To Repent

imageThe other day, as the missionaries visited us, we discussed repentance.

My daughter and I both thought of our foreign language experience and proposed that repent seemed to come from the Latin for “think.” Thus, re-pent would seem to mean re-think.

I happily looked up the etymology of the English term repentance, and was dismayed to find that my insight was not accurate. Yet the search also brought up articles discussing scholarly disagreement on this point.

At this point, inspired by Reid Litchfield’s exploration of the original Greek and Hebrew terms in the Bible (related to slavery), I dug further to see which Hebrew and Greek words have been translated as “repent.” I found the following at Bill Fallon’s Free Grace Resources, discussing the three words translated as a form of “repent”:

“Nacham” is used 108 times in the OT and is translated some form of “repent” 41 times. It is translated as “comfort” or “comforter” 66 times. Whereas “shuwb” means something similar to “turn” or “return,” “nacham” has a different meaning similar to being “eased” or “comforted.” Neither word seems to have the identical meaning as the most common New Testament Greek word for “repent” (metanoeo), which basically means ” a change of mind.”

If we consider a view that God is our Father, a beloved parent acknowledged by us as God before this life, then the idea of returning and being comforted make perfect sense for “repent.” Continue reading

A Lenten Personal Progress – Days 32 – 38

value-faithThis week a series of intense storms blew through the area where I live. The debris closed roads around the region, the intense rains caused flooding in other regions, and thousands lost power.

There are times in our own lives when it seems our lives are being blown about, when the troubles raining down on us dampen our spirits, and when it seems we are cut off from the power of God.

These times of trouble will pass. Like the sunny sky after an intense storm, we will see a time when our troubles have passed, and the now in which we live in that future will be bright and fresh.

To go directly to a particular day, click on one of the following links:
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 |
Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 |
Day 18 | Day 19 | Day 20 | Day 21 | Day 22 | Day 23 | Day 24 |
Day 25 | Day 26 | Day 27 | Day 28 | Day 29 | Day 30 | Day 31 |
Day 32 | Day 33 | Day 34 | Day 35 | Day 36 | Day 37 | Day 38 | Go to Top
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The Standard of Truth Still Stands Strong

I haven’t written much on the topic of gay marriage in recent months because I felt that pretty much everything on the legal merits had been said ad nauseum. I also had little pretension or doubt as to what the outcome of the Supreme Court case would be, though I was eager to see what rationale the Court would use as it created a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

This morning, knowing that the decision was pending, I spent time in the temple praying for peace and clarity regarding the opinion. As I did so, I again received a reassurance that I have received frequently over the past several months. Ultimately, while there are reasons to despair over the changes that have swept the nation, we should be filled with hope because the Lord is in charge.

While many are celebrating today, I know that many others are afraid of the impact this decision will have on the Church and the cause of religious freedom.  And many are wondering how to respond as our views increasingly become a minority position. While these thoughts are purely my own, I hope that some of what I express in this post will provide comfort and consolation for those who are anxious as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have frequently warned that when the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage (which it did today), it will be this generation’s Roe v. Wade and lead to a never ending cultural war on the topic. I sincerely hope not. Though I have frequently and strongly spoken up against the legalization of same-sex marriage, I hope that the fighting will recede and that those who see the urgent need to defend the family from decay and destruction will be able to move on to fighting for other pro-family measures.
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The eternal consequences of legalizing same sex marriage

By Michael J Davidson, a sometimes guest blogger at Millennial Star who happens to be active LDS, a husband, father, attorney and genealogy enthusiast.

It is not every day that the Supreme Court of the United States issues an opinion that has such eternal implications as we have in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. I undertook to read the syllabus, opinion of the court and the dissents (103 pages!) thinking that I would possibly write a legal critique of what the court did, but I found that such a critique would likely be similar to those already done. Instead, I thought about the eternal consequences of this decision and found them to be very sobering.

Frankly, a lot of what the Court does really is somewhat insignificant in the timeframe of the gospel, but today’s decision is different. Foreign affairs, healthcare, and housing discrimination are all important topics, to be sure, but they affect items that are very temporal, very temporary, when you take the long view that we should be focused on. There are some truly important things addressed there, but for the most part we won’t look back on the Chevron decision as something that impacted the salvation of souls in the world.

Families, on the other hand, are eternal. Or at least some of them are. In this brave new world, violence is being done to individuals in a manner that will impact these individuals in the eternities. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court gives legal sanction to marriage relationships (and parental relationships) that will not and cannot endure in eternity. With this legal recognition comes an increased level of social acceptance that will result in more individuals engaging in such relationships, and doing so in a manner that is more permanent. In discussing these developments, we need to keep in mind not only of the sinful nature of homosexual behavior, but also of the futile nature of these relationships from an eternal perspective.

It has long been clear from a doctrinal perspective that engaging in homosexual sex is sinful, under any circumstances. This is something the brethren have made abundantly clear, particularly in recent general conference addresses and other public statements. What I haven’t heard as much, though I expect we will hear more of, is that these new family relationships cannot endure in the eternities the way heterosexual marriages can endure.

The Proclamation of the Family could not be more clear. “THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” In 2004, the First Presidency further issued this statement: “As a doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture, we affirm that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. The powers of procreation are to be exercised only between a man and a woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of the family.”
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