ARE YOU READY?
You have gone to bed; but are still awake. You hear a noise in the house that could be an intruder. You sneak slowly toward the noise. As you turn a corner you see a man holding a gun. BANG! You are dead. Are you ready for this?
You are driving home at night when come upon a curve. You see another car coming your way. Before you can respond he crosses into your lane and strikes you head on. It was just another drunk driver. You are dead. Are you ready for this?
You are in the doctor’s office for what seems like a nasty cold. The doctor after reviewing your file looks stark. He says: “I have some bad news… calm comes over the room… You have antimicrobial resistance bacteria. You are going to die. After a stark moment, you ask him: “How long do I have?” He responds: “A recent US study found the median time to failure is 50 hours. Most treatment failures occur within 72 hours of admission.” You will soon be dead. Are you ready for this?
You have never taken an afterlife serious. You have been too busy with the pleasures of life. You have a loving wife and three children. It is not too late to prepare; but he who hesitates is lost. Now is the time to take it very serious. Every civilization on earth believes in a god and an afterlife. They have all had communication–in one way or another–with the invisible world. I have heard many that claim they had an out of body experience. I, too, have had out-of-body experiences. There can be no doubt for me. Before it is too late, you must now consider afterlife a real probability; and make an in-depth thorough investigation. That is the purpose of this article. It is long and detailed; but, the reward can be more wonderful than you can begin to imagine.
Have you not asked yourself, “could the Bible actually be true?” But, your peers have no such belief. Those who follow others inherit the same consequences. Put your hand on a hot stove and see what happens. If you do it again, will the consequence change? Judgment is same for all.
The stories of Noah, Moses, and Jesus are recognized as true by millions of people. A story of the great flood is found in all civilizations. Adam lived to teach Noah’s father. Noah lived to the time and Abraham; and Abraham spent 39 years with Noah and his son. Over six million descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob witnessed the captivity and deliverance out of Egypt. They are scattered all over the world; yet, they still maintain their heritage and honor the Passover; when the angel of death ended the lives of all first born in Egypt—except Israel. This was so terrible that Pharaoh immediately freed Israel.
The records of Israel are of a people that have actually communicated with God. All of Israel heard the voice of God on the mount; but, said “not unto us but unto but unto Moses.” Why doesn’t God speak today? The Prophet Isaiah wrote: “1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isa. 59)
There have never been a people on the earth that were recognized by God’s that did not communicate directly wtih God. How else could they be of God? If you were never called and never attended a police academy, what are the chances that you would be recognized by them as one of theirs? Would they not put you in jail? There is a jail after death for those who fail in mortal life called the spirits in prison.
Every minister of God recognized by Him has to be called by the spirit of revelation and be ordained by one holding that priesthood. Not even Jesus could violate this law. He was the only man ever ordained under the hands of the Father: 4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron [by the spirit of revelation]. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5) Jesus became the only begotten of the Father through this ordination.
My father was an elder of the Melchisedec Priesthood. He was called and ordained an elder by Samuel Martin—a high priest. He called me to the office of an elder with the approval of the Voree Branch. Apostle L. D. Hickey—one of the Twelve under James J. Strang—ordained Samuel Martin, who ordained Lloyd Flanders, who ordained me an elder on July 8, 1956. I hold authority from God to bring those seeking the Kingdom of God and inherit the best in eternity. “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7)
I have not lived a perfect life. Jesus was the only one. “22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” (1 Pet. 2) The great Apostle Paul whose mission was to the gentiles severely persecuted the Jews. What is important when a member of the Kingdom of God errors, is to change and do the best they can. I have printed modern text editions of many books and references that were not available to all. Here is a library that offers sufficient guidance on eternal matters. Possibly most important, I made a new edition of the Book of the Law of the Lord; which will be discussed later. Since it is available, all who fail to abide by these laws cannot plead ignorance before the judgment bar of God.
Are you ready to open your heart and mind to the possibility that there is life after mortal death?
“All men know that they must die. And it is important that we should understand the reasons and causes of our exposure to the vicissitudes of life and of death, and the designs and purposes of God in our coming into the world, our sufferings here, and our departure hence. What is the object of our coming into existence, then dying and falling away, to be here no more? It is but reasonable to suppose that God would reveal something in reference to the matter, and it is a subject we ought to study more than any other. We ought to study it day and night, for the world is ignorant in reference to their true condition and relation. If we have any claim on our Heavenly Father for anything, it is for knowledge on this important subject. Could we read and comprehend all that has been written from the days of Adam, on the relation of man to God and the angels in a future state, we should know very little about it. Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject.
“We are only capable of comprehending that certain things exist, which we may acquire by certain fixed principles. If men would acquire salvation, they have got to be subject, before they leave this world, to certain rules and principles, which were fixed by an unalterable decree before the world was.
“The disappointment of hopes and expectations at the resurrection would be indescribably dreadful.
“The organization of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly beings, was agreeable to the most perfect order and harmony: their limits and bounds were fixed irrevocably, and voluntarily subscribed to in their heavenly estate by themselves, and were by our first parents subscribed to upon the earth. Hence the importance of embracing and subscribing to principles of eternal truth by all men upon the earth that expect eternal life.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 50)
All who earnestly and deliberately investigate this question come to the conclusion that there is life after death. You ask “How can I discover which of all the churches is true?” Where there are two opinions, they can both be wrong; but, only one can be right.
The greatest treasure a man can receive in mortal life is to find the best afterlife and make every effort to find the path to the best after death. Few people ever obtain life’s greatest treasures.
Here is the gate and path to those treasures. Like almost everything in life there are no rewards without sacrifice. These treasures cost you nothing; but an open mind, motivation, and some of your time. Please bear with me as I take you on a trip where the destination is more wonderful than you ever imagined.
IS THERE A GOD?
EXISTENCE OF GOD
THE RULE OF THIRDS
THE GOLDEN [GOD] RATIO
NAME OF GOD
ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
CHARACTER OF GOD
PERFECTIONS OF GOD
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD LOST
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD RESTORED
LAW OF GOD
CREATION OF MAN
GREATEST SPIRITUAL TREASURES
WHO WILL BE SAVED?
BAPTISM OF THE DEAD
It has been said that nothing in life is free. In order to obtain the best blessings/treasures it is requisite that we keep an open mind and gather sufficient data. The best jobs require an investigation of the company to be certain that it will be pleasing to you. Then, you need to appropriate resume, qualification letter detailing how the company is right for you, and then obtain an interview. This is also true for other things in life. About 85% of people are followers. These will never have anything better than those whom they follow.
I started college when I got out of high school; but, I was not sufficiently motivated because I was never taught the first rule of how to carefully examine the goal compared to other outcomes in life. Why was this best for me? The result was that I dropped out of college.
Then eleven years later I went back to college and while working full-time earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science with a 3.87 GPA. Then, while working full-time, I earned a Masters degree in Business Administration. What was missing the first time was appreciating the treasures to be obtained from a proper goal; and then being motivated to stay on the path to reach that goal. Few goals are impossible to obtain with the right goal and hard work.
Very few people find the greatest treasures that can be obtained in life. The fastest growing group in the US is those who care not about God. This is their right. Everyone is the master of his own destiny; but, we get what we put into it. This article is intended to give you a proper perspective on life and its treasures, what treasures exist after this life, and how to obtain them. My challenge is to all who claim to love their family with all their heart; and do not want to lose them after death. You were most likely married “until death do you part.” At death you will lose your wife and children. Do you love them enough to investigate life after death? Marriage in the Kingdom of God is for time and eternity; because everything in this kingdom is eternal. Here is how to have your family with you in eternity. Are you willing to accept the challenge?
Let us start at the beginning. The first great blessing is LOVE. Man and many other creatures from birds to animals receive this blessing. Our first love is our mother. There have been thousands of poems and writings that try to explain this love. None are adequate.
We don’t have to earn our first Love. Love is imprinted in our DNA. Those creatures without this imprint have no love. They bear their young and then leave them. Love is essential to the happiness of man. Man is born one of the most helpless of creatures. Love is essential to his survival. Now ask yourself how we came to be imprinted with love.
When we receive a mother’s love, we develop a bond based on love; which can guide us through the rest of our life. If nurtured, this most important blessing will continue to grow and provide us with the happiest life. Through experience we learn to love family, friends, spouse, children, and everything in nature. It is a most important trait for happiness; and costs us nothing.
Other rewards in life are the result of our decisions. Man was given a free moral agency. Every decision carries with it consequences. If you put your hand on a hot stove, you will get burned. This is law of natural consequence. It is much easier and safer in many things to learn from the experience of others. Some things simply require experience. You could read all the books on aviation; but, you will never learn to fly an airplane without personal experience. You could read the Bible a thousand times and never come to a proper understanding of God because it is obtained only through revelation.
Be careful when drinking from a stream. My mother told me a time they came upon a stream while walking together in the San Louis Valley. They all agreed that it was some of the best water they ever tasted. Then, when they came around a bind upstream, they found a dead cow lying in the stream. And so it is with those who follow others rather than going to the source. The fountain may be pure and the stream polluted.
One of our problems is that we tend to develop opinions without adequate investigation. Personal relationships, politics, and religion are the most enduring and should be entered into with in-depth decision making. Then, we need to keep our mind and heart open because we could be wrong. Look how the democrats in the 2016 Presidential Election were sure Hillary was going to win. Now there are millions suffering from PTSD. They don’t comprehend how to resolve their problem without rioting and other such actions. Those who kept their mind open to the most important issues to the country voted for Trump and found happiness.
We need to look at the world’s greatest civilizations. Where is the great civilization of Persia today? What of Babylon, Greece, Egypt, and Rome? Did they have anything in common? Each lived only for their own gratification. They each worshipped gods which never communicated with them. Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Rome, and other countries have all persecuted Israel. What has happened to them? Even Hitler appreciated that they were God’s elect; so he tried to eliminate them.
Even today the world fails to appreciate that Israel is the elect people of God. They touched the hot stove (in having Jesus crucified) and got burned (most killed by Rome and the others scattered to the four winds and losing their status as God’s people). This will all change very soon. “17 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. 18 And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. 19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezek. 11)
We all make hundreds of decisions every day. Through these decisions we develop opinions; and we tend to set those opinions in cement. Most likely 90% of these base their opinions on those of their peers. They are followers. Few are independent thinkers. When we follow others, we are like sheep following the loudest baa; and must experience the same consequences as those we follow. When Babylon did not learn from history what happened to Persia, they experienced the same consequences. When Egypt did not learn from Babylon, they were destroyed. When Rome did not learn from those “mighty” civilizations before them, they dissolved into history. Now the ten kingdoms of Europe—which were the ten kingdoms of Rome—face the same decisions; and can only suffer the same consequence. They have all persecuted Israel.
When Sodom and Gomorrah adopted a free love society and used the body for things that were not intended, they were destroyed down to every man, woman, and child. Only Lot and his family survived. Now the US Supreme Court has made same sex marriage the law of the land; and has assured the country’s demise. They declared destruction upon the US.
Whenever man departs from natural laws, he must suffer the consequences. When man departs from spiritual laws, spiritual destruction is assured. Love is a spiritual blessing. When a person turns from love to hate, he faces the greatest emotional strain. The torment becomes so great that many have brought death upon themselves. The same happens when love is lost. It is said of Cleopatra, that she used a cobra to bring death upon herself. Love must be cherished above all.
Killing is the worst crime against nature. First, it brings a severe judgment upon those who kill another or anything needlessly. Many have killed simply for trophies. They have touched the hot stove.
None—who are guilty of killing another–can enter the Kingdom of God in mortal life; except for two instances: (1) when necessary to protect your life; and (2) in a war declared by God through His holy prophets. Killing violates our DNA and causes such severe emotional stress that many commit suicide. The Los Angeles Times found the suicide rates among veterans is at least 50% greater than others with the same demographics. Our DNA has been programmed not to kill. An estimated 22 veterans take their own lives every day.
All advertisers know not to try and change opinions. Rather they use a person’s wants. Man seems to always be looking for something that appears better than what they have. Advertisers appeal to these wants with slogans like “new and improved.” Every time a new cell phone or such is introduced, people flock to it. Stuff becomes most important in their lives. This is a great destroyer of family and society.
Man does not like to make complex decisions. He prefers to use easy answers. This can lead to the worst of resolutions. In early life we tend to follow the choices of our peers. Following peers is an easy choice. But, if you follow them in error, instead of rewards you will eventually lose friends and become known as untrustworthy. Let us say these friends tend to lie to resolve situations. It is said that practice makes perfect. Not so. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Only the best decisions lead to the best in life.
Complex decision making must consider the long-term. Marriage is one of the most important. Many in our society today elect to cohabit before marriage. Data shows they are more likely to be less satisfied in marriage and are more likely to get divorced. Divorce is often one of the most painful experiences in life. When children are involved, the pain is even worse and remains with children often through the rest of their lives.
The best decisions require the best information available at the time. The fastest growing group in the US is those with no religious beliefs. Yet, they recognize the importance of such beliefs when they teach basic moral precepts. Do they not expect their children to honor them? Do they not teach their children to love others? Do they not teach their children not to kill, commit adultery, steal, lie, and to seek the property of others? These are in the Constitution of the law of God. They are actually teaching principles of religion. It is not better to choose the good and resist the evil? They take the first step in accepting and teaching religion; but, refuse to take the next step.
When a person travels, do they not adequately prepare? If a man wanted to visit the Grand Canyon, would he not first prepare a plan? Where is it? How do I get there? What do I need to do to prepare? Who would embark on a trip without preparations? This life is only a very brief moment in our complete lifespan. We were first organized as spirits before the foundation of the world. At birth, our spirit is united with that body and becomes a living soul. At death, our spirit then returns to the God who organized it.
Every person that lives during this mortal estate will inherit an immortal physical body similar to Adam and Eve before the fall. Our spirit is taken to one of two places after mortal death to await our resurrection: (1) those who are members of the Kingdom of God are taken back to the bosom of Abraham the father of those who believe; (2) all others are taken to the spirits in prison (erroneously called hell).
Members of the Kingdom of God receive their resurrected bodies in the first resurrection; which is near at hand. All others have to await their resurrection as ghosts for a thousand years and come forth in the second resurrection. After a short season, Satan and all his followers—a third of the host of heaven—will be cast off for eternity to exist only as ghosts and have no association with the rest of creation. All members of the Kingdom of God will inherit the earth in its paradisiacal glory. There will be no more death, no sorrow, no crying, nor anything painful. “7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Rev. 21)
A child is very receptive to instruction and example. Each should be guided in the development of the best of human traits. One famous man kept a list of the best character traits. He would select one to concentrate on every day. Character will follow a person all through life. Many companies consider character a major consideration in hiring.
Your good character is the most important asset you have. It takes a lifetime to build; but can be lost in an instant. Once lost, it is difficult to regain. Your true character is revealed when no one else is looking. Often, people decide to act based on short term gain, or an easy fix to a problem and end up doing the wrong thing.
The old adage “you are what you do” is true. Failure to consider the long-term consequences of your acts can be disastrous. By study and focusing on the importance of character, you will be guided by principles, moral strength, and integrity to do the right thing. Nothing is more important for true success in your life. Many of the best character traits are learned in the first seven years of life. Parents have a great responsibility to their children. Lists of the best personality traits are easily found on the Internet.
Our character effects decisions that we make. When confronted with complex decisions, follow the business model. Keep an open mind, identify the goal, gather information, and determine the path to achieve the desired goal. Investigation into time and eternity, the purpose of life, path to the happiest goals, and integrity are imperative to lasting happiness.
Marriage is the second most important decision in life. When my wife, Mary, and I met there was a natural attraction. Then we took great effort to understand one another and examine our goals—spending many late hours in her parent’s kitchen. We went steady three weeks later, were engaged in another three weeks at her Junior High School Prom, and married a little over a year later. This marriage has brought the greatest happiness. We have now been married for 55 years and have been blessed with four children and nine grandchildren. The mother is always the great bonding force in marriage. She talks with our children every day. It is a time to rejoice when we get together with them and our grandchildren.
A good friend of mine conducted many marriages because he never charged. One of the first rules he made sure each couple understood was to never take a dispute to bed—regardless how late they had to stay up. Every dispute must be resolved at the earliest opportunity. It only gets worse the next day; and if allowed to fester can destroy a marriage.
Those who allow themselves to be driven only by emotion are most likely to fail. We have the wonderful ability to reason, use common sense, consider many variables, and then make the best possible decision. Divorce is one of the most unpleasant of life experiences. It has now risen to above 50% in the US.
Many couples today see cohabitation as the easy answer to their relationship. They fail to look ahead and plan life based on the best long-term objective. For millennia man has learned that marriage is the best solution to happiness. Like other long-term decisions, a careful examination leads to the best decisions. Alternative life styles are most likely to bring emotional distress; and are counterproductive to society.
There were some cities long ago that took the path of free love. Traditional marriage was not seen as man’s path to the greatest happiness. The simply did what they wanted. When a very religious man visited with two others, they immediately wanted the men. What happened to those cities? They were all destroyed down to the last man, woman, and child. This abnormal association was named after the major city: Sodom. Now, our Supreme Court has made same sex marriage the law of the land. The court has condemned the country to destruction. When man departs from natural laws, the outcome—like those who cohabit—is not the greatest happiness.
“Cohabitation in the United States has increased by more than 1,500 percent in the past half century. In 1960, about 450,000 unmarried couples lived together. Now the number is more than 7.5 million. The majority of young adults in their 20s will live with a romantic partner at least once, and more than half of all marriages will be preceded by cohabitation. This shift has been attributed to the sexual revolution and the availability of birth control, and in our current economy, sharing the bills makes cohabiting appealing. But when you talk to people in their 20s, you also hear about something else: cohabitation as prophylaxis.
“In a national survey conducted in 2001 by the National Marriage Project, then at Rutgers and now at the University of Virginia, nearly half of 20-somethings agreed with the statement, “You would only marry someone if he or she agreed to live together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along.” About two-thirds said they believed that moving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce.
“But that belief is contradicted by experience. Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.” (New York Times, 04/15/2012)
“I’d not put much thought into the emotional pain that divorce causes until I went through my own divorce. Divorce was just something that happened to people, just another turn of events. I had this misguided belief that a couple sat down and came to a mutual agreement to divorce, and moved on from there.”
“Then came my own divorce, intense emotional pain and years of healing for everyone touched by the situation. There is nothing like personal experience to change your perspective!” (Cathy Meyer, divorce support expert)
The effect of divorce on children often causes emotional distress that can last most of their remaining life and affect their own marriage. Divorce often brings anxiety, insecurity, lower self-esteem, anger, depression, poorer social skills, higher divorce rates, and learning problems for children of divorces. When parents re-marry, their chances of another divorce are much higher.
“Marriage is a relationship based on trust, faith and feelings for each other. This is why whenever a partner is involved in infidelity or cheating; it causes pain and suffering to the other partner. Very few marriages can survive the fatal impact of infidelity. This is why infidelity often becomes one of the leading factors behind dissolution of marriage. Infidelity is a violation of mutually agreed rules or boundaries that a couple assume in a relationship. When one starts cheating with his or other partner and the fact gets revealed by the other partner, the trust and faith does not remain the same. In such cases, the other partner feels like captive in a baseless relationship and look for ways to get away from it.” (Marriage Statistics)
Wonderful spiritual treasures are available during our mortal life to those who earnestly seek the best in life. Only about 15% of people are independent thinkers and greatly enjoy learning and living by truth. These learn that the more you learn that is true, the more you want to learn. Most are simply not independent thinkers. They choose to follow the easy path by following others. They never benefit from the treasures of truth. There is an old Arabic Apothegm. The largest growing group in the US is those that know not and does even care that he knows not.
He who knows not and
knows not that he knows not,
He is a fool – shun him.
He who knows not and
knows not that he knows not,
He is simple – teach him.
He who knows and
knows not that he knows,
He is asleep – awaken him.
He who knows and
knows that he knows,
He is wise – follow him.
“13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” (Prov. 3)
How glorious it would be to have a proper understanding of life, death, and eternity. A man who walks without a correct understanding will only become more miserable as he ages. Breaking the law of man is a crime. In today’s legal system those with money have little fear of punishment. No so in eternity. God’s laws are absolute and every person is subject to them. “1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. 2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. 3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.” (Prov. 7)
Satan rebelled against God during our spiritual estate and will be cast off as a ghost with all of his followers for eternity. When man went astray in the days of Noah, all but eight souls died, surely asking themselves “why me?” Every prophecy given through a prophet of God has been perfectly fulfilled at the appointed time. Desolation is waiting on our doorstep.
“1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. 3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. 4 The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. 5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” (Isa. 24)
Those who choose to walk with God and obey His commandments are promised blessings beyond comprehension. There was only one that lived a perfect life without sin: our Savior Jesus Christ. All others should understand their condition. If they should die without obeying the Lord, there is a prison awaiting them. Are you ready?
Let us consider the treasures available to the man who values truth and seeks it with an open heart. Those who obey the will of God are forgiven of their sins. What a great comfort that will be on a person’s death bed. Even Constantine—one of the world’s worst killers—called for baptism on his death bed. Too late! He was not ready.
One of the greatest treasures is to have the Spirit of Truth to guide us toward the greatest treasures of knowledge, wisdom, and truth. “13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (Jesus, John 16)
Members of the Kingdom of God are given a blessing of health. If they should become ill, they are to call on the elders to administer to them that they may be healed. “16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18.They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16)
The man who ordained me an elder said that in a community of saints a doctor could not make a living. He told me of a time when his father had fallen off a wagon and was run over by the wheel. His pelvis was crushed and he was told he would never walk again. Apostle L. D. Hickey walked from Kansas down to Missouri and administered to him. He got up walked; and never even had a limp.
When I was visiting him in Missouri in the summer of 1956, his daughter thought she was stung by a bee. The next morning we found the fang marks. His oldest son and I were standing in the front yard when a copperhead snake slithered between us.
My mother had heart trouble. She was prone to heart failure. When she started to feel the onset of failure, she would call me and I would administer to her by proxy. She would call within a few minutes later to tell me that she was fine. Then, one time she couldn’t find me and the medics were called. They were barely able to bring her back. She was never the same and finally asked to have the doctors pull the plug. There are literally thousands of such stories; but, administering to the sick is a blessing to believers. “14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5)
There are also the many gifts of the Holy Ghost. The Apostle Paul wrote: “1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit.”
Why are none of these gifts present in sectarian churches today? John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, writing about the loss of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, actually commented on the loss of the Christian faith. “The cause of this was not, as has been supposed, because there was no more occasion for them, because all the world was become Christians. This is a miserable mistake; not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christian. The real cause of it was that the love of many, almost all Christians, so-called, was waxed cold. The Christians had no more of the spirit of Christ than the other heathens. The Son of Man, when He came to examine His Church, could hardly find faith upon earth. This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian church–because the Christians were turned heathens again, and only had a dead form left.” (John Wesley’s Works, Vol. 7, 89; 26-27)
It would seem that man is two: (1) he that knows God, obeys His will, and enjoys the blessings of the Kingdom of God; and (2) those that care not and have to suffer whatever afflicts man. The gate into the Kingdom of God is open to all but murderers.
Since there are so very few called of God to enter the kingdom in mortal life, only a very few will even have the desire to seek the blessings of life and eternity. They need to seriously consider this question:
IS THERE A GOD?
The greatest blessing in mortal life is to know God and obey the gospel; by which one is adopted into the Kingdom of God and is offered the greatest blessings in life and eternity.
A correct understanding of the attributes, character, and perfections of God are prerequisite to having faith that leads to salvation. Salvation is being taken to the bosom of Abraham and saints of God after mortal death, coming forth in the first resurrection, living with Jesus and all worthy saints of God for the thousand year Sabbath of Creation, and then inheriting the restored earth forever.
The fastest growing group in the US is those who either do not believe there is a God, or simply don’t care. Becoming a member of this group is in complete opposition to everything man has learned the last six thousand years. If you wait until you are down with a severe non-curable illness or on your death bed, it is too late. Let’s call your life up till now point A. You are now at point B. The rest of your life follows a path to point C—death.
There is a mass of evidence greater on the subject of afterlife than on any other subject. Many have died, seen their bodies lying dead, and then returned to their bodies. This is great; but, what if you do not return? Are you ready for happens next? I have had out-of-body experiences so I know for a certainty of our being a spirit joined with a physical body. There are hundreds of others that have had out-of-body experiences.
EXISTENCE OF GOD
Every people on earth have appreciated the existence of God and recognized that this life is but a brief moment in our total lifespan. It is only a snap of the fingers compared with eternity. An error on this subject will cause the greatest pain at death. We must either walk on the path that leads to the greatest treasures or inherit the least. Jesus said: “2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14) Do you know what these places are? Is it possible to inherit the best if we do not walk on the path that leads there? You have the choice of inheriting a run-down shack or a mansion on a hill. Are you willing to investigate? Or, are you a follower that will hope somehow that everything will be OK? History and prophecy renders this a serious error. If we disregard history and know not prophecy, we are like beasts of the field prepared for the slaughter.
With our largest telescopes man is now able to view about 14.5 billion light years from earth. What is there in space after that? Space and time have neither a beginning, nor an end. There are creations without end beyond the knowledge of man today. Everything that exists must abide by natural laws.
Since all matter that is at rest remains at rest until acted upon by an outside force, it follows there must be a highly intelligent and powerful force acting on everything in space. Without such control there would be only chaos. Let’s consider one issue of space and our universe. Scientists believe that this universe began with a big bang. Let us accept that theory for a moment. How was the matter in this big bang organized? If there was a big bang, something had to cause it. Only a superior intelligence with superior power could organize the matter required and cause such an event. Like time and space we are told that God is without beginning or end.
James J. Strang (the last prophet to live on this land) offered conclusive evidence on the existence of God. He entered a debate with a Mr. Edwin Burgess on this subject. In part, he wrote:
“14. Geography, natural and political, is proved by the testimony of men. Yet its leading facts are undoubted. There probably may not be a man in the United States who has seen the city of Timbuktu, the Chinese wall, or the sea of Aral. Who doubts their existence? Only the insane. What has produced such universal credence to facts that none of us know? Simple human testimony. The words of men who have seen them, and their words by hearsay second, third and fourth handed.
“15. And this testimony has not been by any means uniform. All who had the means of knowing agree in the main point, the existence of those objects, however much they disagree in the details concerning them. Consequently all men except the merely insane believe their testimony that such places really exist, but disagree according to the several witnesses in their characteristics.
“16. Believing this credence of mankind well founded, I appeal to similar evidence to prove a God. HE HAS BEEN SEEN OF MEN. In this the testimony of all mankind concurs. I shall not attempt to give the evidence in detail. It would require a re-writing of the history of the earth. Every nation under the whole heavens furnishes its quota of that mass of evidence which, if written out, would crowd libraries–the testimony of men that they have seen God. From the earliest times of which we have written records to this present, there never was one nation which did not give its share to this testimony. Neither savage tribe or civilized people has refused its contribution.
“17. I do not mean that each and every individual gives his own testimony in the premises. But there have been men in every nation and among every people who said in their day and among their people that they had seen God, and conversed with him. And that fact is preserved in their histories and traditions.
“18. The Mosaic account (so called) is any thing but unsupportd in the premises. Nor is it backed alone by the Jewish prophets. The Egyptians, Chinese, Chaldeans, Hindoos, Phoenicians, Greeks, [Page 159/471] Romans, Scythians, Germans, Britons and Gauls–all the ancient world–had men standing among them, of all ranks, from the king on his throne to the peasant in the hovel, who testified that they saw God and conversed with him.
“19. The modern Chinese, Hindoos, Persians, Turks, Greeks, Egyptians, Italians, Germans, French, Britons and Scandinavians, all have men among them, men of learning and of good report, at this present day who assert that they have seen God, or some of the myriads of spirits in subjection to him, and in rebellion against him.
“20. Among the savage nations of America, Africa, Asia and the islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans not one people is found where similar testimony is not furnished from generation to generation. And though this testimony is often only of the seeing of some of the inferior spirits, and not of God himself, yet I doubt not it is equally in point. For if I make good the existence of a world of spirits, I think you will have no difficulty in acknowledging one superior, a Lord of the universe. Even should you take issue on that point, showing a world of supernatural beings, lays a good foundation for showing that one is supreme, that is God.
“21. The existence of this testimony you will not deny. As a man of reading, acquainted with history, you are bound to acknowledge it. IS IT TRUE? CAN IT BE FALSE? Have men in all the ancient nations from China to the Pillars of Hercules, and of all ranks from the king to the beggar, and of all characters from the philosopher to the dunce, with all their national divisions and animosities, conspired together to impose a lie on their fellow men? And have men of every faith, and of every nation, and of every age, from Abraham till myself, made their whole lives one living lie for the purpose of palming off such an imposition on our brothers, our sisters, our wives and our children? And in such a cause, with scarcely a point of unity but this, and ten thousand points of diversity, many of which have drenched the earth in blood, have such men traversed earth and sea to find fellow conspirators in the unknown isles which the covetousness of commerce and the rapacity of conquest never discovered?
“23. Have sage, philosopher and statesman joined hands with jugglers, impostors and frightened fools to impose bootless lies on posterity and friends as well as strangers? And is there no truth in man, that when those nearest and dearest to them offered their lives in blood and fire to such a faith, none of these have confessed the imposture to save a father a brother or a child?
“23. In all else the united testimony of those who have studied the facts is deemed sufficient and satisfactory proof. The facts of geology, the facts of astronomy, the facts of chemistry, the facts of botany, the facts of zoology, are all proved by testimony like this in kind, less in accumulation. And upon facts so proved are based the principles of those sciences. The facts were thus determined. And the principles are but deductions from them.
“24. It is not necessary to give samples where masses are at hand. No man in his senses will deny that the existence of God, the Lord of the universe, a being of intelligence, motive and will, is proved by more testimony than that of Julius Caesar. And a world of spirits is proved by more living witnesses, and has been in every generation of men, than can or ever could be adduced to prove the existence of one half the species of living animals on the earth.
“25. It is but in very modern times, in times very recent, that people have been ashamed to acknowledge these things even in this country, and such a feeling is now limited to a very small portion of the earth. Our fathers and grandfathers talked of supernatural beings seen by themselves and friends, with awe to be sure, but with as little shamefacedness as in speaking of birds, beasts or fishes of rare kinds.
“26. And the time that has since elapsed has changed appearances only, not facts. Enter into the closet of your friends’ hearts, open the door that shame and the fear of being called superstitious has shut, induce men to speak to you as they commune with their own hearts, and how many men will you find who have never beheld the supernatural? How many who have never been spoken to by the invisible? How many who have never been led by the intangible?
“27. The world is now a vast crowd of living witnesses of the supernatural, shamed down to silence by the Atheistic doctrines of modern christianity. This truth is a spring that can never be dried up. A generation shall yet arise who, taking facts as they find them, will make religion a science, studied by as exact rules as mathematics. Then will these facts be sought for as are new discoveries in geology and astronomy. Facts well attested will be generalized. Rules be drawn from them. Man’s prejudices will cease to minister to his blindness. The mouth of the seer will be opened, and the whole earth enlightened.
“28. I do not flatter myself that this argument will be generally satisfactory. But I think I may safely pledge myself to make a better answer to any proof that can be made in this country of the existence of the city of St. Petersburgh, or of the Pope of Rome, than any man can make to this. Sincerely and truly,
JAMES J. STRANG.” (Gospel Herald, Vol. 3, Oct. 19, 1848)
How did man come of an articulate language? The very earliest evidence of man reflects an understanding of an articulate language. This is one of the grand differences between man and all other creatures. James J. Strang, in part, wrote the following:
“47. As man has never in any known instance been found in possession of articulate language, and as in millions on millions of cases he is positively known to be destitute of it, the inevitable conclusion is, that by nature he has no articulate language. Did he invent it? Could he originate it? Vain thought! There is not an instance known where he has added one articulate sound to the store with which man was found at the period of the earliest authentic records.
“48. It is hardly conceivable that a man destitute of language should know the want of it. Certainly it is impossible that one who was destitute of all the arts and sciences, should see any need of a language, or have any desire to possess one. And it is not by any means conceivable that a people destitute of language should posses arts and sciences.
“49. Man untaught is one of the weakest, most dependent and inefficient of all animals. Other animals, cast off in the early period of their existence seem very well able to take care of themselves.–Man is almost sure to perish. The knowledge that nature or god has made their universal heritage, is usually sufficient to provide for all their wants. In man, even under favorable circumstances, it is barely sufficient to preserve life. Can you conceive that, placed in such circumstances, a mere untutored animal of the forest, the swamps or the prairie, more dependent and inefficient in providing the means of life than any domestic animal, man should ever have a desire for an articulate language? Or that utterly destitute of such a language, he should ever possess any such knowledge of arts and sciences as would make language desirable?
“50. And can you dream of such folly as that such a being should invent a language? As well might you talk of one of the dogs or cows about the streets of Racine turning out pedagogue, with a full set of articulations and set definitions to all or at least enough to make up conversation. And the next effort of course would be to compel the rest of his fellow animals to learn from him this first art, of the use of which they could not form the slightest idea.–To believe that man originated language, you must be able to believe all this possible.
“51. From whom did man derive articulate language? Not from any of the animals of the earth. None of them have it. They all have a language of the passions, as a natural power, never learned, always possessed. All know it, and none can improve one iota beyond their usual endowment. Man, subject to the same wants, and still more inefficient by nature, has also a language of the passions, about equally expressive, always possessed, never learned. And he has superadded thereto a language consisting of an immense variety of articulations, none by original endowment; all learned. He did not originate it. It is folly worse than insanity to say so. He did not derive it from any inferior animal. None possess it.-Whence came it? From the superior. From him to whom it is a positive endowment, not a transitory improvement.
“52. Who is that superior? An animal similar to man, but one step above him in the scale of being? He is not found on the earth.–Geologists have no where discovered his fossil remains. Antiquarians discover none of the works of his hands. The pale faith of the wildest tradition has never named him. IT IS THE SUPERNATURAL. IT IS A BEING POSSESSED of INTELLIGENCE, MOTIVE and WILL, the greatest of whom we call God, the Lord, because he rules over the universe.
“53. With this accords universal tradition, which every where testifies that the superior, commonly called the supernatural, can speak the articulate language, never, except in two or three rare instances, accords the same power to the inferior. In those instances it is treated as a marvel, though naturally they are not one whit behind man in it.
“54. Thus philosophy accords with all tradition, and justifies the divine records. Man was made of the dust of the earth, as were the beasts or the field. But God, intending to give him dominion over them, made him in personal form like himself, that he might be respected as their ruler, and taught him the art of speaking, that he might be qualified with intelligence and knowledge for that purpose. Truly and sincerely, JAMES J. STRANG.” (Gospel Herald, Vol. 3, Oct. 26, 1848)
What is the true nature of causation? Newton’s first law of physics is: “In an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a net force.” James J. Strang explained this.
“131. To this mighty question, “what is causation?” four different answers, and no more can be given–the skeptical, the material, the pantheistic, and the rational or philosophic. To assert that man is utterly ignorant of the true nature of causation, is total skepticism. I think there are none who will in a practical sense pretend to any such ignorance. However ignorant mankind may be of what they call original, or primary causes, they have generally determined on evidence satisfactory to most men present and immediate causes.–The skepticism which is affected concerning primary causes is not applied to anything which is matter of practice. Though men may be ignorant of the true cause of many of the phenomena of nature, we never refuse investigation of their causes, nor suggest that they are causeless, or that their causes cannot be known.”
“154. Matter cannot move itself, and, of course, cannot move other matter without moving itself first of all. 2. There can be no effect without motion. Then does it follow irresistibly that every effect must be produced by mind, as its true and only cause. Thus is our fundamental proposition demonstrated, as we proposed in the beginning of this number.
“155. Before we proceed to the second, or special division of the argument, let us pause a moment to consider what is essentially and absolutely implied in the very idea of causation in itself. Every cause, to originate effects, must act, so far forth, at least, as to produce motion. And to act, three things are clearly necessary. The given cause must have the power or will, the knowledge and the desire, or the emotion to act.
“156. As this is a point of the highest importance, and rather remote from the process of ordinary thought, I may be permitted to illustrate it by a familiar example. Suppose that I could endue the pen, with which I am tracing these lines, with volition or power to act; that alone would evidently not be sufficient to effect action.–The pen must have something more than simple power. It must know how to act. I must then add the knowledge necessary to the development of its power.
“157. But neither will these two properties suffice for the endowment of causation. The pen will not act merely because it has power to act, and knows how to exert its power; it must have some emotion or love, conferring the desire to put forth its power according to its knowledge. I then add on this third quality of emotion, and it will immediately move, if not restrained by the presence of some superior force.
“158. All this seems to me as clear as an axiom in geometry.–For surely nothing can act without the power, and that power can never be exerted without volition, and that volition will never be put forth without motive, and that motive must be perceived and be in itself desirable. And these three attributes belong to all causes alike–the power, the motive and the will.
“159. The conclusion, then, is inevitable that intellectual force is the cause of all physical motion, and that SOME INTELLIGENT BEING GIVES MOTION TO THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE. This BEING, possessed of intelligence, acting from motive, and by his will, and GOVERNING the UNIVERSE, IS WHOM WE CALL GOD. Names are nothing to the argument. Thus have I demonstrated the exercise. Call him natural or supernatural I care not. Say it is one being or many, I care not. Say it is several equals, or a superior and inferiors, I care not. The intelligent power that gives motion to suns and planets, as well as to mites and molecules, is GOD. Truly and sincerely, JAMES J. STRANG.” (Gospel Herald, Vol. 3, Dec. 28, 1848)
There are more articles of James officering valid proof of the existence of God. He cited the science of mathematics; as its singularity and eternal principles offer substantial evidence of superior intelligence above and through all. The science of mathematics actually offers us proof of the existence of God.
“How does e^(pi * i) + 1 = 0 prove God exists? Best Answer: I take it you are referring to. Edward Kasner and James Newman in Mathematics and the Imagination note, “We can only reproduce the equation and not stop to inquire into its implications. It appeals equally to the mystic, the scientists, the mathematician.” This formula of Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) unites the five most important symbols of mathematics: 1, 0, pi, e and i (the square root of minus one). This union was regarded as mystic union containing representatives from each branch of the mathematical tree: arithmetic is represented by 0 and 1, algebra by the symbol i, geometry by pi, and analysis by the transcendental e. Harvard mathematician Benjamin Pierce said about the formula, “That is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don’t know what it means, but we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be the truth.”
Suppose that God does not exist.
Then e^(pi*i)+1 does not = 0.
Thus if e^(pi*i)+1 = 0, God must Exist.
THE RULE OF THIRDS
I had a photography studio for some years. In composition one must first appreciate the Rule of thirds. How it that all civilizations find pictures and paintings are most pleasing when the rule of thirds is followed? Could this happen by coincidence? Every person has an appreciation for something never taught. A similar rule exists for music.
“The rule of thirds is a ‘rule of thumb’ or guideline which applies to the process of composing visual images such as designs, films, paintings, and photographs. The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersection. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject.
“The photograph below demonstrates the application of the rule of thirds. The horizon sits at the horizontal line dividing the lower third of the photo from the upper two-thirds. The tree sits at the intersection of two lines, sometimes called a power point or a crash point. Points of interest in the photo do not have to actually touch one of these lines to take advantage of the rule of thirds. For example, the brightest part of the sky near the horizon where the sun recently set does not fall directly on one of the lines, but does fall near the intersection of two of the lines, close enough to take advantage of the rule.” (Wikipedia)
THE GOLDEN [GOD] RATIO
Much of the following is from Gizmodo.com. There is a rule in all nature called the “Golden Ratio.” The famous Fibonacci sequence has captivated mathematicians, artists, designers, and scientists for centuries. Also known as the Golden Ratio, its ubiquity and astounding functionality in nature suggests its importance as a fundamental characteristic of the Universe.
There are many different names for the golden ratio; The Golden Mean, Phi, the Divine Section, The Golden Cut, The Golden Proportion, The Divine Proportion, and tau(t). The Fibonacci sequence starts like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and so on forever. Each number is the sum of the two numbers that precede it. It’s a simple pattern, but it appears to be a kind of built-in numbering system to the cosmos.
The Great Pyramid of Giza built around 2560 BC is one of the earliest examples of the use of the golden ratio. The length of each side of the base is 756 feet, and the height is 481 feet. So, we can find that the ratio of the base to height is 756/481=1.5717.
Leonardo Fibonacci came up with this sequence when calculating the ideal expansion of pairs of rabbits over the course of one year. Today, its emergent patterns and ratios (phi = 1.61803…) can be seen from the microscale to the macroscale, and right through to biological systems and inanimate objects.
Snail shells and nautilus shells follow the logarithmic spiral, as does the cochlea of the inner ear. It can also be seen in the horns of certain goats, and the shape of certain spider’s webs.
The number of petals in a flower consistently follows the Fibonacci sequence. Famous examples include the lily, which has three petals, buttercups, which have five the chicory’s 21, the daisy’s 34, and so on. Phi appears in petals on account of the ideal packing arrangement as selected by Darwinian processes; each petal is placed at 0.618034 per turn (out of a 360° circle) allowing for the best possible exposure to sunlight and other factors
The Fibonacci sequence can also be seen in the way tree branches form or split. A main trunk will grow until it produces a branch, which creates two growth points. Then, one of the new stems branches into two, while the other one lies dormant. This pattern of branching is repeated for each of the new stems. A good example is the sneezewort. Root systems and even algae exhibit this pattern.
The unique properties of the Golden Rectangle provide another example. This shape, a rectangle in which the ratio of the sides a/b is equal to the golden mean (phi), can result in a nesting process that can be repeated into infinity — and which takes on the form of a spiral. It’s called the logarithmic spiral, and it abounds in nature.
Not surprisingly, spiral galaxies also follow the familiar Fibonacci pattern. The Milky Way has several spiral arms, each of them a logarithmic spiral of about 12 degrees. As an interesting aside, spiral galaxies appear to defy Newtonian physics. As early as 1925, astronomers realized that, since the angular speed of rotation of the galactic disk varies with distance from the center, the radial arms should become curved as galaxies rotate. Subsequently, after a few rotations, spiral arms should start to wind around a galaxy. But they don’t — hence the so-called “winding problem.” The stars on the outside, it would seem, move at a velocity higher than expected — a unique trait of the cosmos that helps preserve its shape.
Faces, both human and nonhuman, abound with examples of the Golden Ratio. The mouth and nose are each positioned at golden sections of the distance between the eyes and the bottom of the chin. Similar proportions can been seen from the side, and even the eye and ear itself (which follows along a spiral).
It’s worth noting that every person’s body is different, but that averages across populations tend towards phi. It has also been said that the more closely our proportions adhere to phi, the more “attractive” those traits are perceived. As an example, the most “beautiful” smiles are those in which central incisors are 1.618 wider than the lateral incisors, which are 1.618 wider than canines, and so on. It’s quite possible that, from an evo-psych perspective, that we are primed to like physical forms that adhere to the golden ratio — a potential indicator of reproductive fitness and health.
Even the proportions in the human figure are arranged according to the Golden Rectangle.
According to Jasper Veguts, a gynecologist at the University Hospital Leuven in Belgium, doctors can tell whether a uterus looks normal and healthy based on its relative dimensions —dimensions that approximate the golden ratio. From the Guardian:
“Over the last few months he has measured the uteruses of 5,000 women using ultrasound and drawn up a table of the average ratio of a uterus’s length to its width for different age bands.
“The data shows that this ratio is about 2 at birth and then it steadily decreases through a woman’s life to 1.46 when she is in old age.
“Dr Verguts was thrilled to discover that when women are at their most fertile, between the ages of 16 and 20, the ratio of length to width of a uterus is 1.6 – a very good approximation to the golden ratio.
“This is the first time anyone has looked at this, so I am pleased it turned out so nicely,” he said.”
Is it possible that everything in nature follows this golden rule simply by chance? Impossible! Everything from plants to man’s body to the galaxy obeys this same law. Is it any wonder it is called the “God Ratio?”
With all of man’s technology, he has been unable to create life. The center of life appears to be through this God Particle. This stands as another proof of a superior intelligence explained only by the existence of God.
“Currently, efforts are under way to confirm the Higgs boson using the Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator in Switzerland, which should be able to confirm or refute the existence of the God particle. As with any scientific discovery, God’s amazing creation becomes more and more impressive as we learn more about it. Either result—that the Higgs boson exists, or does not exist—represents a step forward in human knowledge and another step forward in our appreciation of God’s awe-inspiring universe. Whether or not there is a “God particle,” we know this about Christ: “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . . . all things were created by him and for him” (Colossians 1:16) (You got questions.org)
NAME OF GOD
There are millions who have thought they knew the name of God. This is simply a delusion. From Adam to Moses God was known as Almighty God. “1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Gen. 17) The Tetragrammation YHWH or JHVH was also used until Moses. Yahweh was then used until the Babylonian Captivity in the 588 BC. Then Adonai and Elohim were used. The term Yahweh was considered too holy to use among the heathen. In 1270 AD a Catholic monk invented the term Jehovah. In 1611 Jehovah was inserted into the Bible four times. In 1961, Jehovah’s Witnesses New World Translation used Jehovah 6,996 times; claiming that to be the name of God.
“This incommunicable name is not Jehovah. That is written instead of it. For his secret name was only written in that copy of the Law kept in the Ark of the Testimony. How ridiculous to believe with Christians, that the name of God which Abraham was not permitted to know, (Ex. vi, 3,) was written in a published book, for all the Heathen to read. It was never spoken out of the Sanctuary, nor above the breath, and then only between three High Priests, after the order of Melchisedek. (See Josephus’ Ant., B. ii, ch. xii, 4,)” (James J. Strang, Book of the Law of the Lord)
ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
Once we get past the question of the existence of God, we must wander what He looks like. That is an easy task to complete. Simply walk in front of a mirror. “27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen. 1)
The following is from the writings of James J. Strang in 1856: “9. The God who created Adam had a body, with all its parts; for as truly as Adam, when he begat a son, begat him in his own likeness, after his image, (Gen. v, 3) so truly God, when he created Adam, made him in the likeness and after the image of God. (Gen. i, 26, 27. v, 1. ix, 6. 1st Cor. xi, 7. Jas. iii, 9.)
“10. Abraham worshipped the same God; for when God visited him, Abraham at first mistook him for a man; and, with genuine Patriarchal hospitality, invited him into the tent to eat, and offered to wash his feet. (Gen. xviii.)
“11. Jacob also, worshipped the same God; for after wrestling with him, he tells us he saw him face to face. (Gen. xxxii, 24, 28, 30.) Surely the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has a body and parts, face and feet.
“12. The God who spoke to Moses from the fire in the bush, and in a voice of thunder in Sinai, gave the Commandments; wrote the Commandments on tables of stone, with his finger; (Deut. ix, 10;) conversed with Moses face to face, as a man converses with his friend; (Ex. xxxii, 11;) passed by covering Moses with his hand, and allowed him to behold his back parts. (Ex. xxxiii, 22, 23.) Truly this is not the God without body or parts, which Episcopalians, Methodists, and all other Christians worship.”
“14. The appearance of God was the likeness of man, when he appeared to Ezekiel, and called him to the Prophetick office; though he was surrounded with fire and a glorious radiance, from his loins upwards and downwards (Ezek. i, 26, 27.)”
“16. It is sometimes objected, that “God is a spirit.” (John iv, 24.) So are Angels “spirits sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation:” (Heb. i, 14:) yet when Abraham and Lot saw them they mistook them for men, (Gen. xviii, 2, 5, 16-20. xix, 1, 15,) and John the Revelator mistook one for God, and was about to worship him, but he said, “See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the Prophets” (Rev. xxii, 8, 9.)
“17. Those who worship a God without body, parts, or passions, do not worship the God of Abraham, of whom Prophets spoke and Apostles bore witness; but an idol—a false god, which their imagination conceives of; and as by their Creed, he is a nonentity, their faith is Atheism.
“18. Close upon the tail of this Atheism, follows Polytheism. For as the Creed declares that the Father is Lord God Almighty, uncreate, eternal, aud incomprehensible; the Son, Lord God Almighty, uncreate, eternal, and incomprehensible; and the Holy Ghost, Lord God Almighty, uncreate, eternal, and incomprehensible; it is most indisputably the Creed of three gods, notwithstanding the disclaimer, which says they are one God.
“19. Thus they worship God the Father, “without body, parts, or passions;” and God the Son, begotten by the Father, with “body, flesh, and bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature,” sitting at the right hand of God, the Father, who has no hand; and God the Holy Ghost, who proceeded from the Father and the Son, who is, nevertheless, eternal, though he could not have proceeded from the Son, until he was begotten; three gods, all unlike; and require men to believe these three, but one, on pain of being damned everlastingly.
“20. It is no wonder that those who preach this doctrine declare it a mystery. It is a greater mystery, that men have been found to believe it. Well did John the Revelator name the Church in which it originated, “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth. (Rev. xvii, 5.)
“21. She was once the Apostolick Church; the Lamb’s wife; but when she lost the Apostolick Priesthood, and went off in an unholy union with the Kingdoms of this world as her Lord, she became what the Angel declared her to be, a whore; as all her daughters, prostituting themselves to the various national governments, without ever being lawfully joined to Christ are only harlots.
“22. To make their Creeds as ridiculous as they are infidel; false as they are heathenish; Catholicks teach that Christ’s mother is the “Mother of God;” as though God was begotten by himself, on a creature of his hands, that he might be eternally begotten.
“23. And Protestants, not willing that Catholicks should monopolize all the folly and all the falsehood, have invented, or borrowed from their mother, the doctrine of an infinite
atonement, by means of infinite sufferings in the crucifixion of one of these three gods.
“24. And, as by their faith, these three gods are one and the same god, it follows that the Lord God Almighty, uncreate, incomprehensible, and eternal, became a Priest unto himself, and offered himself a sacrifice unto himself, to make propitiation unto himself for sins against himself, and became a mediator between himself and his rebellious creatures; and has risen from the dead, though he alone hath immortality, and ascended on high, where he has received all power from himself, and sat down at his own right hand; where, with his human body, flesh and bones, and all that pertains to the perfection of man’s nature, raised to immortality and everlasting life, he “is the express image of the invisible God,” (Col. i, 15. 2d Cor. iv, 4,) “and the express image of his Father’s person,” (Heb. 1, 3,) who has not any such body or any part of it, and is nevertheless the same identical person with himself.
“25. This is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Ye shall not bow down to the God of Babylon, for the God who spoke in Sinai, said, “Thou shalt not bow down unto, nor adore anything that thy imagination conceiveth of; but the Lord thy God only.”
26. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was not the offspring of adultery; nor was he born of woman; he was not carried about in a nurse’s arms, nor dependent on his mother’s milk for sustenance; he never died, nor did he cry to himself, and find no helper. (Matt. xxvii, 46. Mark xv, 34.) Eternal ages are but pulsations in his lifetime, and his might is omnipotence.” (Book of the Law, pp. 54-58)
God has the ability to appear either as a man or in all His glory. When God appeared to the Patriarchs, it was in the form and appearance of a man. Moses wanted more. He wanted to see God in all His glory. No man can look upon the face of God in all His glory and live. So, God covered Moses eyes and then let him see His back parts in His glory. The glory was so bright that when Moses returned from the mount they had to put a veil over his head so they could look at him.
CHARACTER OF GOD
I will quote from the teachings of Joseph Smith; as they are identical to those in the Bible, and of James J. Strang who followed him in the Prophetic Office. “1 In the second lecture it was shown, how it was that the knowledge of the existence of God, came into the world, and by what means the first thoughts were suggested to the minds of men, that such a being did actually exist: and that it was by reason of the knowledge of his existence, that there was a foundation laid for the exercise of faith in him, as the only being in whom faith could center for life and salvation. For faith could not, center in a. being of whose existence we had no idea; because the idea of his existence in the first instance, is essential to the exercise of faith in him. Rom. 10:14: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (or one sent to tell them?) So then faith comes by hearing the word of God.” (Part One, 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, Lecture Three)
“7 As we have been indebted to a revelation which God made of himself to his creatures in the first instance, for the idea of his existence, so in like manner we are indebted to the revelations which he has given to us, for a correct understanding of his character, perfections and attributes; because without the revelations which he has given to us, no man by searching could find out God. Job 11:7,8,9. First Cor. 2:9, 10, 11: “But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him; but God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so, the things of God no man knows but by the Spirit of God.”
“8 Having said so much, we proceed to examine the character which the revelations have given of God.
“9 Moses gives us the following account in Exodus, 34:6: “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord God, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” Psalm 103:6, 7, 8: “The Lord executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy:” Psalm 103:17,18: “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children, to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.” Psalm 90:
2: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” Heb. 1:10, 11, 12: “And you, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands: they shall perish, but you shall remain; and they shall wax old as a garment; and as a vesture shall you fold them up, and they shall be changed: but you are the same, and your years shall not fail.” James 1:17: “Every good gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights; with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Malachi 3:6: “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
“10 Book of Commandments, chapt. 2nd, commencing in the third line of the first paragraph: “For God does not walk in crooked paths, neither does he turn to the right hand or the left, or vary from that which he has said, therefore his paths are strait, and his course is one eternal round:” Book of Commandments, chapt. 37:1: “Listen to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same yesterday to‑day and forever.”
“11 Numbers, 23:19: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent.” First John, 4:8: “He that loves not, knows not God; for God is love.” Acts, 10:34: “Then Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted with him.”
“12 From the foregoing testimonies, we learn the following things respecting the character of God.
“13 First, That he was God before the world was created, and the same God that he was, after it was created.
“14 Secondly, That he is merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and that he was so from everlasting, and will be to everlasting.
“15 Thirdly, That he changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from everlasting to everlasting, being the same yesterday to‑day and forever; and that his course is one eternal round, without variation.
“16 Fourthly, That he is a God of truth and cannot lie.
“17 Fifthly, That he is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him.
“18 Sixthly, That he is love.
“19 An acquaintance with these attributes in the divine character, is essentially necessary, in order that the faith of any rational being can center in him for life and salvation. For if he did not, in the first instance, believe him to be God, that is, the creator and upholder of all things, he could not center his faith in him for life and salvation, for fear there should be a greater than he, who would thwart all his plans, and he, like the gods of the heathen, would be unable to fulfil his promises; but seeing he is God over all, from everlasting to everlasting, the creator and upholder of all things, no such fear can exist in the minds of those who put their trust in him, so that in this respect their faith can be without wavering.
“20 But secondly: Unless he was merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, long suffering, and full of goodness, such is the weakness of human nature, and so great the frailties and imperfections of men, that unless they believed that these excellencies existed in the divine character, the faith necessary to salvation could not exist; for doubt would take the place of faith, and those who know their weakness and liability to sin, would be in constant doubt of salvation, if it were not for the idea which they have of the excellency of the character of God, that he is slow to anger, and long suffering, and of a forgiving disposition, and does forgive iniquity, transgression and sin. An idea of these facts does away doubt, and makes faith exceedingly strong.
“21 But it is equally as necessary that men should have the idea that he is a God who changes not, in order to have faith in him, as it is to have the idea that he is gracious and long suffering. For without the idea of unchangeableness in the character if the Deity, doubt would take the place of faith. But with the idea that he changes not, faith lays hold upon the excellencies in his character with unshaken confidence, believing he is the same yesterday, to‑day and forever, and that his course is one eternal round.
“22 And again, the idea that he is a God of truth and cannot lie, is equally as necessary to the exercise of faith in him, as the idea of his unchangeableness. For without the idea that he was a God of truth and could not lie, the confidence necessary to be placed in his word in order to the exercise of faith in him, could not exist. But having the idea that he is not man that he can lie, it gives power to the minds of men to exercise faith in him.
“23 But it is also necessary that men should have an idea that he is no respecter of persons; for with the idea of all the other excellencies in his character, and this one wanting, men could not exercise faith in him, because if he were a respecter of persons, they could not tell what their privileges were, nor how far they were authorized to exercise faith in him, or whether they were authorized to do it at all, but all must be confusion; but no sooner are the minds of men made acquainted with the truth on this point, that he is no respecter of persons, than they see that they have authority by faith to lay hold on eternal life the richest boon of heaven, because God is no respecter of persons, and that every man in every nation has an equal privilege.
“24 And lastly, but not less important to the exercise of faith in God, is the idea that he is love; for with all the other excellencies in his character, without this one to influence them, they could not have such powerful dominion over the minds of men; but when the idea is planted in the mind that he is love, who cannot see the just ground that men of every nation, kindred and tongue, have to exercise faith in God so as to obtain eternal life?
“25 From the above description of the character of the Deity which is given him in the revelations, to men, there is a sure foundation for the exercise of faith in him among every people, nation and kindred, from age to age, and from generation to generation.
“26 Let us here observe that the foregoing is the character which is given of God in his revelations to the Former Day Saints, and it is also the character which is given of him in his revelations to the Latter Day Saints, so that the saints of former days, and those of latter days, are both alike in this respect; the “Latter Day Saints” having as good grounds to exercise faith in God, as the former day saints had; because the same character is given of him to both.”
PERFECTIONS OF GOD
Unlike the many idols which sectarian Christians worship, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is perfect in every way. Here is a further investigation into acquiring a proper understanding of God.
“12. God alone hath immortality. Adam, the first of men, the Ancient of Days, the great Prince; Abraham, to whom God gave an everlasting possession; David, whose throne was established as the days of heaven, forever; all died. Enoch, who walked with God, and was not found, because God took him; and Elijah, who ascended to the throne of God, in his own fiery chariot shall return to the earth to sleep with their fathers. The change which is sealed upon all the sons of Adam, shall come upon the faithful, who stand on the earth, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on those who know not God, and obey not the gospel. And he, the Prince of the Kings of the earth; who in the days to come, shall speak with the voice of a trumpet, and the dead shall hear his voice and live; died once, that he might live forevermore. He praised God, who alone hath immortality, that he would not leave him in the place of the dead: he preached the gospel to the spirits in prison, and obtained the key of life everlasting: but God alone liveth forever: the eternal ages are unto him as moments to us: infinities, as units to the mathematician. Our God alone hath immortality. Thou shalt love him with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” (Book of the Law of the Lord, pp. 59, 60)
Only such a being, without beginning or end, could control space and the elements before this universe began. Only God could have organized all that we see with each being perfect in their own realm. There cannot be evolution that leads to perfection without control by a supreme being with control over all. How could a humming bird and a flower evolve together in perfect order? Perfection requires controlled evolution.
“13. God alone hath omniscience. He clotheth himself in light as a robe: his ministers, who at midday, are as a flaming fire in the dark night, are blind before him; he apprehendeth the motion of the atom which floateth in the invisible element,10 and discerneth the speck in the centre of the star, which the light of the sun hath not reached since the day that the sons of God shouted for joy that the earth was created, as a mountain in the eye of mortals. He never sleepeth; his eye closeth not; and there is no darkness before him. Our God alone hath omniscience. Thou shalt love him with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” (Book of the Law, p. 61)
“14. God alone hath omnipotence. He looketh upon the nations, and they melt in the fury of his countenance: he frowneth, and the mountains dissolve to smoke; the vallies are consumed in the breath of his nostrils. He spoke, and worlds were created: he thought, and they were lost in space. Earthquakes are but the whisperings of his voice; the rustling of his attire causeth lightning, and thunder; and with the shadow of his garment he blotteth out the sun. The Prince of the Kings of the earth; by whom the world was created; and who liveth and reigneth forever receiveth power from him, and rendereth it unto him. Who shall stand before him? Our God alone hath omnipotence. Thou shalt love him with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” (Ibid.)
“15. God alone is omnipresent. His presence filleth the immensity of space as a point. In the midst of the bottomless pit, is he; the pavilion of his feet, is the face of the earth: the stars, are his home: his breath, is fragrant odour to the blessed, in the highest heaven; and it enliveneth the crumbling frame of the dead. The rays of the sun, have not found his bourn; nor the light of the stars, the place he inhabiteth not. His rest outspeedeth the lightning; it leaveth the morning ray behind it; and his speed is more rapid than the thought of angels. Our God alone is omnipresent. Thou shalt love him with all thy heart and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.
“16. God alone is one. There are choirs of angels; hosts of spirits; and multitudes of men: but God hath no fellow. A great King, is to him as the unseen spawn before the monsters of the deep; Methuselah, as the ephemera of a day: the most glorious spirit, is bodiless, and a breath. And the Lord Jesus, who created the earth, and redeemed it; whose kingdom filleth the earth, and the heavens; possesseth but a speck, amid the stars he made.”
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
All evidence demonstrates the truth of the record of man from Adam to Jesus. At the time Adam and Eve first walked the earth they were immortal. Their bodies were as perfect as was possible. When Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, the chemistry in her body changed, blood now flowed through her veins, and she became mortal. Adam ate of the fruit rather than lose his wife. God had warned them that if they ate of the forbidden fruit that they would surely die in that day—a thousand years is as day with God. “8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years , and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Pet. 3) Adam lived 930 years after the fall. How can we be so sure of this? Adam lived until the time of Noah’s father Lamech. Noah was born when Lamech was 182 years old. Lamech lived 777 years. Consider how easy it was for a correct understanding of God to pass from Adam to Noah.
The people soon divided during the life of Adam into those who followed the will of God and were known as the sons of God; and the rest who followed the will of man and were known as the sons of man. “2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Gen. 6) By 1656 years after the fall of Adam, man had turned almost entirely away from the will of God—like it is today. The result was the great flood. Only Noah and his family of eight souls survived. Stories of this great flood are found in the records of all ancient people. This is a great testimony of the existence of God.
Noah lived 600 years before the flood; and 350 years after the flood. Noah and his son Shem lived to see the time of Abraham. Abraham spent 39 years with Noah and Shem; and lived 235 years. The record of man and his association with God was accurately kept through the first born sons and their posterity. The Book of Genesis obviously predated Moses.
The righteousness of Abraham–in an evil time–was recognized by God when He made Abraham the father of all His elect on the earth. But, you say the gospel went to the gentiles who were not of the proper seed. How then does a gentile become the seed of Abraham and inherit the promise of eternal life given to Abraham? “27 For as many of you as have been [properly] baptized into Christ [by one having authority from God] have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3)
The birth and life of Jesus is without question. Jesus had to be of the seed of Abraham, the Tribe of Judah, and the House of David according to the flesh. The Apostle Matthew gives the genealogy of Jesus from Abraham to his father Joseph. “1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren… 6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias… 16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” (Matt. 1) The seed of man is carried only in the male line. Verses 18 to 25 were added to the text in an effort to show Jesus was a demigod. If true, Jesus was the bastard son of ghost; as Joseph and Mary were betrothed (married) at the time of Jesus conception.
“30 Therefore being a prophet [David], and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh , he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.” (Acts 2) “3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (Rom. 1) “17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2; and many more)
A correct understanding of God was passed from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, and from Moses to Jesus. After the crucifixion of Jesus, the apostles were soon murdered. All were gone by 70 AD; except John; and he disappeared in the year 99 AD in Ephesus. The gentiles had been raised on paganism for over 1,500 years. They soon began to return to their roots.
After giving the historical evidence of God’s relationship with man from Adam to Jesus, Joseph Smith said the following: “54 We have now shown how it was that the first thought ever existed in the mind of any individual, that there was such a being as a God, who had created and did uphold all things: that it was by reason of the manifestation which he first made to our father Adam, when he stood in his presence, and conversed with him face to face, at the time of his creation.
“55 Let us here observe, that after any portion of the human family are made acquainted with the important fact that there is a God who has created and does uphold all things, the extent of their knowledge, respecting his character and glory, will depend upon their diligence and faithfulness in seeking after him, until like Enoch the brother of Jared, and Moses, they shall obtain faith in God, and power with him to behold him face to face.
“56 We have now clearly set forth how it is, and how it was, that God became an object of faith for rational beings; and also, upon what foundation the testimony was based, which excited the enquiry and diligent search of the ancient saints, to seek after and obtain a knowledge of the glory of God: and we have seen that it was human testimony, and human testimony only, that excited this enquiry, in the first instance in their minds-‑it was the credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers‑-this testimony having aroused their minds to enquire after the knowledge of God, the enquiry frequently terminated, indeed, always terminated, when rightly persued, in the most glorious discoveries, and eternal certainty.”
A correct understanding of God and Jesus are essential for anyone seeking the Kingdom of God and salvation. “3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17)
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD LOST
The gentiles had been raised on pagan doctrines and festivals. It is no wonder that even in the days of the Apostles they began returning to the mystery religions. “7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” (2 Thess. 2)
In 325 AD, the pagan, un-baptized Roman Emperor Constantine converted what was left of the Christian Church to paganism. He adopted the pagan doctrine of the Trinity in place of the mighty God of Jacob. He replaced the Son of David and Savior to a demigod born of a virgin. He replaced the holy Sabbath with the “venerable day of the sun.” The foundation creed of this new universal (Catholic) church was developed through a council of 250 so-called Bishops in the Council of Nicaea and overseen by Constantine. Bishop Ambrose—of this time—wrote in the confessions that “when we think of God, we should not think of anything material.” This is evident in this Trinitarian Creed. “The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.” Again, Jesus said: “3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17)
Who changed the Sabbath? It was certainly neither Jesus nor His Apostles. “The retention of the old pagan name of Dies Solis, for Sunday is, in a great measure, owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects – pagan and Christian alike – as the ‘venerable’ day of the sun.” “Arthur P. Stanley, History of the Eastern Church, p. 184)
The Church of Christ and a proper understanding of God and the gospel were lost for 1,260 years. How do we know? The Bible, ecclesiastical historians, and church leaders all tell of this grand apostasy.
“14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [1,260 years], from the face of the serpent.” (Rev. 12) “5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [1,260 years]… 7 And it was given unto him [Satan] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Rev. 13) “11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea , and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8)
“The rites and institutions, by which the Greeks, Romans, and other nations, had formerly testified their religious veneration for fictitious deities, were now adopted, with some slight alterations by Christian bishops, and employed in the service of the true God.” (Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History, Century 4, Part 2, chap 4:1, 4)
“John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, writing about the loss of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, actually commented on the loss of the Christian faith. “The cause of this was not, as has been supposed, because there was no more occasion for them, because all the world was become Christians. This is a miserable mistake; not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christian. The real cause of it was that the love of many, almost all Christians, so-called, was waxed cold. The Christians had no more of the spirit of Christ than the other heathens. The Son of Man, when He came to examine His Church, could hardly find faith upon earth. This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian church–because the Christians were turned heathens again, and only had a dead form left.” (John Wesley’s Works, Vol. 7, 89; 26-27)
The 1,260 years began when the Bishop of Rome thought to stand as God on earth and head of the entire Christian Church. He was the first so-called Pope; although it would be some time before he was recognized as such by the whole church. This was in 570 AD. “4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thes. 2)
“The pope is of so great dignity and excellence, that he is not merely man, but as if God. The pope alone is called most holy, divine monarch, and supreme emperor, and King of Kings. The pope is of so great dignity and power, and he constitutes one and the same tribunal with Christ, so that whatever the pope does seems to proceed from the mouth of God. The pope is as God on earth.” (Guiness, Romanism and the Reformation, pp. 25, 26)
“11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea , and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8)
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD RESTORED
John told us after the 1,260 years that “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” (Rev. 14:6) This would have been in 1830. The only event of this kind was Joseph Smith who claimed direct knowledge of God, authority from God, and organized the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830, according to the new freedom of religion clause of the Bill of Rights.
Joseph Smith wrote: “2 Let us here observe, that three things are necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation. 3 First, The idea that he actually exists. 4 Secondly, A correct idea of his character, perfections and attributes. 5 Thirdly, An actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing, is according to his will. For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive; but with this understanding, it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness unto the praise and glory of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Part One, Lecture Three, 1835 Doctrine and Covenants) All of the teachings of Joseph in relation to God are the same as found in the Bible of today; with the exception of the added verses in Matthew to support the pagan Trinity and Virgin Birth.
The same hour that Joseph was murdered in Illinois, James J. Strang claimed to have been ordained to the same Prophetic Office as Joseph; and as his successor in accordance with the law of God. “4. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift [as Prophet] except it be through him [Joseph Smith]; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead. 5. And this shall be a law unto you that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments. 6. And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. 7. For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” (Utah Doctrine and Covenants, Section 43)
A correct knowledge of God remained with the teachings of James. Brigham Young apostatized and took his followers to the great Salt Lake Valley. His intention was to take them to California; which was not a state of the union so they would not be part of the US. When he arrived in what became Utah, he learned that California had joined the union and said “this is the Promised Land.” Many died because of his decision.
Brigham—lacking any authority from God—soon began to teach false doctrine. The worst may have been when he taught that God was once a man like us; even Adam with a wife from another planet–Eve. On Oct. 8, 1854, Brigham Young stated, “… Adam is the Father of our spirits… and Adam obeyed his Master the Lord, and probably many of his wives did the same, and they did the same, and they lived, and died upon an earth, and then were resurrected again to Immortality and Eternal Life.” (Brigham Young, Oct. 8, 1854, Afternoon Session of the General Conference, Church Archives. Quoted from Craig L. Tholson, Adam-God, Publishment, Payson, Utah, 1991, p. 60)
On Oct. 8, 1854, Brigham stated, “… so we had a grandfather or we would have had no father, and our grandfather had a father and grandfather and great-great-great- grandfather so far back there is no beginning – They always existed on some world – and when this world was made – our God who is Adam came and commenced the peopling of it – Though he is God and had lived and died and had been resurrected on some other planet – and obtained his exaltation and begat the Spirits of children enough to people this world.” (John Pulsipher account of same discourse. Quoted from The Teachings of President Brigham Young, Vol. 3, 1852 – 1854, Comp. and Ed. by Fred D. Collier, Collier’s Publishing Co., October 1987, p. 369)
This doctrine continues in the Utah Brighamite church. On Dec. 7, 1913, President Joseph F. Smith stated, “… The Son, Jesus Christ, grew and developed into manhood the same as you or I, as likewise did God. His Father grew and develop to the Supreme Being that He now is. Man was born of woman; Christ the Savior, was born of woman and God, the Father, was born of woman.” (Deseret Evening News, Dec. 27, 1913, Sec. III, p. 7. More recently in Deseret News, on Sept. 19, 1936, pp. 2, 8)
Jesus told us that knowledge of God and loving Him is the greatest commandment. It is only one example that Brigham had apostatized. They claim that Brigham was a prophet of God. What say you Brigham? “I do not profess to be a Prophet. I never called myself so; but I actually believe I am, because people are all the time telling me I am.” (Journal of Discourses, 5:177) “It has been remarked sometimes, by certain individuals, that President Young has said in public that he was not a prophet nor the son of a prophet.” (Ibid., 13:166)
LAW OF GOD
One of the great testimonies of God is His law. It has existed forever and will continue forever for every creation. It is perfect. After the fall of Adam, it was given to him. His son, Cain, broke the most grievous law towards man when he killed his brother Able. Had there not been the law there would not have been the offense. “…for where no law is, there is no transgression.” (Rom. 4:15) It appears the Book of the Law of the Lord was lost during the 400 year captivity in Egypt. It was restored by Moses.
The law which Moses received was written in a Book of the Law of the Lord. It was far more extensive than just the Ten Commandments. Moses made copies of this book for the priests to teach the people. In 588 BC Israel destroyed every copies of the book because it was considered to sacred to fall into the hands of the heathen. Only one copy of this book survived the Babylonian Captivity. It was brought to Zion in 588 BC by a prophet of God of the seed Joseph, son of Jacob. The people son divided into two groups, like happened in the days of Adam. The righteous group in 400 AD turned to their own desires and rather than that of God; and they were completely destroyed. The last man—a prophet also—buried their records which included the Book of the Law of the Lord.
It was recovered by Joseph Smith and translated by James J. Strang. There was to be two prophets and two books in the latter days. And so it was. “19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph [Book of Mormon], which is in the hand of Ephraim [Joseph Smith of the tribe of Ephraim], and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah [Book of the Law translated by James J. Strang of the tribe of Judah in 1850], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” (Ezek. 37) The Book of the Law is identified by name twenty times in the Bible. As the law of God it is noted hundreds of additional times.
The Book of the Law was translated and first published by James J. Strang in 1850. In 1856, an expanded edition was made; which has notes by James. There is a copy on the web site: www.mormonbeliefs.com.
There are four great testimonies of its truth. First, the Ten Commandments–which deal with the relationship of mankind–have been accepted by civilizations across time. A careful examination of these commandments reveals its antiquity. The foundation laws in the US were taken from the Ten Commandments.
Second, civilizations which abide in these laws prosper; while those who simply follow the will of man are consumed. Look across time. Where are Persia, Greece, Babylon, Egypt, and Rome? The reason is invariably the same. When a nation becomes rich, the people turn to their own gratification. Sodom and Gomorrah violated one of the greatest of these laws. What happened to them? The Supreme Court has brought the same condemnation on the US.
Third, this Book of the Law is the only place the original Ten Commandments can be found. After the Book of the Law was destroyed in 588 BC, an effort was made to recover the laws after the Babylonian Captivity; but, only a synopsis of the Ten Commandments are to be found today in the Bible. The second most important law given to man is not found in Exodus and Deuteronomy. “37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22)
Fourth, it contains information that has only recently been discovered by science. In the Perfections of God, it is mentioned: “the atom which floateth in the invisible element;” and “the speck in the centre of the star.” Man has only recently discovered there are invisible elements.
Who can deny the Ten Commandments? Man has never been able to create something as perfect as the Ten Commandment. It has been used as a foundation for many of man’s governments. Man has recognized the importance of love within the human family. The first love is directed to parents. The only family relationship which has been universally accepted by man is marriage between a man and his wife. “23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh [through their children].” (Gen. 2)
A child will develop best with a mother and father. When a nation forgets God and follows their desires, their social structure decays. One of the biggest problems in the US today is the absence of a father in over seventy percent of births in one demographic group; and about forty percent overall. This reckless disobedience to the law of God or nature is already causing serious social problems in the US.
The greatest commandment ever given to man was: “5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deut. 6) This law was given to Adam, was brought to this side of the flood by Noah, was lost while Israel was captive in Egypt, and was renewed through Moses.
We owe our very existence to God. “THOU shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy might, and with all thy strength: thou shalt adore him, and serve him, and obey him: thou shalt have no other gods before thee: thou shalt not make unto thee any image or likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters of the earth, to bow thyself unto it, or to worship it: thou shalt not bow down thyself unto, nor adore anything that thine eye beholdeth, or thy imagination conceiveth of; but the Lord thy God only; for the Lord thy God is a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, from generation to generation, even upon all that hate him, and showing a multitude of mercies unto them that keep his commandments.” (Book of the Law of the Lord, p. 18)
Is it not proper to “honor they father and thy mother?” Is it not in the interest of the human family to love those who brought us into the world and nurtured us through the many years to adulthood? Would you not want your children to do the same? “Honour thy father and thy mother:1 give heed to their commandments, obey their laws, and depart not from their precepts: reverence their age, and seek unto their house all the days of thy life: exalt not thyself against them, nor withhold to build up their house above thine own: honour and obey the King and the Judges, and the rulers, and all that are set in authority; for they are as fathers among the people: that they may be a fear unto evil doers; and the Priest also, who stands before the Lord, that he may instruct thee: and thy days shall be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Book of the Law, p. 26)
The second greatest law given to man governs man’s relationship with man. How do man’s civilizations function without it? “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Jesus, Matt. 22) This second most important law was lost to the Ten Commandments after the Book of the Law was destroyed in 588 BC. The only place the complete Ten Commandments can be found today is in the Book of the Law of the Lord translated by James J. Strang.
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.1 thou shalt not revile him, nor speak evil of him, nor curse him:2 thou shalt do no injustice unto him; and thou shalt maintain his right, against his enemy: thou shalt not exact rigorously of him, nor turn aside from relieving him: thou shalt deliver him from the snare and the pit, and shalt return his ox when he strayeth: thou shalt comfort him when he mourns, and nurture him when he sickens: thou shalt not abate the price of what thou buyest of him, for his necessity; nor shalt thou exact of him, because he leaneth upon thee: for in so doing thousands shall rise up and call thee blessed, and the Lord thy God shall strengthen thee in all the work of thy hand.” (Book of the Law, p. 24)
Is it not universally recognized that “thou shalt not kill?” But, who understands the abbreviated law that remains in the Bible? Killing is justified by God only in a war declared through prophets of God; and when there is no other way to preserve our own life.
“Thou shalt not kill: thou shalt slay no man in malice; neither thy child, nor thy wife, nor thy bondman, nor thy bondwoman, nor thy servant: nor the child of thy servant: neither shalt thou slay thine enemy, except thou admonish him, and entreat him, and he hear thee not, and God give him into thy hand: thou shalt only slay him in lawful war: and if any man trespass against thee, and break through, and do violence, thou shalt not slay him in revenge. If thou overtake him in the trespass, thou mayest resist unto blood; but except thou slay him in the trespass, thou shalt deliver him to the Judge; he shall judge him, and the hand of the officer shall be on him.” (Book of the Law, p. 28)
James J. Strang explained in his notes: “4. All killing by mobs, or bodies of unauthorized men, acting upon no matter what provocation, and not in open and legal war, belong to the category of mere murder. 5. Nor should that be regarded as legal war, which men by their law have authorized, but only that which the law of God authorizes. 6. Consequently, he who voluntarily enters upon an unjust war, is guilty of murder. As part of the force, he is guilty, when death is inflicted by others. 7. Nor will he be justified, though required by the law of his country; for that which the law of God declares to be sin, man cannot make lawful. 8. It is, therefore, the duty of the Saints, to abstain from all wars which are not authorized by the express word of God, or the plain principles of his law; as from murder.”
There have been 937,261 abortions performed in the US this year by October 10, 2016. There has been 17, 857,056 black babies (to be) murdered since 1973. Planned Parenthood has murdered 278,537such babies already this year. This worldwide epidemic has murdered 1,434,387,500 such babies since 1980.
Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood. “In the United States, eugenics intersected with the birth control movement in the 1920s, and Sanger reportedly spoke at eugenics conferences. She also talked about birth control being used to facilitate ‘the process of weeding out the unfit [and] of preventing the birth of defectives.’” (GOP Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson) He noted that most Planned Parenthood clinics are located in black neighborhoods. The mother’s “to be” who murder their babies have to take responsibility–the same as the doctors who performs them. Will God hold them guiltless? “7 He that overcometh [evil] shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and MURDERERS, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21)
Is there a civilization that that does not appreciate “thou shalt not commit adultery?” The temporal law given through Moses states: “10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” (Lev. 20) This also applies to a man that lies with his mother, daughter, daughter in law and more. “13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Lev. 20) Jesus taught: “28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart… 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” (Matt. 5)
Yet, this has become almost as common in the US as marriage. The Supreme Court of the US actually made same sex marriage the law of the land. Evidently man has not learned from history. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah tried this experiment. Only Lot and his family escaped. Every other man, woman, and child was destroyed. There is destruction almost upon us because man has forgotten God and sought to please his own lustful desires. James J. Strang wrote in the Book of the Law: “22. The whole course of prophecy indicates that the nations of the earth will not be converted to Godliness; but that they will increase in wickedness, and be destroyed. The day has not yet come, but is in the future, which “shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble,” and shall be burnt up, leaving neither root nor branch; when they that fear the Lord shall tread down the wicked, as ashes beneath their feet. (Mal. iv, 1, 3.)
What country can exist without recognizing the importance of “thou shalt not steal.” “Thou shalt not steal:1 thou shalt not trespass upon anything that is thy neighbour’s, to take it from him, nor to destroy it: neither shalt thou trespass upon the stranger that dwelleth within thy gates, to destroy his substance, nor to take it from him;2 for to thee he looketh for justice, and a shield round about all that he hath; and the fear of the Lord thy God is upon him also, and to his righteousness he also seeketh: neither shalt thou overreach him by cunning, nor by stratagem, to take his substance from thy neighbour, nor the stranger within thy gates. Remember that ye were strangers, and were oppressed, and oppress not the stranger, lest his cry ascend to God against you.” (Book of the Law, p. 32)
Is there a civilization that does not appreciate the value in “thou shalt not bear false witness?” Yet, in the US only those occasions where a person is under oath and the subject at hand is of consequence to the matter being decided, lying is not recognized as perjury. “Thou shalt not bear false witness:1 thou shalt not speak falsely before the King, nor before the Judge, nor in the assembly of the Princes, nor in the presence of the Ruler, nor unto the Minister of the Law, nor among the multitude;2 nor in the ear of thy friend, nor to thy wife, nor thy child, nor thy servant: neither shalt thou withhold the truth from the King, nor the Judge, nor him that is set in authority: for thus shall righteousness be
established in all thy borders.” (Book of the Law, p. 34)
James J. Strang wrote in the Book of the Law: “7. Under these rules perjury and slander, false witness in nearly every form, are actually legal. One may, by his falsehoods, keep the neighborhood in a perpetual broil; speak evil of dignities, and almost all manner of falsehood of the purest of God’s creatures, and the law has no bridle for his tongue. 8. The Law of God changes all this. It exacts truth of all men, in all places, when it allows anything to be put in issue; and takes no denial, when it makes inquisition. 9. Its searching supervision goes into the family circle, and forbids that a man speak falsely to his wife, his child, or his servant; and among the multitude it rebukes the talebearer, and forbids all men to raise a false report.”
What would be the result in any country, if people rather than seeking their own possessions sought after others? Is this not common today? When a person accepts welfare when he could work, is this not theft? Why has it expanded so much in the last eight years? “17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Ex. 20)
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours inheritance: thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, nor his bondman, nor his bondwoman, nor his manservant, nor his womanservant, nor his horse, nor his carriage, nor the instruments of his labour, nor the produce of his land, nor the things that he has made, nor the treasures that he has in store, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s:1 thy desire shall not be upon them, to take them by stealth, nor by fraud, nor by cunning, nor by violence: neither shalt thou covet that which belongeth to the stranger that dwelleth within thy gates;2 but thou shalt improve thine own, and thy desire shall be unto it; lest thou be corrupt, and the hand of thy neighbours be against thee, and the cry of the poor ascend to God against thee.” (Book of the Law, p. 36)
James commented: “3. Covetousness does not consist in the desire to increase our substance, and multiply riches; for that desire is laudable. Covetousness is the desire to obtain that which is another’s, rather than to increase our own by production. 4. Many men, possessed of industry and talent, spend their lives in a series of efforts to make themselves rich on the possessions, or out of the earnings of others; when, with equal efforts, they could produce wealth. 5. So great is this propensity, that there are numerous occupations and professions, the chief business of which is, not to make anything valuable, or add value to anything in being, but to get away something from the owner; and either leave him destitute, or to new toils to supply himself. 6. Such business is unlawful. If our neighbour has a good farm, we have a right to desire as good; but we have no right to desire his, even for a price. Our desires ought to be to our own, and we should seek to improve that, and make it desirable, rather than get away that of another.”
It is evident that these fundamental laws have existed since Adam; as Cain killed his brother Able and was severely punished. How did man come to an understanding of such perfect laws governing the behavior of man? They could only have been taught by a superior intelligence: God.
CREATION OF MAN
Long before Adam walked on earth, the spirits of man were organized. Jesus was the first spirit, was organized by God, and was the beginning of this creation. “1 In the beginning [of this creation] was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God [the Father], and the Word was God [of this creation]. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1) Jesus—in liaison with God—organized all the spirits and things in this creation.
“26 And God said, Let US [God and Jesus] make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his OWN image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen. 1) “4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.” (Gen. 2)
After this spiritual creation came the physical creation. This is why there are two accounts of the creation of Adam. The first was spiritual and the second was when his spirit and physical body were united. “7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2) When the spirit of Adam was joined with his physical body, he became a living soul. The same is true with everyone else—even Jesus who was the beginning. “13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (Jesus, John 3)
There are five phases to our life. First, we were all organized as eternal spirits. Second, our spirit is united with a mortal physical body at birth. Third, when the mortal body passes away, the spirit is taken back to Jesus for a preliminary judgment; and then our spirit is taken either to the bosom of Abraham or to the spirits in prison (erroneously called hell). Fourth, we spend the time from mortal death to the resurrection in one of these two estates. Fifth, we are resurrected in one of two resurrections and into one of three glories, and after the Millennium we enter eternity. “40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption [mortality]; it is raised in incorruption [immortality].” (1 Cor. 15)
During our spiritual estate, Satan rebelled against God and was cast down with a third of the spirits in heaven. “12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isa. 14) Rebellion is one the worst sins that a person may commit. Satan and his followers will spend eternity as spirits—ghosts. Who can fathom such a judgment? Penalties follow the nature of the error. Put your hand on a hot stove and what happens?
Knowledge of the first phase of our lives—as spirits—was blocked from our memory. Why? This mortal existence is when we must be at liberty to make our own decisions, gain experience, and be judged accordingly.
The second phase began when Adam’s spirit was placed in a physical immortal body. But, this was not to last. Satan deceived Eve; but, he made a serious error and assured his own destruction. “15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3) Eve transgressed the law by eating the forbidden fruit; causing her body to become mortal. Adam—rather than lose his wife—also ate of the fruit. This brought mortality upon mankind. “15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” (Rom. 5) Through the mortal death of man, Satan was able to “bruise thy head.” Through the resurrection of Jesus, all will be resurrected and thus “bruise thy head.”
The third phase began with the death of Adam; and is followed by the death of all mortal mankind. The spirit of man is eternal. In our fourth phase of life, our spirit is taken back to Jesus for a preliminary judgment. The spirits of those who belong to the Kingdom of God at death are taken to the bosom of Abraham with all who were members of the Kingdom of God in mortal life. All others are taken to the spirits in prison (erroneously called hell).
Now comes the fifth phase. Jesus was the first to be resurrected–by the Father–because there was no sin found in Him. “21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” (1 Pet. 2) “14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” (Acts 3)
The resurrection is to restore man to his former glory as it was with Adam and Eve. Their bodies were immortal until the fall. When man is resurrected, his spirit will be placed in an immortal physical body. All the joys in mortal life will be restored.
Jesus became the first fruits of the resurrection and, as the God of this creation, was given power over our resurrection. Many were resurrected after Jesus. David because of his great sin of having Uriah killed to have his wife was not resurrected at this time. “19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3)
Jesus tarried with the saints after His resurrection for forty days. There were many resurrected after Jesus and walked the streets of Jerusalem. David, because of his grievous sin, had not been forgiven; so his bones still lay in the grave. “29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” (Acts 2)
The next resurrection will come when Jesus returns. This is a resurrection of those who are members of the Kingdom of God. The Apostle John called this the first resurrection. “6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20) “16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” (1 Thess. 4) Are you ready?
Jesus said: “2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14) There are three specific glories in the resurrection. “40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.” (1 Cor. 15)
Those who do not enter the Kingdom of God either in mortal life, or while with the spirits in prison, must wait the thousand year Sabbath of Creation with the spirits in prison. “5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” (Rev. 20)
GREATEST SPIRITUAL TREASURES
“19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven , where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Jesus, Matt. 6)
Most people—when speaking of salvation—address the condition of man after mortal death. The heaven/hell analogy was adopted from paganism. After death, the spirit of man is taken back to Jesus for a simple judgment. Those who died in the Kingdom of God are taken to the bosom of Abraham; where all the saints of God are taken to await the resurrection. This is why Jesus noted “10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ALL men, specially of those that believe.” (1 Tim. 4)
All others are taken to a hidden place called the “spirits in prison;” erroneously called hell. Since all are spirits after death of the mortal body, fire would not present any suffering. The story of Lazurus addresses these two places. “20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us that would come from thence.” (Luke 16)
There is a grant difference, though, in the mansion we will inherit. A person that is not a member of a kingdom cannot expect its benefits. It may work for some aliens in the US; but, not with the Kingdom of God. His laws are absolute and eternal.
Jesus said of the last days: “… iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matt. 24:12, 13) “25 But that which ye have already [law of God] hold fast till I come. 26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” (Rev. 24)
“7 He that overcometh [through obedience to the laws of God] shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21)
How is this treasure of becoming a son of God and coming forth in the first resurrection obtained? “16 For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL OF CHRIST: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1)
What is this “gospel of Christ?” It is none other than the grand plan of God for us to receive the best treasure after mortal death. The first and grand blessing is a correct knowledge of God and Jesus. With this comes FAITH. “6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11) What is faith? “1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11, JST)
Faith is a gift from God to those who are for-ordained according to their works during our spiritual estate to know God and understand the gospel in mortal life. “4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated [for-ordained] us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” (Eph. 1)
Jesus advised us: “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto [eternal] life, and FEW THERE BE that find it.” (Matt. 7) What is this “straight gate?” It is obedience to the gospel of Christ. Why do only a few find it?
Most were not loyal to Jesus during our spiritual estate. A correct knowledge of God and faith are given only through the testimony of Jesus: the spirit of revelation. “10 And I [John] fell at his [angels] feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY [REVELATION].” (Rev. 19)
Peter was only able to have a correct understanding of Jesus through the Rock of Revelation. Jesus asked Peter who He was. “16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven [through revelation].” (Matt. 16)
Faith is only available through one that holds authority from God to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel. “14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10)
Jesus became the only begotten [son] of God through His ordination under the hands of the Father to the highest office in the Melchisedec Priesthood like Moses. “11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” (Matt. 4) “4 And no man taketh this honour [of the priesthood] unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron [by revelation]. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5) This requirement to have authority from God continued after Jesus. “22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” (Acts 1)
To what avail would it be to have a correct understanding of God if there were none to administer the ordinances of the gospel? Only officers of the Melchisedec Priesthood have authority from God to administer all of these ordinances. This is why Jesus called and ordained all of these offices. “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists [high priests]; and some, pastors [elders] and teachers; 12 FOR the perfecting of the saints, FOR the work of the ministry, FOR the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 TILL we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (Eph. 4)
No unclean thing can enter the Kingdom of God. “19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city. 20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Eccl. 7) After Jesus was ordained to the priesthood, He started preaching the gospel. “17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, REPENT: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [within your reach].” (Matt. 4) Repentance is a turning away from sin and living by the word of God.
It is necessary to be washed of sin before one can enter the Kingdom of God. “4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus” (Acts 19)
Every man is born foreign to the Kingdom of God. Being blessed to enter the kingdom in mortal life is beyond our compression. Only those who were loyal to God in our former spiritual estate receive this blessing. “4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated [for-ordained] us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” (Eph. 1)
Even Jesus was born a foreigner to the Kingdom of God and had to be baptized. “5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3) “1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea…11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire… 13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.” (Matt. 3)” (Matt. 3)
Jesus was free of sin; but, still had to obey the commandment to be born of water and the Spirit. “16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Ibid.)
To receive SALVATION in the Kingdom of God requires being forgiven of sin through being born of water, becoming a member of the Kingdom of God through being born of the Spirit, receiving the Holy Spirit as a guide to all righteousness, and receiving a gift of the Holy Ghost. When the gospel was first preached to Gentiles on the day of Pentecost, the people asked: “37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2)
Each must share in the sacrifice that Jesus made for all. “53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” (John 6) Only an officer of the Melchisedec Priesthood can bless the sacrament.
It is then necessary to live according to the will and laws of God. Should a person remain in sin after being born again, baptism will be of no avail. This does not mean that a person must never sin again; but, that he cannot remain in sin. The sins of the saints are forgiven through acknowledgement of that error, making recompense to man if the sin is again man, and seeking forgiveness of [man and] God.
No person can be saved until he has proved himself. “13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matt. 24) “5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Rev. 3) “21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev. 3) “7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Rev. 21) The law of God has already been discussed.
All of this is to begin to show you the opportunities in mortal life. Our works during our first estate as spirits determined our spiritual opportunities in mortal life. “4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated [for-ordained] us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” (Eph. 1) No one is predestined. That would take away man’s free moral agency. “5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jer. 1) This provided Jeremiah with an opportunity; but, he still had his free moral agency even as Jesus when He was tempted of Satan.
Although marriage provides the greatest reward for man, most marriages are conducted by the authority of man and not of God and are only “until death do you part. Authority from God changes this. Ordinances performed by one holding authority from God are eternal. If it was not so, there would be no such thing as salvation; as it follows man after death. How sad it would to be truly in love with your wife and children; and then lose them at death. Are you ready?
All blessings come with conditions. The marriage vow requires “When thou takest a wife, thou shalt such a one as thou lovest, and who loveth thee, and whom thou mayest lawfully marry.” (Book of the Law of the Lord, p. 159)
There are two types of marriages. One is marriage by man and is good only “until death do you part.” What a sad outcome if the couple has truly loved each other and their children. With the marriage ceasing at death the family is also dissolved. Who loves their wife and children enough to investigate life after death and the law of God?
Marriage in the Kingdom of God is different. The law of God provides; “And he who joineth you in marriage, shall unite her unto thee by an indissoluble bond; and shall give thee grace to love her, and cherish her, and protect her; and grace unto her to love thee, and nourish thee, and honour thee… shall be joined in marriage, that she may be thine in life, thine in the resurrection, and thine in life everlasting; and that the children which she beareth thee, may be with thee in the everlasting Kingdom.” (Ibid.)
This is one of the greatest blessings available to those who are members of the Kingdom of God. This is one of the reasons Jesus taught: “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) Those churches that do not marry for life and eternity do not represent God. They have no divine authority.
When there are two opposing ideas, both can be wrong; but, only one can be right. True ministers called of God have their ordinances recorded in heaven. “19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Jesus, Matt. 16) Consider the happiness that will result from a marriage sealed by one holding the Melchisedec Priesthood. Ordinances performed by these are for time and eternity. God has provided for the greatest happiness of man; but, those who know not or disregard His will cannot expect His blessings.
There is no law on divorce in the law of God. There is only one behavior that results in dissolving the eternal marriage bond: adultery. This was one of the fundamental Ten Commandments that were given to man through Adam and later Moses. Jesus said: “32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery : and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” (Matt. 5)
The only provision given in the law of God provides: “6. Thou shalt not put away thy wife but for adultery: the adulteress is abominable; she shall be given to the corruptions of the flesh, that her belly may swell and her thigh rot; and that she be a warning and a proverb: if she repent in dust and ashes for a long time, thou mayest forgive her; yet is she not thy wife: if thou wilt take her, thou shalt marry her again.” (Book of the Law of the Lord, p. 314)
Remember that the law that applies to women also applies to men. “28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3) The act of adultery can only be forgiven once in life. It is one of the most grievous acts because it is against the family and humanity.
WHO WILL BE SAVED?
The basic creed of the Catholic Church provides: “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholick faith. Which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.” Of the hundreds of so-called Christian churches, all—but a very few–have believed this creed. This creed is false on its own face. What do think of a God who would condemn billions to eternal punishment simply because they never heard the gospel in life? This was originally a rule by Satan. It would not allow man a free moral agency. It is a doctrine of the Devil.
On the other side are those who believe it is possible to be saved simply by accepting Jesus as their Savior. “19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2) This, too, is a doctrine of the Devil. The whole testimony in the Bible tells us that we must endure faithful in the law of God to the end of mortal life. What does history tell us of those countries who departed from God and turned to their own pleasures and lusts? Where are the antediluvians? Where is ancient Persia, Greece, Babylon, and Rome? Every people that have turned from God have been destroyed.
An error on this most important subject is ignorance that will cause the greatest disappointment at death. There is more evidence of the existence of God than of any other being. The fastest growing group in the US is those who care not whether there is a God. Ignorance will not bring bliss. Only a correct analysis of this subject and obedience to God can bring the greatest peace and happiness in this life.
When I used to go door to door, the most common response was “Oh, I think everything will be OK.” This is a plan that will get you killed and leave you with the spirits in prison–in the near future. “21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake [Israel] those days shall be shortened.” (Jesus, Matt. 24)
The prophet James J. Strang wrote: “23. Paul assures us that the coming of Christ shall be ‘in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.’ (2d Thess. i, 8, 9.) Isaiah says, the earth shall be made empty, and few men left. (Isa. xxiv, 1, 3, 6.) Those days are days of vengeance, when Christ shall tread the wine press of the wrath of God, and the blood shall flow unto the horses’ bridles. (Rev. xiv, 20.) As those times are approaching, the judgment is pronounced on Babylon, “Reward her as she hath rewarded you, and double unto her double, according to her works.” (id. xviii, 6.) Then shall the Saints execute vengeance on the heathen. (Ps. cxlix, 6, 7.)” (Book of the Law, p. 213)
Those who continue in disobedience to the gospel in the spirit, remain among the “dead.” “11 And I saw a great white throne , and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead [those who did not obey the gospel], small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Rev. 20) They cannot share in the grace of Christ because they have rebelled against Christ. These are those of the telestial glory; as the stars are compared with the sun. They can only be judged according to their works.
After the final resurrection, Satan will be loosed for a short season and then all mortality will end. Mortal man was given seven thousand years. About six thousand has already passed. Death will be no more and man enters eternity. Those who overcame temptation and lived by the word of God will inherit the earth. All others have another place prepared for them most likely somewhere in this galaxy.
After Satan and his followers are cast off into outer darkness–to exist only as ghosts for eternity–this earth becomes the inheritance of the Kingdom of God. “3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away… 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21) There is no “lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” The word hell comes from the Greek Hades or Sheol. This only meant a hidden place. Fire would be no torment to a spirit.
Heaven will be right here on earth. There are to be two grand cities: Holy Jerusalem and New Jerusalem. “2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband… 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” (Rev. 21) The New Jerusalem will be in the center of Zion where Independence, Missouri, is now.
The only sin that cannot be forgiven in time is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. “31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Jesus, Matt. 12) These will be relatively few. They must first have received the truth through the Holy Ghost before they can deny the Holy Ghost. These are sons of perdition. “38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man [after receiving the truth then] draw back [to the denying of that truth], my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Heb. 10) These will suffer the second death. Their spirit will be withdrawn from their physical body and then be cast off as spirits/ghosts to spend eternity with Satan and his followers.
This is only the beginning of eternity. A person that inherits the terrestrial or telestial glory in the resurrection will continue to have the opportunity to both enter and advance in the Kingdom of God. Those of the celestial glory will administer to those of the terrestrial; and those of the terrestrial will administer to those in the telestial. There is a place without glory prepared for those who refuse the blessings from God. They will care.
BAPTISM OF THE DEAD
All who live during this mortal estate must hear the gospel of Christ. All must be given that opportunity either in mortal life or as spirits after death of the mortal body. While Jesus body lay in the grave, His spirit visited the spirits in prison (called hell) to open a dispensation of the gospel to them. “18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” (1 Pet. 3)
Why would He preach the gospel to the dead? “6 For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Pet. 4) Anytime there is a prophet of God on the earth, there is baptism of the dead. “29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Cor. 15)
This is why Peter spoke of the gospel being preached to the dead. When authority of God and the gospel were restored through Joseph Smith, once again there was baptism for the dead. James J. Strang—Joseph’s legal successor—again baptized for the dead.
The prophet James wrote in the Book of the Law of the Lord: 1. To millions of mankind the gospel was never preached in life. If it is not to be preached to them in another state of being, then the salvation which the gospel promises is not offered to them. And if the gospel is not preached to them at any time, then they are denied the possibility of entering into life. 2. Many Christians, unwilling to admit that salvation was not offered to all men, have asserted that those to whom the gospel was not preached were saved, on the general ground that as they did not know the Law of God, they were not under condemnation for breaking it. 3. Admitting this to be true, the consequence would be that ignorance of the gospel was as pleasing to God as obedience; and the just conclusion would be, that the gospel was not revealed to save men, but as an excuse for damning them. For, if all who are ignorant of the gospel are to be saved, universal ignorance would have produced universal bliss. 4. If they fall back on the old Christian faith of the Fathers, that there is no salvation without obedience to the gospel, then without preaching to and baptism for the dead, those to whom the gospel was never preached may justly claim that they were lost; not because they would not obey, but because they could not hear. 5. If, to avoid both horns of this dilemma, the Christian shall say that the sincere and well meaning of every nation will be saved, whatever his religious faith, then they are not saved by the gospel, but by their own righteousness; not by obedience to the word of God, but by integrity to the institutions of their several countries and nations. 6. God, having established the rule that all shall be destroyed who obey not the Law of the gospel, (2d Thess. i, 8. ii, 12. Rev. xxii, 14. Mark xvi, 16,) has provided for the preaching of the gospel to the spirits in prison, (1st Peter iii, 19. iv, 6. Luke xxiii, 43,) and the baptism for the dead, (1st Cor. xv, 29,) that salvation may be offered to all men, and only those lost who take pleasure in unrighteousness. (Matt. iii, 10.) 7. When Jesus had finished his testimony on earth, and offered himself for the sins of men, he went in the spirit and preached to the spirits in prison, (1st Pet. iii, 19, 20,) and opened unto them a dispensation of the gospel, before he ascended to heaven. (John xx, 17.) 8. The dispensation being opened, and he having, by a stainless life, and a sacrifice of himself for the salvation of others, become worthy of the keys of the resurrection and everlasting life, ascended to heaven, received all power, and sat down at the right hand of God. 9. Those who become partakers of the same calling with him, as they leave their ministry on earth, go to minister among the spirits of the dead; that they, by obedience to the gospel, may be saved, as are the living.” (Pages 140, 141)
Failure to take the time to investigate life and eternity will not you bring bliss. Ignorance seldom brings happiness. The best decisions are those that require in-depth decision making. Following others will only bring what they receive. You are facing the worst tribulations ever to come upon the earth. Are you ready?
You have learned of the existence of God; and should have understood that the existence of God is beyond logical dispute. You have learned of the attributes, character, and perfections of God.
You have learned how a correct knowledge of God among gentiles was lost by 570 AD; and that a correct understanding was restored by Joseph Smith and continued through James J. Strang.
You have learned the complete story of the existence of man from a spirit to a living soul and eventually into an immortal physical soul; and the opportunity to inherit the earth in its paradisiacal glory with your family.
You have learned the will of God toward man; and man’s responsibility to God and fellow man. You now know the path to the best in eternal life after death. Have you secured a place for yourself and your family in eternity? Are you ready?
The gate into the Kingdom of God is open. I have been called of God and ordained an elder in the Melchisedec Priesthood. Many have entered the Kingdom of God through the opportunities which God has given to me. They are not mine; but, are Christs.
Like all men I have been guilty of error; but, all priesthood remains valid until taken away by a proper tribunal. This happened in the case of Brigham Young. James J. Strang labored with him for almost two years before calling a meeting of the High Council (like man’s Supreme Court) and removing the priesthood and membership of him and all of his followers. King David was guilty of a most grievous sin; but even though he was not forgiven, God allowed him to remain King; because of his work in the spiritual estate and because there was not a better man to fill the office.
Samuel E. West
Senior elder in Zion
November 21, 2016