Dof g ch19


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Dof g ch19

  1. 1. Eternal Life Chapter 19Introduction 4. Those who seek God’s blessings by keeping His commandments and observing His ordinances President Harold B. Lee instructed the Latter-day make their “calling and election sure” (2 PeterSaints on qualifying for eternal life: 1:10; see also vv. 3–9). “The first goal in that eternal plan was for each C. Making our calling and election sure is anof us to come to earth and gain a physical body, and important quest of mortal life.then, after death and the resurrection which would 1. The elect of God are those who hear His voicefollow, the spirit and the resurrected body would and obey Him (see D&C 29:7).not thereafter be subject to death. All of this was a 2. To make our calling and election sure requiresfree gift to every living soul as Paul declared: ‘For as diligence and effort in developing godlikein Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made attributes (see 2 Peter 1:10–12; Mosiah 5:15;alive.’ (1 Cor. 15:22.) 2 Timothy 4:7–8). “What this means to one dying with a malignant 3. While many are called of God to receive Hismalady or to a mother bereft of a child may be blessings, comparatively few become worthy ofillustrated by the expressions of a young mother them (see Luke 13:23–24; Matthew 22:11–14;whom I visited in the hospital some years ago. She D&C 121:34–40).said to me, ‘I have thought all this through. It 4. We are free to choose for ourselves (see 2 Nephidoesn’t make any difference whether I go now or 2:27; 10:23; Helaman 14:30).whether I live to 70, 80, or 90. The sooner I can get D. Those who make their calling and election sureto a place where I can be active and doing things inherit eternal life.that will bring me eternal joy the better for allconcerned.’ She was comforted by the thought that 1. Eternal life is the greatest of all the gifts of God (see D&C 14:7).she had lived such a life as to be worthy to enterinto the presence of God, which is to enjoy eternal 2. The faithful and diligent are joint heirs with Christlife” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1973, 9; or Ensign, and inherit all that the Father has (see Romans 8:17;Jan. 1974, 6). D&C 84:38; Galatians 4:6–7; Revelation 3:21; D&C 88:107; 131:5). 3. Those who inherit eternal life dwell in the presenceDoctrinal Outline of God and are crowned with honor and immortal glory (see D&C 20:14; 75:5; 76:62).A. Our quest for eternal life began in the premortalexistence.1. The promise and possibility of eternal life was Supporting Statements made known to us before this world began (see Titus 1:2). A. Our quest for eternal life began in the premortal existence.2. Having kept our first estate, we who enter mortality become heirs of eternal life through our ■ “Election and foreordination are based upon faithfulness and diligence (see Ephesians 1:3–4; and grow out of preexistence. These doctrines can 2 Thessalonians 2:13–14). be understood only in the light of the following3. Among God’s children in the premortal existence eternal verities: were the noble and great ones chosen to be rulers “1. That God is our Father, literally and among men (see D&C 138:56; Abraham 3:23; actually, in the full sense of the word, and that we Jeremiah 1:4–5). are his children, his spirit offspring;B. Those who come to mortality are called and “2. That we dwelt with our Eternal Father inelected to receive added blessings in this life. the pre-mortal life for an immeasurably long period of time, during all of which we were1. Part of our mortal experience is to receive a physical body of flesh and bones (see Genesis 2:7; subject to his laws and endowed by him with Hebrews 2:14). agency; “3. That, as a consequence, we developed an2. We are given commandments and a chance to infinite variety and degree of talents and capacities; prove ourselves in a mortal probation (see Abraham 3:25; 2 Nephi 2:21; Alma 12:24; 42:4–5; and D&C 29:43). “4. That when we are born into this mortal probation, we bring with us the talents and3. We receive an opportunity to partake of the eternal ordinances of salvation (see Alma 13:16; capacities gained in the pre-mortal life” (Bruce R. D&C 124:38–40; Articles of Faith 1:3). McConkie, “Are We Foreordained to Be Exalted?” Instructor, Feb. 1969, 40). 51
  2. 2. Chapter 19B. Those who come to mortality are called and which means that the Lord seals their exaltationelected to receive added blessings in this life. upon them while they are yet in this life”■ “The object of our being here is to do the will of (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 109).the Father as it is done in heaven, to work ■ “The elect of God comprise a very select group,righteousness in the earth, to subdue wickedness an inner circle of faithful members of The Churchand put it under our feet, to conquer sin and of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are thethe adversary of our souls, to rise above the portion of church members who are striving withimperfections and weaknesses of poor, fallen all their hearts to keep the fulness of the gospelhumanity, by the inspiration of Almighty God law in this life so that they can become inheritorsand His power made manifest, and thus become of the fulness of gospel rewards in the life toindeed the Saints and servants of the Lord in the come” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 217).earth” (Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, ■ “Man can transform himself and he must. ManApr. 1902, 85). has in himself the seeds of godhood, which can■ “Happiness is the object and design of our germinate and grow and develop. As the acornexistence; and will be the end thereof, if we becomes the oak, the mortal man becomes a god.pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is It is within his power to lift himself by his veryvirtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and bootstraps from the plane on which he findskeeping all the commandments of God. But we himself to the plane on which he should be. Itcannot keep all the commandments without first may be a long, hard lift with many obstacles, butknowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, it is a real possibility” (Spencer W. Kimball, Theor more than we now know unless we comply Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 28).with or keep those we have already received. . . . ■ “There are many who are called to serve in the “. . . Whatever God requires is right, no matter kingdom of God. . . . The Lord has never promisedwhat it is, although we may not see the reason to those who are unfaithful, who have received thethereof till long after the events transpire. If we call and appointment but have not endured, thatseek first the kingdom of God, all good things will they shall receive the blessing. While there arebe added” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet many who seemingly feel this to be the case, onlyJoseph Smith, 255–56). those who serve and are faithful shall be chosen.■ “Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the The reason why so many fall away is explained tofoundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the be, ‘because their hearts are set so much upon thesalvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. things of this world, and aspire to the honors ofAll must be saved on the same principles. . . . men.’” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and “All men who become heirs of God and joint Modern Revelation, 2:177–78).heirs with Jesus Christ will have to receive the D. Those who make their calling and election surefulness of the ordinances of his kingdom; and inherit eternal life.those who will not receive all the ordinances will ■ “The theme I have in mind to discuss is ‘Makingcome short of the fullness of that glory, if they do One’s Calling and Election Sure.’ To do this onenot lose the whole” (Smith, Teachings, 308–9). must receive a divine witness that he will inheritC. Making our calling and election sure is an eternal life. The supreme objective of men whoimportant quest of mortal life. understand God, their relationship to him, and his■ “After a person has faith in Christ, repents of designs for them is to gain eternal life. This is as ithis sins, and is baptized for the remission of his should be, for eternal life ‘. . . is the greatest of allsins and receives the Holy Ghost (by the laying on the gifts of God.’ (D&C 14:7.) To bring men toof hands), which is the first Comforter, then let eternal life is God’s ‘work and glory.’ To this end hehim continue to humble himself before God, conceives, brings into being, directs, and uses allhungering and thirsting after righteousness, and his creations. (Moses 1:38–39.)” (Marion by every word of God, and the Lord will Romney, in Conference Report, Oct. 1965, 20).soon say unto him, ‘Son, thou shalt be exalted.’ ■ “Eternal life is the quality of life which GodWhen the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and himself enjoys. The gospel plan, authored by thefinds that the man is determined to serve him at Father and put into operation by the atonement ofall hazards, then the man will find his calling and Jesus Christ, brings eternal life within the reach ofhis election made sure” (Smith, Teachings, 150). every man. The Lord gave this assurance when he■ “Those members of the Church who devote said, ‘. . . if you keep my commandments andthemselves wholly to righteousness, living by endure to the end you shall have eternal life, . . .’every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth (D&C 14:7.)” (Romney, in Conference Report, Oct.of God, make their calling and election sure. That is, 1965, 20).they receive the more sure word of prophecy,52