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The Saviorís Visit to the Spirit World (REAL LDS / Mormon)
LDS.org ^ | Spencer J. Condie

Posted on 03/18/2011 9:02:56 PM PDT by Paragon Defender

The Savior’s Visit to the Spirit World

 

 

By Elder Spencer J. Condie

Of the Seventy

Spencer J. Condie, "The Savior’s Visit to the Spirit World", Ensign, July 2003, 32–36

 

 

 

What Jesus did during the hours between His death and Resurrection provides the doctrinal foundation for building temples.

 

 

 

“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). After Jesus spoke these words from the cross, His immortal spirit took leave of His physical body. His lifeless flesh was laid in a sepulchre, and a stone sealed its entrance.

A brief time later, angels declared to a group of women gathered at His tomb, “He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:6). Jesus’ spirit had reentered His body, forming a glorious union of spirit and flesh never again to be separated.

The facts of Jesus’ death and Resurrection are hailed by those of Christian denominations as fundamental tenets. However, what Jesus’ immortal spirit did after His death and before His Resurrection is a mystery to all but the Latter-day Saints. And the significance of what He did during those hours provides the doctrinal foundation for building temples across the earth. Furthermore, a testimony of what He did can greatly console those who mourn the death of a loved one.

The Requirement of Baptism

To understand why Jesus visited the spirit world after His death, we must return to a night following His first cleansing of the temple at Jerusalem. Nicodemus, because of his prominence as “a ruler of the Jews,” came to the Savior to discuss matters of great concern. Nicodemus acknowledged the Master as “a teacher come from God.” Jesus taught him, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:1–2, 5).

We are, therefore, required to be baptized if we desire admittance into God’s kingdom. Even Jesus Christ, the one and only sinless man to walk this earth, submitted to this universal requirement (see 2 Ne. 31:5–7). 1

Mercy and Justice for the Unbaptized

The Lord’s plan of salvation is known by many names. One name is “the plan of mercy” (Alma 42:15). Mercy implies compassion and forgiveness, whereas justice can refer to punishment and retribution. But there are also some softer qualities of divine justice, including equity and fairness.

How can His plan be merciful or just if it requires every accountable individual to be baptized when billions of people have died without the opportunity to hear the gospel and choose baptism? The Apostle Peter described the provisions God has made: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just [meaning Jesus Christ] for the unjust [meaning you and me], that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18). This Christ did in order to bring the gift of eternal life to all.

The Apostle Peter continued, “By which also he [Jesus Christ] went and preached unto the spirits in prison” (1 Pet. 3:19).

Who were these people in the spirit world? They were both righteous and unrighteous people who had died. Some had been disobedient and rejected the gospel in the days of Noah (see Joseph Smith Translation, 1 Pet. 3:20). Some had been in the spirit world for thousands of years!

Why was the gospel preached in the spirit world? So that the dead might repent and live according to the will of God (see Joseph Smith Translation, 1 Pet. 4:6). Mercy and justice require that those who have died without an opportunity to hear the gospel in mortality receive that opportunity in the spirit world. Mercy and justice also require that those who have rejected the gospel in this life receive some opportunity to hear it again.

What about the obedient? People who have accepted and lived according to the gospel of Jesus Christ also inhabit the spirit world. The prophet Enoch foresaw the Crucifixion of the Savior of the world and when “the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent.” He saw that at the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, “the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man.” He further saw the obedient in the spirit world come forth in their glorified resurrected bodies, while “the remainder [the wicked] were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day” (Moses 7:56–57). Thus, the obedient enter the spirit world to wait the day of their resurrection.

The prophet Alma taught that while the obedient wait, they dwell in “a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow” (Alma 40:12).

His Visit Brought Dramatic Changes

The wondrous benefits to the obedient because of the Savior’s visit to the spirit world were seen in vision by President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918). He saw the spirit world just before the Savior’s arrival there. The obedient spirits “were gathered together in one place” and “filled with joy and gladness, … rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand” (D&C 138:12, 15).

The Savior appeared to them and declared that the day of their glorious resurrection had come. He spoke to them of “the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance” (D&C 138:19).

Among those gathered were Adam and Eve, Noah, and Abraham. Book of Mormon prophets also mingled in the assembly. “These the Lord taught, and gave them power to come forth, after his resurrection from the dead, to enter into his Father’s kingdom” (D&C 138:51).

President Joseph F. Smith wondered how the Savior could have preached to all the people in the spirit world in the short time between His death and Resurrection. But President Smith perceived that “unto the wicked he did not go, and among the ungodly and the unrepentant … , his voice was not raised. …

“But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers … [to] proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.

“Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets” (D&C 138:20, 30–32).

The work of preaching the gospel to these unbaptized dead goes on even to this day. The messengers now being dispatched by the Savior to the unbaptized who have died include the faithful members of the Church of this dispensation who have died. For when the faithful “depart from mortal life, [they] continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead” (D&C 138:57).

Work for the Dead

One crucial question, however, remains to be answered in order to fulfill the merciful and just plan of God. How can a dead person be baptized? This dilemma is solved through the ordinance of baptism for the dead, which is performed only in sacred temples. If we are worthy, you and I may go to a temple and there receive the ordinance of baptism on behalf of individuals who are dead.

Baptism for the dead was practiced among the Saints in the days of Peter and Paul. In teaching the Corinthians about Jesus Christ and the Resurrection of the dead, the Apostle Paul asked, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Cor. 15:29).

Baptism for the dead and other sacred ordinances performed for the dead were restored to earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. These sacred ordinances are now performed in more than 100 temples throughout the earth. These temples are an outward manifestation of our testimony of the reality of the work that goes on for the dead both here and in the spirit world, a work initiated by the Savior’s visit to the righteous dead.

Common Questions

This doctrine of ordinance work for the dead raises questions among those not of our faith and sometimes among Latter-day Saints. Following are answers to some of these common questions.

What happens if the deceased person doesn’t want to repent or doesn’t want the blessings of baptism? We believe that everyone is free to choose, both in this life and in the spirit world. This freedom is essential to the plan of our Heavenly Father. No one will be coerced into accepting ordinances performed on his or her behalf by another. Baptism for the dead offers an opportunity, but it does not override a person’s agency. But if this ordinance is not performed for them, deceased persons are robbed of the choice to accept or reject baptism.

Why do you perform baptisms for deceased people whose lives on earth indicated little inclination to keep the commandments of God? We believe that many people are like Amulek, who once said of himself, “I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning [the gospel of Jesus Christ], yet I would not know” (Alma 10:6). Amulek later became a great missionary and teacher of his people.

There was also a time in the Book of Mormon when the more righteous Lamanites hunted down the extremely hardened Gadianton robbers, and “they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites” (Hel. 6:37).

We simply do not know who among the dead will turn their hearts to the Lord and repent. We are not in a position to judge. We must do the work and leave the matter in the hands of the deceased person and the Lord.

For Those Who Mourn

The Savior Himself greatly anticipated His visit to the obedient in the spirit world: “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25).

His visit organized the preaching of the gospel to those in the spirit world. While in a state of happiness and peace called paradise, the dead who have been obedient await the receiving of a “fulness of joy” (D&C 138:17; see also Alma 40:12). They are busily engaged in the call to preach the gospel.

The dead who have not heard or who rejected the gospel in mortality are in darkness, or in a state of misery (see Alma 40:14; D&C 138:2). Yet because of His visit, we have a hope for their salvation. We may go to the temple and turn the key, opening the gates of heaven for them and, by our service, for ourselves. For we know “that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect” (D&C 128:15). Mercy and justice combine to give all of our Father’s children the opportunity to return to Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


TOPICS: Other Christian; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: antimormonjihad; ctr; flamebait; flamewar; lds; mormon; truth

1 posted on 03/18/2011 9:02:59 PM PDT by Paragon Defender
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To: Paragon Defender

Some more truth amidst the ruckus and mayhem.

Have a good night one and all.


2 posted on 03/18/2011 9:04:50 PM PDT by Paragon Defender (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil....)
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To: Paragon Defender

LOL!


3 posted on 03/18/2011 9:05:06 PM PDT by doc1019
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To: doc1019

I like the way you think. Not bad for a guy 104. Thank you for your service protecting this great nation.


4 posted on 03/18/2011 9:12:56 PM PDT by 23 Everest (A gun in hand is better than a cop on the phone.)
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To: Paragon Defender
However, what Jesus’ immortal spirit did after His death and before His Resurrection is a mystery to all but the Latter-day Saints.

So the Latter-day Saints have communion with those spirits who reside in Hades, rather than with God the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer, providing a temple for Christ to indwell believers!

Interesting that they proclaim such an association, while denying the indwelling He provides to every believer through faith in Christ.

5 posted on 03/18/2011 9:13:26 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr; All
So the Latter-day Saints have communion with those spirits who reside in Hades, rather than with God the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer, providing a temple for Christ to indwell believers! Interesting that they proclaim such an association...

If you want to look under the hood of the REAL Mormon associations with the underworld, see:

The October Other-World Series:

The 1840s: The Nauvoo Pentagrams

The 1830s: The Occult and the Restoration Story: Joseph Smith and RLDS/LDS Origins

The Spirit World, Our Next Home

They see dead people?

Are ghosts among us? Many believe in spirits, but churches offer stern warnings

The "familiar spirit" in 2 Nephi 26:16

The early 1800s:

JOSEPH SMITH, JR: Founder and first "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator" (1805-1844)

JOSEPH SMITH’S INVOLVEMENT WITH MAGIC, MASONRY, AND THE OCCULT

GOD-MEN AND SPIRITUAL VEGETABLES: The Occult Worldview of Mormonism

Early Mormonism and the Magic World View

6 posted on 03/18/2011 9:33:46 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Cvengr; All
So the Latter-day Saints have communion with those spirits who reside in Hades, rather than with God the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer, providing a temple for Christ to indwell believers! Interesting that they proclaim such an association...

Mormon "prophet" Brigham Young said: 'Where is the spirit world? It is right here' (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 376)," the LDS Church's official Web site states.

When you look up the Journal of Discourses original quote, right after Brigham Young says the "spirit world...is right here" he adds: Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes, they do. Do they both inhabit one kingdom? Yes, they do. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 368, June 22, 1856)

Then seven sentences later, Brigham Young adds: When the spirits of mankind leave their bodies, no matter whether the individual was a Prophet or the meanest person that you could find, where do they go? To the spirit world. Where is it? I am telling you. The spirit of Joseph, I do not know that it is just now in this bowery, but I will assure you that it is close to the Latter-day Saints... (same source, p. 369)

Young said these "meanest...spirits" hover "close to the Latter-day Saints..." in this close-by "Spirit World."

I know some Mormons try to play down what's in the Journal of Discourse (recordings of what their leaders said, often from the Salt Lake Tabernacle). But the fact is the official Lds Web site and many, many books published by the Mormon church constantly references the JoD.

What else did Brigham Young say in that message?

If the Lord would permit it, and it was His will that it should be done, you could see the spirits that have departed from this world, as plainly as you now see bodies with your natural eyes; as plainly as brothers Kimball and Hyde saw those wicked disembodied spirits in Preston, England. They saw devils there, as we see one another; they could hear them speak, and knew what they said. Could they hear them with the natural ear? No. Did they see those wicked spirits with their natural eyes? No. They could not see them the next morning, when they were not in the spirit; neither could they see them the day before, nor at any other time; their spiritual eyes were touched by the power of the Almighty. They said they looked through their natural eyes, and I suppose they did. Brother Kimball saw them, but I know not whether his natural eyes were open at the time or not; brother Kimball said that he lay upon the floor part of the time, and I presume his eyes were shut, but he saw them as also did brother Hyde, and they heard them speak. We may enquire where the spirits dwell, that the devil has power over? They dwell anywhere, in Preston, as well as in other places in England. Do they dwell anywhere else? Yes, on this continent; it is full of them. If you could see, and would walk over many parts of North America, you would see millions on millions of the spirits of those who have been slain upon this continent. Would you see the spirits of those who were as good in the flesh as they knew how to be? Yes. Would you see the spirits of the wicked? Yes. Could you see the spirits of devils? Yes, and that is all there is of them. They have been deprived of bodies, and that constitutes their curse, that is to say, speaking after the manner of men, you shall be wanderers on the earth, you have got to live out of doors all the time you live...You may now see people with legions of evil spirits in and around them; there are men who walk our streets that have more than a hundred devils in them and round about them, prompting them to all manner of evil, and some too that profess to be Latter Day Saints, and if you were to take the devils out of them and from about them, you would leave them dead corpses; for I believe there would be nothing left of them. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 368, June 22, 1856)

What is Brigham referencing re: "brothers Kimball and Hyde saw those wicked disembodied spirits in Preston, England?"

Well Heber C. Kimball became an Lds "apostle" and one of the top three men in the Lds hierarchy at one point in the 19th century. But before that, he was an Lds missionary to England. From reading the original sources, it appears that demons possessed Kimball and another Lds missionary, Isaac Russell, in Preston, Lancashire, England, in 1837

Here, I'll let the men's journals describe what happened. That way you have a first-hand account. BTW, these are from Mormon sources which are citing these Mormon leaders' journals:

Letter from Heber C. Kimball on the Early Lancashire work dated 2 Sep 1837:

p.5 A singular circumstance occurred before morning, which I will quote from Brother Hyde's journal, as he wrote it down. He commences as follows: "Elder [Isaac] Russell was much troubled with evil spirits and came into the room where Elder [Heber C.] Kimball and myself were sleeping and desired us to lay our hands on him and rebuke the evil spirit. I arose upon the bed and Brother Kimball got upon the floor and I sat upon the bed. We laid our hands on him and Brother Kimball rebuked and prayed for him but just before he had finished his prayer, his voice faltered and his mouth was shut and he began to tremble and reel to and fro and fell on the floor like a dead man, and uttered a deep groan. I immediately seized him by the shoulder and lifted him up, being satisfied that the devils were exceeding angry because we attempted to cast them out of Brother Russel and they made a powerful attempt upon Elder Kimball as if to dispatch him at once. They struck him senseless and he fell to the floor. Brother Russel and myself then laid our hands on Elder Kimball and rebuked the evil spirits, in the name of Jesus Christ, and immediately he recovered his strength in part so as to get up. The sweat began to roll from him most powerfully and he was almost as wet as if he had been taken out of the water. We could very sensibly hear the evil spirits rage and foam out their shame. Brother Kimball was quite weak for a day or two after. It seems that the devils are determined to destroy us...
Source: Mormon missionary history

A Mormon at another Web site (LDS Discovering Britain) said he tried to "take different accounts and jigsaw them together in chronological order."

Heber C. Kimball recalled:
“Sunday, July 30th, about daybreak, Elder Isaac Russell….came up to the third story, where Elder Hyde and myself were sleeping, and called out, ‘Brother Kimball, I want you should get up and pray for me that I may be delivered from the evil spirits that are tormenting me to such a degree that I feel I cannot live long, unless I obtain relief.”
“I had been sleeping on the back of the bed. I immediately arose, slipped off at the foot of the bed, and passed around to where he was. Elder Hyde threw his feet out, and sat up in the bed, and we laid hands on him, I being mouth, and prayed that the Lord would have mercy on him, and rebuked the devil. While thus engaged, I was struck with great force by some invisible power, and fell senseless on the floor. (Whitney p. 129-131)

Orson Hyde observed this same moment in his account:
“his [Heber's] voice faltered, and his mouth was shut, and he began to tremble and reel to and fro, and fell on the floor like a dead man, and uttered a deep groan. I immediately seized him by the shoulder, and lifted him up, being satisfied that the devils were exceedingly angry because we attempted to cast them out of Br. Russell, and they made a powerful attempt upon elder Kimball as if to dispatch him at once, they struck him senseless and he fell to the floor (Elder's p. 4)
Heber continued...

The first thing I recollected was being supported by Elders Hyde and Richards, who were praying for me; Elder Richards having followed Russell up to my room. Elder Hyde and Richards then assisted me to get on the bed, but my agony was so great I could not endure it, and I arose, bowed my knees and prayed. I then arose and sat up on the bed, when a vision was opened to our minds, and we could distinctly see the evil spirits, who foamed and gnashed their teeth at us. (Whitney p. 130-131)
Years later (1856) Heber told a congregation in the Salt Lake Tabernacle,
“I saw their hands, their eyes, and every feature of their faces, the hair on their heads, and their ears, in short they had full formed bodies.“ (Journal of Discourses Vol. 3 mar 2, 1856, p. 229)
Heber's account continued:
We gazed upon them about an hour and a half (by Willard’s watch). We were not looking towards the window, but towards the wall. Space appeared before us, and we saw the devils coming in legions, with their leaders, who came within a few feet of us. They came towards us like armies rushing to battle They appeared to be men of full stature, possessing every form and feature of men in the flesh, who were angry and desperate; and I (Kimball) shall never forget the vindictive malignity depicted on their countenances as they looked me in the eye; and any attempt to paint the scene which then presented itself, or portray their malice and enmity, would be vain. I perspired exceedingly, my clothes becoming as wet as if I had been taken out of the river. I felt excessive pain, and was in the greatest distress for sometime. (Whitney p. 130-131)
ORSON: Immediately he [Heber] recovered his strength in part, so as to get up; the sweat began to roll from him most powerfully, and he was almost as wet as if he had been taken out of the water,
(Elder’s p.4)
HEBER: We distinctly heard those spirits talk and express their wrath and hellish designs against us.
(Whitney p. 130-131)
ORSON: We could very sensibly hear the evil spirits rage and foam out their shame.”
(Elder’s p.4)
FIELDING: They could hear a sound from them, i.e the evil spirits, like the grating of teeth, quite plainly. (Fielding, p.22)
ORSON: …After you were overcome by them and had fallen, their awful rush upon me with knives, threats, imprecations, hellish grins, amply convinced me that they were no friends of mine. While you were apparently senseless and lifeless on the floor and upon the bed (after we had laid you there), I (Orson) stood between you (Heber) and the devils and fought them and contended with them face to face, until they began to diminish in number and to retreat from the room. The last imp that left turned around to me as he was going out and said, as if to apologize, and appease my determined opposition to them, ‘I never said anything against you!’ I replied to him thus: ‘It matters not me whether you have or have not; you are a liar from the beginning! In the name of Jesus Christ depart!’ He immediately left, and the room was clear. That closed the scene of devils for the time. (Whitney 131)
FIELDING: They however kept their distances, but turned their heads toward Bro. Hyde; one looking at him said distinctly, but with a murmuring tone, slowly demure, I never spoke against you. He said there seemed to be legion of them. He was alarmed, but very much disgusted. He could scarcely bear to speak of them. (Fielding, p. 23)

Source: Compiled by Peter Fagg, Discovering LDS Britain Demon Possession Description
Original sources used by Fagg included:
Elder’s Journal, Letter 1 (1837), p.4 Quoted by Barron Howard. Orson Hyde: Missionary, Apostle, Colonizer. Horizon Publishers, Bountiful, Utah. 1978 p.95.
Fielding, Joseph. Joseph Fielding Diary. Courtesy of his descendants Keith & Ilene Foulger.
Kimball., Stanley, B. On the Potter's Wheel, Diary 1.
Journal of Discourses. Volume 3. Liverpool, 1856.
Whitney, Orson F. The Life of Heber C. Kimball. Bookcraft, Utah. 1945.

Let me close with what Lds "apostle" Bruce R. McConkie thinks about such possessions: "That persons possessed by evil spirits are subjected to the severest mental and physical sufferings and to the basest sort of degredation [sic] -- all symbolical of the eternal torment to be imposed upon those who fall under Satan's control in the world to come" (McConkie, p. 311 Doctrinal NT Commentary, Vol. I: The Gospels Bookcraft )
And: "Evil spirits can completely transform a personal physically and mentally." (same source, p. 312)

7 posted on 03/18/2011 9:41:39 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Paragon Defender
Swelling the ranks of the “anti Mormons” again with your anti Christian bilge I see...

Before too long it will be one lame Morg apologist against 1000 who know Mormonism is a lie...

8 posted on 03/18/2011 9:44:07 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (8/30/10, the day Truth won.)
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To: Colofornian

My, you are a quick typist.


9 posted on 03/18/2011 9:50:27 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Colofornian

My apologies to You C.

I hadn’t recognized this as a Caucus thread.

I generally fall back on a simpler guidance, simply through faith in Christ by the work of God the Holy Spirit.

Yours is more rigorous.

Perhaps if yours fell first through faith in only what He provides and no other, even our independent thing from Him.

It would be a simpler more evident relationship with Him.

One which might have been what some associate with a primal relationship with God, only through faith in what Christ performed on the Cross and none other.

Best of wishes on your thread.

Semper fidelis.


10 posted on 03/18/2011 10:02:47 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Paragon Defender

“However, what Jesus’ immortal spirit did after His death and before His Resurrection is a mystery to all but the Latter-day Saints.”

What?


11 posted on 03/18/2011 10:22:03 PM PDT by TheZMan (Just secede and get it over with. No love lost on either side. Cya.)
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To: Paragon Defender

When does Joseph Smith fly back on a magical unicorn spreading love, hope, while tossing fairy dust on his faithful followers?


12 posted on 03/19/2011 12:00:18 AM PDT by dragonblustar (Just saying.......)
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To: Paragon Defender
Stop posting blasphemy.
13 posted on 03/19/2011 5:31:24 PM PDT by svcw (Non forgiveness is like holding a hot coal thinking the other person will be blistered)
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To: svcw

Stop posting blasphemy.


I haven’t posted any.

You stop posting blasphemy. =-)


14 posted on 03/19/2011 5:53:43 PM PDT by Paragon Defender (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil....)
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To: Paragon Defender
So apparently the Bible the Word of God Almighty is blasphemy - figures you would say that.
15 posted on 03/19/2011 6:05:34 PM PDT by svcw (Non forgiveness is like holding a hot coal thinking the other person will be blistered)
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