research, Gileadi is to Isaiah. He has advanced the keys to unlocking, or decoding Isaiah, in a way hitherto unknown. If McConkie is king of Mormon doctrine, Gileadi is king of Isaiah.

In fact, unless one reads Gileadi’s books on Isaiah, Isaiah will (and the OT and the Plan of Salvation) simply will not be fully appreciated.

Again, it is my opinion, that until on learns about what Gileadi has to say about Isaiah, Isaiah will remain a sealed book.

IMHO, the best book to begin with in taking on his work is "Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven by Avraham Gileadi."

"The Literary Message of Isaiah" was his doctorate thesis. Some have criticized is as being too technical, and as a result the message was getting buried. So the audience for "The Literary Message of Isaiah" is fulltime scholars.

"Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven" is the layman?s book of "The Literary Message of Isaiah." It was written to summaries the salient points in "The Literary Message of Isaiah" minus all the details and with language the average LDS in mind; it?s an easier and more enjoyable read.

BYU BOOK STORE:
Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven by Avraham Gileadi
Item #0-910511-07-1
For the first time, a Bible scholar fully integrates the Old and New Testaments. Dr. Avraham Gileadi reveals the Book of Isaiah as the key to these two seemingly incompatible books of scripture, taking both to an unprecedented level of understanding. Hitherto unseen literary features change the rules for interpreting the prophecy of Isaiah, showing it to be an allegory of the end of the world. Isaiah’s "good news" teaches us God’s higher law and how God enables us to ascend to heaven. By living God’s law, we are reborn on even higher levels of a spiritual "ladder" until we are privileged to pass through heaven’s gate. For centuries, people have tried to make sense of Isaiah’s writings, not realizing that sophisticated literary structures both conceal and reveal a major prophecy about our time. Now, decades of scriptural analysis by Avraham Gileadi, a leading Bible scholar, are simplified for the lay reader in Isaiah Decoded. Hardback.

http://www.byubookstore.com/ePOS/this_category=253&store=439&item_number=0-910511-07-1&form=shared3/gm/detail.html&design=439

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Avraham Gileadi, PhD., Old Testament Lesson 3

Posted by permission from the editors of www.latterdaylight.com. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

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OLD TESTAMENT GOSPEL DOCTRINE SUPPLEMENTS by Avraham Gileadi
====================================================
Please share this email with someone you feel would enjoy the gospel insights from Dr. Avraham Gileadi, PhD. To subscribe to this newsletter, visit www.latterdaylight.com.
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STUDIES IN THE BOOK OF MORMON by Avraham Gileadi

This book provides wonderful insights for your study the Book of Mormon. Brother Gileadi’s background brings fascinating understanding to the language and teachings found the Book of Mormon. http://www.latterdaylightbooks.com/catalog.php?Iit=77&Ict=23

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Lesson 3 – In the Image and Likeness of God

The story of how God made the heavens and the earth and created Adam and Eve often remains at the kindergarten level in our minds when in actuality the Bible is replete with data that fills out the sparse account of the creation narrative. This is particularly true of the theology of Isaiah, who identifies a series of spiritual levels that greatly impacts our understanding of Adam and Eve and of anyone else in his or her relationship to God. Just as a knowledge of the Old Testament is key to understanding the New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, etc., so a knowledge of the words of Isaiah is key to comprehending the Old Testament itself and, indeed, all scriptures.

Isaiah informs us, for example, who it is that qualifies for Paradise and that God hasn?t stopped creating. God continues to create, or rather re-create, the heavens and the earth, his covenant people, and all who keep his commandments. According to Isaiah, the earth itself, God?s people Israel, and righteous individuals are all in the process of pursuing a well-defined pattern of ascent by following the steps God has formulated that will exalt them, in which each ascent or rebirth involves a divine act of creation that brings his children ever closer to his image and likeness. Outside of this arrangement there is but spiritual stagnation, which, in actuality, constitutes descent or regression, entailing a de-creation of what a person once was, because time itself moves forward.

In the light of Isaiah?s theology of spiritual ascent, the creation of the heavens and the earth and of Adam and Eve is seen as part of a much broader, ongoing process; in other words, as part of a continuum of creation, not as a one-time event. Although God shows Moses only concerning this earth and its inhabitants (Moses 1:35, 40), God has nevertheless created ?worlds without number,? many of which have ?passed away,? many of which ?now stand,? and others of which, very evidently, are in the process of creation (Moses 1:33, 35). Of course, these worlds too have ?Adams? and ?Eves? to populate them, so that their children, in turn, may likewise qualify for Paradise if they progress to that point. This process has been going on long before we arrived on the scene, and it will continue long after we exit mortality.

As a case in point, a pinhead view of deep space, now possible with the Hubble Telescope circling the earth, reveals endless galaxies stretching into the distance as far as the eye can see, each galaxy with its billions of stars. Multiply that with similar scans in every possible direction and we can conclude that the numbers of Adams and Eves populating planets–the ?worlds without number? God has created–must be in the trillions upon trillions! What Isaiah teaches us, however, is that we ourselves may become Adams and Eves, and as we grasp that fact we will understand the Bible?s creation story in an entirely new light.

First of all, we should know that the word ?God,? in Hebrew, is a plural term. This explains why Abraham 4?5 speaks of ?the Gods? creating the heavens and the earth rather than ?God.? The Book of Abraham simply renders another translation of the same word in the language of the Old Testament. The plurality of the term ?Gods? throws into perspective the vastness of the cosmos and who was involved in the creation of our particular earth and its ?heavens,? which to the naked eye consist of our own galaxy.

Secondly, we should keep in mind that if God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and is no respecter of persons (see Acts 10:34; 1 Nephi 10:18; Mormon 9:9; D&C 1:35; 35:1; 38:16), then he will not do for Adam and Eve something he will not do for us. In other words, the creation of our first parents wasn?t something unique that has not or will not repeat itself elsewhere. If we too may become Adams and Eves–by passing through the steps God has outlined in his plan of salvation and exaltation–then we can reason backwards and conclude that Adam and Eve, our ancestors, must have passed through these very same steps in order for them to become Adam and Eve.

As Isaiah informs us, those steps involve ascending through several spiritual levels until one?s election is made sure, corresponding with a theology of progression through telestial, terrestrial, and celestial degrees of glory. In his inspired writings, Isaiah identifies a telestial category of people as Jacob/Israel, which consists of generic believers in God in an unsaved state. Second, he designates a terrestrial category as Zion/Jerusalem, comprising God?s covenant people or those who obtain a remission of their sins. A third, celestial category of people, God?s Sons/Servants, is composed of individuals who see God, thus making sure their calling and election.

As with Adam and Eve, only on this celestial level does the idea of male and female become prominent in the book of Isaiah. This is important because, as the Genesis account informs us, being created in the image and likeness of God is itself defined as male and female: ?God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them? (Genesis 1:26?27; cf. Moses 2:26?27; Abraham 4:26?27); ?In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created? (Genesis 5:1?2; cf. Moses 6:8?9). The alternate pronouns, ?him/them,? show that Adam and Eve were inseparable.

This male?female identity means that anything less than that is expressly not in the image and likeness of God because God himself is male and female; that is, God consists of both a divine Father and a divine Mother. It also means that on the celestial level the marriage covenant is an integral part of one?s covenant with God and that male?female relationships below this level have no permanency. One cannot claim, therefore, that all of God?s children are created in the image and likeness of God, at least not physically in the literal, scriptural sense, not until they becomes celestial beings. Only as one makes sure his calling and election–possible only as male and female on the Son/Servant (celestial) level–is one truly created, or rather re-created, in the image and likeness of God to dwell in his presence as did Adam and Eve.

The fact that ?Adam…begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth? (Genesis 5:3; cf. Moses 6:10), implies that Seth followed Adam?s example of covenantal loyalty to God (cf. Moses 6:3) and that Adam was a son of God through the same natural process by which Seth was a son of Adam (cf. Moses 6:22). That idea is implicit in the use of the identical terms, ?likeness? and ?image,? that describe both Adam?s and Seth?s origins, apart from any human resemblance that was apparent. Although Adam was physically ?formed from the dust? (Genesis 2:7; 3:19; Moses 3:7; Abraham 5:7), that doesn?t imply he was made from a lump of clay. It simply means his body was organized from earthly (telestial) elements (cf. Moses 6:59), the words ?dust? and ?waters? used in the creation narrative being chaos motifs that represent matter in a disorganized state.

The word ?dust? also alludes to a rebirth or resurrection from the dust, as in ?Awake, arise; clothe yourself with power, O Zion! Put on your robes of glory, O Jerusalem, holy city…Shake yourself free, rise from the dust; sit enthroned, O Jerusalem? (Isaiah 52:1?2, GT; cf. Moroni 10:31). That idea coincides with the ?deep sleep? that fell upon Adam (Genesis 2:21; Moses 3:21; Abraham 5:15), from which God awakens him. The words, ?Awake? and ?arise? are resurrection motifs, as in ?Yet shall thy dead live when their bodies arise. Awake, and sing for joy, you who abide in the dust: your dew is the dew of sunrise! For the earth shall cast up its dead? (Isaiah 26:19, GT). They also suggest rebirth from a lower to a higher spiritual level, as in ?Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light? (Ephesians 5:14; cf. 2 Nephi 1:14, 23).

In the millennial age that Isaiah predicts, when the Lord comes to reign on the earth, all the righteous who remain–that is, Zion/Jerusalem and above–will enjoy the earth?s paradisaical glory. However, only those on the Son/Servant level or higher will inherit Paradise by right of possession (see Avraham Gileadi, Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven, Hebraeus Press, 2002, 169?219). This implies that, as God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and is no respecter of persons, those who inherit Paradise on this earth by right of possession also qualify as Adams and Eves who at some point may populate worlds. To receive Paradise as a birthright, in other words, puts a couple on the level of Adam and Eve, ready, in the due time of the Lord, to begin a new cycle of creation.

The fact that Adam and Eve chose to partake of the forbidden fruit and temporarily leave Paradise was a calculated act that provided their sons and daughters with the kind of (telestial) environment in which they too, by overcoming evil, could ascend to their parents? level. Through their selfless sacrifice, Adam and Eve, in turn, would ascend even further.

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Gospel Doctrine Supplements by Avraham Gileadi is a service of the Hebreaus Foundation and Latter Day Light?www.latterdaylight.com, and distributed by email via the Latter Day Light?Gospel Doctrine Supplement mailing list. This message may be forwarded to individuals if this copyright notice is included. Posting, printing, or any other form of reproduction of this material without the permission of the owner is prohibited. Copyright 2006 The Hebreaus Foundation.
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Do LDS Idolize Joseph Smith?

Selah on FAIR Message Board wrote, "That to me always seemed like idol worship when the first name out of a person’s mouth was almost ALWAYS Joseph Smith and not Jesus."
http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?showtopic=12688&st=15&#entry347234

I hear what you are saying and there maybe merit to what you say. I do not dismiss outright your opinion.

I do, however, want to provide my personal observations that speaks to this issue. I’m a talk show radio-holic; I’d listen to talk radio 24/7/365 if I could. I listen to everything, including Christian talk radio. I’ve witnessed like parallels amongst some Christian leaders who praise and nearly worship the ground Paul walked on. They drone on and on and on and on incessantly about Paul.

To your point, do these Christian leaders idolize Paul? Given your view point we must conclude that to be the case.

But I do not think so; I do not believe these Christian leaders idolize Paul anymore than LDS idolize Joseph Smith. Why so much emphasis upon these Prophets then? When such emphasis is evident what is the motive in the heart of those who would hold such high regard for these Prophets that it requires such much emphasis?

I’m sure you can answer the question yourself. It is not these Prophets per se that is being held up, but rather the miracle that God wrought through them. In my mind and in my heart, there is no possible way for be to speak about Paul & Joseph without thinking about the God and all that in his mercy and grace he has done for us.

We witness through these great Prophets God’s proximity to us. God isn’t some spirit essence which fills the universe and I’ve no contact with him. Rather Paul and Joseph demonstrate that God is close, and better yet, because God was close to Paul & Joseph, I too can be close to God in like manner.

I see Christ in Paul, so I love to talk about Paul. Likewise, I see Christ in Joseph, so I love to talk about Joseph. It’s all about the miracle of God speaking to man, God speaking to Prophets, God speaking to you and me. That isn’t idolatry, it’s faith and gratitude towards God that we honor His servants the way we do. And that, I’m certain, warms God’s heart to no end.

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Deification

SeattleGhostWriter wrote on the FAIR Message Board, ?Thus, if the Judaic, Christian and Islamic religious theophany and doctrine of Man and God are more in the minority than that of the Ancient religious theosophies that are separated by lands, oceans and times – but are parallel and similar in that man has a divine destiny that is just not ultimately reaching heaven and ending there.? http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?act=ST&f=13&t=12642&st=0#entry347183

My explanation for these parallel teachings is that it stems from two sources, 1) man’s innate spiritual intelligence; the veil is not so complete as to conceal all truth and intelligence gained in the pre-earth life, and 2) the Spirit of Christ, better known as the conscience, is the Light of Christ, which Light is divine intelligence or truth, and it would not surprise me one bit that God would plant into the hearts of men truths which uplift man towards his potential.

Deification is as old as man because it is as old as God. When God declared that his work was to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, it should be implicitly understood that his work and glory was to "remove the distinctions and barriers between us and to make us what God is." (Stephen E. Robinson) Because eternal life is the quality of life enjoyed by God and the exalted only, what kind of life God lives is the kind of live man may also enjoy and partake in.

Robinson further states, "The official doctrine of the Church on deification does not extend in essentials beyond what is said in the Bible, with its Doctrines and Covenants parallels, and in Doctrine and Covenants 132: 19-20…Those who are exalted by [God’s] grace will always be ‘gods’…by grace, by an extension of his power, and will always be subordinate to the Godhead. Any teaching beyond this involves speculation without support from either the Bible or other LDS Scriptures."

Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Dionysius, Athanasius, Maximus the Confessor, and Augustine writings all contain references to deification.

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Avraham Gileadi, PhD., Old Testament Lesson 2

Posted by permission from the editors of www.latterdaylight.com. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

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OLD TESTAMENT GOSPEL DOCTRINE SUPPLEMENTS by Avraham Gileadi
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Lesson 2 – An Order of Stars/Planets/Intelligences

Abraham 3 contains several parallel statements postulating that if "two facts" (or things) exist, one being above (or greater than) another, then this suggests that a third exists above them (3:6, 8, 16-19). With this comparative model the Lord describes stars or planets and intelligences alike (see, respectively, 3:2-18 and 3:18-23), thus implying that stars and planets are a type of intelligences. The indissoluble connection of stars and intelligences is confirmed in Abraham’s seeing the stars multiply before his eyes, until "I could not see the end thereof" (3:12), and God then telling him, "I will multiply thee, and thy seed after thee, like unto these" (3:14). That episode echoes the Genesis account, in which the Lord says, "Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be" (Genesis 15:5; cf. 26:4).

A further intrinsic link between stars and intelligences appears in the Lord’s description of stars as "lights," which are "set to give light" (3:10, 13), whereas we know from another source that intelligence is synonymous with the light of truth: "He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things. Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be. All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence" (D&C 93:28-30). In short, a person’s intelligence increases in proportion to his assimilating light and truth, which, in turn, depends on his choosing to keep the commandments of God.

A later revelation adds, "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come" (D&C 130:18-19). The word "knowledge," in this scripture, is not to be confused with information, which anyone can accumulate but not act upon. Rather, it refers to the knowledge of God, without which we cannot relate to or comprehend him (cf. Ether 3:20; D&C 84:19; 121:26; Abraham 1:2). This growing in intelligence, too, resembles cosmic phenomena, as when heavenly bodies accumulate sufficient mass to become stars and planets. Stars form when larger agglomerations of matter are compressed by intense gravity and commence fusion, at which point they begin to shine. Planets form from leftover cosmic debris surrounding the stars.

Additional scriptures directly identify persons with stars, and vice versa, as in "The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:7). These parallel phrases practically equate "morning stars" with the "sons of God," although the term "sons," by definition, identifies an exalted category among God’s children, not all of them (see Avraham Gileadi, Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven, Hebraeus Press, 2002, 169-219). Just as God numbers and "names" his sons, signifying their calling and election, so he does the stars: "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names" (Psalms 147:4); "Lift your eyes heavenward and see: Who formed these? He who brings forth their hosts by number, calling each one by name. Because he is almighty and all powerful, not one is unaccounted for" (Isaiah 40:26, GT).

Ultimately, God’s children go one of two ways, as in "[The great dragon’s] tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth" (Revelation 12:4), representing the spirits who rebelled with Lucifer, who did not keep their first estate but were cast down, as well as possible further latter-day phenomena. Others of God’s children keep both their first and second estates, as in "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3), representing the celestial exaltation of those who shone as exemplars to others during their tenure in mortality .

The Lord himself, too, is depicted as a star: "There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel" (Numbers 24:17); "Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him" (Matthew 2:2); "I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" (Revelation 22:16). Rhetorically, Job’s equating "morning stars" with the "sons of God," as mentioned earlier, nuances Christ’s identity as a morning star, precluding any confusion, for example, with the planet Venus. Rather, the terms "bright and morning star" identify Christ as the brightest morning star, he being the firstborn Son of God and a God in his own right.

In fact, Christ’s identity with Kolob appears evident, which we also glean from Abraham 3. The order of the stars and planets God has made parallels the order of the intelligences that are organized. The chiastic form of the first part of the chapter highlights the cosmic order:

a. Abraham sees the stars as far as those nearest the throne of God (3:2)
b. Kolob governs all heavenly bodies of the same order as the earth (3:3)
c. Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time (3:4)
d. The planet of the lesser light is slower than the earth (3:5)

e. Abraham sees how the greater and lesser lights relate to the earth (3:6)

d. The time of the lesser light is longer than the earth’s (3:5)
c. Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time (3:9)
b. Kolob governs all heavenly bodies of the same order as the earth (3:9)
a. Abraham sees the stars as far as those near the throne of God (3:10)

From this first part of the chapter, we identify 1. Kolob as the "greatest of all" the stars, being nearest the throne of God (cf. 3:16) and governing "all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest" (3:3, 9); 2. other "very great" governing stars near the throne of God (3:3); and 3. our immediate universe, consisting of the earth, sun, and moon (3:6). This order parallels, in the same chapter, the order of "the intelligences that were organized before the world was" (3:22), namely, 1. one "like unto God" (3:24); 2. certain "noble and great…souls" foreordained to be rulers (3:22-23); and 3. other "spirits" whom God will "prove…to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them" (3:23-24). Just as those who keep their first estate are "added upon" (3:26), so those who keep their second estate are "added upon" (ibid.), presumably the "glory" they inherit being proportional to their increase in intelligence in mortal
ity.

From these scriptures, we observe that the scriptural definition of "intelligence" is not identical with the idea of possessing smarts or being savvy in a worldly sense but rather in a spiritual sense. In effect, true intelligence consists of doing "all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them," through which persons increase in light and truth or the knowledge of God. In Isaiah’s paradigm of ascending spiritual levels, moreover, obedience to the law or terms of God’s covenant and compliance with God’s will form a grand key to successive rebirths or re-creations of the person who ascends. Thus, ultimately, all of God’s children are given the opportunity to attain celestial exaltation, as have others before them. In that respect, the cosmos surrounding us has much to teach us, as we note from the following:

"Isaiah’s use of celestial imagery as a type of persons who ascend leads to interesting parallels with a ladder to heaven. When we think of smaller heavenly bodies that orbit larger ones in terms of the smaller keeping the ‘law’ of the larger, then the cosmos alludes to a series of ascending levels. Moons orbiting planets, planets orbiting stars, and stars orbiting centers of galaxies parallel persons observing ever higher laws as they ascend. The movement in unison of larger heavenly bodies and the lower nature of ‘rogue’ entities, such as comets, asteroids, meteors, and dust, parallel the oneness of higher spiritual levels and the chaotic character of lower ones." (Isaiah Decoded, 281-82.)

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STUDIES IN THE BOOK OF MORMON by Avraham Gileadi

This book provides wonderful insights for your study the Book of Mormon. Brother Gileadi’s background as a rabbinical student in Israel brings fascinating understanding to the language and teachings found the Book of Mormon. http://www.latterdaylightbooks.com/catalog.php?Iit=77&Ict=23

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Gospel Doctrine Supplements by Avraham Gileadi is a service of the Hebreaus Foundation and Latter Day Light–www.latterdaylight.com, and distributed by email via the Latter Day Light-Gospel Doctrine Supplement mailing list. This message may be forwarded to individuals if this copyright notice is included. Posting, printing, or any other form of reproduction of this material without the permission of the owner is prohibited. Copyright 2006 The Hebreaus Foundation.
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Avraham Gileadi, Ph.D, Old Testament Lesson 1

Posted by permission from the editors of www.latterdaylight.com. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

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OLD TESTAMENT GOSPEL DOCTRINE SUPPLEMENTS by Avraham Gileadi
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Please share this email with someone you feel would enjoy the gospel insights from Dr. Avraham Gileadi, PhD. To subscribe to this newsletter, visit http://www.latterdaylight.com.
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Lesson 1 – In the Similitude of the Only-Begotten

Because the Old Testament is the foundation of all other scriptures, unless a person has a firm grounding in this book, he can never "put it all together"–he cannot integrate all the scriptures into one. As we near the period in the history of humanity to which the ancient prophets looked forward–the time of the coming of our Lord and Savior–we may no longer have the luxury of biding our time to "catch up" on our understanding of this enigmatic book. And that could bring unfortunate results for those who may misread unfolding events–as unprepared generations did before us–in a time of upheaval and uncertainty mistaking the things that are of God to be of the devil and the things that are of the devil to be of God. If God has given us "a pattern in all things" (D&C 52:14), then shouldn’t we become familiar with that pattern? If not so, the awful consequences that were predicted–when, if it were possible, even the elect will be deceived (Matthew 24:24)–will be on our own
heads.

How appropriate, then, to commence study of the Old Testament with the book of Moses, the prophet who wrote Genesis through Deuteronomy! In Moses 1, we gain some background into how Moses–who appeared with Jesus and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration–came to be called of God to deliver Israel from bondage in Egypt. The approximate chiastic structure of Moses 1, as follows, highlights important elements in God’s empowerment of Moses:

a. God speaks to Moses on an exceedingly high mountain (1:1)
b. God speaks with Moses face to face (1:2-3)
c. God’s works are without end (1:4-5)
d. God has a work to do for Moses (1:4-7)
e. God calls Moses his "son" (1:4-7)
f. Moses sees the ends of the world and all men (1:8)
g. The presence of God withdraws from Moses (1:9)
h. Moses loses and regains his natural strength (1:9-10)
i. God’s glory is upon Moses (1:11)
j. Satan commands Moses to worship him (1:12)
k. Moses is in the similitude of the Only Begotten (1:13)

l. Moses discerns between God and Satan (1:14-15)

k. Moses is in the similitude of the Only Begotten (1:16)
j. God commands Moses to worship him (1:17)
i. God’s glory is upon Moses (1:18)
h. Moses loses and regains his natural strength (1:20-21)
g. Satan departs from the presence of Moses (1:22-24)
f. Moses sees the earth and all its inhabitants (1:25-30)
e. God "chooses" Moses and empowers him (1:25)
d. God appoints Moses to deliver Israel (1:25-26)
c. God has created worlds without number (1:33)
b. Moses speaks with God face to face (1:31-41)
a. God speaks to Moses on an unidentified mountain (1:42)

We may sometimes wonder–and perhaps feel ourselves inadequate by comparison–why God appears to some of his children in mortality and not to others. One response is that such privileged persons have been chosen from before the foundation of the world for the tasks they are to perform on the earth (Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Ephesians 1:4), and that God appears to them, as in Moses’ case, to commission them to fulfill his work. However, the question is, Why does God choose them? Alma provides an answer when he says, "This is the manner after which they were ordained–being called and prepared from [before] the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such" (Alma 13:3).

Another explanation comes from the prophet Isaiah, who distinguishes people by the different spiritual levels they are on, each characterized by the observance (or lack of observance) of the law or terms of the covenant pertaining to that level. The only way a person can attain a higher spiritual level, such as that of Moses, is to "ascend" or progress from the lowest, starting level like everyone else. No one is created in a high spiritual category all at once, though–as Isaiah teaches–God "creates," or rather recreates, the person each time he or she ascends a level. Every such rebirth or ascent into a higher category, however, is characterized by the person first experiencing a kind of trial or descent, during which God tests his or her loyalties to the terms of the covenant. (See Avraham Gileadi, Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven, Hebraeus Press, 2002.)

Isaiah identifies the spiritual level on which one sees God face to face, has a cosmic vision, is given power over the elements, and is appointed a prophet to the nations as the level of "seraphim." Moses, who experienced these very things, thus belongs in this category. Other distinguishing characteristics of this level include the sealing power, a translated state (though not all individuals are translated), the ability to perform mighty miracles, and the power to convince others of the truth of their words (Ibid.). The Prophet Joseph Smith identified this spiritual level with "the power of Elijah and the fulness of the [Melchizedek] Priesthood" (TPJS, 337-40), which is a stage beyond making sure one’s calling and election. Persons who fall into this category include Enoch, Moses, Elijah, John the Revelator, Nephi the son of Helaman, and the Three Nephites. Like John and the Three Nephites, such persons are "beloved" of God (3 Nephi 28:6; Mormon 1:13).

There exists no indication that anyone ascends to this spiritual level in this one earthly mortality. Like Abraham, "noble and great" souls had experiences before this life that advanced them to their starting level here on earth (Abraham 3:22-23; D&C 138:55-56), having hitherto undergone a "preparatory redemption" (Alma 13:3). This explain why God appears to some even in their youth, to others in later years as they progress, and to yet others not in this life. In effect, to dwell in the presence of God is an earned blessing or privilege that pertains to each spiritual level or category. Persons may experience the presence of the Holy Ghost, our Savior Jesus Christ, or the Father, depending on which spiritual level they are on. The fact that both the Father and the Son visited the Prophet Joseph Smith in his early years, for example, indicates that he had attained the seraph category even before this mortality.

What Moses 1 adds to our knowledge of this spiritual level is that Moses rejected Satan and worshiped God–a central idea of the chapter–and that he was "in the similitude of [God’s] Only Begotten" Son (Moses 1:6, 13, 16). This doesn’t mean, however, that all God’s children are in this similitude. It does mean that Moses, by rejecting Satan and worshiping God in his life, ultimately came to resemble God’s Only Begotten Son in a particular sense, and that all who attain this spiritual level go through this process and grow into the same similitude. The only other scriptural instances of the above expression appear in a context of sacrifice: Adam’s offering the firstlings of his flock was "a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father" (Moses 5:7); and Abraham’s offering up his son Isaac was "a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son" (Jacob 4:5).

These rhetorical connections suggest that persons who are in the similitude of the Only Begotten have fulfilled what the Prophet Joseph Smith counseled those who would attain such an exaltation to do, namely to "covenant with God by sacrifice," laying our all upon the altar (Psalms 50:5; "Lecture Sixth," Lectures on Faith), with the sure knowledge that this constitutes true worship of God and that anything less than this puts a person in Satan’s power. This, Moses did, upon which God empowered him to command Satan himself to depart. By the law of sacrifice they kept, and by means of sacred ordinances under the terms of the covenant, ancients such as Adam, Melchizedek, Abraham, and Moses established "a type of his order [of the Only Begotten of the Father], that [their people] might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord" (Alma 13:16), "which rest is the fulness of his glory" (D&C 84:24). Moses was thus well qualified
to "sanctify his people that they [like him] might behold the face of God" (D&C 84:23) and similarly grow into the similitude of his Only Begotten.

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ISAIAH DECODED: ASCENDING THE LADDER TO HEAVEN by Avraham Gileadi

LDS scholar Avraham Gileadi shares Isaiah’s "good news" and how the book of Isaiah teaches us God’s higher law and how God enables us to ascend to heaven. By living God’s law, we are reborn on ever higher levels of a spiritual "ladder" until we are privileged to pass through heaven’s gate.
http://www.latterdaylightbooks.com/catalog.php?Iit=78&Ict=21

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Gospel Doctrine Supplements by Avraham Gileadi is a service of the Hebreaus Foundation and Latter Day Light–www.latterdaylight.com, and distributed by email via the Latter Day Light-Gospel Doctrine Supplement mailing list. This message may be forwarded to individuals if this copyright notice is included. Posting, printing, or any other form of reproduction of this material without the permission of the owner is prohibited. Copyright 2006 The Hebreaus Foundation.
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LDS Church Growth Facts & Stats

Question: What do you think…should I bother to print out his book and hand out to my good friends in the Elder’s Quorum?

Last Sunday in priesthood there was a discussion regarding the growth of our Church? With the greatest respect, most of what was said was pure myth. It is commonly purported among LDS that "the growth in the LDS Church is phenomenal…that it is the fastest growing Church…or…according to reports by 2080 membership will be 265 million!…"

All these common sentiments just are not true. Those who make such claims mean no harm, and of course, love the Church and are excited about its growth naturally.

The reality, however, is that Church growth has significantly slowed from 5% to 3%. What is more, other Churches vastly out grew the LDS Church by significant, if not breathtaking, numbers.

However, I did not have the heart to dispel the illusion held by all members of my LDS Elders Quorum. No one likes to be corrected, especially in front of others, more especially if the illusion is something commonly held in belief by many others, even more especially if somehow the illusion is tied to faith, love, loyalty and a type of sign which buttresses their faith in the Church they so love and know beyond doubt to be true. Sometimes it’s just better to keep things to ones self until a better opportunity presents itself.

The URLs below contain a book written by Dr. David Stewart, 32 year old physician who served a mission in Russia. He is an exceedingly faithful LDS who loves missionary work, statistics, and facts; he is not afraid of facts & stats & reality when it comes to Church growth. His work is extremely insightful and very valuable to the LDS community.

I’m thinking of printing out his book and distributing it. Facts are our friends and ought not to offend us!

HTML online book:
The Law of the Harvest
Practical Principles of Effective Missionary Work
By David G. Stewart, Jr.
Email: dgstewart@yahoo.com
Copyright 2005
Version of August 21, 2005
http://www.cumorah.com/harvest.html#introduction

MS Word version of the book
http://www.cumorah.com/report.html

Home page:
http://www.cumorah.com/

About David Stewart & cumorah
http://www.cumorah.com/about.html

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Will 2012 be the start of a 7 year famine?

WhisperFox of another forum posted the following insight regarding President Hinckley?s 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine and the year 2012. He alludes that the year 2012 will be the year the famine begins. For a variety of reasons I agree with his conclusion.

What are your thoughts about the possibility of the year 2012 as the beginning year of a famine?

WhisperFox
The answer is 7 and 2012, now if we just knew the right question.
http://p198.ezboard.com/fzionscampfrm13.sh…picID=316.topic

7 years ago …

1998, October conference, President Hinckley gave a talk in general priesthood meeting warning priesthood holders to get their houses in order, focusing mainly on financial matters, using the biblical story of Pharoahs dream of 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famne.

7 years later …

2005, October conference, President Hinckley gave a talk in general priesthood meeting warning priesthood holders to get their houses in order, focusing mainly of food storage and emergency prepardness, referencing in his talk his comments before about Pharoah’s dream of 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine.

7 years from now two interesting things occur….

2012, December 23rd, the Mayan calendar ends (or better ends it’s major cycle) This calendar was begun in about 3114 BC and can still predict all the eclipes’ of this solar system to the day. It ends Dec. 23rd, 2012.

2012, the Great Pyramid of Cheop’s, thought by many to be a giant stone calendar of the history of the world. The great corridor calendar has managed to show each major event in the history of the world, even though it was built before 2,000 BC. It ends in 2012.

The answer for today’s Jeopardy daily double is "7" and "2012"

What is the question?

As we all know, President Hinckley is very educated and is very adept at the use of the English language. In the talk in 1998 and in 2005 he used the word "portent". Lets take a look at the definitions of "portent".

Quote:Dictionary.com
Main Entry: por?tent

1 : something that foreshadows a coming event : OMEN
2 : prophetic indication or significance
3 : MARVEL, PRODIGY

Quote:Meriam Websters
por?tent n.

1. An indication of something important or calamitous about to occur; an omen.
2. Prophetic or threatening significance: signs full of portent.
3. Something amazing or marvelous; a prodigy.

From 1998

Quote:Now, brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future. But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order.

So many of our people are living on the very edge of their incomes. In fact, some are living on borrowings.

We have witnessed in recent weeks wide and fearsome swings in the markets of the world. The economy is a fragile thing. A stumble in the economy in Jakarta or Moscow can immediately affect the entire world. It can eventually reach down to each of us as individuals. There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed.

In 2005 he said;

Quote:How portentous are the words of revelation found in the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants concerning the calamities that should befall after the testimonies of the elders. The Lord says:

"For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.

"And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.

"And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people" (D&C 88:89?91).

I believe he was trying to warn us with the use of the word "portent". Those with ears to hear, hear.

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Learn the Parable of Figtree

Learn the Parable of the Figtree, Prophetic End Time Parable of LDS Church

The #1 prophecy relating to the last days that I keep pondering and coming back to is the parable of the figtree (LDS Church) is:

D&C 45: 37 Ye look and behold the figtrees, and ye see them with your eyes, and ye say when they begin to shoot forth, and their leaves are yet tender, that summer is now nigh at hand;

D&C 35:16 And they shall learn the parable of the figtree, for even now already summer is nigh. 17 And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him;

Today is the day when this prophetic parable is being fulfilled in the fullest sense of the prophecy.

The figtree is the LDS Church. Its leaves are the Stakes/Wards/Branches spreading its influence amongst the world. The Stakes et al have shoot forth, not quite a worldwide body, still tender (young and vulnerable).

What is also significant to note is that the figtree (LDS Church) is not going to be fully mature in age or stature. Meaning, it will not be THE major tree in a big forest of figtrees, rather, a youngling.

This is important to note because far too many LDS are uninformed regarding end time prophecies and their sequence of fulfillment. Case in point, last Sunday in priesthood several Elders discussed how the LDS Church was growing (they are unware that its growth has slowed down significantly). These Elders projected erroneously that the LDS Church’s growth would be such that the LDS Church will take overtake all other religions and become the majority BEFORE the end cometh. That simply isn’t the case as the parable above clearly indicates.

Given such preconceived notions, it is possible for such like minded saints to be caught off guard per se as events unfold in a manner far different than their current level of understanding affords them.

Be that as it may, I am fully convinced "that summer is now nigh at hand" and LDS "shall learn the parable of the figtree."

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Holy Ghost Given Commandments: Acts 1:2

Acts 1:2. Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

LDS believe that the Holy Ghost(?s):

  • is Christ’s minister
  • speaks and acts in the place and stead of the Son
  • mission is to testify of Jesus
  • reveals the mind and will of the Lord
  • to say what Christ would say if personally present
  • So complete, whole, and total is this commission and power that the Holy Ghost speaks in the first person as though he were Christ: Moses 5:10: And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.
  • In most instances when God’s prophets and apostles say: "Thus saith Christ the Lord," they are announcing Christ’s words as revealed to them by the power of the Holy Ghost.
  • The Holy Ghost gives commandments today like he did in biblical times.

What do you believe?

  • Does the Holy Ghost give commandments today? If so, to whom are they given and how would you know it?s true and from God. If not, why?
  • Do you believe the Holy Ghost can give you a personal commandment today?
  • Can/does the Holy Ghost give new commandments today?
  • What parts of the LDS position above do you agree with? What parts do you disagree with?

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Anti-Mormonis Definded

I came across the web page of Paul McNabb’s, "Five Signs of an Anti-Mormon".

Do you agree or disagree with Paul’s definition copied below as to what constitutes the qualities and characteristics of an Anti-Mormon?

What parts do you agree with?

What parts do you disagree with?

Paul wrote:

A Brief Discussion of Anti-Mormonism

I will never classify a person as "anti-Mormon" who is defending his own beliefs, no matter how much at odds with LDS beliefs that may be. Contrasting what you believe with LDS beliefs and showing why you think you’re right and the LDS are wrong is, in my book, not anti-Mormon.

People can step over the line and become anti-Mormon, however. (People can step over the line and become anti-anything, of course.) Usually it happens when a person become so passionate about proving Mormonism to be false that he stops being kind, tolerant, patient, and respectful.

Paul McNabb’s Five Signs of an Anti-Mormon

An anti-Mormon is a person who does one or more of the following.

1) Describes Latter-day Saints or LDS leaders as being stupid, insincere, dishonest, or evil.

2) Accuses Latter-day Saints of having a "secret" doctrine or agenda, argues with Latter-day Saints about "what Mormons really believe," or refuses to accept a Latter-day Saint’s description of his beliefs as being valid LDS beliefs.

3) Distorts and mischaracterizes LDS beliefs by presenting beliefs or citations out of context; presents the most unfavorable LDS behaviors or statements as being typical, normative, or authoritative; or presents and mocks LDS beliefs using parody, caricature, and demeaning language.

4) Interferes with Latter-day Saints in their worship and religious practice, such as by picketing Church buildings and events, shouting through bullhorns at LDS gatherings, etc.

5) Uses seminars, books, newsletters, websites, and other forms of mass media to specifically target Latter-day Saints to destroy their faith or to encourage others to do so.

http://paul.mcnabbs.org/religion/antimormon.html

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