I. Gazing into
By Joseph Smith
The Visions That Roll Like An Overflowing
Surge Before My Mind
The Sublimity Of The Ideas; The Purity Of
The Language; The Scope For Action; The Continued Duration For Completion
The Veil Might As Well Be Rent Today As Next
Week, Or Any Other Time
Could You Gaze Into Heaven Five Minutes
You Know No More Concerning The Destinies
Of This Church Than A Babe Upon Its Mother's Lap; You Don't Comprehend
It Has Been Like Splitting Hemlock Knots
With A CornDodger For A Wedge, And A Pumpkin For A Beetle
What He Had To Communicate Was So
Much More Comprehensive, Enlightened And Dignified
Read the Round of Eternity vs. The Little,
Narrow Prison…of Paper, Pen And Ink
II. Feeling Pure
By Joseph Smith
The Things Of God Are Of Deep Import; Time,
Experience, Careful & Ponderous & Solemn Thoughts Can Only Find
The Nearer Man Approaches Perfection, The
Clearer Are His Views, And The Greater His Enjoyments
When You Feel Pure Intelligence Flowing Into
You; By Learning & Understanding It, You Grow Into The Principle Of
III. Eternal Life
Is An Inherent Quality
The Everlasting Gospel Is Mightier In
Power To Save Than Our Narrow Finite Minds Can Comprehend -- Orson
Eternal Life Is An Inherent Quality Of
The Creature -- Brigham Young
You Are In The Pathway To Eternal Fame, And
Immortal Glory -- Joseph Smith
God is Not Cantankerous -- Jeffrey
He Bound Himself Also, By Covenant To Us,
That He Would Never Desert Us, Never Leave Us To Ourselves -- George
The Least of Us, the Humblest, is
in Partnership with the Almighty in Achieving the Purpose of the Eternal
Plan of Salvation -- John A. Widtsoe
You Cannot Indefinitely Resist The Power
And Pressure Of Truth -- Spencer W. Kimball
No Power Of Earth Or Hell Can Separate
Them From Their Parents In Eternity -- Brigham Young
There Is Not One Of Us That He Has Not Desired
To Save And That He Has Not Devised Means To Save -- George Q. Cannon
"Man's Destiny" -- Lorenzo Snow
We Will Continue On Improving, Advancing,
And Increasing In Wisdom, Intelligence, Power, And Dominion -- John
You'll Never Fall Off From It, And, For All
Practical Purposes, Your Calling And Election Is Made Sure -- Bruce
Sorrow and Suffering: Education We Came
Here to Acquire, Makes Us More Like Our Father and Mother In Heaven
-- Orson F. Whitney
IV. Our Origin
"Origin and Destiny of Woman" -- John
By His Side I'll Reign In Heaven -- Vilate
The Thread Which Runs From The Beginning
To The End Of The Holy Gospel Of Salvation -- Brigham Young
V. Come And Get
By Joseph Smith
We Don't Ask Any People To Throw Away Any
Good They Have Got; We Only Ask Them To Come And Get More
I Will Lift Them Up, And In Their Own Way,
Too, If I Cannot Persuade Them My Way Is Better
VI. True Doctrine/Correct
True Doctrine Changes Attitudes and Behavior
-- Boyd K. Packer
They Govern Themselves -- Joseph
I. Gazing Into Heaven
1. The Visions That Roll Like
An Overflowing Surge Before My Mind
It is my meditation all the day, and more than
my meat and drink, to know how I shall make the Saints of God comprehend
the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind.
O how I would delight to bring before you things which you never thought
of, but poverty & the cares of the world prevent.
2. The Sublimity Of The Ideas; The
Purity Of The Language; The Scope For Action; The Continued Duration For
But I am glad I have the privilege of communicating to
you some things which, if grasped closely, will be a help to you when the
clouds are gathering, & the storms are ready to burst upon you like
peals of thunder. Lay hold of these things & let not your knees tremble,
nor your hearts faint. What can earthquakes do; wars and tornadoes do?
Nothing. All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided
you continue faithful. By the vision of the Almighty I have seen it.
(Joseph Smith -- 16 April 1843, Words of Joseph Smith,
pg. 196) [top]
Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints
upon the order of the Kingdom of The Lord, than the light which burst upon
the world through the foregoing vision. Every law, every commandment, every
promise, every truth, and every point touching the destiny of man, from
Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of the Scriptures remains unsullied
by the folly of men, go to show the perfection of the theory (of different
degrees of glory in the future life) and witnesses the fact that that document
is a transcript from the records of the eternal world.
3. The Veil Might As Well Be Rent
Today As Next Week, Or Any Other Time
The sublimity of the ideas; the purity of the language;
the scope for action; the continued duration for completion, in order
that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord and bow the knee; the
rewards for faithfulness, and the punishment for sins, are so much beyond
the narrow-mindedness of men, that every honest man is constrained
to exclaim: "It came from God".
(Joseph Smith -- Summary of impact of DC 76 -- A transcript
from the Records of the Eternal World. DHC 1:252) [top]
We have assembled together to do the business
of the Lord and it is through the great mercy of our God that we are spared
to assemble together, many of us have gone at the command of the Lord in
defiance of everything evil, and obtained blessings unspeakable,
in consequence of which our names are sealed in the Lamb's book of life,
for the Lord has spoken it.
4. Could You Gaze Into Heaven Five
It is the privilege of every Elder to speak of the
things of God; and could we all come together with one heart and one
mind in perfect faith the veil might as well be rent today as next week,
or any other time, and if we will but cleanse ourselves and covenant
before God, to serve Him, it is our privilege to have an assurance that
God will protect us at all times.
(Joseph Smith -- Teachings, pg. 8 -- FWR, p. 13-14;
Oct. 25, 1831) [top]
Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could we read and comprehend all that has been written from the days of Adam on the relations of God and angels in a future
state, we should know very little about it.
5. You Know No More Concerning The
Destinies Of This Church Than A Babe Upon Its Mother's Lap; You Don't Comprehend
Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would
know more than you could possibly by reading all that ever was written
on the subject.
(Joseph Smith -- 9 October 1843 -- The Words of Joseph
Smith, p. 254.) [top]
Brethren, I have been very much edified by your
testimonies here tonight. But I want to say to you, before the Lord,
that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and Kingdom
than a babe upon its Mother's lap. You don't comprehend it.
6. It Has Been Like Splitting
Hemlock Knots With A CornDodger For A Wedge, And A Pumpkin For A Beetle
It is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here
tonight. But this Church will fill north and south America. It will
fill the world.
(Wilford Woodruff records: "In April of 1834, I arrived,
a newly baptized member in Kirtland, Ohio. It was the first time I have
ever seen the Prophet Joseph Smith and he invited me home with him. The
next evening the Prophet called on all who held the Priesthood to gather
into a little log school house. It was small, perhaps 14 feet square, but
it held the whole of the priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ who were
then in Kirtland. That was the first time I had ever seen Oliver Cowdery
or heard him speak. The first time I ever seen Brigham Young and Heber
C. Kimball. The Prophet called upon those present to bear testimony of
this work. Those I had named spoke as well as many others. When they got
through the Prophet said [the above]." -- Conference Report of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 1898, p. 57.) [top]
But there has been a great difficulty in getting
anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting
hemlock knots with a corndodger for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle.
* Even the Saints are slow to understand.
7. What He Had To Communicate
Was So Much More Comprehensive, Enlightened And Dignified
I have tried for a number of years to get the minds
of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently
see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will
fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to
their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all.
(Joseph Smith -- Teachings, Pg. 329331 (Jan. 20,
1844.) DHC 6:183185. * Words of Joseph Smith, page 386, "Using more
current terminology, this sentence translates, 'It has been like splitting
the knots of hemlock trees using a piece of corn bread for a wedge and
a pumpkin for the sledge hammer.'") [top]
No wonder Joseph Smith should say that he
felt himself shut up in a nutshell, there was no power of expansion;
difficult for him to reveal and communicate the things of
God because there was no place to receive them.
8. Read the Round of Eternity vs.
The Little, Narrow Prison…of Paper, Pen And Ink
What he had to communicate was so much more comprehensive,
enlightened and dignified than that which the people generally knew
and comprehended, it was difficult for him to speak; he felt fettered
and bound, so to speak, in every move he made, and so it is to the
(Joseph Smith -- John Taylor on Joseph Smith, JD 10:147-148)
Oh, Lord, when will the time come when Brother
William, Thy servant, and myself, shall behold the day that we may stand
together and gaze upon eternal wisdom engraven upon the heavens,
while the majesty of our God holdeth up the dark curtain until we may
read the round of eternity, to the fulness and satisfaction of our
Oh, Lord, deliver us in due time from the little, narrow
prison, almost as it were, total darkness of paper, pen and ink;
and a crooked, broken, scattered and imperfect language.
(Joseph Smith -- Words of Joseph Smith, pg. 2612;
In Joseph's own handwriting.) [top]
II. Feeling Pure Intelligence Flowing
1. The Things Of God Are Of Deep
Import; Time, Experience, Careful & Ponderous & Solemn Thoughts
Can Only Find Them Out
A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination
beware of; because the things of God are of deep import; and time, and
experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find
2. The Nearer Man Approaches Perfection,
The Clearer Are His Views, And The Greater His Enjoyments
Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto
salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search
into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse
of eternity thou must commune with God.
How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts
of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! None but fools
will trifle with the souls of men. How vain and trifling have been our
spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well
as public conversations - too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending
for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God, according
to the purposes of His will, from before the foundation of the world!
We are called to hold the keys of the mysteries
of those things that have been kept hid from the foundation of the world
until now. Some have tasted a little of these things, many of which are
to be poured down from heaven upon the heads of babes; yea, upon the weak,
obscure and despised ones of the earth. Therefore we beseech of you, brethren,
that you bear with those who do not feel themselves more worthy than yourselves,
while we exhort one another to a reformation with one and all, both old
and young, teachers and taught, both high and low, rich and poor, bond
and free, male and female; let honesty, and sobriety, and candor, and solemnity,
and virtue, and pureness, and meekness, and simplicity crown our heads
in every place; and in fine, become as little children, without
malice, guile or hypocrisy.
(Joseph Smith -- Teachings, Page 137) [top]
We consider that God has created man with a mind
capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion
to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to
the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer
are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome
the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients,
arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and
glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him.
3. When You Feel Pure Intelligence
Flowing Into You; By Learning & Understanding It, You Grow Into The
Principle Of Revelation
But we consider that this is a station to which no
man ever arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed in the government
and laws of that kingdom by proper degrees, until his mind is capable in
some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality, and consistency
of the same.… It is necessary for men to receive an understanding concerning
the laws of the heavenly kingdom, before they are permitted to enter it:
we mean the celestial glory.
(Joseph Smith -- Letter to the Brethren, January 22,
1834. Teachings, Page 47) [top]
The Spirit of Revelation is in connection with
these blessings. A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of
the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence
flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that
by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.,)
those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God,
will come to pass; and
thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding
it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become
perfect in Christ Jesus.
(Joseph Smith -- 27 June 1839; Teachings, Pg. 151, The
Words of Joseph Smith, page 5-6) [top]
III. Eternal Life Is An Inherent Quality
1. The Everlasting Gospel
Is Mightier In Power To Save Than Our Narrow Finite Minds Can Comprehend
You parents of the wilful and the wayward! Don't
give them up. Don't cast them off. They are not utterly lost. The Shepherd
will find his sheep. They were his before they were yours - long before
he entrusted them to your care; and you cannot begin to love them as he
They have but strayed in ignorance from the Path of Right,
and God is merciful to ignorance. Only the fulness of knowledge brings
the fulness of accountability.
2. Eternal Life Is An Inherent
Quality Of The Creature
Our Heavenly Father is far more merciful, infinitely more
charitable, than even the best of his servants, and the Everlasting
Gospel is mightier in power to save than our narrow finite minds can comprehend.
The prophet Joseph Smith declared and he never
taught more comforting doctrine that the eternal sealings of
faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service
in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their
posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd
is upon them and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine
Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either
in this life or the life to come, they will return.
They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will
suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path, but if it leads them
at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father's
heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain.
Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold
on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation
of God. Who are these straying sheep these wayward sons and
daughters? They are children of the Covenant, heirs to the promises, and
have received, if baptized, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which makes
manifest the things of God. Could all that go for naught?
(Orson F. Whitney -- April Conference, 1929, pg. 109-111)
I know what I have to do, and that is to teach
this people to appreciate their own present lives. There is no life more
precious than the present life which we enjoy; there is no life that is
worth any more to us than this life is. It may be said that an eternal
life is worth more.
We are [already] in eternity, and all that we have
to do is to take the road that leads into the eternal lives.
Eternal life is an inherent quality of the
creature, and nothing but sin can put a termination to it. The elements
in their nature are as eternal as are the Gods. Let us learn, under the
guidance and direction of Heaven, how to use these eternal elements for
the building up, establishment and sending forth of the kingdom of God,
gathering up the poor in heart to begin with, and the further things we
will learn as we progress.
(Brigham Young, JD 10:22) [top]
3. You Are In The Pathway To Eternal
Fame, And Immortal Glory
Dear Brethren: I am happy in being informed by
your letter that your mission swells "larger and larger." It is
a great and important mission, and one that is worthy those intelligences
who surround the throne of Jehovah to be engaged in.
4. God is Not Cantankerous
Although it appears great at present, yet you have
just begun to realize the greatness, the extent and glory
of the same. If there is anything calculated to interest the mind
of the Saints, to awaken in them the finest sensibilities, and arouse
them to enterprise and exertion, surely it is the great and precious
promises made by our heavenly Father to the children of Abraham;
and those engaged in seeking the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed
of Judah, cannot fail to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord and have the choicest
blessings of heaven rest upon them in copious effusions.
Brethren, you are in the pathway to eternal
fame, and immortal glory; and inasmuch as you feel interested
for the covenant people of the Lord, the God of their fathers shall
Do not be discouraged on account of the greatness
of the work; only [be] humble and faithful, and then you can say, "What
art thou, O great mountain! before Zerebbabel shalt thou be brought down."
He who scattered Israel has promised to gather them; therefore inasmuch
as you are to be instrumental in this great work,
He will endow you with power, wisdom, might and intelligence,
and every qualification necessary; while your minds will expand
wider and wider, until you can circumscribe the earth and the heavens,reach
forth into eternity, and contemplate the mighty acts
of Jehovah in all their variety and glory. … JOSEPH SMITH, JUN.
(Teachings, pg 163-164; DHC 4:128-129; To Orson Hyde
& John E. Page; Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, May 14th, 1840) [top]
God is not dead, and he is not an absentee landlord.
God is not uncaring, or capricious, or cantankerous. Above all, he is
not some sort of a divine referee trying to tag us [out at] third base.
(Jeffrey R. Holland) [top]
5. He Bound Himself Also, By Covenant
To Us, That He Would Never Desert Us, Never Leave Us To Ourselves
The experience of this people is different from
that of any other people upon the face of the earth that I know anything
about. We have proved God. We know He lives. We know that He will feed
us, that He will clothe us, that He will shelter us. We know that He watches
over us. We know that His angels are round about us, and that nothing occurs
but, in His providence, if we do right, will be controlled for our good
and for our eventual salvation.
6. The Least of Us, the Humblest,
is in Partnership with the Almighty in Achieving the Purpose of the Eternal
Plan of Salvation
He will let no trial descend upon us without giving us
strength and grace to endure it, if we will live so as to obtain it. This
is His promise to us. And God is bound irrevocably by His covenant to us.
Am I irreverent in saying this? I hope not. I do not say it with any spirit
of that kind. But it is a fact.
When we went forth into the waters of baptism, and covenanted
with our Father in heaven to serve Him and keep His commandments, He
bound Himself also, by covenant to us, that He would never desert us, never
leave us to ourselves, never forget us; that in the midst of trials
and hardships, when everything was arrayed against us, He would be near
unto us and would sustain us. That was His covenant, and He has amply fulfilled
it up to the present time, and has shown that we can tie to the promises
that He has made. We have proved these things through experience.
(George Q. Cannon -- Salt Lake Tabernacle, August 6,
1893; Collected Discourses 3:330 and Gospel Doctrine 1:170) [top]
In our preexistent state, in the day of the Great
Council, we made a certain agreement with the Almighty. The Lord proposed
a plan, conceived by him. We accepted it.
7. You Cannot Indefinitely Resist
The Power And Pressure Of Truth
Since the plan is intended for all men, we became parties
to the salvation of every person under that plan. We agreed, right then
and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves but measurably, saviors
for the whole human family. We went into a partnership with the Lord. The
working out of the plan became then not merely the Father's work, and the
Savior's work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is
in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal
plan of salvation.
That places us in a very responsible attitude towards
the human race. By that doctrine, with the Lord at the head, we become
saviors on Mount Zion, all committed to the great plan of offering salvation
to the untold numbers of spirits. To do this is the Lord's self-imposed
duty, this great labor his highest glory. Likewise, it is man's duty,
self-imposed, his pleasure and joy, his labor, and ultimately his glory.
Under the gospel what is man's highest ideal? Under the gospel it must
be to become like the Father. If the Lord's concern is chiefly to bring
happiness and joy, salvation, to the whole human family, we cannot become
like the Father unless we too engage in that work.
(John A. Widtsoe -- "The Worth of Souls," Utah Genealogical
and Historical Magazine, Oct. 1934, pp. 189ff ) [top]
The time will come when there will be a surrender
of every person who has ever lived on this earth, who is now living, or
who ever will live on this earth; and it will be an unforced surrender,
an unconditional surrender.
8. No Power Of Earth Or Hell
Can Separate Them From Their Parents In Eternity
When will it be for you? Today? In twenty years? Two hundred
years? Two thousand or a million? When?
Again, to you...I say, it is not if you will capitulate
to the great truth; it is when, for I know that you cannot indefinitely
resist the power and pressure of truth. Why not now? Much time has
been lost. The years ahead can be far more glorious for you than any years
in the past.
(Spencer W. Kimball -- Ensign, Sept. 1978, p. 8) [top]
Let the father and mother, who are members of
this Church and Kingdom, take a righteous course, and strive with all their
might never to do a wrong, but to do good all their lives; if they have
one child or one hundred children, if they conduct themselves towards them
as they should, binding them to the Lord by their faith and prayers, I
care not where those children go, they are bound up to their parents by
an everlasting tie, and no power of earth or hell can separate them
from their parents in eternity; they will return again to the fountain
from whence they sprang.
(Brigham Young -- JD 11:215; DBY 208) [top]
9. There Is Not One Of Us That
He Has Not Desired To Save And That He Has Not Devised Means To Save
Now, this is the truth. We humble people, we
who feel ourselves sometimes so worthless, so goodfornothing,
we are not so worthless as we think.
10. "Man's Destiny"
There is not one of us but what God's love has been
There is not one of us that He has not cared for and
There is not one of us that He has not desired to save
and that He has not devised means to save.
There is not one of us that He has not given His angels
We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes
and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are the children
of God and that He has actually given His angels invisible
beings of power and might charge concerning us, and they watch
over us and have us in their keeping.
(George Q. Cannon -- Gospel Truth 1:2) [top]
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal
with God." Philippians 2:5,6
11. We Will Continue On Improving,
Advancing, And Increasing In Wisdom, Intelligence, Power, And Dominion
Hast thou not been unwisely bold, Man's destiny to
(Lorenzo Snow -- Improvement Era 22:660-661, June 1919;
Originally written January 11, 1892) [top]
To raise, promote such high desire, Such vast ambition
Still, 'tis no phantom that we trace Man's ultimatum
in life's race;
This royal path has long been trod By righteous
men, each now a God:
As Abra'm, Isaac, Jacob too, First babes, then men
to gods they grew.
As man now is, our God once was; As now God is, so
man may be, Which doth unfold man's destiny.
The boy, like to his father grown, Has but attained
unto his own;
To grow to sire from state of son, Is not 'gainst Nature's
course to run.
A son of God, like God to be, Would not be robbing
And he who has this hope within, Will purify himself
You're right, St. John, supremely right: Whoe'er essays
to climb this height,
Will cleanse himself of sin entire Or else
'twere needless to aspire.
Our identity will always remain the same. In
considering ourselves and how we have been organized and what we are doing,
we discover that there is immortality connected with us. We are
immortal beings. That which dwells in this body of ours is immortal, and
will always exist.
12. You'll Never Fall Off From It,
And, For All Practical Purposes, Your Calling And Election Is Made Sure
Our individuality will always continue. Eternities
may begin, eternities may end, and still we shall have our individuality.
Our identity is insured. We will be ourselves and nobody else. Whatever
changes may arise, whatever worlds may be made or pass away, our identity
will always remain the same; and we will continue on improving, advancing,
and increasing in wisdom, intelligence, power, and dominion, worlds
without end. Our present advancement is simply a starting out, as it were,
on this path of immortality.
Whatever may have been our past, how long we may have
existed before this, or whether there ever was a time when we did not
exist, there is one thing sure our being in the future will
never be annihilated, never destroyed.
(John Taylor -- 5 April 1901, Conference Report, pg.
This is a true gospel verity -- that everyone
in the Church who is on the straight and narrow path, who is striving and
struggling and desiring to do what is right, though is far from perfect
in this life; if he passes out of this life while he's on the straight
and narrow, he's going to go on to eternal reward in his Father's kingdom.
13. Sorrow and Suffering: The
Education We Came Here To Acquire, Makes Us More Like Our Father And Mother
We don't need to get a complex or get a feeling
that you have to be perfect to be saved. You don't. There's only
been one perfect person, and that's the Lord Jesus, but in order to
be saved in the Kingdom of God and in order to pass the test
of mortality, what you have to do is get on the straight and narrow
You don't have to do what Jacob said, "Go beyond
You don't have to live a life that is truer than
You don't have to have an excessive zeal that
becomes fanatical and becomes unbalancing.
What you have to do is stay in the mainstream
of the Church and live as upright and decent people, keepingthe
commandments, paying your tithing, serving in the organizations
of the Church, loving the Lord, staying in the straight and
If you're on the path when death comes -- because
this is the time and the day appointed, this the probationary estate --
never fall off from it, and, for all practical purposes, your calling
and election is made sure.
(Bruce R. McConkie, University of Utah, Jan 1982) [top]
No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience
is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such
qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility.
All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially
when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts,
expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy
to be called the children of God.
It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation,
that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which
make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.
("Orson F. Whitney's Philosophy of Education," Orson
F. Whitney; Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p.99)
IV. Our Origin and Destiny
1. "Origin and Destiny of Woman"
The Latter-day Saints have often been ridiculed
on account of their belief in the pre-existence of spirits, and for marrying
for time and all eternity, both being Bible doctrines. We have often been
requested to give our views in relation to these principles, but considered
the things of the kingdom belonged to the children of the kingdom, therefore
not meet to give them to those without. But being very politely requested
by a lady a few days since (a member of the Church) to answer the following
questions, we could not consistently refuse, viz.: "Where did I come from?
What am I doing here? Whither am I going? And what is my destiny after
having obeyed the truth, if faithful to the end?" For her benefit and all
others concerned, we will endeavor to answer the questions in brief, as
we understand them. The reason will be apparent for our belief in the pre-existence
of spirits, and in marrying for time and all eternity.
2. By His Side I'll Reign In Heaven
Lady, whence comest thou? Thine origin? What art thou
doing here? Whither art thou going, and what is thy destiny? Declare
unto me if thou hast understanding. Knowest thou not that thou art a
spark of Deity, struck from the fire of His eternal blaze, and brought
forth in the midst of eternal burning? Knowest thou not that eternities
ago thy spirit, pure and holy, dwelt in thy Heavenly Father's bosom, and
in His presence, and with thy mother, one of the queens of heaven,
surrounded by thy brother and sister spirits in the spirit world, among
That as thy spirit beheld the scenes transpiring there,
and thou grewest in intelligence, thou sawest worlds upon worlds organized
and peopled with thy kindred spirits who took upon them tabernacles, died,
were resurrected, and received their exaltation on the redeemed worlds
they once dwelt upon. Thou being willing and anxious to imitate them, waiting
and desirous to obtain a body, a resurrection and exaltation also, and
having obtained permission, madest a covenant with one of thy kindred
spirits to be thy guardian angel while in mortality, also with
two others, male and female spirits, that thou wouldst come and take
a tabernacle through their lineage, and become one of their offspring.
also chose a kindred spirit whom you loved in the spirit world (and
who had permission to come to this planet and take a tabernacle), to be
your head, stay, husband and protector on the earth and to exalt you in
eternal worlds. All these were arranged, likewise the spirits that should
tabernacle through your lineage.
Thou longed, thou sighed and thou prayed to thy Father
in heaven for the time to arrive when thou couldst come to this earth,
which had fled and fallen from where it was first organized, near the planet
Kolob. Leaving thy father and mother's bosom and all thy kindred
spirits thou camest to earth, took a tabernacle, and imitated the deeds
of those who had been exalted before you. At length the time arrived, and
thou heard the voice of thy Father saying, go daughter to yonder
lower world, and take upon thee a tabernacle, and work out thy probation
with fear and trembling and rise to exaltation.
But daughter, remember you go on this condition, that
is, you are to forget all things you ever saw, or knew to be transacted
in the spirit world; you are not to know or remember anything concerning
the same that you have beheld transpire here; but you must go and become
one of the most helpless of all beings that I have created, while in your
infancy, subject to sickness, pain, tears, mourning, sorrow and death.
But when truth shall touch the chords of your heart they will vibrate;
then intelligence shall illuminate your mind, and shed its lustre in your
soul, and you shall begin to understand the things you once knew, but which
had gone from you; you shall then begin to understand and know the object
of your creation.
Daughter, go, and be faithful as thou hast been
in thy first estate. Thy spirit, filled with joy and thanksgiving, rejoiced
in thy Father, and rendered praise to His holy name, the spirit world resounded
in anthems of praise to the Father of spirits. Thou bade father, mother
and all farewell, and along with thy guardian angel, thou came on this
The spirits thou hadst chosen to come and tabernacle through
their lineage, and your head having left the spirit world some years previous,
thou came a spirit pure and holy. Thou hast obeyed the truth, and thy guardian
angel ministers unto thee and watches over thee. Thou hast chosen him you
loved in the spirit world to be thy companion. Now crowns, thrones,
exaltations and dominions are in reserve for thee in the eternal worlds,
and the way is opened for thee to return back into the presence of thy
Heavenly Father, if thou wilt only abide by and walk in a celestial law,
fulfill the designs of thy Creator and hold out to the end that when mortality
is laid in the tomb, you may go down to your grave in peace, arise in glory,
and receive your everlasting reward in the resurrection of the just, along
with thy head and husband. Thou wilt be permitted to pass by the Gods
and angels who guard the gates, on onward, upward to thy exaltation in
a celestial world among the Gods.
To be a priestess queen upon thy Heavenly Father's
throne, and a glory to thy husband and offspring, to bear the souls of
men, to people other worlds (as thou dist bear their tabernacles in mortality)
eternity goes and eternity comes; and if you will receive it, lady,
this is eternal life. And herein is the saying of the Apostle Paul fulfilled,
"That the man is not without the woman, neither is the woman without the
man in the Lord." "That the man is the head of the woman, and the glory
of the man is the woman."
Hence, thine origin, the object of thy ultimate destiny.
If faithful, lady, the cup is within thy reach; drink then the heavenly
draught and live.
(John Taylor -- The Mormon, August 29, 1857, New York
No being round the spacious earth Beneath the
vaulted arch of heaven,
3. The Thread Which Runs From
The Beginning To The End Of The Holy Gospel Of Salvation
Divides my love, or draws it thence, From him to whom
my heart is given.
Like the frail ivy to the oak, Drawn closer, by the tempest
Through sorrow's flood he'll bear me up And light with
smiles my way to heaven.
The gift was on the altar laid; The plighted vow on earth
The seal eternal has been made, And by his
side I'll reign in heaven.
(Vilate Kimball -- Wrote a poem for her husband, Heber
C. Kimball, on Jan. 17, 1847) [top]
But the whole subject of the marriage relation
is not in my reach, nor in any other man's reach on this earth. It is without
beginning of days or end of years; it is a hard matter to reach. We can
tell some things with regard to it; it lays the foundation
for worlds, for angels, and for the Gods; for intelligent
beings to be crowned with glory, immortality, and eternal
In fact, it is the thread which runs from the beginning
to the end of the holy Gospel of salvation-- of the Gospel of the Son
of God; it is from eternity to eternity.
When the vision of the mind is opened, you can
see a great portion of it, but you see it comparatively as a speaker
sees the faces of a congregation. To look at, and talk to, each individual
separately, and thinking to become fully acquainted with them, only to
spend five minutes with each would consume too much time, it could not
easily be done. So it is with the visions of eternity; we can see
and understand, but it is difficult to tell. May God bless you. Amen."
(Journal of Discourses, Vol.2, p.90, Brigham Young,
October 6, 1854) [top]
V. Come And Get More
1. We Don't Ask Any People To
Throw Away Any Good They Have Got; We Only Ask Them To Come And Get More
I have no desire but to do all men good. I feel
to pray for all men. We don't ask any people to throw away any good
they have got; we only ask them to come and get more.
2. I Will Lift Them Up, And In Their
Own Way, Too, If I Cannot Persuade Them My Way Is Better
What if all the world should embrace this Gospel? They
would then see eye to eye, and the blessings of God would be poured out
upon the people, which is my whole soul. Amen.
(Joseph Smith -- Conclusion of Speech Sunday 22 Jan.
1843 at the Nauvoo Temple. The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 158-159; DHC 5:256-259;
TPJS, p. 274) [top]
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear
them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way, too, if I
cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel
any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will
cut its own way.
(Joseph Smith -- 9 July 1843, Sunday Morning,
Temple Stand. Teachings, Page 313) [top]
VI. True Doctrine/Correct Principles (Understood)
1. True Doctrine Changes Attitudes
True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes
and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve
behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.
(Boyd K. Packer -- Ensign, Nov. 1986, page 17) [top]
2. They Govern Themselves
I teach them correct principles and they govern
(Joseph Smith; Quoted in the B.F. Johnson to Benjamin
Gibbs Letter of 1903, "I think a Catholic Bishop, who at Nauvoo Mansion
asked him 'by what power he governed so great a people?' He replied, 'I
do not govern them, I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.'"
-- Also by John Taylor, in Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London:
Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854–86], 10:57–58.) [top]
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