AN ANARCHICAL VIEW OF THE KEYS pt. 1


PRE-STOOD POWER IN ALL ITS FORMS

In An Alternate View of the Keys, LDSA sets the record straight about the difference between priesthood power and priesthood keys. He points out that even though the current common understanding within the LDS Church is that Priesthood = Authority, and that Keys = Power, according to their own definition priesthood is not increased with the reception of keys, so in reality Priesthood = Power, and Keys = Authority to use that power in a particular setting or for a particular function. I wish to say the same thing in other words that will expound upon our expanding view of priesthood.

From this point forward in this text I will use the words pre-stood or pre-stood power to distinguish the eternal and pure power of GOD – without beginning or end – from the various groups which have come and gone throughout world history, organizing themselves and claiming ultimate authority over others. There is only one pre-stood power but it takes many forms, commencing with masculine and feminine and from thence giving rise to infinite form and variety. But if there is one thing we can learn from the accounts of the prophet Joseph’s First Vision it is that having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof is an abomination in the sight of the Lord. These forms of godliness serve specific purposes in performing timespace rituals and it is hoped that they maintain awareness of their connectivity to the pre-stood and therefore with one another. But as any one form falls out of congruence with the pre-stood power it starts to fade. If the form remains incongruent for long it dissolves and eventually disappears from this realm being absorbed back into that which stood prior to the foundations of the world, that which is pre-stood.

The forms can help us understand the pre-stood power but no single form can adequately define it. For example, in Mormonism we conceptualize the pre-stood in terms of keys. But oddly enough we never speak of pre-stood locks. Of course keys are pointless without locks and locks are a hopeless concept without keys. So, while it can be helpful to talk of the pre-stood in different forms, we must remember that its all one thing. The Sanskrit word Kilak illustrates this point perfectly. Representing a key to unlock the power inherent in a particular mantra it resonates all the way through to our modern English with an ancient understanding of the inseparability of Ki (Key) & Lak (Lock). Any and all forms of pre-stood can be valid provided we understand how the lock and key work together to seal or loose. Without this crucial knowledge the Devil and his agents keep us under lock and key.

One form that people everywhere are awakening to is the linguistic form. Many are coming to the realization that pre-stood is a language. We are finding that this is not new knowledge. There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) But it is exciting as people in, but more so outside of the LDS Church, are also reviewing the language/priesthood of the ancients in a “new” light. Their hearts are turned to ours and as we the children attune our hearts to theirs, we begin to understand why the fathers associated priesthood so closely with the idea of seed. The fathers ‘handed down’ language. We inherit pre-stood not so much at their hands as through them. We are their seed. For them, we are their only way of realigning and continuing with the pre-stood power. This is why I said that the purpose of the variety of forms is to perform specific functions in timespace rituals. We can think of it like a tool box shared between father and son for teaching, learning and repairing rifts across the fabric of timespace, throughout all gene-rations.

IN HIS HANDS

This post’s primary focus will be on certain forms of godliness like limbs, phalanges, keys and other phallic extensions of pre-stood. In this post I will address these appendages of the pre-stood within a mostly masculine and Mormon context. However it should be understood that these share an overlapping relationship with all other forms of the pre-stood and would be incomplete without those counterparts which are especially feminine and ‘Non LDS’. Men and women of any or no religion alike may find something useful in what I write here. Because LDS males make the bold claim to have a monopoly on God’s power and authority, I would like to direct my comments to them particularly. It is impressively arrogant to say you are the only people who “hold” the priesthood when you are obviously not the only ones with hands.  Latter-day man is inclined to defile and dismiss the god-given physical body as nothing special since everyone’s got one. Still, the Grand Truth stands and was always pre-stood; that where we see a hand it signifies authority. If you have hands you have authority. Whether you use it or not, the power is in your hands.

In His Hands

When Moses spoke with his God He said:

“Behold, thou art my son; wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my words, for they never cease.” (Moses 1:4)

If we wish to comprehend the language of pre-stood power it will do us no good to remain adrift in the sea of endless words emanating from it. We need to travel upstream like salmon on a pilgrimage to the headspring and witness where the original body splits itself in two tributaries – one of spoken word and the other of silent gestures. The latter demonstrates the need for balance. It is not enough to be running off at the mouth. The river of power must flow out through our arms, hands, fingers and opposable thumbs as well. An example of holy union, where spoken language (mantra) and sign language (mudra) meet, is to be found in the written word. Stan Tenen and the Meru Foundation’s research into ancient Hebrew illustrate this concept with detail and depth. It is as if scripture were the child of this mudra/mantra marriage. So it should be no surprise that the Son bears engravings in his hands.

Our hands are formed by God’s hands; the power can come through them, hence the importance of the laying on of hands. But Mormon men are highly mistaken in their assumption that pre-stood power can only be valid if passed down from the hands of another. Even their religious leaders have acknowledged that titles conferred in this manner do not ensure activation of the power. Of course they only say this as a way to keep bishops and pawns in their places in a craftily constructed priesthood pyramid. Their P®iesthood comes complete with an obstruction manual wherein we are told that:

“There is a difference between being ordained to an office in the priesthood and receiving keys of the priesthood….In their fullness, the keys are held by only one person at a time, the prophet and president of the Church. He may delegate any portion of this power to another, in which case that person holds the keys of that particular labor.”                    – LDS Melchizedek Priesthood Manual

Man-u-als are dangerous collections of the philosophies of this man or that man dictated in a one size fits “u-all” manner that discourages actual activation of power and displeases the Lord greatly. As an adjective, the word ‘manual’ has been used since c.1400 and comes from Latin ‘manualis,’ meaning “of or belonging to the hand; able to be thrown by hand.” Since the early 15th century they have been “throwing the book” at us with the Latin word ‘manualis’ coming to mean a “service book used by a priest,” through the Old French word, ‘manuel’ – “handbook”. The CHI (Church Handbook of Instruction) is nothing more than instruction on the obstruction of Chi (Life-force/Pre-stood). A defiant hand lifted against God. In this way a manual is the established antithesis to Emmanuel, a Hebrew word meaning “God is with us”.

It is this false and vain idea of handling priesthood that keeps Mormon Helping Hands tied as to operations of the Spirit yet ever at the beckon call of government agencies and agendas across the globe. Moroni tells these “do-gooders” quite plainly that none of them actually do good. (Moroni 10:25) Do we need more men like these Mormons? We do not. By imagining that the powers of Heaven may be handled on anything less than the conditions of Justification, Sanctification and Purification, they manage to allow power to fall into the wrong hands. Do LDS men hold the Holy Pre-stood after the Order of the Son of God? Certainly – The question is why are we holding it back?

GIVE ME FIVE BROTHER!

I would now like to give a Key to all the true brethren out there. Well, that is the way Joseph Smith Jr. would have put it. But perhaps it is more accurate to say that I wish to point out to you a key which is already in your possession so that through awareness of it and its great value you may begin to make more effective use of it.

As you may have already guessed, that Key has something to do with the human hand. It is an amazing tool through which we may bless many and I think that a more in depth review of it is necessary since the precepts of men have caused us to forget just how much a spiritual man can do through his bare hands. I do not mean to trivialize or oversimplify the power nor the authority of pre-stood. I endeavor only to bring up the importance of a physiological connection to the powers of Heaven so as to dispel some of the mists of darkness that have kept man cut off from his maker.

We have been con-vinced to channel our belief mentally and emotionally into this group or that group to the neglect or our own souls. The enemy has succeeded to an unacceptable degree in cleverly divesting us of our great endowment. It is the belief of an individual that opens him up as a channel for the Lord. This is why, despite the imagined Mormon Monopoly on power and authority, Scientologists have managed to pool belief and build up the minds of its adherents till confidence creates a spiritual flow through the members of many of its church members. The tactics are very similar to what has been done in modern Mormonism as far as believing themselves to be special and set apart from everyone else. This is why we hear Tom Cruise saying:

“Being a Scientologist, when you drive past an accident, it’s not like anyone else, it’s, you drive past, you know you have to do something about it. You know you are the only one who can really help.” – Tom Cruise on Scientology

To be sure, being set apart from the world is a necessary step. The scriptures refer to it as sanctification. But the idea that sanctification hinges upon membership in any type of religious institution does more harm than good in the world. And believing the vicious lie, that your sanctification process somehow places you above your brothers and sisters at a soul level and therefore at the material level, is the root of iniquity and corruption in this world. I’m not saying that LDS men must necessarily remove themselves from the company of the Church, much less get involved with Scientology. But if you are an ordained Elder in the LDS Church and have never experienced even the slightest healing of another person through your humble hands and fingertips like John Travolta when he assisted the healing of Marlon Brando’s leg, then you owe it to yourself to remove some of the mental blocks that unfortunately come with any religion so that you can better magnify your pre-stood. If you have felt and witnessed the power of God working through you to bless others then you should desire that all may receive it.

Sanctification is one of five factors identified by LDSA as being needed for positive and full working of pre-stood keys. Justification and purification are two more which could be seen as pre requisite steps. Plus the more functional requirements of Mantra and Mudra (vocally pronounced affirmations and non verbal signs usually made with the hands). To be sure it is not an easy task to achieve and maintain all of these factors but neither is it impossible. The point is it entails much more than simply a title bestowed by a licensed authority. This worldly idea that priesthood is controlled by man like some sort of Levitical L-I-C-E-N-S-E is what causes the deafening S-I-L-E-N-C-E of Spirit plaguing so many across the face of the earth.

Our heads have been hacked and filled with all sorts of false ideas about ourselves and the result is that our religious leaders now have some of the biggest heads of all. Jack and Jill went up the Hill of the Lord to fetch a pail of Living Water from the well mentioned by Jesus. When Jesus’ head was pierced with a crown of thorns vinegar was then applied. Jack fell down and broke his crown, so the first step is to patch up our heads with some herb-infused vinegar and brown paper. I invite you to come wrap your head around some forgotten, browning papers from the past which have been kept from the eyes and minds of the masses. Then, like Alma has said, “if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words” you can begin to familiarize yourself with the supernatural spirit power that flows through and around the natural, highly conducive forms of things like branches and leaves, arms and spiritually clean hands.

Although we distinguish between parts of the whole we are not likely to forget the connection and deem the hand an entity apart from the arm. Yet, we seem to have forgotten that the physical body is not a separate entity but intimately connected with the spirit and visa versa. What can we do if we wish to experience the two as one again? We need a key. A key is an instrument that can be used to seal together or to loose two things from one another. Ironically it is the same thing that loosens our bodies from our spirits that has the power to lock them into one another again. In this sense, a key is a tool used to cleave, either apart, like a knife, or together, like a nail. This why the Latin word for key is ‘clavis’ and ‘clavus’ is Latin for nail. A key always takes the form of a line and this is true throughout all planes of reality, making it perfect for aligning things for the purpose of connecting or dividing them. The Chinese word ‘Qi’ is pronounced sort of similarly to the English word ‘Key’ and it means “Life Energy”. Qigong means “Life Energy Cultivation” and is the practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation. Much of modern society may not be accustomed to thinking of keys in terms of energy and body parts. And yet, even the Germanic roots of our English word ‘key’ trace back to ‘kaig-jo’ meaning “pin with a twisted end,” which seems strictly material until you realize that it lines up very well with more esoteric and scientific studies of the energetic origins of creation, like the aforementioned research of the Meru Foundation, which have come up with a model that resembles a pin with a twisted end and corresponds directly to the human hand.

meru model

In keeping with the dual functions of clavis and clavus (key and nail), we have the ultimate of the Grand Key-Words and Signs of the Pre-Stood as expressed within esoteric Mormonism in the Sure Sign of the Nail. This is an alternate name for the Second Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Another name by which it is known is the Patriarchal Grip. So not only is this in keeping with the cleaving symbolism of keys and nails but it also represents the trans-generational timespace rituals which I touched upon in the first section. This two-way covenant between living and dead is all-important for the continued existence of life on this earth according to the word of the Lord in Malachi 4:6.  Unfortunately I am unable to give the matter the amount of attention it warrants in this particular post. But as I said before, we can think of these pre-stood ordinances like a tool box shared between forefathers and their sons for teaching, learning and repairing rifts across the fabric of timespace, throughout all gene-rations. What is it that needs to be bound together? – Heart, mind, time, space, fathers and children. And what is it that must be loosed? – Faulty connections, false traditions that bind us to false gods and negative neurological pathways that lead to depression, oppression, captivity and death.

No believing Mormon should have any reason to doubt that this reciprocal relationship between us and our ancestors, commonly known in LDS circles as the Spirit of Elijah, is the central purpose of the pre-stood. The Church’s founder himself took note of the fact when reflecting upon the exact wording of the message he received from the angel Moroni. Said Joseph:

And again, he quoted the fifth verse [of Malachi 4] thus: “Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

He also quoted the next verse differently: “And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.

Joseph Smith History 1:38-39

Later, when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the visit of Elijah during a vision in the Kirtland temple, Elijah told them.

“Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.  – D&C 110:16

Ancestral promises can bridge past and present, interdimensional doors can be opened, but only with the corresponding keys. And it all has much more to do with hearts and hands than one might be led to think.

Hold your hands out in front of you palms up. If you if you label the left thumb A and the right thumb Z, then starting with the top joint or knuckle of the left pointer finger and working down you get B C D. Then up to the top of the middle finger on the left hand and down the knuckles you get E F G.  Starting back at the left thumb or A we can alternately assign numbers to these key points so that, from the left thumb to the base of the middle finger you have 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. The middle finger on the left hand then represents ‘G’ which can stand for God, Gnosis, or Grand as in “Grand Architect,” “Grand Master” or “Grand Truth”. The middle finger on the left hand can also said to represent the numerical value of 7, which is a holy number representing God and Spirituality in many traditions around the world.

We have reached the highest point on the left hand, and so we now resume numbering or lettering the knuckles, but this time working backwards (654321) starting at the one towards the top of the ring finger on our left hand and ending up at the base of the pinky finger. At this halfway point we can see that ‘M’ figures right in the middle of the English alphabet. Jumping from the pinky on the left hand to the pinky on the right hand and employing the same system we find that here the middle finger includes the letter ‘T’. The ‘T’ is a sacred symbol in Free Masonry and one of the earliest forms of the cross had in many civilizations. Since this system corresponds specifically to the English alphabet we could also say that ‘T’ stands for “Truth”. Thus the symbolism of the two middle fingers hold a “Grand Truth”.  All 26 letters can be perfectly listed on our left and right hands.

The Key is in Your Hands

The Key is in Your Hands

On the chart above we see how the letters K-E-Y correspond to numerals 3-5-2 which add up to 10, the total number of fingers. Applying the 3-5-2 code to corresponding points on the right hand may help to explain the similarities as well as the differences between the aforementioned Patriarchal Grip in Mormon ritual and its Masonic equivalent, the Real Grip of a Master Mason. In both instances the hand grips are used in conjunction with what is known as the Five Points of Fellowship. The correlation between the Five Points and ancestral communion was already lost among Masons by Joseph Smith’s time. Some scholars have refuted Smith’s claim that the Mormon temple ritual was closer to antediluvian temple rites than Freemasonry, which he described as degenerate priesthood. But the focus on vicarious work for the dead is the smoking gun. Of course the true implications and applications of these rituals have remained rather obscure and mostly veiled in Mormonism too. Despite incantations invoking trans-generational staying power and abundance of symbolism relating to the body, most folks think they are basically completing paperwork for those who have passed on. The Five Points though not emphasized as much in modern Mormon ritual are nonetheless interesting to note in their association with the veil between worlds and in light of this recurring theme of 5 which we will see more of later on.

KEYS TO THE KINGDOM

Zomarah has attempted to enlighten the average Latter-Day Saint’s understanding of keys. In a post written late last October, approaching that time of year when our predecessors used to honor and commune with their predecessors, Zomarah felt impressed to write about two topics which are often considered taboo in the Church. Those two topics were Joseph Smith’s practice of Magick then Masonry and the LDS Temple Rituals. He makes the connection to influential writings like those of 15th century German occultist Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and then points out that, judging from Smith’s understanding, a Key possesses three attributes.

“The first attribute is physical. A key must possess some physical manifestation such as a hand grip, hand gesture, or something written.

The second attribute is something spoken. A key must possess a spoken manifestation. But this is not simply saying a word. It is speaking something with complete conviction, as if your entire being is that word.

The third attribute is the Spiritual power or attribute that is accessed by the previous two elements.”

Zomarah – Understanding Priesthood Keys

Zomarah does a good job of treating these sacred subjects delicately. I, on the other hand may be seen as not so gentle or subtle. Nevertheless, I am driven by the same motivation as my brethren (LDSA and Zomarah) – to clarify the current misunderstanding of pre-stood keys which keeps the world in darkness by holding the latent power of the pre-stood hostage and to seal in the minds of God’s true servants the physiological links between the powers of heaven and the rights/rites of the pre-stood.

I hope that everyone will read Zomarah’s post linked above as it can be the means to unlocking many dormant Kilaks lost to the Latter-Day Saints since the Kirtland era. He identifies three attributes of Pre-stood Keys – first physical, then vocal – the third is the actual power or blessing sought. I would like to point out that the particular order in which Zomarah lists these components may add to our mechanical understanding of Pre-Stood Kilakas. I assume that Zomarah’s ordering here was neither intended as a precise road map nor was it necessarily random. Subconsciously I detect that he is spelling out a very important part in the Lord’s method for communication with us, but which part is being described here – the first or the last of it? I think it is the latter half of the formula since physical action is mentioned first, but of course if that which we sought were already apparent in the physical we would have no need of petitioning God for the keys. All that would be left to do is to thank Him.

The Master says He stands at the door and knocks. It is from our side that we must work with the locks. If these are looked at as steps – physical action, spoken word, and obtainment – to open a D-O-O-R hitherto locked, we should be specific about the O-R-D-O by which we set about unlocking it. There is a Holy Order after the Son of God. If I may offer an observation; this order (Physical toVerbal) is perfect for returning praise to God for things already received in the world of physical form. But the praise process can not end at the verbal world, or else the Lord may rightly say that we draw near unto Him with our lips, but that our hearts remain far from Him as He has said in Matt. 15:8, Isaiah 29:13 and of course in Joseph Smith’s First Vision. It is apparent that we must reach higher than the world of words if we want to truly offer our hearts in gratitude. If our heart reaches God’s heart then the connection triggers a reversal and intensification of our small effort that will in turn elicit a continued flow of blessings. However, there appears to be a missing step in this list, one which is nonetheless strongly implied later in Zomarah’s post. The missing step is thought.

Network Model for Working with God

Network Model for Working with God

We of course think a lot – practically incessantly during the course of a typical day. But the vast majority of our thoughts originate from some type of external stimulation – “I gotta get to work” “I’m hungry” “There’s a car over there.” While in this type of mundane mind-state we can be sure that our thoughts are not His thoughts, as it says in the Bible. (Isaiah 55:8-9) We mortals are counseled to take no thought for the morrow (Matt. 6:34, 3 Nephi 13:34), but we do it anyway. At the same time Jesus also reprimands us for taking no thought save it be to ask (D&C 9:7). It seems to me that the crucial thing about thought is its direction and its directive power. Thoughts should be directed at the Lord through the medium of the moment. This is called “turning to the Lord” and only through this type of meditative state can one be in a position to open spiriphysico doors.

Picture in your mind a little toddler who desires to go through a door. Her parents have left it slightly ajar and she is free to pass through if she so desires. Her curiosity propels her forward and scooting straight up to the door she is pleased to discover that, just as expected, her little hand is capable of giving a little push which will cause the door to swing open for a sufficient space of time in which she may get herself to the other side. This is the way mankind behaves. Having faith (expectation) in the work our hands can produce through pushing at the world around us, we take advantage of the openhanded and generous nature of our Heavenly Parents. We are welcome to live this way, but what happens when the door swings shut behind us? The little baby in our example feels she has conquered the door but after her curiosity is satisfied she wants to be able to return again to the security of the room where she left her parents sitting. Dealing with that same door she must now figure out how to swing it inwardly, toward herself. This is a more complicated matter for a toddler as it requires more than the feed-forward thinking that comes so naturally to her developing mind.

To us it seems counter-intuitive to back up even slightly from the goal we see before us. But it is actually right in line with our intuition however counter to our logic. Acting on intuition requires greater faith and it is absolutely necessary if we desire to enter the presence of the Lord. At the present we feel shut out from paradise but won’t we feel silly when we discover we have been pushing on a ‘pull’ door. This is what the mystics are saying when they tell us to “go within”. Take a step back from your self. When it comes to the veil there is no pushing or pulling necessary. Even analogous terms such as locks and keys can be a bit deceptive about the true nature of Heaven and Earth and their accessibility to and from one another. They are eternally connected through no doing of our own. But by adhering to the Pre-Stood Order we may send and receive messages and eventually travel freely between the two. Heaven and Earth are connected by the simultaneous first and final step which is so automatic, so passive yet pervasive that we usually don’t consider it a step at all. We call it feeling or emotion in its mixed states. But in its purest form spiritual sensation and physical feelings are one. This is pre-stood essence. It has been around for eternity and its not going anywhere except wherever you let it. When all is in Order there is an electrifying and undeniable current felt.

“I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it

– Joseph Smith History 1: 25

THE WAY  TO OBTAIN KEYS

Lao Tzu is the honorific title given to a mystic philosopher of ancient China, who lived in the 6th century BC. He is credited with having written the Tao Te Ching and is considered the founder of a philosophy called Taoism which is popular among many Libertarians and Anarchists today. Tao means “The Way”. The 6th century BC is right around the time of Lehi’s Trek to China and North America, and coincidentally Lao Tzu’s birth name was Li Er, which sounds a lot like Lehi.

Even though it is not commonly known or widely accepted among Mormons, the Book of Mormon itself supports the idea that Lehi and company passed through China. As they made their way across China to the seashore they undoubtedly had

The Liahona showed them the 'Tao', the way.

The Liahona showed them the ‘Tao’, the way.

interaction with and most likely were joined by many Chinese who, like Lao Tzu himself, saw too much corruption in the society around them. To be influenced by the gentle wisdom and deep spiritual insight of Lau Tzu, who legend says left the kingdom to travel and teac

h “The Way,” and to then hear this traveling group of expatriates from Jerusalem speak of a promised land must have had a great effect on at least a fair number of souls. Whatever connections might have been made, there is no doubt that Taoism found its way into early Nephite culture. Since even a superficial comparison of the Tao Te Ching with the writings of Lehi, Jacob, King Benjamin and others will yield striking similarities. Through “The Way” they were able to receive the visitation of angels, have prophetic dreams and even command the trees and the waves of the sea. (Jacob 4:6)

Lao Tzu taught:

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

The Book of Mormon contains the caution to watch our thoughts and our words and our deeds, in that particular order. (Mosiah 4:30) This is the correct order for manifestation of a blessing but even a petition, though it may originate with physical need, it too must be sent up through the appropriate guided vacuum of thought if it is to reach the right department. We can think of it like sending an urgent message or payment through one of those devices commonly used at your local bank branch drive-thru for which the proper name is Pneumatic Tube Transport or PTT. In the case of proper prayer petitions PTT stands for Physical Talking Thinking. The pre-stood channels are set up for the express purpose of eternal giving and receiving back and forth between Heaven and Earth. This is not a worldly bank. It is the data bank of Heaven, the seed bank of Abraham. Whether depositing or withdrawing, there is no need to feel prideful or ashamed.  The temple patron’s donation, the widow’s mite, and the beggar’s petition are roles we will all fill at various times in our lives. God is no respecter of persons and His true apostles never charge money to let you hold real keys like we are charged to hold a temple recommend. They instead say to those who think they can purchase priesthood, “Thy money perish with thee!” (Acts 8:20) We must remember Christ because the whole thing functions as a memory bank, not a key bank.keys

The whole secret to keys is unlocking the mind of the Lord first by showing that we have at least become aware of keys in our possession and desire now to learn from Him how to properly use them. Each step in the process of learning keys and opening doors is vitally attached to the others in a loop. But since a loop is essentially a curved line, and because that curve is so long and gradual we feel as though we were just walking a straight line from point A to point B. The cyclical nature of eternity confuses most of us, most of the time. We can sometimes seem lost in the task of trying to find a starting place and indeed God Himself tells us that His “works have no end, neither beginning.” (D&C 29:33) However the Lord helps us out with a point of reference in verse 32. “First spiritual, secondly temporal….and again, first temporal, and secondly spiritual,” He says.

Now before we get all excited about having been provided a starting point, we should keep in mind that it is still a circuit the Lord is describing here. That information will be useful to us later on if we truly want to accomplish His purposes. We are to seek first the Kingdom. If Melchizedek Pre-Stood holders were earnestly seeking the Kingdom of God they might finally notice and admit to themselves and God that the Church is not that Kingdom. We could learn much from a simple quote from Theodore Parker about how our own theology blocks the door to the millennium and keeps us parking when we should be moving forward toward Zion.

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”

Its that type of faith and honesty alone that can bring clarity of conscience. Without obtaining clarity of conscience we will remain stuck in con-science of our own invention. For, while thought is an important step, it is not always those thoughts that we deem rational that come from God.

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The Baptism of Fire


The following is my current understanding of the baptism of fire.

One baptism in three parts

The gospel of Jesus Christ has one, tripartite baptism consisting of the baptism of water, the baptism of fire and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The purpose of baptism is to witness that there exists a covenant between God and the man being baptized. Unless all three witnesses have occurred, the covenant between him and God is not binding.

The doctrine of re-baptism applies equally to all three

Anyone who enters into an agreement with another is free to witness or affirm the fact of the agreement by attestation for as many times as desired. There is no law of man or God against this. In fact, under the law of God, we are to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” that we may be in, even until death. So, the principle of witnessing and re-witnessing is a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The manner in which man witnesses of his covenant to serve God is through water baptism. This means that in order to re-witness his covenant, he must be re-baptized. Therefore, he may receive the baptism of water whenever and as many times as he desires and must, per his covenant, be ever ready to be re-baptized at all times and in all places, to re-attest of the validity of his covenant. This is the doctrine or principle of re-baptism and it applies equally to both water, fire and Holy Ghost baptisms.

Order: fire and Spirit, then water, then fire and Spirit, etc.

Re-baptism being a principle of the gospel, the order in which these baptisms are received is not all that important. The only necessary thing is that each one is received, for these are really three parts of one baptism. Nevertheless, the scriptural, ideal order is first the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost (see D&C 20: 37), followed by the baptism of water, followed by another baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and thereafter, any part may be repeated multiple times throughout one’s life.

Another thing that the gospel states is that after a baptism of water, the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost is supposed to follow on its heels, either right after coming out of the water, or right after confirmation by the laying on of hands.

To demonstrate these principles, Joseph Smith received a baptism of fire during the First Vision, then a baptism of fire during each of Moroni’s visits and during the visit of John the Baptist, then a water baptism by the hand of Oliver Cowdery, followed by a baptism of the Holy Ghost after he came out of the water. Later he received other baptisms of fire with the visits of Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah, etc. He also received another water baptism after the church was legally organized, etc.

Simultaneity

A baptism of fire is always accompanied with a baptism of the Holy Ghost, but a person may be baptized with the Holy Ghost without an accompanying baptism of fire. This is why the baptism of fire is always called the baptism (singular) of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and not the baptisms (plural) of fire and of the Holy Ghost. These two parts of the tripartite baptism occur simultaneously as a single baptismal event whenever there is a baptism of fire.

Jesus alone performs the baptism of fire

Unlike the baptism of water, which can be performed by the hand of a mortal man under priesthood power and authority, the baptism of fire is reserved for Deity alone to accomplish and is based upon the state of a man’s heart and his faith in Him. (See 3 Ne. 12: 1-2; 3 Ne. 9: 20; Matt. 3: 11; Luke 3: 16; JST Mark 1: 6; JST John 1: 28.)

Confirmation is not the baptism of fire

The scriptures say that elders are “to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying of of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.” This is the ordinance of confirmation. Laying hands on someone’s head for the baptism of fire does not baptize anyone with fire. Only the Lord can do that.

When the scriptures say that this ordinance is “for” the baptism of fire, it is using that word “for” to mean “indicating the end with reference to which anything is, acts, serves or is done.” Specifically, the word “for” in that sentence means “as a preparation for” or “with the object of.” So, elders lay hands as a preparation for the baptism of fire, or they lay hands with the object of the baptism of fire.

The ordinance of confirmation, then, is a preparatory ordinance, which precedes an actual baptism of fire. This ordinance is called confirmation because it is intended to confirm the believers’ faith, both that of the one being confirmed and that of those doing the confirming. This is because true priesthood is “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven,” so when true priesthood is exercised as an ordinance of the gospel, there will be a corresponding manifestation of heavenly power. So, after the ordinance of confirmation, there is supposed to be a baptism of fire that occurs, showing that the covenant of the newly baptized person is accepted of God, as well as the priesthood of the one who is doing the confirming.

Binding and accepted covenants

The baptism of fire serves to witness to the new member, to the priesthood holder(s) confirming, and to the church that is present, that the covenant that the man has entered into with his God, witnessed by his water baptism, is accepted by God and is now in force. In other words, that it is binding, both upon the man and his God.

To put another way, water baptism is man’s way of witnessing to God that he has entered into a covenant to serve Him, whereas fire baptism is God’s way of witnessing to man that He has accepted that covenantal relationship.

(Jesus said, “Whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record (witness) of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.” See 3 Ne. 11: 35.)

Plasma is the medium

To serve as a witness to all these people, the baptism of fire must be a visual sign. The medium used is not the fire of a gas stove or match, but discharging plasma in appearance as fire. Depending upon where one is located in relation to the plasma display, it may look like the flame of fire, like a palpable or living light, like lightning, or just as immense glory or brightness.

Specifically, the baptism of fire consists of twin plasma filaments, rapidly rotating around a central axis, creating a plasma tube or sheath, or plasma column, in other words, a cylindrical shape around the person being baptized. When viewed from the outside, it appears to be “a pillar of fire.” When viewed from within the tube, the fire aspects may or may not be discerned, but its bright light or glory is apparent. Thus we have the various accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, which was a baptism of fire, using the words “fire,” “flame,” “light,” “brightness” and “glory” to describe the discharging plasma he was witnessing.

Sometimes the twin filaments themselves can be discerned, and so we get a description of “cloven tongues of fire,” meaning twin tongues (or filaments) of plasma flame. Other descriptions are of fire “encircling” the persons being baptized, showing that the filaments rotate around the person.

All of these scriptural accounts are describing the same plasma manifestation observed from different spatial perspectives, and so accounts vary. But even with everything before a person, sometimes details can still be missed, as in 1 Ne. 15: 27.

Other aspects

Fire baptism is by complete, or cellular, immersion. Plasma both surrounds and enters the man, so that he becomes “filled with fire.” The fire can be seen and felt. To the one immersed in it, it initially feels like he is burning to death, in an incomprehensibly complete and rapid manner, as every part of the body seems to have caught on fire. Great fear instantly comes upon the man as he fully believes he is about to die. But in the next instant his mind realizes that death has not occurred, that there is no pain and that there is no apparent cellular damage or harm. The fear leaves just as suddenly as it comes, only to be replaced with a feeling of awe and gratitude as the mind realizes that this same destroying fire, which should have instantly atomized the body, is somehow keeping the body protected from its own destructive power.

The divine plasma has the effect of cleansing the heart of man, purifying it of all dross (sinful desires), so that he no longer desires to sin, but instead abhors it. In this swept clean condition, the Holy Ghost then unexpectedly and suddenly enters the man and causes the individual bits of his soul to shout for joy, because of the presence of Deity.

Fire baptism allows other heavenly manifestations to occur

The baptism of fire purifies a person’s heart and Jesus said that all the pure in heart shall see God. So, whenever a person receives a baptism of fire, chances are real good that they will also see either an angel, vision or God Himself. At the very least some revelation or prophecy will occur along with the baptism of fire, or some other manifestation of one of the gifts of the Spirit.

Fire remits sin

Whenever a person receives a baptism of fire, his sins are automatically remitted. In other words, he becomes justified, or guiltless, before the Lord. Nephi said, “For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.”

Fire brings forth a new tongue

Nephi also said that when a man receives the baptism of fire he then can speak with a new tongue, even the tongue of angels, and that “angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.”

There are only two, definitive, scriptural examples

There are plenty of scriptural verses that mention the doctrine of baptism of fire, but there are only two accounts in our current standard works in which it is definitively stated that actual baptisms of fire occurred. Of those two accounts, only one applies to us in the latter days. They are:

Adam’s baptism of fire
After Adam was baptized by the Spirit of the Lord, as recorded in Moses 6: 64-68, he heard a voice saying, “Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost.” Nevertheless, there is no mention of any manifestation of fire in the account. Although quite interesting, this experience was, apparently, Adam specific and is not the template for the baptism of fire among the modern masses.

The Lamanites’ baptism of fire
When the Nephite missionaries Nephi and Lehi preached among the Lamanites and were imprisoned, about 300 souls received a baptism of fire, as recorded in Hel. 5: 20-49. This is the scriptural template of a baptism of fire for all mankind. We know this because the voice of Jesus Christ said so:

And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not. (3 Ne. 9: 20)

So, the Lord categorically states in the above scripture that the experience of the 300 souls was a baptism of fire. Additionally, He states that all baptisms of fire that He performs will be “even as the Lamanites… were baptized with fire.” The Lamanites’ baptism of fire, then, is the standard, the rule, and NOT the exception. It is the event that the Lord points to for us to determine whether a baptism of fire has occurred.

(The word “even” in the phrase “even as the Lamanites” means “in or to such (indicated) degree or kind.”)

What the baptism of fire consists of

Based upon the Lamanites’ experience, there are six characteristics of any baptism of fire. They are:

1. Fire encircling an individual, forming a cylindrical shape, such as a column or “pillar of fire” or plasma tube. This would be twin Birkeland currents (plasma cables or filaments) rotating rapidly around a central axis, in appearance like a fire tornado. This is the visual sign to all those witnessing the baptism.

2. The presence and ministration of angels.

3. Justification, meaning a remission of sins.

4. Purification, by fire entering the heart.

5. Sanctification, by becoming filled with (baptized in) the Holy Ghost.

6. Speaking with a new tongue (the tongue of angels, meaning speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost.)

Two more scriptural examples

Using the six characteristics above, we find two more scriptural examples of baptisms of fire which exactly match that of the Lamanites, although the text does not specifically say that they were fire baptisms. They are:

The Nephite little children’s baptism of fire
Jesus baptized little children with fire, as recorded in 3 Ne. 17: 21-25 and as witnessed by 2500 people. These children were encircled by fire, had angels minister to them and spoke in new tongues (see 3 Ne. 26: 14, 16.) Also, we know that they were justified, purified and sanctified, for they were little children and all little children are alive in Christ.

The 12 disciples’ baptism of fire
The fire baptism of these men is recorded in 3 Ne. 19: 11-15. They were encircled about by fire, filled with fire, had angels minister to them and prayed by the power of the Holy Ghost. From the text it is clear that they were justified, purified and sanctified.

Other intimated baptisms of fire

Joseph Smith’s baptisms of fire
As mentioned above, each of Joseph’s angelic ministrations was attended by a baptism of fire (plasma), including the First Vision.

For example, one First Vision account says, “A pillar of fire appeared above my head; which presently rested down upon me, and filled me with un-speakable joy. A personage appeared in the midst of this pillar of flame, which was spread all around and yet nothing consumed…I saw many angels in this vision.”

Another First Vision account says, “while in [the] attitude of calling upon the Lord [in the 16th* year of my age] a pillar of {fire} lightabove the brightness of the Sun at noon day come down fromabove and rested upon me and I was filld with the Spirit of God”. In this account Joseph couldn’t decide whether what he saw was fire or light. He finally decided on light and crossed out fire. The reason for his confusion was that he was witnessing discharging plasma.

I believe that it is reasonable to conclude that the plasma nature of the angel Moroni’s visit (see The plasma aspects of the First Vision and Moroni’s visit) was typical of all angelic ministrations to Joseph, and thus all such events in his life were likely baptisms of fire.

Moses’ vision of God
In Moses chapter 1 it says that “the glory of God was upon Moses.” That sounds to me like a plasma event and that he received a baptism of fire.

Lehi’s pillar of fire
1 Ne. 1: 6 mentions Lehi seeing a pillar of fire. It is obviously a super-duper abridgment of all that occurred, but it sounds like a baptism of fire.

Nephi’s visit from the Lord
Nephi mentions in 1 Ne. 2: 16 that he was visited by the Lord. He doesn’t elaborate but my guess is that this was Nephi’s first baptism of fire. Jesus states in 3 Ne. 11: 35 that when the Father visits people, He visits them with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

Cloven tongues on day of Pentecost
As recorded in Acts chapter 2, there appeared “cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” They were filled with the Spirit, spoke other tongues and spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost. It’s not an exact match of the Lamanite experience (angels are missing), but pretty darn close.

Gentile cloven tongues
In Acts 11: 15 we read Peter’s words about how the Gentiles also received the Holy Ghost. He said, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.” That, to me, seems to be saying that the Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles in the same way that the Holy Ghost fell on the Jews, namely, with accompanying manifestation of cloven tongues like as of fire. This could explain the astonishment of the Jews who witnessed the manifestation of tongues among the Gentiles. (See Acts 10: 44-47.)

Downgrading the baptism of fire

Now, when you compare the scriptural accounts of the baptism of fire to our modern, LDS definitions, it becomes obvious that we have downgraded the sudden, rapid changes effectuated by the marvelous, visual, power displays of the real deal to something gradual, drawn out, imperceptible and nondescript. For example:

While one definition of this expression (the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost) refers to a cleansing by the Holy Spirit as if by fire, still the scriptures and the writings of the prophets indicate there is something more.

The new convert who has accepted the gift of the Holy Ghost with the right spirit will experience not only a cleansing but a feeling that will give him a new heart and make of him a new person. Sometimes this is immediate, and sometimes it happens over a period of time.

The scriptures, and even our church history, record miraculous instances when visible flames encircled the humble followers of Christ—literal manifestations of fire and the Holy Ghost—but more often this fire works quietly and unseen in the hearts of those who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The witness, the change, the cleansing that comes gradually is no less powerful to the person with the right heart, and he or she is impelled to action whether the experience was a sudden, miraculous manifestation or the quiet workings of the Spirit.

(Fire and the Holy Ghost, Loren C. Dunn, Ensign, June 1995)

We have taken away the majesty of the Father’s witness and replaced it with something that goes entirely against nature. Nature is cyclic, cycling between periods of rest and periods of activity. All things work on this principle, including spiritual things. Baptism (all three parts) are designed to be moments of spiritual intensity. You cannot perform a baptism of water over a period of time, or gradually, quietly and unseen. No, you are outside of the water (which can be visually discerned), then you are immersed, and then you come out of the water. There is nothing gradual about it. A single water baptism cannot be performed over days and years. In like manner, the baptism of fire is a punctuated, spiritually intense event.

No one’s spirituality is designed to grow gradually. Gradual spiritual growth is the same as no spiritual growth. There is no such animal as gradual spiritual growth. You either have intense spiritual experiences from time to time or you are spiritually dying. This is why we are commanded to come together often, to intensify the Spirit so as to be capable of growing spiritually.

Joseph Smith’s life was meant to be an example to us. He had multiple, very intense spiritual experiences. It began with a baptism of fire, it continued with more baptisms of fire and it ended in a volley of gun fire. John Taylor said that Joseph lived for glory, died for glory and glory is his eternal reward. Glory = plasma = the baptism of fire. Joseph did, indeed, live for those fire baptism experiences. He had a lot of them, he saw a lot of angels and who knows how many visions, and he wanted to have more of the same. And he tried ceaselessly to get the saints to experience what he was experiencing. So did Moses and all true prophets.

You are either immersed in plasma or you are not. You are either in an intensity phase or in a rest phase of the cycle. There is no such thing as non-cyclic gradualness. If you think you are growing spiritually for the past ten years without any intense spiritual experiences, you are kidding yourself. It means that you have been in a spiritual rest phase of the cycle during this time. No one can remain at spiritual rest for any extended period of time before spirituality begins to decay. It is an impossibility. So, the LDS concept of a gradual, life-long, imperceptible baptism of fire is patently false and leads to spiritual death.

Everyone will receive a baptism of fire

It is not a question of if, but when and how. If a man humbles himself before the Lord and enters into a covenant to serve Him, he’ll receive a baptism of fire in this life, one that will purify and justify him. But there are other baptisms of fire that can be received. For example, one is the baptism of fire that the earth and all those that do wickedly upon her will receive at the Second Coming. Another is the baptism of fire that occurs when the sons of perdition are immersed in the lake of fire and brimstone. One way or another, we are all eventually going to have to go through some type of baptismal fire.

And they knew it not

In closing, let me address one other thing. Jesus said that the Lamanites “were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.” Some have taken that to mean that the Lamanites experienced a change upon their hearts which they did not perceive, because it happened gradually, over time. In other words, that the Lord meant that there was no great manifestation during the Lamanites’ fire and Holy Ghost baptism. And also that the Lord was not referring to the 300 Lamanites who were in prison with Nephi and Lehi, but was referring instead to other Lamanite converts.

This is an incorrect interpretation.

The real meaning of the Lord’s words is that the Lamanites (the 300 souls in that prison) had a magnificent, visual baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, but did not know what it was. That is all that the Lord meant by what He said.

Any time someone experiences a baptism of fire without first being taught about it, they go through the experience without knowing what it is. Joseph’s First Vision fire baptism was performed on him while he was still a boy totally ignorant of such a thing as a baptism of fire. In my own life, I remember that the first time that I had a baptism of fire (prior to my water baptism) I was blown away and didn’t know what it was. The missionaries that had taught me the gospel had not explained this doctrine, so it came as a complete surprise to me and it was only years later, as I studied and learned more of the gospel on my own, that I was able to determine what the hell it was. Prior to that time, it was always an anomaly to me and when talking to others about the various spiritual experiences I had had over the years, I would always set it apart by saying something like, “The second time the Holy Ghost manifested itself to me was quite different than the other times. It was, well, a really big manifestation with a lot of power and I thought I was going to die, or I did die and came back to life. I’m not really sure what happened. All I know is I was consumed in fire but somehow survived unharmed.” Such were my ignorant descriptions. But of course it was a different manifestation than the others. It was a baptism of fire, for crying out loud! But I knew it not.

And in the same manner, neither did the Lamanites.

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The Priesthood


Background on this post

I wish to thank Jahnihah for his essay on priesthood, which made me realize that I had always just accepted the standard definition of priesthood without actually verifying it with the scriptures.  I was then inspired to search the Standard Works with priesthood as my research topic, which, I’m embarrassed to say, I had never done before.  This post contains the findings of that research.

As a general outline for this topic, I used (loosely) Chapter 13 of the new Melchizedek Priesthood/Relief Society Manual, Gospel Principles.  Click the link to compare versions.

What Is the Priesthood?

The priesthood is a language that only God speaks. It is as eternal as God Himself is.

Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years. (D&C 84: 17)

Priesthood rights “are inseparably connected [to] the powers of heaven” (D&C 121: 36), and thus priesthood is all powerful when spoken.  Priesthood possesses the authority (keys) of God, which is recognized by the entire universe as valid in locking (sealing) and unlocking (loosing) all things.

For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same.  (D&C 68: 17)

Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth.

For behold, by the power of his word [priesthood] man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word [priesthood]. Wherefore, if God being able to speak [priesthood] and the world was, and to speak [priesthood] and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?  (Jacob 4: 9)

I am the same which spake [priesthood], and the world was made, and all things came by me.  (D&C 38: 3)

By the power (agency) and authority (keys) of the priesthood, the universe is kept in perfect order.  Through this God-language, God accomplishes His work and glory, which is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words [priesthood].  For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  (Moses 1: 38-39)

Priesthood is a combination of the spoken (audible) word and a gesture (silent) language.  There are three other components to priesthood (to be explained later), which, when present, make it validly “spoken.”

Although the priesthood is a language that only God speaks, He may, and often does, allow worthy sons of His to obtain the right to speak it.  Because the priesthood is a language specific to God alone, when men who hold this right speak it with all 5 components, it is as if God himself is the speaker and the very powers of heaven attend to the pronouncement.

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (D&C 1: 38)

And calling upon the name of God, he beheld his glory again, for it was upon him; and he heard a voice, saying: Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God. (Moses 1: 25)

And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. (Ex. 4: 16)

And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.  (Ex. 7: 1)

All priesthood is centered in, comes from, and points to Christ.  Christ is known as the Word (the Priesthood), even the Priesthood made flesh.

For in the beginning was the Word, even the Son, who is made flesh, and sent unto us by the will of the Father, And as many as believe on his name shall receive of his fulness. And of his fullness have all we received, even immortality and eternal life, through his grace.  (JST John 1: 16)

Christ is the physical embodiment of the priesthood, therefore, as Christ saves all things, the priesthood likewise has as its purpose the salvation of all things.  When God confers the rights of the priesthood upon men, it enables them to act in Christ’s name for the salvation of the human family.  Through it, they can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and teach the members of God’s kingdom on earth, so that they govern themselves.

Again, Christ is the Priesthood, therefore, to receive the priesthood is synonymous with receiving Christ.

And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;  (D&C 84: 35)

Those who receive the priesthood become like Christ, even priesthood made flesh.

For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—  (D&C 86: 9)

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.  (Abr. 2: 9-11; in other words, whoever receives the Priesthood, becoming priesthood made flesh, becomes the seed of Abraham, who was also priesthood made flesh; see also D&C 84: 34)

As Christ is Savior, through the reception of the priesthood, men also become a savior.

Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.  (D&C 86: 11)

Why Do We Need the Priesthood on the Earth?

We must have priesthood authority (keys) to act in the name of God when performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel, such as baptism, confirmation, administration of the sacrament, and temple marriage.  If a man does not have the priesthood, even though he may be sincere, the Lord will not recognize ordinances he performs (see Matthew 7: 21-23; Articles of Faith 1: 5).  These important ordinances must be performed on the earth by men who have obtained the rights of the priesthood.

Men need the priesthood to preside in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to direct the work of the church in all parts of the world.  When Christ lived on the earth, He chose His apostles and ordained them so that they could lead His church.  He gave them the power and authority of the priesthood to act in His name.  (See Mark 3: 13-15; John 15: 16.)

Another reason the priesthood is needed on the earth is to teach the plan of salvation so that we can understand the will of the Lord.

And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. (Alma 13: 1)

Priesthood is also needed to carry out the purposes of God.  For example, it is the purpose of God that every husband and father in Israel receive the priesthood, thus becoming like Christ.  This benefits the husband/father (as he receives exaltation), as well as his wife and children (as they obtain within their very home a type of Christ, pointing the way to Christ.)

And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. (Alma 13: 2)

It also benefits the world in general, for they, like the wives and children, learn how to be saved.

Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord. (Alma 13: 16)

Also, with the husbands/fathers of Israel as priesthood made flesh (Christ types), God can show forth His arm of power, His wonders, in the eyes of all the nations, as priesthood is “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven” (D&C 121: 36).

Why Do Only Men Obtain Priesthood?

Although this question is not explicitly answered in the scriptures, one implicit reason is that the priesthood is meant to point mankind to Christ.  By design, then, one who receives the priesthood not only behaves like Christ, but also looks like Christ. All men, when they grow their hair long and allow their beards to grow full and bushy, bear the image of Christ.  The deep voice and manly physique also contribute to the perception that each man is in the similitude of the Son of God.  This similitude, coupled with the reception of the priesthood, works upon the hearts and minds of men, women and children and turns their attention to Christ.

How Do Men Receive the Priesthood?

Obtaining the rights of the priesthood is not the same as receiving the priesthood.  Let’s talk first about how the rights of the priesthood are obtained.

The Lord has prepared an orderly way for the rights of His priesthood to be conferred upon His sons on the earth.  A worthy male obtains the priesthood “by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof” (Articles of Faith 1: 5).  Usually, it is only a worthy male member of the church who can obtain the priesthood, but sometimes the priesthood is conferred upon worthy male non-members.  Only those who have had the rights of the priesthood conferred upon them can ordain others, and they can do so only when authorized by those who hold the keys (authority) for that ordination.

The first part to receiving the priesthood is obtaining the rights to officiate.

High priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder, priest (of the Levitical order), teacher, deacon, and member.  An elder has a right to officiate in his stead when the high priest is not present.  The high priest and elder are to administer in spiritual things, agreeable to the covenants and commandments of the church; and they have a right to officiate in all these offices of the church when there are no higher authorities present.  (D&C 107: 10-12)

This happens by the laying on of hands and requires only that the man being ordained is righteous (worthy), meaning that he is justified (guiltless) before the Lord, being right according to the law of God, having received a remission of his sins.

Using the rights of the priesthood requires more than justification (righteousness).

That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. (D&C 121: 36)

It also requires purification and sanctification.

Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God (justification), they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish; therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified (sanctification), and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb (purification).  Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost (sanctification), having their garments made white (purification), being pure and spotless before God (purification), could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence (purification); and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure (purification) and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.  (Alma 13: 10-12)

When the rights of the priesthood are exercised by a justified (righteous), purified and sanctified (holy) man, the powers of heaven manifest themselves.  This is according to the promise of God.

For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; to put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.  And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. (JST Gen. 14: 30-32)

A man who has obtained the rights of the priesthood through justification may receive the priesthood itself by purifying and sanctifying himself, through the operation of the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, because of his exceeding faith, hope and charity.  (See Moroni 7.)  In this manner, the man becomes like Christ (see Moroni 7: 48) and qualifies himself for receiving the priesthood and being “ordained by the Lord God” Himself, “by the calling of His own voice, according to His own will.”

And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. (JST Gen. 14: 29)

And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people.  (Alma 13: 1)

Thus, the last part to receiving the priesthood, the bestowal of priesthood power, is solely performed by the Lord and depends upon whether the priest magnifies his calling through sanctification by the Spirit unto the renewing of his body (priesthood made flesh).

For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.  (D&C 84: 33)

Men who receive the priesthood have it confirmed upon them by the Lord’s own voice out of the heavens.

And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.  (D&C 84: 42)

In this way, the Lord reserves to Himself the final ordination necessary for priesthood reception, just as He alone is the one who baptizes with fire and the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and behold, he stretched forth his hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.  (3 Ne. 12: 1)

All men, then, are “on the same standing” (Alma 13: 5).  Those who wish to qualify themselves for reception of the priesthood “on account of their exceeding faith and repentance” (Alma 13: 10) will receive it, while those who “would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds” (Alma 13: 4) will not receive it, though they may have the rights of the priesthood conferred upon them.

We have been told that there are many called to the priesthood, who have obtained the rights to the priesthood, but few among them are chosen to receive it.

Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

•  •  •

Hence many are called, but few are chosen.  (D&C 121: 34, 40)

Men cannot buy and sell the power and authority of the priesthood.  Nor can they take this authority upon themselves.  In the New Testament we read of a man named Simon who lived when Christ’s apostles presided over (served) the church.  Simon became converted and was baptized into the church.  Because he was a skillful magician, the people believed he had the power of God.  But Simon did not have the priesthood, and he knew it.

Simon knew that the apostles and the other priesthood leaders of the church had received the priesthood, for the powers of heaven were manifest among them.

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. (Acts 8: 13)

He saw them use their priesthood to do the Lord’s work, and he wanted this power for himself.  He offered to buy the priesthood.  (See Acts 8: 9-19.)  But Peter, the chief apostle, said, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8: 20).

Ecclesiastical Abuse: How the Priesthood Is Misused and What to Do About It

The priesthood is to be used to serve our Heavenly Father’s children here on earth, converting the priest into a servant or minister of all.  Priesthood holders should serve in love and kindness, not rule like Gentile kings.

But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  (Mark 10: 42)

Any attempt to convert the minister-servant role of priest into the pomp and prestige of a Gentile ruler by undertaking “to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness” (D&C 121: 37) results in immediate condemnation by the Lord, even if the ecclesiastical abuse is not known or corrected by the church.  Ecclesiastical abuse in any form or degree brings immediate damnation upon the priesthood officer and, even before the abuser is aware, he is left alone without the Spirit and subject to the spirit of the devil, to persecute the saints within his congregation, who have been placed within his care and ministry.  He then becomes a wolf in sheep’s clothing, fighting against God.  (In the view of the abuser, it is the saints who are the wolves and he is doing “God’s work.”)

Those who engage in ecclesiastical abuse will use the high-sounding title of their priesthood office (bishop, stake president, etc.) to engage in power-plays and submission tests to try to force or compel the members of the congregation to submit to their authority and do what they want them to do.  They will gratify their pride and label all those saints who resist such tyranny as apostates and accuse them of the sin of rebellion.  Ecclesiastical abuse takes many forms, but the following are listed in scripture:

1) undertaking to cover our sins

2) undertaking to gratify our pride

3) undertaking to gratify our vain ambition

4) undertaking to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men

The saints of God within any ward or branch of the church, being sanctified (made holy) by the Spirit of God, naturally resist tyranny in all of its forms.  Like captain Moroni, they “seek not for power, but to pull it down” (Alma 60: 36).  They do not follow the precepts of men except when those precepts are given by the Holy Ghost.  This puts them directly at odds with any ecclesiastical abuser who is a priesthood leader that presides over them.  The rank and file (unsanctified) member is accustomed to following the brethren, not the Spirit, and will blindly follow the precepts of men given by an ecclesiastical abuser regardless of whether it is inspired or not.  These rank and file members will put the priesthood tyrant on a pedestal, gratifying his pride and vain ambition, covering his sins, and will, like the tyrant, look upon the saints resisting compulsion as disobedient apostates and trouble-makers.

These conditions are to be expected among the church for as long as it remains unsanctified and under condemnation, for “it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion” (D&C 121: 39).

Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.  And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—  (D&C 84: 55-57)

This means that almost all men who hold the rights of the priesthood, including those who hold leadership positions and high offices, are by nature predisposed to act like tyrants.  There are but few (see D&C 121: 40) of the vast ensemble that do not engage in ecclesiastical abuse.  It is these few who pattern their lives after Christ, aspiring to be like Him and setting their hearts upon Him.  The rest (“almost all men”), which are the many, set their hearts “upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men” (D&C 121: 35).  So the church, by and large, is led by ecclesiastical abusers, even tyrants, with the occasional man of Christ appearing among them, yet all these men have obtained the rights of the priesthood.

Because of the nature and disposition of men to be tyrants and the condition of the unsanctified and condemned (damned) church, the saints of God are to follow the admonition of Alma, which is to “trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments” (Mosiah 23: 14) and the warning of Nephi:

Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.  (2 Ne. 28: 31)

The Lord has left two means of dealing with ecclesiastical abuse: the law of common consent and the church courts.  If there are two or three witnesses to abuse, the procedure described in D&C 42: 78-93 may be used.  If there are no witnesses (or no willing witnesses), or if the church court system becomes entirely corrupt because the priesthood leadership will not allow a court to be convened or otherwise impedes the process (undertaking to cover up the sins of their fellow ecclesiastical abuser), the law of common consent can be used to de-fang tyrants.  If, however, the law of common consent fails due to rubber-stamping by the general membership, saints of God must resort solely to Alma and Nephi’s counsel, leaving the matter in the Lord’s hands.

Priesthood Organization: An Inverted Hierarchy

A hierarchy is defined as “a ruling body of clergy organized into orders or ranks, each subordinate to the one above it.”  It is true that the priesthood is organized into orders and ranks, but instead of rulers, it consists of servants.  The Lord’s “rulers” (Abr. 3: 23) are not rulers in the typical sense.  They are ministers and servants.

He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. (D&C 50: 26)

In a typical rich household, the servants do not get the chief seats, do not get the first meal, are not the ones put up on a pedestal.

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, they will make you observe and do; for they are ministers of the law, and they make themselves your judges. But do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.  For they bind heavy burdens and lay on men’s shoulders, and they are grievous to be borne; but they will not move them with one of their fingers.  And all their works they do to be seen of men. They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi, (which is master.) But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your master, which is Christ; and all ye are brethren.  (JST Matt. 23: 1-5)

The priesthood is designed to be an inverted pyramd, or inverted hierarchy, with the greatest servants, meaning the meekest, most charitable servants, at the very bottom.  These are the least of all the kingdom of God, being servants of all.  Thus, the First Presidency is really the Last Presidency, or Bottom Presidency, being below all other presidencies, nevertheless, all priesthood offices and callings are placed by the Lord below, not above, the body of the church (the saints).

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Eph. 2: 20)

Not By Virtue of the Priesthood

By the Lord’s design, “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood” (D&C 121: 41), therefore, for instance, when any president or counselor of the First Presidency enters a room full of people or speaks before an audience, he is to be treated as a title-less servant, not as royalty.  His words and actions alone are to be taken into consideration, without considering, at all, his priesthood rank.  If his words and/or actions are persuasive, long-suffering, gentle, meek, kind and given with genuine love and in pure knowledge, we are to allow them to influence us or to have power over us, otherwise, we are to ignore them. This does him a great service, as people who are treated like royalty eventually begin acting as royalty.  This principle applies to every priesthood calling in the church: branch president, bishop, quorum president, high priest group leader, stake president, mission president, area authority, seventy, apostle, First Presidency counselor or prophet.  They are all to be treated as if they had no title or office, whatsoever.

The next priesthood body, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is not below the First Presidency, but above them, in the inverted hierarchy.  Yet, the Twelve are still just servants of the church body and are to be treated as such, just like the First Presidency.  The difference, though, lies in how the Twelve and First Presidency interact with each other, for the First Presidency is to serve the Twelve and not the other way around.

This pattern of the greater serving those who are lesser is to apply to all quorums of the priesthood, for even as “the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister” (Mark 10: 45), so are holders of the priesthood not to be ministered unto, but to minister, in their respective jurisdictions.

How Do Men Properly Use the Priesthood?

The word “minister” comes from the Latin minister, which means “servant.”  Our word “servant” comes from the Old French servir, which comes from the Latin servire, which means “to be a slave” or “to be a servant,” which comes from the Latin servus, which means “slave” or “servant.”  The only difference between a slave and a servant is that the servant is engaged in voluntary servitude while the slave is engaged in involuntary servitude.  With this in mind, we can think of a servant as a “voluntary slave.”  To properly use the priesthood, then, one must consider himself a servant, or voluntary slave, of all and act accordingly.  Even when called to preside, the use of the word “president” means, in the vernacular of the Lord, servant (or voluntary slave).

Which ordinance is instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be appointed standing presidents or servants over different stakes scattered abroad;  (D&C 124: 134)

This is why the Lord uses the word “yoke.”

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  (Matt. 11: 28-30)

We are yoked (as servants) with priesthood.  We are voluntarily enslaved.

Entering the priesthood with the proper mindset requires that one consider himself as nothing (see Mosiah 4: 11), even less than “the dust of the earth” (see Mosiah 2: 25-26).  This prepares a man to “enter the priesthood” and not merely “get the priesthood.”  Often we speak of the priesthood as something you get, receive, hold, as if it were a thing you could stick in your pocket.  It is true that the priesthood is “the gift of God” (see Acts 8: 20), but it is also true that it is an order that is entered into by ordination.  “Entering the priesthood” is meant to be a life-changing event, for it is through the priesthood that men can become like Christ, even priesthood made flesh. In that vein, entering the priesthood is synonymous with entering a life of selfless service, in which you use the rights of the priesthood, and the powers of heaven that are inseparably connected to them, to bless and minister to all the living creatures around you, and even to those who have died, through the work for the dead.

Priesthood Is the Antidote to “Natural Man Syndrome”

When priesthood functions as it was intended to function, as a corps of humble servants who are unable to maintain any power or influence by virtue of their priesthood office and calling, because all look upon them as title-less servants and listen to their counsel and follow their examples only to the degree that their counsel and examples square up with the scriptures, priesthood becomes an antidote to the natural disposition that men have to exercise unrighteous dominion upon others.  Only when priesthood offices and callings are lifted up in the eyes of the LDS people to the point where they give their leaders special treatment, like royalty, and they heed and “follow the brethren,” their leaders, because they have such high and holy callings, in other words, when the LDS people begin to give more weight to what a General Authority says because he is a General Authority, or more weight to what a stake president or bishop or branch president or any other president says, because of their titular callings, at that point the priesthood ceases to be the antidote and becomes, instead, the poison.  When the honors of men are found within the priesthood ranks and men begin to list the high priesthood offices they’ve held as merit badges and honorable ribbons, or as a job resume, it ceases to function as the true priesthood of God and becomes, instead, but a form of godliness, and not the real thing.

At that point, the powers of heaven will have withdrawn from these men and the work of miracles would have ceased.  No more angels, no more open visions, no more prophecies and revelations, no more miraculous power manifested.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”  (JS-H 1: 19)

False Priesthoods: Royal In Nature

The transformation of the minister-servant status of priesthood into royalty status can be seen by examining how the priesthood operated during the time of Christ and how it has morphed over generations into the Catholic priesthood today.  The pope, cardinals and bishops dress, act and are treated as royalty.  Mormon priesthood appears to be following the same evolution.  Although Mormons don’t, yet, kiss their bishop’s rings (like Catholics do), Mormon priesthood leadership has many of the trappings of royalty, including getting the chief seats, partaking of the sacrament first, having people stand when a GA enters a room, etc.

How Keys are Lost (or Taken Away)

Both Mormon and Catholic priests claim a priesthood line of ordination that leads directly to Peter.  In the case of the Catholics, they claim an unbroken line of ordination to mortal Peter, while the Mormons claim an unbroken line of ordination to the angel Peter.  Each asserts that they have the keys (authority) of the priesthood, while the others do not.  The assertion, then, is that the priesthood of the other church is false because they have no keys.  So, by definition, a false priest, even though proper ordination has occurred, is one that asserts to have keys, but in reality has no keys.

A priest’s keys (authority) is immediately lost or taken away when a priest undertakes “to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men” (D&C 121: 37) by virtue of the priesthood.  When authority is asserted because of an office of the priesthood, the Lord says, “Amen to…the authority (keys) of that man” (D&C 121: 37).

A man who has obtained the rights and keys of the priesthood, who acts in this manner, loses his keys (or has his keys taken away), becoming a false priest. For example, although the Catholic priests trace their priesthood back to Peter, they are false priests, for they assert their authority by virtue of their priesthood ordination and thus have no keys. They may have had the keys at one time, but due to wholesale, unrepentant, generational corruption, they have since lost them entirely, for you can not pass on what you no longer have.

Mormon priesthood keys can also be just as easily lost.  It matters not that one was ordained by someone with real priesthood authority who correctly conferred the rights and keys of the priesthood.  Regardless of how correct was the ordination, if priesthood is used contrary to the order of heaven, both the keys and powers of priesthood are instantly lost.  With repentence, they can be obtained again, but while a man persists in influencing others by virtue of the priesthood, that man has no valid authority and is a fraud, even a false priest.  When that happens, priesthood, in the hands of a false priest, instead of being a great blessing, becomes a curse to the people and church of God.

False priests “teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance” (2 Ne. 28: 4), which makes them “false teachers.”  It is “because of false (priest) teachers” that “churches have become corrupted” (2 Ne. 28: 12).  It is important, then, to be able to discern a false from a true priest/teacher.  In this area, Jesus gave us some counsel:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.  (3 Ne. 14: 15-20)

This advice equally applies to false priests.  Notice that Jesus doesn’t say that “ye shall know them by their improper priesthood ordination.”  How they are ordained is not the most important thing in detecting ravening wolves.  How they use the priesthood shows them as being true or false priests.

The Priesthood and Women

It is through priesthood that men become exalted, for when they receive it, they receive Christ and the Father and all that the Father has.  This is according to the oath and covenant of the priesthood.  The doctrine of exaltation requires the union of man and woman in eternal marriage, but men must also receive the priesthood.  Women, however, obtain their exaltation by their union with their priest-husband.  A priest-husband who has received the priesthood, meaning he has become priesthood made flesh, in similitude of the Son of God, when he “cleaves to his wife,” becomes one flesh with her.  In this way, the wife shares in all of the exalting benefits of the priesthood and enters into her exaltation, just as does the husband.  This is according to the principle of charity.

The prize is the same for both of them: all that the Father has is given to her husband and to her, for she is one flesh with her husband and he is priesthood made flesh. As he has received the priesthood, and she has become one flesh with him, she has also received the priesthood.

This does not mean that she must perform the ordinances of the priesthood.  Each office of the priesthood has duties that vary from another office of the priesthood.  A deacon does not do what an elder does.  In like manner, a woman, wife and mother has duties different than any of the offices of the priesthood.  She is not ordained to these duties like a priest, for her calling begins at her birth.  She is given from the start the natural abilities and gifts needed to bear and nurture the souls of men and has no need for priesthood rights to be conferred upon her to magnify her calling.  She only needs the saving ordinances of the gospel, including the temple rites, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, to magnify her calling.  Nevertheless, the promise of exaltation lies with the priesthood, and for this matter she must enter into eternal marriage with a man who has received the priesthood and become one flesh with him to obtain her exaltation.

The Lord is merciful to all His daughters, as well to all His sons, and will not allow a disobedient husband who refuses to receive the priesthood to stop a wife worthy of exaltation from receiving it.  Nor will He allow a rebellious wife to prohibit her worthy-of-exaltation husband from receiving it.  Each man who justifies, purifies and sanctifies himself before God and obeys His commandments, will enter into his exaltation regardless of what his spouse does.  The same applies to women.

What Priests Really Hold

Although we “confer the priesthood,” in reality we are not conferring priesthood, but are conferring the rights to the priesthood.  The rights to the priesthood are the rights to administer the priesthood, or the rights to officiate in an office of the priesthood, meaning the rights to use the priesthood, or to speak this language of God. (See Abr. 1: 2-3, 27, 31; Abr. 2: 11; D&C 121: 36-37; D&C 107: 10-12.)  This pattern also applies to the ordinance of confirmation, in which it is said, “Receive the Holy Ghost!”  Are we really bestowing the Third Member of the Godhead upon the newly baptized member?  Of course, not.  We are merely giving them the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to have the constant companionship of the Spirit.

The Key-words of the Priesthood

Facsimile #2 of the Book of Abraham has the following explanations of figures #3 and #7:

3. “representing also the grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood”

7. “revealing through the heaven the grand Key-words of the Priesthood”

The Key-words of the priesthood are not some secret, magic words that, once known and spoken, grant the man speaking them unlimited access to the heavens and the powers thereof.  They are not secret words known only to the living prophet or Twelve apostles, or to other secret initiates.  No, the Key-words of the priesthood is the priesthood itself.

The priesthood is a language that is specific to, and spoken only by, God Himself.  It is the original tongue, the mother and father tongue, the words that brought everything into existence, including other languages (the languages of men).  The priesthood is the key-words that lock or unlock all things, or seal and unloose all things.  These are the words of power (agency), the words of authority (keys).  It is through the Key-words (the Priesthood) that every other word of God has come forth.  For example, the scriptures found in our Standard Works contain the Word of God revealed through the Key-words (Priesthood) of God.

Joseph added “of the Holy Priesthood” and “of the Priesthood” to his explanation of Key-words, because Key-words is a common term and could refer to many things.  So, he added that to indicate or clarify that he was talking of the Priesthood Key-words.  The term Key-words itself is used to indicate that the Priesthood is a language which holds authority (keys) in the universe.  Joseph says that “all to whom the Priesthood was revealed” have “the Key-words of the Holy Priesthood” revealed (see Fig. 3).  So, if you have had the Priesthood revealed to you, then you have also had the Key-words of the Priesthood revealed to you, for they are one and the same.

What Blessings Come When We Use the Priesthood Properly?

Answer: Faith, the presence of God, knowledge of God and exaltation.

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.  The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.  (D&C 121: 45-46)

The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity; because the promise is, if these things abound in them they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. (D&C 107: 30-31)

Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!  (D&C 128: 19)

And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.  (D&C 84: 35-39)

Notice, also, that while the gift of the Holy Ghost gives us the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, receiving the priesthood actually causes the Holy Ghost to be one’s constant companion.  The meaning of this is that we become one (united) with God, meaning that we enter into the Godhead.  This is according to the Lord’s intercessory prayer.  (See John 17.)

Mormon Gentile Priesthood: A Temporary Measure

The priesthood given by God to the Gentile Mormons today is temporary in nature.  The first priesthood given, the Priesthood of Aaron, is a modified form of the original Priesthood of Aaron.  It has been tailored to fit the conditions (see D&C 46: 15) among the Gentile Mormons and will only remain with them until the Levites begin again to perform the Levitical Priesthood rites.

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.  (D&C 13: 1)

The second priesthood given, which is the Melchizedek Priesthood, will remain with the Gentile Mormons only until the restoration of all things, at which point it will be transferred to the tribes of Israel.

Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.  (D&C 86: 10)

So, at some point in the future, the Melchizedek Priesthood will be restored to the tribes of Israel and the Levitical/Aaronic Priesthood will be restored to the Levites and the priesthoods among the Gentiles will be phased out so that Gentiles will no longer be able to obtain priesthood unless they renounce their Gentile status and become numbered with the house (tribes and Levites) of Israel.

Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (3 Ne. 30: 2)

Next Priesthood article: An alternate view of the keys

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A Gospel Outline—Without Explanations


Note: The following is a flip-chart outline that I prepared some years ago as a visual aid to teach my children certain principles of the gospel. I do not know if it is self-explanatory to adults.  I hope to expound certain parts of it in greater detail in follow-up posts.

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The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of miraculous power whereby a man or a woman may become a “possessor of all things” (D&C 50: 27-35; 46: 28-33) and have his or her calling and election made sure by overcoming the world

“Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son.  But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin.  And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done.  But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask; and as ye are appointed to the head, the spirits shall be subject unto you.  Wherefore, it shall come to pass, that if you behold a spirit manifested that you cannot understand, and you receive not that spirit, ye shall ask of the Father in the name of Jesus; and if he give not unto you that spirit, then you may know that it is not of God.  And it shall be given unto you, power over that spirit; and you shall proclaim against that spirit with a loud voice that it is not of God—not with railing accusation, that ye be not overcome, neither with boasting nor rejoicing, lest you be seized therewith.  He that receiveth of God, let him account it of God; and let him rejoice that he is accounted of God worthy to receive.  And by giving heed and doing these things which ye have received, and which ye shall hereafter receive—and the kingdom is given you of the Father, and power to overcome all things which are not ordained of him—”  (D&C 50: 27-35)

“And it shall come to pass that he that asketh in Spirit shall receive in Spirit; that unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby. He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh. And again, I say unto you, all things must be done in the name of Christ, whatsoever you do in the Spirit; and ye must give thanks unto God in the Spirit for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with. And ye must practise virtue and holiness before me continually. Even so. Amen.”  (D&C 46: 28-33)

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Upon Condition of Repentance

Faith in Jesus leads to repentance and repentance activates justification (D&C 88: 38-39; 138: 19.)

Justification activates everything else.

Steps of repentance: recognition of sin, godly sorrow, confession, ask forgiveness, restitution, forsake sin, receive forgiveness.

“And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.  All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.”  (D&C 88: 38-39)

“And there he preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance.”  (D&C 138: 19)

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Powers of the Holy Ghost

1)      Justification – guiltless state, forgiveness of sin

a)      Justification without the covenant of baptism – will fall from grace (D&C 20: 37; 130: 23)

b)      Justification with the covenant of baptism – possible to fall from grace (D&C 20: 32-34)

c)      Permanent Justification – cannot fall from grace (3 Nephi 28: 39; 2 Peter 1: 10)

2)      Purification – abhorrence of sin, no more attraction to sin, no more desire to sin

a)      Purification without the covenant of baptism – will fall from grace (D&C 20: 37; 130: 23)

b)      Purification with the covenant of baptism – possible to fall from grace (D&C 20: 32-34)

c)      Permanent Purification – cannot fall from grace (3 Nephi 28: 39; 2 Peter 1: 10)

3.      Sanctification – desire to do good continually (Mosiah 5: 2), meaning to do the works of Christ, meaning to work by the power of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10: 25)

a)      Sanctification without the covenant of baptism – will fall from grace (D&C 20: 37; 130: 23)

b)      Sanctification with the covenant of baptism – possible to fall from grace (D&C 20: 32-34)

c)      Permanent Sanctification – cannot fall from grace (3 Nephi 28: 39; 2 Peter 1: 10)

And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.”  (D&C 20: 37)

“A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.”  (D&C 130: 23)

“But there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God; therefore let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptation; yea, and even let those who are sanctified take heed also.”  (D&C 20: 32-34)

“Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt them; and they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them.”  (3 Nephi 28: 39)

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”  (2 Peter 1: 10)

“And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”  (Mosiah 5: 2)

“And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God.”  (Moroni 10: 25)

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Gifts of the Spirit

1) The gift to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

2) The gift to believe on the words of those who know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.

3) The gift to know the differences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord, according as the Lord will, suiting his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men.

4) The gift to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given to every man to profit withal.

5) The gift of the word of wisdom, that all may be taught to be wise.

6) The gift of the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to have knowledge.

7) The gift to have faith to be healed.

8 ) The gift to have faith to heal.

9) The gift of the working of miracles.

10) The gift to prophesy.

11) The gift of the discerning of spirits.

12) The gift to speak with tongues.

13) The gift of the interpretation of tongues.

14) The gift to discern all the gifts given to the church lest there shall be any among you professing and yet be not of God.  (D&C 46: 13-27.  See also Moroni 10: 8-16; 1 Corinthians 12: 4-10.)

“To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.  To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.  And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know the differences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord, according as the Lord will, suiting his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men.  And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given to every man to profit withal.  And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom.  To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.  And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed; and to others it is given to have faith to heal.  And again, to some is given the working of miracles; and to others it is given to prophesy; and to others the discerning of spirits.  And again, it is given to some to speak with tongues; and to another is given the interpretation of tongues.  And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.  And unto the bishop of the church, and unto such as God shall appoint and ordain to watch over the church and to be elders unto the church, are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts lest there shall be any among you professing and yet be not of God.”  (D&C 46: 13-27)

“And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them.  For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; and to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; and to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; and again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles; and again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things; and again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits; and again, to another, all kinds of tongues; and again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues.”  (Moro. 10: 8-16)

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:” (1 Cor. 12: 4-10)

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Signs of the Spirit

1) And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name they shall do many wonderful works; in my name they shall cast out devils; in my name they shall heal the sick; in my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf; and the tongue of the dumb shall speak; and if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them; and the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.  (D&C 84: 65-72.)

2) And whoso shall ask it in my name in faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk.  (D&C 35: 9.)

3) And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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; and whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.  (Mormon 9: 24-25.)

4) And these signs shall follow him—he shall heal the sick, he shall cast out devils, and shall be delivered from those who would administer unto him deadly poison; and he shall be led in paths where the poisonous serpent cannot lay hold upon his heel, and he shall mount up in the imagination of his thoughts as upon eagles’ wings.  And what if I will that he should raise the dead, let him not withhold his voice.  (D&C 124: 98-100.)

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Fruit of the Spirit

1) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  (Galatians 5: 22-23.)

2) And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy; and then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.  (D&C 11: 12-14.)

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First Principles

Faith in Jesus Christ

Repentance

Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins

The laying of of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost

Receiving the Holy Ghost (baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost)

Enduring (in sanctified state) to the end (of the probation)

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Working Principles

Be of good cheer (cheerful heart and countenance)

Give thanks to God for all blessings (D&C 59: 15)

Acknowledge (or confess) the hand of God in all things (D&C 59: 21)

Acknowledge (or confess) your unworthiness before God at all times (Alma 38: 14)

“And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—”  (D&C 59: 15)

“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.”  (D&C 59: 21)

“Do not say: O God, I thank thee that we are better than our brethren; but rather say: O Lord, forgive my unworthiness, and remember my brethren in mercy—yea, acknowledge your unworthiness before God at all times.”  (Alma 38: 14)

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Prayer

Three times a day: morning, mid-day and evening (Alma 34: 21)

Continual prayer in heart (3 Nephi 20: 1)

Before performing anything unto the Lord (2 Nephi 32: 9)

In families (3 Nephi 18: 21)

Thanksgiving for blessings

Praise of greatness of God

Confession of sins and unworthiness

Acknowledgment of hand of God in all things

Petitions

In Spirit (D&C 46: 28, 30)

Of faith, believing that you will receive, doubting nothing (3 Nephi 18: 20; Mormon 9: 21)

“Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.”  (Alma 34: 21)

And it came to pass that he commanded the multitude that they should cease to pray, and also his disciples. And he commanded them that they should not cease to pray in their hearts.”  (3 Nephi 20: 1)

“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.”  (2 Nephi 32: 9)

“Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.”  (3 Nephi 18: 21)

“And it shall come to pass that he that asketh in Spirit shall receive in Spirit; •  •  • He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh.”  (D&C 46: 28, 30)

“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.”  (3 Nephi 18: 20)

“Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.”  (Mormon 9: 21)

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Scriptures

1) daily: day and night (Joshua 1: 8 )

2) purpose: to gain more faith (Romans 10: 17)

3) personal goal: __ pages a day

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”  (Joshua 1: 8)

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  (Romans 10: 17)

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Faith

1) exercised as a principle of natural action – 1st, believe it is possible and that it will happen, 2nd, make the attempt

2) exercised as a principle of supernatural action (miraculous power) – 1st, obtain justification, 2nd, obtain faith through scripture study, through asking God in prayer, or through hearing the word of God preached in power, 3rd, ask for gift needed, believing you will receive, 4th, pray in faith that action will be for the welfare of your soul, 5th, open your mouth and command in the name of Jesus.  If process fails, it will be because of lack of sufficient faith.  (Ether 12: 29-31.)  Repeat steps until sufficient faith is gained for miracle to be performed.

“And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted, and said: O Lord, thy righteous will be done, for I know that thou workest unto the children of men according to their faith; for the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore thou workest after men have faith.  For thus didst thou manifest thyself unto thy disciples; for after they had faith, and did speak in thy name, thou didst show thyself unto them in great power.”  (Ether 12: 29-31)

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How to Always Retain Remission of Sins (Justification)

And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingsness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.  And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.  (Mosiah 4: 11-12.)

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Definitions

Testimony is knowing the truth of something by the power of the Holy Ghost (divine revelation.)

Conversion is divine revelation that one’s sins have been forgiven and one’s nature has been changed (in other words, that justification, purification and sanctification has occurred.)

The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.  (D&C 131: 5.)

Calling and election made sure is permanent justification, purification and sanctification.

Holy Spirit of promise is the Holy Ghost.

Sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise means that the Holy Ghost sanctifies the thing, so that the pronounced promises come to pass as long as the conditions are met.

Baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost refers to the reception of the Spirit whereby a person becomes justified and purified as by fire and sanctified by the Spirit.

Receiving the Holy Ghost comes by the prayer of faith and is what sanctifies a person (3 Nephi 27: 20.)

The gift of the Holy Ghost is the ordinance that allows the Spirit to tarry continually with a person so that the individual can eventually become permanently sanctified (D&C 130: 23.)

“Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.”  (3 Nephi 27: 20)

“A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.”  (D&C 130: 23)

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Principles of Petitions

We must call upon the Lord, that from Him we may receive according to our desires.  (Ether 3: 2.)

And it shall come to pass that he that asketh in Spirit shall receive in Spirit.  He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh.  (D&C 46: 28, 30.)

And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith.  (D&C 42: 14.)

You must only ask for things in which it is possible to have faith to obtain.  The scriptures call this asking for things which are right.  (Mosiah 4: 21; 3 Nephi 18: 20.)

You must ask, believing that you will receive, doubting nothing.  (Enos 1: 15.)

Now, what do you desire to receive?  Make a list of your righteous desires.

“O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.”  (Ether 3: 2)

“And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.”  (D&C 42: 14)

“And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.”  (Mosiah 4: 21)

“Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able to preserve our records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said unto me: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.”  (Enos 1: 15)

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Scriptural Discussion #5: Teachers—Must Be Sanctified


TEACHERS—MUST BE SANCTIFIED

Alma said: “And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.” (Mosiah 23: 14)

The Lord said, “And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.” (D&C 42: 14)

The Lord said, “Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.” (3 Nephi 27: 20)

Discuss.

Next Scriptural Discussion: #6 TRIBULATION UPON CHURCH

Previous Scriptural Discussion: #4 SICK—FAITHLESS MEMBERS/FAITHFUL SAINTS

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