These signs follow them that believe because they are behaving enough like Christ to begin to enjoy a measure of his power with God

Other religions read about Christ and the prophets as being great exceptions to the rules. When they read about Christ going about and healing the sick and raising the dead, they don’t realize that if Christ did so, then if they are to become like him, then they should gain a measure of power to do so as well. That is WHY he says “these signs follow them that believe”.

These signs follow them that believe because they are behaving enough like Christ to begin to enjoy a small measure of his power with God.

If we are following Christ in truth, eventually we should enjoy a small measure of his connection with heaven. If we aren’t following him to heaven, we aren’t following him.

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Satan’s plan was to usurp the Father’s role as the husbandman who takes away every branch that beareth not fruit

I think there is some relationship between these verses:

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

and these verses:

Moses 4:1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying – Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.

Christ says that he is the vine we need to be attached to in order to have life, but that his father is the husbandman who will take away any branch in him that does not bear fruit.

That is related somehow to Lucifer’s statement “I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost … wherefore give me thine honor”.

Lucifer is proposing that he deny the father the right to be the husbandman. He is proposing that the Father will not have his right to “every branch that beareth not fruit, he taketh away”.

Lucifer’s desire for the Father’s honor is related to his desire to supplant the Father’s role as the husbandman who will take away any branch that doesn’t bear fruit.

Programs are not revelations. Revelations are revelations.

Programs are not revelations. Revelations are revelations.

This is not meant to be a criticism of those who invent church programs. Simply a statement that we should know the difference between the two.

We should understand the weight of words.

We should know the weight of that voice that declared “Let there be light” and there was light.

It is OK to have programs. I don’t really care for them, myself, because they take a life of their own, and too easily supplant the revelations to suite my taste. But the Lord certainly allows us to create them as we see fit. We are welcome to create them and enjoy them as we see fit.

But it is dangerous when the people mistake programs for revelations.

So I repeat a simple, mostly lost, truth.

Programs are not revelations. Revelations are revelations.

Todays program will be forgotten tomorrow.

But the words of God will stand ages from now.

Programs are not revelations. Revelations are revelations.

I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name

Abraham 1:18 Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.

We are told to take upon us the name of Christ, but here we see something different. The Lord says he will put his name upon Abraham.

And the point of these verses is that the Lord is saying:

“Look, Abraham, I am taking you as my own son. I will therefore lead you by the hand the way a father leads his little son. Just as a father teaches his son how to grow up to be a man, I will teach you how to be like me, to grow up to be just like me. I am offering you my family name, and offering to give you the same priesthood that was held by your father Adam (not by his apostate father).”

Now is there any reason the Lord would be unwilling to say the same to you or to me if we were to be as righteous as Abraham. Not one bit. But he won’t say it to either of us unless we prove as worthy as Abraham did. And if God won’t offer to make us his son, I don’t think we have two bits of evidence that we are going to obtain exaltation. There is no exaltation outside of the family of God. When we say we must be born again, we mean that we must be born into God’s family, the same family that Adam and Eve were cut off from.

Sure we can be born of water. But we cannot be justified until we are born of the spirit, and I think the annals of my life and the wards I have lived in could justly record “for as yet, the Holy Ghost had fallen upon none of them”. We have had our little spiritual experiences, but we have not yet gone about healing the sick and casting out devils as Peter, James, and John did during Christ’s ministry. We have had our little spiritual experiences, but nothing that would count as receiving the Holy Ghost by the measure of John the beloved. We need quest to live so as to receive the Holy Ghost in earnest, and we need to even continue beyond that and be sanctified.

For by the water we keep the commandment, by the spirit we are justified, and by the blood we are sanctified. And then, when God is willing to bear record that we are his son, just as he bore record that Father Adam was (for thus may all become his sons) then God will certainly say to us, not differently than to Abraham:

“I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the priesthood of thy father, and my power over thee.”

He will offer to raise us up as a proper father raises his own children up to be worthy of the family name, to learn the ways to be proper men like their dad is.

Whatsoever tree bring forth not good fruit shall be hewn down / the resurrection / the natural body

When we read that whatsoever tree bringeth forth not good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire, we should understand that it goes hand in hand with this verse.

D&C 88:27 For notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again, a spiritual body.
28 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.

Those who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body.

But nobody else will. All others will never rise again in their natural body, for they did not bring forth good fruit, and therefore their tree (meaning their body) is hewn down and cast into the fire.

We don’t understand the significance and its relation to eternal families. Your brother is your brother because of your bodies. That is how he became your brother, by being born into a body begotten by the same parents. Your son is your son because of your body, and your parents are your parents because of your bodies.

If you receive the natural body back, then you have the same relationships that you had before. If you receive back your natural body, and so does your son, then your son is still your son, for SONSHIP is a relation that came about from your bodies.

We fail to understand why sealing ordinances are tied to the resurrection.

If you do not receive back your natural body, then necessarily you obtained some other body. It does not have the same family relationships that your natural body has. The Lord is quite plain, speaking to the celestial that they shall “receive the same body which is a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies”.

But not anybody else. For every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. They lose that body which defines their natural relationships.

Will they overcome death? Yes, but not by receiving back that body which will be burned when this earth is consumed by fire. It is hewn down to rise no more.

When the graves were opened and many of the dead arose and appeared unto many, those would be many of the dead who were of a celestial spirit.

The Lord’s words to Abraham – I will put my name upon thee, even the priesthood of thy father

There are profound things in these verses that I do not understand.

Abraham 1:16 And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father’s house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of;

18 Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.

There is something significant about names here. This all happens before the Lord changes Abram’s name to Abraham as far as I know off my head.

We are commanded to take upon us the name of Christ. But here we see something very different. Here we see God offering to lead Abraham by the hand and to put his name upon Abraham.

God has not offered to do the same for me. I try to take Christ’s name upon me, but I expect it won’t really mean much until I prove myself so much so that God determines that he will take me, and put his name upon me, if I ever manage to do so.

It is one thing to take Christ’s name upon you, and another for Christ to say he will put his name upon you.

And the Lord clarifies that to put his name upon Abraham, is to put the priesthood of his fathers upon him.

Now certainly Abraham had been ordained to the priesthood in the same sense that I have been ordained to the priesthood well before this.

We don’t really understand the priesthood. Abraham did, and he spoke about it freely, but we have not searched it out as we ought to, and so it all remains a mystery to all of us.

A note about prayer

We can kneel down in prayer to God, and this is familiar to us all. But this is not the only way to speak with God, and we should know how different other ways are, so I will make a note of them.

Abraham 3:1 tells us that God gave Abraham a Urim and Thummim. Abraham 3:1 has verses that start “And the Lord said unto me…” This is clarified in Abraham 3:4

Abraham 3:4 And the Lord said unto me by the Urim and Thummim …

So Abraham had a different way of going to God and receiving words from him than is available to us. It was the same means by which Joseph Smith received many of his revelations. It was a Urim and Thummim. Through this means Abraham and Joseph Smith received answers as if the Lord himself was standing there speaking to them.