Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Olive Leaf (D&C 88) Part 1

Joseph Smith called this revelation an “olive leaf plucked from the Tree of Paradise (see Revelation 2:7), the Lord’s message of peace to us” (see TPJS 25:2). 

 

The Holy Spirit of Promise

 

READ D&C 88:1-5

What actually happens in heaven when we pray?

Our words and desires arise to heaven.

They are told to or heard by the Lord.

They are recorded in heaven in a book of the names of the sanctified.

They result in the Lord taking action upon the earth – saving souls who have prayed for help – the “wherefore” means that His sending the Comforter is a result of the prayers that were offered.

They are relayed by the angels that are charged with hearing them, to the Lord, and from the Lord to the Father.

What does the Holy Spirit of Promise do?

Seals a person up to eternal life, which is to inherit Celestial glory and have membership in the Church of the Firstborn (of God).

It is the vehicle through which one’s calling and election to eternal life is made sure.

It is a comforter – the knowledge of being sealed up to eternal life by God Himself provides a comfort to the individual on earth, who has been, and will continue to be, called to go through trial, that they may “win” more light and glory by aligning their behavior to eternal law, regardless of the strength of the opposing forces, until they have accumulated a fullness (see D&C 93:12-14; TPJS 390-393).

Who sends this “other Comforter” or Holy Spirit of Promise?

It is given by God to man – “through Jesus Christ His Son”.

On December 27, 1832 (the day D&C 88 was given), Joseph Smith who had been given the sealing power in 1831 (see D&C 132:46-49), used that power to seal a group of faithful saints to eternal life – which is what is recorded in these verses.

The Holy Spirit is the mind of God, not a “personage of Spirit” (we will address this in the blog post for D&C 130:22), so the Holy Spirit of Promise is not a “Holy Ghost” but is Christ, promising you the blessing of eternal life which you will receive some time in the future, and His words are truth and His words are Spirit – and His goal is to make you precisely like Him, a Holy “Spirit” or Holy “Ghost” or personage of spirit, glory and power who will have to be tabernacled or clothed in the flesh (again) as a Son of God to accomplish all that is required to become a God yourself (see TPJS 390-393); but this promise from Christ to you, which is unbreakable, is that if you continue faithful to Christ and the Father, you will be able to complete this journey yourself and become precisely like Christ is now by following His example and performing all His works – and if you are anything like me, the faith it will require in Christ to believe that He can enable you to become like He is now, is absolutely astounding – if He can do that, then He really can do all things…and that is exactly the point: with God, nothing shall be impossible (see Luke 1:37; Romans 4:21; Genesis 18:14).

 

 

The Light of Christ

 

READ 88:6-13

Why was Christ required to suffer and die by His Father who is a “God of love”?

In order to be able to redeem all creation, He had to descend below all things within it so that He could encompass it, so there was nothing about it that He did not have intimate knowledge of, so that He could lift it, the way a fulcrum must be beneath an object to be able to lift it.

Christ obtained the knowledge to redeem man through His suffering; He had to find the way back from sin to God’s presence, which meant that He had to experience sin, which He did by taking upon Himself the guilt or responsibility for all our sins (see 2 Corinthians 5:21) without actually sinning, because He still had to be sinless in order to pay a price that was unjust to exact, and thereby win the victory over hell and death, having died unjustly – sin being the wages of death (see Romans 6:23).

We cannot get “beyond” His atonement – there is no sin or burden or dilemma we experience that He does not know how to carry, because He descended below all things (see Alma 7:11-14).

How many times is the statement “in all things” made and why – what is the significance?

Seven times in these verses.

All creation is sustained by the light of Christ – like the “unified field” in quantum physics, Christ is “in all things” because that light or unified field of energy emanates from Him or in other words, is a part of Him.

By being in all things or literally permeating all things, He can lay hold of all things and sustain them from moment to moment or keep them organized (see Mosiah 2:21, 25) – stop them descending again into unorganized chaos, which He does through His focused intent or will, being the “observer” that the particles of energy that make up this whole universe, are influenced by.

We only have the illusion of privacy – we are living “in the Matrix” here on this earth – we just think we are alone because we are outside the immediate presence of the Father; we have the freedom to act and choose but our freedom operates inside His creation, as He owns and controls all of the elements, including those that make up our bodies.

How does truth “shine”?

Light “shines” or is detected by humans; it is the part of the sun’s energy that can be seen by human eyes but it is not the entirety of the energy that comes from the sun; the sun’s energy travels to earth in 8 minutes in the form of very small waves in a vibrating pattern of electricity and magnetism (electromagnetic energy).

The word of God is truth, and whatever is truth is light, and whatever is light is Spirit (see D&C 84:45); it is eternal and cannot be created or made (see D&C 93:28-30).

Those who listen to words of truth have Christ to be their light or to reveal the right way AND to fill their souls with light (see 2 Nephi 10:14).

The Lord’s truth in plainness gives light unto their understanding – it enlightens them or quickens them (see 2 Nephi 31:3).

And because truth is light, it will actually “shine” or have detectible glory that mankind can see if their eyes could discern it, but which the natural eye cannot unless it is quickened (because we only see an extremely limited range of the light spectrum).

What is the light of Christ?

It is light, glory, truth, intelligence, (holy) spirit, and life (see D&C 93:36; D&C 88:13).

It emanates or proceeds from God to fill the immensity of space (see D&C 88:12).

It is in all things (see D&C 88:6-13).

It “quickens” and makes alive all things (see Moses 6:61; D&C 88:13).

It cannot be created or made (see D&C 93:29-30).

It is a part of God’s actual being (see D&C 88:41); it is God.

As light is spirit, this light is actually “God’s spirit”, as in “have His Spirit to be with you” (see Moroni 4:3); and since this light or spirit is literally part of God’s being, to have His spirit or light to be with you means to have God actually in you, until you are one (see D&C 35:2; Moses 6:68; John 17:21-26; D&C 88:67).

It gives light to everyone who is born (see D&C 84:46; John 1:9); both physical light and intellectual or spiritual enlightenment (see D&C 88:7, 11; John 8:12; John 9:5; Moroni 7:18; D&C 11:13).

It is the power of God, by which all things are made and upheld (see D&C 88:6-10, 13; Mosiah 2:20-21; Moses 6:61).

It forsakes evil or misalignment with eternal law (see D&C 93:37, 39; D&C 88:40) because it is the Law by which all things are governed (see D&C 88:13); it is eternal law or truth.

Christ is god because He has acquired a fullness of light (see LoF 7:15; D&C 93:2-14; TPJS 390-393) through complete compliance to, and becoming one with, eternal law or truth or this light (see D&C 50:23-29; Alma 12:9-11; D&C 88:50, 66-68, 75; John 5:19, 30; John 8:28; John 17:21-25; 3 Nephi 19:23-34).

It is the Tao (pronounced “Dow”) – a force that pervades the universe – it is the source of the universe but it also is the universe.

It is the “Force” – an energy field created by all living things – it surrounds us and penetrates us – it binds the universe together…; “us” in this case refers to you as a being of light like God is – when we say that the force “surrounds us” it means the fundamental element of your being, because as we’ve already seen, it IS much of what we have come to associate with us (i.e. our bodies). 

What does it mean that Christ was “in the sun” and also in the “light of the sun”?

Quantum physics postulates that everything is “non-local” or in other words, that particles (or “wavicles” – a name reflective of the fact that subatomic elements have a dual nature depending upon if they are being observed or not – a distributed wave if not and a particle if they are) are intimately linked on some level that is beyond time and space (see Bell’s Theorem) – everything is touching or “entangled” all the time – it is a unified field – and it only exists in particle form (as a “solid” object locatable in time and space) when it is being observed.

Within an atom, the “empty space” between the nucleus and circling electrons is not really empty but is actually a sea of powerful energy (even subtler or refined levels of matter than those of a nucleus or electron) – it is a “unified field” which encompasses all things within the universe.

Christ is the ultimate Observer, as King Benjamin teaches us – He is holding this whole creation together from moment to moment, to allow us to have this probationary experience.

All of the elements used to create this universe are His (see Mosiah 2:20-21, 23, 25; Nehemiah 9:6); He “created” or organized them (not out of nothing but as the observer, see D&C 38:3; Psalms 33:9; Hebrews 11:3; Jacob 4:9) and then redeemed them so that they could be quickened or made Celestial.

And all are connected to Him or are actually a part of Him – as all things exist within the “light of Christ” defined above – or to say it more accurately, all tangible things within this universe are the light of Christ but have taken upon themselves the form the “observer” wishes or intends or commands them to take.

Because of this, Christ can be both “in the sun” and “in the light of the sun”, and even be “the light of the moon”, which is reflected from the sun.

How is the light of Christ the power of God, by which the sun, moon, stars and earth were made – isn’t that the priesthood?

Priesthood is an association between Gods, angels and men, between or within the worlds (i.e. mortal, time-bound earth and Celestial, eternal heaven, and any dimensions in between – like a non-eternal spirit world) whereby “power” to perform “work” is shared.

A great part of that work is to “seal” or to “make it so” across all worlds – in time (mortality) and outside of time/eternity (heaven); things are sealed by God’s word – He swears an oath that something “will be” (in the future – which can mean the future in a linear, time bound sense on earth or perhaps, a “future” eternity); if His word is not the truth or doesn’t come to be, God is a liar and will cease to be God, so when He seals something, He will do everything in His power to “make it so” – and since His attributes include knowledge, faith or power, and truth (see LoF 4:5-6, 10-12, 16-19), He can ensure that all His promises or words are true through His command, will or intent (as the observer of elements that are part of Him – that proceed from Him and are His “glory” or light) – and the elements will always obey Him (see Helaman 12:8-21).

Mankind holds power or the ability to pronounce God’s word in the performing of His work and will when God gives them the right to do so – that association with God (or direct authorization from God to speak on His behalf as if he/she was God) is priesthood, but the actual power to enact one’s will or to change something is the power of the observer acting on energy through His/Her will – and that energy or light or spirit IS the light of Christ and that Observer is God, the one the elements will obey.

For someone else to receive that power in and of themselves – to have “life in themselves”, they have to become a god themselves (which only happens via the grace of other gods who have navigated the trail before them) – they must align themselves perfectly with the fullness of eternal law, work out an atonement with fear and trembling, then attain to the resurrection of the dead, redeeming their whole creation by unjustly submitting to death and then overturning it through justice; and even then they are not a law unto themselves because they have arisen to the status of a God and maintain that status by perfect alignment with eternal law – which means they are one with all other Gods who have done and continue to do the same and have an association or “priesthood” with each other and are able to do all things.

What does it mean that the light which “enlighteneth your eyes” is the same light which “quickenth your understandings”?

The light or the electromagnetic radiation that falls within the certain portion of the spectrum that humans can see is what “enlightens your eyes” or enables you to see; it comes primarily from the sun, stars, fire, and electric light but is made up of elements which God commands, through His “observation” (see Mosiah 2:20-21).

The light or cognitive intelligence which “quickens your understanding” or enables you to think and comprehend large amounts of complex concepts (truths) is not just a function of your physical brain but is directly related to the amount of light, spirit, truth or “intelligence” you have gained from God through an “open heart” which allows you to believe and do things you had never previously considered – things like aligning yourself with a higher level of eternal law (see Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16; Alma 12:9-11; Alma 13:3-5; D&C 130:18-21), or in situations where you are “clothed” in God’s glory temporarily, so that he can endure God’s His presence and be filled with His glory for a time (see Moses 1:2).

When you are “clothed” or quickened, God can and will show mortals (who have become His children) the details of His workmanship; mortals can still be shown and can comprehend “every particle” of everything thing that has ever been on the earth (see Moses 1:27-29) when they are clothed with or quickened and transfigured by God’s glory (see Moses 1:9-11; Ephesians 3:18-19; D&C 88:49-50); the ability of a mortal to comprehend not just the science of all things on the earth (simultaneously) but also each actual particle of the earth (that has ever existed on it) is so far beyond the capacity of any person now living as to be considered a “supernatural” amount of intelligence.

But God cannot show mankind the entirety of His works for His works are without end and no man can behold all God’s works unless he beholds all His glory, which no mortal can do and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth (see Moses 1:4-8) – but like Enoch, they must be removed from the earth.

Without being filled with God’s glory, the natural man (one who has not been born of God through the baptism of fire, much less one who has been sealed up to eternal life and made a son or daughter of God) cannot comprehend the things of God, regardless of the IQ of their mortal brains (see Mosiah 4:9; Mormon 9:16-20; Alma 12:10-11).

Implied is that both the “physical” light which comes from the sun but is made of the sub-atomic elements (the “sea of energy” or “unified field” or light of Christ) which proceeds from God, and the glory, light, truth, or (holy) spirit of God which enlightens a person’s mind and enables them to comprehend the things of God, are the same thing!  All light proceeds from God and is part of God and is commanded and controlled by His voice and intent (see Job 37:1-24; Helaman 12:7-21).

Why does the light proceed forth from the presence of God?

Because the light IS God; it is His glory, light, spirit, intelligence – it is all Him or part of Him or an extension of Him – it is a fullness of light or energy; and with it or from it He has created (really organized…) and sustains all things in this universe and eternity (see D&C 93:29-30) through His “voice” or “observation” or will or intention (see D&C 88:41; Jerimiah 23:23-24; Psalms 139:7-12).

This is what it means that God sits in the bosom of eternity in the midst of all things.

God is the focal or center point; all things revolve around Him because He is the one who sustains them all.

How can the light fill the immensity of space and be in all things – what about black holes?

There is no such thing as “empty space” – actually a black hole is a great amount of matter densely packed into a very small area which causes a gravitational pull so huge that light cannot even get out of it.

Quantum physics teaches that we exist in a “sea” of subatomic energy “wavicles” – actually, that we are made up of them, too or at least our bodies are.

Which begs the question: is there a difference between our bodies and the “spirits” or intelligence that resides within them, if everything is created or organized from this sea of energy or “light of Christ”; the answer seems to be solved in the idea of “spirit” (intelligence or you and me – things that act; see D&C 93:30-33) being different from “element” (everything else – can be acted upon) but all things are “intelligent” or are sentient and have consciousness and agency, otherwise the dust could not obey God’s voice, so this distinction is not as clear.

Perhaps intelligence gathers light to itself through obedience to eternal law, aided by gods who have gone before (which begs the question of who went first, if all need aid…), until it is organized (by a male and female god) from an element of intelligence into a “spirit” entity.

How does the light which is in all things give life to all things?

The sun sends light and heat rays at various frequencies – from infrared to visible to ultraviolet light – to earth.

Light waves are used by plants to live via photosynthesis; the visible light spectrum provides light to see by; the energy in light enables the hydrologic cycle to work (water and water vapor) and the climate and temperature.

Some of the waves of light from the sun are dangerous to life (ultraviolet) but the ozone layer in the lower stratosphere just above the highest clouds protects living things from UV light.

The energy from the sun must be returned to space to keep the earth from overheating – 30% of the incoming radiation is reflected back out and the other 70% of heat is produced by the earth itself through warmed objects, which give off infrared or heat radiation.

So, living things use energy to live and then create energy which is either used on earth or finds its way back into space.

But all of the elements are God’s, both the elements of the sun’s light and the elements that are sustained in life by it – they are all created of the same subatomic energy or the light of Christ and proceed from Him and are intimately connected to Him and through His will they are organized into elements and sustained in life – “life” in this case including what we would call “non-living” objects like stones and sun rays (see Moses 7:48; Helaman 12:8-17).

How is the light which is in all things also the law by which all things are governed?

This speaks to the connection between eternal law and light; the more you align yourself (behavior, beliefs, etc.) with eternal law, the more light (truth, glory, intelligence, spirit) you will receive as a natural consequence (see D&C 130:18-21; D&C 88:36-40, 22; D&C 93:28).

Light is truth or intelligence or knowledge (see D&C 93:36; D&C 84:45) – things as they really were, are and will be (see D&C 93:24).

The degree to which you align your behavior with the amount of truth or light you have, you are “living” a level of “law”; unless you have received all truth or knowledge, you cannot live a “fullness” of eternal law.

Kingdoms of glory are naturally segmented by the level of eternal law one must keep to be able to abide by that level of glory.

So, the since light is truth and it is attracted to light of a similar frequency and the higher the frequency (more heat or light exhibited) is a sign of a better adherence to Eternal Law, you can say that the light or energy that we interact with (and are made of) is aligned seamlessly with Eternal Law until it has reached a fullness – which implies a fullness of oneness with Eternal Law.

 

 

Resurrection, Eternal Law and Kingdoms of Glory

 

READ D&C 88:14-19

What constitutes the “soul” of man?

A “spirit” and a “body” together.

What is the difference between the “redemption of the soul” and the “redemption from the fall of man” (see Ether 3:13)?

Redemption = deliverance from bondage (slavery), distress or from liability, either by money, labor or other means; to repurchase captured goods or prisoners; ransom; the liberation of an estate from a mortgage (see 1828 Webster’s Dictionary).

The redemption of the soul is the resurrection from the dead (see D&C 88:16) – bringing the spirit and body back together despite their lack of qualifications to be reunited based on their merits.

The redemption from the fall of man is coming back into God’s presence or no longer being separated from God or spiritually dead (see D&C 29:41; Alma 42:9); it doesn’t have to happen after one is dead.

Being an eternal soul (a being of “spirit” clothed in a “body” made up of one sort of element or another), one cannot cease to exist but one can be cast out of God’s presence, and the fullness of joy that can only be found there; being cast out of His presence is “death” to a soul for this reason and a soul cannot change this state on their own but must be reclaimed by another, not because God is arbitrary but because the natural man cannot abide the glory of God (see D&C 67:11-13) or he/she will be “utterly wasted” by it (see Alma 3612-18; Mormon 9:3-5);  a spirit in bondage without a body cannot reenter God’s presence but is cut off (see 2 Nephi 9:9-15) unless a resurrection has been enabled; implied is that the body serves as some kind of shielding device from or enabling device for God’s glory.

So, a “soul” must be redeemed from spiritual death while living in a mortal probation by coming back into God’s presence while in the flesh (a spirit clothed in a mortal tabernacle or physical body – a “soul”); and again upon the physical death of that soul and the separation of the spirit from the body, they must be redeemed again, this time from physical death, through the resurrection or reuniting of spirit with body so that they can come again into God’s presence, this time as a resurrected “soul”.

What must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness that “it” may be prepared for the celestial glory?

There is a good argument that the “it” refers to the earth itself; verse 10 mentions the “earth also” and the phrase “measure of its creation” is used other places to refer to the earth or those creatures the Lord has created on its face (see D&C 88:25-26); Christ’s Celestial Kingdom will be on this earth (see D&C 130:9) and those who inherit a celestial glory will live here with Him.

However, the “it” could also refer to the soul of man (body plus spirit) in a redeemed and resurrected celestial state; the poor (in spirit) and meek who come unto Christ will receive the kingdom of God (become adopted heirs or sons/daughters of God with celestial glory) and will inherit the earth, which will be glorified for them (see 3 Nephi 12:3, 5); the measure of the soul’s creation is immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39).

Or perhaps “it” could refer to the celestial glory itself – what is being inherited by those who are redeemed and sanctified.

What does it mean to be crowned with glory?

To receive the presence of the Father.

To receive an endowment (gift) of His glory or light or intelligence; a promise of His fullness.

 

READ D&C 88:36-40

What is implied by the fact that there is no space in which there is no kingdom and all kingdoms have a law given?

There is no such thing as “empty space” – all space is filled with a sea of energy.

There is no such thing as space outside of eternal law – all energy must comply with eternal law.

There is no end to God’s works (meaning they don’t end, although they do “pass away”) but the “heavens” are numbered unto God, although man cannot comprehend those kind of numbers; this seems to imply that God’s works are finite which may make sense if God’s works continue to increase; and the fact that He has not  “always” been a god implies that there was a “first” creation upon becoming a god and many more since then but not an “infinite” number (see TPJS 390) – a question to ask Him about… (see Moses 1:37-38). 

Who gives the laws that these various kingdoms must abide by?

God abides by these laws, which is why He is a god.

God did not “make” the law, although He “gives” or reveals the law to others so that they can abide by it and receive further light (see D&C 130:18-21).

In eternity, degrees of glory are associated with obedience to different degrees of eternal law, so what is implied about our current standing before God in mortality and the level of law we are now living?

We now possess the degree of glory associated with the law we are willing to live.

The purpose of religion is to bring you back into God’s presence to have a positive experience; if you have followed your religion dutifully and it has not led you back into God’s presence, your religion is inadequate. 

Death does not change your relationship to God because it does not magically remove the consequences of sin – you will be the same person then as you are now (Alma 34:34; Alma 41:2-15).

If we want to possess a greater degree of glory, we must abide by a different set of laws to those which we are currently abiding by.

Unless we are purposefully and knowingly living below our privileges or opportunities for more glory, we are by definition ignorant of the new set of laws we need to be living to gain more.

For example, if you live your current beliefs perfectly, and have not been brought back into God’s presence in the flesh, your current beliefs do not possess the power to bring you back into His presence.

And if your religion does not have the power to bring you into God’s presence now, you should have no reason to believe it will have the power to do so after your death – the exception to this may be a forced judgement scenario, which will not be a good experience for you and will not last long.

Adopting a new set of laws means repenting of current practices, behaviors and beliefs, and adopting new ones (see Alma 12:9-11).

Assuming your spiritual practices, behaviors and beliefs will never change means that you will never receive more than you have already received.

As God’s ways are not our ways, and as we cannot comprehend Him because we are not like Him, He will always ask us to do and believe things that astound us, given our current level of belief, practice and behavior (Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 John 3:2); He does this to help us to become like Him so that we can be saved (see LoF 7:9; Moses 1:39).

So, what must we do to inherit a higher degree of glory than that which we currently have?

We must seek for more light and truth – more commandments or a higher level of eternal law to live; we must ask “what lack I yet?”

We must repent of our current beliefs, practices and behavior; we must be childlike in our perspective – willingly acknowledging that we know nothing but have intense curiosity to learn more.

We must live the new level of laws; we must have faith in God that He will not have given us the new laws unless He knew we were capable of living them.

The more light you receive through obedience to more (and “higher”) of God’s commandments (i.e. eternal law), the more light you will keep when you pass from this life and the greater your advantage will be in the life to come – this is why your probation continues until the end of your life…and beyond (see D&C 130:18-21).

If we do not continue faithful to the end in keeping God’s commandments, we will die in our sins and be overwhelmed with grief and torment in His presence – this is simply the unavoidable result of natural eternal law (Moroni 10:26; 2 Nephi 9:27; Alma 41:3-13).

As we remain in our same state at death, if we have not reconciled our lives to the commandments God has provided us in this life, we will not be ready to meet Him when we die (Alma 7:21; 1 Nephi 15:33-36; Genesis 3:22-24; Alma 34:33-36) and we will find ourselves cast out of His presence after this life (1 Nephi 10:21).

Keeping all of God’s commandments (to the level of the Celestial law) is the only way to dwell in His presence (1 John 3:19-22; 1 John 3:20-24) in this life and the next.

Why is forgiveness through Christ’s atonement not enough to justify you in the ultimate sense – why must you be able to abide by the conditions (laws of a given kingdom) on your own merits?

Ultimately, it is because “light cleaveth to light” and “intelligence to intelligence” (v 40) meaning that light or intelligence of a certain level is attracted to its like but repels that which is different – either higher (because it can’t abide a higher level of light as it is too much) or lower (because it finds that level of darkness distasteful or unattractive (see D&C 93:36-37).

Christ redeems mankind from physical death and provides a way for us to be saved from spiritual death or separation from God due to our sins (2 Nephi 2:26-29); we are saved by God’s grace through Christ’s atonement.

That grace is undeserved or unmerited by us and freely given to us by Christ; however, it is not automatic, meaning that mankind is not all automatically saved because of it, in that we must act to receive it by loving Christ, which is demonstrated by keeping His commandments (2 Nephi 9:21; Alma 11:37; Luke 6:46; Moroni 7:28; 1 John 5:3-5).

There is a difference between obtaining forgiveness and being fundamentally changed from one’s tendency to sin; forgiveness absolves you of the penalty of past sins (justification) but does not make you any less capable of committing future sin (sanctification); those who continue to sin after having been forgiven are in open rebellion against God (Mosiah 2:37-39).

Being saved means becoming precisely like Christ, the prototype of the saved being – this means having the same desires and actions as God – this is what it means to repent – to change our character to become like God’s – we can’t do this by ourselves but it also can’t be done for us.

To repent and be changed, we must yield our desires and actions to God with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

This change in character is a process but it begins with a single event where one “enters the gate” – this is the baptism of fire.

We must both repent and be baptized by water, which is the outward ordinance in which we are witnessing in the physical world that we are willing to enter into a covenant with God (3 Nephi 11:38).

AND we must be baptized or bathed in the Holy Spirit (3 Nephi 12:1) by the Lord (Mosiah 27:25-26; John 3:3-5) which shows His acceptance of the sacrifice of our whole souls, which we have offered to fulfill the terms of the covenant; this baptism of fire or birth of the spirit gives one a mighty change of heart where one loses the disposition or desire to sin and wants to do good continually; it is the cleansing agent which remits sin and without it baptism by water is merely an act (Mosiah 5:2).

The resulting purification or sanctification or quickening allows increased communication with God through the Holy Spirit, enabling the individual instruction necessary to bring us to eternal life or knowing God by entering again into His presence (Alma 5:14-16).

Being born again requires repentance “nigh unto death” (Mosiah 27:28-29) by experiencing Godly sorrow – understanding one’s true standing before God (2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Alma 7:14-15) and then submitting or sacrificing one’s whole soul (Omni 1:26; Mosiah 3:19; Alma 22:8, 13-18) or a broken heart and contrite spirit (3 Nephi 9:20; 2 Nephi 2:6-8) to the Lord.

These “attitudes” of repentance must be accompanied by the “action” of baptism by water (2 Nephi 9:23; Matthew 28:19) by one who has been commissioned by Christ (3 Nephi 11:21).

The baptism of fire constitutes “entering the gate” or starting the path to eternal life (2 Nephi 31:17-20).

The mighty change of heart that occurs with the baptism of fire is neither permanent nor unconditional – it lasts as long as the conditions of repentance are maintained (Alma 7:16; Moroni 5:2) – this is called retaining a remission of your sins and requires maintaining a broken heart and contrite spirit and submitting to God’s word as soon as you receive it or keeping God’s commandments (1 John 5:18; 1 John 3:1-10).

Sinning removes one from the path to eternal life by cutting you off from God’s presence – you have failed to endure to the end or abide in the covenant (2 Nephi 9:24); and must reenter the gate by fully repenting and being born again.

God does not tolerate even the least degree of sin (Alma 45:16); even partial sin leads to complete condemnation – God cannot save sinners in their sins, only from their sins (Alma 11:34-35); salvation is not about sinning less – it is about not sinning at all.

It is possible to become sinless in this life; only those who believe it is possible will ever try; trying to become sinless requires faith in God.

The goal of the gospel is the immortality and eternal life of man; Christ is the prototype of the saved being – if Christ was anything other than precisely what He is, He could not be saved; we must be precisely as He is, if we would be saved; the goal of the gospel is to produce sinless men and women (Colossians 1:28; Ephesians 4:13; Mormon 9:3-6; 1 John 3:1-10; Moroni 7:48).

People who are capable of sin cannot live with God, as they cannot endure His presence (Alma 38:1); even if they were initially forgiven upon entry into God’s presence, an individual capable of sin cannot dwell permanently in God’s presence because as soon as he sins again, the pain of being sinful in God’s presence will cause him to recoil.

While we cannot be like Christ in our current level of knowledge or power (as He has progressed far beyond us in light and glory through His obedience to eternal law), we can and must be like Him in His desire for good and His perfect obedience to God; this is possible in a relative way – we can be perfectly obedient to the level of eternal law that God has revealed to us.

Why do “like” things attract each other and repel unlike things?

Researchers at Yale University have discovered that, at the micro-scale (within a silicon microchip) beams of light can repel each other like repulsive electric charges in a magnet; they can also attract each other; together, these effects are called “optical force”; this force acts along an axis perpendicular to the direction the light is traveling; so parallel beams can therefore be induced to either converge (attract) or diverge (repel); they are induced to repel each other by slightly changing the wavelengths so that they don’t “match up” with each other or they are enabled to attract each other by ensuring that the wavelengths match each other perfectly.

 

READ D&C 50:23-25

How can you tell what is “of God”?

That which is of light is of God.

Light = intelligence.

Light = a higher frequency or vibration or “quickening”.

Light = truth.

Light = glory and spirit (highly refined matter).

Light = gives life.

Light = comes from God; it IS God or is part of Him.

Light = is how wo/man’s minds are enlarged – in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light or aligning one’s thinking and behavior with the light or truths or intelligence given (see TPJS 63:2-64:1).

What do we learn here about the nature of light?

Where light is, darkness cannot be.

Light is had in degrees; whatever level of light one has within them, the rest is filled in by darkness.

Light either grows or diminishes; it is never static.

Darkness is “chased away” by light.

This happens in degrees over time (see TPJS 65:1) as we learn to abide by the law of a particular kingdom (i.e. a certain level of eternal law).

 

READ D&C 88:20-35

Why would people who do not abide by the Celestial Law not be able to abide a Celestial glory?

God is glorious and His presence is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; Psalm 97:3-5; 3 Nephi 24:2-3); purity or pure light, intelligence, glory or truth is the only thing that can endure that refiner’s fire.

Only those who have been forgiven and/or have become like Him can abide it; for them reentering His presence will be a joyous reunion (Psalm 16:11; Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:4).

All others will naturally cower in fear and seek to remove themselves from His presence as quickly as possible (Revelation 14:10-11; Mosiah 27:31; Romans 14:11; Isaiah 45:23; Revelation 6:16; Isaiah 2:19; Psalm 68:2) because of the brightness and intensity of His burning glory, and because of the knowledge we will receive in His presence – knowledge of our true natures and sins (2 Nephi 9:13-14; Mormon 9:3-5; Mosiah 3:25); if you are in violation of the commandments of God, as far as you know them, to any degree, you cannot be guiltless before God and the bitter torment caused as a result is as a lake of fire.

Mortal man’s default position with God is one of separation; this is due to our sins and the fact that no one with sins can abide His presence (Romans 3:23; Alma 42:14-15); this means that separation or estrangement from God is not arbitrary but is natural, as a direct consequence of our individual sins (2 Nephi 9:45-46); if the penalty for sin was arbitrary (a decree from God) and not natural, God could arbitrarily choose to remove the penalty and Christ would not have to have been sent to suffer and redeem us – but separation is the natural consequence of violating eternal law.

Our separation from God was not because of our birth, as Christ was never separated from God after His mortal birth, but because of sin – and by this same logic, if sin separated us from God, death will not reunite us with God, as we will remain in our sins at death.

Preparing for a reunion with God (in life and death) requires removing the cause of separation – our sins, or more accurately, our misalignment with eternal law; this life outside of God’s direct presence is a probationary period for us to do just that (2 Nephi 9:45-46).

How do we know we are not abiding by a Celestial Law now?

If you were prepared to meet God, either now or after your death, you already would have met Him because He promises to come to those who love Him and keep His commandments (John 14:21).

If He has not visited you, it is because you are not prepared for Him; the only reason He has for withholding His presence from you is that His appearing to you in your current state would hurt you, as you have not loved Him (which is shown by the degree you have kept His commandments).

Yes, this is a hard doctrine to accept. 

If God has not given us a commandment, personally, that we don’t have the capability of keeping, why would some people not be “able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom”?

Since all were on the same standing in the “beginning” … (see Alma 13:3-5).

They have chosen not to abide by the law of a celestial kingdom.

And by choosing to not abide by it, they have failed to gain the light which was available for them to gain by abiding by that law (see D&C 93:27-28, 39; D&C 130:18-21); so when they are later thrust into the presence of celestial glory, they cannot abide it and must make a quick retreat or risk being utterly wasted (see Mormon 9:3-5).

What is a kingdom that is “not a kingdom of glory”?

Outer darkness or the place where the devil is destined to dwell.

This earth seems to be without glory – the example of this is in Moses 1 when Moses is visited by God and the glory of God was upon Moses to enable him to endure His presence (see Moses 1:1-2) but when the glory leaves Moses, he is left unto himself in a natural condition (see Moses 1:9), so that when Satan comes to him without glory, Moses can tell the difference (see Moses 1:12-15); but that state of non-glory or darkness seems to be the default one for this earth.

The statement in D&C 76:89-90 which says that the glory of the telestial surpasses all understanding would also seem to imply that this “lone and dreary world” is not a “telestial kingdom” but a kingdom without glory.

The other interesting thought is the way that “outer darkness” is used in the Book of Mormon (see Alma 40:11-14) where it refers to “Sheol” or the place that unredeemed spirits go after death but before a resurrection – although these verses in D&C 88 seem to be talking about a “kingdom” where the “soul of man” (see D&C 88:15) can dwell.

Although that would not preclude the idea of multiple mortal probations for souls on earths of “no glory” like ours might be, as per Moses – that those who cannot abide the law or glory of a telestial kingdom are sentenced to another round of mortality.

That being said, the Holy Spirit is still manifested here on earth, as well as ministering angels, which is the state of a telestial kingdom (see D&C 76:88), and when Adam is cast out of the Garden of Eden after the Fall, they live in a “lone and dreary world” that is a telestial kingdom – the world in which we now live; and when they are redeemed, it is to a terrestrial glory, not a telestial glory. 

What does it mean that the Earth abides by the Law of the Celestial Kingdom?

The dust of the earth perfectly obeys the voice of God (see Helaman 12:8-17).

Obeying the voice of God or abiding by all His commandments is fulfilling the measure of your creation; you cannot do more than all you are asked to do by God.

Because it has not transgressed the Law, it can abide the power of God by which it is quickened or it can abide the glory and presence of God which will redeem and resurrect it.

How does the Earth abide by the Law of the Celestial Kingdom when it has fallen (is separated from God)?

Just as Christ abided by the Law of the Celestial Kingdom while being “tabernacled in clay” and outside of God’s presence, the Earth also will not transgress the law – the elements will all continue to perfectly obey the voice of God – they will align themselves with the will of the “observer”.

Why will the Earth still die if it abided by the Law of the Celestial Kingdom, if death is the wage of sin?

Its face must be cleansed because of the wicked works of man that are upon it.

It will submit to death as Christ did; in this case, it will allow mankind to exercise their agency while living on its surface and using its elements to sustain their lives and commit sin.

When Christ comes, the earth will “burn as an oven” or “die”.

It will be sanctified or changed by fire from heaven (see Moses 7:49) and redeemed to life again.

What is the relationship between resurrection to a certain spirit/glory/quickening and eternal law?

Being of a certain “spirit” means that you abided by a certain level of eternal law and received a commensurate amount of glory or light or spirit as a result (see D&C 130:18-21; D&C 84:45); it is a cause and effect relationship.

Quickening is the effect of that glory, light or spirit on your soul – it speaks to the frequency you are resonating at or the amount of light or glory or heat (faster energy) you are composed of; it also refers to the effect on your soul of receiving additional light – it “quickens” you or increases the amount of light or intelligence or glory you have within you – it raises your frequency or changes your actual body and spirit chemistry, transfiguring you permanently.

What is implied by the statement that “ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive…a fullness”?

It means that one can receive a “portion” without receiving a “fullness”.

It speaks to what is available in mortality; it may imply that very few or perhaps no one can receive a “fullness” in mortality.

What we receive in mortality is a foreshadow or predictor or indicator of what we can receive later; i.e. if you are filled with a portion of terrestrial glory now, you have no grounds to hope to receive a fullness of celestial glory later, but you can still achieve a fullness of terrestrial glory later.

What is implied by the term “fullness of telestial glory”; I thought that only the Celestial glory comprised a “fullness”?

Each level of glory has boundaries or constraints; it is not a sliding scale between kingdoms or levels of glory (there is no “Terreselestial” or “Terrestrialish” body) but you have either one or another degree of glory (although there does seem to be a sliding scale within a kingdom or level – see D&C 76:98)

This implies that there are very concrete differentiators between levels; one differentiator is that those who inherit telestial glory cannot abide the presence of Christ in any direct form, and those who inherit terrestrial glory cannot abide the presence of the Father – they are repelled by His glory or will be destroyed by it due to their misalignment with it or lack of having it within themselves.

This opens up the possibility that even there might be levels of “fullnesses of glory” or a “higher order of kingdom” even above a Celestial level (see D&C 130:6-10).

Who are “they who remain” and where is their “own place”?

It is not referring to those who are quickened with a fullness of any level of glory (celestial, terrestrial, or telestial) because it uses the words “and” and “shall also” to differentiate this group who will “remain” with those other groups – this is a different group.

It is also not necessarily referring to those who “must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory” because it says that this group who remain “shall also be quickened”; quickening implies receiving some amount of glory or light because that is what raises one’s frequency or refines one’s spirit and element.

The words “remain” and “return” give us clues regarding who this group is; they “remain” where they have been - all of us have been in a mortal probation and this group is one who did not progress from where they are to another state of fullness; so their lot is to “return again” to “their own place”, perhaps to experience another mortal probation, with whatever level of light they were willing to receive during their last probation (see D&C 130:18-21), but missing out on the opportunity for a fullness (even a fullness of telestial glory, which surpasses all understanding) because they would not receive it; this conclusion is a speculative leap but it is clear that this group is different from the others.

It is also possible that this is referring to the group who experience a kingdom of no glory (which again might refer to a group who chooses to experience mortal probations or “deaths”, see D&C 132:25) but it does not sound like the Sons of Perdition because it uses the words “quickened” and “enjoy” – neither of which will be their lot in the next world.

What does it mean to “enjoy what you are willing to receive”?

Above all things, God honors our agency.

God has placed us in this world where we can choose to gain light and knowledge if we will do what is required by eternal law (see D&C 130:18-21) or in other words to “keep His commandments,” which is eternal law codified for us – sometimes even individually tailored.

So, if we choose to “come and partake” of what is freely made available to us, we will receive those blessings (see Alma 42:27).

But if we don’t choose to come and partake, we won’t receive them.

In either case, we are never compelled to do anything; however, there is a consequence to whatever we choose to do, as we will be “restored to” or “return to” whatever reward we have merited (see Alma 42:27).

What is implied by the fact that many are not willing to enjoy that which they might have received?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink; the light that is here on earth to be gained by coming unto Christ is completely in our power to either choose to gain it or choose to reject it (which includes passively ignoring it).

Most people (see D&C 132:21-25) will chose to harden their hearts to the invitation to come unto Christ and receive further light and knowledge (the “mysteries of God”) and will only choose to accept a “lesser portion” (see Alma 12:10-11).

Who are those who seek to become a law unto themselves?

Unless you are precisely like Christ, you have some part of you that is a “law unto yourself” – some part that you have not submitted fully to God.

Those who have become precisely like Christ have submitted completely to the will of the Father or in other words, they have aligned themselves precisely with a celestial level of eternal law – they embody it.

So, this is not just referring to the Sons of Perdition (although they have taken it to the extreme), but any who have not yet ascended to the level of Christ retain some elements within them that are not aligned with God’s commandments/will or eternal law, by definition – otherwise they would be precisely like God is already; these “misalignments” or dark elements are unaligned with eternal law and God’s commandments, so they are caused by the person choosing to disobey God or follow their own will or law.

But as a result of this, they must accept the consequence, which is to remain filthy still (see Alma 42:27).

What is implied by the fact that only those who won’t abide by Law remain filthy still?

It is the “law of restoration” – that whoever you have become in life, you remain in death, and if you have not been pronounced clean from the sins of your generation during this mortal life (see D&C 88:75) you are by definition “wicked” and you “remain” as though there had been no redemption made for you, except for the loosing of the bands of death or in other words, a resurrection (see Alma 11:41-45).

 

Know That I Am (D&C 93)

Know That I Am   READ D&C 93:1 What promise is being given here? That if you follow this formula or these precepts, you will see...