Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Linking the Generations 3 Nephi 25
1 FOR behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
2 But unto you that fear my name, shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall.
3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts.
4 Remember ye the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord;
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
(Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 25:1 - 6)
A good companion scripture for verse 1 can be found in D&C 64: 23-24. It also correlates well with the last chapter speaking on tithing:
23 Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.
24 For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.
That verse speaks of the second coming of the Savior, and is why in many circles we refer to paying our tithing as “fire insurance.”
I really love those passages of scripture where the LDS church seems to have a good understanding of them, and where I can’t find another church that understands that passage. Verses 5 and 6 falls into that category. Our understanding of the passage is due to continuous revelation. These verses speak of a linking of the generations through time in one form or another. This linking is being done today through genealogy work and subsequent temple work for the deceased. I know of no other organization, religious or otherwise, that does genealogy work on the scale that we do.
We search out our ancestors, and when we find them we perform the ordinances necessary for salvation for them in our temples. One example of an ordinance that is necessary for salvation is baptism. Evidence of this can be found in the fact that Jesus himself was baptized and in verses like John 3:5, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
In 1 Corinthians 15:29 we read, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” That is another passage of scripture uniquely understood by the LDS church. Paul plainly states that people are being baptized for the dead, and trying to prove that the resurrection is a reality, asks the question why do it, if they’re not going to rise again?
We link the fathers to the children and the children to their fathers by doing genealogy for our ancestors, and then performing the necessary ordinances for them, like baptism, so that our hearts are turned to each other.