2021 Study Summary 20: That Which Is Of God Is Light
Doctrine and Covenants 49-50
“That Which Is Of God Is Light”
Doctrine and Covenants 49. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, and Leman Copley, at Kirtland, Ohio, May 7, 1831. Leman Copley had embraced the gospel but still held to some of the teachings of the Shakers (United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing), to which he had formerly belonged. Some of the beliefs of the Shakers were that Christ’s Second Coming had already occurred and that He had appeared in the form of a woman, Ann Lee. They did not consider baptism by water essential. They rejected marriage and believed in a life of total celibacy. Some Shakers also forbade the eating of meat. In prefacing this revelation, Joseph Smith’s history states, “In order to have [a] more perfect understanding on the subject, I inquired of the Lord, and received the following.” The revelation refutes some of the basic concepts of the Shaker group. The aforementioned brethren took a copy of the revelation to the Shaker community (near Cleveland, Ohio) and read it to them in its entirety, but it was rejected. 1–7, The day and hour of Christ’s coming will remain unknown until He comes; 8–14, Men must repent, believe the gospel, and obey the ordinances to gain salvation; 15–16, Marriage is ordained of God; 17–21, The eating of meat is approved; 22–28, Zion will flourish and the Lamanites blossom as the rose before the Second Coming.
Doctrine and Covenants 50. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, May 9, 1831. Joseph Smith’s history states that some of the elders did not understand the manifestations of different spirits abroad in the earth and that this revelation was given in response to his special inquiry on the matter. So-called spiritual phenomena were not uncommon among the members, some of whom claimed to be receiving visions and revelations. 1–5, Many false spirits are abroad in the earth; 6–9, Wo unto the hypocrites and those who are cut off from the Church; 10–14, Elders are to preach the gospel by the Spirit; 15–22, Both preachers and hearers need to be enlightened by the Spirit; 23–25, That which doth not edify is not of God; 26–28, The faithful are possessors of all things; 29–36, The prayers of the purified are answered; 37–46, Christ is the Good Shepherd and the Stone of Israel.
What is the consistant guideline on celibacy since bible times?
Repeating some material from a previous lesson; “Detailed legislation concerning sexual behavior can be found in the Bible as well as in the Talmud and subsequent rabbinic literature. Celibacy (complete abstinence from all sexual activity) is discouraged as an unnatural state and detrimental to the human personality. The primary restriction of sexual activity in Jewish law is that it should take place within marriage, as an expression of love between husband and wife as well as out of a desire to fulfill God’s commandments. An element of holiness is added by the laws of niddah (separation during the period of menstruation) which ensure that the couple does not indulge in sex on impulse but rather directs the act to holiness. “In general, moderation and self-control in sexual activity are encouraged. Chastity, the goal to be aimed for, does not mean the avoidance of all sex but of illegal sex. This includes adultery, incest, sodomy, rape and seduction. Adultery is defined as sexual relations between a married woman and any man other than her husband. Judaism encourages modesty as one of the means to chastity. Thus the Jewish woman is enjoined to dress and act modestly at all times. Furthermore, a man is forbidden to be alone with a woman with whom he is not permitted to have sexual relations from considerations of both chastity and modesty.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How have God’s children been instructed about marriage since creation?
“In Jewish teaching, marriage is considered the ideal human state and a basic social institution established by God at the time of Creation. Both the Bible and the rabbis reject celibacy as unnatural and harmful to the human personality, and insist upon the need for marriage, not only for purposes of procreation, but also for companionship and human self-fulfillment: ‘It is not good that man be alone; I will make a help meet for him’ (Genesis 2:15) and ‘He who has no wife is not a proper man; he lives without joy, blessing and goodness.’ The successful marriage in the eyes of the prophets and the rabbis was the most perfect symbol of a meaningful and purposeful relationship and was taken by them as the closest approximation to the idealized relationship between God and Israel, and between Israel and the Torah. The laws of marriage and the customs and practices of the marriage ceremony which developed over the generations are numerous and varied, but all take as their goal the glorification of marriage as a sanctified state and the desire to facilitate to the greatest possible extent the maintenance of a successful and harmonious marriage.” “The biblical idea of marriage was essentially monogamous, although polygamy was common among the upper classes of society. Among the rabbis, polygamy was almost unknown, but it was not until the 11th century that multiple marriages were legally prohibited. Then an enactment associated with the name of Rabbenu Gershom ben Judah was promulgated which established monogamy as the legal norm for all the Jews living in Europe.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How do Jews view eating meat?
In this modern age, there are some Jews who will not eat meat because there are no sacrifices, and the meat cannot be prepared in the correct way. Others will only eat meat that is kosher, that is, slaughtered in the way sacrifices were done and only eating the parts of the animal as prescribed in the Law of Moses. It may be very enlightening to know the modern explanation of Kashrut (Old Testament health law) so, it is included for your reference. We’ll review this again, when we discuss the Doctrine and Covenants section on the Word of Wisdom. “The dietary laws affect a Jew every day of his life and aim to insure that the holiness of the Jewish nation will be preserved through the consumption of food which is fit and proper.
- Fruits and Vegetables: From the point of view of the dietary laws, all fruits and vegetables are permitted. However, there are certain limitations on the drinking of wine, and in Erez (land of Israel) Israel there are restrictions applying to agricultural produce, such as the laws of tithes and Sabbatical years. However, the main concern of the dietary laws is which animals, birds and fish are fit to be eaten and how they must be prepared for consumption.
- Animals: The Bible classifies those animals permitted to be eaten as tahor (‘pure’) and those prohibited as tamei (‘unclean’). Animals which are permissible must have two characteristics: they must chew the cud and have cloven hooves. Among these are cattle, sheep, goats and deer. Animals which have only one of the required characteristics are prohibited; for example, the camel and rabbit which chew their cud but do not have cloven hooves, and the pig which has cloven hooves but does not chew the cud. Altogether the Bible enumerates 42 unclean animals which are forbidden.
- Birds: On the basis of the unclean birds mentioned in the Bible, the rabbis of the Talmud compiled a list of 24 birds which are forbidden, among them birds of prey such as the vulture, raven, eagle and hawk. Although the Bible does say which birds are not clean, it does not list the clean birds. The Mishnah, however, states their characteristics: they must have a crop, a gizzard which can be easily peeled off and an extra claw. Among these clean birds are domestic fowl, pigeon and dove. Eggs from unclean birds are regarded as unclean and even the eggs of permitted birds are forbidden if they have been fertilized (usually indicated by the presence of a blood spot).
- Fish: A fish is considered ‘clean’ if it has fins and scales, which usually indicate a fish found in freshwater areas. Those without fins and scales usually live in the muddy, swampy areas and are considered unclean. In the category of unclean fish which are forbidden are shellfish such as lobster, clams, shrimp and oysters.
- Insects: Nearly all insects are considered unclean and may not be eaten. Some species of locusts are permitted as the Talmud gives a detailed description of them. Nowadays, however not enough is known about them and they are all forbidden. It is therefore important to carefully clean and examine vegetables where insects are apt to hide (such as cabbage, cauliflower and romaine lettuce) in order to be sure that the insects will not be eaten with the vegetable. Although the bee is a forbidden insect, its honey is permitted to be eaten.
- Slaughtering: Dietary laws are more than mere enumerations of which animals, birds and fish may be eaten. Vital to the observance of kashrut (biblical health laws) are the laws regarding shehitah or ritual slaughter. The many complex and minute regulations about how an animal or bird may be slaughtered make it necessary that a carefully trained and licensed shohet perform the slaughter. It is his duty to carry out a careful examination of the animal after it has been slaughtered to make certain that there is no defect in any of its organs. Any defect that would have led to the animal’s death within a year makes the animal considered a terefah. It is absolutely prohibited for consumption. An animal which has died a natural death or was killed by any other means than shehitah is called a nevelah and is forbidden to be eaten. None of the laws of shehitah (slaughtering) apply to fish.
- Forbidden Portions: After an animal has been ritually slaughtered there are certain unclean portions which must be removed before the animal may be prepared for eating. The sciatic nerve and the fatty portions (helev) attached to the stomach and intestines of the animal are among these parts which are forbidden to be eaten.
- Koshering: After the shehitah (slaughter) and the removal of forbidden parts, the animal or bird must go through the process of ‘koshering.’ Based on the prohibition of eating blood, the purpose of koshering meat is to drain the meat and draw out the blood before it is cooked. This is accomplished by either soaking and salting the meat, or by broiling it over an open flame. If the salting-soaking process is used, the meat is soaked in clean cold water for 30 minutes, and then drained on a special grooved slanted board so that the blood may flow down. The meat is then sprinkled with salt (preferably coarse salt) which must be left on for one hour, and then it is rinsed in cold water two or three times. All the utensils for the procedure must be kept separately and used exclusively for the purpose of koshering. Such a procedure is not considered effective enough to kosher the liver which is full of blood. Therefore, liver may only be koshered over an open flame.
- Milk and Meat: The koshering process completed; the meat is now ready to be cooked. Here too, there are important dietary laws governing the preparation of meat. The Torah commands: ‘Thou shalt not cook a kid goat in its mother’s milk,’ a command from which three distinct prohibitions are learned: cooking meat and milk together, eating meat and milk together, and deriving any benefit from their mixture. (Milk includes all dairy products such as butter, cheese and cream). In order to ensure that these prohibitions would be properly observed, the rabbis ordained that separate cooking utensils, dishes and cutlery be used for dairy and meat respectively. These must be washed separately and stored separately. According to the Talmud, one may not eat milk after meat in the same meal. From this prohibition, various customs about the waiting interval between meat and milk arose in different Jewish communities. The Eastern European Jews observe an interval of six hours between meat and milk, while Western Europeans wait three hours, and the Sephardim and the Dutch one hour. The necessity of a waiting interval between meat and milk is explained by the fact that meat takes longer to digest and has a tendency to become lodged between the teeth. However, owing to the fact that milk products are digested quickly, it is permissible to eat meat directly after dairy, provided the mouth is rinsed thoroughly first. After hard cheese, though, it is customary to wait a longer period, since hard cheese takes longer to digest. Imitation ‘milk’ derived from coconuts and soybeans may be used with meat. Fruit, vegetables, eggs and fish are all ‘neutral’ (parve) foods which may be eaten with milk or meat dishes.
- Mixtures: If meat becomes mixed with dairy or if a forbidden food becomes mixed with a permitted food the ruling is as follows: If the quantity of the forbidden food is 1/60 or more of the mixture, it has ‘contaminated’ the permitted food and the whole mixture is therefore forbidden. If the quantity of forbidden food is less than 1/60, the mixture is permitted provided that the forbidden food was not added intentionally for the purpose of affecting the taste. Many packaged foods sold on the market today contain such forbidden mixtures and therefore are not kosher. Among these are cookies, cakes and bread which contain animal fats. In accordance with the prohibition of forbidden mixtures, the precaution that the milk of an unclean animal should not become mixed with the milk of a clean animal gave rise to the Jewish custom of drinking halav Yisrael, milk obtained and bottled under the supervision of a Jew. This ensures that no forbidden substances will be added to the milk. However, in modern times, since state laws prohibit such mixtures and since ‘unclean’ milk is more expensive than ‘clean’ milk and would probably not be mixed, many authorities permit the use of milk which has not been supervised by Jews. Nevertheless, the very pious still observe the custom of using halav Yisrael.” “The rabbis prohibited eating fish and meat together on the grounds that such a combination is unhealthy.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
Who is my “Stone?”
In Hebrew, a statement like, “the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion” conjures a picture of one of the stones in an arch angled to wedge the others in place. The center stone is equivalent to the center point. The center point in a chiasma is focusing on the Lord. Stones in a typical five stone Roman archway can be compared to the five “Standard Works (scriptures)” that Latter-day Saints use, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. Every stone in the arch is necessary to have the advantage of the structure which holds a building in place as well as having the enjoyment of the beauty in something that holds itself together. How then can we connect the terms “cornerstone” and “capstone?” The Doctrine and Covenants are often called the “capstone” of the restoration in these “last days.” It is interesting to note that the metaphor of a building was used in ancient times to denote the structure and stability of the Lord’s organization in the all the days of the earth. “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” (Psalm 118:22) Think of an Eastern building in Egypt and other countries, where the only chief cornerstone is the top of a pyramid. Realizing that the Twelve Apostles are the foundation representing the Lord, look how true religion is described: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” (Isaiah 28:16) “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” (Matthew 21:42) “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22) Therefore, picture an eastern building style, a pyramid. Its chief cornerstone is the capstone. It can be removed, and the building is still “fitly framed.” A U.S. one dollar bill has that image with the top, cap or chief cornerstone shown with rays beaming forth from an all-seeing eye. The pyramid also has twelve blocks as its foundation.
How does the image of true religion carry over to the family?
As the children start their own family, the parents are “removed” from their former role yet still maintain a spiritual influence through their previous teaching and subsequent prayers and spiritual influence on their children. The unity of the family could be imaged as “fitly framed.” As with any home, protection from unwarranted outside influence is necessary. Security systems or defensive armor are part of the proper stewardship of the family’s leaders. Sustaining the Lord as the Chief Cornerstone and following His instructions to defend ourselves with His words in these latter days we can protect our families inside or outside of the home. The imagery of stone is used often in the scriptures. One of the reasons is that the Lord is the “Rock of Salvation.” Our testimony of Him comes with repeated experiences from the “still small voice.” Even the strongest stone wall is made from many smaller ones.