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, January 21, 2015

Testimony of Jesus

I have mentioned this once before. I thought I would focus entirely on this. This stems from more recent discussions.

I have heard the following as some things that the Testimony of Jesus is.

To be baptized
To receive the holy ghost thus gaining a witness of Christ Gospel
To join a Church.
To know about the gospel

Thats the most common, especially that is just a witness by the Holy Ghost.

D&C 76 states:

51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.
79 These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.
82 These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus.
83 These are they who deny not the Holy Spirit.
Telestial Are they who believe in the prophets
99 For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas.
100 These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch;
101 But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.
Telestial are they who are some of Paul, some of Christ, some of Joseph, Some of <insert man here>... but they receive neither the testimony of Jeus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.

The Lord is warning us. Do not partake of anything that is not part of this everlasting covenant! Do not follow men! For followers of men will end up still telestial or the world you now live as the temple illustrates.

So how can you receive the prophets but not be "some of <insert prophet name>"? By receiving them but not following them. To go and receive the Testimony of Jesus for yourself and wrestle the promises from the Lord like those who have gone before.

What is the testimony of Jesus?
The Testimony of Jesus is to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. THAT is the testimony of Jesus.

What is the Holy Spirit of Promise?
A revelation given to Joseph tells us the following.
5 (May 17th, 1843.) The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.
6 It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.(D&C 132:5-6)
A man cannot be saved in ignorance. Ignorance of what? Of the man being saved! That is what verse 5 says, its talking about the more sure word of prophecy, which means a mans KNOWING (not merely believing) that he is sealed up unto eternal life.

Knowing is knowledge. It is not belief. Knowing is not knowing ABOUT something, its  EXPERIENCING or partaking of something. You can read all you want about Christ but until you live it and become it, and become precisely like Him you will not be like Him because its only through sacrifice where we obtain  the reward.

For the sixth Lectures on Faith state,
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 this tabernacle [was] dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor 5:1).
4. Such was and always will be the situation of the Saints of God. Unless they have an actual knowledge that the course they are pursuing is according to the will of God, they will grow weary in their minds and faint. [Instead of being promised that they shall "never fall" (See 2 Peter). This is why Joseph was able to endure such tribulations, he had this knowledge! Its what comforted him in these hard times.]
Holy Spirit of Promise 
This is the experience of others receiving theirs as recorded in D&C 88:1-5.
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;
This is why Joseph exhorts the saints as does 2 peter to seek after a more sure word that they won't go faint and weary in their minds and fall. I will post some quotes at the bottom for reference but the last thing I want to mention is the experience of Newel K Knight that I have recorded once before.

Newel Knight
Here he receives the promise of an inheritance or as Joseph said (quoted below) " It is one thing to be on the mount and hear the excellent voice, etc., and another to hear the voice declare to you, You have a part and lot in that kingdom". Because he was promised to enjoy his society for ever and ever, he would have received his calling and election made sure.
He saw heaven opened and beheld the Lord Jesus Christ, sitting [at] the right hand of the Majesty on high, and had it made plain to his understanding that the time would come when he should be admitted into his presence to enjoy his society for ever and ever. (Joseph Smith Papers, History, circa June–October 1839 [Draft 1], pg 388, here)
Testimony of Jesus 
These are those who receive a testimony from Christ that they are saved. (D&C 76: 51.) Those who claim to follow prophets, but have not received the testimony of Christ that they have part with Him will be burned at His coming and appointed their place in sorrow and suffering. (D&C 76: 98-106.)

The Testimony of Jesus is the promise of eternal life through the means the Lord chooses to bestow that promise to you. What ones experience may be, may be entirely different than another but you must know, not merely believing. Hence Moroni warns us to work out our salvation with "fear and trembling". Like Enos we must wrestle with the Lord continually calling upon God until we obtain the promise. For some the promise may be the last hours of their life, like Stephen who had angels minister to him upon his deathbed during the last hours of his life. These promises are throughout the scriptures. In essence its "to hear the voice declare to you, You have a part and lot in that kingdom" (TPJS 306) or  in Enos's experience "And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed." (Enos 1:5).

It is not so much your testimony of Christ (though your faith leads you to receive it) but Christ's testimony of YOU. That your sins have been washed clean from the blood and sins of this generation. So it is, you cannot be saved in ignorance. You must have this testimony for yourself.

Additional Quotes
These quotes are related but not all refer to the same thing.
“There are three grand secrets lying in this chapter, [2 Peter 1] which no man can dig out, unless by the light of revelation, and which unlock the whole chapter as the things that are written are only hints of things which existed in the prophet’s mind, which are not written concerning eternal glory . . . Paul ascended into the third heavens, and he could understand the three principal rounds of Jacob’s ladder—the telestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial glories or kingdoms, where Paul saw and heard things which were not lawful for him to utter. I could explain a hundred fold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them. The Lord deals with this people as a tender parent with a child, communicating light and intelligence and the knowledge of his ways as they can bear it. The inhabitants of the earth are asleep; they know not the day of their visitation. The Lord hath set the bow in the cloud for a sign that while it shall be seen, seed time and harvest, summer and winter shall not fail; but when it shall disappear woe to that generation, for behold the end cometh quickly. Contend earnestly for the like precious faith with the Apostle Peter, ‘and add to your faith virtue,’ knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity; ‘for if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Another point, after having all these qualifications, he lays this injunction upon the people ‘to make your calling and election sure.’ He is emphatic upon this subject—after adding all this virtue, knowledge, etc., ‘Make your calling and election sure.’ What is the secret—the starting point? ‘According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.’ How did he obtain all things? Through the knowledge of Him who hath called him. There could not anything be given, pertaining to life and godliness, without knowledge. Woe! woe! woe to Christendom!—especially the divines and priests if this be true. Salvation is for a man to be saved from all his enemies; for until a man can triumph over death, he is not saved. A knowledge of the priesthood alone will do this . . . We have no claim in our eternal compact, in relation to eternal things, unless our actions and contracts and all things tend to this. But after all this, you have got to make your calling and election sure. If this injunction would lie largely on those to whom it was spoken, how much more those of the present generation! 1st key: Knowledge is the power of salvation. 2nd key: Make your calling and election sure. 3rd key: It is one thing to be on the mount and hear the excellent voice, etc., and another to hear the voice declare to you, You have a part and lot in that kingdom” (TPJS, 304-6).
Calling and Election
Now, there is some grand secret here, and keys to unlock the subject. Notwithstanding the apostle exhorts them to add to their faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, etc., yet he exhorts them to make their calling and election sure. And though they had heard an audible voice from heaven bearing testimony that Jesus was the Son of God [Mt 17:5], yet he says we have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light shining in a dark place. Now, wherein could they have a more sure word of prophecy than to hear the voice of God saying, This is my beloved Son?
Now for the secret and grand key. Though they might hear the voice of God and know that Jesus was the Son of God, this would be no evidence that their calling and election was made sure, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God. Then, having this promised sealed unto them, it was an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast. Though the thunders might roll and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble and tribulation. Then knowledge through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the grand key that unlocks the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. 
Compare this principle once with Christendom at the present day, and where are they, with all their boasted religion, piety and sacredness while at the same time they are crying out against prophets, apostles, angels, revelations, prophesying and visions, etc. Why, they are just ripening for the damnation of hell. They will be damned, for they reject the most glorious principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and treat with disdain and trample under foot the key that unlocks the heavens and puts in our possession the glories of the celestial world. Yes, I say, such will be damned, with all their professed godliness. Then I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 297-298)
After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the saints , as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses…. 
586"Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even he will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions—Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn." (Teachings, pp. 149-51.)
2 Peter 1.
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and preciouspromises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divinenature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world throughlust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindnesscharity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:for if ye do these things, ye shall neverfall: 
Calling and Election - TemplesThe Doctrine of Election
¶ St Paul exhorts us to make our Calling & Election shure. This is that sealing power spoken of by Paul in other places (See Eph I. 13.14. In whom ye also trusted, that after ye heard the work of truth; the gospel of your salvation, in whom also after that ye believed ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of his glory.) That we may be sealed up unto the day of redemption, this principle ought. (in its proper place) to be taught, for God hath not revealed any thing to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve & 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 (who Remain) from the least to the greatest, How is this to be done? It is to be done by this sealing power & the other comforter spoken of which will be manifest by Revelation. (Joseph Smith, June 27, 1839))

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