Thursday, March 5, 2009

Scripture Study 03.04.09

So I've been reading History of the Church by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I own the complete 7 volume collection and I have for about a year and a half and have never really read it. I have scanned some portions of it or referenced it for background on certain sections of The Doctrine and Covenants. It is interesting because it contains many of the revelations of the Prophet and it also contains The Doctrine in Covenants in context of Joseph's history. I figured I would finally read the books because we are studying The Doctrine and Covenants for Sunday School. It's been an interesting read thus far, but I'm still in the introduction. It's got a nearly 100 page introduction that kind of develops a lot of different ideas. Currently it's talking about a lot of the origins of the Great Apostasy.

The portions I read today developed the notion that the original Christian Church fell away with the Apostles. Wickedness and false traditions crept in which corrupted many of the standards. This was only exacerbated by the work of Constantine. One of the facts I found kind of funny was Constantine waited until the last year of his life to be baptized. The idea was that way he could have as much purity in his life and as he prepared for the afterlife. I guess that was a rather common practice back then and I would say it is inherently fallacious because it almost seems like a way of attempting to deceive God. Baptism is a necessary ordinance, but it avails us nothing if it is not done for righteousness' sake. Postponing baptism for this kind of reason does not sound like it is performed in righteousness. The introduction of the book was rather condemning of Constantine as a whole. I guess some of the records of him do certainly give him much glory, laud, and honor, however, he was largely responsible for much of the corruption of the Christian Church and some accounts liken him to Emperor Nero. Overall, there was certainly nothing performed which strengthened the standards of the Church but rather it became corrupted under the work of Constantine. This was only a further manifestation of the Great Apostasy.

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