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 Retrospective: Learning from the past: Purpose of Temples

First Read Part 1: Promises made to the Fathers
First Read Part 2: The Fathers In Eternal Glory: Future Coming of Elijah: Records
First Read Part 3: Words Convey Ideas
First Read Part 4: Conclusion: Parable Of Lazarus and the Rich Man

Joseph clarified the relationship on priesthood.
“Answer to the question, Was the Priesthood of Melchizedek taken away when Moses died? All Priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different portions or degrees of it. That portion which brought Moses to speak with God face to face [Fulness of the priesthood per D&C 84:20-23] was taken away; but that which brought the ministry of angels remained [Aaronic Priesthood]. All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself.” (Teachings, pp. 180–81.) 
The reasons for their failure is outlined in D&C 84.
Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his angerwas kindled against them, swore that they should notenter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; (vs 23-25)
Learning From the Past: Nauvoo Temple:
Joseph said what happens when the fulness of the priesthood priesthood is lost.
It is in the order of heavenly things that God should always send a new dispensation into the world when men have apostatized from the truth and lost the priesthood, but when men come out and build upon other men's foundations, they do it on their own responsibility, without authority from God; and when the floods come and the winds blow, their foundations will be found to be sand, and their whole fabric will crumble to dust. (Joseph Smith, Sermon at the Grove)
When there is a people worthy to be in the presence of God, Elijah can come and fulfill his role, We can build a temple, that is acceptable by God where He can "come to and restore again" (D&C 124:28) the priesthood and those ordinances that can seal the family of God together. We can be "endowed with power from on high" (D&C 105:11) or restore again that authority which prevents Zion from coming. Preparing the world for His return in Glory, if it were not so the world would be utterly wasted at His coming because "without this[priesthood] no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live." (D&C 84:22)

Joseph laments about the problem the saints had while trying to build that temple. He states,
I would to God that this temple was now done that we might go into it & go to work & improve our time & make use of the seals while they are on the earth & the Saints have none to much time to save & redeem their dead, & gather together their living relatives that they may be saved also, before the earth will be smitten & the Consumption decreed falls upon the world. (WJS, Willard Richards Diary, p 318)
Joseph lamented that the seals were still, with him on the earth. But he noted that the Saints should be making use of them, in the Temple, while they are [yet] on the earth. It implies, of course, that the available time was drawing to an end. That the haste required by the Lord (See D&C 124: 26, 31) to have the Nauvoo Temple built was because a real threat existed that these seals were going to be lost to the Saints. (vs 32) The consequence of failing to have these things accomplished while the seals were on the earth was that the earth will be smitten (See D&C 2: 3) and the consumption decreed (See D&C 87: 6) would fall upon the world.

Joseph continued in the same lecture and stated why they had failed connecting it with the inability to receive or understsand knowledge (remember Elijah role is connected with the revelations of God),
Their has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation it has been like splitting hemlock knots with a Corn doger for a wedge & a pumpkin for a beetle, Even the Saints are slow to understand I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God, but we frequently see some of them after suffering all they have for the work of God will fly to pieces like glass as soon as any thing Comes that is Contrary to their traditions, they Cannot stand the fire at all, How many will be able to abide a Celestial law & go through to receive their exhaltation I am unable to say but many are Called & few are Chosen. (WJS, pg 319)
The Saints of that day were unwilling to hear from Joseph about these doctrines. Therefore they left us with a single version of his talk about this most important subject, given on January 7, 1844. Joseph would be dead six months later. The catastrophe of his death was, of course, unanticipated by them at the time. Therefore their indifference may seem somewhat excusable. When, however, the importance of the topic is weighed in the balance, how is anyone to conclude that either they, or we, are excused from careful, solemn and ponderous investigation into this topic? Even if considering it causes us to fear, we should trust that a loving Heavenly Father will not leave us in the dark about such matters. And, of course, the first step to repenting and reclaiming what God offers is always to awaken and arise from your pitiful condition lying in the dust. To repent, and return to Him will always allow us to regain His grace. But unless we awaken, we are not in a position to even attempt to repent. We don‘t know we need to! We remain in our slumber, lying in the dust, unredeemed, unawake, and without understanding which might have saved some few of us.

From the lost of the fulness or the lack of willingness to receive it, there was a change of ordinances. And as Joseph said anytime you the priesthood changes or is forfeited, apostasy occurs and anew dispensation is required.

There is a new dispensation begun, Today. All old things have beend one away and become new. (See 3 Nephi 12) You must accept the ordinances of this new Light or you cannot hope to progress to know God. God always sends messengers once a susceptible amount of time has passed giving to a new generation another offer to know God and allowing them to receive the same rights and privileges of the Fathers which Abraham had sought after. If they succeed Zion will come, if they fail, the Lord as Joseph frequently taught will find someone else who is willing to receive it.

Elijah Shall Come Down: Temples
While the Spirit of Elijah will help prepare the way for the Lords return, Elijah shall come down from heaven the same way he descended accompanied by the city of Enoch. (See JST Genesis 9: 21-25). His role is to restore those ordinances which will seal the Family of God together.

The following are some quotes taken from a talk about the purpose of Temples.

"We think the temples are primarily a place for work for the dead. But temples are required mainly to organize the living into a family. The organization cannot happen outside a temple. That is the only place God will allow the restoration, rites, ordinances, and covenant to be ministered. Heaven and earth will reunite and angels will attend to many of the required things when an acceptable temple has been built. We think a temple can be built following a pattern based on current ordinances. There is no understanding of the ordinances necessary to organize the family of God again." (See Denver Snuffer Polygamy Talk)

"All of the work that gets done for the dead sealing yourself to your dead ancestors (as of they could take you anywhere other than to join them in death), is the inverse of the model Joseph was establishing. Joseph had people sealed to him because he had formed a link to heaven. Sealing your kindred dead as your superior puts you in the spirit world living with the dead: unredeemed, unresurrected, unreturned to the flesh, where you, like your kindred righteous dead (if you have any), can preach to the people who are in prison. But that will never get you up Jacob’s ladder to the presence of God. It won’t even get you out of the grave." (ibid)

"As a living mortal you can have an association with the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn (a priestly reference that requires you to understand about the “rights of the fathers” [and trait of those who attain to a celestial nature] ) here, now. If you do this you become one of those solitary souls who live as a stranger and sojourner on earth. Your association is with heaven, not with earth. But that does not fulfill the prophecies and covenants regarding Zion. You can have the same kind of life but if it is your life alone if you live without bringing others with you. You will live without a city, a community, all things in common, no poor among that community, a temple, rites, and the completion of the restoration of all things. You may have a life worthy of Zion, but it will not be a City of Zion, the New Jerusalem. You can be a “citizen” but you will be a sojourner in exile here." (ibid)

"The sons of Adam who were named were descended in a direct line from Adam. All of those sons held the same Patriarchal Priesthood, at the same time as their father Adam. There was not a “single individual” who held priesthood. But in each generation, from Adam until Noah, there was one who stood at the head of that generation. This direct line were the Patriarchal heirs, and stood in the position of the Patriarch for that generation. When that is here, then only one on earth occupies the role for the generations. Joseph Smith obtained that status, and it passed to Hyrum. The first seven generations of Patriarchs all held exactly the same priesthood and lived concurrently. Gentiles, in their pride, always want to be “top-dog.” They are unwilling to be saved in the Kingdom of God unless they, like Lucifer, can be at the top of the sides of the north sitting on the Throne of God. Fools all. No comprehension of how great a price will be required to ascend there. Utterly forgetting that you must be “exactly” like the “prototype of the saved man” to be there." (ibid)

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