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The situation was, then, that the sons of God, or their daughters who had been initiated into a spiritual order, departed from it and broke their vows, mingling with those who observed only a carnal law. And you were once holy, spiritual, eternal beings … and have lusted after the flesh … as do mortal and perishable creatures. What made the world of Enoch so singularly depraved as to invite total obliteration was the deliberate and systematic perversion of heavenly things to justify wickedness.
An early Christian writer, Hippolytus, says that the Anti-Christ imitates Christ in every particular: each sends out his apostles, gives his seal to believers, does signs and wonders, claims the temple as his own, has his own church and assembly, etc. Black, p. And behold they commit sin and reject [ parabainousin ] the proper way [ ethos ] … and beget children not like spiritual but like carnal offspring.
Sophisticated deception is the name of the game. And the wives [instead of daughters! The Lord cursed … all them that had covenanted with Satan; for they kept not the commandments of God. And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me … and swear thy brethren … that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die. For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother. Gizeh And they answered him all, saying, We will all swear with an oath, and bind each other by a mortal curse [lit.
Then they all swore together and pronounced the doom of death on each other. Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it. Kasbeel, the chief of the oath … when he dwelt above in glory It was Gadreel who showed the children of men all the blows of death, and he led astray Eve.
And Adam and Eve … ceased not to call upon God. For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark. PO The wicked angels set themselves up in open and insolent opposition to Adam, and glorying in their earthly bodies learned a great sin, and openly exposed all the work which they had seen in heaven.
As bad as breaking their oaths was divulging them to those not worthy to receive them, thereby debasing and invalidating them. One of the most widespread themes of myth and legend is the tragedy of the hero who yields to the charms of a fair maiden or femme fatale and ends up revealing to her hidden mysteries. The story meets us in the oldest Egyptian epic where the lady Isis wheedles out of Re the fatal knowledge of his true name and in like tales of Samson and Delilah, the daughter of Jared, Lohengrin, etc.
On this theme the Gizeh fragments offer a significant parallel to the Joseph Smith version, in which the common background of the text and the confusion of the later scribes are equally apparent:. And thus … darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men. Gizeh —4. You were in heaven and there you knew every mysterion which had not been made known to you as well as that mystery which God allowed; and that you disclosed to your wives in the hardness of your heart, and it was through this mystery that women and men caused iniquities to abound upon the earth.
Rather surprisingly, the age of Enoch is consistently described as the time of great intellectual as well as material sophistication. And the sons and daughters of men adopted all these things and led the saints astray. And there was great wickedness on the earth, and they became perverted and lost in all their ways. Along with that their leader Semiazas taught them scientific formulas epaodas kata tou nous , and the properties of roots and plants of the earth. The eleventh, Pharmakos, taught all manner of drugs, incantations, prescriptions, formulas.
All of these began to reveal the mysteries to their wives and children. Yesa asks: With all that knowledge could they not foresee destruction? To which R. Isaac replies: They knew, all right, but they thought they were just smart enough to prevent it. What they did not know was that God rules the world. A Book of Mormon text betrays the Enoch tradition possibly contained in the brass plates in a transparent parallel:.
That Satan … came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind … wherefore give me thine honor. And he became Satan … to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. R, Ch. He changed his nature and was no longer an angel; he preserved his identity, but his state of mind was altered, as when any righteous person becomes wicked … and he conceived the impossible idea of setting up his throne … to be equal to my power.
DS Thanks. VI [f] p. Almost all our sources, and especially the Joseph Smith book of Enoch, emphasize the point that the people did not drift imperceptibly into ways of folly. They were so constantly warned that only a high and determined willfulness brought destruction upon them:. For these many generations … have they gone astray, … and have sought their own counsels in the dark; …. Wherefore, they have … brought upon themselves death. Beatty f.
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And they shall go astray in the foolishness [ aphrosyne ] of their hearts, and the visions of their dreams [the dark] shall lead them astray. And the lying words you have made shall perish. Woe to you foolish ones, for you shall perish through your own folly! For they would not hearken unto his voice, nor believe on his Only Begotten Son.
Secrets 4 Vaillant, p. These are they who denied the Lord, and would not hear the voice of the Lord, but followed their own counsel. They have foresworn themselves, and, by their oaths, they have brought upon themselves death; and a hell I have prepared for them, if they repent not. However, he is not jealous of his wisdom and perfection, but glories in the fact that it is possible for his children who obey him in all things and endure to the end to become like him.
Man has within him the power, which the Father has bestowed upon him, so to develop in truth, faith, wisdom, and all the virtues, that eventually he shall become like the Father and the Son; this virtue, wisdom, and knowledge on the part of the faithful does not rob the Father and the Son, but adds to their glory and dominion. Thus it is destined that those who are worthy to become his sons and joint-heirs with our Redeemer, would be heirs of the Father's kingdom, possessing the same attributes in their perfection, as the Father and the Son now possess.
Those who are faithful in obtaining the priesthood and magnifying their calling become members of the Church of the Firstborn, receiving all that the Father hath; and this is according to an oath and covenant that cannot be broken. Now, how are they to receive all that the Father hath, if something is withheld? And if something is not withheld, how can they receive all that he hath and not become as he is, that is, be gods themselves?
How can the saints receive of his fulness and be equal with the Lord and not be as he is, that is, gods? They shall increase in knowledge, wisdom, and power, going from grace to grace, until the fulness of the perfect day shall burst upon them. They shall, through the glory and blessing of the Almighty, become creators. All power, and dominion, and might shall be given to them, and they shall be the only ones upon whom this great blessing shall be bestowed.
All others, no matter how much learning, wisdom, and power, they may obtain, shall nevertheless be restricted in their several spheres, for they cannot attain to the fulness which is held in reserve for those who are permitted to pass by the angels and the gods who are set to guard the way to this great exaltation. They cannot be unlocked in any other way.
All light, all truth come from God. That which is not from him does not edify but brings darkness. If we will continue in God; that is, keep his commandments, worship him and love his truth; then the time will come when we shall be bathed in the fulness of truth, which shall grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day. Here then, we find power wisdom, advancement, the knowledge which is perfect and which can only be obtained through continuing in God by obedience unto him.
Now if we want to become heirs, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, possessing the blessings of the kingdom, there is only one thing required of you and of me, and that is that we keep the whole law, not a part of it only. Do you think it would be fair, just, proper, for the Lord to say to us: "I will give unto you commandments; you may keep them if you will; you may be indifferent about the matter if you will; keep some, reject others; or, partially keep some; and I will punish you, but then I will make it up to you, and all will be well.
The destiny of the faithful man in this Church and the faithful woman is to become a son and daughter of God. That is the great gift that the Lord holds out to the members of the Church. Because as sons of God we have lived to be like him; and John did not mean that we would see him in the form of a man. Every man is in that form, whether he repents of his sins or whether he does not. Every man was created in the image of God, in his likeness; but when Christ comes, those who have kept the commandments and stand before him, will see themselves like they see him, a Son of God!
They will be entitled to the blessings of sons, heirs. The Lord has promised to them the fulness of his kingdom so they can go on through the eternities.
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John was speaking to the men who held the priesthood. He calls them the sons of God. We are the sons of God. That same divine authority has been bestowed upon us. We, too, in this day should be just as grateful and just as willing to serve, and to keep the commandments of the Lord, and to magnify the callings which have been given unto us, as were these men in former days who were the sons of God.
I wonder if we realize the greatness of our callings — yes, all the elders in this Church — do they realize that they hold the Melchizedek Priesthood? Do they know that through their faithfulness and their obedience, according to the revelations of the Lord, they are entitled to receive all that the Father has — to become the sons of God, joint-heirs with our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, entitled to the exaltations in the celestial kingdom? Do we realize that? We, too, if we do realize it, should be like those of former days, and every man that hath this hope in him, will purify himself even as Christ is pure.
I many times think of that passage of scripture, pertaining to those who keep the commandments of the Lord and are faithful and true to the end, that all that the Father hath shall be given unto them. While we cannot comprehend the greatness of this blessing, yet a ray of light we do receive; an impression is made upon our minds to this effect, that if we will do the things the Lord requires of us, we shall become sons and daughters unto God.
That is the meaning of this scripture. As sons and daughters then, we are heirs of his kingdom and shall receive by right the fulness of the glory and be entitled to the great blessings and privileges which the Lord in his mercy has revealed to us in the dispensation of the fulness of times. If the faithful, who keep the commandments of the Father, are his sons, then they are heirs of the kingdom and shall receive of the fulness of the Father's glory, even until they become like the Father.
And how can they be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect if they are not like him? Now, if they overcome all things, then there are not some things which they do not overcome. If these are to receive "of his fulness and of his glory," and if into their "hands the Father has given all things," then the Father has not withheld some of the fulness of his glory, or some things. And if they receive his fulness and his glory, and if "all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs," how can they receive these blessings and not become gods?
They cannot. Now how are we going to become the sons of God and, of course, daughters as well? How is it done? Can we become the sons and heirs of our Eternal Father simply by being baptized for the remission of our sins after we have repented and have had faith, and have had hands laid upon us for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and have come into the Church? No, it takes more than that. Why, of course they are the children of our Father in heaven, those who do that, as are the people who are outside of the Church; but to become the sons and daughters of God, children, "heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ," we must suffer with him, that we may be glorified with him.
The Lord has given unto us privileges, and blessings, and the opportunity of entering into covenants, of accepting ordinances that pertain to our salvation beyond what is preached in the world; beyond the principles of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance from sin, and baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost; and these principles and covenants are received nowhere else but in the temple of God. If you would become a son or a daughter of God and an heir of the kingdom, then you must go to the house of the Lord and receive blessings which there can be obtained and which cannot be obtained elsewhere; and you must keep those commandments and those covenants to the end.
The ordinances of the temple, the endowment and sealings, pertain to exaltation in the celestial kingdom, where the sons and daughters are. The sons and daughters are not outside in some other kingdom. The sons and daughters go into the house, belong to the household, have access to the home. Because you must receive certain key words as well as make covenants by which you are able to enter. If you try to get into the house, and the door is locked, how are you going to enter, if you haven't your key? You get your key in the temple, which will admit you.
I picked up a key on the street one day, and took it home, and it opened every door in my house. You cannot find a key on the street, for that key is never lost that will open the door that enters into our Father's mansions. You have got to go where the key is given. And each can obtain the key, if you will; but after receiving it, you may lose it, by having it taken away from you again, unless you abide by the agreement which you entered into when you went to the house of the Lord.
You know what it says about servants in the scriptures. Those who become servants are those who are not willing to receive these blessings in the house of the Lord and abide in them. They are not sons; they are not daughters. They are children of God, it is true, for all men are his children. But they do not inherit, and therefore they remain servants throughout eternity, because they were not willing to receive that which they might have received, and the gift which was bestowed upon them or offered to them.
They not only rejected the gift, but also the Giver of the gift. There will be a great many servants, but there will not be many heirs, "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Those who gain exaltation in the celestial kingdom are those who are members of the Church of the Firstborn; in other words, those who keep all the commandments of the Lord.
The higher ordinances in the temple of God pertain to exaltation in the celestial kingdom. In order to receive this blessing, one must keep the full law, must abide the law by which that kingdom is governed; for, "He who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory. To become a member of the Church of the Firstborn, as I understand it, is to become one of the inner circle. We are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by being baptized and confirmed, and there are many who seem to be content to remain such without obtaining the privileges of exaltation.
The Lord has made it possible for us to become members of the Church of the Firstborn, by receiving the blessings of the house of the Lord and overcoming all things. Thus we become heirs, "priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory," who shall "dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever," with full exaltation. I have said that only one man at a time on the earth holds the keys of this sealing power of the priesthood, but he may, and does, delegate power to others, and they officiate under his direction in the temples of the Lord.
No man can officiate in these sealing ordinances until he receives the authority to do so by being set apart by the one who holds the keys, notwithstanding he may hold the priesthood. All the authority exercised in the temples is then, after all, the authority centered in one man. He has the power and calls upon others to officiate, and they seal upon us the keys and powers which, through our obedience, entitle us to become sons and daughters and members of the Church of the Firstborn, receiving all things in the kingdom.
This is what we can get in the temple, so that we become members of the family, sons and daughters of God, not servants. The Lord does not desire that the people should suffer. He is pained when a man does wrong and needs to be punished and fails to receive the crown or reward that is offered to those who are faithful and true. The Lord would have every man receive a crown, every man become exalted, every man become a son, and every woman become a daughter unto him. But this cannot be done, except on principles of righteousness and free agency.
Therefore, every soul has the right to choose for himself that which he will do. This is the gospel of merit. Every man shall receive that which he is entitled to receive. Every soul shall be blessed according to the diligence, willingness, and integrity put forth in the service of the Lord. The man who will not keep his commandments, the Lord will not exalt.
The woman who rejects the light and refuses to abide by the doctrines of our Redeemer shall not be exalted. Those who will be exalted shall be crowned with glory, immortality, and eternal life in the presence of our Father. Another thing that we must not forget in this great plan of redemption and exaltation, is that a man must have a wife, and a woman a husband, to receive the fulness of exaltation.
They must be sealed for time and for all eternity in a temple; then their union will last forever, and they cannot be separated because God has joined them together, as he taught the Pharisees. This is the crowning glory in the kingdom of God, and they will have no end.thebestdiscountsdaily.com
Sunday: God's Covenant With All Humanity | Sabbath School Net
When the Lord says they will have no end, he means that all who attain to this glory will have the blessing of the continuation of the "seeds" forever. Those who fail to obtain this blessing come to the "deaths," which means that they will have no increase, forever. All who obtain this exaltation will have the privilege of completing the full measure of their existence, and they will have a posterity that will be as innumerable as the stars of heaven.
No man shall receive the fulness of eternity, of exaltation, alone; no woman shall receive that blessing alone; but man and wife, when they receive the sealing power in the temple of the Lord, if they thereafter keep all the commandments, shall pass on to exaltation, and shall continue and become like the Lord. And that is the destiny of men; that is what the Lord desires for his children. No man can obtain that exaltation without receiving the covenants that belong to the priesthood. No woman can obtain this great honor and glory without receiving the blessings of faith, repentance and baptism, confirmation, and obedience to the covenants that are promised her and her husband in the temple of the Lord.
Otherwise, there would be no progress, that is, to the fulness. No man who is not willing to continue, even though he be a member of the Church, in receiving these covenants, and taking upon him these blessings and powers which the Lord has offered unto him by covenant, will ever reach the fulness. All such will be barred. There will come a certain place which they cannot pass. The fulness of knowledge, and understanding, and wisdom, by which men may become perfect even as God is perfect, can only be gained by a strict adherence to those eternal laws upon which this great blessing is based.
We fall short through lack of faithfulness if we refuse to receive covenants and take upon ourselves obligations that pertain to the exaltation. There will be a bar that will prevent us from continuing to that fulness. Baptism is the door into the celestial kingdom. All the ordinances of the gospel pertain to the celestial kingdom, and any person who is faithful to the covenant of baptism will be entitled to enter there, but no person can receive an exaltation in the celestial kingdom without the ordinances of the temple.
The endowments are for advancement in that kingdom, and the sealings for our perfection, provided we keep our covenants and obligations. He will not pass on to the fulness even after he has been baptized and received an endowment in the temple. He has also to receive the other ordinances so that he can become through his faithfulness and obedience a son of God.
By obedience to them we enter the celestial kingdom of God. Then, when we get into that kingdom, if we have received the other covenants, have been true and faithful to other obligations, we will advance until we shall become like God — his sons, his daughters, receiving a fulness of his kingdom. That is the promise. Those who press forward in righteousness, living by every word of revealed truth, have power to make their calling and election sure. They receive the more sure word of prophecy and know by revelation and the authority of the priesthood that they are sealed up unto eternal life.
They are sealed up against all manner of sin and blasphemy except the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the shedding of innocent blood. But the mere fact of being married for time and eternity in the temple, standing alone, does not give them this guarantee. Blessings pronounced upon couples in connection with celestial marriage are conditioned upon the subsequent faithfulness of the participating parties.
Peter tells how the saints may make their calling and election sure in these words: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Now, according to the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, we worship our Heavenly Father who governs in our universe, and we do all that we do in the name of the Son.
We are informed that there are many earths or worlds which have been created, and were created by the Son for the Father, This was, of course, before he was bom a Babe in Bethlehem. Our Father in heaven, according to the Prophet, had a Father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father, until we come to a stop where we cannot go further, because of our limited capacity to understand. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we receive the resurrection, the spirit and the body being united inseparably, never to be divided, so that we will never die again.
We thus become immortal, and if we keep the commandments which are given us, we will inherit celestial glory. When we receive this great blessing, we will be sons of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. The Father has promised us that through our faithfulness we shall be blessed with the fulness of his kingdom. In other words we will have the privilege of becoming like him. To become like him we must have all the powers of godhood; thus a man and his wife when glorified will have spirit children who eventually will go on an earth like this one we are on and pass through the same kind of experiences, being subject to mortal conditions, and if faithful, then they also will receive the fulness of exaltation and partake of the same blessings.
There is no end to this development; it will go on forever.
We will become gods and have jurisdiction over worlds, and these worlds will be peopled by our own offspring. We will have an endless eternity for this. What we need in the Church, as well as out of it, is repentance. We need more faith and more determination to serve the Lord. If the people of the world walk in darkness and sin, and contrary to the will of the Lord, there is the place for us to draw the line. Why should we not uphold the standards of our faith? Why should we not walk in strict accord with the regulations of the Church notwithstanding what the world may think?
The Lord has revealed the fulness of his gospel. We have been fully informed regarding all of its principles pertaining to salvation. Is it worth while for us to maintain our integrity and prove faithful to every trust? Is the pearl of great price — the fulness of the glory, honor, and eternal life in the presence of the Father and the Son -- worth the sacrifice we may be called upon to make? Are we, as the man spoken of in former times, willing to sell all that we have in order that we may buy this field which will bring to us everlasting joy and exaltation as sons and daughters of God?
There are millions of people, professing to believe in Christ, who believe that little children are under condemnation and tainted with original sin -- which is as damnable a doctrine as was ever taught among the children of men, for little children are not tainted with sin. They are not subject to sin until they reach the years of accountability, until they begin to know and to understand right from wrong, and become accountable before God according to the age which he himself has appointed, which is eight years.
Through the blood of Christ they are redeemed from all that could be laid to their charge as descendants of Adam. Christ took that upon himself. Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning. That means that in the beginning — before the foundation of the world was laid, and before Satan rebelled — when we were bom, if you please, in that spirit world, we were innocent.
There came a rebellion, and one-third of the hosts of heaven, we are told, rebelled against God, under the direction of Lucifer, and were cast out.
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The two-thirds remaining were privileged to come to this earth and receive tabernacles of flesh and bones. Now the Lord says, in regard to men, at the time they come into this world: "And God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God. To believe that the Lord damns little children because parents, in a thoughtless mood, fail to have them sprinkled or otherwise baptized, and therefore, should they die, they are forever damned, I repeat, is a doctrine of the devil.
There is no truth in it. Baptism is for the remission of sins, and no man can repent of a sin until he is accountable before God. Any man who believes that little children are born in sin and are tainted by original sin, or the sin of somebody else, has failed to comprehend the nature of the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is one doctrine, among all the doctrines that have been cormpted, that seems to me to stand out as the most damnable, denying the mercies of God to little children who come into this world as innocent as they can be, and then to put taint upon them.
There may be a taint upon the father, there may be a taint upon the mother, but that little child is not responsible in any sense of the word for either Adam's transgression, or your transgression, or mine, or any other man's. I say again, the man who believes that children are tainted by original sin cannot understand and fails to comprehend the mission of Jesus Christ.
What was his mission? One part was to bring redemption to every soul from Adam's transgression; and Christ paid the price. That is unconditional; it depends neither upon repentance nor faith nor any other principle. Every soul that comes into this world is cleansed — if there is to be any cleansing — at least redeemed from the consequences of Adam's transgression, because we were not in any sense responsible for it.
Why, of course we die; of course we suffer; of course we are subject to the vicissitudes of mortal life, We came here for that very purpose. Of course we inherit these from Adam; but to lay a sin on a child, because it was born into this world of mortal parents, I repeat, is a damnable doctrine. He means that before the foundation of this earth was laid, this plan of redemption, the plan of salvation which we are supposed to follow in this mortal life, was all prepared; and God, knowing the end from the beginning, made provisions for the redemption of little children through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
We teach that we are the offspring of God, we are his sons and daughters — that is a good Bible doctrine — and in the beginning of that spirit life every man was innocent, Likewise in the beginning of this mortal life — no matter how faithful, or how valiant, or otherwise, we were in that spirit world — when we come into this world, we come into it innocent as far as this world is concerned, just as we were innocent in the other world in the beginning. Every child — I don't care where it is bom; I don't care what its color — that is bom into this world comes into it innocent in its infant state.
Why, when you look into the face of a little babe and he looks up and smiles at you, can you believe that that little child is tainted with any kind of sin that will deprive it of the presence of God should it die? I have been reading to you about this Catholic doctrine of the "beatific vision," and these little children who are not sprinkled — or baptized if you want to call it that — in their infancy, being deprived of that glorious vision, and the Lord softening their punishment or loss by dulling their comprehension so they do not understand and do not realize what they have lost.
Can you think of anything that is more damnable than that? I remember when I was in the mission field in England, there was an American family there. One evening as we sat in their home, the man's wife turned to me and said: "Elder Smith, I want to ask you a question. I did not know what the matter was. She sobbed, and when she had composed herself enough to ask the question, she told me this story: When they went over to England, they had the misfortune of losing a little baby.
They were attending the Church of England. They went to the minister and wanted to have that baby laid away with a Christian burial, as they had been attending the church. The minister said to her: "We can't give your child a Christian burial because it was not christened. Your baby is lost. So she asked the question of me: "Is my baby lost? Will I never see it again? No baby is lost. Every baby is saved in the kingdom of God when it dies. Does not that sound good? Is it not just? Is it not right? It does not make any difference whether it is a Catholic baby, a Protestant baby, or a Mohammedan baby: no matter whose baby it is, it is not responsible for original sin; it is not responsible for any sin; and the mercy of God claims it; and it is redeemed.
But how is it with you and me? Here we are, capable of understanding, and the Lord says: "Whoso having knowledge, have I not commanded to repent? But I have not been baptized and you have not been baptized for anything that Adam did. I have been baptized that I might be cleansed from that which I have done myself and so with you and that I might come into the kingdom of God. Baptism is for two purposes.
It is the door into the celestial kingdom of God; and so the Lord taught Nicodemus: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. How could you teach a little child to repent? It has not anything to repent of. The Lord has placed — and that in his own judgment — the age of accountability at eight years, After we get to be eight years of age, we are supposed to have understanding sufficient that we should be baptized.
The Lord takes care of those who are under that age. Now he has himself arbitrarily declared that. I did not set the age. I accept it because the Lord set the age, and that is the law. Little children who die before they reach the years of accountability will automatically inherit the celestial kingdom, but not the exaltation in that kingdom until they have complied with all the requirements of exaltation, For instance: The crowning glory is marriage and this ordinance would have to be performed in their behalf before they could inherit the fulness of that kingdom.
The Lord is just with all his children, and little children who die will not be penalized as the Catholic Church penalizes them, simply because they happen to die. The Lord will grant unto these children the privilege of all the sealing blessings which pertain to the exaltation. We were all mature spirits before we were bom, and the bodies of little children will grow after the resurrection to the full stature of the spirit, and all the blessings will be theirs through their obedience, the same as if they had lived to maturity and received them on the earth.
The Lord is just and will not deprive any person of a blessing, simply because he dies before that blessing can be received. It would be manifestly unfair to deprive a little child of the privilege of receiving all the blessings of exaltation in the world to come simply because it died in infancy. The same thing is true of the young men who were deprived of these blessings and laid down their lives during the war. The Lord judges every soul by the intent of the heart. All that we need do for children is to have them sealed to their parents.
They need no baptism and never will, for our Lord has performed all the work necessary for them. Children who die in childhood will not be deprived of any blessing. When they grow, after the resurrection, to the full maturity of the spirit, they will be entitled to all the blessings which they would have been entitled to had they been privileged to tarry here and receive them. The Lord has arranged for that, so that justice will be given to every soul. Boys and girls who die after baptism may have the endowment work done for them in the temple. Children who die in infancy do not have to be endowed.
So far as the ordinance of sealing, is concerned, this may wait until the millennium. The revelations of the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith declare that all little children who die are heirs of the celestial kingdom. This would mean the children of every race. All the spirits that come to this world come from the presence of God and, therefore, must have been in his kingdom. The only souls coming to this world who are under restriction are the Negroes, and they cannot hold the priesthood; but Negroes may be baptized, and we have many Negroes in the Church.
Therefore, by what right or reason are we going to deprive innocent children whether they are black, brown, or yellow who die in their infancy — innocent and without sin — from entering the celestial kingdom? If a Negro can receive the celestial kingdom by baptism, and the Chinese, Japanese and all other races, where would there be consistency in saying that any children, because they are bom under adverse circumstances, should be deprived of entrance into that kingdom? It seems definitely clear that the Lord means exactly what he said to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Mentally deficient persons, those who are incompetent of understanding, are classed among those who are redeemed as little children through the atonement of our Redeemer. They need no baptism. Any person acting vicariously must be competent. It would be proper, of course, for a mentally deficient person to be sealed to its parents.
Babies are sealed to their parents when they are too young to comprehend, but no one is to be baptized until he or she reaches the age of accountability. We do not expect mentally deficient children to remain so after the resurrection; the condition under which they suffer now is one that pertains to the mortal condition, with all its defects and restrictions. When a baby dies, it goes back into the spirit world, and the spirit assumes its natural form as an adult, for we were all adults before we were bom.
When a child is raised in the resurrection, the spirit will enter the body and the body will be the same size as it was when the child died. It will then grow after the resurrection to full maturity to conform to the size of the spirit. If parents are righteous, they will have their children after the resurrection. Little children who die, whose parents are not worthy of an exaltation, will be adopted into the families of those who are worthy. Satan will be loosed to gather his forces after the millennium. The people who will be tempted, will be people living on this earth, and they will have every opportunity to accept the gospel or reject it.
Satan will have nothing to do whatever with little children, or grown people who have received their resurrection and entered into the celestial kingdom. Satan cannot tempt little children in this life, nor in the spirit world, nor after their resurrection. Little children who die before reaching the years of accountability will not be tempted; those born during the millennium, when Satan is bound and cannot tempt them, "shall grow up without sin unto salvation. Marriage, as understood by Latter-day Saints, is a covenant ordained to be everlasting. It is the foundation for eternal exaltation, for without it there could be no eternal progress in the kingdom of God.
This revelation has proved a wonderful, if not terrible shock to the believers in the doctrine that at death a man and his wife are forever separated and the family relationship comes to an eternal end. Yet there are very few, if they have natural feelings, who do not hope that the eternity of the family may prove to be a fact. Yet there is no principle which has been made the butt of coarser jokes, a greater jest by the vulgar and the unclean, and even by many who think themselves refined, than that of marriage.
Marriage is a principle which, when entered, presents more serious problems than any other. It should be received in the spirit of patience and love, even that greater love which comes through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing will prepare mankind for glory in the kingdom of God as readily as faithfulness to the marriage covenant.
Through this covenant, perhaps more than any other, we accomplish the perfect decree of the Divine will, but this covenant is only one of many required of man who seeks to do the will of the Father. The greatest honor in this life, and in the life to come — honor, dominion, and power in perfect love — are the blessings which come out of it.
These blessings of eternal glory are held in reserve for those who are willing to abide in this and all other covenants of the gospel. Others shall not be so blessed. Marriage is the grandest, most glorious, and most exalting principle connected with the gospel. It is that which the Lord holds in reserve for those who become his sons and daughters; all others are servants only, even if they gain salvation. They do not become members of the household of our Father and our God, if they refuse to receive the celestial covenant of marriage.
The Lord has informed us through his servants the prophets, that all things are governed by law. His house is a house of order, because all things within are obedient to law. He will not accept at the hand of man, an offering, vow, or contract, which is not entered into in accordance with the laws which govern in his kingdom and which he, the Lord, has established. Man-made obligations and agreements, in which the Lord does not enter, and which were not made by him, or by his word, which is his law, shall come to an end when men are dead.
Therefore, all marriage contracts, as well as other contracts and obligations made in this life by parties who have not accepted the everlasting gospel, must come to an end when the contracting parties have passed from this existence. In order to make the marriage contract valid and binding for eternity as well as for time, the contracting parties must enter into the marriage relationship in full obedience and accordance with the laws upon which such blessings are predicated.
The Lord has commanded us, as it is recorded in the revelations, that marriage among members of the Church should be performed in his holy house, and not for time only, but for time and all eternity. Therefore, those who are satisfied to receive a ceremony for time only, uniting them for this life, and are content with that, are ignorant of this fundamental principle of the gospel and its consequences, or they are in rebellion against the commandments of the Lord. Now, what I want to say is intended very largely for the parents of the young people. I think the parents, perhaps, are more to be blamed, because, in many instances, very many instances, they have not taught their children the sacredness of the marriage covenant.
It fills my heart with sadness when I see in the paper the name of a daughter or a son of members of this Church, and discover that she or he is going to have a ceremony and be married outside of the temple of the Lord, because I realize what it means, that they are cutting themselves off from exaltation in the kingdom of God.
These young people who seem to be so happy now, when they rise in the resurrection — and find themselves in the condition in which they will find themselves — then there will be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and bitterness of soul; and they have brought it upon themselves because of their lack of faith and understanding of the gospel, and from, I am sorry to say, the encouragement they have received many times from their own parents. Of course there are people who are not worthy to go to the temple, and therefore should not go to the temple.
No one should go to the temple except those who are worthy, as the Lord has said, "who [have] overcome by faith," and are cleansed and are just and true. If they are unclean, if they lack the faith, they had better stay out until they get the faith and are clean. The Lord says in regard to marriage: "For whatsoever things remain are by me: and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed. Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.
It has no claim upon them: when they are dead their contract, and obligations, and bonds come to an end; they have no claim upon each other, and no claim upon their children. Their children are left without parents, only as they themselves through their own faithfulness may be adopted into some other man's family. Do you want to go on in this brief span that is called mortality, loving the fashions — the temptations, the allurements, all that this world can offer — because they are pleasant, and then come up in the resurrection from the dead to be a servant, to wait upon those "who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and eternal weight of glory"?
That is what such persons are going to get. And it may be, if they are not honest and honorable they may even go into the terrestrial or the telestial kingdoms and may miss the celestial kingdom altogether, because we are going to receive according to our works. Now that is the end, as far as marriage is concerned, for those who are content to be married simply by the law of the land and not the law of God. But if we are married for time and for all eternity and it is sealed upon our heads by those who have the authority so to seal, and if we then keep our covenants and are faithful to the end, we shall come forth in the resurrection from the dead and receive the following promised blessings: "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them.
Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. Those who would not abide the law. The law of the new and everlasting covenant, which is all the covenants. And it is open to us; it is a free gift; it doesn't cost us anything: only righteousness, faith, obedience; and surely we can pay that price. It means, of course, giving up the things of the world; but is that a sacrifice? Does anybody consider that giving up the things that pertain to this world is a sacrifice? Some people would look upon it that way, but it isn't.
You cannot sacrifice anything for the gospel of Jesus Christ. It would be just as consistent if a man gave me a dollar and I gave him ten cents, and then I would go out and say that was a great sacrifice I made. So if you want to enter into exaltation and become as God, that is a son of God or a daughter of God, and receive a fulness of the kingdom, then you have got to abide in his law — not merely the law of marriage but all that pertains to the new and everlasting covenant — and then you have the "continuation of the lives" forever, for the Lord says: "This is eternal lives — to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent.
Now what about the others? Let us see what the Lord says: "Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law. That does not mean annihilation; that does not mean they are not going to get immortality. Every man will get immortality, will live forever. That is a free gift of God. The resurrection will come to every soul. Then what does the Lord mean when he says those who enter into the broad way enter into "the deaths"?
He means they enter into the world-to-come "separately and singly," and they have no continuation of the "lives," no increase. That is death. They don't go on; they come to an end as far as that progression is concerned. The Lord calls it "the deaths," and I am sure, I am confident, that every soul who rejects this commandment of the Lord and enters into the broad way, will discover when he enters into the eternities that he surely has entered into "the deaths," he has reached the end -- not the end of his life but the end of increase.
The gift promised to those who receive this covenant of marriage and remain faithful to the end, that they shall "have no end," means that they shall have the power of eternal increase. Only those who have this power will truly "know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. Who desires to enter the eternal world and be a servant, when the promise is held out that we may be sons and daughters of God? Yet there will be the vast majority who will enter into the eternal world as servants, and not as sons, and this simply because they think more of the world and its covenants, than they do of God and his covenants; simply because in their blindness of heart, they refuse to keep these sacred and holy commandments.
Oh, what bitterness there will be in the day of judgment, when every man receives his reward according to his works! Since marriage is ordained of God, and the man is not without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord, there can be no exaltation to the fulness of the blessings of the celestial kingdom outside of the marriage relation.
A man cannot be exalted singly and alone; neither can a woman. Each must have a companion to share the honors and blessings of this great exaltation. Marriage for time and all eternity brings to pass the crowning glory of our Father's kingdom, by which his children become his heirs, into whose hands he gives all things. No one can be deprived of exaltation who remains faithful. In other words, an undeserving husband cannot prevent a faithful wife from an exaltation and vice versa. In this case the faithful servant would be given to someone who is faithful. Not only was marriage instituted by the Lord to endure eternally, but it also naturally follows that the same is true of the family.
The plan given in the gospel for the government of man on this earth is typical of the laws governing in the kingdom of God. Is it possible to imagine a greater source of sorrow than to be left in the eternal world without claim on father or mother or children? The thought of a nation without the family unit as its fundamental foundation; where all the citizens are, comparatively, strangers to each other, and where natural affection is not found; where no family ties bind the groups together, is one of horror. Such a condition could lead to but one end — anarchy and dissolution.
Is it not reasonable to believe the same thing true in relation to the kingdom of God? If in that kingdom, there were no family ties and all men and women were "angels" without the natural kinships, as many people believe, could it be a place of happiness — a heaven? The prevailing doctrines that there are no such ties and that sex disappears in the granting of salvation to the righteous, certainly are not in accord with the scriptures.
The Lord said to John, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. The scriptures inform us that we are the offspring of God. It was in this manner that Jesus taught his disciples to pray, Moreover, each family unit is to be linked to the generation which went before, until all the faithful, who have proved their title to family membership through obedience to the gospel, shall be joined in one grand family from the beginning to the end of time, and shall find place in the celestial kingdom of God.
In this way all who receive the exaltation become heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ in the possession of eternal family relationships. There is no substitute for a righteous home. That may not be so considered in the world, but it is and ought to be in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The family is the unit in the kingdom of God. Outside of the celestial kingdom there is no family organization. That organization is reserved for those who are willing to abide in every covenant and every obligation which we are called upon to receive while we sojourn here in this mortal life.
I get a great deal of comfort out of the thought that if I am faithful and worthy of an exaltation, my father will be my father, and I will be subject to him as his son through all eternity; that I will recognize and know my mother and she will be my mother in all eternity; and my brothers and sisters will be my brothers and sisters for all eternity; and that my children and my wives will be mine in eternity. I don't know how some other people feel, but that is a glorious thought to me.
That helps to keep me sober. Every married man stands at the head of his household, that is, his immediate family. Thus I, for instance, will stand at the head of my family group by virtue of the sealing for time and eternity, and my children will belong to me. I will belong to my parents in their family group.
My father likewise, with his brothers and sisters, will belong to his father's unit in that family group, and his father to his father before him — all linked together generation to generation like a chain. So it will be of the righteous from the days of Adam down — Adam standing at the head as Michael, having authority and jurisdiction over his posterity in this large family group who have kept the commandments of God. Now that is the order of the priesthood. Of course there will be chains that will be broken, links that will be missing, because we can not force people into the kingdom.
Those who are unworthy to be joined in this grouping of families will have to stand aside, and those who are worthy will be brought together and the chain will go on just the same. Those who attain to the exaltation in the celestial kingdom shall have the power of eternal increase of posterity, and they shall be "above all, because all things are subject unto them.
These children will be like we were before we came into this world. We are taught in the scriptures that we are the offspring of God in the spirit, Jesus Christ being the Firstborn Son of our Eternal Father in that spirit world. The Lord created man in his own image, male and female, and the woman was given as a companion to the man because the Lord said, "It is not good that the man should be alone. There was no death in the world, for the fall of man came later. The scriptures say that, "Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow," and "Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.
Adam shall be known as the "prince of all, the ancient of days, " It was not "good" for man to be alone in the beginning, and it never was and never will be "good" for man to be alone. That man or that woman who remains "separately and singly" It is an inherent, or God-given desire, for a man when he becomes mature, to "leave his father and his mother" and "cleave unto his wife" Paul declared that, "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
The union of the two was required to complete man in the image of God. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. The Savior confirmed this doctrine when he said to the Jews: "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. When a man and his wife separate, the law of God has been broken. The Prophet Joseph taught that "marriage was an institution of heaven, instituted in the Garden of Eden; [and] that it is necessary it should be solemnized by the authority of the everlasting priesthood. Marriage as established in the beginning was an eternal covenant. The first man and the first woman were not married until death should part them, for at that time death had not come into the world.
The ceremony on that occasion was performed by the Eternal Father himself whose work endures forever. It is the will of the Lord that all marriages should be of like character, and in becoming "one flesh" the man and the woman are to continue in the married status, according to the Lord's plan, throughout all eternity as well as in this mortal life. Righteous parents throughout the world long for the continuation of their union with each other and with their children beyond the grave.
Poets have sung of such unions down through the ages. It is safe to say that no husband who dearly loves his wife, and who has been called upon to lay her away in death, ever did so without a yearning desire that he may meet her again and renew the companionship in eternity forever.