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)

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Believe All Things!

Lets look again at what Joseph said about Faith as previously quoted in the Doctrine of Christ post. All I should do is point you to the Lectures on Faith and this post is done but there are a few things I will highlight.

You can read them online for free at either of these links.
Faith: comes by hearing the word of God 3 through the testimony of the Servants of God, that Testimony is always attended by the Spirit of prophecy & Revelation (here)
Lecture two states the same thing in the Questions and Answer section.
Q. What testimony have men, in the first instance, that there is a God?
A. Human testimony, and human testimony only. (2:56. ) 
Q. What excited the ancient saints to seek diligently after a knowledge of the glory of God, his perfections and attributes?
A. The credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers. (2:56.) 
Q. How do men obtain a knowledge of the glory of God, his perfections and attributes?
A. By devoting themselves to his service, through prayer and supplication incessantly, strengthening their faith in him, until like Enoch, the brother of Jared, and Moses, they obtain a manifestation of God to themselves. (2:55.) 
Q. Is the knowledge of the existence of God a matter of mere tradition, founded upon human testimony alone, until a person receives a manifestation of God to themselves?
A. It is. 
Q. How do you prove it
A. From the whole of the first lecture of the second section.
So our testimony is based off the testimony of our fathers. What kind of testimony is required to bring us into the presence of God? Joseph has been known to say you cannot elevate another when you are not on higher ground. So we need a testimony from one who has been in the presence of God and been redeemed from the Fall if we ever want to be elevated to abide by that Glory. Christ being the great prototype. The fathers or servants, being witnesses to this prototype. Joseph Smith was one as we can read his testimony in D&C 76. "We have seen him" and "he received of his fulness". Its important to know and gain a testimony for ourselves whether someone has not only seen but received of His fulness or not.

Verse 55 in the Lectures on Faith states,

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.

Again another part of the LOF that explains what is seen when faith is present among the children of men.
All these appear when faith appears on the earth, and disappear when it disappears from the earth. For these are the effects of faith and always have, and always will attend it. 
For where faith is, there will the knowledge of God be also, with all things which pertain thereto revelations, visions, and dreams, as well as every other necessary thing in order that the possessors of faith may be perfected and obtain salvation... And he who possesses it will, through it, obtain all necessary knowledge and wisdom until he shall know God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he has sent: whom to know is eternal life: Amen. (pg 73-74)
Revelations, visions, dreams, as well as every other necessary thing in order that the possessors of faith may be perfected and obtain salvation. Because these are ALL necessary to elevate us, and bring us to Faith in God. We should seek diligently these gifts. While some are given more abundantly to different people due to ones faith in obtaining them they can be gained by all when in accordance with the Lord's will. For only we can deliver our own souls (Ezekial 14:14,20).

These are the things that Joseph Smith said in the first quote on this page that testimony accompanies the spirit of prophecy and revelation. The spirit of prophecy, revelations, etc.. The Holy Ghost will testify of all things as well.

Finally lets quote from Lecture 6.
7 Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things: it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has, for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice, because he seeks to do his will, he does know most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice & offering, & that he has not nor will not seek his face
Faith comes by sacrifice. We obtain faith when we sacrifice. There is no other way. If we are not willing to follow the Holy Ghost in all things, the Lord will not trust us with his will and we will not be able to abide in his law, which we will be required to if we ever want to lay hold upon eternal life. One of the first sacrifices one is asked to make is a broken heart and a contrite spirit which helps us remain humble.

If you want to increase your faith in Him, than ask him to prepare you to sacrifice. He will prepare you before he asks you to sacrifice. When you are prepared he will ask you just like Abraham to make an offering in Sacrifice, and by knowing (not guessing, not believing, but must know this sacrifice is from God, for Satan waits to deceive) it was called by God, God  "will accept [your] sacrifice & offering". There will be many sacrifices asked of you to help you develop the Faith required "unto life and salvation". Learn to recognize the spirit now. Learn to gain manifestations of the spirit. It takes sacrifice, time, solemn thought to find the ways of heaven out. Be still and know he is and you can learn and hear his voice.

Signs Follow those with Faith

Signs will follow those who have faith, they do not come to increase your faith. Moroni Explains more on Faith and the manifestations that accompany one with faith.
Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ. 
And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you. (Moroni 7:25-26)
First we learn the purpose of his word from the mouth of God and by the ministering of Angels is to increase faith. That is one responsibility of ministering of angels is to increase Faith in the land. As we learned in the Doctrine of Christ thread they "speak by the power of the holy ghost" (2 Nephi 32:1-5).
Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? 
 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made. (vs 36-38)
So the ministry of angels and miracles accompany those with faith, and if there is no faith to produce these great works that are bestowed from our savior to us than it is as if no redemption has been made. They only "minister to those with strong faith and a firm mind in the every form of Godliness" (vs 30)

Examples of Sacrifice

The most used example is abraham and his sacrifice of Isaac. It was through his son that the promise of Abraham would be fulfilled, for a numerous posterity (seed). It was that same promise that he was asked to sacrifice. This was done to see if he would regard all things as "filth and dross" (LOF) before God. He willingly went and did what was commanded of him and gained the knowledge needed for him to secure salvation. It was through this sacrifice he showed the Lord he was willing to "sacrifice all things".

Another example is Emma Smith. I don't know the entire story behind it all but there is a verse that explains what was asked of Emma and Joseph. 
Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice. (D&C 132:51)
Joseph was commanded to give something to Emma. Emma was commanded to not receive it. This was done to require an offering by covenant and sacrifice. It was this that allowed her as the LOF point out that she could gain the knowledge (faith) unto life and salvation.

The story shows the importance to always listen to the voice of the Lord FIRST. Even before the prophet, church leader, wife, or child. If she would have listened she would have failed. Likewise we should only receive the council of anyone, including the Lords servants, when the Lord confirms to our minds that it is right. After all it could be a test to see if you will do all things the Lord requires of you. He even could test you by having someone you respect, a spouse, a father, mother, a leader, or even a prophet offer or require something at your hands, after the Lord has told you to do something else. 

There are other examples of people who have fallen due to listening to another over the spirit of God who have lost their salvation. 1 Kings 13 is my favorite.

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