Sunday, October 16, 2016


Sunday, October 16, 2016

In his address at the conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois, 7 April 1844, the Prophet Joseph revealed this about the nature of God and man’s relationship to him.

In the first place, I wish to go back to the beginning—to the morn of creation. There is the starting point for us to look to, in order to understand and be fully acquainted with the mind, purposes and decrees of the Great Eloheim, who sits in yonder heavens as he did at the creation of the world. It is necessary for us to have an understanding of God himself in the beginning. If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time, but if we start wrong we may go wrong,. And it will be a hard matter to get right.

If a man learns nothing more than to eat, drink and sleep, and does not comprehend any of the designs of God, the beast comprehends the same things. It eats, drinks, sleeps, and knows nothing more about God; yet it knows as much as we, unless we are able to comprehend by the inspiration of Almighty God. If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves. I want to go back to the beginning, and so lift your minds into more lofty spheres and a more exalted understanding than what the human mind generally aspires to…

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was able to make himself visible—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another.

In order to understand the subject of the dead, for consolation of those who mourn for the loss of their friends, it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how He came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.

These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they ae simple. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; and I will show it from the Bible.

…Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.
(History of the Church, Volume 6 pages 303, 305-206)

As I have written in previous Thoughts, the road to becoming like our Heavenly Father is long and will not be completed by any of us during mortality no matter how long we are privileged to dwell in our mortal shells.

However, we can hasten our journey along the path by choosing to listen to and apply the teachings of wise and inspired Telestial Mentors; by listening intently to the Terrestrial Mentoring of the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and being susceptible to the promptings of our self-spirits; finally and probably most importantly of all, by striving to become worthy to receive instruction from the Celestial Mentoring of Jesus the Christ and our Eternal Father.

Less any of us should become overwhelmed by the eternal task we might be facing, I hasten to remind us of two thoughts. First, Elder Bruce R. McConkie often taught that it was more import to be on the path and pressing forward than to be worrying about our pace, relative position with others or our point of progress. Second, the administrator and actuary of The Plan is the Eternal Father of us all and He has dedicated His eternal life to the progress of His children.

Although I have now written two appropriate conclusions to this series of Thoughts, I will add one more conclusion with the following scriptures.

If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal. (Doctrine and Covenants 42:61)

Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things—Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof—Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven.

And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake yet shall they partake of all this glory.
Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.

Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul.

And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.
(Doctrine and Covenants 101:32-38)

And now I go unto the Father. And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.

Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
(3 Nephi 27:28, 29)

But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion; which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter; Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him; To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves; That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory. (Doctrine and Covenants 76: 114-118)

May the Lord bless us with the wisdom to earnestly seek for all the help the Father has provided, that with these aids we might all move forward together. I am certain that He inspired the Irishman, John Greenleaf Whittier, to write, thee lift me and I'll lift thee and we'll ascend together. I am likewise sure that The Father is striving to lift us all to dwell with Him forever.

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