JOSEPH TAUGHT THE NECESSITY OF THE ORDINANCES
“The question is frequently asked, “Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances? I would answer. No, not the of salvation. Jesus said, “There are many mansions in my Father’s house, and I will go and prepare a place for you.” House here named should have been translated kingdom; and any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law too.” (TPJS p.331)
“Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is made manifest. And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; FOR WITHOUT THIS NO MAN CAN SEE THE FACE OF GOD, EVEN THE FATHER, AND LIVE.
Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore the Lord in His wrath, for His anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the of his glory.
Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also…” (D&C 84:20-25)
As we can see from the scriptures, it was meant for us to behold the face of God while we are in the wilderness, in this life and not after when men are dead. It was the ordinances instituted before the foundation of this earth which were not to be changed or altered which were meant for this purpose that we might behold the face of God and live.
SON, THOU SHALT BE EXALTED
(A brief introduction to the doctrine of making one’s Calling and Election Sure.)
An excerpt from the article written by Dennis Short in December 1976:
“Only a relatively small portion of the human family will go into the next world and there have the Savior lay His hands upon their heads and say, “Son, daughter, thou shalt be exalted!” Even fewer of the sons and daughters of God take the full Gospel program seriously enough, and so live as to enjoy this greatest of all blessings WHILE IN THIS LIFE. That one can and should embrace the of the Everlasting Gospel as revealed and restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and never cease hungering and thirsting after righteousness and the truths of eternity until he has the personal assurance of the Savior–to him personally!–that he will be exalted is the sum and substance of the doctrine of making one’s Calling and Election Sure. To successfully overcome the trials and temptations of this world and become sanctified (through the Gospel’s regenerating principles, laws & ordinances) to a point where he can part the veil and enjoy the personal ministration of the Savior is to receive a guarantee of Eternal Life and to enjoy the culmination of all that the Gospel was intended to bestow upon mortal man here in the flesh.”
“Concerning this doctrine, it was the Prophet Joseph Smith who literally pleaded with the Saints: “Oh! I beseech you to go forward, go forward and make your calling and election sure.” (TPJS, p.366)
The Prophet further told the Saints: ” I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it.” (TPJS p.299)
The Prophet Joseph gives three important keys to understand pertaining to what we should do after having received the Calling and Election ordinance:
“1st key: Knowledge is the power of salvation.
2nd key: Make your Calling and Election sure.
3rd key: It is one thing to be on the mount and hear the excellent voice, etc., and another to hear the voice declare to you, you have a part and lot in that kingdom!” (TPJS p.306)
“In order for a person to attain to such a state of certain prerequisites must be met. In his most classic and oft-quoted statement concerning this the Prophet delineated the price which must be paid and the reward which may be expected for those who truly aspire to making their Calling & Election sure:”
“After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter which the Lord hath promised the Saints.
Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God…” (TPJS p.150-151)
“One of the most powerful statements dealing with the need to never cease striving til one is worthy to have the Savior personally appear and seal one up to Eternal Life was given at the calling and setting apart of the 12 Apostles in February of 1835 when Joseph Smith had President Oliver Cowdery deliver a “Charge” to the Twelve Apostles, a portion of which is as follows:”
“The ancients passed through the same experience. They had this testimony–that they had seen the Savior after he rose from the dead. You must bear the same testimony; or your mission, your labor, your toil, will be in vain.
You have been indebted to other men, in the first instance, for evidence; on that you have acted; but it is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven for yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel. When the proper time arrives, you shall be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you have seen God, this testimony God will never suffer to fall, but will bear you out; although many will not give heed, yet others will. You will therefore see the necessity of getting this testimony from Heaven
Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. YOUR ORDINATION IS NOT FULL AND COMPLETE TILL GOD HAS LAID HIS HAND UPON YOU. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same.” – History of the Church, DHC, 2:192-198
FOR EVERY MIRACLE, THERE IS AN ORDINANCE
Not all miracles are the same but the qualifications are.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” -John 14:12
“And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true, for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record- for he truly did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity” 3 Nephi 8:1
MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE
I know of men in the early as well as the present church have what is called their second anointings which is a higher endowment and blessing. I will use the terms “anointing,” “endowments” and “blessings” interchangeably having the same meaning. The candidate for their second endowment is called to a special meeting and given this blessing which is beyond the first they’ve received. Your endowment is in preparation for your next blessing contingent upon your faith in your first blessing. If you are then proven faithful in your seconds, you may then seek for the more sure word of prophecy which is the blessing of all blessings. It should never satisfy the true seeker of Christ to have only received their first blessing or their second. According to the parable of the talents you must seek for more which is God’s will to give you.
“The servant who had received the five talents came and presented five more. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master!’” (Matthew 25: 20-21)
Eternal fathers and mothers have received both their first and their second blessings and more. These are they who have received for themselves the more sure word of prophecy. Second anointings do not precede a life of bliss, but sore trials by our adversary. With God by our side He will reveal our way of escape if we will listen to Him. These faithful saints after their trials, having been proven in all things in their blessings can be made sure that the covenants they have made while in their earthly probational state will be continued into the next world.
It is true that you can be married in the temple for time and eternity but without that blessing being made sure, without that confirmation it is of none effect.
“And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order saith the Lord God.” (D&C 132:18)
FIRST BLESSINGS ARE NOT ENOUGH
This is why “following the brethren” is such a tragic mistake when you are lead to believe that your first or even second endowments are enough. They’re not. It’s like saying having just the Bible is enough. It isn’t. To Jacob his first blessing which he received from his father Isaac wasn’t enough for him. He had to have more:
“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name, And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Genesis 33: 24-30)
This was Jacob’s second blessing because he persisted with God and God revealed Himself to Jacob.
JOSEPH TEACHES THE DOCTRINE OF CALLING AND ELECTION
“Now, there is some grand secret here, and keys to unlock the subject. Notwithstanding the apostle exhorts them to add to their faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, etc., yet he exhorts them to make their calling and election sure. And though they had heard an audible voice from heaven bearing testimony that Jesus was the Son of God, yet he says we have a more sure word of prophecy, where unto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light shining in a dark place. Now wherein could they have a more sure word of prophecy than to hear the voice of God saying, This is my beloved Son.
Now for the secret and grand key. Though they might hear the voice of God and know that Jesus was the Son of God, this would be no evidence that their election and calling was made sure, that they had part with Christ, and were joint heirs with Him. They then would want that more sure word of prophecy , that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God. Then, having this promise sealed unto them, it was an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast. Though the thunders might roll and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble and tribulation. Then knowledge through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the grand key that unlocks the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” (TPJS p.298)
CALLING AND ELECTION MADE SURE
What then is the sign of having received the confirmation or ratification of the second blessings?
The sign of receiving this calling and election being made sure is that God reveals Himself personally to you which is the most intimate expression of His love for you, and you are His and He is yours.
“Salvation means a man’s being placed beyond the power of all his enemies.
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 (which is the testimony of Jesus) through the power of the holy priesthood. It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance” (TPJS p.301)