Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Are you using the resources at your disposal?

One day soon, you will no longer have amazon.com, the internet, or even electricity.

Do you have paper copies of the scriptures? If not, what will happen when the power goes out permanently?

Have you stored God's word in your heart? If not, what will happen when you are interred by invading armies and are stripped of all personal belongings, including your scriptures?

We have tremendous technological advantages over the ancients. What are you doing to take advantage of them? Many times God has already provided the resources to answer our prayers for scriptural or doctrinal understanding, but we are too lazy to use what he has given us. Part of praying with real intent is doing everything within your power to obtain what you are asking for. God provides further light and truth based on heed and diligence, and if you haven't done what you can, you have not exercised the required diligence. Internet searches are one modern way of demonstrating to God how badly you want something. This allows him to bless you with more than you have.

Some of the technologically-enabled resources at our disposal:

Translations of the scriptures
There are many translations of the scriptures available. I have learned much from Gileadi's Isaiah translation, I have found the Contemporary English Translation to be an appropriate and inexpensive Bible to teach my children out of, and I like the Amplified Bible (which provides parenthetical expansions of text to preserve the information conveyed in the original Greek or Hebrew but lost in English translation) for study. The latter is my go-to resource when I read a verse and have a question about it. I have a 1976 RLDS "Inspired Version" of the Bible. There are others that are valuable as well. It is wise to learn from these translations while you still can.

Instant search
You can instantly find scriptures, even if you can't remember the exact phrasing, using the internet. If you keep your notes in digital format, you can instantly recover what you were looking for. Digital searches can help you learn much faster than our predecessors, as you can instantly find a scripture instead of, say, reading the entire book to find it--something I have had the experience of doing while away in the military without computer access.

Sermons from others
Due to geographical dispersion in the past and in the future, when you qualify for greater light and truth, the only way God can get it to you is through direct revelation or sending an angel. In modern times, you can receive answers to your prayers through internet access to disciples of Christ from around the world. Although the vast majority of gospel teachers with videos on youtube or books on amazon.com will provide more dross than truth, there are some real nuggets out there. There are holy people in this world that know God better than you, and the Holy Ghost can lead you to them wth more ease than any other time of the world's history. When the lights go out, you will only be able to get these packets of light and truth through direct revelation and heavenly visits, which are much harder to obtain. Think of buying food in a grocery store vs. growing it. Get fat while you can.

Apocryphal texts
The internet provides you with near-instant, searchable access to every purported gospel text known to man. I have found some of them very useful.