Sunday, October 14, 2012

My New Book on Amazon.com

Here is a preview of my book that I just published on Amazon.com. If you want to read the entire book, you can get it at: http://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Afterlife-Mormon-Writings-ebook/dp/B009PURFG8/.


Death, Resurrection and the Afterlife as Found in the Book of Mormon and Other Writings of Joseph Smith, Jr.


 

By

Michael Robert Serovey, MA, MISM

Elder in the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Days Saints

 

Copyright Information Page


 

Copyright © 2012 by Michael Robert Serovey. All rights reserved worldwide.

No part of this publication may be replicated, redistributed, or given away in any form without the prior written consent of the author/publisher or the terms relayed to you herein.

 

Michael Robert Serovey, Mike Serovey Enterprises

12708 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. #111, Tampa, FL, 33612, USA

www.MikeSeroveyEnterprises.com

 

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.










Introduction


 

In this paper I will attempt to explain, briefly, the teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr. concerning death, resurrection, and the afterlife. In order to stay within the intende4 length of the paper, I will deal primarily with the Book of Mormon (B of M). Where the B of M does not clearly cover a subject, I will refer to the other works generally attributed to Joseph Smith, Jr. or reputable commentaries thereon.

Before I begin explaining the doctrines, I will briefly describe each of the works generally attributed to Joseph Smith Jr. and there reported respective origins. First is the Book of Mormon (B of M). The title page, which Joseph Smith, Jr. translated from the plates themselves, best describes what it is.

The Book of Mormon

An Account Written by

The Hand of Mormon

Upon Plates

Taken from the Plates of Nephi

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites--Written to the Lamanites, who area remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile——Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation--Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—-To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof——Sealed by the hand of Moroni and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile——The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.

An Abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven——Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever——And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations——And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment—seat of Christ.

TRANSLATED BY JOSEPH SMITH, JUN.’ 1

Next is the Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (D & C). The D&C contain revelations and official proclamations received by or put out by the presidents of the church. Most of these are by or through Joseph Smith, Jr. This book was first published under the title The Book of Commandments. The title was later changed by Joseph Smith Jr.

After Joseph Smith was martyred the church collected several of his writings and published them under the title The Pearl of Great Price (P of GP). The P of GP contains: The Book of Moses, which is Joseph Smith’s retranslation of the first six chapters of Genesis; The Book of Abraham, a translation of a papyrus scroll found with an Egyptian mummy; Joseph Smith- Matthew; Joseph Smith’s translation of Matthew— 23; and Joseph Smith—History an extract from History of the Church Volume I.

In addition, several of the sermons of Joseph Smith, Jr. were recorded by John A. Widstoe. These records were compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith and published under the title, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Of those listed above, four are canonized scripture and are called the Four Standard Works. They are: 1) the KJV Bible; 2) Book of Mormon; 3) D&C and; 4) Pearl of Great Price. The official doctrines of the Church are found in these works and any other proclamations of the First Presidency of the Church.


Plan of Salvation - The Seven Ages of Mankind


 

Bruce R. McConkie in his book The Millennial Messiah points out that we cannot correctly understand the teachings concerning death, resurrection and the afterlife unless we understand the entire plan of salvation. We cannot understand the entire plan of salvation unless we gain an eternal perspective on things. McConkie outlines the seven ages of man as follows: First is “Creation and Life as Spirits”. This is also called the premortal existence. This is when the great Elohim created the spirits of all who ever had, do now, and ever will dwell on this earth. This creation included the angels who were cast into outer darkness and the spirit “Son who is the Firstborn,” YHWH. 2

The Book of Abraham, Chapter 3, tells us of this ante mortal state, before the world was created. In it we find that God revealed to Abraham the eternal nature of spirits, pre—earth life, foreordination, the creation, the choosing of a Redeemer, and the second estate of man.

“NOW the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said:

These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me:

Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.

And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me, And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first. And the second was angry, and ke not his first estate and, at that day, many followed after him.” 3

Second is the “Temporal Creation and Our Life as Mortals” This is when the physical earth is organized. This is when Michael the Archangel becomes Adam the premortal man. His wife Eve is created and placed in the garden with him to be a helper. They fall and become mortal beings, subject to both spiritual and physical death. 4

In the B of M, 2 Nephi 2:15-25, Nephi tells his sons the story of the creation, how Adam fell, why the fall was necessary, and what would have happened if the fall had not occurred.

 “And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the Garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”5

Third is “Redemption and the Age of the Atoning One. This is the meridian of time. This is when Jesus the Christ is born. We were present when the earth was created, Adam fell, the flood of Noah, and again we are present to witness the miraculous birth of our redeemer. We see how he grows up, begins his ministry, is baptized by John in the Jordon River, teaches and works miracles, agonizes in the Garden of Gethsemane, & bleeds and dies for us on the cross. 6

The B of M tells us that Jesus the Christ was known to the Nephite prophets by that name before he was born, that this Jesus Christ is the same one who created the earth, and that he would save us from our sins. In Mosiah 3:8 we read, “And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.”

Again in Mosiah we read:

“And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon Him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth.” 7

If you want to read the entire book, you can get it at: http://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Afterlife-Mormon-Writings-ebook/dp/B009PURFG8/.

Mike Serovey, MA, MISM

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Funny True Stories


While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church,
our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made
his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his
playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial
should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton
batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of
the deceased.The minister's son was chosen to say the
appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his
version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be
unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole
hegoooes.'

A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was
fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly,
something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and
looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been
pressed in between the pages.'Mama, look what I found,' the
boy called out. 'What have you got there, dear?' With
astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, 'I think
it's Adam's underwear!'

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A Prophetic Dream

Back in 1978 I was a private in the US Army who lived in the barracks and ate in the mess hall. I had recently joined the LDS (Mormon) church and had a few dates with some of the young women in my ward (the Single Adults Ward). However, I didn't really "click" with anyone at that time. After having a dream about a mermaid I went to the latrine and then prayed to God to reveal to me in a dream whom I should marry. I had had an earlier dream that had left me with the impression that I would marry someone in Tampa and that I would have to wait for her. This time, shortly after falling asleep, I had the following dream.

I saw a photograph of a young woman with glasses and red hair. The glasses had a gold frame to them. I didn't recognize the girl but thought that she was pretty. I also saw a white wall and a white desktop or table top that the photograph was lying upon. I also saw some letters that reminded me of what people would write in a high school yearbook. On the table was a white, studded, vase that had a single long stem red rose in it. That is all of the dream that I can remember.

About a month after having this dream I went on leave from Fort Carson, Colorado to Tampa, Florida. While on my way to Tampa I had the feeling that something was going to happen. I was going to meet the woman that I would marry or maybe even get married. While in Tampa I asked a few girls for dates and they all declined. My sister felt sorry for me and fixed me up with a girl that she knew from her work. When Cathy told me that Shirley had red hair I told Cathy about my dream. Cathy said, "Wouldn't it be funny if you married her?" Well, a few months later I did marry Shirley and it wasn't funny at all!

I married Shirley in June of 1979 in the LDS chapel in Tampa. I spent a few days with her in Florida and then brought her back with me to Colorado Springs, Colorado. While unpacking her things I found a white, studded vase just like the one in my dream! I asked Shirley where she got the vase and she told me that her flowers that I sent to her when I proposed to her came in that vase! The thing is, when I bought the flowers (long stem red roses) I paid for a box, not a vase! The florist that delivered her flowers knew the family and gave me a free upgrade!

I was married to Shirley for almost 11 years but eventually divorced her due to incompatability. We fought way too much! What I still can't figure out is this, if Shirley is the one whom God wwanted me to marry why didn't the marriage work out in the long run? I asked for a wife and I got a wife. Now, when I pray for the perfect wife I don't even get a girlfriend! I have had ONE DATE in the past 11 years! I have spent four fifths of my life single! I'm still clueless about what is going on with the wife situation!

A real comment about this would be appreciated. Spam will just be deleted!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

When Was Jesus Really Born?

Most Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25, which is near the Winter Solstace. The Mormon church beleives that Jesus was born in April and I have heard some other people say March. Even so, most Mormons celebrate Christmas in December and also follow most other Christian traditions. I also celebrate Christmas in December, but don't know when Jesus was really born. I'm inclined to go with March because that is what most Bible scholars beleive.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Silly Christmas Songs

Christmas is about a week from today. I thought that I would post the lyrics to some silly Christmas songs that I learned as a kid. You should already know the melodies but you may not have heard these lyrics before.

First we have Randolph the Bowlegged Cowboy.

Randolph the bowlegged Cowboy had a very shiny gun
and if you ever saw it you would turn around and run.
All of the other cowboys used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Randolph join in any poker games.
Then one foggy Christmas eve Sheriff came to say
Randolph with your gun so bright, won't you shoot my wife tonight?
Then how the cowboys loved it as they shouted out with glee
Randolf the bowlegged cowboy, you'll go down in the penitentiary!

We Three Kings of Orient Are

We three kings of orient are
trying to smoke a rubber cigar.
It was loaded and exploded.
Now we're on yonder star.
Oh star of wonder star of light
hope you see a ghost tonight.
It will haunt you and it will scare you
all the days of your life.

Hark the Herald Angels Shout

Hark the herald angels shout
three more days 'till we get out.
Three more days of misery
in this penitentiary.
So grab your balls and grab you chains
run for the nearest trains.
Hark the herald angels shout
three more days 'till we get out.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Are You Going to Heaven?

Yesterday I watched a movie called Bridge To Terabithia. There was a scene in the movie where a girl named Leslie Burke goes to church with here neighbors. On the way back they have a discussion about Jesus and the Bible. Jess and his sister are telling Leslie that if they don't believe the Bible they will go to Hell. Leslie doubts this, but likes the story about Jesus' sacrifice anyway. Later in the story Leslie dies and there is some concern about here going to Hell because she didn't believe the Bible.

As I stated in a previous post, I believe that there is more than one heaven and there may be more than one hell. I do not believe that God will send someone to eternal torment because he or she doubted the Bible or joined the wrong religion. I believe that a just and merciful god would never do that! I do believe that getting into the highest heaven does require faith in all of the scriptures and obedience to all of God's commandments. Those who are lacking a little in faith and righteousness will go to a heaven, just not the best one. I believe that it is as hard to get into Hell as it is to get into the Celestial Kingdom. One has to work at both! Total rebellion against God may get you into Hell. Mass murder may do it.

The LDS church teaches that there are 5 steps to repentance and one of them is restitution. You must return or pay for what you stole or damaged. In the case of murder, you normally cannot bring someone back to life. So, the only way to make restitution is to forfeit you own life. In our Doctrine and Covenants it states that murderers must be destroyed in the flesh and then delivered unto Satan for buffeting. So, murderers do go to Hell, but after they have paid for their sins they get out and go to the lowest heaven.

Even if a man lived to be 120 years old, that is only a few hours of God's time. What sin could a man commit that would be terrible enough to deserve torment that lasts for millions of years? I can agree with some punishment for sins that are not repented of prior to letting someone into Heaven, but I am having a real problem with the idea of eternal torment!

Mark Twain and Brigham Young

There is a story, supposedly true, about Mark Twain and Brigham Young. They were having a debate about plural marriage. Mark Twain was trying to prove from the Bible that a man should have only one wife at a time and Brigham Young was trying to prove from the Bible that it was OK to have two or more wives at the same time. At some point Mark Twain realized that he was losing the debate, so in desperation he quoted Matthew 6:24 "No man can serve two masters...".



I don't know if this story is really true, but it definitely could be!