Saturday, September 27, 2014


Photo taken on the morning of September 27, 2014 at 8:00 AM

 I like "if" statements. An "if" statement is always followed by a "then" statement. If the requirements of the "if" statement are satisfied, then there will be an expected result or outcome.

If I agree to do something, I understand that a then statement will follow. There will be a result or consequence to my action.  For example, if you scratch my back, I will then scratch yours.  If you keep my commandments, you will then be blessed.  Depending on the "if" statement,  the "then" statement could be either positive or negative. 

"If and then" statements are commonly used in computer programming.  When an "if" statement is used in code, and all the mandatory requirements are true, the code will proceed to the "then" statement. This is common across many programming languages. 

We also see "if and then" statements in scripture. A very important "if and then" statement is found in II Nephi 31:13. Here is the verse in bullet points.
IF ye shall:
  • follow the Son with full purpose of heart,
  • acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God,
  • follow the Son with real intent,
  • repenting of your sins,
  • witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ,
  • following your Lord and your Savior down into the water by baptism.

THEN shall ye receive the Holy Ghost;
  • yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost;
  • and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels,
  • and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
Sidenote: There is an "if and then" warning however in the next verse:
  • ye have repented of your sins,
  • witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments,
  • baptized of water,
  • received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost,
  • and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels,
  • and after this should deny me,
 it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

The above "if and then" statement is basically the doctrine of Christ. We read in II Nephi 32: 5-6.

For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.


R. said...



Bryce Stevenson said...

I love this! Thanks

What is that a picture of?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Follower of no man said...

Doctrine is man's interpretation of what they feel is from God. Man is not to be trusted in matter's dealing with what God said. Too many factors in how they can misunderstand the message. I wouldn't trust in writings of men, like the words you quoted above. Scriptures are men's word's. Christ/God did not write them, just because someone claims that Christ/God said them does not mean they are accurate in their record. You put too much hope and trust in men. Trust only direct experience with God. Beyond direct dealings with God you do not need to follow men or their words in a book that people declared as scripture.

Inspire said...

Your if/then model is what we use in our current world, but I don't believe it is how Heaven operates. Let me explain:

It was interesting to me the two examples you used: "For example, if you scratch my back, I will then scratch yours. If you keep my commandments, you will then be blessed." Both of these are forms of an economy. The "currency" is the service rendered (scratching a back or obedience) and the thing exchanged is the "payment" (having my back also scratched or receiving "blessings.") These things can be enumerated, tallied and used as a system of measurement. (You scratched my back for 15 minutes, so I must return the same amount).

What is implicit in this if/then model is an assumption of reward. The "motive" for "doing" the thing can then be questioned. "Why did you serve that person?" "Well, I was commanded to do so, and I wanted blessings." Is this a bad approach? No, I don't believe so. It helps us to see the joy that can come out of serving, or performing any other "if" action. But at some point we must move beyond it. Because by converting our "if" statements into a symbolic form of measurement (let's call them "merits,") then we are binding ourselves to that system (let's call it "justice.") We know that our merits will not "count" for anything in the end, because it is only on the merits of Christ that we are saved.

The "if/then model" can get us to baptism by water, but it must be abandoned after that, because the baptism of fire will change our hearts. We will have no desire to "sin" but will find it repulsive. Likewise, our actions will be based on the pure love of Christ, not an underlying hope of cashing in or being afraid of an "if." (By the way, an "if" can also be a punishment). We will be "anxiously engaged in a good cause" merely because it is our nature. Perhaps it will produce some evidence which will then qualify us to mingle with the angels and gods at some point, but IF we are doing it to "consume" it on our lusts (for a reward), THEN "the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward."

Anonymous said...

You are putting your trust in the arm of flesh.


I think I would probably choose the words like precepts, or philosophies of men (mingled with scripture) to refer to man's interpretation of what they feel is from God. We use the word 'doctrine' very loosely.. and much of what we call "doctrine" is really only mans interpretions and most likely false doctrine..


Lake Katherine