Salvation

 

 

 

Salvation

 

Looking to Christ, “the Author & Finisher of our Faith”

 

Personal Writings & Select Quotes of the Prophets on

Pre-Mortality, Mortality, Post-Mortality, Salvation, Exaltation, Scripture Highlights, etc.

 

By Nate Richardson

Available at RichardsonStudies.com

 

 

 

 


 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

THE PLAN OF SALVATION.. 6

PART 1: PRE-MORALITY & THE NATURE OF GOD.. 7

Introduction to the Plan of Salvation. 8

I Believe: Part 1 Overview.. 8

I Believe: Part 2 Digging a Bit Deeper 9

I Believe: Part 3: Conclusions. 11

A Note on The Creation. 14

A Nine Part Saga of Earth & Eternity. 14

Emulating the Godhead in the Pre-Mortal, Mortal, & Post-Mortal Existence (fix table) 15

The Plan of Salvation Told in Holidays. 20

Plan of Salvation as told in the Secular Holidays: An Analogy. 20

The Holy Ghost – Teachings of the Prophets. 22

No, The Holy Ghost Didn’t Used to Have A Body. 23

Scriptural Serpent Symbol : Christs Truth & Satan’s Imitation. 24

King Benjamin’s Sermon: A Manual for Discipleship by Elder Neal A. Maxwell – Lecture Highlights. 24

A Poem Contemplating Eternity. 25

Straining at Particles of Light: Premortal Life and the Mansions of Memory by Terryl Givens – Lecture Highlights. 25

PART 2: THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST.. 28

The Atonement of Jesus Christ: Teachings of the Prophets. 29

Oneness of God, Fall of Adam, & Atonement of Christ 30

Grace. 32

Why We Need a Savior: God’s Plan vs. Lucifer’s Tyranny by Elder D. Todd Christofferson. 33

Christ Symbols in Animal Sacrifice of the Law of Moses. 33

PART 3: MORTAL LIFE: LIVING BY FAITH.. 36

Conscience Essay by Joel Skousen – Highlights. 37

New Testament Demonstration of Works for Salvation. 37

Old Testament Demonstration of Grace for Salvation. 45

Obedience – Teachings of the Prophets. 49

Prophets Identify A Great Terror: Decreasing Sabbath Observance & Scriptural Awareness. 49

President Hinckley Outlines our Top 4 Priorities. 49

Scriptures Study Techniques from Elder Bednar 50

Prophets Say an Hour of Scripture Study Daily is Ideal 51

Scripture Study – Teachings of the Prophets. 51

Taking Care of Others Before Yourself: Excerpts from “Fear Not to Do Good” by Henry B Eyring. 53

Self-Mastery by Elder Russel M Nelson – Lecture Highlights. 54

Prophets Teach Sabbath Observance Standards (pending) 54

On Situational Ethics: Oh No You Don’t! 54

Life is a Pickle. 58

Baptism.. 60

Heart to the Fathers, not to Secularism: How remembering our Ancestors can save our Souls. 61

Agency Begins with Saying No. 61

Earning Respect & God’s Universal Standards by Joel Skousen. 62

Belief and Knowledge unto Obedience. 63

Core Duties of Life in the 4 Quadrants: Body Mind Spirit Social 63

Core Priorities & Views for The Daily Religious Life. 64

Judging Righteous Judgement: What do we see when people get away from Gospel Centered Lives?. 65

Pride & Humility: The Universal Problem & Solution. 66

Courageous Faith. 66

Touching a Hot Stove: Everybody’s Doing It! And Other Ridiculous Excuses We Use – Excerpt from Brad Wilcox. 67

Obedience to God Can Bring Seemingly Unrelated Blessings. 68

Build a Highway to Zion: The Redemptive Life of Moving Mountains  68

Faithlessness: Our #1 Problem, & How Faith Hope and Charity Lead to Salvation  68

To Obey is Better than Sacrifice: The Secret Code for Valiant Service, & A List of Some Commandments & Councils. 70

Living Beneath Our Privileges. 71

Time Changer Movie Review.. 74

Christmas Devotional 2014 Highlights. 74

Consecrated Finance. 75

Magnifying Our Callings Unto Salvation. 76

Sacrifice of Animals Showed Serious Commitment, What Now?  80

Priesthood Service. 80

Magnifying Your Calling in the Church & Your Calling in the Gospel 81

Effective Co-Creators: Everyday Saviors on Mount Zion. 81

Non-Predestination Aspect of Gods Agentive Servants. 84

Possible Hebrew Meaning of Genesis 3:1. 84

What is the Rest of the Lord (for Sabbath, Millennium, Heaven)?  85

What is Your Calling and Election?. 85

PART 4: POST-MORTALITY.. 86

Delicate Friendships to Be Restored. 87

The Millennium & Heaven: Eternal Sunday? Boring?. 87

Why Aren’t We “Raptured” Upon Conversion?. 87

Longing to Belong by Bruce Hafen – Lecture Highlights. 88

Wickedness is Happiness, Sometimes? The Justice of God and the Nature of the Soul 89

Point-Blank Accountability. 90

Pre-Mortality – Teachings of the Prophets. 91

Literal (Corporal) Resurrection of Christ & All 92

Pre-Mortality, Corporal Resurrection, & Eternal Family – A letter to a friend  97

The 7 Deadly Heresies by Elder Bruce R McConkie – Lecture Highlights  101

Creation Fall Atonement Narrative. 101

PART 5: EXALTATION.. 103

.. 103

Introduction. 104

Becoming a Member of a Godhead, Advancing as They Did – Quote & Commentary. 104

Exaltation: Teachings of the Prophets. 104

Heavenly Father has a Father as taught by Joseph Smith & Others  106

Sons and Daughters of God – Scriptures. 110

Free Forever to Act for Themselves by Elder D. Todd Christofferson – Excerpt 110

The Church of the Firstborn: Teachings of the Prophets. 112

The John Approach: A Higher Way. 129

On Christ as God update with new notes. 129

Adam, Temple, Tokens, & Interacting with Angels. 129

God’s People are His Glory: A Key to Knowledge of Eternity. 129

Exaltation Analysis. 130

The Essential Foot Soldier 131

Exaltation Theory. 134

Godhead discussion. 136

Godhead, Kingdoms, and Family as Types of Progression. 137

Man is Become as God: Spiritual Capitalism & Why Life is Hard  140

Adoption to The Household of the Gods. 143

Will Refusing to Serve a Mission Result in Losing Exaltation?. 145

The Possibility of Pure Joy: Our Greatest Fear 146

The Gift of Exaltation: Why We Don’t Need to Perform an Atonement to Become Gods. 147

Christ The Savior for Multiple Worlds. 147

Rejecting Adam God Doctrines: Kimball, JST, Etc. 152

Key Quotes on Missionary Work. 152

Missions are a Commandment: Words of the Prophets. 153

Journaling – A Prophetic Mandate. 155

SCRIPTURE & CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS & ANALYSIS  159

PART 3: THE BOOK OF ISAIAH: INSIGHTS VERSE BY VERSE   161

Introduction. 161

Ch. 1. 161

Ch. 2. 162

Ch. 3. 162

Ch. 4. 163

Ch. 5. 163

Ch. 6. 163

Ch. 7. 163

Ch. 8. 164

Ch. 9. 164

Ch. 10. 165

Ch. 11. 165

Ch. 12. 165

Ch. 13. 165

Ch. 14. 165

Ch. 15. 165

Ch. 16. 165

Ch. 17. 166

Ch. 18. 166

Ch. 19. 166

Ch. 20. 166

Ch. 21. 166

Ch. 22. 166

Ch. 23. 167

Ch. 24. 167

Ch. 25. 167

Ch. 26. 168

Ch. 27. 168

Ch. 28. 168

Ch. 29. 169

Ch. 30. 169

Ch. 31. 170

Ch. 32. 170

Ch. 33. 170

Ch. 34. 170

Ch. 35. 170

Ch. 36. 170

Ch. 37. 170

Ch. 38. 171

Ch. 39. 171

Ch. 40. 171

Ch. 41. 171

Ch. 42. 171

Ch. 43. 171

Ch. 44. 171

Ch. 45. 171

Ch. 46. 172

Ch. 47. 172

Ch. 48. 172

Ch. 49. 172

Ch. 50. 172

Ch. 51. 172

Ch. 52. 172

Ch. 53. 173

Ch. 54. 173

Ch. 55. 173

Ch. 56. 173

Ch. 57. 173

Ch. 58. 173

Ch. 59. 173

Ch. 60. 174

Ch. 61. 174

Ch. 62. 174

Ch. 63. 174

Ch. 64. 174

Ch. 65. 174

Ch. 66. 174

Additional Isaiah Study Resources. 175

DOCTRINE & COVENANTS BOOK NOTES (pending) 175

Ch. 57 or 58. 175

BOOK OF MORMON BOOK NOTES (pending) 175

OLD TESTAMENT BOOK NOTES (pending) 175

NEW TESTAMENT BOOK NOTES (pending) 175

PEARL OF GREAT PRICE BOOK NOTES (pending) 175

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                           



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PLAN OF SALVATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART 1: PRE-MORALITY & THE NATURE OF GOD  

 

Beginnings, Plans, Preparations, Eternal Identity

 

 

 

Introduction to the Plan of Salvation

 

 

 

The scriptures say that a study of the Plan of Salvation is the 1st thing to learn, even before the commandments. God’s Plan motivates us to repent of our sins, and become saints. The Plan of Salvation is a journal of pre-mortal life, all the way through the various stages of existence until the station of God himself. God has passed through a similar journey to which we are now passing. As his children, we do what He did, and hope to someday be as He is. Jesus Christ is the central figure of God’s plan as the chose Savior of the human race. This however does not eliminate our individual responsibility, but directs and enlivens it. Enjoy studying with me the roles of faith and works, the attributes of God and man, the central role of the family, and many other exciting components of God’s happy plan for us.

“When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us.” -Joseph Smith

“How difficult it is to teach the natural man, who comprehends nothing more than that which he sees with the natural eye! . . . Talk to him about angels, heavens, God, immortality, and eternal lives, and it is like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal to his ears; it has no music to him; there is nothing in it that charms his senses, soothes his feelings, attracts his attention, or engages his affections, in the least.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses (18 December 1859) 1:2; see also Discourses of Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 260.)

“… Men are in the habit, when the truth is exhibited by the servants of God, of saying, All is mystery; they have spoken in parables, and, therefore, are not to be understood. It is true they have eyes to see, and see not, but none are so blind as those who will not see; and, although the Savior spoke this to such characters, yet unto His disciples he expounded it plainly; and we have reason to be truly humble before the God of our fathers, that He hath left these things on record for us, so plain, that notwithstanding the exertions and combined influence of the priests of Baal, they have not power to blind our eyes, and darken our understanding, if we will but open our eyes, and read with candor, for a moment.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 2:265–66; from a letter from Joseph Smith to the elders of the Church, Dec. 1835, Kirtland, Ohio, published in Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1835, pp. 225–26.) (https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-25?lang=eng#7-36481_000_029)(Chapter 25: Truths from the Savior’s Parables in Matthew 13, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2011), 292–305)

 

 

 

I Believe: Part 1 Overview

 

 

 

 

I believe the human race is watched over by a divine all-powerful corporal being dwelling on his home planet. I believe that this man, our Father in Heaven, is perfectly compassionate and wise, and possesses all joy, knowledge, and power.

I believe we lived with our Father in Heaven for a very long time as intelligent spirits before we came to this earth. The intelligent self-possessed core of each individual person has always existed and will never cease to exist. When we came to earth we were given bodies, and though those bodies will expire for a season, they will return and be an essential component of life in eternity. Father has made arrangements for the entire human race to eventually overcome physical death in a universal reconstitution (resurrection) of our bodies, and that this will take place at a point in time in the near future. I believe that when the resurrection happens, we will continue as intelligent corporal beings indefinitely, just like our Father in Heaven. I believe that the power of intellect and the corporal body will be greatly expanded at that time, especially for those who have sought to align their lives with eternal laws.

I believe that our Heavenly Father is the prototype of the majesty of an exalted being, and that in the mortal ministry of Heavenly Father’s most advanced son, a divine being named Jesus Christ, we see the prototype of how to become like our Father in Heaven. I believe that our Father in Heaven created this earth to aid us in our quest to become as he is, given that said quest entails the reception of bodies and the acquisition of experience therein.

I believe that because of the benevolent government of our Father in Heaven, we are free to make choices. I believe that laws which govern the universe will dictate the consequences of those choices. I believe our Father in Heaven’s laws are the same as the eternal laws of the universe, and his compliance to these laws gives him maximum power and authority. I believe that our Father in Heaven has, in every generation, made us aware of these eternal laws. Father taught us eternal divine law face to face in the pre-mortal existence, and now teaches us through the operation of conscience, angels, and prophets.

I believe that our Father in Heaven has created an immense number of planets, many of which he has tailored, through specific astronomical arrangements, to suite human life. I believe these planets serve the same purpose to others of Father’s children as our earth does for us. Father’s desires for the complete progress of his children are universal and apply to each of us individually. I believe that our Father in Heaven has power over all his operations which affect us, and that he allows us to have the agency to make our own moral choices. Though eventual punishments and rewards will be allotted to us from Father for our choices, we are free to decide how we will act. In that punishments and rewards are not immediate in this life, our time on earth is a test.

I believe that to make mercy available to us, Father in Heaven directed his most advanced son, a divine being named Jesus Christ, to perform a vicarious atonement in our behalf. I believe that everyone, even those who feel weak unclean or simple, can become like our Father in Heaven as they sincerely attempt to make good choices today, and, when they understand and believe in the role of Jesus Christ, access his assistance.

I believe our families are a prototype of the lifestyle of our Father in Heaven, intended to exist indefinitely and grow exponentially unendingly. I believe that sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man & woman are not in keeping with the laws of life, and do not contribute to the progress of our species, nor the individual development of the individual eternal soul. Celibacy or ideological rejection of marriage and childbearing cut a person off from their potential to become like our heavenly parents.

I believe it is a moral obligation of all people to seek and share knowledge. Further we uphold proper government which protects people in their basic needs while allowing them freedom to enjoy growth in the direction of their choice. I believe it is the primary moral obligation of people, not government, to administer to the poor. I believe in voting for what you believe to be morally right to be put into law.

I believe that our Father in Heaven responds to the unprecedented evil in our world by sending us unprecedented truth and power. While I believe that these gifts of truth and power are embodied in and administered through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe the has good things in store for all people of good will everywhere, regardless of their beliefs. Further, I believe that to assist us in establishing world peace and personal progress, our Father in Heaven will against send Jesus Christ among us, this time to be the king of all earth for 1,000 years. I believe that this millennium of peace and good government will commence in the very near future.

 

 

I Believe: Part 2 Digging a Bit Deeper

 

 

 

Now let’s dig a bit deeper…

I believe that because of the benevolent government of our Father in Heaven, we are free to make choices. I believe that Father doesn’t just want us to make good choices, he wants us to choose to make good choices. Choosing to do good rather than being forced to do good is the only way to become like Father. I believe that laws which govern the universe will dictate the consequences of our choices. I believe our Father in Heaven’s laws are the same as the eternal laws of the universe, and his compliance to these laws gives him maximum power and authority.

As we learn to obey the laws of the universe, we like Father can gain maximum power and authority to govern our posterity like he governs his. Father made our spirits, and sent us to earth to get bodies. Some day when we have passed through our trials on earth, we too will be able to make spirits and send them to earths to learn and grow to become like ourselves.

There is no beginning of existence. Father in heaven has a father, and so on. Life continues forever and everyone including God himself has parents. Our Father in Heaven once dwelt on an earth like we are dwelling on. Father in Heaven has a wife, whom is our Mother in Heaven. They progressed together until they reached their current exalted status of Gods. The purpose of the human race isn’t just to worship God, but is to become like God.

As the children of God, we can, through the help of Jesus Christ and each other, find our way to the blessings and inheritance of God. Jesus Christ found his way to Godhood by worshiping the Father. If we follow the example of Jesus Christ in word and deed, sincerely repenting when we fall short, we like Jesus Christ and like our heavenly parents, can become exalted Gods. We will then do what they do, namely benevolently rule our innumerable posterity on thrones in kingdoms of glory forever, helping our posterity to find joy like us.

Only in abiding by the laws of the universe can one find complete and never-ending joy. A God is someone who has found this fullness of joy by obedience to eternal law, and the offering of self for the sake of others. In addition to complete joy, the office of Godhood includes never ending glory and power for good.

We are the literal posterity of our Father and Mother in Heaven, in that their spiritual goodness and their physical DNA are at the core of our spirits and bodies, and in that they are responsible for helping each of us intrinsically & independently intelligent beings to progress in spirits and bodies in ways similar to how our parents on earth help us. For their absolutely essential role in our development, we will forever praise both our Heavenly Parents, and our earthly parents. Our need for the help of God to make progress in life is so great, that we must worship God and rely upon his power and teachings to obtain the highest outcome of our eternal existence. The life we live now is called the second estate. The first estate was our pre-earth life when we lived in the presence of God. For doing well in our first estate, we have glory. If we do well in this our second estate, we will have glory forever, and much more so than we currently enjoy.

Before coming to earth, some of Father’s children rejected his teachings, and chose to not come to earth to obtain bodies and continue on the path toward Godhood. Those children tragically account for 1/3 of all of Father’s children. The leader of these fallen 1/3 is named Lucifer. Lucifer was a beloved son of God, but because he unrighteously sought to gain power which he had not earned, and to use that power to force others to obey him, he was thrust out from the presence of God, and is the enemy of God who we call Satan.

Satan will never receive a body, and thus can never have a fullness of joy. The 2/3 of Father’s children who chose to come to earth to be tested and tried in bodies will all die, but will regain their bodies in their perfect form in what is called the resurrection of the dead. After the resurrection of the dead, all people who lived on earth will have bodies again, and will never taste of death again. The Sons of Perdition will also partake of the second death (D&C 76).

Father’s plan for us his children involved sending us to earth to gain bodies, obtaining character growth on earth through the difficulties of life including eventual death, the reception of bodies in the resurrection. Note that Father respects us his children and allowed us to choose whether we wanted to come to earth, and once on earth, Father allows us to do as we please. Father assists us by eventually blessing those who make good choices, and cursing those who make poor choices. These blessings and cursings are from Father, and are often manifest as natural consequences of our actions. Our heavenly parents weep for us when we make bad choices, because they know those choices will inevitably bring suffering. Remember, no one can break the rules of the universe, not even God.

In order to further assist us, Father’s plan involved a Savior. The Savior would be someone strong enough to take upon himself the natural punishments for the wrong doings committed by the human race. This intersession would make possible a loving learning environment with second chances, helping us to grow up without experiencing the full weight of consequences, similar to how an earthly parent removes many of the natural consequences of its young children by acting in their behalf.

Jesus Christ, formerly known as Jehovah before he was born on earth, was the only person qualified to satisfy this role of Savior of mankind. He chose to accept this calling. Because he chose to accept his calling for us, he suffered more than we can comprehend, and the laws of the universe were upheld. Justice was served. The natural results of imperfect compliance with the laws of the universe are pain and death of the body, and anguish of spirit. Lucifer was incapable of paying this price to redeem the human race from their fallen and incomplete condition, he was satisfied to allow the human race to remain in anguish and without bodies, and wanted to replace Father as ruler of all people.

Lucifer erroneously thought that he could force everyone to obey the laws of the universe, and thus save everyone to some degree, at least enough to make them his subjects forever in his kingdom. Forced charity is of the Devil,
and doesn’t help humans grow into their divine
potential. This of course would deny Father’s children the opportunity to fully mature into the status of Gods themselves, as forced charity isn’t charity at all, and the trait of charity is the bedrock of Godhood. Father’s plan involved letting people chose for themselves whether they wanted to participate in his plan and come to earth, and his plan involved allowing them to grow from freedom to make mistakes while on earth. The Savior would give essential assistance to the human race in their quest for the divine and the fullness of joy that comes with it.

When Jehovah was born on earth, he assumed the title of Jesus Christ, which translated has the general meaning of anointed (chosen) savior. He then accomplished his intersession for the human race by both suffering anguish in his spirit, and both pain and death in his body. Because of his unique divine power similar to that of Father himself, which power he indeed received from Father, Jesus experienced the equivalent of tens of billions of deaths, tens of billions of pains, sorrows, and torments of every kind, satisfying the demands of justice for every person who chose to come to this earth and other earths inhabited by children of our Father.

The 1/3 in pre-earth life who rejected God’s plan and chose not to come to earth but to rather elect Lucifer as their leader who could offer them a compromised but to them seemingly more realistic reward had this in common: they did not trust Jehovah’s ability to redeem them, and they thought that life on earth would just be too hard overall, so why even bother trying when so much war death pain and sorrow would invariably be involved as a natural consequence of giving the human race the power to make their own choices, for good or evil.

The 2/3 who chose to follow Father’s plan centered their hopes on Jehovah, that mighty firstborn son of God who had remarkably already obtained the character needed to save all of us his fellow kin. Because of the breathtakingly critical and massive role that Jehovah would assume in our salvation, he became a God to us, and in a large sense of the word, he became a father to us.

A third major assistant was made available to us, a man who would be known as the Holy Ghost. This man does not yet have a body, and as a spirit, uses the mighty power he developed in the pre-earth existence to communicate to us truths from Father. The bible and the book of Mormon are the most historically well-preserved books of all time. They show us that Jehovah (translated as LORD in most English versions of the text) played a very close role with the human race throughout the history of human experience on the earth. In 1820, Father appeared to Joseph Smith, and with him Jesus Christ appeared. Father told Joseph “this is my beloved son, hear him”.  Both the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ always bear witness that Father in Heaven is our God who upholds the just laws of the universe. We love Father in Heaven because not only does he uphold justice and fairness, but he provided a Savior for us, so we could overcome the many hurdles in our path toward becoming people of justice and perfect character like himself.

In this life, generally speaking, we do not see Father, and the Holy Ghost assists us in our quest for truth and righteousness. Every person who comes to this earth, because of having elected Jesus Christ in the pre-earth life, possesses the light of Christ. This light is a power within us which comes from Jesus Christ to assist us in our quest. Another term for the light of Christ is conscience. Everyone on this earth, no matter how little they have been formally exposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ by his authorized texts and messengers, can respond to conscience, or reject it. We all know deep down that we should treat each other fairly, and be merciful to each other whenever possible.

Couples of man and wife can combine their powers to become like our heavenly parents. The ultimate expression of power and authority can only operate when man and woman make an eternal covenant of marriage to act together in all things for good. We all die, but will come back to live with our bodies in the near future, and like Father and Mother in heaven, we will forever possess bodies of flesh and blood which we will use to have joy. Our spirits are incomplete without our bodies. I believe that our Father in Heaven has, in every generation, made us aware of the truths and laws of the universe through face to face personal demonstrations in the pre-earth existence, then again, a second time during this our mortal life through the operations of conscience, from divine angelic messengers sent from the presence of God (God meaning Father and Mother in heaven), and from the messages of prophets.

 

 

 

I Believe: Part 3: Conclusions

 

 

To reiterate,

I believe we lived with our heavenly parents and fellow siblings of the human race for a very long time as intelligent spirits before we came to this earth. I believe that our Father in Heaven created this earth as an aid in our quest to become as he is, given that said quest entails the reception of bodies and the acquisition of experience therein. The pain and joy we experience in this life are critical teaching tools from our heavenly parents.

I believe that our Father in Heaven has created an immense number of planets, many of which he has tailored through specific astronomical arrangements to suit human life. I believe these planets serve the same purpose to others of his children as our earth does for us, as his desires for the complete progress of his children are universal. I believe that our Father in Heaven has power over all operations which affect us, and that he allows us to have the agency to make our own moral choices.

I believe that to make mercy available to us, Father in Heaven directed his most advanced son, a divine being named Jesus Christ, to perform a vicarious atonement in our behalf. I believe that everyone, even those who feel weak unclean or simple, can become like our Father in Heaven as they sincerely attempt to make good choices today, and, when they understand and believe in the role of Jesus Christ, access his assistance.

I believe that our Father in Heaven has made arrangements for the entire human race to eventually overcome physical death in a universal reconstitution (resurrection) of our bodies, and that this will take place at a point in time in the near future. I believe that when this happens, we will continue as intelligent corporal beings indefinitely, just like our Father in Heaven. I believe that the power of intellect and the corporal beauty will be greatly expanded at this time, especially for those who have sought to align their lives with eternal laws.

I believe our families are a prototype of the lifestyle of our Father in Heaven, intended to exist indefinitely and grow exponentially. I believe that sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man woman are not in keeping with the laws of the universe, and that they do not contribute to the progress of our species, nor the individual development of the individual eternal soul. I also believe that celibacy and ideological rejection of marriage and childbearing cut a person off from their potential to become our heavenly parents. I believe that people are best served personally and on a societal level as they adhere to social practices of modest dress, marriage, & childbearing.

I believe our Father in Heaven responds to unprecedented evil in our world by sending us unprecedented truth and power. While I believe that these gifts of truth and power are embodied in and administered through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism), I believe he has good things in store for all people of good will everywhere, regardless of their beliefs. Further, I believe that to assist us in establishing world peace and personal progress, our Father in Heaven will again send Jesus Christ to be king of all earth for 1,000 years, and that this millennium will commence in the very near future, as foretold by the prophets.

Those who elected to follow Lucifer in the pre-earth life are forever disappointed in his inability to deliver on his promises. Lucifer has been cursed by Father for his rebellion. Father participates in the administration of the just laws of the universe. This is what makes him God. If Father were to cease to uphold justice, he would cease to be God. Those who seek joy in ways not in accordance with the eternal laws of the universe seek a thing that can never be. All of those who elected to follow Lucifer elected a false paradigm, and now they suffer the natural consequences thereof. Rebellion against Father in Heaven while in pre-earth life was a very serious and open rebellion against goodness and truth.

When we have finished this short life, God will judge us to see if we have passed the final test of operating righteously without being under his constant supervision. The judgement will expose our character and show if we have again elected goodness, or if we have turned to evil.

In that judgement, he will take into account our circumstances, our abilities, and everything else he can to load all the mercy into our contract that he can, including the help of Jesus Christ which can be accessed by faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end of life while applying the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Holy Bible, and other holy scripture found in The Church of Jesus Christ. Not only do we have access to the words of Jehovah to people of times of old, but we also have, thanks to the never-ending goodness of Father, more revelations applicable to the entire human race which flow to us from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That church is the venue God uses to communicate his will to man on earth. That church bears the title of the name of Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ is the owner of that church. He has sanctioned it, and personally appears to his prophet speakers therein to send universal messages of light truth and hope to the human race.

Those who accept the words of the prophets as found in the church of Jesus Christ will be much better prepared for the judgement of God which is soon to come to each individual. Some core components of the judgement of God will include weather we sought truth, weather we helped others, how we treated our spouse, and how we treated our children, including the attention to individual relationships with each of them.

Because of the central role bodies play in our Father’s plan of happiness, the body is one of the key ways that we can do good in life, or evil. Taking the life of another except in self-defense or righteous defense of nation is a most serious sin, comparable only to the greatest sin called “denying the Holy Ghost”, which essentially means willful rebellion against God after God has revealed himself to you.  The sin next in seriousness is that of adultery, which involves sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and woman lawfully married. This sin frequently involves the murder of babies in the womb, and long-term anguish of spirit as a result of emotional and spiritual ties between two people which become broken, which ties were never meant to be broken. When someone commits their entire body to another person, giving full access to it, it is a holy symbol of how every other part of their lives should also be united. Marriages are intended by God to be effective not only in this life, but in the eternal world to come. Just as Father and Mother in heaven are two people who will never be separated, so are we their children meant to be. We like them are designed to pair up with each other, and remain paired forever. Man and woman are two essential halves of an eternal family. Mankind will never be long term satisfied in attempts to navigate social relationships outside of the context of marriage between man and woman. Further, children are entitled to be reared in a home with a mother and father committed to each other. Sexual misconduct leads to unfavorable circumstances for children, and such brings the wrath of God. Another reason we value marital fidelity is that it is the key venue for developing charity. Marital happiness including the maintenance of a relationship with spouse and children both require self-denial on a regular basis, and for one to confront all of their conscious and subconscious weaknesses. This unique tutelage is the only way to fully develop charity. This does not mean that a single person is not charitable, but it means that no one can reach exaltation until they have passed through the refining trials of family life. For some those refining experiences will not be accessible until a later time known to God, but those who willingly avoid and defame the institution of marriage and parenthood are cowards who unwittingly hold themselves back from progress they were sent to earth to make. Life a river blocked in its progress toward its destination, so does the deliberate procrastination of family creation hold a person back from the ultimate goal of exaltation. Exaltation entails enjoying the character and lifestyle of God, and all power that entails. Well can it be said that parenthood is the fountain of exaltation.

The ultimate outcome of our existence can take several directions.

Followers of Lucifer receive no glory, and remain in a place called outer darkness forever. Among those who made it to earth, only a small few will defect to this depraved state called perdition. The rest of the 2/3 of Father’s children, including everyone who has been born on this earth, will inherit an eternal residence in a kingdom of God forever.

There are 3 such kingdoms, all of which contain joy and glory to varying degrees. The lowest of these is titled the telestial kingdom. It is akin to life on this earth. Those who are assigned residence in the telestial kingdom are those who were willing to live telestial law, no more, no less. The lesser than this is perdition. They tested out of that by electing Jehovah in the pre-earth life, and by not devoting themselves to the ways of Lucifer in this life. The telestial residents are often rebellious and wicked, and must endure a temporary state of suffering as punishment for their evil deeds before they can qualify for residence in the telestial kingdom of glory. There exists a place where our spirits reside between the time of death and the time of the resurrection of the body. Depending on how we lived our lives, that state will either be pleasant, or filled with utmost despair and anguish. The wicked people of earth will live in anguish in this period directly following the death of the body. Another term for this place for spirits while they await the resurrection is the spirit world. The spirit world is on this earth, but cannot be discerned by finite mortal eyes. There exists in the spirit world both a place of suffering or hell, and a place of gladness or paradise. Those who must suffer in this hell are they who, to some degree or other, did not elect Jesus Christ to assist them in payment of the debts they owed from their offenses committed against the laws of the universe as upheld by our Father in Heaven. In addition to payment of debts, a large component of the suffering in hell will be a realization of what they could have had if they had simply chosen to follow the light of Christ. If they had not repeatedly ignored their conscience, and if they had instead chosen to figuratively lay down their weapons of rebellion, the state of their eternal enjoyment could have been so much greater. There exists another group of persons who do not enjoy paradise in the world of spirits: these are the ignorant. These are they who never knew of the plan of Father, never knew of Jehovah or Jesus Christ and his intersession and accompanying laws of baptism and repentance. These ignorant persons who, by no fault of their own, did not have access to eternal truths which could have guided their lives, will be taught the eternal truths, and given the opportunity to receive baptism and the other ordinances needed for access to the highest kingdom of glory. These ignorant persons did have access to conscience like everyone else, but without the guiding principles of true religion, they did not find expression to what they otherwise could have done in life. There exist today on earth in the Church of Jesus Christ, holy temples, wherein living persons assist their dead forefathers to learn of and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The next kingdom of glory which a person may be assigned to is the terrestrial kingdom of glory. This is a place for the good and honorable people of earth. In that kingdom, they will be frequently visited by Jesus Christ, and enjoy the association of each other, and many pleasant blessings from Father.

The next kingdom of glory is the celestial kingdom of glory. To enter this kingdom one must accept the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in His Church, and commit to follow Jesus Christ via baptism into His Church. To advance in that kingdom, one must enter holy temples to receive further training. To reach the highest level of the celestial kingdom wherein one bursts the ceiling and creates their own kingdom, one must be married. When a man marries a woman in the house of God, that marriage is the key to their exaltation, so long as they maintain that marriage in righteousness, including repenting as needed, and obeying the words of God as communicated to them through the Holy Ghost and the prophets in the Church of Jesus Christ. For those who obtain this highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom, there is no end to their glory. They like the Gods who have come before them, sit upon thrones, create worlds, and as Jehovah promised to Abraham, have a never-ending posterity, more numerable than the sands of the sea and starts in the sky. This high glory of the celestial is far surpassing anything found in the lower kingdoms. In every kingdom of God, the basic laws of God are enforced, including the law of chastity, which states that sexual relations are only to be had between man and wife, lawfully wedded. For a marriage to be efficacious in the life to come, and to continue there what was started here, that contract of marriage, like any other contract, must be verified by Father. In the kingdom of Father, only contracts ratified by Father stand. Father is the governor there, and contracts not endorsed and endowed by himself are not valid there. This means that those who were baptized by a man who had not the authority of God will not have a valid recognized baptism, and will thus not be allowed access into the celestial kingdom of God. Further, the celestial kingdom residents who apply for access to the highest glory thereof as had in the marriage scenario, will be denied said advancement if the marriage they had created was not ratified by God. The place that a marriage ratified by God can be obtained is in his holy houses of law and order which we call temples. In and only in temples can eternal marriages not to be severed at the parting of death be performed. The teachings of Father are found in his church, and his church points candidates to his temples. The temple marriage is the only valid marriage because it is the only marriage which is created in the setting of obedience to the laws of God. To be allowed access to the holy temple, a candidate must pay their tithes, must live the law of chastity, must life the health code revealed by God, must obey the 10 commandments as revealed in the book of Exodus, must sustain the prophets leading the church of Jesus Christ, and agree to live other laws of God’s kingdom. If someone is not willing to live the laws of God’s kingdom, they are not willing to enjoy the blessings of God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom is a place of order, and those who will not abide the laws of a certain kingdom, must be demoted to the laws and blessings of the inferior kingdom. Those who reject all of God’s laws defect to perdition. Most people accept the laws of the telestial or celestial kingdom. Few accept the laws of the celestial kingdom, and thus few enjoy the blessings of fully inheriting all things which God has, including the assumption of the very character and role of a God to ones continuing posterity. Because the laws of God are strictly enforced in his kingdoms, and sexual relations are forbidden outside of marriage, and marriage is only accessible to those who abide the many high commitments of the highest glory, the only place that the union of the male and female body is enjoyed is the highest glory of the celestial kingdom of God. This strict limitation further impresses upon our minds the attitude and character of God in relation to the sacredness of the body, and the sacredness of the marriage relation. It follows that the rearing of children in eternity is another privilege reserved for the highest glory of the celestial kingdom, which also impresses upon us the seriousness of the caring for children with which one is blessed in this life. These 3 different kingdoms of glory also bring with them varying levels of enhancement in the resurrection. The higher kingdoms include the most powerful and majestic bodies.

Reader, stand back, and be joyful. Pause for a moment to remember that Father in Heaven loves you. He is YOUR Father. Contrary to the opinion of the followers of Lucifer, Father’s plan can work for YOU, and YOU can succeed therein. Jesus Christ has power sufficient to save your soul from long term misery. He will give you the gift of a resurrected immortal body. Rejoice at how far you have come, and how many blessings you have already qualified for! Fear not, and know that there is no limit to the number of residents that can fit in the celestial kingdom. Space is infinite, and matter can be organized to create more worlds. Let nothing make you afraid, only trust Jesus Christ. Find in prayer to Father the courage you need to start making better choices today. Weep for joy, for wherever you are, whoever you are, Father will hear you, and begin from the moment you bow your head to pray to him, begin to pour out exponentially more blessings upon your head than what he is already pouring upon you day by day. These blessings will include direct pleasures, and indirect pleasures in that he will enable you to be more successful in your righteous endeavors, which will bring great satisfaction and pleasure to your soul. Never give up. You have fought on the right side of truth for eons. Don’t give up just yet. Hold out a little longer, and like the widow who cast in her few pennies at the temple treasury who was mocked for her poverty and inability to give, so do you, give what you can to build God’s kingdom on earth, make every good choice you possibly can, including resting in the Lord, and then you will see the salvation of God. You will again know your Father’s face, and with him enjoy eternal life. This life isn’t just a “test”, it is also, and perhaps more so, a tutelage, a training, an apprenticeship. A large test was pre-mortality. You passed that test, and now have some amount of security to operate in. You have access to the mercy of Jesus Christ! You can make mistakes! It’s like the golden parachute clause in major corporations: some employees are so valuable to the company, that even if they make big mistakes now and then, they are given forgiveness, for their ability to grow the company is so much greater than even the damages they have done. So it is with you, 2/3’s. Everyone born to this earth has proven to Father in pre-moral life that they are a very important player, who won’t be kicked out for little or even big mistakes. However what will go against us is if we stop trying. No matter how long you’ve betrayed your conscience. No matter how many people you’ve let down. No matter how deep the hole you’re in may seem. You can trust Jesus Christ. You can come to his church. You can give your figurative pennies to build your life in a positive direction, including attempts to look beyond yourself and serve others as righteous service opportunities will continue to present themselves to you in this most choice time we call mortality. Yes, agency allows people to start wars and rob each other of bread. But life is still worth it. I’m forever glad that I elected Jesus Christ and chose to come to earth, even though it is hard. Think not that a life of hardship is a sign that you are punished for sin. Yes we all have sin and our lives would be better if we could cut more of that out. But generally speaking, life is supposed to be hard. It was hard for Jesus Christ, who was “rejected in the house of his friends”. Since life includes suffering, lets suffer together rather than alone. Come have joy with us, and share your fun personality and skills. We need you to help us, and we can help you. Let us support each other at church. Further, come have peace with us in the temple. Come learn with us more of who we really are and what we are really capable of. Come see how kind God is to those who are still willing to try. Choose the better part. Choose to believe. I believe.

 

A Note on The Creation

 

I have written extensively in my science book in the education volume on the creation.

I demonstrate that the theory of evolution is both anti-Christ and anti-Science.

I also show true doctrine & science of how the creation actually occurred.

Please view those writings for more information.

 

 

 

A Nine Part Saga of Earth & Eternity

 

 

7 episode drama – 9 if add in prequal sequel:

 

 

 

 

  1. Prequel: premortal and creation
  2. 1 first thousand years Adam
  3. 2nd thousand years
  4. 3rd thousand years
  5. 4th thousand years
  6. 5th thousand years
  7. 6th thousand years
  8. 7th thousand years: signs and terr millen
  9. Sequel: beyond the 7k yrs: the celestial

 

 

 

Emulating the Godhead in the Pre-Mortal, Mortal, & Post-Mortal Existence (fix table)

 

 

 

Overview:

The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead. The Holy Ghost is a spirit, and shows us how to live in a premortal state. Those who prove worthy there eventually come to an earth to live. Jesus Christ is another member of the Godhead. Jesus Christ came to this earth 2000 years ago and showed us how to live in our mortal lives. Heavenly Father is another member of the Godhead. Heavenly Father’s status shows us what it is like after mortal life if we prove faithful.

In pre-mortality, we were like the Holy Ghost, without a body. In this life, we are like Jesus Christ, with a body. In the next life, we can, if we prove faithful here, be like Heavenly Father, with an eternal body and spirit combined.

The premortal stage was for preparation. Mortal stage is for performance. Post-mortal stage is where we reach completion, and continue our labors in a state of exaltation.

The Godhead is set up to show us how to live. We are to patturn our eternal lives after their eternal lives if we wish to enjoy, with them, the fullest blessings of eternal life & exaltation.

The Doctrine and Covenants reveals the government of the kingdoms of God. In the kingdoms of God, the Holy Ghost ministers to the telestial. In the terrestrial, Jesus Christ ministers. In the celestial, Heavenly Father ministers. Each member of the Godhead is a worthy resident of the celestial kingdom. The Godhead work together to rule the various kingdoms of glory.

We will consider an analogy of how the premortal mortal and post-portal stages are typified by these the 3 members of the Godhead. We will also consider, for the purposes of this analogy, that the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial kingdoms are like unto 3 stages of progression. I do not believe that a permanent assignment to one of these 3 kingdoms post-mortally can ever be changed, we are just using them as analogies of stages of growth and development. Examples of this are presented in the sections of this presentation as follows.

 

We will consider 11 analogies where this parable:

 

Analogy 1: Ministers / Prototypes

Analogy 2: Family Elements

Analogy 3: Family Stage

Analogy 4: Perfect Faith Required for Salvation (2 Ne. 9:23): Joseph Smith’s 3 elements of faith

Analogy 5: Role of Scripture

Analogy 6: Success Rate

Analogy 7: Prevailing Expectation

Analogy 8: Vision / Perspective

Analogy 9: Temple Connections

Analogy 10: Prevailing Sentiment

Analogy 11: Selection Process for God’s Several Kingdoms of Glory

Bonus Analogy: The Batman Trilogy

 

Within each analogy, we will consider 3 categories:

 

  1. Telestial likeness, Premortal era, Preparatory stage
  2. Terrestrial likeness, Mortality era, Performing stage
  3. Celestial likeness, Post-Mortality era, Complete stage

 

 

Analogy 1: Ministers / Prototypes

 

  1. Ministers / Prototypes of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Holy Ghost (unembodied)

 

  1. Ministers / Prototypes of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Jesus Christ (embodied)

 

  1. Ministers / Prototypes of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Heavenly Father (perfectly / indestructibly / perpetually embodied)

 

Analogy 2: Family Elements

 

  1. Family Elements of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Testify of God our Father and his family-based plan

 

  1. Family Elements of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Selfless sacrifice in adhering to God’s laws in relationships; Family based priorities

 

  1. Family Elements of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Use of family unit to achieve theosis (theosis= human becoming God); Perpetuate family structure

 

Analogy 3: Family Stage

 

  1. Family Stage of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Family orientation

 

  1. Family Stage of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Family creation

 

  1. Family Stage of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Perpetual Families; Create and orient your creation

 

Analogy 4: Perfect Faith Required for Salvation (2 Ne. 9:23):

 

(Joseph Smith’s 3 elements of faith as found in ‘Lectures On Faith’)

 

  1. Faith stage of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Know the characteristics of God. Believe in God and chose his plan.

 

  1. Faith stage of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Know that you are living in accordance to God’s expectations. Emulate Jesus Christ the Son of God. We are also sons & daughters of God.

 

  1. Faith stage of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Receive all promised blessings.

 

Analogy 5: Role of Scripture

 

  1. Role of Scripture of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Motivate creations to adopt creator’s philosophy.

 

  1. Role of Scripture of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Execute scripture (law) from our creator.

 

  1. Role of Scripture of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Create scripture for your creations.

 

Analogy 6: Success Rate

 

  1. Success Rate of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

2/3 success; 1/3 defect to perdition. Everyone has equal opportunity succeed, but not everyone choses to do so.

 

  1. Success Rate of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Narrow path, but only a few defect all the way down to perdition. Everyone has equal opportunity succeed, but not everyone choses to do so.

 

  1. Success Rate of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Many called, few chosen for theosis. However, God’s mercy and justice provide alternate kingdoms for inferior levels of performance. Everyone has equal opportunity succeed, but not everyone choses to do so.

 

Section 7: Prevailing Expectation

 

  1. Prevailing Expectation of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Receive

 

  1. Prevailing Expectation of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Give

 

  1. Prevailing Expectation of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Receive and Give in eternal balance.

 

Section 8: Vision & Perspective

 

  1. Vision & Perspective of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

See the plan

 

  1. Vision & Perspective of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Operate the plan (without “seeing” it; walk by faith); Probation / Test / Exam

 

  1. Vision & Perspective of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

See & show “one eternal round”

 

Section 9: Temple Connections

 

  1. Temple Connections of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Faith in & covenant with deity required to succeed and pass into next phase

 

  1. Temple Connections of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Covering the spirit with a body as a temple symbol; sacred vs profane space; Discriminatory relationships.

 

  1. Temple Connections of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Marriage as a type/symbol of reunion with presence of God. Procreative marriage a foretaste of theosis.

 

Section 10: Prevailing Sentiment

 

  1. Prevailing Sentiment of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

Rejoice (Job 37:8)

 

  1. Prevailing Sentiment of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Weep (Isa. 53:3)

 

  1. Prevailing Sentiment of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

 

Eternal balance of rejoicing and weeping (Isa. 25:8; Moses 7:29-37)

 

Section 11: Selection Process for God’s Several Kingdoms of Glory

 

  1. Selection Process of Telestial/Premortal/Preparatory:

 

The sons of perdition (1/3 of God’s children) didn’t make it on to the next stage of mortality despite the opportunities they were given before being cast down to perdition. They refused to live up the telestial standard required for mortal life within the ample and merciful time given them. The rest (2/3) came to the next level of progress: Mortality.

 

  1. Selection Process of Terrestrial/Mortality/Performing:

 

Mortals who remain telestial in their attitudes/behaviors don’t make it on to the next stage of progression, the great Millennium. These wicked are consumed in the millennial day at the Second Coming of Christ, despite the opportunities they were given before his return. They refused to live up the terrestrial standard required for millennial life within the ample and merciful time given them. The rest are permitted to advance into the Millennial stage to further progress toward exaltation.

  1. Selection Process of Celestial/Post-Mortality/Completion:

Millennials who remain merely terrestrial in their attitudes/behaviors do not qualify for exaltation; they fail to qualify for exaltation despite opportunities during the Millennium. They refused to live up the celestial standard required for eternal life and exaltation within the ample and merciful time given them. The rest who do qualify for exaltation go onward to complete perfection, and become Gods themselves. They enter into ‘the rest of the Lord’ (Alma 13:16).

 

Bonus Analogy: The Batman Trilogy (I don’t suggest the movie, but the theme is indicative of the hero story and gospel plan)

 (image spliced from movie covers by unknown)

 

  1. Telestial likeness, Premortal era, Preparatory stage

 

Creation. Self-discovery, orientation, anticipation, faith to go forward despite not comprehending all the details of the future.

 

  1. Terrestrial likeness, Mortality era, Performing stage

 

Fall. Things not going as smoothly as you anticipated. The Fall of Adam. Coping with the fallen nature. Not giving up when beaten down.

 

  1. Celestial likeness, Post-Mortality era, Complete stage

 

Atonement. Conquering all things, rising above all things, completing the painful process of divine sacrifice for others. The Atonement of Christ. The atonement of giving all you are to others. Becoming like Christ in all things, eliminating the fallen nature.

 

3 Purposes, 7 Processes, 3 Principles from this Analogy:

Purpose 1: The purpose of the family is to go on to exaltation, and participate in the eternal creation of more family units on a larger scale. Without the perpetuation of the family unit in eternity, the family is vain and will come to an end. There is no beginning of souls, they existed in the beginning with God, and they must go on forever. Even the damned will continue to exist forever, for they have no beginning, so they can have no end. The ultimate expression of the divine is that a family emulates the creative aspects of God.

Purpose 2: The purpose of studying the word of God in family settings is to express the message that the entire plan of salvation is based on the family unit. The religions of this world lack an understanding of the perpetuation of the family. The family must be together in heaven, and without this view, the family will lose motivation for virtuous livelihoods. The entire system of life is based on creation and edification of family units, and if those are to fall away in heaven, both the lack of will to do good for heaven and the will to do good for mortality vanish.

Purpose 3: The purpose of modest dress is to protect the chastity of women. Modest dress is additionally to represent the divine nature of the body, which should not be accessible to the general public, just like a temple and God’s kingdom. The temple is not open enrollment, and God’s university is thus scorned by the secular masses, but we have seen in social science that immodest dress is a type of how when the sacred is offered at large to the profane, then the relationship system fails. The relationships without the backbone of covenants fall apart as quickly as sand in one’s hand. If women become unchaste, they lose the appreciation for themselves, and forget divine ideals and possibilities.

Process 1: A family must use the standard words as the key focus of their study, so they cannot reasonably deny the requirements of God’s law to inherit salvation. The laws for salvation are contained in the standard works, and without their application, the preaching of the word of God does not occur, and the faith needed for salvation cannot be obtained. The individual matter of salvation becomes unavailable, and the higher family matter of exaltation becomes void.

Process 2: The family must teach each other the non-biological aspects of the plan of salvation by instructing in the value of relationships rather than mere animalistic approach to courtship. If a couple will court each other just for sexual attraction, they are forgetting about needed components of marital stability and overall happiness (including sexual intercourse frequency). The plan of God is designed to enable spirits in bodies to have eternal joy, but the spirit aspect of the body cannot be overlooked if this is to be successful.

Process 3: The family must emphasize the importance of selfless love in the mortality phase of Gods plan. If the family will do this, the candidates for salvation will learn obedience by the things they suffer. The call to follow Christ is a call to suffer, and the world of false churches often go wrong on this point alone: that the path of Christ is not an easy path (though it is more easy than suffering in hell, as Christ said). Only by following Christ can any person, along with their hopes and dreams, attain divine goals, including marriage and continuing parenthood.

Process 4 : The family must understand their role as testators, similar to the Holy Ghost. If the family will testify of the divinity of God to each other in their times of need, they will gain the strength they need to overcome their trials. Faith comes by hearing the word of God, and without this, the candidates cannot gain faith. Salvation is impossible to obtain without perfect faith as the Book of Mormon says, and thus hearing the word of God is essential to spiritual growth. The Holy Ghost is a person, this makes it easy for us to emulate him in our relationships. We can know truth just like he can.

Process 5: The family must worship God at the temple in order to understand the “why” of modest dress. Not only is there a strict code of modesty inside the temple, but there is also a symbol of modesty there which communicates essential lessons for why we cover our bodies. The scriptures say that Christ covered Adam and Eve in coats of skins. Skins are the result of slain beasts, like the Lamb of God being slain. The sacrifice of Christ is essential to our protection. We profane ourselves via sin, and Christ puts his life on the line and ultimately on the altar for our sakes to cover our sins and bring us back to the ways of God, away from our fallen ways. When we learn that there is sacred space and profane space, we will understand the need to cover our bodies as a symbol that we are willing to obey the laws of God even when it seems non-sensical to ourselves.

Process 6: The family must study the role of Father in Heaven. Without this understanding, they will not have hope of a glorious future. The perfections of Heavenly Father and the splendid roles he operates (including the divine weeping for souls in trial) give us hope that heaven will be more than strumming harps, and that there is a meaning to suffering which enables faith in God and in relationships even in hard times. The relationship will survive longer and even forever if we maintain faith in God, heaven, and a benevolent future. This will empower selfless love needed to maintain relationships with fellow imperfect beings.

Process 7: The family must repent of all their sins in order to stay together in eternity. All candidates of the family must be clean before being permitted into the presence of God. If the family does well but one individual does not, then the family will exist in the kingdom of God without the unclean member, for nothing can undo the laws of God. The mercy of Christ is operational only for repentant souls. Repentance is the benevolent key to unlock the otherwise forbidden doors of heaven, where only the just dwell. Christ was required to obey the law of God, and so are we. For us, one of the laws of God includes repentance, and we cannot be saved without it.

Principle 1: If God is worshiped by each member of the family individually and together in the home on a daily basis, the family will grow closer to each other. This means that the contrary is also true, namely that without God, relationships cannot thrive. If the individuals are left to themselves to find their way through the wilderness of life, they will be eaten by the wolves of secularism after becoming spiritually blind via their close-mindedness toward God. I use the word worship because it suggests the comparative might of God juxtaposed to the weakness of man. The family togetherness component is essential as the family and home are the laboratory to the human breed.

Principle 2:  If marriage candidates value God’s standards including particularly the modesty regulations, then they will have a marriage void of the strife aspect of eros love. This means that eros love while being a good thing ( a love of physical beauty), if not contained within the parameters the Lord has set, will be fundamentally destructive toward any relationship. To think that a couple can consider the bodies things to be taken lightly and still expect the favor and grace of God in their relationship, then their hopes are founded upon something totally in contradiction to the very plan of salvation, which focuses on the incorporation of spirits on an earth as a primary element of moral examination. To put it simply, to misuse the body is to fail the key question in the test of the human being. The immodest person either knowingly or unknowingly denies God by denying faith in his plan of happiness. His plan of happiness entails virtue in marriage covenants, and the body being a temple, the candidate is denying the sacredness of the human nature as being an embryonic deity. This negation of truth leads to the impossibility of exaltation.

Principle 3: If humans emulate the Godhead in their aspirations for family success and efforts to activate the plan of redemption, they will progress together toward exaltation. This means that each member of the Godhead plays a distinct role, and family members can emulate that person in each stage. In pre-mortality we emulated the Holy Ghost in testifying of the reality of God and his plans supernal & unique effectiveness. In mortality we walk the earth like Jesus Christ and take up our crosses doing our best like he did his best. In post-mortality we emulate Heavenly Father in the creation of spirit children and touring them through pre, post, and mortalities of their own. This aspect of sacrificial love in mortality is the glue which will hold family relationships together, and the post mortality aspect allows the perpetuation of the family system through eternity.

 

 

Typical Kingdom / Era / Purpose: Telestial / Premortal / Preparatory Terrestrial / Mortality / Perform Celestial / Post-Mortality / Complete
Qualified Ministrants / Prototypes to Emulate: Holy Ghost

(unembodied)

Jesus Christ

(embodied)

Heavenly Father

(perfectly / indestructibly / perpetually embodied)

Key Family Oriented Elements: Testify of God our Father

and his family-based plan

Selfless sacrifice in adhering to God’s laws in relationships;

Family based priorities

Use of family unit to achieve theosis (theosis= human becoming God); Perpetuate family structure
Temple Connections: Faith in & covenant with deity required to succeed

and pass into next phase

Covering body as a symbol of temples as sacred vs profane space. Discriminatory relationships. Marriage as a type/symbol of reunion with presence of God. Procreative marriage a foretaste of theosis
Perfect Faith Required for Salvation (2 Ne. 9:23): 3 Elements of Faith adapted from Joseph Smith Know the characteristics of God. Believe in God and chose his plan. Know that you are living in accordance to God’s expectations. Emulate Jesus Christ the Son of God. We are also sons of God. Receive all promised blessings.
Role of Scripture: Motivate creations to adopt creator’s philosophy. Execute scripture (law) from our creator. Create scripture for your creations.
Success Rate: 2/3 success

1/3 defect to perdition

Narrow path, but only a few defect all the way down to perdition. Many called, few chosen for theosis. However, God’s mercy and justice provide alternate kingdoms for inferior levels of performance.
Prevailing Expectation: Receive Give Receive and Give in eternal balance.
Vision / Perspective: See the plan Operate the plan

(without “seeing” it; walk by faith)

Probation / Test / Exam

See & show “one eternal round”

 

Family Stage: Family orientation Family creation Perpetual Families;

Create and orient your creation

Prevailing Sentiment Rejoice

(Job 37:8)

Weep

(Isa. 53:3)

Eternal balance of rejoicing and weeping

(Isa. 25:8; Moses 7:29-37)

 

The Plan of Salvation Told in Holidays

 

 

 

 

Note: this is just a fun study of comparing and contrasting holidays in the order they occur, and relating that to the plan of salvation in the order of eternal events, or the choosing of a higher or lower kingdom.

In reality, anytime people come together with friends and family is a great time. I love all holidays (but especially Christmas!)

 

 

The Creation Holiday: New Year’s Day

 

-we remember beginnings, especially the creation of earth & being raised as “young” spirits in pre-mortality

The Holiday of Promise: Easter

-we learn in premortality of Jesus Christ and Gods plan for us to have immortal bodies like himself

 

The Holiday of War: Memorial Day

 

-we fought in pre-mortality between Jehovah (Christ) and Lucifer

 

The Pre-Mortal Holiday: Independence Day

 

-becoming free, as in the election of Christ instead of Lucifer, and thus coming to earth to work out our salvation

The Mortal Holiday: Labor Day

-this life is the day for men to perform their labors, to prepare to meet God

 

 

***Now moving on to the 3 core holidays, typical of the 3 kingdoms of glory assigned after this life:

 

 

The Telestial Holiday, Halloween:

 

-FOOD: empty calories which give only immediate pleasure and later chronic illness.

-goofing around

-acting like kids

-HEROISM: pretending like you’re a hero, usually a pretend one

-getting people to look at you

 

The Terrestrial Holiday, Thanksgiving:

 

-FOOD: wholesome foods

-appreciating family / those who appreciate us

-HEROISM: giving reverence to / remembering heroes who have gone before (to make America, etc.)

-honoring America for its freedom

 

The Celestial Holiday, Christmas:

 

-FOOD: giving food to the poor

-HEROISM: worshiping Jesus Christ, the prototypical hero who can help you become a hero, and doing heroic acts

-pure joy

 

 

 

 

Plan of Salvation as told in the Secular Holidays: An Analogy

 

This is just a fun study of comparing and contrasting holidays in the order they occur, and relating that to the plan of salvation in the order of eternal events, or the choosing of a higher or lower kingdom.

In reality, anytime people come together with friends and family is a great time (unless its covert demon worship as Halloween often is).

The 7 Jewish holidays (holy days) are what we should be replacing our pagan holidays with.

The Creation Holiday: New Year’s Day

-we remember beginnings, especially the creation of earth & being raised as “young” spirits in pre-mortality

The Holiday of Promise: Easter

-we learn in premortality of Jesus Christ and Gods plan for us to have immortal bodies like himself

The Holiday of War: Memorial Day

-we fought in pre-mortality between Jehovah (Christ) and Lucifer

The Pre-Mortal Holiday: Independence Day

-becoming free, as in the election of Christ instead of Lucifer, and thus coming to earth to work out our salvation

The Mortal Holiday: Labor Day

-this life is the day for men to perform their labors, to prepare to meet God

***Now moving on to the 3 core holidays, typical of the 3 kingdoms of glory assigned after this life:

The Telestial Holiday, Halloween:

-FOOD: empty calories which give only immediate pleasure and later chronic illness.

-goofing around

-acting like kids

-HEROISM: pretending like you’re a hero, usually a pretend one

-getting people to look at you

The Terrestrial Holiday, Thanksgiving:

-FOOD: wholesome foods

-appreciating family / those who appreciate us

-HEROISM: giving reverence to / remembering heroes who have gone before (to make America, etc.)

-honoring America for its freedom

The Celestial Holiday, Christmas:

-FOOD: giving food to the poor

-HEROISM: worshiping Jesus Christ, the prototypical hero who can help you become a hero, and doing heroic acts

-pure joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Holy Ghost – Teachings of the Prophets

 

 

 

–“The gift of the Holy Ghost … quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being” (Key to the Science of Theology, 9th ed. [1965], 101). (Quoted in talk by Elder Perry, Conf. Report Apr. 1997, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1997/04/that-spirit-which-leadeth-to-do-good?lang=eng)

-A more expanded text of the above text, “He is an intelligent being, in the Image of God, possessing every organ, attribute, sense, sympathy, and affection that is possessed by God Himself. But these are possessed by man, in his rudimental state, in a subordinate sense of the word. Or, in other words, these attributes are in embryo, and are to be gradually developed. They resemble a bud, a germ, which gradually develops into a bloom and then, by progress, produces the mature fruit after its own kind. The Gift of the Holy Ghost adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections and adapts them by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to give health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.

In the presence of such persons (who have been thus affected by It), one feels to enjoy the light of their countenance, as the genial rays of a sunbeam. Their very atmosphere diffuses a thrill, a warm glow of pure gladness and sympathy of Spirit. No matter if the parties are strangers, entirely unknown to each other, each will be apt to remark in his own mind, and perhaps exclaim, when referring to the interview- “Oh, what an atmosphere encircles that stranger! How my heart thrilled with pure and holy feelings in the presence of this person. What confidence and sympathy he inspired. His countenance and spirit gave me more assurance than a thousand written recommendations, or introductory letters.” Such is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and such are its operations, when received through the lawful channel-the Divine, Eternal Priesthood.”

(Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, pp. 101- 103)

-“It is a waste of time to speculate in relation to his jurisdiction. We know what has been revealed and that the Holy Ghost, sometimes spoken of as the Holy Spirit, and Comforter, is the third member of the Godhead, and that he, being in perfect harmony with the Father and the Son, reveals to man by the spirit of revelation and prophecy the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our great duty is so to live that we may be led constantly in light and truth by this Comforter so that we may not be deceived by the many false spirits that are in the world.

I have never troubled myself about the Holy Ghost whether he will sometime have a body or not because it is not in any way essential to my salvation. He is a member of the Godhead, with great power and authority, with a most wonderful mission which must be performed by a spirit. This has satisfied me without delving into mysteries that would be of no particular benefit.” ( Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56), 39.)

-“In this dispensation, at least, nothing has been revealed as to [The Holy Ghost’s] origin or destiny; expressions on these matters are both speculative and fruitless.( Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 359. GL direct link)

–“The gift of the Holy Ghost … quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being” (Key to the Science of Theology, 9th ed. [1965], 101). (Quoted in talk by Elder Perry, Conf. Report Apr. 1997, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1997/04/that-spirit-which-leadeth-to-do-good?lang=eng)

-A more expanded text of the above text, “He is an intelligent being, in the Image of God, possessing every organ, attribute, sense, sympathy, and affection that is possessed by God Himself. But these are possessed by man, in his rudimental state, in a subordinate sense of the word. Or, in other words, these attributes are in embryo, and are to be gradually developed. They resemble a bud, a germ, which gradually develops into a bloom and then, by progress, produces the mature fruit after its own kind. The Gift of the Holy Ghost adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections and adapts them by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to give health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being. In the presence of such persons (who have been thus affected by It), one feels to enjoy the light of their countenance, as the genial rays of a sunbeam. Their very atmosphere diffuses a thrill, a warm glow of pure gladness and sympathy of Spirit. No matter if the parties are strangers, entirely unknown to each other, each will be apt to remark in his own mind, and perhaps exclaim, when referring to the interview- “Oh, what an atmosphere encircles that stranger! How my heart thrilled with pure and holy feelings in the presence of this person. What confidence and sympathy he inspired. His countenance and spirit gave me more assurance than a thousand written recommendations, or introductory letters.” Such is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and such are it’s operations, when received through the lawful channel-the Divine, Eternal Priesthood.” (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, pp. 101- 103)

-“It is a waste of time to speculate in relation to his jurisdiction. We know what has been revealed and that the Holy Ghost, sometimes spoken of as the Holy Spirit, and Comforter, is the third member of the Godhead, and that he, being in perfect harmony with the Father and the Son, reveals to man by the spirit of revelation and prophecy the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our great duty is so to live that we may be led constantly in light and truth by this Comforter so that we may not be deceived by the many false spirits that are in the world.

I have never troubled myself about the Holy Ghost whether he will sometime have a body or not because it is not in any way essential to my salvation. He is a member of the Godhead, with great power and authority, with a most wonderful mission which must be performed by a spirit. This has satisfied me without delving into mysteries that would be of no particular benefit.” ( Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56), 39.)

-“In this dispensation, at least, nothing has been revealed as to [The Holy Ghost’s] origin or destiny; expressions on these matters are both speculative and fruitless.( Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 359. GL direct link)

 

 

 

No, The Holy Ghost Didn’t Used to Have A Body

 

It is a popular apostate idea that the Holy Ghost had a body once, and is not having a separate situation of not having one. This ties into Adam God theory which is false.

They say the Holy Ghost needed to have had a body so to comfort others regarding the pains we go through on earth.

In reality, the Holy Ghost is the messenger of the Father and the Son, He is the Testator of truth. He conveys their message, it is not his own. Therefore, he needs not to have every experience to perform that function.

The only possible way I see him having a body in the past as a possibility is if he is merely awaiting his (one and only) resurrection. But this idea flies in the face of logic and revealed truth, as we know being separate from a body is a prison.

The conclusion is that the Holy Ghost must be in his pre-mortal state of the regular appointed time for such.

We do not need to perform for an eternity as a human, then as a Holy Ghost, then as a Jesus Christ, then as a Heavenly Father, each with its own accompanying mortality! We are joint heirs with Christ. We are saviors on mount Zion. Our path in the plan of salvation is TYPICAL as demonstrated by the Godhead:

In the premortal world, we testified of Christ similarly as the Holy Ghost does.

In this life, we serve others and work miracles, similar as Christ did in his mortal life.

In the post-mortal life, we will, as joint heirs with Christ, inherit all Heavenly Father has, and do whatever they do, worlds without end (and what they do is govern systems in which their ever increasing posterity live on).

 

So now you see, each position in the Godhead is typical of the 3 positions of the plan of salvation we are NOW passing through! Pre-mortal, mortal, and post-mortal.

Its like the book Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. The whole time, the main character things he is getting ready for some future thing, but (spoiler alert!), he learns that the whole time he has been fighting the real battles. Before he “begins”, it is over. Are we performing at our best now? Oh how we must! Is this not the message of the prophets? Repentance is part of our plan of salvation based on the inherent weakness designed into our flesh, but we are genuinely expected to overcome through Christ, to in reality develop Christ-like attributes in this life. The April 2021 General Conference drove this home, that we aren’t just looking to become perfect in the next life, we are to obey the command to “be ye therefore perfect.” Others of our race have developed Christ’s attributes, and therefore, so can, and so must, we. It is within our capacity. Well did Joseph Smith teach that if we are to expect to gain salvation, we must get it in the same way that Christ got it, by obedience to law (see TPJS).

So what then do we make of this and other Adam-God related theories, supposedly taught in the past by leaders of the church? We dismiss them on their grounds of not squaring with the scriptures nor the words of the living prophets. To express these views is to demonstrate a lack of spiritual knowledge and maturity.

 

Scriptural Serpent Symbol : Christs Truth & Satan’s Imitation

 

 

-Moses lifted up such as a type of Christ in the wilderness for people to look to it and live

-used to have legs for it was given him a curse to go on his belly. He would not be on his belly already if that was not the case. Although, this may all be symbolic.

-women naturally have a fear of snakes. An enmity between them and snakes.

-type of Christ which Satan is subverting; God creates, Satan imitates.

–2Ne24:29 Fiery flying serpent=type of Christ footnote

–Ogden OT vol. 1 pg43 and Moses 4:10-11

-counterfeit symbol used by Satan

-Matt.10:16 serpent is wise, and disciples commanded to be wise as such

-Quetzalcoatl the white feathered flying serpent possibly Christ appearing to those of ancient Americas in his glory, and them associating it with the serpent symbol.

 

 

 

King Benjamin’s Sermon: A Manual for Discipleship by Elder Neal A. Maxwell – Lecture Highlights

 

 

 

Maxwell looks at various aspects of Benjamin, one would think that he knew him personally. Maxwell uses knowledge of what makes a society and shows that Benjamin had all those aspects of leadership. Some of those can be taken from textual implications.

-a focus on spiritual over political, even though both are essential, and large parts of his life.

-how teach your children to not lust for power? Show them.

-discipline your children or they won’t have faith like Eli’s sons.

-Benjamin tells it like it is, telling the future and the details of how men will treat religion; Maxwell includes examples from Greek and modern secularism to show time and again the secularization of society.

-professionals telling when War will and won’t be are often wrong; only God knows!

-pray to know what are little matters, and what are big matters (*this could save the soul, pointing to correct action)

-those who are honorable but not consecrated wholly may even be happy, BUT THEY WON’T BE FULFILLED. (*here is the motivation to wake up early, to push ourselves, etc.)

-a large rebuke of who won’t give their all; if you don’t know Jesus, you won’t serve him, and you won’t care about what’s important in this life. (*thank God for a prophet who gives large rebukes)

-he lets us know that we aren’t to be consumed in our hobbies; (*no proud man can read this and walk away unaffected, neither the humble, but the humble has joy in the progress already made, whereas the proud are tempted to curse God and die. )

-when we see someone so very weak, we think to always tell them to toughen up, but we are so weak to God, yet he comforts us, so likewise we should comfort one another.

-“How difficult it is to teach the natural man, who comprehends nothing more than that which he sees with the natural eye! . . . Talk to him about angels, heavens, God, immortality, and eternal lives, and it is like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal to his ears; it has no music to him; there is nothing in it that charms his senses, soothes his feelings, attracts his attention, or engages his affections, in the least.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses (18 December 1859) 1:2; see also Discourses of Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 260.)

-Alma 38:12 sums up missionary rules and Apostle rules.

-give people needed praise and recognition. Clothe people in “the garment of praise” (Isaiah 61:3).

-you may want to garden so you won’t wear yourself out in discipleship, and so you have unhurried time to ponder.

Deferential Jesus said:

“There is none good but one, that is, God” (Matthew 19:17).
“My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16).
“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19)

 

 

 

 

A Poem Contemplating Eternity

 

 

Are we supposed to harness what we like or to find the correct things to like? I suppose a little bit of both is true we need to align our moral standards with the gospel while pursuing our talents and hobbies and interests; one of the Divine things that we need to do is find happiness.

 

In the beginning there were unorganized intelligence, then we became organized. That process goes on to this day. We want to be more organized intelligence; I see that there is no excuse and the organization of one’s self is so critical.

 

I see that any person including myself can and should and ought to, within the perfect parameters of reason, create things that change the world forever.

 

These creations are not told to you by someone else; it’s something that you determine; you create them and they are Divine and you don’t need any help; you can’t wait around sitting for someone to tell you what to do; you have to act on every little inclination.

 

Read every book that comes to your attention, spell out every idea that comes to your mind, talk to every person that seems like someone you need to talk to.

 

God will let you suffer more bitterly than you ever thought possible because you need to experience exactly what you don’t want to experience, and to question the one thing that you should never question.  If you can pass through that, you can be free.

 

You can open the doors of the mind and find expression and meaning in deeper levels than you even knew existed.

 

You can embrace forms of intelligence; you can find never tapped into dimensions of joy; what you wanted, but didn’t know where to look for.

 

You’ll be more tired and more depressed; more happy and full of energy; you’ll be who you forever aspired to be.

 

When everything seems for nothing, just then, it all bursts open intro a panoramic view of divinity; not just a Divinity sitting in the sky watching you, but a Divinity that Wells up inside you, and bursts and permeates the atmosphere around you.

 

This is when the Divinity that does sit above looking down smiles for a moment.

 

It doesn’t have to make sense right now, you just have to keep going.

 

Then it’s quiet, and you are alone again. You try to remember how it felt to be alive.

 

Then you stop caring, because feelings seem to be second class citizens in the world of desperation. The suffering of the world comes painfully into view.

 

Then you ponder and wait, and sometimes you see him again – around the corner of your eyes, you meet for a moment, and you know everything will be okay.

 

He reminds you in that instant that former things are over, and there’s no going back. You are free, but the past gives you the motivation you need to contemplate the future. The permission and the power to not be mortally wounded by it anymore. Nay no more, not by the past, the present, or the future. The force fields of glory today burst upon thee!

 

 

 

Straining at Particles of Light: Premortal Life and the Mansions of Memory by Terryl Givens – Lecture Highlights

 

 

I share the following highlights with permission of the author.

 

This lecture focused on the history of Western philosophy and religion’s treatment of the doctrine of pre-mortality. It brings not only historical understanding, but deeper insights into pre-mortality, and evidences for the same.

When we live beneath our truest self, we are sharply aware that we have betrayed ourselves.

What prompts repentance is not thought of the future but thought of the past the idea that we are not living up to what we truly are that we are not manifesting what we are at our core what we once were. This is what inspires people to suddenly make major life altering decisions to change their lives for the better the sense of knowing that we betrayed our potential our nature ourselves.

John Knox speaks of the reference to the self as being evidence of a birth before birth that we are an entity which has existed before birth. We can easily refer to ourselves and contemplate ourselves this is evidence that the I goes deeper then the date of birth. The sentence I was born suggests that the I superseded the being born

We long for God because he exists on the same plane as all of our deepest loves and exists in the memory all of this suggests that we knew him once. Our inner yearnings can only be satiated with him.

Those who seek God and happiness must have been happy once. to remember that means it must have been imprinted on the memory at some point. this suggests that we once knew God and true happiness, that is why we are seeking it oh, both the happiness and God, it is why we associate the one with the other because we used to know them both simultaneously they only existed simultaneously.

Nature and art constantly remind you of something. Augustus said that these faint intimations suggest a life before Earth where we lived in God’s presence.

The removal of God from comprehensibility to in comprehensibility and from accessibility to inaccessibility as well as the doctrine of creation ex nihilo have contributed to the erasure of pre mortality from doctrines of churches today.

Immanuel Kant implied a premortal existence as a rational basis for the concept of human agency

Edward Beecher in the 19th century wrote almost a thousand pages on the topic of pre mortality as a rationale for the justice of God. it explains our immersion in a life of sin pain and suffering.

Someone said that perhaps reason is to skin deep and science does not go back far enough. In other words this suggests that there are things more profound than human reason.

Our ability to comprehend microscopic subatomic particles and macroscopic theories of the creation and of themselves are evidence but the human being is a much more powerful and complex and ancient creature then mere reason could suggest.

It is a truism to say that the most primitive man drew a picture of the monkey but the most intelligent monkey cannot draw a picture of a man the human is something different something special something deeper and farther beyond the rest of the animal kingdom

The human creature is truly unique and different from all other creatures

The emergence of the human mind cannot be explained in the same methods of the emergence of the minds of all other animals

What it means to be human is to take seriously the subjective the inner the personal experience of an individual human being

Our private hopes and private experience is what ultimately defines us.

Keats spoke of straining at particles of light spoke of being in the dark and straining at particles of light.

Even Freud acknowledged that everyone has a desire to connect to reconnect with something eternal and oceanic. This is why the doctrine of pre-existing has never fully died out.

There are things more fundamentally human than syllogistic argument.

Emperor’s priests and secularists have tried to expunge the idea of pre-existence from Western thought but yet it persists.

The oldest religion we know of is that of Mesopotamia they speak of the gods convening to create the humans; It speaks of a minor race of deities being on the earth doing the work of the supreme gods; They dig the land move around the Earth tends to those things what’s the labor become so great that they conspire against the seven supreme gods. They decide to make humans out of clay tabernacles and I take one of the gods and sacrifice that God and put his Spirit into the humans. The Mesopotamian legend says that our memory of our earlier existence remains but it’s very cloudy so that we don’t threaten the dominion of the gods.

The Greek philosopher (Aristotle?) laments how he has fallen from greatness to come to Earth how things used to be better but now there’s toil; he wrote that human love is an echo I’ve been earlier love of perfect beauty; he said beauty can only be experienced by someone who has seen as much in heaven; he speaks of how when one finds their soulmate they want to be together but how every person even who has found this soul mate yet longs for something greater.

Tertullian thought that the doctrine of pre-existence was dangerous because it made us too much like God.

Tertullian said ‘how could we forget all of that premortal stuff? There must not be premortality.’ The Cambridge platonists responded to Tertullian’s doubt of pre mortality, ‘why is it surprising that we would forget premortality when even during this life we forget so much?’

Henry Moore was certain of the pre mortality that the mind could remember God

He spoke of this memory being natural and essential to the soul of man and that this memory cannot be washed away. He wrote that pre mortality is the most logical explanation

Benjamin Whichcoat(?) and Nathaniel Coverwell(?): They speak of seeds of light scattered in The souls of man which brings forth a numerous and sparkling posterity.

`             Descartes also speaks of these things.

Kant says there are only two things was really astound him the starry skies above and the moral law inside him he ponders on wear that moral law inside him could have come from. It was not a simple social or cultural acquisition.

He speaks of an intuitive sense of self this is not a logical button intuitive thing.

He says that a being with infinite nature infinite potential could not have just come into being by happenstance, a being so great whose Life begin in such trivial circumstance.

He says that we lived in a world of spiritual nature’s which didn’t begin at birth and will not end at death.

Babylonians say that the veil between us and God was for the gods to keep us away from them but Christians say that that veil is an act of Mercy on behalf of God.

The English poet Abel Evans conceived of the entire human race being the fallen Angels. He says that God cast us all out but lets us expiate our crimes with time served on Earth.

Reason and memory feed but cannot satisfy our articulate longing for home

he speaks of how if we had retained our memory of the prior existence we would have been all the more miserable on this Earth due to the contrast of how great it is there and how difficult it is here.

Goethe said that there were stages of pre-existence on the way to a glorious future. He spoke of his memories of the pre-existence being so strong that it is the greatest evidence for God. he said if there is not a god perhaps there will yet be one.

In the romantic era we hear Wordsworth who writes of trailing clouds Of Glory to come to this earth how being born on this Earth was not the beginning. Latter-day saints celebrate this poetry, but generations of scholars have been embarrassed by it. He speaks of how despite the beauty of this earth and the joy of the laughter of children there is yet in this life a sense of nagging loss. He speaks of how certain things have passed away. He speaks of how our birth is a loss of a greater Eden that we once knew. Some pressured Wordsworth to let go of this view of pre-existence and he was embarrassed about it sometimes but he still argued that there was nothing in Scripture to contradict it. He says that if we remembered the pre-existence everyone would bear testimony of it.

The idea of pre mortality starts from inner reflection an event such as watching a sleeping child. This and not logical deduction is the starting point of faith in pre mortality.

Wilhelm Benefit (?) (about 35 min in to hear again how to spell that name) was a businessman stricken by a tragedy lost his wife and child and could not understand why life involve so much suffering then a mysterious mentor appeared and taught him that this life is a short time between pre mortality and immortality. He spoke of this man having an apostolic countenance.

Original sin and human suffering can really only be explained by the doctrine of pre mortality this is what 1 renowned philosopher argued named Benica(?)

Because this is a fallen world and the otherworld is an eternal one there is to be Revelation if there is to be any communication between the realms.

Our powers of reason and sensation are insufficient to penetrate the eternal world.

Religions of the western world are so inhospitable to the doctrine of pre mortality that people reject the idea without a good reason.

John chapter 9 is one of the many scriptural allusions to pre mortality

the apostles clearly assumed that there was a pre-existing life when they asked who sinned this man or his parents. Some say that this simplistic explanation pre mortality for this chapter is too simple but those who value spirituality simplicity has never been a barrier to beauty.

Kant said that one of the proofs that we have human agency is that when he does something wrong he feels guilt that guilt suggests that he could have done something different.

 

Click here for the full lecture.

 

 

 

PART 2: THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST

 

“All mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.”

 

 

 

 

The Atonement of Jesus Christ: Teachings of the Prophets

 

 

 

-Jesus the Christ by Talmage says Christ on cross at 9am, then at noon the clouds darken, from 12-3 he is suffering all that happened in Gethsemane but “intensified”. Fetal position is the way we are in our most pain; the cross pain was intensified more than Gethsemane perhaps because he could not be in the fetal position.

-Isaiah says Christ’s face became marred more than any other man.

-Isaiah says they plucked off Christ’s hair.

-the word Gethsemane: shemen is oil, geth is press, it means olive/oil press.

-Matthew 26:38 severe depression; Jesus feels such pain that he feels he is going to die.

-imagine an olive getting crushed by a large rock, this is like what the Atonement was.

-sins don’t bring pleasure, they bring weight consequences, hence the Atonement of Christ had a crushing weight on him.

-D&C 19 says if we repent we won’t suffer; God is saying that he suffered to a greater degree for our sins then we have ever known. Jesus went through hell for us, suffering the pains of a damned soul.

-D&C 76:107 Jesus experiences the fullness of God’s wrath in the Atonement.

-Elder Maxwell said that Jesus is more intelligent than the combined intelligence of the rest of the human race. Where much is given much is required. Abraham speaks of the pre-mortal intelligences, Jesus was the greatest of them all.

–“Thus, such was the torturing pressure of this intense, this indescribable agony, that it burst forth abroad beyond the confines of His body, convulsed all nature and spread throughout all space” (John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, 151–52; Quoted in the Doctrines of the Gospel student manual Ch 9 on the Atonement at https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrines-of-the-gospel-student-manual/chapter-9-the-atonement-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng); Thus we see that the Atonement hurt him so bad it was more than just bodily pain, he experienced all sorts of pain which only a God can to the extent he did.

-Elder Faust said that Jesus was crying in Gethsemane, his tears mingling with his blood.

-Elder Maxell speaks of the angel strengthening Christ in the Atonement being Adam, I believe another source says otherwise, Seth or Abel perhaps.

-Brigham Young taught that when Jesus walked into Gethsemane God cast a veil over Gethsemane, hence Jesus in there would say as we see in Matthew 26 that he thinks he is going to die there. Also Jesus would not have bled if God was with him.

-Jacob says Abraham and Isaac are a similitude of God and Christ in the Atonement, it would perhaps be harder to be the father slaying his son, than the son submitting to the will of the father in all things. Hence Jesus says, “Glory be to the Father”.

-when you study about the Atonement, you get the desire to be nice to everyone and be good. Try it.

-when you understand Christ’s sacrifice more, you’ll have more internal change; like Alma the younger feeling the pains of a damned soul, then having Jesus deliver him, recognizing then and forever the role of Jesus Christ in the Atonement for us.

-when you think of Jesus’ Atonement, you want to not be as flippant about the attitude “I can sin now and repent later”, you want to be more careful about your actions, more thoughtful about what you do.

-when you feel uplifted by Christ, those are the times to make your life decisions, don’t make deceptions in depression times.

-Jesus is the only one who has walked out life path, so trust him have faith in him.

-Jesus was a pre-mortal God without a body, just like the Holy Ghost is currently a God, must be pre-mortal, without a body. Then Jesus condescends, he comes to earth, he is a baby dependent on his mother entirely.

-the angel came to the Christ in the atonement and said perhaps you don’t have to do this but if you don’t all things you created those worlds, animals, humans, plants, etc., go back to inexistence, back to dust. You don’t have to do this; the Father knew you would do it that’s why He sent you. The only way to complete the Father’s will is by doing this.

-Christ wept after healing Lazarus from death perhaps in realizing how much God the Father would do for him, what being “The Son” is all about.

-why does salvation come only through the Son, not the Father? Only the name of Jesus Christ? It’s because Jesus Christ created us.

-the atonement is infinite; in Alma 34:11-12 it says that when one is killed, the life of the murderer is required. AKA, every guilty person must pay. Thus the atonement of Christ had to not just be representative, he had to literally take upon himself the punishment for each and every crime committed. Every debt had to be paid. Every crime had to be punished. Christ stood in the place for all of the murderers not all at once, but one by one. Each beating was mandated for justice to be realized. God is just. “He that ruleth over men must be just” cried the psalmist.

-LDS Guide to the scriptures “ATONE, ATONEMENT”:
See also Blood; Children of Christ; Cross; Crucifixion; Fall of Adam and Eve; Forgive; Gethsemane; Grace; Immortal, Immortality; Jesus Christ; Justification, Justify; Merciful, Mercy; Plan of Redemption; Redeem, Redeemed, Redemption; Remission of Sins; Repent, Repentance; Resurrection; Sacrament; Sacrifice; Salvation; Sanctification; Sons and Daughters of God

To reconcile man to God.
As used in the scriptures, to atone is to suffer the penalty for an act of sin, thereby removing the effects of sin from the repentant sinner and allowing him to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ was the only one capable of making a perfect atonement for all mankind. He was able to do so because of his selection and foreordination in the Grand Council before the world was formed (Ether 3:14; Moses 4:1–2; Abr. 3:27), his divine Sonship, and his sinless life. His atonement included his suffering for the sins of mankind in the Garden of Gethsemane, the shedding of his blood, and his death and subsequent resurrection from the grave (Isa. 53:3–12; Mosiah 3:5–11; Alma 7:10–13). Because of the Atonement, all people will rise from the dead with immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:22). The Atonement also provides the way for us to be forgiven of our sins and live forever with God. But a person who has reached the age of accountability and received the law can receive these blessings only if he has faith in Jesus Christ, repents of his sins, receives the ordinances of salvation, and obeys the commandments of God. Those who do not reach the age of accountability and those without the law are redeemed through the Atonement (Mosiah 15:24–25; Moro. 8:22). The scriptures clearly teach that if Christ had not atoned for our sins, no law, ordinance, or sacrifice would satisfy the demands of justice, and man could never regain God’s presence (2 Ne. 2; 9).
This is my blood, shed for many for the remission of sins: Matt. 26:28;
His sweat was as it were great drops of blood: Luke 22:39–44;
I will give my flesh for the life of the world: John 6:51;
I am the resurrection, and the life: John 11:25;
Christ is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey: Heb. 5:9;
We are sanctified by the shedding of the blood of Christ: Heb. 9;Heb. 10:1–10;
Christ also hath once suffered for sins:1 Pet. 3:18;
The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin:1 Jn. 1:7;
He was lifted up upon the cross and slain for sins:1 Ne. 11:32–33;
Redemption comes to those who have a broken heart and contrite spirit:2 Ne. 2:3–10, 25–27;
He offered himself a sacrifice for sin:2 Ne. 2:7;
The Atonement ransoms men from the Fall and saves them from death and hell:2 Ne. 9:5–24;
It must needs be an infinite atonement:2 Ne. 9:7;
Be reconciled unto God through the Atonement of Christ: Jacob 4:11;
His blood atones for the sins of those who have ignorantly sinned: Mosiah 3:11–18;
Man received salvation through the Atonement: Mosiah 4:6–8;
Were it not for the Atonement, they must unavoidably perish: Mosiah 13:27–32;
He shall atone for the sins of the world: Alma 34:8–16;
God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy: Alma 42:11–30;
I am the God of the whole earth, slain for the sins of the world:3 Ne. 11:14;
I, God, have suffered these things for all: D&C 19:16;
Little children are redeemed through mine Only Begotten: D&C 29:46–47;
Behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin: D&C 45:3–5;
This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten: Moses 5:7;
Through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved: A of F 1:3;”
(See Guide to The Scriptures: Atone, Atonement https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/atone-atonement?lang=eng

 

Oneness of God, Fall of Adam, & Atonement of Christ

(Some of these things are from Robert Millet’s book/lectures Doctrines of the Book of Mormon, they are all based on scripture and modern prophets. More about Millet: he is professor of ancient scripture and emeritus Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. Millet is a Latter-day Saint author and speaker with more than 60 published works on virtually all aspects of Mormonism. Millet co-founded the evangelical-Mormon dialogue.)

-Christ inherited the power of his father; this we can inherit if we are faithful in Christ

-Christ speaks in the first person as though he were the father at times, we call it divine investiture. For example on section of the D&C has Christ speaking where he says by the power of his only begotten son he redeemed the world. He is speaking a message from his father.

-consider that we get a new tongue, the tongue of angels when we live the gospel. Recall that angels speak the words of Christ.

-at one General Conference Elder Bruce R McConkie said that he felt impressed that if Christ were at their meeting he would have said the very same words that the prophet had spoken at that conference.

-in the book of Moses when Moses speaks with God, prophets have clarified that he is speaking with Jesus Christ, and that occasion Christ is speaking with divine investiture, speaking in the first person as the Father, having authority of the Father to speak in his name.

-why divine investiture used at times? To show the total oneness of the Father and the Son. They are separate people, but they work together as one God. They are on the same mission. Christ inherited from the Father all the powers and attributes of the Father, and can go and represent Him at times.

-Christ created us hence he is called the Father. Christ is the Son of the most high God; hence he is called the Son of God. Hence, we see as in Mosiah 15, Christ is both the Father and the Son. He has these two titles. But he is a separate person from God the Father Elohim.

-Jesus Christ is Jehovah, the God of the Old testament, and Elohim is his father, who appears to introduce him at times.

-since the Fall of Adam rarely does God the Father Elohim come to speak directly with mankind. When he does it’s only to introduce his son Jesus Christ and to tell people to hear him.

-James E Talmage in his book Jesus The Christ speaks of many prophets having Elohim and Jehovah appear to them, like happened with Joseph Smith and his first vision in the sacred grove, two persons descend and speak with him, the Father points to the other and says “this is my beloved Son, hear him!”

-The wonder of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we can become one with God the Father and Jesus Christ just like they are one with each other.

-the Old Testament had this doctrine of the Godhead, these three persons who work together as God. In the Book of Mormon the prophet Zenos and Zenoch testified that they are to worship the Father in the name of the Son. We have record of this in the Book of Mormon, though we don’t have those texts in our current Old Testament. In the Book of Mormon it says the record with those prophets’ writings, the brass plates which have a more complete Old Testament record in them, will go to all people. Hence we reason that they are yet to come forth to show the Jews and everyone else that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, and is the Son of Elohim, and these work together as being the God of creation.

– It will become even clearer to people the roles of the members of the Godhead in our salvation, and how indeed, God Himself, even Jehovah came down from his exalted throne, and walked among us. Hence Jesus said to the Pharisees, “before Abraham was, I am”.

-the Atonement of Christ, his great sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane and on Calvary, John Taylor said that it was so painful that it filled the Universe. We can’t comprehend how he was able to do it. He is God. No man could have done it.

-Elder Neil A. Maxwell calls the Atonement of Jesus Christ “intergalactic”.

-Book of Mormon points out that Jesus Christ is not a man, he is a God. It prophecies that despite all he will do among men, they will still consider him a man, and reject him. That is the point- they think he is a man not God.

-when the Book of Mormon says salvation is free, it’s to say that salvation is available. Like when we say, “The bathroom is free.” It’s to say, “the bathroom is available”. You still have to pay the utilities bill to use your bathroom, but it is available should you choose to desire it.

-we must be born again into the kingdom of God

The Fall:

-no one likes to take medication who doesn’t understand that they are sick. The Fall of Adam causes us to need the Atonement of Christ. Without the Fall of Adam there would be no need for the Atonement of Christ.

-the Fall was a positive thing, one prophet called it downward but foreword.

-the garden of Eden was like Disneyland, and Adam and Eve had a mission to do of raising children which they couldn’t accomplish in there. They had to choose for themselves to subject themselves to the difficulties of the circumstances in which they could have children in the telesital world. It was up to them, God didn’t force it on them. God put them in a pleasant state, and they had to make the choice on their own account to

-one prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith if I’m not mistaken, has suggested we read of the Garden of Eden this way, of the trees of the garden thou mayest freely (without consequence) eat. But of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not (freely, without consequence) eat.

-hence it was not such a situation of conflicting commandments from God, it was a situation where God had a mission for mankind, and said in essence said to them, you can do this if you want. It’s going to be hard so I’m going to let you choose for yourselves if you are going to do it. If you choose to do it, you must leave the Garden of Eden and eventually experience death, that is part of the plan.

-the fall was not sexual relations between Adam and Eve, prophets have made that clear.

-people are not accountable until they reach the age of accountability, 8 years old.

-in the Book of Mormon it speaks of how our natures are fallen because of the Fall of Adam- that our natures have become evil continually, see Ether.

-Book of Mormon says that children are saved in Christ. Can a child do bad? Well some children at age 7 have murdered their brother, etc. But while this would be considered sin to other people, to the child of age 7 it is not considered sin, for Christ atones for it. He covers all of the children, and doesn’t hold them accountable.

-while we don’t believe in original sin (having sins at birth), we believe the seeds of such are in us, and that when we grow up we will sin. Everyone sins except for Jesus Christ the God.

-Jesus Christ covers children until the age of accountability, at that point they are capable to choose for themselves whether they will be good or evil.

-D&C says that if parents don’t teach children the gospel of Jesus Christ by age 8, the sin is upon the heads of the parents.

-often in the Book of Mormon it says that we are “lost” because of the Fall of Adam. Lost implies that we don’t know where we are, that we have no family. Then we come to Christ and we are adopted back into the royal family, we take upon us the name of Christ. That is the name of this family. It’s like when the prodigal son returns, a ring is put on his finger showing that he is part of the family, a son of the father, an heir of all the father has.

-there is “the fall of mankind”, Jesus Christ has taken care of that with the Atonement, and then there is “the fall of me”, and I need to take care of that by repentance and baptism and righteous living, the things that Jesus Christ has instructed that we must to merit his mercy.

-Thus we see that we sinful because of our parents, but we are responsible for our own sin, see Article of Faith 2.

 

Grace

 

 

-there is an exit as well as an entrance to hell and once the people have learned what they need there they will leave and there will be rejoicing welcoming him into a better state. –James E. Talmage, CR, April 1930, 97
(granted serious consequences exist for ignoring God in this life, like dropping down a kingdom. You won’t remain in hell, but you’ll miss out on the highest heaven. You can’t post pone repentance and qualify for the greatest eternal rewards. For more on that see the discourse “The 7 Deadly Heresies” by Elder Bruce R McConkie. We rejoice in the knowledge that hell is a temporary abode, like a prison sentence, this is a glorious truth of the latter-days! We also caution take the sons of perdition will remain forever in hell, however few of them there are; we also caution that qualifying for a middle kingdom instead of the highest, though it will be better than the lowest, knowing what you could have had but do not have will be a hell in and of itself. Lastly and foremost, rejoice at the grace of Christ, the great helper and giver of gifts! The righteous judge!)

-Those assigned to the Telestial Kingdom can’t progress to the Celestial Kingdom (D&C 76:112)(McConkie “7 Deadly Heresies”)

-sin appears easy, Lucifer is handsome persuasive, easy friendly, getting us trapped inch by inch, drop by drop. April 1967 p66 CR President Kimball

-A man is his own condemner and tormenter, hence the saying they will go into a lake of fire and brimstone. Disappointment of the mind is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire. TPJS, 357

–” Only the obedient are `raised in immortality unto eternal life.‘” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 234.)

-Mercy is not getting in trouble for something we deserve, grace is getting help with something we can’t do. -Robert L Millet

-there is an exit as well as an entrance to hell and once the people have learned what they need there they will leave and there will be rejoicing welcoming him into a better state. –James E. Talmage, CR, April 1930, 97

-Repenting doesn’t deliver us from all suffering; sin brings pain. That is that. But if we repent, we won’t have to suffer the full extent of the consequence of that sin (“Sin and Suffering,“ BYU 1989-1990 Devotional and Fireside Speeches, 149.) .

 

 

Why We Need a Savior: God’s Plan vs. Lucifer’s Tyranny by Elder D. Todd Christofferson

 

 

 

Excerpts from BYU Devotional on Dec. 12, 2017 titled “A Message at Christmas”.

I have found this to be one of the most excellent lectures on the plan of salvation.

 

–For the official summary of the lecture by BYU (supposedly going to be updated in the near future to the full text of the speech), and the full audio and video recordings, use this URL: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/d-todd-christofferson_a-message-at-christmas/

 

This is a brilliant lecture including points such as God being the representative of justice, Lucifer’s desire to be a law unto himself (and what that means), mercy defined as justice fulfilled by a third party, the absolute requirement of repentance for salvation.

There has not been a full text released on this yet, here are my notes:
-Why can’t God just save us, he loves us can’t he do anything he wants? Why do we need a Savior? This is an ancient philosophy, Nehor taught that in the end all will be saved, don’t worry about it, God loves everyone so much that everyone will be saved.
However, God is God because he is just.
-If there were no laws with punishments and rewards, our choices would be useless.
We need to know that if we do 1 thing, we get 1 outcome, if another, another.
-Well what of the good person? Obstacle death, and even the best don’t meet all just expectations, and no unclean thing can dwell with God.
-Lucifer didn’t just want slight alteration to the plan, he didn’t want to be the Savior, he wanted to delete the Savior roll from the plan; he wanted to be a law unto himself rather than helping justice and mercy occur. He would change the rules at his will, and nothing would be predictable, things would be changing based on his whims, our choices would become vain without repercussions. He wanted the power and glory without putting in the work.

 

 

From the BYU summary (not the full text), here is the part about the need of a Savior:

“Then Elder Christofferson shared an experience he had when a long-time member of the church asked him why she needed a Savior if she was a good person. Elder Christofferson admitted he was shocked at her lack of understanding, but he explained that we all need resurrection and redemption. He acknowledged that, asked another way, the woman could have been asking something like, “If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why can’t He just save us all Himself. Why did God need a Savior for us?” Elder Christofferson identified this way of thinking as similar to Nehor the antichrist’s teachings, and the proposition of the devil in the premortal life. If everyone was saved regardless of actions, then there would be no personal growth and no choices. “[The Father’s plan] requires accountability for choices made—otherwise they aren’t really choices. Choice, in turn, requires law, or predictable outcomes,” Elder Christofferson said. “We must be able by a particular action or choice to cause a particular outcome or result and by the opposite choice create the opposite outcome. If actions don’t have fixed consequences, then one has no control over outcomes and choice is meaningless.” Elder Christofferson taught that eternal laws are what make choices and consequences possible. God is a just God and governs according to law. We, His children, are not capable of keeping all the laws and enduring the consequences for incorrect choices. So God created mercy and a Savior, Jesus Christ, to fulfill the requirement of law and to extend mercy to all of us. “So the answer to our question is no, God cannot act any way He pleases to save a person. He must do it in a way that upholds immutable law, and thanks be to God, he has done so by providing a Savior,” Elder Christofferson said.”

 

Christ Symbols in Animal Sacrifice of the Law of Moses

 

I understand that many, including myself, are hurt when animals are killed. I want to offer some explanations for why this took place in The Law of Moses. If you’re interested in more info on a plant based diet, particularly a perspective of church leaders and other great scientists who all discourage the use of meat etc., see  “Discovering the Word of Wisdom” by Jane Birch. Here we will look at animal sacrifice and the law of Moses.

-There is no animal which God will not raise from the dead! God will raise all animals from the dead! If he wants to take the life of an animal, a lesser intelligence, to illustrate a critical teaching to the higher intelligences which they could not get any other way, the understanding of Jesus Christ, then it is his power to do so. He created all creatures. Death is come upon all of them. Life, also, is come upon all of them. In the resurrection, even they shall rise. An animal is going to die weather by getting eaten, or starvation, or the pains of old age. If God wants to slay it on an altar, it’s just as well. God not only created the animals, but he created you also. So don’t complain about how he chooses to do things. We are little children trying to understand the workings of a parent. Eventually all doubt as to why God chose to do things this way will be removed from us, and all the facts will be before us, and we will wonder why we were ever so skeptical of our loving Father in Heaven.
(references showing animals to be resurrected, see Prophecy key to the future by Crowther, and the Book of Mormon states it plainly)

-Another idea is that learning about God’s sacrifice for mankind via the animal sacrifice symbols was hard to lose those animals, but it’s even worse to lose a human soul, which would occur if people forgot about God’s role in their salvation. It’s so critical that people understand, that we are doing something dramatic, killing an animal, to try and get them to understand. There are higher and lower life forms. The highest life forms are human beings. It is worse to lose the soul of a person than the life of an animal.

-An idea Dr. Jordan Peterson gives is that killing an animal was showing that you were serious about keeping your commitment. Sacrifice always accompanies devotion/dedication. Today we have few to no symbols for showing serious commitment.

-The following is an excerpt from a brilliant address on this subject, the why of ancient biblical animal sacrifice, from Elder Holland in an address titled “Behold the Lamb of God” (2019, April General Conference). The full text is available in text video and audio: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2019/04/28holland?lang=eng

“Looking up from water’s edge, past the eager crowds seeking baptism at his hand, John, called the Baptist, saw in the distance his cousin, Jesus of Nazareth, striding resolutely toward him to make a request for that same ordinance. Reverently, but audible enough for those nearby to hear, John uttered the admiration that still moves us two millennia later: “Behold the Lamb of God.”1

It is instructive that this long-prophesied forerunner to Jesus did not call Him “Jehovah” or “Savior” or “Redeemer” or even “the Son of God”—all of which were applicable titles. No, John chose the earliest and perhaps most commonly recognized image in the religious tradition of his people. He used the figure of a sacrificial lamb offered in atonement for the sins and sorrows of a fallen world and all the fallen people in it.

Please indulge me in recalling just a little of that history.

After expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve faced a devastating future. Having opened the door to mortality and temporal life for us, they had closed the door to immortality and eternal life for themselves. Due to a transgression they had consciously chosen to make in our behalf, they now faced physical death and spiritual banishment, separation from the presence of God forever.2 What were they to do? Would there be a way out of this plight? We are not certain just how much these two were allowed to remember of the instruction they received while still in the garden, but they did remember they were to regularly offer for a sacrifice unto God a pure, unblemished lamb, the first male born of their flock.3

Later an angel came to explain that this sacrifice was a type, a prefiguration of the offering that would be made in their behalf by the Savior of the world who was to come. “This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father,” the angel said. “Wherefore, … thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.”4 Fortunately, there was going to be a way out and a way up.

In the premortal councils of heaven, God had promised Adam and Eve (and all the rest of us) that help would come from His pure, unblemished Firstborn Son, the Lamb of God “slain from the foundation of the world,”5 as the Apostle John would later describe Him. By offering their own little symbolic lambs in mortality, Adam and his posterity were expressing their understanding of and their dependence upon the atoning sacrifice of Jesus the Anointed One.6 Later, the wilderness tabernacle would become the setting for this ordinance and, after that, the temple that Solomon would build.

Unfortunately, as a symbol of genuine repentance and faithful living, this ritualistic offering of unblemished little lambs didn’t work very well, as so much of the Old Testament reveals. The moral resolve that should have accompanied those sacrifices sometimes didn’t last long enough for the blood to dry upon the stones. In any case, it didn’t last long enough to preclude fratricide, with Cain killing his brother Abel in the first generation.7

With such trials and troubles going on for centuries, no wonder the angels of heaven sang for joy when, finally, Jesus was born—the long-promised Messiah Himself. Following His brief mortal ministry, this purest of all Passover sheep prepared His disciples for His death by introducing the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, a more personal form of the ordinance that had been introduced just outside of Eden. There would still be an offering, it would still involve a sacrifice, but it would be with symbolism much deeper, much more introspective and personal than the bloodletting of a firstborn lamb. To the Nephites, after His Resurrection, the Savior said of this:

“Ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood. …

“… Ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost. …

“… Therefore repent, … and be saved.”8

My beloved brothers and sisters, with the exciting new emphasis on increased gospel learning in the home, it is crucial for us to remember that we are still commanded to “go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day.”9 In addition to making time for more home-centered gospel instruction, our modified Sunday service is also to reduce the complexity of the meeting schedule in a way that properly emphasizes the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as the sacred, acknowledged focal point of our weekly worship experience. We are to remember in as personal a way as possible that Christ died from a heart broken by shouldering entirely alone the sins and sorrows of the whole human family.

Inasmuch as we contributed to that fatal burden, such a moment demands our respect.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART 3: MORTAL LIFE: LIVING BY FAITH

 

Solving Life’s Puzzles with the Philosophy of Faith & Valient Service to God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conscience Essay by Joel Skousen – Highlights

 

For the complete text visit worldaffairsbrief.com. The essay is much more extensive than this, these are just a few highlights. I loved this essay and have studied it time and again.

Introductory Note: the word conscience may suggest linguistically “with study” or “thoughtfulness”. Truly we must be active in how we approach life, anxiously engaged in a good cause. The Lord is the source of good thoughts, Satan the source of bad thoughts. We train ourselves to have our own thoughts be good thoughts.

if you continue to have friends who violate conscience you’ll be in trouble

conscience is profoundly accurate

people who think well know that it is an active process
Control and analyze what you think about force yourself to be aware of and analyze every thought to determine its credibility

Replace things which aren’t inherently wrong but which are not as productive as other things you could he doing.

God tests us by seeing whether we will act on the good promptings or the bad promptings they both sound like your own voice

Conscience is about helping you sort out conflicting priorities

Following conscience is the best way to avoid depression. Get up and do what you should he doing rather than sulking.

The Lord tests the righteous with turning down the whispering to an almost inaudible level to see if there are truly committed and to train their own abilities to sensitivity at even the slightest error

Parents often become so desensitized to conscience that the bad behavior of their children doesn’t bother them enough to stop it.

parents often feel the guilt of being too strict but they’re often not sensitive enough to feel the guilt of being too permissive

Satan can get you to make a mistake by giving you an excess of Truth more than is needed for that situation which then throws you off

Parents, have a list of constructive things your children can learn and do in their spare time. Then train them to discipline themselves about what they should be doing. To feel what they’ve left undone, etc.

You don’t have to be a rule making and legalistic society when you train to listen to conscience do this training by a little promptings you give frequently about how they’re feeling and how you’re feeling about what they should do.

Intense exercise is an excellent way to train the mind for mental toughness to develop self-control which you can then apply in other areas.

Self-control always works. Mental health personnel are not trained in conscience.

Mood altering drugs cut out the bad and good signals. They dumb down conscience.

Suicide is never your own voice, but is Satan.

Much societal withdrawal is needed for children as they haven’t yet learned to resist evil. This is why homeschooling is popular among conscious parents.

When you accept a chronic issue as something you can’t overcome, you have dulled out your conscience.

 

 

 

 

New Testament Demonstration of Works for Salvation

 

 

The Imploring God of the New Testament

 

Works are the other aspect of grace. If grace is what God does for us, works are what God asks us to do for him.
This document is to refute the idea that the Old Testament God is the strict / imploring God, then changes in the New Testament. For more treatment of this topic, see my article “The Graceful God of the Old Testament: Scripture References”
This is to show how works have always been expected of God’s people, including New Testament times, and modern times. This is in opposition to the popular idea that by grace alone we are saved. I am bold in this, not thinking it a crime to rely on the scriptures rather than the creeds of men!

John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I haveworks: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

James 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in worksthey deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Hebrews 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’swork of what sort it is.

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

1 Timothy 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of goodworks: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Acts 14:26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.

(you get access to grace by doing works!)

2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

Mark 14:6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

(if you believe in Christ, you’ll do what he says. He says we should do good works. It’s like if you believe a train is coming, you won’t stand on the tracks. You’ll do the work of moving, based on your faith of the coming event. Like how you’ll do your homework in college if you have faith that it will get you a good job.)

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

James 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

1 Timothy 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

1 Corinthians 4:12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

2 Thessalonians 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Colossians 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Galatians 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in goodworks, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

2 Corinthians 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Ephesians 4:28
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Revelation 2:26
26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth myworks unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

1 Corinthians 12:10
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
2 Timothy 3:17
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Titus 3:1
1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
Titus 3:14
14 And let ours also learn to maintain good worksfor necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Acts 15:18
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

1 Corinthians 16:10
10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

John 5:17
17 ¶But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

John 5:20
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

Matthew 13:58
58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

(in addition to the obvious meaning of this passage, it well shows that unbelievers in the true gospel refuse to recognize faithful lifestyles for what they are, and recognize their role!)

James 1:4
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Hebrews 3:9
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

Hebrews 10:24
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

2 Corinthians 9:8
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

John 7:3
3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judæa, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.

James 3:13
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

James 3:16
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

1 Corinthians 3:14
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1 Corinthians 3:15
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Matthew 21:28
28 ¶But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, gowork to day in my vineyard.

1 Timothy 3:1
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

John 10:25
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

(this shows that “by their works ye shall know them”!

John 10:37
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

(this shows that “by their works ye shall know them”!

John 10:38
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

(this shows that “by their works ye shall know them”!

2 Thessalonians 3:10
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

(*since we must live to work out our salvation, we see work is needed for salvation, since we die if we don’t work, and being dead, how would we work out our salvation?!)

2 Thessalonians 3:12
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

Matthew 23:3
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after theirworks: for they say, and do not.
(*we see doing is required)

1 Corinthians 9:1
1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

Ephesians 3:7
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Revelation 20:13
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

1 Thessalonians 4:11
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

Revelation 3:2
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Revelation 3:8
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Revelation 3:15
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Revelation 18:6
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

Revelation 22:12
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his workshall be.

Revelation 18:6
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

Revelation 22:12
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his workshall be.

2 Timothy 2:21
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

1 Corinthians 15:58
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in thework of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Mark 6:14
14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mightyworks do shew forth themselves in him.

Revelation 9:20
20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

2 Peter 3:10
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and theworks that are therein shall be burned up.

John 8:39
39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

Acts 26:20
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judæa, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

1 John 3:12
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

Philippians 3:21
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Ephesians 4:16
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Ephesians 4:28
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

1 Thessalonians 1:3
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

Revelation 2:2
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Revelation 2:5
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Revelation 2:9
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Revelation 2:13
13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Revelation 2:23
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Luke 13:14
14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.

Acts 13:2
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

Acts 9:36
36 ¶Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

Matthew 11:21
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Matthew 11:23
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Mark 13:34
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Titus 3:8
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain goodworks. These things are good and profitable unto men.

1 Peter 2:12
12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Hebrews 9:14
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from deadworks to serve the living God?

Philippians 2:12
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Luke 10:13
13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty workshad been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

Revelation 3:1
1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Mark 6:2
2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

(*Jesus told us to do the things we have seen him do!)

Revelation 20:12
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to theirworks.

Modern Scriptures:

– “thrust in your sickle with all your soul” (D&C 31:5)

-work with “all your heart, might, mind, and strength” (D&C 4:2).

–Through every major Nephite prophet, for example, the Lord declared: “Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.” (2 Ne. 1:20—Lehi; see also 1 Ne. 2:20–21—Nephi; 2 Ne. 10:19–20—Jacob; Mosiah 1:7—Benjamin; Alma 9:13—Alma; Alma 48:25—Mormon;Ether 2:7–9—Moroni and the brother of Jared.)

-“wickedness never was happiness.” (Alma 41:10.)

-“the joy of the saints.” (Enos 1:3.)

Old Testament Scriptures:

– Psalms 141:4
4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that workiniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

– Psalms 90:17
17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

– Exodus 36:4
4 And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;

– Nehemiah 6:3
3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

– Exodus 28:15
15 ¶And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.

– Nehemiah 5:16
16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.

– Exodus 36:1
1 Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded.

– Ecclesiastes 8:14
14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

– Numbers 8:4
4 And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the Lord had shewed Moses, so he made the candlestick.

–Exodus 31:15
15 Six days may work be done

–Leviticus 23:3
3 Six days shall work be done

– Exodus 36:8
8 ¶And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them.

– 2 Kings 22:5
5 And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord: and let them give it to the doers of the workwhich is in the house of the Lord, to repair the breaches of the house,

– Exodus 39:3
3 And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, with cunning work.

– Exodus 35:2
Six days shall work be done

-Exo. 36:1 work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded.

– Nehemiah 7:71
71 And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver.

– Psalms 28:4
4 Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.

– Proverbs 16:3
3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.

– Proverbs 20:11
11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether hiswork be pure, and whether it be right.

– Jeremiah 48:10
10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

– 2 Chronicles 3:10
10 And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.

– Nehemiah 9:35
35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wickedworks.
– Proverbs 18:9
9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

– Job 14:15
15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.

– 2 Chronicles 24:13
13 So the workmen wrought, and the work was perfected by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it.

– Proverbs 24:27
27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.

– Proverbs 24:29
29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

–Psalms 104:23
23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

– Job 1:10
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

– Hosea 6:8
8 Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood.

-Ps. 106: 23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.

-Ps. 106: 25 But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.

– Psalms 106:39
39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.

– Nehemiah 13:10
10 ¶And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.

– Psalms 77:12
12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

– Psalms 145:4
4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

– Psalms 145:5
5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

– Psalms 145:10
10 All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.

– Isaiah 66:18
18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

– Jeremiah 25:6
6 And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with theworks of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.

– Jeremiah 25:7
7 Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.

– Jeremiah 25:14
14 For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the worksof their own hands.

– Ezra 6:7
…let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place.

– Exodus 23:24
24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

–1 Chronicles 23:4
4 Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the Lord; and six thousand were officers and judges:

– Exodus 25:18
18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.

– Ecclesiastes 3:17
17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

– Psalms 118:17
17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

– Psalms 17:4
4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

– Job 34:11
11 For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.

– Job 34:25
25 Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed.

– Exodus 31:5
5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.

– Leviticus 23:8
8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days…

– Psalms 95:9
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

– Job 36:9
9 Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.

– Job 36:24
24 Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.

– Psalms 58:2
2 Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

– Psalms 62:12
12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

– Psalms 9:16
16 The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.

– Psalms 9:16
16 The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.

– Nehemiah 4:19

19 ¶And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.

Nehemiah 4:21
21 So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.

– Jeremiah 10:15
15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

– Ecclesiastes 9:7
7 ¶Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thyworks.

Ecclesiastes 9:10
10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

– Nehemiah 6:9
9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

– Nehemiah 6:14
14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.

– Isaiah 49:4
4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.

2 Chronicles 15:7
7 Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

– Exodus 37:29
29 ¶And he made the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the workof the apothecary.

– Jeremiah 51:18
18 They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

2 Chronicles 2:18
18 And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.

– Psalms 33:15
15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.

– Ezekiel 33:26
26 Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour’s wife: and shall ye possess the land?

– Exodus 39:42
42 According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work.

– Exodus 39:43
43 And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.

Proverbs 21:8
8 The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.

Psalms 101:3
3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

– 2 Chronicles 4:11
11 And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;

– Lamentations 3:64
64 ¶Render unto them a recompence, O Lord, according to the work of their hands.

 

 

 

Old Testament Demonstration of Grace for Salvation

 

 

 

 

Grace is the work God does for us. “Works” are the things we do for God.
Old Testament scriptures on grace show that God is unchanging, not just nice in New Testament, not just mean in the Old, but the same yesterday today and forever.

This is to show how grace of God has always played a role with God’s people and their salvation.

For a document on scriptures commanding works from the New Testament, see my document “The Imploring God of the New Testament: Scripture References”
This refutes the idea that God was mean in the Old Testament and just nice in the New Testament / without any real requirements or expectations.

– Psalms 86:8
8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.

– Psalms 143:5
5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

– Psalms 92:4
4 For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

– Habakkuk 1:5
5 ¶Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work awork in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

– Isaiah 28:21
21 For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.

– Isaiah 29:14
14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

– Exodus 31:15
in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

–Leviticus 23:3
the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
– Exodus 35:2
on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.

– Psalms 26:7
7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

– 5 ¶And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make.

6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.

7 For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.

– Exodus 40:33
33 And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.

– 2 Kings 19:18
18 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

– Jeremiah 50:25
25 The Lord hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

– Deuteronomy 33:11
11 Bless, Lord, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.

– Psalms 28:5
5 Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

– Isaiah 54:16
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

– Proverbs 16:11
11 A just weight and balance are the Lord’s: all the weights of the bag are his work.

– Isaiah 17:8
8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.

– Psalms 135:15
15 The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, thework of men’s hands.

– Psalms 102:25
25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.

– Psalms 73:28
28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

– Jeremiah 17:22
22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

– Psalms 104:13
13 He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

– Psalms 104:31
31 The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.

– Job 1:10
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

– Psalms 75:1
1 Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

– Psalms 139:14
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

– Numbers 28:18
18 In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein:

– Numbers 28:25
25 And on the seventh day ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work.

– Isaiah 64:8
8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

– Psalms 106:13
13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:

– Ps. 106:21-22 21 They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;

22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.

– Ps. 106:24 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:

– Psalms 77:11
11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

– Psalms 77:12
12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

– Psalms 145:4
4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

– Psalms 145:5
5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

– Psalms 145:9
9 The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

– Exodus 5:4
4 And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from theirworks? get you unto your burdens.

– Genesis 2:3
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his workwhich God created and made.

– Psalms 46:8
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

– Ecclesiastes 1:14
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

– Isaiah 37:19
19 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

– Isaiah 41:24
24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.

– Isaiah 41:29
29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.

– Micah 5:13
13 Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.

– Psalms 118:17
17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

– Psalms 17:4
4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

– Isaiah 43:13
13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

– Job 34:19
19 How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.

– Proverbs 8:22
22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

– Leviticus 23:8
… in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

– Leviticus 23:25
25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

– Leviticus 23:28
28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.

– Leviticus 23:30
30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

– Leviticus 23:31
31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

–Leviticus 23:35

35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein

– Job 36:24
24 Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.

– Ecclesiastes 7:13
13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

– Habakkuk 2:18
18 ¶What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?

– Psalms 9:1
1 I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

– Jeremiah 10:3
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

– Psalms 64:9
9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the workof God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

–Deuteronomy 32:4
4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
– Nehemiah 6:9
9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

– Nehemiah 6:14
14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.

– Isaiah 49:4
4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.

– Psalms 66:3
3 Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

– Psalms 66:5
5 Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

Jeremiah 51:10
10 The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.
– Psalms 33:4
4 For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obedience – Teachings of the Prophets

 

 

 

-“The question is frequently asked, “Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances? I would answer, No, not the fullness of salvation. Jesus said, There are many mansions in my Father’s house, and I will go and prepare a place for you. House here named should have been translated kingdom; and any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law too.

“If a man gets a fullness of the priesthood of God he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 331, 308.)

-Joseph Smith told the brethren that it was time that the prophecy of the hearts turning to the fathers it is time for such; he told them to pray for it until they receive it; one brother prayed for it each morning at a time set apart for such and he eventually a feeling encompassed him about how he is nothing compared to God and a conviction that to get salvation he needs to be exactly obedient. (see Personal Glimpses of the Prophet Joseph Smith complied by Hyrum L Andras and Helen May Andrus)

-by obedience Jesus won (LDS Hymnal)

– Jesus was baptized to witness that he would obey the father in all (2 Nephi 31 The Book of Mormon)

-the earth is more obedient than man because it obeys God (quote Mosiah)

 

 

 

Prophets Identify A Great Terror: Decreasing Sabbath Observance & Scriptural Awareness

 

 

 

-“it has been frightening to me to see the churches closed, boarded up, with weeds growing in the yard, or open but empty. We face the frightening thought of a generation raised without any contact with scripture.” ((Elder Boyd K. Packer, ‘The Only True and Living Church’, Conference Report, Oct. 1971 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1971/10/the-only-true-and-living-church?lang=eng&query=only+true+church#watch=video)

-“When a community or nation grows careless in its Sabbath activities, its religious life decays and all aspects of life are negatively affected. The blessings associated with keeping the Sabbath day holy are lost. We should refrain from shopping on the Sabbath and participating in other commercial and sporting activities that now commonly desecrate the Sabbath. Latter-day Saints should set this holy day apart from activities of the world by entering into a spirit of worship, thanksgiving, service, and family-centered activities appropriate to the Sabbath. As Church members endeavor to make their Sabbath activities compatible with the intent and Spirit of the Lord, their lives will be filled with joy and peace.” (Preach My Gospel: What Should I Study And Teach: The Commandments: Keep the Sabbath Day Holy; https://www.lds.org/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/lesson-4-the-commandments?lang=eng)

 

President Hinckley Outlines our Top 4 Priorities

 

 

  1. Family 2. Employer 3. Lord’s work 4. Ourselves

“Each of us has a fourfold responsibility. First, we have a responsibility to our families. Second, we have a responsibility to our employers. Third, we have a responsibility to the Lord’s work. Fourth, we have a responsibility to ourselves.

 

First, it is imperative that you not neglect your families. Nothing you have is more precious. Your wives and your children are deserving of the attention of their husbands and fathers. When all is said and done, it is this family relationship which we will take with us into the life beyond. To paraphrase the words of scripture, ‘What shall it profit a man though he serve the Church faithfully and lose his own family?’ (see Mark 8:36).

Together with them, determine how much time you will spend with them and when. And then stick to it. Try not to let anything interfere. Consider it sacred. Consider it binding. Consider it an earned time of enjoyment.

Keep Monday night sacred for family home evening. Have an evening alone with your wife. Arrange some vacation time with the entire family.

 

Two, to your business or your employer. You have an obligation. Be honest with your employer. Do not do Church work on his time. Be loyal to him. He compensates you and expects results from you. You need employment to care for your family. Without it you cannot be an effective Church worker.

 

Three, to the Lord and His work. Budget your time to take care of your Church responsibilities. Recognize first that every officer has many helpers, as we have been reminded today. The stake president has two able counselors. The presidency has a high council of dedicated and able men. They have clerks as they need them. Every bishop has counselors. They are there to lift the burdens of his office from his shoulders. He has a ward council, together with others to whom he may and must delegate responsibility. He has the members of his ward, and the more he can delegate to them, the lighter will be his burden and the stronger will grow their faith.

Every priesthood quorum president has counselors, as well as the membership of the quorum. It is so with the Relief Society. No bishop can expect to fill the shoes of his Relief Society president in ministering to the needs of the members of this ward.

 

Four, every Church leader has an obligation to himself. He must get needed rest and exercise. He needs a little recreation. He must have time to study. Every Church officer needs to read the scriptures. He needs time to ponder and meditate and think by himself. Wherever possible he needs to go with his wife to the temple as opportunity permits”

 

(President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Rejoicing in the Privilege to Serve,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, June 2003, 22–23).

 

Scriptures Study Techniques from Elder Bednar 

 

 

Sequential Scripture Study: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2015-01-0900-studying-the-scriptures-sequentially?lang=eng

and here’s some more how-to scripture study advice from Elder Bednar

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-07-1050-advice-for-studying-the-scriptures?lang=eng

Here is an excerpt from Elder Bednar addressing 3 ways to study scripture:

“I now want to review with you three basic ways or methods of obtaining living water from the scriptural reservoir: (1) reading the scriptures from beginning to end, (2) studying the scriptures by topic, and (3) searching the scriptures for connections, patterns, and themes. Each of these approaches can help satisfy our spiritual thirst if we invite the companionship and assistance of the Holy Ghost as we read, study, and search.

Reading a book of scripture from beginning to end initiates the flow of living water into our lives by introducing us to important stories, gospel doctrines, and timeless principles. This approach also enables us to learn about major characters in the scriptures and the sequence, timing, and context of events and teachings. Reading the written word in this way exposes us to the breadth of a volume of scripture. This is the first and most fundamental way of obtaining living water.

Studying by topic typically follows, grows out of, and builds upon our reading of the scriptures from beginning to end…

Focusing upon such questions and studying by topic, using the Topical Guide and index to the triple combination, allow us to dig into and explore the depth of the scriptures and obtain a much richer spiritual knowledge. This approach increases the rate at which living water flows into our lives.

Both reading from beginning to end and studying by topic are prerequisites to the third basic method of obtaining living water from the scriptural reservoir. Whereas reading a book of scripture from beginning to end provides a basic breadth of knowledge, studying by topic increases the depth of our knowledge. Searching in the revelations for connections, patterns, and themes builds upon and adds to our spiritual knowledge by bringing together and expanding these first two methods; it broadens our perspective and understanding of the plan of salvation.

In my judgment, diligently searching to discover connections, patterns, and themes is in part what it means to “feast” upon the words of Christ. This approach can open the floodgates of the spiritual reservoir, enlighten our understanding through His Spirit, and produce a depth of gratitude for the holy scriptures and a degree of spiritual commitment that can be received in no other way…”

(Elder David A Bednar, “The Scriptures: A Reservoir of Living Water”, CES Fireside for Young Adults, February 4, 2007 BYU; https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/david-a-bednar_reservoir-living-water/)

 

 

Prophets Say an Hour of Scripture Study Daily is Ideal

 

It is the privilege and duty of every latter-day saint to spend an hour in the scriptures each day. This is my opinion. I have heard brethren declare that an hour in the scriptures is ideal. Let us reach for that ideal. Though circumstances could justify a different standard, let us take time to be holy, then boldly kneel before the Lord and say “Lord, thou hast assigned me this task which I have completed. Now, help thou me in the rest.” Then the power of God is activated, and all things work together for good for this soul who loves God.

“I promise you that as you consistently give the Lord a generous portion of your time, He will multiply the remainder.” (Russel M Nelson, “Becoming True Millennials”, An Evening with President Russell M. Nelson, Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults, January 10, 2016, Brigham Young University–Hawaii, https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-devotionals/2016/01/becoming-true-millennials?lang=eng)

Here are 3 quotes of the brethren suggesting an hour or half hour for scripture study each day:

-“We should not be haphazard in our reading but rather develop a systematic plan for study. There are some who read to a schedule of a number of pages or a set number of chapters each day or week. This may be perfectly justifiable and may be enjoyable if one is reading for pleasure, but it does not constitute meaningful study. It is better to have a set amount of time to give scriptural study each day than to have a set amount of chapters to read. Sometimes we find that the study of a single verse will occupy the whole time… It would be ideal if an hour could be spent each day; but if that much cannot be had, a half hour on a regular basis would result in substantial accomplishment. A quarter of an hour is little time, but it is surprising how much enlightenment and knowledge can be acquired in a subject so meaningful. The important thing is to allow nothing else to ever interfere with our study (President Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Nov. 1979, 64, emphasis added).

– “You should care more about the amount of time you spend in the scriptures than about the amount you read in that time. I see you sometimes reading a few verses, stopping to ponder them, carefully reading the verses again, and as you think about what they mean, praying for understanding, asking questions in your mind, waiting for spiritual impressions, and writing down the impressions and insights that come so you can remember and learn more. Studying in this way, you may not read a lot of chapters or verses in a half hour, but you will be giving place in your heart for the word of God, and He will be speaking to you” (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Ensign, May 2004, 11).

-“If possible, set a consistent time and place to study when you can be alone and undisturbed…As I think about your schedules and the pressures you face at this time in your lives, I can understand why scripture study can so easily be neglected. You have many demands pulling at you. In some cases, just maintaining your social life is a full-time occupation. But I plead with you to make time for immersing yourselves in the scriptures. Couple scripture study with your prayers. Half an hour each morning privately studying, pondering, and communicating with your Heavenly Father can make an amazing difference in your lives. It will give increased success in your daily activities. It will bring increased alertness to your minds. It will give you comfort and rock-steady assurance when the storms of life descend upon you” (Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Be Strong in the Lord…” http://speeches.byu.edu).

Supposedly Elder Bruce R McConkie said we should study the scriptures 4 hours a day, one hour for each of the standard works. Love it!

 

 

Scripture Study – Teachings of the Prophets

 

-Studying one verse of scripture for 45 minutes is often the most enriching form of scripture study. (Elder Neil A. Maxwell of the 12 Aposltes; ask Stake President Chad R. Wilkenson of Saratoga Springs for the reference)

-“Perhaps you may ask me why I dwell on this . . . subject. In answer, why did the Lord dwell upon it forty-two years ago, if he did not want us, in some measure, to understand it? Would he speak at random? Would he give a revelation without expecting that the people would even try to understand it? If the Lord wished us to understand something, and condescended to reveal something, why should we . . . think that we are stepping over our bounds in trying to comprehend approximately what the Lord desired us to understand . . . It is an old sectarian whim and notion, to suppose that we must not try to understand revelation.

. . . . Do not suppose, however, that those first principles [of the gospel] are the only ones to be learned; do not become stereotyped in your feelings, and think that you must always dwell upon them and proceed no further. If there be knowledge concerning the future, . . . the present, . . .[the] past, or any species of knowledge that would be beneficial to the mind of man, let us seek it; and that which we cannot obtain by using the light which God has placed within us, by using our reasoning powers, by reading books, or by human wisdom alone, let us seek to a higher source—to that Being who is filled with knowledge, and who has given laws to all things and who, in his wisdom, goodness, justice and mercy, controls all things according to their capacity, and according to the various spheres and conditions in which they are placed.” (Orson Pratt, March 14, 1875, Salt Lake City, 16th Ward, reported by David W. Evans)

-“It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.” (D&C 131:6)

-“When God offers a blessing or knowledge to a man, and he refuses to receive it, he will be damned.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 323)

-Elder Holland said nothing substitutes for time in the scriptures themselves regardless of good commentaries we can read (from his “Christ and the New Covenant” book recently published)

-“It is a paradox that men will gladly devote time every day for many years to learn a science or art; yet will expect to win a knowledge of the Gospel which comprehends all sciences and arts, through perfunctory glances at books or occasional listening to sermons.” (Elder John A Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, 1951)

– “It is a paradox that men will gladly devote time every day for many years to learn a science or an art; yet will expect to win a knowledge of the gospel, which comprehends all sciences and arts, through perfunctory glances at books or occasional listening to sermons. The gospel should be studied more intensively than any school or college subject. They who pass opinion on the gospel without having given it intimate and careful study are not lovers of truth, and their opinions are worthless.” (John A. Widtsoe, [1872–1952] of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Evidences and Reconciliations, p.16-17)

-“Let there be study of the scriptures at least thirty minutes of each day” (Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Harold B. Lee, p.59).

-“We should not be haphazard in our reading but rather develop a systematic plan for study. There are some who read to a schedule of a number of pages or a set number of chapters each day or week. This may be perfectly justifiable and may be enjoyable if one is reading for pleasure, but it does not constitute meaningful study. It is better to have a set amount of time to give scriptural study each day than to have a set amount of chapters to read. Sometimes we find that the study of a single verse will occupy the whole time… It would be ideal if an hour could be spent each day; but if that much cannot be had, a half hour on a regular basis would result in substantial accomplishment. A quarter of an hour is little time, but it is surprising how much enlightenment and knowledge can be acquired in a subject so meaningful. The important thing is to allow nothing else to ever interfere with our study (President Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Nov. 1979, 64, emphasis added).

-“There is a power in the book [of Mormon] which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of [it.] You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ (see D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance (President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1986, 7).

-“The only way you can be sure that a busy schedule doesn’t crowd out scripture study is to establish a regular time to study the scriptures” (President Henry B. Eyring Ensign, July 2005, 24).

-“You will be taught more easily as you approach the scriptures if you search with a question and with a determination to act on the answer. We can receive what seems to us new truth when we go back to the same scripture with new questions” (President Henry B. Eyring, Ensign Jan. 2002, 32).

-“We are counseled and urged to read the four standard works from beginning to end. You should do that—read each of the four books of scripture from beginning to end more than once. You could hardly use your time to more advantage” (Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Dec. 1985, 50).

-“We often hear…that the scriptures have the answers to all of our questions. Why is this so?…Reading…the scriptures will…put us in a position where we can obtain inspiration to answer any doctrinal or personal question, whether or not that question directly concerns the subject we are studying in the scriptures. That is a grand truth not understood by many….Again, even though the scriptures contain no words to answer our specific personal questions, a prayerful study of the scriptures will help us obtain such answers” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Studying the Scriptures,” Fireside given November 24, 1985).

-“I have heard many well-intentioned Church leaders and teachers instruct congregations to find time for daily scripture study, ‘even if it’s only one or two verses per day.’ Though I understand the point they are trying to teach and applaud the sincerity of that conviction, may I gently suggest that if we are too busy to spend at least a few minutes every day in the scriptures, then we are probably too busy and should find a way to eliminate or modify whatever activities are making that simple task impossible” (Elder M. Russell Ballard, When Thou Art Converted, 68).

-“If possible, set a consistent time and place to study when you can be alone and undisturbed…As I think about your schedules and the pressures you face at this time in your lives, I can understand why scripture study can so easily be neglected. You have many demands pulling at you. In some cases, just maintaining your social life is a full-time occupation. But I plead with you to make time for immersing yourselves in the scriptures. Couple scripture study with your prayers. Half an hour each morning privately studying, pondering, and communicating with your Heavenly Father can make an amazing difference in your lives. It will give increased success in your daily activities. It will bring increased alertness to your minds. It will give you comfort and rock-steady assurance when the storms of life descend upon you” (Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Be Strong in the Lord…” http://speeches.byu.edu).

-“I suggest that you memorize scriptures that touch your heart and fill your soul with understanding. When scriptures are used as the Lord has caused them to be recorded, they have intrinsic power that is not communicated when paraphrased. Sometimes when there is a significant need in my life, I review mentally scriptures that have given me strength. There is great solace, direction, and power that flow from the scriptures, especially the words of the Lord” (Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov. 1999, 87).

-“Please…read more slowly and more carefully and with more questions in mind…Ponder, [and] examine every word, every scriptural gem…Hold it up to the light, and turn it, look and see what’s reflected and refracted there…such an examination may unearth a treasure hidden in a field: a pearl of great price; a pearl beyond price” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Summer 1992 CES Satellite Broadcast, 4).

-“My experience suggests that a specific and scheduled time set aside each day and, as much as possible, a particular place for study greatly increase the effectiveness of our searching through the scriptures” (Elder David A. Bednar, “Understanding the importance of scripture study,” http://byui.edu/presentations).

– “You should care more about the amount of time you spend in the scriptures than about the amount you read in that time. I see you sometimes reading a few verses, stopping to ponder them, carefully reading the verses again, and as you think about what they mean, praying for understanding, asking questions in your mind, waiting for spiritual impressions, and writing down the impressions and insights that come so you can remember and learn more. Studying in this way, you may not read a lot of chapters or verses in a half hour, but you will be giving place in your heart for the word of God, and He will be speaking to you” (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Ensign, May 2004, 11).

 

 

 

Taking Care of Others Before Yourself: Excerpts from “Fear Not to Do Good” by Henry B Eyring

 

 

 

Oct. 2017 General Conference

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/fear-not-to-do-good?lang=eng

Because they have no doubt He watches over them, they become fearless. They ignore their own trials to go to the relief of others. And they do so out of love for the Lord, asking no recompense.

When the Teton Dam broke, a Latter-day Saint couple was traveling, miles away from their home. As soon as they heard the news on the radio, they hurried back to Rexburg. Rather than going to their own home to see if it was destroyed, they went looking for their bishop. He was in a building that was being used as the recovery center. He was helping to direct the thousands of volunteers who were arriving in yellow school buses. The couple walked up to the bishop and said, “We just got back. Bishop, where can we go to help?” He gave them the names of a family. That couple stayed mucking out mud and water in one home after another. They worked from dawn to dark for days. They finally took a break to go see about their own home. It was gone in the flood, leaving nothing to clean up. So they turned around quickly to go back to their bishop. They asked, “Bishop, do you have someone for us to help?” That miracle of quiet courage and charity—the pure love of Christ—has been repeated over the years and across the world.

If you read the journal entries of those pioneers, you see the miracle of faith driving out doubt and fear. And you read of Saints leaving their own interests to help someone else for the Lord, before getting back to their own sheep or to their own unplowed fields.

Challenges and the opportunities ahead will require even more.

We cannot foresee the details, but we know the larger picture. We know that in the last days, the world will be in commotion. We know that in the midst of whatever trouble comes, the Lord will lead faithful Latter-day Saints to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. And we know that the Lord’s true disciples will be worthy and prepared to receive Him when He comes again. We need not fear.

Opposition will strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ, as it has since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Faith always defeats fear. Standing together produces unity.

 

 

 

Self-Mastery by Elder Russel M Nelson – Lecture Highlights

 

 

General Conference Oct 1985. For audio and video of this message, click here or use this URL: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1985/10/self-mastery?lang=eng

-FASTING & CRAVINGS: “Fasting gives you confidence to know that your spirit can master appetite… Fasting fortifies discipline over appetite and helps to protect against later uncontrolled cravings and gnawing habits…
-ALCOHOL: “In order to avoid water that might be contaminated, we were even counseled to brush our teeth with an alcoholic beverage. We chose not to follow that counsel, but simply did what we had learned to do once a month. We fasted that first day, thinking we could introduce simple food and fluids gradually thereafter. Later, we were the only ones in our group without disabling illness
-STIMULANTS: “as you develop courage to say no to alcohol, tobacco, and other stimulants, you gain additional strength. You can then refuse conspiring men—those seditious solicitors of harmful substances or smut. You can reject their evil enticements to your body.
If you yield to anything that can addict, and thus defy the Word of Wisdom, your spirit surrenders to the body. The flesh then enslaves the spirit. This is contrary to the purpose of your mortal existence. And in the process of such addiction, your life span is likely to be shortened, thereby reducing the time available for repentance by which your spirit might attain self-mastery over your body…
-CHASTITY: “Shakespeare expressed such self-conflict as one of his characters contemplating conquest in lust spoke these lines:
What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?

A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy.

Who buys a minute’s mirth to wail a week?

Or sells eternity to get a toy?

For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy?

– EXERCISE: “I would not want you to neglect your body. It deserves daily care. Physical conditioning through regular exercise requires self-mastery too. I marvel at Elder Joseph Anderson, now in his ninety-sixth year. For decades, the strength of his spirit over his body has induced him to swim regularly. But his motivation has never been to attain physical longevity. That has come only incidentally. His desire has been to serve God and His anointed. Elder Anderson has followed what I label as the Lord’s prescription for a long and useful life. Those faithful in “magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become … the elect of God.” (D&C 84:33–34.) Elder Anderson’s exercise program agrees with the perspective of Paul, who said: “Bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (1 Tim. 4:8.) Handsome and fit, Elder Anderson personifies this scripture: “Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor. 6:20.)

-ENTERTAINMENT & SPEECH: It really matters what you listen to, what you look at, what you think, say, and do. Select music that will strengthen your spirit. Control your speech; keep it free from profanity and vulgarity. Follow the teachings of this proverb: “My mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing … perverse in them.” (Prov. 8:7–8.)

-LONELINESS, DEATH, & SERVICE:  “I’m lonely, but I’m not lonesome.” Do you know what he meant? Though he was now without his sweetheart, he was so busy assisting family and friends, he had replaced sorrow with service and had displaced self-pity with selfless love.

 

Prophets Teach Sabbath Observance Standards (pending)

 

 

 

 

On Situational Ethics: Oh No You Don’t!

 

 

Sections:

  1. A GREAT CHANGE HAS COME OVER US,WE HAVE FORGOTTEN GOD’S LAW
  2. IT’S NOT RIGIDITY, IT’S FAITHFULNESS
  3. WE ARE NOT RESPONCIBLE FOR THE CHOICES OF OTHERS, ONLY FOR OUR OWN
  4. DON’T ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL
  5. JUST BECAUSE IT’S LEGAL DOESN’T MAKE IT OK
  6. REVELATIONS FROM GOD NEVER CONTRADICT ETERNAL LAWS
  7. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY
  8. ZION OR BUST
  9. A PRECAUTIONARY NOTE ON MERCY
  10. FINAL THOUGHTS: PASS THE TEST OF LIFE VALIENTLY

 

A GREAT CHANGE HAS COME OVER US, WE HAVE FORGOTTEN GOD’S LAW:

 

Since when did we become a bunch of Communists and socialists?

Since when did we forget that we have made solemn covenants with God to obey his laws at all hazard?

 

Since when did we throw away our moral code of commitment to the laws of God in place of convenience?

 

If you had to do something bad but it gave you something good would you do it?

 

Does the end justify the means?

 

There was once a woman in a prisoner of war camp. Her husband and children were back at home. There was a rule in that camp that if a woman became pregnant she would get to go home; well, there were military officers who could accommodate the means to that end. Should she sleep with the guards to get pregnant so she could return home to her husband and children? What would you do? What if it was your spouse? This woman chose to become pregnant and she was in fact sent home. This woman made the wrong choice. Perhaps she was ignorant of the laws of God and God will have to take that into account, but among those who know the laws of God, we know this is strictly forbidden. The husband and children of this woman would have been better off having her as a legacy of right choices who died than having her come home by questionable means. Yes the children need a mother but if she was to die the husband could have married another woman and given the children the mother they need in that way.

 

As I said, this woman may not have been familiar with the laws of God. If not, she may have been doing what seemed best to her. But what happens if everyone does this? What happens if we have societies of people doing what they think is best instead of obeying Gods laws? If everyone is willing to trade sexual favors and other debaucheries for freedom and convenience, what then? Then we would have a society run by manipulators who take advantage of that. We need to stand up and show people that they can’t have power from abuse. We live in a corrupt world, but we do not need to add to the corruption.

 

Gods laws will, at the last day, be seen by all as the one and only great moral code by which societies can thrive long term. Truly Gods ways are the most compassionate and beneficial for the human race. If we want to have pity on the widow and orphan, if we want peace on earth and to meet the needs of them that want, we must go about it in the Lords way. His ways are higher than ours. When our plans and methods for building utopia go against his revealed word, they will, in time, prove to be inferior and unsustainable.

 

Even for those without formal religious training and religious backgrounds, everyone has a conscience. This is the light of Christ, and it is given to every person that comes into the world. If we ignore it, it can cease to show us the difference between right and wrong. No matter how ignorant or neglected, there is a level of accountability each person has to God due to the conscience which God gives everyone. When societies in mass start rejecting conscience in favor of lesser ways, God mercifully sends his judgments to help societies start over, lest the rising generation not be given a fair chance to live a wholesome and happy life.

 

I will note here that little children are innocent before God, as the faculties for discernment between good and evil are not yet sufficiently developed. Scripture gives the age of 8 as the age in which accountability to God begins. Children even younger than 8 need to be taught to make good choices rather than bad ones (as they are capable of making bad choices and do need to be punished for such), but it is not until a certain age that they are their own agents, and therefore accountable to God for those choices as being ones that stem out of their chosen personality rather than common errors of youth.

 

 

IT’S NOT RIGIDITY, IT’S FAITHFULNESS: 

 

Some call electing death before compromise as being rigid, but the faithful know that God requires brave people who will keep his laws. The New testament specifically says that if we will not confess Christ to others, Christ will not confess us to his father. In other words, denying one’s convictions results in being denied access to the kingdom of God.

 

History is replete with examples of people who stood up for what’s right despite of dire consequences. Foxes Book of The Martyrs relates accounts of thousands of most noble Protestants who saw it better to die than to betray their religious commitments. Both they and their families suffered greatly, but to them, it was worth it. An eternal award awaited them, and surely it does.

 

Communist school programs ask children questions which force them into a corner to choose the lesser of two evils without presenting the right option as even being a choice. These scenarios are not only unrealistic but they fail to examine all of the possibilities. It is a doctrine of my faith as recorded by Nephi that God will always provide a way to keep his commandments. The New testament also reads that there is no trial come to us except that which is common to man, and with the temptation God will provide a way to escape.

 

Sometimes death is simply the right choice when compared to these extremes suggested by the communists.

 

 

WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHOICES OF OTHERS, ONLY FOR OUR OWN:

 

 

The 2nd Article of Faith states that we will be punished only for our own sins, and not for Adams transgression.

 

We are not responsible for other people’s actions. If someone threatens you saying that they will kill themselves if you do not comply this does not put any responsibility upon you for their death.

 

Working with others in the mental health field requires firm boundaries. If someone needs to talk to you about their suicidal thoughts, you accommodate them as much as you can, but at some point you have to say to them ‘look I’m sorry you’re going through this and I really hope you don’t do it but I’ve got to go to work, I wish you well.’ You have an obligation to your family and your employer to show up at work.

 

If someone were shamed of their ugliness and was about to jump off a bridge because of that, would you beg with them telling them of their immaculate beauty? No, but you could say something without lying, such as pointing out the beauty of their eyes smile and soul. It is not your job to give others false hope that certain mortal ailments will be resolved before the recompense of the great resurrection when all things become fair and blessed.

 

 

 

DON’T ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL:

 

 

To ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ is to do something bad in order to get a good result. However, this is not necessary, as I will here demonstrate.

 

A righteous parent allows its child to experience natural consequences. If a parent repeatedly robs its child of natural consequences, the sin of the child is put on the head of the parent. Youth who chose to use drugs, who chose to assault the innocent, who steal, and other severe and illegal behaviors, should be punished to the full extent of the law.

 

What if there was a medication that could save your child’s life but it costed a billion dollars? Would you steal the money or steal the drug to save your child’s life? The morally correct thing to do would be no, you do not do it. It’s better to let your child die than to steal. Try to find another way to help the child, but do not break God’s laws, lest you contribute to the downfall of the whole society.

 

 

JUST BECAUSE IT’S LEGAL DOESN’T MAKE IT OK:

 

 

If you have a child who would benefit from a certain political policy accommodating a certain medical condition or something, should you vote for that policy even with the knowledge that it would hurt thousands of others by unduly increasing their taxes etc.? In other words should you harm the many to benefit the one? The correct answer is no you should not. Voters have a moral duty to chose what is best for the most people.

 

We should not look to the government to provide for all of our needs and wants, however legitimate those needs may be. An individual robbing someone is as bad as a group of people getting together and voting to rob someone by law. Enforcement of corrupt law is mob activity and is morally incorrect.

 

When we find ourselves in a situation where the laws are corrupt we should seek by peaceful means to change those laws through the political process. When corruption becomes extreme and petitions have been ignored, the action taken by the American revolutionaries is a typical example of just resistance. This is not to be confused with the French revolution where in they chopped off heads of random citizens etc.

 

 

REVELATIONS FROM GOD NEVER CONTRADICT ETERNAL LAWS:

 

 

The question is raised what would you do if you got personal revelation to do something that is not typically allowed? It is true that some of God’s standards may seem strange to contemporary society but in none of God’s relations has he ever contradicted his eternal laws of justice.

 

In the case of plural marriage it was a revelation which opened access to one of the laws of God. This is not currently operable.

 

In the case of Nephi and Laban, The Book of Mormon gives the reasons why this took place. Laban was a tyrant monarch directly standing in the way of God’s plan. His policies were directly resulting in an untold number of people perishing in unbelief.

 

As for the Israelites being commanded to slay the Canaanites, God did not want Israel to enjoy the spoils of these deeply wicked people. God was sending a message that all of the works of the evildoers will be utterly cut off, and that all time invested in evil is an utter waste.

 

Why does God have people participate in carrying out his judgments at times? Because he is training us to be involved in justice. He does this because we aren’t his pets or his slaves, we are his children, and it’s about time that we start learning the family business.

 

God is the keeper of life and death. It resides with him to decide when to give life and when to take it away, and people carrying out God’s will are not to blame.

 

People need to be careful that they’re not acting on false revelation and serving false spirits, such as was the case in the Protestant Reformation when many Christians were tortured and killed in most brutal ways. Surely those carrying out and issuing such orders are both under condemnation. It is better to walk away from such evil at the hazard of one’s life than to be a participant in it.

 

We are also aware that the Hebrew tongue in which the bible was written has two separate words for kill and murder, and the one existing in the ten commandments is the word for murder.

 

Self-defense, defense of one’s family, and defensive one’s country, even to the shedding of blood, is just, true, and scriptural. Here I am referring to someone directly attacking your immediate life. It is not the Lord’s way to lay down and die in front of attackers. His way is to defend oneself. There are rare exception to this when commanded. The holy constitution of the United States insists that we have an inborn right to arms to defend ourselves. All of this being said, it in no way justifies using corrupt means to preserve life.

 

Yes there are some rare situations in which it is appropriate and Christian to kill. For more possible reasons visit this my other article “Why God Sometimes Instructs His People To Kill”  http://richardsonstudies.com/2018/01/27/reasons-god-people-kill-others/

 

 

THERE IS ANOTHER WAY:

 

 

The question of what is to be done when a person is at a railway station at a switch, and if the train goes one way it kills three people, and if it goes the other way it kills one person: If you choose to switch the rail car to the direction of the one, you’re not guilty for the death of that one, you’re only responsible for the salvation of the three. This being said, the railway situation is a bogus situation. It rarely occurs in real life, and as stated earlier, God would not tempt us in a situation above that which we are able to bear. The secular humanist also fails to recognize the priesthood option, where in the man of God can call down the powers of heaven to stop the train altogether.

 

In the book Enders game by Latter-Day Saint author Orson Scott Card, the main protagonist Ender kills another boy as he is defending himself, and in an attempt to stop people who bully him once and for all. Ender doesn’t realize his assault results in the death of the bully. Those observing Ender applaud him for doing this, saying that it was more about WHY he did what he did not WHAT he did. Well, I disagree with this. Though Ender was up against great corruption, there are other options he could have used, less lethal force, and at the end of the day, he may have had to endure some injustice. The bullies were bullying him and he reacted so forcefully that he killed them. (Now perhaps Ender had some level of innocence as he may have been truly unaware of the lethality of his actions, but the point still stands). A just end does not justify unjust means. We do not want a communist utopia where the leaders are ruthless killers. The book The Giver does a decent job of illustrating the flaws of such a utopia.

 

In Les Misérables by Victor Hugo a man steals a loaf of bread to feed his starving family. Would you do this? The correct answer is no, you should not. There are other ways to feed your family such as work, and even begging. But it is better to die hungry than to live a thief. Now were the French police justified in giving him such a large sentence for the crime? No. This being said, our current stance on crime could use to be much more strict.

 

Christ is the way, and his ways, being higher than ours, are often considered foolishness to men’s understanding. But the understanding of the prudent shall be hid when compared to the might of God’s law. God upholds justice, and mercy does not rob justice one whit. All crimes must be paid for. For those who agree to enter into covenant with Christ to obey his laws, Christ pays the debt of justice to eternal law which we have all incurred to one degree or another. Praise forever be to the lamb of God, who cleanses us and empowers us to become strong enough to obey all eternal law like He does!

 

 

ZION OR BUST:

 

 

It is better to live a life noble to the laws of God than a life of compromise. I would rather see my children martyred for standing up for Christ than to see them live to a ripe old age without a firm testimony of the gospel of Christ the Lord. As a father and husband I would rather serve my wife and children by showing them the importance of God’s laws even at the cost of my life than serving them with my company throughout their lives if it be not a high standard of moral convictions to the laws of God.

 

People who understand religious truth know that God’s ways are higher than man’s ways. They know that this life is a short time. It is a test to see if we will do all things whatsoever the Lord God will command as is stated in the book of Abraham. Some people live on this earth a long time, some people live on it only a short time, some people leave behind wealth, some people leave behind poverty, but what matters is whether or not we leave behind a testimony of the gospel of Christ, having stood firmly to it.

 

If a gun was pointed to your head and you were given the option to deny your faith and return home to your family to care for them in their poverty, or to speak the truth of your faith and die, which would you chose? In the name of God, stand up for your faith! Your wife and children, worlds without end, would rather be the wife and children of a righteous martyr than the wife and children of a coward.

 

I would sooner kill the man who threatened my life at the extent of my faith then to deny my faith. The scripture is clear when it states that to deny the Holy Ghost is a sin so grave that it cannot be forgiven in this life or the next. The greatest sin is to deny the Holy Ghost. When we deny our faith in exchange for our lives etc., I suggest we are in that instance denying the Holy Ghost which has born witness to us the truthfulness of our convictions about God and God’s law. (FYI The second greatest sin is to shed innocent blood. The third is to be unchaste with women.) May we not risk offense toward God.

 

 

 

 

A PRECAUTIONARY NOTE ON MERCY:

 

 

In this essay we have been discussing weighty matters such as whether we should keep the law of chastity, not steal, and not deny one’s faith when pressed into difficult situations. It should be noted that there is some flexibility in the more minor affairs. God has given each person agency to chose between good and evil. Sometimes we have to make a judgement call when things are uncertain. I recently watched “Gifted Hands” about a brilliant rags to riches neuro surgeon named Ben Carson. When we was still in training, a man needed urgent surgery, but not surgeons could be reached. It was a choice for Ben: should he do the surgery, however illegal, to save the man’s life? Well he did, and it was the right thing to do.

I talked about how those ignorant of Gods laws are held to a different standard. I would like to note that even those acquainted with Gods laws need to be looked upon with mercy. Were I in the dire situations mentioned in this essay, what I presented is the way I would chose to act. We tend to be harder on ourselves than we are on others, and this is as it should be, for we never know all the details of another person’s situation. When they do and don’t know, what state of mental and physical health they are in, how strong their testimony is, etc. We can fairly well discern what the optimal thing to do for most circumstances is, but we withhold judgement of others, as this is the role of Jesus Christ. Only He has all the needed details to judge righteously. We should judge inasmuch as it concerns us, but we should not attempt to judge the eternal salvation of others. Christ said we must judge righteously, and not throw pearls before swine. But being wise and careful is not the same as hating and condemning.

Before we came to earth, we knew we would make mistakes. The atonement was provided from before the foundation of the world so that we could indeed go forward with confidence. To use the piano allegory, we could practice without fearing striking a wrong key occasionally. Eventually we would learn to play flawlessly, but en route, we would make many errors. This being said, we must be careful when it comes to life death and moral questions. We are on this earth for a reason, and preserving life must be a top concern. We don’t do immoral things to preserve life, but we do EVERYTHING we possibly can. The question of war times and war-like scenarios comes up. ‘All is fair in war’ they say. There is perhaps some flexibility in how we discern what is best. As for doing things typically forbidden, you better be DARN sure that revelation came from God, as your soul is at stake. If you’re going to steal that bread to extend the life of your child, you better turn yourself in thereafter to pay the debt.

 

One Porter Rockwell story comes to mind where a guy was coming to town to kill him and the guy said “are you Porter Rockwell?” and Porter said “no but these are his dogs” and while the guy was getting ready to kill the dogs, Porter killed the guy. Brigham Young said Porter Rockwell is the most honest man he ever met. I imagine the people who are coming to kill Porter were coming to do so unlawfully, and his course of action was the only way to preserve his life. We spoke of this earlier, self-defense.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS: PASS THE TEST OF LIFE VALIENTLY

 

The scriptures do say this life is a test and that the battle is not against flesh and blood but against false philosophies etc. This being said, we should be very brave and willing to suffer greatly and even die for the truth.

The Doctrine and Covenants states that those who are deceived get the second Glory. It’s those who are valiant in their testimony that get the highest glory. God is merciful to everyone, but it’s only the faithful to get the highest glory. My understanding is that this means for those of us who know better, we really do need to stand up for what’s right. The lower kingdoms of glory are fantastic places, and that is an expression of God’s mercy, but we want the highest glory. The Christian Martyrs knew that they were receiving a crown of glory for standing up for the faith even when people were going to kill them for it.

 

Brad Wilcox gave a fine lecture titled “His Grace is Sufficient” where he talks about the abundant role of grace in the plan of salvation. You’ll certainly want to review it. There’s also a talk in the October 2020 general conference which made it quite clear that God not only expects us to try, but expects us to achieve. And not just in the next life, but in this life. He said this is evidenced by those who have attained many Christlike attributes in this life, and if they can do it, so can we.

 

Life is a Pickle

 

 

 

 

SECTION 1:

 

Mortality is like a perpetual scenario of Adam and Eve: struggling to decide what to do to please God when it seems there is no easy way out. We must choose between hard decisions daily and deal with not being able to accomplish all we wanted to. It’s critical that as we make these choices; we pray daily for God to forgive us for not being able to do more. We recommit to make everything better and beg forgiveness for the status quo mess that we have made. In the status quo mess, we can’t always make the ‘what would Jesus do’ choice because Jesus wouldn’t have got himself into that mess in the first place! Of course in every scenario there is a good better and best way to handle things, and that is generally what we mean by ‘do what Jesus would do’, but my point is that sometimes there is no black and white answer.

Perhaps there is always a black and white answer, but it is sufficiently hidden to us so as to test us. What good is a test if the solution manual is always provided to the student? Why ask us to believe if God shows up every 5 minutes? Indeed, pre-mortality was the school, and mortality is the short placement exam! Though we think life is not fair and wonder how this life could be an eternal placement test, God designed the test, and we are getting EXACTLY what we want out of life. There are no coincidences, our small daily choices are perfectly reflected in our life circumstances, attitudes, etc. Truly at the judgement day, all will confess to God “thy judgments are just”. He will recognize fully well that he has given us billions of chances to show our true colors, and our true colors will show indeed!

 

SECTION 2:

 

Some hold that rather than a test, life is like a school, or an apprenticeship. This is a beautiful perspective which highlights the companionship of God, God’s desires for us to become like him, and the overall mercy and tutoring God includes in our mortal experience. But it remains true that based on our choices in this life, we will be placed in either the celestial terrestrial or telestial kingdom of glory. This being said, life is, among other things, a test.

Progress in the spirit world after this life isn’t an excuse to procrastinate preparations. Alma makes it clear that this life is the time to prepare to meet God, the time to perform our labors. The gospel teaching in the spirit world is focused on those who didn’t have the opportunity to receive it here. We won’t be perfect by the time we meet death, and we will have progress to make after death, but to think that a person walking south will turn around and walk north just because death has arrived is a sectarian notion rejected by the master. Yes Ecclesiastes speaks of being able to turn around until death, but the modern way this is depicted in many Christian religions is that an enemy to God can say on his deathbed that he is sorry, and somehow qualify for the great glories of God. For example, one Christian movie titled “God’s not Dead” features a devout atheist professor who spent his life tearing down faith. Near the end of the movie he gets hit by a car and while his lungs fill with blood he says in effect ‘I’m so scared, I’m an atheist. OK I accept Jesus’. Then the preacher rejoices and claims his soul saved. This is like spiritually debt reckless spending followed by declaring bankruptcy. Just because you filed for bankruptcy doesn’t mean you’re ‘saved’ You have lots to learn about financial/spiritual wisdom, you have not yet taken upon you the countenance of Christ in righteously governing that which has been appointed to you. The Book of Mormon clarifies the doctrine of repentance in showing that various atheists who are about to die yet confess on their deathbeds that they lived in sin, aren’t much better off than when they were living in sin. Life is about becoming something, and deathbed repentance is void of that. Jesus taught this succinctly when he said, “Not everyone that saith ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter into my kingdom.”

A discussion on deathbed repentance usually goes to the thief on the cross. Modern revelation has shown that a better translation of this passage is ‘this day thou shalt be with me in the world of spirits.’ This suggests that rather than jumping into the same celestial boat as Christ’s disciples, this man is going to a place where he can learn of the lesser portion of God’s glory, which is still available to him. That availability will not be the same as what is available for those who used their lives for good, who stopped doing bad things, and became descent people, regardless of how much they did or didn’t know about God. Everyone has the light of Christ from birth, sometimes called a conscience, and how we have listened to or rejected that light will be the key factor at judgement day.

Recall that hell is temporary, a place of refining for the wicked, so they can be painfully purged and go to live in the lowest kingdom of glory, called the telestial kingdom. It’s still a place of glory, but it’s nowhere near as glorious as the two higher kingdoms, namely the terrestrial and the celestial. Those who enter the telestial kingdom essentially qualified for that in the premortal existence.

The only permanent hell is the place where Lucifer himself lives, along with the 1/3 who openly rejected God’s plan while staring God in the face in premortality, and the small handful of people in this life who knowingly reject God to a similar level in this life. Such rejection is a deeper evil than murder etc., and is often referred to as ‘denying the Holy Ghost’. Jesus said that those in this category receive not forgiveness in this life, nor the life to come (Matt. 12:32). These people not only speak against Christ, they speak against all holy things, they love evil and hate good.  For more scriptures about this group, see the LDS Guide to the Scriptures, topic of “Sons of Perdition” (at this link https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/sons-of-perdition?lang=eng). There is some information on this and other components of God’s plan found in the bible, but the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants have 100-fold information on these subjects.

Let us remember that Elder McConkie of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles taught in his discourse titled “The 7 Deadly Heresies” that if one rejects the missionaries in this life, they drop a kingdom, and can only qualify for the terrestrial in the life to come, not the celestial, notwithstanding work for the dead.

 

SECTION 3:

 

Perhaps some of our choices from where we stand can’t be perfect ones, but are simply the best given the circumstances. We do our best and beg forgiveness daily because we greatly need it daily. Never forget the holiness of god and the nothingness of man and the requirements of god upon man. Remember the angel that came to rebuke Joseph Smith for living beneath the expectations of God in his young trying days of getting the plates (actually all of his days were trying days) and think not that you are better than Joseph, that you are not worthy of rebuke. We are all worthy of rebuke. Our character lies in weather we stand up to it or run away from it in cowardice, hiding as it were under the rocks, kidding ourselves that judgement day will never come.

 

No one is exempt from some level of ambiguity in their day to day choices. God lets us chose. His will is sometimes our will. That’s what happened for Nephi (3rd Nephi). God told him ‘you figure it out I will back you wherever you go with this, let’s see what you’ve got kid. You can do it, I’ve been watching you. Stick around and check this out, you may even surprise yourself’.

 

Life is a pickle and who can get out? the answer is that no one can get out; the purpose of life is to see what you’re going to do when you’re in a pickle; we want to see what you do when there’s no right answer – what will you pick in the only options are to fail in one thing or two fail in something else. yes, you’ll see bits and pieces of success, and God will comfort you through your trials, but life IS a trial.

One good analogy of this is seen in Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, wherein Ender is judged not only based on what he did, but why he did it.

Another analogy to consider is the “Golden Parachute Clause” principle of corporate businesses. This is where a VIP employee is essentially considered to be so valuable, that he is allowed to make mistakes, even big mistakes, and not get fired. This doesn’t mean he comes out in forthright rebellion, no, he is always TRYING to make the right choice, it’s just that sometimes, he simply messes up. And when you’re in the driver’s seat and you mess up, consequences can be big. But he does so much good that it overwhelms the bad. The ripple effect of the good that he does is so much bigger than the ripple effect of the bad that he does, that the company would be at a great loss to get rid of him. In other words, the NET EFFECT you have on the world is GOOD. The end result of your presence on earth has been an overall increase in goodness, peace, prosperity, justice, mercy, love, etc.

 

Notes:

One thing that need not be ambiguous is our testimony of Jesus Christ and his restored gospel. Some remain ambiguous in this, but there is a gift of the spirit of not just believing these things but knowing them. Seek that gift!

The D&C even goes so far as to say we should covet spiritual gifts!

“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” -Jesus Christ

“This is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.” -Jesus Christ

 

 

 

Baptism

 

 

 

-The D&C says you may as well baptize  a bag of sand if the baptism isn’t done by proper authority, it is worthless, and you remain in an unbaptized state.

– Based on requirements for baptism from D&C 20:37, broken heart means will listen to God, contrite spirit means will obey God. Taking upon you the name of Christ it means to live as if you changed your name to Jesus Christ. To act like he would act.

-*On my mission when one accepted the invitation to baptism and I felt the fire marble stone in my chest quietly penetrate me, I knew that this was one of the most important things that she would be doing with her life.

-*Working with a family on my mission, they wanted their little boy of 9 years old to behave better before getting him baptized. We taught them that if he met the minimal requirements, his baptism would help him make it the rest of the way. We shared 2 Nephi 32:5 showing them that “after ye enter in by the way (baptism), the Holy Ghost will show you all things what you should do.”

-*A family on my mission told me their story of how this sister investigated the church for ten years before being baptized. She told me she learned more in the year after her baptism than all the ten years before her baptism. This is because the Holy Ghost is the mighty teacher, and that companionship has been promised for those who are baptized. John 3:5 relates the Savior teaching us to be born of water and of the spirit, this is the way.

-*earth at 8 God days old was baptized (7 in creation, 1 since Adam)? Circumcision was at 8 days also. It’s the sign of how you are for the Lord and Israel. Baptism is revealed today to be for those of 8 years of age or older who have faith.

-*Baptism only occurs once, for its sort of an indicatory ordinance of bringing you into the program. It’s only if your totally kicked out of the program (excommunicated from the church) that you need to be re-baptized.

-*Most powerful experiences I’ve had attempting to teach the doctrine of baptism have been from using the Book of Mormon.

-Illustrative lesson: shoe polish on hands, then don’t feel like holding the scriptures to get them dirty etc. We feel guilt. Then scrub hands. That hurts. It’s like repentance. Then we are able to dip them in water and it comes off. Like baptism after repentance. Also put on gloves like The Holy Ghost. Can take those gloves off at any time (like not living worthy of the company of the Holy Ghost), but so long as keep them on they’ll keep you from getting dirty, from sin.

-*Since baptism is Moses 6:58-60 shown to be a new birth like birth into this world, we see it is spiritual death to not be baptized!

-*Remembering our baptismal covenants is a good way to remember to act as if the Savior were beside us; remembering that changes the way we act.

– the first fruits of repentance are baptism. Must manifest by our works that we’re ready for baptism; so must repent, and the first fruit of that will be our baptism. That is what repenting yields. It yields that desire and willingness to be baptized. see D&C 20:37, Moroni 8:25.

 

 

Heart to the Fathers, not to Secularism: How remembering our Ancestors can save our Souls

 

 

 

The world likes to show how their ancestors were wrong; but the Lord says we should “turn our hearts to the fathers”. The world is interested in reinventing a new wheel, the Lord says repent. I’m not saying we should copy some of the bad of our ancestors or prejudice. I am saying we should ask ourselves, “How would my ancestors react if they saw the way I dress? The way I treat the holy scriptures? The way I treat my neighbor? The way I treat my kids and spouse? The way I use my money and free time?” I think most cases will bring us to better behavior if we think in this way. The Lord said that lest we do this, the earth will be “smitten with a curse.” (see book of Malachi)

Your family history work will greatly influence your family future work for the better!

You don’t have to reach back to Adam and Eve today. That will come, and sooner than you think, many have done it already. But you can focus on 4 generations back, and add pictures and stories etc. The Church has invested massive amounts of money to FamilySearch.org, a mighty program to make a safe keeping of these memories and stories, and family trees.

Note – Buy a 2’x3’ chart of 9 Generations already filled in from the database at FamilySearch.org at the BYU Family History Library for $7.

This social media forum may be helpful: LDS Genealogy and Family History (~1,700 members) https://www.facebook.com/groups/LDSGenealogists/

 

 

Agency Begins with Saying No

 

 

 

Ideas from BYU Family Life Professor Thomas Draper. I share these ideas with permission of the author.

This suggests that the power to meet our goals lies in our ability to say no to distractions, etc. We have the power to choose what we do. We are not powerless. Perhaps we should make “No” our new favorite word we tell ourselves.

 

Agency exists because we can say no despite what physiological reaction we have to stimulus. Professor Thomas Draper of BYU says in his SFL 290 class presentation 6 on critical thinking.

 

“First, it exists. Despite neuropsychological studies that say it is a self-flattering illusion.

Neurological studies are helpful, but usually  interpreted incompletely.”

 

He refers to Libet’s experiment on when we react to stimuli. Libet suggests that it’s just an illusion that we chose to do things, that we are powerless to stimuli.

 

“The beginning of agency is

saying “No” to what is starting to happen

In your body.” says Draper.

 

He continues, “No doubt, some actions are prefigured by neural impulses of Biology; Temptations; Natural man (or woman) Pre-decisions Habits”

 

Consider Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife.

 

Draper continues,

there are moral moments

more complex, unlike the simple hand and finger movements in the neuroscience experiments.

They cause us to pause and break

out of our everyday routine and do

a much more complex moral

evaluation, and take more complex

action.

 

The parable of the Good Samaritan

The baby in the road

 

Consider that “we get to choose our goals”

 

Sailor on the lake metaphor:

The boat = genetic endowment

The lake and the winds = the physical and social environments

The person sailing the boat = the moral agent

 

But after we do we must obey the laws that will get us to our goals.

Often not a lot of choice about how we must behave to get to the goal.

Saying “yes” to the goal means saying “no” to distractions & temptations.

 

Getting to the same goal can be harder for some people than others.

 

[due to]

 

Different genetics

 

Different social and

physical environment

 

But if is a moral goal one will have Divine help and grace to get there.

 

Earning Respect & God’s Universal Standards by Joel Skousen

 

 

 

The angle Skousen is getting at here is that though we love everyone, we don’t have to vote in their Babylonian political policies, and we don’t have to appreciate their lifestyles. For example, I don’t appreciate the lifestyles of pedophiles, or even homosexuals for that matter. Some of these are legal some aren’t, but there is a big movement right now for people to not only allow people to live how they choose, but to put a stamp of universal approval on every walk of life.

Here are brother Skousen’s words which put it so well, from from the World Affairs Brief by Joel Skousen, November 9, 2018 (worldaffairsbrief.com):

 

“Utah replaced compromising Republican Orrin Hatch with former presidential contender Mitt Romney, who is already showing signs of playing up to the establishment. In his post election remarks to the press his first order of business was pandering to the politically correct lobby“I believe [my victory] is a call for greater dignity, and respect. I believe it is an affirmation that regardless of one’s gender, or ethnicity, or sexual orientation, or race or place of birth, that we are equal, not only in the eyes of God, but also in the respect and dignity we are due from government and from our fellow Americans.”

Everyone seems to have bought into these kinds of “feel good” statements about universal tolerance, but let me explain why they are dead wrong.

1) Everyone is not entitled to our respect simply because of being a member of a protected class by the Left. Dignity and respect must be earned by one’s individual conduct, attitude and performance. And, the more correct our standards, the more difficult it is for people to gain our respect. But even though a person doesn’t come up to our respect, it doesn’t mean we don’t see their need for help, and extend a guiding hand of concern.

2) We are not all equal in the eyes of God, and God clearly does not respect everyone. Think of all the hundreds of old testament references to the fury of God—aimed at people who disregard his commands and abuse others. In fact, everyone is judged individually by God. Christian liberals often misinterpret the scripture statement about God, “not being a respecter of persons” to mean He doesn’t respect one person above another. This is not true. He clearly favors the righteous. What it really means is that he doesn’t play favorites in arbitrary ways. At its core, it means He judges everyone by the same uniform standards, thus ensuring fairness.

That is why there is no such thing as the “unconditional love” of God. How else do you explain Him calling the Pharisees “vipers, hypocrites, and whited Sepulchers” —that’s certainly no form of acceptance love. Neither is there unconditional acceptance by God just for being a member of any class or group. You must come up to His standards of purity of heart and righteousness or you cannot abide His presence. His rewards or consequences strictly match what you really are.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belief and Knowledge unto Obedience

 

 

 

 

The more I learn about nutrition the wiser choices I’m able to make since I go from believing to knowing that certain things are healthy, but I still know so little.

For example if I think a T-Rex is about to come to my house, I’ll probably leave. But if I know he is coming, I’ll leave immediately no questions even if it’s hard!

I must study and pray for an increased testimony of nutritional principles so i can put them into practice.

It’s the same way with the gospel: as we transition from belief to knowledge, we will more perfectly execute commandments. This life is a test because it’s so tricky to move from apathy to belief, and all the harder to move from belief to knowledge. However, it is possible. Elder McConkie said that when he baths the Savior’s feet with his fears, he will know no more certainly then than he does now that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of all mankind. There are others who similarly specifically have testified in General Conference that though they have not seen the Savior, they know that he lives, and they know him. Some say you can’t “know” the Book of Mormon is true, you can only believe. Well, Elder Holland and many others including I would certainly disagree with that.

 

 

 

 

 

Core Duties of Life in the 4 Quadrants: Body Mind Spirit Social

 

 

 

What are the Duties of Life? Here I’ve broken down what I could think of into the 4 categories of body spirit social mind.

Note: Elder Richard G Scott said to not be discouraged if we can’t do all of these at the same time.

We also should take breaks in evenings etc. even when all is not finished, lest we go crazy, relationships die, etc. This is what pioneers and disaster relief efforts were instructed to do by church leaders historically. Joseph Smith taught that you must unstring the bow from time to time, or it will lose its spring.

Body:

Regular BMI
Word of wisdom: don’ts & dos
Garden
Clean living space
Well groomed

Spirit:

Prayer
Scripture
Church & Church calling
Missions
Genealogy
Temple
Journal
Know Church history
Be aware of conflict between God’s kingdom and the kingdom of the Devil, and take a stand.

Social:

Serve neighbors
Fun time with kids, spouse, friends
Teach kids academics
Teach kids gospel
Teach kids work
Local politics, current events
Homemaking
Employment skill
Community events
Emergency Preparedness $, skill, supplies
Financial independence, taxes
Expose secret combinations

Mental:

Math
Science
Language
Fun to de-stress
Good grades (make the most of an education)
Pursue your talents

Core Priorities & Views for The Daily Religious Life

 

 

 

Sections:

Introduction

Education
Music

Preaching

Family

Vocation

Philosophy

Health

Friendships

Hope

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Primarily be known as a religious person. One who seeks religious skills, religious causes, religious language, religious recreation, etc.

EDUCATION:

Unlock new skills and feed curiosity.

Commit to lifelong learning, including reading books every day.

Commit to uniting the human family and unlocking The mysteries of the past through foreign language competency. Hebrew is the Lord’s language, emphasize learning and teaching it. If you know a foreign language, be committed to maintaining it and using it for good in the world.

Reject the false theories of evolution socialism and communism and recognize the duty to promote true science and government. Accept the religious world view as true wonderful and the exciting revolution that will change the world forever for a majestic future.

Believe in waking early, regularly exercising the body, and the daily reading of books, practicing instruments and languages, and searching the scriptures, as these things need daily practice to be attained.

MUSIC:

Value the power of music and dance to open the soul to joy and relationships. Commit to developing skill in musical instruments and wholesome dance.

PREACHING:

Be dedicated to preaching the gospel and defending church doctrines.

Become a latter-day saint philosopher. I ask bold questions and give bold answers. Publish findings in every feasible way to uplift the human race. Brigham Young Parley Pratt Hugh Nibly and many others endorse this mission. Not everyone will understand it or support it but the Holy Ghost drives one to it.

Above all studies & activities, these preside: the study of religion & the preaching thereof.

Make it relentlessly clear the why and how of living every gospel doctrine and standard in complete Holiness to the Lord and rejecting all false teachings.

Believe that are answers to the questions, that the evidence stands with the truth, and that the defender of the kingdom of God may become so well equipped that he can have no issue in defending every doctrine and practice of the people of Zion.

FAMILY:

Commit to putting marriage and parenting as top priorities. Invest time learning and playing with family. Treat family with respect friendliness and openness. Never resort to force and abuse in fulfilling family roles.

 

Each child needs time its parents regularly.

VOCATION:

Disavow the pursuit of wealth.

Believe in independence, self-reliance, and learning useful traits. Become familiar with invention which promotes the betterment of mankind. Believe in the importance of temporal labors and that all things should be kept in their proper order. Do not believe that it is the duty of a man to spend all his time in spiritual arguments, but rather to testify and declare doctrines of reality and let it stand, then move on to manage all the duties of life. Hobbies we choose to pursue must be useful, preferably on multiple levels.

Trust God will provide and aid daily in the pursuit of providing well, and that those who favor gods laws will ultimately come out on top.

 

Avoid priestcraft in all its forms. When it comes to the gospel, freely receive, then freely give.

PHILOSOPHY:

Commit to traditionalist not progressive philosophies. A religious world view as taught by the prophets.

Create the ideal. Do not blame the imperfections of others, but build despite handicaps of all kinds in family, self, and elsewhere. If there is beauty, create it. Mastery, discover it. Truth, uncover it. Joy, embrace it. Do not wait for Zion, but build it right here.

Avoid extremes. Seeing both sides of an argument. Avoid judging others. Love the taste of freedom, and seek the Lord.

HEALTH:

Nutrition and fitness are requirements of happiness. Animal products are not necessary in times of plenty and only for emergencies, & are connected with disease illness and misery. Reject the standard American diet as toxic & evil, and seek whole nutritious foods instead.

Personal health is not the top priority, and other duties often override the need for sleep. We should get a lot into a day, in having a sense of urgency, in pushing ones limits, in not over sleeping.

Seek health in personal intensive activities, but particularly in activities with my children, service to others, and some amount of intense personal fitness. Enjoy sports, as they build relationships, strengthen bodies, and bring overall balance and health when used with discretion.

 

Humans should be healthy, using the BMI guidelines, and glorify God and happify their fellow beings in being beautiful according to the nature of their creation.

FRIENDSHIPS:

Make new and keep old friendships. Commit to respect and good boundaries, not pushing others into what they don’t seek. Befriend everyone and invite then to higher ways. Seek as closest friends those who value Zion first.

HOPE

Trust that a better world will come soon, that your employment will be most satisfying, that God will teach you more than your fondest dream, that your family relationships will overflow the soul with joy, that your skills in all things beautiful and useful will increase, that your people will have wealth and brotherly kindness, that Earth will become a garden paradise, that you will soon have personal acquaintance with Christ & Father in Heaven, that your body and mind will soon become celestial, that your children will be saved in God’s kingdom, that you will have time to learn and a sharp mind to recall and understand, that you will be yet still a great missionary for God throughout the world, that the voices of doubt and despair in your mind will cease and that you will resist every temptation.

 

Judging Righteous Judgement: What do we see when people get away from Gospel Centered Lives?

 

 

 

Yes we should judge righteously. These judgements aren’t to condemn others to hell, but are safeguards for us to help us in our discipleship. We do not shun those who reject the counsel of the prophets, but we should be able to discern who they are so that we can we careful about fully embracing their counsels and lifestyles.

We can discern the heart of others by their actions.

Cast not your pearls before swine the master said.

We should stand in holy places and be not moved.

We should also be involved in making the world a better place (be in but not of the world).

When it comes to tolerance, we do not tolerate evil. We don’t call on non-members to pay tithing, but we do expect civility and wholesomeness.

 

Here are some pesky things that seem to get the best of us down, and block our path to Zion. May we at length (shorter than longer) learn to say ‘get thee behind me Satan’ when confronting these ills of our time.

 

-immodesty

-sexual movies/TV

-R rated movies

-tolerance of evil

-idleness

-greed

-elaborate clothing

-foul language

-show up at church sometimes but don’t contribute

-video game addiction

-postponed marriage

-postponed childbearing

-word of wisdom leniency

-neglect of scripture study

-rare & shallow prayer

-infrequent temple attendance

-white lies

-tolerance for apostate groups

-excessive social lives

-complaining attitudes

-entitlement

-cessation of learning

-cruelty towards children

-lack of discipline for children

-slothful approach to counsel from church leaders

-political complacency

-disinterest in one’s neighbors

-a rushed life with no time for others

-hostility toward the church, especially Joseph Smith

Meat (in most cases meat isn’t needed (see D&C 89), but no one seems to care about that anymore (except the 7th Day Adventists and a few others).)
Money (Who among us can say they truly dedicate all surplus to helping the poor?)
Time (Everyone has it, it reveals our priorities in unmistakable clarity before God.)
Clothing (ironic how we have too much of too little clothing; modesty is perhaps the key symbol of rebellion among the daughters of Zion (Isaiah has a few words on that subject).)
Music
Careerism
Retirement
Sabbath games (instead of worship and charitable service)
Abusive or neglectful parenting
Large empty homes (childlessness, debt, and unrestrained luxury)
Fast food (Defiling our bodies, thinking them to be worth no trouble to maintain.)
Big city life (As opposed to small community living where everyone has a name and a purpose.)
Social status / social circles (as opposed to freely associating with everyone, and parting our substance among them.)
Course entertainment (As opposed to using the vast resources of wholesome materials.)

Priestcraft (earning profits / wages from gospel related things)

 

 

 

Pride & Humility: The Universal Problem & Solution

Some aspects of pride:

-I want to do it my way.

-I want to get to heaven in the end (happiness), and I’ll get there in my time, and in my way.

-Jehovah has given councils, but those are not suited to me personally, I have tried those and failed, I shall set those aside and do things my way. I shall reach heaven nevertheless. I do not fear, I am confident that going on in the way I currently am is fine.

-No one should interfere with the way I do things, not even the councils of prophets of Jehovah.

-I am different and the councils of Jehovah do not apply to me, they will not lead me to happiness as quickly as my ways are doing so.

Some aspects of humility:

-Faith (assurance) in God’s existence, and that his councils are better for me than my chosen methods. They will lead me to heaven, and they alone will lead me there. There is no other way. Should I set aside the councils of Jehovah, I will be on a different path. Since only Jehovahs path leads to heaven, I will end up at a destination other than heaven.

-Faith that I can be successful in areas of my life where I have formerly not been successful. Jehovah has power to change my capacities.

-Inaceptance that my life will never progress. A determination to be better than I was yesterday. Assurance that the human is designed with the capacity to use it’s past to construct a different future. I will repent all of the time, saying sorry to Elohim for when I have acted according to my wisdom instead of His wisdom, and ask forgiveness in the name of Jehovah. Ask Elohim for the strength to not make similar mistakes in the future. I am determined that I shall not make these same mistakes in the future. I will pray more frequently until I have over come this habit.

-I am willing for my life to change upon the councils of Jehovah. I am willing to be humiliated for this. The only person I care getting approval from is Jehovah.

-I recognize that each day will be an opportunity to master myself. I expect to master myself, and SOON.

-I refuse to become discouraged, not because I accept my life the way it is and that it’s ok to remain the way I am, but because I am sure that Jehovah will help me improve in every way which is aligned with his councils as I ask him to and give my best efforts. Though I need time to relax, I also need time to work, and know Jehovah can make my weaknesses become strengths.

-The main question I ask myself is “How can I draw nearer to Jehovah today than I was yesterday, based on doing the things that he has counciled me to do?”

-I know the prophets modern and ancient are the mouthpiece of Jehovah, so their councils are my top priority. This is because I want to go to heaven, and the way of Jehovah is the only way to get there.

Summary:

-If we are not progressing, it is because of pride. Pray more often to get out of pride. None of the councils of Jehovah are optional for our happiness. They alone will lead us to heaven (happiness here and hereafter). Our top concern should be to find the aspects of our lives not in tune with the councils of Jehovah, and change those into being in tune with the councils of Jehovah.

Courageous Faith

 

 

 

-See also article Great Expectations of Young People in the parenting section of my family book.

-See also the “Torch Lighter” series, an animated video series of courageous Christians throughout the world and persecutions they’ve been through.

-See also the group “Voice of the Martyrs”. They have a FREE magazine and charts showing where Christians are persecuted today throughout the world.  See their website, persecution.com

–President Joseph Fielding Smith stated: “We all know something of the courage it takes for one to stand in opposition to united custom, and general belief. None of us likes to be ridiculed. Few are able to withstand popular opinion even when they know it is wrong, and it is difficult to comprehend the magnificent courage displayed by Abraham in his profound obedience to Jehovah, in the midst of his surroundings. His moral courage, his implicit faith in God, his boldness in raising his voice in opposition to the prevailing wickedness, is almost beyond comparison” (The Way to Perfection, 86).
-“Because the trend in society today is away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, you will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which you believe. Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith. When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life.” (Thomas S. Monson, “May You Have Courage,”Liahona, May 2009, 126. Also in Ensign 2015 April in 1st Presidency Message https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/04/president-monson-calls-for-courage?cid=HP_SA_3-28-2015_dPTH_fFPMxLIDyL1-C_&lang=eng#footnote7-12564_000_003)
-“The messages portrayed on television, in movies, and in other media [today] are very often in direct opposition to that which we want our children to embrace and hold dear. It is our responsibility not only to teach them to be sound in spirit and doctrine but also to help them stay that way, regardless of the outside forces they may encounter. This will require much time and effort on our part—and in order to help others, we ourselves need the spiritual and moral courage to withstand the evil we see on every side.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Three Goals to Guide You,”Liahona, Nov. 2007, 118–19. Also in Ensign 2015 April in 1st Presidency Message https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/04/president-monson-calls-for-courage?cid=HP_SA_3-28-2015_dPTH_fFPMxLIDyL1-C_&lang=eng#footnote7-12564_000_003)
-“As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. …
May we ever be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe, and if we must stand alone in the process, may we do so courageously, strengthened by the knowledge that in reality we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Dare to Stand Alone,” Liahona, Nov. 2011, 60, 67. Also in Ensign 2015 April in 1st Presidency Message https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/04/president-monson-calls-for-courage?cid=HP_SA_3-28-2015_dPTH_fFPMxLIDyL1-C_&lang=eng#footnote7-12564_000_003)
-“One day in my high school English class, the teacher announced that we’d be viewing an episode of a TV show I knew I shouldn’t watch. While other students cheered in excitement, my classmate Sarah raised her hand and asked if she could leave. When the teacher asked why, Sarah responded matter-of-factly, “Because I’m Mormon and I don’t watch shows with profanity.” Her courage to stand up in front of the class was amazing. Thanks to Sarah, I too stood up and waited outside with a clear conscience for the show to finish. I was forever changed. I started explaining my beliefs instead of avoiding the subject. And as a result, I found confidence in myself and participated even more in Church and school activities. I never told Sarah how much her example meant to me, but I try to emulate her example of confidence. I now realize that being a member of God’s wonderful, sacred Church is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. I hope that I can, through my example, be someone else’s Sarah.” (Ensign 2015 April in 1st Presidency Message https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/04/president-monson-calls-for-courage?cid=HP_SA_3-28-2015_dPTH_fFPMxLIDyL1-C_&lang=eng#footnote7-12564_000_003)

 

 

Touching a Hot Stove: Everybody’s Doing It! And Other Ridiculous Excuses We Use – Excerpt from Brad Wilcox

 

 

The following are thoughts from The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox. He takes the sin is touching a hot stove analogy to a splendid level.

-If you touch of hot stove your instincts tell you to take your hand off so that you don’t get hurt worse. Consider that touching this hot stove is like sinning. When you sin do you say things which are really quite absurd? Let’s compare this to the stove. You could say:

I’m afraid if I take my hand off I won’t be able to keep it off.

I’m only feeling pain because of my Mormon culture.

Just one touch won’t hurt. I deserve this.

I was born with the desire to touch the stove.

It’s my parents fault, they’re the ones who bought the stove.

I just need to adjust to the burning rather than try to overcome it.

I need to become excommunicated so I don’t hurt when I touch the stove.

No one told me touching me stove was bad.

It may hurt but at least I’m touching it with someone I love.

It’s not like it’s totally wrong it’s a gray area.

Everybody else is touching it.

I’ll touch it if I want to it’s my right no one else is going to tell me what to do.

Stove, what stove? I don’t see any stove.

I just don’t care anymore, I’m numb to it.

I know it’s wrong but I will move my hand tomorrow.

You can’t go without touching the stove all the time.

I’ve blown it now I might as well touch it more.

Those who don’t touch are so old fashioned.

At least it’s just my hand and not my whole face.

How will I know it hurts unless I touch it myself.

At least the other stove touchers accept me and don’t judge.

There are others who touch it more than I do.

If God didn’t want me to touch the stove he would not have given me a hand.

Brad continues with a few reminders about responsibility for sin:

-Excuses can’t help us the way God can, and they certainly can’t love us.

-Alma says don’t excuse yourself in the least because of your sins.

-Sin can become an acquired appetite, sometimes even stronger than hunger.

Sin even when wrapped in the tentacles of addiction is always a choice.

President Boyd K. Packer taught that it is contrary to the law of heaven for any soul to be locked into compulsory behavior with no way out.

 

 

Obedience to God Can Bring Seemingly Unrelated Blessings

 

 

 

To say only nature can reward us, i.e. not getting punishment for breaking laws of the land, is atheist. Obey God in, per se, writing in your journal, and God can bless you with finding a 5$ bill on the street. What does finding random currency have to do with writing about your day? Nothing. Yes there can be a blessing. Imagine a child with a parent, and you can understand how obedience to the parent can bring rewards in what ever way the parent sees fit, even if not directly relating to the action taken by the child. I clarify and repeat: there is a being in yonder cosmos who is involved in your life. He is God. Obey him, and he will interact with you in a positive way. It’s not merely that Gods laws are wise ideas. Some of them are strange, and seemingly irrelevant. But obey God, and be blessed.

In other words, you can indeed be blessed for rendering obedience. Obedience for the sake of obedience. Getting a blessing for the sake of obeying. This philosophy requires theology, and is impossible with atheism. Is this true doctrine? Read your bibles. You’ll see the miracles of God. Look at Jesus healing those who wash in the same pool everyone else is washing in, yet they come away healed, despite prior bathing in that very place which would have been common in their lives. Look at Moses, whom went to cross the Red Sea at precisely the time it parted when everything was at stake. God told him what to do. He obeyed. He was blessed. Or consider Moses and the hand in the robe upon the word of God changing it. Yes, God is not a mere wise man, he is a God of miracles!

If you don’t think you can and will be blessed merely for the sake of obedience to God, you deny that God is a God of miracles! God has more power. More science. More dominion, etc. God has already been through life and death and been resurrected. He has been there done that. He knows everything now. We are like toddlers in comparison to his operations, though we can learn much, and should we press on faithful, we will learn all he knows, and become like Him, our Father. Don’t children have the capacity to grow up to be like their parents? Yes. And God is our Father. Do you taste this? This is good doctrine. You can taste it.

 

Build a Highway to Zion: The Redemptive Life of Moving Mountains

 

Build a highway for the people of God to return. This in part means do the work of God however difficult and back-breakingly heavy, and your life will pass by as a dream, and you will die exhausted and look back and say, “what happened?” And you will see that you have carved through the mountainside and a trail is behind you. You will see that you have been moving mountains for others to have a pathway to come to ZION.

 

 

 

Faithlessness: Our #1 Problem, & How Faith Hope and Charity Lead to Salvation

 

 

 

The biggest problem with me and anyone else who has a problem is the lack of faith – the lack of concrete trust in God – the lack of confidence in God – the lack of a surety that the end of days, yes, that the Millennium of millenniums is here, upon our doorstep! The knowledge that the times are here, it’s all here for The Showdown. This aspect of Faith as well as others are the most important thing that we need; this brings the good faith to teach your kids; you need the faith to read your books; you need faith learn the history of the earth; in faith you must defend Christianity and Mormonism; you need faith faith faith faith to do these things; faith brother is what you and everyone else with a problem needs more than anything – faith faith faith faith!

 

  1. Faith leads to hope, hope leads to charity, charity leads to salvation.
    aka faith -> hope -> charity -> salvation
    2. Satan’s goal = damn us.
    aka disable our salvation.
    How can be best do this?
    Trace back the line, salvation ultimately comes from faith.
    The book of Moses shows us that in Satan’s brief encounter with Moses, he struck at Moses’ faith.
    3. charity is the step before salvation (see Matthew), “inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these” is the line in the sand for salvation.
    4.  charity is more likely to come to pass when a person has faith and hope. In faith, we learn 1. what we have been given, and 2. what may yet be hoped for in the future. These inspire charity.
    5. missionaries baptize persons after a few weeks of meeting with them rather than years, because once faith is there and the Holy Ghost from baptism, the rest comes from God, via the Holy Ghost. The sewer plants a seed, then God sends the rain and sunlight. Our part is easy, just like Christ said, “my yoke is easy, my burden is light.” Faith is like a germ which devours cancerous cells, spreading quickly throughout the whole system.
    6. a study of the gospel changes behavior faster than a study of behavior changes behavior (Elder Packer said, see Preach My Gospel manual for missionary service.)
    7. When you’re depressed or dissatisfied with your life, its not because you don’t believe enough or hope enough, but because your acts aren’t enough. You aren’t participating in the advancement of the human race as well as you anticipated. So faith is not the endgame, charity is the endgame. But we’ve seen that charity is most likely produced via the foundation of faith. I submit further that in order to have perfect charity aimed in the right direction and applied in the right way, this type of charity can ONLY come via faith.
    8. lack of faith is the universal problem in society and individuals, and the universal remedy is faith.
    9. Alma 32 speaks of gaining belief, and says if you don’t believe, use a des
    10. synonyms for faith hope and charity are belief motivation and action/behavior.
    11. Charity = power + righteous application.
    Thus, an antonym for charity is power + unrighteous application = abuse.
    12. Belief proceeds action because you won’t try for something which you don’t really believe is there.
    13. When you believe in something enough, and are sufficiently motivated (which motivation comes from the belief), you WILL act for it.
    14. Faith comes from hearing the word of God, you need someone to introduce you to faith. You can’t even fathom faith and spirituality without an introduction, you wouldn’t even know that part of your brain existed not to mention how to use it. Someone to suggest the correct reading (the scriptures ancient and modern).
    15. Lack of motivation/desire (hope), you must have more of the belief/faith. Faith hope and charity are 3 rungs of a stair set. If you don’t want it, you don’t believe it’s great. Learn about this better world, where is it, what is it, why is it. The more you learn about it, the more it opens channels of your mind that have been closed for too long, the more premortal memories you awaken.
    16. A Relief Society sister in General Conference said God will give you as much power as you are wise enough to handle. Wisdom here probably is synonymous with belief. Believe the right things, the right way to handle and approach things, and you’ll get more power. In other words, the more faith you have, the more charity you’ll be given.
    17. You go from step 1 (faith) to step 3 (charity) quickly. The middle step 2 (hope) is almost subconscious; the thing to work at is building your faith, then hope comes, then charity comes. Refer to verse 6 of this document, that a study of the gospel changes behavior faster than a study of behavior changes behavior.
    18. A general and major source of depression is lack of service to others (charity). Is it any wonder that the soul of man is depressed when he is not doing the thing which produces salvation?
    19. Charity is not something we do in this life so we can relax in heaven. Brigham Young said the streets if heaven if gold, were paved by the saints to become that way. God works, his work is our salvation (immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39); immortality means that your body and soul will live on forever, eternal life means that you’ll live the life like God lives). God weeps. This is one of the greatest revelations of the last days; in the book of Moses, we have the account of Enoch, and his interview with God, wherein he sees God weeping. When Enoch asks why he wept, God responds that these are his children suffering, and though it is worth it and he does it for us, it is indeed hard. God lives a flavorful life. The scripture says in the millennium God will wipe away all tears and there will be no more sorrow because there will be no more death; indeed, there will be a great period of rejoicing, but the work of God goes on, and as new candidates are introduced to the plan of salvation, they will go through some amount of suffering, and this will to some extent sadden our souls at times.
    20. We cannot imagine that there are no real requirements for salvation. See Elder Christofferson’s message on the need for a Savior. Furthermore, though our good works are as filthy rags as the scripture says, we also know that exaltation must be earned, it cannot be given to unworthy candidates. All fall short, but some things must be done for exaltation.

 

 

To Obey is Better than Sacrifice: The Secret Code for Valiant Service, & A List of Some Commandments & Councils 

 

 

 

To serve God valiantly is to do all that he commands, not just good hobbies, not just what I think is tolerable. its to do the boots on the ground hard work that needs to get done. Do you want to please God? Then ask: Am I out of debt? Am I spending time with my family regularly and teaching them the gospel? Am I being nice to those around me? Am I doing well in school and career goals for the betterment of society and my household? Am I making good choices with my body, including healthy food and exercise? Am I making my home an environment for ideal child development, and keeping the doors open thereto? Am I ministering to my spouse and neighbors? Young men, have you completed your church missions? Young adults, ask, have I married and got my children on the way and my career beginning, including taking full advantage of educational opportunities?  (For a brilliant discourse from Elder Anderson in 2011 about having children while going to school see his message “Children”, where he recounts president Kimball’s council to a young student, “would the Lord want you to break one of his important commandments in order for you to become a doctor? With the help of the Lord, you can have your family and still become a doctor. Where is your faith?” (Conf. Report, Oct. 2011 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/children?lang=eng.)) Know that yes, God will give me time for recreation, hobbies, learning and teaching of the various fields of knowledge, especially gospel knowledge, but when He has commanded, and the servant is not quick to obey every call, that is a slothful servant, and loses his reward.

Remember always, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (1 Sam. 15:22).  If you have a great idea but it means you would not be able to obey the commands of the Lord to enact that idea, know that said idea needs to be put in its place, and take a backseat priority as compared to the Lord’s commands. Long have the people of the Lord been commanded to offer the firstlings of their flocks, the cream of their crop, the best of the harvest, not the leftovers or the blemished. There may be room for the sand after the rocks have fit into the jar, but never will the rocks fit if you put the sand first. To put the rocks in first (meaning the prophetic priorities) is to trust God and lean not unto your own understanding (Psalms 3:5-6). While following the promptings of the Holy Ghost to do wonderful things in the Lord’s kingdom, being not commanded in all things but doing much good of your own free will (D&C 58:26), we must discern that the spirit of God is what leads us in accordance and within the boundaries of the laws of God.

Some Commandments & Councils

This is a list of things which God has asked us to do via his prophets in the Latter-days. If you doubt any of these, notify me and I’ll help get you the reference for them showing prophets who have asked these things of us. Though some of these may be considered mere ‘councils’ rather than ‘commandments’, we, like Jesus our leader, seek to ‘live by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God’

-The ten commandments, including ‘6 days shalt thou work’

-The word of wisdom (don’ts as well as do’s; no tobacco alcohol coffee tea, yes wheat fruit vegetables meat sparingly and exercise etc.)

-the law of tithing (10% of your income give to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

-study the scriptures often (Elder Ballard says to do it thirty minutes each morning before you start your day)

-live the law of chastity (no sexual relations except between a man and wife lawfully married)

-follow the prophet (receive their council as from the mouth of the Lord Himself)

-pray often (to the Father in the name of Christ)

-the law of the fast, including fast offerings (In The Miracle of Forgiveness, President Kimball says to not fast is a sin; not only sins of commission are sin, but sins of omission are sin too.)

-young men to serve full time missions (if you question as to weather this is a commandment, see my post “Missions: Commanded to Go”. I’ve compiled prophets quotes on how this is not up to debate.)

-service in the church

-monthly home teach for men, visit teach for women.

-men receive the Priesthood

-women have children

-be baptized

-come unto Jesus Christ

-teach your children the gospel freely by age 8 (or the sins of the child are on the parents’ head)

-get endowment in the temple

-marry in the temple

-keep temple covenants

-redeem your ancestors via the temple

-men provide for your family

-women nurture your family

-have 1-year supply of food storage

-love God and your neighbor

-establish a house of order

-no dating until 16 years old

-dress modestly (see church guidelines)

-find people for the missionaries to teach

-rejoice

-lift up your head

-warn your neighbors about the gospel

-get a personal witness from the Holy Ghost that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his true and living church on the earth today.

-sustain your local church leaders

-obey the law of the land

-partake of the sacrament (worthily) on Sundays

-repent of all your sins

-don’t let secret combinations take charge of your nation

-stand up for the rights of your children and country

-follow the Holy Ghost’s promptings

-be still and behold the salvation of God

-be anxiously engaged in a good cause

-don’t run faster than you have strength (Elder Neil A Maxwell says this is a type of nervousness that disables us from giving our all)

-study foreign and local governments

-study geography, oceanography, and things over the earth

-study languages of foreign nations

-study all good science and learning

-give all you have to build up the Church and Kingdom of God on earth

-don’t judge others unrighteously

-pray for mercy

-turn the other cheek when others smite you

-when asked to go one mile go two

-when asked for something give it and more

-settle disputes amongst yourselves rather than taking things to court when possible (agree with thine enemy whilst thou art in the way with him)

-uphold the Constitution of the USA

-pay back those you have wronged

-don’t gossip or backbite

-elect political leaders whom are righteous men of God

-feed the hungry

-clothe the naked

-visit the lonely

-care for your parents when they grow old

-visit the imprisoned

-treat others with the same respect and charity that we would Christ

-always recognize your nothingness before God and your dependence on him and his hand in all things.

-confess your sins at church

-attend your church meetings faithfully

-magnify your calling (leave it better than you found it like the parable of the ten virgins)

-attend the temple often

-flee from Babylon

-build Zion

-seek to make your calling and election sure (Joseph Smith admonishes us to do that as well as Paul)

-have Family Home Evening once a week (usually Monday nights)

-avoid debt like the plague (TSM calls debt a demon)

-be civil in your dealings with others

-what you would have done to you, to do others

-don’t idol away your time

-learn the mysteries of the kingdom of God.

-confess major sins to your bishop, whom will help you be forgiven in the name of the Church seeing as he is a judge in Israel.

-men no earrings or other piercings

-women only one pair of earrings.

-no tattoos

 

 

 

Living Beneath Our Privileges

 

 

 

-Brigham Young says how he could weep like a whipped child when he thinks of how far the saints fell short of their possibilities and opportunities. (see Hugh Nibley BofM/PoGP lectures for source)

-“If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God.

Let us never forget that we have a marvelous heritage received from great and courageous people who endured unimaginable suffering and demonstrated unbelievable courage for the cause they loved. You and I know what we should do. God help us to do it when it needs to be done, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1991/10/our-mission-of-saving?lang=eng President Hinckley, Conf. Report Oct. 1991 Our Mission of Saving)

-we are commanded to rest on the Sabbath all throughout scripture. Working on the Sabbath is living beneath your privileges! You could have the day off, and God would take care of you if you only trusted him!

-when it becomes evening time, it’s time to stop worrying about money and be satisfied with the provisions we have and be involved in non-financial ordeals, of which there are many of import. Psalms 104:23
23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

-The laborer is worthy of his hire: we can have according to our needs if we’re only willing to work!

-“… God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them. …” (Teachings of Joseph Smith, p. 149.)

-“We are not yet caught up to the ancients in spiritual matters. They had higher spiritual knowledge than we do. “We have yet to gain that full knowledge and understanding of the doctrines of salvation and the mysteries of the kingdom that were possessed by many of the ancient Saints. O that we knew what Enoch and his people knew! Or that we had the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, as did certain of the Jaredites and Nephites! How can we ever gain these added truths until we believe in full what the Lord has already given us in the Book of Mormon, in the Doctrine and Covenants, and in the inspired changes made by Joseph Smith in the Bible? Will the Lord give us the full and revealed account of the creation as long as we believe in the theories of evolution? Will he give us more guidance in governmental affairs as long as we choose socialistic ways which lead to the overthrow of freedom?

We have yet to attain that degree of obedience and personal righteousness which will give us faith like the ancients: faith to multiply miracles, move mountains, and put at defiance the armies of nations; faith to quench the violence of fire, divide seas and stop the mouths of lions; faith to break every band and to stand in the presence of God. Faith comes in degrees. Until we gain faith to heal the sick, how can we ever expect to move mountains and divide seas?

We have yet to receive such an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord in our lives that we shall all see eye to eye in all things, that every man will esteem his brother as himself, that there will be no poor among us, and that all men seeing our good works will be led to glorify our Father who is in heaven. Until we live the law of tithing how can we expect to live the law of consecration? As long as we disagree as to the simple and easy doctrines of salvation, how can we ever have unity on the complex and endless truths yet to be revealed?

We have yet to perfect our souls, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, and to walk in the light as God is in the light, so that if this were a day of translation we would be prepared to join Enoch and his city in heavenly realms. How many among us are now prepared to entertain angels, to see the face of the Lord, to go where God and Christ are and be like them? . . .

Our time, talents, and wealth must be made available for the building up of his kingdom. Should we be called upon to sacrifice all things, even our lives, it would be of slight moment when weighed against the eternal riches reserved for those who are true and faithful in all things.

(Ensign, Apr. 1980, 25 Bruce R. McConkie)“

-Joseph Smith said he could have taught the people much more than he did about the Kingdom of Heaven, but they weren’t prepared to receive it.

-Video from President Uchdorf on the subject: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2013-01-001-your-potential-your-privileges?lang=eng

-“We all know that the priesthood is much more than just a name or title. The Prophet Joseph taught that “the Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity … to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years.”1 It holds “even the key of the knowledge of God.”2 In fact, through the priesthood the very “power of godliness is manifest.”3

The blessings of the priesthood transcend our ability to comprehend. Faithful Melchizedek Priesthood holders can “become … the elect of God.” 4 They are “sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies”5 and can ultimately receive “all that [the] Father hath.”6 This may be hard to comprehend, but it is beautiful, and I testify that it is true.

The fact that our Heavenly Father would entrust this power and responsibility to man is evidence of His great love for us and a foreshadowing of our potential as sons of God in the hereafter.

Nevertheless, too often our actions suggest that we live far beneath this potential. When asked about the priesthood, many of us can recite a correct definition, but in our daily lives, there may be little evidence that our understanding goes beyond the level of a rehearsed script.

Brethren, we are faced with a choice. We can be satisfied with a diminished experience as priesthood bearers and settle for experiences far below our privileges. Or we can partake of an abundant feast of spiritual opportunity and universal priesthood blessings.

As you read the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets with all your heart and mind, the Lord will tell you how to live up to your priesthood privileges. Don’t let a day go by without doing something to act on the promptings of the Spirit….

As bearers of the priesthood, let us never become hardened to the wonder and awe of what the Lord has entrusted to us….

My dear brethren, may we diligently seek to learn the doctrine of the holy priesthood, may we strengthen our testimonies line upon line by receiving the revelations of the Spirit, and may we find true joy in daily priesthood service. As we do these things, we will begin to live up to our potential and privileges as priesthood holders, and we will be able to “do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us].” (Philippians 4:13.)” (President Uchdorf, Your Potential, Your Privilege, Conf. Report Apr. 2011 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/your-potential-your-privilege?lang=eng#19-PD50028768_000_3040)

-“We live beneath our privileges when we allow worldly anchors to keep us away from the abundant joy that comes from faithful and dedicated priesthood service, especially within the walls of our own homes. We live beneath our privileges when we fail to partake of the feast of happiness, peace, and joy that God grants so bountifully to faithful priesthood servants.” (President Uchdorf, Your Potential, Your Privilege, Conf. Report Apr. 2011 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/your-potential-your-privilege?lang=eng#19-PD50028768_000_3040)

–Elder Maxwell reiterated President Brigham Young’s assertion that “we live far beneath our privileges” in terms of receiving revelation from God for guidance (see Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 32). Elder Maxwell counseled: “To the degree that we cease to live beneath our privileges, we can lift the Church.” (Apr. 2003 News of the Church https://www.lds.org/ensign/2003/04/news-of-the-church?lang=eng)

-“We don’t have the luxury of living beneath ourselves or being casual about seeking the gifts of the Spirit.

But we are up to the challenge.“ (Jan. 1999 Liahona We Are Not Alone Sheri L. Dew Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency; https://www.lds.org/liahona/1999/01/we-are-not-alone?lang=eng)

-“ in 1870, Eliza R. Snow asked thousands of women a question that I’d like to repeat today: “Do you know of any place on the face of the earth, where [a] woman has more liberty, and where she enjoys such high and glorious privileges as she does here, as a Latter-day Saint?” 1 I bear witness that the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do enjoy grand and glorious privileges.” ( Gratitude: A Path to Happiness: Bonnie D. Parkin

Recently Released General Relief Society President; Apr. 2007 Conf. Report

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/gratitude-a-path-to-happiness?lang=eng)

-“…All of this is to try to tell you how your Father in Heaven feels about you and what He has designed for you to become. And if for a time any of you are less visionary than this or seem bent on living beneath your privilege, then we express even greater love for you and plead with you to make your teenage years a triumph, not a tragedy. Fathers and mothers, prophets and apostles have no motive except to bless your life and to spare you every possible heartache we can spare you.” (To Young Women

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

https://www.lds.org/liahona/2005/11/to-young-women?lang=eng Nov. 2005 Conf. Report)

-“There is no doubt, if a person lives according to the revelations given to God’s people, he may have the Spirit of the Lord to signify to him His will, and to guide and to direct him in the discharge of his duties, in his temporal as well as his spiritual exercises. I am satisfied, however, that in this respect, we live far beneath our privileges.” ( Brigham Young, JD 12:104)

–Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once shared a story from his personal experience that illustrates President Young’s observation. Several years after Elder Ballard had returned from serving as a mission president, one of his former missionaries came to see him in his office at Church headquarters.

“President,” this missionary said, “I think I’m losing my testimony.”

Elder Ballard was surprised because this missionary had been one of his most faithful elders.

The young man continued, “For the first time, I have read some anti-Mormon literature [and] I have some questions, and nobody will answer them for me.”

Though the questions were what Elder Ballard described as “the standard anti-Church issues,” he explained to the young man that he would like some time to collect the appropriate materials to ensure that he could provide some meaningful answers. The elder agreed, and they set an appointment to meet again in 10 days.

As the former missionary left the office, Elder Ballard stopped him and said, “Elder, you’ve asked me several questions here today. . . . Now I have one for you.”

Elder Ballard then asked, “How long has it been since you read from the Book of Mormon?”

The missionary admitted that it had been a long time.

“All right,” Elder Ballard responded. “You have given me my assignment. It’s only fair that I give you yours. I want you to promise me that you will read in the Book of Mormon for at least one hour every day between now and our next appointment.”

The missionary reluctantly agreed. Elder Ballard’s own words describe what happened next:

Ten days later he returned to my office, and I was ready. I pulled out my papers to start answering his questions. But he stopped me.

“President,” he said, “that isn’t going to be necessary.” Then he explained: “I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.”

“Well, that’s great,” I said, “but you’re going to get answers to your questions anyway. I worked a long time on this, so you just sit there and listen.”

I answered all of those questions and then asked, “Elder, what have you learned from this?”

And he said, “Give the Lord equal time.” ( M. Russell Ballard, When Thou Art Converted: Continuing Our Search for Happiness (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2001), 51–52.) (https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/daniel-k-judd_wonderful-flood-light/ “A Wonderful Flood of Light” Daniel K. Judd Dec. 7 2004, BYU Speeches)

-“Phinehas (Young) visited a young woman dying of consumption, he was prompted to “lay hands on the sufferer and rebuke the disease.” He did so, and the woman was healed. He wrote, “I had never seen anything of the kind in my life, but had always believed the people were living far beneath their privileges.”” (Maxfield, pp. 1–2.) (By Leonard J. Arrington and JoAnn Jolley Ensign AUGUST 1980 THE FAITHFUL YOUNG FAMILY: THE PARENTS, BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF BRIGHAM)

 

Time Changer Movie Review

 

 

This is a great fictional movie about a bible scholar from the 19th century who learned by traveling to the future that we can’t just teach good morals, we need to teach the authority of Christ who gave those morals. When we just teach morals, it becomes open to debate. Instead, teach who gave those morals, name the name of Jesus Christ. Some absurd things this man sees in our day include children disobedience to parents, actors kissing each other without being married, adults kissing in front of children, people being bored at church, people not going to church, people singing songs at church but having no real devotion to Christ, people of Christ claiming his name but being unwilling to obey his commands, women dressing immodestly, children being raised to not know why certain things are right and others wrong, no prayer or mention of scripture in schools, an inability to even discuss the bible in schools, movies taking the Lord’s name in vain, no one being interested in doing missionary work, improper flirtation, television immorality, churches seeking members through the fun social activities they offer rather than a gospel message, children lying to their parents, etc.

 

 

Christmas Devotional 2014 Highlights

 

See
https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/christmas-devotional/2014/12?lang=eng&vid=3929047363001

-We declare it in song old and new, that Jesus is coming.

-Pray that we may learn and do and become what the Lord NEEDS us to become.

-President Hinckley said how the greatest forces for good in the world are babies, that God uses such to change the world.

-Shepherds are who saw first baby Jesus.

-Our birth is something of a condescending also for we though not physical children of God are his spirit children (*he gave life to our spirits in pre-mortality and raised us there before he sent us here to earth). We like Jesus came to earth to do great things. Jesus needed earth experience so do we.

-Just as Jesus we came down from heaven to do the will of him that sent us.

-To ascend on high we need to defend at least below some things.

-These experiences that we can learn to have mercy on others and how to succor them according to their infirmities.

-Joseph F. Smith 6th President of the Church when a young father worked at the church tithing office 6am to 11pm he got 3 dollars of tithing pay which meant he could go to the tithing place and get flower or meat or molasses. He wanted to please his children on Christmas but had not a cent to do it with. He saw the stores, and wept. He played with his children, and was grateful and happy only for them.

-Jesus gave near constant service.

-When you feel like serving others, it’s a sign that you feel more committed to the Savior.

-Love people enough to ask the mission President to send missionaries to a certain home to offer someone the gift of the gospel.

-The light of Christ is the universal intelligence with which all humans are blessed.

-“I know as surely as I live that the resurrected Savior lives” (President Eyring).

 

 

 

 

Consecrated Finance

 

 

 

Use your means not to constantly and lavishly recreate, nor to excessively hoard. Rather use your time learning and serving God modestly. Yes have a year of financial reserve so you don’t lose your home in a crisis, but get away from the money obsessed culture we live in.

 

– “If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God.

Let us never forget that we have a marvelous heritage received from great and courageous people who endured unimaginable suffering and demonstrated unbelievable courage for the cause they loved. You and I know what we should do. God help us to do it when it needs to be done, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1991/10/our-mission-of-saving?lang=eng President Hinckley, Conf. Report Oct. 1991 Our Mission of Saving)

 

-The focus is honest focus on the gospel and all that entails.

 

-study as guided by the Lord (even if he tells you to be a finance major etc.)

 

-continuing education in the highest form may be outside of the official school’s; this is not to discourage those with opportunity for these degrees, but we live in a special day when the boy who pushes the plow may know more from books than the doctors and scholars.

 

-be willing to live a humble life.

 

-people need to be helped spiritually as much as temporally

 

-Zion is (very) often referred to as the poor. We can, at least, be poor in heart, not having our heart on riches, regardless of how much riches we have.

 

-people get to where they are struggling to provide for family and hence not in politics (and other important social or religious or family issues) much, but the worst is when we are working for recreational vehicles etc. and using that as the reason why we aren’t involved. Heaven forbid!

 

-Dan E Christensen, in his book “The birth of the Kingdom of God The destruction of America” he speaks of how we are obsessed with planning our retirement etc. and use Sabbaths to worship the God of NFL and other sporting leagues.

 

-we should work 6 days a week like God’s commanded (“six days shalt thou labor”) and not worry about getting out of it!

 

-Joseph Smith is one of the greatest men who ever lived (D&C 135:3). Jewish texts suggest that the 7 heads of dispensations are the 7 archangels, and the 7 angels whom will pour out the plagues of God upon the earth at the last days. That great archangel dispensation head Joseph Smith worked only enough to eke out a meager living, then spent the rest of his time studying languages ancient texts re-discovering history etc. to help his people and find his way to God. We can be like him and not be afraid but trust in God.

 

-by and large, those who serve God are delivered from the trials of the last days, not necessarily those with the most money. “The summer is past, and my soul is not saved” they will may say.

 

-President Monson has on several occasions quoted Shakespeare in King Henry the VIII,

“O Cromwell, Cromwell!

Had I but served my God with half the zeal

I served my king, he would not in mine age

Have left me naked to mine enemies. “

 

-while retirement may be alright from our occupations, we must continue to work for God. “Now, a word to us seasoned brethren: retirement is not part of the Lord’s plan of happiness. There is no sabbatical or retirement program from priesthood responsibilities—regardless of age or physical capacity. While the phrase “been there, done that” may work as an excuse to avoid skateboarding, decline the invitation for a motorbike ride, or bypass the spicy curry at the buffet, it is not an acceptable excuse for avoiding covenant responsibilities to consecrate our time, talents, and resources in the work of the kingdom of God.” (President Uchtdorf, “Two Principals for any Economy” Gen Conf. Oct. 2009 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/two-principles-for-any-economy?lang=eng).

 

-Don’t be obsessed about having a house of your own. “And Jesus saith unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20).

-when it comes to finances, we should not put our lusts in higher priority than what the Holy Ghost tells us what to do. What’s right for one person financially could be wrong for another. Some things are more solid like avoiding debt, but other things are more flexible like what a person does for their career (though they must provide for their family or they are worse than infidels and deny the faith (1 Tim. 5:8)

 

-prophets have taught that if we don’t find time for 30-60 minutes of scripture study a day, we have our priorities wrong and need to humble ourselves and re-prioritize.

 

 

Take a look at these two situations of what is going on in the world of poverty and foolish use of wealth:

 

“I’m not like other people. I don’t eat every day.” – Les Misérables, as depicted in the 1998 Film

Elder Richard J. Maynes, at an April 2017 at a Stake Conference in Utah I attended shared some interesting thoughts on poverty:

  • 1/100 people in the world have a college education; 12/100 people have more than 1 pair of shoes; ½ people have clean drinking water;
  • These numbers are even smaller when you look back further in history. So, you see, we think we are in the middle of the ladder, and focus on those ahead of us, but really, we in America today are second from the top, and we only focus on the rung above us.
  • Many don’t worry about international travel, but about whether they have enough to get on the bus to go in to town. Yet those people find happiness despite their lack of possessions.
  • They can wear the same shirt every day of their lives and still be happy.

 

 

Now lets look at some extreme weal of our times. Here are some highlights from the book “Richistan: A Journey Through The American Wealth Boom & The Lives of the New Rich” by Robert Frank, published about 2008.

 

 

– “Richistanian” is the name he uses to refer to this new type of people

-Has a good deal to say about how some treat wealth differently and

– the shift from national elitists to global elitists.

– the 500-foot boats.

– how often 18 cents of every dollar given to major charity groups goes to the charities, as well as some wealthy people trying to correct that.

-The other part goes toward the private schools of the children of the people who run the charities.

– mentalities of the children who grow up in homes with wealth, and how some parents choose to have their children work for everything.

– the wealthy being same made now as compared to inheritance of the old rich.

– the economic boom we’ve been seeing where it’s not about being a millionaire anymore but about billionaire.

– how they give to charity balls then throw their own charity balls and expect everyone to give to those, and how it’s more about finance than charity.

– people who work 16-hour days, consuming their entire lives with seeking and finding material wealth.

– ignoring natural disasters while people shop for boats.

– how the wealthy are republicans, but the super wealthy are democrats.

– the extensive training butlers receive to perform the ballet of service. Speaks of how the wealthy all feel like to be financially secure, they need double of what they have.

– 4 levels of wealth: 1-10 million, then 10-100 million, then 100 million-1 billion, then multibillionaires. Speaks of their envy of each other.

– people who always work while on vacation and send emails through the night and during watching films.

– support groups for rich people where they speak about their problems

– a wealthy man seeking to reclaim his family and having good success by having Saturday morning breakfasts with his daughter.

– how even the wealthy often live beyond their means

– how it’s fast to get rich today, but also fast to lose it all

– how they don’t consider themselves rich usually

– how they live in fear of poverty

– one wealthy family who spends its summers in 3rd world countries to help the people there and see what their real needs are.

– applying business skills to charity groups

 

Magnifying Our Callings Unto Salvation

 

 

 

First a few thoughts from me then a myriad of quotes from the prophets on the subject.

 

-the person who benefits from doing a church calling the most is the person doing the calling, not the people receiving his service. This is because we are agents to act not to be acted upon and thus will only advance fully as we give, not receive.
-is there any way to be saved other than doing your home teaching, or other callings, however great or small? No. Why? Isn’t it living the gospel that saves us, not those little callings? Answer: Part of the gospel is “repentance”, which means stop breaking Christ’s commandments, and start keeping them. Have we been commanded to home teach? Yes. So if we aren’t doing it and have no intentions to start doing it in the immediate future, we are not repenting, and are thus not repenting.
-When Christ said, “I am the way” and “none cometh unto the Father but by me” it meant that if you don’t follow his instructions, you’re never going to find the promised land, meaning exaltation. No other map can show you the way. We look at the gospel map with its commandments and we think that some are not important, so we neglect them, but such actions lead to our slow destruction. All the Devil needs to lead us away to hell, according to the Book of Mormon, is a little flaxen cord. A very slight almost unnoticeable alteration of the plotted course.
-Does this mean its hopeless? No, it means we must try, and want to succeed. We cannot live in the rebellious state of complacency.
-So we conclude that callings aren’t just helpful in the path to salvation, they are the only path to salvation. Callings are the appointed mechanisms for the growth of his children. Do you expect to obtain his status if you aren’t doing the things he has appointed for obtaining that thing? Like a student who does no homework and expects to pass the class, so is the Elder who does no home teaching and expects to be exalted.
-I remind you that home teaching/ministering is the alternate form of government boots on the ground level. There is hierarchical leadership in the church thankfully, but the bottom and most essential level is home teaching. Though it seems a small thing, neglect it, and all is lost. Souls sink softly into hell as their hunger for gospel truth is not quenched by the simple teachings of the Priesthood of God

 

-“ if it (your Priesthood) is magnified, your priesthood service will bless Heavenly Father’s children more than you can now imagine is possible.” (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“ I found three wonderful things in place to speed my growth in the priesthood. The first was a president who knew how to sit in council with the members of his quorum. The second was great faith in Jesus Christ that led to the great love we have heard of—love for each other. And the third was a shared conviction that our overarching priesthood purpose was to labor for the salvation of men.” (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“we prayed together, the priests quorum and I, and I then asked each to speak. I listened intently, and it seemed to me that they did too, to each other. After a while, a feeling of peace settled on us…It became clear to me what the quorum was to do and not to do…miracle for me was to see a united priesthood council’s faith in Jesus Christ bringing revelation to the man with the priesthood keys.“ (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“key to increased learning is to have love foreach other that comes from great faith. I am not sure which comes first, but both always seem to be there whenever there is great and rapid learning in the priesthood.” (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“Love invites the Holy Ghost to be present to confirm truth. And the joy of learning divine truths creates love in the hearts of people who shared the experience of learning…Discord or jealousy inhibits the ability of the Holy Ghost to teach us and inhibits our ability to receive light and truth. And the feelings of disappointment that invariably follow are the seeds of greater discord and faultfinding among those who expected a learning experience that did not come.” (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“The priesthood holders who learn well together always seem to me to have great peacemakers among them. You see peacemaking in priesthood classes and in councils. It is the gift to help people find common ground when others are seeing differences. It is the peacemaker’s gift to help people see that what someone else said was a contribution rather than a correction.

With enough of the pure love of Christ and a desire to be peacemakers, unity is possible in priesthood councils and in classes. It takes patience and humility, but I have seen it happen even when issues are difficult and the people in councils or classes come from vastly different backgrounds. It is possible to rise to the lofty standard set by the Lord for priesthood holders in making decisions in quorums. It is possible when there is great faith and love and the absence of contention.

” (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“Speaking of those given great priesthood trust in this life, the Lord said, “Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men. In the priesthood we share the sacred duty to labor for the souls of men. We must do more than learn that this is our duty. It must go down into our hearts so deeply that neither the many demands on our efforts in the bloom of life nor the trials that come with age can turn us from that purpose.”5” (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“with great intensity he said to me, “Why am I still living? Why am I still here? I can’t do anything.”

I told him that he was doing something for me. He was lifting me with his faith and his love. Even in our short visit, he made me want to be better. His example of determination to do something that mattered had inspired me to try harder to serve others and the Lord.

” (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“ time in the school of the priesthood in this life will be relatively brief compared to eternity. But even in that short span, he has mastered the eternal curriculum. He will carry with him, wherever the Lord will call, priesthood lessons of eternal worth.” (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng

Speaking of a man eager to serve in the Priesthood by trying to convert others even in his old age etc. )

-“Not only should you be eager to learn your priesthood lessons in this life, but you should be optimistic about what is possible. A few of us may limit in our minds our possibilities to learn what the Lord sets before us in His service.” (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“You may have thought at one time how much better your life would have been if only you had been admitted to study in some fine school. I pray that you will see the greatness of God’s love for you and of the opportunity He has given you to enter His priesthood school.

If you will be diligent and obedient in the priesthood, treasures of spiritual knowledge will be poured out upon you. You will grow in your power to resist evil and to proclaim the truth that leads to salvation. You will find joy in the happiness of those you lead toward exaltation. Your family will become a place of learning.

I testify that the keys of the priesthood have been restored. President Thomas S. Monson holds and exercises those keys. God lives and knows you perfectly. Jesus Christ lives. You were chosen for the honor of holding the sacred priesthood. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

” (President Eyring April 2011 Conf. Report “Learning in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 62–65 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/learning-in-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“ sometimes, in spite of our good intentions, we delay doing what we should do or we misunderstand what we were taught. As a result, inspired words of counsel might not have the promised effect.” (President Uchdorf: Acting of the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: worldwide leadership training meeting, Feb. 2012: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/01/acting-on-the-truths-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng)

-“We human beings have a strange tendency to complicate simple things. We set up rules, laws, by laws, processes, and subprocesses. Eventually, we pile upload after load until we end up under a huge weight of expectations that are so complicated it is difficult to keep track of them, let alone meet them. This is one of the reasons Paul said, “The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:6).

Too often, we complicate the beauty and simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ with endless lists of meticulous expectations. However, when we focus on the “why” of the gospel, much of the confusion fades away. Why are we here? Why are we asked to obey the commandments? Why is the Atonement of Jesus Christof such value to us?

The proper “why” questions will lead us to the proper “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “how” decisions.

” (President Uchdorf: Acting of the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: worldwide leadership training meeting, Feb. 2012: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/01/acting-on-the-truths-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng)

-“There are many ways to enhance our precious council time, like always coming well prepared. We could handle scheduling or other organizational matters by memo, phone, e-mail, or text. When we allow organizational matters to dominate our efforts and time in our councils, we run the risk of missing the mark of why the Lord has called us to minister in His Church. We meet in councils to seek the inspiration of the Spirit in building the kingdom of God. We meet to seek the answers to two basic questions:

  1. How can we help our members better love the Lord our God with all their heart, soul, and mind?
    2. How can we help our members better love their neighbors as themselves?
    ” (President Uchdorf: Acting of the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: worldwide leadership training meeting, Feb. 2012: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/01/acting-on-the-truths-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng)

-“By simplifying and strengthening the council process and by inviting the Spirit, we will find the life and fire of the Holy Spirit, who provides guidance and heavenly support for our efforts.

Some may be tempted to say, “Just tell us what to do, and we’ll do it.” While we commend a righteous desire to be obedient, there is more to leadership in the Church (and more to life) than simply checking items off an assigned to-do list.

As you have noticed, the new handbooks do not specify in great detail every action you are to take in your calling. These handbooks were provided for the right amount of structure without regimenting every detail. It might be wise to look at the handbooks and even the scriptures not as checklists or detailed scripts but rather as opportunities to prepare our minds and hearts to receive divine inspiration for our responsibilities.

Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t seek revelation or answers from the scriptures or the handbooks because we think we know the answers already.

Brothers and sisters, as good as our previous experience may be, if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit…We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?

” (President Uchdorf: Acting of the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: worldwide leadership training meeting, Feb. 2012: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/01/acting-on-the-truths-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng)

-“Real growth, however, is defined as growth in the number of active members…Perhaps the more accurate indicators of real growth in the gospel of Jesus Christ are those that we can’t measure as easily, such as daily prayer, scripture study, family home evening, love at home and for our neighbor, and personal experiences with Christ’s Atonement. These are recorded not by a clerk in Church records but in our hearts and in heaven.” (President Uchdorf: Acting of the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: worldwide leadership training meeting, Feb. 2012: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/01/acting-on-the-truths-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng)

-“ missionary efforts are compromised if we baptize God’s children but do not maintain love and friendship with these precious new members who are excited to find fellowship with the Saints and a place of belonging in the household of God…our councils can deliberate on the spiritual and temporal welfare of every member—taking special care to consider each new convert. Our work as a council is to help our members grow in their love for Heavenly Father and their fellowman. If we focus our efforts here, one-on-one, many more members will feel that they have found a home in the Church—that they have found the “why” of the gospel.” (President Uchdorf: Acting of the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: worldwide leadership training meeting, Feb. 2012: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/01/acting-on-the-truths-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng)

-“ if you are focused on the “why” of the gospel, the Spirit will direct your humble efforts.

” (President Uchdorf: Acting of the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: worldwide leadership training meeting, Feb. 2012: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/01/acting-on-the-truths-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng)

-“If your circumstances are less than ideal, please take comfort in knowing that the Lord will support and enhance your efforts, sanctify your decisions and actions, perfect them through the tender mercies of Christ, and “consecrate [your] performance … , that [it]may be for the welfare of [your] soul” (2 Nephi 32:9) and the souls of those you serve.” (President Uchdorf: Acting of the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: worldwide leadership training meeting, Feb. 2012: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/01/acting-on-the-truths-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng)

-“there is little good in hearing the word of God if we do not translate what we hear into our lives. Consequently, we ask that you take the following steps without hesitation and continue to do so throughout your service in your callings. First, individually and as councils, prayerfully consider the instruction you have received. Think of priesthood power in the home, honoring divine covenants, rescuing others, focusing on the one, strengthening our youth, and building eternal marriages and families by applying gospel principles in our daily lives. As you consider these topics, ask yourself about the “why” of your service and ministry and the resulting “therefore what” in your responsibilities as individuals and as councils. In this process, please open your hearts and minds to the will of heaven, and I promise that the Spirit will reveal the things that matter most—for you, your family, and your responsibilities in the Church. Second, as a result of pondering and discussion, determine a few specific actions you will commit to implement. Please keep in mind that the actions of each organization, ward, stake, family, and individual may be different. They should fit your circumstances and needs. The unity we seek is not necessarily that we all do exactly the same things at the same time but that we each listen to and always follow the direction of the same Holy Spirit. Third, once you have made these commitments, follow up on them within the scope of your responsibilities and callings at each of your council meetings. Please do this. We ask you also to bring your decisions and efforts before the Lord in your daily prayers and ask for further light and direction. Trust Him. He knows you, and He loves you.” (President Uchdorf: Acting of the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: worldwide leadership training meeting, Feb. 2012: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-leadership-training/2012/01/acting-on-the-truths-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng)

–President Harold B. Lee has said to the teachers of the Church that it is not only important to be understood but also not to be misunderstood. (Harold B. Lee, in Teaching, No Greater Call(1999), 52.)

– “We are here to assist our[Heavenly] Father in His work and His glory, ‘to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man’ (Moses1:39). Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, “This Is the Work of the Master,” Ensign, May 1995, 71.)

 

 

 

 

Sacrifice of Animals Showed Serious Commitment, What Now?

 

 

We used to show that we take religion seriously by sacrificing animals. Now how do we show it? How do our kids etc. see it? The animal sacrifice was so graphic, so obvious. Now what? How does a broken heart and contrite spirit become as obvious as the animal sacrifice was? Is anyone serious about religion anymore? (I’m not calling for animal sacrifice, and yes some do take it seriously, I’m looking for flagship ways that this is manifest)

Honoring the Sabbath, regular practice of family prayer/scripture study, etc. When teaching/correcting/comforting children use scripture when possible. Family gatherings around spiritual things be it, broadcast messages, service activities, etc… It’s the daily practices of our lives that show what we value.

And explaining the “why” to our children often.

We do this because we love the Lord and want to honor Him.

We don’t do this because the Lord has commanded it and we seek to obey (even, or especially, if “this” is a desirable thing, and we point that out, too, so they know that it’s truly a sacrifice). He blesses us so much, we want to show our gratitude by…

Sometimes children need us to be obvious about it

The Law of Sacrifice is an eternal law. A simple way to explain it is trading (or giving up) something of value now, for something of greater value we want more.

For example:

If we are fasting, we are giving up food for the purpose of our fast. (Answers to prayers, blessings, guidance and direction.)

It might be something we want to buy, for paying tithing, or consecrating to the poor and needy of the church.

It might be alcohol, coffee and drugs for our good health.

It may be our time we trade, for the time we donate to carry our church responsibilities, or to be “in service to our fellow man”

What ever it is we are sacrificing, the important thing that our children understand is the moral reason why we are doing it.

In the example you gave from the Law of Moses, they were sacrificing animals, for the remembrance of our savior and the sacrifice that he made for us. (in their case, the sacrifice that He would make for them.)

Understanding what He sacrificed, “trading something of value, for something greater” is what will reach our children’s hearts, and turn them to Him.

 

 

 

 

Priesthood Service

 

 

Priesthood is authority to heal. To help. To persuade. To reveal the future in such clarity in all it’s brightness so as to gain the confidence of your friends and lead them along to it in the bravery if sacrifice. To show them self-care in the midst of care of others. To initiate them in all things in the character of Christ and show them how to so put upon themselves.

Everything in the kingdom of God is voluntary. We chose to live there, to serve there, to be served there, to play these, to take naps there, generally speaking to live there. The kingdom of God isn’t just about serving others, it’s about living. Yes, we serve others, but it’s a choice.

Naturally you can’t live there if you never serve anyone, but it’s about the lifestyle altogether. They know how to party harder than anyone. They play much more enjoyable games. They soar the skies, the glide across the galaxies, they whisk through the clouds and skim the waters.

You might say its a wise economic decision if you like to use those terms. We give, but we get back even more. It’s a worthwhile giving. We are rewarded so much that we don’t even realize we are giving. We bask in the warmth of the love of Jesus Christ. We build things without paying taxes on them, without looters taking them from us.

We serve in the kingdom of God only when we are persuaded to. We are asked to do nothing until we have been given sufficient incentive. Priesthood works only by voluntary exchange. Forced charity is the definition of evil. Of course, there cannot be forced charity. That is slavery. Charity us something that flows naturally from the wells of our hearts. We find the joy of service, and we remember that we are pleasing the person who gave so much to us, more than we even comprehend, Jesus Christ. And His Father gave Him everything. And Fathers Father gave Him everything, etc. In God’s kingdom we are always heirs, receivers, more than we are givers. All we give is but a token of what we have received.

We persuade others to serve. We invite them to act. When they need a rest they are free to take it. When they don’t understand what we are asking they are free to go and think about it. We are not pushy salesmen. We love the product, so we can get carried away in our attempt to share it, but it is a gift which cannot be received under pressure. One must pull it toward them self, it cannot be pushed upon them.

The kingdom of God is a happy place, and service is but one component if the lifestyle of its inhabitants. Without service it wouldn’t be happy. With too much service it wouldn’t be happy either. How much is too much service? That is to each individual to decide. If a person wants more blessings, they can serve more. This doesn’t mean that those with a fullness of joy are constantly serving, but it dies mean that there is a lot if work to get done, and who better than us to do it. A person will be happy not only as they serve but as they rest and play. There are seasons of work and seasons of play. Some seasons are average, some are quite hard. One is willing to let the Lord have a voice in telling which season we are in.

Today we are weak, but in the resurrection our bodies will be strong, and capable if both working more and playing more.

Alma taught people the plan of salvation before teaching them the commandments. We establish God’s happy play for you, then we talk about how to make it happy, today and always. Where there is no vision the people perish. Study scripture and prophets and inspired writings of various types. Not only does the body need constant nourishment, but so dies the spirit. This feeding the spirit is done by scripture, music, literature, games, exercise, work, research, teaching, resting, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Magnifying Your Calling in the Church & Your Calling in the Gospel

 

 

Joseph Smith taught (in “Lectures on Faith”) that a religion which doesn’t require someone to give their all doesn’t have sufficient power to save them. That’s a high bar! As a Mormon family follows the prophets and follows their conscience (within the parameters of the councils of the prophets), only God knows the astounding things the couple will be called upon to do.

 

We are familiar with the concept of a calling in the church which must be magnified to gain exaltation. Less familiar is the idea that we have callings in the gospel, which also need to be magnified to gain salvation. How is a calling in the gospel different from a calling in the church? It’s similar to the old testament concept of a “free will offering” – you choose what it looks like. You choose what sign you want to give to God. The calling in the church is about doing well with a very specific assignment given to you from priesthood leaders. A calling in the gospel is doing well with yourself and your family in obeying the whispered instructions of the Holy Ghost (which always fall within the parameters of the teachings of the prophets).

 

I once had a debate with a protestant wherein he said, “that’s not reasonable, reason has never been on the side of Mormonism”. First off that’s a stupid debate tactic, but second off, the wisdom of God is far different from the wisdom of man! I’m proud of the fact that I belong to a church that looks different from society at large! It wasn’t reasonable for Noah to build the ark. Wasn’t reasonable for the early pioneers to give up their property and trek into poverty in Zion. Wasn’t reasonable for John Tanner to give up his fortune to save the temple then in construction. Wasn’t reasonable for Cowdry to go wander looking for Joseph Smith for a reason he knew not. There are plenty of examples where we can see in hind sight that crazy actions for the sake of church and gospel callings turned out to be the means of saving many souls. Granted keep all this in wisdom and order, but within the parameters of wisdom and order there’s plenty of room for bold, daring, and what others would call “unreasonable” acts of faith.

 

 

 

 

Effective Co-Creators: Everyday Saviors on Mount Zion

 

 

 

Thesis: not only God, but humans also, have the power to vastly effect, or “CREATE” the eternal destiny of human beings. Your contributions are significant, for good or ill. God’s plan includes, and perhaps is even based on, humans impacting each other. Complacency with the idea that “God will take care of everyone” is not only going to end up bad for you, but bad for others, and that eternally. The end of the document has brief dialogue of my answering questions from LDS people and a Protestant friend regarding this theory. This is the most plain writing I could conjure, and it is appropriately bold.

Your effect on others creates for them a different experience and opportunity than they would have had without you

Consider God. were it not for him, we would not have progressed to our current corporal status, and we would have no hope of resurrection, just to name a few things.

Now consider mankind. Can their effect be great upon others?
I’ve heard some men say they are afraid to preach the gospel because they fear that if their hearers reject their message, the hearers will be somehow eternally disadvantaged because of them.

I’ve heard some men say ‘why does it matter if I contribute a lot or a little to the preaching of the gospel (and other good causes), God will make sure everyone is taken care of, God would not put another person at risk because of me, a third party.

This is dangerous logic. God watches over us all, this is true. But he has already done so much for us, and though he continues to do lots for us, our interactions with each other can bring even further blessings.

Consider this: God values our autonomy (independence) so much, that he lets people make good choices and bad choices. the good leads to exponential growth. the bad leads to exponential decay. the repercussions or fruits of these actions are not inconsequential.

God gives the human race so much power, that they can influence each other powerfully unto the effect of saving or damning their fellow man.

Will God protect us from all evil? Will he force us toward all good? No and no. So much of the fate of the human race depends on their interactions with each other!

God is creating us into someday-Gods. We are children of God and have the seeds of divinity in us. Mortality isn’t our first rodeo, we learned much in premortality. Now here in mortality we are all given massive power to impact the lives of our fellows. This is part of what makes mortality such an effective test; some men have said “how can God pass eternal judgement upon us after grading our performance for a measly 80 or so years? Can that really determine the way I will spend eternity?” The answer is yes, it can, and it does. Let me explain: the impact we have for others in this life for better or worse is so monumental, that if it be an impact for good, it will merit our eternal salvation. And if it be an impact for bad, it will be so far reaching that it will be clear grounds for the eternal damnation of our souls. You see, mortality is the final battle, the last stand, the point of no return, the test of eternity, this is where God determines which of his children have chosen to become like him, and which will cut themselves off, not being willing to bear such an “eternal weight” of glory and joy.

Now granted, God in his goodness has prepared more than just a heaven and a hell, but varying degrees of each so the sort of good person doesn’t get stuck with either the valiant or with the devils, and so the sort of bad person doesn’t get stuck with either the valiant or with the devils. This plays into government theory, its why socialism and communism don’t work. If there is only a heaven or hell, then why should the good person bother being his best, or why should the bad person bother with not being his most deplorable self? You see, a free market is similar to how God judges his children: if they do much good, they get much reward. If they do a little good, they get a little reward. If they do much evil they get great punishment, if they do little evil they get little punishment. This doctrine shows us that God is completely fair with us.

Let it further be noted that God has loaded extra mercy into his government via the service of his divine son Jesus Christ. I and everyone else desperately needs Christ. Christ performs 2 functions: 1. pay for our debts (sins), and 2. help us learn to be independent (debt free, aka not sinning anymore, able to build our own great things rather than just begging others for help all the time; the person eventually becomes a helper instead of one to be helped)

So let me summarize a few key ideas: it does matter how much you participate in promoting goodness in this life. You do have power to lead others toward salvation which could result in souls saved which would have otherwise been lost. You do have power to lead others to damnation whom otherwise may not have been damned. God has given his children (the human race) epic amounts of power, and will measure their eternal assignment by the way they have used that power. Perhaps the fact that we don’t often realize how much we are impacting others (how much power we have) is part of the test we are going through. When we meet God the blinders will be removed from our eyes and we will understand all things, and we will confess that his judgments upon us are just!

No wonder Joseph Smith taught that a religion which does not require one’s all does not have sufficient power to save him!

Here are my responses to some issues LDS people have had with this theory:

When I say capitalism is like heaven this is what I mean: the fact that we have multiple levels of heavens suggests that the harder one works, the greater his reward will be. Such is not the case in communist governments which look much like Satan’s kingdom. Protestant religions have 1 heaven only, and that doctrine demotivates work ethic. One example, if being a doctor paid the same as being a nurse’s aid, I wouldn’t bother going to med school. In other words, if simple belief in Jesus was enough for heaven, I wouldn’t bother being a Mormon (it’s a lot of work!). I look forward to living the law of consecration where I will have no use of extra money, but I will have the blessing of the celestial kingdom which is better than terrestrial, better than money, etc.

Yes service is missing in capitalism, but governments are about protecting our rights, not about compelling us to be charitable! Even God doesn’t force us to have charity! About independence, it refers to a later stage where we become God’s having equal power over all things with God. At our current stage we certainly need to rely on Christ. We will forever praise and worship Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father for their role in our advancement to Godhood. We will then help our posterity become just like ourselves, like how our Heavenly Father helped us become just like Himself.

One more word on the analogy of business: God is the CEO. Is independent, possessing all power. We are currently beggars. Thank God for his mercy to provide for us (air, food, bodies, power, etc.). Eventually, as a child of God, he wants us to become his equal, helping us to start our own companies and be CEO of them, and have all power with him and his father’s (and yes, prophets have taught that Heavenly Father has a father). When we become CEO’s, we are no longer dependent. Satan wanted to be a CEO like God, but he wanted to replace God rather than starting his own business and all the work that would entail. This he is damned. He was more of a mutineer than a businessman. He rebelled against God instead of aligning himself with the ways of God.

Here is a brief conversation with a Protestant friend pertaining to the last segment here “When I say capitalism is like heaven this is what I mean…”

  1. COMMENT FROM PROTESTANT FRIEND: Thanks for sharing Nate! I love getting to understand other religions and beliefs as they test my own faith. As a Protestant, our ultimate motivation behind good deeds and works is the love of and for God- to bring Him glory. We believe that Christ is certainly enough and the only way to receive salvation. A true believer who has accepted Christ wouldn’t just want Him for their ticket to heaven. They would be motivated out of love and gratitude for what Christ did to be the most Christ-like person they can become. But we all fall short of the perfection of Christ. Thank God for grace! Lol- literally!
  2. RESPONSE BY NATE:
    You’re welcome glad to see some of this jargle gets read  So I’ll say this in response: Out of his love for us, Christ centers his involvement with us on making us better people. Christ isn’t obsessed with being worshiped, he is obsessed with helping others. I worship him because he helps me. If he did not help me, I would not worship him. So at face value Protestants are inherently more pure than Mormons because they worship out of love instead of out of gratitude, but I suggest that premise is incorrect. Loving God is one thing, but it’s why you love him that’s important. I don’t love someone just because they call themselves God. If Christ wasn’t my ticket to heaven, I would not worship him. My chief focus in this life is to get myself, my family, and whoever else I can to heaven. Anything less would be further from right on a scale of right and wrong. In one sentence, you said you don’t just worship God because he is a ticket to heaven, but in the next you said you worship him in gratitude for “what he did”. Well “what he did” is give us a ticket to heaven. So I think that your adoration of Christ is more centered on the ticket than you’re ready to admit. It was a nice thing of Christ to keep company with prostitutes, it was a nice thing of Christ to teach his disciples, it was a nice thing of Christ to heal lepers and raise dead people back to life. But none of those things are why I worship Christ; many prophets before and after Christ have done all of those things, yet I don’t worship them. The one and only reason I worship Christ is because he offers me salvation. Another word for salvation is “a ticket to heaven”. Also you’ve defined what it means to be a true believer in Christ, and you claim I don’t fit that definition. Belief is subjective and personal, so I won’t tell you what you believe, and you don’t tell me what I believe. The most classic in the book is bible reading persons arguing about what it means to have the correct idea about what it means to be a “true believer” (hence the many churches of different creed and title). You and I have 2 different and passionate views about what it means to be a believer, but for the sake of friendship, we will avoid calling each other non-believers. I’m glad that you recognize that I believe (and I’m even more glad that you agree with this) that Christ is the only way to salvation.
  3. RESPONSE FROM PROTESTANT FRIEND: “This is such a great response Nate. This is why I love conversations like this and I think that the more we discuss, the stronger our faiths become. I think that you are SO right when you say that my adoration of Christ is more centered on salvation than I am ready to admit! And for me, that is a sin, and something that I want to work every day on moving away from. Someone once asked me if I would worship Christ even if he did not die on the cross for us. If I’m honest with myself, that might be hard to do because of my inherent selfish human nature. But I would hope that I would. My chief focus in life is bringing my God glory for the amazing God that He is. I worship him for who He is, and I do good works (obedience, service, etc.) in gratitude for what He did. The fundamental difference between our two faiths is who the person of Christ is. Protestants believe that Jesus Christ is fully human, and fully God. I believe that Jesus Christ IS God in the flesh, and that is the most important reason why (or maybe rather why I SHOULD) worship Him. But that gets us into some pretty deep theology that might be better for another time  You say at the end that we both agree that Christ is the only way to salvation, but you also say that in order to be saved, there is more work for you to do in addition to what Christ did. This is where we differ, though each of our acts of worship of Jesus remains genuine. What I will say is this- I absolutely do respect your faith and I love learning more about it. I think that Mormons are some of the most kind, most faithful, and most dedicated people to their faith. I wish that more Christians were like that. Thanks again for sharing”
  4. RESPONSE BY NATE: Thanks for the compliments. To keep it brief I’ll say this: LDS do believe Christ is God. Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 11:13 “I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.” so FYI Mormons do believe Christ is God. Old testament names God as “Jehovah”. Yes, JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH, AND JEHOVAH IS GOD. Yes, we differ in that you don’t believe Jesus (Jehovah) has a Father. If we wanted to get into it, I could explain how God (Jesus) having a father is critical to having hope. Basically, it shows that we can become Gods just like Jesus became a God. It shows that the universe is ever expanding, and posterity “as the stars” is ever expanding, allowing us to have the full large-scale parental joy that Gods have. Further, God the Father is the standard that God the Son (Jesus Christ) lived up to become a God. God the Son came to earth to show us the prototype of how to become God. Thank goodness that we have access to mercy or we could never become the kind of just people that Gods are. Mercy hurts, and we are learning to not just receive it, but to give it. Being saved (having a happy afterlife) is about what Christ did for us. Being exalted (reaching your full potential, becoming a God like your father (we are the children of God)) is about what we do for others. The other issue you bring up is the need for works “beyond Jesus” for salvation. Well, Jesus said that not only those who say Lord Lord get into heaven but those who do good works. That is a theme throughout the bible and I won’t bother you with 50 references to support it. Heaven knows I have at least 10 essays doing just that on my website from prior conversations like this that I’ve had. I now focus these discussions on boldly declaring my beliefs rather than dancing around about how to interpret what the bible says (which I suggest Protestants aren’t as united on as you may think). Basically the argument that there is only Jesus and no personal effort to get salvation is ignoring the essence of Jesus as an example. The Book of Mormon brings to mind the idea that bible readers have forgotten, that Jesus says over and over “be like me”. Another key difference between our religions is The Book of Mormon. At the end of the day arguing about what the bible says isn’t that important to me, because it’s not the comprehensive dictionary of my faith. I believe in the Book of Mormon, which means I believe in a certain interpretation of the bible, and reject other interpretations of the bible. PS good job on discovering that the cross-less Jesus wouldn’t be someone to worship.

Don’t feel obligated to read any of this but if you’re ever really curious, these I have more essays which relate to topics we are discussing in the exaltation, eternity, & redemption sections of my books.

 

 

 

Non-Predestination Aspect of Gods Agentive Servants

 

 

God’s servants are not pawns, they are free independent agents, without predestined future. It is true they are called to a great work, but it remains their choice whether they will accept and accomplish that work.

 

We think about spirituality as “God gives a person agency, and the righteous person gives their agency back to God.” No, it goes like this: God gives a person agency, and the righteous person makes choices, and those choices become the will of God. For example, the brother of Jared brought stones for God to make bright to light his vessels; God then made it happen. Could Jared have chosen another way and it still have worked, still have been sanctioned by God? Yes! It’s like when Nephi got the sealing power; God trusted that the choices Nephi would make would be appropriate, NOT THAT he would do the exact things, the marching orders, of God. No, Nephi became an executive agent for God, a person whom did things that pleased God. God didn’t come up with all of Nephi’s ideas, but God did approve of Nephi’s ideas. Nephi became someone who acts, and is not acted upon. Nephi is learning the character of God, growing into his divine birthright. Beginning to receive the endowments of his Righteous Father, whom is God.

 

 

Possible Hebrew Meaning of Genesis 3:1

 

 

 

The scriptures treating Eden say that Satan was the most subtle, above all the beasts of the field (Gen. 3:1). Subtle can be translated to naked in Hebrew. It also uses that word to describe Adam and Eve, stating that they were naked. Later we read of being clothed with coats of skins. One possible interpretation is that this scene took place before a physical setting where man and beast had bodies, and were later clothed with bodies (coats of skins). We know the earth was created spiritually before physically. It could be calling Satan the ‘most naked’, suggesting that Satan would fail to receive a body, and remain ‘naked’ / without the glory of having a body, forever.

The fall could mean an entrance into mortality, a step in the journey that would be difficult but necessary. A place where we could procreate physically and thereby obtain bodies which could become eternal, akin to that of God.

God is not a sprit, but a full and exalted man, meaning a spirit clothed with a physical body, which will never decay, and which body can procreate (procreation is only permanently afforded to those who prove faithful in all things).

An analogy could exist that Adam and Eve were coming out of a cave at the event of the fall. The Legends of the Jews text, if I recall, describes something of this nature. This could be symbolic of a rebirth, coming forth from the womb of the earth into new life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the Rest of the Lord (for Sabbath, Millennium, Heaven)?

It is not just to sleep a lot
When you have peace, even hard things are restful.
When you have the mantle of your calling, you have peace.

 

What is Your Calling and Election?

 

Hyrum Andrus pointed out that each persons is different,  and that we ought to find what ours is and humbly work it out.  You are not only called to the celestial kingdom,  but to perform a certain  work and calling.

It is apparent that there are specific missions we need to fulfill, and I presume many of those, if not most, do not come by way of formal calling in the Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART 4: POST-MORTALITY

 

The Better World We’ve Been Hoping For

Onward to eternal perfection.


 

Delicate Friendships to Be Restored

 

 

Do we always love those we once loved? Are friends so easily lost? It seems so, though we know we must move on with reality. But we hope that in the next life we can be friends.  May heaven restore the delicate things which could not remain in this fallen land. May we learn one by one to love all people as we love ourselves. May we view one another in positive light, giving the benefit of the doubt, for once we saw each other as equals and had great joy with one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Millennium & Heaven: Eternal Sunday? Boring?

 

 

One friend mentioned that she might not be so interested in heaven if it’s just harps and clouds all the time, Sunday on repeat forever. This friend specifically asked about pets and eating in heaven among other things. Here is my response:

Lol. All I can say is study the teachings of Joseph Smith all you can. Look up Truman G Madsen lectures on Joseph.

Heaven is a lot of work and that scares people. Brigham Young said if the streets in heaven are paved good, it was the saints who paved them.

There’s also eternal parenting (can you count the stars?) and creating worlds out of broken down  unorganized matter.

Imagine having mastery of every science and knowing all history and psychology to the point that you can with confidence predict the future of individuals and societies. Imagine having command of every musical instrument.

Imagine knowing all people, their names, their stories, and earning their friendship, and helping them progress to greater levels of joy until they have a fullness.

Here is the deal: there is no such thing as permanent Sunday. Sunday is when we reorient ourselves to the cosmos, to the more real eternal world. It is a day God rested from his labors. What’s the point of permanent rest? There is none. Not even for God. He rests one in 7, not 7 in 7.

The notion that heaven is a boring place of singing dull hymns with uninterested neighbors is a lie of Satan.

Eating? Jesus ate fish with his apostles after he was resurrected. Perhaps you eat depending on what company you’re in, weather you’re helping mortals that day or planning with fellow gods that day.

Pets? Joseph Smith said the animals in the book of Revelation are both literal and figurative. Hugh Nibley says, drawing upon info from ancient documents, and ideas from evolutionary biology seen on this planet, not to mention animals evolving on other planets, that there are countless types of animals in heaven, such that we can’t even imagine all that we will see there.

Heaven is a real place. It is a series of planets crowned with glory (intelligence, light, and truth). In the system of planets we belong to (MWG likely), the heaven planets are those located near planet Kolob. Further, there are telestial (like our earth), terestrial, and celestial planets.

The residents of those planets have powerful bodies, to the degree of glory they attain. The highest glory includes the bodily privilege of procreation, a divine power which we now have some access to test us (here is divine power, will they handle it?).  Brigham Young said every person (men and woman) who reaches the ‘unspeakable attainment’ of exaltation in a celestial world, will be made as beautiful as the angels (male and female) that surround the throne of God.

We could go on and on, but suffice it to say that the new testament passage put it well when it said we can’t even begin to imagine how awesome heaven will be.

Also, read life everlasting by Duane Crowther.

Here is the first of a lecture series by Truman g Madsen which will help shed light on the subject further: Click here

 

 

 

 

Why Aren’t We “Raptured” Upon Conversion?

 

 

I heard a radio preacher this morning say this, and I’ll tell you why he is wrong:

“we live in the world, as Jesus said we would. Why doesn’t got rapture us as soon as we are converted? Why isn’t it that when we say, “I am a sinner, Jesus Christ, I commit myself to you.” that we aren’t raptured up to heaven immediately? It’s because God is keeping us here to reach out to others.”

THAT’S WHAT THE PREACHER SAID. NOW I’LL TELL YOU THE CORRECT ANSWER.

God is keeping us here because WE’RE NOT DONE BEING TESTED, not because all there is left to do is to worry about other people. No, the quest for your soul is not over when you say, “Jesus is my Savior!” The scripture says, ‘not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter into the kingdom’. It takes a lifetime of WORK to get full access to the GRACE. The sooner you repent, the better. Then keep repenting. Joseph Smith said he was like a rough stone rolling down a hill, getting rough edges knocked off as he goes, becoming a polished shaft for the quiver of the Lord. This preachers message deleted the need for repentance, and thus undermined the sacred gospel of Jesus Christ, bringing it down to the level of a mere game.

 

 

Longing to Belong by Bruce Hafen – Lecture Highlights

 

This complete discourse is found in the book “The Belonging Hearth: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family” by Bruce Hafen, Ch. 1: The Longing to Belong

 

 Wickedness is Happiness, Sometimes? The Justice of God and the Nature of the Soul

 

Mormon 2:13 shows that people have some amount of happiness in sin, but that God doesn’t allow that to continue. God doesn’t “suffer” them to do that always. Indeed, when people sin, it makes God suffer! The word used in the text is suffer. We reconcile this passage with the passage of Alma 41:10 that “wickedness never was happiness” in that the deceptive “joy” we feel when we sin is like the magician pulling the rabbit out of the hat; it’s not real, and not substantive, and won’t work when you need it the most. It’s a mere trick, and won’t meet the deep human needs we all have. It’s like a diet of pure ice cream, it seems alright at first, but you soon find it only leaves you ill and without energy; your quality of life has greatly diminished overall; you forgot the joy you once had, and consider this the new normal, and are puzzled at the joy others have whom are living Gods commandments. You don’t remember that keeping Gods commandments is the source of joy, so you don’t believe or understand the people of God when they claim that God has given them their happiness. We aren’t talking about the fake people of God, we are talking about the real people of God whom spend 20 hours of serving the poor for everyone hour reading scriptures. Not the hypocrites, but the true followers of Jesus. These true followers of Jesus are whom you see as having the deepest joy; nothing can conquer it though they pass through hell itself for the sake of righteousness, for the sake of the unending blessings it will pour out on the heads of the people of the earth. They are the saviors of men, and will appear as the Lord at the time of the Coming of the Lord. There is no real solution for world peace outside of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ isn’t a mere teacher, he is God. He didn’t just have good ideas, he had power to raise the dead. He didn’t just give His life for us, he was risen from the dead, and lives today. He didn’t just forgive the sinner in His day, he will also judge all mankind at the last day. He will determine whether our works have been good or evil, or somewhere in between, and assign us to a place in His kingdom where we can stand the most blessings. The righteous are more able to receive blessings, so they will be blessed more. The wicked cannot live the law of heaven, so they cannot abide in the highest heaven. They may abide in a lower heaven whose law they agree to abide, but they can never enter the highest heaven without surrendering to the laws of the highest heaven. This includes obedience to God even when we don’t understand all the reasons why God is asking us to do a certain thing. Behold the power of God, see it in the history of earth as recorded in the bible and book of Mormon, and see it manifest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Read the book of Mormon, and pray to know if it is not true. Life the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and see if your life doesn’t improve for the better. Stop using liquors and harmful drugs, stop being sexually promiscuous, stop keeping all your money for yourself, stop avoiding marriage and childbearing, start praying to the Father in the name of the Son Jesus Christ, start worshiping with the Saints of God, start confessing your crimes and misdeeds to those offended, start becoming financially independent, start taking good care of your body, start worshiping God in his temples as erected by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Start turning your heart to your fathers by researching whom your ancestors are and being baptized proxy for them in the temples, so they too may have the blessings of salvation, for truly, baptism is the gate one must enter into Gods kingdom by. Why? Because God said so. Avoid baptism and you’ll never enter into the highest heaven, no, not ever! Baptism is the way we say “ok God, this is your kingdom, I’ll do whatever you ask. Want me to balance a rubber duckie on my head while I cook breakfast? Ok. This isn’t my program, it’s yours, and I’m just glad to be here.” Of course Gods symbols (baptism, temple ritual, etc.) are meaningful and not a vain thing like the duck on the head, but the point is that even if we don’t understand his symbols yet, that doesn’t mean we need to run away. Baptism is to represent a person being laid in a tomb, then rising out of that tomb. Why? because the central thing about Christ is that he will raise your body out of its tomb. Dead is a very short stop on the train of life. Without God and Christ whom is the messenger of God, life is a Shakespearean tragedy. There is no hope, for death comes, and ends our lot, be it sad or glad. But with Christ, we hope to rise from the dead, and know that all will rise from the dead. With Christ, we have hope, and can deal with the tragedy, knowing that this life is the temporary part, and that the greater is to come. Oh friends, believe in God! Try to believe! Try to obey! Gods blessings aren’t just for those who are good, but for those who try to be good! For those who are obeying him, and those who try to obey him! Like a parent helping a child to walk, God will help you obey his commandments if you try! What, you’ve stumbled before? Don’t give up! It’s not over till it’s over! Feel my love for you, and hear my witness as your friend that Christ lives, and has the power to save you! Finally, hear my witness that the power of Jesus Christ is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and more knowledge of his kingdom is found there than anywhere on earth! Truths long lost have finally returned and are found in this church, praise the Lord! Come, feast on the words of Christ, which are in more abundance in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than anywhere on earth! Want to know what happened to Gandhi? Celestial kingdom of God (the highest heaven). But he had no baptism! God’s got that taken care of via proxy baptisms; the dead live on as spirits, and await the return of their bodies made alive again, and while they wait, they are taught of the fullness of truth, which is that Jesus Christ is the Lord God whom created the earth, and that his are the ways of life. The spirit candidate (the dead person) may then praise Jesus Christ and accept baptism, for he had no chance to receive it in life! He had no understanding of it either! So God is kind, and works these things out. He doesn’t say “oh you didn’t hear / didn’t understand? Too bad!” No, this is not the Lord of the universe. The Lord of the universe is a just ruler, who takes everything into account when he makes his judgments, and he is a merciful judge! Do you have more questions about the operation of the universe, and the kingdom of God which organizes it? Of course you do! Talk to me, talk to someone whom has been acquainted with these things, be bold in your seeking! You may or may not be seeking God and Christ, but they are seeking you. They are relentless, and you’ll hear from them time and again. They aren’t going away, and they have sent prophets once again, like Joseph Smith, to whom they appeared in person, and have sent many more scriptures to. The days of Peter and Paul of the New Testament are upon us again, we now again have witnesses whom have seen the face of God, and whom have his power! Did Christ raise the dead? Yes. So do they whom have his authority. Joseph Smith raised someone from the dead. Prophets since Joseph Smith have raised people from the dead. Has anyone ever raised someone from the dead without the authority from the hand of Jesus Christ? No, not ever! Jesus Christ put his hand on the head of Peter. Then Peter appeared to Joseph Smith in about 1830 and put his hand on Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith passed it on to Brigham Young (these men aren’t perfect, only Jesus is perfect, but you would be hard pressed to find better men on earth than Joseph Smith and Brigham Young), and the authority has been passed on by hand to the current prophet Thomas S. Monson. By this direct transferal of power, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims the direct authority of God. The prophet Monson receives revelations about what the Church and the world need to do to be saved. Have you heard what he has to say? Oh you really should try it! Aren’t you a little curious? Don’t you want to at least know, even if you don’t believe? Then after you know what he says, don’t you want to believe? You must pray to God for this answer. Then will come the most powerful witness you’ve ever experienced in your life. So fellow wanderer, come, come and see what I have found!

 

Point-Blank Accountability

Here we argue that our character is our fault, regardless of external forces and situations we’re placed into in life, leaving us before God in a state of point-blank accountability. We will also consider how Christ is merciful and takes into account our circumstances, though we do not excuse ourselves.

-2 Ne. 28:23 this verse shows that those who allowed themselves to get ensnared with the chains of Satan will eventually have to stand before God and confess this truth: that ultimately, what they got into was their own fault. Wow!
-You see, we must use the grace of God to help us stop sinning. If we die in deep sin, it means we have not accessed the grace of God. Ecclesiastes says you can turn your life around before you die and it will be well with you, but if you don’t, toast!
-Yes there is help in the spirit world for who had not opportunity in this life, and even opportunities for people who lived in sin to get some blessings in the hereafter (but not full exaltation blessings), (and we can’t judge well about who meets what qualifications), but we recognize this: This life is the time to repent and prepare to meet God (Alma 34:32, 34 etc.).
-Though our works are “filthy rags” compared to the goodness of God, our salvation will yet hinge upon these two things: Us doing all we can (2 Ne. 25:23), and having God help us (2 Ne. 25:23). We need to offer those filthy rags as a sacrifice to God. If we do nothing, it’s like trampling the Holy One of Israel under foot (3 Ne. 28:35), which is much worse than a meager offering, however filthy those rags may be.
-““Death does not change our personality or our desires for good or evil. Those who chose to obey God in this life live in a state of happiness, peace, and rest from troubles and care. Those who chose not to obey in this life and did not repent live in a state of unhappiness.” (Preach My Gospel 2004, pp. 52).
-“Sin consists in doing wrong when we know and can do better, and it will be punished with a just retribution, in the due time of the Lord.” (Brigham Young, DBY, 156; Teachings of BY Manual: https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-9?lang=eng ).
-“Though we may do the best we know how at this time, can there be no improvement made in our lives? There can. If we do wrong ignorantly, when we learn it is wrong, then it is our duty to refrain from that wrong immediately and for ever.” (Brigham Young, DBY, 156; Teachings of BY Manual: https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-9?lang=eng)
-Naturally, God will take into account all things. Marilyn Monroe had a different name as a child. She was abused severely by her mother, including being locked and transported in a suitcase, many terrible things. One day someone with a camera told her she looks good in pictures. Finally there was a place where she felt worthwhile. She became a sex figure in society. It seems that God will have mercy on this soul. The family proclamation issued by the LDS church in 1995 states that children are “entitled” to parents who love and care for them. So it seems that a child without that privilege he/she was entitled to have as a human being will have a significant amount of mercy in their case before God. This being said, she was an adult making choices and will have some level of accountability, but this early terrific trauma certainly had lifelong results which were serious and not her fault. Christ’s atonement (sacrifice) on behalf of the rest of the human race is called “infinite” in the scriptures. This doesn’t mean anything goes, but it does mean we have cause to praise His name forever!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Mortality – Teachings of the Prophets

 

 

 

-“God has important work for each of us. Speaking to sisters but teaching truths that apply to all, President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “Before we came [to earth, we] were given certain assignments. … While we do not now remember the particulars, this does not alter the glorious reality of what we once agreed to.”(Spencer W. Kimball, “The Role of Righteous Women,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 102) What an ennobling truth! Our Heavenly Father has specific and significant things for you and me to accomplish (see Ephesians 2:10). These divine assignments are not reserved for a privileged few but are for all of us—regardless of gender, age, race, nationality, income level, social status, or Church calling. Every one of us has a meaningful role to play in furthering God’s work (see Moses 1:39). Some of us question whether Heavenly Father can use us to make important contributions. But remember, He has always used ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things (see 1 Corinthians 1:27–28; D&C 35:13; 124:1). “[We] are agents,” and “the power is in [us]” to “bring to pass much righteousness” (D&C 58:27–28).(President Gordon B. Hinckley encouraged: “Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great … things. … You are a child of God, of infinite capacity” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley [2016], 77).) President Russell M. Nelson explained: “The Lord has more in mind for you than you have in mind for yourself! You have been reserved and preserved for this time and place. …The Lord needs you to change the world. As you accept and follow His will for you, you will find yourself accomplishing the impossible!” (Russell M. Nelson, Accomplishing the Impossible: What God Does, What We Can Do (2015), 147.) ” (Oct. 2017 Conf. Report “I have a work for Thee” by Elder John C Pingree Jr. of the Seventy, see https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/i-have-a-work-for-thee?lang=eng)

-Speaking of the differences between spirits, President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “We know they were all innocent in the beginning; but the right of free agency which was given to them enabled some to outstrip others, and thus, through the eons of immortal existence, to become more intelligent, more faithful, for they were free to act for themselves, to think for themselves, to receive the truth or rebel against it” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:59).(https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)

-The Prophet Joseph Smith stated: “God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with Himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits” (History of the Church, 6:312). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)

-The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it has a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic” (History of the Church, 6:311). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)

-“Mankind are organized of element designed to endure to all eternity; it never had a beginning and never can have an end. There never was a time when this matter, of which you and I are composed, was not in existence, and there never can be a time when it will pass out of existence; it cannot be annihilated.

“It is brought together, organized, and capacitated to receive knowledge and intelligence, to be enthroned in glory, to be made angels, Gods—beings who will hold control over the elements, and have power by their word to command the creation and redemption of worlds, or to extinguish suns by their breath, and disorganize worlds, hurling them back into their chaotic state. This is what you and I are created for” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 48; see also D&C 93:29–33). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)

-“IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World: First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) (https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation)

-“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

-“And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;” Joseph Smith Translation Rev. 12:6

-“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:7

-“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” John 5:58

-“Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.” Ether 3:16

-“And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.” Abraham 3:27

– 1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3

-“the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18

-“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

-“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36

 

 

Literal (Corporal) Resurrection of Christ & All

 

 

 

For another critical aspect of understanding this topic, study the doctrine of premortality as taught by the prophets, which can be found elsewhere in this book. You must understand that we lived before earth, and a key purpose in coming to earth was to get a body, one like our Father in Heaven’s body. Even Jesus Christ had to come to earth to get a body, so he could complete his training to become like Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ is the prototype of how to become like Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father is the exalted man. He was a spirit, then he was born on an earth to get his body, now he exists with that body, resurrected from the dead, to never die again, enjoying his perfected body forever. Jesus Christ now has his resurrected body also. After 3 days in the tomb, he was risen. This is a key doctrine of Christianity, and the great secret of the universe: That the human race are destined to become Gods, and that Gods are created out of humans, particularly humans who express interest in becoming like God, and agree to do so in the only way possible, namely keeping the commandments of God, the same terms by which God himself became God. Lucifer is an interesting case study – he fell because he wanted to become a God, but wasn’t willing to do it in the natural process of living a life of devotion to God and kindness to his fellow men. Lucifer wanted to dethrone Heavenly Father and take his place. As we see, Lucifer not only lost his opportunity to become a God from his rebellion, but also lost his opportunity to even get a body. Prophets have revealed that the great punishment to Lucifer is the fact that he doesn’t have nor ever will have a body. Prophets have also taught that spirits with bodies have more power than spirits without bodies. This means we have more power than Lucifer. Jesus Christ was resurrected, and so will we be. Even the wicked on this earth will be resurrected, but their resurrection will not be as glorious as the resurrection of those who are valiant in this life. In the premortal world, those who chose to follow Heavenly Father’s plan, including the centerpiece of that plan being redemption through faith in Jesus Christ, were given the opportunity to come to earth and obtain bodies. The gift of bodies is a permanent gift.  We’ve already earned it, and nothing we do in this life could revoke that. Getting bodies is eternally wonderful, but we must follow God if we hope to become like our Father in Heaven. As his children, it is our truest destiny to become like him, and join in the ‘family business’ of having an endless posterity, and creating worlds on which those posterity may dwell in their journey to joining us and Father in Heaven as the Gods of the universe. Heavenly Father, as an exalted being, has the key privilege of, by the power of his body and the power of his priesthood, having an endless posterity. The doctrine that we can become like our father in heaven is logical and glorious. This is why we shout praises to God! He doesn’t just want us to be, as Elder Renlund said, nice house pets who don’t get his celestial living room carpet dirty, no, he wants us to become as he is! His key title is “Father”. How can we be fathers without bodies? It can’t be done. Praise God for the gift and joy of bodies, and oh how we strive to be worthy of a celestial resurrection, where the body will become more glorious than we can comprehend! The attainment of utmost beauty, the absence of disease and exhaustion, these unimaginable gifts are only the beginning! Other interesting reading on this topic are my essay “Objective Beauty” and my essay “Prophets Teach About Beauty”, which can be found in my book on family.

-One must understand what is an angel, what is a human, what is a God. They are all human, but in different stages of progression.

stage 1 of human: angel without body (not yet come to earth to get a body)

stage 2 of human: mortal being with a body on earth (being tested to see if will advance higher by passing the test of faith)

stage 3 of human: angel without a body (came to earth for a body and died, and now awaits the resurrection)

stage 4 of human: angel with a body (the body was dead but is now resurrected to forever remain alive, for “in Christ are all made alive”)

stage 5 of human: God (the resurrected (re-embodied) angel has reached perfection)

Note: the term “angel” is not really an essential term in this context; the angel is not a different breed from the human or the God; they are all the same breed, it’s us. The main thing to pay attention to is that our stages of progression are defined by weather or not our spirits are clothed in bodies. Angel comes from Hebrew melak and Greek angelos, both merely meaning “messenger.” In that sense of the word, a human mortal on God’s errand can be termed an angel as well.

Note: Nephilim or giants or “The Watchers” are not strange supernatural creatures, but all fit into the above stages of regular human existence. For a discussion further detailing this point, see document “The Watchers Nephilim Supernatural Theory Exposed as False Doctrine –by Nate Richardson, 5-1917” at this link: https://richardsonstudies.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/the-watchers-nephilim-supernatural-theory-exposed-as-false-doctrine-by-nate-richardson-5-1917/

Note: these human stages in no way justify the false doctrine of reincarnation. The essence of a human remains forever, as well does their memory. Mortal humans don’t remember the life prior to earth because of a veil drawn over the mind by God. This veil will be removed in the resurrection of the dead, and all will remember all 3 parts of the play: pre-mortality, mortality, and post-mortality. (mortality meaning life on this earth as we now live from birth to death. The human soul has existed from the beginning, and will continue to exist indefinably. For further detailed explanation of this point, see document “Humankind living before earth (have no beginning have no end), Literal Resurrection, Eternal Family: An 18 Point Response to a non-LDS Christian: by Nate Richardson aprox. April 2017” at this link: https://richardsonstudies.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/humankind-living-before-earth-have-no-beginning-have-no-end-literal-resurrection-eternal-family-an-18-point-response-to-a-non-lds-christian-by-nate-richardson-aprox-april-2017/

-Alma 40:22-26: ” 22 Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets.

23 The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.

24 And now, my son, this is the restoration of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets—

25 And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God.

26 But behold, an awful death cometh upon the wicked; for they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness; for they are unclean, and no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God; but they are cast out, and consigned to partake of the fruits of their labors or their works, which have been evil; and they drink the dregs of a bitter cup.”

-D&C 129: 4-5, 7-8: “4 When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you.

5 If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.

7 Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message.

8 If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.

– 1 Cor. 15:50 says no flesh can inherit the kingdom of God, and this is true. Resurrected bodies don’t have blood, rather spirit flows through their veins of flesh. The flesh is enhanced from it’s current earthy state to a celestial state. It is still tangible and embodies the spirit like our mortal bodies now, but it is inexhaustible. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve had no blood in their veins, they had spirit in the veins. Blood entered their bodies when the fall occurred. The fall is when they became mortal. The reason the Old Testament law forbad the eating of blood was because the blood is the life of a thing (Lev. 7:10-14).

Hear Brigham Young on this: “The blood he spilled upon Mount Calvary he did not receive again into his veins. That was poured out, and when he was resurrected, another element took the place of the blood. It will be so with every person who receives a resurrection; the blood will not be resurrected with the body, being designed only to sustain the life of the present organization. When that is dissolved, and we again obtain our bodies by the power of the resurrection, that which we now call the life of the body, and which is formed from the food we eat and the water we drink will be supplanted by another element; for flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God [see 1 Corinthians 15:50] (Discourses of Brigham Young, 374).” (https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-37?lang=eng ; from Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young: Ch 37, Understanding Death and Resurrection)

– “We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. He is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine’s body to having none. All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Ch17 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-17?lang=eng#12-36481_000_021 ; Quoted by William Clayton, reporting an undated discourse given by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois; in L. John Nuttall, “Extracts from William Clayton’s Private Book,” pp. 7–8, Journals of L. John Nuttall, 1857–1904, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; copy in Church Archives.)

-2 Nephi 9:5-22: “5 Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.

6 For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.

7 Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.

8 O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.

9 And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.

10 O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.

11 And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave.

12 And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.

13 O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.

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.

15 And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God.

16 And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end.

17 O the greatness and the justice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled.

18 But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever.

19 O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.

20 O how great the holiness of our God! For he knowethall things, and there is not anything save he knows it.

21 And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.

22 And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.

-1 Cor. 15:16-24: “16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”

-1 Cor. 15:29: “Else what shall they do which are abaptized bfor the dead, if the dead crise not at all? why are they then baptized for the ddead?”

-Luke 24:46-33: “36 ¶ And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.”

-Job 19:26 “And though after my skin worms destroy this abody, yet in my bflesh shall I csee God”

-Moses 5:10 “And in that day Adam blessed God and was afilled, and began to bprophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my ctransgression my deyes are opened, and in this life I shall have ejoy, and again in the fflesh I shall see God.”

-What if a body is burned to ashes or shredded in the sea? It all comes back together in the resurrection by the power of God recombining those elements. Hear Brigham Young: “After the spirit leaves the body, it remains without a tabernacle in the spirit world until the Lord, by his law that he has ordained, brings to pass the resurrection of the dead [see D&C 93:33–34]. When the angel who holds the keys of the resurrection shall sound his trumpet, then the peculiar fundamental particles that organized our bodies here, if we do honor to them, though they be deposited in the depths of the sea, and though one particle is in the north, another in the south, another in the east, and another in the west, will be brought together again in the twinkling of an eye, and our spirits will take possession of them. We shall then be prepared to dwell with the Father and the Son, and we never can be prepared to dwell with them until then. Spirits, when they leave their bodies, do not dwell with the Father and the Son, but live in the Spirit world, where there are places prepared for them. Those who do honor to their tabernacles, and love and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, must put off this mortality, or they cannot put on immortality. This body must be changed, else it cannot be prepared to dwell in the glory of the Father” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 372, see Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, at https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-37?lang=eng).

Further, hear Brigham Young again: “We are here in circumstances to bury our dead according to the order of the Priesthood. But some of our brethren die upon the ocean; they cannot be buried in a burying ground, but they are sewed up in canvas and cast into the sea, and perhaps in two minutes after they are in the bowels of the shark, yet those persons will come forth in the resurrection, and receive all the glory of which they are worthy, and be clothed upon with all the beauty of resurrected Saints, as much so as if they had been laid away in a gold or silver coffin, and in a place expressly for burying the dead” (DBY, 373–74)

-“…The spirit [of a righteous man or woman] has overcome the body, and the body is made subject in every respect to that divine principle God has planted in the person. The spirit within is pure and holy, and goes back pure and holy to God, dwells in the spirit world pure and holy, and, by and by, will have the privilege of coming and taking the body again. [Jesus Christ,] holding the keys of the resurrection, having previously passed through that ordeal, will be delegated to resurrect our bodies, and our spirits will be there and prepared to enter into [our] bodies. Then, when we are prepared to receive our bodies, they are the first earthly objects that bear divinity personified in the capacity of the man…” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 373; see Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, at https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-37?lang=eng)

– “No man can enter the celestial kingdom and be crowned with a celestial glory, until he gets his resurrected body” (DBY, 375).

-“The only true riches in existence are for you and me to secure for ourselves a holy resurrection” (DBY, 372).

– “12 And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality; 13 And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name. 14 All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. 15 I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand. 16 They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.

17 Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy.

18 While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful; 19 And there he preached to them 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 138:12-19)

– “33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; 34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.” (D&C 93:33-34)

– how will we have seed without end (the covenant of Abraham) if we don’t keep our bodies in the Kingdom of God forever? In my religion, having more children in heaven is the essence of heaven and progression. I claim that none of God’s subjects are anything other than the children he has bourn. He keeps having more children, so his kingdom keeps getting bigger. So it will be for us if we follow Christ.

– God organizes intelligence and leads them along, thus they are his children. He sends them to earth, they get a body, die, get their body back in the resurrection, then they do what he does (if they pass their test, this life is the test). God has had one child in the flesh, that is Jesus Christ. “The Only Begotten Son”. The rest of us are his spirit children. That does not diminish his ownership of us though. As you may have deducted, once a child of God becomes a God, they also have spirit children, and send them to earths for their testing. To have a body is to be like God. Getting a body is one of the main reasons we came to earth.

– “I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen.

22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.” (Abraham 3:21-26)

– I will state the obvious, which is written in the most introductory text of my faith: namely that the body will rise from the grave, and be reunited with the spirit! Heaven is a place where people have bodies, live in families, and families can’t happen without sex. Worlds without end, you’ll never find such a creation. This is the genius of the restored truth of the latter days: that the body is central to the eternal plan of God, and is not merely to be disposed of after mortal death! Death of body is a resting, not a permanence! Are Christians clear about this? No! Are Latter-day Saint Christians clear about this? More clear than staring you in the face, yes! The universe is governed by laws which even God himself cannot break. The only reason a god is a god is because he and she have conformed to the laws of the universe. One of the laws of the universe is that we need bodies and the uniting thereof with a spouse to have full joy. Does full joy end after this life? No! And of course, there are many gods, though only 1 of them rules over us. Our God is our father. No being whom is not a child of God is ruled by God. All beings are ruled over by their celestial parent, worlds without end, forever and ever. To avoid the risk of saying something too sacred here, we will merely recall the words of Joseph Smith, that this “one eternal round”. Where did Gods begin? It’s one eternal round. Everyone has a parent… it’s a cycle, worlds without end, and without beginning. The mortal does not comprehend the “no beginning”, and alas I say it no better comprehends the “no end.” The average person has no clue about their true nature, for they have no clue about the nature of God. God has always existed, and we as his children have likewise always existed. God will always exist, and so will we. Even the devils of hell must go on and on forever, and have been forever going on. God fathered us in promoting our state, this does not suggest that we lived not before. Thus it is, we compare to understand, with the biological birth. That person did exist before it got a physical body, but the mortal parents heaped upon it a grand promotion: the body! Likewise, individual personal intelligences named you and I existed before God organized it into greater intelligence. The parent does such a vast favor for the child, that it is considered that the parent “created” the child. Indeed, for all intents and purposes of our word “created”, so he did!

– I believe sexual relations between people married by God are an eternal and divine thing, a grand system of humanity; I believe that in heaven, married people have spirit babies with each other and send them to earths (which they have the power and pleasure of creating and governing to ensure justice and mercy are balanced in the end) so they their children can get bodies LIKE THEM and the experience needed to also become Gods. I also believe we get to keep our bodies in heaven, they are wonderful and bring much pleasure and are beautiful and good. Some think Adam and Eve sinned in having sex. No way! Sex is good. The Adam and Eve story? I think Eve is amazing! She helped Adam learn about how it’s worth it to go through pain in order to have joy! I believe we EVERY HUMAN ON EARTH will come out of their graves and be made perfect, impervious to disease and aging. Getting our bodies back is a free gift from out kind God whom made us. That’s a big part of the Jesus story, that he, the Son of God, “broke the bands of death”, and is responsible for giving everyone their body back. Some say you’ll be more free without a body. But meditation shows that we are quite capable of having larger than life experiences WHILE having bodies. So I think bodies are good. Just because we have a body in heaven doesn’t mean we can’t fly and teleport and move mountains; we just haven’t learned how to do that stuff yet, it will come. So this little rant can show you a bit more about why I think marriage and children is so important… because it’s the order of the universe…

 

 

Pre-Mortality, Corporal Resurrection, & Eternal Family – A letter to a friend

 

 

(non-LDS Christians think that we did not live before this earth, and that the resurrection isn’t literal, and that the family is not eternal. They think there can’t be any truth except what is written in the bible, not allowing more modern universal modern written word from God. This letter responds to those things from the LDS point of view, LDS meaning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

everyone will live forever; we all lived in the beginning, no one will ever cease to exist. 1 Cor. 15 says as in Adam all die so in Christ all live. ; from Adam all die, now Jesus overcame death for everyone; for followers of Christ, massive blessings come, a more “abundant” life (not $, but glory in the Kingdom etc.); also refer to 1 Cor. 15 about telestial and celestial bodies etc., it says “so also is the resurrection of the dead”; this means depending on how valiant a person is, they will accordingly get resurrected with that level of body; this doesn’t mean a cripple in this life is not righteous! It means in the next world, the righteous will have greater blessings in this regard.
1.01 I know it says death to the wicked in your bible. Some places it even says eternal death. My bible says that is figurative. My bible says one of the gifts in the category of “God sends rain to the just and the unjust” is that we all get bodies (except Lucifer and some of his followers as you’ll read later in this article).
1.1 I’ll refer to “my bible” a few times here, you already have the classic Christian bible, so I really have nothing to say to you if I just base my beliefs on that; If I merely had your bible as the text for my religion, we would be the same religion. However bible believers have had a hard time sorting that out, and have split into many schools of thought as evidenced by hearing one thing in one congregation, and another in another. ( I’ve seen how a preacher in one congregation can interpret something differently from the same bible) If I have anything unique to say to you, it will come from my bible. When I say, “my bible”, it means the collection of your bible, and “the book of Mormon”, and “the Doctrine and Covenants” (D&C), and “The Pearl of Great Price”; these are the 4 books of my bible; your bible has 66 books in it, my bible has 69. Truly, if we are trying to teach each other out of the same book, we will merely go back and forth bickering about feelings and interpretations. Hence though you may not find it very valuable, most of my message in this letter comes from “my bible”, a different book, one you may not be as familiar with. Perhaps you’ll consider it a fairy tale, yet I still invite you to continue reading for interest sake. A better knowledge of LDS stuff won’t hurt you (PS you don’t know it already, you can always learn more, I know that because I’ve been studying the stuff (from “my” bible)for a decade and can still learn more; I don’t have it memorized, and when someone puts things together in a certain order it can help it to make sense; however I’m sorry this letter is not very organized and falls short of what it could be; it does not do “my” bible justice; Perhaps you’ve read it, perhaps even more than once, but any bible student knows there is more to be had)
2. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
3. “And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;” Rev. 12:6;
I believe mankind (me, you, everyone as individuals) also existed before coming to earth. my bible says this: ” 29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.” (D&C 93:29-30)
Another interesting thing on these lines is the idea that no one will disappear. A person’s being cannot vanish. For sinners, they won’t have as high a quality of life in the next world, but exist they shall. Christ said he came to give life and that more abundantly. A parent doesn’t kill its disobedient child, it just doesn’t get to pour as many blessings on it. That is the perspective that sits well with me. Again if this is unclear in the bible, that’s ok, I know it seems heresy to you, but I believe in more than “the bible”. You might consider that God has slain some of his children already, but he slew their bodies, not their spirits.
5.5 this is from my bible about having a body forever: “1 There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—
2 For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
3 Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.” D&C 129:1-3)
5.6 here my bible speaks of both God the Father and Jesus Christ having physical literal bodies, but not the Holy Ghost: 22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
5.7 this from my bible also speaks of getting a body forever ” 12 And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality;
13 And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name.
14 All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
15 I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand.
16 They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.
17 Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy.
18 While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful;
19 And there he preached to them 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 138:12-19)

Leaders of my church have summarized it this way: “IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.”
7. Part of the bible I read from (includes the D&C, words from modern prophets (Joseph Smith etc.)) says this:
“For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.” (this is why a literal physical resurrection is important, getting our bodies back from out of their graves; Jesus has his body back, we want to be like him, he is the ideal of happiness)
Also note “element is eternal”; I’m not talking about radioactive decay, I’m talking about the core stuff, perhaps carbon or the atom etc. It goes back to the topic of God creating things from existing materials, etc.
8. I believe in a literal resurrection, everyone gets their bodies back (except Lucifer and other people whom were so wicked in the beginning that they never merited getting a body on earth in the first place). Book of rev. says before earth life, 2/3 of the spirits followed God, and 1/3 of them rebelled and were cast down with Lucifer (they are the spirits that go around tempting us, they will never be blessed with a body)
9. how will we have seed without end (the covenant of Abraham) if we don’t keep our bodies in the Kingdom of God forever? In my religion, having more children in heaven is the essence of heaven and progression. I claim that none of God’s subjects are anything other than the children he has bourn. He keeps having more children, so his kingdom keeps getting bigger. So it will be for us if we follow Christ.
10. in case you don’t like the idea of having a marriage in heaven with your wife (husband for women), consider that neither is the man without the woman in the Lord. Perhaps you think of the passage about not marrying or given in marriage, but that passage refers to how we get a spouse now, and those who put it off forever, will never have that joy.
11. we believe in fact that without a wife a man cannot progress in heaven. We believe God has a wife, and thus can have children. We believe we are the children of God destined to become like him if we follow and receive and use the power of Jesus Christ.
12. In summary, I believe that we all lived from the beginning, that God was wiser than us, so he helped us come to earth etc. so we can progress to become like him. Jesus Christ is the central figure in God’s plan for our salvation. After this earth we will live forever with bodies as families in the presence of God. We will “grow up” and “become like our parents”.
12.5 So yes there is a “Mother in Heaven” as well as a Father in Heaven. That helps us realize the divinity of women! Women are divine! God would not be God without his wife. Not even God can create a person without a wife. That’s contrary to the law of heaven. There are several things God cannot do: for example, he cannot tell a lie, he cannot commit adultery, he cannot destroy himself, he cannot take away our power to choose for ourselves; there are laws in the universe, God abides by those laws, that is what makes him God.
12.6 was Jesus married? He must have been. Does his bride the church mean he can’t have a wife? No, He can’t be a perfect God without a wife. He can’t have children without a physical wife, and without having children, his kingdom wouldn’t exist or grow. Christ is also the father of our salvation, that is why we worship him and call him our king. I also believe Jesus Christ created/molded our physical bodies; however he did not organize our spirits, it was The Father who did that. Furthermore, Jesus Christ was the firstborn in the spirit. Gods first spirit child was Jesus Christ. God later fathered the body of Jesus Christ also.
12.6 founding fathers of Christianity also believed that we can become Gods. Like God in every way. That is the purpose and power of Jesus: to pull us up, to bridge the gap, to work the divine in us. That is why we love him because he first loved us.
13. Does our becoming God’s make God less important? No! It gives him more glory. Our kingdom is always beneath his kingdom. It’s like how a grandfather doesn’t get upset when he gets grandchildren, or when he sees his children succeed. All parents want their children to succeed. A successful child can even go to say how great the parent was. God is so powerful, that he can make me a God. I won’t rule over God, I’ll rule under him. Lucifer fell because he wanted to force his way into Godhood rather than becoming a God in the appropriate way; Lucifer also wanted to take Gods place, and that is heresy and evil. No one will ever take Gods place.
14. thus the doctrine that mankind was also in the beginning with God is very important in understanding the plan of God.
14.5 one more doctrine in case you were wondering, God organizes intelligence and leads them along, thus they are his children. He sends them to earth, they get a body, die, get their body back in the resurrection, then they do what he does (if they pass their test, this life is the test). God has had one child in the flesh, that is Jesus Christ. “The Only Begotten Son”. The rest of us are his spirit children. That does not diminish his ownership of us though. As you may have deducted, once a child of God becomes a God, they also have spirit children, and send them to earths for their testing. To have a body is to be like God. Getting a body is one of the main reasons we came to earth.
15. pose any question to me and I’ll answer it – I haven’t explained everything here. When you ask a question, those of the nature of “but the bible doesn’t say that” are not as interesting to me. I never intended this to be a mere bible message. If that is heresy to you, I don’t mean to offend, and I respect your views, and applaud the good you do in the world. The type of questions I’m interested in are those which clarify the message of this letter rather than look for a biblical source for the letter. On some level all of this is in the bible, and we could go there, and I will if you like to some extent, but truly, that’s not the point. If that is heresy to you, that’s ok, as we’ve said before we can have different views and still be friends. Even if you think me hell bound for rejecting “perfect bible Christianity”, you can still be my friend. PS I don’t think you guys are hell bound, and am not offended if you think I am. I’ll take it further; You’re quite familiar with LDS stuff (much of this letter was probably a repeat for you), so you understand the whole separate levels of heaven thing which the LDS teach; I don’t even say you’re not going to the highest level of heaven; It’s not my place to judge; when people do their best they get the best reward; yes it’s true that LDS teach that the highest heaven is for those who have LDS temple ceremonies performed for them, yet there is a stipulation for those who weren’t involved; the stipulation is them getting that temple stuff after they are dead, awaiting the resurrection; however we encourage persons to read “my bible” and wrestle with this stuff and not get in a “I’ll change when I’m dead” setting, that never does much; the point of this final rant is to say that in no way do I say you’re not going to the highest heaven; there is so much confusion these days, I’m an imperfect messenger, LDS prophets are imperfect messengers, etc. etc., that many people simply aren’t going to hear the message God really wants them to hear; the key is that people really truly do their best, and pray very hard to find truth, and are willing to stand alone when called upon by God, willing to be in a minority of 1, etc. A note: though myself etc. are imperfect messengers, I do believe that “my bible” is absolutely true, pure revelation from the mouth of God. I take my bible as seriously as you do your bible. I also have another tool, it’s living prophets. When a passage in my bible isn’t clear, they can clarify it via God telling them the clarification. Such clarifications apply to the whole world and are binding. Another important point is that not everything a leader in “my church” says is this type of depth binding revelation. Messages from “the first presidency” and those which are repeated over time are the ones which are considered “revelation” and binding in their authority on the same level as “bible”.
16. some of this is hard to understand and may be unclear, but the universe isn’t 1st grade, it’s so fascinating that it can keep a genius on his toes, and thrill the best and brightest. It can at its core also be very simple and clear. I’ve not focused on that so much, so if you have questions of that nature, refer to the website sponsored by “my church” ; the best site I can think of is this http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/topics-and-background/ it has an a-z index of church stuff even the hard questions. While not sponsored by the church, fairmormon.org is also a good one.
17. you may not be into any of this, that’s ok. It’s been fun for me to put this together. I also feel bad if I don’t explain myself when I say something like I did on the FB message of “things that begin have an end”. God bless you
this passage from the book of Abraham (from POGP in my bible) it’s very important to the above logic:

“I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen. 22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; 23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. 24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; 25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; 26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever. 27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first. 28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.” (Abraham 3:21-28)

The reader refused to read my letter because I referred to things not in the Bible, and I responded thus:

That’s fine that you are not interested I will avoid pestering you with these things in the future. My message is something you are inherently opposed to, that your bible is not the only standard of truth. Since there is this foundational disagreement we can politely tip our hats and focus our conversation on different things. My attempts to show you from the bible that the bible is not the only standard of truth have been in vain. You say the bible can be like art that several people see differently. Well I can use the bible to say that there are more venues of truth than that book. So really your rejection of my extra biblical literature is a rejection of the bible itself… This outright rejection of my view evidenced by your refusing to read my letter to you is slightly disappointing. I put a lot of thought into that and it’s addressed specifically to you. If a pagan wrote me a letter I would read it out of respect for my pagan friend (and yes, it’s OK to be friends with pagans). After reading the letter I would tell him thank you for your time though I do not share those views. At that point I would either leave it alone or try to sport with my friend in showing him fallacies of his logic and try to persuade him to my point of view. Either way I would do my best to respect my friend. At the same time I recognize you are busy and didn’t necessarily ask for the letter, and perhaps reading such a letter is against your religion (hopefully this level of close mindedness is not a tenant), so I understand your hesitancy to read my letter. If I’ve offended you I apologize and will seek more neutral topics in the future as I value your friendship regardless of religion. I also note that despite differences our religions do have much in common. May God truly bless you as he has in the past.

 

 

The Solution to Pharaoh’s Dilemma: Overcoming Death

 

The authoritative solution to death is found from the prophets and temples…

Ideas based on a lecture by Hugh Nibley

Pharaoh was worried very much. He was not focused on death but on resurrection, on eternal life, not an eternal tomb. He was preoccupied about overcoming death he spent his days in the genealogical archives looking through files trying to see where he had Authority he wanted to imitate the ways of the Ancients like Noah and perform the rites and ordinances of eternal life he was heartbroken to find out that he could not find any link to this Authority in his genealogy and so he imitated Noah and created temples and these temples mimicked the order of the ancients.
The temples were the CenterPoint hierocentric center of the universe there a scale model of the universe; they are where we began to understand life after death you see this is the universal preoccupation of the human race, death. no one can get around it happens to everyone and so in the temples they prepared for the next life the prepared to be risen from the dead and they took upon themselves vestitures which would enable them so to do; of course these rituals were revealed by Angelic beings which came and showed them to Noah, Adam, et-cetera. And of course the temples are the perfect universities, the first observatories, etc.

 

 

The 7 Deadly Heresies by Elder Bruce R McConkie – Lecture Highlights

 

-God knows all things, he is not continuing to learn. If he did not know all things, he could not save any of his creations. This is a quotation from Joseph Smith.

-Evolution in the way many see it (Darwinism) is entirely false. There was no death before the Fall of Adam. There were not things dying and evolving before Adam. The fall brought death into the world. See 2 Nephi 2:22 where it expressly says this.

-There is no doctrine of post-death second chances for Celestial Kingdom residence. “Those who reject the gospel in this life and then receive it in the spirit world go not to the celestial, but to the terrestrial kingdom.”

Our work for the dead is for who did not have the chance to hear the gospel in this life. It’s not our place to judge who that may or may not be.

-There is no advancing from one kingdom of glory to the next in the life to come. Where you are assigned is where you stay. “Of those in the telestial world it is written: “And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end” (D&C 76:112).”

-Temple marriage does not ensure that we will teach the Celestial Kingdom.

-We don’t have to be perfect in this life to merit living with God in the hereafter, but recall these principals, “(1) that this life is the appointed time for men to prepare to meet God—this life is the day of our probation; and (2) that the same spirit which possesses our bodies at the time we go out of this mortal life shall have power to possess our bodies in that eternal world.”

We need to be going towards God, and that not superficially.

-To see the full text of this discourse click here.

 

 

 

 

Creation Fall Atonement Narrative

 

 

Elder McConkie taught that there are 3 pillars of eternity, as follows:
1. creation of the world,
2. the fall of Adam & Eve, and
3. the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Here are various scenes where we find these 3 pillars to be of use. These are analogies which help us understand these pillars. I view the original pillars to be factual accounts, not purely symbolic, though here we will consider various symbols.

Let me know of more you think of!

  1. Life
    1. Pre-mortality,
    2. earth life,
    3. the life to come
  2. Bodies
    1. living as spirits,
    2. living with bodies on earth,
    3. living with resurrected bodies in the kingdom of God
  3. The Batman Film Series (Not that I suggest those movies, which I don’t, though the music is good.)
    1. “Batman Begins” with fear,
    2. episode 2, Batman falls in chaos,
    3. episode 3, Batman rises by pain.

(images spliced from the movie covers)

  1. The literary theme
    1. Hero learns of identity & mission
    2. Hero embarks on the mission and finds much difficulty
    3. Hero overcomes through great sacrifice, successfully completing his mission
  2. Star Wars
    1. Luke learns of the force
    2. Luke fights against the dark side of the force
    3. Luke becomes a Jedi master and restores balance to the force
  3. Candide by Voltaire
    1. Candide begins with pure optimism
    2. Candide experiences setbacks of every kind
    3. Candide resorts to his garden, where his feelings are tempered with wisdom as he seeks to live a quiet life
  4. College
    1. The student hears of many possibilities & of his potential
    2. The student fails in obtaining all of his ambitions as he seeks to balance work school family life and his various passions. He is saddened by his inability to learn all things and help all people at the present time.
    3. The student relinquishes various academic aspirations and performs in a specific field, trusting that someday as time goes on, his heart will find knowledge, and he will somehow make a significant contribution to human kind in the various ways his heart feels to serve. He finds hope in religion which promises that he eventually shall obtain all knowledge and all power to serve others.
  5. The Family Man
    1. The young man is ambitious about family life, and obtains a wife and children
    2. The man experiences all manner of difficulties and is pushed further than he ever thought possible. He makes many mistakes and searches his soul to find strength to rise to his tasks
    3. The man becomes temperate and charitable, and is a legend among his people, playing a large role in the redemption of his posterity. He is not perfect, but he knows that as he continues improving he will become a God in eternity, and gain the title which is the highest: Heavenly Father.

(Note: for the woman, same narrative, and she obtains the title Heavenly Mother, whom is Father’s secret weapon, or in other words, she is the nucleus of the universe around which all else goes, she is the definition of purity and good, and Father’s job is to help people become like Mother. On a smaller scale, as President Russel M Nelson said, he chose to be a medical doctor because he could not choose to be a mother. He and God both have complete reverence for woman. The Hebrew word for God is actually a plural, Elohim, the ‘im’ meaning plural, which suggests that God is the team of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.)

 

 

 

 

PART 5: EXALTATION

 

 

 

 

Becoming as God, a Joint Heir with Christ, Worlds Without End

 

Placing all enemies under foot

 


Introduction

 

 

The doctrine of exaltation was taught by the ancient prophets, as well as the early Christian fathers. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whole heartedly embraces this doctrine! As God is, man may become, and as man is, God once was! As God’s children, we have every expectation of becoming like him in the eternal worlds!

Which actions calculate our eternal success most favorably? The answer is the family. This work covers many subjects related to exaltation, but dwells particularly on the central role of family life, which is the key to our spiritual development. Of all the titles of God, the one He prefers most is Father! Is God married? Obviously yes! Marriage & childbearing are absolutely critical and the single most worth-while endeavor in life. The thought of postponing them becomes ridiculous when we understand their importance. Family isn’t just the basis of society, it’s the basis of heaven.

This life is the great test to see if we will do all things that God commands: it is the school of the Gods, preparing us to dwell with and as they do.  Truly there be Gods many and Lords many, but to us, we worship our Lord Jesus Christ, and God our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ is the prototypical example of how to become as God. In pre-mortality, we were as the Holy Ghost. In mortality, as Jehovah Jesus Christ. In eternity, as Elohim our Heavenly Father. Come study with me these impressive doctrines which have great power to bring us into a state of excited motivation about life!

Explore with me ideas including the nature of agency, Lucifer’s fall, God’s progression, the Godhead as a type of our pre-mortal, mortal, & post-mortal progress, and much more.

“And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;” (3 Nephi 28:10)

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38; Cf. Isaiah 58:11)

“Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God— Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. And they shall overcome all things.” (D&C 76:58-60)

 

 

 

 

Becoming a Member of a Godhead, Advancing as They Did – Quote & Commentary

 

 

“Joseph the Seer taught the following principle that the God & father of our Lord Jesus Christ was once the same as the Son or Holy Ghost but having redeemed a world became the eternal God of that world. he had a son Jesus Christ who redeemed this earth the same as his father had a world which made them equal & the Holy Ghost would do the same in his turn & so would all the Saints who inherited a Celestial glory so their would be Gods many & Lords many” [Book of Revelations, 3-4, Wilford Woodruff, Jan. 30, 1841,]

 

I do not subscribe to the idea that there are multiple mortalities. I believe this life is the time to demonstrate our desire to Godhood. This life is the test, the big leagues, the school of the Gods. I believe much more was accomplished in our pre-mortal stage than we now grasp which is part of this.

I propose that we have gone through the pre-mortal Holy Ghost – like stage, and are now in the moral Christ – like stage, and in post mortal will be in Father – like stage.

 

 

Exaltation: Teachings of the Prophets

 

 

“the great universe of stars has multiplied beyond the comprehension of men. Evidently each of these great systems is governed by divine law; with divine presiding Gods, for it would be unreasonable to assume that each was not so governed.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions 2:144, 1980)

-“The life that God lives is named eternal life. His name, one of them, is “Eternal,” using that word as a noun and not as an adjective, and he uses that name to identify the type of life that he lives. God’s life is eternal life, and eternal life is God’s life. They are one and the same. Eternal life is the reward we shall obtain if we believe and obey and walk uprightly before him. And eternal life consists of two things. It consists of life in the family unit, and, also, of inheriting, receiving, and possessing the fullness of the glory of the Father. Anyone who has each of these things is an inheritor and possessor of the greatest of all gifts of God, which is eternal life.

Eternal progression consists of living the kind of life God lives and of increasing in kingdoms and dominions everlastingly. Why anyone should suppose that an infinite and eternal being who has presided in our universe for almost 2,555,000,000 years, who made the sidereal heavens, whose creations are more numerous than the particles of the earth, and who is aware of the fall of every sparrow—why anyone would suppose that such a being has more to learn and new truths to discover in the laboratories of eternity is totally beyond my comprehension.

Will he one day learn something that will destroy the plan of salvation and turn man and the universe into an uncreated nothingness? Will he discover a better plan of salvation than the one he has already given to men in worlds without number?

The saving truth, as revealed to and taught, formally and officially, by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Lectures on Faith is that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He knows all things, he has all power, and he is everywhere present by the power of his Spirit. And unless we know and believe this doctrine we cannot gain faith unto life and salvation.” (Bruce R. McConkie, “The Seven Deadly Heresies”) (see http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=658)

-There is no doctrine of post-death second chances for Celestial Kingdom residence. “Those who reject the gospel in this life and then receive it in the spirit world go not to the celestial, but to the terrestrial kingdom.” (Bruce R. McConkie “The Seven Deadly Heresies”

-The Prophet Joseph Smith stated: “God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with Himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits” (History of the Church, 6:312). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)

-“And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;” (3 Nephi 28:10 The Book of Mormon)

-“Mankind are organized of element designed to endure to all eternity; it never had a beginning and never can have an end. There never was a time when this matter, of which you and I are composed, was not in existence, and there never can be a time when it will pass out of existence; it cannot be annihilated. It is brought together, organized, and capacitated to receive knowledge and intelligence, to be enthroned in glory, to be made angels, Gods—beings who will hold control over the elements, and have power by their word to command the creation and redemption of worlds, or to extinguish suns by their breath, and disorganize worlds, hurling them back into their chaotic state. This is what you and I are created for” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 48; see also D&C 93:29–33).

-The Prophet Joseph Smith himself publicly taught the doctrine the following year, 1844, during a funeral sermon of Elder King Follett: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! … It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1938, pp. 345–46.) (https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/02/i-have-a-question?lang=eng)

-“Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so that undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God.” (“MORMON” VIEW OF EVOLUTION: A Statement by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) (http://biology.byu.edu/DepartmentInfo/EvolutionandtheOriginofMan.aspx)

–Some from this earth Abraham etc. already are God’s exalted D&C132:37, “37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.”

-“And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;” (3 Nephi 28:10 The Book of Mormon)

-Mirrors on both sides of the walls in the temple sealing (marriage) room suggest that the couple will not be married only for eternity, but for every eternity forever. (see Temple Mirrors of Eternity: A Testimony of Family (https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2010-10-2060-elder-gerrit-w-gong?lang=eng)

-“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” Psalms 82:6

-“Jesus answered them, is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” John 10:34

-“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:14

-“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev. 3:21)

-“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Rom. 8:17

-“Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.” Acts 17:29

-Don’t most children grow up to be like their parents? Indeed they have the capacity to do so if they so chose. All will to some extent, and many will to the fullest extent. So it is with becoming like God our Father in Heaven.

-“But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.” (D&C 63:23)

-“These things remain to overcome through patience, that such may receive a more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, otherwise, a greater condemnation. Amen.” (D&C 63:66)

-“Our spirit birth gave us godlike capabilities. We were born in the image of God our Father; He begot us like unto Himself. There is the nature of deity in the composition of our spiritual organization; in our spiritual birth our Father transmitted to us the capabilities, powers and faculties which He Himself possessed — as much so as the child on its mother’s bosom possesses, although in an undeveloped state, the faculties, powers, and susceptibilities of its parent.” [Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p.4]

-“Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God.” [Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund Messages of the First Presidency, 4:206]

-“We believe in the dignity and divine origin of man. Our faith is founded on the fact that God is our Father, and that we are his children, and that all men are brothers and sisters in the same eternal family.
As members of his family, we dwelt with him before the foundations of this earth were laid, and he ordained and established the plan of salvation whereby we gained the privilege of advancing and progressing as we are endeavoring to do.
The God we worship is a glorified Being in whom all power and perfection dwell, and he has created man in his own image and likeness, with those characteristics and attributes which he himself possesses.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, April 1970, p.4)

 

 

 

Heavenly Father has a Father as taught by Joseph Smith & Others

 

 

  1. Joseph Smith said in plain English that Heavenly Father has a Father, “I learned a testimony concerning Abraham, and he reasoned concerning the God of heaven. “In order to do that,” said he, “suppose we have two facts: that supposes another fact may exist—two men on the earth, one wiser than the other, would logically show that another who is wiser than the wisest may exist. Intelligences exist one above another, so that there is no end to them.” If Abraham reasoned thus—If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly, hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also? I despise the idea of being scared to death at such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it. I want you to pay particular attention to what I am saying. Jesus said that the Father wrought precisely in the same way as His Father had done before Him. As the Father had done before? He laid down His life, and took it up the same as His Father had done before. He did as He was sent, to lay down His life and take it up again; and then was committed unto Him the keys. I know it is good reasoning.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith page 373, meeting of June 16, 1844)
  2. Rev. 1:6, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (This could apply to either Christ and His Father, or Father and His Father.)
  3. Others like Brigham Young and Joseph Fielding Smith have also taught this doctrine. President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “Our Father in Heaven, according to the Prophet, had a Father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Bookcraft, 1955, vol 2, pg. 47)

Brigham Young said that “there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through.” (Deseret News, 16 Nov. 1859, page 290) see also Revelations 1:6.

  1. Joseph Smith taught “God the Father is an exalted man, native of another planet, who has acquired his divine status through a death similar to that of human beings, the necessary way to divinization (cf. TPJS, pp. 345-346).”
  2. Joseph Smith in the King Follet Sermon said, “God himself could not create himself.” (https://www.lds.org/ensign/1971/05/the-king-follett-sermon?lang=eng)
  3. “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! … It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1938, pp. 345–46.) (https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/02/i-have-a-question?lang=eng)

 

  1. Elohim is a title, not a personal name. “Ahman” is Heavenly Father’s personal name based on D&C 78:15, 20 and Elder Orson Pratt, is a name of the Father (JD 2:342). The Egyptians had fragments of gospel truth (from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others) and variations of Ahman are featured as names of their chief deities.
  2. BYU Magazine had an article “Hebrew School” where a leading LDS Biblical Hebrew scholar Donald Parry explained the Hebrew meanings of “Lord God” and their LDS implications of the power of God to create other Gods. Here is the quote: ““Lord God” in Hebrew is YHWH Elohim or Jehovah Elohim. The –im at the end of Elohim indicates a plural word (see also the Hebrew cherubim, seraphim, urim, and thummim). Elohim literally means “gods.” Some non-LDS biblical scholars maintain that Jehovah originates from the Hebrew “to be” verb (but a causative form); thus Jehovah Elohim, some scholars assert, may be translated “He will cause to be Elohim,” meaning, “He will cause gods to be.” For Latter-day Saints, this literal translation of “Lord God” is significant because of our doctrine; the translation signifies that the Lord is a creator of gods or the idea that females and males in mortality can become like God in eternity. “Lord God” is found hundreds of times in the Old Testament.” (https://magazine.byu.edu/article/hebrew-school/)
  3. one LDS man said, ‘but the bible and Book of Mormon don’t say that Heavenly Father has a Father’. To this I responded that the bible and Book of Mormon don’t say a lot of things, we aren’t limited to those. I’m puzzled at how basic of an understanding this man had suggested, that we would somehow reject any revelations not in the standard works? This is as silly as a Christian who rejects the Book of Mormon on the grounds that it’s not the bible!
    10. When Joseph Smith was asked ‘where did it begin’ he removed his ring on his finger and said its one ongoing circle with no beginning and no end
  4. Since ‘as man is god once was and as god is man may become’, how could have Heavenly Father gone through that without a father? There’s no such thing as a person without parents. Even Adam and Eve had parents, and were transported here from another earth as stated by Brigham Young. President Kimball said the rib taken from Adam to make Eve “is of course figurative”
  5. Jesus Christ is the prototype of how to become like Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father (and now Jesus Christ) is (are) the prototype of an exalted man. All of Christendom and heathendom rack their brains over the great mystery of God, confused at who how what where and why is God, but let Mormonism bring the simple truth of eternity to your ears: God is an exalted man. He like us was in initiate in the ways of truth, and now, having proved himself a just candidate, has advanced to the status of God.
  6. As far as we are concerned, Heavenly Father is Lord of all. 1 Cor. 8:5-6 reads “5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”
  7. One argument often used by people to refute the doctrine of Heavenly Father having a Father is that they claim Heavenly Father made everything. Hear this from Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon, where he illustrates that the intelligence of man is as eternal as God himself, that God did not create it: “I have another subject to dwell upon, which is calculated to exalt man; but it is impossible for me to say much on this subject. I shall therefore just touch upon it, for time will not permit me to say all. It is associated with the subject of the resurrection of the dead—namely, the soul—the mind of man —the immortal spirit. Where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning; but it is not so: the very idea lessens man in my estimation. I do not believe the doctrine; I know better. Hear it, all ye ends of the world; for God has told me so; and if you don’t believe me, it will not make the truth without effect. I will make a man appear a fool before I get through; if he does not believe it. I am going to tell of things more noble. We say that God Himself is a self-existing being. Who told you so? It is correct enough; but how did it get into your heads? Who told you that man did not exist in like manner upon the same principles? Man does exist upon the same principles. God made a tabernacle and put a spirit into it, and it became a living soul. (Refers to the Bible.) How does it read in the Hebrew? It does not say in the Hebrew that God created the spirit of man. It says, “God made man out of the earth and put into him Adam’s spirit, and so became a living body.” The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal [co-eternal] with God himself. I know that my testimony is true”
  8. D&C 123:19-22 explains how mortals can become like God, which suggests the reciprocal of God attaining his status from where we are. “And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, . . .Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; . . . and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, . . . and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory. For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.”
  9. Abraham 4 from the Pearl of Great Price says the Gods, not the God, created: “1 And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate, because they had not formed anything but the earth; and darkness reigned upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters. 3 And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light; and there was light. 4 And they (the Gods) comprehended the light, for it was bright; and they divided the light, or caused it to be divided, from the darkness. 5 And the Gods called the light Day, and the darkness they called Night. And it came to pass that from the evening until morning they called night; and from the morning until the evening they called day; and this was the first, or the beginning, of that which they called day and night. 6 And the Gods also said: Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and it shall divide the waters from the waters. 7 And the Gods ordered the expanse…” AND SO FORTH.
  10. “Anyone who believes and teaches of God the Father, and accepts the divinity of Christ, and of the Holy Ghost, teaches a plurality of Gods.” (General Conference Adress “The Patturn of Our Parentage” by Elder Boyd K Packer of The Quorum of The 12 Apostles) (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1984/10/the-pattern-of-our-parentage?lang=eng&query=evolution)
  11. Some from this earth Abraham etc. already are exalted Gods: This indicates that the process of deification is not as long as many have thought, and further builds the case of a divine continually growing family of Gods. D&C132:37: “37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.”
  12. God hasn’t always been God. Consider these words of Joseph Smith & Bruce R McConkie which suggest He started around 2.5 billion years ago:

“Well, now, Brother William, when the house of Israel begins to come into the glorious mysteries of the kingdom, and find Jesus Christ, whose going forth, as the prophets said, have been from of old, from eternity: and that eternity, agreeably to the records found in the catacombs of Egypt, has been going on in this system, (not this world) almost two thousand five hundred and fifty-five millions of years: . . . it almost tempts the flesh to fly to God, or muster faith like Enoch to be translated and see and know as we are seen and known!” (William W. Phelps, Times and Seasons, January 1, 1845, Vol 5, No. 24)

 

Elder McConkie repeated Joseph Smith’s teaching of the 2.5, “The life that God lives is named eternal life. His name, one of them, is “Eternal,” using that word as a noun and not as an adjective, and he uses that name to identify the type of life that he lives. God’s life is eternal life, and eternal life is God’s life. They are one and the same. Eternal life is the reward we shall obtain if we believe and obey and walk uprightly before him. And eternal life consists of two things. It consists of life in the family unit, and, also, of inheriting, receiving, and possessing the fullness of the glory of the Father. Anyone who has each of these things is an inheritor and possessor of the greatest of all gifts of God, which is eternal life. Eternal progression consists of living the kind of life God lives and of increasing in kingdoms and dominions everlastingly. Why anyone should suppose that an infinite and eternal being who has presided in our universe for almost 2,555,000,000 years, who made the sidereal heavens, whose creations are more numerous than the particles of the earth, and who is aware of the fall of every sparrow—why anyone would suppose that such a being has more to learn and new truths to discover in the laboratories of eternity is totally beyond my comprehension. Will he one day learn something that will destroy the plan of salvation and turn man and the universe into an uncreated nothingness? Will he discover a better plan of salvation than the one he has already given to men in worlds without number? The saving truth, as revealed to and taught, formally and officially, by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Lectures on Faith is that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He knows all things, he has all power, and he is everywhere present by the power of his Spirit. And unless we know and believe this doctrine we cannot gain faith unto life and salvation.”   (Bruce R. McConkie, “The Seven Deadly Heresies” (http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=658)

 

Added Points and Commentary:

  1. To one comment questioning the usefulness of this research, I said “It is noteworthy, as cited in my document above, that JS plainly taught that Heavenly Father has a Father. I don’t think JS was wasting his breath! But yes, this doctrine isn’t as critical as the doctrine of JC offering us salvation. The HF has a Father doctrine does however help the saints understand the broad plan of salvation, and give them courage to press through difficult trials. Philippians 3:14 may be suggesting that the title “God” is a calling, and even one we should seek: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.””
    2. A good comment on the article from one Stephen Douglas:
    “Joseph was correct in saying, if God created man from absolutely nothing, not giving our eternal intelligence (psyche) a premortal spirit (pneuma) and then a physical body (soma), all three components mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, then we are nothing special, nothing more than biological toys created in a whim, which God apparently did after all past eternity of having done nothing. And, because He purposely created us to be so flawed we could not function, perfectly, having created us with innate certain fallibility, He then had to sacrifice His only real Son to save those few select biological toys He didn’t need to create, just so He could have said toys sit at His feet to sing Kumbaya to Him, for the REST of eternity.”
  2. “President Young said There never was any world created & Peopled Nor ever would be but what would be redeemed by the shedding of the blood of the Savior of the world. If we are Ever Exalted and Crowned in the presence of God we shall become Saviors of a world which we shall create & people. I know why the Blood of Jesus was shed. I know why the blood of Joseph, & Hiram & others was shed and the blood of theirs will be shed. It is all to answer a purpose and has its Effect. Adam made this world and Suffered himself to take a body and subject himself to sin that Redemption & Exaltation might come to a man. Without descending below all things we Cannot ascend above all things. There never will be any Change in the gospel of Salvation, It is an Eternal gospel and the same in all worlds and always will be to the Endless age of eternity. There will never was a period but what worlds existed & never will be, they all have the same Gospel & Law of salvation.” -Wilford Woodruff, Waiting For the World’s End, The Dairies of Wilford Woodruff, Edited by Susan Staker, Pg.290
    4. After men have got their exaltations and their crowns – have become Gods, even the sons of God – are made Kings of kings and Lords of lords, they have the power
    then of propagating their species in spirit; and that is the first of their operations with regard to organizing a world. Power is then given to them to organize the elements, and then commence the organization of tabernacles. How can they do it? Have they to go to that earth? Yes, an Adam will have to go there, and he cannot do without Eve; he must have Eve to commence the work of generation, and they will go into the garden, and continue to eat and drink of the fruits of the corporeal world, until this grosser matter is diffused sufficiently through their celestial bodies to enable them, according to the established laws, to produce mortal tabernacles for their spiritual children.
    [Brigham Young Brigham Young, August 28, 1852 JoD 6:275:4]
    5. One asks, where did it all begin? My response, “Joseph Smith took his ring from his finger and said it is one eternal round. Things with beginnings must have an end. There is no beginning, and no end. Also remember the doctrine that our spirits are co-eternal with God, God was advanced before us and ‘instituted laws’ to help us advance like himself. It’s in the Pearl of Great Price. Suggesting there has to be a first eventually means there has to be a last, which isn’t the case. BY and other modern prophets have taught that every person has a father, including every God…Yep it’s confusing. Something fun to chew on is that JS and later BR McConkie in his ‘7 Deadly Heresies’ sermon said that God has been in his station for 2.5 billion years. Have you ever read the book ‘the Kolob theorem’? it suggests a God at the helm of each galaxy, etc. (see my notes on that text elsewhere). Our song ‘if you could hie to Kolob’ presents this same mystery, where did it all begin? in that hymn it goes on to say ‘there is no beginning and end’ if I’m’ not mistaken. Trying to figure this stuff out is good clean fun isn’t it?
    6. One person suggested the Adam God theory, that Adam is Christ’s Father, and Elohim is essentially Christ’s grandfather. I refute this theory. Here is my response, “ the temple actually refutes that theory… prophets taught HF lived on a different world than this one… since we’re not allowed to publicly discuss temple narratives, I’ll not argue this point any further. Are you somehow suggesting that Jehovah was working with his grandfather to instruct his father? Fathers teach sons, sons don’t teach fathers!… As for the Adam God theory, this has been denounced by modern prophets. For instance “We warn you against the dissemination of doctrines which are not according to the Scriptures and which are alleged to have been taught by some of the General Authorities of past generations. Such, for instance, is the Adam-God theory. We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine.” —Spencer W. Kimball, “Our Own Liahona,” Ensign (November 1976), 77 There’s plenty more where that came from, take a look at fairmormon.org on the subject. https://www.fairmormon.org/…/Repudiated…/Adam-God_theory I am active LDS and sustain the modern prophets’ teachings when there is any contradiction with past prophets’ teachings, particularly when such is taught repeatedly in our day opposing a doctrine taught in isolation in the past.
    7. One questioned my sources in this document, but ToPJS, JofD, D&C, these are all good sources.
    8. One Doug Hale commented on this article a useful idea along with a good quote from Brigham Young, “Why is it important to know that Christ’s Father was also the Savior of his world? Let’s first consider this: Matthew 5:48 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. ————-Before the Atonement, only The Father was perfect. 3 Nephi 12:48 48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. ————After the Atonement, both The Father and The Son are perfect. So if it is the Atonement that perfected Christ’s Father and Christ, what perfects us? The same thing: “President Young said There never was any world created & Peopled Nor ever would be but what would be redeemed by the shedding of the blood of the Savior of the world. If we are Ever Exalted and Crowned in the presence of God we shall become Saviors of a world which we shall create & people. I know why the Blood of Jesus was shed. I know why the blood of Joseph, & Hiram & others was shed and the blood of theirs will be shed. It is all to answer a purpose and has its Effect. Adam made this world and Suffered himself to take a body and subject himself to sin that Redemption & Exaltation might come to a man. Without descending below all things we Cannot ascend above all things. There never will be any Change in the gospel of Salvation, It is an Eternal gospel and the same in all worlds and always will be to the Endless age of eternity. There will never was a period but what worlds existed & never will be, they all have the same Gospel & Law of salvation.” -Wilford Woodruff, Waiting For the World’s End, The Dairies of Wilford Woodruff, Edited by Susan Staker, Pg.290 . It is the Eternal Pattern, the way it has always been done and always will be done. There was never a Father that was not first a Son.”
  3. Let us prove that some people have already become God’s. Here is D&C 132:29, 37: “29 Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne. 37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.”
  4. Some say LDS are bad since they think they can become Gods and say Lucifer fell for that reason. No, Lucifer fell because he tried to kick God out and take his place. Lucifer tried to become a God without really putting in the work to attain that status. In essence, he wanted to take someone else’s kingdom rather than building his own, which is a lot of work and self-sacrifice. Elder Christofferson had a brilliant presentation on this topic in a BYU Christmas devotional in 2017. I have a key portion of that lecture in my article ‘The Need for a Savior: God’s Plan of Justice vs Lucifer’s Tyranny.

 

 

 

 

 

Sons and Daughters of God – Scriptures

 

(from the Topical Guide)

 

Learning these scriptures can be key in our understanding of exaltation. We must be born again.

See also Adoption; Children; Children of Light

 

sons of God saw the daughters of men, Gen. 6:2.

sons of God came to present themselves, Job 1:6.

all the sons of God shouted for joy, Job 38:7 (D&C 128:23).

Ye are gods … children of the most High, Ps. 82:6.

saith the Lord … Ask me … concerning my sons, Isa. 45:11.

Ye are the sons of the living God, Hosea 1:10.

gave he power to become the sons of God, John 1:12 (3 Ne. 9:17; Moro. 7:26; D&C 11:30; 35:2; 39:4; 42:52; 45:8).

as we are the offspring of God, Acts 17:29.

led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God, Rom. 8:14.

ye shall be my sons and daughters, 2 Cor. 6:18.

that we might receive the adoption of sons, Gal. 4:5.

thou art no more a servant, but a son, Gal. 4:7.

blameless and harmless, the sons of God, Philip. 2:15.

God dealeth with you as with sons, Heb. 12:7 (12:5–9).

now are we the sons of God, 1 Jn. 3:2.

be his God, and he shall be my son, Rev. 21:7.

ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, Mosiah 5:7.

being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters, Mosiah 27:25.

they shall become my sons and my daughters, Ether 3:14.

ye certainly will be a child of Christ, Moro. 7:19.

all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters, D&C 25:1.

as many as would believe might become the sons of God, D&C 34:3.

are begotten sons and daughters unto God, D&C 76:24.

written, they are gods, even the sons of God, D&C 76:58.

I am a son of God, Moses 1:13.

Adam, who was the son of God, Moses 6:22.

thus may all become my sons, Moses 6:68.

many have believed and become the sons of God, Moses 7:1.

gave heed, and they were called the sons of God, Moses 8:13.

See also Deut. 14:1; Isa. 53:10; Matt. 5:9, 45; Luke 20:36; John 11:52; Rom. 9:8, 26; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 2:19; 1 Jn. 5:2; Mosiah 15:13; D&C 46:26; 50:41; 58:17; 138:39; Moses 6:8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Forever to Act for Themselves by Elder D. Todd Christofferson – Excerpt

 

Conf. Report 2014 Oct.

…”It is His plan and His will that we have the principal decision-making role in our own life’s drama. God will not live our lives for us nor control us as if we were His puppets, as Lucifer once proposed to do. Nor will His prophets accept the role of “puppet master” in God’s place. Brigham Young stated: “I do not wish any Latter Day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ,—the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied. I wish them to know for themselves and understand for themselves.” (Brigham Young, “Sermon,” Deseret News, Oct. 31, 1855, 267; quoted in Terryl Givens and Fiona Givens, The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith (2014), 63.)…

Christ died not to save indiscriminately but to offer repentance. We rely “wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save”19 in the process of repentance, but acting to repent is a self-willed change. So by making repentance a condition for receiving the gift of grace, God enables us to retain responsibility for ourselves. Repentance respects and sustains our moral agency: “And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.”20

Misunderstanding God’s justice and mercy is one thing; denying God’s existence or supremacy is another, but either will result in our achieving less—sometimes far less—than our full, divine potential. A God who makes no demands is the functional equivalent of a God who does not exist. A world without God, the living God who establishes moral laws to govern and perfect His children, is also a world without ultimate truth or justice. It is a world where moral relativism reigns supreme.

Relativism means each person is his or her own highest authority. Of course, it is not just those who deny God that subscribe to this philosophy. Some who believe in God still believe that they themselves, individually, decide what is right and wrong. One young adult expressed it this way: “I don’t think I could say that Hinduism is wrong or Catholicism is wrong or being Episcopalian is wrong—I think it just depends on what you believe. … I don’t think that there’s a right and wrong.”21 Another, asked about the basis for his religious beliefs, replied, “Myself—it really comes down to that. I mean, how could there be authority to what you believe?”22

To those who believe anything or everything could be true, the declaration of objective, fixed, and universal truth feels like coercion—“I shouldn’t be forced to believe something is true that I don’t like.” But that does not change reality. Resenting the law of gravity won’t keep a person from falling if he steps off a cliff. The same is true for eternal law and justice. Freedom comes not from resisting it but from applying it. That is fundamental to God’s own power. If it were not for the reality of fixed and immutable truths, the gift of agency would be meaningless since we would never be able to foresee and intend the consequences of our actions. As Lehi expressed it: “If ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.”23

In matters both temporal and spiritual, the opportunity to assume personal responsibility is a God-given gift without which we cannot realize our full potential as daughters and sons of God. Personal accountability becomes both a right and a duty that we must constantly defend; it has been under assault since before the Creation. We must defend accountability against persons and programs that would (sometimes with the best of intentions) make us dependent. And we must defend it against our own inclinations to avoid the work that is required to cultivate talents, abilities, and Christlike character.

The story is told of a man who simply would not work. He wanted to be taken care of in every need. To his way of thinking, the Church or the government, or both, owed him a living because he had paid his taxes and his tithing. He had nothing to eat but refused to work to care for himself. Out of desperation and disgust, those who had tried to help him decided that since he would not lift a finger to sustain himself, they might as well just take him to the cemetery and let him pass on. On the way to the cemetery, one man said, “We can’t do this. I have some corn I will give him.”

So they explained this to the man, and he asked, “Have the husks been removed?”

They responded, “No.”

“Well, then,” he said, “drive on.”

It is God’s will that we be free men and women enabled to rise to our full potential both temporally and spiritually, that we be free from the humiliating limitations of poverty and the bondage of sin, that we enjoy self-respect and independence, that we be prepared in all things to join Him in His celestial kingdom.

I am under no illusion that this can be achieved by our own efforts alone without His very substantial and constant help. “We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”24 And we do not need to achieve some minimum level of capacity or goodness before God will help—divine aid can be ours every hour of every day, no matter where we are in the path of obedience. But I know that beyond desiring His help, we must exert ourselves, repent, and choose God for Him to be able to act in our lives consistent with justice and moral agency. My plea is simply to take responsibility and go to work so that there is something for God to help us with.

I bear witness that God the Father lives, that His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Redeemer, and that the Holy Spirit is present with us. Their desire to help us is undoubted, and Their capacity to do so is infinite. Let us “awake, and arise from the dust, … that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto [us] may be fulfilled.”25 In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

(Elder Christofferson, Conf. Report 2014 Oct., https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/free-forever-to-act-for-themselves?lang=eng#watch=video)

 

 

 

The Church of the Firstborn: Teachings of the Prophets

 

 

In a study of The Church of the Firstborn, one may also look for phrases with a similar meaning such as the following:

the Second Comforter
calling and election made sure
the more sure word of prophecy
sealed up unto eternal life
exaltation
joint heirs with Christ
offspring of God
mine elect
the school of the prophets
fullness of the Priesthood
council of fifty
kings and priests unto God

-“And the general assembly of the church of the firstborn shall come down out of heaven, and possess the earth, and shall have place until the end come. And this is mine everlasting covenant, which I made with thy father Enoch.” (JST Gen. 9:23)(https://www.lds.org/scriptures/jst/jst-gen/9?lang=eng)

-see http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Church_of_the_Firstborn

-50 And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—
51 “They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
54 They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.
55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—
56 They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;
57 And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.
58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—
59 Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
60 And they shall overcome all things.
61 Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet.
62 These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.
63 These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.” (D&C 76:50-63, especially 54 and 63)

-“The Church of the Firstborn is Christ’s heavenly church, and its members are exalted beings who gain an inheritance in the highest heaven of the celestial world and for whom the family continues in eternity.
In the scriptures Jesus Christ is called the Firstborn. He was the first spirit child born of God the Father in the premortal existence and was in the beginning with God (John 1:1-5, 14). Christ also became the Firstborn from the dead, the first person resurrected, “that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col. 1:18; Acts 26:23; 1 Cor. 15:23; Rev. 1:5). Even as the first principles and ordinances, including baptism in water and the reception of the Holy Ghost, constitute the gate into the earthly Church of Jesus Christ, so higher ordinances of the priesthood constitute the gate into the Church of the Firstborn. To secure the blessings that pertain to the Church of the Firstborn, one must obey the gospel from the heart, receive all of the ordinances that pertain to the house of the Lord, and be sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise in the Celestial Kingdom of God (D&C 76:67, 71, 94;77:11;78:21;88:1-5; TPJS, p. 237).
Revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith supplement those of the New Testament to indicate that the Church of the Firstborn consists of those who have the inheritance of the Firstborn and become joint-heirs with Christ in receiving all that the Father has (Rom. 8:14-17; D&C 84:33-38; see Heirs: Heirs of God). The Lord said, “If you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; …I…am the Firstborn; …And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the Church of the Firstborn” (D&C 93:20-22). The Church of the Firstborn is the divine patriarchal order in its eternal form. Building the priesthood family order on this earth by receiving sealings in the temple is a preparation and foundation for this blessing in eternity (see Gospel of Abraham).
When persons have proved themselves faithful in all things required by the Lord, it is their privilege to receive covenants and obligations that will enable them to be heirs of God as members of the Church of the Firstborn. They are “sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise” and are those “into whose hands the Father has given all things” (D&C 76:51-55). They will be priests and priestesses, kings and queens, receiving the Father’s glory, having the fulness of knowledge, wisdom, power, and dominion (D&C 76:56-62; cf. 107:19). At the second coming of Jesus Christ, the “general assembly of the Church of the Firstborn” will descend with him (Heb. 12:22-23; JST Gen. 9:23; D&C 76:54, 63).”
Bibliography
Smith, Joseph Fielding. DS, Vol. 2, pp. 8-9, 41-49. Salt Lake City, 1973.; IVAN J. BARRETT
” (Ivan J Barrett, Harold B. Lee Library, http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Church_of_the_Firstborn) (See this page in the original 1992 publication.)

-“celestial heirs are Church of Firstborn: D&C 76:54, 67, 71, 94 .

telestial heirs will not be caught up to Church of Firstborn: D&C 76:102 .

as many as come will be brought to Church of Firstborn: D&C 77:11 .

ye are Church of Firstborn: D&C 78:21 .

celestial glory is glory of Church of Firstborn: D&C 88:5 .

those who are begotten through Christ are Church of Firstborn: D&C 93:22 .

priesthood to commune with Church of Firstborn: D&C 107:19 “

(index to the triple combination, “Church of the Firstborn”, see https://www.lds.org/scriptures/triple-index/church-of-the-firstborn)

-“When the Lord revealed to Moses the great purpose of life, he expressed himself in these words:
“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.)
In other words, the Lord’s work is to bring about the resurrection (immortality) of all of his Father’s children and to make it possible for them to receive exaltation or godhood (eternal life). When one comes to understand these purposes, one’s heart rejoices in the knowledge that the greatest blessing available to man—godhood—may be received by those who desire it with all their hearts.
In a glorious sermon preached by the Prophet Joseph Smith, this same fundamental purpose of earth life was expressed—except that this time the other side of the matter, mankind’s responsibility, was emphasized: “You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 346.)
Fundamental to our understanding of the reason for existence in mortality is our knowledge that men and women were born as spirit children of the Eternal Father and that Jesus Christ is our elder brother in the spirit. Because their status is transcendently greater than ours, we stand in awe at the thought of one day becoming as they. Nevertheless, we are begotten spirit children of the Eternal Father—born in the lineage of the gods—and we have within us the power, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, to rise to the heights of godhood.
Earth life, a necessary part of eternal progression, is the proving ground for the exalted-to-be, a state in which we are undergoing a period of testing and proving to see if we will do the Lord’s will. (See Abr. 3:22–26.) A modern revelation speaks of those who are valiant in the service of the Lord during this testing period:
“Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.” (D&C 132:20.)
What is necessary to receive this inestimable blessing? The Prophet Joseph said that one must begin at the beginning with the first principles of the gospel:
“When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.” (Teachings, p. 348.)
Although the process of obtaining exaltation continues even into the spirit world, the knowledge that one will become exalted with the privileges of continuing on to eternal life can be certain in this life. This is what making one’s calling and election sure is all about.
Peter admonished the ancient saints to “make your calling and election sure,” and the apostle Paul also gave thanks to the Lord for providing such a sealing. (See 2 Pet. 1:10–11, Eph. 1:13–14.) In addition, the Prophet Joseph Smith used this same expression in discoursing upon Peter’s exposition and Paul’s teachings. (See Teachings, pp. 305, 149.)
Peter made it clear that a testimony of Jesus Christ is not in itself evidence that one’s calling and election has been made sure. Mentioning the manifestation on the Mount of Transfiguration with the Savior and his fellow apostles James and John (see Matt. 17:1–8), he said that although they had heard the voice of the Father declaring that Jesus was his Son, this was not sufficient to obtain the blessing—there was “a more sure word of prophecy”—the calling and election made sure. (See 2 Pet. 1:16–19.)
Concerning this instruction and testimony from Peter, Joseph Smith said: “Though they might hear the voice of God and know that Jesus was the Son of God, this would be no evidence that their election and calling was made sure. … They then would want that more sure word of prophecy, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God. Then, having this promise sealed unto them, it was an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast. Though the thunders might roll and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble and tribulation.” (Teachings, p. 298.)
What, then, is the calling and election made sure? The following scripture gives the definition:
“The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.” (D&C 131:5.)
As expressed by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:
“To have one’s calling and election made sure is to be sealed up unto eternal life; it is to have the unconditional guarantee of exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world; it is to receive the assurance of godhood; it is, in effect, to have the day of judgment advanced, so that an inheritance of all the glory and honor of the Father’s kingdom is assured prior to the day when the faithful actually enter into the divine presence to sit with Christ in his throne, even as he is ‘set down’ with his ‘Father in his throne.’ (Rev. 3:21.) (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Bookcraft, 1973, 3:330–31.)
As Elder McConkie goes on to indicate, the “unconditional guarantee” means that a person’s actions have been fully approved, that “there are no more conditions to be met by the obedient person.” (P. 335.) When one has been thus sealed up unto eternal life, he is “sealed up against all manner of sin except blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the shedding of innocent blood.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:46.)
The Prophet Joseph Smith’s exhortation to press forward to this goal of assured exaltation is as follows:
“I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it.” (Teachings, p. 299.)
“Wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it” implies that every effort will be made by the member of the Church to obtain it. An eternal compact was made in the premortal world that the sons and daughters of God would receive an eternal exaltation provided they were true and faithful to covenants made in this life. (See, e.g., Titus 1:1–2.) Keeping in mind Peter’s injunction to his dispensation, Joseph Smith said:
“We have no claim in our eternal compact, in relation to eternal things, unless our actions and contracts and all things tend to this. But after all this, you have got to make your calling and election sure. If this injunction would lie largely on those to whom it was spoken, how much more those of the present generation!” (Teachings, p. 306.)
What, then, is necessary to make one’s calling and election sure? At the foundation of all blessings lies acceptance of the atonement of Jesus Christ by obedience to the first principles and ordinances of the gospel—faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then, following entry into the kingdom of God by baptism of water and of the Spirit, comes the need to overcome by faith to enter into certain sacred covenants by the power of the priesthood and be “sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true” (D&C 76:53), and to endure faithfully to the end in these covenants.
To overcome by faith through the righteousness of God and Jesus Christ is to become “partakers of the divine nature,” as Peter testified. (See 2 Pet. 1:1–4.) The way to this blessing, he said, is “through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” (2 Pet. 1:3.)
The knowledge of Christ in this context is the emulation of his life and teachings. And what are the virtues found in Jesus’ life to which Peter refers? After one has escaped the corruptions of the world by sincere repentance in becoming a member of the true church, he is to add to the principles and ordinances that admitted him into the kingdom of God by being diligent in his obedience. One adds to “faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
“And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
“And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (2 Pet. 1:5–7; see also Teachings, p. 305.)
Obedience and the gradual acquisition of this impressive array of virtues brings one nearer and nearer to the stature of Christ. (See Eph. 4:13.)
However, in addition to these required qualities of character, those who would have hope of the calling and election made sure must also receive the ordinances of salvation (exaltation) in the temple of God.
The Prophet Joseph Smith gave an ultimate definition of salvation as having the power to overcome all enemies in this world (meaning the vices which are the opposites of gospel virtues) and “the knowledge to triumph over all evil spirits in the world to come.” (Teachings, p. 297.) He further stated that the triumph over one’s enemies would come only through a knowledge of the priesthood. (See Teachings, p. 305.)
If we are to triumph over all of our enemies in this world in preparation for exaltation, wherein does the priesthood make this possible? Obedience to “the mysteries of the kingdom”—the higher ordinances of the gospel—is the answer. Higher ordinances of the gospel suggest there are lesser ordinances, these being the first ordinances and all other performances outside of the temple.
Jesus taught his disciples that they were to receive the “mysteries of the kingdom” but that others were not to receive them because they were not prepared for them. (See Matt. 13:10–13.) Similarly, the prophet Alma said that these mysteries were known to some but others were to receive only that “portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.” (Alma 12:9.)
Because Joseph Smith received “the keys of the mysteries of those things which have been sealed” (D&C 35:18), and because these keys remain with the prophet of the Church today, the member who keeps the commandments may receive “the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.” (D&C 63:23; see also D&C 42:65.)
Only through the priesthood may these blessings accrue to the member of the Church. The worthy male member must receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, which holds “the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God” (D&C 84:19; see also D&C 107:18–19), in order to receive these “mysteries.” Therein lies the key to the principal purpose of the higher priesthood—to reveal the principles of exaltation in the house of the Lord through ordinances, consisting of washings, anointings, the priesthood endowment, and marriage for eternity. (See D&C 124:37–42.) Marriage for eternity is an order of the priesthood “in which the participating parties are promised kingdoms and thrones if they are true and faithful to their obligations.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Ensign, December 1971, p. 98.) These blessings include the power to beget spirit children after the resurrection. In this regard, Joseph Smith said:
“The question is frequently asked, ‘Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances?’ I would answer, No, not the fulness of salvation. …
“If a man gets a fullness of the priesthood of God he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 331, 308.)
Both men and women receive the blessings of the “fullness of the priesthood” in the temple, even though women are not ordained to the priesthood; for as President Joseph Fielding Smith said:
“Women do not hold the priesthood, but if they are faithful and true, they will become priestesses and queens in the kingdom of God, and that implies that they will be given authority. The women do not hold the priesthood with their husbands, but they do reap the benefits coming from that priesthood.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Bookcraft, 1956, 3:178.)
Concomitant to participating in ordinances and holding the priesthood is the making of covenants. Divine covenants must be entered into and honored before a person can have his calling and election made sure. To ensure that we receive the blessings of covenants righteously entered into and followed, the Lord has established a means by which ordinances and covenants may be approved. This is through the sealing power of the Holy Spirit of Promise. When the Holy Spirit of Promise (which is the Holy Ghost) justifies a person’s performance with respect to a covenant entered into, that performance is ratified, making the covenant effective for salvation.
The influence of the Holy Ghost received by keeping the commandments also leads one to sanctification, or becoming holy and pure in heart, which involves forsaking all evil and learning to “love and serve God with all [our] mights, minds, and strength.” (D&C 20:31.) The process of sanctification comes gradually, over a long period of time, “overcoming every sin and bringing all into subjection to the law of Christ.” (Brigham Young, JD, 10:173.) It means yielding one’s heart to God, becoming one with the Savior in building his kingdom, and working for the eventual establishment of Zion. (See Hel. 3:35.) The member of the Church prepares himself by striving for sanctification; and when he has become just through the ratifying of his covenants by the Holy Ghost, and in the sight of the Lord has sanctified his life, he is a candidate for having his calling and election made sure.
From the Prophet Joseph Smith we learn that the faith necessary to become sanctified and make one’s calling and election sure is gained through strict obedience to the law of sacrifice:
“From the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for the truth’s sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life.” (Lectures on Faith, 6:58; see also D&C 98:11–15 and Teachings, p. 322.)
When faith is sufficient to sacrifice all earthly things, even life itself if necessary, it is possible for a person to know that he is accepted of the Lord for what he has done, and with this strong faith he may eventually receive eternal life.
Thus the Prophet Joseph said:
“After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure.” (Teachings, p. 150.)
Such a person eventually receives godhood and becomes a member of the “church of the Firstborn.” (D&C 76:54.)
Who were some of the saints who were accepted of the Lord through their sacrifices? The Prophet Joseph Smith indicated that when a person has been proved of the Lord by “hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God,” he may then have the privilege of receiving the Second Comforter. This Comforter is the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, “and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face.” Joseph Smith went on to say that this was the condition of a number of the ancient saints, naming Isaiah, Ezekiel, John the Revelator, Paul, and “all the saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn.” (See Teachings, pp. 150–51.)
The assurance of being accepted of the Lord was also known to many of the Nephites: Enos (see Enos 1:27), Alma the Elder (see Mosiah 26:20), the Three Nephites (see 3 Ne. 28:4–11), and others (see 3 Ne. 28: 1–3).
The promise of becoming a member of the church of the Firstborn is also made to Latter-day Saints. (See D&C 76:50–60.) In our dispensation many Saints have made their calling and election sure. (See, e.g., D&C 124:19.) Noteworthy among these was William Clayton, to whom the Prophet said:
“Your life is hid with Christ in God, and so are many others. Nothing but the unpardonable sin can prevent you from inheriting eternal life for you are sealed up by the power of the Priesthood unto eternal life, having taken the step necessary for that purpose.” (History of the Church, 5:391.)
Joseph Smith himself was told by the Lord that he had been sealed unto exaltation and that the Lord had prepared a throne for him “in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.” (D&C 132:49; see also Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:347–50 for further discussion.)
President Marion G. Romney, as a member of the Council of the Twelve, admonished the Saints in general conference to make their calling and election sure and said:
“The fullness of eternal life is not attainable in mortality, but the peace which is its harbinger and which comes as a result of making one’s calling and election sure is attainable in this life. The Lord has promised that ‘… he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.’ (D&C 59:23.)
“I think the peace here referred to is implicit in the Prophet’s statement, ‘I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer’s morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men.’ (DHC, 6:555.)
“I also think it is implicit in this statement of the late Apostle Alonzo A. Hinckley which he wrote in a letter to the First Presidency after he had been advised by his physician that his illness would be fatal: ‘I assure you I am not deeply disturbed over the final results. I am reconciled and I reach my hands to take what my Father has for me, be it life or death. …
“As to the future, I have no misgivings. It is inviting and glorious, and I sense rather clearly what it means to be saved by the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ and to be exalted by his power and be with him ever more.’ (The Deseret News Church Section, March 27, 1949, p. 24.)” (Conference Report, October 1965, p. 20.)
Inasmuch as the calling and election made sure is the greatest of all blessings received in this life, what greater counsel may Latter-day Saints receive than the following from the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“Then I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it.” (Teachings, p. 299.)
[illustration] Illustrated by Scott Rockwood
Roy W. Doxey, dean emeritus of Religious Instruction at Brigham Young University, serves as a Regional Representative of the Council of the Twelve. He lives in the Twenty-third ward, Provo Utah Stake.”
(Ensign 1976, Accepted of the Lord: The Doctrine of Making Your Calling and Election Sure
BY ROY W. DOXEY see https://www.lds.org/ensign/1976/07/accepted-of-the-lord-the-doctrine-of-making-your-calling-and-election-sure?lang=eng)

-“We are the servants of the Lord, his agents, his representatives. We have been endowed with power from on high. We hold either the Aaronic Priesthood, which is a preparatory, schooling order, or we hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is the highest and greatest power that the Lord gives to men on earth.
There are in this greater priesthood five offices or callings—elder, seventy, high priest, patriarch, and apostle—yet the priesthood is the same; and the priesthood is greater than any of its offices. We are a kingdom of brethren, a congregation of equals, all of whom are entitled to receive all of the blessings of the priesthood. There are no blessings reserved for apostles that are not freely available to all the elders of the kingdom; blessings come because of obedience and personal righteousness, not because of administrative positions.
I shall speak of these blessings—the ten priesthood blessings—which are available to all of us who hold the holy Melchizedek Priesthood.
Blessing one: We are members of the only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth, and we have received the fulness of the everlasting gospel.
“This greater priesthood administereth the gospel.” It “continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years.” (D&C 84:19, 17.)
The gospel is the plan of salvation; it is the way and the means, provided by the Father, whereby his spirit children have power to advance and progress and become like him. The priesthood is the power and authority of God, delegated to man on earth, to act in all things for the salvation of men.
Where the Melchizedek Priesthood is, there is the Church and kingdom of God on earth; there is the gospel of salvation; and where there is no Melchizedek Priesthood, there is no true Church, and no power that will save men in the kingdom of God.
Blessing two: We have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and we are entitled to receive the gifts of the Spirit—those wondrous spiritual endowments which set us apart from the world and raise us above carnal things.
The gift of the Holy Ghost is the right to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead based on faithfulness. It is the right to receive revelation, to see visions, to be in tune with the Infinite.
John, who held the Priesthood of Aaron, baptized with water for the remission of sins. Jesus, who was an high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
The Holy Ghost is a revelator; he bears witness of the Father and the Son, those Holy Beings whom to know is eternal life. Thus it is that “this greater priesthood … holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.” (D&C 84:19.)
The spiritual gifts are the signs which follow those that believe; they are the miracles and healings performed in the name of the Lord Jesus; they include marvelous outpourings of truth and light and revelation from God in heaven to man on earth.
Our revelations say that the Melchizedek Priesthood holds “the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church,” and that all those who hold this holy order “have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.” (D&C 107:18–19.)
Blessing three: We can be sanctified by the Spirit, have dross and evil burned out of us as though by fire, become clean and spotless, and be fit to dwell with gods and angels.
The Holy Ghost is the Sanctifier. Those who magnify their callings in the priesthood “are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.” (D&C 84:33.) They are born again; they become new creatures of the Holy Ghost; they are alive in Christ.
Of such faithful persons among the ancients, Alma says: “They were called after this holy order”—that is, they held the Melchizedek Priesthood—“and [they] were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb. Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceeding great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.” (Alma 13:11–12.)
Blessing four: We can stand in the place and stead of the Lord Jesus Christ in administering salvation to the children of men.
He preached the gospel; so can we. He spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost; so can we. He served as a missionary; so can we. He went about doing good; so can we. He performed the ordinances of salvation; so can we. He kept the commandments; so can we. He wrought miracles; such also is our privilege if we are true and faithful in all things.
We are his agents; we represent him; we are expected to do and say what he would do and say if he personally were ministering among men at this time.
Blessing five: We have power to become the sons of God, to be adopted into the family of the Lord Jesus Christ, to have him as our Father, to be one with him as he is one with his Father.
“Thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity,” the Lord said to Adam. “Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons.” (Moses 6:67–68.)
As the sons of God, we also have power to advance and progress until we become “joint-heirs with Christ,” until we have “conformed to the image” of God’s Son, as Paul expressed it. (Rom. 8:17, 29.)
Blessing six: We can enter into the patriarchal order, the order of eternal marriage, the order which enables the family unit to continue everlastingly in celestial glory.
To gain the highest heaven and to enjoy the fulness of that light and glory which comprise eternal life, we must “enter into” that “order of the priesthood” which bears the name “the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.” (D&C 131:2; see also D&C 131:1–4.)
Blessing seven: We have power to govern all things, both temporal and spiritual kingdoms of the world, and the elements and storms and powers of the earth.
With reference to this, our scriptures say: “For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;
“To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.” (JST, Gen. 14:30–31.)
Indeed, the Melchizedek Priesthood is the very power that Christ himself will use to govern the nations in that day when “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15.)
Blessing eight: We have power, through the priesthood, to gain eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God.
Eternal life is the name of the kind of life God lives. It consists, first, of the continuation of the family unit in eternity, and second, of an inheritance of the fulness of the glory of the Father.
All those who receive the Melchizedek Priesthood enter into a covenant with the Lord. Each such person solemnly promises:
I covenant to receive the priesthood;
I covenant to magnify my calling in the priesthood; and
I covenant to keep the commandments, to “live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” (D&C 84:44.)
The Lord on his part covenants to give such faithful persons “all that my Father hath,” which is eternal life in the kingdom of God. (D&C 84:38; see also D&C 84:33–44.)
Then the Lord—to show the binding nature of his promise—swears with an oath that the promised reward shall be obtained.
This oath, as it pertained to the Son of God himself, is spoken of in these words: “The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Ps. 110:4.)
And with reference to all others who also receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, the scripture saith: “And all those who are ordained unto this priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually.” (JST, Heb. 7:3.) That is to say, they will be kings and priests forever; their priesthood will continue to all eternity; they will have eternal life.
“They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.
“They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—
“They are they who are priests and kings who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;
“And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.
“Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—
“Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” (D&C 76:54–59.)
Blessing nine: We have power to make our calling and election sure, so that while we yet dwell in mortality, having overcome the world and been true and faithful in all things, we shall be sealed up unto eternal life and have the unconditional promise of eternal life in the presence of Him whose we are.
Our revelations say: “The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.” (D&C 131:5.)
During the latter years of his ministry, in particular, the Prophet Joseph Smith pleaded fervently with the Saints to press forward in righteousness until they made their calling and election sure, until they heard the heavenly voice proclaim: “Son, thou shalt be exalted.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 150.)
He himself became the pattern for all such attainment in this dispensation, when the voice from heaven said to him: “I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.” (D&C 132:49.)
Blessing ten: We have the power—and it is our privilege—so to live, that becoming pure in heart, we shall see the face of God while we yet dwell as mortals in a world of sin and sorrow.
This is the crowning blessing of mortality. It is offered by that God who is no respecter of persons to all the faithful in his kingdom.
“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.” (D&C 93:1.)
“And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry”—he is speaking now to those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood—“that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.
“For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.
“Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.
“Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.” (D&C 67:10–13.)
These, then, are the ten blessings of the priesthood, the Holy Priesthood, after the order of the Son of God, the priesthood which the saints in ancient days called after Melchizedek to avoid the too frequent repetition of the name of Deity.
In this connection, these words from holy writ are appropriate:
“Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.
“And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,
“It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God;
“And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. …
“And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace.
“And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world;
“And hath said, and sworn with an oath, that the heavens and the earth should come together; and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire.
“And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace.
“And he lifted up his voice, and he blessed Abram. …
“And it came to pass, that God blessed Abram, and gave unto him riches, and honor, and lands for an everlasting possession; according to the covenant which he had made, and according to the blessing wherewith Melchizedek had blessed him.” (JST, Gen. 14:26–29, 33–37, 40.)
Now, my brethren, this is the priesthood which we hold. It will bless us as it blessed Melchizedek and Abraham. The priesthood of Almighty God is here. The doctrines which we teach are true, and by obedience to them we can enjoy the words of eternal life here and now and be inheritors of immortal glory hereafter.
I know, and you know, that as the heavens are above the earth, so are these truths of which we speak above all the ways of the world and all the honors which men can confer.
God grant that we may keep the commandments and be inheritors of all that a gracious Lord promises his people. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. (The Ten Blessings of the Priesthood BRUCE R. MCCONKIE) (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1977/10/the-ten-blessings-of-the-priesthood?lang=eng)

-“Our witness [during the partaking of the sacrament] that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ has several different meanings. Some of these meanings are obvious, and well within the understanding of our children. Others are only evident to those who have searched the scriptures and pondered the wonders of eternal life. . . .
A third meaning appeals to the understanding of those mature enough to know that a follower of Christ is obligated to serve him. . . .
There are other meanings as well, deeper meanings that the more mature members of the Church should understand and ponder as he or she partakes of the sacrament.
It is significant that when we partake of the sacrament we do not witness that we take upon us the name of Jesus Christ. We witness that we are willing to do so. (See D&C 20:77.) The fact that we only witness to our willingness suggests that something else must happen before we actually take that sacred name upon us in the most important sense.
What future event or events could this covenant contemplate? The scriptures suggest two sacred possibilities, once concerning the authority of God, especially as exercised in the temples, and the other closely related concerning exaltation in the celestial kingdom.
The name of God is sacred. . . . All . . . references to ancient and modern temples as houses for “the name” of the Lord obviously involve something far more significant than a mere inscription of his sacred name on the structure. The scriptures speak of the Lord’s putting his name in a temple because he gives authority for his name to be used in the sacred ordinances of that house. That is the meaning of the Prophet’s reference to the Lord’s putting his name upon his people in that holy house. (See D&C 109:26.)
Willingness to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ can therefore be understood as willingness to take upon us the authority of Jesus Christ. According to this meaning, by partaking of the sacrament we witness our willingness to participate in the sacred ordinances of the temple and to receive the highest blessings available through the name and by the authority of the Savior when he chooses to confer them upon us.
. . . [T]hose who exercise faith in the sacred name of Jesus Christ and repent of their sins and enter into his covenant and keep his commandments (see Mosiah 5:8) can lay claim on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Those who do so will be called by his name at the last day. . . .
According to this meaning, when we witness our willingness to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, we are signifying our commitment to do all that we can to achieve eternal life in the kingdom of our Father. We are expressing our candidacy our determination to strive for exaltation in the celestial kingdom.
Those who are found worthy to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ at the last day are described in the great revelations recorded in the ninety third and seventy sixth sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. Here the Savior revealed to Joseph Smith that in due time, if we keep the commandments of God, we can receive the “fulness” of the Father. (D&C 93:19 20.) Here the Savior bears record that “all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the [Father], and are the church of the Firstborn.” (D&C 93:22.) “They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things. . . . Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods” who “shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.” (D&C 76:55, 58, 62.) “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” (John 17:3; see also D&C 88:4 5.) This is the ultimate significance of taking upon us the name of Jesus Christ. . . .
[O]ur witness [in the sacrament] relates to some future event or status who attainment is not self assumed, but depends on the authority or initiative of the Savior himself. . . .
[Among other meanings also, this] is what we should ponder as we partake of the sacred emblems of the sacrament. As we do so, we glory in the mission of the risen Lord, who lived and taught and suffered and died and rose again that all mankind might have immortality and eternal life.” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Taking Upon Us the Name of Jesus Christ,” The Ensign (May1985), pp. 80 83 (italics in the original))

-“The Lord mentioned in a revelation on 1 November 1831 that he had granted unto his disciples the authority to “seal both on earth and in heaven” (D&C 1:8). During the same month he indicated that God the Father would reveal to his servants who should be sealed up “unto eternal life” by this power (D&C 68:12). The ordinance of the washing of feet was then introduced by the Lord as the means whereby someone could be rendered “clean from the blood of this generation” (D&C 88:138–141), and when Joseph Smith administered this ordinance, he stated that those who received it were not only “clean” in a ritual sense but were also “sealed up unto eternal life”” (HC, 1:323-24; see also MD, 829-32) (see also Matthew B. Brown, The Gate of Heaven, 235) (http://www.templestudy.com/2008/05/06/washing-of-feet/#footnote_0_279)

-“After reclining at the Passover table, Jesus and his apostolic friends ate the Passover meal with such portion of its rites and ceremonies as then suited their purposes. Then he introduced the gospel ordinance of the washing of feet. . . . To keep things in proper perspective, however, it is important to emphasize that the washing of feet came in the course of the meal, not at the beginning, and it was not simply an illustration of Godly humility, devised by Jesus to demonstrate his teachings about precedence, but was in fact the introduction of a new gospel ordinance.
John alone records such portions of what transpired relative to the foot-washing ordinance as have come down to us from biblical sources; our more extended knowledge relative thereto comes from latter-day revelation. . . . And the two ordinances about to be revealed—those of the washing of feet and of the partaking of the emblems of his flesh and blood—these two become an eternal manifestation of the grace and goodness and love of the Lord for the Twelve and for all who believe and obey the gospel, thereby making themselves worthy to receive each of these ordinances. . . .
. . . He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”
This appears to be a general summary of all that transpired. What then follows are some of the particulars. As to these particulars, John says: “Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” Jesus replied: “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” That is: ‘You assume that I am acting only as any slave or host might, which is far from the case. I am about to perform a sacred ordinance, the meaning of which I will explain, and in due course you will know its true meaning.’ Still impulsive and reticent, the Chief Apostle said: “Thou“—our Master and Lord!—”Thou,” of all people, “needest not to wash my feet.” ‘Even though it be a sacred ordinance, let someone else do it instead!’ . . .
Jesus then said: “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” Catching a partial glimpse of the cleansing power of the new ordinance, Peter, ever impetuous, ever desiring to do all and more than need be, exclaimed “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus replied: “He that has washed his hands and his head, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit; and ye are clean, but not all.”
At this point, with reference to the ordinance itself, John explains: “Now this was the custom of the Jews under their law; wherefore, Jesus did this that the law might be fulfilled.” The full significance of this is not apparent to the casual reader, nor should it be, for the washing of feet is a sacred ordinance reserved to be done in holy places for those who make themselves worthy. It is evident, however, that the Jews also had sacred ordinances performed in their temple, a knowledge of which has not been preserved, nor could it be, in any literature that has come down to us.
What had he done? He had instituted—nay, reinstituted, for “the order of the house of God has been, and ever will be, the same” — he had reinstituted one of the holy ordinances of the everlasting gospel. Those who have been washed in the waters of baptism, who have been freed from sin and evil through the waters of regeneration, who have come forth thereby in a newness of life, and who then press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, keeping the commandments and walking in paths of truth and righteousness, qualify to have an eternal seal placed on their godly conduct. They are thus ready to be endowed with power from on high. Then, in holy places, they cleanse their hands and their feet, as the scripture saith, and become “clean from the blood of this wicked generation.” (D&C 88:74–75, D&C 88:137–41.) Then, as the scripture also saith, they receive anointings and washings and conversations and statutes and judgments. (D&C 124:37–40.) Then they receive what Jesus here gave the Twelve, for as the Prophet (Joseph Smith) said: “The house of the Lord must be prepared, . . . and in it we must attend to the ordinance of washing of feet. It was never intended for any but official members. It is calculated to unite our hearts, that we may be one in feeling and sentiment, and that our faith may be strong, so that Satan cannot overthrow us, nor have any power over us here. (Commentary 1:709.). . . . (see also Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 90 91.) It should be clear to all, however, that just as the act of immersion in water only hints at the true significance and power of baptism, so the act of the washing of feet is far more than the cleansing and refreshing of dusty and tired pedal extremities. It is an eternal ordinance, with eternal import, understood only by enlightened saints. That it might be continued by those having divine authorization to perform it, Jesus said:
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. . . .
And in conclusion, well might we ask: If true disciples are to wash each other’s feet, where among the sects of Christendom is this done? And how could it be done except by revelation? Who would know all that is involved unless God revealed it? Is not this holy ordinance one of the many signs of the true Church?” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, vol. 4, 36-41) see also http://www.templestudy.com/2008/05/06/washing-of-feet/#footnote_5_279)

-“Washing of feet is a gospel ordinance; it is a holy and sacred rite, one performed by the saints in the seclusion of their temple sanctuaries. It is not done before the world or for worldly people. . . .
As part of the restoration of all things, the ordinance of washing of feet has been restored in the dispensation of the fulness of times. In keeping with the standard pattern of revealing principles and practices line upon line and precept upon precept, the Lord revealed his will concerning the washing of feet little by little until the full knowledge of the endowment and all temple ordinances had been given. . . .
Thus the knowledge relative to the washing of feet has been revealed step by step in this day until a full knowledge is now incorporated in the revealed ordinances of the Lord’s house. Obviously the apostate peoples of the world, being without revelation to guide them, cannot comply with our Lord’s command given on the occasion of the last supper.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, vol. 1, 708)

-“CALLING AND ELECTION
See also Election
Righteous followers of Christ can become numbered among the elect who gain the assurance of exaltation. This calling and election begins with repentance and baptism. It becomes complete when they “press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end” (2 Ne. 31:19–20). The scriptures call this process making our calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:4–11; D&C 131:5–6).
• Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests: Ex. 19:5–6; ( Rev. 1:6; )
• God hath from the beginning chosen the elect for salvation: 2 Thes. 2:13;
• Give diligence to make your calling and election sure:2 Pet. 1:10;
• The Lord may seal you his: Mosiah 5:15;
• I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life: Mosiah 26:20;
• Faithful priesthood holders become the church and kingdom and the elect of God: D&C 84:33–34;
• The more sure word of prophecy means knowing that one is sealed up unto eternal life: D&C 131:5–6;
• I seal upon you your exaltation: D&C 132:49;”
(Guide to The Scriptures, https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/calling-and-election)

 

-“These things I declare to you with the conviction Peter called the “more sure word of prophecy.”16 What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life, so if your faith is a little tested in this or any season, I invite you to lean on mine. I know this work is God’s very truth, and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us from its path. Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Lord I Believe” General Conference, Apr. 2013, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/lord-i-believe?lang=eng)

-“The more sure word of prophecy means knowing that one is sealed up unto eternal life:D&C 131:5–6;” (Guide to The Scriptures, “Calling and Election”, see https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/calling-and-election)

-“there was “a more sure word of prophecy”—the calling and election made sure. (See 2 Pet. 1:16–19.)” (“Accepted of the Lord: Making Your Calling and Election Sure” by Roy W. Doxey, Ensign, July 1976. https://www.lds.org/ensign/1976/07/accepted-of-the-lord-the-doctrine-of-making-your-calling-and-election-sure?lang=eng

-“The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected and made sure.”
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 323.)

-“This room is reserved for the higher ordinances in the Priesthood relating to the exaltation of both living and dead.”
(The House of the Lord (1968 ed.), p. 163, Elder James E. Talmage’s Description of the Purpose of the Holy of Holies of the Salt Lake Temple)

-“Each person baptized into the Church is under obligation to keep the commandments of the Lord. He is under covenant, for baptism is a “new and an everlasting covenant.” (D&C 22:1.) When he has proved himself by a worthy life, having been faithful in all things required of him, then it is his privilege to receive other covenants and to take upon himself other obligations which will make of him an heir, `and he will become a member of the “Church of the Firstborn.” Into his hands “the Father has given all things.” He will be a priest and a king, receiving of the Father’s fullness and of his glory. Is this worth having? It cannot be obtained without some effort. It cannot be obtained without knowledge of the things of God. And the fullness of these blessings can only be obtained in the temple of the Lord!”
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Way To Perfection, 1931 ed., p. 208.)

-“While reclining at the Passover table, Jesus and His Apostles ate the meal and presumably observed the rites that attended that ceremony. He then introduced the ordinance of the washing of feet. After doing so, He questioned them, “Know ye what I have done to you?” (John 13:12.)
What He had done was to perform an ordinance found only in holy places where those who are to bear His name are cleansed from “the blood [and sins] of this wicked generation.” (See D&C 88:74 75, 137 41.) This was a manifestation of the Savior’s supreme love “to seal his friends up unto eternal life in his Father’s kingdom.” “((Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, 4 vols., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979 81, 48.) Elder David B. Haight, “Remembering the Savior’s Atonement,”
The Ensign (April 1988), pp. 7 8.)

-“Sunday, May 1, 1842. I preached in the grove, on the keys of the kingdom, charity, &c. The keys are certain signs and words by which [p. 20] false spirits and personages may be detected from true, which cannot be revealed to the Elders till the Temple is completed. The rich can only get them in the Temple, the poor may get them on the mountain top as did Moses. The rich cannot be saved without charity, giving to feed the poor when and how God requires, as well as building. There are signs in heaven, earth and hell; the Elders must know them all, to be endowed with power, to finish their work and prevent imposition. The devil knows many signs, but does not know the sign of the Son of Man, or Jesus. No one can truly say he knows God until he has handled something, and this can only be in the holiest of holies.”
(History of the Church, Vol. 4: 608.)

-“136 Behold, verily, I say unto you, this is an ensample unto you for a salutation to one another in the house of God, in the school of the prophets.
137 And ye are called to do this by prayer and thanksgiving, as the Spirit shall give utterance in all your doings in the house of the Lord, in the school of the prophets, that it may become a sanctuary, a tabernacle of the Holy Spirit to your edification.
138 And ye shall not receive any among you into this school save he is clean from the blood of this generation;
139 And he shall be received by the ordinance of the washing of feet, for unto this end was the ordinance of the washing of feet instituted.
140 And again, the ordinance of washing feet is to be administered by the president, or presiding elder of the church.
141 It is to be commenced with prayer; and after partaking of bread and wine, he is to gird himself according to the pattern given in the thirteenth chapter of John’s testimony concerning me. Amen.” (D&C 88:36-41)

-“The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.” (D&C 131:5)

-“Wednesday, 4. I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office *** in council with General James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim [Hebrew for gods] in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple, and all houses which they have been, or shall hereafter be, commanded of God to build; and wait their time with patience in all meekness faith, perseverance unto the end, knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are always governed by the principle of revelation.”
(History of the Church, Vol. 5: 1, 2.)

-“The whole earth is the Lord’s. The time will come when it will be translated and be filled with the spirit and power of God. The atmosphere around it will be the spirit of the Almighty. We will breathe that Spirit instead of the atmosphere that we now breathe. But now it is for us to make the preparation, that we may be worthy to be called into the house of the Lord and receive our second blessings. I do not want the presidents of Stakes to send any person to our Temples to receive the highest blessings that have ever been bestowed upon man since the world began, until it can be said of him, “He pays his full tithing.” When you find an honest, faithful Latter-day Saint who is worthy of receiving His blessings, send him along. I do not care how fast they come. The time is now at hand when the Latter-day Saints can be greatly and abundantly blessed, so that they can make the preparation in its fulness.”
(Millennial Star, Vol. 61: p. 546, President Lorenzo Snow,
May 8, 1899, in St. George, Utah on Tithing Talk Tour.)

-“We’ll wash and be washed, and with oil be anointed,
Withal not omitting the washing of feet;
For he that receiveth his penny appointed
Must surely be clean at the harvest of wheat.
We’ll sing and we’ll shout, (etc.)”
(History of the Church, 2: 426, LDS Hymn First Sung at the Dedication of the Kirtland Temple, “The Spirit of God like a fire is burning!” an older rendition of the hymn)

-“On the 23rd, we again assembled in conference; when, after much speaking, singing, praying, and praising God, all in tongues, we proceeded to the washing of feet (according to the practice recorded in the 13th chapter of John’s Gospel), as commanded of the Lord. Each Elder washed his own feet first, after which I girded myself with a towel and washed the feet of all of them, wiping them with the towel with which I was girded. Among the number, my father presented himself, but before I washed his feet, I asked of him a father’s blessing, which he granted by laying his hands upon my head, in the name of Jesus Christ, and declaring that I should continue in the Priest’s office until Christ comes. At the close of the scene, Brother Fredrick G. Williams, being moved upon by the Holy Ghost, washed my feet in token of his fixed determination to be with me in suffering, or in journeying, in life or in death, and to be continually on my right hand; in which I accepted him in the name of the Lord.
I then said to the Elders, As I have done so do ye; wash ye therefore, one another’s feet; and by the power of the Holy Ghost I pronounced them all clean from the blood of this generation; but if any of them should sin willfully after they were thus cleansed, and sealed up unto eternal life, they should be given over unto the buffetings of Satan until the day or redemption. Having continued all day in fasting, and prayer, and ordinances, we closed by partaking of the Lord’s Supper. I blessed the bread and wine in the name of the Lord, when we all ate and drank, and were filled; then we sung a hymn, and the meeting adjourned.”
(History of the Church, Vol. 1: 323, 324.)

-“Dear Brethren: It has been decided that it is no longer necessary for those going to the Temples to attend to ordinances therein to send their recommends to President Woodruff to be by him endorsed. The signatures of the Bishop and Stake President will be all that is required. This decision applies to all ordinances attended to in the House of the Lord, except Second Anointings, which last named will still require the approval of the President of the Church before they can be administered. This being the decision, Bishops of Wards and Presidents of Stakes will see the increased necessity for care, so that no unworthy person will be recommended for ordinances in the Temples.”
(Your Brethren, Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith November 6, 1891The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. 3, P. 228.)

-“(to) Salt Lake City, Utah, April 14th, 1900.
Prest. David H. Cannon, St. George. Dear Brother: During the lifetime of the late President Wilford Woodruff a rule was established by him not to permit a woman to be anointed to a man unless she had lived with him as a wife. This was a restriction of the rule in such cases which obtained during the lifetime of Presidents Brigham Young and John Taylor. After considering the matter we have concluded to restore the practice as expressed in the following, and which will govern in such cases in the future: Any woman, who has been sealed to a man in life or by proxy, whether she has lived with him or not, shall have the privilege of being anointed to him inasmuch as he shall have had his second blessings. (Lorenzo Snow
George Q. Cannon
Joseph F. Smith
Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. 3: 325.)
“. . . Bishops are not to issue recommends for second anointings: that is the province of Presidents of Stakes, under approval of the President of the Church, and the individuals selected must not be informed until after the issuance of such recommend. As a general rule, such recommends are issued only in behalf of those who have had endowments in lifetime, and have been sealed and lived together faithfully as husband and wife, [p. 53] and who have been valiant in the defense of truth and active in all good works. . . .”
Your Brother in the Covenant,
Joseph F. Smith
(Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. 5: 110 12.)

-“We cannot speak too emphatically on this subject to our brethren who are on missions, by way of caution against the infraction of their covenants, and in condemnation of those who do this for the purpose of impressing others with their self-importance when they boast of having received “the highest blessings,” conveying the idea that they are more advanced in those things than some of their fellow laborers. “The secrets of the Lord are with them that fear him,” and they who do not “fear him” sufficiently to keep to themselves that which was only intended for them and which they are forbidden to make known to others, prove themselves unworthy to receive the fulfillment of the promise of God, to “crown them with honor, immortality, and eternal life.”” (Millennial Star, Vol. 71: 105, Charles W. Penrose.)

-“Conference Meeting For Priesthood Leadership: April 8, 1901 ***** After the opening exercises Prest Lorenzo Snow spoke upon the Subject of the giving of Second Anointings. He said that this blessing brought a person to a greater knowledge of the things pertaining to God and his purposes in the earth, that the glorious things of the kingdom were made clear to the understanding of man. Therefore it would be a very serious thing for a man to apostatize after he had received this great blessing. He warned the Presidents of Stakes that they should exercise great care when giving recommends to those of his stake to receive these great blessings and should know by their work their integrity and devotion to the cause of the Gospel, for the responsibility would rest upon them if any were recommended unworthily or that apostatized. ***** Prest. Jos. F. Smith then made a few remarks on the Subject of the Second Anointing. He said that it was the crowning blessing of and the highest gift to conferred by the Melchesidek Priesthood. Elders should do something to be worthy to receive this great blessing and their (sic) are many ways out of the ordinary routine duties by which a man could earn the good will of God to the obtaining of this blessing. Every man should be determined to place every thing on the altar even to the laying down of life itself for the gospel sake in order to be truly worthy of this blessing.”
(Journal of Thomas A. Clawson, 1895 1904 Book, pp, 226, 228. [p. 51])

-“Letter by First Presidency to Pres. C. R. Hakes, Mesa: August 1, 1902 2nd Annointing (sic) Qualifications: 1. Integrity to the work beyond question; for it would be very “unfortunate” to apostatize afterwards.
2. Age to be considered, but need not be “old” before receiving it.
3. Chief qualifications are worthiness, fitness and unshaken integrity; need not be presiding men, but the presiding officers (Stake President, High Council, Pres. High Priests, etc.) should qualify.
4. Name of man and wife or wives (dead or alive) to be annointed to him to be placed on usual recommend.”
(Declarations of the First Presidency on Temple Work, Vol 2:14)

-“Letter by First Presidency to Pres. S. L. Chipman, American Fork, June 16, 1905: Second annointing to those who have borne “the heat and burden of the day, and endured faithfully to the end.””
(Declarations of the First Presidency on Temple Work, Vol 2:57)

-“Letter by First Presidency, to President Lewis Anderson, Manti: March 14, 1907 1. Given only to couples (for the dead), who are faithful and lived together in life.
2. Given only to those who gather to Zion, non gatherers to be handled on other side.” (Declarations of the First Presidency on Temple Work, Vol 3:49 [p. 52])

-“February 25, 1909 Letter by George F. Gibbs to Pres. F. S. Bramwell, LeGrande: Only married men to be recommended for 2nd annointings (sic).”
(Declarations of the First Presidency on Temple Work, Vol 3:144)

-“Bishops are not to issue recommends for second annointings: that is the province of Presidents of Stakes, under approval of the President of the Church, and the individuals selected must not be informed until after the issuance of such recommend. As a general rule, such recommends are issued only in behalf of those who have had endowments in lifetime, and have been sealed and lived together faithfully as husband and wife, [p. 53] and who have been valiant in the defense of truth and active in all good works.” (Joseph F. Smith, Messages of the First Presidency, 1918, Vol. 5: 110 112.)

-“Oct 11th we were invited to the endowment house, where we were told that a school of the Prophets would be organized and that only those who are willing to observe the word of wisdom and observe all other laws, God has given us, could be admitted. We were told to come again the next day, fasting and with our bodies washed clean.
Oct 12th 1883 was a day to be long remembered by all who partook of the [p. 40] blessings that were then bestowed upon us.
Patriarch Zebedee Coltrin, who was the only surviving member of the school of the Prophets organized by the Prophet Joseph Smith at Kirtland washed the feet of President John Taylor and Prest Taylor in turn washed the feet of Zebedee Coltrin and then the feet of his Counselors, then of ten of the Apostles (Elders C C Rich and John H. Smith being absent the former sick, the later presiding in England) then the feet of Counselor D H. Wells (J W Young absent).
After that the remaining brethren were seated according to age and Prest Taylor washed the feet of twenty of the Presidents of Stakes, of Jno. B. Maiben Counselor to Prest Canute Peterson, of myself and of Geo Reynold private Secretary to Prest Taylor. The ceremony used by Prest Taylor was about as follows: “In the name of Jesus and by the authority of the holy priesthood I wash your feet in accordance with the pattern set by our Lord Jesus Christ when he washed his disciples feet and told them to wash each others’ feet, and also according to the pattern given by the Prophet Joseph Smith as an introductory ordinance to the School of the Prophets.
I pronounce you clean from the blood of this generation and say unto you, your sins are forgiven you and I seal upon you every blessing, gift, right and authority pertaining to this holy ordinance and I do it in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
After the washing of feet the Sacrament was administered, consisting of bread and wine. Of the latter we partook about one third of a Tumbler full each and of the former as much as our appetite would prompt us. After the sacrament we retired to a lower room and on returning were saluted [p. 41] by Pres’t Taylor with the words prescribed in Section VII of the D. & C. Pres’t George Q. Cannon in behalf of the members answered the salutation, We were then dismissed by prayer. ****
December 24th 1883 A school of the Prophets was organized in the Temple with Erastus Snow Prest and Jno D T. McAllister Prest in his absence The ceremonies were the same as those in Salt Lake City. The following were initiated by the washing of feet, Prest Woodruff officiating. John Lytle, Henry Harriman, Henry W. Miller, Wm Fawcett, John Pymm, D D. McArthur, Charles Smith, Walter Granger, Marius Ensign, Chas A Terry, D H Cannon, Thos L. Terry, Marcus Funk, Geo H Crosby, Wm A Bringhurst, Chas N. Smith, Wilson D Pace, M. F. Farnsworth, W H Thompson, A P Winsor, S. R Woodward. There were present also: Prest Woodruff, E Snow Geo, Teasdale, J D T. McAllister and myself all of whom had received membership in S. L. City. The names of the Prests of Stakes who received membership in Salt Lake City are as follows:
Wm Budge Prest of Bear Lake Stake
Jon R Murdock Beaver
Wm B. Preston Cache
Wm R. Smith Davis
C.G. Larson Emery
Wm Paxman Juab
L. John Nuttall Kanab
Ira N. Hinkley Millard
Willard G. Smith Morgan
Jesse W. Crosby Jr Panguitch
Thomas J. Jones Parowan
Angus M. Cannon Salt Lake
J. D T. McAllister St George
W W. Cluff Summit
Hugh S Gowens Tooele
A. 0. Smoot Utah
Abram. Hatch Wasatch
Levi W. Shurtliff Weber
Silas S. Smith San Luis
Christopher Layton St Joseph”
([p. 42] Journal of Henry Eyring, BYU Special Collections, Mor/M270.1/Ey67, pp. 51 54.)

-“If a person asks for these blessings, they are not worthy of them.” (President Heber J. Grant)

-“21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” (2 Cor. 1:21-22)

-“13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Eph. 1:13-14)

-“5 Therefore, I, John, the faithful witness, bear record of the things which were delivered me of the angel, and from Jesus Christ the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.
6 And unto him who loved us, be glory; who washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God, his Father. To him be glory and dominion, forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:5-6 JST)

-“9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:9-10)

-“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1 John 2: 27)

-“On the 23rd, we again assembled in conference; when, after much speaking, singing, praying, and praising God, all in tongues, we proceeded to the washing of feet (according to the practice recorded in the 13th chapter of John’s Gospel), as commanded of the Lord. Each Elder washed his own feet first, after which I girded myself with a towel and washed the feet of all of them, wiping them with the towel with which I was girded. Among the number, my father presented himself, but before I washed his feet, I asked of him a father’s blessing, which he granted by laying his hands upon my head, in the name of Jesus Christ, and declaring that I should continue in the Priest’s office until Christ comes. At the close of the scene, Brother Fredrick G. Williams, being moved upon by the Holy Ghost, washed my feet in token of his fixed determination to be with me in suffering, or in journeying, in life or in death, and to be continually on my right hand; in which I accepted him in the name of the Lord.
I then said to the Elders, As I have done so do ye; wash ye, therefore, one another’s feet; and by the power of the Holy Ghost I pronounced them all clean from the blood of this generation; but if any of them should sin willfully after they were thus cleansed, and sealed up unto eternal life, they should be given over unto the buffetings of Satan until the day or redemption. Having continued all day in fasting, and prayer, and ordinances, we closed by partaking of the Lord’s supper. I blessed the bread and wine in the name of the Lord, when we all ate and drank, and were filled; then we sung a hymn, and the meeting adjourned.” (History of the Church, 1: 323 24.)

-“The item to which I wish the more particularly to call your attention to night, is the ordinance of washing of feet. This we have not done as yet, but it is necessary now. as much as it was in the days of the Savior; and we must have a place prepared, that we may attend to this ordinance aside from the world. We have not desired as much from the hand of the Lord through faith and obedience, as we ought to have done, yet we have enjoyed great blessings, and we are not so sensible of this as we should be… When or where has God suffered one of the witnesses or first Elders of this Church to fall? Never, and nowhere. Amidst all the calamities and judgments that have befallen the inhabitants of the earth, His almighty arm has sustained us, men and devils have raged and spent their malice in vain. We must have all things prepared, and call our solemn assembly as the Lord has commanded us, that we may be able to accomplish His great work, and it must be done in God’s own way. …The endowment you are so anxious about you cannot comprehend now, nor could Gabriel explain it to the understanding of your dark minds; but strive to be prepared in your hearts, be faithful in all things, that when we meet in the solemn assembly, that is, when such as God shall name out of all the official members shall meet, we must be clean every whit. Let us be faithful and silent, brethren, and if God gives you a manifestation, keep it to yourselves; be watchful and prayerful, and you shall have a prelude of those joys that God will pour out on that day. Do not watch for iniquity in each other, if you do you will not get an endowment, for God will not bestow it on such. But if we are faithful, and live by every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God, I will venture to prophesy that we shall get a blessing that will be worth remembering, if we should live as long as John the Revelator; our blessings will be such as we have not realized before, nor received in this generation. The order of the house of God has been, and ever will be, the same, even after Christ comes; and after the termination of the thousand years it will be the same; and we shall finally enter into the celestial kingdom of God, and enjoy it forever.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 90 91.)

-“Let the anointing of thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high. And let these, thine anointed ones, be clothed with salvation, and thy saints shout aloud for joy. Amen, and Amen.” (Joseph Smith, Dedication of Kirtland Temple, Doctrine and Covenants 109: 35, 80)

-“Soon after this, the word of the Lord came, through President Joseph Smith, Jun., that those who had entered the holy place, must not leave the house until morning, but send for such things as were necessary, and also, during our stay, we must cleanse our feet and partake of the Sacrament that we might be made holy before Him, and thereby be qualified to officiate in our calling, upon the morrow, in washing the feet of the Elders. Accordingly we proceeded to cleanse our faces and our feet, and then proceeded to wash one another’s feet. President Sidney Rigdon first washed President Joseph Smith, Junior’s feet, and then, in turn, was washed by him; after which President Rigdon washed President Joseph Smith, Sen., and Hyrum Smith. President Joseph Smith, Jun., washed President Frederick G. Williams, and then President Hyrum Smith washed President David Whitmer’s and President Oliver Cowdery’s feet. Then President David Whitmer washed President William W. Phelps’ feet, and in turn President Phelps washed President John Whitmer’s feet. The Bishops and their Counselors were then washed, after which we partook of the bread and wine. The Holy Spirit rested down upon us, and we continued in the Lord’s House all night, prophesying and giving glory to God.
Wednesday, 30. At eight o’clock, according to appointment, the Presidency, the Twelve, the Seventies, the High Council, the Bishops and their entire quorums, the Elders and all the official members in this stake of Zion, amounting to about three hundred, met in the Temple of the Lord to attend to the ordinance of washing of feet. I ascended the pulpit, and remarked to the congregation that we had passed through many trials and afflictions since the organization of the Church, and that this is a year of jubilee to us, and a time of rejoicing, and that it was expedient for us to prepare bread and wine sufficient to make our hearts glad, as we should not, probably, leave this house until morning; to this end we should call on the brethren to make a contribution. The stewards passed round and took up a liberal contribution, and messengers were dispatched for bread and wine.
Tubs, water, and towels were prepared, and I called the house to order, and the Presidency proceeded to wash the feet of the Twelve, pronouncing many prophecies and blessings upon them in the name of the Lord Jesus; and then the Twelve proceeded to wash the feet of the Presidents of the several quorums. The brethren began to prophesy upon each other’s heads, and upon the enemies of Christ, who inhabited Jackson county, Missouri; and continued prophesying, and blessing, and sealing them with hosanna and a men, until nearly seven o’clock in the evening.
The bread and the wine were then brought in, and I observed that we had fasted all the day, and lest we faint, as the Savior did so shall we do on this occasion; we shall bless the bread, and give it to the Twelve, and they to the multitude.” (History of the Church, Vol. 2: 429 31.)

-“And again I bear record of heavenly things,
Where virtue’s the value above all that is priz’d,
Of the truth of the gospel concerning the just,
That rise in the first resurrection of Christ.
Who receiv’d, and believ’d, and repented likewise,
And then were baptiz’d, as a man always was,
Who ask’d and receiv’d a remission of sin,
And honoured the kingdom by keeping its laws.
Being buried in water, as Jesus had been,
And keeping the whole of his holy commands,
They received the gift of the spirit of truth,
By the ordinance truly of laying on hands.
For these overcome, by their faith and their works,
Being tried in their life time, as purified gold,
And seal’d by the spirit of promise to life,
By men called of God, as was Aaron of old.
They are they, of the church of the first born of God,
And unto whose hands he committeth all things;
For they hold the keys of the kingdom of heav’n,
And reign with the Saviour, as priests and as kings.
They’re priests of the order of Melchisedec,
Like Jesus (from whom is this highest reward),
Receiving a fulness of glory and light;
As written they’re God’s, even sons of the Lord.”
(Joseph Smith’s Poetic Rendition of the Vision Concerning The Requirements for Exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom of Glory, Times and Seasons, Vol. 4: 81 85.)

-“All men who become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ will have to receive the fulness of the ordinances of his kingdom; and those who will not receive all the ordinances will come short of the fulness of that glory, if they do not lose the whole. …In the resurrection, some are raised to be angels, others are raised to become Gods. These things are revealed in the most holy places in a Temple prepared for that purpose. Many of the sects cry out, “Oh, I have the testimony of Jesus; I have the spirit of God; but away with Joe Smith; he says he is a prophet; but there are to be no prophets or revelators in the last days.” Stop, sir! The Revelator says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy; so by your own mouth you are condemned. But to the text. Why gather the people together in this place? For the same purpose that Jesus wanted to gather the Jews to receive the ordinances, the blessings, and glories that God has in store for His Saints.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 307 9, 311 12.)

-“The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected and made sure.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 323.)

-“The question is frequently asked, “Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances? I would answer, No, not the fulness of salvation. Jesus said, There are many mansions in my Father’s house, and I will go and prepare a place for you. House here named should have been translated kingdom; and any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law too.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 331)

-“(Sunday) Preached in the city. In the evening attended prayer meeting at the Assembly Room. My wife Mary Ann and I received our second anointing.
Met with the Quorum: Heber C. Kimball and his wife Vilate received their second anointing.”
(Manuscript History of Brigham Young, Watson, p. 158.)

-“(Sunday) I met in the Assembly Room with the Quorum, and administered to Parley P. Pratt his second anointing.”
(Manuscript History of Brigham Young, Watson, p. 158.)

-“On January 21st, Elder Woodruff records the fact that Apostle Parley P. Pratt had just received second anointings and that he had been instructed by the Prophet that it was his duty to have his wife sealed to him for eternity in order that his glory might by full.”
(Wilford Woodruff His Life and Labors, Matthias F. Cowley, pp. 197 98.)
“The Quorum met at my house: Orson Hyde received his second anointing.
26 The twelve met at my house: Orson Pratt received his second anointing.
27 We met at the Assembly Room: Willard Richards and his wife Jenetta were sealed and received their second anointing.
28 The Quorum met in the Assembly Room. Wilford Woodruff and his wife Phebe W. were sealed and received their second anointing.
30 The Quorum met at my house. John and Leonora Taylor were sealed and anointed.
31 I met with the Quorum at my house. George A. and Bathsheba W. Smith were anointed, having been sealed on the 20th inst.”
(Manuscript History of Brigham Young, Watson, p. 159.)

-“Now for Elijah. The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelation, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven. . . . Although David was a king, he never did obtain the spirit and power of Elijah and the fullness of the Priesthood; and the Priesthood that he received, and the throne and kingdom of David is to be taken from him and given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his lineage.”
(History of the Church, 6: 251, 253.)

-“The declaration this morning is, that as soon as the Temple and baptismal font are prepared, we calculate to give the Elders of Israel their washings and anointings, and attend to those last and more impressive ordinances, without which we cannot obtain celestial thrones. But there must be a holy place prepared for that purpose. There was a proclamation made during the time that the foundation of the Temple was laid to that effect, and there are provisions made until the work is completed, so that men may receive their endowments and be made kings and priests unto the Most High God, having nothing to do with temporal things, but their whole time will be taken up with things pertaining to the house of God. There must, however, be a place built expressly for that purpose, and for men to be baptized for their dead. It must be built in this central place; for every man who wishes to save his father, mother brothers, sisters and friends, must go through all the ordinances for each one of them separately, the same as for himself, from baptism to ordination, washing and anointings, and receive all the keys and powers of the Priesthood, the same as for himself.”
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 362 63.)

-“I know there are those in our midst who will seek the lives of the Twelve as they did the lives of Joseph and Hyrum. We shall ordain others and give the fullness of the priesthood, so that if we are killed the fullness of the priesthood may remain.”
(History of the Church, 7: 230.)

-“Yes, brethren, we verily know and bear testimony, that a cloud of blessing and of endowment, and of the keys of the fullness of the priesthood, and of things pertaining to eternal life, is hanging over us, and ready to burst upon us or upon as many as live worthy of it, so soon as there is a place found on earth to receive it. Therefore, let no cunningly devised fable, no false delusive spirit, or vision, no man or set of men who go out from us, but are not of us, have any influence on your minds for a moment, to draw your minds away from this all important work. But enter steadily and regularly upon a strict observance of the law of tithing, and of freewill offerings, till Jehovah shall say it is enough; your offerings are accepted: then come up to the House of the Lord, and be taught in his ways, and walk in his paths; yea, enter his sanctuary; and receive the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
(History of the Church, 7: 281)

-“This great and good man (Joseph Smith) was led, before his death, to call the Twelve together, from time to time, and to instruct them in all things pertaining to the kingdom, ordinances, and government of God. **** Said he,”I know not why; but for some reason I am constrained to hasten my preparations, and to confer upon the Twelve all the ordinances, keys, covenants, endowments, and sealing ordinances of the priesthood, and so set before them a pattern in all things pertaining to the sanctuary and the endowment therein.” ***** He proceeded to confer on elder Young, the President of the Twelve, the keys of the sealing power, as conferred in the last days by the spirit and power of Elijah, in order to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth should be smitten with a curse.
This last key of the priesthood is the most sacred of all, and pertains exclusively to the first presidency of the church, without whose sanction and approval or authority, no sealing blessing shall be administered pertaining to things of the resurrection and the life to come.”
(Millennial Star, Vol. 5: 151. Written in New York, January lst, 1845, pub. March 1845. This is part of a proclammation issued by Elder Parley P. Pratt.)

-“To this city (New Jerusalem), and to its several branches or stakes, shall the Gentiles seek, as to a standard of light and knowledge; yea, the nations and their kings and nobles shall say Come, and let us go up to the Mount Zion, and to the temple of the Lord, where His holy Priesthood stand to minister more fully, and receive the ordinances of remission, and of sanctification, and redemption, and thus be adopted into the family of Israel, and identified in the same covenants of promise.
The despised and degraded son of the forest, who has wandered in dejection and sorrow, and suffered reproach, shall then drop his disguise and stand forth in manly dignity, and exclaim to the Gentiles who have envied and sold him ”I am Joseph; does my father yet live?” or, in other words, I am a descendant of that Joseph who was sold into Egypt. You have hated me, and sold me, and thought I was dead; but lo! I live and am heir to the inheritance, titles, honours, priesthood, sceptre, crown, throne, and eternal life and dignity of my fathers, who live for evermore.
He shall then be ordained, washed, anointed with holy oil, and arrayed in fine linen, even in the glorious and beautiful garments and royal robes of the high priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God; and shall enter into the Holy of Holies, there to be crowned with authority and power which shall never end.
The spirit of the Lord shall then descend upon him like the dew upon the mountains of Hermon, and like refreshing showers of rain upon the flowers of Paradise.
His heart shall expand with knowledge, wide as eternity, and his mind shall comprehend the vast creations of his God, and his eternal purpose of redemption, glory, and exaltation, which was devised in heaven before the worlds were organized; but made manifest in these last days, for the fulness of the Gentiles, and for the exaltation of Israel.
He shall also behold his Redeemer, and be filled with His presence, while the cloud of His glory shall be seen in His temple.”
(Millennial Star Vol. 6, Appendix: pp. 9 10; Written in New York, April 6, 1845. This is from the proclammation of the Church commanded by the Lord in Doctrine and Covenants 124)

-“The Saints will not receive their crowns of glory until after their resurrection. When the curse in part shall be removed from the world; when wickedness and abomination shall be known no more in the land, then will the Saints come forth clothed with immortality, and be crowned with power and glory as a reward for all their labors. No person will be crowned with power in the eternal word, (we are to be kings and priests to God to all eternity,) unless they have been ordained thereto in this life, previous to their death, or by some friend acting as proxy for them afterwards, and receiving it for them. What is it to be kings and priests? It is to have honor, authority and dominion, having kingdoms to preside over, and subjects to govern, and possessing the ability ever to increase their authority and glory, and extend their dominion.”
(Orson Pratt in a funeral address: Times & Seasons, Vol. 6:920, publication date June 1st, 1845, see above for the date of the funeral address.)

-“Prest. (George A.) Smith, on rising, ***** alluded to councils which had been held in Nauvoo, and to the fact of the Prophet Joseph calling the Twelve together, and, at a meeting called for that purpose, of Joseph and Hyrum the Patriarch administering to Brigham Young, then President of the Twelve Apostles, what is known as the Second Anointing, and instructing him to administer in like manner to his brethren of the Twelve, which he did to the nine of the Twelve who were then at home.*****
Brother George A. Smith (of the First Presidency), in the foregoing recital, incidentally remarked that Elder Sidney Rigdon had never received the Second Anointing, nor the keys pertaining to baptism for the dead.”
(James G. Bleak, Clerk and Historian of the Southern Mission. Friday, December 25, 1874. Millennial Star Vol. 37: 66, Tuesday, February 2, 1875.)

-“Magnificant and moving is the promise to every man and boy who magnifies his calling as a holder of the priesthood. Said the Lord concerning you, they are to be “sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom and the elect of God.” (D&C 84:33 34.) Further, all that the Father hath shall be given unto them.
There is no greater promise than this. I have seen and known such men. I met some such the other day when I was at the St. George Temple. I have known and watched these brethren for many years. Their hair is now white, and they do not walk with that vitality which was once their characteristic. Those of whom I speak have never had much of wealth. But they have had much of wisdom, and they have had much of faith. They are men who since the days of their youth have held the priesthood of God, have walked in its light, and have magnified their callings. They have left home at personal sacrifice to serve as missionaries and as mission presidents. They have served as bishops and presidents of stakes. Wherever they have gone, whether in their vocational or ecclesiastical callings, they have touched a candle with the flame of their own faith and brought light where before there was darkness.
In season and out of season, in sunshine and in storm, in defeat as well as in victory, they have kept their eyes at the right end of the lens, magnifying their callings and bringing closer, as it were, the sacred and eternal things of God.”
(President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Magnify Your Calling,”)

-“1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1-3)

-“I feel disposed to speak a few words more to you, my brethren, concerning the endowment: All who are prepared and are sufficiently pure to abide the presence of the Savior, will see Him in the solemn assembly.” (Joseph Smith, Hist. of the Church 2:307-310)

-“34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.” (D&C 121:34-40)

-“First, I give unto you Hyrum Smith to be a patriarch unto you, to hold the sealing blessings of my church, even the Holy Spirit of promise, whereby ye are sealed up unto the day of redemption, that ye may not fall notwithstanding the hour of temptation that may come upon you.” (D&C 124:124)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The John Approach: A Higher Way

 

John did the higher way and got the higher blessing. Try to pattern life after this. The John way is not required but is an option and has higher blessings.

 

 

 

 

On Christ as God update with new notes

In the book of Mormon they never call Christ human.

Book of Mormon says his first coming was also a coming in glory. The Jews didn’t have enough faith to see his glory, for h to show it to them. It’s not that the nephites saw him when he had more shining glory, it’s that they had enough faith for him to show them his glory.

Christ is god with us. In D&C Christ speaks to Harris saying “I God”, not older brother. Book oformon refers to him as God also. His role as our God far supercedes that of his being our older brother. The Book of Mormon teaches more of Christ than even the New Testament.

No man has seen the fullness of god’s glory and lived. Even the brightness above the noon day sun of the first vision which Joseph saw wasn’t the fullness of God’s glory, but a portion.

Adam, Temple, Tokens, & Interacting with Angels

I have an old question which may be answered with an understanding of the temple endowment being 1. Symbolic and 2. More about us getting our endowment than Adam and Eve getting theirs.

Here is the question: How did Adam get tokens from a premortal spirit being without a body to grasp his hand? (Joseph Smith had a revelation that spirit beings won’t shake hands with corporal beings)

Here are 2 theories:

  1. Peter somehow was able to interact with them, or interacted with them without grasping, just showing.
  2. God, not Peter, gave Adam his tokens.

 

The endowment is to symbolize our receiving the tokens from authorized administrators. We are Adam. We stand and awake with him to drive this home.

I will say however that I believe there are some Jewish legends about 3 messengers visiting Adam and Eve.

Some legends even indicate that Peter was the specific angel assigned to help and tutor Adam when he left Eden.

Some say that Adam Christ and others who helped in the creation pre-mortally must have had special powers that we cannot understand, which may cause some sort of tangible interaction with them in their premortal state to take place. This does seem strange.

Something to note here is that the scripture says that angels who minister to the inhabitants of this world are limited to those who have or will yet live on this earth specifically. We don’t get random people from other earths coming to teach us on this earth. This is not to mean that God the Father and God the Son were from this world; they are the rulers, and visit all of their creations.

One who is in favor of Peter giving the tokens says: “Two things: 1. The endowment does not teach that God gave Adam all tokens. It does teach He gave Adam a “token”. 2. There is no need to symbolize away Peter, James, and John physically giving Adam and Eve the other tokens. The way in which Peter, James, and John are portrayed in the endowment is in line with the scriptures. I recommend studying D&C 129:4-5 (resurrected shake hands, just who aren’t yet resurrected won’t), D&C 131:7-8 (all spirit is matter), Ether 3:13-18 (a spirit can be called a body).”

 

 

 

 

 

God’s People are His Glory: A Key to Knowledge of Eternity

Mormon 8:15 defines the glory of God as his covenant people. God is full of glory, having a numerous people, and his glory grows forever, the more people come follow him. He continues to have children. He doesn’t rule over anyone save they are his child. That is how heaven works. It’s structured in families, and the grand law of the universe is the never-ending cycle of children becoming parents. Parenthood in this setting is the code word for exaltation.

This doctrine explains much of who God is, what he does, and why he does it. It also opens the door to understanding exaltation, that as God has children who bring him glory, so us becoming glorious and powerful like him doesn’t take away from God, but adds to him.

Lucifer had it backwards; rather than working to become like God (which is the only way to become like God), he wanted to just step in and take over the show. Rather than being tutored by God his great head, he wanted to kick God out and take his place. In reality, the eternal order is that of family, that children become like their parents. They don’t throw out their parents, or recreate morality; they seek to uphold the eternal laws of morality as taught by their parents. Lucifer would have been a tyrant ruler, allowing what he willed, requiring what he willed, rather than being a ruler governed by a set of laws.

God is God because he upholds justice, which is the law of the universe. That’s why he provided Jesus Christ a savior, so we could have mercy without robbing justice. Jesus Christ takes up the bill, and renegotiates a merciful contract with us – he can do this only because he pays the bill; he can’t delete the bill, then justice wouldn’t be served – but he can pay the bill as a 3rd party. God the Father can’t pay the bill because he is the banker; the teller; the governor; for mercy to be available a 3rd party is needed to intervene, intercede, advocate our cause, suffer in our behalf. Lucifer wasn’t interested in suffering for anyone, he just wanted power authority and glory. To read more about this very subject, it was majestically expounded by Elder Christofferson in a 2017 BYU devotional titled “A Message at Christmas Time.”

The moral of the story is that God’s plan is perfect, and enables us to become like him. It is the plan of the universe which He himself 1st followed, as instructed by his parents. God ever grows in glory via his posterity. He has all knowledge and power, but there is no limit to the glory he can gain, through us and what we do, and our posterity, and so on. Us becoming Gods like him doesn’t make him less, it makes him greater! Each rules over their creations in the ever growing universe.

When asked when it all began after teaching the doctrine of God himself having a father, Joseph Smith answered by taking off his ring, and showing the circular pattern, demonstrating that it is one eternal round, every father has a son, every son has a father; there is no beginning, and there is no end. If there was a beginning, there would have to be an end. Our minds cannot at present comprehend this, it’s part of the veil put over our understanding here to test our ability to walk in faith. In a later day, this will be clear as crystal.

 

Exaltation Analysis

  1. Knowledge rises with you in the resurrection, and those who have gained more knowledge in this life will be so far the advantage in the next life (D&C)
    2. Jesus learned obedience by the things he suffered (NT)
    3. If we are to gain salvation, it is by the very same way that Jesus gained it: full obedience. (JS) Repentance is also one of our laws via contract with Christ, and we must obey it.
    4. In the next life we will have a lot more learning to do before we reach godhood (JS)
    5. learning and knowledge apply to more than book knowledge. (based on point 2)
    6. Jesus has perfect empathy, knowing what it’s like to go through any given thing which any given person has ever gone through. (NT etc.) How hard it is to consistently and completely resist the weight of temptation. Those who hold out the longest know the most about how hard it is.
    7. We are to become joint heirs with Christ (NT)
    8. Christ has received all his father has (NT)
    9. We will receive all Heavenly Father has (based on point 7 and 8).
    10.Heavenly Father has all power dominion glory knowledge empathy etc.
    11. We will become Gods like Heavenly Father (based on points 7-10)
    12. We get help from Jesus in getting salvation (NT), but we still must go through the needed things for attaining Godhood (point 3).
    13. We can access grace for salvation, but when it comes to exaltation, we must earn that (LDS Prophet. See also point 3)
    14. WE WILL BECOME LIKE GOD, KNOWING ALL, HAVING SUFFERED ALL, HAVING GONE BENEATH ALL THINGS, BEING JUST LIKE JESUS, ABLE TO RULE OVER ALL OUR CREATIONS, AND THE LEARNING FOR THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN IN THIS LIFE OR THE NEXT. THE CRITICAL CRITERIA FOR ADVANCEMENT TO ATTAIN THIS IS SUFFERING. THE SUFFERING IS WHAT BRINGS THE KNOWLEDGE. ONCE YOU HAVE SUFFERED ALL, NOT FOR YOUR SAKE BUT FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS, YOU WILL HAVE LEARNED ALL EMPATHY, AND BECOME LIKE HEAVENLY FATHER.
    15. We will see our spirit posterity through experiences akin to what we go through at this time (LDS Doctrines of the Gospel Manual)
    16. Children have the capacity to attain what their parents have (common sense). We are the children of God (NT, OT, BoM, D&C, etc.). We can become the Children of Christ by covenant (NT, BoM, D&C, etc.). This covenant is valid unless we sin (Mosiah 4; 5). Repentance isn’t to be taken lightly or played with as a game (ref). But for the sincere, hope is abundant (ref).

This life is like getting the high school diploma; that’s what we need to focus on before going on for the college degree. You can’t even enter unto a college until you’ve obtained a high school degree.
You say “I’m not very excited about suffering, I’m not looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to the rest from all cares and sorrows as promised in the scriptures.” I say, very well! As you should! But recall, even God, weeps! (see the book of Moses relating the Enoch account ref).

Also, this life has suffering, doesn’t it? Yes. But before we came to this stage, we voted to come here, and we shouted for joy at the opportunity (see Job). We recognized it as the only path to becoming like our Heavenly Father.

This life is the main testing ground. MORTALITY IS THE POINT OF NO RETURN. THIS IS THE FINAL SHOWDOWN. THIS IS THE BIG LEAGUES. 1/3 of God’s spirit children didn’t make it this far. That’s a 1/3 leaving, and it wasn’t you that left! Remarkable! Remember what Joseph Smith said: when you climb a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and do one rung at a time before you can be able to step up the next wrung.

After this life, the test is over for this period. Then we go to the next period. After this life, we rest from all care and sorrow which applies unto this mortal life period. This is not to say that the next period won’t have it’s labors… indeed, prophets have said the contrary!

Remember Joseph Smith said that there is still much work to do, much knowledge to get, in the next life. One way we get knowledge is by suffering, but only what we can bear, and are ready, willing, and optimistically volunteering for. There are not multiple mortalities, this is it. Then we go on to things different in the eternal world with resurrected bodies.
Another key to remember is thus: you will never have to do anything you don’t want to. You’ll always sign up for it. You’ll always be happy to do it. Why does an accomplished writer write another book? Doesn’t he know it will be painful? Why does a mother have another child? Same reason. The rewards are so much more than the cost.

Also, upon the thought of enduring suffering, consider that suffering in increments is a viable way toward progression. Being tired after 7pm in this life is a form of suffering, and it thus refines and schools us even though it is not entirely overwhelming. It is all part of the program, it is all for the master sculptor, critical though tiny lines carved into the mold of our souls.

You won’t do something you aren’t able to do. For us in this life, we do all we can. (“it is by grace we are saved after all we can do” 2 Ne. 25). Did Jesus do all he can do, and thus be saved? Yes! The Atonement pushed him to his max, and by doing this thing which pleased the Father, he inherited all the Father hath. We likewise will inherit all the Father hath as we do all we can do, however small that may be.

But what then, how will we attain unto Godhood, where we can relate to others (Jesus has perfect empathy from performing the Atonement, but we don’t)? Once we are in heaven by the grace of Christ, it’s time to further perfect ourselves; time to become Gods; time to use the new power that we will have received for passing this life’s trials (by being true to our capacities here).

As we pass one level, our strength grows, and so does our burden. Brigham Young said pray not for lighter loads but for stronger backs. How will you ever get a back strong as Gods if you never push against the same weight he has pushed against in order to gain his muscle? It can’t be done. Joseph Smith taught that we need to get salvation by the same way Jesus did: by obedience.

To clarify: Jesus gets us to heaven. It is not by our own merit that we are saved from OUR sins. Jesus saves us from OUR sins. Then, once saved, we bear the burdens of OTHERS, and thus become like God. You see, part of being a God is “learning”, aka developing, charity (how do we learn it? By suffering. Charity by nature is sacrifice). We, as Christ, grow from grace to grace (ref), and rely on God for strength. Christ as well as Father, and the Holy Ghost, are Gods to us.

Jesus proved his charity by saving us, thus he is exalted, and we are saved from our sins. Now what? It’s time for us to learn (more) charity, and, as Joseph Smith said, go on, on to perfection! THAT is why it’s so key that the D&C says whatever we “learn” in this life, it rises with us in the resurrection and is so much the “advantage” to us in the next life! It’s not just book smarts, its learning character!

“Every faithful man’s labor will continue as long as the labor of Jesus, until all things are redeemed that can be redeemed, and presented to the Father. There is a great work before us (DBY,378).” (Teachings of The Presidents of The Church: Brigham Young: Ch 38; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-38?lang=eng)

 

 

The Essential Foot Soldier

 

Thesis: Like a soldier acting in his assignment will lead to victory in the battlefield, so a humble family centered life is the key to fulfilling God’s plan, including the attainment of Godhood for all who qualify. Jesus Christ & Lucifer are prototypical examples of how any person can select either exaltation or damnation.

The Master taught that the way to salvation is the plain road. Similarly, we should not let worldly ambitions and aspirations get in the way of fulfilling standard family and religious duties in life. Good simple people are what God needs. Elder Bednar frequently describes himself as a simple man.

The kingdom of god is thus: A military commander needs 1,000-foot soldiers, 2 air soldiers, 2 computer soldiers, 1 supply soldier, etc. If the foot soldier lusts for a different position than his assignment, the commander is short 1 needed foot soldier, and loses the war. Foot soldiers are not negotiable. Whatever your life calling is, it must be done. No calling is to be taken lightly, each is needed. Unnecessary zeal for a thing results in frustrating the plans of the commander, and you do not aid him like you could have. To render the full aid one is capable of rendering is to lift where assigned. President Hinckley said that your work in your calling is as important as his calling in his (ref).

God needs millions even billions of men of family, 1 man of administration, 1 man of science, and a few other branches. the majority are in place not because they can’t measure up to the administrative or some other role, but because the role of the men of family is so large, that the vast majority of men have been assigned to it, prepared for it pre-mortally, etc. If one leaves his assignment, he jeopardizes the plan, and one more humble than he must step in and attempt to fill the role of 2 men of family because of the neglect of the other. This is a source of frustration to the commander, yet a reality which is dealt with.

We can and should pursue talents in science, arts, crafts and other interests, but this is to be done concurrently with family life. Many great composers such as Bach had very large families. Family is the setting for exploration. If other callings mean serious family procrastination and neglect, reconsider.

The scripture says that “to obey is better than to sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams”. This means that if we want to leave our duty to do some fancy special thing which in our view is better than our assigned duty, it is less serviceable than attending to the simple duty we had been asked to fulfill in the first place. Whatever our ideas of ideal, they are skewed when held up the ideas of the great commander in chief, Jesus Christ.

By things that seem “small and simple” to us, Christ brings world peace. Satan sews seeds into the field, lies suggesting that some path other than duty is the key to world peace. He can be very convincing. What are these seemingly small and simple things rather which Christ uses? They are the commandments. They are family centered lives where father and mother’s chief preoccupation is the welfare (not the spoiling) of the children. The colorful feathers of fancy fall by the wayside when the vision being set on the goal. The righteous are trees which nourish only the branches, letting the weeds die of thirst.

What must a man give to save his soul? His time. When considering what difference they lack between their lives and that of Christ, many conclude that Christ simply used his time in the Father’s service, whereas most of us live much of our day distracted. Christ begs us to use family structures to bring Zion in its power. Raise up children in the truth and strength of the gospel, not seeking to please the world. Stand for good causes. Be an honest person, and work with the Lord in His vineyard.

What is the usual affliction of the soul of man? He doesn’t give enough time to appropriate causes. The fear of myself and every other person in this world is “have I given what I was ordained to give?” This is healthy fear, the type of fear spoken of in the scriptures known as “the fear of God” which is “the beginning of wisdom”. (ref)

Of course, whenever someone gives their time to a/the worthy cause, it is given back to him usually 10-fold in this life, but always 1000-fold in the resurrection. This goes on until the obedient person has all, knows all, and has power over all, being a creator for the sake of the created, enjoying the ultimate bliss that brings, and working with the most pleasant of associates.

The battle in this life is led by Jesus Christ, the God of this world. Mankind may wish to lead battles, it is only natural for the children of God to wish to behave like God and be the commander themselves, seeking a different role. This current battle calls us for ranking soldiers. Yes, all things will come in their time. We must pass through all things, and hold the various positions in their season. The thrill of each of these is promised for the faithful, all in due time. For example, one ought never shirk if a certain calling does not come to them in this stage. We do not counsel the Lord our God as the kingdom expands according to his perfect wisdom. Hugh Nibley speaks of how he himself never held calling in the church, despite being an avid defender of it all his days. Kings, queens, priests, priestesses, these royal roles will be filled by the covenant followers of Christ in the millennium, and even more so beyond that, as the children of God put on the full nature of God their father.

Is it too large of an aspiration to want to become a God? Answer this question: Do you love children? If you’ve answered yes, then you want to be a God. If no, then let’s just say I invite you to reconsider your priorities, and to experiment with the joy children can bring to your life. The prophets have made it clear that the only condition wherein a person will be able to have children in eternity is in the condition of exaltation, meaning Godhood. Are you catching on? The exciting news is that to be a parent is to be a God! Family life is the lifestyle of the Gods! No wonder Satanist Aleister Crowly said the family is public enemy number one. Satan loathes family, every part of it is the antithesis of the life he heads. Will the wicked have children or marriage in eternity? Neither. The Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-4 reveals, “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.” It’s that simple: children are so precious that they are the essence of the reward of the exalted! Being a God is no more strange than being a parent. The restoration removes the mystery of God, it uncovers the place of his pavilion, and motivates us to, like him, put family first. God, after all, prefers to be called Father.

The scripture says that Paul hoped for and urged us toward becoming Gods. He said, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God” (Philippians 3:14). This means that he wanted to be in ONE OF the positions (plural) called “God”. He didn’t want to take Gods place. In other words, he is a son (we are all children of God) who looks up to his dad (Jesus instructed us to pray “Our FATHER who art in heaven”) and wants to be like dad when he grows up (this takes a while, including some time after mortal life). We must not abandon our duties today for more seemingly meaningful things. This is because the only way to find the max potential is in acting obediently in each stage.

Since God has infinite posterity (they’re numbered but will never cease to increase) and those posterity can qualify for infinite posterity (the promise to Abraham), the potential number of Gods is endless. Paul knew the office called “God” could come for him and everyone else who “applied unto it”. Being a God is an office of the priesthood. There are Deacons Teachers Priests Elders High Priests Seventies Apostles and Gods. God is the highest priesthood office, and it is not limited enrollment! It is all accomplished in wisdom and order as the kingdoms of righteousness expand.

Suffering is the school of the Gods. Salvation is about what Christ did for us, but exaltation is about what we do for others. Whenever you do something for someone else, it is inconvenient, and a form of suffering. Of course the Holy Ghost comes and turns much of what would be suffering into supernal delight. Additionally, the family unit is the factory which God has ordained for humans to learn to suffer for each other’s welfare out of pure love. Love, and thereby holy suffering, is no where more evident than in long term committed relationships of marriage and parenting. Thankfully, this divine equation also permits the most transcendent joy.

Lucifer wanted to be like God, but he sought it in the wrong way, without sacrifice, without suffering, without the depth of love which is only created in suffering for someone else’s welfare. He mistook Gods position to be one of pure ease and commanding rather than government by love, persuasion, and self sacrifice. Lucifer attempted a shortcut to Godhood. He took up enrollment at a different school called The University of Entitlement. The reason Lucifer wanted to take away the agency of man so he could organize ‘easy salvation’, universal income to a much larger scale than sending rain on the just and the unjust, and to eliminate the need for atonement on both large and small scales. “If no one was allowed to make mistakes, everyone would be perfect, and no sins would need be paid for” he thought. But he missed this critical element: though man could be sinless if he had no agency (a state similar to the garden of Eden), he could never progress. (see Elder D Todd Christofferson BYU 2017 Christmas devotional for a majestic presentation on more similar ideas)

Lucifer was satisfied with himself being God, and the rest of humanity being subordinates the rest of eternity. He wanted to replace God instead of grow to become like God in the same ordained path that God used too become God, which is the holy unending structure of the rulers of the universe. As more children are born and earths created to house them, there will be space for plenty of Gods to govern as needed, according to the holy blessings of the priesthood and the eternal seeds. We not fight over it. The universe is ever expanding. The only issue is that we must not be proud, seeking to be the best, to have more power than any other. As Joseph Smith taught, whenever there is an intelligence, there is always a greater (ref D&C). Intelligence here means rulership. The Gods know all things, and only differ in their location, time in office, and therefore posterity. A wicked person wants to climb to more power more quickly than he ought, so seeks to subvert it in ways not respectful to the human race. A righteous person also wants power, but they seek and obtain it in the timing and methods which Heavenly Father has established, and with perfect intention.

Heavenly Father’s plan (of which Jesus Christ (whom we are called to follow) is the engine) is the plan which had always existed, the plan which allowed the ONLY scenario for humans to progress to the divine. We call the plan “Heavenly Father’s Plan” because Heavenly Father endorsed the plan, just like His Fathers had in eons past. The plan is the one espoused by all those who operate with the eternal title of Heavenly Father. This plan would of course would require a Savior (Jesus Christ), and at some point, interested candidates would start becoming little saviors themselves until they would, as according to the plan from the beginning, grow “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). To think that the desire for Godhood is evil is to think that light is darkness and darkness light. It’s all about the technique: will you force your way into Godhood like Lucifer attempted, or will you go through the appointed proper channels like Jesus Christ? Though Christ was the only sinless person, others have reached Godhood including Abraham Isaac and Jacob. D&C 132:17 says that these men have become Gods: “Abraham…as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.”. We can be saved and exalted through obedience to the laws of the gospel, which fortunately for us, includes the law of repentance. No wonder we use the word “gospel” meaning good news to describe Christ’s successful execution of Heavenly Father’s plan for us!

God can’t just exalt whoever he wants. Exaltation (becoming a God, aka reaching the highest achievement and order) is, by the laws of the universe which have existed longer than even the amount of time which Heavenly Father has held the rank of Eternal God, yes, these eternal laws of the universe which God obeys, these eternal laws demand that the only way progression occurs, is by choices of each individual (see Elder D Todd Christofferson BYU 2017 Christmas devotional). Lucifer went to a bogus communist university (while skipping class at the true university) which taught the idea that the eternal laws of the universe could be bent to accommodate him. It could be said that Lucifer was the one who rose up to lead that school of thought. Lucifer wasn’t the first with these ideas, they were had in previous systems of rebellion as well. The graduates of this school of thought were not offered positions as Gods, but it was a bogus degree, offering something which it couldn’t deliver. They were the 1/3 cast to outer darkness, the Sons of Perdition. They were fed on fear, self doubt, and doubt toward Father’s plan. These lies were perpetuated to an ultra-tragic extent.

If someone tries to save mankind in a way other than the ordained plan of God, he will lose his his eventual eternal Godhood. This is why we take God’s commandments seriously. This life is the testing grounds. This is the point of no return. Our entire eternity is calculated upon our performance in these handful of years, like a class with a 1-hour exam at the end, so is pre-mortality leading into mortality. Yes there is progression after this life, but Alma is clear that now is when we are to get on the path to be going sincerely in the right direction (ref). Yes the ignorant will learn, such is the obvious scenario in a just kingdom. But most of us do not qualify any longer as ignorant, for this end is the gospel preached. Gods plan isn’t on hold for some later date. Now is the operation, the accountability, the witness of the Holy Ghost, the exercise of agency, the choice, the calling, and the election made sure.

 

 

 

Exaltation Theory

It’s hard to work for God and man at the same time; they both expect you to give so much, but you have to do it.

Brigham Young said that no matter who you are you must become a good philosopher. That’s in part what the Apostles are; they explain things with much wisdom (though they do so with power and authority, not like the scribes who often entangle truth with falsehood).

I also learned this- at the final judgement we will have all knowledge of our deeds, and see the negative and positive effects of everything we’ve done in our lives through eternity. Surely the good must overpower the bad being so much larger if we are to hope for exaltation. Salvation is much easier, and most people will receive it to some degree. Yes, most! Praise the Lord, God is love! But the fullness of salvation called exaltation is a much greater object.This is what I see: the negative one has done has its effects; those are exponential as one thing effects another; on the other hand the good works exponentially as well.

Each person needs to do so much good that it overpowers the bad. Surely our net good effect must overcome our net bad, such that it fills all existence with so much persuasion, so much gentleness, so much pure love, that it reaches into the far depths of the pain that I have caused, and brings divine healing there. Remember we are talking about exaltation here, not just salvation. Only through Christ can a person gain that power. Only Christ’s grace can optimize us so our influence expands. The place where Jesus Christ’s Atonement comes in is making you a good person as you apply unto it. This accounts for everything; this accounts for justice, as it is no mere sweeping away of the consequences of your negative actions. Christ’s intercession for us is both payment and enabling.

Christ enables us to make that net good effect, and much more. It also would have the effect of making a person an eternal judge; this means that a person will have this encompassing good effect. It means that he can be trusted by all of his creations. He has been born again, completely recalibrated by the help of the Atonement. Such shall be the case for all who reach exaltation. They are fully pure, powerful, compassionate, and with time, as they reach exaltation, good has so much of an effect flowing out from them that it eliminates all the bad, the good having a reverberating and exponential and reflective effect on a person. Good brings more good like something pulling on another, perhaps like a magnet (D&C speaks of this, charity cleaving to charity, etc. (ref)).

Now there is the question of Jesus, how did he live a perfect life in mortality? He was already purified before he came to this earth. He had already worked out his salvation according to eternal gospel principles. Why would we spurn at the idea of a person having progressed to this status before being born onto this earth? Is it not possible for a person to progress in pre-mortality? Yes, it is. Jesus Christ was one who was able to make it full circle in pre-mortality. He was that gifted. That is why he was who he was. He is more intelligent than us all (POGP ref). That is why he was selected as the engine of God’s gospel for us who have not progressed to the point that he has. God saw that Jesus Christ had progressed full circle in the pre-earth life, and hence he became the first born son of God in the Spirit; he was the first of all the spirits under the direction of God to progress full circle, to use intelligence to progress to perfection. That is why he was the first born in the spirit of God.

Is it now written that man was also in the beginning with God? You see, as a man progresses, in intelligence and goodness, he is more capable of helping others to progress. It’s an eternal understanding that seems to be so at home to us- namely that when we find something we love, we always want to share it with others. When we have progressed, we will seek to aid others in their progression above all else.

Now hear this, don’t hate yourself because you have not come full circle yet like Jesus Christ has. Don’t be angry about how you are not yet a pure stream of good which fills all space by its exponential behavior. Rather appreciate the experiences you are having, and realize that every God in all eternity has gone through breathtakingly similar experiences as you are going through at this present time. You have made some mistakes via misuse of your intelligence, seeking to jump when you should have waited for more refinement and stability. Or perhaps your mistake was in waiting when you should have jumped. Either way, your mistakes are manifestations of holes in your character and understanding and practice in performance or intelligence, and you must continue onward, correcting your ways, eliminating the ill tendencies in your soul and replacing them rather with good tendencies. Gods in all of eternity are carved out of a rough mountain side, and by and by they become smooth, or perfect. Those who have already become Gods are those who have yielded their intelligence to light and submitted their agency unto applied intelligence.

And I tell you this also, there is nothing more humiliating than an awareness that you have a certain level of intelligence but that you are not using it. That is a terrible way to live, although it is the way most of us submit to doing. I also tell you this key, that is that you need to train yourself to react to difficult situations and even failures with humility. You need to slow down and stop to think about where you are and how you got there, and what you are going to do to bring some goodness to the situation.

Now remember this- dispute your errors, should you continue to develop, you can reach the status of Jehovah and Elohim. In other words, you can be a person who is without guilt from all eternity past to all eternity present. This I say because once you have refined yourself to a certain state, you are become an unchangeable thing. You no matter which direction you walk in, you will emanate or radiate good, perfect good, complete good, perfect justice, perfect understanding, perfect wisdom, everything perfect. You will have become a being who is unable to commit error because of the spirit he has listed to, and the laws which govern his creature. Making worlds etc. are only the beginning to exaltation. Exaltation is the realization of every hope your soul has ever known.

Now you may ask of this point, well what if my soul has hoped for evil in a certain period? Will I get to indulge? No, because your hope for an evil thing was really a hope for a good thing, for humans are only capable of hoping for good things. Every hope for an evil thing is in reality a hope for a good thing, but seeking to obtain that good thing via corrupt means, usually connotating a short cut, or less skill than the correct way would require. Hope is good. There is no such thing as bad hope or hope for bad things. When a person does not have hope for good things, he is not really experiencing hope. He is experiencing immaturity and squandered intelligence. He is experiencing a lack of patience and understanding. He is expressing his damnation, or in other words, his unwillingness to progress. His insisting that he receive the reward of justice while not going through the step which lead to such.

Now I teach you this: Lucifer in the pre-earth life had not come full circle like Jehovah had. Lucifer had reached a certain point, a high point indeed, and then ceased to be willing to continue in light truth intelligence patience and all that is required of progressing spirit beings and all their potential. Yes, I tell you, Lucifer shunned at the experience of Atonement, and was not willing to embrace the eternal truth that a good being/person loses himself in every sense for the progression of those around him. Ken Bowers suggested that though very knowledgeable, since intelligence is light and truth, Satan has no intelligence. When I speak of intelligence, pure intelligence, it of a necessity constitutes doing the correct thing (it’s not just knowing what the correct thing is). The more intelligent thing is to follow the gospel of God. This is the most pure type of intelligence, that we do what is right.

We do not possess truth and light by knowing stuff, but by doing it. This is reflected in President Kimball’s suggested word change in the I Am A Child of God song from “teach me all that I must KNOW” to “teach me all that I must DO”. The suggestion was adopted, and thus we sing to this day. And following the gospel of God, his teachings, was for us, in the pre-mortal sphere, an expression of how we valued exaltation, or circles, completions, for we saw God and chose to pursue the path that would lead us to becoming like him. Yes, the path that would allow our spirits to progress along the course of light truth and virtue.

Now Lucifer has grown in his learning, and indeed he knows more than what is taught at schools. His intelligence in that respect is massive, even beyond our comprehension. But his intelligence in the aspect of the most pure form of intelligence, namely that he would follow the most bright light if you will, this is an area of intelligence wherein you and I, residents of this earth who continue in progression in characteristics resembling those which God possesses, far exceed that of Lucifer. Because of this progression, we have bodies. That is part of the progression. Lucifer never reached that point in progression. All with bodies have progressed further in eternity than has Lucifer or any of his other followers who do not have bodies. You see persons with bodies have power over those who do not (Packer, JS), and this is because they are further along in their pursuit of intelligence.

The damnation of a soul is like a river that has been stopped in its course. Damnation of a person comes when they refuse to continue onward, and put a wall in their own path. No one puts this wall in but themselves, and it is a conscious act (and the consciousness of that action is one which far too many people are willing to admit (which is to say, don’t think that just because someone doesn’t recognize that they are damning themselves does not mean that they are damning themselves.)). Who holds the key to Satan’s prison cell? Truman G. Madsen famously taught in his great lectures on philosophy that the holder of that key is none other than Satan himself. No part of his nature wants to use it. In his pride he insists on ignoring the facts, and remaining a law unto himself, an unruly whimsical tyrant. He is invited to the party, but he doesn’t want to come. His die is cast, the summer is over, and his soul is not saved. In his eternal non-corporal form, his soul remains forever wanting, and his eternal domain the sides of a pit.

Now who will hear more? Who will go on to eternity, choosing to seek and thus find the hidden things kept secret from before the foundation of the world? Who will meditate upon the scriptures after having read them? Who will allow themselves to be fallible enough to let themselves be taught? Who will not cease to search for understanding until it has been found in every instance? This is the type of character a person needs to possess in order to progress on to eternity. I ask it again, where is the person that is willing to leave father and mother, and come follow Christ? Yea I ask it, wife friend neighbor and anything else that may be damning ones brain from progression that would otherwise flow smoothly and without restraint? I’m not asking to you isolate yourselves, not to not jump because the water isn’t at a perfect temperature. Do the jumping where the jumping is needed (marriage etc.). But be willing to leave the philosophies of the world behind. I would tell you a thousand times- seek to understand the points of the gospel of God which are at present unclear to your minds. Get the Spirit of God in you, and it will embolden you to not only act according to the needs of your present circumstances, but to peel your mind away from every learned thing you have heard, and to start fresh with God and the revelations recognized by the Church and Kingdom of God. If you have truth, add to it. If not, start again. Don’t hold onto garbage. Who will be with the Lord when night falls? Who will seek him in the morning? Who will put aside a few material benefits in order to benefit his soul with meditation and searching of God’s word and every other good book which does not contend against the gospel of God? Remember the things pertaining to the gospel of God are those of greatest import. So here I say it: searching is a key ingredient to exaltation, for no person can be saved in ignorance. If you love the prophet whom the Spirit of True Intelligence (The Holy Ghost) has led you to follow, even the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then seek to do as he, and let your mind expand. Let it reach the heavens, and pass the riff raft of floating sectarian or evil-tarian doctrines which are a dime a dozen with sugar on top. No don’t be deceived by the offering of sweet things to your belly, or to the corrupt belly of your mind. Be turned rather to heaven, the which is light, and eternity, and pure intelligence; the which cannot cease to inspire. This search is exhausting, and though great progress can be made in a day, exaltation will only come to those who embrace these principles, which are correct and the only ones which will take you from step current to step next, daily. Yes, I tell you daily embrace these principals, in whatever maddened way you can, for this may appear to be a maddened search given the level of concentration and devotion it demands of our lives. This is why no man has reached heaven who was attracted to mammon. Money has its proper place and in the end a man will be damned without having provided for his own, but oh the small place in the wedge of life that money occupies for the faithful! Judge no man, for ye hardly know what these things mean. Trust in the leaders of God’s Church.

All things of progression and beginnings are to your pleasure for the having so far as understanding of such things go, for the Holy Ghost is with you.

 

Godhead discussion

 

 

Q: Jesus makes us one with him? Yes but only because he is one with the father. He has accepted the way of perfection which Elohim reached before him. Now we humans are on the path to progression. Jesus has already crossed the finish line, we follow his example to get to the finish line.

Q: The Holy Ghost what is it? It is a male deity without a body, but whose spirit resembles that of a body (all spirits resemble the body).

Q: The Godhead do we worship each of them? In the sense that they have reached perfection yes. We admire (another word for worship) Jesus because he helps us get to Elohim.

Q: Why does Jehovah speak as Elohim to Moses in the Pearl of Great Price? Because like one that cannot attend a meeting, so he has another person read his message verbatim, so is this. Elohim cannot attend us himself because of the Fall of Adam. Before the fall of Adam, Elohim would appear to Adam and walk and talk with him. Ever since the Fall of Adam, Jehovah has interacted with the people of earth directly. Ever since the Fall of Adam, we are in a telestial state of existence. This means God the Father doesn’t visit us. He only does so to introduce Jehovah on rare occasion like to Joseph Smith when Smith was called to lead this dispensation.

Q: Who is God? There are 3. Elohim Jehovah and the Holy Ghost. The foremost of these is Elohim, whom organized the way that we humans can get exalted. Elohim is the author of the plan of salvation. The means that he brings about that salvation is by employing Jehovah and the Holy Ghost. Elohim is the leader. The supreme Governor. Jehovah is one of his sons, and thus inherits all that he has, and eventually becomes like him in every way. The Holy Ghost testifies to persons that these beings are the way to salvation. That is the role of the Holy Ghost in salvation. The Holy Ghost also plays a role in sanctifying persons who apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Q: Is God independent? Yes. Independent in that he needs no help to keep the laws of the universe/eternity. He is able to do his duty fully. He can take care of himself. He acts in union with others ( Each of these 3 Gods with each other, and other righteous volunteers) to save souls, because saving souls in all eternity has ever been a joint enterprise.

Like several roles in a play, so this is. Just because there needs to be several actors to illustrate a play on stage doesn’t mean that any of the actors are imperfect. The actors could do their role perfectly. But that doesn’t mean that one actor can perform the entire play. A perfect person uses his resources to make perfect and beautiful things happen.

The reason Jehovah is taking direction from Elohim in the creation of this earth etc. is because he is interested in participating with Elohim with the exaltation of his creations. In playing one of the essential roles to saving souls. Elohim is the one who is at the head. He is overseeing exaltation of his creations.

Exaltation is not possible without a Savior. Because humans make mistakes, we need a Savior. Elohim is the judge in the court. Jehovah is the person who appeals to the court judge asking for the welfare of the humans because the humans fell short. Because Jehovah is a God, he is able to appeal to Elohim, another God, and buy the freedom of the humans, he having fulfilled the requirements.

It is my opinion that it may stand to reason that Jehovah will one day act in a capacity that Elohim does now (that of leader in a Godhead, in other words, not the first councilor in a presidency, but the president of that presidency), and that Jehovah will have a person be a Savior for his literal offspring just like how Elohim has Jehovah be the Savior for his literal offspring (I say literal offspring meaning to include physical children which are born as a result of nurturing of spirits by a certain director, in our case Elohim, before they attain a body).

To be exalted, humans must meet the requirements for exaltation.

Q: What are the requirements? That every law be kept.

Q: Do humans keep every law? No, not at first. So they have a merciful being step in to pay that price for them if they manifest correction in behavior. Joseph Smith said that if a person gets exalted it has to happen in the same way that Jesus got exalted, that of obedience. We must repent if we are to be saved.

Q: Who makes repentance possible? Jesus Christ, aka Jehovah, that God who mercifully uses the power he has attained to help us because he loves us.

Q: Does Elohim love us? Yes. For God so loved that world that he gave his only begotten son.

 

 

Godhead, Kingdoms, and Family as Types of Progression

 

 

-(this is not intended to be a comprehensive study of all that has been revealed about the stages of existence called “The Plan of Salvation”. For that, see official resources of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For example, this link is to an LDS manual on the several kingdoms of heaven: https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrines-of-the-gospel-student-manual/chapter-33-kingdoms-of-glory-and-perdition?lang=eng.   This document proposes 3 stages of existence, and that the purpose of each stage is similar to each member of the Godhead.

-Though all 3 Gods, the Father Son and Holy Ghost are exalted, they have different functions, and it can be likened unto the different earths we dwell on. God gives all things as symbols and signs to us to teach us the order of eternity.

Prep-Stage: Spirit realm: Premortality: Analogy of things coming into being and their preparations

-Heavenly Father (personal name Ahman), being more intelligent than the other intelligences present, gathered the intelligences and housed them in spirit tabernacles, organizing them to a more advanced state of being. He instituted laws for them wherein they could become like him. Those laws included premortal training, and mortal testing.

-This is the time to prepare for the final exam called ‘mortality.’ All needed preparations are completed here before one is dispatched to mortality. Contracts are signed, and all conditions of mortality are agreed upon and understood to a sufficient level as to make the experience of mortality a binding test measuring the soul of the individual to see if he will advance to the status of Heavenly Father or remain forever a servant.

-Jesus Christ attained status of God in this stage. We did not. Christ is not only the most intelligent of the Fathers children, he is more intelligent than the rest combined.

Stage 1: Telestial: Becoming as The Holy Ghost (Mortality)

[Note: this is also a good symbol of premortal, the unembodied stage.]

-Those who live in the telestial sphere (this earth) and whom receive the telestial kingdom of glory have right to the ministration of The Holy Ghost

-Prophets have taught that the earth we now live upon is in a telestial condition

-This is a telestial earth, we are learning the telestial thing.
The telestial earth we are on right now, that’s all about doing the similar function as the Holy Ghost: learning to testify of The Father and The Son.

-work out your salvation in the fear of God. Point of no return. This is the final exam which determines the unchanging assignment to a kingdom of God in eternity (only the involuntarily ignorant are exempt).

-this (telestial) life is when you gather people up, get everyone that you can, get them all in the good ship Zion, get them all ready for the school of the Gods, and help save as many people as you can,

-this stage the focus is the obedience and the proving that yes, I do want to be enrolled in the school, and that’s why this life is where you secure your salvation,
this is a testing ground.

-Although this stage is likened to becoming as The Holy Ghost, we are becoming as God The Father in that we are obtaining mortal bodies.

– here we teach others and we help others,
but a main purpose of this telestial earth is preach the gospel, tell people about it, be like the Holy Ghost, tell about The God, tell about the greatness of him, and so forth.
then the next stage, the terrestrial stage, is the becoming God, and the celestial stage is creating other Gods.

 

Stage 2: Terrestrial: Becoming as Jesus Christ (Millennium)

[We try to be as Christ now too.]

-Those who live in the terrestrial kingdom of glory have right to the ministration of Jesus Christ
-becoming God

-finishing the perfection

-The temple is a type of what this stage will be like; the temple is the connecting link between the present earth, and the heavens. it is the gateway; the bridge between earth and heaven; the unveiling of the future of existence of the human race.

-The Millennium will be a terrestrial stage of existence. It will last 1000 years (or slightly less).

-this is a new heaven and a new earth compared to the telestial earth.

-A terrestrial earth, like the Millennium time, will be for perfecting ourselves, for our working out our salvation; we work our salvation here on the telestial earth as well to a certain extent (all we can, in the fear of God!), but the terrestrial is where we become completely as Jesus. The great work that is done on this telestial earth must be done as mandatory preparation, but the perfecting and finishing of the work of the telesital realm is accomplished in the terrestrial realm.

-though this is the time for perfecting ourselves, persons are at various stages. Such a condition of variability is common to all stages.

-we focus on the knowledge of sciences and so forth, perfecting all of them, including those physical sciences and those spiritual sciences. The knowledge we get in mortality (telestial) is all the advantage in the terrestrial because a big purpose of the terrestrial is the knowledge, Brigham Young taught that during the Millennium only a few hours a day will be required for labors, and the rest of the time will be gaining knowledge.

-This life is the time to prepare to meet God, the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors, and then cometh the night of darkness wherein no labor can be performed. If you don’t qualify in this life, you’re out. This is the test. This is the final exam. Mortality is the final exam, this is the point of no return, its now or never. It is a heresy, one of the 7 deadly heresies, as taught by Elder Bruce R McConkie, that you cannot progress kingdoms; if you are assigned to a lower kingdom at the judgement bar, after this life, you CANNOT progress above that kingdom. This is taught in the latter sections of the Doctrine and Covenants (ref approx. 132), that if you don’t enter into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, if you don’t obtain these priesthoods (and the heathens if they didn’t know any better they can obtain these things in the spirit world so as to qualify for the celestial kingdom); but if you don’t chose it in this life, you can’t qualify for it in the next. Each kingdom has a law, and to live there you just abide that law.
The way Elder McConkie put it, if you reject the testimony of the Elders in this life after the gospel has been preached to you according to your understanding etc. then you cannot obtain the celestial kingdom and you will merely reside in the terrestrial.

-Exaltation is obtained by your grit, your labor. Salvation is the gift of God. Exaltation is the test of God; its the way that man imitate God, and give a gift to the human race. We must appeal to Christ as this exaltation cannot be done on your own, but we also must earn this by obedience to the laws of the gospel.  The prophets have taught that exaltation is earned, and is not a free gift.

-Joseph Smith also taught that it is by obedience to the laws of the gospel that we obtain salvation, that we obtain it in the same way that Christ obtained it, and that is, by obedience to the laws of God. And this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Elder McConkie put it, the Plan of Salvation is a plan of justice. There is also mercy, lots of it, but overall it is a plan of justice. The reason for the overall being justice and not mercy is not to overrule Christ in the plan. As it’s been said before, we thank God the Father for the permission to repent, and we thank Jesus Christ the Son for the ability to repent. The mercy is to help get us to the justice. We are not supposed to plan on long term messing up; we are to plan on overcoming all things and putting all enemies under our feet. That is how Joseph Smith defined salvation (overcoming all things and putting all enemies under our feet). This includes overcoming our weaknesses.
One general authority taught it this way: there is no retirement in the Lord’s plan. In other words, we are not couch potatoes that go and ask Jesus for blessings. If we do bad, we repent, and start doing good. Mercy comes in via repentance. Will God forgive you for the same thing twice? That is between you and God, and God will not be taken lightly. He will not be mocked by those who take his commandments lightly. We do know that there is mercy for those who are sincere, “But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.” (Moroni 6:8) Now lets talk about sincerity. Christ expressly stated in D&C 19 that those who don’t repent will suffer beyond mortal comprehension. God is not a cheap person. “For this is a day of warning, and not a day of many words. For I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in the last days.” (D&C 63:58) In “The Miracle of Forgiveness”, Spencer W Kimball speaks of the many sins of both commission and omission. Christ expects improvement, and he empowers improvement. So that is the gospel plan, it is a plan of progression. And you WILL get to where you are perfect. The D&C says that Abraham Isaac and Jacob are already Gods. They are done. They have arrived. It says specifically that they are seated on thrones, and are not angels but are Gods (ref). And to suppose that a God is still learning and growing into something better is another damnable heresy as rebuked by Elder McConkie (see “The 7 Deadly Heracies”). God gets more glory as he has more children praising him and becoming like him, but he isn’t improving, he is already perfect.

-One of the apostles on his death bed was asked ‘aren’t you glad that you’re done, you’ve done well and now can go to heaven.’ He said ‘oh no! It’s not over till it’s over! I’m not dead yet. I could still fall. It’s not over till it’s over.’ This illustrates the point in Ecclesiastes, that if you’re wicked for a long time but then turn around you’re alright, but if you’re good a long time then turn to evil, all is lost. This is not to say that we should procrastinate repentance, for we know not when death comes, and our souls are at stake! Also the heart hardens when we are unrighteous, and we eventually lose the desire to repent if we go on in that way. The plan of God becomes hazy, clouded by sin, so that vision is impaired, and before you know it, your soul is gone. Elder Anderson taught that this life is our testing time, however small. He compared it to the olimpian who trains their whole life for a 4 minute performance which everything hangs upon (April 2014 General Conference). Alma also teaches that this life is the day for repentance, not hereafter (ref).

 

Stage 3: Celestial: Becoming as Heavenly Father (Post Millennium)

-Those who live in the Celestial Kingdom have right to the ministration of Heavenly Father.

-They become Gods. Therefore, they work in the process of bringing to pass the exaltation (theosis) of others (Moses 1:19).

-This is the earth in its exalted state, after the telestial stage (current 6000-year period) and after the terrestrial stage (soon approaching millennium 1000-year period). The length of the celestial stage is indefinite, it never passes away. Once assigned to a kingdom of glory, that assignment is permanent.

-It is a new heaven and a new earth compared to the telestial earth. Another fire cleanses the earth to herald this change at the end of the millennium (just like the great fire at the beginning of the millennium that brought in the terrestrial stage). The earth is returned to the physical location of the presence of God the Father in person.

-When we have already become perfect (completed telestial and terrestrial stage), we then start passing that on to others (we do this in route as well but particularly so in these later stages after personal mastery is achieved). Now in each sphere we can do some of powers the others, and certain persons are more advanced in their salvation than others; however, there is a general order to things. Christ had become exalted (a God) even before coming to mortality.

-This is when you are the school master, when you are the headmaster, you own it, and you are now licensed to disperse it in every particular; you have been ordained unto Godhood. That’s where you have the eternal posterity, because you can.

-The Egyptian records show, and others etc. that there are some 690 endowments in eternity. We have an endowment on earth. I believe it was Brigham Young that said Heavenly Father’s power stems from the temple endowment he received when he was on an earth like us (ref Cowan temple bk beginning). There is a lot to learn, we will be busy and enjoying this very much. There is a lot more to go. Joseph Smith said you learn a lot even after death before you become a God. It may be a particular time of advancement during the millennium, perhaps by its end or thereabouts, we will have attained these knowledges and powers.

 

Theory 2: (modifies telestial and terrestrial into same stage)

Stage 1: Pre-mortality: becoming as the Holy Ghost

-Testifying, a war of words, trying to get others to hearken to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ

-You know where to go for the source of knowledge and truth

-Prepare for final exam called ‘mortality’

-No body yet

 

Stage 2: mortality: becoming as Jesus Christ: Telestial and Terrestrial

-this stage in its entirety is THE FINAL EXAM which determines our eternal assignment in Gods Kingdoms of Glory

-saving the human race: putting the plan of God into action

-overcoming all things

-seek knowledge and truth

-Millennium is to wrap up the work, finish last details of purification, ensure everyone has a chance

-includes post-mortal spirit world pre-judgement

-gain a body

-Some expedite this phase and attain a sure calling and election before the final judgement, but typically success in this sage involves faithfulness to the end of ones life.

 

Stage 3: post-mortality: becoming as Heavenly Father: Celestial

-final judgement

-you are now a God

-you are not on trial

-your business is to create Gods. The Hebrew translation for “Lord God” as seen in the scriptures is “Jehovah Elohim”. Jehovah means “he that causes to be”, Elohim means “the gods”. Therefore together they mean: “he that causes the creation of the Gods” (see Donald Parry BYU Magazine Article “Hebrew School” https://magazine.byu.edu/article/hebrew-school/)

-you have obtained all knowledge and know all truth

-dispensing the plan of the Gods to your ever growing posterity

-overseeing & aiding your posterity in their mortal journey

-keep your celestial resurrected body indefinitely

 

 

 

Man is Become as God: Spiritual Capitalism & Why Life is Hard

 

 

“Man is become as God” echoes Genesis 3:5, 22; Alma 42:3; Alma 12:34, 21 & other scriptures.

I ask, “God why is life so hard?” I hear no answer. I think to myself: ‘I sort of make it hard on myself, but the difficulty brings such rewards, that I chose to go through it.’ Then God told me, “this is true, and now you see, mankind is like unto God, for they make their own choices. The laws of the universe are set in that true rewards come high at costs, but you are free to choose to what degree you will suffer, and thus to what degree of reward you wish to receive. Think of it as spiritual and temporal capitalism. Your life doesn’t have to be this hard. I didn’t make it this hard. You’ve chosen for it to be this hard. For example, you didn’t sleep much this week because you wanted to go to school and to work on projects around your house.”

Well does the plan of salvation have various levels of heaven instead of 1 heaven or 1 hell! What we sew, that will we reap! Oh how many refuse to shoulder the weight of glory! D&C 132:16 speaks of someone who choses not to marry in the temple and is thus disqualified for exaltation, and speaks of the weight of glory they were not willing to bear, “Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.”

In Egyptian hieroglyphs, the king often is depicted with a staff which his crown leans on to support it, which suggests he wears a very heavy crown, which suggests royalty and divinity aren’t just about inheritance, they’re about work!

The choice to reject glory is the very cause of the eventual weeping in the lower stations! Well did the poet say, “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been.’” (John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892))

This life is designed to be the perfect placement test for the human race. Pre-mortality was the training, now is the brief exam! (See Elder Stevenson April 2014 General Conference) We will all get exactly what we wish, and we will all confess that the judgement of God are just! The perfect genius God himself did not design a flawed test! Oh the great need for repentance! Oh praise God for sending Jesus Christ to be our Savior if we will believe in him and hearken to his words! Where we end up after this life will be “our fault, not God’s” as Elder Dale G. Renlund taught (2018 April General Conference, “Choose You This Day”).

On my mission when I would invite people to live the gospel, they often replied, “si dios quiere” (“God willing”, literally ‘if God will’s it so). But this does not accurately represent our destiny, as it is us, not God, who chose our destiny. I often told these people “Yes, God does want you to come to church etc., its up to you to chose to obey God.” Let it also be noted that doctrines of pre-destination or fore-ordination by God are false. Though God may chose someone to complete a mission in life before that person leaves the pre-mortal spirit realm to come to planet earth, the person still has the choice to accept or reject the mission to which God has called him.

Now you may ask, if striving to obey God is what makes life hard, why are people’s lives hard even when they don’t care about God? Well for one those are a different type of hard, a type of hard which Jesus expressed on the cross when the Father withdrew for a moment to show him what life was like without his companionship. Jesus then experienced what it was like to be a mortal without the companionship of God, akin to what happens to mankind when they ignore & disobey God. Compared to the moral guilt and other burdens of a godless life (which work against our subconscious if not our waking conscience), Christ’s yoke is easy, his burden light (Matt. 28:10?) (PS – sometimes the lives of those who don’t seek to serve God are easy in that they’re avoiding responsibility, and not using their resources to help others, never setting their own needs to the side for the sake of others). Now here is the final doctrine to understand which reveals why even those who don’t care about God suffer, and shows that yes, suffering is a result of trying to follow God: The doctrine is that everyone on earth chose to follow God in pre-mortality, and the suffering they experience in this life of having bodies is in from the choice they made in pre-mortality to follow God’s plan, which included obtaining a body on earth, and relying on the mercy of Christ. You see, 1/3 of those on planet heaven where we lived before we came to planet earth to get bodies chose not to follow God, and thus they were never sent to earth, and never did nor ever will obtain bodies. The leader of these fallen spirits is named Lucifer, more commonly known of as Satan, or The Devil. He and his fallen angels rejected God in the pre-earth life, thinking the plan of God too hard, and preferring an easier and more compulsory plan of forcing people to do good rather than allowing people to choose for themselves, which would mean inevitable war and suffering, but also would be the only way where the human race could make the real progress to becoming like God. To summarize, everyone who has come to earth, good or evil, chose good in the pre-mortal existence, and thus must go through the challenges of mortality, and WILL BE REWARDED for their trials of the body, as they will (everyone who came to earth) be resurrected, and have a body forever. President Packer taught that those who have bodies have power over those who do not. To have a body is infinitely better than to not have one, and the 1/3 who followed Satan get no bodies. Now of course the level of obedience to God in this life will determine how great those bodies are, but all will be rewarded with eternal bodies for having gone through the universal difficulty of this life.

It is possible that the Sons of Perdition who experience the “second death” do not get resurrected. Consider this passage: “36 These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels— 37 And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power; 38 Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath. 39 For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.” (D&C 76:36-39)

 

So every time you choose good over evil, specifically Jesus Christ over Lucifer, you will be blessed, and that involves a level of difficulty. But the rewards are exponential. It is akin to the real joy and endurance of an athlete compared the fake joy of a sport watching couch potato. The athlete is independent and can do all things, the couch potato is 2 seconds away from diabetes and death, and therefore has very limited and short term choices. Yes, the life of the athlete is in some ways harder than the life of the potato. That’s why life is hard, especially if you chose the path of the saints. Many get baptized and think all their problems are over, but it is not so. They get baptized, and they’ve begun their studies in the school of the Gods, and a core subject in that school is pain for others.

Everyone in life goes through pain, but if you volunteer yourself for extra pain on behalf of others, that is when you become, with Jesus Christ, a savior on mount Zion, and as you continue on this path, your calling and election is sealed upon you, and your exaltation cometh in the morning! This isn’t akin to seeking extra trials, which isn’t appropriate. It means that we are, as commanded by Christ, looking for ways to do more good in the world: “26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. 27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; 28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. 29 But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned. 30 Who am I that made man, saith the Lord, that will hold him guiltless that obeys not my commandments? 31 Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled? 32 I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing. 33 Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above. 34 And now I give unto you further directions concerning this land.” (D&C 58:26-34).

If and when you are exalted, have you obtained an existence free of pain? No, as seen in the Enoch account where he witnesses God weeping (ref). But know this: exaltation entails a fullness of joy (3 Ne. 28:10). One of the lessons that we need to learn is to get rid of the “retirement” mindset. We think we work now so we can be done working forever later. This is contrary to the status of God. One of the divine traits of God, and a reason God retains his status, is that God works. Work is part of eternity among those who enjoy forever felicity. The ones who don’t work are the damned in hell – they sit around being tortured by their minds, gnawing, clawing, wishing they had something useful to be doing! They wish they had not chosen the life they had, that they had not limited themselves to a prison cell!

Happily, the plan of God includes a release from hell for those wicked who have done their time. They graduate to the lowest kingdom of glory, which is infinitely inferior to the higher kingdoms of glory. God’s plan is so good that He doesn’t even leave the wicked in hell. The only exception to this is the sons of perdition, namely those who were in outright rebellion against God in pre-mortality (the 1/3 who were cast out with Satan to never come to earth and receive bodies), and a handful of people who made it to earth with bodies, but there entered an outright and mature rebellion against God. The Sons of Perdition acted not in ignorance, but knowing full well the character of God and turning against him for immediate pleasures which Lucifer cunningly offers.

2 Nephi 9:10-12 shows that through Christ, hell-dwellers other than the Sons of Perdition are eventually j: “O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit. 11 And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave. 12 And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.”

The LDS Guide to the Scriptures in the topic “Hell” gives the following clarification of how hell can have 2 meanings, first, that place the wicked go to suffer 1000 years (during the Millennium) before being resurrected to telestial glory, and second, as the permanent residence of Lucifer and his angels (the pre-mortal 1/3, and the few chose perdition during mortal life):

“Latter-day revelation speaks of hell in at least two senses. First, it is the temporary abode in the spirit world for those who were disobedient in mortality. In this sense, hell has an end. The spirits there will be taught the gospel, and sometime following their repentance they will be resurrected to a degree of glory of which they are worthy. Those who will not repent, but are nevertheless not sons of perdition, will remain in hell throughout the Millennium. After these thousand years of torment, they will be resurrected to a telestial glory (D&C 76:81–8688:100–101).

The quote continues describing now the second meaning of hell:

“Second, it is the permanent location of those who are not redeemed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In this sense, hell is permanent. It is for those who are found “filthy still” (D&C 88:35, 102). This is the place where Satan, his angels, and the sons of perdition—those who have denied the Son after the Father has revealed Him—will dwell eternally (D&C 76:43–46).” (LDS Guide to the Scriptures, “Hell”, https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/hell?lang=eng)

These descriptions of hell show us that the “easier” life of the “couch potato” (apathetic towards religion) is not preferred to the “harder” life of the “athlete” (saint)!

I finish with this brief description of the reward of the saint since we have in part shown the punishment of those who elect to remain in sin.

D&C 76:92-95 describes the highest glory of the highest (celestial) kingdom of God, “92 And thus we saw the glory of the celestial, which excels in all things—where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever; 93 Before whose throne all things bow in humble reverence, and give him glory forever and ever. 94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace; 95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.

D&C 132:20-24 speaks further about becoming Gods if we obey God in this life: “20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. 21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory. 22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. 23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also. 24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.”

D&C 132:28-33 shows that part of Godhood is having an innumerable posterity like that promised to Abraham, the which God obviously has (it’s always multiplying): “28 I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was. 29 Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne. 30 Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins—from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph—which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them. 31 This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself. 32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved. 33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.”

 

 

 

 

Adoption to The Household of the Gods

 

 

Part 1: PERPETUAL PARENTHOOD AS A PERPETUAL JOY

Part 2: ADOPTION INTO THE FAMILY OF YOUR CHOOSING UNTO EXALTATION OR DAMNATION

Part 3: HOW AN IMPERFECT MAN BECOMES A PERFECT GOD

 

Part 1: PERPETUAL PARENTHOOD AS A PERPETUAL JOY:

The parent who watches his children grow has joy and sorrow. Joy at their progress, sorrow at the days slipping away. Life would be depressing were it not for the assurance that we can be eternal parents.

When I say eternal parents I’m not just referring to being a steward over our handful of children forever, though that is an important part. I’m referring to having the experience of raising babies and children of all stages over and over.

It would be most depressing if we believed that this was our one and only chance in eternity to raise babies and children. The gospel message is that God is a continuous parent, and he invites us his children to be like him in that and every other capacity.

Now I can look upon my children only with joy as I consider that they are growing up to experience fullness of joy, which they couldn’t have as children. As one child grows, I look forward to the next arrival. Furthermore, the resurrection entails a perfect restoration of memories, so those joyous moments we had together will be forever ours. As we repent in fear and trembling before God, the bad memories will not pain us, as forgiveness will head the wounds of the penitent.

Circumstances of this life usually limit us to having only a handful of children, and as we age, we watch others take the role of raising children and babies, and we take a secondary role. However, this is NOT how the heavens are structured. In the heavens there is continual health for all persons, the body does not decay, and the capacity for siring children remains intact indefinitely.

Part 2: ADOPTION INTO THE FAMILY OF YOUR CHOISING UNTO EXALTATION OR DAMNATION:

It is no secret in the church that the children of God have the opportunity to become like God. It is plainly taught in the standard works, and plainly taught by the words of modern prophets.

We are children of God, and thus heirs of God: “15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:15-18)

The way we become heirs of God is entering holy temples to make promises to God. Astonishing promises are made: “Abraham … as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.” (D&C 132:37)

Though all are children of Heavenly Father, the followers of God enter a house called “Israel”, named after an earlier follower. Jesus Christ is the “father” of that house, the leader of that organization and way of life.

Another family we can be adopted into is the family of the devil. John 8:37-47 reads “37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

Also consider Alma 5:25, 38-41 on the topic of being adopted into the family of the devil, “25 I say unto you, Nay; except ye make our Creator a liar from the beginning, or suppose that he is a liar from the beginning, ye cannot suppose that such can have place in the kingdom of heaven; but they shall be cast out for they are the children of the kingdom of the devil. 38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd. 39 And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devilis your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil. 40 For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil. 41 Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him.”

 

Part 3: HOW AN IMPERFECT MAN BECOMES A PERFECT GOD:

How can a person who has a past of mistakes and error become like Heavenly Father? Joseph Smith taught that we are rough stones rolling, getting a rough edge knocked off here and there until we become polished. Once we are polished, those past rough edges have nothing to do with us. They are not a part of us. Isa. 54 was repeated by the Savior in 3 Nephi 22:4: “Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.”

As we repent, we are truly born again. If we are born again, a clean creature, we are qualified to enter and help govern the kingdom of God. Being born again is an absolute requirement for exaltation, which is the fullness of salvation. Moses 6:59 reads “That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;”

Jesus progressed from grace to grace (ref).

We can grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-16 reads “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”

As we become spiritually mature, our focus shifts from our needs to others’ needs. We learn that God will take care of our needs, and we start becoming like God in helping others.

Service is the essence of God. We serve primarily our families, then others. Salvation is about what Christ did for you, exaltation is about what you’ve done for others. We become a living witness that for those who rely on God, “as thy day shall demand, so thy succor shall be.” (ref)

Before we talk perfection, we talk progression. Our progress is not as fast as Christ, but may we progress nevertheless, doing the best we can. Christ progressed so much in pre-mortality that he attained the status of God even there. Thank God for His help in our journey. He was endowed with exceeding intelligence, and righteously applied unto it, which resulted in his becoming fully willing and qualified to be the engine of the Father’s plan. In our small ways, we seek to likewise play a critical role in the plan by following Christ’s example and teachings.

Joseph Smith said, “I advise all to go on to perfection” (ref). He also said “When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us.” (ref)

We need not only faith in grace, but works to be saved. The Joseph Smith Translation of Romans 4:16 reads “Therefore ye are justified of faith and works, through grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to them only who are of the law, but to them also who are of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,” The idea that works are not a part of salvation is a sectarian idea, and has never been a principle of the gospel. Receiving grace is a principle of the gospel, it does not eliminate works as a requirement.

“The great universe of stars has multiplied beyond the comprehension of men. Evidently each of these great systems is governed by divine law; with divine presiding Gods, for it would be unreasonable to assume that each was not so governed.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions 2:144, 1980)

“God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with Himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:312). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)

“And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;” (3 Nephi 28:10 The Book of Mormon)   “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! … It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1938, pp. 345–46, https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/02/i-have-a-question?lang=eng from the King Follett Sermon)

“Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so that undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God.” (First Presidency, http://biology.byu.edu/DepartmentInfo/EvolutionandtheOriginofMan.aspx)

“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” Psalms 82:6

“Jesus answered them, is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” John 10:34

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:14

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev. 3:21)

“We believe in the dignity and divine origin of man. Our faith is founded on the fact that God is our Father, and that we are his children, and that all men are brothers and sisters in the same eternal family.
As members of his family, we dwelt with him before the foundations of this earth were laid, and he ordained and established the plan of salvation whereby we gained the privilege of advancing and progressing as we are endeavoring to do. The God we worship is a glorified Being in whom all power and perfection dwell, and he has created man in his own image and likeness, with those characteristics and attributes which he himself possesses.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference Report, April 1970, p.4)

 

Will Refusing to Serve a Mission Result in Losing Exaltation?

 

 

Certainly not (in and of itself)! We know that the gospel of Jesus Christ includes the doctrine of repentance, and that the reach of mercy can be as deep as we are willing.

This reminds me of a couple who asked me on my mission if drinking coffee would keep them out of heaven. It was a return missionary and his wife whom he converted on his mission. I told them no, but that I was concerned about their church attendance, etc. Of course we do need to be worthy of a temple recommend to be “recommended to the Lord” (see Elder Rasband’s address at the 2020 October conference), and obeying Gods code of health is part of that, so they should work toward it. Another part of this is the definition of heaven – coffee drinking etc. doesn’t make you an evil person, so you’re not going to hell for it; it just shows an unwillingness to follow Gods laws, which can lead to you not going to the highest heaven. Of a truth there are various degrees of heaven. The question is: why are you hesitant to follow the counsels of the Lord? An unwillingness to serve the Lord throughout your life will certainly not result in qualifying for the blessings of exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Elder Holland gave a great sermon on this in the October 2020 general conference, where he taught that we shouldn’t think to side step the hard things and expect to end up like God and Christ, and be where they are.

The attitude of not being willing to serve God in what he asks of you puts you on a dangerous path; if you don’t develop the desire to serve God in whatever he asks, you aren’t ready for exaltation. Exaltation is no joke. But those who love God with all their hearts, even more than themselves, find it a joy, honor, and pleasure to serve God, even at great cost. When God asks hou to do things for him, and sometimes its big things (like mission, temple service, children, education, etc.), if you keep saying no, you won’t even want to live in His kingdom. Lets face it, God requires hard things.

God isn’t going to swallow a camel and strain at a gnat. The issue is that those who complain about the gnats are often those who have problems with the camels too. We don’t judge others, but we do need to be sensitive to whether we are, like President Russel M. Nelson, putting exclamation points after what the prophets counsel, rather than question marks.

Do you find yourself always doing the bare minimum of what God asks? Beware, your heart may be lacking understanding and willingness to live the gospel plan. The requirment of the heart is at the center of the plan. Joseph Smith taught that a religion which doesn’t ask one to give his all won’t have the power to save his soul (ref). One ought to be willing to serve not one, but many missions. Are you saving funds for a senior mission? Is your family and social life mission oriented?

The mission teaches a person to love God with the whole soul, and serve him selflessly. If you don’t serve a mission, there lies ahead of you a hard road, harder than the road of the mission itself, to get your heart to the place it needs to be to dwell with God. Those who preach that the way to God is easy are preaching false doctrine. The mission call is a wakeup call to see where a person is in their spirituality. It’s the same with baptism, sacrament, temple endowment, and temple marriage: these are checkpoints to see if you are spiritually on track. A mission itself isn’t an ordinance, but it is about helping others get ordinances (namely the first ordinance, baptism). Therefore, it shows whether you take Gods ordinances seriously, if you really care and believe that they are the path to heaven. True preachers of Christ declare the one and only living faith, which includes the authorized pathway to God. Covenants are the authorized path to God, and there is no other way.

We remember converts in the scriptures who had murderous pasts; they converted and qualified for all blessings of the gospel (which would include exaltation), as their hearts were truly changed, and they dedicated themselves to the gospel cause. But these people didn’t have the gospel before. Christ and others in the scriptures teach that for those who have yet reject the gospel, their state was worse than at first (ref). However, the way of repentance remains available so long as Christ so indicates (see Elder Anderson 2014 April Conference Report). Do not take God lightly, but also do not despair. The way is available back to Him if it is sincerely sought. Again we recall, “But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.” (Moroni 6:8)

Alma says that this is the day of repentance to prepare to meet God (ref); modern prophets have clarified that if your choices in this life aren’t gospel centered, you’re unlikely to change your feelings about that in the life to come. Your disposition won’t change just because you die.

Remember David lost his exaltation from a serious sin he committed when he had great knowledge of the Lord. Know that there are limits and we should stay as far from them as possible.

Exaltation is all about doing missionary work. Are you sure you’re even interested?

 

The Possibility of Pure Joy: Our Greatest Fear

 

 

See also essay “Man is Become as God: Spiritual Capitalism & Why Life is Hard”

Topics: salvation, suffering, joy, fear, Joseph Smith, Celestial Kingdom, lament, Jesus Christ, merit, grace, works

The thing that we fear most is joy. That is what we avoid. When we use drugs and alcohol it’s an obvious giveaway that we like to be happy but we’re too ashamed to do so and are right State of Mind. We don’t like to act like children because we take ourselves too seriously. The thing that everyone agrees we’ll bring the most Joy is to see God, yet this is also the thing that people fear the most. Indeed we are more afraid of heaven than of hell. Joy is available to any person who really wants it. But it’s not to be had in worldly ways, men whom have “had it all” will attest to that.

What do we do about suffering? We avoid it and have as little of it as possible and try to help other people to also have as little of it as possible. Suffering is a part of life and everyone will do plenty of it but no more than is necessary. That is the key of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that’s why the angel said to the Shepherds I bring you good tidings of great joy, but the Angels were afraid they saw that bright glorious person so much joy that it scared them and so the angel had to reassure them look I’m here solely to bring a happy message.

Sometimes we get discouraged and think that we’re not worthy of joy. That we have made so many mistakes and that were so incapable of the ideal that we should find some little corner to make a fire in rather than participate in the party. But the truth is that no one is Worthy of full Joy. That is where Jesus comes in he is our older brother who has agreed to give us a hand up at our moment of greatest crisis when we realized that truly we are never going to measure up by ourselves. So this happy news allows us to be jovial and joking and happy and to not take ourselves too seriously.

A lot of people criticize to Joseph Smith because they said he was too childish and not very serious when around other authority figures and they said that he was lazy because he was always making jokes etcetera, but he accomplished more in his life than ten men. People of Jesus’s day also criticized Jesus because they said Jesus wasn’t doing enough of their type of preferred chores he wasn’t productive enough in the religiosity the formal worship. Jesus was more worried about building God’s Kingdom. Jesus was a man as the scripture says a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. This makes it so that we don’t have to be. He gave us a gift and the last thing he would want us to do is not use that gift.

It is also lamentable to consider that many cling to the joy they have and won’t move on to a higher in fear that they will lose what they have already got. The Celestial Kingdom, aka the highest heaven, requires obedience to the Celestial law. Many live a lower law, a terrestrial or telestial law, and think “ah this is a pretty good place, I’ll get comfortable here.” And they won’t stretch themselves to live the higher law, wherein higher happiness is available exclusively. They also might say, “well I see a way to help the world in this way, I’ll stay here.” Refusing to give the higher help. We must remember the words of the prophet, that “to obey is better than to sacrifice.” God’s plan for how to help the world is in every way better and more effective than our own little ideas and grooves about how to heal the world. Yes, we have agency and creativity and those are inspired of God and we should pursue our ideas and follow our hearts, but when those things are in contradiction to the plan of God, we can identify them as false flags for happiness, and quickly trade them in for more lasting solutions.

 

 

 

The Gift of Exaltation: Why We Don’t Need to Perform an Atonement to Become Gods

 

 

Some think, “How can I be like Christ if I’ve never done an atonement? How can I become a God like he is?”

The answer is endowments.

Christ was endowed to be able to save us.

We are endowed now to be saved.

Both us and Christ therefore relied on endowments from Heavenly Father.

Joseph Smith taught that if we are to be saved it is in the same way that Christ was saved, namely obedience. But for us, obedience includes repentance.

Christ did his best. Now, we must do our best.

Heavenly Father knows that we are inferior to Christ. This is why Christ was selected as the Savior. We should not reject the gift that is Christ any more than Christ would reject the gift that is His superior intelligence.

Eventually we will become just like Heavenly Father. We, like Christ, are Heavenly Father’s spirit children. This means that we have the embryotic germ within us to become like Father in the fullest extent. Because we are children of Heavenly Father, we have the capacity to become like him. The capacity to accept the gifts that he offers. The capacity to receive the enabling grace of Christ to actually put off the natural man and do the works of Abraham.

I have said elsewhere that salvation comes to us as a fruit of Christ’s gift to us, and that exaltation comes to us as a fruit of  the gifts we give to others. Certainly charity is a requirement for the valience of the celestial, but this analogy cannot be taken too far. Every blessing we receive is ultimately a gift. We do earn things, but our innate ability to earn then is because of a universal endowment from our Father in Heaven.

 

Christ The Savior for Multiple Worlds

 

 

Sections:

-Introduction

-Resurrection

-Atonement

-Only World Wicked Enough to Crucify the Savior?

-Christ as Example

-One Satan Per World

-Pre-Mortal Counsel

-The Only Begotten, of this Earth?

-Sacrificing the Son: A Pattern?

-Clones

-Astronomy

-No Multiple Mortalities

-Many Lords, but to us, One

-Scripture Passages Which Indicate One Savior for Many Worlds

-Modern Prophets Teach of Christ Saving Many Worlds

 

 

Introduction

 

Each galaxy has 1 Christ.

Ancient texts also verify that Christ is the savior to whom multiple worlds look.

The Kolob Theorem book has much insight on this topic as well including quotes etc. of the Milky Way Galaxy being the operation of this eternity, the center of such being the place of Kolob and the Father’s operations for this eternity.

Christ is the Savior of this eternity, this batch of spirit children.

Hyrum Andrus, a Joseph Smith scholar who taught at BYU, is also a great resource to learn about these things.

 

Resurrection of Ancient Worlds: When?

 

No one on this earth or other earths of this system (galaxy) can be resurrected until the savior is resurrected.

Those who qualified have entered into a state of terrestrial translation. Enoch presides over these spheres. They await the resurrection of Christ. Some went on to resurrection when Christ arose, others stayed in a translated state similar to John the Revelator and the Three Nephites so they could remain in a mortal condition and perform work for the dead in temples, etc.

It is likely that the premortal stage, mortal stage, and resurrection take place at a similar time throughout the galaxy. This would make it so people weren’t waiting around forever from ‘ancient’ worlds for Christ to be resurrected so they could be. Perhaps the creations of Father are more recent than once thought, which wouldn’t leave them waiting so long.

 

 

Atonement: How Much Suffering, For Who? Not Without End

How could Christ suffer for an ongoing number of people? He doesn’t. He saves those of this eternity, of this galaxy, this system, the system after the order of which this planet stands. All the Father hath put into his hands. The number he is the savior for is large but finite.

Ted Callister in his book The Infinite Atonement, suggest that an infinite amount of suffering could have occurred in a finite time. I don’t think this is possible. Singularities are not a reality, but are only a false unprovable idea of modern black hole physics closely related to atheistic and evolutionary pseudosciences. Endless isn’t the same thing as infinite. Time is the test of all things and it cannot be manipulated as postulated by theoretical physicists such as Einstein.

Some suggest that Christ has some sort of ongoing suffering forever and ever to pay the debt for an infinitely growing posterity of Heavenly Father. This flies in the face of all revealed gospel principles, and saps the joy of the hope for exaltation and being a joint heir with Christ.

 

 

Only World Wicked Enough to Crucify the Savior

“Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must needs be expedient that Christ—for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name—should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world; and they shall crucify him—for thus it behooveth our God, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their God.” (2 Ne. 10:3)

Brigham’s statement about this passage indicated that we are the world in this eternity wicked enough to crucify God.

“Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren.” (Moses 7:36)

Some have taught that those who came to this earth are not only the worst, but also the best. Christ certainly is the best. Hyrum Andrus draws upon scripture to suggest that others of this world have functions serving the entire system/galaxy/eternity, such as Enoch presiding over all terrestrial translated worlds of this eternity.

 

 

Christ as Example for Locals & Others

 

Christ came to this earth. It is a historically established fact. We know where he lived, what he did. We know of his life, the conditions in which he lived, and so forth. This makes it easy for us to have a clear example of how we should live. But what of other earths? Christ did not live on those earths. Nevertheless, Christ visited those worlds in turn, and many prophets and wonders were shown the people. Just as we can look to and hope for someone we have not yet met, so can they.

The Nephites are an example. Christ appeared to them and is their savior, despite Christ not having done his mortal ministry among them. Nephites who lived in a different nation than the Jews, were taught of a Savior which came and died for them, on the other side of the world. This other side of the world may as well have been another world, they knew little about it, and had nothing to do with it.

Messengers have been sent to these other worlds, including the messenger of the covenant Jesus Christ himself, pre and post mortal, to declare the good tidings of salvation.

 

 

One Satan Per World?

I don’t think this is yet revealed, whether there be one Satan per world or one for the many.

I think its one per earth. Satan was cursed when giving fruit to Adam on this world, claiming to be doing what was already done elsewhere, indicating he hadn’t been doing it prior to that occasion, lest he would have received the curse earlier. Satan isn’t a god. He is insignificant in the grand scheme, as Isaiah says, we will narrowly look upon him and be puzzled at how he caused so much sorrow.

Perhaps he is the tempter of many worlds. We now look at the premortal counsels. It makes sense that a leader for good and a leader for evil would rise out of the group of spirits in pre-mortality. In other words, one who would be the engine of the Father’s plan, and one who would lead those who opposed it.

Elder Bednar has recently pointed out that it wasn’t two plans presented in heaven of Jesus and Satan, but rather there was one plan presented. It was the Father’s Plan. Jesus accepted the plan. Satan rebelled against the plan. Jesus wasn’t presenting his own plan. Father wasn’t saying “what do ya’ll think we should do?”

Another possibility is that Christ visited each premortal world declaring that he would be the engine of fathers plan, and that on each spirit world he visited with this message, one rebelled, and became the devil of that world.

 

 

 

Pre-Mortal Counsel

 

Before coming to this earth, we were with Father on his home planet a while, then sent to a spirit world, which became the first estate, the first test/probation. That spirit world was of course the spirit of this world. People go to the respective spirit world which will become the telestial mortal world they will reside on for their second estate.

Another proof for this is that the spirit world is even now on this earth. The wicked spirits are here in the spirit prison, and the righteous spirits are here in the spirit paradise. It is here.

Those of the premortal counsel were a finite number. There are more counsels and worlds that take place as more children are born and organized into their spirit condition.

To where were Satan and his followers cast down? They were cast from spirit paradise to spirit prison.

We know that for a post-mortal spirit to enter spirit paradise baptism is required, but that is a stipulation for post-mortals, nor pre-mortals.

God has many wives according to the holy order and celestial law which are intended for raising up seed, which is a large part of what God does. It would make sense that those of each earth or rather each eternity (galaxy) are from one wife in particular. The Family Proclamation mentions a universal Father and Mother in heaven, but universal there could mean pertaining to this earth. Some ancient Jewish texts are said to indicate that God(s) has (have) thousands of wives, as far less men qualify for exaltation than women. Other factors such as the biological nature of the male vs female reproductive systems also indicate plurality as the original and perhaps eternal system. Perhaps one reason the title for God (Elohim) is plural is due to the nature of this marriage relationship. Naturally we strictly follow Gods instructions to the living prophet in these regards, and plurality is not currently legal here, in or out of the church.

 

 

The Only Begotten

 

 

Each eternity has a firstborn who becomes the savior. Christ is the firstborn of this batch, this eternity, this galaxy, and saves all the father puts into his power in this system. There is only one savior per system, and each system entails many worlds.

 

The scripture says the worlds are without number in the sense of their grand quantity, but it also specifically says that they ARE numbered, and each known to God.

How was Christ conceived? Mary was transfigured by the Holy Ghost so she could come to the celestial kingdom, marry Ahman our God, and conceive, then she was returned to earth. Hyrum Andrus Joseph Smith scholar explains this drawing upon teachings of the prophets. Nephi says Mary was “carried away” for a time.

 

 

 

Sacrificing the Son: A Pattern

 

Abraham offering Isaac in obedience to God was symbolic of Father offering Christ.

Father’s have a firstborn for each system, which then is the savior for the worlds of that system.

Others have key roles as well. Each person who so desires can and should be a savior on mount zion, living life to the fullest in service to God.

[Note: Some claim that ancient records say Abraham actually did kill Isaac, and Isaac was then brought back to life, which makes the Abrahamic test even closer to reality. This is a possibility, as several have been risen from the dead before the resurrection in that they were risen back into a state of mortality, not a state of immortality. Christ was and had to be the first to be risen into immortality, breaking the bands of death. This Isaac slaying theory being said, God can discern the heart, and could have known Abraham would obey before the final moment of execution, which would make the death unnecessary.]

 

 

Clones:

 

In one sense of the word, we are clones of our Heavenly Parents. They made Adam, and the genealogical tree shows that we all come from Adam. We are all children of God.

Further, a special endowment of divinity is given to the firstborn. Christ had a life of what it would have been like before the fall of Adam, he came directly from the Father. Both his mind and body were more powerful than that of a human. Note that Book of Mormon prophets NEVER call Christ human. It is also inappropriate to merely refer to Christ as our brother. He is our God, and is the God of this and many similar worlds. Christ is the father of our spiritual rebirth. In a lesser but still real way, our earthly fathers can become our spiritual fathers as well as they initiate us into the program of rebirth through the gospel of Christ.

 

 

Astronomy

Our planet rotates around the sun. This is highly symbolic. Our earth is the only place in the solar system with human life (likely the only place in the system with any life, though there are hollow planet theories to the contrary).

“the great universe of stars has multiplied beyond the comprehension of men. Evidently each of these great systems is governed by divine law; with divine presiding Gods, for it would be unreasonable to assume that each was not so governed.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions 2:144, 1980)

 

No Multiple Mortalities

 

 

I do not believe multiple mortality theories. Such an idea is another falsehood perpetuated in the Adam God teachings which have been dismissed by modern prophets as incorrect understandings.

Multiple mortalities are not necessary. God the father has gone through his moral probation, and is not required to do so again. Now it is the turn of the next generation for their probation and sacrifices.

I do not believe each person must perform “an atonement”. Obedience to the gospel is sufficient, it is all we can do. Christ did all he can do, and we must also do all we can do. Joseph Smith said each person is saved in the same way Christ was, namely obedience. Fortunately for us, part of that contract is (sincere) repentance. Joseph Smith also taught that it would be insane to think that we can go live with and become like the Gods if we haven’t gone through hard things. Elder Holland echoed this in the 2020 October General Conference, teaching that we should not ask God to spare us from the very trials that will aid us to become as He is. Suffer we must, and it may well be said that suffering is the school of the Gods, but this life is the time. This life is the test, as Alma taught (ref). Yes, as Joseph Smith said, we will continue to learn (and serve) after this life and we have a ways to go before we reach the culmination, but we do know that some from this earth such as Abraham Isaac and Jacob are already exalted Gods on thrones (ref). It is not difficult to understand now, Christ’s words that the way is straight, and few there be that find it (ref). Salvation is a gift from Christ, but exaltation stems from using Christ’s gifts to truly become Christlike. In other words, our salvation is Christ’s gift to us, and our exaltation comes as a reflection of the gifts we give to others. This is why I tremble in my boots when people ask questions like, “but if I don’t serve a mission / drink coffee / marry in the temple / …, can’t I still go to heaven?” Sure, but if you’re heart isn’t fully committed to serving God at all hazard, you will not reach the highest level of the celestial kingdom, which is the only place of exaltation (the fullness of salvation).

 

Many Lords, but to us, One

 

 

“5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Cor. 8:5-6)

 

Therefore, each system has its own presiding Gods.

 

Scriptures & Modern Prophets Which Indicate One Savior for Many Worlds

 

“that by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” (D&C 76:25)

“27 And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, Moses cast his eyes and beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the Spirit of God. 28 And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore. 29 And he beheld many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof. 30 And it came to pass that Moses called upon God, saying: Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them? 31 And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face. And the Lord God said unto Moses: For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me. 32 And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. 33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. 34 And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many. 35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.” (Moses 1:27-35)

 

Speaking of “the earth and all the planets”: “58 And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season— 59 Beginning at the first, and so on unto the last, and from the last unto the first, and from the first unto the last; 60 Every man in his own order, until his hour was finished, even according as his lord had commanded him, that his lord might be glorified in him, and he in his lord, that they all might be glorified. 61 Therefore, unto this parable I will liken all these kingdoms, and the inhabitants thereof—every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season, even according to the decree which God hath made.” (D&C 88:58-61)

 

 

John Taylor: When earth “was first organized, near the planet Kolob.” (Taylor, The Mormon, Aug. 29, 1857)

Kolob is the planet nearest to God (Abe. 3:3, Fac. No. 2 Fig 1)

Brigham Young: earth “was banished from its more glorious state or orbit of revolution for man’s sake.” (Smith, Words of Joseph Smith, 84, note 12)

Brigham Young: “When man fell, the earth fell into space, and took up its above in this planetary system…This is the glory the earth came from, and when it is glorified it will return again unto the presence of the Father.” (Journal of Discourses 17:143; cf. JD 9:317)

Bruce R McConkie: “When Adam fell, the earth fell also and became a mortal sphere.” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 211; see also Times and Seasons 3: (1 Feb. 1842) 672.)

Bruce R McConkie: “Our Lord’s jurisdiction and power extend far beyond the limits of this one small earth on which we dwell. He is, under the Father, the Creator of worlds without number. (Moses 1:33.) And through the power of his atonement the inhabitants of these worlds, as the revelation says, ‘are begotten sons and daughters unto God’ (D&C 76:24), which means that the atonement of Christ, being literally and truly infinite, applies to an infinite number of earths.” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 65)

[again I would say infinite can mean a very large number, namely residents of this massive galaxy]

Marion G Romney: “Jesus Christ, in the sense of being its Creator and Redeemer, is the Lord of the whole universe. Except for his mortal ministry accomplished on this earth, his service and relationship to other worlds and their inhabitants are the same as his service and relationship to this earth and its inhabitants.” (Romney, Jesus Christ, Lord of the Universe” 46)

[but what is the universe, how big? I suggest these type of statements aren’t referring to all visible galaxies, but our own.]

The poetic version of D&C 76 by (or at least approved by) Joseph Smith: “And I heard a great voice, bearing record from heav’n, He’s the Saviour, and only begotten of God – By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made, Even all that career in the heavens so broad, Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last, are sav’d by the very same Saviour of ours; and, of course, are begotten God’s daughters and sons, by the very same truths, and the very same pow’rs.” (Holzapfel, “Eternity Sketch’d in a Vision.” 145)

 

Lorenzo Snow: “Thousands of years before He [the Savior] came upon earth, the Father had watched His course and knew that He could depend upon Him when the salvation of worlds should be at stake; and He was not disappointed.” (Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, 93)

 

Russell M. Nelson: “The mercy of the Atonement extends not only to an infinite number of people, but also to an infinite number of worlds created by Him.” (Nelson, The Atonement, 35)

 

Hugh Nibley quoting the Gospel of Truth: “All the other worlds look to the same God as to a common sun” Hugh Nibley: “The crucifixion is effective in worlds other than this one.” (Nibley, Old Testament and Related Studies, 142)

1 Clement: “God is the Father of all the worlds…. As the Father of greatness is in the glorious world, so his Son rules among those cosmoses as first chief lord of all the powers.” (Nibley, Old Testament and Related Studies, 143)

Orson Pratt: “He withdraws. What for? To fulfill other purposes; for he has other worlds or creations and other sons and daughters, perhaps just as good as those dwelling on this planet, and they, as well as we, will be visited, and they will be ade glad with the countenance of their Lord. Thus he will go, in the time and in the season thereof, from kingdom to kingdom or from world to world, causing the pure in heart, the Zion that is taken from these creations, to rejoice in his presence.” (Journal of Discourses, 17:332)

Joseph Fielding Smith: “His presence was needed here because of the extreme wickedness of the inhabitants of this earth.” (Smith, Signs of the Times, 10)

Joseph Fielding Smith: “Perhaps this is the reason Jesus Christ was sent here instead of to some other world, for in some other world they would not have crucified him.” 27

Joseph Fielding Smith: “Just how the shedding of the Savior’s blood atoned for a fall…is not completely explained by our Heavenly Father.” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:291)

 

Infinite Atonement pg. 152 section infinite suffering in finite time: time only to man alma 40:8. Other refs these pgs too. But I don’t believe this.

Infinite Atonement pg. 155 life-giver cost forever suffering BH Roberts. Never ending suffering. But I don’t believe this.

Bruce R McConkie: “Just as the creative and redemptive powers of Christ extend to the earth and all things thereon, as also to the inifinite expanse of worlds in immensity, so the power of the resurrection is universal in scope. Man, the earth, and all life thereon will come forth in the resurrection. And the resurrection applies to and is going on in other worlds and other galaxies.”

[I would say the statement that Christ’s atonement spans to other galaxies is mere speculation, and is actually not how I see things as happening as has been explained by other prophets: namely that eternities are finite amounts of time, and that this reasonably coorelates to a galaxy system each eternity, with its own selected savior for each, a new firstborn in each from each having its own batch of spirit children.]

Joseph Fielding Smith on resurrection not happening until Christ rose and gained those keys: “On the third day after the crucifixion he took up his body and gained the keys of the resurrection, and thus has power to open the graves for all men, but this he could not do until he had first passed through death himself and conquered.” 9

[This shows that he could not resurrect any beings from any planet until his own resurrection. As stated above, this indicates 1. All the worlds of this system have their mortal probation at a similar time so they aren’t waiting too long for resurrection or 2. People of ancient worlds are translated rather than dying to await the long expected resurrection.]

 

 

 

Rejecting Adam God Doctrines: Kimball, JST, Etc.

 

 

“We warn you against the dissemination of doctrines which are not according to the Scriptures and which are alleged to have been taught by some of the General Authorities of past generations. Such, for instance, is the Adam-God theory. We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine.”

—Spencer W. Kimball, “Our Own Liahona,” Ensign

When Emma Smith got rid of the Joseph Smith Translation, this lead to Heber C. Kimball having a misunderstanding of Adam and God, which then was passed on to Brigham Young. These are not based on the scriptures, and are contrary to doctrine taught in the Book of Mormon. Therefore any president of the church teaching them was out of line and uninspired on those occasions.

Multiple mortalities (an extension of Adam God doctrines) flies in the face of the doctrine of Christ. The resurrection of the body is eternal. The sealing to spouse and children is also eternal, and multiple mortalities would void that too.

Several presidents of the church have repeatedly and clearly taught that Adam God doctrines are false.

Rejecting Adam God doctrines doesn’t equate to “rejecting teachings of the prophets.” Teachings of the prophets align with the scriptures. Adam God doctrines do not align with scripture, or the endowment, etc. Rejecting Adam God doctrines does not equate to rejecting the teachings of Joseph Smith or Brigham Young.

Prophets are allowed to speak their opinions. Joseph Smith said a prophet is only a prophet when acting as such. How do we tell the difference? Hugh Nibley answers that it is up to each of us to get the spirit and find this out for ourselves.

Joseph Smith taught that we ascend a ladder one step at a time. This doesn’t involve going up and down the ladder, hopping off of the ladder and climbing other ladders, and turning the ladder into a window frame.

Recently (Oct 2020 Holland?) in conference it was taught that the trials God gives us in this life, if responded to faithfully, are sufficient to make us like God and Christ. There is progression, as Joseph Smith taught, even after death, but let us not thing that God is so incomprehensible that we cannot understand the purposes of this life are such to prepare us to be joint heirs with God. The D&C teaches clearly that several who lived on this earth a few thousand years ago such as Abraham Isaac and Jacob, are already exalted gods on thrones (ref). It is a false protestant and pagan idea that God is thoroughly mysterious such that we cannot understand him. His ways are higher than ours, and we cannot understand all of his dealings, but that this life is the testing grounds to determine whether we will become like them is clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Quotes on Missionary Work

 

“A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 426)

“I promise you that as you consistently give the Lord a generous portion of your time, He will multiply the remainder.” President Russel M Nelson

“For though argument does not create conviction, the lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish.” -C. S. Lewis

“While it is true that we should not cast pearls before swine…this does not mean that we should not share them with people who will appreciate their value.” (Elder L. Tom Perry)

– “It has always been important not only to teach but to defend truth, and in our time that need seems to be growing,” (The Need to Defend Truth by Elder Christofferson to Religious Educators)

“Every member a missionary” President David O. McKay

“If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart” (Elder Anderson Apr. ’13 Conf. Report “It’s A Miracle”)

“I invite all members… to obtain a copy of Preach My Gospel… It is a guidebook for missionary work—which means it is a guide book for all of us.” (Elder Ballard Conf. Report “Following Up”, May ’14 p. 80)

-“If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, Conf. Report Oct. 1991 Our Mission of Saving)

 

– “Acquire the language of the Spirit. . . . The language of the Spirit comes to him who seeks with all his heart to know God and keep His divine commandments. Proficiency in this “language” permits one to breach barriers, overcome obstacles, and touch the human heart.” -Thomas S. Monson, “To the Rescue,” Ensign,May 2001, 50

-“O Cromwell, Cromwell! Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my king, he would not in mine age have left me naked to mine enemies. “ – Shakespeare, King Henry the VIII

 

-“When I think of you and what you are going to do in God’s kingdom, I think of that marvelous experience in 3 Nephi 17, when the Savior gathered the children around Him. I want you to picture that scene in your minds because you are in that scene. The parents bring their precious children to the Savior. He gathers them around Him; He is at the center. He prays for them and their parents in a miraculous way, and He blesses the children one by one. Then angels descend from Heaven “as it were in the midst of fire”16and minister to the children, and that holy fire encircles the children. In a powerful sense, this is what we do in seminary and in institute. Indeed, this is the Church Educational System. Parents bring their children to us. The Savior is at the center, the heart of everything that happens to the children. He prays for them and for us; He is our Advocate with the Father. We are the angels—you are the angels—who come to minister to those children in holy fire. That, my dear brothers and sisters, is who we need to be.” (“Encircled About With Fire by Elder Kim B Clark of The Seventy; Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Satellite Broadcast • August 4, 2015; https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/satellite-training-broadcast/2015/08/encircled-about-with-fire?lang=eng#note13)

-Elder David A Bednar’s address “To Sweep the Earth as with a Flood” where he encourages us to use social media to flood the earth with the gospel, rather than just a trickle.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/to-sweep-the-earth-as-with-a-flood?lang=eng

 

 

Missions are a Commandment: Words of the Prophets

 

 

Naturally young women aren’t commanded to serve missions as they often have the higher work of family creation to participate in. However, for young men, it is a clear duty, just as binding as the law of the sabbath, or the law of tithing, on their eternal salvation. Men can repent of sins such as not serving a mission, but like all sin, the way of sin is always hard, and it is  not wise to play games with God. Fear God, and keep his commandments.

“the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve are united in saying to our young sisters that they are not under obligation to go on missions. I hope I can say what I have to say in a way that will not be offensive to anyone. Young women should not feel that they have a duty comparable to that of young men. Some of them will very much wish to go. If so, they should counsel with their bishop as well as their parents. If the idea persists, the bishop will know what to do. I say what has been said before, that missionary work is essentially a priesthood responsibility. As such, our young men must carry the major burden. This is their responsibility and their obligation. We do not ask the young women to consider a mission as an essential part of their life’s program. Over a period of many years, we have held the age level higher for them in an effort to keep the number going relatively small. Again to the sisters I say that you will be as highly respected, you will be considered as being as much in the line of duty, your efforts will be as acceptable to the Lord and to the Church whether you go on a mission or do not go on a mission.” (https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/mate-selection?lang=eng)

-“It does not matter if it interrupts your schooling or delays your career or your marriage—or basketball. Unless you have a serious health problem, every Latter-day Saint young man should answer the call to serve a mission” (Elder Boyd K. Packer in Conference Report, Apr. 1984, 61; or Ensign, May 1984, 42). (https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/mate-selection?lang=eng)

-“There is increasing evidence that some young women are being strongly encouraged to serve full-time missions. Though capable and effective, young women do not have the same responsibility to serve full-time missions as do young men who hold the priesthood. We are grateful that some desire to serve as full-time missionaries, but they should not be made to feel obligated to do so. A young woman should not be recommended for a mission if it would interfere with a specific marriage proposal” (Church Bulletin, 1993, no. 2, p. 2). (https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/mate-selection?lang=eng)

-“To young men of the Aaronic Priesthood and to you young men who are becoming elders: I repeat what prophets have long taught—that every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood duty—an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much. Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary.” (President Monson’s challenge during the October 2010 general conference)

-“Missionaries are marvelous. They’re called of God by prophecy. . . . They represent the fruits of all that is good within the Latter-day Saint family.” (President Monson)

–“Your mission will be a sacred opportunity to bring others to Christ and help prepare for the Second Coming of the Savior” (Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles “Preparing the World for the Second Coming,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 50)

-“We do not preach and teach in order to ‘bring people into the Church’ or to increase the membership of the Church. We do not preach and teach just to persuade people to live better lives . … We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God [see D&C 76: 51–52]. No one else can do this” (Elder Oaks, “The Purpose of Missionary Work,” missionary satellite broadcast, Apr. 1995).

-“After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel” (Joseph Smith, quoted in Preach My Gospel, 12).

-“Teaching the gospel is more important than other good deeds. You are in the greatest work in the world, and nothing in this world can compare to it. Building homes and bridges is nothing. Building worlds is nothing compared to the lives you are building. The saving of mortal lives isn’t any important accomplishment as compared to what you are doing. You might go out here to one of these cemeteries and raise the dead, even a thousand or ten thousand of them, and you haven’t done anything compared to what you are doing when you are saving people” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball[1982], 547).

-“I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are the Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.… I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price” (Elder Holland, “Missionary Work and the Atonement,” Ensign, Mar. 2001, 15).

-see also https://www.lds.org/manual/missionary-preparation-teacher-manual?lang=eng

-Reasons to serve a mission from Church Aaronic Priesthood Manual:
1. Because Heavenly Father has commanded us to do so
2. To help people come unto Christ and his church
3. To help people receive the saving ordinances, such as baptism
4. So people can repent of their sins and be forgiven
5. To warn people of the consequences of sin
6. To gather the faithful out of the world
7. To give us a chance to serve and grow
8. To set up the kingdom of God and prepare for the Second Coming
(See https://www.lds.org/manual/aaronic-priesthood-manual-3/lesson-25-every-young-man-should-serve-a-mission?lang=eng)

–“The question is frequently asked: Should every young man fill a mission? And the answer has been given by the Lord. It is ‘Yes.’ Every young man should fill a mission. …
“… Every man should also pay his tithing. Every man should observe the Sabbath. Every man should attend his meetings. Every man should marry in the temple” (President Spencer W. Kimball, “When the World Will Be Converted,” Ensign, Oct. 1974, p. 8).

–“Some of you say in your minds, ‘Oh well, you just don’t understand my case. My situation is different. I plan to be a great lawyer, or doctor, or athlete, or some other great person. Surely neither you nor the Lord would expect me to leave my studies at such an important time. A mission would interfere with my future plans.’ Others are thinking, ‘Yes, I know about missions, but if you had a girlfriend like mine, you’d never leave her. What will happen to her while I’m gone?’ Yet others of you are thinking, ‘Missions cost so much. I just got this job. I just purchased a car and a stereo. It’s just the time of life when I’m starting to get things together for myself. I can’t drop all that now. I just can’t afford it.’ Then there are also those who are thinking, ‘My situation disqualifies me. I have fallen into transgression and am not participating in the Church. I had always planned on being a missionary, but I slipped and now I don’t live the standards required of a missionary…“If I could speak separately to each of you young men, … I would say with all the power of speech I could generate, ‘Just who do you think you are? What right do you have to match your wisdom with that of God, who through His prophets has issued a firm decree, a solemn mandate, that the restored gospel must be declared to all the world by the voice of His disciples? This means you!… [missionary service] is a marvelous gift of time, a time given when you can experience glimpses of heavenly life here on earth. It is a time of cleansing and refreshing. It is a special time when theHoly Ghost can seal upon you the knowledge of the great plan for your exaltation. It is one of your best opportunities to become a celestial candidate. The highest of all service to others is to teach them truth and bring them into the kingdom of God” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1981, p. 72; or Ensign, Nov. 1981, p. 50).’” (Elder William R. Bradford of the Seventy in Conference Report, Oct. 1981, p. 71; or Ensign, Nov. 1981, p. 50).

–“Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life to God will find he has eternal life” (President Ezra Taft Benson, “Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations,” New Era, May 1975, p. 20).

-“The Lord wants every young man to serve a full-time mission. … Not only should a mission be regarded as a priesthood duty, but every young man should look forward to this experience with great joy and anticipation. What a privilege—what a sacred privilege—to serve the Lord full time for two years with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. You can do nothing more important. …Prepare well for a mission all your life, not just six months or a year before you go. We love all of our missionaries who are serving the Lord full time in the mission field. But there is a difference in missionaries. Some are better prepared to serve the Lord the first month in the mission field than some who are returning home after twenty-four months. We want young men entering the mission field who can enter the mission field ‘on the run,’ who have the faith born of personal righteousness and clean living that they can have a great and productive mission. …Give me a young man who has kept himself morally clean and has faithfully attended his Church meetings. Give me a young man who has magnified his priesthood and has earned the Duty to God Award and is an Eagle Scout. Give me a young man who is a seminary graduate and has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me such a young man, and I will give you a young man who can perform miracles for the Lord in the mission field and throughout his life” (President Ezra Taft Benson Ensign,May 1986, pp. 44–45).

-see also https://www.lds.org/manual/aaronic-priesthood-manual-3/lesson-25-every-young-man-should-serve-a-mission?lang=eng

 

 

 

Journaling – A Prophetic Mandate

 

Consider these evidences that the most important reason to learn to write is so that you can keep a journal (it’s also a good way to learn to write).

 

-“Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family…. I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done. More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened. The years have gone by. My boys are grown men. And now and then one of them will surprise me by saying, “Dad, I was reading in my copy of the journal about when …” and then he will tell me about how reading of what happened long ago helped him notice something God had done in his day. My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies…It won’t be easy to remember. Living as we do with a veil over our eyes, we cannot remember what it was like to be with our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in the premortal world; nor can we see with our physical eyes or with reason alone the hand of God in our lives. Seeing such things takes the Holy Ghost. And it is not easy to be worthy of the Holy Ghost’s companionship in a wicked world. That is why forgetting God has been such a persistent problem among His children since the world began…Tonight, and tomorrow night, you might pray and ponder, asking the questions: Did God send a message that was just for me? Did I see His hand in my life or the lives of my children? I will do that. And then I will find a way to preserve that memory for the day that I, and those that I love, will need to remember how much God loves us and how much we need Him. I testify that He loves us and blesses us, more than most of us have yet recognized. I know that is true, and it brings me joy to remember Him.” (President Henry B Eyring “O Remember, Remember” Oct. 2007 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/o-remember-remember?lang=eng)

-“we urge our young people to begin today to write and keep records of all the important things in their own lives and also the lives of their antecedents in the event that their parents should fail to record all the important incidents in their own lives. Your own private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you. Do not suppose life changes so much that your experiences will not be interesting to your posterity. Experiences of work, relations with people, and an awareness of the rightness and wrongness of actions will always be relevant…. No one is commonplace, and I doubt if you can ever read a biography from which you cannot learn something from the difficulties overcome and the struggles made to succeed. These are the measuring rods for the progress of humanity. As we read the stories of great men, we discover that they did not become famous overnight nor were they born professionals or skilled craftsmen. The story of how they became what they are may be helpful to us all. Your own journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world and how you dealt with them. Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are “made up” for a public performance. There is a temptation to paint one’s virtues in rich color and whitewash the vices, but there is also the opposite pitfall of accentuating the negative. Personally I have little respect for anyone who delves into the ugly phases of the life he is portraying, whether it be his own or another’s. The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative. Even a long life full of inspiring experiences can be brought to the dust by one ugly story. Why dwell on that one ugly truth about someone whose life has been largely circumspect? The good biographer will not depend on passion but on good sense. He will weed out the irrelevant and seek the strong, novel, and interesting. Perhaps we might gain some help from reading Plutarch’s Lives, where he grouped 46 lives in pairs, a Greek and a Roman in each pair. He tried to epitomize the most celebrated parts of their stories rather than to insist upon every slightest detail of them. Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life. There may be a flash of illumination here and a story of faithfulness there; you should truthfully record your real self and not what other people may see in you. Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available. A journal is the literature of superiority. Each individual can become superior in his own humble life. What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity. Get a notebook, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events.” (President Spencer W Kimball “Angels May Quote From It” Oct. 1975 New Era https://www.lds.org/new-era/2003/02/the-angels-may-quote-from-it?lang=eng)

-“Behold, there shall be a record kept among you” (D&C 21:1)

-“People often use the excuse that their lives are uneventful and nobody would be interested in what they have done. But I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations” (“President Kimball Speaks Out on Personal Journals,” New Era, Dec. 1980, 27).

-“Each of us is important to those who are near and dear to us—and as our posterity read of our life’s experiences, they, too, will come to know and love us. And in that glorious day when our families are together in the eternities, we will already be acquainted” (“President Kimball Speaks Put on Personal Journals,” New Era, Dec. 1980, 26).

-“We are living in one of the most important generations that man ever lived on earth, and we should write an account of those important transactions which are taking place before our eyes” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff [2004], 130)

-While presiding over the Church in England in 1840, Parley P. Pratt asked a rhetorical question: “Do you keep a journal?” And responded, “If not, we would again enjoin it upon you, and upon all who have not before heard the admonition, to commence forthwith to keep a Journal, or write a history; and see to it, that what you write is strictly true and unexaggerated; so that in the end, all may know of all things concerning this last work, and all knowledge may flow together from the four quarters of the earth, when the Lord shall make his appearing, and we all may be ready to give a full account of our mission, our ministry and stewardship” (“Do You Keep a Journal?” Millennial Star, Oct. 1840, 160–61). https://www.lds.org/church/news/the-power-of-personal-journals-is-enduring?lang=eng

-“There is one subject I wish to speak upon and that is the keeping of a journal with respect to the dealings of God with us. … When the Prophet Joseph organized the Quorum of the Twelve, he counseled them to keep a history of their lives, and gave his reasons why they should do so. I have had this spirit and calling upon me since I first entered this church. I made a record from the first sermon I heard, and from that day until now I have kept a daily journal. Whenever I heard Joseph Smith preach, teach, or prophesy, I always felt it my duty to write it; I felt uneasy and could not eat, drink, or sleep until I did write.” (in Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors[1964], 476–77)

-“I urge all the people of this church to give serious attention to their family histories, to encourage their parents and grandparents to write their journals, and let no family go into eternity without having left their memoirs for their children, their grandchildren, and their posterity. This is a duty and a responsibility. … Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity.” (General Conference. April 1978)

-“As I view it, in every family a record should be kept. … That record should be the first stone, if you choose, in the family altar. It should be a book known and used in the family circle; and when the child reaches maturity and goes out to make another household, one of the first things that the young couple should take along should be the records of their families, to be extended by them as life goes on. … Each one of us carries, individually, the responsibility of record keeping, and we should assume it.” (Elder John A. Widstoe, Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, July 1920)

-“In a very real sense, our properly written histories are a very important part of our family scripture and become a great source of spiritual strength to us and to our posterity. … I have a strong feeling that when this life is over, our personal and family histories and the influence they wield will be of much greater importance than we now think.” (Elder John H Groberg, General Conference, April 1980)

-“Knowledge carefully recorded is knowledge available in time of need. Spiritually sensitive information should be kept in a sacred place that communicates to the Lord how you treasure it. This practice enhances the likelihood of receiving further light.” (Elder Richard G. Scott, 1993 October General Conference)

-“A life that is not documented is a life that within a generation or two will largely be lost to memory. What a tragedy this can be in the history of a family. Knowledge of our ancestors shapes us and instills within us values that give direction and meaning to our lives.” (Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, General Conference, April 1999)

-“I would like to share with you just a tiny sampling of the experiences I have had wherein prayers were heard and answered and which, in retrospect, brought blessings into my life as well as the lives of others. My daily journal, kept over all these years, has helped provide some specifics which I most likely would not otherwise be able to recount.” (President Thomas S. Monson, General Conference, Oct. 2012)

-“According to the Center for Journal Therapy, “reflective journal writing” has been used effectively to help individuals suffering from grief and loss, recovering from addiction, or battling eating disorders. Other studies have reported that journal writing can result in health-related benefits that range everywhere from improved lung function to reductions in pain intensity ratings after surgery. Research has shownthat journal writers can experience improved sleep, reduced blood pressure, improved memory, and accelerated physical performance.”

(LDS Living Magazine “Surprising Health Benefits from Keeping a Journal” by Lynnae Allred, http://www.ldsliving.com/Why-Your-Journal-Matters-Surprising-Health-Benefits-of-Keeping-a-Journal/s/81900 ; sites https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/advances-in-psychiatric-treatment/article/emotional-and-physical-health-benefits-of-expressive-writing/ED2976A61F5DE56B46F07A1CE9EA9F9F  and  http://journaltherapy.com/get-training/short-program-journal-to-the-self/journal-to-the-self/journal-writing-history/)

 

-Some scriptures on journaling from lds.org:

1 Nephi 1:1–3Alma 37:8–9Moses 6:5, 45–46 (Examples of record keeping in the scriptures)

1 Nephi 6:3–6 (What to include in a personal record)

3 Nephi 23:6–13 (The Savior chastises the Nephites for the incompleteness of their records)

 

-at 2am the lights were often still on the Spencer Kimball home. He would be writing in his journal responding to letters and thanking them for any bit of faith they had in such letters. In his journals he not only wrote of the things of the day, but he opened his heart. There are 33 black binders of these journals he kept. He said that in journals don’t put your sins in neon but write you have weaknesses and quickly get on to the good stuff, to the inspired. (see Truman G Madsen book on the Presidents of the church)

-JS told people your journals will be sought after as history etc. (from On Sacred Ground: Reflections on Joseph Smith by Truman G Madsen)

-BH Roberts said Journal of Wilford Woodruff is one of the greatest historical treasures we have.
(from On Sacred Ground: Reflections on Joseph Smith by Truman G Madsen)

– Woodruff’s daily journal is over 7,000 pages. (see Presidents of the Church book by Truman G Madsen)

-JS wouldn’t sleep until he had written down sermons he gave, this has been a great blessing to us. (this might be a typo on my part, it might be that Woodruff wouldn’t let himself sleep until he had transcribed JS’s speeches) (from On Sacred Ground: Reflections on Joseph Smith by Truman G Madsen)

-they were strict to keep journals from the beginning days of the Church for they knew that they were making history and that one day people would refer to those as scripture. (see Presidents of the Church book by Truman G Madsen)

-Spencer W Kimball regularly admonished the Saints to keep a journal (see book ‘In the Company of Prophets by D. Arthur Haycock)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCRIPTURE & CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS & ANALYSIS

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART 3: THE BOOK OF ISAIAH: INSIGHTS VERSE BY VERSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

Going chronologically through the 66 chapters defining hard words and ancient ideas etc.

-Ch2-5 is not past, it applies to me and my day.

No since of time. No chronology. Rollercoaster. Most beautiful promises toward the end. 36-39 is prose.

This book is not as bad translated as others because nobody that was bad could understand it and understand how to mess it up.

*study Isaiah for personal development.

Hebrew mindset is big picture need step back to see.

Why quote Isaiah? They’re Jesus’ words.

He a well poet. Melchizedik=Lord is my king. Isaiah was an aristrocrat. Elijah was something of a hermit. Others were shepherds. Joseph Smith even had shortcomings. This gives us home that God can take imperfect men like us and make things out of it!

Isaiah 770 BC born 740 BC made prophet. 692 BC stops preaching. Jonah is mostly poetry Hebraic and taught in the same time as Isa.

Jesus was more close related to pharacee’s

oral tradition=unwritten law from God. Misnah (200 AD) Gamara (500 AD) these are interpretations of it. A combo of them is the Talmud.

Begged God and Isa’s life extended 15 years.

Talmages JTC McConkie’s for M’s have JST.

Only ¼ JST in LDS scrips. Pres. Packer said the miracle of his lifetime was the LDS version of scriptures.

1/3 of Isa in BFM.

Isa. Assumes we know the doctrine, and teaches other. Need know the bible before Isa to get Isa namely the law in Dueteronomy etc.

Past present and future all one eternal “now” to Jehovah. Omniscient. Moses 1 all things are present with me. Time is an illusion given to us to understand mortality. We understand in linear fasion. God sees in 360 degrees. If can effect later, turute may effect past also. Like The atonement effected past people. Maybe once plates gien to another, God maybe said once plates lent out, hey Nephi, make another set of plates. God knows what kingdom we will end up in, we are here to discover it for ourselves. Alma “time only is measured unto man”. Revelations says eventually time will be o more. If we become slightly more angry, or slightly more plesasant as time goes, by eternity, we will become that perfected. That is said in “Mere Christianity” by CS Lewis.

Job is like a play, each their pard. Many think it’s a true story. Prose 250 words. English poetry 100 words. Heb. Poetry 50 words (Psalm 23). 90 of Isa is sophisticated Heb. Poetry. Heb not use ryme or meter, but repetition/beauty.

LORD=Jehovah. 6,800 times in NT. This is Heb. Translation.

Jewish leaders in Christs time put a fence up around the law so you cant’ get close enough to break them was the idea.

Poetry in Heb. Is ryming ideas not words.

 

Ch. 1

Ch1 is a preface

find principals of the gospel in ch1.

The great arraignment- meaning, to call someone accused to answer for what they did.

Pophetic perfect: Mosiah 16:6, 2Ne314-8, Isa1:4. Jesus’ baptism and other things were very much as though they had already happened to God.

Heading ch1: great expectations. God is reaching out to them like he always does.

-masters crib: manger comes from French world meaning to feed

-1:4 Gone away backward’ is referring to an animal how they back up, it’s to say Israel goes backward in progress at times or is stubborn at times.

-1:7 your country is desolate” is prophetic perfect tence/ past tense as though it had happened already for it was so sure to happen soon.

-1:8 lodge cucumber= to say that not even a watchtower to respond to enemies has this gardener. Cucumber guard is left alone that is how the people would be.

1:13 vian oblations” is to say offerings, saying things repeatedly without feeling. Getting into the rut of doing ordinances and not seeing their significance. It is speaking to the LDS also, we His convenant people fall into this trap as well… “incense is an abomination” may represente their prayers which were vain, to stop them! They did everything in the wrong spirit. Perhaps they thought “all is well in zion, yea zion prosterpeth” tand they will lose their souls.

1:15 heart not protected in cultural Mormonism. Separate and seed spiritual Mormonism. “hands full of blood” is because it’s become culture not religion. Full is to say they have blown it in every possible way. Their hands having it on them is to say they are covered in sin! i see Isaiah is trying to teach the people the same things Jesus came to teach in his ministry, that they needed to do the right and not just performances.

1:17 do all with eye single to glory of God. “plead for widow”’s welfare is true religion. “seek judgement” is to say, learn to judge well, ada to do well. To “judge the fatherless and the widow” is to say don’t just give time in court to who is rich to pay for lawyers, rather see to it that every one sees justice.

1:18 scarlet is bright red. Crimson is deep red. To say that weather our sins be terrible, or deep, or what have you, they can be gone via the LORD.

-1:23 like Christmas time all we want now is gifts

?-124 they don’t judge widow and fatherless” is to say they bring them not justice in courts of law, not dealing with them because of their poverty.

-1:26 Cry not any more ye desolate, for the Lord shall set up amond his people judges of truth, councelors of righteousness, them called of the Lamb of God to redeem His people.

-1:30 “whose leaf fadeth” is to say, you’ll be like a tree dying, that is, you’ll die!

-1:31 the proud catch flame easily.

 

Ch. 2

-2:2 mountain” go up symbolically. Spiritually flabby/ out of shape won’t make it up the mountain of the Lord’s standard for His people and not be able to commune with him.

-2:4 no peace unilt the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Violence: many apostles still carry “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlets in their pockets, to say that violence is not good for any age.

-2:5 “light” see D&C 50:23 what does not uplift spiritually or morally is dark and not of God. Skiing for example could be uplifting!

-2:9 they are humble towards idols bowing to them

-2:11 this is my earth let me tell you how things go around here.

-2:13 to say pride- ceders of Lebanon

-2:14 mountains cease and melt before the Lord, for He alone shall be exhaulted in the Millenial day.

-2:20 they’ll say “hurry throw the idols under the couch!”

-2:22 are you taking wimpy mans advice over God’s?

 

Ch. 3

-3:3 even the high of status will be wanton. all the wise are carried away captive since they are hard to rule over.

-3:7 “I don’t want to be bishop!” “refuse to be healer”. Who thought had food doesn’t.

-3:9 you can tell a lot about someone by intently looking at them. Some may look into pupils of one and tell how much of the spirit they have with them. The gift of priesthood keys enables them to do that. “can’t you do anything about the light in their eyes?” said one who did not want us to proselyte in Jerusalem. Many look down to the ground there in Jerusalem.

-3:10 this is a commandment. compliment who you have compliment for or it is a sin -Kimball in Miracle of Forgiveness

-3:14 Nephi uses this in his commentary expounding on it.

 

Ch. 4

-4:1 perhaps is to say that they persist in doing wickedness that they will not change. that they will work hard to sustain their wickedness.

-4:6 there will be physical protection from mighty storm for Zion

 

Ch. 5

-5:1 there often were vineyard servant songs. these pointed to Jesus Christ. they may be dualistic pointing to Isaiah or others who deliver Israel at times.

-5:2 Masoretic text wild grapes means berushim, worthless stinking things.

-5:4 failed expectations of the Lord’s people

-5:5 Jehovah leaves us on our own when we don’t respond to His care, not cut us down

-5:8 land mongers. trying to enrich themselves. the larger the farm the more money they can make. in the Mosaic law they were supposed to give their land to their inheritors, and if land was sold, in the year of jubilee they were supposed to give it back to the original owner of the land.

-5:10 the Lord won’t let them prosper in sin. *All prosperity comes from the Lord.

-5:11 party mongers. “all [they] want to do is party”.

-5:12 wo to who just want to party. they don’t care about the Lord, don’t read His words, etc.

-5:18 sin mongers. they should be fleeing from evil, but they are drawing it towards them, getting closer and closer to it, then they fall in perhaps not meaning to at first.

-5:21 pride mongers. shouldn’t we, if need be mongers, be righteousness mongers?

-5:23 bribes sell judges to let evil go free

-5:27 the ppl coming to general conference quickly in jets etc as Elder Richards says in “A Marvelous work and a Wonder.” it may also mean that people will come take over us so fast they won’t even have to unlatch their shoes. carry away safe could mean in a car or plane, or the other example it could mean taken away as a slave.

Ch. 6

-6: prose

-6:2 BD calls them fiery beings.

im is already plural this translation is wrong.

-6:3 3 times in Hebrew was the most you could say something and it make sense

-6:5 we will be accountable for all idol words, and all idol silence a church leader said.

-6:9 in Matthew and Acts its clear, unclear translation here, this means people hear but chose not understand.

-6:11 burdensome call to preach forever

-6:13 substance means sap. it’s to say the tree is still alive. How piece this verse together?

 

Ch. 7

-7: background: Assyria is the bully after everyone doing damage after Israel, Judah (the Northern kingdom) and Syria. Tribe of Judah mostly inhabits Judah. Ephraim chief tribe inhabiting there. Jerusalem is capital of Judah. Samaria capital of Israel. Damascus capital of Syria.

king of Judah is Ahaz. king of Israel is Pekah, son of Remaliah, and King of Syria is Rezin.

Isa being poetic doesn’t use same name to call each place over and again to not be repeated.

Assyria capital is Nineveh. the bully.

Israel and Syria are slave vassalages to Assyria. Judah doesn’t want to join these two in warring against Assyria, so they go after Judah to conquer Ahaz so they can have more power to go after Assyria.

Ahaz goes out to the well to cover it so the Syrians and Israelis don’t discover it and get them.

can make 3 column chart to show which name goes with which place.

Place Capital Tribe King Region Social System

Syria Damascus Ahaz /Rezin? Vassalage to

Assyria

Israel Samaria Pekah “ “

(son of Remelia)

Judah Jerusalem Ephraim Northern Kingdom

Assyria Nineveh

(the bully)

The Syria-Ephraim(Israel) alliance wanted to rid Ahaz of the throne and put son of Tibial on the throne so they’ll help them go against Assyria.

Israel and Syria still exist today and have the same names.

-7:2 moving trees make groaning sounds, the heart of the people sounded thus.

-7:4 firebrand is like a torch put out with embers on the end. they’re only embers. the light is gone. they can’t hurt you.

-7:7 they won’t get you don’t worry about it

-7:11 God wants to give him a sign

-7:12 he does not want to get the Lord involved he wants to do things his way

-7:14 since he wants to he will weather you like it or not.

-7:14 virgin means pure and chaste in one sense, or not having had carnal relations with man in the other sense.

-7:14 dualism speaking of Christ and of the children his wife would have (she being a virgin in the pure good lady sense of the word) saying things will happen by the time of the birth of that one

-7:18 Egypt is known as the land of the fly, and Assyria as the land of the flea. saying the armies of these nations will attack.

-7:20 Assyria shaved entirely whoever they captured.

-7:20 Tiglath king of Damascus Ahaz goes to meet. Assyrians had conquered the other 2 nations. Ahaz asks their mercy. he makes one of their god’s erected in the temple by the Levites. displeases God.

-7:25 their land used to be cultivated but it would just all turn to briers. desolate.

 

Ch. 8

-8:4 prophecy telling what will happen by a certain time come. prophecy refers oft to Isa son and Christ. dualism.

-8:8 because rejected the Lord he brings other waters to you. the bad guys will come to you and surround you, and even to your neck then a miracle to deliver you. Also, Jerusalem was called the neck of the land because of it’s geographical position, and the Assyrians were about to get them, and got even to the neck, but never prevailed.

-8:15 Lord says you need not make treaty with bad guys. if you do they will crush you. if not i will defend you.

-8:16 disciples of Christ to be bound to the law of the gospel in their lives.

-8:18 family of Isa as signs to Israel

 

Ch. 9

-9:1 2 tribes of Israel. see 20 years ago bible maps. the area of Galilea is where these were, where Jesus would be raised.

-9:2 dark black stone basalt. literal. and figurative, for Jesus the light would be raised there.

all roads toward holy land go through Megiddo. Valley of Jezreel it’s called now. all go through there. Josiah at age 39 is killed here by king of Egypt. Harmagedo. Har in Hebrew is hill. it’s like Armagedon, it’s to be the scene of so much carnage. is this Galilea where armaggedon will be?

THERE WERE A PEOPLE IN THE REGION OF GALILEA THAT LIVED IN A DARK PLACE. THEIR LAND WAS MADE MOSTLY OF VOLCANIC ROCK, AND SO THE GEOGRAPHICAL LANDSCAPE OF THE LAND WAS DARK ITSELF. BUT Jesus CHRIST WAS GOING TO BE SENT TO THEM SO THEY WOULD BE DELIVERED FROM THE POVERTY OF THEIR APOSTASY, THAT DARKNESS OF NOT HAVING Jesus THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD NOR HIS TEACHINGS, FOR THEY HAD REJECTED THE PRIOR PROPHETS , AND THE TIME HAD COME AGAIN AS IT ALWAYS DOES, TO SENT ANOTHER MESSENGER TO THE CHILDREN OF GOD TO GIVE THEM MORE OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT. THIS TIME THEIR PROPHET TO THEM WOULD BE WHO WOULD SET THEM FREE FROM THE DARKNESS AND YOKE OF SIN.

-9:3 in BFM ‘not’ is removed.

-9:4 yoke staff and rod represent slavery

-9:7 these first 7 verses perfectly describe what happens in Isaiah’s day.

Judah is the child going to be born to Ahaz and save them.

also applies to 2nd Coming. advanced dualism.

-9:10 refers to 9/11 quoted by political leaders of USA to say we won’t be beaten. but really it’s Ephraim and the Lord is going to destroy them.

-9:19 holocaust

 

Ch. 10

-10 this Ch. is a prophecy to Assyria. from here in the book prophecies to other nations come.

these are all types and shadows of the end of days destructions.

 

Ch. 11

-11:4 The Lord won’t let people go to jail just because they have no money and vice versa

-11:16 millennium preparation bridge like when Moses parted the Red Sea for people to come to Zion

 

Ch. 12

 

Ch. 13

-13:3 these are whom the Lord calls

-13:8 face flame like Indiana Jones and Raiders of the lost Arc.

-13:12 slavery abolished

Ch. 14

-14:8 a feller is one who cuts down trees

-14:11 he is dead

-14:13 refers to the children of God

-14:14 Satan has an “I” problem

-14:19 Satan never gets to even have a body. JS said Satan’s punishment for doing all he did to this earth will be that he never gets to have a body

-14:19 the person who found the body of this ruler of Isa’s day when found the body had asses run over his body until nothing was left but dust from him. the prophet saw it all.

 

Ch. 15

-15:2 mourning for Assyria moves south and conquers everyone as she goes

-15:5 one of the southmost cities they would go to to get away

-15:5 a young cow at the height of her strength and image. this is the time they were just right for breeding

-15:6 not only destruction from Assyria but drought for full destruction

-15:9 either to mean destroyed by lions or that so few ppl that there would be a lot of lions in the land

 

Ch. 16

– 16 Ch15 and 16 Isa about Moab. It’s SE of Israel, E of dead sea, towards s, Edom below that. Moab was the son of Lot’s oldest daughter Lot and his daughter had a child.

-16:4 Syria and Damascus are gone Moab goes to king of Jerusalem for help. Jerusalem says I don’t trust you have never been trustworthy.

Moab was destroyed by Assyria.

Moab turns to Judah for help for the one on the thrown in Judah is known for his mercy. the Judah king says I didn’t trust you before and I don’t trust you now. it’s like the final judgement where the Lord says depart, I never knew you.

The problem with death bed repentance is obvious. it has not to do with death or age but when we meet trouble.

Elder Scott gen conf 2013 Oct says diff between willful rebellion and weakness how the Lord is more patient with weakness.

Pres Kimball said “Death makes us spirits not angels”

ppl make the choice between eternal damnation and repentance every day of their lives.

-16:11 bowl is sight of emotion. heart is sign of character of a man “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he”. the seed of character.

bowl harp is to say a sad song.

-16:14 time specific prophecy

 

Ch. 17

-17:5 in the law of Moses you use a scythe. that is hard to use if you don’t know how. like milking a cow.

some wheat berries fall to the ground.

Law of Moses required the corners to not be cut down so the poor could eat them.

wheat berries are very small you have to be very hungry to eat

-17:6 Law of Moses you don’t take every fruit off the tree leave some on the top for the poor.

Isa is saying almost all the fruit is gone. only a few left and they will be humble and come back to God.

-17:10 you are planting the wrong things there is a reason they looked like the wrong thing when you planted them for they are going to reap sadness. see the following verses as well.

for example, biting off more than you can chew can get you into trouble. Pres. Hinckley said “survey large fields and plant small ones.”

-17:13 they look big but with a little wind they’re blown away. tumble weeds have such shallow roots when they die the root breaks and they just roll around.

 

Ch. 18

 

Ch. 19

-19: for 2,000 years they of Egypt were in charge. they destroy themselves. (this is from Ch. 19 somewhere: Judah a terror to Egypt wasn’t so but now see it is

Nile river will dry up- they in 1960 took a dam to it and now econ in Egypt is gone

Anoint your shield= wooden shield tempers the wood better, and makes arrows slip off of it and not go through.

Camels pull wagons. Chariot means wheeled vehicle.

Lion usually reps Assyria. Assyria ceased to exist before Babylon came into power. The watchmen on the tower waits to see but all he sees is a chariot with several men come with a message Babylon is fallen.

Rev 6:8 Babylon fallen in the last days maybe ISA saw this as well as the other.

DC1:18 says Babylon will fall

DC133:5 go ye out from Babylon (the Lord is saying we all live there. So the fall of it will be massive.) v7 go ye out from Babylon. V11 watch for you know not the day or hour. Go out from among the nations which is Babylon which is spiritual Babylon it says.)

-19:2 contention starts in the home then spreads to the community then the world. homes falling apart make the world fall apart.

-19:3 aka necromancer. wizard is male witch. they’re trying to council with these to hear from the dead etc. their council will fall.

-19:4 Islam rulers of terror, and USA rulers of terror who lie to us etc.

-19:5 the Nile river is still powerful it will dry up someday. along the river they farm, make paper from things growing by it, etc. starting in 1960 soviets tried to buy off Egypt to stop the Nile. they want to build a dam so they can become a superpower. the dam was not a success, but it filled with silk and they got the silk out and it turned to a desert ruined the land. where the Nile overflow stops there is pure desert no vegetation. the dam stopped ag and turned it’s econ upside down in the last 40 years. Cairo has 17 million it’s way too full there in Egypt. people live 1 mil on the graveyard. the city smells.

-19:17 anciently that was not so. in 1948 when the brand-new united nations that wanted to rule the world (2/5/14 they issued a statement against the Vatican saying they should not abuse do abortion or so forth). watch the news and go there and you’ll see that this is being fulfilled today.

 

Ch. 20

Ch. 21

Ch. 22

-22 ch22 is the Eliakim prophecy. 1 2 6 7 9 11 are all Jesus chapters. others have allusions.

-22:1 why are you celebrating on the roof when all this destruction around us?

-22:4 there is a sense of woe in this chapter from the beginning for he sees what is coming.

-22:6 war is coming there. seeing the valley filled with horsemen

-22:10 Hezekiah knocked down houses and filled the breeches of the wall. this is the 7th century BC.

-22:11 Hezekiah’s tunnel was to get water from pool of Siloam to Gijon spring to reroute the water for prep for Assyrian attack.

-22:11 making temporal but not spiritual preparations

-22:12 Isaiah said Jerusalem was going to be besieged by Assyrians. this did not happen. it’s because they became righteous. ch36 to 39 Hezekiah becomes righteous and that’s why this happens. the prophecy has an “unless you repent”. this happens with Jonah as well, and around Josiah king of Judah. Prophecies are full of “if’s”.

-22:15 Shebna is a type of the apostate people. if you don’t repent Assyrians wipe you out and not be buried in a sepulture for you are so apostate. but it must be that they came around for they were spared. Eliakim replaced him. Eliakim means God going up or My God shall arise etc. something. His association with the king causes many to come to him which causes him to fall.

-22:21 refers to the temple

-22:22 key on shoulder: in the holy land keys were worn around neck or pinned to shoulder for they’re some 10 lbs. see also “the government shall be upon his shoulder” means keys, power, the work if it.

-22:25 Hezekiah sees he is getting so many favors that he shall be kicked out. and when Christ’s nail removed his agony removed for He done suffering on the cross. Hymn “once all things He meekly bore, now He will bare no more.”

 

Ch. 23

-23:1 Tyre is going to be overthrown. Tyre is on the coast. it’s an island in Isaiah’s day. a great center for mercantile.

-23:1 Tarshish is probably Italy

-23:2 Hyrum of Tyre helped build the temple he was a good man. He was the most famous Phoenician. Phoenicians brought us phonetic alphabet. it’s from them.

-23:3 Everybody who is anybody goes through there.

-23:6 it’s hard to conquer an island for when you come to it they flee the other way on ships. Senacrib conquers it then they have 70 years freedom then they begin to “sing like a harlot” and are conquered then Alexander the great wants it and they build something to get there and by the time he gets there he is so mad that he destroys it. the cosway that Alexander built makes it so it’s no longer an island but is connected.

-23:15 “sing as an harlot” suggests the person is proud and doesn’t care

-23:18 means they’ll be dedicated for destruction

 

Ch. 24

-24 ch24-35 are the apocalypse cycle in Isa. Apocrypha is what is not canonized and they are doubtable. apocalypse means revelation. these chapters are emotional roller coaster, middle is nice, first and end are destruction. Isa is repetitive. like making a tapestry or helping us to know and not fear it.

-24:2 no matter what your social status you need obey. “world overtaken with sin and iniquity” Pres. Kimbal said in the 70’s that that was the type of world we live in now. a world of sin.

-24:5 the 3 reasons for the destruction. these 3 laws of God being broken today. honesty is not well, morality, caring for the poor, chastity, sabbath, all the ordinances changed, etc. Everlasting covenant: theomorphic God we believe in. that we can become like God, being made in His image.

-24:6 avoid this fire by getting the earth to repent. every member a missionary. Some of this language is really rough. this is literal and figurative language.

-24:11 this is ADDICTION. they want wine and drugs but are never happy when they get it.

 

Ch. 25

-25:1 full of wonder, like awesome, awe inspiring. here we read extraordinary/amazing

-25:1 councils aka covenants

-25:6 “this mountain” refers to last chapter. “Of fat things” means the very best. wine on the lee’s for days gets very good. bad lees=bad wine

-25:7 mountain=Zion; the veil =that is between us and seeing the face of God

-25:8 resurrection

-25:9 patience, or like a waitress serving someone. our society won’t wait. Satan gives right away then he takes away. The Lord says you should have waited. may use hope as a word for wait. *I waited before committing to Megan until after my mission and I knew it was right.

when you pray hear Elder Maxwell, “I know God loves me so much by the prayers he has not answered”.

Isa speaks of the prayer being answered faster if we fast.

 

Ch. 26

-26:1 a song of praise of 2 cities, righteous Zion and wicked Babylon

-26:2 literal or baptism

-26:3 perfect peace can mean the peace Jesus has, the peace of being innocent via living His gospel.

1 free to every 25 slaves for a long time in Brazil.

-26:4 the word JEHOVAH only printed 4 times in KJV and 2 of them are in Isaiah

-26:9 judgement has to be there if we are to grow. there has to be accountability.

-26:10 God rains on the good and the bad. Do good to people even if they won’t repent or change. Preech the gospel to all.

-26:12 God makes us good

-26:13 Canaanites’ religion was Baalism. this word means Baalim meaning several Gods. After all the Lord has done for us at times we turn to other things. 1920 a Syrian was plotting his field. there was Cananitish text on a thing he found, and they found an ancient city of Hugart? There was a great library there about their polytheism. so in the last 100 years we learn much of this bad polytheism. it was seductive to the Israelites. when not harvest there is famine. Now (Feb 2014 in California there is not much water so fruit and meat coming from there the price will increase by a lot). there was 2 in Baalism a man and a woman Asherah was the female (groves). Yaux/Zadud (Ba’al) was another. Astarte the Goddess of fertility is given to Baal. Baal likes her so he kills Yaux. another god of death, Mat, is banished from the earth by Ba’al thinking problems would come. Baal means rain and thunder and clouds. At Mat’s home Ba’al goes to a feast and is poisoned by Mat and dies then Mat rules the world and the world is in turmoil. Astarte kills the god of death in Sept or Oct being frustrated then all starts to grow again. *Perhaps it’s to excuse the Israelites from their behavior by blaming i ton God’s. they say that every year this reoccurs. They all die and come back to life once a year. Israelites started to make idols and Hezekiah wanted to have people only worship at Jerusalem to keep things in hand.

-26:14 Isaiah is saying don’t believe in the mythology those are dead. Forget about Baal and this whole myth. Take away the people who pour grief upon us.

-26:18 we were pregnant with all these lies and it brought us nothing but bad gas; there never was pregnancy, it was a lie. All it was bad gas in our digestive system, it was a lie, and at the end of the day, the lie produced nothing whereas it was to produce everything.

-26:19 Jehovah Himself will die and be Resurrected. This happened.

real resurrection will occur. ch26 is called a Baal polemic (arguing about religious thing). They thought they would bring forth something happy but they brought forth nothing. But Jesus Christ will rise again, with all mankind.

-26:20 Second Coming. see JS teachings P.17. Jews were told to gather to Jerusalem. Why this fascinating?

 

Ch. 27

-27:7 does God deal with you the same way you deal with each other?

-27:8 The Holy land was a Mediterranean climate, like California. the winds bring in the hot air from the desert. God sends the east wind when people want the west wind to purge the fruit. Plants can be drown if you water them too much. East wind in the scriptures is a bad thing, west wind a good thing. The church discipline has to excommunicate people from the church because He loves them so much that he is giving them another chance. it may be said, “because you are loved so much by the Lord He wants to give you another chance. you are hereby excommunicated from the church.” Rarely will you feel the Spirit as much as you do in church disciplinary council. Mercy can’t rob justice, but a lot of mercy is found in the Old Testament. It’s seen in these verses even.

-27:12 one by one is the way of the gathering of Israel, we teach one person then they make personal commitments then they are baptized with their own service. Rarely it’s more than this.

 

Ch. 28

-28:9 babies don’t need much knowledge for they are already lovely

-28:10 God would reveal everything he revealed to Joseph Smith to the least of the church members, but he waits to give it to them until they are ready for it.

look into the heavens open for 5 minutes and you’ll know more than all the doctors about it said Joseph Smith.

there is a scale. 1 precept 2 line 3 little. precept may be commandment, precept may be specific challenges, little may be guidelines that we set for ourselves so that we avoid the temptations that beset us.

-28:10 set curfews, start dating no sooner than 16, start by going on group dates for the young are like wild apes who can’t control themselves so stay away from them until they have returned from their missions, or at least until they are 18 about and ready to think about marriage, the age of adulthood.

-28:24 the parable of the wise farmer. Fiches and Cumin you plant on their own as they are fragile. God knows which type person is which type, and how they will grow in which place. Loving Heavenly Father puts us where we are in the opportune moment. It’s probably so that we developed many talents in the tens of thousands of years of pre-mortality that they would be able to employ in a certain time and place, and around the people who would be best.

-28:27 only need tap the cumin and it comes out. need to really grind the wheat for the wheat berries to come out.

-28:29 Maxwell said that the generation are prepared for this time and need be kept by parents. they’ve been kept for this time, and now they need to be pushed forward. The parents are also there in place for them. The paths of the young and the old cross paths many times.

 

Ch. 29

-29:1 Nephi explains this in 2 Nephi 26 and 27 the rest of the world does not get it.

-29:10 JST says the people close their eyes not God doing it to them. Maybe God puts them into a deep sleep as they close their eyes to the truth.

-29:11 non LDS think this is some buried unknown thing. Charles Anthon is a professor at Columbia. He sees the reformed Egyptian, can’t read it but lies and says it looks like good translation to Him. it’s professor craft. JS is the not learned. JS said he and Charles Anthon fulfilled this prophecy.

-29:14 the origin of this work must be the coming forth of the BFM because see the rejecting of it happens then this verse is placed.

-29:15 people think they are not seen in the dark. They hide from others if they know there is a God, to try and avoid temporal damnation as well as spiritual damnation.

-29:21 The Lord cuts out this type, who jump on others for a word. Like getting mad that the scripture men not saying men and women. God created man, male and female created he them. It’s not a sexist term it’s a generic term.

 

Ch. 30

-30:1 They are going to Egypt again.

-30:1 atonement means cover. They are trying to do so in other ways than Jesus Christ’s Atonement. Trying to get rid of guilt in ways other than repentance like blaming it on others is adding sin upon sin.

-30:2 They go to Egypt for council not to Jehovah

-30:6 all of the beasts of burden carry gifts to try to persuade them to help

-30:7 they have no strength

-30:9-10 don’t tell me what’s really right, i just want to be comfortable and happy in my sins. The prophet will say things that hit home to us.

Pres. Hinckley to seminary/institute teachers: “what a frightening change in our culture. much sleaze. language on campus today never before. internet and porn to deliver filth and evil into our homes. it’s taking it’s toll. this is the era of gutter talk, of sloppy ways. at the same time this is the season when so many of our youth show such capacity to do right. they are more educated, know the scriptures better, go on missions more prepared, and become better parents. you have both kinds of students. try to hold onto who are being pulled away. now people want to leave the holy and go to the sleaze. music and entertainment are a part. there is no melody or uplift in the music. there is no beauty in it. here they hop and swoon and act like animals acting to their passions. drugs are often involved and destroys most of them except a few that get away via great pain. sex becomes all a part of it too.”

-30:15 you chose not to go there. if you had just returned you would have been saved.

-30:21 if you are doing as you should you will listen to your teachers and you will understand it and you’ll hear the Spirit tell you what to do

-30:25 the twin towers of 2001?

 

Ch. 31

-31:1 chariots are the armed tanks of the ancient world

-31:3 the lord can fight your battles but he will not if you go and make a treaty with Egypt, if you rely on your own strength

-31:7-8 God will make it so we recognize good and evil, and see it clear, and people will not be able to lead us in hypocrisy anymore

-31:10 this may refer to women, or the Lord’s people in general. He uses careless 3 times in 3 verses. The care less about the gospel. Nephi said the devil makes some mad in the last days to rage against the truth, and others to merely think all is well in Zion, and we can just relax. when you buy into that you are in trouble.

 

Ch. 32

-32:7-8 God will make it so we recognize good and evil, and see it clear, and people will not be able to lead us in hypocrisy anymore

-32:10 this may refer to women, or the Lord’s people in general. He uses careless 3 times in 3 verses. The care less about the gospel. Nephi said the devil makes some mad in the last days to rage against the truth, and others to merely think all is well in Zion, and we can just relax. when you buy into that you are in trouble.

-32:12 is to say nourishment

-32:17 Egypt seemed like so strong and close to get help, but God said no, just trust me.

 

Ch. 33

-33:15 violence and immorality go hand in hand. “lusts in the eyes” means movies television and magazines etc that are bad. No concerned parent would let someone in their home making sexual and vulgar comments in their home by the hour, so why let a tv do it?

-33:20 about 3100 stakes in the church today. It’s the basic unit of the church. Wards are merely a convenient way to gather.

-33:20 Jesus will be all 3 roles of government.

 

Ch. 34

-34:11 These are the same 2 words as when in Genesis 1 it says the world was without form and void. Things will go back to where they started.

-34:16 dc128 3ne24

-34:16 want means lack here. Eternal marriage is required for exaltation.

 

Ch. 35

-35:3 Pres. Monson quotes this often.

-35:8 Hebrew word way is the exact word Jesus uses when he ways I am the way the truth and the life. He is the way… This shows that it’s not a free for all in the gospel, there is a laid out path that we are to walk.

-35:9 Much hard will come and we need to get through it to be able to stand. John Taylor quoting Joseph Smith said that “God will reach in and pull the strings of our heart so hard until it seems that they will break that we will want to give up, but if we do we will lose all our glory.” We must come to know who we really are, what we are willing to sacrifice. If we make it through that we will have an eternal marriage “none will be without her mate” sing is always the opposite of crying is Hebrew, never laughing.

 

Ch. 36

 

Ch. 37

-37:3 It’s time of deliverance, but mother doesn’t have enough energy to push the baby out. They are close to liberty but aren’t on God’s side so they don’t make it.

-37:7 4 prophecies

-37:9 the rumor

-37:9 Ethiopia is south of Egypt, but rumor has it they are coming the long way to interfere. He will have 3 battles at once. Rabshakeh is sent to try and get Judah to surrender so they’ll only have 2 battle fronts.

-37:16 Hezekiah great prayer. He bares his testimony (Pres. Packer says each time we bear our testimony it becomes stronger. doing it verbally helps.)

-37:21 The answers to our prayers may come through the Lord’s prophets. It may come very personally.

-37:30 Too much chaos now, you won’t plant this year.

-37:33 The entire city was surrounded. Hezekiah needed a lot of faith to trust this message from Isaiah the prophet.

-37:35 JST in 1 kings 3. shows that the Lord was very frustrated with David when he fell. for David’s sake may have to do with lineage. read Donald Parry Isaiah on this.

 

Ch. 38

 

Ch. 39

-39:3 Babylon was a vasal state at this time to Assyria, I think.

-39:7 Eunuch is a servant to the king.

 

Ch. 40

 

Ch. 41

-41:29 our idols America idolizes are not so easy to see.

 

Ch. 42

-42:1 42:1-8, 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:13-14; 53.

these are the servant songs

53 is Mosiah Ch. 14 quoted by Abinadi. Christians think these point to Christ. Scholars think they are to some current king of that day since they do not believe that prophets can prophecy.

-42:3 Jesus’ ministry to be gentle, quiet, and mostly unknown to people of his day. the smoking flax can mean that those with even the smallest amount of potential he will help.

-42:4 he will accomplish His mission.

-42:19 JST says it’s to the blind whom he sends his servant.

 

Ch. 43

-43:3 the Lord= Jehovah

-43:10 To live as He would, showing He is real. *That’s how I got a testimony that God lives, it’s that I saw others who were standing where I learned God is. Being married is exalting, for we witness to each other all of the time.

-43:10 perhaps it’s to say that all were created at once, and is referring to how no idols are God’s.

-43:11 Shows Jehovah is JC. Abraham is a God but not of this world so we don’t worship Him. Elder McConkie at BYU said we worship the Father in the name of the son, we don’t worship the sun. In the NT Paul says that God and the Savoir Lord are 2 different beings.

-43:19 I will write my new covenant in your heart

-43:24 People give God not pleasantries but all their problems and sins. He blotted them out for your sake and won’t remember them more. This speaks of the Savior.

 

Ch. 44

-44:15 so ridiculous that he repeats it 3 times. Making a tree, using part for warmth, part for an idol to worship. Also like money from a tree, practical, yet worshipped it. Can refer to our bodies, honing them in the gym, or eating wrong to make yourself an idol for you and others to worship.

-44:20 worshiping a false God. You can’t make covenants with a false god. It’s like going to eat and nothing is there, like a large cheese puff.

-44:22 in pre-mortality we even repented via the Atonement. Jesus was a God, so he was totally trustable and we based all on His future eternal Atonement.

 

Ch. 45

-45:1 Cyrus means Messiah. It also means Cyrus the Mede who becomes first king of what we now call the Persian Empire.

-45:13 Isa knew Cyrus by prophecy. People think Isa did not write this, but he did. In “Antiquities” by Josephus, it says that Cyrus read Isa’s words predicting him, and he fulfilled what was written of him.

-45:23 Paul says this in the NT, saying it’s JC. So Jehovah is JC., for it says there is none else beside this person to whom the people will bow and confess.

 

Ch. 46

-46:1 the idols weigh them down and slow them down. Breaks down the beasts and the people.

-46:4 The idols can’t deliver you, they weigh you down, but I will deliver you.

-46:11 Cyrus comes from the east, he does not spare, and destroys Babylon. He is a type of Christ.

 

Ch. 47

-47:13 astrology for guidance is not how it is to be. they’ll be destroyed.

-47:14 this is not a get warm fire, this is a consume you fire.

 

Ch. 48

-48:3-4 God does these things, declaring it from the beginningg because of our tendency to blame others for what God does.

-48:9 I should just wipe you out but because you bare my name I’ll wait. I will let you stay a while, since I’m the one that chose you after all.

-48:11 You are my chosen people.

-48:13 creation

-48:18 righteousness as the wave of the sea like when an Apostle speaks to you and you feel like you got hit by a wave. If you keep the commandments you can have a serious impact on people by the righteous things you do. We can become wells of living water like Jesus Christ. As the waves of the sea may also refer to how our righteousness will never cease. It will always respond the to signals of the sun. To what Jesus Christ asks us to do, we will always be capable if we start with the little things and try to keep all of his commandments. Also waves have a large impact on large amounts of land. D&C 121 teaches that flowing unto thee. People are always coming back to great leaders and wanting more of them.

 

Ch. 49

-49:1 BFM has the whole first half of this verse. He is talking to those who have been scattered because of the wickedness of pastors in Israel. You can be in trouble for following leaders who choose evil.

-49:2 an arrow. Christ is a polished one, of all the arrows, he is the one who is prepared to do his mission perfectly.

-49:2 Could mean that Christ was there to publish his Father’s name. Also could mean that Christ’s ministry was quiet.

-49:6 could mean to say that light is referring to brightness.

-49:6 He is saying he is the hope of every human being.

-49:15 as impossible as it seems that a woman would forget her child, it’s even more impossible that God will forget about us.

-49:15 Ancient people would put tattoos on their hands to remind them of things important, like one of a temple to remind them of their covenants. Jerusalem was and is the Lord’s city. You can’t get away from that if you are a LDS.

-49:16 Ancient people would put tattoos on their hands to remind them of things important, like one of a temple to remind them of their covenants. Jerusalem was and is the Lord’s city. You can’t get away from that if you are a LDS.

-49:17 haste against thy destroyers is how the BFM reads

-49:18 God swearing with his own life. He can’t swear by any higher; there is no such thing as any higher. This is it.

-49:18 The brides would put on all of their family’s wealth just before the wedding. Jesus is having people come by the thousands and millions. Zion who thought she was forsaken will clothe herself with all of these people.

-49:20 could mean like a strait jacket. could be spiritually speaking of who say LDS have too many commandments. (God says if we are really good, he will give us more commandments; in the footnotes to one of Elder Bednar’s general conference talks, he says we should pray for more commandments.) Straight could mean literal like too narrow, not enough room in the building for them all to fit.

 

Ch. 50

Ch. 51

Ch. 52

-52:7 Abinadi has this quoted to him by the wicked priests, them asking him what it means. In response he quotes the 53 chapter of Isaiah. They asked him a question out of Isaiah, he responds out of Isaiah. Abinadi’s problem is that they don’t have a clue what the law of Moses is about. Abinadi says you can’t be saved by the Law of Moses alone. It points to the Atonement. You need that to be saved. You need the LDS church to be saved for it has the ordinances of the Atonement. Abinadi lacks a companion. God can’t hold them accountable without a witness for there is a law of multiple witnesses. Alma’s heart is pricked when he reads to them Isaiah.

 

Ch. 53

Ch. 54

-54:1 the sense of this chapter is where did all of these children come from. It’s the Gentiles coming to Zion.

-54:2 it takes 100’s of men to put up a circus tent, and elephants to help also. If they collapse it can be tragic.

-54:10 peace is used very often in this, and the flip side is it saying at the end there is no peace to the wicked. Peace is not necessarily an absence of warfare. Even in a peaceful place you can have inner turmoil. Standing before God ready for that is true peace.

 

Ch. 55

-55:2 Spiritually fat as Buddha The Lord wants us to be.

-55:11 missionaries get the lords priorities done not, theirs

-55:12 see D&C128:23 about how all rejoice about the gospel

 

Ch. 56

-56:1 Judgment: result of judging. Justice: quality of being just, rendering what is due.

-56:2 is to mean happy. Same word as used in the Sermon on the Mount.

-56:2 people should know that LDS are different on Sabbath. we need to re-enthrone the Sabbath. Mark E Peterson said someone who breaks the Sabbath is a covenant breaker.

-56:5 place and a name is yod veshem it translates to a hand and a name. That is what happens in God’s hand, He gives them those things.

-56:6-7 You’ll be happy in the temple if you are keeping the Sabbath day holy. There are people who look natural inside the temple who like to be there, and others who check their watches a lot and are biting at the bit to get out of the temple. There will be thousands of temples in the Millennium and we will be doing work for the flood gates of people that the work of the Lord is opened up to. Some of the most blatant miracles come as we do family history work. Brother Merrill couldn’t find a person where they were buried, and he is impressed to walk down an isle, stop midway, put his arm up and pull out that book and there is the person. Or feeling that something is missing, then finding out the family had an infant who died. SO be glad when your people are glad in the temple, it means they are honoring the Sabbath. THOSE who honor the Sabbath CRAVE the temple, to go there and receive the reward of their doings.

-56:10 a watchdog that can’t bark is worth less than 0. So we unbind our tongues for heavens gates to flow. We shepherds in Israel, and that is all of us, need to open our mouths for our people for God giving others commandments is what will let us have more opportunity in life and allow the Holy Ghost to prick ourselves.

-56:10 throwing down on idleness.

 

Ch. 57

-57:1 LDS funerals are happy

-57:5 recently in spring 2014 there were men arrested for child abuse. On the other end, there was a woman recently who sacrificed her life for her child soon to be born.

 

Ch. 58

-58:5 fasting is not for looking poor

-58:6 the next verse is probably about helping the poor, and this verse is oppressed meaning under sin. Fasting is a consciousness of victory over self.

-58:7 you don’t get all of the blessings if you don’t pay the fast offering. Pres. Foust said we at times categorize how much our food costs for how much to pay. We should give ten times that much if we can. We aren’t paying enough until it hurts. If you can’t fast, then find other ways to make that day one of sacrifice.

-58:8 fast blessings D&C 59 equates joy with fasting.

-58:8 It’s righteousness that is the breast plate of the armor of the Lord.

 

Ch. 59

-59:1-2 the avenger and the redeemer. whatever you deserve at the 2nd Coming is what you’ll get.

-59:3 one youth was excommunicated for lying to his priesthood leader. Lying is a cardinal sin and you go the same place with that as you do the whores and thieves.

-59:5 a poisonous serpent they’re incubating.

-59:19 like now how Satan is putting evil all through the world

-59:19 the cross is the standard, the Hebrew word comes from the word meaning standard bearing, like a tee shape standard without the flag part looks like a cross. E Maxwell said our light still is not shining bright enough to be a light against the nations. At times it’s like Elijah to the priests of Baal, or JS against all the religionists of his day.

 

Ch. 60

-60:7 all these Gentiles will be gathered to the House of Israel

-60:7 temple Gentiles to.

-60:11 ancient cities are always closed at night for protection, but the holy city so powerful that it need not protectin. People don’t understand the text of Isaiah so they were mad at Acts 11 about how the gospel is to go to the Jews

-60:22 hastening the work

 

Ch. 61

-61:1 there was a seat in the synagogues where you would give commentary on the law. Jesus says this in Nazareth and the people say isn’t this Joseph the Carpenter’s son? Wondering at how this person could say he is Jehovah. Jesus basically said if you want to see a miracle here you have to have as much faith as the gentiles who had great faith and obedience which the Jews did not have. It’s like how many LDS are not righteous but are self-righteous self-serving seeking honors of man.

 

Ch. 62

-62:4 The Lord will marry the land.

-62:8 we don’t have to work hard and have others eat and drink the fruits of our labors

 

Ch. 63

-63:1 Edom also means red

-63:2 red because of dyed from blood in Gethsemane and because he trod down his enemies. Which side are we on?

-63:3 the grapes that Christ treads are the wicked

-63:9 he became like us so he could suffer with us and pity us. Paul says the sinless one became the great sinner, aka he stepped into our shoes. All people come to earth to suffer, but Christ went to suffer “enormity multiplied by infinity” says Elder Maxwell.

-63:15 intercessory prayer like in John 17. Like D&C121 also.

 

Ch. 64

-64:3 many will probably have to move away from the mountains

-64:6 we as filthy rags is like saying that no matter how much good we go we keep getting dirty again and staining ourselves. God never “owes us one”.

 

Ch. 65

-65:1 in the last few chapters Isaiah summarizes, condemning apostates, pronouncing blessings for the righteous, and speaking of the destiny of the gentiles.

-65:1 JST says how God is found by who seeks them (not vice versa). Says God tried to reach out to the Apostates but they did not care about him.

-65:3 law of Moses said only use unhewn stones for altars not bricks

-65:5 they frustrate him

-65:6 God will give some so called Saints what they really deserve they not being saints at all.

-65:17 not remember the reproach of thy youth or widowhood anymore

-65:20 no more infants dying

-65:25 This is Isa 11 but you don’t get any better than that. Take this literally there is no other way to take it.

 

Ch. 66

-66:1 Take the Lord in by making him a temple. Don’t forget about him the poorest of poor.

-66:7 the Coming of the Lord will happen very fast. The New Jerusalem will come miraculously overnight. The Jews get the gospel as in a day as well, it says, and that will happen at the time they see prints in his hands. They are the last to get the gospel,

-66:17 we have a different Word of Wisdom, law of health now.

-66:19 missionaries right now are being sent to those nations considered gentiles.

-66:20 they=the gentiles

-66:21 them=the gentiles

-66: all flesh worshipping the Lord- flesh means things that are alive and can die; all the people left standing at the Second Coming of the Lord, those not destroyed from wickedness, will worship the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of this world.

 

 

 

Additional Isaiah Study Resources

 

Isaiah word study search etc: https://isaiah.scripture.guide/whole/chapters/iinst/1/2

See tihie.com for free Isaiah study companion essays of Micah English.

 

 

 

DOCTRINE & COVENANTS BOOK NOTES (pending)

 

Ch. 57 or 58

One was not sufficiently meek, seeking to excel
Those who obey God get revelations

 

 

BOOK OF MORMON BOOK NOTES (pending)

 

 

 

OLD TESTAMENT BOOK NOTES (pending)

 

 

 

NEW TESTAMENT BOOK NOTES (pending)

 

PEARL OF GREAT PRICE BOOK NOTES (pending)