1. PLAN OF SALVATION CAVEAT: This is an overview ( for missionaries ) of the Plan of Salvation in great detail. This is far more than should be taught to the investigator, but is given to you so that you can begin to get an idea of some of the fundamental parts of the overall plan. As stated in PMG at page 50 “When first teaching this doctrine, do not teach everything you know about it. Explain (it) very simply…” This is to be understood by the spirit and according to your level of understanding at this time. As you learn more, you will understand your divine nature and the teaching in Abraham 3:26 which states: “And they who keep their first estate (pre earth life) shall be added upon…and they who keep their second estate (earth life) shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.”
2. 1/3 of the spirit children were expelled from the presence of God Veil EARTH Death Paradise and spirit Prison CELESTIAL GLORY-The Glory of the Sun The Glory of the Moon or Terrestrial Kingdom The Glory of the Stars of Telestial Kingdom Pre-Mortal Life in our Heavenly Parents Celestial Kingdom The Pre-existence <ul><li>Obtain a body </li></ul><ul><li>Be Tested </li></ul>PLAN OF ETERNAL PROGRESSION Resurrection
3. Pre-Mortal Life in our Heavenly Parents Celestial Kingdom The Pre-existence PLAN OF ETERNAL PROGRESSION WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THIS PLACE? 1. We are the offspring, spiritually born, of a heavenly father and a heavenly mother. 2. We lived in their heavenly home, the celestial kingdom, from the time we were born spiritually until the time we came to earth. 3. There was no evil initially in their celestial kingdom. 4. Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, originally a good guy, made choices that eventually turned out really bad for him and a 1/3 rd of the spiritual children of our Heavenly Parents. Let’s get more specific about what the Pre-Mortal Life was like. D & C 76:25: And thus we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son, (26) And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.
4. LITERAL BIRTH IN THE PREMORTAL LIFE? <ul><li>If we were born in heaven before this world was made, the question might arise as to the nature of that birth. Was it by command that the spiritual substance, scattered through space, was miraculously brought together, and organized into a spiritual form, and called a spirit? Is that the way that Jesus, the firstborn of every creature, was brought into existence? Oh no ; we were all born there after the same manner that we are here, that is to say, every person that had an existence before he came here had a literal father and literal mother, a personal father an a personal mother ; hence the Apostle Paul, in speaking to the heathen at Ephesus, says, "We are his offspring." Now I look upon every man and woman that have ever come here on this globe, or that ever will come, as having a father and mother in the heavens by whom their spirits were brought into existence. Orson Pratt Journal of Discourses 15:242-243 </li></ul>
5. The DEVELOPMENT of TALENTS During the long expanse of life which then was, an infinite variety of talents and abilities came into being. As the ages rolled, no two spirits remained alike. Mozart became a musician; Einstein centered his interest in mathematics; Michelangelo turned his attention to painting. Cain , was a liar, a schemer, a rebel who maintained a close affinity to Lucifer. Abraham and Moses and all of the prophets sought and obtained the talent for spirituality. Mary and Eve were two of the greatest of all the spirit daughters of the Father . The whole house of Israel, known and segregated out from their fellows, was inclined toward spiritual things. And so it went through all the hosts of heaven, each individual developing such talents and abilities as his soul desired (McConkie Mortal Messiah)
6. Origins of Man-First Presidency <ul><li>“ Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father.” </li></ul><ul><li>Brigham Young “And when they get there (return again to Heavenly Fathers Home), they would see that they had formerly lived there for ages, that they had previously been acquainted with every nook and corner, with the palaces, walks, and gardens ; and they would embrace their Father, and He would embrace them and say “My son, my daughter, I have you again ;” and the child would say, “O my Father, my Father, I am here again .” </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Discourses 4:268 </li></ul>
7. Were there Ordinances Performed in the Preexistence? <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ The heavenly beings knew his place. Priesthood, without any question, had been conferred and the leaders were chosen to officiate. Ordinances pertaining to that pre existence were required and the love of God prevailed.” Joseph Fielding Smith </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
8. Priesthood-The Government of God <ul><li>John Taylor taught: “It is the power of God delegated to intelligences in the heavens and to men on the earth; and when we arrive in the celestial kingdom of God, we shall find the most perfect order and harmony existing, because there is the perfect pattern, the most perfect order of government.” </li></ul>
9. Priesthood in the Preexistence <ul><li>Alma spoke of those priests who were ordained after the order of his Son…And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world. Alma 13: 2-3 </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph Smith said: The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years. </li></ul><ul><li>Its institution was prior to the foundation of the earth. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith </li></ul>
10. PROGRESSION <ul><li>In the pre-mortal world, this knowledge came in two ways—by instruction and by experience . </li></ul><ul><li>We did gain knowledge in our pre-mortal home of good and evil by effective instruction coupled with important, though limited, experience . </li></ul><ul><li>Lucifer progressed quickly in a bad direction </li></ul>
11. Four Great Principles of Agency <ul><li>Laws must exist, which can be obeyed or disobeyed. </li></ul><ul><li>Opposites must exist, good and evil, virtue and vice… </li></ul><ul><li>A knowledge of good and evil must be had by those who are to enjoy the agency, and </li></ul><ul><li>An unfettered power of choice must prevail (Bruce R. McConkie-Mormon Doctrine) </li></ul><ul><li>These ALL existed in the Preexistence…… </li></ul>
12. Righteousness & Progression <ul><li>Because of individual agency and accountability there has always been diversity among the children of God—varying levels of obedience , faithfulness , service and devotion ; differing degrees of understanding and acceptance of and adherence to gospel principles. (Brig.Y.) </li></ul><ul><li>If there are two intelligences, one is more intelligent than the other. Abraham 3:18-19 </li></ul><ul><li>Brigham Young “Their differences were due to the eternal principle of agency.” </li></ul>
13. Faith & Repentance in the Preexistence ? <ul><li>Alma 13 “They were called…from the foundation of the world …on account of their exceeding faith and good works , in the first place being left to choose good or evil…” </li></ul><ul><li>“ They may have had an equal start, and we know they were all innocent in the beginning; but the right of free agency which was given to them enabled some to outstrip others, and thus, through the eons of immortal existence , to become more intelligent, more faithful, for they were free to act for themselves, to think for themselves, to receive the truth or rebel against it. Joseph Fielding Smith </li></ul>
14. Atonement Applies to the Preexistence? <ul><li>Orson Pratt, speaking of sin in the premortal world, wrote that “among the 2/3rds who remained, it is highly probable that there were many who were not valiant…but whose sins were of such a nature that they could be forgiven through faith in the future sufferings of the Only Begotten of the Father, and through their sincere repentance and reformation. We see no impropriety in Jesus offering himself as an acceptable offering and sacrifice before the Father to atone for the sins of His brethren, committed, not only in the second, but also in the first estate . </li></ul><ul><li>The Seer V 1 N. 4 page 55 2 Nephi 9:21-22; Mosiah 3:16 </li></ul>
15. More on the Atonement <ul><li>Alma describes Christ’s atonement as “an infinite and eternal sacrifice.” Alma 34:10 </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph Smith “Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became AGAIN, in their infant state , innocent before God.” D & C 93:38 </li></ul><ul><li>The key word is AGAIN. Men had lost innocence in the premortal world, through sin, but with the atonement, they were made innocent before God upon entering mortality “in their infant state.” </li></ul>
16. Did We Know the Father Well ? <ul><li>No doubt, the spirit children of Heavenly Father dwelt in his presence, saw him , and conversed with him, but that does not negate the need for them to exercise exceedingly great faith and to do good works, nor does it diminish the role of agency in the premortal realm. Even though children of earthly parents live in their parents’ presence, they still have agency to choose to disobey. </li></ul>
17. Little Children Who Die Before the Age of Accountability are saved without further test in the Celestial Kingdom <ul><li>Will Children (who die before the age of accountability) ever be tested? Absolutely not! Any idea that they will be tested in paradise or during the millennium or after the millennium is pure fantasy. Why would a resurrected being, who has already come forth from the grave with a celestial body and whose salvation is guaranteed, be tested? Would the Lord test someone who cannot fail the test and whose exaltation is guaranteed? For that matter, all those billions of people who will be born during the millennium when Satan is bound “shall grow up without sin unto salvation.” (DC 45:58) and therefore will not be tested. “Satan cannot tempt little children in this life, nor in the spirit world, nor after their resurrection. Little children who die before reaching the years of accountability will not be tempted. (Bruce R. McConkie adding “Such is the emphatic language of Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith) </li></ul><ul><li>See Mos 3:16 speaking of “little children””even so the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins.”(would have to refer to their pre-mortal life) </li></ul><ul><li>Possibly 20-25% of all the persons born on this earth have died before the age of accountability. </li></ul>
18. WHAT DOES THAT TELL US? <ul><li>1/3 rd of our Father’s Children progressed negatively, to the point in the Preexistence that they were kicked out. </li></ul><ul><li>20-25% of the remaining Inhabitants of the Preexistence came to earth solely to gain a body. Their test was over, as they had passed it. </li></ul><ul><li>All those born during the millennium will be saved unto salvation without sin because of their life lived in the Preexistence. </li></ul><ul><li>Statistically, the pre-existence was significant. </li></ul><ul><li>You were held back to be among the few valiant members in the last days because you showed in the pre-existence that you would accept the gospel and would be teachers and missionaries to the millions that need to be taught . </li></ul>
19. Celestial Spirit World Earth TWO GROUPS OF NOBLE AND GREAT ONES in the Pre EXISTENCE LITTLE CHILDRED (who die before 8) are tested and trained in the Celestial Kingdom and are briefly sent to earth to gain a body and then to the SPIRIT WORLD to form a great MISSIONARY FORCE. ( YOU) the NOBLE and GREAT ELDERS of this dispensation are tested and trained in the Celestial Kingdom and are sent to the EARTH to form a great MISSIONARY FORCE 1/3 of children lost This earth is filled with terrestial and telestial people that have to be taught and redeemed by us….. This spirit world is filled with terrestial and telestial people that have to be taught and redeemed by us….. There are so many of God’s children in both places that he has to have a way to work in both places
20. <ul><li>ONE STATEMENT OF OUR MISSIONS HERE </li></ul><ul><li>“ This Mission IS REAL LIFE . That is the life we are preparing for. That is what we do the rest of our life, teach and live the gospel.” Elder Jeffrey Holland. </li></ul><ul><li>D & C 138: </li></ul><ul><li>I observed that they were also among the noble and great ones who were chosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God. </li></ul><ul><li>Even before they were born they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men. </li></ul><ul><li>I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation , when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption , through the sacrifice of the Only begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead. </li></ul><ul><li>NOW BACK TO THE PRE EXISTENCE…. </li></ul>
21. What about the scripture that says “no unclean thing can dwell in God’s presence?” <ul><li>Scriptures like this do not apply to the preexistence. (1 Nephi 15:34, Alma 7:21) </li></ul><ul><li>They apply to post-mortal judgment, resurrection, and our future in a Celestial Kingdom. </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, no unclean or unsanctified person can be “saved” or exalted in God’s Celestial Kingdom, but that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t become bad in Heavenly Father’s house before some were expelled. </li></ul>
22. What Principles of Progress Existed In the Preexistence? <ul><li>Literal Birth as spirits to a Father & Mother </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching & Learning of established laws </li></ul><ul><li>Free Agency </li></ul><ul><li>Faith </li></ul><ul><li>Repentance </li></ul><ul><li>Ordinances, and the Priesthood </li></ul><ul><li>Councils </li></ul><ul><li>Good and eventually Evil </li></ul><ul><li>Obedience and Disobedience </li></ul><ul><li>Progression of Intelligences </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of a Plan to Come to an Earth </li></ul><ul><li>Judgment that had eternal consequences for 1/3 of Heavenly Father’s Children, in a negative direction and for another (up to) 1/3 rd in a celestial direction with a Celestial destination. </li></ul>
23. We come to EARTH through a VEIL that requires us to listen to Prophets and exercise faith to know WHO WE ARE and WHO WE WERE IN THE PRE EXISTENCE: Pres Joseph Fielding Smith: “Our Eternal Father was not experimenting when this world came into existence. It did not come by chance. It is not the first of his creations. Millions and millions of worlds such as this had rolled into existence before our earth was born . Every step taken was according to the divine plan, and that plan was an eternal one, which had been followed in the construction of other worlds without number unto man. In other words the plan of salvation had been given. Here we are enacting familiar scenes; scenes which are new to all mortal men, but which are well known to the Father and also to the Son.” (The Way to Perfection pp 35-36) Elder Kospischke, president of Area, says: “We just want you to remember who you once were.”
24. FIRST ESTATE and THEN SECOND ESTATE President Harold B. Lee: “ Those born to the lineage of Jacob, who was later called to be Israel, as his posterity, who were known as the children of Israel, were born into the most illustrious lineage of any of those that came upon the earth as mortal beings. All these rewards were seemingly promised, or foreordained, before the world was. Surely these matters must have been determined by the kind of lives we had lived in that premortal spirit world …Isn’t it just as reasonable to believe that what we have received here in this earth (life ) was given to each of us according to the merits of our conduct before we came here. ” CR 1973 Oct. 7-8 NOW ON TO THE SECOND ESTATE
25. <ul><li>Physical Bodies </li></ul><ul><li>The temptations associated with Physical Bodies </li></ul><ul><li>The chance to be tested outside the presence of our Heavenly Parents </li></ul><ul><li>Our personal chance to be married and have children </li></ul>What is the purpose of Earth life? Neal A. Maxwell But does not God know beforehand if we can endure? Yes, perfectly. But we need to know, firsthand, about our capacity. So much of life well lived consists of coming to know what God knows already.
26. Apostle Mark E. Peterson States <ul><li>Satan and his angels “tempt us with sex, money, greed, worldly prestige, ease, comfort, and a loose and carefree life.” </li></ul><ul><li>He lures us by the lust of the flesh. He resents “the flesh” because he knows that he himself can never have it. </li></ul><ul><li>“ he wages war with the saints, endeavoring to make them miserable like himself” </li></ul>
27. WE ALL DIE. Our Bodies are Separated from our Spirits for a Time
28. OUR SPIRITS GO TO EITHER : Paradise is a state of peace and rest. PMG 57 We are part of a great missionary force to those in the Spirit Prison <ul><li>SPIRIT PRISON </li></ul><ul><li>Death does not change our personality or our desires for good or evil. PMG 52 </li></ul><ul><li>… the gospel is preached to those who did not obey the gospel or have the opportunity to hear it while on earth. PMG 52 </li></ul>OR
29. BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD-- The Great Principal of Fairness for All of God’s children <ul><li>D & C 138: </li></ul><ul><li>33. These (the spirits in prison) were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. </li></ul><ul><li>I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation , when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead. </li></ul><ul><li>58 The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God </li></ul>
30. Resurrection <ul><li>Our bodies and spirits will be reunited and we will be brought into God’s presence to be judged. PMG 53. </li></ul><ul><li>We will remember perfectly our righteousness and our guilt. If we have repented, we will receive mercy. We will be rewarded according to our works and our desires. PMG 53 </li></ul><ul><li>All people will be resurrected. This is called immortality. </li></ul><ul><li>Eternal Life is a gift of God given only to those who obey His gospel. It is exaltation, which means living with God forever in eternal families. PMG 53 </li></ul>
31. MEMORY OF PRE EARTH LIFE? <ul><li>Shall we have our memories so increased by the Spirit of the living God that we shall ever remember our previous existence? I think we shall. Jesus seems to have gained this even here in this world, otherwise he would not have prayed, saying, "Father, glorify thou me with that glory which I had with thee before the world was," showing plainly that he had obtained by revelation a knowledge from his Father of something about the glory that he had before the world was. This being the case with Jesus, why not his younger brethren also obtain this information by revelation? And when we do return back into the presence of our Father, will we not there also have our memories so quickened that we will remember his face, having dwelt in his presence …? Orson Pratt Journal of discourses 15:242-243 </li></ul>
32. CELESTIAL GLORY-The Glory of the Sun The Glory of the Moon or the Terrestrial Kingdom The Glory of the Stars of the Telestial Kingdom THE THREE DEGREES OF GLORY These are the Principal Choices to which men on EARTH aspire. Each is a kingdom of Glory. And thus we saw…the glory of the Telestial, which surpasseth all comprehension. D C 76:89
33. HOWEVER WE PRINCIPALLY ASPIRE TO THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM
34. The Celestial Kingdom In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees, and in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood (meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage). And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase. Sec 131 THIS ISSUE OF INCREASE BECOMES A DEFINING DIFFERENCE in GODHOOD
35. The Celestial Kingdom “ a continuation of the seeds” forever means increase or children… D & C 132: 19 …and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. 20. Then shall they be gods, because they have no end ; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue ; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. Dallin H. Oaks: “The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power God has given his children. The use of this creative power was mandated by the first commandment, to “be fruitful, and multiply” Gen 1:28. Other important commandments forbade its misuse (“Thou shalt not commit adultery” Ex 20:14 and “Abstain from fornication” 1 Thes. 4:3) The emphasis we place on these expressions of the law of chastity is explained by our understanding of the purpose of our procreative powers in the accomplishment of God’s Plan.” Seminar for Mission Pres. 2010
36. RECOGNIZE OUR FAMILIES? <ul><li>When we get back there we expect this place to be familiar to us , and when we meet this, that and the other one of all the human family that have been here on the earth, we shall recognize them. This renewing of old friendships and acquaintances, and again enjoying all the glory we once possessed, will be a great satisfaction to all who are privileged to do so. JD 15:251, Orson Pratt, December 15, 1872 </li></ul>WHAT DO WE REALLY LOOK LIKE ?
38. Bible Dictionary page 700: FOR SPIRITS IN SPIRIT PRISON: “It is between death and the resurrection, and persons who receive the telestial glory will abide there until the last resurrection (D & C 76: 84-85, 106) at which time they will go to the telestial glory. Hell as thus defined, will have an end, when all the captive spirits have paid the price of their sins and enter into a degree of glory after their resurrection. Statements about an everlasting hell must be interpreted in their proper context in light of D & C 19:4-12, which defines eternal and endless punishment. FOR SATAN, THE 1/3 rd and SONS OF PERDITION: “… are assigned to a place spoken of as a lake of fire—a figure of eternal anguish. This kind of hell, which is after the resurrection and judgment, is exclusively for the devil and his angels, and is not the same as that consisting only of the period between death and resurrection. These receive no glory. They continue in spiritual darkness.
40. “ We just don’t realize how much of everything we have in this life is based on preexistence. “ (McConkie) <ul><li>“ It might be said that we come to earth with a type of spiritual luggage , having to a large extent packed our own bags .” Dahl </li></ul><ul><li>We bring to earth individual capacities, characteristics , likes , dislikes , dispositions , and desires . </li></ul><ul><li>Alma taught that holders of the high priesthood were “called and prepared from the foundation of the world...on account of their exceeding faith and good works.” Alma 13 </li></ul><ul><li>Pres. Wilford Woodruff said that all who receive the Melchizedek Priesthood in mortality were foreordained to receive it—they earned it . J.D. 21:318 </li></ul><ul><li>WE WANT YOU TO REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE… </li></ul>
41. YOU HAVE ALREADY PASSED THE FIRST TEST AND WERE VALIANT You are well on your way in the SECOND TEST (SECOND ESTATE) as you have: FAITH, REPENTENCE, BAPTISM, GIFT of the HOLY GHOST and are now missionaries. You have received the ORDINANCES OF THE TEMPLE which endow you with POWER. You now must ENDURE TO THE END, serving as missionaries in the Armies of the Lord to help the Savior “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life” of OTHERS.
42. LIFE IS SHORT ETERNITY IS FOREVER PASS THE TEST OF LIFE
43. The ORIGEN of MAN Elder Boyd K. Packer at the Book of Mormon Symposium BYU 30 Oct 1988 Summed it all up this way: “ By His almighty power He organized the earth , and all that it contains, from Spirit and element, which exist co-eternally with Himself. He formed every plant that grows, and every animal that breathes, each after its own kind, spiritually and temporally—”that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal, and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual.” He made the tadpole and the ape, the lion and the elephant but He did not make them in His own image, nor endow them with Godlike reason and intelligence . Nevertheless, the whole animal creation will be perfected and perpetuated in the Hereafter, each class in its “distinct order or sphere,” and will enjoy “eternal felicity.” That fact has been made plain in this dispensation (D & C 77:3) Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a god.
44. TALENTS FROM PRE EARTH LIFE? During the long expanse of life which then was, an infinite variety of talents and abilities came into being. As the ages rolled, no two spirits remained alike. Mozart became a musician; Einstein centered his interest in mathematics; Michelangelo turned his attention to painting. Cain , was a liar, a schemer, a rebel who maintained a close affinity to Lucifer. Abraham and Moses and all of the prophets sought and obtained the talent for spirituality. Mary and Eve were two of the greatest of all the spirit daughters of the Father . The whole house of Israel, known and segregated out from their fellows, was inclined toward spiritual things. And so it went through all the hosts of heaven, each individual developing such talents and abilities as his soul desired (McConkie Mortal Messiah)
45. SPIRIT BODIES LIKE PHYSICAL BODIES <ul><li>JD 15:243 - p.244, Orson Pratt, December 15, 1872 </li></ul><ul><li>We, as Latter-day Saints, believe that the spirits that occupy these tabernacles have form and likeness similar to the human tabernacle . Of course there may be deformities existing in connection with the outward tabernacle which do not exist in connection with the spirit that inhabits it. These tabernacles become deformed by accident in various ways, sometimes at birth, but this may not altogether or in any degree deform the spirits that dwell within them, therefore we believe that the spirits which occupy the bodies of the human family are more or less in the resemblance of the tabernacles. </li></ul>
46. LEARN TO BE GOD Thus Joseph Smith said, " You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves , and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one ; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power." ( Teachings , pp. 346-47.) Christ our Lord has so obtained, thus enabling him to say to the faithful: "Ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father." ( 3 Ne. 28:10 ) Joseph Smith the Prophet thus gave the supreme definition of eternal life : " Here, then, is eternal life-to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you
47. AGE OF THE ELEMENTS “ The scriptural accounts of the creation deal only with the organization of the earth in preparation for the time when Adam, Eve , and the lower forms of life were placed upon it. Prior to that time, the elements of which the earth was composed had an eternal existence . In a letter dated Christmas day, 1844, William W. Phelps wrote to William Smith, the Prophet's brother, "that Jesus Christ, whose goings forth, as the prophets said, have been from of old, from eternity; and that eternity, agreeable to the records found in the catacombs of Egypt [i.e., an unpublished portion of the ancient records from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham], has been going on in this system (not this world), almost two thousand five hundred and fifty five millions of years." 12 The importance of this statement is that it seems to have its basis in something Joseph Smith may have translated but did not publish in the writings of Abraham or the patriarch Joseph. If eternity has been going on in the "system" 13 with which the earth is now associated for 2,555,000,000 years, the materials from which the earth was created at a much more recent date may bear evidence of at least this degree of antiquity. 14 But even then it should be remembered that the elements are eternal in their duration (McConkie)
48. THE EARTH WAS IN A DIFFERENT ROTATION This earthly ball, this little opake [opaque] substance thrown off into space, is only a speck in the great universe; and when it is celestialized it will go back into the presence of God, where it was first framed. All belongs to God, and those who keep his celestial law will return to him. 67 Such statements as those expressed above appear to be commentaries on Abraham's explanation that in the creation and placement of life upon the earth the Gods were operating on Kolob's time and, even after life had been placed upon the earth, they "had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning." 68 Such statements were first expressed at the time Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Abraham and preparing it for publication, and they appear to have their origin in explanations which the Prophet made to his associates. 69 All these statements indicate that the earth was in a different state of existence when it was first created than it is in now. Evidently a different law then governed it; it had a different relationship to other bodies in space than it has now, including our sun and the planets in our solar system; and its reckoning of time was the same as that of Kolob, which indicates that the earth was rotating according to the same law and program as that which pertains to Kolob.
49. AS MAN IS GOD ONCE WAS By opening the veil and revealing the nature and kind of being God is, Joseph the Prophet thereby made known in concurrent fashion what the nature and kind of being man is. Man is of the same species as God, and as such has the capacity, through extended righteousness and faith, to rise to the station of a god . Our God is not possessive of god-hood, but is an exalted Father who pleads with his posterity with tender regard to follow the path he has already trod, a path which leads not only to the ultimate in joy and happiness, but also to a complete realization of all it was intended for man to become. The cup with its draught of possibilities beyond the grave runneth over, a cup extended to the obedient. The beckoning call of the Lord is, "Drink, then, the heavenly draught, and live
50. SPIRIT BODIES LIKE PHYSICAL BODIES <ul><li>JD 15:243 - p.244, Orson Pratt, December 15, 1872 </li></ul><ul><li>We, as Latter-day Saints, believe that the spirits that occupy these tabernacles have form and likeness similar to the human tabernacle. Of course there may be deformities existing in connection with the outward tabernacle which do not exist in connection with the spirit that inhabits it. These tabernacles become deformed by accident in various ways, sometimes at birth, but this may not altogether or in any degree deform the spirits that dwell within them, therefore we believe that the spirits which occupy the bodies of the human family are more or less in the resemblance of the tabernacles. </li></ul>
51. LITERAL BIRTH IN THE PREMORTAL LIFE? <ul><li>If we were born in heaven before this world was made, the question might arise as to the nature of that birth. Was it by command that the spiritual substance, scattered through space, was miraculously brought together, and organized into a spiritual form, and called a spirit? Is that the way that Jesus, the firstborn of every creature, was brought into existence? Oh no ; we were all born there after the same manner that we are here, that is to say, every person that had an existence before he came here had a literal father and literal mother, a personal father an a personal mother ; hence the Apostle Paul, in speaking to the heathen at Ephesus, says, "We are his offspring." Now I look upon every man and woman that have ever come here on this globe, or that ever will come, as having a father and mother in the heavens by whom their spirits were brought into existence. Orson Pratt Journal of Discourses 15:242-243 </li></ul>
52. RECOGNIZE OUR FAMILIES? <ul><li>When we get back there we expect this place to be familiar to us, and when we meet this, that and the other one of all the human family that have been here on the earth, we shall recognize them as those with whom we have dwelt thousands of years in the presence of our Father and God. This renewing of old friendships and acquaintances, and again enjoying all the glory we once possessed, will be a great satisfaction to all who are privileged to do so. JD 15:251, Orson Pratt, December 15, 1872 </li></ul>
53. BORN IN THE COVENANT <ul><li>The following instruction comes from President Brigham Young: </li></ul><ul><li>When a man and a woman have received their endowments and sealings , and then have children born to them afterwards , those children are legal heirs to the kingdom and to all its blessings and promises, and they are the only ones that are on this earth. There is not a young man in our community who would not be willing to travel from here to England to be married right, if he understood things as they are ; there is not a young woman in our community, who loves the gospel and wishes its blessings, that would be married in any other way; they would live unmarried until they could be married as they should be, if they lived until they were as old as Sarah before she had Isaac born to her. Many of our brethren have married off their children without taking this into consideration, and thinking it a matter of little importance. I wish we all understood this in the light in which heaven understands it. * * * </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection </li></ul>
54. PERPETUAL FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS <ul><li>The continuation of the marriage covenant, and the family as a unit, was the crowning blessing in the restoration of the keys by the prophet Elijah. If there were no family organization approved of then the whole earth would be under a curse at the day of the coming of the Lord. What would be the need of the hearts of the fathers turning to their children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, if they were not to be united by some eternal union? It is the family eternally organized according to the law of God, which will save the earth from utter destruction when that great and dreadful day of the Lord shall come. The keys are here by which all who will may make perpetual their family relationship. Marriage is eternal as a part of life. The family must be also. Logically there can be no marriage without the family. Nor can there be full peace, joy and blessing in the kingdom of God, unless parents and children are eternally bound by covenant to each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection </li></ul>
55. EVOLUTION OF MAN Boyd K. Packer , The Law and the light, Book of Mormon Symposium BYU Oct 30, 1988 <ul><li>I am sorry to say, the so called theistic evolution, the theory that God used an evolutionary process to prepare a physical body for the spirit of man, is equally false. I give 6 reasons for my conviction: </li></ul><ul><li>First, the REVELATIONS from God. </li></ul><ul><li>An understanding of the sealing authority with its binding of generations into eternal families cannot admit to ancestral blood lines to beasts . </li></ul><ul><li>Third, statements of the prophets and apostles . Twice the first presidency has declared the position of the Church on the subject. </li></ul><ul><li>There are moral laws of force and validity which govern that spiritual part of man, the power to reason, the conscience, which animals do not possess. To regard myself as but an animal would cost my agency, my accountability. </li></ul><ul><li>Reason 5 is the word Beauty . The precision, harmony and symmetry of the physical universe and the compelling interrelationship of natural laws attest to an order directed by divine intelligence. </li></ul><ul><li>The sixth reason is personal revelation . Study it out in your mind and then ask. If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive personal revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable thing DC 42:61 </li></ul>
56. THE FATHER HAD A FATHER <ul><li>OUR HEAVENLY FATHER HAS A FATHER </li></ul><ul><li>It is equally clear from the teachings of latter-day prophets, that Eloheim, our Father, was once a mortal being working out his salvation upon another earth in subjection to his Father. </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph Smith taught: It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that. . . he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the father of us all, dwelt on an earth. 2 Teachings Prophet Joseph Smith, pp 345-46 </li></ul><ul><li>President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “Our Father in Heaven, according to the Prophet, had a Father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father.”33 Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Bookcraft, 1955, Vol 2, page 47 </li></ul><ul><li>Brigham Young explained that “there never was a time when there were not Gods and </li></ul><ul><li>worlds and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through.”4 Deseret News, 16 Nov. 1859, page 290 </li></ul>
57. At the end of the Millennium, the earth will pass through a veil and enter the celestial presence By and by, when each of these creations [worlds] has fulfilled the measure and bounds set and the times given for its continuance in a temporal state, it and its inhabitants who are worthy will be made celestial and glorified together. Then, from that time henceforth and forever, there will be no intervening veil between God and His people who are sanctified and glorified, and He will not be under the necessity of withdrawing from one to go and visit another, because they will all be in His presence. It matters not how far in space these creations may be located form any special celestial kingdom where the Lord our God shall dwell. They will be able to see Him at all times. Why? Because it is only the fall, and the veil that has been shut down over this creation that keeps us from the presence of God. Let the veil be removed, which now hinders us from beholding the glory of God and the celestial kingdom, [and we shall be in His presence]. 5 Orson Pratt, March 14, 1875, Salt Lake City, 16th Ward, reported by David W. Evans
58. NUMBER OF STARS IN THE MILKY WAY GALAXY Inside our wheel-shaped galaxy there exists between 100 and 200 billion stars. This figure is an estimate, for no astronomer has counted them or ever seen them all. Many stand in the line of sight of a closer star, and many more are hidden behind veils of dust. Even if we could see them all, it would take 4,500 years to count them at a rate of one per second, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. If you were Noah and had lived from the flood until the present, and used all your time counting, you would just now be completing the task. This number is only the stars, how many more worlds and moons are there? Well could the number of Heavenly Father’s creations be described as “innumerable to man”.
59. W.W. Phelps was such a close confidant of the Prophet Joseph Smith that he was asked by Joseph’s family to preach at Joseph’s funeral. Six months later, Brother Phelps wrote a letter to William Smith, the prophet’s brother, to explain what was going on in Nauvoo. In this letter, published in the Church newspaper in 1845, Brother Phelps gives information apparently from the Prophet, but is published in no other source. Phelps shows that Christ, the Creator, has been about His Father’s business for over two and a half billion years! He wrote: Well, now, Brother William, when the house of Israel begins to come into the glorious mysteries of the kingdom, and find Jesus Christ, whose going forth, as the prophets said, have been from of old, from eternity: and that eternity, agreeably to the records found in the catacombs of Egypt, has been going on in this system, (not this world) almost two thousand five hundred and fifty-five millions of years: . . . it almost tempts the flesh to fly to God, or muster faith like Enoch to be translated and see and know as we are seen and known!35 An eternity, according to Brother Phelps, is two billion, five hundred, fifty-five million (2,555,000,000) years. Assuming these are earth years, we can convert them to God’s time. Since there are 1000 earth years in a day to the Lord, (Abraham Facsimile 1:1) there would be 365,000 earth years in one of God’s years. Therefore this two and one-half billion earth years expressed in God’s years is a neat 7000! An eternity = 2,555,000,000 earth years = 7,000 God years 365,000 earth-years
60. Latter-day Saints should be impressed with the above whole, round number; for 7,000 exactly matches in earth years the duration of the earth’s temporal or probationary period (Doctrine and Covenants 77:6). Likewise, 7,000 God years is the duration of an eternity. But saying he was from eternity (2.5 billion years ago) to eternity (perhaps another 2.5 billion years) gives us a way to understand him better. Perhaps these numbers give us an exact meaning for the Savior coming in the “meridian” of time. (Moses 5:57) The term “elder brother” hardly tells the great antiquity of this “first born among many brethren.” These facts should increase our love and admiration, if not astonishment, for Him, our Jehovah, the Lord Omnipotent. PHD Lynn Hilton from the Kolob Theorem
61. BOUNDS SET TO THE HEAVENS The idea that there may be a boundary or a limit to God’s works is hinted at in the revelation given to Joseph Smith at Liberty Jail: A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God, or many gods , they shall be manifest. All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ. And also if there be bounds set to the heavens or to the seas, or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon, or stars . . . All the times of their revolutions, all the appointed days, months, and years, and all the days of their days, months, and years, and all their glories, laws, and set times, shall be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fullness of times. (Doctrine and Covenants 121:28-31; emphasis added ).
62. SPEED OF THOUGHT Elder Melvin J. Ballard expressed the idea that the three Nephites could move with the speed of thought. He said “they had power over the elements of earth, power over the law of gravitation, by which they could move over the face of the earth, in the speed of their own thoughts” 61 Melvin J. Ballard, The Path to Celestial Happiness, Deseret News, Oct 31, 1925 Brigham Young spoke concerning other worlds saying, “Worlds will continue to be made, formed and organized, and messengers from this earth will be sent to others . . . We shall make our home here [on the celestialized earth], and go on our missions as we do now, but at a greater than-railroad speed”.62 Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol 8 page 200 What profound understatement, that such inter-world messengers would travel faster than a railroad train! Another illustration of this principle is the angel Gabriel who was “caused to fly swiftly”. While the Prophet Daniel was praying, God commanded the angel to fly to earth and give him a message . When he arrived , Daniel was yet praying and the angel had to touch him to get his attention (Daniel 9:19-23). The entire journey of Gabriel from the presence of God to Daniel on the earth took place in less time than Daniel’s prayer. He must have traveled at the speed of thought.
63. CHRIST’S REVEALS HIMSELF TO THE BROTHER OF JARED The Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger . And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the Brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord . . . . And the Lord said unto him; Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood . . . . Behold the Lord showed himself unto him and said . . .I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people, Behold, I am Jesus Christ . . . this body which ye now behold is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit, and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh” (Ether 3:6-16).
64. CONTINUE TO PROGRESS Joseph Smith said: When you climb up a ladder , your must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel —you must begin with the first and go until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them . It is not all to be comprehended in this world: it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.65 Joseph Smith, Quoted in the Contributor, October 1882 – September 1883, page 255-256, emphasis added
65. PARENTAGE OF ADAMS Joseph F. Smith explains: God is a being with body, parts, and passions and …His Son is in His own likeness, and…man is created in the image of God. The Son, Jesus Christ, grew and developed into manhood the same as you or I, as likewise did God, His Father grow and develop to the Supreme Being that He now is. Man was born of woman; Christ, the Saviour, was born of woman and God, the Father, was born of woman. Adam, our earthly parent, was also born of woman into this world, the same as Jesus and you and I. (Deseret Evening News Dec. 27, 1913 Sec. III page 7) Elder Parley P. Pratt explains the loss of this knowledge: In after years, when Paradise was lost by sin; when man was driven from the face of his heavenly Father, to toil, and droop, and die, when heaven was veiled form view; and with few exceptions, man was no longer counted worthy to retain the knowledge of his heavenly origin; then, darkness veiled the past and future from the heathen mind; man neither knew himself, from whence he came, nor whither he bound. At length a Moses came, who knew his god, and would fain have led mankind to know Him too, and see Him face to face. But they could not receive His heavenly laws, or bide His presence.
66. CREATION OF ADAM Thus the holy man Moses was forced again to view the past in mystery, and, in the beginning of his history, assign to man an earthly origin. Man, moulded from the earth, as a brick! A woman, manufactured from a rib! Thus parents still would fain conceal from budding manhood the mysteries of procreation, or the source of life’s ever flowing river, by relating some childish tale of new born life, engendered in the hollow trunk of some old tree, or springing with spontaneous growth, like mushrooms, from out of the heaps of rubbish. O man! When wilt thou cease to be a child in knowledge. (Pratt Key to Theology pp 49-50)
67. CONCEPTION OF ADAM From Elder Pratt’s explanation, it is evident that there are now hidden elements within the creation story: The scripture states that Adam was created “from the dust of the ground.” (Abra. 5:7, Moses 3:7 and Gene 2:7) But this need not imply that he was formed by bringing the elements of the earth together arbitrarily, as man would to form a brick. So also did each of Adam’s children become, by physical birth, “of dust a living soul.” (Moses 6:59) Conception and birth constituted the process by which they were thus organized. The same was true of Adam, although he was not a mortal being when he was placed in the garden.