THE BOOK OF MORMON POINTS TO OUR GOD
What is the greatest power in the Book of Mormon?
The testimony of Jesus Christ:
“And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.”- Mosiah 15:1
“…and then shall they know their Redeemer, which is Jesus Christ, the Son of God…” 3 Nephi 5:26
“…that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.” -3 Nephi 11:14
“…and they which were whole, did bow down at his feet and did worship him…” 3 Nephi 17:10
“…Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have light, even they which shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.” – Ether 3:14
“…and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it” -JST Luke 10:23
“And Zeezrom saith unto him, Thou sayest there is a true and living God?
And Amulek saith, Yea, there is a true and a living God.
Now Zeezrom saith, Is there more than one God?
And he answereth No.
Now Zeezrom saith unto him again: How knowest thou these things?
And he saith An Angel hath made them known unto me.” Alma 11:26-31
“Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many. I want to set it forth in a plain and simple manner; BUT TO US THERE IS BUT ONE GOD- THAT IS PERTAINING TO US; and he is in all and through all. But if Joseph Smith says there are Gods many and Lords many, they cry, “Away with him! Crucify him! Crucify him!”…
I say there are Gods many and Lords many, but to us only one, and we are to be in subjection to that one…” -Joseph Smith TPJS p.370-371
A Preface To The Book Of Mormon – A Witness Of Jesus Christ our Eternal Father and God
“Wherefore it is an abridgement of the Record of the People of Nephi; and also of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the House of Israel; and also to the Jew and Gentile; written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of Prophesy and of Revelation. Written, and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God, unto the interpretation thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come froth in due time by the way of the Gentile; the interpretation thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by the way of the Gentile; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God; an abridgement taken from the Book of Ether.
Also which is a record of the People of Jared, which were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people when they were building a tower to get to Heaven; which is to shew unto the remnant of the House of Israel how great the things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever; and also to the convincing of the Jew and the Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, Manifesting Himself unto all nations. And now if there be fault, it be the mistake of men; wherefore condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment seat of Christ. – Foreword of the 1830 ed. Book of Mormon
Scriptures that testify that Jesus is the Eternal Father and God from the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon:
20 “And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.
21 And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
22 And I answered him saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore it is the most desirable above all things.
23 And he spake unto me saying, yea, and the most joyous to the soul.
24 And after that he had said these words, he said unto me, look! And I looked, and I beheld the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him.” (1 Nephi 11:20-24)
40 “And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which is of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Saviour of the world; and that all men must come unto Him, or they cannot be saved;
41 and they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore, they shall be established in one, for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth;
42 and the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews, and also unto the Gentiles; and after that he hath manifested himself unto the Jews, and also unto the Gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the Gentiles, and also unto the Jews, and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.” (1 Ne. 13:40-42)
Consider why it says “he shall manifest himself” when speaking of the one God and one Shepherd over all the earth rather than saying “They shall manifest themselves”. It is because it is speaking of one God who is Shepherd over all this earth. He is the Good Shepherd. I say this because Jesus asked the question of a certain ruler,
“Why do you call me good? Jesus replied: There is only one good and He is God” (Luke 18:19)
35 “behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one: He that is righteous, is favored of God. But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers, unto their obtaining power over it” (1 Nephi 17:35)
6 “And also, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people, that save Christ should come, all men must perish.
7 For if there be no Christ, there be no God; and if there be no God, we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ; and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.” (2 Nephi 11:6-7)
Scriptures that testify that Jesus is the Eternal Father and God from the Bible
Though the purpose of the entire bible as well as the Book of Mormon is to testify that Jesus is our Eternal Father and God following the example of His Father and God, I will only give a few references and let the reader satisfy themselves on a more personal examination of the scriptures.
“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psalms 2:11)
“And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” (Luke 7:37-38)
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is: Hearken and hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord;
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” (JST Mark 12:34-35)
“Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.” (John 20:27-28)
A Third Witness of Jesus Christ from the Doctrine and Covenants
Joseph Smith the Prophet revealed the following to David Whitmer in June 1829:
1 “A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men.
2 Behold, I am God; give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my word.
7 And if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
8 And it shall come to pass that if you shall ask the Father in my name, in faith believing, you shall receive the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance, that you may stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see, and also that you may declare repentance unto this generation.
9 Behold I am Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, who created the heavens and the earth, a light which cannot be hid in darkness.
Introduction To The Book of Mormon
“By the revelation of Jesus Christ, and with the realization that the greatest souls the Restoration can name were converted upon the merits of the 1830 edition, it was decided that the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days would reprint this edition and claim it as its standard.
The Prophet said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (Joseph Smith Jun., November 28, 1841) For those of us who have approached God, or who have been approached God, we have found the above statement to be true. Indeed, any who will live the teachings of this book, and also all the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jun., will find themselves in the presence of God and His angels…”
Signed James D. Harmston and First Presidency
ADAM IS THE LORD
“I saw Adam in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. He called together his children and blessed them with a patriarchal blessing. The Lord appeared in their midst, and he (Adam) blessed them all, and foretold what should befall them to the latest generation.” – TPJS p.158
And we have learned that Adam was given dominion and made from the first day “Lord over the whole Earth.”
“…I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people… teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, which is the very Eternal Father. Amen.” – Abinadi (Mosiah 15:1, 16:15)
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit… The first man is of the earth, earthy, the second man is the Lord from heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-47)
THE CONDESCENSION’S OF OUR LORD AND OUR GOD
Jesus is our God, our Father in Heaven. He is the Alpha and the Omega who is the head of the first, second, and third dispensation.
He has a Father who is Jehovah who placed our Lord who was known as Michael, now known as Adam in the Garden of Eden from the beginning. God placed him in probations for the set time of what is termed as the “Great 5 and a half days” being 5500 years to which he can work out is own kingdom before His Father and God.
His Father is known as “Man” or “The Father” and his son is known as “The Son of Man” who is “Our Father” and we belong or in other words were given to the Son of Man, the God whom we directly face for judgment or as Brigham put it “The only God with whom we have to do”. We are His flock so we abide by the terms set forth by “The Father”. These two beings are the source of our salvation or who are in other words “The wells of salvation.”
“With joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation, and on that day you will say: “Give praise to the LORD; proclaim His name! Make His works known among the peoples; declare that His name is exalted.”
FROM THE APOCRYPHA (See The Father’s counsel to Joseph regarding its value and translation in D&C 91)
The Terms of Adam’s sojourn here on Earth set forth by The Father.
“GOD said to Adam, “I have ordained on this earth days and years, and thou and thy seed shall dwell and walk in it, until the days and years are fulfilled; when I shall send the Word that created thee, and against which thou hast transgressed, the Word that made thee come out of the garden and that raised thee when thou wast fallen. Yea, the Word that will again save thee when the five days and a half are fulfilled.” But when Adam heard these words from God, and of the great five days and a half, he did not understand the meaning of them. For Adam was thinking that there would be but five days and a half for him, to the end of the world. And Adam wept, and prayed God to explain it to him. Then God in His mercy for Adam who was made after His own image and similitude, explained to him, that these were 5,000 and 500 years; and how One would then come and save him and his seed. But God had before that made this covenant with our father, Adam, in the same terms, ere he came out of the garden, when he was by the tree whereof Eve took the fruit and gave it him to eat.” -Book of Adam and Eve Chapter 3 vs 1-7
God’s Great Condescension’s (probations) to Labor Among His Children.
“Behold my beloved brethren, remember the words of your God; (see he’s here already referring to which God he’s talking about which is Our God) pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice, and behold how great the covenants of the Lord, and how GREAT HIS CONDESCENSION’S unto the children of men; and because of his greatness and his grace and mercy, he hath promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would preserve them; and in future generations, they shall become a righteous branch unto the House of Israel.” -2 Nephi 9:52
ABINADI TEACHES THE CONDESCENSION’S OF OUR GOD:
“And now Abinadi saith unto them, I would that ye should understand that GOD HIMSELF SHALL COME DOWN AMONG THE CHILDREN OF MEN, AND SHALL REDEEM HIS PEOPLE;
and because he dwelleth in flesh, he shall be called the Son of God: and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son;
the Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son:
and they are one God, yea the very Eternal Father of Heaven and of Earth;
and thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.
And after all this, and after working many mighty miracles among the children of men, he shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said, As a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth;
yea, even so shall he be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father,
and thus God breaketh the bands of death; having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men;” Mosiah 15:1-8
LEGAL ACCUSATIONS AGAINST ABINADI LEADING TO HIS DEATH:
“And he said unto him, Abinadi, we have found an accusation against thee, and thou art worthy of death.
For thou hast said THAT GOD HIMSELF SHOULD COME DOWN AMONG THE CHILDREN OF MEN; and now for this cause thou shalt be put to death, unless thou wilt recall all the words which thou hast spoken evil concerning me and my people.” -Mosiah 17:7-8
“All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.” -JST Luke 10:23
Hopefully by now the scriptures establish our Father and God being Jesus Christ.
Now to establish the Son being also the Holy Ghost which is the Spirit of Truth
“The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men…
The Spirit of truth is of God. I AM THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, AND JOHN BORE RECORD OF ME, saying: He received a of truth, yea even of all truth; And no man receiveth a unless he keepeth his commandments.
He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.” -D&C 93:9, 26-27
AND FINALLY JOSEPH- THE HEAD OF THE LAST DISPENSATION AS THE HOLY GHOST- THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH
“I want to let you know that the Holy Ghost knows something as well as you do.” TPJS p. 348
“But I am learned, and know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does anyhow. AND HE IS WITHIN ME, AND COMPREHENDS MORE THAN ALL THE WORLD: AND I WILL ASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH HIM.” -TPJS p. 350
And the word associate can mean one of two things. Either it is companion to or exactly equal to. You can now judge for yourself from this evidence which I have tendered to you for your consideration.
JOSEPH SMITH JR. AS MOSES THE DELIVERER AND GOD TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL PROPHESIED
“For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, which shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.
Yea Joseph truly said, thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment, that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers.
And I will give unto him a commandment, that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes: for he shall do my work.
And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people O house of Israel.
And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt…
And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation:
yea, thus prophesied Joseph. I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses: for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed (your family, the House of Israel) forever.
SO IS JOSEPH OUR GOD THE SAME ONE OF THESE MANY GREAT CONDESCENSION’S?
“And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and behold the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me (worshiped me)
And he told it to his father, and to his brethren; and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? SHALL I AND THY MOTHER AND THY BRETHREN INDEED COME TO BOW DOWN OURSELVES TO THEE TO THE EARTH?
And his brethren envied him; but HIS FATHER OBSERVED THE SAYING.” -Genesis 37:9-11
“God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me to be God to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it.” – Joseph Smith TPJS p.363
THE OLD TESTAMENT IS GOD CONCEALED BUT THE NEW TESTAMENT IS GOD REVEALED
The New and Everlasting Covenant is for the fullness of the Glory of God revealed to the hearts and minds of His people.
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out.” – Proverbs 25:2
The Everlasting covenant- what is it?
It is a promise between Israel and her God:
“Obey my voice, and I will be your God” – Jeremiah 7:23, 11:4
It’s that simple but Jeremiah now expands upon this:
“They shall be My people, and l will be their God. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me.” – Jeremiah 32:38
Who will be their God? “I will be their God” says the Lord but who is He? He is the Lord Jesus Christ, our advocate and mediator of whom the Apostle Thomas proclaimed “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”- Matthew 5:17
So now Jesus begins to reveal himself in His teachings. He begins to reveal among other things, the promises made between He and the House of Israel. He gives new understanding to ancient doctrine to add to His people His wisdom and reveal His glory.
“For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” – Matthew 5:18
The ordinances you once performed, now you will understand. The sacrifices will continue but no longer will you offer the blood of cattle for a sin offering, now you will offer your own heart and thus the power of God in the hearts and minds of His people is meant to change them. It is now a new covenant based on everlasting principles which have always existed worlds without end.
The baptism of John will continue but now with the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, He will baptize you with the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost which is what made them “new” or renewed as a new creature in Christ.
“John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” – Luke 3:16
The New and Everlasting Covenant, the covenant between God and man, builds upon the ancient covenant and all who will be made Gods must be made partakers or they will find no increase. This is why God said that it was “Instituted for the fullness of my Glory” which is His power and Priesthood. This isn’t a denial of the ancient covenant, it was a more expansive and glorious understanding of this ancient principle. To deny such power in this covenant to be made new and more expansive is to deny the power of God Himself.
Revelation given through Joseph Smith at Nauvoo Illinois: July 12, 1843.
“For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant (more understanding to the ancient covenant); and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned (no further increase because your hearts and minds are hardened against His word) for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory (no baptism of fire for such persons since it is the Lord our God who gives it for those who are faithful in their covenants with God)
For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world (referring to the ancient covenant which He is now expanding to the minds and hearts of the true Saints of God).
AND AS PERTAINING TO THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT, IT WAS INSTITUTED FOR THE FULLNESS OF MY GLORY; AND HE THAT RECEIVETH A FULLNESS THEREOF MUST AND SHALL ABIDE THE LAW, OR HE SHALL BE DAMNED (arrested) SAITH THE LORD GOD.” – D&C 132:6
We can believe in the ancient covenant but if we refuse the further light and knowledge that God has given us regarding this covenant, then we are just as damned as those who embrace the Old Testament and disregard the New Testament. It is the same as those who believe in the Bible, a witness of Jesus Christ but reject the Book of Mormon, another witness of Jesus Christ.
We can pretend God never said it, that God never made a new and everlasting covenant with His people in D&C 132 but our ignorance will never excuse us from failing to increase the talent God has given us which is His Glory.
We can claim all we want that we don’t need prophets and apostles because “I can just go directly to God” as an independent fundamentalist but keep this in mind, that “no unclean thing can enter into the presence of God” and how will you then be made clean unless you are washed first by His servants?
Doesn’t the ordinance of baptism testify the need for a lawful administrator in the name of God to do for you what you cannot do for yourself so that you might come back into the presence of God unspotted and clean from the sins of this world? It does. If there is one ordinance, the ordinance of baptism which we agree are necessary for salvation, then for our dead we must perform the same thing in their behalf as we turn our hearts to them lest as Malachi states “Lest I come and smite the Earth with a curse” We cannot do this without the ordinances and the legal administrators whom God sends like John the Baptist, and Peter and James and John and all the other Apostles whom God will send in His name.
ATTEMPTS TO TEACH FURTHER LIGHT AND KNOWLEDGE
Throughout the history of the Earth, from Adam to present day, all the prophets have attempted to prepare the people to receive higher laws than they previously had. They attempted to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom by teaching the people line upon line and precept upon precept until they could bring them to a point where the laws of the Celestial Kingdom could be taught and obeyed. With but few exceptions all these attempts were in vain. The reason for the failure of the prophets to accomplish their desire was not of their own doing but was the wickedness and hardness of the hearts of the people. Moses, for example, tried to bring his people into the presence of God but they would not.
In 1832 the Lord stated: “Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; and the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel.” (D&C 84:23-26)
Moses greatly desired to help the Israelites acquire the second comforter and perhaps even translation, as Enoch had done in a preceding dispensation. But the people were too steeped in their traditions and spiritual darkness. Because of this they were forbidden their endowments and the Melchizedek Priesthood.
President Brigham Young explained:
“If they had been sanctified and holy, the children of Israel would not have traveled one year with Moses before they would have received their endowments and the Melchizedek Priesthood. But they could not receive them, and never did. Moses left them, and they did not receive the fullness of that Priesthood… The Lord told Moses that he would show himself to the people; but they begged Moses to plead with the Lord not to do so (J.D. 6:100)
Referring to this same incident Orson Pratt wrote:
“It was, in ancient days, a great calamity to Israel, when the Lord swore in his wrath that he would not go up in their midst, but that he would send an angel before them. Why did the Lord do this? Because of the wickedness and stiffneckedness of that people…they would not hearken to the words of Moses, they would not obey the voice of the Lord, but they stiffened their necks and hardened their hearts against the counsels that they received, and for this reason the Lord was under the necessity of leading them for forty years in the wilderness.” (J.D. 6:100)
When Jesus Christ came into the world, he know that the Jews would ultimately kill him, but he still desired to try and father his followers and make of them a Zion society where they could also partake of the powers of Heaven. But, because of their wickedness, he was unable to do so, thus he lamented:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” (Matthew 23:37)
Concerning the above passage Joseph Smith wrote: This subject was presented to me since I came to the stand. What was the object of fathering the Jews or the people of God in any age of the world? The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation… It was the design of the councils of heaven before the world was, that the principles and laws of the priesthood would be predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world. Jesus did everything to father the people and they would not be gathered, and He therefore poured out curses upon them.
This is what Joseph Smith also tried to do but he people were unprepared spiritually. Their minds were divided on whom they should serve. The Lord then stated that the redemption of Zion would have to wait a “little season” Why?
In June of 1834 the Prophet Joseph Smith revealed the following 2 years following the Lord’s condemnation of the church in D&C 84. Things were getting worse and not better for the church because they refused to repent:
“Behold I say unto you, were it not for the transgression of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now. But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and the afflicted among them; And are not united according to the union required by the law of the Celestial Kingdom; And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the Celestial Kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer.” (D&C 1)
THE ONLY GOD WITH WHOM WE HAVE TO DO
What does that mean when he said that we have one God with whom we have to do? I mean what does having “to do” with one God really mean? Why did Brigham speak in such strange terms? At least the way he placed his words seemed odd to me anyhow.
Amulek in his trial testified to Zeezrom that there is only one God: “And Zeezrom saith unto him, Thou sayest there is a true and a living God?
And Amulek saith, Yea, there is a true and a living God.
Now Zeezrom saith, Is there more than one God?
And he answereth No.Now Zeezrom saith, unto him again: How knowest thou these things?
And he saith An Angel hath made them known unto me”
So is there only one God as Amulek testified saying that an Angel told him so?
If Brigham taught that there is only one God that we’re accountable to and His name in the Garden of Eden was Adam, then that settles the question of who God is doesn’t it?
Or does it only answer part of the question so as to not address the plurality of the Gods in Heaven?
Having to do must refer to being accountable to and if this God is whom we are accountable to, it must infer that there are also other Gods.
To this one God however, we answer to Him because we are His (we are His sheep) and we obey His commands.
WHO IS THE GOD WITH WHOM WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO?
Joseph Smith makes this question easier to answer when he said:
“Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many, I want to set it forth in a plain and simple manner; but to us there is one God- that is pertaining to us; and He is in all and through all. But if Joseph Smith says there are Gods many and Lords many, they cry, “Away with him! Crucify him! Crucify him!…
I say there are Gods many and Lords many, but to us only one, and we are to be in subjection to that one, and no man can limit the bounds or the eternal existence of eternal time.” (TPJS p.371)
So there are many Gods in Heaven but only one whom we give an account of our words and actions while in the body.
Are there higher Gods than our God? If eternal ascendancy is true then there must be even higher Gods to whom our God gives account.
Jesus constantly gave an account of what He did to His Father to whom He prayed. Jesus did only what was always pleasing to His Father. Should it surprise us that there are higher Gods with whom we cannot directly interact but we can interact with the God with whom we have to do? The one who descends to our level and comes in our midst?
It only makes sense that our God would be the one to come down and visit us in the flesh from time to time as part of His “great condescensions” spoken of in the scriptures:
“…and behold how great the covenants of the Lord, and how great his condescensions unto the children of men…” (2 Nephi 9:53)
Notice how the term “condescensions” is plural. It means “probations” or “lives” that our God has lived and those are lives He lived with us in our many lives we have lived on this earth. Multiple Mortal Probations is just as true for God in its application as it is for us in our eternal progression. How else can we become as He is but by following in the same footsteps as our God who is Jesus Christ.
“For if there be no Christ, there be no God; and if there be no God, we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God and he is Christ; and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.” (2 Nephi 11:7)
THE DAYS OF JESUS
Jesus Christ has been here among us more times, more “days”, more lives, than we have previously supposed and He warned us to beware of the pharisees who would also be among us in our days.
Brigham taught: “Jesus has been upon the earth a great many more times than you are aware of. When Jesus makes his next appearance upon the earth, BUT FEW OF THIS CHURCH WILL BE PREPARED TO RECEIVE HIM AND SEE HIM FACE-TO-FACE AND CONVERSE WITH HIM; But He will come to his Temple.” (Discourses of Brigham Young p.114)
And why does He come first to his temple? The same reason why he came to the temple last time, to confront the shepherds who scattered the flock.
“And he said unto his disciples, The DAYS (plural) will come,when they (speaking of the Pharisees) will desire to see one of the DAYS (lives) of the Son of man, and they shall not see it” (JST Luke 17:22)
In other words they will live during his many days on earth and they will not know Him. They won’t recognize Him. Because they are spiritually blind they will not see Him and will only consider him a prophet but not the Son of God.
“And if they (those who cannot see Him) shall say unto you, See here! or, Lo, there! Go not after them, nor follow them.” (JST Luke 17:23)
It’s wise counsel to not follow men who can’t see Him or recognize Him.
“And as it was in the DAYS of Noe; so shall it be in the DAYS of the Son of man.” (JST Luke 17:26)
How many days have we lived here on this earth? How many days has our Lord and God been here with us in His great condescensions lowering himself to serve us, feed us, and lead us? More than we have considered.
WHAT GOD KNOWS
In the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, we learn that our God is the one who is more intelligent than all the rest. Why would anyone wish to engage in a debate with God?
“In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings, because he has greater knowledge; and hence he knows how to subject all other beings to HIm. He has power over all.” (TPJS p. 288)
If we were to read all the things that Joseph Smith wrote, all the wisdom he reveals to us from the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, It would seem to be obvious that Joseph has more knowledge than we all do. It would also seem that Joseph Smith was more capable of subjecting all other beings to himself. It sounds like a resume for God to me anyhow.
Do we know of any other modern day prophets who have revealed so much as a tenth as much as Joseph Smith has? All that I can see from any of the Brethren is their ability to quote (or disregard) the other prophets and make corporate decisions with regard to the church such as changing meeting schedules or opening and closing temples, or taking world trips to visit various heads of state including the Pope referring to him as “holiness”, a profound demonstration of lack of seership while they leave their flocks largely to themselves.
While most are home now from church because there aren’t any healers out there to calm the failing hearts of men who fear the recent health agenda crisis, perhaps more reading of the scriptures and the words of Joseph Smith might bring us nearer to God so that we can become like Him, having the correct testimony of Jesus Christ which is the spirit of prophecy.
GOD IS BOTH THE BUILDER AND THE GARDENER
That same God who has many mansions is the builder and finisher of that house. When he comes again, to all who are in the house, that’s His second coming.
Adam’s second coming was fulfilled in Jesus Christ though his own family did not recognize him and persecuted Him for declaring himself to be God. Jesus’ second coming began with Joseph Smith and no one recognized Him and He too was put to death.
“Men profess to prophesy. I will prophesy that the signs of the coming of the Son of Man are already commenced.” (TPJS p. 160)
“I saw the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, who are now upon the earth, who hold the keys of this last ministry, in foreign lands, standing together in a circle, much fatigued, with their clothes tattered and feet swollen, with their eyes cast downward, and Jesus standing in their midst, and they did not behold Him. The Savior looked upon them and wept. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 107)
“And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” (Zechariah 13:6)
The irony of this vision Joseph Smith had is inescapable. It’s of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ fast forwarded to Joseph’s day. Those same disciples of Jesus Christ who were called to minister in foreign lands, yet they were not in foreign lands but were all together in one circle not recognizing the Savior because He looked like someone else.
While some look for the return of Jesus to his temple, others look for the return of Joseph to His house to dismiss the false priests and set it in order. How many will look upon Him as merely the gardener as Mary did before Christ revealed Himself to her? Only the pure in heart will see God who I’m sure has had innumerable second comings for all the houses He’s built. When He comes, he comes to His temple and while the wicked will look upon Him and consider him as merely the gardener, the pure in heart will see Him as Adam who is the gardener.
“This is why Adam blessed his posterity; he wanted to bring them into the presence of God. They looked for a city, etc., ‘whose builder and maker is God.’ (TPJS p.159)