Sunday, May 30, 2021

The Olive Leaf (D&C 88) Part 2

God Moving in His Glory

 

READ D&C 88:41 (and the last sentence of v40)

How does the fact that “judgement goeth before the face” of God in His role as governor and executor of all things inform quantum physics?

It speaks to the fact that God is the “observer” in that the elements are organized from “superposition” or a wave form into a particle in real space and time when they are observed by someone; in addition, a focused observer can dictate the traits that those sub-atomic elements form themselves into when they take on particle form (see D&C 38:3; Psalms 33:9; Hebrews 11:3; Jacob 4:9) through their intention or will.

Obviously, the ability to comprehend and observe all subatomic elements of an entire creation and hold them in position would require the omniscience of a god to perform; it is interesting to me how this element of quantum physics actually requires the existence of God, after the battle that religion and science have engaged in for the last 400 years.

How can God be both “in and through all things,” while He is also “round about all things”?

The sea of energy or unified field or light that proceeds from God and fills the immensity of space IS actually God Himself, so He is “in and through” the elements because they are literally an extension of Him.

The intelligences that Father and Mother (God or Elohim) have organized to act and not be acted upon exist in bodies and in a universe which is constructed completely from the light or refined elements that proceed from God, which actually are God – so “all things” that God has given agency to act, are surrounded by God (including the actually bodies they temporarily occupy) or God is “round about” them and all other things.

What is the difference between being “of Him” and “by Him”?

Being “of Him” speaks to the fact that all element is actually part of God.

Being “by Him” means that through the word of His voice God commands and orders all things – this is His role as the “observer” who has “created” or organized all things from the elements (see above) and keeps them in the state of organization from moment to moment.

What does it mean that a law was given unto all things?

Since different levels of glory are associated with specific levels of eternal law, and there is no space without a law (and its associated level of glory/light/intelligence/truth), God “gives” or reveals the law that each “thing” must live to fulfill the measure of its creation for that “time”.

It doesn’t mean that the same law is given to everything; nor does it mean that the law for one dimension or kingdom is the fullness of Eternal Law, which is what God lives by.

What is the relationship between law and movement?

Laws determine the constraints of movement – i.e. quantum physics and Newtonian physics.

You can discern which law is being adhered to by observing the movement of things (i.e. the mortal Christ was adhering to a different law than the rest of us when He performed His miracles, which took the form of “movement” or interaction with the tangible, physical world).

Moving according to the eternal law one has been given is to “fulfill the measure of one’s creation” – again, for that time and season (see D&C 93:12-14; TPJS 391; D&C 130:18-21); one cannot rise up from ground level to ascend to the pinnacle of heaven all in one go because our “courses are fixed” or there is only so far we can go in one eternity – we must go from a small capacity to a great one, from “grace” to “grace” or “exaltation to exaltation”, like climbing a ladder – it takes “times” and “seasons” to do this (see TPJS 390-393; D&C 132:21-25; D&C 130:18-21); think of high voltage power lines – they require a transformer to power them down to a lower voltage for use in a home because otherwise the high voltage would burn all of the wiring and appliances that are not built for that kind of power.

If light proceeds from God to fill the immensity of space, then what is implied by the fact that the stars and planets “give light to each other in their times and seasons”?

All light and enlightenment comes from God.

The electric universe (EU) model proposes that “Birkeland currents” (twisted plasma filaments) act as galactic power lines for conducting electrical power through space; they run along spiral arms back to the center of the galaxy; in addition, the model says that since the interior or core of a star is very much colder than the exterior (and must not be powered internally by nuclear fusion or else it would be even hotter inside than out), that the star acts as an anode and is connected to and powered by the Birkeland currents in space – and these “power lines” are connected to God; the idea is that stars act as electrical transformers to power down the “high voltage” plasma which flows along the Birkeland currents from God to a level of light which will support life on a telestial sphere like our Earth, giving us heat and light in their times and seasons.  It is an interesting model worth researching and considering. 

Using the analogy that we are the stars and planets referenced, we can assist each other as we find ourselves (seemingly but only indirectly) out of the presence of God by pointing the way back to God if we have found Him ourselves (see LoF 2:54-56); in fact, we have a responsibility to do so and will be persecuted by many for so doing (see 3 Nephi 12:16; John 15:12-24; John 16:1-3); if His light is “in us”, then when we are with others doing His will and speaking His word, then God is with them (see Matthew 5:16; Alma 5:14).

What does it mean that to observe the earth and heavens is to “see God”?

Seeing God’s works for what they are leads one to see God – they are proofs of His existence; i.e. if there is a clock, there must be a clock maker.

All things testify of Christ; God hides His truths in plain sight for those with eyes to see.

In particular, He uses the stars and heavens to teach because He fully controls them and mankind cannot change them, although they can ignore them or forget or change the meaning that has been assigned to them by God.

We must go to God directly to learn the truth, and then we must watch and pray – observe His creations and wait on Him for further understanding, as we obey the commandments or attempt to abide by the portion or level of eternal law He has already revealed to us, in order to obtain the light or quickening that is available to us for so doing.

Doing this increases our faith; we begin to “see God” in His creations; we discern the creator by deeply observing His works – asking why and how He has done what He has done and revealing both His character/attributes/goals and the proof of His existence as we do so.

Just as an ordinance points the way to something “real”, thereby increasing the likelihood that we will experience the real thing ourselves as we see it first with the eye of faith and understand that the ordinance is an invitation to go out and receive the “real thing”, understanding God’s creations and the reasons behind why He created them (and the specifics of the truths they represent) can do the same thing.

But ultimately, since the elements that make up the physical world are really just sub-atomic energy which have moved from “superposition” (a wave) to a tangible particle because of the will of an observer (God) AND the fact that those elements are energy or light which proceed from God because they are part of God, then one is actually or literally seeing God Himself when one looks at any “natural wonder” in the heavens or on the earth.

What does darkness see or comprehend when light shines?

Either those with darkness within them don’t see light shining at all or they see it but are repelled by it.

If we fear what we don’t understand, that could play into it too, but as we learned earlier, light is attracted to similar light but repels light of a different magnitude or wavelength.

We don't "see" God when we observe His creations because we don't comprehend how they are made - we don't comprehend quantum physics and those who do don't realize that God is the "observer", that all energy proceeds from Him and is part of Him while also being conscious itself - it blows our minds - we don't comprehend it.

Why does the darkness not comprehend the light?

The reason we don't comprehend it is that WE ARE the darkness spoken of (v49) because we are not just and holy beings...of light (light is implied if you are just and holy or abide by the Celestial Law).

The Light came unto His own and shone in the darkness but the darkness didn't comprehend it - we don't even realize it is God "shining" because we lack the intelligence or "light" to do so. 

The light blinds us but if we had more of it within us, it could actually make us see and understand much more than we do; not "comprehending" God when He "comes" unto His own means both we don't see God as a personage, we don't see God as (or even in) His creations (see paragraph 1), and we don't understand Him regardless. 

If we understood Him better, which requires having more intelligence or light within us, we would "see" Him in all these facets - as "seeing" Him in His creations emboldens our faith to see Him as a personage in front of us. 

How does one comprehend light? (see also v67-68)

One must be filled with the light to comprehend the light – it is experiential.

We must be vibrating at the same frequency or we will be repelled by the light.

It is us that holds back our own comprehension and quickening.  God has given us agency and we use it against ourselves.  The veil is primarily the flesh and the tenants we believe about ourselves and the "laws" of the earth. 

The veil is also a shield to us; to the degree we are not filled with light and cannot abide it, the veil protects us from being “utterly wasted” by being unprotected in the presence of a fullness of light.

What does it mean that Christ is the true light that is in us; how can Christ be “in” us?

Being quickened "in Him and by Him" is how we increase in light - it acts like temperature does with elements in this world, changing their state from solid to liquid to gas to plasma.  We are quickened by Him meaning He is the one who gives us the intelligence or light.  We are quickened in Him because the elements we are residing in now ARE Him and can be quickened way beyond the level they are currently operating at, because the "dust of the earth" obeys God without question - because they are Him.  These elements are the "true light" which is in us. 

Understanding this requires us accepting the fact that we are co-equal (JS's words) or co-eternal with God, that we all have always existed.  It also implies that if the Father's Spirit dwells in Christ and Christ's Spirit needs to dwell in us, that somehow our Spirit needs to dwell in Them, too. 

 

 

The Parable of the Field Laborers

 

READ D&C 88:51-61

How would you summarize the basic facts of this parable?

The man or master/lord of the manor owns a field and the servants are sent out to each dig in the field for 12 hours or a day. 

The man tells each of the servants that he will come unto them in the field for an hour of their twelve - not to help dig but to allow the servants to "behold the joy of my countenance" or to just be with the Lord they love so much. 

The Lord being "glorified" by the servant and the servant being "glorified" by the visit of his master. 

The master visited one servant at a time, meaning that he would visit then withdraw from each so that they were again left unto themselves to dig the master's field. 

The man set the times of his visit with each servant and kept his word with precision - each receiving the same amount of time, albeit at different times of the workday, in line with a certain order – from the first to the last. 

How are the master and servant glorified in each other?

The master is glorified by the servant's love and devotion and the work he is performing for his master and the servant is glorified (or receives more glory, light or intelligence) by His visit, either early in the day, in the middle of the day or late in the day. 

This speaks to love as a tangible element, like "virtue" or light from the woman with the issue of blood, that can be given from one person to another but needs to be refilled...which happens when one is in close proximity to God or when the master visits the servant. 

So, it is a symbiotic relationship - with love or light transferred both ways - but only because the "connectors" which bind the two individuals are in place - which connectors are love; they only flow one way and the person who "loves" the other puts them in place - but if both love each other, the recycling of the light between the two seems to strengthen or "glorify" both even more - a synergistic relationship. 

How does this parable give insight into “all these kingdoms and their inhabitants”?

This parable is likened unto "all these kingdoms and their inhabitants" in that God loves all His creations and has covenanted to visit each to "recharge" their spiritual batteries and also to receive glory back through the love that connects the creations to the creator.

And each have equal access and a set time, which will be different from each other - one first and another last but with no difference in the love or experience. 

Implied also is that the proximity of the Lord to His creation enables the glory to flow more easily - which is why He visits each; why this is the case is a question since all of the elements (unified field of energy) of this mortal universe are connected to God intimately and God is all-powerful, but He is also constrained by our faith, so the proximity might increase our faith. 

But both the field and the servants "belong" to the Master - the field is His creation from element and the servants choose to serve because of their love for Him and adoptive covenants they have made with Him. 

Perhaps His visit is needed because we have the tendency to get caught up in the work of the field or idle thoughts, not looking forward to the hour of His coming, or even forgetting who we are serving or why we're serving Him (our love for Him), that we forget about the hour of His appointment with us (which we knew at the beginning of the day before we proceeded into the field to begin work) or even that He promised to come at all - as our thoughts are far from Him and focused on other things. 

We must "cleanse our hands and feet before Him" which contemplates the fact that our hands and feet are dirty and must be cleaned through repentance and commandment keeping because farming is a "dirty job" which will naturally get the servant dirty and in need of cleansing - regardless of how purified their hearts and single or sanctified their minds may be toward Christ and His Light or Spirit. 

At the end, when we have proven faithful to our Lord, He will bring us before His Father and testify to us both that we are "clean" from the blood and sins of this wicked generation or the dirt of the field.  We have prepared ourselves for Him to clean us and He has, otherwise we would not be able to abide the presence of a just and holy being, the Father.  (see D&C 88:75).

 

 

Single to God’s Glory

 

READ D&C 88:62-66

Why does the Lord tell each servant when He will be visiting them?

To build their faith in the expectation of His visit; He has promised them He will visit them, and at a certain time, so their faith in His word should be an “anchor to their soul”.

But if we are "darkness", He might come unto us in our season but we may fail to see or recognize Him. 

We are to "call upon Him when He is near" or we must "draw unto Him" when it is our season, so that He can "draw near unto us" and we can see Him and enjoy His company. 

But He is "near" us during our season, whether we draw near unto Him and see Him or not (see Acts 17:27). 

We are to seek Him diligently and if we do, we are promised that we will find Him. 

What things are expedient for us and what things shall be turned unto our condemnation?

We are to ask and receive blessings – but they must be the blessings Christ desires to give us.

God’s work and glory (His desire) is for our immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39).

Eternal life is to know God with a surety (see John 17:3; D&C 132:21-24; 3 Nephi 11:14-15), which is the great mystery (see D&C 8:10-11; D&C 84:19-22) because either He must reveal Himself to you or be forever unknown (Jacob 4:8; Mosiah 4:9; John 17:25; D&C 88:68).

We are to knock and the fiery portal to heaven will be opened to us so that we can enter His presence and know Him.

If we do not accept the invitation to know God, it will be unto our condemnation and we will be damned or stopped from progressing (see D&C 84:42, 49-58).

If this knowledge is important, why does Christ just leave these sayings with us to ponder in our hearts instead of just being clear?

Some things must be learned but cannot be taught to us by a man; we must go to God directly to receive them.

This knowledge is one of those things – partially because the Lord must reveal to you your standing before Him (what time of day is your visit), and also because for you to muster the faith to see Him when He comes to you, you must be able (and desire to) commune directly with Him while He is still “in the wilderness”.

What does it mean that God is “crying in the wilderness” and why does He do that?

We are hearing a voice but we don't know what it is or whose it is or where he is. 

But it is God "crying in the wilderness" or out in the night where we can't see and don't seem to recognize the voice. 

He "cries" and we hear it - it is His Spirit that is attempting to connect with us and come into us or abide with us so that we might "abound" or live with joy and jubilance. 

It is a test for us – will we hear God’s voice in a “cry” from the “wilderness” – which, by it’s nature, would not be a comforting thing to hear.

How do we attune our hearing to God?

We must “feel after Him” (see Acts 17:27).

We must open our ears to hear it (see 3 Nephi 11:3-6).

We must be willing to believe (see Ether 3:11-13; 1 Nephi 11:1-6) and act on what He would tell us (see 2 Nephi 31:13-15; Moroni 7:5-9; Moroni 10:4).

Our “eye” must become “single” to His glory or intelligence or Spirit.

What does it mean that Christ’s voice is Spirit and that His Spirit is truth?

The Holy Spirit is the mind of God (see LoF 5:2).

Christ’s voice speaks truth or the mind of God.

Truth is light or intelligence (see D&C 93:29, 36).

Light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ (see D&C 84:45-46).

God’s words, which are true, have actual properties of light or intelligence associated with them – what He says or His intentions or will becomes reality – they become living things, to act or be acted upon.

Why does God use words by His voice and Holy Spirit, instead of feelings?

So that He can be quoted – “thus sayeth the Lord” – so that the intermediary or person who received the instruction, doesn’t misquote or misrepresent God (see Moroni 8:7-9; D&C 84:44-45).

Because God gives us intelligence or truth, not feelings – our physical body chemistry may react with emotion to hearing or being “filled with” the Holy Spirit or God’s mind and words or light and truth, as emotions have the role of imprinting a memory much deeper into our brains than would otherwise occur; but God wants us to understand and abide by the intelligence or truths themselves – the feelings are extraneous to God as they come from us.

 

READ D&C 88:67-74

How does one “sanctify themselves” – isn’t sanctification something that the Lord does to us through His Spirit?

We sanctify ourselves by choosing to keep God’s commandments (His word) or aligning ourselves with eternal law which enables us to gain light or intelligence and resonate at a higher natural frequency or be quickened by becoming one with His Spirit.

We sanctify ourselves by offering all things, up to and including our whole souls, unto God in sacrifice – so that we become a thing “set apart” from the profane or in other words, we become holy (see 1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

We sanctify ourselves by stripping away our pride, jealous, envy and sins.

We sanctify ourselves by letting God occupy our deepest desires and central priority – to make our minds or eye single to God and His glory; we serve each other and labor on earth but do it in a consecrated manner – we dedicate all our living moments to the Lord and seek to consult with Him to obtain and do His will in all things (see D&C 83:2-4).

What does it mean that one’s mind becomes single to God?

We share His mind or the Holy Spirit (see LoF 5:2).

And because His Spirit or Light is also part of Him, we become a “temple” for His Spirit or for Him to enter (see D&C 93:35; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; D&C 97:15-17).

This is how we literally become “one” (see John 17:21-23, 26; D&C 93:3-4; D&C 35:2; Moses 6:64-68).

Remember also that glory is intelligence, light and truth (see D&C 93:36) or "spirit" (D&C 84:45).  So if your eye is single to His glory, it is single or focused exclusively on truth; you have God's knowledge or intelligence within you because you are filled with His Spirit or the mind of God and comprehend all things (see LoF 5:2); and your body is filled with light or glory, which emanates out from it to others - either attracting or repelling them depending upon the amount of light or darkness they have within them.  

How does one’s “eye” or mind become single to God’s glory and one’s body filled with light?

We must first “sanctify ourselves” by focusing more intently on Christ; the more we do, the thinner the veil becomes between us and the Lord.  The veil is a covering but we mistake it for a reality - meaning that what we don't see, we assume is not there, even though something is there - in fact, our Lord is there, as He has promised to visit us in our season.  So believing the veil is real is part of the problem and prevents us from exercising the required faith to see Him when He comes in His time and season to us. 

We must cast away our idle thoughts (we must focus on Him instead of other things that cannot save us); idle thoughts are a result of believing the veil is real - meaning that just because we don't see reality, we begin focusing on "idle" or "vain" or unimportant things which we can see - and our thoughts are drawn to those things.  We must "cast" them away. 

We must cast away our excess laughter (light mindedness not light heartedness); an excess is too much or more than is needed.  If we get joy from our Lord, from His countenance, and joy includes laughter as a way of showing that joy, then excess laughter is taking enjoyment in things that are "not needed" - it could also include laughing at someone, which is the opposite of love but is a curse (interesting that the curse of mocking someone through laughter is also done with the voice - see verse 66). 

We must do our best to "always remember Him."  We always remember those we love - it's how we keep them "in our hearts" and front of mind while we are engaged in the "work of the field" - and we desire to "keep their commandments" or try to please them by doing their will (see John 14:15-23). 

We must attune our hearing to God; we must elevate our frequency to more closely match His, as light has a higher frequency as it gets brighter and hotter.

We must prepare ourselves by purifying our hearts and cleansing our hands and feet before Him; impure thoughts are those that are not focused on Him or inspired by His light - they take away from that light – they are not just immoral thoughts but any thoughts that are not aligned with His.  If thoughts or intelligence are light, impure thoughts add some "beams of darkness" to the "beams of light" that are within us and also proceed from us to others and all things within our proximity.  They take away from our ability to comprehend and as light attracts light but repels darkness, we repel light to the degree we have that darkness within us - and we act in accordance with that light or darkness within us - unless we choose to act differently, which is repentance. 

We must "cleanse our hands and feet before Him" which contemplates the fact that our hands and feet are dirty and must be cleaned by repentance and commandment keeping; in a "dirty job" like farming, the servant will naturally get dirty and be in need of cleansing - regardless of how purified their hearts and single or sanctified their minds may be toward Christ and His Light or Spirit. 

We must remove the darkness by focusing completely on the Lord with a "single eye" or with "single mindedness" - sanctifying or "setting ourselves apart from that which is profane or dark or less quickened or impure" by removing them from our focus or attention - ultimately by removing them from our desires but that only happens with the "mighty change of heart" which God performs on us.  We must prepare ourselves by doing all we can do to focus on Him - and by crying unto Him as much as we can to accept our sacrifice and begging for Him to do the real heavy lifting of sanctifying or purifying our hearts and increasing our spiritual capabilities by endowing or gifting to us more light or "grace." 

So that He can make us clean (He will not save us “in” our sins but from our sins; we must repent or confess and forsake); the same eternal law is in place here as the one which requires us to ask, seek and knock for blessings and communion – God will not violate our agency by giving something we have not asked for, or in this case, He will not make us clean before we have attempted to show Him we desire it by repenting and seeking to purify ourselves.

His love for us and our love for Him act as “connectors” or conduits between us, through which He shares or transfers His light or spirit to us; His side is always “open” and seeking to share light with us – it is our side that is not often open to receiving it…the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return – as both are a choice we make, given Christ’s love for us is already demonstrated by His atonement and continuing ministry.

How will Christ show Himself to you?

In His own time and in His own way, as He assesses our progress; He will come unto us, THAT we shall see Him - implied is that He has already come unto us but our eyes were holden or “covered” that we could not see Him.  So, seeing Him is really up to us!  But it will be in His own time (He sets the appointment for his visit to the servants in the field) and in His own way and according to His will - but He does promise us that He will come unto us. 

We must prepare ourselves, believing He will come, seeking His correction (repenting and keeping His commandments), and then watching and waiting patiently with faith.

He must first quicken us so that we can see Him, which He does through the Holy Spirit as we align ourselves and our behavior with eternal law or His commandments (see D&C 67:10-14).

We will see Him with the “spiritual mind” but it can still be in the flesh, as long as we (our flesh) have been quickened to be able to abide (and see) His glory (see D&C 131:7; D&C 77:2).

 

READ D&C 88:75

What event is being described in this verse?

It is “receiving the Testimony of Jesus,” (see D&C 76: 51, 74, 82); which is Jesus’ testimony to you, not a testimony you gain about Him.

Christ’s testimony is of your having been cleansed from the blood and sins of your generation; it is the Son’s testimony which He bears to the Father, about your standing before Him; it is given in your presence so you can witness it.

It is the “hope” or promise of your exaltation, and since He is a god of truth and cannot lie, you must exercise faith in it or behave as if you completely believe it (because you must believe it), regardless of how far from the truth it now seems to be – especially in light of the fact that your exaltation will require you to be precisely as Christ is and nothing else (see LoF 7:9).

It is the culminating event of receiving one’s calling and election (where one receives the promise of eternal life from God) and the Second Comforter (the visitation of Christ to an individual so that they know Him with a surety, which is eternal life), which is the endpoint of enduring to the end in the Doctrine of Christ – it is enduring to the End or Omega (see TPJS 170-172; Mosiah 5:15; 2 Nephi 32:6; D&C 93:1).

What does the phrase “blood of this wicked generation” mean and how are we cleansed from it?

It symbolizes the sins we all commit in this telestial world.

It means you are cleansed from the sins you have committed on earth.

You are set apart from those who are still guilty of those sins – you have been declared “holy” or set apart.

It means you are absolved from the sins of the generation you lived in, because you did all you could to attempt to help them to be saved.

 

 

Prepared in All Things – Part 1

 

READ D&C 88:76-83

Why is prayer and fasting the commandment Christ now gives, to enable one to receive their calling and election?

We must commune with God on a daily basis to “recharge our spiritual batteries” or be filled with the Spirit or light to the degree we can, given the capacity and number of the “spiritual batteries” within us at any given point in time.

We must commune with God on a daily basis to “return and report” on our performance for the day so that we can repent or learn (further light and knowledge…) where we went wrong and why, and commit to changing.

We must commune with God on a daily basis to receive new commandments and revelations (again, further light and knowledge), so that we can live the next day at a higher level of eternal law.

Fasting helps us by weakening the body so that the spirit can take better control and transcend the flesh (or veil) and commune more easily with God.

Why are we to teach each other the doctrines of the kingdom; aren’t we supposed to exercise faith and go directly to God (see D&C 88:118)?

Adam and Eve knew God from the Garden of Eden and never forgot Him after they had been cast out – a veil was not drawn across their memories.  Ever after that, mankind knew of God initially because of the testimonies of Adam and Eve (and later those others who had followed their teachings and found Christ for themselves) – they taught their children what they had experienced so that those children would know the truth about life and understand the existence of God and how to find Him (see LoF 2:54-56).

After that, it was up to each person to either care enough to follow Adam and Eve’s advice or to be damned through their careless indifference (see 2 Nephi 32:4, 7).

So, the initial idea that God even existed was planted in mankind’s hearts by Adam and Eve; but the best way to find Him is to go to Him in prayer, rather than to take a purely academic approach through study; this is because we must be changed or quickened to understand the doctrines of the kingdom and to enter into God’s presence, and that is an experiential exercise, not just a scholarly one.

We are to “teach each other” – implied is that each person has something to teach another – some truth they have learned that the other has not.  To those who lack enough faith to go to God directly, the teaching of others is a vital first step.

What compels those who have been warned to warn their neighbors?

Love.

We exercise faith in the hope or promise which Christ has given us (v75); charity or the pure love of Christ is the manifestation of the faith we have in that promise of eternal life – as our hearts are filled with the pure love of Christ (a spiritual gift).

If we love Christ, then we will love all others, because their immortality and eternal life is Christ’s work; and if we love Christ, we want to please Him by keeping His commandments and helping Him in His work (see John 14:15, 23).

Why are the sins of our generation shared among us all unless we warn our neighbors of what we know?

If we know something that could have saved others but withheld it from them, we took away an opportunity that could have changed their lives – so we are partly responsible for their sins.

What does it mean to seek Christ “early” and why will s/he find Him if s/he does this?

To seek Him early means to come unto the Lamb and not to wait for the return of the Lion in His glory; because if you can’t abide His glory now sufficient to enter into it when He calls after you, you will not be able to abide it when He comes unshielded to utterly waste the earth and all those that can’t abide Him in a fullness of glory.

He has invited us to come unto Him now – it is not an idle invitation, as He is not trifling with you and me in these last days (see TPJS 391:2).

If we come to Him early, He will fill us with His Spirit, light and glory so that when He comes in His glory, we will not be forsaken but will be able to abide the day.

 

 

From Winding Up Scene Through the End of the World

 

READ D&C 88:87-116

How long is “not many days hence”?

This revelation was given in December 1832… so clearly the Lord’s idea of “not many days” and ours are not completely aligned.

The Lord swears vengeance against those who “hate Him” and repent not; the Saints in Nauvoo merited such a curse from failing to build the Nauvoo temple in the appointed time (see D&C 124:28-31, 40-50); as those generations have all now passed away, and the Gentiles have seemingly now rejected the Fullness of the Gospel (the actual requirement to come unto Christ and be redeemed – calling it a “familiar tactic of the Adversary”), the time may be at hand for these signs and tribulations to occur.

What is the meaning of the sun hiding its face, the moon bathed with blood, and the stars are so angry they cast themselves down from heaven?

The heavens are for signs (as well as seasons) as conspiring men cannot change the path of the stars and planets like they can change or interpret the words of a Bible (see Abraham 4:14; Jeremiah 31:35-36).

The sun hiding its face is a solar eclipse.

The moon bathed in blood is a “blood moon” or a lunar eclipse.

The stars casting themselves down from heaven to the earth can be comets, asteroids or other heavenly phenomena.

The real trick, though, is to figure out what these signs are telling us – we must inquire of the Lord.

Whose testimony is the testimony of earthquakes, storms and natural disasters and why do they follow the testimony of the prophets?

The “testimony” of nature is God’s testimony – similar to the “testimony” found in the stars, except where the stars tell an epic story, earthquakes, storms and disasters are more immediate and local warnings – usually to repent.

The testimony of the prophets come first because a) they can be more specific and articulate and b) they are a softer warning than a possibly life threatening storm.

Will angels really fly through the heavens with actual messages we can hear?

Yes.

They will minister to us “from the air” as they are not of this mortal world and come and go via portals or conduits to heaven.

Their messages must be spoken so that mankind was warned; but as they reside in the spiritual plane, their messages can only be discerned by the spiritually attuned.

What is the “great Church” of abominations?

Abominations have religious or spiritual overtones; like blasphemy.

They are an atrocity, disgrace, outrace monstrosity or outrage.

A great Church of Abominations is one that “professed to know the Lord’s name but have not known Him, and have blasphemed against Him while in the midst of His House” (see 112:23-26).

It is a Church that pretends to truly hold keys to exaltation but does not and knows it does not (or the leaders know) but continue to deceive in order to gain power over others – only three modern Churches qualify, as only three profess to have keys of salvation (the protestants claim that the Bible contains the knowledge to be saved by God and that keys held by men are not necessary – those three religions are the Catholics, LDS, and Islam.

Why is there silence in heaven before the Lord will reveal Himself in glory?

It is the “deep breath before the plunge” (as Gandalf would say).

Outside of Zion and those who are gathering to her, there will be a famine of the word of the Lord among the people, with the greatest negative impact being among the young who will have never heard His voice (see Amos 8:11-13).

What does it mean that the curtain of heaven will be unfolded as a scroll and the face of the Lord will be unveiled?

It is describing the veil between the mortal plane and the heavenly plane, as viewed from earth.

The veil between the planes will be swept aside like a curtain hiding a stage at a theater.

The “scroll” which is “unfolded” is not the veil but describes the heavenly plane which the veil is hiding; so the heavenly plane or light of heaven is revealed to those on the earth as if it was a scroll that is being unfolded – the view of heaven gets wider and wider as a scroll that is slowly opened.

The Lord is waiting on the other side of the veil and as the curtain or veil is parted, those on the earth can see Him coming.

What does it mean that the saints on the earth will be quickened and caught up to meet Christ?

Their mortal bodies will be quickened to be able to abide the glory of God; they will be filled with light; they will be transfigured as Christ was on the Mount (see Matthew 17:2; Moses 1:1-2, 11-14).

They will be caught up into the air in the conduit opening between earth and heaven (see 2 Kings 2:11).

What is the “pillar of heaven”?

It is a conduit or portal of light which connects earth to heaven; it is not usually a permanent connection but when Zion is established, it will be; it is why Zion will be seen as “terrible”.

Angels and Gods can descend and ascend through the conduit (see JSH 1:16-17; 1 Nephi 1:6; JSH 1:30-32, 43-44).

Mankind can also ascend through the pillar or conduit, if invited (Genesis 28:12; Revelation 4:1-2).

What is the difference between being “made equal” to Christ and being “precisely like” Christ?

Being “made equal” to Christ is completely up to Him; we are sanctified and quickened due to His merits and mercy, and except for the fact that we must accept His gift by offering our whole soul, we can be “made equal” or “perfect in Christ” but be nothing like Christ in regards to the amount of light we have within us (see Moroni 10:32-33).

Being “precisely like” Christ means becoming exactly like Him – becoming perfect to the same degree that He is perfect; this can only be accomplished by following exactly in His Way and doing precisely His works; this is beyond our ability in this eternity but must be accomplished if we are to receive salvation which can never be taken from us (see LoF 7:9, 15-16).

Why are the works and thoughts of men contrasted with the works of God in each period of the earth’s history?

To show the difference between God’s perfection and righteousness compared to mankind’s corruption, wickedness and vanity.

While God was doing A, B and C, mankind was rejecting it and doing X, Y and Z.

It condemns mankind by comparing their behavior with the perfect standard; not just generally and conceptually but specifically during the history of the earth.

What will there be if there is “time no longer”?

Time is measured only unto men (see Alma 40:8).

All is as one day, the “perfect day” unto God.

All things are before His face; He sees our past, present and future all at once; He does not think linearly like we do (see D&C 88:41; D&C 38:2; Moses 7:36).

It implies the end of a linear eternity; and that God resides outside of time, as we understand it.

What will the devil and his angels be fighting for after the Millennium?

He is still fighting for God’s throne, power and authority.

He thinks he can still defeat God and Christ.

Or at a minimum, he wants to add to his followers, which will diminish the number of souls loyal to God.

Why did God loose the devil after he had been caught and imprisoned for 1000 years?

That he may gather together his armies and try to dethrone God.

To provide a test for all of the citizens of heaven, even those who had passed the test of mortality but might question why God would allow Satan another chance to fight when he was clearly guilty and had been imprisoned once already (allowing for a Millennial paradise on earth).

To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, God’s purpose was to both give mankind an opportunity to gain light by keeping commandments while in opposition to darkness while being outside of God’s presence, and to test His children’s faith, loyalty and love for Him.

Where is the devil and his follower’s “own place”?

It is not “God’s place”; it is completely separate from it, to the degree that the devil will have no power over the Saints any more at all.

It is not a kingdom of glory.

It is possible that they are referring to “outer darkness”; but only if Satan already had owned it – although it doesn’t say “back” into their own place.

What does it mean that the sanctified will not anymore see death and what is implied about those who are not sanctified?

The sanctified (defined as those who receive Christ in the world and know Him) will take the “way” that leads unto exaltation and the “continuation of the lives”; implied is that they “shall” receive their exaltation (future tense) as they enter the Gate and follow the Way which leads to it (it doesn’t say that they have arrived yet); also implied is that there is a relationship between exaltation and the continuation of the lives – almost that when they get to the end of the Way and receive their exaltation, that the continuation of the lives proceeds after this (see D&C 132:21-24; TPJS 390-393).

Implied is that while the sanctified will never see death, that the devil’s followers will see death again (see D&C 132:25).

 

 

Prepared in All Things - Part 2

 

READ D&C 88:118

What does “as all have not faith” imply about the best way to learn?

The best way to learn is to receive light and knowledge directly from God through the Holy Spirit, dreams, visions, from angels, or from the Lord Himself.

In fact, some things cannot be taught but must be learned (see Alma 12:9-11).

Getting light and truth from God is done through experiences, not through academics.

But the Lord understands that people are at different levels with regards to the amount of light or intelligence they have within them and the corresponding level of faith in God they can exercise (see Alma 13:3-5).

And He knows that learning from other wo/men (or from ordinances revealed to mortals) is a preparatory way to extend knowledge regarding commandments (eternal law) and gospel principles (truth or intelligence), which if complied with, will lead the individual to receive enough light or intelligence to begin to learn by faith directly from God (see D&C 130:18-21).

What stops us from going to the Lord to receive light and knowledge directly?

We don’t believe we need it because of our pride - we think we already know everything.

We don’t make the time for it or prioritize it - it was more of a wish than the deepest desires of our hearts.

We don’t believe we are allowed to receive it - only the Authorities are allowed to receive (see Luke 10:21; D&C 128:18 - end of verse).

We don’t believe we are worthy to receive it (see 1 Nephi 15:8-11).

We don't want it - for a myriad of different reasons, we like where we are and are comfortable with what we know/believe (see 2 Ne 32:4-7).

We don’t believe God really speaks to man today (3 Nephi 29:6; 2 Nephi 28:4-6; Mormon 9:7-10,18-21).

Or we may not really believe in God at all but are afraid to admit it to ourselves.

How can we successfully go to the Lord to learn from Him?

Don’t just throw in the towel and ask someone else!

Desire to know for yourself (1 Nephi 10:17) from God.

Repent and lay your whole soul on His altar (1 Nephi 10:18).

Seek to keep the commandments He has given you - be obedient to His Spirit as it guides you daily (D&C 63:23).

Have faith that He will answer you - He desires to have a personal relationship with you, as He once did (1 Nephi 11:1).

Pray and seek that your heart will be softened (1 Nephi 2:16).

Be patient and wait upon The Lord; He has promised that He will reveal His mysteries to you (1 Nephi 10:19).

It will begin with experiential, anecdotal proof, which you must be willing to accept and act on; you must have childlike faith instead of the cynical nature of an adult.

In fact, as you continue to be sanctified by receiving and adhering to more revelation, in time He will reveal Himself to you (D&C 88:68), which is the greatest mystery of all.

What is the difference between scientific empirical process and the Lord’s process of faith?

The former is trying to prove a hypothesis through observation of strict application of the natural law (see, hear, touch, taste, smell).

While the latter is trying to prove an individual by observing if they are willing to exercise faith in something they cannot see, hear, touch, taste or smell and can barely feel (at least at first) by doing something in line with the direction they received (usually repentance or obedience), which direction was given to them through the light of Christ or Holy Spirit and is as the “substance of gossamer” to the natural man (i.e. they can barely perceive that it is there).

In the first, man has done his thinking and is trying to confirm it; in the second, man has to be made more capable of receiving light, so that they can obtain and comprehend the truth from God; this truth will not have occurred to man otherwise because he lacks the light or knowledge to conceive of it otherwise, as it is above his comprehension (initially, at least, until he grows in light and capacity for understanding).

Why does the Lord use a different process?

Words written by the power of the Spirit of God can only be fully understood by individuals who are animated by that same Spirit.

YOU have to be different or more intelligent to be able to comprehend God and His truths, so the Lord’s process actually works to increase your capability as you gain answers to your inquiries, so that you can understand the answers when you receive them.

Science assumes you can already comprehend the answers it will reveal to you without the need for “quickening”, but if you can’t, it’s not science’s problem; with the Lord’s objective of our immortality and eternal life, He wants us to understand something that we can’t (by definition) comprehend at first, so increasing our capability, if we will do it, is vitally important to Him, in fact, it is the actual objective itself – but it is up to us (see Alma 42:27).

 

READ D&C 88:119-126

Why does the Lord talk about establishing a temple, right after His counsel to us that learning directly from God in an experiential way which “quickens” us is better than going to other men and the best books?

While the temple is the ultimate “best book”, in it we enter into covenants which, if lived, will enable us to experience the “real thing” and come unto God’s presence in this life to receive a true “endowment” (or gift which keeps giving).

The revelation which is the Temple ceremony, allows us to see the deepest things of God first through the eyes of faith, so that we can achieve the faith required to see the things themselves.

Symbol is not fully comprehended at first, that is why people continue to go back to the temple and (if they are seeking for knowledge) the Lord will reveal to them meanings upon meanings that they did not see or were not able to comprehend were even there at first.

And the greatest secret of all may be this: the symbolic temple with its mortal rites may not be the temple the Lord wants us to establish.  Perhaps He actually wants a temple which acts as a portal between the heavens and the earth – a holy place on earth where He can actually come to minister to His people.

Why are seven things listed?

Seven symbolizes completion, perfection or the entirety of the matter; the temple is a complete, perfect or entire presentation of the Lord’s gospel.

They remind us of the seven days of creation and the seven rungs on Jacob’s ladder.

They illustrate a progression from one degree of light, truth and glory to another.

How do the seven show a progression of light and truth?

Prayer – prepares you to enter into the right frame of mind to receive the things of God.

Fasting – prepares your spirit and subdues your flesh, as the spirit is connected to God (once born again) while the flesh is the veil which is still fallen and desires carnal or temporal things for survival or pleasure.

Faith – grows from prayer and fasting; enables you to act in ways that will give you more light and knowledge (i.e. faith to receive and submit to God’s will and commandments or eternal law) and prepares you to learn more as you grow in light and truth and can comprehend more.

Learning – built on a foundation of prayer, fasting and faith, we “learn” or comprehend and remember things we did not understand before as we are quickened or receive additional light as a result of exercising faith in our actions – it is the ultimate in experiential learning.

Glory – the result of exercising faith in experiential learning, glory is intelligence or light and truth; as you gain more and more, you gain appreciation for the order of heaven and earth and the wisdom of God.

Order – the order of heaven and earth requires a ceremonial orientation and understanding; it is not all to be understood on this earth (see TPJS 393:1), in fact, we cannot comprehend it all and remain in this state (see Moses 1:2-5); so, we need a ceremonial or symbolic framework to begin to understand the Order of God, and the Temple provides this.

God – all of this is designed to enable us to gain the light needed for us to enter the presence of God and not be utterly wasted; and ultimately to become precisely like Christ and God ourselves.

Temple is an obvious definition for the word “House of God” but what is another definition and what is implied?

A “house” can also be a family – i.e. the “House of Windsor” or the “House of Black” or “House Targaryen”…usually a royal or prestigious family.

A family of prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory (intelligence/spirit), order – a House of God or a description of God’s family, wherever they are residing.

Also, we ourselves (and specifically our bodies) are a “house” or “temple” of God or a sacred place set apart from the profane world where God’s Spirit can dwell on earth.

We must pray (be in connection with God), fast (put our bodies in subjection to His Spirit), exercise faith (as a principle of power, enabling the power of God to have a conduit through which to impact this creation without violating the agency of others), learn truth (gain knowledge of things are they truly were, are and will be, including a knowledge of God, which is eternal life), gain glory (be filled with light through aligning our behavior with the truth we have received from Him, that we might become like Him), join His Order which is to have an association with Him (the Priesthood After the Holy Order of the Son of God with the power to seal or enact on earth what God would make permanent), and become like God, purified even as He is pure and able to stand in His presence when He comes, knowing Him even as we are known by Him.

 

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...