SUNDAY SERMONS

By Cordell and Janice Vail

11 Jan 2004

Copyright 2004 by Cordell Vail, all rights reserved

A weekly email gospel message for the descendents of Ammon and Winona Vail

The word "GOOD" as used in the scriptures

In the Book of Mormon, Moroni says that we can know with a "Perfect Knowledge" if something is GOOD or EVIL. That is quite a promise. With a perfect knowledge I would assume means with out making any mistake. We certainly could apply that in our lives in this day and age of so much deception. So lets look at this definition of the word "GOOD" to help us understand his promise and the test that you can apply that will let you know with a perfect knowledge if the works that someone does is of Christ or not!

Moroni 7:16
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for everything which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

(We see from this scripture that the word "GOOD" does not just mean doing something nice. Doing good in this context from the scriptures then has to do with living the gospel. It is like a "SPECIAL" meaning or definition of the word as used in the scriptures different than just what we normally mean when we say someone has "DONE SOMETHING GOOD" for another person. When the scriptures say then that if a person is not willing to receive the fullness of the gospel and be baptized they can not do "GOOD" have created a new meaning for this "SCRIPTURE WORD". Obviously that does not mean that a person could not do something nice for another person. So we are here trying to understand this word "GOOD" in the scriptures and see why it does not just mean doing something nice for someone else.)
D&C 35:12
12 And there are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fullness of my gospel, which I have sent forth unto this generation.

(So real intent is a key in knowing if something is GOOD as we are not defining this word "GOOD")
Moroni 7:5-7
5 For I remember the word of God, which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also.
6 For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.
7 For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness.

(Nephi says there are only 2 churches. ONLY 2. That is a hard concept for some people to accept. That does not mean that all people in other churches are "BAD" and not "GOOD". But it is a very clear and strict definition from the scriptures about Christ's church. If we truly believe that LDS church is Christ's church then all other churches are churches of men (I like to say that they are churches of MEN rather than to be so harsh and say they are of OF SATAN... but Nephi says they are of Satan. I think churches of men are trying to do good but in our definition as you will see here now... doing good is to bring to Christ and that can only be by bringing someone to Christ's church. And there is only one true Church of Christ. So in that sense they can not "DO GOOD" and so Satan is encouraging them to lead people away from Christ's true church or in other words to "DO GOOD". That is sort of a different concept than just being nice to someone. The people in the world are for the most part trying to be CHRIST LIKE and do good as they see good and doing christ like deeds. But that is not what we are defining here as "DOING GOOD".)
1 Nephi 14:9-14c 9 And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil.
10 And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.
11 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.
12 And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.
13 And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.
14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

(Just in case it was not good enough for Nephi to say it... Her is CHRIST saying it Him self... There are only 2 churches... ONLY 2. And we know the LDS church is the true Church of Jesus Christ. So here again it is obvious that people in those churches were trying to do what was right as best they knew but Christ, talking to Joseph Smith said they were all "WRONG". Wrong then meaning they could not "DO GOOD" in the sense that they could not bring anyone to the true church of Christ. I do not think in this sense that "WRONG" means bad or evil. Just not having the power to bring salvation.)
Joseph Smith History 1:18-20
18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)--and which I should join.
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."
20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, "Never mind, all is well--I am well enough off." I then said to my mother, "I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true." It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?

(Here is another pretty clear signal that a church is not the true church of Jesus Christ. If a preacher receives PAY... Then he is not of CHRIST. If they are for the building up of Christ Church and Zion they will be baptized and help build Christ's Zion not their own)
2 Nephi 26:23-31
23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.
24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.
26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.
29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.
30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.
31 But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.

(Here again is another "perfect knowledge" test. If you don't pay tithing and fast offerings you are not a part of doing GOOD.) D&C 104:17-18
17 For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.
18 Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.

(We should seek all the best gifts and they can ONLY be had after we are baptized by proper authority into the LDS Church and have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. There is no other way. That is the perfect test that Moroni spoke of! The gifts are only given to those who keep ALL the commandments. One of those commandments is to be baptized by proper authority. However, even if you are baptized and you are still immoral you can not have the gifts FROM CHRIST... You have to live ALL OF THE COMMANDMENTS. You can still have gifts. Other churches have gifts. But those gifts are not from Christ..... Only those who are members of His true church and live all the commandments have the gifts. Otherwise what would be the purpose of having a TRUE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST if you could have the same gifts without being a member of it?)
D&C 46:7-9
7 But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.
8 Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;
9 For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.

(The Book of Mormon is the words of Christ, so if someone rejects the Book of Mormon they can not be of Christ. That is one of the perfect tests spoken of by Moroni. And now here we are back to defining our word "GOOD" again. The Book of Moromon is the "WORDS" of Christ. If you will not accept the "WORDS" of the Book of Mormon you are rejecting Christ.)
Ether 4:12
12 And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me--that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.

(Every GOOD gift comes of Christ but there are gifts from Satan that are not GOOD gifts that are counterfeits. If we do not have the perfect test Moroni spoke of we can be deceived as to the source of the gift. They are counterfeits not TOTALLY DIFFERENT GIFTS. Again I ask, if you could have the gifts outside His church then what would be the purpose of having the church.)
Moroni 10:18-19
18 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.
19 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men.

(If the LDS members do not keep ALL the commandments, they can loose their gifts too. Just because you are baptized and have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, does not mean Satan can not deceive you and give you false gifts if you start breaking the commandments. If you break the law, you loose the gift. You can't fool the chickens, but Satan can FOOL YOU....)
Moroni 10:20
20 Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity.
21 And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope.
22 And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity. 23 And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.
24 And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth--that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief.
25 And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God.

(If you hear the voice of the good shepherd you will be baptized into Christ's church which is the LDS Church. He said Himself that there are only 2 churches. Here it is being said again. ONLY 2. ALL the others are not of Him. NOT ONE. They are good people doing the best they know how to do, but they are not doing "GOOD" as we are defining it here and that means giving people the power that will get them to the Celestial Kingdom. NOT ONE CHURCH CAN DO THAT except Christ's true church!)
Alma 5:38
38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.
39 And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil. 40 For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.
41 Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him.
42 And whosoever doeth this must receive his wages of him; therefore, for his wages he receiveth death, as to things pertaining unto righteousness, being dead unto all good works.

(You can't have spirit of contention and be of Christ. If they are of Christ then why are they so filled with contention and HATE the LDS Church and fight against it more than any other Church? WHY?)
3 Nephi 11:29-30
29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.

(This scripture is about people who are already members of Christ's church in the last days. Pres. John Taylor says this refers to LDS members not non-members. Doing the will of the Father is living all the commandemnts.)
Matthew 7:20-21
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

(Here is an excerpt from a talk given by Elder Marion G. Romney, a Member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles)
Conference Report
April 7th 1956
Pages 68 to 73

III. DISTINGUISHING BETWEN THE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SPIRIT AND THE COUNTERFEITS....
(I Did not type out his First and Second here. You can find them in his talk if you want to read them).....
THIRD - find out whether the worker of the propertied miracle has himself received the gift of the Holy Ghost through the prescribed ordinances. If he has not, then his works, what ever they may be, are not manifestations of the Holy Spirit. THIS IS A KEY TEST, because, as we have already pointed out, the gifts of the spirit are given by the power of the Holy Ghost. Without the gift of the Holy Ghost, the manifestations of his gifts may not be enjoyed. The Prophet Joseph Smith states this foundation doctrine as follows:

We believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost being enjoyed now, as much as it was in the Apostles' day; we believe that it [the gift of the Holy Ghost] is necessary to make and to organize the priesthood, that no man can be called to fill any office in the ministry without it; we also believe I prophecy in tongues, in visions, and in revelations, in gifts, and in healings; and that these things cannot be enjoyed without the gift of the Holy Ghost. (History of the Church, Vol. V, p. 27.)

THUS ONE WHO HAS NEVER RECEIVED THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST CANNOT POSSIBLY WORK MIRACLES BY HIS POWER.

Now, we know that there is but one way to obtain the gift of the Holy Ghost. That way is through the prescribed ordinances of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Apostle Paul's procedure emphasizes the indispensability of these ordinances. Coming to...Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.

"Then said Paul John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

"When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

"And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:2-6)"

These gifts of the spirit they could not possibly have exercised until after they had received the gift of the Holy Ghost through compliance with the proper ordinances. Such has been the procedure for receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost from the days of Father Adam. We quoted at the beginning of these remarks the procedure by which he received it. That procedure was precisely the same as that followed by Paul in bestowing it. Such will always be the procedure, for God established it. Said the Prophet Joseph,

"Baptism is the holy ordinance preparatory to the reception of the Holy Ghost; it is the channel and key by which the Holy Ghost will be administered.

"The gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, cannot be received through the medium of any other principle than the principle of righteousness, for if the proposals are not complied with it is of no use, but withdraws. (History of the Church, Vol. III, p. 379.)"

Now, righteous men, bearing the holy priesthood of the living God and endowed with the gift of the Holy Ghost, who are magnifying their callings - and such are the only men upon the earth who the right to receive and exercise the gifts of the spirit - will do so circumspectly and in all humility. They will not spectacularly advertise their divine power nor boast about it. Neither will they display it for money. Of this you may be sure.

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So now I hope you have a new concept of the definition of the word "GOOD"

NOTE: Nothing in any of these Sunday Sermons is intended to represent the official doctrines of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are strictly instructions and teachings from Cordell and Janice Vail to their family.

 

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