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)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Elijah Part 3: Words Convey Ideas

First Read Part 1: Promises made to the Fathers
First Read Part 2: The Fathers In Eternal Glory: Future Coming of Elijah: Records

Again this is my current understanding or view of things. I have certainly not figured out nor even pretend to understand it.

I discussed briefly the ideas or characteristics of those who inherit the different degrees in section D&C 76. Each level, telestial, terrestial, and celestial are separated due to what those were willing to receive and by their faith received. We are also told there are various degrees inside of each one.

I have learned that in the scriptures that words mean something. If we take the words literally we could miss out on what the writers are trying to convey. We are stuck to words to convey or represent the spiritual realm and how it behaves with the physical.  But if anyone has tried to convey what an image looks like using words each person would describe it differently but they would all represent the same idea or image. Likewise with the scriptures they have received the revelations of God, received the knowledge of God, and been redeemed to know the path to walk back to God and through words -- many being given the words to use by God -- conveyed that process to us.

The Godhead:
The Lectures on Faith portray an idea of the godhead to us. It defines the Godhead as "the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Further it states.
And [Christ] being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father—possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one, or in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things: by whom all things were created and made, that were created and made: and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one: The Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory, power and fulness: Filling all in all—the Son being filled with the fulness of the Mind, glory and power, or, in other words, the Spirit, glory and power of the Father—possessing all knowledge and glory, and the same kingdom: sitting at the right hand of power, in the express image and likeness of the Father—a Mediator for man—being filled with the fulness of the Mind of the Father, or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father: (Lecture 5:2)
When your filled with the Holy Spirit your filled with the "mind of God". This is what makes the Father and the Son "One". Are you not one with God if you posses the same mind to do the will of the Father in all things? The Holy Spirit is the mind of God. Also the LOF states the Godhead consists of only "two personages" (ibid) the third, Holy Spirit not being a personage of spirit. Yet the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit. (See D&C 130:22). This would mean that the Holy Spirit is not the same thing as the Holy Ghost.

The scriptures portray the path back to God. The path required of us to walk if we wish to return to God and be redeemed. Each part of the path is portrayed in the scriptures and we must learn it all if we wish to become "precisely like Christ" the prototype of a saved being. For anything unlike Him cannot be saved. This is why we can read the scriptures and learn new insights and new ways to apply something we have never thought of. The Holy Ghost teaches us intelligence and shows how to get to the next "degree". He enlightens us and leaves us to choose and act upon the new found knowledge. If we act according to the new truth, more will be given. As Joseph declared:
“We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker, and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment.” (TJS, Chapter 17)
One begins to see the overall picture. Not just parts or pieces but how it all fits together. We begin to see others, including ourselves, as God sees us. In reality the Scriptures all talk about one idea (Christ - Prototype of a Saved Being) but the idea takes a lifetime to understand or become, along with being bestowed according to our "heed and diligence" its a great process to learn it all. We cannot be saved without revelation.

Zion: Clear As The Moon, Fair As The Sun:
The Godhead portrays the idea of who God is and what He is like. The scriptures show us how to become like Him and what His character and attributes are. We are also told Zion are the pure in heart. They are One. They are of one Mind, both the Father and the Son. LOF shows that means they all posses the same mind of God or the Holy Spirit.

Zion includes those who are "clear as the moon, fair as the sun". D&C 5 states,
“And to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony among this generation, in this the beginning of the rising up and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness—clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” (vs 5)
This description, "clear as the moon, fair as the sun", will show up another time in the dedicatory prayer to the Kirtland Temple in section 109. It is a description of the Lord's Church. The Lord's Church is “clear as the moon, fair as the sun.” The words "clear as the moon" means they meet the description that is given in Doctrine and Covenants section 76 describing those who have the glory of the moon as their inheritance. "Fair as the sun" is described in Doctrine and Covenants section 76, and describes those who will inherit the celestial glory. That is how He describes His Church. And they will be the only ones who will be able to stand at his coming.

So we have another idea portrayed with words representing a group of people who ascended above the Telestial world. And those who minister for those in the terrestrial glory is the Son, meaning the Son of God. (D&C 76: 77) Who intends to make many sons of God. And in the celestial glory the fullness of the Father dwells. ( D&C 76: 92) And so the Church which He owns, which He calls "mine," that He intends to bring out of the wilderness of darkness and confusion and into the light by which they can understand things of God is necessarily composed of those who have sufficient knowledge to be “clear as the moon, fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.".

Sufficient Knowledge:
“Now, what I am after is the knowledge of God, and I take my own course to obtain it. What are we to understand by this in the last days? In the days of Noah, God destroyed the world by a flood, and He has promised to destroy it by fire in the last days: but before it should take place, Elijah should first come..." (History of the Church, 6:251–53)
"It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance" (D&C 131:6)
"A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.” (TJS, Ch. 22)
 The TJS Chapter 22 relates a story of the School of the Prophets by Joseph which states,
At the meeting of the school held on March 18, 1833, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams were set apart as the Prophet’s counselors in the First Presidency. Afterward, the Prophet “exhorted the brethren to faithfulness and diligence in keeping the commandments of God, and gave much instruction for the benefit of the Saints, with a promise that the pure in heart should see a heavenly vision; and after remaining a short time in secret prayer, the promise was verified; for many present had the eyes of their understanding opened by the Spirit of God, so as to behold many things. … Many of the brethren saw a heavenly vision of the Savior, and concourses of angels, and many other things.” 
The Prophet explained, “Great joy and satisfaction continually beamed in the countenances of the School of the Prophets, and the Saints, on account of the things revealed, and our progress in the knowledge of God.”
Knowledge is directly tied to the things of God. They progressed in the knowledge of God from interacting with heaven. Receiving from behind the veil those things required for our salvation. We get Knowledge by Revelation.
Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. 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 130:18-19)
Knowledge Through Faith: Brother of Jared
A Promise is given to us in the Book of Mormon.
And in that day that they[us] 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. (Ether 4:7)
It was these revelations that Jared received that the Lord could tell him "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 ) That is redemption. To be brought back into the presence of God.

All My Revelations:
"The spirit of Elias is to prepare the way for a greater revelation of God" (Woodruff Journal, Words of Joseph Smith, p.327-336) The Spirit of Elijah's role, consists of "the keys of the revelations" (ibid). Likewise the "Lord will reveal priesthood by hand of Elijah:" D&C 2:1 .

Now how is priesthood connected with knowledge or revelation which is connected to God who is light and truth? The Knowledge of God encompasses all of this. The Priesthood of God is merely an association with the powers of heaven or as D&C 121 says "the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven" (vs 36). Having an association with this higher order is by definition priesthood. "Powers of Heaven" being the "Hosts" of heaven. And by the "power of my Son" the Father created the world. If you want to retain that association you are required to use the only restraints given to you "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;" (vs 41), which describes how God interacts with us.

This is why Aaronic priesthood contains the "keys of ministering angels". Its an order that raises you to become Terrestial if you will receive it to receive a greater association, greater knowledge, and greater priesthood. And the Holy Order spoken of in Alma 13, is received by God Himself. Where knowledge is bestowed, or the "power of Godliness". What further makes this important is that In conjunction with making your calling and election sure, the Lord grants this privilege of asking and receiving. The Fullness of the Priesthood, an association with the Father, contains the "keys to ask and receive" (D&C 124:95). These keys allows ones to receive greater revelations from God. An upward spiral, representing eternal progression.

Spirit of Elijah:
Since the Spirit of Elijah contains the ability to bestow all of Gods revelations we can also see that as promised by Ether 4:7 that its only withheld due to our faith or unbelief. Likewise this same spirit contains the Sealing power over the elements as discussed in Helamen 10 given"unto thee in the presence of mine angels" (vs 6). Meaning they already have or will have an association with "angels".

Joseph described three parts of this power. First, us, the living, are required to do work using Elijah‘s guidance. Second, the "fathers which are in heaven" to whom we must have a bond to avoid being wasted at the Lord‘s return. Third, "our dead" who are intended to benefit from our connection and qualify to be resurrected into a saved line of priestly authorities stretching through us to the "fathers which are in heaven." We must be sealed to "the fathers which are in heaven" in order to be saved. "Our dead" must be redeemed and sealed to us, that they may also inherit eternal life with us. Doing a sealing between our dead and ourselves, however, is not enough and only connects two of the three groups together. Until we are also connected to the third group, that is "our fathers which are in heaven," we remain vulnerable to being "utterly wasted at His coming."

The scriptures portray one great image and I have learned a lot just from writing some of those images the Lord has helped me receive that I am still processing. The Spirit of Elijah can be received by all here now.

Part 4: Conclusion: Parable Of Lazarus and the Rich Man

1 comment:

  1. D&C 130:22 may not be the best measure to understand the nature of God, since it was altered from what Joseph taught. I'm not ruling out that the Holy Spirit is a different thing from the Holy Ghost, as you write here, but I personally wouldn't use that verse in an argument either way. See the paper at this link that has a chart with the different versions of the verse: