Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

New Testament Studies Week 1

Unit 2 Topic 1 – Matthew 5:1-12. The Beatitudes

1.       Read the footnote for Matthew 5:3a and the institute student manual points to ponder section: The sermon on the mount is our constitution for perfection.”  Pg 61. Write a definition for the word blessed or blessedness.
The latin: beatus is the basis of the English beatitude, meaning to be fortunate, to be happy or to be blessed, to blessings. 

2.       Read Matthew 5:1-12. Identify or mark all of the “blessed” attributes in these verses.  Also, read the definitions President Harold B. Lee gave for each of these attributes found in the institute studentmanual Points to Ponder section pp. 61-62.  From these verses select three beatitudes and write a paragraph for each describing how living this beatitude has in the past or can in the future can increase your happiness.  

Matthew 5:3. “Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit”

Matthew 5:4. “Blessed Are They That Mourn”

Matthew 5:5. “Blessed Are the Meek”

Matthew 5:6. “Blessed Are They Which Do Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness”

Matthew 5:7. “Blessed Are the Merciful”

Matthew 5:8. “Blessed Are the Pure in Heart”

My three Beatitudes

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit ~ I think we all have been poor in spirit on and off in our own lives.  The key is to recognize when we are at that point and reach out in prayer with faith.  Heavenly Father wants to bless us, we just have to be humble and willing to accept his grace and blessings.  I also believe that we are tools in his hands and need to be always watchful in our own circle of influence to bless the lives of others, by service, a listening ear, financially, and through prayer. 

Blessed are the Meek ~ to be “meek” means to be “God-fearing, righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering.  For me these attributes describe a perfect person.  Because the Savior was the only perfect person to walk the earth, all these attributes are a great goal to want and to work towards.  Personally I know in the past that when I am reading my scriptures daily and striving to be closer to my Father in Heaven these attributes are more attainable.  I mostly struggle with being patient under suffering, which I think most people do.  I have had a few examples of friends in my life lose children, and I have witnessed their patience through these difficult trials. 

Blessed are the Merciful ~ For me this is one of the most important of the beatitudes.  Since everyone makes mistakes, we would be wise to take this counsel and forgive quickly.  I know in my own personal experiences holding a grudge is really just carrying around an extra burden.  If we expect mercy from others we also have to give mercy to others.  Part of our mortal experience is to learn this wonderful trait.   

New Testament Studies Week 1

I am taking an online course studying the New Testament.  I have been asked to blog about my studies.  The best way I know how to share is by posting my assignments.  I might add aditional thoughs as the weeks progress.  The course is accelerated, so I don't get much time to ponder before I move on...but I really want to ponder.  Maybe having my notes here will give me an opportunity to go back and reflect once the class is done.  

Week 1
Share and Report Assignment Week 1
1.    How did you and what did you do to complete the assignment?
 In heaven the Savior had the support and was in the physical presence of our Father in Heaven.  When he came to earth he lost that physical presence, and was also not known and rejected by his own people.  I find his story very tragic.  Had he not been the son of God, I don’t know how he could have found joy in his time on earth.  My daughter and I related this to how she felt when she went away to college for the first time.  It was a difficult and lonely transition for her and often she would drive several hours, just to be home in our presence for a few days.  We talked how the challenges of being away from home were similar to the challenges we face from being away from our heavenly home.  Choices that seem easy at home were harder at college, somewhat like what the Savior experienced being away from his Father in Heaven’s physical presey well.    
1.    Why did you decided to do the assignment you did?
I decided to do this assignment because in the past, as I have studied the scriptures for a class, my family has also been blessed by those insights and teachings.  I want to share what I learn with them. 
1.    What do you think is the best thing about your assignment, and how do you think it could be improved?
I like that the reading is short, but important.  I get the most out of the scriptures when I am able to focus on just a few verses and really ponder them.  I don’t see a need for improvement. 

Unit 1 Topic 1– Search John 1:1-14; John 17:1-5) and ponder the doctrinal connect between the two references.  List at least five truths you learn about the premortal Jesus Christ and five truths you learn about his mortal life.
The Premortal Savior
Helped create the world
Is the light of men
Was ordained by God to be the redeemer of the world
Was humble and wanted the glory to go to Heavenly Father
Was known by all
The Mortal Savior
Was not known by the world
Was rejected by his own
Shared his light and power to be resurrected to those who would believe on him
Was born of God
Had a special witness in John the Baptist

2.       Learn more about the following names or titles of the Savior.  Use the Bible Dictionary and the institute student manual commentary for John 1:1, “How is Jesus the Word of God?”(pg 15) and the commentary for “What is the meaning of the titles, “Christ, Messiah, and Jehovah, immanuel, The Word? ( p.18) Write one or two sentences about the meaning of each title. 
2-8) What Is the Meaning of the Titles “Christ,” “Messiah,” and “Jehovah”?
Jesus was the given name of our Savior. As we spell it, the name is of Greek derivation. Its Hebrew equivalent was Yehoshua or Jeshua, or as we render it in English, Joshua. In its original form, the name literally meant “Help of Jehovah,” “Savior-Deliverer,” or “Jehovah Is Salvation.” The name was made known to Joseph by the angel who appeared to him. (SeeMatthew 1:21.)
Christ is a sacred title, and not an ordinary appellation or common name; it is of Greek derivation, and in meaning is identical with its Hebrew equivalent Messiah or Messias, signifying the Anointed One. Other titles, each possessing a definitive meaning, such as Emmanuel, Savior, Redeemer, Only Begotten Son, Lord, Son of God, Son of Man, and many more, are of scriptural occurrence; the fact of main present importance to us is that these several titles are expressive of our Lord’s divine origin and Godship. As seen, the essential names or titles of Jesus the Christ were made known before His birth, and were revealed to prophets who preceded Him in the mortal state.” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, pp. 35–36.)
The name Jehovah means the “Self-Existent One” or “The Eternal.” It is written in our Old Testament as Lord in capital letters. According to ancient Jewish practice, the name Jehovah or I Am (the Self-Existent One) was not to be spoken for fear of incurring divine wrath.

“Jesus, when once assailed with question and criticism from certain Jews who regarded their Abrahamic lineage as an assurance of divine preferment, met their abusive words with the declaration: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.’ The true significance of this saying would be more plainly expressed were the sentence punctuated and pointed as follows: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham, was I Am’; which means the same as had He said—Before Abraham, was I, Jehovah. The captious Jews were so offended at hearing Him use a name which, through an erroneous rendering of an earlier scripture, they held was not to be uttered on pain of death, that they immediately took up stones with the intent of killing Him.” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 37.)Who followed ancient Israel in the wilderness?