D&C Section 78

Historical Background

This revelation is regarding consecration. It is what was known as the United Order (Order of Enoch), which was given to the prophet, Joseph Smith, to establish a storehouse for the poor and needy. The saints were anxious to make this work the way the Lord wanted, because it was a condition they had to follow for Zion to be built.

Why Were Substitute Names Used?

The section heading tells about the substitution of names that was given in the publication of the Book of Commandments. The Lord new that the safety of the saints was very important during this time of great persecution, so they had other names used in printing. Our version of the Doctrine and Covenants today, includes all of the original names because there is no longer a concern for these saints.

“THE Lord spake unto Joseph Smith, Jun., saying: Hearken unto me, saith the Lord your God, who are ordained unto the high priesthood of my church, who have assembled yourselves together (v. 1); And listen to the counsel of him who has ordained you from on high, who shall speak in your ears the words of wisdom, that salvation may be unto you in that thing which you have presented before me, saith the Lord God (v. 2). For verily I say unto you, the time has come, and is now at hand; and behold, and lo, it must needs be that there be an organization of my people, in regulating and establishing the affairs of the storehouse for the poor of my people, both in this place and in the land of Zion (v. 3)—For a permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my church, to advance the cause, which ye have espoused, to the salvation of man, and to the glory of your Father who is in heaven (v. 4);”. Section 78 through 81 are all part of the revelation given to the prophet, related to this “everlasting establishment and order”.

Equality in Earthly As Well As Heavenly Things

“That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things (v. 5). For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things (v. 6); For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you (v. 7).” The Lord expects His saints to live equal in earthly things as well as to live as equal in heaven. We learn in previous sections, that the Lord’s idea of equality is different than man’s idea of it. It doesn’t mean that everyone in the church was meant to have exactly the same thing. What it means is that all the saints were to use their specific talents to provide for all the saints in the same way and that all saints would receive the things that would make them equally taken care of. If everyone equally gave all of their energy to building up the church and one another, they naturally would given anything they did not need to those who were in need of it.

A Bond That Cannot Be Broken

“And now, verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient that all things be done unto my glory, by you who are joined together in this order (v. 8 ); Or, in other words, let my servant Newel K. Whitney and my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and my servant Sidney Rigdon sit in council with the saints which are in Zion (v. 9); Otherwise Satan seeketh to turn their hearts away from the truth, that they become blinded and understand not the things which are prepared for them (v. 10). Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, to prepare and organize yourselves by a bond or everlasting covenant that cannot be broken (v. 11).” They were instructed to begin meeting with the saints right away, so that Satan would not work his way into the hearts of the saints. This order was to be a covenant between the saints and God, which was eternal and could not be broken by any other. Each individual would be able to make this personal commitment to God and God would promise blessings to that individual for their faithfulness. Covenants can only be broken when we are unfaithful to the things that we have promised, because God is unchanging and He will not deny us the things which we have been promised according to our faithfulness.

What Does It Mean to Be Turned Over to the Buffetings of Satan?

“And he who breaketh it shall lose his office and standing in the church, and shall be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption (v. 12).” When we follow the commandments and make sacred covenants with the Lord, we receive the blessing of protection from Satan and his temptations. If we are not faithful, the Lord has no promise to us and we will no longer be protected as we were promised. To be turned over to the buffetings of Satan means that our protection is gone and Satan has the ability to tempt us as much as he wants to.

When Is the “Day of Redemption”?

The saints were promised that those who were unfaithful would be left to be unprotected from Satan until the day of redemption. The day of redemption is the time when the resurrection will come. At that time all things will be redeemed. This does not mean that the blessings would return after this day, but with the resurrection comes judgement and those who were unfaithful would receive their just reward. Those who chose to sin against the covenants made with God would not be allowed to be with Him after this life because nothing that is unclean can be with Him (see 1 Nephi 10:21).

How Will the Church “Stand Independent above All Other Creatures”?

“Behold, this is the preparation wherewith I prepare you, and the foundation, and the ensample which I give unto you, whereby you may accomplish the commandments which are given you (v. 13); That through my providence, notwithstanding the tribulation which shall descend upon you, that the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world; (v. 14)”.

In these latter days, we know that many great and terrible things will happen before the second coming. One of the things that the prophets tell us over and over again, is to be prepared. The welfare system of the church helps us to become prepared by becoming self-reliant. It helps us to be able to depend on ourselves for all our needs and not to depend on others. When we are self-reliant we can stand alone while others may falter. The church will stand independent and will not need anything on this earth to support it.

Michael and the Keys of Salvation

“That you may come up unto the crown prepared for you, and be made rulers over many kingdoms, saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Zion, who hath established the foundations of Adam-ondi-Ahman (v. 15); Who hath appointed Michael your prince, and established his feet, and set him upon high, and given unto him the keys of salvation under the counsel and direction of the Holy One, who is without beginning of days or end of life.” Those who could faithfully live the order, would be blessed with many kingdoms.

These verses go on to say that these blessings were spoken by the Lord, who set up Adam-ondi-Ahman or what we know as the Garden of Eden. Adam was given the keys of the priesthood, and the power to be the physical father of the children of God. In the pre-existence, or the time before we came to this earth, Adam was known as Michael. Michael was blessed to serve as a prince to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

The Son Ahman

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you (v. 17); And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours (v. 18 ). And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more (v. 19). Wherefore, do the things which I have commanded you, saith your Redeemer, even the Son Ahman, who prepareth all things before he taketh you (v. 20);”.

We may think that we know a lot, but the Lord reminds us here that we understand very little of what is in store for those who righteously follow the commandments and keep their covenants with the Lord. We are promised these things by the Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the son of Ahman. At Adam-ondi-Ahman, the keys of the priesthood will rightfully given to the Lord, so that he can reign over the earth at his second coming. The place, Adam-ondi-Ahman, is a holy place where the power of God has been given to man from the beginning and will be given to the Lord forever.

The Church of the Firstborn

“For ye are the church of the Firstborn, and he will take you up in a cloud, and appoint every man his portion (v. 21). And he that is a faithful and wise steward shall inherit all things. Amen (v. 22).” The church of the Firstborn is made up of members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who devote themselves to following the laws of God and to making and keeping sacred covenants with Him. One can only become a member of the church of the Firstborn by making the covenants of celestial marriage through the sealing powers found in the temple of the Lord. Great blessings will be given to those who make these covenants and remain faithful and true to them.

It is overwhelming sometimes to think of the blessings that Father in Heaven has in store for those who are faithful and who do all that He has asked of us. I have hope in the promised blessings that I was given at the time I was sealed forever to my sweet husband. I know that I cannot comprehend or fully understand just how much the Lord wants to bless me, but I am glad that I can recognize some of the everyday blessings that I receive for trying to live righteously.

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