Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The Lord's conditions for a temple to be built would not be easy to achieve. They must be a Zion people. A Zion people are united, are pure in heart, they observe and keep the covenants they have made with the Lord, and are they willing to sacrifice for the Lord's kingdom. I believe this sacrifice is meant to be inward and outward. Inward, unrighteousness is sacrificed. Outwardly, earthly things are sacrificed When a person is willing to sacrifice outwardly, it removes selfishness.
Should the temple be built, the Lord promises that his presence will be there, but also states that no unclean thing can enter it or his presence will not be there. Through the temple, the Lord promises that the people will be perfected in their understanding of doctrine, and receive power. Whenever the Lord builds a temple, he promises that his people will be endowed with power. I believe this is the power of righteousness. If this is the case, it's no wonder that every time a temple is proposed, Satan unleashes his power to oppose it and tries to prevent its construction.
I love the final promise of the Lord, "I will bless her (the church) with blessings, and multiply a multiplicity of blessings upon her , and upon her generations forever and ever."
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
"I met with these men of God in the room which [President] Woodrow Wilson said was the most beautiful room in the United States - and it is indeed magnificent.... I said to the president, because I felt that he was so deeply spiritual, "PresidentKimball, will you bless me?" He replied, "You mean you want me to give you a blessing such as I give our people?" I said, "Yes." So he came around behind me with the two other presidents and they put their hands on my head and President kimball in his quiet, sincere, loving manner prayed for me by name. As he prayed, I began to be very broken up and touched, and then of a sudden I had a wondrous feeling of the Presence and I said to him, "Sir, He is here; I feel His presence."
Verse eight promises that if no unclean thing comes into this room, "my presence shall be there."
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
1. Verse 36, which everyone is familiar with, says: "The glory of God is intelligence,or, in other words, light and truth." You will remember that God's glory is described as that of the sun, much more so. We always stop at the word intelligence and fail notice what God's glory actually is, light and truth.
2. Verse 29: The Lord explains again that "Man was also in the beginning with God." Then he says Intelligence, or light and truth, was not created or made."
3. Verse 28: "He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things."
4. Verse 31: "Here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man"
Here is what I believe. There is not any official church doctrine regarding some of this, but I think it's true. We have always existed. Our state of being was first as an intelligence. As an intelligence, the first step in our progression was to again a spiritual body, then a mortal body, and in the final step, our spirit will be united with an immortal body. As verse 33 says, when the spirit is connected with an immortal body, that is when it receives a fulness of joy. We become complete and whole as we were meant to.
Because we existed first as an intelligence, light and truth were basic and natural elements of our being. As we progressed in the premortal life, we received more light and truth, we grew in glory, just as the Savior did. We did this by keeping the commandments . We grew to a high enough level that to continue to grow, we needed the mortal experience. Here, I believe the mortal body masks the glory we are gaining to a large degree (However, a righteous person is often described as some one whose countenance glows). You will remember that in Section 88, the Lord said that those who abide a celestial law will receive a body in the resurrection that is celestial in glory. Those who do less, will grow less and in the end, become less.
So in essence, what I believe is that as we keep the commandments, we receive light and truth, or glory. Light and truth are eternal elements that have been a natural part of beings from the beginning. In mortality, this is opposed and we experience the ultimate test of our agency, to choose whether we are going to receive more light and truth or not. If we do, we will eventually receive all the glory the Father has. If we don't, we will have to settle for less. This is why there are so many different levels of kingdoms after this life, why there is a telestial glory, a terrestial, or three levels of celestial glory. In the end, we are what we have chosen to become.
Two last points: Here is why the statement, "Here is the agency of man," is so important. Notice verse 39, "And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth through disobedience." Sin brings darkness. Evil people are dark and have no light in them. On the other hand, darkness cannot abide light. If you are in a perfectly dark room and light a match, the darkness around that match flees. The brighter the light, the more the darkness flees. The question is, how much light do we accept? In the temple endowment, the lights are dimmed to a "telestial" level. I'm always sobered by how used to it I become because when the lights are brightened to a terrestial level, it is very noticeable and I'm reminded how easy it was to become accustomed to only a telestial level. Having entered a terrestial level of light, we then prepared for the symbolism of entering a celestial level of light and glory by entering the celestial room where everything is even brighter. What a great demonstration of our eternal growth that is.
Finally, I find it interesting that the main point of all of this is a chastisement of Joseph and Sidney. The Lord states that children are innocent in their infant state. The Lord says that even though they have been instructed, they have not taught their children light and truth as they should have. This is an important reminder for all of us who are parents because teaching light and truth to our children helps them to grow in their most natural and eternal way. The Lord says, "What I say unto one I say unto all; pray always lest that wicked one have power in you, and remove you out of your place.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
In verse one, it's important to remember that he doesn't say he that perfectly cometh to me, perfectly calleth on my hame, perfectly obeyeth my voice, and perfectly keep my commandments. What's important is that we are trying to do that, that we're willing to pay a price in effort. The two promises, "shall see my face" and "know that I am" can be fulfilled in at least two ways. One way is to physically see the Lord and know. The other is that we can see and know spiritually. These first 18 verses are also John's testimony of the Savior and how the Savior became equal with the Father in glory. He tells us that the Savior grew from grace to grace until he received a fulness of the Father's glory. The promise is that we can do the same. This promise and the former promise of knowing and seeing the Savior are tied together.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
The other principle mentioned in this revelation is the oracles of God. In the scriptures, the term oracles refers to the prophets and the revelations they receive and teach. We're counseled to be mindful concerning how we receive the oracles since they represent the Lord and the Lord's mind and will. I firmly believe in the counsel we have been given that if we follow the brethren we will not be led astray. I have never heard anything from the lips of prophets and apostles that wasn't good counsel, or was contrary to how I feel. My biggest challenge is to keep myself in line with what they teach because when I do is when I am the happiest and my life is the most productive and has the most purpose.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The next part of this revelation deals with events that will be a part of the last days before the second coming of Christ. There will be seven angels who will sound trumpets with each series of trumps heralding specific events. I don’t know whether the sounding of the trumpets is symbolic or actual, but the first angels will announce the need to prepare for Christ’s coming, that the great and abominable church has been destroyed, and that church represents the tares or evil people and organizations of world. The righteous of the world will be caught up to meet Christ. This trump represents those people who are celestial. The second trump announces the redemption of those who have accepted the gospel in the spirit prison who are of a terrestial nature. The third trump is the redemption of those who were evil and are telestial in nature. The fourth trump is casting into outer darkness the sons of perdition or people who had a perfect knowledge of Christ and his glory but still denied him and fought against him. The fifth trump represents the restoration of the gospel and that all people will come to know Christ and confess his that he is just and fair. The sixth trump announces the fall of Satan and his followers. The seventh announces that Christ’s work is finished.
Then each of the seven will sound their trumpets again each one will represent one of the seven thousand years of existence of mankind. I believe that each of these thousand years are actually a long period of man’s existence and not a thousand years exactly. Then it says that after the thousand year reign of Christ, Satan will be let loose for a brief period and then Michael and his army will cast him out for good.
The last part of this revelation instructs the priesthood holders how they can organize and prepare themselves. The most important thing they can do is to build a temple because it is in the temple where our greatest preparations take place. The brethren are also instructed to start the school of the prophets, so they can be united in love, worthiness, doctrine, and be taught in the power of the Spirit.