D&C Section 130

This section includes instructions given by the prophet, Joseph Smith, to the early saints. This was during the early part of 1843, while he was in Illinois. I understand that the prophet had listened to a talk given by Orson Hyde, and this section is a record of the corrections to what had been said. It must have been amazing to be in the presence of one who had come to know deity and had been taught by angels.

1 When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves.
2 And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.
3 John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.

Joseph Smith described the appearance of the Savior in what is known as the first vision, as well as when He stood upon the alter of the temple. From these descriptions we know that we are as the Savior in appearance, except that we do not have his glory. I believe that his glory is what makes Him unable to be seen with the natural eye. This is not an principle that all Christians understand. Some feel that He is some unexplained manifestation, other that He is a spirit or a power. We know that we are created in the image of God the Father and of His Son. The prophet quotes 3 John 14:23, which reads, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Joseph explains that this means that They will appear physically to those who love Them, not that they will spiritual inhabit them. This does not mean that we all can expect to have a personal visit from the Savior, but that if we are true and faithful, we may have that opportunity.

4 In answer to the question—Is not the reckoning of God’s time, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, according to the planet on which they reside?
5 I answer, Yes. But there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.
6 The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth;
7 But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.

I think that this means that even though all of God’s children may reside in one heaven with God, that we have each been given our own planet to experience this life. Those who are angels after this life, will only return to this planet to assist with the work here. They do not remain here on this earth after they had died, but they live with God in heaven, celestially and eternally.

8 The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim.
9 This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s.

A Urim and Thummim is a tool that is used to interpret or translate by the power of God, the words and works of God. When it says that heaven is one, to me it means that where God is, all are able to understand fully the works and words of God. Those who live on the earth will have the earth to use as a means to fully understand these things as well, because the earth will be in a perfected, celestial state.

10 Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;
11 And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.

In Revelations 2:17, this same stone is mentioned, which in the foot note indicates a Urim and Thummim. This stone will be the celestial tool which will make all things known to those who inherit a celestial glory. Those who are faithful will be able to receive a new name from God. These things are important to receiving the fullness of the blessings which have been promised to the faithful. The preparation for this in our lives, is to become worthy and then to receive endowments in the house of the Lord, the temple. It is only through temple ordinances that this will be possible.

12 I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina.
13 It may probably arise through the slave question. This a voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25th, 1832.
14 I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:
15 Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.
16 I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face.
17 I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.

The prophet had already revealed to the saints, the prophecies concerning the beginning of the Civil War, which were over the issue of Slavery. Here is a reminder of that fighting which was to come. Joseph also says here that he had asked the Lord about the timing of the Second Coming. The response was not so much a non-answer, as it was a reminder that it would be better for him to be concerned with other things rather than focusing his attention on when it would happen. It sounds like Joseph was told that even if he lived to his old age and died naturally, he would be blessed to see the Savior’s face, so it did not matter when the second coming was exactly. This is important for us to understand. If the prophet had been told the date of the coming of the Savior, it would require less faithful righteousness on the part of the saints. What I mean is that if we knew that we needed to be as righteous as we could for tomorrow, we would spend all day today repenting, probably choosing to live our lives however we want all the days before. When we don’t know when it will happen, we learn to live as righteously as we can each and every day in preparation for that unknown time.

18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

For myself, I have found that I am ready and willing to have a deeper understanding of the gospel and hopefully a higher intelligence to the things of God. These verses make feel like this search for a greater knowledge will be a great blessing after this life. I know that I can gain a greater intelligence through scripture study, listening to the lessons from the prophets, and especially going to the temple. I also understand that we should be looking for a greater intelligence in the things of the world around us, because all of these things are created and inspired by God. Learning more of the things that would seem to be secular, increases our intelligence and advantage as well. I think that the key is to seek for the intelligence of the spiritual first, and then the intelligence of the secular, with a hope that all knowledge will be for our good.

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

This is such an important gospel principle. God is a just being. Because He is just, there are laws that have been created. Every law has blessings connected to it, and if we obey the law, He is bound to bless us. We can actively show our faith in this principle through our obedience to the commandments. Obedience is the key to unlocking all the blessings of heaven, that God has in store for us.

22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
23 A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.

Finally, just in case this was not already made clear in previous revelations, the prophet teaches us that the Godhead includes God, the Father, who has a body of flesh and bones; God, the Son, who also has a body of flesh and bones; and the Holy Ghost, who is a Spirit. We learn from this that the reason for the Holy Ghost being a spirit, is so that He may come into the hearts of each and every man. I have a firm belief that this is true.

I love the gospel. I am so grateful to have the fulness of it in my life, through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have faith in the words of the prophet, Joseph Smith, and I believe that they are true to the doctrine of Christ. I hope for the blessings that have been promised to the righteous, and I look forward to the amazing things that are still yet to come both while I am living in this life, and after it.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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