Facing Death

By
Wu Siu Yan
26th March 2002



For many people, "preservation of life" is of top priority.

But for others, it is no so.

Confucius [1] once said, "Once I know the WORDS in the morning, I would be contented to die in the evening."

Jesus chose the painful death on the cross. Death on a cross is very painful, for one has to suffer pain for several hours before death comes (imagine the pain on the palms and feet, nailed through and yet have to support the whole body weight!). But Jesus refrained not from this kind of death.

Now, please answer the following question faithfully,



What is more valuable to you,

you life
or
honesty and uprightness?



A person who fears not death, but does what is right in the sight of LORD all the time, would be honest and upright, and live in the light, even when the outside situation is very dangerous. Jesus gave us a good example - the priests, Pharisees, elders, scribes were all after him in Jerusalem, and Jesus knew that he would be killed if he went there, yet he refrained not from preaching there.

A person who fears death would lie to save his own life, would deal falsely or even treacherously to save his own life, and would live in the dark, not in the light, should the outside situation become dangerous. He would place "preservation of life" the highest priority in place of honesty/uprightness/righteousness.

There was recorded in the Book of Mormon - that the Maya people were in enmity with the Red Indians ( = present day Native Americans. Maya people were called Nephites, and Red Indians, Lamanites. Both Nephi and Laman were brothers, son of Lehi. Their descendants were in enmity and Red Indians hated the Maya people very much, and would kill them. In around 420 A.D., the Red Indians killed all Mayans. But the following incident happened many years before that.) Several Maya persons were believers of LORD, and LORD revealed to them that salvation comes from Jesus, and they went to preach to the Red Indians. They succeeded in converting some to Christianity, but the rest of the Red Indians were not converted. Those not converted wanted to kill all who believed in Jesus,



Taken from Book of Mormon [Alma 24:6-26]


Now there was not one soul among all the people who had been converted unto the Lord that would take up arms against their brethren; nay, they would not even make any preparations for war; yea, and also their king commanded them that they should not.

Now, these are the words which he said unto the people concerning the matter: I thank my God, my beloved people, that our great God has in goodness sent these our brethren, the Nephites, unto us to preach unto us, and to convince us of the traditions of our wicked fathers.

And behold, I thank my great God that he has given us a portion of his Spirit to soften our hearts, that we have opened a correspondence with these brethren, the Nephites.

And behold, I also thank my God, that by opening this correspondence we have been convinced of our sins, and of the many murders which we have committed.

And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.

And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do, (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain--

Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our brethren.

Behold, I say unto you, Nay, let us retain our swords that they be not stained with the blood of our brethren; for perhaps, if we should stain our swords again they can no more be washed bright through the blood of the Son of our great God, which shall be shed for the atonement of our sins.

And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations.

Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day, or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged, that we have not stained our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby.

And now, my brethren, if our brethren seek to destroy us, behold, we will hide away our swords, yea, even we will bury them deep in the earth, that they may be kept bright, as a testimony that we have never used them, at the last day; and if our brethren destroy us, behold, we shall go to our God and shall be saved.

And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man's blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth.

And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man's blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.

And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace.

And it came to pass that their brethren, the Lamanites, made preparations for war, and came up to the land of Nephi for the purpose of destroying the king, and to place another in his stead, and also of destroying the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi out of the land.

Now when the people saw that they were coming against them they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword.

And thus without meeting any resistance, they did slay a thousand and five of them; and we know that they are blessed, for they have gone to dwell with their God.

Now when the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee from the sword, neither would they turn aside to the right hand or to the left, but that they would lie down and perish, and praised God even in the very act of perishing under the sword--

Now when the Lamanites saw this they did forbear from slaying them; and there were many whose hearts had swollen in them for those of their brethren who had fallen under the sword, for they repented of the things which they had done.

And it came to pass that they threw down their weapons of war, and they would not take them again, for they were stung for the murders which they had committed; and they came down even as their brethren, relying upon the mercies of those whose arms were lifted to slay them.

And it came to pass that the people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore we have no reason to doubt but what they were saved.



If you have read the [Book of Enoch 1] [Book of Enoch 2] [2], you would know that Hell and Paradise exist,





Many people fear the pain at death. But would that pain be greater than the pain Jesus suffered ? If a person dies in a car accident, that pain only lasts for a few seconds. If one dies because of gun shots, pain may last from a few seconds to perhaps an hour. How much pain we suffer when we meet death is determined by LORD, so pin our faith on the mercy of LORD.

Death is not to be feared. What is to be feared is that we do not repent, and value life more than all decent conduct and righteousness, even up to betrayal of friends to save one's own life.

Jesus : He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. [Mt 10:37-39]

LORD : I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water without price from the fountain of the water of life. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. [Rev 21:2-8]




P.S.

[1] Confucius : We Chinese called LORD "High Heaven", or "King in High Heaven" . Confucius' mother was a god fearing woman, and she prayed for a son on a small hill. Thus Confucius was born. The teachings of Confucius were collected in "Analects of Confucius" (English translation by James Legge [1815-1897]). Not all teachings of Confucius are correct, especially the ancestor worship part. Therefore be on guard should you decide to read Confucius' book, and use the Bible as your plummet to measure against all teachings of Confucius.

[2] Enoch : Enoch was the one described in [Genesis 5]. He was taken up to LORD at the age of 365 and did not taste death.

[3] Warning : I recommend the Book of Mormon, but I do not recommend the Mormon Church founded by Joseph Smith (he found the gold/brass plates where the Maya records were written, and he translated it into the Book of Mormon), because Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, 2nd president of the Mormon Church, introduced many abominable practices into the Church. YOU JOIN THE MORMON CHURCH AT YOUR OWN RISK.


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