We have no right to read God’s description of those who receive a celestial glory and to then contradict it in our teachings.

We have no right to read these verses, and to then contradict them.

D&C 76:66 These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.
67 These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn.

We have no right to read those verses and then go around saying that such things are not necessary or important for inheriting the celestial kingdom. When God reveals, we have no right to contradict him. His words were:

D&C 76:70 These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.

Our duty is not to make men feel comfortable. When it comes to God’s revelations, our duty is to simply stand by them, whether they come out for or against ourselves or anybody else.

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Watered down teaching about love destroys love

Our love and service will always be lacking until we are converted to our scriptures, not only to say, but to do according to that which is written.

We have replaced the gospel of Jesus Christ almost entirely with a gospel of ideas from psychology, such as our emphasis on positivity and optimism, along with service and love.

But this isn’t love. It won’t change the souls of men. It is the gospel as it is more or less found in other churches. It has a form of godliness, but denies the power thereof.

How does it deny the power thereof?

Because it is insufficient to bring men to God. We have to be searching the scriptures and conforming our lives to what we find in them. We must be living to have the Holy Ghost.

Pure love is a gift from God. We imitate the outer form. But we will have to live worthy of the Holy Ghost to ever really know what love is. The pure love is always, first and foremost, a love of God the Father, for that is the way the Savior loved. The Son of God’s love for his Father graced his language frequently, far more than any exclamation about love for the generality of mankind. He taught that one must love God differently than we love men. He taught that we must love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. By contrast, he taught the we must love our fellow man as ourself. Those are completely different measures of love. That is the way the pure love of Christ is.

And when we just teach love of man, or teach that love of man IS love of God, then we kill off love altogether. It may take a long time, but we will see in the end that such teaching destroys love.

Love that grows and abounds proceeds forth from God. When we only teach love of man, and tell one another that if we love man then we love God, then we do all the wrong things. We cease to be valiant in the testimony of Jesus, lest we make men feel unhappy or uncomfortable.

So our weekly meetings that are mostly just teaching the love and service of men need to change. Our message must be the motto of Father Adam: Repent and Live.

To be perfect in Christ

Recently my wife pointed out the many scriptures that use the word “perfect”. One response was an objection that we can only be “perfect in Christ”, which they said comes about through his atonement.

Now, it is true that no man can be saved without the intercession of Christ. But the idea that Christ’s intercession redefines what it means to be perfect is just part of our rationalization.

Here, do you want to know what it means to be perfect in Christ? It means to live worthy for him to come and to teach you from time to time, no differently than he came and taught Adam and Eve before the fall. To be perfect in Christ means to live worthy of such teaching by him, and to obey every word that he teaches, as did Abraham, who by obeying every word of the Savior was perfect in Christ.

“Ye have done it unto me” – one of our favorite traditions about who Christ is and what he desires of us

When the Lord says “I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat”, and concludes “inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” he is not saying “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least person in the world, you have done it unto me”.

First off, the Lord is not exaggerating. He really will measure these acts as if they were done unto him.

Secondly, he means who he says. He is speaking of those he counts as his brethren.

Matthew 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Now we feel the goodness of helping others when we do so, and he did teach “Give to him that asketh”, and John the Baptist taught “he that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise” and Christ required the rich young man to sell all he had and give to the poor.

Nevertheless, the idea that giving to any person will be counted at the judgment bar the same as giving to Christ himself is simply not true. Christ was speaking of giving to his brethren in need, those he sent out without purse or script, those he called from their nets and who straightway followed after him. Those who did not just follow him for the bread he could produce, and who were true even when he taught hard doctrine. When he said that inasmuch as we give to one of the least of his brethren, we have done it unto him, he means who he says he means, and it will be counted as he says it will be counted.

Thus we must also be careful not to accuse the brethren. Once we understand the scripture properly, let us be cautious how we take their names in our lips.

Being the true church isn’t enough / eternal life is to know Christ

It doesn’t matter two cents whether we are the true church if we aren’t living up to the blessings of being the true church. That is the meaning of these verses in Jacob 5.

Jacob 5:33 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: What shall we do unto the tree, that I may preserve again good fruit thereof unto mine own self?
34 And the servant said unto his master: Behold, because thou didst graft in the branches of the wild olive tree they have nourished the roots, that they are alive and they have not perished; wherefore thou beholdest that they are yet good.
35 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: The tree profiteth me nothing, and the roots thereof profit me nothing so long as it shall bring forth evil fruit.
36 Nevertheless, I know that the roots are good, and for mine own purpose I have preserved them; and because of their much strength they have hitherto brought forth, from the wild branches, good fruit.

Here, the Lord is unhappy that the tree is no longer bringing forth good fruit. The servant responds that now we have a great big church by grafting in the gentiles, and they have nourished the roots that they are alive and the roots have not perished. The point here is that the Lord is saying “The church is no longer bringing up people to actually receive, for themselves, the covenants and personal experiences of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who are the roots of the tree”. And the servant is saying “but we have kept the true church on the earth”.

And the Lord’s response should grab our attention. He doesn’t really care that it is the true church. He says that being the true church isn’t good enough. He says “the tree profiteth me nothing, and the roots therefore profit me nothing so long as it shall bring forth evil fruit”.

Now that shouldn’t surprise us one bit. All through the scriptures we read about the church itself going in and out of obedience. It isn’t enough to BE the true church. It doesn’t really count for anything in and of itself. The Pharisees and the Sadducees received their covenants from Moses. The priests of King Noah were set apart to be priests in the true church.

Being the true church isn’t good enough. We have to be living the gospel and preaching the gospel in such a way that joining the true church puts people on the path to receiving the same covenants and the same experiences and the same knowledge of God that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had. The point is that if joining the church is not placing people on a path which brings them to that conclusion, then it the Lord’s considers it to “profit him nothing”.

Now the Lord knew that grafting in the gentiles would keep the true church alive. But he didn’t do it for the reason we all suspect, for he says “I know that the roots are good, and for my own purpose I have preserved them”. He is saying “I’m not telling you the reason I did it”.

See, the point of the church is to bring people to eternal life. And this is life eternal, that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent”.

If we know Christ, he will deliver eternal life to us, no differently than he did to the Brother of Jared.

Ether 3:13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.

I didn’t matter that the Brother of Jared was a prophet. Until this moment, when he was brought back into the presence of the Son, the brother of Jared was not redeemed from the fall. After all, how can we say we are redeemed from the fall if we cannot endure the presence of the Son? Was not the fall to be cut off from the presence of god? How are we redeemed, yet still not able to return to his presence?

This is eternal life, to know God and Christ. If we know them, then we have eternal life. But God stands revealed, or remains forever unknown.

Weakness that we may have faith

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

The Lord says he gives us weakness that we may have faith. We read that, but we have the wrong idea in our head. The worst idea we have about it is the false interpretation that God gives men their spiritual and moral weaknesses, as if God was the source of evil, or as if a sweet fountain could bring forth bitter water.

But even if we avoid the degenerate interpretation that God gives men moral weakness, we are still missing the point of this verse.

See, the problem is that we have the wrong idea in our head altogether. We are surrounded in this life with our incapability. Man’s pitiable mortal state is frail, and full of dilemnas, difficulty, and work which can be tedious or laborious.

If we would pair these two scriptures together, we may understand Mormon’s statement more clearly. Take that verse I cited before:

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Now pair that verse with this verse:

Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Here, Christ says that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, then we can say to a sycamine tree to be plucked up by the root and planted in the sea, and it would obey us.

We read Ether 12:27 without understanding. We understand that this life is full of dilemnas. But we read that verse rationalizing that we have already arrived at the faith God desires us to have, or that even Mormon himself had.

But no. God gives us weakness that we may have faith. But when we have faith, we will say to a sycamine see to be plucked up by the roots and planted in the sea, and it would obey us.

Think about it. Which of our myriad mortal dilemnas could God not solve in a moment simply by taking thought? What whim could he not grant? What great desire do we have that he could not grant?

There is a Christmas Carol that says “If Jesus had wanted for any small thing”, even a bird on the wing, God would surely have granted it. We sing those words as a contrast between our mortal state and what God would be willing to do for Jesus.

We do so because we don’t understand Ether 12:27. The point is, he will make things tough on us here, where we have to lean on him for even the least of matters at times because of our weakness. He could, if he so desired, grant our very whims with no more than a thought. And he will not do so. NOT because he is not willing to do so. He is just as willing to grant us “any small thing” even “a bird on the wing” as he would be willing to grant them to Jesus. But only when we acquire the faith necessary. And when we do, the if we should command a tree to be plucked up by the roots and planted in the sea, then it will obey us.

See, the problem is because we are incapable of granting many of our own desires in this life, we conclude that he doesn’t want us to have these things because “it is good for us”. But that is not correct. He is perfectly willing for us to have them, as long as we obtain faith. Not the pitiable excuse for faith that we have all arrived at, but faith as God measures faith.

We must obtain faith as a mustard seed, and then, even more faith than that. And when we do, then we will understand. If we are true then we must one day learn to have faith even as the Son of God did. And then God will grant us what things we ask him.

That faith he requires of us is so far away that we may laugh the whole matter off as irrelevant. After all, what mortal man do we know of that was not afflicted with such weakness. Can we think of any man except Christ who was not afflicted with weakness? I expect the three Nephites, who could feel no suffering except sorrow for the sins of the world would qualify, and those in Zion who were taken up into heaven. Maybe there are others, such as Melchizedek who shut the mouth of lions and quenched the violence of fire while but a child. But it is a small list of people, so it may seem irrelevant to even talk about it.

But since Christ talked about it, and exhorted us to obtain such faith, then it must be important for us to strive for it, even if the prize such a great distance off to us that we may feel he was mistaken to teach it to us.

But he was not, and such faith is what he wants from us. He reproved Peter for sinking into the water. Does he want less faith from us? He gives us weakness that we may have faith. But if we will have faith, we will walk on water because we desire it and he is willing to grant it, and for no other reason.