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, August 6, 2014

Zion -The Redeemed: Know ye the Lord?

In Kirtland, Ohio the saints were too proud, foolish and vain for Zion to be established.

In Nauvoo, Illinois the saints were too proud, foolish and vain for Zion to be established.

In Salt Lake City, Utah the saints are too proud, foolish and vain for Zion to be established.

Deceiving Spirits
Just like in Kirtland, there are many unclean spirits who will deceive you. Unless you anchor what you are taught in the scriptures, and require all truth to measure up, you can be deceived. That is as true now as then.

Celestial Glory
Read D&C 76:5-70 on the requirements. First half of the verses use this phrase, "These ARE they" otherwards ones who have achieved this state, they have BECOME the outlined blessing. The next half uses "they shall overcome all things. (vs 60)", things that will be blessed later on, beyond this life. I want to pick out two phrases.

Celestial State

66 These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.
71 And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father

These are they that have received the fulness of the Father.

Terrestial State
77 These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father.
These are they that have received the presence of the Son but not the Father.

Zion makes up the redeemed. Those who have become redeemed make up Zion. They are the pure in heart. Those who are come unto Mount Zion (D&C 76:66)
Behold, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now. (D&C 105:2)
Generations can come and go and remain un-redeemed. Yet we will proclaim our righteousness before the Lord and think we are being saved.
And now I give unto you a word concerning Zion. Zion shall be redeemed, although she is chastened for a little season. (D&C 100:13)
When the Lord redeems his people, only those who Know him will remain. For he comes in judgment and who shall abide the day of his coming? Who is without spot? Who has washed their garments in his Blood and made them clean? Who has a pure heart and clean hands? Who can say "I know the Lord"?
97 And plagues shall go forth, and they shall not be taken from the earth until I have completed my work, which shall be cut short in righteousness—
98 Until all shall know me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye, and shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together sing this new song, saying:
99 The Lord hath brought again Zion;The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel,According to the election of grace,Which was brought to pass by the faith And covenant of their fathers.
Do we even know what the covenant of our fathers are? The covenants that the Book of Mormon is meant to bring us a knowledge to? You can read the title page of the Book of Mormon it states "Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever"(Paragraph 2)What does it mean to Know the Lord?
I want to ask this congregation, every man, woman and child, to answer the question in their own hearts, what kind of a being God is? Ask yourselves; turn your thoughts into your hearts, and say if any of you have seen, heard, or communed with Him? This is a question that may occupy your attention for a long time. I again repeat the question—What kind of being is God? Does any man or woman know? Have any of you seen Him, heard Him, or communed with Him? Here is the question that will, peradventure, from this time henceforth occupy your attention. The scriptures inform us that “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3.) 
If any man does not know God, and inquires what kind of a being He is—if he will search diligently his own heart—if the declaration of Jesus and the apostles be true, he will realize that he has not eternal life; for there can be eternal life on no other principle. (Joseph Smith, King Follet Discourse)
Why does he ask us to turn our thoughts into our hearts? Why is it the Holy Ghost is within us? Why is it that the Kingdom of God is within us? Why is it that if we Know Him we shall have eternal life? And if we don't Know him we do not have eternal life? Why did Joseph associate knowing him with "seeing, hearing and communing" with God? Why is Zion called the redeemption of Gods people or the redeemed? Why is Zion not here because of Transgression?

Ether tells us what it means to be redeemed from the Fall.
13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you. (Ether 3:13)
What did he KNOW? To be redeemed requires us to "handle something" as Joseph put it or to "know" something. To be saved requires us to BE something.
" And what constitutes the real difference between a saved person and one not saved, is the difference in the degree of their faith: one's faith has become perfect enough to lay hold upon eternal life, and the other's has not."...."And if we should continue our interogation, and ask how it is that he is saved, the answer would be, because he is a just and holy being; and if he were any thing different from what he is he would not be saved; for his salvation depends on his being precisely what he is and nothing else" (Lectures on Faith 6: 9)
And anything that is not precisely like Him, differs in their degree of faith and is unlike Him. "When he shall appear we shall be like him" (Moroni 7:48). And not till than unless we procrastinate the day of our probation. I will illustrate this with a quote from a christian site. As I have already laid out the scriptures in prior posts.

What does it mean to know God, rather than to know about God?
The fundamental difference between knowing about God and knowing God is about personal relationships. Because God is a person, you can know ‘about’ him but you don’t really ‘know’ him until you have a personal relationship with him. For instance I can know about the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, but I wouldn’t say that I know him. To know him I have to meet him and get to know him. We have to reveal things to each other and be willing to share in each others lives. The staggering promise of the Bible is that we can know God like this and that He wants us to know him and share in his eternal life! 
I think one of the fundamental differences between Christianity and other religions is that we can know God as a person. (here)
Whats necessary for savation?
Lecture 7 states.
 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; for God must change, otherwise faith will prevail with him. 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. 
Through what? Through revelations, visions, dreams. Through angels which are sent to declare His Word. Through his Son who is sent to do the Fathers work, until we can have the Father abide with us when we can abide the fulness thereof. These are the fruits of His servants. These are the fruits for them that have faith. Spiritual manifestations of the spirit or the power of godliness is manifest therein.
"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." (TPJS p. 217.)
 And what kind of knowledge?
18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
19 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 130:19)
Intelligence or "light and truth". Nothing but Truth. Truth of the divine. Not trivial pursuit of the Book of Mormon but divine knowledge, revelation, visions, dreams, and every other necessary thing.
“Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 324. Also quoted here)
Your OWN connection to Heaven. No wonder why no man can save YOU except Christ and He is the one that bestows these things upon those who diligently seek after them. He will bestow them grace for grace. Become obedient to the grace he has sufficiently provided you here and now, than you can have that much of an advantage in the world to come. Grace for Grace, or as another parable put it, you can double your talents here and now. And receive more in the world to come.

Orson Hyde put it this way.
The most eminent and distinguished prophets who have laid down their lives for their testimony (Jesus among the rest), will be crowned at the head of the largest kingdoms under the Father, and will be one with Christ as Christ is one with his Father; for their kingdoms are all joined together, and such as do the will of the Father, the same are his mothers, sisters, and brothers. He that has been faithful over a few things, will be made ruler over many things; he that has been faithful over ten talents, shall have dominion over ten cities, and he that has been faithful over five talents, shall have dominion over five cities, and to every man will be given a kingdom and a dominion, according to his merit, powers, and abilities to govern and control. It will be seen by the above diagram that there are kingdoms of all sizes, an infinite variety to suit all grades of merit and ability. The chosen vessels unto God are the kings and priests that are placed at the head of these kingdoms. These have received their washings and anointings in the temple of God on this earth; they have been chosen, ordained, and anointed kings and priests, to reign as such in the resurrection of the just. Such as have not received the fulness of the priesthood, (for the fulness of the priesthood includes the authority of both king and priest) and have not been anointed and ordained in the temple of the Most High, may obtain salvation in the celestial kingdom, but not a celestial crown. (Orson Hyde Diagram, here) (Orson Hyde, “A Diagram of the Kingdom of God,” Millennial Star 9 [15 January 1847]: 23-24).
And only those who have been "caught up" and "anointed kings and priests" will attain to this level of grace. No longer is the promise conditional " if you are true and faithful to all things". But you will know things that are not lawful 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 76:116-118)
The day of THIS life is to prepare to MEET God. The day of this life is the day of YOUR salvation. Know ye not that same spirit which posses your bodies now will depart this world? Can you say if you are unable to bear his presence now that you will be clean enough to bear his presence when you pass this mortal life? There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven, and when you obey that law God will bestow the blessings mentioned in D&C 76:116-118 or Ether 3:13 or 2 Nephi 32:6, on those who LOVE HIM. But they receive it not because of unbelief. (2 Nephi 32:7). Which includes believing things that are NOT true as truth. No wonder why Joseph said we must have a "correct idea" of his character attributes and perfections. Else we are no different than the creeds that went before us that voted on bible. We will continue to debate among men what we believe the truth is.
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)
How do we do this?
I won't talks about this in this post but Ether 3 is a great place to read. Read what kind of person the Brother of Jared WAS or what he had become. Lectures on Faith is a great place to learn.
19 I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness. (D&C 93:19)
We must relearn everything false we have been taught and replace it with truth. I will point out one common way that is NOT HOW YOU worship that is not found in scripture anywhere. Do NOT fold your arms when you pray. Do NOT look down when you pray. Do NOT close your eyes when you pray. This is not how the Son prayed to the Father. This is not how Adam prayed when he offered sacrifices unto the Lord. They prayed with uplifted lights, with their eyes towards heaven.

We are told to talk to him as one man talks to another. Do THAT. How would you feel if another talked to you with their arms folded, head bowed, and eyes closed? That would be rude. Read 3 Nephi when Christ prayed to the Father. Here is the New Testament version.
1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said (John 17:1)
That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High. (D&C 88:120)
You may believe it does not matter. But I testify it does. I testify how you worship is very important and until we learn HOW to worship we will not be able to come unto God. There are dozens of examples I have shown two.  This is how Joseph repeatedly prayed. They prayed with uplifted hands towards heaven.

But most importantly
Its your heart that matters most. Is it humble? In Mosiah 12, the king didn't know how to pray yet, but it was enough to receive an answer from God and be ministered to, as he prostrated himself on the ground he "cryed" unto the Lord. Notice that word "cry" not pray. Its a state of one that is humble that seeks Him. Its the same phrase The brother of Jared uses 10 times in Ether. He "cryed unto the Lord". Nowhere does it use the word "pray" until it gets to the record recorded by Moroni. (becomes the summary by Moroni instead of the Brother of Jared). Be willing. Be humble. Be willing to act, to receive, to cast off anything that is not Godlike.

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