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, October 8, 2014

Jesus Christ The Savior and Redeemer of The World

Much of our individual frustrations as Saints come as a result of trying to move too quickly toward perfection. We fail to realize perfection is the process of cooperating with God. We don’t need to accomplish anything. We only need to get our hearts right. Life is the time to overcome vanity, pride, and selfishness. It is the time to lose ourselves. When we do that, it does not matter that we still have a great gulf between us and perfection; we are nonetheless perfect. Submission is perfect.

How to Worship?
In a vision in D&C 93 John saw Christ receive the fulness. He tells us what we must do to receive of it ourselves by going from "grace to grace". It tells us what kind of person Christ was.
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)
This informs us HOW YOU WORSHIP matters! This testimony of John was given so that WE MAY COME UNTO THE FATHER. And if we wish to come unto the Father we must know how to worship Him.

The Lord tells us.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
No man can come unto the Father but by Jesus Christ for he is the advocate with the Father. And he IS PLEADING YOUR cause before Him.
Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him 
Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; 
Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life. (D&C 45:3-5)
He is your intercessory. The very type of what we must be. We should become like Him and act as intercessory to others, especially our enemies.

So I ask How Did HE Worship? How do WE worship? He is the example. "I am the way, the truth" "He is the Word of God"
Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—(D&C 93:8)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
So how was He THE WORD? How is He the Word of God? What does that mean?

He “subjected the flesh to the will of the Father.” You cannot be the Son of God the Father unless you reflect Him. You are His “Son” when you are like Him. To be like Him you must subject your will to the will of the Father. This is how Christ defined Himself.(See 3 Ne. 11: 11)

When Christ subjected Himself entirely to the will of the Father, He was in every deed, thought and action “the Father” even though He was flesh and blood and living among us. They were “one."(John 10: 30) If you beheld Christ, you would behold the image of His Father.(John 14: 9.) He came down into a tabernacle of clay. The Father has a tabernacle of spirit and glory.

Christ subjected Himself to the Holy Spirit, or “mind of the Father” (See Lecture 5) which made His will swallowed up in the will of the Father. He models what He asked us to likewise do. He prayed that we would allow the Spirit to make us “one” with them, so we become “perfect” as They are perfect. (See John 17: 20-26)

Each week the two sacrament prayers ask God the Father to send His (Christ’s) Spirit to be with those who take the bread and wine in remembrance of Christ’s body and blood.(See D&C 20: 77, 79, Moroni 4: 3; 5:2)

If you have His (Christ’s Spirit) then you have also the Father’s Spirit; or according to the Lectures on Faith, you have the Holy Spirit to be with you. This Holy Spirit is “a personage of Spirit” (D&C 130: 22) which dwells within you. Or, in other words, when you receive the “mind of the Father and the Son” by listening to the Holy Spirit, you become sanctified by Their presence in you. You become “one” with them. You gain access to: 
 “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.)
He declared who He was when He introduced Himself to the Nephites and He said, He suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

From what beginning? For you, why cannot that be a beginning starting now? For you, why can you not from this beginning, at this moment, wherever you are, go forward saying you will follow the will of the Father in all things, from this beginning? Why will you refuse to rise up and receive grace for grace?

This is how you worship who you worship, (D&C 93: 19) embodiment of the Father's will. The Father declares what is right and true and the Son obeys. Thus the Son became the Word of God, because He did what the Father asked Him. Would you also want to be a son or daughter of God? Do what He bids you do. This is how the Son lived. This is who the Son is. This is what you must do to worship Him.

As Mosiah said,
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19)
Prototype of A Saved Man
Lecture 7 explains what a saved man must Be.
In order to have this subject clearly set before the mind, let us ask what situation must a person be in, in order to be saved? or what is the difference between a saved man and one who is not saved? We answer from what we have before seen of the heavenly worlds, they must be persons who can work by faith, and who are able, by faith to be ministering spirits to them who shall be heirs of salvation. And they must have faith to enable them to act in the presence of the Lord, otherwise they cannot be saved. 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. But to be a little more particular, let us ask, where shall we find a prototype into whose likeness we may be assimulated, in order that we may be made partakers of life and salvation? or in other words, where shall we find a saved being? for if we can find a saved being, we may ascertain, without much difficulty, what all others must be, in order to be saved - they must be like that individual or they cannot be saved: we think, that it will not be a matter of dispute, that two beings, who are unlike each other, cannot both be saved; for whatever constitutes the salvation of one, will constitute the salvation of every creature which will be saved: and if we find one saved being in all existence, we may see what all others must be, or else not be saved. We ask, then, where is the prototype? or where is the saved being? We conclude as to the answer of this question there will be no dispute among those who believe the bible, that it is Christ: all will agree in this that he is the prototype or standard of salvation, or in other words, that he is a saved being. 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; for if it were possible for him to change in the least degree, so sure he would fail of salvation and lose all his dominion, power, authority and glory, which constitutes salvation; for salvation consists in the glory, authority, majesty, power and dominion which Jehovah possesses, and in nothing else; and no being can possess it but himself or one like him: Thus says John, in his first epistle, 3:2 and 3: Behold, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not appear what we shall be; but we know, that when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And any man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.--Why purify himself as he is pure? because, if they do not they cannot be like him. (Lecture 7)
Or as Moroni 7:48 hints at.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. (Moroni 7:48)
So while we should "seek his face always" (D&C 101:38) so he can bless us, because until we seek we shall not find, we should keep in mind our approach to gaining a relationship with the Son should be like that of our enjoyment of the sun - indirect. That is, entering into His presence is a by-product. It is as a result of the way you live. It is not the "goal."

To approach Him, you must live as He did. You must "keep His commandments." You must love others. You must live the way He lived.When you are walking in the same path He walked, you will find that He is walking there still. He will come alongside you, as you are "in the way" and will open to your understanding all things which He would have you know.

When you become a Son of God. You become a stranger and a soujourner here. Because you take up residence there. You have association with an innumerable company of angels and have come up to mount Zion while walking among strangers here.

Worlds Created by His Word
32 And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.
33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. (Moses 1:32:33)
Whenever a servant speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost they become the Word of God or the word of "my Power" (God the Father). They become instruments in His Great Work. The work of the Son prepares man to receive the Father. The work of the Son is to fix us and prepare us to reach the Father. Its the work of the Holy Ghost to get us to the point where we can receive the Son, and yield our hearts unto God. When our will finally an embodiment of the Fathers will, we can than begin our ascent as Sons of God.

God said let there be light and there was light.

"For he spoke, and it came to be" (Psalm 33:9). By his "word" he created the worlds. Power is in our words. It is a REAL power. The Savior willed it, it was done. All things were created spiritually before they were created physically. If thou wilt "say unto this mountain remove hence to yonder place; " (Matthew 17:20) it will be done.  That is why we must be proved in all things before we are given such great power.

The Power Of God
4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.
5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will. (Helamen 10:4-5)
Until one is pure, one is sanctified, willing to give up their will to the Father they cannot indeed will not receive this power. It is the Power of God. If this power was given to the ill prepared they would present a peril to the Universe. If words have such great power and through ones weakness one could not only create worlds but destroy them. Thus the Lord will not give such power to those who have not learned this one principle. "that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness." (D&C 121:36) but "only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;" (vs 41).

The First Principle of the Gospel
We are familiar with the first article of Faith. But Joseph explained in further detailed what the first principle was. The King Follet discourse was given in 1844. The portions below are taken from the Ensign April 1974.
These ideas are incomprehensible to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did
What are these Ideas that are part of this? Its in the next paragraph. Instead of quoting the entire paragraph I will separate it into smaller points.
The scriptures inform us that Jesus said, as the Father hath power in himself, even so hath the Son power—to do what? Why, what the Father did. The 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. Do you believe it? If you do not believe it you do not believe the Bible. The scriptures say it, and I defy all the learning and wisdom and 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; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do 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. (King Follet Discourse, Ensign, April 1974)
Here are three points I want to look at.
1)Learn how to Be Gods
2)To Be Kings and Priests (These are they that receive the Fulness of the Priesthood)
3)Do the same as all gods have done before you namely,
  • going from one small degree to another,
  • from a small capacity to a great one,
  • from grace to grace (There we have the D&C 93 reference again)
  • from exaltation to exaltation,
Until YOU attain to the Resurrection of the dead.
Are Able to dwell in everlasting burnings, to sit in glory.

It is through Christ that we are all resurrected but that power comes through him. Until YOU learn to go from one small degree to another, one small capacity to a great, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation and attain to the Resurrection of the dead. Until You learn how to do that, it will be borrowed from Him. 

Orson Hyde said this referring to the story of the talents,
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. (Orson Hyde, “A Diagram of the Kingdom of God,” Millennial Star 9 [15 January 1847]: 23-24).
It is plain beyond disputation, and you thus learn the First Principles of the Gospel, about which so much has been said. When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top…It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.” (King Follet Discourse, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 345-348)
Here is another one by Maxwell.
Just as we can move, step by step, from faith to knowledge, so in particular dimensions of living, such as in justice or honesty, some mortals have merited the accolades of prophets ‘in that thing.’ Significantly, when such spiritually advanced individuals were described as perfect, often their ‘justness’ was the virtue cited. Little wonder justice is so stressed, in view of this verse: ‘He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’ It is clear too that being just not only consists of fair play with one's associates and neighbors, but also reflects largeness of soul. In this broadened sense, ‘there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.’ Jesus Himself did not receive ‘of the fullness at first,’ but continued ‘from grace to grace, until he received a fullness.’ His progress was incomprehensibly more rapid than ours, but the pathway is the same; so can be the pattern of ‘grace to grace’: ‘For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom.’” (Neal A. Maxwell, Even As I Am [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], pg. 15)
As Fast as You Are Able
God is everlasting patient. He will only give you what you are able to receive. When you are ready he will bestow it but the course or the path you choose is up to you. If you choose the lesser course or the greater course, is entirely up to each person. But we will all go on. We will be added upon according to our works. Some one talent others 10 talents.
“God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them, for the day must come when no man need say to his neighbor, Know ye the Lord; for all shall know Him … from the least to the greatest [see Jeremiah 31:34].”(TJS, Chapter 2) 25
This Is His Work 
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass theimmortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)
He intends to make Sons of God out of the children of Men. It is His work. The Lord has "worlds without end".
3 And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.
4 And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.
5 Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; (Alma 13:3-5)
 Rise up now. Show forth your exceeding great faith now. And you might be able to on account of your own faith, receiving a preparatory redemption, be one who has "chooen good" "from the foundation of the world" thus you may be called with a "holy calling" on  account of YOUR faith. And so it is "Jesus Himself did not receive ‘of the fullness at first,’ but continued ‘from grace to grace, until he received a fullness.’" on account of his great faith before the foundation of the world he was choosen with the holy calling He has now faithfully filled.

Like a fulcrum he lifts this creation. He gives each of us our daily breath, without his light, we would cease to exist and return to the dust of the Earth. Thus he is "bonded" to each of us. He is a part of each of us and is always with us even when we may not realize it. He is pleading your cause. He wants you to receive grace for grace that you may become a Son of God on account of your faith. And if you do so, you may receive a holy calling, you may leave witnesses here who will sustain you in another existence.

A New Name
We and all men and women are experiencing the “Deity within us” (Brigham Young, p. 45) that will motivate us to grow forever in grace and truth. Indeed, “we are conducted along from this probation to other probations” (JD 6:63, Heber C. Kimball). And “if there was a point where man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind” (JD, vol. 6, p. 120 (1857), Wilford Woodruff). Agency will always prevail. The choice is yours. The path you wish to take will everlastingly be yours.
In Mosiah 1 he is going to give them a new name and a new identity. See, every time you get a new life or a new advancement, a new step or initiation, you get a new identity, a new persona. When a person is born he gets christened. He is not christened until he joins the church. This is the theory in the Christian world. With us it used to be always on the eighth day, circumcision, etc. You have a new name, and when you get married you get another new name. If you get any office, you also get another new name. Then at your funeral you get another identity, etc. They go through the same ritual every time. And, of course, when you reach maturity there's a very important thing- the rites of initiation that come with maturity. In the Christian churches it's when you are confirmed, around the age of fifteen. In all primitive tribes and [other societies] when a person becomes mature-reaches manhood or womanhood-there is that rite. Then they get a new name; they are identified with another group entirely. Boys are no longer with the women, etc. They now belong to a man's phratry. These are the rites of puberty. So each time you get a new name, a new identity, a new appearance, new marks, and a new title or degree. (Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon--Semester 1: Transcripts of Lectures Presented to an Honors Book of Mormon Class at Brigham Young University, 1988--1990 [Provo: FARMS pg. 448-449) 
He Lives
9 For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably
perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.
10 For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice. (Alma 34:9-10)
The demands of Justice requires all of us to die. Because we are sinful. However Christ did not deserve to die. Because he did not earn the "wages of death", by never submitting to sin. So when Christ was killed he was given power to take up His body again, and Justice could not prevent it because He did not deserve to die. He deserved to live on forever never giving heed to sin.
23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.(2 Nephi 2:23)
Christ is real. It is the first principle of the Gospel that EACH of us can know for a certainty the nature of God.  With outstretched arms he is waiting still. 

1 comment:

  1. Reread this today. Thank you for sharing what you are learning.