Learning to Come unto Christ - PRESENTATION #5
LEARNING TO COME UNTO CHRIST
Lecture #Five Starting at CD 6-10
Merrill Bailey - Salt Lake City, Utah - 1991 (Transcribed and edited from cassette tapes)
As you contemplate these concepts, the thought may come to you, "I never knew the Gospel" or maybe this is what they mean that "even the very elect will be deceived!" But then you ask yourself: "Why have I been asleep for so long?"
Three Major Principles
I hope that as we go through these scriptures, you become aware that everyone of them will fit into one of three celestial principles. When you are aligned to even one of these principles it will change your whole life, and the more you align with all of them, the more of His energy God can put into your life.
1. LOOK WHAT I HAVE CREATED!!!
In Alma 29:2, that great prophet gave an unforgettable speech we are all familiar with......"Oh, that I were an angel....." It is the plan of redemption, but it includes more than that.
Alma 29:2-4…”Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me. I ought not to harrow up in my desires, the firm decree of a just God, for I know that He granteth unto men according to their desires, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that He allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.”
“Look what I have created!".....Isn't that what this scripture and a thousand more like it says…...the Lord grants unto men according to their desires.
2. LIVE WITHOUT JUDGMENT…..another way of saying, "Accept the Atonement."
3. LIVE IN JOY……create and live in that spirit of joy.
Notice how every scripture you ever looked at, in some way or another, comes back and testifies of one of these three principles. Every single gospel sermon in the Book of Mormon or anywhere else comes back to one of them.
First Provocation CD 7-1
Last week I talked about the first provocation. It is very important to review it, because it answers the question of why......Why isn't this taught in church? Why haven't I heard this before? We talked about a common myopia that goes through the scriptures…... it is told in story form…...it is told in lecture form. It is that we are in the world and the world is the fall. The world by nature is carnal and devilish, full of misery, unhappiness, and depression. It is a satanic world.
I gave you a handout containing a quote from Hugh Nibley--he was talking about the world: "We are here in this wicked world, controlled from first to last by the power of our common foe, the devil. Lucifer controls most of the whole earth. He rules and governs the children of men. He leads them to destruction.” From Brigham Young's works we read, "The whole world is wrapped up in the garment of corruption, confusion, and destruction. They are fast making their way down to hell while we have the words of eternal life. Will the inhabitants of the earth receive the truth? They will not! It never enters the hearts of the mass of mankind. They are preparing for the death, calamity and slaughter!"
From Wilderness to the Promised land
We keep thinking there is something wrong with us because we try to find the "promised land." We follow all the rules the world has given us since we were little, and it does not work. We just keep ending up miserable and depressed and wonder why…...until we realize what Brigham Young was saying. The world is basically ruled by anti-lifers. The haters of the world basically rule in every single place on the earth, so we should not be surprised that so many of our cherished values are anti-life values and are designed to buffet us--to bring us, by a loving God, into alignment with true principles (understanding and nature).
The world--the fall (Babylon, Egypt, Jerusalem, etc.) is always the world which we have to leave. “Come ye out from the wicked, touch ye not their unclean things"--either literally or spiritually. We do not make one huge jump into the promised land…..we jump into the wilderness, because we have to get prepared. We have to have our garments cleansed. We have to realize what has to be--because God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. We have to know what has happened, especially in a missionary church where half of the church have been members for less than ten years. There has to be a preparatory time to prepare us for the light that is the gospel.
What about the final jump? You will notice that in the temple we talk about the world room, the terrestrial room, the celestial room, or we talk about the sacrament--the prayer on the bread and then the prayer on the water, or we talk about Moses, Chapter 6.
Three Steps…...Baptism, the Wilderness, and Finally the Promised Land
There are always three steps…...it can be described as the world (telestial), terrestrial, and celestial…...and there needs to be opposition in all things. We notice in most cases especially in a totally missionary church, that to get from one level to another in one jump is almost impossible, so it must be a step-by-step process.
The whole message of the New Testament--all the letters of Paul--are dealing with getting from the wilderness to the promised land. One of the reasons it is so difficult for us to understand the New Testament is that we think that this is the end step--that is the first provocation.
The First Provocation—the Great Fear of the Nephites
The first provocation for their children was the thing the Nephites feared more than anything else. Once you understand the scripture in Jacob, you realize that all the way through the Book of Mormon, it was the mighty concern of the Nephite prophets.
"Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to Come unto Christ."
Not come to the law…not to come to what we define as the gospel…...not to come to home teaching, but to come to Christ. This was because they already had the other laws of the gospel….they were already there. "We taught our children all of this…...they grew up in it. We taught them the law so they would know the deadness of the law. We taught them to come unto Christ and to partake of the goodness of God—to come unto the complete Atonement where they knew they were completely forgiven. That is His goodness."
Jacob 1:7…..."that they might enter into His rest (the fullness of His glory), lest by any means He should swear in His wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness."
That was their great fear--that the Lord would invoke upon them the first provocation, that they would provoke Him to anger where He would say, "All right, you want to stay in the wilderness all of your lives--you want to stay with the law and the carnal commandments and prophets. You do not want to come and see My Face."
Remember when Moses took the children of Israel and they went through the Red Sea? That is symbolic of baptism. They went through the wilderness and they got to Mount Sinai The Lord's purpose is to never have His people stay here (in the wilderness) very long, because this is still carnality…...the world. This is where we get hung up....it is like trying to ride two horses with one hind end. His view has always been: Let us go from the wilderness to the promised land, as quickly as you are willing.
In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord said:
D&C 111:11 ... "Therefore, be ye as wise as serpents, and yet without sin; and I will order all things for your good, as fast as ye are able to “Receive” them."
The Symbol of Christ
The snake, Quetzalcoatl, has always been a symbol for Christ...we have been deceived there too. Satan always loves to camouflage and get a symbol as close as he can to the real thing. That is why Eve listened to the snake in the Garden, because he came as her brother. "I am your brother," he said, and he came with the symbol of Christ that sheds the old skin and becomes the new image. So the Lord said, "Be as wise as serpents; but without sin, and I will order all things for your own good as soon as you are ready."
Moses Wanted His People to See God--Face to Face
Moses led the children of Israel to Mount Sinai, then he went up on the mountain and got the higher vision. His intention was to have them all go up on the mountain and become a whole nation that came unto God, face to face, so that they did not need prophets. That was his intention…...his dream. This Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel. He came off the mountain with the whole thing (the Fulness), with all of the temple ordinances necessary to come unto Christ, but what did he find when he got down there? The golden calf and his own brother molding it! He threw the tablets down and shattered them…...and then he had to re-carve them. He gave the children of Israel the lower law, because they had provoked the Lord to anger.
So they stayed there in the wilderness for forty years. But that was not the intention of Moses…...he wanted them to come unto the Lord's Presence immediately, but they would not.
Knowledge of God
D&.C 84:19-22…...”And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom…... “(What is the greatest mystery of all--the key of the knowledge of God--Who God is, what God is like, God’s character and personality, and then to Know God personally.)"Therefore, in the ordinances thereof the power of Godliness is manifest. And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of Godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; for without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live."
D&C 84:23 "Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God."
He sought to sanctify, not Justify! To justify yourself is “the Law”...an eye far an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Repentance from sacrament table to sacrament table--which most of us believe is the only law. It is not! That is the Law of "Justification". (It is not however “Justification by the Spirit”) The law of "Sanctification" is that your contract is bought (by His Blood). You are His… ... you cannot sin!
D&C 84:24 "But they hardened their hearts. and could not (would not is a better word), endure His Presence; therefore, the Lord, in His wrath, for His anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into His rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness of His glory."
The word "fullness” means "His rest". They would not accept of it, and this provoked Him to anger. So the first provocation is "stay here.” We do not think we are here (in the wilderness), because we have the ordinances.....so we think we are okay.
Higher Priesthood Withdrawn from Israelites. Lesser Priesthood Only
D&.C 84:25-27…. "Therefore, He took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also (the ordinances are only as good as the sealing power that comes after them) "And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel; which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in His wrath, caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the Children of Israel, until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb.”
Who is the head of your ward? The Bishop. The Bishop is the head of the whole Aaronic Priesthood. The Bishop is the head of the entire ward. Because we are under the first provocation. In the second part of the 84th Section, He tells who is under this provocation when He says:
D&C 84:54…...”And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received…
Why is the Church Under Condemnation now? What have we treated lightly? The ordinances? No... The Lord further explains:
D&C 84:55-58...."Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole Church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the Children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the “NEW” covenant, even (in) the Book of Mormon and (in) the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written--that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the Children of Zion."
The Scourge Remains
We have lived under that scourge for 160 years and we are still under it. It is the scourge and condemnation the Church because we are under the (same) first provocation. We are still here (in the wilderness). Why? What have we taken lightly? Look at D&C 121.....let us go back to verse 49. The condemnation is:
D&C 84:49-50….."And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin. And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto Me.
Is it because He is still buying them…...because He has not forgiven them? Is that why they are under the bondage of sin? What do I learn when I come unto Him? I learn that: I am NOT under the bondage of sin…..it is an illusion.....it is that spacious building in Lehi’s dream. I have been forgiven, but I will not come and partake of that forgiveness.
Think of the temple--the creation room, garden room, world room, terrestrial room--we go into each one and then pass through the veil into the celestial room. It is one huge process designed to show us what is supposed to take place. We have received all the ordinances to Receive His Presence; everything necessary to come into the Presence of God is given in the temple. Why then are we not realizing it?
D&C 121:34-35 ...”Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men….”
Lessons on Ego
"The things of this world and the honors of men”.....herein can be encapsulated all of Satan's illusions to which we cling so tenaciously. They keep us from grasping hold and aligning with those celestial universal principles that would free us. They are both Ego enhancements. If they come first, we cannot have the things God has for us..... it is impossible.....here is the lesson:
D&C 121:35-36….."That they do not learn this one lesson, that the rights of the priesthood…... (the ordinances manifest or show unto us the power to come through the veil and face coming to the Presence of God. That is what the ordinances do…..they show us the power of God and call us to come. They were given to Joseph Smith by angels to come back into God’s Presence. But they are connected with the powers of Heaven....there has to be a sealing, a ratifying power of the Holy Ghost that takes place. We have to align--not just physically, but spiritually--in order to receive the power to be able to do that.)…...and that the powers of Heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness."
Compulsion: The act of driving or urging by “force”, physical or moral force applied; constraint of will; the application of a force that is irresistible; the state of being compelled or urged by violence!
We have to get in alignment with universal principles before (the Holy Spirit of Promise can ratify those ordinances; otherwise they do not work (and are of none effect in that eternal world)... and we are under the first provocation. We bring it upon ourselves….not God! He did not take the priesthood out of our midst... He just put the power where we have to be willing to “receive” it.
D&C 121:37..."That they may be conferred upon us," (the ordinances--the outward ordinances)….it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion (push, force, shove).... "upon the souls of the children of men," (especially our own)… "in any degree of unrighteousness…..Amen to the priesthood of that man and the heavens withdraw themselves”
Effects of Compulsion
This is the only principle that frees us from putting guilt and compulsion upon ourselves and beating ourselves up and withholding love from ourselves. We have got to completely and totally forgive ourselves and partake of the Atonement. Otherwise, we are exercising compulsion and control upon ourselves. We will not let ourselves receive God's love…...God has forgiven us, but we are not forgiven in our hearts! WHY? Because we will not accept it…. We will not forgive ourselves. That is what keeps those powers of heaven from reaching us. We can have all of the ordinances in the world, but we are cut off from God's Presence because we have tried to control or have compulsion upon the souls of the children of men in any degree. Remember, compulsion is Un-Righteousness (meaning it is not of God since one of God’s name is “Righteousness”.
You may feel I have gone too far with this one…..:"I can forgive me or forgive the world 99.6 percent, but not 100 percent....not everything is perfect.....I could never believe that!!".
D&C 121:37…..."ANY DEGREE OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!....behold, the heavens withdraw themselves... (that power…that ratifying power of the Holy Spirit of Promise that makes it possible for us to make this jump to this rest--this joy, withdraws itself and)… “the Spirit of the Lord is grieved;"
Do We Refuse to Partake of the Atonement?
Why is the Lord grieved? Because we are so bad? Because we are so rotten? No, because we will not partake of His Hand of love. He has tried to get us out of this situation into a world of joy and happiness and love, and we refuse. Of course He is grieved if He is a God of love. He is deeply grieved.
We will spend lifetimes of misery when it is so unnecessary. He has given us all of the ordinances (gifts)... He has given us His Son who has paid for our sins and we refuse to partake of the gift. So what does it profit a man to give him a gift? The Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the Priesthood or the authority of that man (to come through the veil and stand in the Presence of God.)
D&C 121:38…..."Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the Saints, and to fight against God."
The Greater the Knowledge, the Greater the Responsibility·
Do you see why it is so dangerous when we stay here too long? We get farther and farther away instead of partaking of the gift. That is why the greater knowledge we have, the greater responsibility and condemnation…...if we do not reach forth and partake of it.
D&C 121:39-41….."We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men," (and women) "as soon as they get a little authority" (a little bit of priesthood covenants and ordinances) "as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion." (They begin to 'beat up' on everybody else---they get up and preach the law so that everybody else feels guilty…...and we especially 'hammer' ourselves.) "Hence, many are called,· but few are chosen." (Isn’t that amazing—the Lord told us exactly what our problem was!) “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood,” (ordinances alone)…”only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness, and meekness, and by love unfeigned;"
Gifts of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22-23 tells us what the fruits of the Spirit are…..love, meekness, etc. In D&C 84:58 we read "they will bring forth fruits." When we key in on these words, the lights start going on. They are not in your concordance because the Lord is the one who guides you through it. When those key words hit you, things begin to happen!
D&C 121:42-46….."By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile….” (no ego tied up in this)…. "reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death."
"Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, “(especially yourself) "and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong" (not your ego..... confidence comes from whom you really are) "in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dew from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever."
Mighty Change of Heart
“The Beginning of Life is the Miracle” was shown. This video depicts the newborn leaving the safe comfortable place within the mother's body and entering into a new world: Within the first few moments of life remarkable changes take place…....eyes and ears open to new experiences, arms and legs move freely, lungs fill with air, a new voice is tried out.....but the most remarkable changes occur in the heart! Before birth the blood coming into the baby’s heart is already nourished…. because of an opening between the two chambers and another opening between the arteries, the blood goes directly to the body instead of to the lungs. After birth these openings close so the blood can be pumped to the lungs to receive oxygen; then it is returned to the heart and is pumped to the rest of the body. This change in the heart happens when the baby takes its first breath. With these simple but miraculous changes, the heart now becomes the central life support for the baby's own body. This is significant…...the tiny heart makes remarkable changes completely on its own and just at the right time. There is a great underlying principle of truth in this process. We have a Father in Heaven who anticipates our physical needs and provides for them, sometimes in wonderful and miraculous ways. We live just one life on this earth, but it is essential that we experience true "birth".
Effects of Spiritual Birth
As a father I have come to appreciate the miracle of physical birth. And as a father, teacher, and servant of the Lord, I have come to appreciate the miracle of spiritual rebirth. Our Father in Heaven anticipates and provides for our spiritual needs just as surely as He does our physical birth. Just as our physical bodies are allowed to grow and develop for a time in the protection of our mother's bodies, our spirits are intended to grow for a time under the protection of the Spirit and within the shelter of the home and the church. Just as surely as eyes and ears and hearts are in place and are ready to function at birth, even so everyone has spiritual senses that are in place, ready to function. We have ears that can learn to hear the word of the Lord, we have eyes that see His plan, we have hearts that can learn to understand. When we allow these spiritual senses to function, our attitudes and feelings start to change. This is what is meant by spiritual rebirth. It is sometimes described as a "mighty change of heart."
By comparing this process to physical birth, the Lord teaches us that it can and should happen to each of us. If you believe the miraculous changes of physical birth were designed by a loving Father in Heaven, then you can also believe that He has designed a way for everyone of us to experience the miraculous changes of spiritual rebirth. As a second witness that He can truly change our hearts, the Lord surrounds us with loving parents, friends, and teachers who have already experienced these changes in their own lives. They become a pattern for us to follow. Have you had the blessing of knowing someone who hears something that cannot be heard..... who is able to see the Lord in things unseen and understand His word?
We made this video for seminary students, but I am not sure we knew what we were making…..it has a great message! In the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 6:62, there is a three-step process:
By the water you keep the commandment….
By the spirit you are justified…...
By the blood you are sanctified…...
Moses 6:62-63...."And now, behold I. say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time. And, behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me."
The Lord uses physical objects as lessons everywhere we go. The video we just saw was a perfect object lesson of spiritual rebirth. Where is this rebirth? Is it there in the wilderness? Notice that "here" is still part of the world…...where we are still dependent on prophets, still dependent on Christ's Atonement day by day. We are still preparing--everything here is in a dependency relationship--just like the child inside the mother's womb. It is dependent on an outside force.
Alma talked about this step from wilderness to promised land:
Mosiah 27:25-26 .. "And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state) to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures…..."
They have a new outlook…...they actually become a whole different animal, a whole different creature. Notice the heart…...it operates on its own. In analogy--when we are reborn, we are responsible, we operate on our own. There is nothing now between us and God. Does that mean we do not use prophets as the administrators, the organizers? No, it means we do not need prophets any more to find out what we should be doing in our own lives….birth is the symbol.
We Should live in Joy
My Elder's Quorum president came to me this week and said he had been to Brother Covey’s seminar. He said he came home and should be doing this and this and this…....guilt, guilt, guilt! It is the same with using a Franklin Planner…...I know a fellow who will not take a breath without his Franklin Planner.
This is just opposite to what I am saying ... we should live spontaneously, we should live in joy. The Lord will take care of the details if we will just get in alignment and live like children.
Riding Two Horses
It is easy to have both feet in the world. We can make a lot more money if we do that. We can straddle back and forth like we have two horses and ride them both, but we cannot do that forever. Sometime the rebirth has to come. We carry a lot of our values from the spiritual to the physical. That is why the Lord has to wean us away, We can still straddle--we can still be very, very wealthy and sell lots of programs and use lots of concepts over here and have the best of both worlds all the money we want, and still be in the church. While in the "promised land" we have to totally lay our egos aside and become as the dust of the earth.
Sometime when you get through with one of those self-improvement programs go and read King Benjamin’s talk about the dust of the earth. These programs are designed to build your self esteem, your ego, not your personhood. In the promised land you do not have to have anything built, all you have to do is to recognize who you already are by the Spirit. The ego is an illusion. Having to build self esteem is admitting that we did not have it to start with--which is not true. Building self esteem is part of vain imaginations and vain ambitions.
There is a Better Life
Whenever we try to cover our sins with vain ambitions to try to build our own egos, we are already dead, because we are living a lie. So we cut ourselves off from the ordinances and make it impossible to come from the wilderness to the promised land--because there we have to face the truth. The rebirth is a whole new creature…...this is why it is so hard for the old person to die. Somewhere we should realize that the Lord is asking us to totally die--to take 99% of the concepts that we thought were so wonderful and lay them aside, realizing they are the cause of all our pains, and that there is a better life waiting for us.
The Book of Mormon is not a book of commandments….. it tells us about keeping the commandments of God all the way through, but never tells us what they are (Except in 3 Nephi 12). All it says is, “Keep the commandments.” The only commandment the Lord has is: "Believe in Me, and go and sell all that you have, and come follow Me”' I want your heart. Lose your life for my sake and you shall find it.”
Alma 37:40-41…."And it (the Liahona) did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day. Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey."
Are we In the World or Of the World?
How did they break the commandments? What caused them to stop their journey in the wilderness and start wandering around? They lost their faith that it was possible to get there. They lost sight of the promised land.
Alma 37:42-45….."Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions. And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass" (now these things were temporal)….."they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual." (Now we come to the power)….. "For behold, ·it is as Easy…..."
This is what we do not use in the church very often--easy. We make it hard, because trying to ride two horses is tough business.
....."it is easy to give heed to the word of Christ; which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.”
“And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise."
Today and Now….
I cannot tell you how many years I read this and thought, "Okay, I will be in this wilderness all of my life--this vale of shadow and tears. But that is okay-when I die I will go back home (the other land).
Never in my wildest imagination did I realize that Alma was trying to get me to a place that exists in this world--here and now! When you are in the wilderness, the gospel will always be preached as "someday." When you hear this word in this context, you can count on the fact that you are still in the wilderness. We hear these words, "The millennium will be here 'someday'…...the Celestial Kingdom will be here 'someday'. If you will follow these seven principles you will 'someday' be what you should be ought to be."
The word of the Celestial Kingdom is “TODAY”. There is no other day but this day. This IS the Celestial Kingdom. This far better land of promise is right here as soon as we are ready to go through this rebirth. This land of sorrow can be left behind for a lifetime.
Rebirth Comes to the Heart
Water, in mythology--whether you go over it, or through it--represents the subconscious. The rebirth cannot come in the head….it cannot come in the conscious mind. You should realize that this rebirth and transition is not a head-trip--all the head does is give the heart permission to take the journey.
We could label these lectures as "Learning to live in your heart"…..let your heart give orders to your head, and then you are in this promised land. This is not a "head place".
Let the Universe Take Care of our Life's Details
Should we throw away our Franklin Planners? Our Day Timers? Just follow your heart….... the closer we can get to doing it right the more we will be able to live in joy. The more we can let the universe take care of the deep hills in our lives so that we can live like children (spontaneously), the easier it is to live in joy. In some areas, we cannot do this--the universe will not pay our taxes. If your planner can help you do that--fine, but it if is restricting you, then what?
I did not realize how far into the world I was until I started trying to extricate myself. How hard and tenaciously I held on to some of these things I thought I could not live without! As I began to loosen up, I realized how restricted I really was--I could not breathe without the time management concept! I am amazed how little I now have to keep track of and how much more I get done in a day and how much easier I do it. The more we let the universe take care of the details, the more free we are to live in love and richness. Did it ever occur to you how stupid Nephi was to not have his Franklin Planner? He had to go out of the wilderness and back to get the plates, then go back to get the girls. Obviously, if he had had his Franklin Planner he could have done it all in one trip and in a week and a half!
Let Your Heart Be Your Guide
Listen to your heart…... you are not far into your ego or you would not be coming back to this class. I do not know why, but if the sirens are going off and the turmoil is going on inside, people do not come back to these classes. The only ones who come back are those who really are not into their ego as much as they think.
Secondly, the Lord does not ask us to jump off a cliff once we see the "promised land". Right now you are a sales representative--you have a wife and family to provide for. Probably you only have to shift three degrees. You do not go after the sales only for money, but because you want to be of service. You go to work partially because you have to, but you would prefer selling something else.
What You Focus on Expands
So you focus on the part your job, that you love…. you focus on the service part, the love part. You will find that you are not very far off. You live in joyousness, but not perfection. However, you will find that your job will start shifting…...opportunities will start coming. The universe will start supplying you when you start getting in alignment. You go a little distance, and you will find that the universe will go more than half way to meet you. Perhaps in another year you will not even be in the same job. Down the road a few months you will see that three degrees made all the difference--just like a rebirth. If we focus on our love and on the gift that we are giving, the money will still come in--probably even more, but our emphasis will not be on the things of this world.
We Must Become as Little Children
There is a difference between being "childlike" and "childish”. When you are coming from your heart, you are being more childlike than you have ever been in your life. On the other hand, being childish destroys the child within you. Such actions as rebelling, running away, sluffing, being pulled into the systems of the world betray ourselves. Many are so tied to their mother's apron strings that every act of rebellion is, "Look, Mommy, how bad I am and how worthless I am!"
Read 3 Nephi 26, where the Savior administers to His people, calls the children to Him, and blesses them. It may strike you that when we come into the world as children we have no idea what our reserves are and what is stored within us. When we speak about children, we are talking about those who have information even greater than Christ revealed when He came to the world on this continent.
3 Nephi 26:14…..."And it came to pass that He did teach and minister unto the
children of the multitude of whom hath been spoken, and He did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things, even greater than He had revealed unto the people;· and He loosed their tongues that they could utter."
I do not cause the actions of others, and if that is true, then can I blame my parents or anyone else for my actions? Most of the world is into blame…....what I am or what I have is the fault of my parents! As long as it is their fault, then they are the only ones who can help me. I have no free agency. I am not free to choose. If I choose to think this way, I can plan to stay in my misery forever. But once I see the light, I realize that I am free to choose. Even that may cause me some consternation (I have been into blame so much, and I have been into judging to get the "monkey off my back"). But now that I am out of judgment, and into forgiveness of me and everyone else, I can move forward with my life…...I am not trapped.
We do not realize how judging traps us. Whatever choices we make may feel good for a second. If there are some bad things, it is probably a subconscious choice--it may even be a pre-existent choice, but still we are responsible for it. "You are becoming what you have always been."
Bestowal of "Freedom" on Ourselves and Others
Another spiritual principle: The bestowal of freedom—on our children, on ourselves, our mates, the world--is the bestowal of love. We bestow freedom upon ourselves and anyone else when we bestow love.
Freedom will give us more truth. The Truth will make us free; but freedom will also give us more truth than we have ever had before. We keep ourselves and our children in bondage out of fear; we keep our mates in bondage with expectations and judgment. The bestowal of absolute freedom upon the universe to be what it is--upon our children, upon our mates; upon ourselves is the bestowal of love, and love will change the world:
One class member stated that he believes we create the conditions in our lives because of the choices that we have made, but we have all and hopes, dreams, and desires that have not come true--things we wanted with all our hearts. Does that mean that we really do not want them?
This is a concern we all have--how can we lose weight, be happy, be more successful? We have all these dreams. If this concept is true why don't we get what we really want? Some have gone through several divorces and still do not find happiness in marriage, even though they desire this happiness more than anything else. Does this just happen--is it something we really want?
You may not see this scripture as being the answer, but I promise that by the end of this eight-week class lights will turn on.
Abraham 3:17…..."Now, if there be two things, one above the other, and the moon be above the earth…...(he has just explained how God organized all of these things--this whole chapter is only an object lesson to teach spiritual principles.)....."and there is nothing that the Lord thy God (nor you, because you are Gods)…."shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it.
We use these words loosely—“with all my heart I have wanted this.” I want to tell you that if we want it with all of our hearts, we will get it! If someone wants a happy marriage with all of their heart, they will get it. It is our heads that sabotage us…we keep trying to ride two horses with one butt. We decide with our heads what it is we want, and then feel with our hearts. That is out of Alignment.
Heart" is probably more often misused than any other word. We use "heart” when we mean "head"....."I want this with all my heart"
Anything we want with our hearts, we get. Just like the Lord God--anything He takes into His heart to do, He does. Anything He takes into His heart to want, He gets: That is one of the reasons He says to be careful of what we pray for; because what we pray for we may get! The Lord says in essence, "Anything you ask Me for I will give you, but be careful that you do not ask for it and consume it on your lusts…... (lust always comes out of the head)…...or you might get it, and it will turn to your condemnation. Mormon 9:28; D&C 88:62 Ponder in your hearts 63. Seek Me diligently 64. ….expedient for you…65. if ye ask anything not expedient…to your condemnation.
Alignment with Universal Principles
It is necessary to get in alignment with the lesser principles--the universal principles. The laws of the universe are there to humble us and bring us in alignment with God. He does not use a big whip to bring us back. He puts the law here so He can stand back and love us unconditionally which is what He is trying to get us to do. He gives us laws to get us out of judgment….He does not want to be in judgment. Christ says, The Father has given Me all judgment." But neither does He want to judge us…..God so loved that world that He sent His Only Begotten Son. For God sent NOT His Son into the world to CONDEMN the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 12:47
We can desire things with our hearts that are destructive to us. Emotionally, we may want them desperately, but those things can also destroy us. The answer comes in the form of a question: “How do we align our hearts so that the things we choose are always the things that bless our lives and make it possible to stay in the Celestial Kingdom?” The bottom line is that we need to make our decisions while we are in joy, in peace, and in love. These feelings come when we are in alignment with universal principles.
Answer: 3 Ne.19:!9 Holy Ghost with Fire vs. 20-21 Jesus thanks the Father for giving the Holy Ghost vs. 24: It was given unto them what they should pray.
How to Receive The Very Thoughts of Christ
The first and most important step is in taking responsibility for what our lives are. The step beyond that is in “receiving” the mind of Christ. This is an outside miracle! It is the answer. We do NOT do this ourselves…this class is not a course on "All the Answers are Within Me." We must “receive” that offered power.
Follow in your own King James version this Modern English Translation from First Corinthians, chapter 2. You will see some lights go on…...it is not different; it is just more clear.
1 Corinthians 2:6….. "We do, of course, speak wisdom among those who are spiritually mature. But it is not what is called wisdom of this world. Not by the powers that be who soon will be only the powers that have been.
The wisdom that we speak of is that mysterious secret wisdom of God which He planned before the creation for our glory.”
None of the powers of this world have known this wisdom. If they had, they would never have crucified the Lord of Glory, but as it is written, things which eye saw not and ear heard not which entered not into the heart of man." ,
(Remember the scripture, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard; neither hath entered into the heart of man." 3 Ne. 17;15-25; D&C 76:10, 11-119)
"Whatever things God prepared for them that love him, but God has through his spirit let us share his secret. For nothing is hidden from the Spirit; not even the deep wisdom of God.
So who could really understand man's most inward thoughts, except the spirit of the man himself? How much less could anyone understand the thoughts of God except the very spirit of God?
And the marvelous thing is this, that we now receive not the spirit of the world, but of the spirit of God himself, so we can actually understand something of God's generosity to us: It is these things we talk about not using the expressions of the human intellect, but those which the Holy Spirit teaches us explaining spiritual things to those who are spiritual.
But the unspiritual man simply cannot accept matters which the spirit deals with; they just don't make sense to him, for after all you must be spiritual to see spiritual things. The spiritual man on the other hand has an insight into the meaning of everything, though this insight may baffle the man of the world. The spiritual man discerns of everything, because he is sharing in God's wisdom. And who hath known the mind of the Lord that He should instruct him?
Incredible as it may sound, we who are spiritual have the very thoughts of Christ."
Now let us reference the King James version:
1 Corinthians. 2: Heading: The gospel is preached by the power of the Spirit--The Spirit reveals all things to the saints--the un-regenerated 'natural man' cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God.
"And I, brethren, when I came to you I came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.“
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Which none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit: for the spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that He may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
There is the answer to your questions. Also, it is the answer to those most asked questions: How can I lose weight, be happy, be more successful? Once we cultivate and have the very thoughts of Christ, they will tell us the very things we should do. The thoughts of Christ will lead us in a straight course to eternal bliss. Out of this veil of sorrow, divorces, bad choices, undesirable jobs…...into a far better land of choices…..That is the whole message…...THE THOUGHTS OF CHRIST.
Incredible as it may sound, we who are spiritual have the very thoughts of Christ. Of course, it does not make sense to the world. We do not sell great seminars and travel all over, because it is foolishness to the natural man…...it does not tickle the ego!
We have an incredible scripture--one we have read all our lives, but never really understood. It is called the “Olive Leaf of Peace” and is located in the 88th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants and deals with calling and election.
D&C 88:3…….."Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts…...
When this revelation came, the Saints did not yet have the temple ordinances-it was two and a half years after the church was organized. The Kirtland Temple had not even been built, and yet they received their calling and election .
D&C 88:3-4….."that it may abide in you, even the Holy Spirit of Promise, which OtherComforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John…...(He tells us what it is)…... "This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the Celestial Kingdom."
We have read this about Christ being the light that is in the moon (verse 8) and the light of the stars (verses 9 and 10), and also the light which is within us---the same light which quickeneth our understandings. Remember the mind of Christ (verse 11). The whole thing is about Christ.
D&C 88;11-14..... "And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through Him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; which light proceedeth forth from the Presence of God to fill the immensity of space-- The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon His throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things…... (Remember what I said about “someday” versus NOW, or “”someplace” versus right here)….Now, verily I say unto you, that through the redemption which is made for you is brought to pass the resurrection from the dead.”
Receive the Fullness of Joy
What is He saying in D&C 88:14? "I say unto you that through the redemption which is made for you, through the Atonement comes your resurrection.” You say, "Okay, someday I am going to be resurrected. As I partake of the redemption--of the Atonement--I am resurrected; the spirit is reunited with the body. I now can have a fullness of joy. I can have the mind of Christ---pierce that veil and enter back into His Presence."
Let me read this again….. "I say unto you that through the redemption, which is made for you, is brought to pass the resurrection of the dead."' NOW!"
D&C 88:15….... "And the spirit and the body are the soul of man."
So now you have been resurrected--you have a spirit and a body--unless you are spiritually dead (in the Telestial Kingdom). But if you have been born again--of the spirit--you are resurrected; you now have body and spirit reunited. You can receive a fullness or joy! What an incredible thought! This is only the beginning:
D&C 88:16…..."And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul. “
Resurrection from the Dead--NOW
As soon as we are ready to be born again, we are resurrected…..that is the redemption of the soul. That is the resurrection. Anytime from now on, whenever you read the Book of Norman, quit saying "some day"--say NOW. The whole Book of Mormon will lighten up! Every scripture will become new scripture when you realize that those prophets who kept talking about resurrection over and aver were talking about something that could happen today--if we are ready, if we are willing to partake of the redemption!
Time is only measured unto man. There is no "before Christ came" or "after Christ came" or "when Christ came". It is all when He comes to US--YOU and ME He always comes NOW. Is our calling and election an event or a process? When we move away from "someday" in the gospel and realize that the Second Coming is NOW, the millennium is NOW, the resurrection is NOW, the final judgment is NOW,
Lights start to go on. That does not mean that it will not be "then," "someday," but it is both. This becomes very important if we do not want to stay in hell and nurse our wounds--looking forward to someday.
If we are tired of that and would like to be redeemed and receive our resurrection and come back into the Presence of God and have Him take up His abode with us, that we might have the mind of Christ, then it is much more important right now that it is going to be at the end of the world….because he that has Eternal Life is alive forever.
John 11:25-26…”I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead…..."
Once we enter into Eternal life, we “receive” the well of living water--we enter the promised land. We enter our rest and our fullness; death loses its sting. "Somedays" do not matter anymore, because we are already alive, we are already in the Celestial Kingdom.
When we make these mighty changes, will we still have to deal with sin? Will we make mistakes after today? We will only have to deal with it if we want to. Everything you have ever dreamed of can be right now. You can put it off and stay in judgment of yourself--which is what you are doing whenever you are noticing your sins. Let me put this in scripture language…...it will help.
1 John 3:1-3…... "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore, the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, NOW are we the saints of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be…... (it is still hidden)….. "but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is….... (because He is like us)..."And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”
Moroni 8:19-20……”it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God…
Understanding the Power of the Atonement
Remember Moroni's talk about faith and charity—the hope he is speaking of is Eternal life. We must have faith--NOW; later (SOMEDAY) it will be absolute knowledge. The NOW is more important than the SOMEDAY, The sin comes in getting caught in the SOMEDAY and putting off the Now--it is not the little things we neglect, such as home teaching. The sin is staying in hell when we should be enjoying a Terrestrial state in joy, peace, love, and sharing. Alma 37:45
Using a bit of sarcasm…..it would be a sin to forgive ourselves, to quit analyzing all of the sins we have committed, because we could not stay in misery and keep our “noses to the ground!”
1 John 3: 4-5….... "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law….. (if you heard what I said a minute ago, this will make sense)….. "And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him is no sin."
Christ was manifested to take away our sins…... just the sins we have already committed? No, all of the sins we are committing today and all of the sins we are ever going to commit. Sanctification is different from justification--it is not just an everyday thing--it is infinite. All of our sins have been forgiven from now right into the Celestial Kingdom, so that we can get our noses off the ground and get on enjoying the sanctification of being without sin.
John 3:6..... "Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not... "
This is what I want you to see. Whosoever abideth in Him and Him in me---ln essence Christ says, "I am the true light that is in you and you in Me; otherwise you could not abide. The day will come that you have seen Me, that I am in you." That goes back to this verse: "Whosoever abideth in Him, sinneth not." Does that mean we have never committed a sin? No, we sin every day.
"Whosoever abideth in Him, sinneth not." How do we sin not? Why do little children sin not? Because it has been taken away the Atonement has paid for our sins in the same way. The only way we can live without judgment is if we realize we have been forgiven.
Faith Precedes the Miracle
Do I mean we are not sinning--that we have been forgiven? Right There is no condemnation. We are totally free of that--we have been cleansed. We are sanctified of that. But we have to have faith in this concept before we know it absolutely. But you say, "I want to hear this voice from heaven telling me audibly that I am forgiven. Then I will know that I have my calling and election made sure." That is not faith! The whole Book of Mormon is telling us the same thing. "That is not faith. Faith is the belief in something unseen.
We must express faith as if He (Christ) has already come to us. We must start the process of faith and hope before it becomes absolute knowledge. We want it backwards…..we want the sign first.
We get caught up in the need to feel guilty…that when we are out of our misery we will feel better. Good luck! My guilt is replaced with appreciation and love for the gift of forgiveness.
The Guise of Guilt
Guilt is POWERFUL! We are hooked on it in our culture. Guilt feelings are means--primarily of binding us to authority. Guilt feelings are an impediment to independence. They start a cycle which oscillates constantly between rebellion, repentance, submission, and new rebellion. Guilt, as it is felt by most people in our society, is not primarily a reaction to the voice of conscience--it is essentially an awareness of disobedience against authority and fear of reprisal. It does not matter whether such punishment is physical or withdrawal of love or whether one is simply made to feel an outsider. All such guilt feelings create fear, and fear brings hostility and apostasy.
It is the lower law…... as a child I thought as a child. But when I began to grow up, I wanted to replace that motivation of fear and guilt in living the Gospel with the feeling of appreciation. Yes, I feel, then I sin. I feel guilt, the awareness of my forgiveness, more than I ever have.
I used to weep when I thought of the sins I was committing because I gritted my teeth and they were something between God and me. Now my sins bind me to Him in love. I can hardly refrain from weeping every time I talk about Him because I appreciate Him so. I give of my life to show how much I appreciate Him. This is much greater than fear…...I do not need fear and guilt.
Alma 57:42-26 says: Do not miss it because of the easiness of the way. Feeling guilty and paying for our own sins day after day is not easy. It is terrible! …...Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known Him.
Do We Really Know the Savior?
If were still sinning and feeling that sin, we do not, as yet, really know the Savior. Ninety five percent of the Church fall in this category. D&C 84:50-51 tells us what our problem is. We come not unto God. Let us continue with John:
1 John 3:7-8…...."Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous..... (do not be deceived. You are not sinning, you are righteous. Yes, you are committing sin, but His seed abideth in you and you are not sinning)…... "He that committeth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. "
The devil is still operating on this cycle of guilt--sin, repent, sin, repent. He is having a great time! Remember, in the temple the devil is totally cast out, so that he does not become an issue anymore. MARK THAT IN RED!
1 John 3:9-10….”Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for His (Christ’s) seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God…(is there more beautiful doctrine in the world? I want you to hear this)…... "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother."
(In other words, we are trying to make the gospel a headtrip--with the guilt, fear, and whatever. We are not even coming unto God. We are just kidding ourselves…... that is what John keeps saying.
Calling and Election
We are always waiting for that Baptism of Fire which we think is the burning. We are going to know it, because it hits us. In 3 Nephi 9:20, the voice of Christ says: "If you come to me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, I will baptize you with fire and the Holy Ghost, as I did the Lamanites at the time of their conversion and they knew it not."
Brother McConkie is quoted verbatim: "There are many in the Church whose calling and election has been made sure who have not yet exercised the faith to know it. I would say that takes in 99 percent of the Church. That is why the whole message in the New Testament is faith, faith, faith. You have got to reach forth for your redemption in faith. You have got to believe that it has already taken place.
In the D&C, does being sanctified mean by the law? Is the law letting Christ take care of it? Right!
D&C 88:15-17…... "And the spirit and the body are the soul of man. And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul. And the redemption of the soul is through Him that quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it…... (when? NOW!)
D&C 88:18-19….... "Therefore, it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that I may be prepared for the Celestial Glory (what? The earth and also my body? Yes, so they become one. When are the meek going to get it? NOW!) "For after it hath filled the measure of its creation….."
Man is That He Might Have Joy
What is the measure of our creation? 2 Nephi 25…. "Man is that he might have joy." All things were created to fulfill the measure of their creation and have joy therein. So after it hath fulfilled the measure of its creation.” After we begin to fulfill the measure of our creation and live in joy. Remember what I said…... ALL OF THESE SCRIPTURES COME BACK TO ONE OF THE THREE PRINCIPLES.
...it shall be crowned with glory….(what Glory?) even the Presence of God the Father….."
The Other Comforter--The Lord Jesus Christ Himself
From the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 150, we read:
“The other Comforter spoken of is a subject of great interest, and perhaps understood by few of this generation. After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the Baptism of Fire), which is the First Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness; and living by every Word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him (70 years? 80 years? 90 years? Soon---according to whom? To the Lord, not me--I will never think I am thoroughly proved).and He finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards then the man will find his calling and election made sure, then it will be his privilege to “receive” the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John."
John 14:12-18 ... “Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more or less than the Lord, Jesus Christ, Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter; he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the mysteries of the kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient saints arrived at…..(Christ is the Second Comforter; The Holy Ghost is the Holy Spirit of Promise and of Presence).
D&C 88:19-20….."After it hath filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with glory, even with the Presence of God the Father. That bodies who are of the Celestial Kingdom may possess it forever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created, and for this intent are they sanctified."
The earth is right at this moment abiding the law of the Celestial Kingdom, and all we have to do is become sanctified and receive this blessing and we inherit what it was made to do--which is to enjoy here all of the joy and peace of the Celestial Kingdom. It is all around us because God is in the midst of us.
John 14:21…....”And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a Terrestrial Kingdom, or that of a Telestial Kingdom ...”
If we are not going to abide this law…...if we would rather abide the law of judgment and Guilt and whatever, then we get to inherit a Terrestrial kingdom! This is the law of Christ. (Believe in My Name – deny not My Power to Redeem you)
I am giving you principles. This is a spiritual principle: LET THE UNIVERSE TAKE CARE OF THE DETAILS. That is the law of Christ.
Laws and Kingdoms
How do we interpret the law according to the different kingdoms? If we are in a Terrestrial Kingdom, we read it one way; if we are in a Celestial Kingdom we read it another. It is written so that we read it according to where we are. We have read resurrection, righteousness, etc. from a lower level because we are under the first provocation. Now words can take on whole new meanings, whole new concepts, and the Spirit bears record that it is not just another headtrip. We cannot move from one sphere to another with our heads (from Telestial to Terrestrial) --we have to move with our hearts; then our hearts re-teach our heads---a teacher does not do it!
Why Church Courts?
Why does the church dis-fellowship? Because if we are not living this law here (in the Terrestrial state), then they put us over here (Telestial) where we already are living the law.....they put sanction to where we are already living. Follow through and see if this makes sense.
D&C 88:21-22…..."For he who is not able to abide the law of a Celestial Kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory."
We are not going to receive the joy over in the Terrestrial state unless we can live the laws. We cannot ride two horses with one bottom ... we must get in alignment with celestial principles.
D&C 88:23-25…..."And he who cannot abide the law of the Terrestrial Kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory…..(and so--like Christ said, we have a church court) ... "And he who cannot abide the law of a Telestial Kingdom, cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore, he is not meet for a kingdom of glory…. (or light and truth). "Therefore, he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory. And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a Celestial Kingdom...."
The earth abides the law--John does not say "some day” it will. For it fills the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law…...
D&C 88:26-28….."Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened… .(again, and abide the power by which it is quickened)….."and the righteous shall inherit it. (When? NOW!)... “For notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again, as a spiritual body ... (we all die--everyone in this room has died spiritually, through the fall. Not one person missed it!)...
From the autobiography of Parley P. Pratt page 294 is given the following:’
“Brother Joseph, while in the Spirit, rebuked the elders who would continue to lay hands on the sick from day to day without the power to heal. Said he, “It is time that such things end. Let the elders either obtain the power of God to heal the sick, or let them cease to minister the forms without the Power.”
“They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body, even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened."
Whom Do We List to Obey--God or Mammon?
The glory or your body right now, today- -is the glory by which your body is quickened. Take your wallet out, count the wages of him whom you list to obey.(Alma 3:26-27) Check your wallet--how much misery, depression and unhappiness do you live in?
D&C 88:29-32…..”Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall
return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they are not willing to “receive” that which they might have “received.”
John has just restated Principle Number One… ... LOOK WHAT I HAVE CREATED….. because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received. It was their choice…... it is our choice. God always grants unto us according to the desires of our hearts.
D&C 88::33-34…..."For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he “receive” not the gift? 'Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift. And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same".... (either the law of mercy or the law of just ice or the law of judgment--whichever we choose.)
Desire and Potential
Eventually our desires will reach our full potential. Do we conclude then that some of us will have—the potential, but if we do not desire to that level, then we will not really reach it? Is that the case, or will we eventually desire exactly what our potential is? If we are a celestial body, will we desire celestial?
I do not think there is any question but that every single person in this room will inherit the highest degree in the Celestial Kingdom. You have always been there and will always be. If you are not there today, it is because you are tasting the bitter that you may know to prize the sweet. You would not even be sitting in this room if you were not all just like I said. Every day we move back and forth, sometimes we are here (terrestrial); sometimes we are there (celestial). But the more we lock into celestial principles, the easier it becomes.
Be Perfected in Christ
Someone asked the question…."Do you think that if we are not perfect now, we can become perfect in the higher existence?" Remember…... we are perfect; we walk perfectly every single day. We walk without thought…..we are blameless. Is it because we never commit sin? No! Let us read the last three verses of the Book of Mormon again…... they tell us that we all should be walking in perfection. If you thought I was coming from my ego when I said that I was perfect, then you do not know the gospel. Because the last three verses--in fact the whole Book of Mormon is trying to get us to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.
Commit Yourself Daily
Come unto Christ every single day with all the energy of your soul. Kneel down the first thing in the morning and come unto Him, and be perfected in Him. Deny yourself of all ungodliness." Read the last three verses in the Book of Mormon in first person (verse.32)….and if I deny myself of all ungodliness and I love God with all of my might, mind, and strength, then is His grace sufficient for me, that by His grace I may be perfect in Christ; and I am perfect in Christ. And if by the grace of God I am perfect in Christ I can in nowise deny the power of God” ( to perfect and redeem me). So if I stood up here and told you I was not perfect, would be denying the power of Christ!
Not an Ego Experience
You may think I am on an ego experience. I cannot deny the power of Christ, because I know that perfection comes through Him, all day, all the time. (verse 33).... "And again, if by the grace of God I am perfect in Christ, and I deny not his power, then am I sanctified in Christ by faith (in Him) and by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of my sins, and I become holy, and without spot." Yes, I am perfect in Christ. Everyone else is too--they just do not know it.
You might ask, "Do you really feel that way? Of course, how can I feel differently? I did not earn my own perfection. I am not flawless, but I am spiritually complete in Christ. If it were my own perfection, I would not be there. But because of Christ's perfection, it allows me to be there--He has paid for my imperfection; His Atonement is infinite.
We keep thinking that it is humility that keeps us from reaching forth and partaking of His Atonement. It is not humility--- it is pure pride. It is not humility to refuse to reach for something the Savior was so anxious for us to have that He suffered beyond our understanding, finally giving His life (Gethsemane and upon the cross). And we, in our supposed "humility", turn our backs on it and say l am not worthy." It is the height of pride! It is the same pride that crucified Him. That is why we LDS are so deceived—we think that to come unto Christ and partake of His Atonement and perfection is some kind of ego trip, and it is not.
You have seen me commit sin up here. You have seen temper ... you have seen weakness. The Lord chooses the very weak things of the earth to thrash so that we can make certain we do not mistake His Spirit for the weak things of the world. You have seen me sin. I am not claiming any kind of perfection—I would be a fool to do that. But through the Atonement you see His perfection--His wholeness.
Deny All Ungodliness CD 8 - 3
If to deny all ungodliness means that we keep all the commandments so we can become perfect (all by ourselves), then why do we need Christ? Can you see the pride in that? If we work ourselves until we are worthy of Christ's Atonement, we think we do not need Him! That is why the Pharisees had so much trouble with Christ….... they did not need Him. They were living the law so well, so much better than everybody else. That is where we get our power from. Can you see the toxic shame in that? It is so easy to get trapped into this kind of thinking. What we say is, "If I am not happy and I want to be happy, I have just got to do something and then I will be happy."
Start the other way….forgive yourself of all ungodliness and create some peace within yourself by getting out of Judgment. I cannot tell you how magical this is! Anytime you find yourself miserable, you will find you are not living in one of the three principles….. Immediately you will say: "I really have been on my case this morning….... I yelled at my little girl when she left this morning!"--or something similar.
Do not misunderstand this principle because of the easiness of the way. It is not a head thing…....it is permission for the heart to take over that is all. And we do not trust our hearts.
Let me reiterate the statements some of you have made. We keep striving for the fruits of what we are. We are so terrible because of the things we have done, so we judge ourselves. We try not to be judgmental with other people, but have very hard time forgiving others. When we “get into our hearts”, it is so much easier to forgive other people; because we understand the Atonement so much more…...because we can relate to the magnitude of the blessing it has been in our lives. And because it works for us, we have to forgive everybody else.
It goes this way: We are busier than we have ever been before. But not because we are trying to earn any fruit…. We are just expressing what we are. We are expressing that joy!
Do we need to forgive ourselves of all ungodliness, even if we know we are going to do it again tomorrow, even if there is something in our lives that is out of order and is still going to be out of order tomorrow and going to be worked on for the next six or eight months? Do we still need to do that every single day---forgive ourselves of all ungodliness and that unworthiness?
What We Focus on Expands
Yes…..Yes! Forgive and then go on. I do not know about you, but I am working pretty much on the same sins I was at 16. How many times did the Savior say to forgive somebody else? Seventy times seven. I have done that. I am not using this as a rationalization but, basically, I will be working on the same group of sins the rest of my life. But my focus is not on my sins….. my focus is on forgiveness and the perfection of the universe, and where I am withholding love so that I can give out more love. What we focus on expands. If we focus on our sins and wonder if we are going to do them again tomorrow, they will expand and we will probably never overcome them. If we focus on our perfection through Christ and on the perfection of everybody else and on love; then those things will expand….... people will become more perfect. Can you see how that works?
We seem to enjoy carrying around these millstones of sins. One of the great messages of the Doctrine & Covenants and the Book of Mormon is that Christ forgives us. It is infinite…... it is eternal. He forgets our sins, but if we choose to go back to all our sins and say, “I am enjoying these sins so much I will just heap them back on myself again!” We can do that…... it is our choice. But He has forgotten them.
Accentuate the Positive
We think it is an act of pride to get our eyes off our sins….The truth is: “what we focus on, Expands.” If we keep focusing on our sins like we do here under the law, we do not get any better.
We are not much better as a church than we were one hundred years ago. Go back and read the conference talks of the 1890's--they are almost word for word what they were in the last conference--because of what we focus on. If we focus on sanctification and perfection and love, then those things expand. This is the gospel. This is not a new gospel--I am not picking a little scripture from here and there--these principles are the gospel. The question we should be asking ourselves is, How did I ever miss this before?” - -"Not what has been slipped in here to fool me?"
Let the positives outdo the negatives in your lives--the more we focus on the positives, the easier it is to step from the terrestrial to the celestial. When you do this, your lives will change--the lights will come on!
(The tape ended before the class was dismissed.)