Posts Tagged 'Millennium'

The Millennium

To view the entire Gospel Principles lesson go here: The Millennium.

The Millennium is the time period of a thousand years, when the Savior will come to reign upon the earth. In Doctrine and Covenants 29:11 we read, “For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand.” At His coming, all the wickedness in the world will be destroyed. Many people will remain to live through this time.

Who will be on the earth during the Millennium?

First of all, the Savior will be on the earth during the Millennium. In Daniel 7:14 we read, “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” All the righteous will serve him. In addition, all those who are righteous, covenanted people, will be on the earth during the Millennium. They will be doing a great amount of missionary work and temple work to build up the kingdom of God. But they are not the only people who will remain in that day. All people who have lived good lives and did not go about working evil intentionally, will also be on the earth. They will have the opportunity to hear the gospel and choose if they will accept it or not. All righteous people, covenant or not, will have much that we have now. They will still build families and work to provide for them. They will still have to deal with the weaknesses of the mortal body, such as sickness and injury. But, they will live free of the whisperings of Satan and his followers. This will cause it to be a time of peace, which has not existed on the earth. There will be others on the earth, who are righteous beings who by that point have already been resurrected. They will be on the earth to do the work of the Lord along with the saints.

What are the two great works that will be done during the Millennium?

As I mentioned above, the saints will be doing missionary work and temple work. Through missionary work, the gospel will be taken to every soul on the earth and everyone will eventually know that Jesus is the Christ. In addition, missionary work will continue in the spirit world. Then, all people will have the opportunity to choose if they will become a member of Christ’s church and make sacred covenants with him, or to choose something else. (To read more about missionary work, see Gospel Principles: Missionary Work). Those who make covenants with him, will eventually have the opportunity to receive the blessings of the celestial kingdom, and those who do not will inherit the terrestrial kingdom. These covenants will include those of baptism, as well as those made in the temple. Temple work will be the second great work done during the Millennium. This work will be done for those living as well as for those who are dead. Only a small portion of this work is being accomplished now and there is so much left to do. Every soul will have the opportunity to have work done for them, and just like those who are living, they will have the chance to choose if they will accept it or not. (To read more about temple work, see Gospel Principles: Temple Work and Family History).

How can we prepare now for work in the Millennium?

We prepare for this work now, by gaining a testimony for ourselves. We must prepare by listening to the words of His holy prophets. In 1 Nephi 22:20 we read, “And the Lord will surely prepare a way for his people, unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people.” Joseph Smith was raised to be this prophet, who brought the fullness of the gospel and leads the people of God through his work and testimony. We need to discover for ourselves the truth of that testimony, so that we can take it to all people. We become the saints of God, committing ourselves to building His kingdom on the earth. We need to live worthy of doing the work of the Lord, and learn how to do missionary and temple work now. We prepare by making the will of the Lord a priority in our lives, so that it will be a priority then.

In what ways will life during the Millennium be different from life on the earth now?

As I said above, there will be differences in life now and that life during the Millenium. One of the differences, is that there will be no more war or fighting. In Isaiah 2:4 we read, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” I can’t even imagine the peace that will exist because there will be no war. Another difference will be in the earth itself. The earth will be renewed to a garden of eden state. In Ezekiel 36:35 we read, “And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.” The land will be beautiful all over.

In addition, people will not be made to suffer the waiting period of death as they do now. When someone dies, they must wait until their time in the first resurrection. In that day, all who grow old and die, will be changed in a twinkling of an eye, or will become the resurrected being, ready to continue the work on the earth. In Doctrine and Covenants 63:51 we read, “Wherefore, children shall grow up until they become old; old men shall die; but they shall not sleep in the dust, but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye.” What an amazing promise of the resurrection. Those who were not righteous and died before the Second Coming of the Lord, will be made to wait until the end of the Millennium, before they will be resurrected and receive their reward.

As I reviewed the Topical Guide, I discovered something new. There is a line in the Lord’s prayer, which is directly related to time of the Millennium. In Matthew 6:10 it reads, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Not only will the kingdom of God be established on the earth in its fullness, with the Lord at its head, but the will of God will be accomplished on the earth, just as it is in heaven. I knew this was going to be the state of the Millennium, but I never realized that it was a part of the prayer which the Lord gave as an example to us of how we should pray.

When this kingdom is established, the people on earth will live righteously and Satan will not be able to influence the hearts of men. In 1 Nephi 22:26 we read, “And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth.” Therefore, people, who are naturally good people, who would have listened to the tempting whispering of Satan in moments of weakness, will not have those temptations from him. This is a huge difference in the world at that time. Part of the loss of power for Satan, will come from everyone having truths revealed to them. In Doctrine and Covenants 101:32 we read, “Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things—”. Everyone will know that he is the Christ, and that there is a God and an eternal purpose for us all. All things will be revealed and those who are willing, will be able to accept them.

What are your thoughts and feelings about the conditions that will exist during the Millennium?

I believe that the daily life will be much the same for us. We will still be working to provide for our bodies and spirits. We will still be building families, having children, building our homes, and dealing with the flaws of human bodies, but we will be doing all these things in righteousness. I look forward to this day with great anticipation and hope. I want to be there to experience it for myself. I know it will be a great blessing to live in the times of the Millennium. I also know that it will be a blessing to serve the Lord on the earth, wether in life or death.

What will be the final destiny of the earth?

The earth was created to be a resting place for all the righteous who inherit the glory of the Celestial kingdom. It’s destiny is of a celestial glory as well and it will be a paradise for those who deserving of it. In Doctrine and Covenants 29:23 we read, “And the end shall come, and the heaven and the earth shall be consumed and pass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth.” The earth will be a new earth. This glory and rest will come to the earth, after the final battle between good and evil. Satan will be destroyed and cast into outer darkness, never to inflict his torment on the earth again. I have great hope in this promise that the prophets have given. I pray that many souls will find Christ and accept his gospel, so that they too can inherit the blessings of a Celestial earth.

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The Tenth Article of Faith

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

We believe that the Lord promised the Children of Israel that they would be scattered if they failed to keep his commandments and live righteously. In Deuteronomy 28:64 we read, “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.” Then we learn of the outcome of this promise in 2 Kings, chapter 17:

6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger:
12 For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
13 Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.
14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God.
15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them.
16 And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.
18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
20 And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

We believe that it is truth that Israel will be gathered again. In 1 Nephi 10:14 we read, “And after the house of Israel should be scattered they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, after the Gentiles had received the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches of the olive tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer.” We believe that this gathering will literally be fulfilled. In Deuteronomy 30:3 we read, “That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” The tribes of Israel will be gathered together from all the earth, where they were scattered. Moreover, we believe that this gathering has already begun. In Doctrine and Covenants 110:11, we learn when this gathering started. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had the keys of the priesthood restored to them, which gave them the authority from God to do this work. “After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.”

We believe that the tribes of Israel will be restored to the knowledge of the truth, which has long since been denied and forgotten. In 3 Nephi 20 we learn what the Savior taught the Nephites of this:

30 And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fulness of my gospel shall be preached unto them;
31 And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name.

We believe that this restoration started with the gospel being taken to the gentiles, or those who were not of the house of Israel. This started with the translation of the Book of Mormon and the missionaries being sent out to the world to preach of the gospel. We believe that as the gentiles have received the gospel, they have made covenants with God, which has allowed us to be adopted into the house of Israel. We believe that it is our responsibility to take the fullness of the gospel to the rest of the world, which will bring the scattered tribes back together.

We believe that along with the gathering and restoration of the ten tribes of Israel, that Zion will be built. We believe that this Zion will also be knows as the New Jerusalem and it will exist as a partner to Jerusalem, which will be built again by the gathering of the tribes. We believe further, that the New Jerusalem will be upon the American continent. In Doctrine and Covenants 45 we read the following:

66 And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;
67 And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.

In another modern revelation, the Lord revealed that Zion, the New Jerusalem, would be built in the state of Missouri (see D&C 84:3). We believe that this will be the center of Zion, but that Zion as a whole will exist throughout the world, in the hearts of the righteous and covenant people of the Lord.

We also believe that Christ, the Lord and Savior of mankind, will come again and will reign as Lord over the earth. In Matthew 16:27 we read, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Then in Doctrine and Covenants 76:63 we read, “These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.” He will bring all the nations under his reign, and all people will know that He is the Christ. I think one of the things I look forward to most, is that all laws will be the laws of God, and all governments will be under his rule. This means that all those things that are wicked and unrighteous about governments today, will no longer exist.

Finally we believe that at the second coming of Christ, the earth will be cleansed of all wickedness. In Malachi 4:1 we read, “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” We believe that the earth will be renewed to its perfect state and then it will receive its proper glory, which is paradisiacal. In Isaiah 51:3 we read, “For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” Then later in Isaiah 65:17 we read, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” That paradisiacal condition will be like the Garden of Eden that existed for Adam and Eve. Then it will have the glory and be prepared for the righteous to dwell upon the face of it.

These beliefs bring me such great joy and excitement. I believe that the work of the Lord is going forth and that the tribes of Israel are indeed being gathered, because the gospel is spreading across the earth. I know that wether I am alive or not, I will rejoice at the second coming of the Lord. I know that the earth will be prepared for his reign, and therefore it must be pure of all wickedness. This will be the beginning of the millennium, and I am so excited for the great work and blessings that will come from that time.

D&C Section 101 (Part 2)

(This is a continuation of the previous post: D&C Section 101 Part 1)

So far in this revelation, the Lord, has chastened the saints for theirs sins. We have learned that Zion will someday be redeemed and that stakes of Zion would be created to give strength to Zion and to bless the saints that are scattered all over the earth. The Millennium will begin after Zion has been fully redeemed and the righteous will receive their inheritance.

32 Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things—
33 Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof—
34 Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven.
35 And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake yet shall they partake of all this glory.
36 Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.
37 Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul.
38 And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.
39 When men are called unto mine everlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant, they are accounted as the salt of the earth and the savor of men;
40 They are called to be the savor of men; therefore, if that salt of the earth lose its savor, behold, it is thenceforth good for nothing only to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.
41 Behold, here is wisdom concerning the children of Zion, even many, but not all; they were found transgressors, therefore they must needs be chastened—
42 He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that abaseth himself shall be exalted.

At the time of the Millennium, all things that are to be known about the earth and the purposes for it and us being here, will be made known to all people. I know that just because we are very advanced in science and learning in this time, we could not possibly know even close to all there is to know about this beautiful earth we are on. With this complete knowledge, we will be able to use the earth to its fullest purposes during the time of the work of the Millennium.

The Lord told the saints not to fear the death of their bodies, because true joy comes from the lives of our souls, which are eternal. We will be blessed if we focus on the health of our spirits and the safety of our souls. To focus on these things, we must always look toward the Lord, with patience and hope. If we should die in this life, because of our faith and covenants, we will have even greater blessings after.

Those who have been blessed with and by the priesthood, through its power and the covenants that can be made through it, have purpose and give flavor to enrich the lives of all. When we sin, we loose that enriching power in our lives, and we become worthless to the plan of God. When we choose to sin, we choose to throw our eternal potential away. This is why we are chastened from time to time. We must always be reminded to repent of our sins, so that we can enjoy the full blessings of the priesthood and fulfill our purposes within the plan of God.

43 And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion.
44 A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants: Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive trees;
45 And set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.
46 Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower.
47 And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves: And what need hath my lord of this tower?
48 And consulted for a long time, saying among themselves: What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace?
49 Might not this money be given to the exchangers? For there is no need of these things.
50 And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord.
51 And the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive trees.
52 Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil?
53 Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and—after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof—built the tower also, and set a watchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you?
54 And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off; and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.
55 And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry;
56 And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money.
57 Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen.
58 And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.
59 And the servant said unto his lord: When shall these things be?
60 And he said unto his servant: When I will; go ye straightway, and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you;
61 And this shall be my seal and blessing upon you—a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my kingdom.
62 And his servant went straightway, and did all things whatsoever his lord commanded him; and after many days all things were fulfilled.

The Lord uses this parable to explain to the saints, why they were going through their trials, and how Zion would eventually be redeemed and the faithful would be blessed. This is my understanding of this parable. The nobleman is the Lord, and He has chosen the land of Zion for his saints to inherit. The Lord had given the servants of His vineyard, or the saints, the commandment to build up the land of Zion, with plans for a temple and other buildings for the work of the Lord. The saints were told to be mindful of temptations, which would take them away from the work and from their covenants. Once the saints were told how to live, the Lord let them alone to live in righteousness and to build Zion. But the saints, thinking they knew better for themselves, then the Lord, did not listen fully. They chose to sin, to argue among themselves, and in consequence, the enemy came and took over the Lord’s land. The nobleman, or the Lord, was not happy with this and he chastened them, reminding them that all they had to do was to be watchful of their enemies and of the temptations of Satan, and to build Zion as they had been told (mainly to build the temple). Once they had been chastened, the nobleman instructed them that the land would be redeemed by their hard work, because it was his land, just as Zion is the land of the Lord. Eventually, the saints will reclaim the land of Zion from their enemies, as long as they are faithful and wise. The Lord will bless the faithful with mansions in His kingdom.

It is my understanding that the prophet, Joseph Smith, tried to reclaim the land of Zion with Zion’s camp. The saints had been instructed to buy the lands legally and not to take them by force. The Lord, in His wisdom, has not yet allowed for Zion to be fully redeemed. There are spots of land in the area, that belong to the church today, and someday the saints will see this prophecy fulfilled. I know that it will all come to pass. I have faith in the word of the Lord and I trust the scriptures and the revelations of His servants, the prophets. There is still a lot of work to be done before the redemption of Zion and the Millennium, but it is so much closer to us now, and I truly look forward to it with hope.

D&C Section 101 (Part 1)

Late in 1833, the Saints in Missouri were being persecuted greatly no matter where they went. Many were driven to a place called Clay County and had lost most or all that they had to angry mobs. This revelation was received at that time by the prophet, Joseph Smith, who was in Kirtland, Ohio.

1 Verily I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, and persecuted, and cast out from the land of their inheritance—
2 I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions;
3 Yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels.
4 Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son.
5 For all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified.
6 Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances.
7 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble.
8 In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.

The saints were gathering in Missouri, to gain their inheritances in the land of Zion. These inheritances were from the Lord, as promised to descendants of Joseph. However, they were chased out by the mobs. The Lord had allowed this persecution to come upon his people, because they needed to be chastened for their sins. When we are doing what is right, the Lord protects us from our enemies according to His will, but when we are not doing what is right, He has no promise to protect us. Instead He allows for all things to happen as they will, so that we can learn to return to Him and to obey His commandments. There will be times in our lives when even when we may be living righteously, the Lord will allow trials to come upon us so that we can remember to turn to Him. The Savior himself suffered greater trials and sorrows than any person who has ever lived, so we cannot think ourselves worthy of living without any trials, no matter how righteously we live.

9 Verily I say unto you, notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled with compassion towards them. I will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy.
10 I have sworn, and the decree hath gone forth by a former commandment which I have given unto you, that I would let fall the sword of mine indignation in behalf of my people; and even as I have said, it shall come to pass.
11 Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations; and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full.
12 And in that day all who are found upon the watch-tower, or in other words, all mine Israel, shall be saved.
13 And they that have been scattered shall be gathered.
14 And all they who have mourned shall be comforted.
15 And all they who have given their lives for my name shall be crowned.

When the children of Israel were wandering and were made to suffer through hardships for their sins, the Lord reminded them that he would continue to show mercy on them. I think a lot of the saints struggled with sins because of the circumstances they were in. They had made covenants and were trying to establish a Zion, but the persecutions tried their faith and many erred in one way or another. The Lord knew of all of their circumstances and reminded them that mercy would be theirs if they would be obedient. The Lord also made them aware that those who persecuted them would receive the wrath of God. When the time comes for the wrath of God to fall upon the nations, the saints will be shown great mercy and will find the promised peace through the Savior. Those who are watchful of the temptations of Satan and who have made sacred covenants with God, are His Israel. These are those who have been adopted through baptism into the Lord’s church, and who have the responsibility to warn others and call them to repentance. We must be watchers and warners, if we hope to be among those who are saved when the wrath of God falls upon the earth.

16 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.
17 Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered.
18 They that remain, and are pure in heart, shall return, and come to their inheritances, they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the waste places of Zion—
19 And all these things that the prophets might be fulfilled.
20 And, behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed, for the work of the gathering of my saints—
21 Until the day cometh when there is found no more room for them; and then I have other places which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called stakes, for the curtains or the strength of Zion.

Even though the early saints were being removed from Zion, it would still be there and it would be built in the Lord’s time. The saints were scattered and now the church has grown and spread across the earth. No matter how hard we try, all of the saints will not be able to go to Jackson County, Missouri to build up Zion. Because of this, stakes of Zion have been established by God through the general authorities of the church. These stakes will build up Zion and give strength to the church. When the day comes when the saints can return to the Land of Zion, there will be great rejoicing. It has also been said that Zion is the pure in heart. While we cannot all return to the physical land of Zion, we can all be sanctified and become pure in heart. If we are pure in heart, we will receive the same blessings that come to those who physically will dwell in Zion.

22 Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places;
23 And prepare for the revelation which is to come, when the veil of the covering of my temple, in my tabernacle, which hideth the earth, shall be taken off, and all flesh shall see me together.
24 And every corruptible thing, both of man, or of the beasts of the field, or of the fowls of the heavens, or of the fish of the sea, that dwells upon all the face of the earth, shall be consumed;
25 And also that of element shall melt with fervent heat; and all things shall become new, that my knowledge and glory may dwell upon all the earth.
26 And in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts, yea, the enmity of all flesh, shall cease from before my face.
27 And in that day whatsoever any man shall ask, it shall be given unto him.
28 And in that day Satan shall not have power to tempt any man.
29 And there shall be no sorrow because there is no death.
30 In that day an infant shall not die until he is old; and his life shall be as the age of a tree;
31 And when he dies he shall not sleep, that is to say in the earth, but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious.

When Zion has been fully established, with her stakes throughout the world to support her, the time of the Millennium will be at hand. In that time, all that is wicked will be destroyed and all things will be renewed in the state necessary for the Savior to rule and reign upon the earth. Every person who has ever lived or who is living then, will see the Savior and will know who He is. Satan will not have power to tempt man.

I don’t know if I will be alive when the time of the Millennium comes, but I look forward to it now, with hope and great excitement. I believe these things to be true. I know that I will rejoice when the Savior reveals himself to all people. I am excited for the great work that will be accomplished during the Millennium, and for the fact that Satan will not be tempting men and trying to frustrate that work. I have a hope for the blessings that will come following that wonderful time of work and I want to live my life worthy of those great blessings.

(This section will be continued.)

D&C Section 88 (Part 5)

This is a continuation of the previous post (D&C Section 88 Part 4).

In the previous posts on this section we have learned of the peace that comes from the plan of salvation. We learn of the light and resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ; the glories we can receive from our worthiness; the laws of God and the promise of seeing God through our faithfulness; commandments we must follow to receive the promise; the signs of the second coming; and the different parts of the resurrection of all men.

Section 88 continues:

103 And another trump shall sound, which is the fifth trump, which is the fifth angel who committeth the everlasting gospel—flying through the midst of heaven, unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people;
104 And this shall be the sound of his trump, saying to all people, both in heaven and in earth, and that are under the earth—for every ear shall hear it, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, while they hear the sound of the trump, saying: Fear God, and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, forever and ever; for the hour of his judgment is come.
105 And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the sixth angel, saying: She is fallen who made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; she is fallen, is fallen!
106 And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the seventh angel, saying: It is finished; it is finished! The Lamb of God hath overcome and trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.

With the fifth trump, all souls will know the Lord and all will be judged for their works. At the sixth, Satan and all his wickedness will fall. At the seventh, the work of the Lord, will finally be finished. Our judgements will finally be finished and the Savior will have finished his work as our mediator with God.

107 And then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him.

We will then receive our inheritances in the kingdom of God, either Celestial, Terrestrial, or Telestial. All those who are worthy of the highest degree of Celestial glory, will be made equal with the Lord. We, the children of God, will be able to progress to the level of our Father in Heaven, becoming like Him.

108 And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God in the first thousand years.
109 And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God in the second thousand years—
110 And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and Satan shall be bound, that old serpent, who is called the devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years.

Each of the eras of man will have their secrets revealed and eventually all things will be made known to all souls. Every evil plan and deed will be known and those who have done those things, will feel the weight of the truth. There is hope in all good things being known as well. I think this will be a time, when we truly realize just how much the people we know on this earth, have loved us and sacrificed for us. Likewise, we will all know and feel the complete love the Savior has for us. Then, because we will all know the truth, Satan will have no power, both because of the hearts of mankind and because of the will of God. He will be completely bound for a thousand years.

111 And then he shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather together his armies.
112 And Michael, the seventh angel, even the archangel, shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven.
113 And the devil shall gather together his armies; even the hosts of hell, and shall come up to battle against Michael and his armies.
114 And then cometh the battle of the great God; and the devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place, that they shall not have power over the saints any more at all.
115 For Michael shall fight their battles, and shall overcome him who seeketh the throne of him who sitteth upon the throne, even the Lamb.
116 This is the glory of God, and the sanctified; and they shall not any more see death.

At the end of the Millennium, there will be a last and great war between Satan and his followers, and Michael and the followers of Christ. We have prophecy here, that good will triumph over evil. Those who are righteous, will have the power of God on their side. I have hope that in the end, this will be the case, otherwise there is not point to believing in being exalted to any degrees of glory.

117 Therefore, verily I say unto you, my friends, call your solemn assembly, as I have commanded you.
118 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
119 Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;
120 That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High.
121 Therefore, cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness, and from all your wicked doings.
122 Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.
123 See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires.
124 Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.
125 And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.
126 Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come. Behold, and lo, I will come quickly, and receive you unto myself. Amen.

We are reminded here of those things that will surely keep us guarded from Satan, and will bring us the great blessings that God has in store for us. We are told to be learners of all good things. When we learn these things, we are prepared and ready to live as God would have us live. Most importantly, the saints of God should learn charity which will bring perfection and peace. I love that it says to clothe ourselves in charity. We would not go without clothing throughout our days. This is of great importance to most people. We need to see the importance of being charitable each day as well. It also says that charity should be as a mantle. This means it should be something that covers us and is not a little hear and a little there. We should constantly looking for how we can serve others. I know that there are great blessings in doing this. Most importantly, when we serve we are less likely to be selfish. Personally, I feel that selfishness is what leads us to most other sins. Being charitable will keep us doing what is right.

This section goes on to discuss the school of the prophets, which was organized to teach the brethren and prepare them to share the gospel throughout the world.

127 And again, the order of the house prepared for the presidency of the school of the prophets, established for their instruction in all things that are expedient for them, even for all the officers of the church, or in other words, those who are called to the ministry in the church, beginning at the high priests, even down to the deacons— . . .

We have the opportunity to learn all things related to the gospel, as we attend church each week. However, the greatest learning that we can gain, is in the temple and through our worthiness to be there. I am so grateful for the houses of the Lord, which have been built all over the world today. I am so glad that I consider myself worthy to enter the Lord’s temple and to learn and serve there.

D&C Section 88 (Part 3)

This is a continuation of the previous section (D&C Section 88 Part 2).

This revelation given to bring peace to the hearts of the early saints, can also bring peace and understanding to us today. In my previous posts we have learned of the light of Christ and the resurrection of all men through the redemption and resurrection of the Savior. We also learned the earth was created to become the celestial inheritance of the righteous and that all souls will be blessed with the glory that they are worthy of because of how they have lived in this life. We have learned that all kingdoms that are or will be, have God-given laws which must be followed by its inhabitants.

This section continues:

42 And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
43 And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
44 And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are one year with God, but not with man.
45 The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.

God, who is all knowing and the creator of all things, has given them all laws to follow. I am always amazed at how things in nature work together so well, or how our bodies work with all of its many parts. The world that is around us is so beautiful and wondrous. Verse 45 of this section is my absolute favorite verse in the scriptures. If we just look at the wonders that are the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars, and how they work together for our good, we can see the hand of God in all its majesty. This verse is so beautiful to me.

46 Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?
47 Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.
48 I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended.
49 The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him.
50 Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound.

We all have the ability to see the work of God through the universe that He has created for us. Only a small portion of the children of God were there to see the Savior during His time on this earth, and He was not understood. He came with His light to bring the world out of darkness, but He was not seen. The Lord is reminding us here that He will be seen as the God He is when we have all been redeemed through Him. All souls will know that He is our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Son of God.

51 Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field.
52 And he said unto the first: Go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance.
53 And he said unto the second: Go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance.
54 And also unto the third, saying: I will visit you;
55 And unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth.
56 And the lord of the field went unto the first in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was made glad with the light of the countenance of his lord.
57 And then he withdrew from the first that he might visit the second also, and the third, and the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth.
58 And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season—
59 Beginning at the first, and so on unto the last, and from the last unto the first, and from the first unto the last;
60 Every man in his own order, until his hour was finished, even according as his lord had commanded him, that his lord might be glorified in him, and he in his lord, that they all might be glorified.
61 Therefore, unto this parable I will liken all these kingdoms, and the inhabitants thereof—every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season, even according to the decree which God hath made.

At the time of the millennium, the Lord will reign upon this earth with the righteous. The righteous will be glorified by His presence. At the end of the millennium, the Lord will withdraw to go and do the same for other worlds that He has created. And when all of His worlds have been visited as prophesied, all the righteous will receive their inheritance and be able to live with God again. It is really hard to imagine the other worlds that the Lord has created and the numberless souls that inhabit them all, but we are told that we are not the only world in existence. I have faith that these words are true and in the Lord’s time, all will be fulfilled and the righteous will gain their deserved glory. I think that the thing to focus on here, is that there is a plan and there is hope to be found in it be fulfilled.

62 And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near—
63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
64 Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you;
65 And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.

We can find this promise many times throughout the scriptures. If we are willing to humble ourselves enough to pray and plead with the Lord, He will be there. If we are trying to do what is right and ask for things that will help us to become more like Him, it will be a blessing to us. However, the Lord will give us the things we ask for in faith, even if it may not be the thing that will bring us closer to Him. We need to be careful what we ask for, because we may be asking for unnecessary trials in order to learn the lessons the Lord wants us to learn.

It is common to wait to pray until we are deep in our trials and finally realize we need the Lord’s help. This is not the way to get answers in our times of need. We need to make prayer a natural and common form of communication between us and our Father in Heaven. We need to pray often in times of peace and happiness, so that we will have the foundation we need when the trials come.

66 Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.
67 And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.

Great blessings are promised to those who sanctify their minds. When we put aside our own desires and appetities, and instead focus on the desires of our God, we become sanctified. When we want to serve others and love others more than ourselves, we are more like our Savior. As we continue to improve ourselves, we can someday become pure and clean, and prepared to see the Lord.

69 Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you.

One of the purposes of our lives is to find happiness and joy in the people and things around us. Having truly happy thoughts and joyous laughter is not a bad thing. However, if we are not focused on good things we can find our thoughts become idle and our laughter is over things that bring us entertainment or gratification in the moment. These things do not uplift our souls and will draw us away from those things that will sanctify us.

This is surely a message of peace to the saints in the latter-days. I am often in awe of the simpleness of the plan of God. We are given all the tools that we need. If we could just be unselfish in our hearts and minds, we would easily be able to follow the commandments and be ready to serve the Lord at all times. When we do the things the Lord asks of us, we will be given the peace the spirit brings. I have felt many moments of this peace throughout my life and I am always grateful for that.

This section will be continued.

D&C Section 63

Historical Background

The saints were anxious to know more about the gathering of the saints in the land of Zion, so the prophet, Joseph Smith, asked the Lord. This revelation was given through the prophet in response to their desires.

“Listen, You That Call Yourselves the People of the Lord”

“HEARKEN, O ye people, and open your hearts and give ear from afar; and listen, you that call yourselves the people of the Lord, and hear the word of the Lord and his will concerning you (v. 1). Yea, verily, I say, hear the word of him whose anger is kindled against the wicked and rebellious (v. 2); Who willeth to take even them whom he will take, and preserveth in life them whom he will preserve (v. 3); Who buildeth up at his own will and pleasure; and destroyeth when he pleases, and is able to cast the soul down to hell (v. 4). Behold, I, the Lord, utter my voice, and it shall be obeyed (v. 5). Wherefore, verily I say, let the wicked take heed, and let the rebellious fear and tremble; and let the unbelieving hold their lips, for the day of wrath shall come upon them as a whirlwind, and all flesh shall know that I am God (v. 6).” Those who are the people of the Lord are not those who are wicked, rebellious, or unbelieving. The people of the Lord are those who obey. Sometimes we ask for things from the Lord, even when we are not yet ready to receive them. The Lord teaches us here that those who are not righteous will have the wrath of God come upon them.

How Is It That Signs Depend on Faith and the Seeking of Signs Without Faith Is a Sin?

Faith is a word of action. We must do our part and trust in the Lord, before anything can come of our faith. Seeking signs without faith, is like asking to receive something without doing anything for it. When we do this, the thing we are seeking loses its value. Things of great worth are not given freely, but they are given to those who work hard and believe in the blessings that will come.

“And he that seeketh signs shall see signs, but not unto salvation (v. 7). Verily, I say unto you, there are those among you who seek signs, and there have been such even from the beginning (v. 8 ); But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe (v. 9). Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God (v. 10). Yea, signs come by faith, unto mighty works, for without faith no man pleaseth God; and with whom God is angry he is not well pleased; wherefore, unto such he showeth no signs, only in wrath unto their condemnation (v. 11). Wherefore, I, the Lord, am not pleased with those among you who have sought after signs and wonders for faith, and not for the good of men unto my glory (v. 12).”

Seeking for a sign without faith is a sin, because it is against the nature of God. They way that God works is we must show faith and then the proof will come and we will know the truth. In John 7:17 we read, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine . . .”. Those who are truly the people of the Lord, will act in obedience to His laws and hope for the blessings to come from their faith.

He That Looketh upon a Woman to Lust After Her”

The Lord has given us commandments, and many of the saints were not being faithful to those commandments (v. 13). “There were among you adulterers and adulteresses; some of whom have turned away from you, and others remain with you that hereafter shall be revealed (v. 14). Let such beware and repent speedily, lest judgment shall come upon them as a snare, and their folly shall be made manifest, and their works shall follow them in the eyes of the people (v. 15). And verily I say unto you, as I have said before, he that looketh on a woman to lust after her, or if any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the Spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear (v. 16).” Anyone who thinks of what it would be like to commit a sin has already taken the first step to committing that sin. Any who lust after another, has already made the first move towards adultery and should repent for their thoughts. We cannot keep the spirit with us even when we think of ourselves committing a sin.

What Does It Mean to Burn with Fire and Brimstone?

“Wherefore, I, the Lord, have said that the fearful, and the unbelieving, and all liars, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, and the whoremonger, and the sorcerer, shall have their part in that lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (v. 17). Verily I say, that they shall not have part in the first resurrection (v. 18 ).” The Bible Dictionary says that Brimstone, more currently known as sulfer, was “mentioned in the account of the destruction of the Cities of the Plain, and hence symbolic of God’s anger”. The lake that burns with fire and brimstone, is the reward that waits those who are wicked in this life. The wrath of God will be like an eternal fire, which surrounds and drowns those who are caught in it.

The Transfiguration of the Earth

“Nevertheless, he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come (v. 20); When the earth shall be transfigured, even according to the pattern which was shown unto mine apostles upon the mount; of which account the fulness ye have not yet received (v. 21).” When the earth is transfigured, it will go through its terrestrial state and then become a celestial body where those who earned a celestial reward will gain their inheritance.

How Is the Land of Zion to Be Obtained?

“And now, verily I say unto you, that as I said that I would make known my will unto you, behold I will make it known unto you (v. 22) . . . And now, behold, this is the will of the Lord your God concerning his saints, that they should assemble themselves together unto the land of Zion, not in haste, lest there should be confusion, which bringeth pestilence (v. 24). Behold, the land of Zion—I, the Lord, hold it in mine own hands (v. 25); Nevertheless, I, the Lord, render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s (v. 26). Wherefore, I the Lord will that you should purchase the lands, that you may have advantage of the world, that you may have claim on the world, that they may not be stirred up unto anger (v. 27). For Satan putteth it into their hearts to anger against you, and to the shedding of blood (v. 28 ). Wherefore, the land of Zion shall not be obtained but by purchase or by blood, otherwise there is none inheritance for you (v. 29). And if by purchase, behold you are blessed (v. 30); And if by blood, as you are forbidden to shed blood, lo, your enemies are upon you, and ye shall be scourged from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue, and but few shall stand to receive an inheritance (v. 31).”

It was in the wisdom of God, that the saints were to take their time going to the land of Zion and that they should only go when they could legally purchase land from the government, for their own inheritance. There were too many in the early days of the church, who sought to destroy the members of the church and would have taken issue if too many members began to claim the land in Zion. The Lord reminded the saints here that it was not part of his design for men to kill others for their land.

The Saints Also Shall Hardly Escape

“I, the Lord, am angry with the wicked; I am holding my Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth (v. 32). I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man (v. 33); And the saints also shall hardly escape; nevertheless, I, the Lord, am with them, and will come down in heaven from the presence of my Father and consume the wicked with unquenchable fire (v. 34). And behold, this is not yet, but by and by (v. 35).” There are many saints who die because we, as mortals, have bodies that are susceptible to disease and other damage. These saints do not die strictly because they were wicked. The righteous will be all that are saved when the Savior returns, but not all of the righteous will be able to be there because of other things that will cause them to die. However, if we have lived righteously, we will be saved in the kingdom of God. “Yea, and blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth, when the Lord shall come, and old things shall pass away, and all things become new, they shall rise from the dead and shall not die after, and shall receive an inheritance before the Lord, in the holy city (v. 49).”

There were a few, who the Lord specifically told to be prepared to go to the Land of Zion and some who were to stay (see v. 39, 42
The remainder of the saints were to give a generous offering which was to be sent to the land of Zion to prepare and purchase more land (v. 40, 43, 46-48). The prophet, Joseph Smith, was told to discern by the Spirit, those others who should go to the land of Zion and those who should stay (v. 41).

“Old Men Shall Die, but They Shall Not Sleep in the Dust”

“And he that liveth when the Lord shall come, and hath kept the faith, blessed is he; nevertheless, it is appointed to him to die at the age of man (v. 50). Wherefore, children shall grow up until they become old; old men shall die; but they shall not sleep in the dust, but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye (v. 51).” During the millennium, children will grow up until they are old and then rather than the death that we know today, they will be changed in an instant to continue their service to the Lord. In D&C 101:30 we read, “In that day an infant shall not die until he is old; and his life shall be as the age of a tree;”. I think that this is because the work that will be done in the millennium will require as many living as possible to be accomplished. When it has been necessary, the life of man has been lengthened to accomplish God’s work (i.e. Adam and Noah who were both needed to live longer in order to finish their work and influence enough of God’s children as possible).

“Foolish Virgins among the Wise”

“These things are the things that ye must look for; and, speaking after the manner of the Lord, they are now nigh at hand, and in a time to come, even in the day of the coming of the Son of Man (v. 53). And until that hour there will be foolish virgins among the wise; and at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked; and in that day will I send mine angels to pluck out the wicked and cast them into unquenchable fire (v. 54).” This is referring to the five foolish virgins who were not prepared to go with the bridegroom and did not have enough oil in their lamps. The foolish are those who will not be prepared for the Savior’s coming. One good lesson that I learn from the parable of the ten virgins, is that all ten were looking eagerly for the Savior to come, but five continually put of being prepared for other things, thinking they would get ready later. The Lord will come when the foolish are not prepared, so any who truly desire to be saved, must be prepared or be cast into the unquenchable fire.

Sidney Rigdon’s Writing Was Not Acceptable to the Lord

“And now behold, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, am not pleased with my servant Sidney Rigdon; he exalted himself in his heart, and received not counsel, but grieved the Spirit (v. 55); Wherefore his writing is not acceptable unto the Lord, and he shall make another; and if the Lord receive it not, behold he standeth no longer in the office to which I have appointed him (v. 56).” Sidney Rigdon had been called to write a description of the land of Zion for those who were not there to see it for themselves. His writing would help the saints to give more freely of their money so that the land of Zion could be purchased. His first attempt was not acceptable to the Lord because “he exalted himself in his heart, and received not counsel”. Sometimes we think too highly of ourselves and our own accomplishments, rather than relying on the spirit for guidance and then showing gratitude. Sidney Rigdon was given a second chance to do as he was called, which he did and it was accepted by the Lord.

“Let All Men Beware How They Take My Name In Their Lips”

“Behold, I am from above, and my power lieth beneath. I am over all, and in all, and through all, and search all things, and the day cometh that all things shall be subject unto me (v. 59). Behold, I am Alpha and Omega, even Jesus Christ (v. 60). Wherefore, let all men beware how they take my name in their lips (v. 61)—For behold, verily I say, that many there be who are under this condemnation, who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority (v. 62). Wherefore, let the church repent of their sins, and I, the Lord, will own them; otherwise they shall be cut off (v. 63). Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit; and in this there is no condemnation, and ye receive the Spirit through prayer; wherefore, without this there remaineth condemnation (v. 64).”

It is a commandment that we should not take the Lord’s name in vain, and this often is thought of as strictly not swearing and such. However, we take His name in vain when we do things in the name of the Lord, without the proper authority. We also take His name in vain when we falsely make commitments to the Lord, because a covenant with the Lord is a sacred thing and should be treated as such. Also, when we commit to the Lord to obey his commandments and claim that we are being obedient, but choose to disobey them, we are taking his name in vain. This commandment has a strong connection to the obedience we choose to show the Lord.

Finally, the Lord instructs the prophet and Sidney Rigdon to prayerfully and patiently follow the guidance of the spirit in finding their own homes and in doing all that was asked of them. With the responsibility of being the prophet of the Lord, Joseph Smith was expected to be continually faithful and obedient, otherwise a “greater condemnation” would come (v. 65-66). I believe the prophet has been blessed greatly for the service he gave in His life on this earth.

D&C Section 43 (Part 2)

This is a continuation of the previous post (Part 1).

Historical Background

Some of the saints still did not understand that revelation for the church could only come through the Prophet, Joseph Smith. Some continued to falsely say that they were receiving revelations pertaining to the guiding the church or giving correction to the Prophet. The Prophet asked the Lord and received this revelation in response.

How Is God’s Warning Voice Being Sounded Today?

“Hearken ye, for, behold, the great day of the Lord is nigh at hand (v. 17). For the day cometh that the Lord shall utter his voice out of heaven; the heavens shall shake and the earth shall tremble, and the trump of God shall sound both long and loud, and shall say to the sleeping nations: Ye saints arise and live; ye sinners stay and sleep until I shall call again (v. 18 ).” Those who are wicked will not be a part of the first resurrection when the Lord comes again. They will be resurrected, but they will not receive the blessings that will come with that first sounding of the trump.

“Wherefore gird up your loins lest ye be found among the wicked (v. 19). Lift up your voices and spare not. Call upon the nations to repent, both old and young, both bond and free, saying: Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord (v. 20); For if I, who am a man, do lift up my voice and call upon you to repent, and ye hate me, what will ye say when the day cometh when the thunders shall utter their voices from the ends of the earth, speaking to the ears of all that live, saying—Repent, and prepare for the great day of the Lord (v. 21)?” It is the duty of all followers of Christ, to share the gospel with others and to not hold back.

“Yea, and again, when the lightnings shall streak forth from the east unto the west, and shall utter forth their voices unto all that live, and make the ears of all tingle that hear, saying these words—Repent ye, for the great day of the Lord is come (v. 22)? And again, the Lord shall utter his voice out of heaven, saying: Hearken, O ye nations of the earth, and hear the words of that God who made you (v. 23). O, ye nations of the earth, how often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not (v. 24)! How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, and by the great sound of a trump, and by the voice of judgment, and by the voice of mercy all the day long, and by the voice of glory and honor and the riches of eternal life, and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not (v. 25)!”

We are called to repentance over and over again. There are many warnings that we are given by the Lord and we need to pay attention and act accordingly. In our lives there will be times of storms, either literal or not. These storms are a way for the Lord to remind us to get our lives back on track, to repent of our sins, and to devote ourselves to obeying the commandments. They come as a warning before the Lord returns again. Personally, I would rather follow the warnings of the prophets and repents, then to have natural disasters and other bad things happen in order for me to be reminded.

How Will Satan Be Bound During the Millennium?

“Behold, the day has come, when the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full (v. 26). . . Wherefore, labor ye, labor ye in my vineyard for the last time—for the last time call upon the inhabitants of the earth (v. 28 ). For in mine own due time will I come upon the earth in judgment, and my people shall be redeemed and shall reign with me on earth (v. 29). For the great Millennium, of which I have spoken by the mouth of my servants, shall come (v. 30). For Satan shall be bound, and when he is loosed again he shall only reign for a little season, and then cometh the end of the earth (v. 31).”

In 1 Nephi 22:26 we read, “And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth.” Satan will be bound, because the saints will be so righteous that he will not have the power to influence them. It is our choice not to listen to the temptations of Satan that can stop him from having power over us. This binding of Satan, will only be after the second coming of the Lord, when the wicked will be removed from the earth. I learn from the manual that I am studying that both the destruction of the wicked and the blessing of the spirit on those who remain, are the necessary parts that will strip Satan of his power for that time. What an amazing promise this is. I hope to witness the day when the people of the world are this righteous, because it truly seems that there is greater wickedness every day and it is creeping in all around us.

“The Earth Shall Pass Away So As by Fire”

“And he that liveth in righteousness shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and the earth shall pass away so as by fire (v. 32).” In order for the renewal of all things, the earth must pass away just as all things that are living must do. The earth will be renewed just as all people will be resurrected and renewed.

“The Wicked Shall Go Away into Unquenchable Fire”

“And the wicked shall go away into unquenchable fire, and their end no man knoweth on earth, nor ever shall know, until they come before me in judgment (v. 33).” Those who are wicked will not be immediately resurrected, but will be held captive while the righteous do the work of the millennium. They will be caught up in the torment of their sins and will be awaiting their possible spiritual death, or separation from all things spiritual, particularly God.

What Are the “Solemnities of Eternity”?

“Hearken ye to these words. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Treasure these things up in your hearts, and let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds (v. 34). Be sober. Keep all my commandments. Even so. Amen (v. 35).” The Lord told the saints then, and it applies now as well, that they needed to think about the solemn things. We have the opportunity to make sacred covenants with God and when we do, we need to remember the things that we promise as well as the blessings that are promised to us. When we remember these things and treasure them in our minds, we will find it easier to do what is right. It won’t be easier because there will be less temptation. I believe actually that it will be quite the opposite and that there will be even greater temptations there, but we will be given the strength that is needed to withstand those temptations.

I know that in my own life, I have been blessed when I think of things with my “eternal eyes”. When I think of the effects that my decisions have eternally, rather than what they may mean for just right now, I am happier with my decisions. There are a lot of things that would make my life right now seem better, but that would not be good in the long run. When I choose to focus on the bigger picture, I realize that my perspective makes all the difference and I feel so blessed. I am so grateful to know of the plan of salvation and to know that there are reasons that I am trying to live righteously today.


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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