Sunday, August 8, 2021

Marriage and Sealing (D&C 132)

Background

 

Although D&C 132 was dictated by Joseph Smith on July 12, 1843, it was not published until 1852 (in the Deseret News) and not canonized in the Doctrine and Covenants until it was placed in the 1876 edition and printed one year before Brigham Young’s death.  The facts that it was not published and canonized by Joseph Smith during his lifetime when he had ample opportunity, that Joseph was publicly preaching against polygamy (see DHC 6:411), that no original manuscript still exists – only a “copy” supposedly made by Joseph Kingsbury (an avowed polygamist) at a time when Brigham Young, Heber C Kimball, William Clayton and other leaders were attempting to “go public” with the doctrine and gain protection for it under the First Amendment of the Constitution as a key tenant of the religion (i.e. as a belief absolutely essential for exaltation – see D&C 132:4-6), and the fact that it is preached against in the Book of Mormon (see Jacob 2:23-29; Mosiah 11:2) and elsewhere in the D&C (see D&C 49:16; D&C 42:22),  throws the authenticity of the revelation and the subsequent application of the doctrine of polygamy by Brigham Young into significant question.  Did Joseph dictate a revelation about marriage and sealing in July 1843?  Yes – there seems to be enough contemporary evidence in journals to suggest this.  Is the revelation Joseph Smith dictated what we have in D&C 132?  Probably not.  Brigham Young and his leadership group had years before it was published and canonized (by them) to make significant changes to the revelation and pass it off as coming from Joseph Smith – which would give it credence. 

 

We do know that in the 1840’s Joseph Smith was teaching the “Law of Adoption” which involved sealing ordinances and the creating of a “heavenly family” or the “house of God”, on earth which was sealed to the “fathers in heaven” who are already exalted (see TPJS 383-384).   Brigham Young did not understand this doctrine (this was the question he asked JS about during his famous dream when Joseph came to him in the light while BY was in the dark and JS answered BY’s question about the law of adoption by “punting” – telling him to “tell the brethren to seek the Spirit, as it will lead them right”, see The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, Vol 1, p 188) and others of the leaders rejected it altogether.  The Law of Adoption involved a “patriarch” with the keys to the High Priesthood (see D&C 132:7) who stood at the head of the family on the earth (see D&C 107:40-53).  Joseph tried to restore the “ancient order of things” (see TPJS 265) but the Church wouldn’t accept what he was trying to reveal (see TPJS 373-374; 393:1).

 

Joseph Smith may have practiced polygamy of one sort or another but no DNA evidence exists of his ever having fathered a child with anyone but Emma Smith.  I believe we do not know what Joseph Smith was really doing with regards to polygamy because the historical records are now so compromised or missing (or not contemporary to Joseph’s life) as to not be able to discover the truth except by direct revelation from God.  So, with all that being said, this post is an attempt to find some truth in this revelation and to discuss some of the key principles that underlie marriage and sealing.  I will avoid talking about polygamy except in a discussion of the Law of Adoption, as it is my current belief, that what Joseph Smith was doing was inherently and fundamentally different from the “polygamy as required for exaltation” doctrine that I suspect Brigham Young invented – but the bottom line is that we don’t really know with certainty and I, for one, will give Joseph the benefit of the doubt until certainty is attained.  I have a hard time believing Joseph Smith was a liar and deceiver, given all of the truth he revealed, some of which has been proved to be true in my life through my own experiences.  I know Joseph Smith was far from perfect but I’ve never believed the “lying for the Lord” doctrine as something coming from anyone but a lying man – and our God is a god of truth – so that doesn’t square with me.  So with all that as context, here we go…

 

 

The New and Everlasting Covenant

 

READ D&C 132:4-6

What is the everlasting covenant? (see D&C 22:1-4; D&C 66:2; D&C 133:57)

It is the gospel covenant through which we receive salvation in this mortal life and beyond.

It begins with baptism of water and fire and is sealed upon you by Christ and the Father in their presence while you are still in the flesh.

It is what makes the relationship we must have with God (to become like Him) official – it is our adoption into His family to become His heir – which changes us fundamentally and enables us to become like Him, our Father(s).

It is enabled by the condescension, sacrifice, death, and victory of Christ – His mortal life, atonement and resurrection.

It is NOT just about marriage, although marriage is a critical component, as God or Elohim is a plural word and requires a male and female entity to work as one to do the work of a god.

What does the everlasting covenant enable you to receive?

Enter into God’s presence (and glory).

Receive a fullness of God’s glory yourself (which enables you to abide in Their presence).

Become an adopted heir or member of Their family or House.

Become precisely like Elohim – a god or goddess; which requires a god AND goddess joined in an unbreakable relationship.

 

READ D&C 132:7

What must happen for anything – from a formal covenant relationship to an informal association – to survive into the eternities from this mortal life?

They all must be made, entered into, and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise; in other words, God must seal them or make them efficacious.

What is implied by the fact that unless a covenant or even an association is not “made” by the Holy Spirit of Promise, it cannot last past death?

Mankind cannot mandate anything that God, in His wisdom, does not approve of.

All covenants are offered by God, not created by man and “rubber stamped” later by God; no “freelancing” will be allowed to endure – it is God’s will (which is perfectly aligned with Truth and Light and takes into account all things), period – because it is “eternal law, period”.

As God’s work and glory is our immortality and eternal life, He is generous in offering opportunities for mankind to covenant with Him in a way that will be lasting into the eternities.

Being fair and just (He is no respecter of persons and is never changing – see LoF 3-4 for more detail on His character and attributes), God’s House is a House of Order – there is a way of or process for doing things that must be followed or adhered to, the same way in all generations; that way you know that what you have received is of God, as it follows the revealed process and results in the same, prophesied outcomes and manifestations.

What is the Holy Spirit of Promise?

It is the voice of God who can make a promise and be absolutely sure that He will keep His word (see TPJS 342:2-3).

Because God’s word is “spirit” (see D&C 84:45; D&C 29:30-31; Ephesians 6:17); and if you want to go deep into the rabbit hole, study the quantum physics idea that every thought is an electrical impulse or in other words, energy – and if energy, it's a “thing” and is part of the unified field of energy/matter as much as anything “solid” is.

The HS of P is not a being in the way we think of beings (well it is – it’s the being of God, promising you something through His word or “spirit”).

 

READ D&C 132:8-14

Why will the Lord not accept an offering made, even in good faith, but which is not according to His command and in His name?

His House is a house of order.

If you change a covenant or ordinance, you have broken it – things must be done exactly as God dictates, for reasons that we do not fully understand (see Isaiah, 24:5-6; Isaiah 55:9).

God acts differently than we do because His behavior is precisely aligned with Eternal Law, which we do not understand, because we do not possess enough intelligence or light to do so (see Mosiah 4:9; D&C 88:40-41; Moses 1:3-5; Alma 12:9-11).

An individual who “freelances” an ordinance or offering is showing God that they lack the faith required to rend the veil and talk with Christ or the Father face to face and receive their will; first come unto Christ, then Christ will command you from there (see 2 Nephi 32:6).

As coming unto the Christ and the Father are the pinnacle of the gospel and doctrine of Christ (i.e. “enduring to the End” or Omega), a person who does not do so is not entering the sheep fold by the “door” where Christ is the gatekeeper, but is attempting to circumvent Him and go over the wall, illegally (see 2 Nephi 9:41; John 10:1-5).

What does it mean that there are “things in the world” which are ordained by “thrones or principalities or powers or things of name” but are not by Christ or His word?

Thrones, principalities and powers are words that denote different “levels” of attainment of glory in heaven; they refer to levels of light that a resurrected soul has reached; generically they are all referred to as “Powers of Heaven,” or as we would say, “angels”.

The Powers of Heaven, can “ordain” or cause things to happen in this world.

But if the things they cause to happen are not “by Christ or by His word” (by His command), then they will be thrown down and will not last into the eternities.

Implied is that the Powers of Heaven can ordain things that are not Christ’s will and carry them out in this world; so, seemingly, they can make mistakes through their freelancing; this does not have to just refer to devils (fallen angels) but shows that even the Powers of Heaven, if they have not attained to the level of a God, are not perfect, as Christ and His Father are; so even if a legitimate angel of light came to you and made promises to you, while it may come to pass in this life, if it was not God’s will, it will not endure into the eternities (this goes double for devils appearing as angels of light as they are trying to purposefully deceive you…).

 

READ D&C 132:15-18

How many wives per man do these verses refer to, as being required for exaltation in the new and everlasting covenant?

One wife; “a” wife.

According to these verses, polygamy is NOT essential for exaltation, contrary to the preaching of Brigham Young, Heber C Kimball, Parley and Orson Pratt, William Clayton, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff.

What is required to be “enlarged” in the world to come and what does this mean?

To become more than we are now.

To be exalted.

To remain on the trajectory, from a small capacity to a great one or from exaltation to exaltation, that will lead you to become precisely as God and Christ now are (see TPJS 390-393).

Joseph Smith’s King Follett discourse (referred to above) implies that we will need to take advantage of multiple “exaltations” if we are to learn all that must be learned to attain to the level of a god.

Ultimately, to become the heavenly father and mother of other spirits who are dependent upon us for their progression and redemption; an “enlarged” family of God.

Why is glory referred to as a “weight”?

Becoming precisely as God is requires the sacrifice of all things, working out one’s salvation before God with fear and trembling, and attaining to the resurrection of the dead for oneself (see TPJS 390-393); these things require descending below all things that you might ascend to become as God is; what is takes to become a God is absolutely beyond our current capabilities to understand (see D&C 19:15-19) or accomplish – it is a “weight” to perform it, but unless one does, one cannot receive the glory that comes with perfect obedience to the Fullness of the Law.

Attaining to God’s glory is also a weight, in that the salvation of so many are dependent upon the one who must work the atonement; the weight of their faith and need for deliverance is heavy because if a Savior was to fail, it is not just them personally who is effected (see 2 Nephi 9:6-10).

This is also true, but to a much lesser extent, with regards to any who sign on to be on the Lord’s errand – souls are at stake; these servant roles, however, are not nearly as vital, as the Lord will substitute another servant for one who fails in their duty, so that the failure of one mortal won’t mean the damnation of another who was dependent on them.

 

READ D&C 132:19-21

Who shall be Gods?

Those couples that are sealed in mortality, abide successfully in the covenant they have made, and are sealed up to eternal life by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

There is no such thing as a “single” God; Elohim is a plural word for God and men and women are exalted as a couple.

What are the two conditions that have to be met to “abide by the law”?

Marry A wife by my word and by the everlasting covenant; note is does not say “wives” but explicitly says “a wife”.

AND the marriage must be SEALED unto the couple by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

What do they inherit if they are true to both of these conditions?

They are sealed up to eternal life.

They shall be gods.

However, it doesn’t say when they will be gods or what else they will need to do to ascend to that state, “only” that they have received a promise from God that they will someday attain to that station (which is itself a truly amazing promise to be given to anyone who has lived on this mortal sphere).

What if you do not enter into this covenant OR abide in it successfully?

You cannot be sealed up to eternal life/exaltation.

As this is the Law of Heaven – you must enter into the covenant and abide in it.

Is a couple actually “sealed” on the day they go to the Temple to receive the marriage or sealing ordinance?

No, like all covenants, the ordinance is an invitation to live the terms of the covenant.

They must abide by the terms to be “sealed” (by the Holy Spirit of Promise).

In most cases, and especially in marriage where the terms of the covenant include fidelity, time is required to fulfill the terms of the covenant.

 

READ D&C 132:29, 37

What is implied by the fact that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not angels but gods?

You can receive the blessings of exaltation and ascend to the position a god without yet become precisely as Christ and the Father are (and nothing else, see LoF 7:9); you can ascend to godhood without having yet worked out an atonement or without having attained to the resurrection of the dead yourself.

Implied is that the position of “god” has multiple levels within it with different associated magnitudes of glory, based on experience – but all can be described as gods (just as there are different magnitudes of angels); Joseph Smith taught that after Christ attained to the resurrection Himself, He took His Father’s place and the Father continued to ascend.

While they can all be described as being “one”, they are not all the same or have differing levels of light and different bodies.

Joseph Smith was clear that to be saved (ultimately), we must be precisely as Christ is and nothing else (see LoF 7:9) and we must attain to the resurrection ourselves (see TPJS 390-393) as all gods have done before.

Theosis or eternal progression to godhood is a much longer process than we assume.

 

READ D&C 132:22-25

Why is the gate “strait” and the way “narrow” that leads back to God?

Because to be exalted requires that we become precisely as Christ is (see LoF 7:9); there is no room for deviation – if Christ was anything different from what He is, He could not be saved – so the gate and way are constrained because you must follow Christ exactly to become what He is, or you will not become what He is and cannot be saved (see 2 Nephi 31:18).

Why do so few find exaltation?

Only few will find the gate and walk the way to exaltation because only a few are willing to submit all things to God and suffer so that others can be saved.

They desire to look into exaltation but they put up “stakes” or limits to what they will do in a mortal probation (see TPJS 362).

They are inherently selfish but the way is so difficult (see D&C 19: 11-19) that unless one is motivated by love for someone else, they will not attempt it; it is like, after a terribly harrowing experience which one has escaped from to safety, the only way one would go back into the fray, for any reward, would be to attempt to save a loved one who is still caught in it and cannot escape without help.

They must be filled with charity (see D&C 121:34-46) and they must truly love the Lord preeminently, so they will keep His commandments (see John 14:14-24) and will repent of their sins and unbelief.

What is eternal life?

Knowing Christ (see John 17:3).

Knowing someone requires more than just meeting them once; and knowing Christ requires more than a single ministerial visit from Christ – even if it means that one now knows with a surety that He lives and is the God of Israel (see 3 Nephi 11:14-15); to truly know Him requires that He take up a habitation with you (see Revelation 3:20; John 14:23, Act 2:25); it also requires that you be able to comprehend Him and this means that you must become enough like Him, purified even as He is pure – filled with His light or Spirit – to be able to understand Him (see Moroni 7:48) – and this requires following His example and doing His works because you can’t know someone unless you’ve walked their path.

What are the “continuation of the lives” and “eternal lives” – why are the phrases plural?

While we know that all spirits are immortal, it is interesting that the scripture uses the plural word “lives” instead of “continuation of life” or “eternal life” – both of which imply a single post-mortal or post-resurrection life.

Using the plural suggests that the lives that come next are not one life but multiple “lives” or states of living.

We are told that the Father was not always as He is now, despite being an unchangeable god from all eternity to all eternity (see TPJS 390; Moroni 8:18; Moroni 7:22; Mormon 9:9); that Christ did not have the “fullness at first” but “continued from grace to grace” (see D&C 93:12-14); and that we must also go from a small capacity to a great one, from exaltation to exaltation until we, too, have attained to the resurrection of the dead ourselves (see TPJS 391) but that it will be like climbing a ladder, rung by rung, and it is not all to be learned or comprehended (much less accomplished) in this world (see TPJS 392-393).

From these scriptures we can see that despite the resurrection that we will receive from Jesus Christ in this eternity, we may have opportunities in future eternities to lay aside the glory we have gained here to condescend to another mortal probation where our obedience to God’s commandments and eternal law can be tested again (outside of His presence) and where we can gain more light than we had accumulated here (see D&C 130:18-21; Alma 13:3-9); but there is a great risk, as it is possible to lose what was previously gained (see 1 Corinthians 15:30; Alma 12:10-11). 

But if we are successful finding and embracing the appointed Savior in each mortal life, we can receive more and more light and progress from a small capacity to a greater one until we become like God ourselves.

Implied is that each “eternity” is a separate epoch with the requirement of a new Savior or Son of God providing a “preparatory redemption” for such a one who wishes to descend to a mortal probation (as those who have attained to the resurrection themselves – as Christ and the Father have – seem unable to now lay their permanently resurrected bodies aside or, in the case of the Father, be able to hide their glory from mortal eyes).

Eternal lives are to know “the Father” and “the Son” by rending the veil in every life you choose to live and bidding that they take up their habitation with you again – obviously this does not mean that Jehovah (Jesus) will be that Christ but that other Sons of God will attain to the resurrection, saving you in the process, such that you will have many “Fathers in Heaven” as each one is “given” you by the Father who went before them – which Father you had come to know and were saved by in a prior or preparatory eternity (see John 17:9-11, 24).

So to know Christ is to become like Him (because we cannot fully comprehend Him if we are not precisely like Him) – this is eternal life or God’s life, and it is attained over many “eternal lives” or multiple exaltations – for eventually, we must each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling before God and attain to our own resurrection – and by so doing, save any who our Father has given us from His flock that has descended to a fallen earth for a probation and is in desperate need of a resurrection and redemption from death and sin; at that point we will have obtained an eternal life, never to be separated from a physical body again in death, but which body can abide a fullness of eternal glory.

How do we receive Christ in the world and know Him?

Hear His words/truth/spirit, no matter who is saying them.

Push through the traps and snares laid by the adversary to find Christ.

Receive the Law (including Celestial Marriage) and live it so that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

Receive the Fullness of the Priesthood or an association with God.

Enter into His presence and be sealed up to Eternal Life – being adopted into His Heavenly Family as a Son or Daughter.

What does it mean that the broad gate leads to the “deaths”?

Those who take the broad gate which leads to the deaths are caught in an endless cycle of lives that are not eternal; they are like the stars of the Zodiac, forever circumnavigating the ecliptic in an endless cycle that never changes – eternity after eternity – never “ascending” from the ecliptic to the north sky (where we can always see them – for those of us living in the northern hemisphere) and gaining the light that was theirs to receive (see Alma 12:11-12; Alma 42:27).

They have never risen up to know God by rending the veil, entering His presence and living in a habitation with Him and receiving a promise of eternal life.

Instead, their countless mortal lives always end in a death without the promise of eternal life; when they die and awake to the reality of their surroundings again, they weep at what they could have had but failed to truly desire – they have wasted yet another opportunity gifted to them through the blood of a Son of God.

Note: just because someone dies a mortal death (instead of “cheating death” through being translated and ascending to heaven), doesn’t mean that they have taken the broad gate to the deaths, as many people have “lived the measure of their creation” and received the promise of eternal life from God but succumbed to death at the end of their lives because that was what was needful for them at this stage of their progression.

Eternal lives mean that they received the promise of eternal life at God’s own hand while in mortal life, while the deaths mean that failed to secure any such promise.

 

 

The Law of Adoption

 

Although the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith seemed to have been significantly influenced, soon after its inception, by Sidney Rigdon and others of the Campbellite faith who were looking for the restoration of the apostles’ New Testament era church as described in the Bible, the Lord always had in mind to restore at the end of the world the fullness of the gospel that was had at the beginning (see D&C 27:6; D&C 86:8-10; Acts 3:21)  – that fullness which enabled two societies to become Zion and be translated to heaven.  After Sidney and Joseph parted ways, somewhat, because of the events of Liberty Jail, Joseph seemed to dive immediately back into his original attempt to restore the “ancient order of things” (see TPJS 252:2; and 265:1). 

 

Rather than remain an isolated, faithful individual who had received the Lord and associated with the Church of the Firstborn alone, like Moses before him Joseph Smith attempted to establish Zion, which is about restoring God’s Family or House again on earth.  This was the Lord’s intent with regards to the Nauvoo temple (see D&C 124:40-41), as the Fullness of the Priesthood is required for a mortal to stand in God’s presence and it needed to be restored again to the Saints, as they had lost it prior to 1841 (see D&C 124:27-28).  But also like Moses before him, Joseph failed in his attempt (see D&C 84:19-27) when the Saints refused to build the temple in accordance with the Lord’s timetable (see D&C 124:31-33, 44-48).  Joseph Smith was then taken and the Saints were cursed, as the children of Israel, having lost their opportunity for a season (3-4 generations).  Without Joseph Smith, who had a regular audience with God, the Saints had no way of understanding or continuing what the Lord had revealed to Joseph.  In its place, we got Brigham Young’s version of hedonistic polygamy and a focus on temple work for the dead, rather than the sealing the living to the “fathers in heaven”, and then saving the dead (in the spirit world) via a sealing to living, now redeemed, descendants. 

 

Priesthood is an association with God’s and angels, through the veil.  The Law of Adoption is about making that association with God permanent – it is about sealing you to God as His son and daughter.  It is about changing one’s relationship with God from servant to son; it is how one becomes part of God’s own family – an heir.  It can also be about sealing others to you in a “welded” familial link, so they can have a hope of salvation (in a future eternity?) or perhaps sealing you to the fathers unto whom the promises of salvation were already given who reside now in heaven (see TPJS 371-373, 380-381,383-384).  And if you want to go very far afield, it could also be about being “given” certain of God’s sons and daughters as your redeeming responsibility in a far future eternity (see John 17:6-16; D&C 27:14). 

 

This idea of a “welded familial link” is where you get the “Kingdom of God” (or House or Family of God) and the High Priesthood “birthright” which was passed from righteous father to righteous son (see LoF 2:21-53) – ten generations of patriarchs from Adam to Shem (“Melchizedek”), and then, after an apostasy, five more generations from Abraham to Ephraim.   

 

READ D&C 132:7

What does it mean that there is only one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred?

The Patriarchal Order of the High Priesthood had a birthright associated with it, which was passed from the one who held the power to his oldest worthy son; it mirrors the family structure or “House of God” in heaven, where the Elohim presides over Their family of Gods and those who might become gods; as Elohim is preeminent in heaven, one is preeminent on earth to enable the sealing up to eternal life through an orderly process, via adoption into God’s family – it is describing a familial government or “family tree” or “living vine” to the degree that the branches are grafted in to the root which is Christ; however, this doctrine was only beginning to be implemented by Joseph Smith before his death as Joseph was seeking to reveal the original gospel as taught to Adam and the patriarchs – which enabled Zion (see TPJS 195-197).

This idea of “one” with the “power” could also be part of the revelation that was adulterated by Brigham Young, as he sought to gain and consolidate power in the Church, despite never seeing God or having any of the prophetic gifts that Joseph demonstrated; part of the proof for this is that Joseph Smith clearly had the sealing power as he had it by December 27, 1832 (see D&C 88:3-4) and despite the Church falling into condemnation and losing the High Priesthood (see D&C 124:28), Joseph continued to receive revelations, see God, and perform miracles; however, in 1841, Hyrum Smith was ALSO given the sealing power (see D&C 124:91-96), so during those last few years in Nauvoo, the Lord had two people on the earth, in fact two people living in the same town, who had the power and keys of this priesthood; so, this seems to be directly opposed to the revelation as stated here in verse 7; the other issue is that John the Revelator/Beloved is also still on the earth and holds this priesthood, as do the Three Nephites, and there is a prophesy that “holy men” we “know not of” will bring their people and records to gather in Zion in the last days (see D&C 49:8) – and 144,000 people will be sealed in their foreheads and have this power preparatory to dwelling in Zion with the Lord.  So, it is possible that this phrase was inserted by Brigham Young and used by every Church President since then to consolidate political power over the mortal Church in the face of a lack of demonstrable spiritual power from heaven, which does not seek to control (see D&C 121:34-40) but hopes that all might be prophets (see Numbers 11:26-29; Jeremiah 31:34; Joel 2:27-32).

If this part of the revelation is true, it is possible that Joseph actually gave up the birthright to Hyrum, but received it back again when Hyrum died first in Carthage; “no more than one on the earth” could mean “mortals only” and the 144,000 might all hold the High Priesthood After the Order of the Son of God but do not all hold the “right” to lead the administration of that Priesthood (although, doesn’t the Lord lead it regardless?  See Helaman 10:4-10); that’s a lot of speculative theology, so I’ll stop now – much to inquire of the Lord about!

 

READ D&C 132:45-50

Which priesthood is being referred to here?

The High Priesthood or the Priesthood After the Order of the Son of God (see Helaman 10:3-10).

How can someone, even with this priesthood, possess the power to remit sin?

Those who hold this Priesthood (and do not want to incur some significant loss), will only use it to do God’s will; implied is that they receive God’s will before they use it.

So, if God commands them to remit sin, they can and will do it, as a direct agent of God; basically, what they are doing is communicating to the person that God has remitted their sins, as an angel of light might do from beyond the veil.

No mortal has the power to remit sin (or seal another up to eternal life) on their own – there are no keys powerful enough to do this.

What is the difference between receiving a promise of exaltation and having that exaltation sealed upon you?

The promise or hope of salvation still requires faith and works to see it come to fruition in some future day.

Having this blessing sealed upon you means that it has come to fruition on that day; at this point, Joseph Smith was “saved” as Abraham had been before him.

However, if Christ is truly the prototype of the saved being (LoF 7) and we must become precisely how He is and nothing else to be saved and exalted, then really we aren’t actually exalted until we have completed the same journey He has walked and have ascended as He has done.

 

 

Marriage and Parenthood in Heaven

 

Who presides in Heaven?

Elohim

Elohim is the name of God in the Temple but it is not the Father’s actual name – it is actually a plural word; the singular is El – so why would the word for God the Father be plural?

Because together these plural gods are “one God”.

The man cannot be without the woman or the woman without the man, in the Lord – this applies to God, so it applies to us (see 1 Corinthians 11:11).

If the word “Elohim” is plural, why do sentences which use it treat it singular, grammatically?  As in “Elohim let there be light…” instead of “The Elohim said let there be light…”

They (Father and Mother) are one.

It is as if their commands are stated in unison.

It is as if they are one person; if Christ and the Father are one, then the Father and Mother who raised the Christ are surely one.  His Spirit is in Her and Her Spirit is in Him – their Spirit is one – and yet they are two entities.

If Heavenly Father is perfect and all-powerful, why does He need a consort or “Heavenly Mother”?

He would not be “Heavenly Father” without Heavenly Mother, by definition.

Implied is that She has power that He does not have or that to do the work that they both want to do, the power of two gods working as one is required; as we are told that Elohim is all-powerful, it is not a question of needing two gods to combine their powers because neither is strong enough by themselves, but rather it is a question of needing to “yoke” their powers because they each have different strengths and yet both are perfect.

Does that mean that Heavenly Mother has “priesthood power”?

Yes, She has power equal to but different from Heavenly Father’s.

Their power is perfectly complimentary, like yin and yang.

Her power is creative – to give life (His is redemptive); but both creating life and redeeming it require the participation of both parties – first one leading in one and the other supporting, then the other leading and the first supporting.

Her gift is wisdom – how to apply knowledge (His is knowledge).

What does it mean to be “one” but to be different enough that both individuals are needed to do their work?

God created man in Their own image = male and female.

You have a left brain and right brain but to be successful, they must work together and to the degree you have a dominant side, you are not maximizing your potential.

Elohim is all-powerful; Elohim is all-knowing; Elohim has a fullness of glory; Elohim has a fullness of love; Elohim is eternal; Elohim has life in themselves; Elohim is a plural word.

They are one in purpose (your immortality and eternal life); one in degree of capability (a fullness of celestial glory and perfection); different in what those capabilities are.

How do Heavenly Father and Mother work together to organize life?

Elohim’s glory is intelligence, which is light and truth (see D&C 93:36); it is co-equal with God and cannot be created or made (see D&C 93:29) but has always existed; it is a part of God – it proceeds from God and fills the immensity of space (see D&C 88:12).

As we are intelligences, we are one with God and eternal and co-equal with Them (see TPJS 206:2).

When organized into separate personalities, the intelligence changes from the singular to the plural or individual (from intelligence to intelligences); in order to exist, intelligence must have the freedom to choose and without freedom to choose, we would not exist as separate, sentient beings (see D&C 93:30).

Our existence flows from God’s intelligence – as we are part of it (and part of Elohim), but to exist we must be independent from God.

The intelligence out of which we were created might be accurately referred to as the “word” or “thought” of God – just as God speaks or imagines or conceives light into existence (see Genesis 1:3), it is the same with us – particularly because we are made of light or intelligence or energy or the glory of God.

But it is essential to the process of creating or conceiving life for God the Father to have a female Mother God; if we were the product of only one mind’s thought or word or intelligence, we could never act independently of the one mind – everything about the conceived individual would be under the exclusive control of the one “creator” mind; only when two equal, yet distinct, Gods are jointly conceiving an individual does it become possible for that individual to be independent of control – as long as both have input, neither one can fully control what the personality will choose to do.

And if the eternal gender archetypes are true (i.e. creative wisdom vs redeeming knowledge), then that would explain why two Gods of the same archetype (male, for instance) may not be able to accomplish this task of enabling the creation and redemption of a new unique and distinct intelligence (soul) but require a pair of complimentary but different archetype gods (male and female); this is a highly speculative idea on my part and should not be taken as gospel truth unless confirmed by God to you.  I am only musing here.

When the Father and Mother hold the thought (or word or intelligence) “long enough” with faith in the existence of this new creation, while neither one is fully controlling the individual intelligence, then existence as a separate being with the ability to act and not just be acted upon, becomes possible.

But the intelligence itself must accept that right or opportunity and make a choice freely and independently of the Heavenly Father and Mother – it requires an act of faith on the part of the intelligence to exercise his or her own free will to accept its creation -  it is difficult for organized intelligences to even conceive of their autonomy from God when in Their presence; Christ was our example in this, too; but if we did not have and then exercised our agency in some distant eon, we would not exist as a sentient, individual being – to act today.

 

 

A New Revelation on Marriage

 

The following was published in 2017 by Denver Snuffer.  I have learned to be open to truth from wherever the Lord will reveal it.  I have found elements of truth in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon (lots), in the revelations received through Joseph Smith, in quantum physics, in Hindu scripture, in the teachings of Native American medicine men, in energy healers, and in the words of many other people – both “wise” and “foolish”, both “authorized” and not, both those not to be trifled with and those who are of no consequence.  I have also found what I believe to be falsehoods or critical omissions (or sometimes just differences of opinion without eternal consequence) in all of the above sources (including the author of this material on marriage).  The key is to discern the truth from God and either cast away (or put on the back burner for further consideration when more knowledge and wisdom have been gained) that which does not ring true – and to stop depending upon the credibility and legitimacy of a person alone and pretending that they are infallible.  Focus on the message, not the messenger.  What is vitally important for us is to take the words and ideas we hear from others to the Lord in mighty prayer and find out directly from Him if they are His words and, if so, what He would have us do with them.  In that spirit and with a long qualifying introduction, I share the following which I have found insightful and instructive:

 

READ: “Marriage was, in the beginning, between one man and one woman, and was intended to remain so for the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve, that they may multiply and replenish the Earth. I commanded that there shall not any man have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none. I, the Lord your God, delight in the chastity of women, and in the respect of men for their wives.”

What does it mean that marriage was between one man and one woman in the beginning?

Adam and Eve were created; there is absolutely no record of any other spouses in the creation account.

What then is the Lord’s command with regards to marriage?

That it be monogamous, on earth as it is in heaven.

That it enables fidelity and respect.

That it is the vehicle within which children are to come to the earth and be nurtured and raised.

By implication, if Adam and Eve were created in all things in God’s image, then polygamy does not exist in heaven and it is an abomination unless specifically commanded by God, on earth, for His purposes – to raise up seed to Himself or to enable an “Abrahamic Test”, etc.; but not only is it not required for exaltation, it is an abomination to preach that it is and those who do seek to justify their lust in God’s name.

 

READ: “Marriage was established at the beginning as a covenant by the word and authority of God, between the woman and God, the man and woman, and the man and God. It was ordained by my word to endure forever. Mankind fell, but a covenant established by my word cannot fail, and therefore in death they were not to be parted.”

Who makes covenants in marriage?

The man, the woman, and God.

God and the woman make a covenant.

God and the man make a covenant.

The man and the woman make a covenant.

Why is marriage ordained to endure forever?

Because the nature of God (Elohim) is plural (Genesis 1:27) – to be created in Elohim’s image is to be created male and female because Elohim consists of two personages who together are God; man is created in God or Elohim’s image because there are two personages – male and female.

Elohim is God forever so the bond that seals them (Father and Mother) together must be an eternal or forever bond because doing God’s work requires both Father and Mother.

Not even death can break the promise of God’s word.

 

READ: “It was my will that all marriages would follow the pattern of the beginning, and therefore all other marriages would be ordained as at the first. But fallen men refused my covenant, did not hearken to my word, nor receive my promise, and marriages fell outside my rule, disorganized and without me, therefore unable to endure beyond the promises made between the mortal man and the mortal woman, to end when they are dead.”

How did marriage become “until death do you part”?

Mankind refused to join with God in the marriage covenant.

God offers covenants but mankind has no authority to change them in any way – we can only accept them or reject them.

Because mankind wanted marriage on their own terms, they continued to administer the rite to each other, but without God’s approval; and having broken the covenant, their marriages had no power outside of the mortal world; they are only promising with each other – God is no longer involved in their relationship, eternally.

Note, this does not mean that a marriage for “time” cannot be a beautiful, loving relationship and provide a springboard for the acquisition of more light as the two learn to sacrifice for the good of the other; but it means that without God’s covenant, the marriage relationship will not pass the boundaries of this world.

 

READ: “Covenants, promises, rights, vows, associations and expectations that are mine will endure, and those that are not cannot endure. Everything in the world, whether it is established by men, or by Thrones, or by Dominions, or by Principalities, or by Powers, that are not by my word and promise shall be thrown down when men are dead, and shall not remain in my Father’s Kingdom. Only those things that are by me shall remain in and after the resurrection.”

Why can only relationships and promises made by God endure past the resurrection?

Because God knows all things and has it as His work and glory to maximize our joy, so anything that is misaligned with His will (which perfectly mirrors eternal law) cannot exist outside of this world or “matrix” that we are in.

None of this world is “real,” meaning it is all a simulation; we are borrowing God’s elements to have an experience “outside” of His presence where we can use our agency and make decisions that will actually impact our eternal life (and those around us, to some degree) going forward; so when the simulation is done, only that which is of light or of God will endure into the “real world” which follows.

This also includes marriages and familial associations that were not entered into via a covenant with God; the great thing about this earth, though, is that God has given us the option of covenanting with Him and each other in the hopes that we might actually keep a relationship we made here into the next life.  It’s not JUST a simulation, in this respect.

This also includes any promises made to us by the Powers of Heaven whom we call angels (Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Powers, etc.), if they were not authorized to make those promises.

 

READ: “Marriage by me, or by my word, received as a holy covenant between the woman and I, the man and woman, and the man and I, will endure beyond death and into my Father’s Kingdom, worlds without end. Those who abide this covenant will pass by the angels who are appointed, and enter into exaltation. Concerning them it shall be said, you shall come forth in the first resurrection, and if they covenant after the first resurrection then in the next resurrection, and shall inherit in my Kingdom their own thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, all heights and depths and shall pass by the angels to receive exaltation, the glory of which shall be a fullness and a continuation of their posterity forever.”

What is the Lord saying here?

He is promising YOU that this covenant is still available for you to enter into with Him and your spouse.

You must both make the covenant with Him and your spouse, and you must abide by or keep the terms of the covenant.

But if you do, the two of you will together be able to pass by the sentinel angels who have the power to block anyone who does not have the covenant and knowledge or light gained by making and abiding in it.

What is “continued forever” for those who receive exaltation?

Their marriage.

Their ability to enable the birth and progress of other spirits who become their “children”.

Their posterity and the posterity of those children…continuing forever.

 

READ: “Marriage is necessary for the exaltation of the man and woman, and is ordained by me through the Holy Spirit of Promise, or in other words by my covenant, my law, and my authority. Like the marriage in Eden, marriage is a sacrament for a sacred place, on holy ground, in my presence, or where the Holy Spirit of Promise can minister. But rebellion has kept mankind from inheriting what I ordained in the beginning, and therefore women and men have been left to marry apart from me. Every marriage established by me requires that I be part of the covenant for it to endure, for Endless is my name and without me the marriage cannot be without end: for so long as I endure it shall also endure, if it is made by my word and covenant.”

Can you be exalted without participating in marriage?

No, you cannot.

It doesn’t matter how genuinely righteous the individual is, they have not lived the fullness of the commandments or eternal laws necessary to gain the light required for exaltation.

Is being married in God’s covenant enough to merit exaltation?

No, your marriage must be sealed by God.

You must have kept the terms of the covenant.

God must have been an integral part of the relationship – to the degree that both of you were filled with His Spirit, which requires that you petition Him to abide with you and you lived in a righteous way so as not to grieve Him and cast Him out from you.

Charity or the pure love of Christ, which is seen in selfless sacrifice, must have been demonstrated regularly; love is the greatest indicator of the divine presence.

How is marriage a sacrament?

A sacrament is an act or ordinance that unites us with God and gives us access to His Powers.

Joining with God to create life is helping to enable His work and glory (see Moses 1:39).

Procreation is something that only Gods can do in the eternities; we will never be more like God on this earththan when we are joining with Him to enable the birth of a new life.

By doing His work, we become more like Him – we become one with Him.

 

READ: “But know also that I can do my work at any time, for I have sacred space above, and can do my work despite earth and hell. The wickedness of men has not prevented my will but only kept the wicked from what they might have received. Whenever I have people who are mine, I command them to build a house, a holy habitation, a sacred place where my presence can dwell, or where the Holy Spirit of Promise can minister, because it is in such a place that it has been ordained to recover you, establish by my word and my oath your marriages, and endow my people with knowledge from on high that will unfold to you the mysteries of godliness, instruct you in my ways, that you may walk in my path. And all the outcasts of Israel will I gather to my house, and the jealousy of Ephraim and Judah will end. Ephraim will not envy Judah and Judah will not provoke Ephraim.”

Why must marriages take place in temples?

Holy sacraments require holy spaces to administer them in; they must be set apart from the world, as they are not of this world as they have the potential to transcend this world and exist outside of it; so they must be entered into outside of it, just as the couple is later sealed up outside of it (outside of the fallen world).

A temple is like an “embassy” in a foreign country; while the land it sits on is in the foreign nation’s boundary, the embassy itself is sovereign to the home country – it is as if it resided within the boundaries of the home country; a real temple (accepted by God and sanctified) works in the same way – it is heavenly real estate which exists on the fallen earth, and as such, it is a portal between the mortal world and the heavenly one.

A temple is God’s house, so if there is no place on a fallen earth that can truly be called God’s House – a place where God dwells or has a habitation – then God will just conduct the ordinance in the Heavenly Temple; this will require the couple ascending to heaven, while in the flesh, to receive the sealing ordinance.

What does it mean that Ephraim envies Judah and Judah provokes Ephraim?

Ephraim or the modern day Gentiles nations (Europe and America) which contain a diluted amount of the blood of Ephraim after they were captured and lost and intermarried with the people they found (in their lost journeyings) are jealous of the fact that the House of Israel (“Judah”) are the covenant people of the Lord.

Judah (the House of Israel) consisting of both the ethnic Jews and all other diaspora Israelites who did not intermarry as much with non-Israel and are more “intact” as a group to this day (i.e. the Remnant of Jacob or tribes of Native Americans descended from Lehi), tend to provoke Ephraim in their jealousy by pointing out that they are in fact the chosen people, as if that amounted to anything, in and of itself. 

Anyone who takes upon themselves the New and Everlasting Covenant with God is adopted into Israel or His House and Family, so the petty quarrelling between the tribes must cease, or those who engage in jarring and contentions will not live the covenant, regardless of their ancestors and the ethnic blood in their veins.

 

READ: “And again, I say to you, Abraham and Sarah sit upon a Throne, for he could not be there if not for Sarah’s covenant with him. Isaac and Rebecca sit upon a Throne, and Isaac likewise could not be there if not for Rebecca’s covenant with him. And Jacob and Rachel sit upon a Throne, and Jacob could not be there if not for Rachel’s covenant with him. And all these have ascended above Dominions and Principalities and Powers, to abide in my Kingdom. Therefore, the marriage covenant is needed for all those who would likewise seek to obtain from me the right to continue their seed into eternity, for only through marriage can Thrones and Kingdoms be established.”

How have Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ascended to sit upon heavenly Thrones?

Only as a consequence of making and keeping God’s covenant with the specific women named in the revelation: Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel, respectively.

Because like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel each performed the terms of their covenant, enabling the respective couples to be sealed up to eternal life and become gods and goddesses together.

 


God’s Character and Attributes (Lectures on Faith 3-4) QUESTIONS

A Correct Idea of God’s Character   READ LoF 3:2-5 What is necessary for any rational and intelligent being to exercise faith in God u...