Monday, June 26, 2017

Sanctify yourselves

For my Sunday School lesson I showed two videos and the messages they conveyed were really good. 

So, here are the two videos with a picture quote for each one.



Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you. Joshua 3:5




When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes. Thomas S. Monson



Craig

Saturday, June 24, 2017

If you want revelation - Do your homework


Revelation is oftentimes misunderstood. 

Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-8
7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/9?lang=eng

Even though we have this counsel from the Lord to Oliver Cowdry, I belief that we do too much supposing that He would just give it to us because we asked. After all the Lord had said repeatedly, "ask and you shall receive." Well there is more to the equation than just asking, we must seek and knock.

3 Nephi 14:7
7 Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/14?lang=eng. 

There is a requirement of effort on our part. I love this teaching from President Harold B. Lee to Elder Eyring.


Then he gave me the lesson, which I now give to you, in about these words: “Hal, when we had  
done all we knew how to do, when we had our backs to the wall, then God gave us the revelation. Hal,  
if you want to get revelation, do your homework.” 
President Harold B. Lee to Elder Eyring 
Henry B. Eyring 
Speeches—Waiting Upon the Lord 
http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=775 

So, as we seek for revelation in our lives let's put in the effort and do our homework and then will the heavens part as we shall receive revelation and divine guidance.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Salvation is not a cheap experience


I love Elder Holland and love this message. How true it is. We need to realize that hard things and hard times refine us into and qualify us for Celestial glory, through the grace of Jesus Christ.


My mother gave a talk in sacrament meeting several weeks ago and I loved a story she told. It is a great story showing how, hard experiences are needed to qualify ourselves. Here is the story:

Certain Women - By Linda K. Burton https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/04/certain-women?lang=eng
Certain Covenant-Keeping Women of the Restoration: Willing to Sacrifice

Anciently, certain women sacrificed as they testified and lived the teachings of Jesus. Certain women in the early days of the Restoration did the same. Drusilla Hendricks and her family were among those who, as new converts, suffered during the persecution of the Saints in Clay County, Missouri. Her husband was permanently paralyzed during the Battle of Crooked River. She was left to care for him as well as provide for her family.

“At one particularly distressing time, when the family was out of food, she remembered that a voice told her, ‘Hold on, for the Lord will provide.’”

When her son was needed to volunteer for the Mormon Battalion, at first Drusilla resisted and wrestled in prayer with Heavenly Father until “it was as though a voice said to her, ‘Do you not want the highest glory?’ She answered naturally, ‘Yes,’ and the voice continued, ‘How do you think to gain it save by making the greatest sacrifices?’”



We learn from this certain woman that covenant-keeping discipleship requires our willingness to sacrifice.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fight hunger


My 6 yr old son, Eyring, wanted to make a picture quote so badly and finally a few days ago I helped him make this quote. He loves it and is super excited for it. He found the quote from an old ensign picture quote. I hope you enjoy it!!

Greatest Father of them all - Let us obey and honor Him


Happy Father's day to all you Father's or there. As I thought about great fathers, my mind was drawn out in love and appreciation to our Father in Heaven. In church, a scripture I love was mentioned in a talk. 

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/3?lang=eng

I can only imagine what that would be like. I love Abraham and Isaac and the lesson taught through their experience. Abraham received from God a promise of seed that could not be numbered, and yet his wife was barren. Then after countless prayers and wondering how such a promise was to be fulfilled, his wife was blessed with a son in her old age. After many years of thanksgiving and enjoying the anticipated means to fulfill the promise given by God, God commands him to sacrifice his son on the alter. Interestingly, earlier in Abraham's life, God sent an angel to stop his father from offering himself as a sacrifice. He surely must have been confused and sad at this command from the Lord, and wondered how then would the promise be fulfilled. And yet he had sufficient faith to perform the sacrifice, and according to some Apocrypha writings Isaac was not a child and submitted willingly to the command of the Lord. Thankfully, the Lord was just testing Abraham. Ultimately, we learn to a very small degree, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son." 

This Father's day, let us remember our earthly father's and of course, the greatest Father of them all, even God the Father, and have the courage to obey and honor Him at all times and in all places that we may be in. 

Craig.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

May your conscience grow increasingly


November 11, 2016 D. Todd Christofferson wrote the below on Facebook and I thought it was so good. We must be unmovable in our obedience to Light of Christ that is in us all and known as our conscience. Enjoy his post. 


Last Friday I had the chance to speak to young adults at the Orem Institute of Religion. I shared with them the unique experience I had to serve as the law clerk for the Honorable John J. Sirica. My term of service coincided with the Watergate trials and proceedings handled by Judge Sirica. This gave me a “ringside seat” to a unique epoch in U.S. history that enabled me to learn some crucial life lessons at the outset of my career.
 
Most of the Watergate defendants were basically decent people, good spouses and parents, competent professionals. What is it that caused or permitted them to go seriously offtrack? What protects you or me, in our lives, our marriages, our families, and our school and vocational endeavors, from tragically destructive errors or even criminal conduct?
 
The answer to these questions lies in the critical role of what we call conscience. A widely shared understanding of right and wrong underlies the moral framework and laws that govern conduct in society. For me, that is confirmed by statements in scripture. For example, in Moroni 7:15–16 it reads: “It is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain … as the daylight is from the dark night. For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil.”
 
Over the generations, religion has served to identify and deepen understanding of fundamental (I would say divinely ordained) moral laws. Of course, I am not saying that any particular religion or faith tradition should have a right to dictate the morals of society, but the religious voice is critical. No society has succeeded in maintaining moral life without it. For just societies to endure, religious voices must be heard.
 
May your voice in support of eternal truths and moral principles be heard. May your own conscience grow increasingly firm and refined. And may there never be a Watergate in your personal history.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tomorrow is always better if we serve the Lord


What a great talk by Henry B. Eyring. Below is a few paragraphs to that talk. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/this-day?lang=eng

"For those who are discouraged by their circumstances and are therefore tempted to feel they cannot serve the Lord this day, I make you two promises. Hard as things seem today, they will be better in the next day if you choose to serve the Lord this day with your whole heart. Your circumstances may not be improved in all the ways which you desire. But you will have been given new strength to carry your burdens and new confidence that when your burdens become too heavy, the Lord, whom you have served, will carry what you cannot. He knows how. He prepared long ago. He suffered your infirmities and your sorrows when He was in the flesh so that He would know how to succor you.

"The other promise I make to you is that by choosing to serve Him this day, you will feel His love and grow to love Him more. You may remember the scripture:

“I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts … that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.

“For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?”9

"By serving Him this day, you will come to know Him better. You will feel His love and appreciation. You would not want to delay receiving that blessing. And feeling His love will draw you back to His service, wiping away both complacency and discouragement.

"As you serve Him, you will come to know better the voice by which you shall be called. When you go to sleep at the end of a day, the words may come back in memory: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things.”10 I pray for that benediction on this day, on every day, and on our lives."

Background image by: Dom Haughton https://flic.kr/p/TTcLT2

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Spiritual Birth by Bruce R. McConkie,


The Spiritual Birth
Bruce R. McConkie,

[A New Witness for the Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1985.), pp.282-292]

Born of the Spirit

There is a natural birth, and there is a spiritual birth. The natural birth is to die as pertaining to premortal life, to leave the heavenly realms where all spirits dwell in the Divine Presence, and to begin a new life, a mortal life, a life here on earth. The natural birth creates a natural man, and the natural man is an enemy to God. In his fallen state he is carnal, sensual, and devilish by nature. Appetites and passions govern his life and he is alive -- acutely so -- to all that is evil and wicked in the world.

The spiritual birth comes after the natural birth. It is to die as pertaining to worldliness and carnality and to become a new creature by the power of the Spirit. It is to begin a new life, a life in which we bridle our passions and control our appetites, a life of righteousness, a spiritual life. Whereas we were in a deep abyss of darkness, now we are alive in Christ and bask in the shining rays of his everlasting light. Such is the new birth the second birth, the birth into the household of Christ.

A wise and good man, one Nicodemus by name, sought counsel in secret from Jesus following the first Passover of our Lord's ministry. Jesus said to him: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Born again! Except a man becomes alive to the things of the Spirit, how can he recognize the truth? Unless the light of heaven rests upon him, how can he ever see within the veil and gain even a glimpse of the celestial world?

Nicodemus was troubled. Being himself as yet dead to the things of the Spirit, he asked: "How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" The questions were unworthy of one who was a master in Israel. He should have known, and all men should now know, the system that has prevailed among men from Adam to the present. Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." The reference is to immersion in water, which even then was being performed by the Baptist at Bethabara, and also to immersion in the Spirit, a baptism soon to be performed by the One whose shoe's latchet the Baptist felt unworthy to loose.

There followed, however, a doctrinal explanation. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," Jesus said. These are the two births, the natural and the spiritual. "Marvel not that I said unto thee Ye must be born again," Jesus continued. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:3-8.)

Birth from the waters of the Jordan was a visible sign for all to see; witnesses can testify of the occasion when men are born of water. But birth from a state of worldliness is as the spring breeze that blew through Jerusalem that night. None can tell its source or see its destiny. Only the newborn babe in Christ knows if he has been born of the Spirit; he alone can testify of the workings of the Holy Spirit in his heart. But both baptisms, both births, that of water and that of the Spirit, are essential to salvation.

Alma the son of Alma, baptized in his youth but as yet spiritually dead, went about with the sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church of God. Rebuked, smitten, condemned by an angelic ministrant, he lay in a trance for three days and three nights. When he gained consciousness again, he said: "I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit." The spiritual regeneration that follows baptism at long last was his. Whereas for long years he had stumbled along in spiritual darkness, now the light of heaven rested upon him, and the course he should now pursue was plainly lighted.

While he lay in a trance, the Lord said to him: "Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters. And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God." (Mosiah 27:24-26.) Such is the doctrine relative to being born again. And for aught we know, the same Lord who spoke these words to Alma may have recited them over again to Nicodemus more than a century later in John's home in Jerusalem. Truly, all men must be born again!

Sons and Daughters of Jesus Christ
Those who are born again not only live a new life, but they also have a new father. Their new life is one of righteousness, and their new father is God. They become the sons of God; or, more particularly, they become the sons and daughters of Jesus Christ. They bear, ever thereafter, the name of their new parent; that is, they take upon themselves the name of Christ and become Christians, not only in word but in very deed. They become by adoption the seed or offspring of Christ, the children in his family, the members of his household which is the perfect household of perfect faith. And further: Having become the sons of God (Christ), they also become joint-heirs with him of the fulness of the glory of the Father, thus becoming by adoption the sons of God the Father.

John tells us that the Lord Jesus, who came in time's meridian unto his own, was rejected by them. "But as many as received him as their Messiah and Savior, "to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. (John 1:12.) Speaking of that same meridian day, the same Lord said in our day: "To as many as received me, gave I power to become my sons." Be it noted that true believers are not automatically born to a newness of life by the mere fact of belief alone. That belief and that acceptance of the Savior gives them power to become the sons of God. And in our day the divine word continues: "Even so will I give unto as many as will receive me, power to become my sons." And how are those who receive the Lord identified? By way of answer, he tells us: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth my gospel receiveth me; and he that receiveth not my gospel receiveth not me." (D&C 39:4-5.) Those who have accepted the fulness of the everlasting gospel as it has come again in our day through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith have power to become the sons of God; those who reject this heaven-sent message of salvation reject that Lord whose message it is and remain outside the Lord's family.

In addressing a congregation of contrite and penitent Nephites, King Benjamin, using that simplicity of speech and clarity of expression in which Book of Mormon prophets so excel, said to his fellow saints: "Because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters." They thus gain a new father, and he gains new children. "For behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you." Their new birth is not a natural but a spiritual birth. "For ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters."

Thus it is that the saints are born of Christ because they have been born of the Spirit; they are alive in Christ because they enjoy the companionship of the Spirit, and they are members of his family because they are clean as he is clean. "And under this head ye are made free" -- being in Christ, they are free from the bondage of sin -- "and there is no other head [other than Christ our Head] whereby ye can be made free." Only those who accept Christ and receive the Spirit can free themselves from the sins of the world. "There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives." (Mosiah 5:7-8.)

Those who receive the Lord Jesus and believe in their hearts that he is the Son of God by whom salvation comes; those who then covenant in the waters of baptism to serve him and keep his commandments; those who believe the gospel and are members of the earthly kingdom -- these are the ones who have power to become his sons and daughters. Thus they are the ones who take upon themselves his name.

In our day the divine word from the Lord Jesus commands: "Take upon you the name of Christ, and speak the truth in soberness. Behold, Jesus Christ is the name which is given of the Father, and there is none other name given whereby man can be saved; wherefore, all men must take upon them the name which is given of the Father, for in that name shall they be called at the last day; wherefore, if they know not the name by which they are called, they cannot have place in the kingdom of my Father." (D&C 18:21-25.)

It was ever thus. Isaiah prophesied of the "seed" of Christ. (Isaiah 53:10.) Abinadi says "his seed" consists of the prophets and saints who hearken to his word, who believe he will "redeem his people," who gain "a remission of their sins," and who are thus "heirs of the kingdom of God." (Mosiah 15:11.)

Our theologically gifted friend Paul teaches the doctrine of spiritual rebirth and of becoming sons and daughters of both the Father and the Son, explaining that true believers, converted souls, righteous saints, those who are born again, "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." To walk after the manner of the flesh is to live after the manner of the world; to walk after the manner of the Spirit is to overcome the world and live by the standards of the gospel. "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh" -- they live carnal and evil lives -- but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. Theirs is a godly course of conduct. "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." The Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. Those who live after the manner of the flesh are damned; those who bridle their passions and overcome the world are saved.

As to the saints of God, Paul says: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." In the full and eternal sense even in the true church, only those saints who enjoy the companionship of the Spirit belong to the Lord; they are the only ones who are the Lord's people in the sense of gaining salvation. "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you -- if you have the companionship of the Holy Ghost -- he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Ye shall be born again; ye shall become new creatures of the Holy Ghost; your bodies shall be quickened, shall be made new shall become fit tabernacles in which the Spirit may dwell. "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh." The saints must not live in sin. "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Those who live after the manner of the world are spiritually dead; those who control the appetites of the flesh and pursue a godly course are alive spiritually. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear." Ye are made free from the bondage of sin through Christ. "But ye have received the Spirit of adoption [of sonship], whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Abba is an Aramaic word that means father; the meaning here is that we sense and feel our newly found relationship with God the Father and hence feel free to address him in a friendly and familiar way.

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." That is, because we have been adopted into the family of Christ, because we have taken his name upon us, and because he has accepted us in full, we are also accepted by his Father. We become joint-heirs with the Son. We are adopted into a state of sonship by the Father. Christ is his natural heir, and as adopted sons, we become joint-heirs, receiving, inheriting, and possessing as does the Natural Heir. Because we conform "to the image of his Son," we are also "glorified" with him. (Romans 8:4-30.) And thus in like manner, the inhabitants of all worlds "are begotten sons and daughters unto God" the Father through the atonement of Christ the Son. (D&C 76:24.)

Born of Water, Blood, and Spirit
Three elements are involved in every valid baptism. Unless they are present, unless they are inseparably connected, unless they act in perfect harmony, there is no legal and lawful baptism. These three are the water, the blood, and the Spirit.

Baptism itself is dual in nature; it consists of two parts, an immersion in water and an immersion in the Spirit. But baptism operates and has efficacy, virtue, and force because of blood, the blood of Christ. Baptism is a birth, a new birth, a birth in water and of the Spirit; but these two births would be mere formalities, useless performances, needless man-made rites without saving power, if it were not for the atoning blood of the Lamb. That is to say: If there had been no atonement of Christ, no agony of blood and Sorrow in Gethsemane, no suffering with blood and pain on Calvary, baptism would be a worthless waste of time and effort. The blessings that flow from baptism come because of the shedding of the blood of Christ. Baptism and all else by which salvation comes have power and efficacy because of the atonement.

Two births are essential to salvation. Man Cannot be saved without birth into mortality, nor can he return to his heavenly home without a birth into the realm of the Spirit. By obedience and conformity in pre-existence, we earned the right to a mortal birth, and by a like Course while here, we become fit candidates for the promised Spirit-birth. The elements present in a mortal birth and in a spiritual birth are the same. They are water, blood, and spirit. Thus every mortal birth is a heaven-given reminder to prepare for the second birth.

The Lord commanded Adam to teach his children: "By reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death." That is, death and procreation entered the world with the fall. Both of them appertain to mortality, and Adam lived in a deathless state of immortality before the fall. "And inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul," the Lord continued, "even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten."

In every mortal birth the child is immersed in water in the mother's womb. At the appointed time the spirit enters the body, and blood always flows in the veins of the new person. Otherwise, without each of these, there is no life, no birth, no mortality.

In every birth into the kingdom of heaven, the newborn babe in Christ is immersed in water, he receives the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and the blood of Christ cleanses him from all sin. Otherwise, without each of these there is no Spirit-birth, no newness of life, no hope of eternal life.

Why must we be born of the Spirit? The Divine Voice continues: "That ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory; for by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified." (Moses 6:59-60.)

Those who are born of the Spirit thereby -- that is, by virtue of their spiritual rebirth -- overcome the world. They die as to carnality and evil; they live as to spirituality and godliness. And it all comes to pass because they have faith in Christ. "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God," John says. Those who are born anew love the Lord and keep his commandments. "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. ... For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." There is no way to overcome the world except by turning to Christ and his gospel. It is by living the gospel that men forsake the world and are born again. "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"

Having so taught, John says of our Lord: "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood." That is to say: Christ our prototype was born as we are. He came into the world as a mortal by water and blood and spirit. In his birth, as in the birth of each of us, the requisite elements were present. But in his life, these elements were again present in his death. He sweat great drops of blood in Gethsemane as he took upon himself the sins of all men on conditions of repentance. This same agony and suffering recurred on the cross. It was then that he permitted his spirit to leave his body, and it was then that blood and water gushed from his riven side.

Thus it was that his mortal life ended; thus it was that his atoning death fulfilled the Father's plan; and thus it was that the elements of water, blood, and spirit came not only to signify the spiritual rebirth into the kingdom of God, but also were made symbols of the atonement itself. And, be it remembered, it is because of the atonement that an entrance into the kingdom of heaven is possible. "It is the Spirit that beareth witness" of all these things, "because the Spirit is truth."

Then John says: "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." The three members of the one Godhead bear everlasting witness of eternal truth. "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." Every birth of water, blood, and spirit is a witness that the infant mortal must in due course be born of water, blood, and Spirit into the kingdom of heaven. And every baptism -- in water, of the Spirit, and binding because of Christ's shed blood -- is a witness that our Lord's atonement, wherein also the water and blood and spirit were present, is the rock foundation upon which all blessings rest. "This is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son." This the true saints understand. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." (1 John 5:1-10.)

Baptism of the Spirit
Questions: When do we receive the actual remission of our sins? When are we changed from our carnal and fallen state to a state of righteousness? When do we become clean and pure and spotless so as to be able to dwell with Gods and angels? What is the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost?

Answers: Sins are remitted not in the waters of baptism, as we say in speaking figuratively, but when we receive the Holy Ghost. It is the Holy Spirit of God that erases carnality and brings us into a state of righteousness. We become clean when we actually receive the fellowship and companionship of the Holy Ghost. It is then that sin and dross and evil are burned out of our souls as though by fire. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the baptism of fire. There have been miraculous occasions when visible flames enveloped penitent persons, but ordinarily the cleansing power of the Spirit simply dwells, unseen and unheralded, in the hearts of those who have made the Lord their friend. And the Spirit will not dwell in an unclean tabernacle.

John, who baptized the Lord Jesus, preached the baptism of repentance. He called upon all men to repent and be baptized in water for the remission of their sins, meaning that if they submitted to his Aaronic authority, they would be blessed in due course with the manifestation of Melchizedek authority of Another who would give them a second baptism. "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance," he said, "but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." (Matthew 3:11.)

After his resurrection, Jesus told the apostles: "John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." (Acts 1:5.) The blessed fulfillment came on the day of Pentecost, when "suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:1-4.)

To his Nephite apostles Jesus said: "Blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins." (3 Nephi 12:2.) Thus has it been in all ages, and thus is it in our day. After baptism in water, legal administrators lay their hands upon a repentant person and say: "Receive the Holy Ghost." This gives him the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead based on faithfulness. Either then or later, depending upon the individual's personal worthiness, the Holy Ghost comes. The baptized person becomes a new creature. He is baptized with fire, sin and evil are burned out of his soul, and he is born again.

Truly baptism is a death, burial, and resurrection! "We are buried" with Christ "by baptism into death." We die as to sin. Then, "like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. We live as to righteousness. "Our old man is crucified with him [Christ], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."

Truly baptism prepares us for a glorious resurrection! "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his [Christ's] death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." (Romans 6:3-6.) As he came forth in the resurrection with a celestial body, a body free from sin, a body prepared to dwell everlastingly in a celestial kingdom, so shall it be with us.

All those who have been baptized in water for the remission of their sins; all those who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost; all those who are saints in very deed and who seek salvation -- all these desire, above all else, to gain the companionship of the Spirit, the baptism of the Spirit, so they can stand spotless before the Holy One in the day of judgment.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Avoid pride - follow the prophet


Weekly picture for Sunday School class. We learned about following our priesthood leaders and avoiding pride that would prevent us from following their counsel.

2 Kings 5:13
13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some agreatthing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pure Thoughts Equals Pure Actions


I wrote this many years ago and just found it. Enjoy! 

Do you want to be an instrument in his hands? 

One of my favorite quotes has inspired me more than most.  I have allowed my mind to dwell on it quite often.  It has helped me understand my greatest desire which is, how can I be an instrument in the Lord's hands?  Before I read the quote I want you understand that question better.  When I think of someone who was an instrumental to the Lord, I think of the many prophets of the Book of Mormon.  But to narrow the search, I have been learning about Alma the younger this last week or so as I listened to the Book of Mormon in my car on my way to work.  I would now like to tell you about my dear friend and teacher Alma.  As I do, I want you to think about the following question.  What was it about him that made him such an instrument to the Lord?  

When Alma was younger, he "became a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities."  As him and his friends were going about rebelling against God, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto them..[and said] Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said: This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people…  Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith." (Mosiah 27:8-14).  Alma repentented of his many sins and from that day forth went "throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of king Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which [he] had done to the church, confessing all [his] sins, and publishing all the things which [he] had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them" (Mosiah 27:35.)

He never looked back and he began to be an instrument in the Lords hands.  Before Mosiah the king died he set up a more democratic system of government with judges to govern the people and "Alma was appointed to be the first chief judge, he being also the high priest, his father having conferred the office upon him, and having given him the charge concerning all the affairs of the church. (Mosiah 29:42).  Only about 8 years passed and the people began to be exceedingly wicked, so Alma decided to step down from Chief Judge and preach the Gospel.  Imagine the President of the United States stepping down to go on a mission.   And Alma went and began to declare the word of God unto the church… according to the revelation of the truth of the word which had been spoken by his fathers, and according to the spirit of prophecy which was in him, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who should come to redeem his people from their sins, and the holy order by which he was called… (Alma 6:8).  He was instrumental in bringing Amulek, Zeezrom, and many of the people of the wicked city Ammonihah to the knowledge of their redeemer, and brought them out of the city before it was destroyed.   Peace was restored throughout the land because of the teaching of the word, "And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just-yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them…" (Alma 31:5).  He continued which was started by his father to teach the gospel unto his children with much diligence, and many prophets came of his seed.  He was even taken home to his Lord and Master without tasting of death.  It is written of him:


Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

Behold, he was a man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other sons of Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God. Alma 48:17-18

Now for the quote by Joseph Smith:

Background image by: Craig Conover, a digital painting I made of a dream I had several years ago.

"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. Joseph Smith https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-17?lang=eng
Today I want to propose that one of the major factors of Alma's success as an instrument in the Lords hands has to do with what Joseph quoted, "the clearer are his views."  Why were his views clearer?  Because he had learned to master his thoughts to the point that his “eye was single” to the glory of God.  Jesus Christ said, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42)  His eye was single to the glory of His Father, likewise Alma's eye became single to the glory of the Christ.  Horses have blinders put on them that they only see that which his master desires for them to see, we too need to put on our blinders that we may only think that which our Master desires for us to think.  Submitting our thoughts to the will of God is essential to becoming an instrument in the Hands of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thoughts can be hard to control, but I know that with the help from on high we can do it.  


"Probably the greatest challenge to people of any age, particularly young people, and the most difficult thing you will face in mortal life is to learn to control your thoughts. As a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Prov. 23:7.) One who can control his thoughts has conquered himself."  Boyd K. Packer Inspiring Music- Worthy Thoughts

"Elder J. Thomas Fyans made the following comments about thoughts:
"Not only is this Amazon the greatest river in the world, but even many of its tributaries are great rivers.
"One interesting feature about these rivers is their different colors. The Madeira, for example, is called a white river because its waters carry fine clay particles along its course. The black color of the Rio Negro comes from decaying organic materials picked up in the forests through which it passes. Still other rivers flow over white sands and often appear emerald green or turquoise blue. 

"Just as these rivers are colored by the substances picked up as they flow along, so the streams of our thoughts are colored by the material through which they are channeled. 

"Some rivers are sluggish and meander through low places. Their waters are dirty and full of debris.

"Other rivers flow down from the high places. Their current is strong, and as a result, these furnish electricity for our needs, and great ships sail upon them"

I guess the question is what does our river look like?  Is it polluted, and if so is a “service project” in order to clean it up.   President McKay helps us to know how to identify the pollution level of our rivers, "Tell me what you think about when you do not have to think, and I will tell you what you are.”  Ok, we now have an idea of the color of our river, George Q. Morris tells us why the color of our river is so important, "Thoughts are the tools with which we shape our character, just as truly as a great sculptor with chisel and mallet chips and chips on the rough marble until it's shaped into a splendid and perfect work of art. Just so every thought is shaping our character and, consequently, shaping our destiny and our lives. Therefore the result is, in all our thoughts, the creation of [our] character" (The Importance of Habits, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [20 May 1953], 2).

Alma organized a “service project” to clean up his thoughts and actions, and by doing so he became a great prophet and most defiantly an instrument in the Lords hands unto the salvation of many souls.  We too can take up the challenge and organized a “service project” on our thoughts and actions and we too can become instruments in our Lords hands and “shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.” (D&C 6:8).  

I testify of the truthfulness of this Gospel and am truly indebted to my elder brother Jesus Christ, who loved even insignificant me, that he suffered for our sins and laid down his life and took it up again for the sole purpose of bringing us back to our Heavenly Father crowned with salvation and everlasting life if we just come unto him.  I would like to close with the beautiful words of Joseph Smith,

“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.”

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

New partnership with Nephi1524


am pleased to announce a new partnership with Nephi1524.com. Tyler Story is a great friend of mine and he was inspired to start Nephi1524.com and we are both excited to start working together. The first adventure we will do together is to help more people Ponderize the scriptures even more. As you have already seen I have followed the following schedule:

Sunday/Monday - announce the new scripture for the week. 
Tuesday/Wednesday - post a quote about the scripture
Thursday/Friday - post a second quote about the scripture

Going forward, you can expect one quote from Spiritual Crusade and one quote from Nephi1524 each week. This will be great because Tyler will bring his own personality and style and together we will help more people Ponderize the good word of the Lord. 

Welcome Nephi1524!!!

Visit http://lds-ponderize.blogspot.com/ to start Ponderizing the scripture for the week and stay tuned for Nephi1524's first quote today or tomorrow. 😀

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dream of the filthy water and entering paradise

If I remember correctly I drew this sometime in 2013. Below is my journal entry I made on May 5th 2015 about it.
I had this dream probably like 13 years ago and a few years back, I decided to draw my dream. It started out as just a great desire and longing of my heart to actually draw my dream, but the Lord blessed me and I was given the ability to get this far. It miraculously turned out way better than I could have dreamed. I am not an artist and this was my very first attempt ever, so for it to just come together was definitely a miracle. I still have to finish putting myself in the picture. It is really hard for me to draw people, but someday, I will draw myself as I pull myself out of the water onto the bridge.
So, here is my dream: I was walking along the path on the left, and the path kept getting smaller and smaller until there was no path left. In my dream, I remember getting deeper and deeper as I pressed forward. I was hanging on the fence and eventually, I only had my head out of the water and the fence was no longer in my reach. I felt as though I was going to drown and then I remember my hand grabbing a hold of the edge of the bridge and I was able to pull myself out of the water and entered into paradise. I was taught that the water represented "the world" or the filthiness of the world and that through hard work and the grace of God, I would one day overcome the world and entry into His rest. 
It is impossible to depict in a picture the feelings and the actual struggle that it was for me before I felt the bridge in my hand, but it was not quick or easy. Even after the Lord put the bridge in my hand, great effort was still required to pull myself out of the water to enter into his rest. The plan of salvation was never designed to be easy or a walk in the park, it requires great effort, struggle, and many failures along the way. But if we keep our eye focused on the goal, we will have power and assistance from on high every step of the way. And the reward is definitely worth the struggle.
Craig

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Noah before the flood - Joseph before the fire


Let me take a quick moment to bare my testimony of this great man. I chose this quote because it has a powerful meaning. Lorenzo Snow reported a day when someone came and asked Joseph Smith, “Who are you?” To which he replied, “Noah came before the flood. I have come before the fire.” http://scottwoodward.org/MyClasses/2013-PGP/PPT/8-Moses%208--Noah%20and%20the%20Flood.pptx

Noah came before the flood to save all those worthy to be saved and to prepare for a new era of righteousness. Likewise, Joseph Smith came before the fire or the second coming to save all those who were worthy to be saved and to prepare for the great millennial era of righteousness.

My love and gratitude runneth over for all that he did for us and for the exemplary life that he lived. John Taylor nailed it when, through the power of the Holy Ghost, he declared in Doctrine and Covenants 135:3, "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it... He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!" 

To understand the amazing connection with Joseph and the true character of Hyrum, click here: http://spiritualcrusade.blogspot.com/2017/02/hyrum-smith-to-stand-at-head-of-this.html

For a moment, think about all the great prophets to have lived before Joseph Smith. Some names that come to mind are Adam, Enoch, Elijah, Moses, Noah, and etc... this declaration is absolutely paramount. We should feel so honored to know so much about this great prophet. He is so real to us and although that is a great blessing, it also can be a great hindrance for many. Recall what the Savior said, "Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country (Luke 4:24). The question is, where will you be on this spectrum, will you love and honor him or reject him? With all the pleadings of my heart I implore you to realize that there was only one perfect one and yet the people still rejected him, Joseph is not perfect and has his shortcomings, but I testify to you that one day we will know with a perfect understanding just how important and great he really is and we will be eternally grateful that we stood with him and beside him through thick and thin. Then will our hearts swell with pure love and we will know that all this great man did and said was to bring us to the literal feet of the greatest of all, even our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And as we bath His feet with our tears, we will shed tears of joy that we followed, with all our hearts, His great prophet even Joseph Smith Jr. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Craig


Monday, June 5, 2017

The Touch of the Master's Hand




'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
      Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
      But held it up with a smile.
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
    "Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two?
      Two dollars, and who'll make it three?"

"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
      Going for three…" But no,
From the room, far back, a grey-haired man
      Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
      And tightening the loosened strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
      As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
      With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
      And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
      Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice,
    And going and gone," said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
    "We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply:
    "The touch of the Master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
      And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
      Much like the old violin.

A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,
    A game — and he travels on.
He is "going" once, and "going" twice,
    He's "going" and almost "gone."
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
    Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
    By the touch of the Master's hand.

Myra 'Brooks' Welch

Myra Welch would say that she heard a speaker address a group of students on the power of God to bring out the best in people. She said she herself became filled with light and that “Touch of the Master’s Hand” was written in 30 minutes!.
The finished poem was sent anonymously to the editor of her local church news bulletin. She felt it was a gift from God and didn’t need her name on it.

https://www.barefootsworld.net/touch.html

New Logo



I am not a logo designer, but I really wanted a logo that told a story and conveyed adventure and discovery. I played around and came up with this. I hope you like it.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

We need women who


Weekly quote for my Sunday School class. Russell M. Nelson gave an amazing talk, which is where this quote was pulled from.

A Plea to My Sisters
Today, let me add that we need women who know how to make important things happen by their faith and who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world. We need women who are devoted to shepherding God’s children along the covenant path toward exaltation; women who know how to receive personal revelation, who understand the power and peace of the temple endowment; women who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families; women who teach fearlessly. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/a-plea-to-my-sisters?lang=eng

Mobile wallpaper: 



Friday, June 2, 2017

Seek the Face of the Lord Always



"Seek the Face of the Lord Always"
Elder Bruce R. McConkie
of the Quorum of the Twelve

The Pure in Heart Shall See God

After the true saints receive and enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost; after they know how to attune themselves to the voice of the Spirit; after they mature spiritually so that they see visions, work miracles, and entertain angels; after they make their calling and election sure and prove themselves worthy of every trust—after all this and more—it becomes their right and privilege to see the Lord and commune with him face to face. Revelations, visions, angelic visitations, the rending of the heavens, and appearances among men of the Lord himself—all these things are for all of the faithful. They are not reserved for apostles and prophets only. God is no respecter of persons. They are not reserved for one age only, or for a select lineage or people. We are all our Father's children. All men are welcome. "And he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." (2 Ne. 26:33.)
Seeing the Lord is not a matter of lineage or rank or position or place of precedence. Joseph Smith said: "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." (Teachings, p. 149.) The fact is that the day of personal visitations from the Lord to faithful men on earth has no more ceased than has the day of miracles. God is an unchangeable Being; otherwise he would not be God. The sole issue is finding people who have faith and who work righteousness. "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showeth not himself until after their faith." (Ether 12:12.)
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (Matt. 5:8.) The Book of Mormon rendition is even more express. It says: "And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (3 Ne. 12:8.) Ten days after the laying of the cornerstones for the Kirtland Temple, the Lord said to his little flock: "Inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; Yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God. But if it be defiled I will not come into it, and my glory shall not be there; for I will not come into unholy temples." (D&C 97:15-17.)
When the Lord has a house on earth, it is the natural and normal place for him to use in visiting his earthly friends. In the spring of 1820 the Father and the Son came to a grove of trees in western New York, because there was no temple on earth dedicated to serve as their abode. In May of 1829 John the Baptist came to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on the banks of the Susquehanna River; shortly thereafter Peter, James, and John came to them in a wilderness area. But once the saints had built a holy house for the Lord to use, he and his messengers visited that house to give instruction and confer keys. It was to the Kirtland Temple, the first holy temple of this dispensation, that Jehovah came on April 3, 1836, to be followed by Elias, Elijah, and Moses, each of which angelic ministrants conferred keys and powers upon their earthly fellow laborers. And so we turn to the Kirtland Temple to see the literal nature of these promises that the pure in heart shall see God, and what happened in the Kirtland Temple is but illustrative of what can be in any of the Lord's houses whenever his worshiping saints generate the faith to pull down from heaven these same heavenly manifestations.
By January of 1836 the saints were getting ready to dedicate the Kirtland Temple. Because of their faith and as an expression of the divine approval that attended their labors, the Lord poured out upon them great Pentecostal manifestations. On January 21, the Prophet Joseph Smith; his father, Joseph Smith, Sr.; Oliver Cowdery; and the two counselors in the First Presidency, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, were participating in sacred ordinances in an upper room in the Kirtland Temple. "The heavens were opened upon us," the Prophet said, "and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell. I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire; Also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son." (JS-V 1-3.)
That same day, and on others that followed, the Prophet and many others saw vision upon vision. Included among them were these: "The visions of heaven were open to them also," the Prophet said with reference to the First Presidency and the members of bishoprics and high councils from both Zion and Kirtland. "Some of them saw the face of the Savior, and others were ministered unto by holy angels, and the spirit of prophecy and revelation was poured out in mighty power; and loud hosannas, and glory to God in the highest, saluted the heavens, for we all communed with the heavenly host." (History of the Church, 2:382.)
On January 28, 1836, "president Zebedee Coltrin, one of the seven presidents of the Seventy, saw the Savior extended before him, as upon the cross, and a little after, crowned with glory upon his head above the brightness of the sun." (Ibid., p. 387.) Of a meeting attended by about three hundred members, on March 30, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple, the Prophet wrote: "The brethren continued exhorting, prophesying, and speaking in tongues until five o'clock in the morning. The Savior made his appearance to some, while angels ministered to others, and it was a Pentecost and an endowment indeed, long to be remembered." (Ibid., pp. 432-33.) The crowning appearance of the Lord during that special period of grace occurred, of course, on April 3, when the Great Jehovah appeared in his glory and majesty to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. (D&C 110.) These appearances of the Lord to his saints are but samples taken from a fragmentary account and covering a brief period of spiritual rejoicing, but they suffice for our purposes. There is no question but that the pure in heart do see God.
Associated with the promise that the pure in heart shall see God is the decree that those who are not pure in heart shall not see their Lord. Even Moses, with whom it was the practice of God to converse on a face-to-face basis, was denied that privilege on one occasion, as these words of scripture attest: "And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger is kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time, and live, for they are exceeding sinful. And no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live." (JST Ex. 33:20.)

How to Seek and See the Lord

If we keep the commandments and are true and faithful in all things, we shall inherit eternal life in our Father's kingdom. Those who attain this high state of glory and exaltation shall dwell in the presence of God. They shall see his face and converse with him mouth to mouth. They shall know him in the full sense of the word because they have become like him. And all who are now living those laws to the full which will enable them to go where God and Christ are, and there enjoy eternal association with them—that is, all those who are now living in its entirety the law of the celestial kingdom—are already qualified to see the Lord. The attainment of such a state of righteousness and perfection is the object and end toward which all of the Lord's people are striving. We seek to see the face of the Lord while we yet dwell in mortality, and we seek to dwell with him everlastingly in the eternal kingdoms that are prepared.
Our scriptures contain such counsel as: "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isa. 55:6-7.) "Seek the Lord, and ye shall live. . . . Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion. . . . The Lord is his name." (Amos 5:6, 8.) "Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness." (Zeph. 2:3.) "Seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life." (D&C 101:38.)
We know that all things are governed by law, and that "when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." (D&C 130:20-21.) "For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing," the Lord says, "and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world." (D&C 132:5.) This means that if we obey the law that enables us to see the Lord, so shall it be, but if we do not meet the divine standard, our eyes shall not behold him. There is no secret as to what laws are involved. They are everywhere recited in the scriptures. That which must be done is described in various ways in different passages. But the general meaning is the same. It all comes down to one basic conclusion—that of keeping the commandments. Let us now consider some of the specific things the scriptures say we must do if we are to see the face of God while we yet dwell as mortals.
The pure in heart shall see God. This we have already seen, but we restate it again because the process of becoming pure in heart is the process that prepares us to see the face of Deity. In an early revelation, the Lord spoke of the members of his newly set up earthly kingdom as "mine own elect." Of them he said: "They will hear my voice, and shall see me, and shall not be asleep, and shall abide the day of my coming; for they shall be purified, even as I am pure." (D&C 35:21.) John spoke similarly when he described what is now our Lord's imminent appearance: "When he shall appear, we shall be like him," he said, "for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purified himself, even as he is pure." (1 Jn. 3:2-3.) Knowing that Christ is pure, and that if we are to see him now, or be with him hereafter, we must be pure as he is pure, this becomes a great incentive to the purifying of our lives.
A perfectly stated and marvelously comprehensive formula that shows us what we must do to see the Lord is given us in these words: "Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am." (D&C 93:1.) Who made the promise? The Lord Jesus Christ. To whom is it given? To every living soul. What must we do to see his face? Five specifics are named: (1) Forsake our sins, for no unclean or impure person, no sinful man, can abide in his presence. (2) Come unto him; accept him as our Savior; receive his gospel, as it has been restored in our day. (3) Call on his name in mighty prayer as did the brother of Jared. (4) Obey his voice; do what he directs; put first in our lives the things of his kingdom; close our ears to the evil voices of the world. (5) Keep the commandments; endure in righteousness; be true to the faith. Those who do these things, being pure in heart, shall see God.
Faith and knowledge unite together to pave the way for the appearance of the Lord to an individual or to a whole people. The brother of Jared saw the Lord because he had a perfect knowledge that the Lord could and would show himself. His faith on the point of seeing within the veil was perfect; it had become knowledge. Because he knew, nothing doubting, he saw. Moroni, who had the plates of Ether and who summarized the account of Moriancumer's great vision, tells us why that prophet saw his God: "Because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil," Moroni says, "and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting. Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him." (Ether 3:19-20.)
It was on this same basis that Jared's brother saw all the inhabitants of the earth and many other things that he wrote, but that "shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord. And in that day that they 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. And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who speaketh." (Ether 4:6-8.) The message here is so clear that it cannot be clarified by commentary. The brother of Jared saw the Lord because of his faith and knowledge and because he sanctified himself before the Lord. Other men do not receive the same blessings because they have not built the same foundation of righteousness. If and when we obtain the spiritual stature of this man Moriancumer, then we shall see what he saw and know what he knew.
Commenting upon the appearance of Christ to the thousands of Nephites in the land Bountiful, Moroni says: "Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world." (Ether 12:6-8.)
In a revelation addressed to those among the saints whom he considered to be his "friends," the Lord gave this commandment: "Call upon me while I am near—Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Surely, this is what we must do if we ever expect to see his face. He is there waiting our call, anxious to have us seek his face, awaiting our importuning pleas to rend the veil so that we can see the things of the Spirit.
"Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name," he continues, "it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you." Would it be expedient for us to see and know what the brother of Jared saw and knew? Are there blessings others have received that should be withheld from us? "And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things." Clearly this is the state attained by Moriancumer when he saw and understood all things and when the Lord could not withhold anything from him.
"Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God"—and now we come to the crowning promise of the gospel—"and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will." That is the Lord's promise, his great promise, his crowning promise, his last promise. What is there that can excel in importance the obtaining of that spiritual stature which enables one to see the Lord? And so the next words spoken by the Lord to his friends were: "Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you."
Then follows some counsel relative to right living, which is climaxed with these words, the full import of which is known only by those who are endowed with power from on high in holy places: "Sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean; That I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation." Why? "That I may fulfil this promise, this great and last promise," this promise that you shall see me and that I will unveil my face, that I may fulfill this promise "which I have made unto you, when I will." (D&C 88:62-75.) To those of understanding we say: The purpose of the endowment in the house of the Lord is to prepare and sanctify his saints so they will be able to see his face, here and now, as well as to bear the glory of his presence in the eternal worlds.
In a poetic passage, which can only be understood, as is the case with most of the book of Isaiah, by those with a background knowledge of the gospel, Isaiah says of the righteous in Israel: "Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty." That is: You shall see the face of the Lord. Any who so obtain are identified with this language: "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil." (Isa. 33:15.) These are the ones who shall see the Lord in this life and dwell with him in the life to come.
"How do men obtain a knowledge of the glory of God, his perfections and attributes?" asked the Prophet Joseph Smith. His answer: "By devoting themselves to his service, through prayer and supplication incessantly strengthening their faith in him, until, like Enoch, the Brother of Jared, and Moses, they obtain a manifestation of God to themselves." (Lectures on Faith, p. 32.)

Those Whose Calling and Election Is Sure May See the Lord

It is the privilege of all those who have made their calling and election sure to see God; to talk with him face to face; to commune with him on a personal basis from time to time. These are the ones upon whom the Lord sends the Second Comforter. Their inheritance of exaltation and eternal life is assured, and so it becomes with them here and now in this life as it will be with all exalted beings in the life to come. They become the friends of God and converse with him on a friendly basis as one man speaks to another.
It is not our present purpose to discuss what it means to have one's calling and election made sure nor to recite the things that must be done so to obtain. A full discussion of these matters is found in my Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, volume 3, pages 323 to 355. For our present needs we shall simply quote this one sentence found on pages 330 and 331: "To have one's calling and election made sure is to be sealed up unto eternal life; it is to have the unconditional guarantee of exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world; it is to receive the assurance of godhood; it is, in effect, to have the day of judgment advanced, so that an inheritance of all the glory and honor of the Father's kingdom is assured prior to the day when the faithful actually enter into the divine presence to sit with Christ in his throne, even as he is 'set down' with his 'Father in his throne.' (Rev. 3:21.)"
In one of his greatest doctrinal expositions, the Prophet Joseph Smith equated the making of one's calling and election sure, spoken of by Peter, with "the sealing power spoken of by Paul." He said that those who were sealed up unto eternal life were the ones of whom Jeremiah spoke when he said that the Lord "will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah." In the day of this new covenant the Lord promised: "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." Then comes the glorious promise that those who receive the covenant and keep its terms and conditions shall see the Lord. "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jer. 31:31-34.)
Having referred to this promise, the Prophet Joseph Smith asked: "How is this to be done?" How will it come to pass that every man shall know the Lord? Why will it not be necessary for men to continue to teach one another the doctrines of the kingdom? The Prophet answers: "It is to be done by this sealing power, and the other Comforter spoken of, which will be manifest by revelation."
Building on that foundation, he then proceeds to give forth his discourse on the Two Comforters. He tells how converted persons receive the Holy Ghost, are born again, become new creatures, and, if they are of Gentile lineage, how they are adopted into the house of Israel. "The other Comforter spoken of is a subject of great interest, and perhaps understood by few of this generation. 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. . . .
"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.)
There are, of course, those whose callings and election have been made sure who have never exercised the faith nor exhibited the righteousness which would enable them to commune with the Lord on the promised basis. There are even those who neither believe nor know that it is possible to see the Lord in this day, and they therefore are without the personal incentive that would urge them onward in the pursuit of this consummation so devoutly desired by those with spiritual insight.

Priesthood Prepares Men to See God

When we speak of seeing the Lord and of talking to him face to face, we have reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, to our Messiah, to the Son of the Father who comes to represent his Father, to minister for and on his behalf and to act in his place and stead. But as we are aware, those who receive the Second Comforter not only have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend them from time to time, but the Son manifests the Father unto them, and the two of them take up their abode, as it were, with mortal men, men who also hold "communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn." (Teachings, p. 151.)
It follows that both the Father and the Son may be and often are involved in the appearances of Deity to man. In his own discourse on the Second Comforter, and after having said that he himself would come to his disciples, the Lord Jesus said: "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:23.) With reference to this, speaking by the spirit of revelation, the Prophet Joseph Smith said: "John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man's heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false." (D&C 130:3.) In point of practical reality, it is fair to say that there have been, as we shall note shortly, "many, exceeding great many" appearances of the Lord, meaning Christ, and a more limited number of appearances of the Lord, meaning the Father. And we shall also hereafter note the limitations that the Father imposes upon himself with reference to his own personal appearances.
Brethren whose calling and election is made sure always hold the holy Melchizedek Priesthood. Without this delegation of power and authority they cannot be sealed up unto eternal life. Our revelation itself says: "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." (D&C 131:5.)
It follows that the priesthood is the power, authority, and means that prepares men to see their Lord; also, that in the priesthood is found everything that is needed to bring this consummation to pass. Accordingly, it is written: "The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant." (D&C 107:18-19.)
"The keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church"! Clearly no spiritual blessing is available to mortal man on earth that can compare with personal communion and converse with the Gods of heaven. Such attainments on the part of the prophets of old are the very things that set them apart above all their fellows. Keys open doors; keys are the directing and controlling power where priestly things are concerned. Thus, through the priesthood the door may be opened and the way provided for men to see the Father and the Son. From all of this it follows, automatically and axiomatically, that if and when the holy priesthood operates to the full in the life of any man, he will receive its great and full blessings, which are that rending of the heavens and that parting of the veil of which we now speak.
Truly, as Paul said of holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood who magnified their callings, thus qualifying to receive all of the blessings held in store for such faithful persons: "Ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels"; that is, the heavens are opened unto you, and as with Enoch and Moses and the brother of Jared, nothing is withheld from your view and understanding. "Ye are come . . . To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect"; that is, you are in communion with the faithful of all ages past who now mingle together in a state of exaltation, you see God who is the Judge of all, and you commune with the departed spirits of the just. "Ye are come . . . To Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel"; that is, you see Jesus, by the sprinkling of whose blood, as it were, salvation comes. Having so taught, Paul issues this warning: "See that ye refuse not him [the Lord] that speaketh." (Heb. 12:22-25.) Rather, accept the priesthood and let it operate in your life to the full until all these blessings flow to you as they flowed to those of old who magnified their callings.
All of the holy prophets and righteous men of old held the holy Melchizedek Priesthood. This "priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years. . . . And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God." God is known in and through and because of the priesthood; without it he would remain unknown. Through the priesthood the Holy Ghost is given to men, which Comforter is sent forth to bear record of the Father and the Son; also, through the priesthood men are able to progress in spiritual things until they gain personal communion with Deity. "Therefore, in the ordinances thereof," the revelation continues, "the power of godliness is manifest. And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live." That is to say, in and through the holy priesthood, including all the laws and rites that go with it, the power of godliness, or in other words the power of righteousness, is brought to pass in the lives of men. Without these priesthood laws and powers, God's power and glory would not be revealed to man on earth. Without them they would not see the face of God, for if they did, his glory would destroy them. Sinful men cannot see the face of God and live. (JST Ex. 33:20.)
"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 anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter 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." (D&C 84:17-26.) What a calamity! Because they did not use the priesthood for the purpose for which it was given—and it was given that they might sanctify themselves so as to "behold the face of God"—the Lord withdrew the very priesthood itself. Israel, as a people, was left with the preparatory gospel only, with the law of Moses. Her people were denied what they might have had because they did not magnify their callings in the priesthood. A little thoughtful reflection will cause us to conclude that there are those in latter-day Israel who are not striving to use the Melchizedek Priesthood for the purpose for which it was given any more than did our ancient ancestors. Again—what a calamity!
However sad it is that Israel (except for isolated groups and occasional instances) failed to use the holy priesthood to sanctify themselves so as to be able to see the face of God and live, it is refreshing to know that there were other peoples in other places who did take advantage of these blessings when they were offered to them. From Alma's great discourse on the higher priesthood we learn: "There were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish; Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb. Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceeding great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God." Though Israel failed to sanctify themselves and enter into the rest of the Lord, others did; others by faith and righteousness attained the fulness of the glory of God. And note how many were so involved: "There were many, exceeding great many."
After having recited what others had obtained through righteousness, Alma exhorted his own people in these words: "My brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest." (Alma 13:10-13.) Along this same line, the Prophet Joseph Smith said to his brethren, the elders of latter-day Israel: "It is the privilege of every elder to speak of the things of God; and could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith the veil might as well be rent today as next week, or any other time, and if we will but cleanse ourselves and covenant before God, to serve him, it is our privilege to have an assurance that God will protect us." (Teachings, p. 9.)
In November 1831, the Lord said to the little flock of elders so far ordained in his newly established latter-day kingdom: "It is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God. Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind. Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected. Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy in mine own due time, ye shall see and know that which is conferred upon you by the hands of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun." (D&C 67:10-14.) That which had been conferred upon them by the prophet was the power to see the Lord. The name of that power is the Melchizedek priesthood. Many of these first elders in the kingdom did qualify in due course, while they yet dwelt in the flesh, to see the face of their King. How much spiritual progress we have made in the Church since the day of this revelation may be measured in terms of the number of the elders of Israel for whom the veil has been rent and who have seen the face of Him whose we are.

Apostles and Elders Should See God

All Christendom knows, or should know, that the ancient apostles were special witnesses of the Lord's name; that they saw him after he rose from the dead; that he spent forty days with them as a resurrected being, teaching them all things that it was expedient for them to know pertaining to his kingdom. Those who believe the Book of Mormon are aware that, as with the Twelve in Jerusalem, so with the Twelve on the American continent: they were all witnesses of the Lord—they all felt the nail marks in his hands and feet; they all thrust their hands into his side. There is general awareness in the Church that the latter-day Twelve hold the same office, possess the same priesthood and keys, and bear the same witness of the divine Sonship of him who redeemed us as did their predecessors in days of old. It is true that the witness of the Holy Ghost is sure and absolute and that a man can know with a perfect knowledge, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God who was crucified for the sins of the world. This unshakeable certainty can rest in his soul even though he has not seen the face of his Lord. But it is also true that those who have this witness of the Spirit are expected, like their counterparts of old, to see and hear and touch and converse with the Heavenly Person, as did those of old.
Oliver Cowdery, the Associate President of the Church, who held the keys of the kingdom jointly with the Prophet Joseph Smith, having received them from holy angels sent to earth for that very purpose, was appointed to give the apostolic charge to the first quorum of apostles called in this dispensation. Speaking by the spirit of inspiration and by virtue of visions he had received, Elder Cowdery set forth, in the spirit of pure inspiration, the nature of the apostolic office and what is expected of those who hold it. We shall quote those portions of his charge which deal with the obligation that rests upon all members of the Council of the Twelve to see the face of Him whose witnesses they are.
In a special charge to Elder Parley P. Pratt, we find these words: "The ancients . . . had this testimony—that they had seen the Savior after he rose from the dead. You must bear the same testimony; or your mission, your labor, your toil, will be in vain. You must bear the same testimony that there is but one God, one Mediator; he that hath seen him, will know him, and testify of him."
In the general charge to all of the Twelve, Elder Cowdery said: "It is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven to yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel. When the proper time arrives, you shall be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you have seen God, this testimony God will never suffer to fall, but will bear you out; although many will not give heed, yet others will. You will therefore see the necessity of getting this testimony from heaven.
"Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid his hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid his hands upon his disciples, why not in latter days? . . .
"The time is coming when you will be perfectly familiar with the things of God. . . . You have our best wishes, you have our most fervent prayers, that you may be able to bear this testimony, that you have seen the face of God. Therefore call upon him in faith in mighty prayer till you prevail, for it is your duty and your privilege to bear such a testimony for yourselves." (History of the Church, 2:192-98.)
Few faithful people will stumble or feel disbelief at the doctrine here presented that the Lord's apostolic witnesses are entitled and expected to see his face, and that each one individually is obligated to "call upon him in faith in mighty prayer" until he prevails. But the Twelve are only a dozen in number. There are seldom more than fifteen men on earth at a time who have been ordained to the holy apostleship, which brings us to another statement made by Elder Cowdery in his apostolic charge: "God does not love you better or more than others." That is, apostles and prophets do not gain precedence with the Lord unless they earn it by personal righteousness. The Lord loves people, not office holders. Every elder is entitled to the same blessings and privileges offered the apostles. Indeed, an apostle is an elder; such is the title by which he is proud to be addressed. The priesthood is greater than any of its offices. No office adds any power, dignity, or authority to the priesthood. All offices derive their rights, virtues, authorities, and prerogatives from the priesthood. It is greater to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood than it is to hold the office of an elder or of an apostle in that priesthood. The Lord loves his priesthood holders, all of whom are given the same opportunity to do good and work righteousness and keep the commandments. All of the elders in the kingdom are expected to live the law as strictly as do the members of the Council of the Twelve, and if they do so live, the same blessings will come to them that flow to apostles and prophets.
Apostles and prophets are named as examples and patterns of what others should be. The Quorum of the Twelve should be a model quorum after which every elders quorum in the Church might pattern its course. For instance, before long there will be a great sacrament meeting at which the Lord Jesus himself will partake of the sacrament. Others who will be in attendance and who will partake of the sacrament also will be Moroni, Elias, John the Baptist, Elijah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Joseph the son of Jacob, Peter, James, and John, and Michael the archangel who is Adam. These are the ones who are listed by name in the revelation. They shall all be there. The immediate impression arises what a marvelous meeting this will be, to have the Lord Jesus and all these holy prophets in attendance. Such an impression is of course proper.
But those named are listed merely to illustrate and dramatize what is to be. After naming them as the ones with whom the Lord will partake of the sacrament, the revelation says, "And also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world." (D&C 27:5-14.) In other words, every faithful person in the whole history of the world, every person who has so lived as to merit eternal life in the kingdom of the Father will be in attendance and will partake, with the Lord, of the sacrament.
I repeat: apostles and prophets simply serve as patterns and examples to show all men what they may receive if they are true and faithful. There is nothing an apostle can receive that is not available to every elder in the kingdom. As we have heretofore quoted, from the Prophet's sermon on the Second Comforter: "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." (Teachings, p. 149.) It follows that everything stated by Elder Oliver Cowdery in his charge to the apostles could also be given as a charge to all elders. Every elder is entitled and expected to seek and obtain all the spiritual blessings of the gospel, including the crowning blessing of seeing the Lord face to face.