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)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Commanded to Seek His Face

Be Still and know that I am
To really understand the importance of this subject, it is needed to talk about covenants, how they are received, when they are received, and what happens when one receives the Second Comforter. I hope to do so in another post.

Be still, meditate, ponder, the way most revelation is received.

The Promise to All
 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)
Seeking the Face of the Lord
 1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no man that hath seen God. Because he showeth himself not unto us, therefore there is no God.Behold, they are corrupt; they have done abominable works, and none of them doeth good. (JSTPsalms 1:1)
Section 101 is about the redemption of Zion and how it comes about. So here is what to do.
And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life. (D&C 101:38)
What does it mean to possess our souls? How is that accomplished from seeking the Lord’s face?
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Being Sealed
A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination beware of; because the things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God. Joseph Fielding Smith (editor), Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 137
. . . until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads, which signifies sealing the
blessing upon their heads, meaning the everlasting covenant, thereby making their calling
and election sure. When a seal is put upon the father and mother, it secures their
posterity, so that they cannot be lost, but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their
father and mother. (Teachings 338)
Perfect Knowledge
And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come? (Jacob 4:12)
Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil (Ether 3:20)
The Flood:
And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: 
Hearken, and give heed unto my words; Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not. (Moses 8:23-24)
Promised Land
What blessings did Moses try to restore to the Israelites?
"God cursed the children of Israel because they would not receive the last law from Moses. When God offers a blessing or knowledge to a man, and he refuses to receive it, he will be damned. The Israelites prayed that God would speak to Moses and not to them; in consequence of which he cursed them with a carnal law . . . [But] the law revealed to Moses in Horeb never was revealed to the children of Israel as a nation." (Words of Joseph Smith, pg 244) Or (History of the Church, 5:554-556)
The lord cursed them because they wanted Moses to speak to them. This is what the scriptures are trying to teach us; to teach us to rely upon Christ, to seek Him, and receive answers from Him. He wants to talk with each of us. Not through someone else.

So what was Moses trying to do for them? As D&C 84:23-24 says:
Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;

But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
Enduring His Presence

Why must we be able to endure his presence?
 37 For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (JSH-1:37)
If we cannot endure his presence beore, they that come will still burn us after they do come.

He comes in Judgment
Do you have time to repent if he comes in judgement? No so you must receive the Lord before he comes. You Must enter into his rest. The law states when you are worthy to endure his presence he will come to you and make his abode with you. For he is the same today yesterday and forever and will not deviate from the laws of heaven. If you are not ready now, what will magically change will he comes?
He will judge His peopleWhen Jesus comes again, He will judge the nations and will divide the righteous from the wicked (see Matthew25:31–46; see also chapter 46 in this book). John the Revelator wrote about this judgment: “I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, … and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” The wicked he saw “lived not again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation20:4–5; see also D&C88:95–98). (Gospel Principles, Chapter44, Second Coming of Christ)
The Israelites Continued
They were cursed to remain in the wilderness, and they wandered for forty years.  The number 40 is a symbol of perfection. They were offered a gift and they rejected it.
D&C 88:33 says: 
"For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift."
Also, if we reject what God gives us, it turns to our condemnation rather than our blessing, as taught in D&C 93:32. But what we learn is that cursing’s are meant to bring forth the blessings of eternity. They are meant to elevate us if we learn what is required to remove the condemnation that is placed before us. That is one of the things we learn about the Aaronic Priesthood, a preparatory gospel, is meant to point us to something greater, Christ. That is one of the things the Temple teaches us. It can elevate us. We learn to re-enter the presence of God in the wilderness, until we pressforward on the path and enter His holy temple re-entering the presence of God.

Abide in Me until Even Tide
Lets read a scripture. What does this verse mean?
John 14:23 – Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
What does this verse mean? What does it mean when he comes unto us?  To make Their abode with us? Is this the same thing when he says we should come unto him?
In a modern revelation the Lord told us.
D&C 130:3 – John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.

Get the Visions of Eternity
Sidney Rigdon told us more about what to do.
Some say "I want plenty to eat, plenty to drink, plenty to wear, and a good house to live in; and, say they then I will believe. But God will not give it until you have proved yourselves unto Him. 
No wonder, then, that we should be joyful today. If the people will do as they are told, I will tell you what to do. Get the visions of heaven, and seek not what you shall eat or what you shall drink, but seek the will of God. Get into the presence of God, and then you will have johnny-cake and milk-and-water no more. Would you not be astonished if even now we should tell the glories and privileges of the Saints of God to you and to the world? We should be ridiculed; and no wonder we shut it up in secret. If we were to tell you when Jehovah is looked upon, lo it is beauty, it is heaven, it is felicity to look upon Jehovah. 
(Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951], 6: 292. General Conference Minutes of the Church, April, 1844.)
He tells us. He tells us the same blessings available to the Israelites are available to us.
Get into the presence of God. Come unto Christ and converse with him through the veil of unbelief.
But we are in the promised land not the wilderness! Are we experiencing the blessings that God requires for those who are in the promised land? Moses was trying to lead them to the promised land, because it is a land that knows God, that serves him, that keeps his commandments.

The Early Saints
Lets revisit this quote on Faith.
55 Let us here observe, that after any portion of the human family are made acquainted with the important fact that there is a God who has created and does uphold all things, the extent of their knowledge, respecting his character and glory, will depend upon their diligence and faithfulness in seeking after him, until like Enoch the brother of Jared, and Moses, they shall obtain faith in God, and power with him to. behold him face to face.
Get into the presence of God. Reach your higher plane of existence. Receive eternal life. Stop focusing on your sins, that is what Satan wants you to do. Focus on being more Christ like and everything else will take care of itself.

Joseph said, repenting daily is not pleasing before God. Stop worrying about how fallen you are as we fall so far short of the Glory of God there is nothing we can do ourselves to overcome this. 
Just turn your will over to God and let him fix you. Let him take care of you. A broken heart and a contrite spirit is what he asks of you that you may serve Him with all your heart might mind and strength that you may stand blameless before God. He is a master Carpenter after all, I am sure he is good at fixing things why not just Trust Him that he can do the same with Him? Accept yourself just how you are now and ask and receive. Knock it shall be opened unto you. Come as you ARE and he will receive you.

Lets read what some of the early saints received. Notice the word abide.
Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you who have assembled yourselves together to receive his will concerning you:
2 Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.
3 Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.
4 This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom; (D&C 88:1-4)
Here we have that phrase again back in john, abide in our hearts. Not in our hearts, but a personal appearance of the Savior. The promise of eternal life! This is how we know the savior and come unto him. The Second Comforter as discussed earlier.

Every Soul…Shall see me
Still do not believe these things are for you? I have mentioned D&C 93:1 already. Lets look at some commentary on this verse.
President Joseph Fielding Smith has written: “There are thousands who believe in the promise of the Lord, ‘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’ (Doctrine and Covenants 93:1). And this promise is unto all men everywhere so that all may know if they will” (Improvement Era 33:726).
Elder Francis M. Lyman taught: “Every Latter-day Saint is entitled to this witness and testimony. If we have not received [it] . . . the fault is ours, and not the Lord’s; for every one is entitled to that witness through faith and repentance, forsaking all sin, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands. Now, if any of our brethren and sisters have lived for years without really knowing, being thoroughly satisfied and thoroughly convinced, just as positive as of anything in life, that this work is of
God, if they have lacked that witness and testimony it is their fault, for it is not possible for a man to do the will of the Father and not know the doctrine.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1910, pp. 29–30.)
Mcconkie “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.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1977, p. 52; or Ensign, Nov. 1977, p. 34.)

President Spencer W. Kimball added:
“I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil and to know more than man knows. A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is.” (“Give the Lord Your Loyalty,” Ensign, Mar.1980, p. 4.)
After the true saints receive and enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost; after they know how to attune themselves to the voice of the Spirit; after they mature spiritually so that they see visions,  work  miracles,  and  entertain  angels;  after  they  make  their  calling  and  election sure  and  prove  themselves  worthy  of  every  trust—after  all  this  and  more—it  becomes their right and privilege to see the Lord and commune with him face to face. Revelations, visions, angelic visitations, the rending of the heavens, and appearances among men of the  Lord  himself—all  these  things  are  for  all  of  the  faithful.  They  are  not  reserved  for apostles and prophets only. God is no respecter of persons. They are not reserved for one age only, or for a select lineage or people. We are all our Father's children. All men are welcome. "And he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." (2 Ne. 26:33.) (McConkie TPM p 575)

What are we entitled to?
McConkie gave the following talk in General Conference.
 “I would like to touch upon some spiritual realities ... each individual member of the Church can come to know of the divinity of the work, can have the whisperings of the Spirit in his heart and soul, and in addition, can see visions, entertain angels, behold the face of the Lord, and receive all the knowledge and wisdom that has been poured out upon faithful people in any age. 
“As a people, we are in the habit of saying that we believe in latter-day revelation. We announce quite boldly that the heavens have been opened, that God has spoken in our day, that angels have ministered to men, that there have been visions and revelations, and that no gift or grace possessed by the ancients has been withheld—it has all been revealed anew in our day.
“But, ordinarily, when we talk in this way, we are thinking of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, or Spencer W. Kimball. We are thinking of apostles and prophets—men who are called, selected, or foreordained to hold the positions that they hold and to do the ministerial service that is theirs. ... 
“But what I desire to point attention to is the fact that revelation is not restricted to the prophet of God on earth. The visions of eternity are not reserved for Apostles—they are not reserved for the General Authorities. ... any individual who abides the law that entitles him to get revelation can know exactly and precisely what President Kimball knows, can entertain angels just as well as Joseph Smith entertained them, and can be in tune in full measure with all of the things of the Spirit. ... Now I say that we are entitled to revelation. I say that every member of the Church, independent and irrespective of any position that he may hold, is entitled to get revelation from the Holy Ghost; he is entitled to entertain angels; he is entitled to view the visions of eternity; and if we would like to go the full measure, he is entitled to see God the same way that any prophet in literal and actual reality has seen the face of Deity.” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Howto Get Personal Revelation” New Era magazine, June 1980; emphases added.)
Believing in the testimony of others may not be enough
I won't requote it but in the post on Faith I brought up Lectures on faith, that people should only depend on human testimony until they get manifestations for themselves. Which they must do!

Joseph Smith said:
… I may believe that Enoch walked with God. I may believe that Abraham communed with God and conversed with angels. I may believe that Isaac obtained a renewal of the covenant made to Abraham by the direct voice of the Lord. I may believe that Jacob conversed with holy angels and heard the word of his Maker, that he wrestled with the angel until he prevailed and obtained a blessing. I may believe that Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire with fiery horses. I may believe that the saints saw the Lord and conversed with him face to face after his resurrection. I may believe that the Hebrew church came to Mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. I may believe that they looked into eternity and saw the Judge of all, and Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant. 
But will all this purchase an assurance for me, or waft me to the regions of eternal day with my garments spotless, pure, and white? Or, must I not rather obtain for myself, by my own faith and diligence in keeping the commandments of the Lord, an assurance of salvation for myself? And have I not an equal privilege with the ancient saints? And will not the Lord hear my prayers and listen to my cries as soon as he ever did to theirs if I come to him in the manner they did?
(Chapter 10: Prayer and Personal Revelation,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007), 125–34)
Even as the Brother of Jared did
Ether 4:7 says all things will be revealed when they exercise faith in God like the borther of Jared did :
 7 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.
Ethers invitation: Rend the Veil of Unbelief
13 Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.
 14 Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief.
15 Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. (Ether 4:13-15)
Remember the book of Mormon are the lesser parts. (3 Nephi 26:8)

In the Lords Time
68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will. (D&C 88:68)

I think that is enough even though I have left out many examples and scriptures.

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