3 Nephi 6:18-30 — LeGrand Baker — they did wilfully rebel

3 Nephi 6:18-30 — LeGrand Baker — they did wilfully rebel

3 Nephi 6:18-30
18 Now they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them, for it had been taught unto them; therefore they did wilfully rebel against God.

There are two kinds of apostasy. Both are dangerous, but one is more dangerous than the other.
The first is to “dwindle in unbelief.”
It may be a result of spiritual sluggishness. Boredom in reading the scriptures because we know the stories already; stop reading the scriptures; pray out of habit then not bothering to do so; refocus our lives on things that seem to be more important, more profitable, more enjoyable.

Mormon describes one of those processes with amazing clarity.

24 And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.
25 And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.
26 And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ.
27 And it came to pass that when two hundred and ten years had passed away there were many churches in the land; yea, there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness…..
34 Nevertheless, the people did harden their hearts, for they were led by many priests and false prophets to build up many churches, and to do all manner of iniquity. And they did smite upon the people of Jesus; but the people of Jesus did not smite again. AND THUS THEY DID DWINDLE IN UNBELIEF AND WICKEDNESS, FROM YEAR TO YEAR, even until two hundred and thirty years had passed away (4 Nephi 1:24-34).

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The second kind of apostasy is to wilfully rebel. Again we turn to Mormon for clarification:

35 And now it came to pass in this year, yea, in the two hundred and thirty and first year, there was a great division among the people…..

38 And it came to pass that they who rejected the gospel were called Lamanites, and Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites; and THEY DID NOT DWINDLE IN UNBELIEF, BUT THEY DID WILFULLY REBEL AGAINST THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST; and they did teach their children that they should not believe, even as their fathers, from the beginning, did dwindle.

39 And it was because of the wickedness and abomination of their fathers, even as it was in the beginning. And they were taught to hate the children of God, even as the Lamanites were taught to hate the children of Nephi from the beginning (4 Nephi 1:36-39).

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Mormon uses that phrase twice more in his own autobiography — each time with an increasing sense of utter tragedy.

16 And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them; for behold they had wilfully rebelled against their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity(Mormon 1:1-19).

15 And it came to pass that my sorrow did return unto me again, and I saw that the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually; for I saw thousands of them hewn down in open rebellion against their God, and heaped up as dung upon the face of the land. And thus three hundred and forty and four years had passed away (Mormon 2:1-29).

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We can almost watch this apostasy happen in Nephi’s story of Laman and Lemuel:

8 And now I, Nephi, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, therefore I spake unto them, saying, yea, even unto Laman and unto Lemuel: Behold ye are mine elder brethren, and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, that ye have need that I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you?

9 How is it that ye have not hearkened unto the word of the Lord?

10 HOW IS IT THAT YE HAVE FORGOTTEN that ye have seen an angel of the Lord?

11 Yea, and HOW IS IT THAT YE HAVE FORGOTTEN what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record?

12 Yea, and HOW IS IT THAT YE HAVE FORGOTTEN that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him (1 Nephi 7:8-12).

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As we read the epistles in the New Testament, we see that Paul, Peter, and John had no hope for the survival of the pristine doctrines of the gospel. John tells of one in authority (perhaps a stake president) who would excommunicate anyone who acknowledged the authority of the Twelve:

9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God (3 John 1:9-11).

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Satan’s wilfully rebelled is the most striking example. It really bothers me when I hear people talk about Satan presenting an alternative plan. Such a statement exposes a total lack of rational thought on the part of those who parrot it. Satan did not present a plan that could exalt anybody. His assertions were a self-aggrandizing rebellion that utterly precluded his and his followers being able to remain in God’s presence.

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