There is a stir in the Judean wilderness, a voice of authority and vibrancy that hasn’t been heard amongst the Jews for at least four hundred years. John, the Baptist is preaching his hopeful and important message. He is a voice in the wilderness, which has come to mean in our English language, someone who is expressing an idea that is not popular. Yet, it is the message that Israel has anticipated for its entire history, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” The Messiah is here.
This 30-minute podcast by Scot and Maurine Proctor speaks of John, the baptism of Jesus, and a remarkable image of the atonement that few of us know about, but is here in plain language in the JST. Study with us this week and please tell your friends. That is the only way we can pass the word along. All the podcasts are grouped on ldsmag.com/podcast as well as at Soundcloud.
You can also find the podcast on the following platforms (click on the platform of your choice):
If you like these podcasts, please share them on Facebook and Instagram. They are also good to share with your friends who are not members—as they are about the life of Christ and cover areas where we have many commonalities with other faiths.
Maurine and Scot Proctor have spent extensive time in the Holy Land, researching the life of Christ. They have taught the New Testament in the Institute program for many years and have written books and numerous articles on the life of the Savior.
Doctrine and Covenants 1:19
The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones.
Matthew 21: 23-26
And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?
But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.
Greek for repentance
Phonetic spelling: (met-an’-oy-ah)
Usage: repentance, a change of mind, change in the inner man.
Elder D. Todd Christoffersen, “The Divine Gift of Repentance”, Oct. 2011
As in the days of Nehor and Korihor, we live in a time not long before the advent of Jesus Christ—in our case, the time of preparation for His Second Coming. And similarly, the message of repentance is often not welcomed. Some profess that if there is a God, He makes no real demands upon us (see Alma 18:5). Others maintain that a loving God forgives all sin based on simple confession, or if there actually is a punishment for sin, “God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 28:8). Others, with Korihor, deny the very existence of Christ and any such thing as sin. Their doctrine is that values, standards, and even truth are all relative. Thus, whatever one feels is right for him or her cannot be judged by others to be wrong or sinful.
On the surface such philosophies seem appealing because they give us license to indulge any appetite or desire without concern for consequences. By using the teachings of Nehor and Korihor, we can rationalize and justify anything. When prophets come crying repentance, it “throws cold water on the party.” But in reality the prophetic call should be received with joy. Without repentance, there is no real progress or improvement in life. Pretending there is no sin does not lessen its burden and pain. Suffering for sin does not by itself change anything for the better. Only repentance leads to the sunlit uplands of a better life. And, of course, only through repentance do we gain access to the atoning grace of Jesus Christ and salvation. Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when we speak of it. It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace. Rather than interrupting the celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for true celebration.
Russell M. Nelson, “The Atonement”, Oct. 1996
Reconciliation comes from Latin roots re, meaning “again”; con, meaning “with”; and sella, meaning “seat.” Reconciliation, therefore, literally means “to sit again with.”
Embraced by the Lord as an Atonement Image
The Middle Eastern head scarf worn by men which means which means “to cover”
2 Nephi 1:15
But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.
They will sorrow that this people had not repented that they might have been clasped in the arms of Jesus.
2 Nephi 4:33
O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness!
JST Matthew 3:34
Why is it that ye receive not the preaching of him whom God hath sent? If ye receive not this in your hearts, ye receive not me; and if ye receive not me, ye receive not him of whom I am sent to bear records; and for your sins ye have no cloak.
2 Nephi 9:14
Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.
But behold, their naked skins and their bare heads were exposed to the sharp swords of the Nephites; yea, behold they were pierced and smitten, yea, and did fall exceedingly fast before the swords of the Nephites; and they began to be swept down, even as the soldier of Moroni had prophesied.
And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
2 Nephi 31: 4,5
Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.
And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!