Subheading


And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Friday, June 23, 2017

House Without Hands: What is the Kingdom of God?

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1
Lectures on Faith
3 Having the assurance that they were pursuing a course which was agreeable to the will of God, they were enabled to take, not only the spoiling of their goods, and the wasting of their substance, joyfully, but also to suffer death in its most horrid forms; knowing, (not merely believing,) that when this earthly house of their tabernacle was dissolved, they had a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Second Cor. 5:1. 
What is this house not made with hands? There are other phrases such as "prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God" (D&C 88:19) Other places it uses, The "house of Israel", or in reference to a temple "house of the Lord".

Kingdom of God
The prophecy of Daniel in Chapter 2 verses 31-45 is often quoted as the Kingdom of God here are two scriptures regarding it.
2 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth. (D&C 65:2
34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. (Daniel 2:34)
 Typically we call this stone the Kingdom Of God, the house built without hands. The Lord in reference to his death said "I will destroy this temple [Remember he said he was referring to his flesh or body as he later told the disciples] that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. " (Mark 14:58)

In reference to the kingdom of God Christ said,
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, beholdthe kingdom of God is within you. (John 17:21)
Holy Ghost
The kingdom of God is within you. The tabernacle we now have is not the house built without hands for when its dissolved we will still have that house which is built without hands. Examine this verse.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
The purpose of the tabernacle is to be the "temple" of the Holy Ghost. A symbol of Gods presence dwelling in man if the house (body) remains purified. And where is this Holy Ghost? It is "within you" as another verse says, "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.". (D&C 130:22) If your tabernacle is unclean it cannot have the Holy Ghost dwell therein (vs 23).

A Soul
Why must one seek God to posses their souls? What is a soul? Its a body + spirit. Tabernacle + our spirits. "And the spirit and the body are the soul of man. " (D&C 88:15)
38 And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.
Our Countenance In His Image
Why is it that the closer to God we get that our countenance becomes like His countenance? Why is that when that day comes, we shall know even as I am known, or other wards we will realize we are and were always like Him? Why is it that what we see in the mirror is what He already is now at THAT day when we become like Him?
12 For now we see through a glass [mirror], darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (2 Corinthians 13:12) 
18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory,even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Why does Alma in chapter 5 on the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost ask the following question?
14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? (Alma 5:14)
Are we not created in His image?

Spiritually Born Again: Baptism
Why must one be born again to enter the kingdom of God?
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God, said Jesus. (John 3:3.)
Some Parallels.
1) We must be baptized to see the kingdom of God
2) "Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half—that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost." (TPJS 314)
3) We must receive the Baptism of fire by the Holy Ghost to enter the kingdom of God which is to "receive the Holy Ghost" (John 3:5) As Joseph said "It is one thing to see the kingdom of God, and another thing to enter into it.” (Smith, Teachings, p. 328.)
4) The Holy Ghost is within you.
5) The Kingdom of God is within you.
6) When we receive the Holy Ghost, it purifies us until we are changed from "glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord".
7) When we are fully changed we "posses our souls" and when "he shall appear we shall be like Him" (Moroni 7:48)
8) Our bodies are the tabernacle (temple) of our spirits.

House Without Hands
So what is the house?
How does it move forward "without hands"?
How is something "within us" built up?
Is it our souls?
Is it our spirits?
It is NOT our tabernacles. And it is NOT a religion.

Is this why the Lord said the "kingdom of God cometh not with observation" (John 17:20) or that "within three days I will build another made without hands." (Mark 14:58)? Are we not becoming the Kingdom of God? Is that why we must be baptized to receive the Kingdom of God and to become the Kingdom of God we must be changed into something more Holy? To become like Him?

We are baptized so that we may also receive the Holy Ghost by the Lord (3 Nephi 12:1).
We become the Kingdom of God.

The Holy Ghost will show us all things we must do. We will speak with the tongue of angels. We will speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. We will speak the words of Christ (See 2 Nephi 32:1-5), we will have all of this...
61 Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.(Moses 6:61)
Is this not the Kingdom of God? Is this not intelligence or light and truth? Is this not the Spirit of God? Are these not all connected? The Holy Ghost maketh alive all things. "The LORD killeth, and maketh alive" (1 Samuel 2:6) Its interesting how the Light of Christ also is"13 The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, (D&C 88:13)".

All these things are related. They are all part of the same power or same being. All those who posses the Holy Spirit or as the Lectures on Faith define it to be the "mind of God" become one with Him. Just like the Father and the Son are one, we will as the Lord prayed in His appearance in 3 Nephi, we will be one with Him as He is with the Father. Thus as we have our will beguiled in the will of our Father, we will be in His image. We will be a type of His kingdom. We will BE the Kingdom of God, We will have the kingdom of God within us, or the peaceable things of immortal Glory.
114 But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion;
115 Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter;
116 Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him;
117 To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves;
118 That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory. (D&C 76:114-118)
This house without hands, is "the building of God". The temple is the very type of this. God dwells in holy temples. He appears, or comes to His "temples". Because they are holy, or in His image. The things of this world are given to typify of things that are heavenly.

Kingdom of God: Stone cutout without hands:
Joseph gave the following lecture on the Kingdom of God. It can be found in the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith on page 272.
"Where did the kingdom of God begin? Where there is no kingdom of God there is no salvation. What constitutes the kingdom of God? Where there is a prophet, a priest, or a righteous man unto whom God gives His oracles; there is the kingdom of God and where the oracles are not, there the kingdom of God is not. In these remarks, I have no allusion to the kingdoms of the earth..." (TPJS, pg 272)
Than he states "We speak of the kingdom of God on the earth, not the kingdoms of men". So we see that the kingdoms of men or earthly institutions are not the kingdom of God. He continued explaining what the Oracles of God were, 
"The plea of many in this day is, that we have no right to receive revelations; but if we do not get revelations, we do not have the oracles of God; and if they have not the oracles of God, they are not the people of God. But say you, What will become of the world, or the various professors of religion who do not believe in revelation and the oracles of God as continued to His Church in all ages of the world, when He has a people on earth? I tell you, in the name of Jesus Christ, they will be damned; and when you get into the eternal world, you will find it will be so, they cannot escape the damnation of hell." (ibid)
Oracles of God: Revelation
The oracles of God, meaning the revelations of God. The revelations of God were given to us from Joseph Smith. If there are no revelations, than we do not have the oracles of God. So the kingdom of God requires someone who has those oracles, or as Joseph said quoting Christ, "Jesus in His teachings says, ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ [Matthew 16:18.] What rock? Revelation." (History of the Church, 5:258). His church is built on Revelation.

Holy Ghost & The Kingdom of God:
In another place Joseph declared the following about the Holy Ghost, "No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations. The Holy Ghost is a revelator. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.328)". So we can see that if you receive the Holy Ghost you will have revelations. If you have revelations you will have the oracles of God with you and where the oracles are there is the Kingdom of God.

John The Baptist: A Solitary Soul Represented the Kingdom God
Joseph continued saying,
"As touching the Gospel and baptism that John preached, I would say that John came preaching the Gospel for the remission of sins; he had his authority from God, and the oracles of God were with him, and the kingdom of God for a season seemed to rest with John alone. The Lord promised Zacharias that he should have a son who was a descendant of Aaron, the Lord having promised that the priesthood should continue with Aaron and his seed throughout their generations. Let no man take this honor upon himself, except he be called of God, as was Aaron; and Aaron received his call by revelations. An angel of God also appeared unto Zacharias while in the Temple, and told him that he should have a son, whose name should be John, and he should be filled with the Holy Ghost. Zacharias was a priest of God, and officiating in the Temple, and John was a priest after his father, and held the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, and was called of God to preach the Gospel of the kingdom of God. The Jews, as a nation, having departed from the law of God and the Gospel of the Lord, prepared the way for transferring it to the Gentiles. But, says one, the kingdom of God could not be set up in the days of John, for John said the kingdom was at hand. But I would ask if it could be any nearer to them than to be in the hands of John. The people need not wait for the days of Pentecost to find the kingdom of God, for John had it with him, and he came forth from the wilderness crying out, ‘Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand,’ as much as to say, ‘Out here I have got the kingdom of God, and you can get it, and I am coming after you; and if you don't receive it, you will be damned;’ and the scriptures represent that all Jerusalem went out into John's baptism. There was a legal administrator, and those that were baptized were subjects for a king; and also the laws and oracles of God were there; therefore the kingdom of God was there; for no man could have better authority to administer than John; and our Savior submitted to that authority Himself, by being baptized by John; therefore the kingdom of God was set up on the earth, even in the days of John." (TPJS, pg 272)
It takes revelation to be called of God as was Aaron, not men. John came forth from the wilderness having the kingdom of God. One person represented that Kingdom. John was a legal administrator. Christ recognized him even though there was an existing priestly authority which He also respected, who were in control of the temple at Jerusalem. But the presence of one set of recognized authorities did not prevent Christ from respecting another, unrecognized priestly authority. You see John was unrecognized by the earthly fellowship or priesthood, but was recognized by the heavenly fellowship or priesthood. Christ gave polite deference to the earthly, but submitted to the heavenly. As it turned out, Christ’s submission to the heavenly authority was necessary for His own salvation. (See 2 Ne. 31: 5-12.)

Find an authorized administrator from God: There is the Kingdom of God
Joseph concluded in the lecture,
"Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on the earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none others will be acknowledged either by God or angels." (TPJS, pg 272)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Truth Shall Set You Free: Knowing Good From Evil

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32 )
What does it mean to be "free"?
" 26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever [past tense -> redeemed = free forever], knowing good from evil [ past tense redeemed = Knowing GOOD FROM EVIL]; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon [Learned how to choose between good and evil instead of being acted upon or being brought into captivity], save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. " (2 Nephi 2:26)
So what does it mean to be free forever?
27 Wherefore, men are free according to the FLESH[Is this why we are created in tabernacle?]; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (vs 27)
Choose captivity and Eternal deaths (D&C 132)
Choose liberty and Eternal Lives

The definition of being taken captive by the devil is to “know nothing concerning [God’s] mysteries.” (Alma 12:9-11) Therefore liberty being the opposite of captivity is to know of God's mysteries. To choose liberty is to choose knowledge or choosing to "know God".

Why is redeemed, knowing good from evil, makes one able to be "free forever" whereas without being redeemed you are merely"free to choose liberty and eternal life"? Why is it when one has been redeemed, choosen eternal life, they are now "free forever"?

Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Free from WHAT?
“… A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.” ( Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 217)
Could it be possible that you are not free because you lack knowledge? And if you lack knowledge you will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world (evil spirits)? And if you are bound by them you are not "free forever" but merely free here and NOW to choose eternal life (to KNOW god), to gain the knowledge that is required to KNOW him? Doesn't it mean to know someone not just knowing about but to be LIKE Him? For two beings unlike each other cannot both be saved for whatever constitutes the salvation of one will constitute the damnation of the other? (See Lectures on Faith) 

What is this "other world"? When is this world experienced? Is it physical? Does it have glory? What do we do there? Is it spirit world? Or is it some future world? A new earth and a new heaven?

Why do we have a greater advantage in the world to come with more knowledge?
“Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.”(D&C 130:18-19:)
Is this why you finally become free? Not only are you brought back into the presence of God but you have learned the knowledge required for you to break free from captivity? From evil spirits? You will no longer be held captive? When they are taken captive by their ignorance, they are then bound “by the chains of hell.” (See Alma 12:9-11) Can we be saved in ignorance? Does redeemed or being saved merely suggest we know good from evil and able to break the bonds of death? The chains that bring us back down to the "world which ye now reside" (paraphrased Temple Narrative)?

We won't be perfect yet but we will be free? Free from having to come back into captivity?

Re-read these verses.
26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever , knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
27 Wherefore, men are free according to the FLESH; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2:26-27)

Council: Satan vs Jesus's Plan & Agency

George Laub Journal
April the 6, 1843. by Joseph Smith.
Now concerning Spirits, First of all or in the begining the great Eloheam, in the Hebrew meaning the God of all gods, called a grand council & and they councild together to form this planet on which we are now, or do dwell at present. They Spake and Earth from cayus [chaos] Sprang by their workmanship, cayus being mature mater, Element, the Law till time should be no more, and they spake concerning the Redemption of this world and formed Limited Sircumstances concerning the redemption, Jesus Christ being the greater light or of more Inteligence for he loved rituousness and hated in[i]quity. He being the elder Brother Presented himself for to come and redeem this world as it was his right by inheritance. He stated he could save all those who did not sin against the Holy Ghost & they would obey the code of laws that was given. But their sircumstances ware that all who would sin against the Holy Ghost Should have noe forgiveness neither in this world nor in the world to come. For they had strove aganst light and knowledg after they had tasted of the good things of the world to come. They should not have any parden in the world to come because they had a knowledge of the world to come and ware not willing to abide the law. Therefore they can have noe fo[r]giveness there but must be most miserable of all and never can be renewed again. Refered to 6 Chapter of Hebrews. But Saten or Lucifer being the next heir and had alotet to him great power and authority, even prince of the Eir. He spake emediatly and boasted of himself Saying Send me I can save all Even those who Sined against the Holy Ghost and he accused his brethren and was h[u]rled from the council for striving to breake the law emediately and there was a warfare with Saten and the gods and they hurld Satan out of his place and all them that would not keep the law of the councill. But he himself being one of the council would not keep his or their first Estat[e] for he was one of the Sons of perdition and concequently all the Sons of perdition became devils, etc. 
How came Spirits? Why, they are and ware Self Existing as all eternity & our Spirits are as Eternal as the very God is himself & that we choose to come on this Earth to take unto ourselvs tabernakles by permition of our Father that we might be Exalted Equil with God himself & therefore Jesus spake in this wise, I do as my Father before me did. Well, what did the father doo? Why, he went & took a body and went to redeem a world in the flesh & had power to lay down his life and to take it up again. This is the way we become heirs of gods and joint heirs of (with) Jesus, etc. But those who die without the obedience of the gospel while having a privlege here will have to subject to the law they are under, but those who have not had this privilege will have it in the prison of Spirits. For so long as they have not the priviledg they cannot be condemned. Therefore they must come under condemnation by this wise, etc. For they will be as they ware in torment of fire & brimstone untill the fullness of times, for they know not what will be their doom and as there are many mantions or Departments in my father's kingdom suitable for every one's condition, Jesus Said he would goe to prepare a place, That where I am ye may also come. For we are to goe from glory to glory & as one is raised, the Next may be raised to his place or Sphere and so take their Exaltation through a regular channel. And when we get to where Jesus is he will be as far ahed of us in exaltation as when we started. 
Thus as one Star differs from another So does one glorry differ from another and our bodies are in like fashon as God or Jesus likewise, etc. But, says the English translation, God created all things out of nothing but there was never yet anything made of nothing. Shame to such logick. The words in the Hebrew is thus, when the gods counsiled together they went to work and roled this earth in existence. This the theme of the begining. The word hell Signifies prison of Spirits. This is the Signification of hell. There torment will be as with fire and Brimstone & all those that are not adopted into the kingdom by baptism are in some degree punished according to their works. For their consience are grawing them because they know not what will become of them till some one in the flesh Proximates [does proxy work] for them and pays the utmost farthing for them, that they may live in the Spirit acording to what men do for them in the flesh, or else why are we baptized for the dead if the dead rise not at all, for if we are planted together in the likeness of his death and buerial then shall we rise again in the likeness of his resurection & burried in Baptism, put under the watter in the liquid grave. And thus do we become Saviours on mount Zion. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Oppression to the Poor: Who is Jesus Christ? The Father

The biggest curses and sins of this generation is the neglect of the poor. It is one of the greatest offences to God. We can see this with the nephites churches.
11 Now this great loss of the Nephites, and the great slaughter which was among them, would not have happened had it not been for their wickedness and their abomination which was among them;... it was because of the pride of their hearts, because of their exceeding riches, yea, it was because of their oppression to the poor, withholding their food from the hungry, withholding their clothing from the naked, and smiting their humble brethren upon the cheek, making a mock of that which was sacred, denying the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, rising up in great contentions, and deserting away into the land of Nephi, among the Lamanites-- (Helamen 4:11-12)
It was the oppression to the poor that leads one to destruction. Zion is equality. It does not mean we are all the same nor do we agree on everything. What it means is we are equal both temporally and spiritually.

Pure religion is to take care of the poor. Both poor in spirit and temporally.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.(James 1:27)
When people neglect the poor, put their responsibilities on others to fulfill their own duties it begins to lead the way to destruction of a people. We are here to be like Christ. We are here to gain experience and become like Him. We learn obedience through that which we suffer. (Hebrews 5:8) The Lord set the example and he spent his life in service of his fellowmen. "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people." (Matthew 4:23).

The Lord had dinner with a pharisee where "He entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table." (Luke 7:36) Not unlikely Simon the Pharisee knew he was watched that day, and that among his guests were men who would report every action of his on that occasion to the leaders of his party in Jerusalem. His cold courtesy, almost lack of courtesy, towards the Master was thus probably the result of his fear of man and of man's judgment. And sat down to meat; literally, reclined. The Jews at that time followed in their repasts the Greek (or Roman) custom of reclining on couches; the guest lay with his elbows on the table, and his feet, unsandalled, stretched out on the couch.
Leprosy
The Lord went among the untouchables. Those who were cast out of the city and would not be visited by any of those who claimed to follow him. The Lord went among one of them and "He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him." (Luke 5:13) A disease so deathly that if the man touched a dog it would have killed the dog.

He would not pray among the men but "He Himself [would] often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed." (Luke 5:16) His prayers to God were so private that his own disciples had to ask him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." (Like 11:1) despite having spent much time with the man.

The pharisees were very strict on the Sabbath of what you could and could not do. He healed on the Sabbath causing the Jews to be angry with him (See. Matthew 12:9-14). He ate and harvested corn on the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:1) Making clay to put on the eyes of a man to heal him was considered work and against the Sabbath of his day. I imagine today he would do the same to break down superstitions and show a higher way.

So unnoticed by the men of his time those who sent for him had to ask "Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?" (Luke 7:19). It was asked of Him "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46) (Refer to commentary on lukehttp://biblehub.com/commentaries/luke/7-36.htm) He looked like an ordinary man, without claim, without authority among men. "He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men" (Isaiah 53:2-3)

He had no priestly authority among men. Yet he cast out the "evil traders to leave the temple" (Matthew 21:23-27) among a religion he did not even subscribe to. He refused to sit in the "the chief seats in the synagogues." (Matthew 23:6)

This is the Lord. "I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all." (Abraham 3:25) He is more intelligent than us all. This is the Father. 

The Spirit of Elias, Elijah, Messiah: March 10 1844 Discourse

This lecture is the most extensive lecture on the power of Elijah and given the day before the Council of 50 was organized on March 11. Joseph taught that the Spirit of Elijah is "one of the greatest and most important subjects that God has revealed." This lecture was recorded primarily by Wilford Woodruff and James Burgess but with minor edits. A Comparison of these two records along with other records can be found here.

This lecture not only lays the groundwork for Elijah and Elias but exposes the incorrect doctrines being taught from those who claim they have the power of Elijah in our day, while they can't all be right, they can all be wrong. It also explains the long forgotten teaching "the doctrine or sealing power of Elijah is as follows if you have power to seal on earth & in heaven then we should be Crafty, the first thing you do go & seal on earth your sons & daughters unto yourself, & yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory." Also teaches, “The spirit of Elias is first, Elijah second, and Messiah last” or in other words work to be accomplished by those operating under the mandate of Aaronic, Melchizedek and Patriarchal divisions of labor.

March 10 1844:
A discourse given March 10, 1844 on the difference between the spirit and office of Elias and Elijah as recorded by Wilford Woodruff in his diary.

There is a difference between the Spirit and office of Elias and Elijah. It is the spirit of Elias I wish first to speak of. And In order to come at the subject, I will bring some of the testimony from the Scripture[s], and give my own. In the first place suffice it to say, I went into the woods to enquire inquire of the Lord, by prayer, his will concerning me, and I saw an angel, and he laid his hands upon my head, and ordained me to be a priest after the order of Aaron, and to hold the keys of this priesthood, which office was to preach repentance [p. 1918] and baptism for the remission of sins, and also to baptize; but I was informed that this office did not extend to the laying on of hands for the giving of the Holy Ghost; that, that office was a greater work, and was to be given afterwards; but that my ordination was a preparatory work, or a going before, which was the spirit of Elias; for the Spirit of Elias was a going before, to prepare the way for the greater, which was the case with John the Baptist, he came bawling through the wilderness “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight,” and they were informed if they could receive it, it was the Spirit of Elias, and John was very particular to tell the people “he was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of this that light.” [John 1:21-26]

He told the people that his mission was to preach repentance and baptize with water; but it was He that should come after him, that should baptize with fire, and the Holy Ghost. If he had been an impostor, he might have gone to work beyond his bounds, and undertook to have performed ordinances which did not belong to that office and calling, under the Spirit of Elias. The spirit of Elias is to prepare the way for a greater revelation of God, which is the priesthood of Elias; or the priesthood that Aaron was ordained unto; and when God sends a man into the world to prepare for a greater work holding the keys of the power of Elias, it was called the doctrine of Elias, even from the early ages of the world.

John’s mission was limited to preaching and baptizing; but what he did was legal, and when Jesus Christ came to any of John’s disciples, He baptized them with fire and the Holy Ghost. We find the Apostles endowed with greater power than John; their office was more under the Spirit and power of Elijah than Elias.

In the case of Philip when he went down to Samaria, when he was under the Spirit of Elias he baptized both men and women; when Peter and John heard of it, they went down and laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. This shows the distinction between the two powers. [Acts 11:5-11] When Paul came to certain disciples, he asked if they had received the Holy Ghost. They said no! Who baptized you then? We were baptized unto John’s baptism. Not so my friends if you had you would have heard of the holy ghost.. No, John did not baptize you [if you had you would have heard of the holy ghost] , for he did his work right , and so Paul went and baptized them, for he knew what the true doctrine was and he knew that John had not baptized them, and these principles are strange to me, that men who have read the Scriptures of the New Testament, are so far from it.

What I want to impress upon your minds is, the difference of power in the different parts of the Priesthood, so that when any man comes among you saying “I have the spirit of Elias” you can know whether he be true or false, for any man that comes having the spirit and power of Elias, he will not transcend his bounds. John did not transcend his bounds, but faithfully performed that part belonging to his office, and every portion of the great building should be prepared right, and assigned to its proper place, and it is necessary to know who holds the keys of power, and who does not, or we may be likely to be deceived. That person who holds the keys of Elias hath a [p. 1919] preparatory work— but, if I spend much more time in conversing about the Spirit of Elias I shall not have time to do justice to the Spirit and power of Elijah. This is the Elias spoken of in the last days, and here is the rock upon which many split, thinking the time was past in the days of John, and Christ, and no more to be; but the spirit of Elias was revealed to me, and I know it is true, therefore I speak with boldness, for I know verily my doctrine is true.

Now for Elijah, The spirit, power and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the keys of the revelations, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fullness of the Melchizedeck 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. Malachi says “I will send Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come, and he shall turn the hearts of the Fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” [Malachi 1:84]

Now what I am after, is the knowledge of God, and I take my own course to obtain it. What are we to understand by this in the last days? In the days of Noah, God destroyed the world by a flood, and he has promised to destroy it by fire in the last days; but before it took place, Elijah should first come, and turn the hearts of the fathers to the children &c. Now comes the point. What is this office and work of Elijah? It is one of the greatest and most important subjects that God has revealed. He should send Elijah to seal the children to the fathers, and the fathers to the children. Now was this merely confined to the living, to settle difficulties with families on earth? By no means, it was a far greater work. Elijah! What would you do if you were here? Would you confine your work to the living alone? No, I would refer you to the Scriptures, where the subject is manifest that is, without us they could not be made perfect, nor we without them; the fathers without the children, nor the children without the fathers.

I wish you to understand this subject, for it is important, and if you will receive it, this is the Spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven and seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection; and here we want the power of Elijah to seal those who dwell on earth to those who dwell in heaven. This is the power of Elijah and the keys of the kingdom of Jehovah. Let us suppose a case; suppose the great God who dwells in heaven, should reveal himself to Father [Alpheus] Cutler here, by the opening heavens, and tell him, ‘I offer up a decree that whatsoever you seal on earth with your decree, I will seal it in heaven,’ you have power then, can it be taken off? No, then what you seal on earth by the keys of Elijah, is sealed in heaven, and this is the power of Elijah, and this is the difference between the Spirit and power of Elias and Elijah. For while [p. 1920] the spirit of Elias is a forerunner, the power of Elijah is sufficient to make our calling and election sure, and the same doctrine where we are exhorted to go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, but of laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead &c. [Hebrews 3:15-17] We cannot be perfect without the fathers &c. We must have revelations from them, and we can see that the doctrine of revelation as far transcends the doctrine of no revelation, as knowledge is above ignorance; for one truth revealed from heaven is worth all the Sectarian notions in existence.

This spirit of Elijah was manifest in the days of the Apostles, in delivering certain ones to the buffetings of Satan that they may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus; they were sealed by the spirit of Elijah unto the damnation of Hell until the day of the Lord, or revelation of Jesus Christ. Here is the doctrine of election that the world has quarreled so much about; but they do not know anything about it. The doctrine that the Presbyterians and Methodists have quarreled so much about, once in grace always in grace, or falling away from grace, I will say a word about, they are both wrong, truth takes a road between them both; for while the Presbyterian says ‘once in grace you cannot fall,’ the Methodist says ‘you can have grace today, fall from it tomorrow, next day have grace again, and so follow on changing continually’, but the doctrine of the scriptures, and the Spirit of Elijah would show them both false, and take a road between them both, for according to the scriptures, if men have received the good word of God, and tasted of the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, it is impossible to renew them again, seeing they have crucified the son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame, so there is a possibility of falling away, you could not be renewed again, [Hebrews 2:18] and the power of Elijah cannot seal against this sin, for this is a reserve made in the seals and powers of the Priesthood. I will make every doctrine plain that I present, and it shall stand upon a firm basis, and I am at the defiance of the world, for I will take shelter under the broad cover of the wings of the work in which I am engaged. It matters not to me if all hell boils over, I regard it only as I would the crackling of the thorns under a pot.

A murderer, for instance, one that sheds innocent blood, cannot have forgiveness, David sought repentance at the hand of God carefully, with tears for the murder of Uriah, but he could only get it through hell; he got a promise that his soul should not be left in hell. Although David was a king he never did obtain the spirit and power of Elijah and the fulness 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, Peter referred to the same subject on the day of Pentecost, but the multitude did not get the endowment that Peter had, but several days after the people asked what shall we do. Peter says ‘I would ye had done it ignorantly’ speaking of crucifying the Lord &c. He did not say to them ‘repent [p. 1921] and be baptized for the remission of your sins’ but he said ‘repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord’. Acts 3.19 [Acts 2:18] . This is the case with murderers, they could not be baptized for the remission of sins, for they had shed innocent blood.

Again, the doctrine or sealing power of Elijah is as follows;— if you have power to seal on earth and in heaven then we should be crafty , the first thing you do, go and seal on earth your sons and daughters unto yourself; and yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory, and go ahead, and not go back, but use a little craftiness , and seal all you can, and when you get to heaven tell your father that what you seal on earth should be sealed in heaven, according to his promise. I will walk through the gate of heaven and claim what I seal, and those that follow me and my Council. The Lord once told me that what I asked for, I should have, I have been afraid to ask God to kill my enemies lest some of them should peradventure repent.

I asked a short time since for the Lord to deliver me out of the hands of the Governor of Missouri, and if it needs must be to accomplish it to take him away; and the next news that came pouring down from there was that Governor [Thomas] Reynolds had shot himself, and I would now say ‘Beware oh earth how you fight against the Saints of God, and shed innocent blood, for in the days of Elijah his enemies came upon him, and fire was called down from heaven and destroyed them’.

The spirit of Elias is first, Elijah second, and Messiah last. Elias is a forerunner to prepare the way, and the spirit and power of Elijah is to come after, holding the keys of power, building the Temple to the cap stone, placing the seals of the Melchizedek priesthood upon the house of Israel, and making all things ready, then Messiah comes to his temple, which is last of all. Messiah is above the spirit and power of Elijah for he made the world, and was that spiritual rock unto Moses in the Wilderness. Elijah was to come and prepare the way and build up the kingdom, before the coming of the great day of the Lord, although the spirit of Elias might begin it.

I have asked of the Lord concerning his coming, and while asking the Lord he gave me a sign and said, ‘in the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come, but there should be seed time and harvest during that year, but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant.’

But I will take the responsibility upon myself to prophecy in the name of the Lord, that Christ will not come this year as Father [William] Miller has prophesied, for we have seen the bow, and I also prophesy in the name of the Lord, that Christ will not come in forty years, and if God ever spoke by my mouth He will not come in that length of time. Brethren when you go home write this down that it may be remembered. [p. 1922] Jesus Christ never did reveal to any man the precise time that he would come, go and read the Scriptures, and you cannot find anything that specifies the exact hour he would come, and all that say so are false teachers. There are some important things concerning the office of the Messiah in the organization of the world, which I will speak of hereafter. May God Almighty bless you, and pour out his spirit upon you, is the prayer of your unworthy servant. Amen. (
History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]," p. 1918, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-e-1-1-july-1843-30-april-1844/290)

King Follet Discourse: The first principles of the Gospel: April 7, 1844

This is the King Follet discourse. This was taken straight from the source without most edits that exist in other accounts. I compiled it to trace the changes in the different abridged accounts. According to the Joseph Smith Papers, this discourse was the “best recorded of his discourses” (Accounts of The King Follet Sermon). The times and seasons account was the first published account 130 days after it was first given. The reporters included Willard RichardsWilford WoodruffThomas Bullock, and William Clayton. The Times and Seasons account was amalgamated from Bullock’s and Clayton’s independent reports. A comparison of the different accounts can be found here including the published times and seasons account.

It has been one of the most influential teachings by Joseph Smith in my spiritual journey.

It includes a greater understanding of what the “first principle” of the Gospel which Joseph stated “It is plain beyond disputation, and you thus learn some of the first principles of the Gospel, about which so much hath been said." Yet this is the only place where such a doctrine is plainly taught. It records the following as the first principles,

  • Attaining to the resurrection from the dead,
  • Becoming Gods, and
  • Walking in the same path as our Lord walked.

These are the real first principles of the Gospel! That's why he wished he had the trumpet of an archangel with which to declare it. He didn't have that. But I read his words as if they came from an archangel.

A discourse given April 7, 1844 in Nauvoo, Illinois at a general conference of the church on “the subject of the dead”. The following account was recorded by Times and Seasons on August 15, 1844 amalgamated from Bullock’s and Clayton’s independent reports.

CONFERENCE MINUTES.

The president then arose and called the attention of the congregation upon the subjects which were contemplated in the fore part of the conference. As the wind blows very hard, it will be hardly possible for me to make you all hear unless there is profound attention. It is of the greatest importance, and the most solemn of any that can occupy our attention, and that is, the subject of the dead; on the decease of our brother King Follett, who was crushed to death in a well, I have been requested to speak by his friends and relatives, and inasmuch as there are a great many in this congregation who live in this city, as well as elsewhere, and who have lost friends, I feel disposed to speak on the subject in general, and offer you my ideas so far as I have ability, and so far as I shall be inspired by the Holy Spirit to dwell on this subject. I want your prayers and faith, the instruction of Almighty God and the gift of the Holy Ghost, that I may set forth things that are true, that can easily be comprehended, and shall carry the testimony to your hearts; pray that the Lord may strengthen my lungs, stay the winds and let the prayers of the saints to heaven appear, that it may enter into the ear of the Lord of Sabaoth; for the effectual prayers of righteous men availeth much, and I verily believe that your prayers shall be heard before I enter into the investigation fully of the subject that is laying before me.

Before entering fully into the investigation, I wish to pave the way: I will make a few preliminaries, in order that you may understand the subject when I come to it. I do not calculate to please your ears with superfluity of words or oratory, or with much learning; but I calculate to edify you with the simple truths from heaven. In the first place, I wish to go back to the beginning of creation; there is the starting point, in order to be fully acquainted with the mind, purposes, decrees, &c. of the great Eloheim, that sits in yonder heavens, it is necessary for us to have an understanding of God himself in the beginning. If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time; but if we start wrong, it is a hard matter to get right. There are a very few beings in the world who understand rightly the character of God. They do not comprehend anything, that which is past, or that which is to come; and consequently, but little above the brute beast. If a man learns nothing more than to eat, drink, sleep, and does not comprehend any of the designs of God, the beast comprehends the same thing; it eats, drinks, sleeps, knows nothing more; yet knows as much as we, unless WE are able to comprehend by the inspiration of Almighty God. I want to go back to the beginning, and so lift your minds into a loftier sphere, a more exalted understanding; that what the human mind generally understands. I want to ask this congregation, every man, woman and child, to answer the question in their own heart, what kind of a being is God? Ask yourselves. I again repeat the question, what kind of a being is God? Does any man or woman know? Have any of you seen him, heard him, and communed with him? Here is the question that will peradventure from this time henceforth, occupy your attention. The apostle says this is eternal life, to know God and Jesus Christ, who he has sent. If any man enquire what kind of a being is God, if he will search diligently his own heart, if the declaration of the apostle be true, he will realize that he has not eternal life, there can be eternal life on no other principle. My first object is, to find out the character of the only wise and true God, and if I should be the man to comprehend God, and explain or convey the principles to your hearts so that the spirit seals it upon you, let every man and woman henceforth put their hand on their mouth and never say anything against the man of God again; but if I fail, it becomes my duty to renounce all my pretensions to revelations, inspirations, &c., and if all are pretensions to God, they will all be as bad off as I am at any rate. There is not a man but would breathe out an anathema, if they knew I was a false prophet; and some would feel authorized to take away my life. If any man is authorized to take away my life, who says I am a false teacher; then upon the same principle am I authorized to take away the life of every false teacher, and where would be the end of blood, and who would not be the sufferer? But no man is authorized to take away life in consequence of their religion; which all laws and governments ought to tolerate, right or wrong. If I show verily, that I have the truth of God, and show that ninety-nine out of a hundred are false teachers while they pretend to hold the keys of God, and to kill them because they are false teachers, it would deluge the whole world with blood. I want you all to know God, to be familiar with him, and if I can bring you to him, all persecutions against me will cease; you will know that I am his servant, for I speak as one having authority. — What sort of a being was God in the beginning? Open your ears and hear all ye ends of the earth; for I am going to prove it to you by the Bible, and am going to tell you the designs of God to the human race, and why he interferes with the affairs of man.

First, God himself, who sits enthroned in yonder heavens, is a man like unto one of yourselves, that is the great secret. If the vail was rent to-day, and the great God, who holds this world in its orbit, and upholds all things by his power; if you were to see him to-day, you would see him in all the person, image and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion and image of God; Adam received instruction, walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another.

In order to understand the subject of the dead, for the consolation of those who mourn for the loss of their friends, it is necessary they should understand the character and being of God, for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are the simple and first principles of the gospel, to know for a certainty the character of God, that we may converse with him as one man with another, and that God himself; the Father of us all dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did, and I will show it from the Bible. I wish I had the trump of an archangel, I could tell the story in such a manner that persecution would cease forever; what did Jesus say? (Mark it elder Sidney Rigdon;) Jesus said, as the Father hath power in himself, even so hath the Son power; to do what? Why what the Father did, that answer is obvious; in a manner to lay down His body and take it up again. Jesus what are you going to do? To lay down my life, as my Father did, and take it up again.— If you do not believe it, you do not believe the Bible; the scriptures say it, and I defy all the learning and wisdom, all the combined powers of earth and hell together, to refute it. Here then is eternal life, to know the only wise and true God. You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves; to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done; by going from a small degree to another, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you are able to sit in glory as doth those who sit enthroned in everlasting power; and I want you to know that God in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming his name, is not trifling with you or me; it is the first principles of consolation. How consoling to the mourner, when they are called to part with a husband, wife, father, mother, child or dear relative, to know, that although the earthly tabernacle shall be dissolved, that they shall rise in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer or die any more, but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same glory, the same power and the same exaltation, until you ascend the throne of eternal power the same as those who are gone before. What did Jesus do? Why I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. I saw my Father work out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom I shall present it to my Father, so that he obtains kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt his glory, so that Jesus treads in his tracks to inherit what God did before; it is plain beyond disputation, and you thus learn some of the first principles of the gospel, about which so much hath been said. When you climb a ladder, you must begin at the bottom and go on until you learn the last principle; it will be a great while before you have learned the last. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it is a great thing to learn salvation beyond the grave. I suppose I am not allowed to go into an investigation of anything that is not contained in the Bible, and I think there are so many wise men here, who would put me to death for treason; so I shall turn commentator to-day; I shall comment on the very first Hebrew word in the Bible; I will make a comment on the very first sentence of the history of creation in the Bible, Berosheit. I want to analyze the word; baith, in, by, through, in, and everything else. Rosh, the head. Sheit, gramatical termination. When the inspired man wrote it, he did not put the baith there. A man, a Jew without any authority, thought it too bad to begin to talk about the head. It read first, ‘The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods,’ that is the true meaning of the words. Baurau, signifies to bring forth. If you do not believe it, you do not believe the learned man of God. No man can learn you more than what I have told you. Thus the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council. I will simplify it in the English language. Oh ye lawyers! Ye doctors! Who have persecuted me; I want to let you know that the Holy Ghost knows something as well as you do. The head God called together the Gods, and set in grand council. The grand counsellors sat in yonder heavens, and contemplated the creation of the worlds that were created at that time. When I say doctors and lawyers, I mean the doctors and lawyers of the scripture. I have done so hitherto, to let the lawyers flutter, and everybody laugh at them. Some learned doctor might take a notion to say, the scriptures say thus and so, and are not to be altered, and I am going to show you an error. I have an old book of the New Testament in the Hebrew, Latin, German and Greek. I have been reading the German and find it to be the most correct, and it corresponds nearest to the revelations I have given for the last fourteen years. It tells about Jachoboy the son of Zebedee; it means Jacob; in the English New Testament it is James. — Now if Jacob had the keys, you might talk about James through all eternity, and never get the keys. In the 21st verse of the 4th chapter Mathew, it gives the word Jacob instead of James. How can we escape the damnation of hell except reveal to us; men bind us with chains; Latin says Jachabod mean Jacob;—Hebrew says it means Jacob; Greek says Jacob; German says Jacob. I thank God I have got this book, and thank him more for the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have got the oldest book in the world, but I have got the oldest book in my heart. I have all the four testaments, come here ye learned men, and read if you can. I should not have introduced this testimony were it not to back up the word Rosh, the head, Father of the Gods. I should not have brought it up only to show that I am right. When we begin to learn in this way, we begin to learn the only true God, and what kind of a being we have got to worship. When we know how to come to him, begins to unfold the heavens to us and tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us. Now I ask all the learned men who hear me, why the learned men who are preaching salvation say, that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing, and the reason is they are unlearned; they account it blasphemy to contradict the idea, they will call you a fool. — I know more than all the world put together, and the Holy Ghost within me comprehends more than all the world, and I will associate with it. The word create came from the word baurau; it does not mean so; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize a ship. Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos; chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time he had. The pure principles of element, are principles that can never be destroyed. They may be organized and re-organized; but not destroyed.

I have another subject to dwell upon and it is impossible for me to say much, but I shall just touch upon them; for time will not permit me to say all; so I must come to the resurrection of the dead, the soul, the mind of man, the immortal spirit. All men say God created it in the beginning. 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. I will make a man appear a fool before I get through, if you don’t believe it. I am going to tell of things more noble—we say that God himself is a self-existing God; 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? (Refers to the old Bible) How does it read in the Hebrew? It don’t say so in the Hebrew, it says God made man out of the earth, and put into him Adam’s spirit, and so became a living body.

The mind of man is as immortal as God himself. I know that my testimony is true, hence when I talk to these mourners; what have they lost, they are only separated from their bodies for a short season; their spirits existed co-equal with God, and they now exist in a place where they converse together, the same as we do on the earth. Is it logic to say that a spirit is immortal, and yet have a beginning? Because if a spirit have a beginning it will have an end; good logic. I want to reason more on the spirit of man, for I am dwelling on the body of man, on the subject of the dead. I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man, the immortal spirit, because it has no beginning. Suppose you cut it in two; but as the Lord lives there would be an end.— All the fools, learned and wise men, from the beginning of creation, who say that man had a beginning, proves that he must have an end and then the doctrine of annihilation would be true. But, if I am right I might with boldness proclaim from the house tops, that God never did have power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself: intelligence exists upon a self-existent principle, it is a spirit from age to age, and there is no creation about it. All the spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible of enlargement. The first principles of man are self-existent with God; that God himself finds himself in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was greater, and because he saw proper to institute laws, whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself, that they might have one glory upon another, in all that knowledge, power, and glory, &c., in order to save the world of spirits. I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life that are given to me. I know you taste it and I know you believe it. You say honey is sweet and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life; I know it is good, and when I tell you of these things, that were given me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive it as sweet, and I rejoice more and more.

I want to talk more of the relation of man to God. I will open your eyes in relation to your dead; all things whatsoever God of his infinite wisdom has seen proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies, are revealed to us in the abstract and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle; but are revealed to us as if we had no bodies at all, and those revelations which will save our dead will save our bodies; and God reveals them to us in view of no eternal dissolution of the body; hence the responsibility, the awful responsibility, that rests upon us in relation to our dead: for all the spirits who have not obeyed the gospel in the flesh, must either obey the gospel or be damned. Solemn thought, dreadful thought. Is there nothing to be done; no salvation for our fathers and friends who have died and not obeyed the decrees of the Son of Man? Would to God that I had forty days and nights to tell you all, I would let you know that I am not a fallen prophet. What kind of characters are those who can be saved although their bodies are decaying in the grave? When his commandments teach us, it is in view of eternity. The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us, is to seek after our dead. — The apostle says, they without us cannot be made perfect. Now I will speak of them:—I say to you Paul, you cannot be perfect without us: it is necessary that those who are gone before, and those who come after us should have salvation in common with us, and thus hath God made it obligatory to man. Hence God said he should send Elijah, &c.; I have a declaration to make as to the provisions which God hath made to suit the conditions of man; made from before the foundation of the world, what has Jesus said? All sins and all blasphemies, every transgression, except one, that man can be guilty of, there is a salvation for him either in this world, or the world to come. Hence God hath made a provision, that every spirit in the eternal world can be ferreted out and saved, unless he has committed that unpardonable sin, which cannot be remitted to him. That God has wrought out a salvation for all men, unless they have committed a certain sin. Every man who has got a friend in in the eternal world can save him unless he has committed the unpardonable sin, and so you can see how far you can be a savior. A man can not commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body, and there is a way possible for escape. Knowledge saves a man, and in the world of spirits a man cannot be exalted but by knowledge; so long as a man will not give heed to the commandments, he must abide without salvation. A man is his own tormenter, and is his own condemner: hence the saying they shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone—so is the torment of man. I know the scriptures; I understand them. I said no man can commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body, but they must do it in this world: hence the salvation of Jesus Christ was wrought out for all men in order to triumph over the devil: for if it did not catch him in one place, it would in another, for he stood up as a Savior. The contention in heaven was, Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved, and the devil said he could save them all; the grand council gave in for Jesus Christ: so the devil rebelled against God and fell, and all who put up their heads for him. All sins shall be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost: after a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost there is no repentance for him, he has got to say that the sun does not shine, while he sees it, he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens were open to him, and from that time they begin to be enemies, like many of the apostates of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. When a man begins to be an enemy, he hunts me. They seek to kill me; they thirst for my blood; they never cease. He has the same spirit that they had who crucified the Lord of Life: the same spirit that sins against the Holy Ghost. You cannot bring them to repentance. Awful is the consequence. I advise all of you to be careful what you do, you may by and bye find out that you have been deceived. Stay yourselves, do not give way. You may find out that someone has laid a snare for you. Be cautious; await! When you find a spirit that wants bloodshed, murder, the same is not of God, but is of the devil. Out of the abundance of the heart man speaketh. The man that tells you words of life, is the man that can save you. I warn you against all evil characters, who sin against the Holy Ghost, for there is no redemption for them in this world, or in the world to come.

I can enter into the mysteries; I can enter largely into the eternal worlds: for Jesus said, in my father’s house there are many mansions, &c. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, &c. We have reason to have the greatest hope and consolations for our dead, for we have aided them in the first principles; for we have seen them walk in our midst, and seen them sink asleep in the arms of Jesus. And hence is the glory of the sun. You mourners have occasion to rejoice; (speaking of the death of Elder King Follett,) for your husband is gone to wait until the resurrection; and your expectations and hope are far above what man can conceive: for why has God revealed it to us? I am authorized to say by the authority of the Holy Ghost, that you have no occasion to fear, for he is gone to the home of the just. Don’t mourn: don’t weep. I know it by the testimony of the Holy Ghost that is within me. Rejoice O Israel! Your friends shall triumph gloriously, while their murderers shall welter for ages. I say this for the benefit of strangers. I have a father, brothers, and friends who are gone to a world of spirits. They are only absent for a moment; they are in the spirit, and when we depart we shall hail our mothers, fathers, friends, and all whom we love. — There will be no fear of mobs, &c., but all will be an eternity of felicity. Mothers you shall have your children, for they shall have eternal life; for their debt is paid, there is no damnation awaits them, for they are in the spirit. — As the child dies, so shall it rise from the dead and be forever living in the learning of God, it shall be the child, the same as it was before it died out of your arms. Children dwell and exercise power in the same form as they laid them down. The baptism of water without the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost attending it is of no use: they are necessary. He must be born of water and the spirit in order to get into the kingdom of God.

In the German, the text bears me out the same as the revelations which I have given for the last fourteen years. I have the testimony to put in their teeth; my testimony has been true all the time. You will find it in the declaration of John the Baptist, (reads from the German), John says I baptize you with water, but when Jesus comes, who has the power, he shall administer the baptism of fire, and the Holy Ghost. Great God! Where is now all the sectarian world! And if this testimony is true, they are all damned as clearly as anathema can do it. I know the text is true. I call upon all you Germans, who know that it is true, to say aye, (loud shouts of aye.) Alexander Campbell, how are you going to save them with water alone? For John said his baptism was nothing without the baptism of Jesus Christ. There is one God, one Father, one Jesus, one hope of our calling, one baptism—all these three baptisms only make one. I have the truth and am at the defiance of the world to contradict me, if they can. I have now preached a little Latin, a little Hebrew, Greek and German, and I have fulfilled all. — I am not so big a fool as many have taken me to be. The Germans know that I read the German correct. Hear it all ye ends of the earth—all ye sinners, repent! Repent! Turn to God, for your religion won’t save you, and you will be damned; I do not say how long; but those who sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven in this world, or in the world to come; they shall die the second death; as they concoct scenes of bloodshed in this world so they shall rise to that resurrection, which is as the lake of fire and brimstone: some shall rise to the everlasting burning of God, and some shall rise to the damnation of their own filthiness—as exquisite as the lake of fire and brimstone. I have intended my remarks to all; both rich and poor, bond and free, great and small. I have no enmity against any man. I love you all. I am your best friend, and if persons miss their mark, it is their own fault. If I reprove a man and he hates me, he is a fool, for I love all men, especially these my brethren and sisters. I rejoice in bearing the testimony of my aged friends. You never knew my heart; no man knows my history; I cannot tell it. I shall never undertake it; if I had not experienced what I have, I should not have known it myself. I never did harm any man since I have been born in the world. My voice is always for peace, I cannot lie down until all my work is finished. I never think any evil, nor anything to the harm of my fellow man. — When I am called at the trump of the ark-angel, and weighed in the balance you will all know me then. I add no more. God bless you all. Amen. (Discourse, 7 April 1844, as Reported by Times and Seasons," p. 612, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed March 31, 2017, http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/discourse-7-april-1844-as-reported-by-times-and-seasons/1)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Would you recognize God's Work?: Redemption & Salvation

Now ask yourself: if you trusted this was Him who should have redeemed Israel, did He?
Did He redeem Israel? He came, He taught, He submitted, He was killed, and it was three days since. In that circumstance, even with the rumors from the women, could you see that He had redeemed Israel? If you were part of the population, in that group, on that day, sitting in that environment, how would you answer the question of whether He redeemed Israel? The Romans were still there, Annas and Caiaphas were still faring sumptuously, Christ was killed, His disciples had been scattered, so what evidence did they have He had redeemed Israel. There were many things to suggest the contrary. (Later, even after His disciples see Him, they would return to their everyday labor.) Did He redeem Israel? Could you have seen it then? When it was happening before the eyes of these disciples, they could not see it. They could not comprehend how it had taken place. Because you sing on Sundays the hymn "Redeemer of Israel" you have confidence you know what Christ accomplished. He IS the Redeemer. You proclaim this as if it were so very apparent. It is no more apparent in this account in Luke that the redemption of Israel had been accomplished, than it is apparent to you what God is doing now, today. You do not even hear what is now sounding in your own ears. He came and He redeemed Israel, and all the world missed it! Even His closest disciples doubted what had happened. It would be hundreds of years before the world would come around to acknowledge Him. By the time the world would come around to acknowledge Him, what was then left was inadequate to still redeem. The day of salvation appears tenuously, almost as gossamer as a spider web, and if you don't lay hold of it, it is lost. Then generations can come and go while singing hymns to the pride of their ancestry and the greatness of their religion, while they all go to hell. Because when the Lord sets His hand, He sets it exactly the same way every time. It always requires faith to come aboard, and requires faith to even see it is underway. The Lord does not work except by faith. -Denver Snuffer 40 years in Mormonism