February 4th 2016
We believe that all men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression. We believe that men are accountable for their own actions and not for the actions of their parents, but do we ever find ourselves repeating the same mistakes as our parents? Do you find your circumstance and situation in life to be very similar to theirs? Can we be under a curse because of our parents/ancestors's decisions? We see several times in the scriptures groups of people are cursed, in which those cursing are passed on generation to generation even until the “third and fourth” generation. So what is a curse? Here is a common example of a curse found frequently in our society:
There is a girl who does not have a father in her life. Her dad abandoned her and her mother at a young age. This girl grows up not knowing what a relationship or love is between a man and a woman. She grows into adulthood not knowing what to look for in herself or a man. As a result, years down the road she ends up with the wrong kind of guy. Together they have a daughter, but this man turns out to be abusive and distant with his wife and daughter. As a result their daughter grows up not knowing what a loving relationship between a husband and wife is. Likewise, a couple decades down the road life mistakes land her with the wrong kind of guy….. and the cycle just repeats and repeats until a generation rises up and breaks that cycle.
We don’t inherit sin from our parents, but we do inherit beliefs, (understanding how the world works, philosophies, what happiness is) whether or not we have a good relationship with them -they influence our belief system. From our parents we inherit unbelief (false traditions, incomplete truth, incorrect beliefs, incorrect understanding, ignorance). That unbelief in turn gives us our dispositions, which cause us to sin and repeat the same mistakes as the generation before us did. This is a curse! This is damnation because it keeps us from progressing. We see from Ether 4:15 it is unbelief which causes all of us to remain in wickedness.
“Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you-...” (Ether 4:15)
Even from the very beginning Satan lead away the posterity of Adam through unbelief.
“And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.” (Moses 5:13)
Whether you are perceived as a bad person, or a good person, we all desire happiness, fulfillment, purpose, and love. That can only come through Jesus Christ. However Satan, the father of lies, fills us with incorrect beliefs. He takes our focus off of seeking the Savior by making us believe that we can achieve happiness and fulfillment through material things, admiration and acceptance of our peers, worldly success, wealth ect... He twist our understand of the meaning of words like “love”. So instead of seeking after the true meaning of love, we seek after a cheap imitation- fully believing that we will achieve happiness from it, but never actually discovering for ourselves what true love is. Unbelief is much less a denial of the existence of God, and more of having an incorrect understanding of God’s character, and attributes, and the world around you. You do inherit unbelief from your parents. This is referred to in the scriptures as “false traditions” (Mosiah 1:5, Alma 56:4, D&C93:39).
It is false traditions or unbelief that causes so much wickedness and evil in the world.
“And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.” (1 Nephi 12:23)
It is unbelief that causes us to set our hearts upon a cheap imitation of fulfillment in other things instead of seeking for true fulfillment in Christ:
“But behold, I trust that ye are not in a state of so much unbelief as were your brethren; I trust that ye are not lifted up in the pride of your hearts; yea, I trust that ye have not set your hearts upon riches and the vain things of the world; yea, I trust that you do not worship idols, but that ye do worship the true and the living God, and that ye look forward for the remission of your sins, with an everlasting faith, which is to come.” (Alma 7:6)
So if you find that you have inherited unbelief and dispositions from your parents and are currently under a "curse" because you find yourself repeating the same mistakes as the generation before you, how do you break that curse? It is simple. You rise up. You repent, or in other words turn to Christ, and allow him to fill you with light and truth, which light and truth forsake the evil one. (D&C 93:37). If you are under a curse you cannot progress or be saved in your sins. (Alma 11:37) You cannot be saved in your ignorant state of inherited false traditions. That is why Christ delivers us from the bonds of unbelief crafted by Satan if we turn to Jesus. He will change our hearts so we no longer have the disposition to do evil or repeat the same mistakes as our parents before us. (Mosiah 5:2) Jesus Christ will sanctify us through His blood, and through the truth, so that we may be made perfect, even as Christ is perfect, as we become one with Him. (John 17:17-23) Jesus will save you from your sins, but only the truly penitent are saved. (Alma42:26) So REPENT by REtruning to a state of PENTitence by turning to Christ.
This is why Joseph Smith said
“A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.”
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pg 217)
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pg 217)
Knowledge is what save a man, because it is knowledge, or in other words truth, (D&C93:24), that dispels the unbelief. Unbelief hinders us and damns us from coming to know God. (Mormon 9:20, 1:8, Moroni 7:37, Ether 4:13-14) That is why we need revelation from God, because revelation casts off unbelief by assisting us and giving us knowledge of the things of God so that we may understand how and what we worship. (D&C93:19-20) So that instead of being full of unbelief, we can be full of belief, and be able to come unto the Father. Perhaps something we should be crying out to God in our personal prayers is “..Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)