Money, money, money… Bobby and Jordan discuss the latest developments in the Ballard scandal including the privacy of tithing records and how this all relates to the parable of the talents and the treasures in the heavens.Some people like to listen to us faster… (We sound smarter.):
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The element of opposition necessary for such a test is provided by the Adversary, who in the beginning openly mocked God’s Plan and set up his own plan in opposition to it. Being cast out of heaven with his followers by main force, he continues upon this earth during the set time allowed him by God’s Plan (for the irony of his situation is that he is Mephistopheles, unwillingly if not unwittingly contributing to the operation of that Plan) attempting to wreck the whole enterprise by drawing off as many spirits and as much material as possible into his own camp. The Devil and his hosts claim the Treasure for their own and attempt to pirate the treasure-ships that cruise between the worlds, and use the loot in the outfitting of their own dark worlds.A neglected Leitmotif of the New Testament is the continuation on earth of the personal feud between the Lord and the Adversary begun at the foundation of the world: from the first each recognizes the other as his old opponent and rival; they are matched at every point—each claims identical gifts, ordinances, signs and wonders, each has his doctrine and his glory and his plan for the future of the race. Above all, each claims to possess the Treasure, the Lord promising Treasures in the heavens while the Adversary offers a clever, glittering earthly imitation: it is the choice between these treasures (for no man can have both) that is a man’s real test here upon the earth, determining his place hereafter. It is the “Poor” who recognize and seek the true treasures, since they who are “rich as to the things of this world” have deliberately chosen the fraudulent imitation.
In coming to earth each man leaves his particular treasure, or his share of the Treasure, behind him in heaven, safely kept in trust (“under God’s throne”) awaiting his return. One has here below the opportunity of enhancing one’s treasure in heaven by meritorious actions, and also the risk of losing it entirely by neglecting it in his search for earthly treasure. Hence the passionate appeals to men to remember their tremendous stake on the other side and “not to defraud themselves of the glory that awaits them” by seeking the things of the world. To make the “treasure” test a fair one, the two treasures are placed before us on an equal footing (the doctrine of the Two Ways), their two natures being mingled in exactly equal portions in every human being. To neutralize what would otherwise be the overpowering appeal of the heavenly treasure, the memory of its former glories has been erased from the mind of man, which is thus in a state of equilibrium, enjoying by “the ancient law of liberty” complete freedom to choose whatever it will. In this state, whatever choice is made represents the true heart and mind of the one who makes it. What conditions the Elect to make the right choice is no unfair advantage of instruction—for all men are aware of the issues involved—but a besetting nostalgia, a constant vague yearning for one’s distant Treasure and happy heavenly home. This theme, akin to the Platonic doctrine of anamnesis, runs through all the Apocrypha and Scriptures; it is beautifully expressed in the Hymn of the Pearl from the Acts of Thomas.Hugh Nibley – Treasures in the Heavens