DC 88 Historical Background
In a January 14, 1833 letter to William W. Phelps, the Prophet designated this revelation as an "olive leaf...plucked from the Tree of Paradise, the Lord's message of peace to us." What should we make of the olive leaf reference? Was Joseph on an ark, waiting for a dove to return with good news? What was going on that prompted this revelation, and why did the Prophet need this message of peace from the Lord?
The Prophet once said, "deep water is what I am wont to swim in." (D&C 127:2) It seems that by the close of 1832, the Joseph felt like he was swimming in deep water, struggling for air. Two of the key figures in Zion, the storeowner Sidney Gilbert and the printer William W. Phelps, had each sent accusatory letters to the Prophet. At this time, "suspicions, evil surmisings and jealousies reasserted themselves and found expression in both spoken and written word... This had become so manifest towards the close of the year that it was a cause of deep anxiety to the Prophet and other leaders of the church at Kirtland..." (B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1: 314 - 315.) Joseph replied, "Our hearts are greatly grieved at the spirit which is breathed both in your letter and that of Brother Gilbert's, the very spirit which is wasting the strength of Zion like a pestilence." (History of the Church, 1:317)
The Prophet had been wrongly accused by his brethren in Zion. The revelations of the glory of a "pure in heart" Zion stood in stark contrast to the realities of the young Missouri settlement. Amidst this turmoil, the olive leaf came to the Prophet as a message of approval from the Lord. The Lord said, "the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world." (D&C 88:2) Thus, at this crucial time, the Prophet could declare, "we have the satisfaction of knowing that the Lord approves of us, and has accepted us." This was the olive leaf-the knowledge that the Lord found no fault with the Prophet, even though these prominent Brethren did. Joseph's response to Elders Phelps and Gilbert was a voice of warning, "if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, in His sight, [God] will seek another people; for His work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel His wrath." (History of the Church, 1:316)
DC 88 Introduction
Joseph Fielding Smith
This is a wonderful revelation. It covers so many things of vital importance to every member of the Church. I wonder how many of us have read Section 88? Do not stop by just reading this one section. Take it as your theme, there is none better, but read the whole revelation. No! read the whole book. ("Entangle Not Yourselves in Sin", Improvement Era, Sep. 1953, No. 9)
DC 88:1 you who have assembled yourselves together to receive his will concerning you
The Kirtland Council Minute Book records that section 88 came in answer to prayer:
"A conference of High Priests assembled in the translating room in Kirtland Ohio on the 27th day of Dec A.D. 1832-Present-Joseph Smith,-Sidney Rigdon-Orson Hyde-Joseph Smith, Jr.-Hyrum Smith-Samuel H. Smith-N. K. Whitney-F. G. Williams-Ezra Thayer-& John Murdock commenced by prayer, Then Bro. Joseph arose and said, to receive revelation and the blessings of heaven it was necessary to have our minds on god and exercise faith and become of one heart and of one mind therefore he recommended all present to pray separately and vocally to the Lord for to receive his will unto us concerning the upbuilding of Zion, & for the benefit of the saints and for the duty and employment of the Elders-Accordingly we all bowed down before the Lord, after which each one arose and spoke in his turn his feelings, and determination to keep the commandments of God, And thus proceded to receive a revelation... [By] 9 o clock p.m. the revelation not being finished the conference adjourned till tomorrow morning 9 o clock a.m... the conference closed the meeting by prayer in harmony with the brethren and gratitude to our heavenly Father for the great manifestations of his holy Spirit during the setting of the conference." (Robert J. Woodford, "How the Revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants Were Received and Compiled," Ensign, Jan. 1985, 29)
DC 88:2 the alms of your prayers...are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified
Interestingly, this reference to the Lamb's Book of Life suggests that the Book of Life contains more than a list of names. It also includes "the alms of your prayers." John saw twenty-four elders which worshiped before the throne of God. They held "golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints...And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of all saints, ascended up before God." (Rev. 5:8; 8:4)
If the saints in the days of the Apostles were privileged to take the saints for example and lay hold of the same promises and attain to the same exalted privileges of knowing that their names were written in the Lamb's book of life, and that they were sealed there as a perpetual memorial before the face of the Most High, will not the same faithfulness, the same purity of heart, and the same faith bring the same assurance of eternal life, and that in the same manner, to the children of men now in this age of the world? (The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, p. 300; standardized)
DC 88:3 the Holy Spirit of promise
"The Holy Ghost, is called the First Comforter. He is the First Comforter in the sense that his sacred influence is preparatory, fundamental, and foundational to all spiritual growth; by means of the powers of the Spirit, men and women gain the witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ and come to know the things of eternity (see 1 Corinthians 12:3). One cannot enjoy the blessings of the Second Comforter without having first received and cultivated the gifts of the First Comforter. The Savior later added: 'These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you' (John 14:25-26). In the opening verses of the majestic revelation we know as the Olive Leaf (D&C 88), Jesus informed the early Saints that 'the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world. Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John' (D&C 88:2-3).
"The Holy Spirit of Promise is, of course, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit promised the Saints. The Lord continued: 'This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom' (D&C 88:4). It is by that Holy Spirit of Promise that the Saints of the Most High receive what the Apostle Paul called the 'earnest of our inheritance' (Ephesians 1:13-14; see also 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 5:5), by which they come to know that their lives are in order, that they are on course and in covenant, that they are 'in Christ' and thus in line for eternal life. It is through that Holy Spirit of Promise that the people of God receive their reward, 'even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come' (D&C 59:23). Elder Marion G. Romney observed that 'the fulness of eternal life is not attainable in mortality, but the peace which is its harbinger and which comes as a result of making one's calling and election sure is attainable in this life.'" (Robert L. Millet, Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2000], 201.)
Harold B. Lee
"Now, that is the promise which is put into our hearts by the Holy Ghost when we have been sealed because of the kind of life we have lived here, the use we have made of our priesthood, the temple covenants which we have been true to, true to the covenants we made in the waters of baptism. When that is sealed upon us by the Holy Spirit of Promise through the Holy Ghost, then we have a right to eternal life in the celestial kingdom." (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 15.)
DC 88:3 the other Comforter is the same that... is recorded in the testimony of John
The other Comforter spoken of is a subject of great interest, and perhaps understood by few of this generation. 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 made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 150)
DC 88:4-5 This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life
Joseph Fielding Smith
Those who press forward in righteousness, living by every word of revealed truth, have power to make their calling and election sure. They receive the more sure word of prophecy and know by revelation and the authority of the priesthood that they are sealed up unto eternal life. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:46)
D. Todd Christofferson
In the Kirtland Temple dedicatory prayer referenced earlier, the Prophet petitioned, “And do thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house … may grow up in thee, and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 109:14-15). The “fulness of the Holy Ghost” includes what Jesus described as “the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom; which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son" ("The Power of Covenants, Ensign, May 2009, footnote 5)
DC 88:6 he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things
Neal A. Maxwell
[Jesus'] atoning experience placed upon Him the pains, sicknesses, sorrow, griefs, and infirmities of the human experience-in order "that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12; see also 2 Ne. 9:21; Isa. 53:12; Heb. 2:18.) He "suffered the pain of all men, [women, and children]" and was "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." (Heb. 4:14-15; see also D&C 18:11.) Thus in the agony of the Atonement, Jesus "descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things." (D&C 88:6; see also D&C 122:8.) How marvelous His empathy. How wondrous the "mind of Christ," which we are to try to come to have. (1 Cor. 2:16.) ("The Inexhaustible Gospel," Ensign, Apr. 1993, 72-73)
Ezra Taft Benson
Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him. As God, He has infinite power, intelligence, and love. There is no human problem beyond His capacity to solve. Because He descended below all things (see D&C 122:8), He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties. ("Jesus Christ-Our Savior and Redeemer," Ensign, June 1990, 6)
According to the philosophy of our religion we understand that if he had not descended below all things, he could not have ascended above all things. (Journal of Discourses, 3:365)
DC 88:7 This is the light of Christ
"The light of Christ is the governing principle in nature, the power by which the cosmos is held in check and by which order and organization exist. Elder Parley P. Pratt wrote that the light of Christ, 'in its less refined existence,' is 'the physical light which reflects from the sun, moon, and stars.' In its higher degrees, it serves as the means 'by which we reason, discern, judge, compare, comprehend and remember the subjects within our reach. Its inspiration constitutes instinct in animal life, reason in man, vision in the Prophets, and is continually flowing from the Godhead throughout all his creations.'...
"The light of Christ is given to every man and woman at birth as a natural endowment; it is described as that spirit which 'giveth light to every man that cometh into the world' (D&C 84:46; compare John 1:9; Moroni 7:16). It is a director, a moral monitor which is 'innate, inborn, and intuitional in nature. Call it conscience, if you will; say that it is a divine inheritance from a Divine Parent; identify it as a spark of divinity sent by Deity to fire the soul with the flames of righteousness; . . . it has many names. But what counts is that it is real.' The revelations further attest that 'every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit [the light of Christ] cometh unto God, even the Father. And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you . . . for the sake of the whole world' (D&C 84:47-48). That is to say, if men and women in the world will respond to the quiet promptings and subtle whisperings of the light of Christ within them, they will be led, either in this life or the next, to that higher light of the Holy Ghost found only in the covenant gospel through membership in the Lord's church. President Joseph F. Smith explained that this light 'strives with the children of men, and will continue to strive with them, until it brings them to a knowledge of the truth and the possession of the greater light and testimony of the Holy Ghost.'" (Robert L. Millet, Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2000], 416 - 417.)
DC 88:7 he is in the sun, and the light of the sun
The sun of our solar system is powered by the Son. It is difficult for us to comprehend the amount of heat, energy, and light that emanate from this one celestial orb. Science tells us that the temperature at the surface of the sun is 5800 degrees Kelvin, while the core of the sun measures 15,600,000 degrees Kelvin.
"The Sun's energy output (3.86e33 ergs/second or 386 billion billion megawatts) is produced by nuclear fusion reactions. Each second about 700,000,000 tons of hydrogen are converted to about 695,000,000 tons of helium and 5,000,000 tons (=3.86e33 ergs) of energy in the form of gamma rays." (http://www.nineplanets.org/sol.html)
If Christ is the source for such an incredible power generator as our sun, can He not be the source of light and power in our own lives? Can't we harness even a small portion of his great power by keeping our eye single to the glory of God? If so, we are promised that our whole body will be full of light-his light-the light of Christ. (Matt. 6:22)
DC 88:7 the power thereof by which it was made
Vaughn J. Featherstone
The sun is 93 million miles from the earth. Imagine the energy that the sun perpetually produces. It takes the light from the sun a little less than eight and a half minutes to get to the earth. What power there is in the sun no mortal can possibly comprehend. Christ's power is not only in the light of the sun-it is also the power by which it was made. What knowledge must one have to create a sphere as large as the sun and put power into it, not for an hour or a day or one giant explosion, but for time unknown. What creative abilities did this Jesus have who could control the energy of the sun so it would be consistent from day to day, year to year, even millennium to millennium and beyond. As President Harold B. Lee stated, "The sun ripens the smallest bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else to do." We honor and glorify inventors of laser instruments, spacecrafts, heat-seeking missiles, atomic power facilities, television, and a multitude of other inventions. What are they compared to the sun, the earth, the moon, and the stars? (The Incomparable Christ: Our Master and Model [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 35 - 36.)
DC 88:11 the light...is the same light that quickeneth your understandings
We have been led generally to suppose that the light which enlighteneth the understanding of man is what is termed of an intellectual character, and differs materially from the solar light, or the light of the sun; but if we examine these things critically, we shall find that... all true intelligence, all true wisdom, all intelligence that is of any use or benefit to the human family, proceeds from the Lord; that he is the fountain of truth, the source of intelligence, and the developer of every true and correct principle that is known to man upon the earth; that there is no branch of wisdom, of science, of philosophy, of good, sound common sense but what proceeds from him. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 11: 74.)
N. Eldon Tanner
The truths discovered by such men as Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein were actually revealed to them through the light of Christ. Such revealed truths have done much to free mankind from the slavery of ignorance and have extended the scope of our understanding of the universe. In like manner, through the power of the Holy Ghost, truths pertaining to the relationship of mankind to God and the mission of Jesus Christ have been made comprehendible. ("Ye Shall Know the Truth," Ensign, May 1978, 15)
Joseph F. Smith
It is by the power of God that all things are made that have been made. It is by the power of Christ that all things are governed and kept in place that are governed and kept in place in the universe. It is the power which proceeds from the presence of the Son of God throughout all the works of his hands, that giveth light, energy, understanding, knowledge, and a degree of intelligence to all the children of men, strictly in accordance with the words of the Book of Job: "There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." It is this inspiration from God, proceeding throughout all his creations, that enlighteneth the children of men; and it is nothing more nor less than the spirit of Christ that enlighteneth the mind, that quickeneth the understanding, and that prompteth the children of men to do that which is good and to eschew that which is evil; which quickens the conscience of man and gives him intelligence to judge between good and evil, light and darkness, right and wrong. (Legrand Richards, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1950], 125.)
DC 88:12 light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space
Vaughn J. Featherstone
Truth and light fill the immensity of space. Man in his puny effort cannot comprehend the smallest part of the power and glory and wisdom and knowledge of God. The prophets who have increased understanding cannot describe adequately the wonders of our God, this Jesus whom we worship.
What powers belonged to the premortal Jehovah as He stood as the Morning Star, the Day Star, and the Evening Star? What glorious powers did He receive as the Only Begotten of the Father? As the God of the Israelites and the whole of the Old Testament, what powers were His? What power would it take to part the waters of the Red Sea in an instant? Man in all his wisdom cannot do what to Christ is elementary, even rudimentary. (The Incomparable Christ: Our Master and Model [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 36 - 37.)
DC 88:13 The light which is in all things... giveth life to all things
"The energy provided by the Sun has to come in the right amount, shape and form to be useful to Life on Earth. Life cannot use X-rays or radio waves as an energy source. Visible light is just right - the plants use it to make plant matter by photosynthesis, we and many other organisms use it to see by. Likewise, the amount of energy delivered by the Sun to our planet is just right for the hydrologic cycle to work, with water and water vapor changing back and forth, and some minor amount of ice (2 percent of the total water) collecting near the poles. Thus, the climate is between cold and warm, dry and wet - just about right." (http://calspace.ucsd.edu/virtualmuseum/ita/07_1.shtml)
"The sun provides the only form of energy that does not have waste. The sun gives us electricity through solar panels and even gives us vitamins through our skin. Unlike oil, coal, and nuclear power, sunlight does not give off a toxic exhaust. Sunlight is the ultimate form of energy... The sun gives life to all creatures on the planet. Plants, animals, and humans need the sun to live." (http://www.eatveg.com/sunfood.htm)
Christ declared to the Pharisees, "I am the light of the world." (John 8:12) Abinadi declared, "He is the light and the life of the world." (Mosiah 16:9) How is Christ the light and life of the world? We can see that He gives visible light and life by powering the sun. But that is not all. He is just as powerful a source of spiritual light and life.
How many ways is Christ the light and the life of the world? He is the light of truth, "the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not" (D&C 6:21). He is the intelligence of the world, for "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth" (D&C 93:36). He gives all of us the light of Christ, "the light which shineth... is the same light that quickeneth your understandings" (D&C 88:11). He is the literal giver of life through his light, "The light...giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God" (D&C 88:13). He is the giver of spiritual life by virtue of the resurrection, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25). Lastly, he will replace the sun as the source of light for the inhabitants of the celestial kingdom, "the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof" (Rev 21:23).
Jeffrey R. Holland
My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need...There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the "light that is endless, that can never be darkened." It is the very Son of God Himself. In loving praise far beyond Romeo's reach, we say, "What light through yonder window breaks?" It is the return of hope, and Jesus is the Sun. To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. ("An High Priest of Good Things to Come," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 36)
DC 88:15 the spirit and the body are the soul of man
Christianity has argued for centuries over the nature of the human soul. Some have equated it with the spirit. Others have defined it as an intermediate between the body and spirit. Still others have attributed only evil attributes to the body and are therefore troubled by the doctrine of the resurrection wherein a pure spirit is again reunited with a naturally evil counterpart.
If Joseph Smith were a prophet, he should have put an end to this controversy, and he did. These ten words, taken from the transcripts on high, define one of the most critical questions of theology-the nature of the human soul.
James E. Talmage
It is peculiar to the theology of the Latter-day Saints that we regard the body as an essential part of the soul. Read your dictionaries, the lexicons, and encyclopedias, and you will find that nowhere, outside of the Church of Jesus Christ, is the solemn and eternal truth taught that the soul of man is the body and the spirit combined. (Conference Report, October 1913, Third Day-Morning Session 117.)
Marion D. Hanks
I am grateful to understand that my physical body is an eternal, non-evil component of my eternal soul, and that I have, therefore, a duty to honor and respect and care for it, and to refrain from knowingly imposing upon it any treatment or substances deleterious to it... I have the responsibility to give it the best care I can... (Conference Report, October 1958, Afternoon Meeting 109.)
Marion G. Romney
God himself is a soul, composed of a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's, and a spirit... God has a body of flesh and bones, it was necessary and perfectly natural for us, his spirit offspring, to obtain such bodies in order that we might be like him; that coming to earth was the means provided for us to obtain these bodies. ("The Way of Life," Ensign, May 1976, 79)
Jeffrey R. Holland
One of the "plain and precious" truths restored in this dispensation is that "the spirit and the body are the soul of man" and that when the spirit and body are separated, men and women "cannot receive a fulness of joy." That is the reason why obtaining a body is so fundamentally important in the first place, why sin of any kind is such a serious matter (namely because it is sin that ultimately brings both physical and spiritual death), and why the resurrection of the body is so central to the great triumph of Christ's Atonement. ("Personal Purity," Ensign, Nov. 1998, 76)
DC 88:16 the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul
We often separate the atonement into two fundamental aspects, the redemption and the resurrection. The redemption saves us from spiritual death and the resurrection saves us from physical death. However, the relationship between the two is poorly understood.
The resurrection is the crowning symbol of the redemption. It doesn't do any good to be redeemed without being resurrected. While it is possible to be resurrected without being redeemed (sons of perdition, see D&C 76:36-38), it is impossible to be redeemed without being resurrected. Just as Christ healed the palsied man to represent his power to forgive sins (Mark 2:1-12), his power over the physical represents his power over the spiritual. Similarly, a universal resurrection symbolizes His power to redeem us, not just from death, but also from hell. This is why the resurrection is so important. It is why others have said that the empty tomb was so full of meaning.
DC 88:17-18 the earth... must needs be... prepared for the celestial glory
Neal A. Maxwell
The deserving and blessed meek will not only eventually inherit the earth, they will do so when this planet is really worth inheriting! (Meek and Lowly [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], 95.)
O man, remember the future destiny and glory of the earth, and secure thine everlasting inheritance upon the same, that when it shall be glorious, thou shalt be glorious also. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 31 - 32.)
DC 88:19 it shall be crowned with glory even with the presence of God the Father
And this world, so benighted at present, and so lightly esteemed by infidels... when it becomes celestialized, it will be like the sun, and be prepared for the habitation of the saints, and be brought back into the presence of the Father and the Son. It will not then be an opaque body as it now is, but it will be like the stars of the firmament, full of light and glory: It will be a body of light. John compared it, in its celestialized state to a sea of glass. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 31)
DC 88:22-24 he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory
George Albert Smith
The gospel has been restored in these latter days to prepare men for the celestial kingdom. This gospel has not been given to qualify men for any other kingdom, but has been given to us to prepare us that we may dwell upon this earth when it has been celestialized, when our Redeemer will dwell here and he will be our lawgiver and our king. (Conference Report, October 1926, Second Day-Morning Session 102 - 103.)
Harold B. Lee
If you couldn't live the law of the gospel here, you wouldn't be very happy in the celestial kingdom where that is required over there, would you? You would have to be more comfortable in another place. If you couldn't live the law of the terrestrial kingdom, you couldn't abide that law of the terrestrial kingdom. You would have to abide the law of the telestial kingdom. (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 76.)
George Q. Cannon
Why is it that there are these differences? Is it because God has chosen some of us for the telestial glory, some of us for the terrestrial glory, and some of us for the celestial glory? No, there is no such predestination as this. We are all born with our free agency; with the power within ourselves, aided by the blessing of God, to attain unto the highest glory. How shall we attain unto the highest glory? There is only one way, and that is by observing the highest laws. . . . The man or woman who expects to attain to the highest glory without obeying these laws, deceives himself or herself. It cannot be done. (Daniel H. Ludlow, Selected Writings of Daniel H. Ludlow: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2000], 272.)
Joseph Fielding Smith
When this celestialized earth comes, then only those of the celestial kingdom will inherit it. Those who have lived a terrestrial law will be assigned to a terrestrial kingdom on some other globe. Those who have lived a telestial law will have to go to a telestial sphere suited to their condition. Where these worlds are the Lord has not revealed to us, however they are spheres now being prepared for them. (Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 539 - 540.)
DC 88:25 the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom... and transgresseth not the law
Joseph Fielding Smith
We learn from the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, that the earth is a living being. It is obedient to every command, therefore it is entitled to be sanctified, just as human beings who keep the commandments of the Lord are to be sanctified. "And again," said the Lord, "the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law-Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it." Therefore, in order to sanctify the earth and cleanse it, it had to pass through the water of baptism, and by water be cleansed. Then, at a later day, it will be baptized with the fire and the Holy Ghost, just the same for the earth as for humanity who will possess it forever. Now we begin to see why there had to be a flood. It had to be a complete immersion, just the same as any other baptism, so the Lord did two things, first, he cleansed the earth of all of its corruption brought upon it by the wickedness of "all flesh," and second, the earth having reached the age for such an ordinance, was cleansed from all the sin upon its face. (Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 432.)
DC 88:26 notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again
The earth will die and be resurrected, but this will not occur at the Second Coming. The "end of the earth" occurs after the Millenium and the little season. The phrase describes the very literal death and resurrection of the earth itself. Not just the earth but the heaven also must be consumed and pass away (Rev. 21:1). When we think of the earth as a living creation of the Lord we begin to see great symbolism and parallelism with the plan of salvation. Like each of us, the earth was created spiritually first, physically second; it was created in a state of perfect innocence but then suffered a fall. Later, redemption comes through baptism by immersion (The Flood) and baptism by fire at the Second Coming of Christ. But the earth cannot fill the measure of its creation until it is made new by the Lord-a process akin to death and resurrection to celestial glory. Joseph Fielding Smith said, "The earth, as a living body, will have to die and be resurrected, for it, too, has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ." (Doctrines of Salvation, 1: 74.)
DC 88:27 they also shall rise again, a spiritual body
See commentary for 1 Cor. 15:44 and Alma 11:45.
Joseph Fielding Smith
After the resurrection from the dead our bodies will be spiritual bodies, but they will be bodies that are tangible, bodies that have been purified, but they will nevertheless be bodies of flesh and bones, but they will not be blood bodies, they will no longer be quickened by blood but quickened by the spirit which is eternal and they shall become immortal and shall never die. (Conference Report, April 1917, Afternoon Session 63.)
DC 88:28 your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened
Celestialized bodies are glorious; their glory is that of the sun. Whatever kingdom you deserve, your resurrected body will represent the glory of that kingdom-meaning the light and glory emanate from within the perfected body. Paul was teaching about the differences between the spiritual glory of resurrected bodies when he taught about the three degrees of glory. He said, "There are also celestial bodies (meaning individuals who will be resurrected with bodies luminescent like the sun), and bodies terrestrial (not kingdoms but bodies with the glory of the moon): but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another... and another glory of the stars" (1 Cor. 15:40-41).
If you happened to be visited by three angels, one belonging to a celestial order, the second belonging to a terrestrial order, and the third belonging to a telestial order, the visible differences between the three would be both striking and obvious. The celestial angel would appear as Moroni did to Joseph Smith, "his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person." (JS-Hist. 1:31) By comparison, the terrestrial angel could only light up the room if the first angel had departed. Lastly, the glory of the telestial angel would be so small as to hardly catch the eye.
DC 88:32 they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place
The sons of perdition will all be resurrected, but their resurrection comes very last-just before the separation of the sheep and the goats (D&C 88:101-102). And where do the goats go? They "will return again to their own place;" "these shall go away into everlasting punishment." (Matt. 25:46) "For they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity... Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord." (D&C 76:33, 38)
DC 88:33 what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift?
Imagine how you would feel if you had prepared a gift for a dearly beloved friend. The gift was very personal, hand made, and of great value. Completion of the task required quite a bit of time, not to mention your own blood, sweat, and tears. Having worked so hard on the project, you know there is great intrinsic value in your gift. With great anticipation, you present the gift to your friend.
Imagine the gift is rejected. Your friend says thanks, offers a courteous smile, and then places the gift away-never to be used again. How painful would that be? Your friend hasn't just rejected your gift he has also rejected you. How would that feel? Perhaps we should ask the Savior that very question because his gift of infinite worth has rejected by millions.
Marion D. Hanks
The Latter-day Saint understands that through the gift of God, through the great atoning sacrifice of his Divine Son, all that we might achieve is made possible for us...
What must we do to "receive" his gift? The answer of the prophets has been the same, both anciently and in this dispensation, both in the eastern hemisphere and the western. Brother Clifford Young alluded this morning to the answer given by Peter at Pentecost to those who, having been pricked in their hearts by the witness of Christ born by the apostles, asked what they must do. The answer was clear and unequivocal:
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38.) (Conference Report, October 1956, First Day-Morning Meeting 14.)
Sheri L. Dew
Our responsibility is to learn to draw upon the power of the Atonement. Otherwise we walk through mortality relying solely on our own strength. And to do that is to invite the frustration of failure and to refuse the most resplendent gift in time or eternity. "For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed ... and he receive not the gift?" (D&C 88:33). ("Our Only Chance," Ensign, May 1999, 67)
DC 88:34 that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same
"Every law God has given us is of such a nature that by keeping it, we are preserved, perfected and sanctified. If we keep the word of wisdom, our bodies will be kept pure. If we observe the law of tithing we shall learn to be unselfish and honest. If we pray, we shall hold communion with the holy spirit. If we try to do our duty in everything, we shall come day by day nearer to perfection." (Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, Deseret Book Co., 1972, p. 546.)
William R. Bradford
Suppose the law of the gospel of Jesus Christ was suspended from over the face of the earth for twenty seconds. An awesome thought isn't it, considering that all other laws-even the law of gravity-are encompassed within this all-inclusive law and that it would cause the instantaneous disorganization of all that exists hereon.
But the law of the gospel of Jesus Christ will not be suspended from over the face of the earth, because "the works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught." (D&C 3:1.) And so that which is governed by law will continue to be preserved by law, and that which will not obey the conditions of law will not be justified in salvation. ("The Safety of the Gospel Law," Ensign, Nov. 1977, 65)
ElRay L. Christiansen
Observance of law brings harmony, peace, order; while without observance of law there is found confusion, and sorrow, remorse, failure-whether it be the laws of God or the laws of man, or whether it be nations or whether it be individuals, it is the same. There are those who ask, "If the Lord loves us, why does he then give so many commandments, some of them restrictive in their nature?" Well, the answer is he gives us commandments because he loves us. He wishes to save us from sorrow and remorse and failure, and the worst of all, regret, and from losing our blessings. ("The Laws of God Are Blessings," Ensign, May 1975, 24)
DC 88:35 That which breaketh a law...seeketh to become a law unto itself
"Being in a world of law, man must obey law or be forever miserable as the consequences of broken law come upon him. The love of God for his children is best seen in God's willingness to teach man the law so that he may obey it, and in redeeming man from his fallen condition when he has broken the law." (Teachings of the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1956], 93 - 94.)
Marion G. Romney
Wherever the rule of law breaks down in a family, a community, a state, or a nation, chaos reigns. We should all strictly obey the law and do it with good and honest hearts.
The Ten Commandments are not only basic laws of God; but they also constitute the foundations of Judeo-Christian secular law. In this day of declining morals and lawlessness, we can all profit by checking our own performance against them. Doing so will help us to obey both civil and divine law. (Learning for the Eternities [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 144.)
Harold B. Lee
Now as you think about laws by which you live and move in the world about you, have you supposed that they are provided for your detriment? You have the option to disregard any or all of them if you choose, but if you do so be prepared to take the consequences. (Decisions for Successful Living [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973], 143 - 144.)
DC 88:37 there is no space in the which there is no kingdom
"Are there bounds to the great universe itself? We are fairly sure that it is at least ten to fifteen billion light-years across, but everything looks the same in all directions. With no boundaries anywhere, can we safely define the boundary as that nothingness beyond which there are no galaxies?
"Would that we could understand the great revelation that reads: "And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom" (D&C 88:37).
"Joseph Smith's predictions may be tested by how we answer these questions...
- Have astronomers located the bounds of the solar system? Approximately
- Have astronomers located the limits of the Milky Way or any other galaxy? Again, only approximately.
- Have cosmologists found an edge to the universe? Definitely no, not even a hint of it.
"At this point, let it be understood that I accept divine revelation, not science, as the standard of truth." (David Clark, Of Heaven and Earth: Reconciling Scientific Thought with LDS Theology [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 147.)
Eternity is without bounds, and is filled with matter; and there is no such place as empty space. (Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 48.)
DC 88:39 All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified
Joseph Fielding Smith
The Lord is very tolerant, yet he declares that we are bound by law, and if we violate the law we are not justified, and must remain filthy still. You might just as well try to destroy the law of gravity, or say it is useless, that it has filled its purpose and is worn out, as to say that baptism is not essential to salvation. I believe in being tolerant, but I believe that that tolerance will teach me to observe and keep the law and constantly abide in it, and not to make excuses for my wrong doing by saying I am broadminded...
...I know that the kingdom of God is governed by a definite, fixed law, that cannot be controverted. We cannot change it because we perhaps become modern and say we are broadminded, as some people understand broadmindedness and tolerance to be. It doesn't change the fact in the least that if we would receive the kingdom of God and enter into its exaltation, we must comply with the fundamental truths, the laws upon which that kingdom is established. (Conference Report, October 1936, Second Day-Morning Meeting 61 - 62.)
DC 88:40 intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom...
Joseph Fielding Smith
Every man who possesses true intelligence will come unto God and live, for there can be no wickedness associated with intelligence... Pure intelligence is an attribute of God which will create in the heart of man a desire to come to the perfect knowledge of truth. He will therefore seek wisdom and knowledge, that he may have power; but all his efforts to know will be put forth to obtain glory, honor, and eternal life.
Thus he will eventually come to be like God and obtain a fulness of glory in the celestial kingdom because he is intelligent. (The Way to Perfection [Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1949], 231.)
The more righteous a people become the more they are qualified for loving others and rendering them happy. A wicked man can have but little love for his wife; while a righteous man, being filled with the love of God, is sure to manifest this heavenly attribute in every thought and feeling of his heart, and in every word and deed. Love, joy, and innocence will radiate from his very countenance, and be expressed in every look. This will beget confidence in the wife of his bosom, and she will love him in return; for love begets love; happiness imparts happiness; and these heaven born emotions will continue to increase more and more, until they are perfected and glorified in all the fulness of eternal love itself. (Spencer J. Condie, "Finding Marital Unity through the Scriptures," Ensign, July 1986, 55)
DC 88:41 He is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things...and all things are by him
"To appreciate God's creations, you have to learn to see. I believe this is what the Savior is teaching us in the first part of section 88, how to see. Everything around us bears witness of its own creation and design. Every animal or plant, in filling the measure of its creation, praises God. We must, by fulfilling our creation, do the same." (Anselm Spring, "The Meadow," New Era, Apr. 1985, 23)
All people are conscious of the existence of a Supreme Being: they see Him or His power in the sun, in the moon and in the stars, in the storm, in the thunder and in the lightning, in the mighty cataract, in the bursting volcano, or in the powerful and disgusting reptile, etc...
Mr. Abner Kneeland, who was a citizen of Boston, and who was put into prison for his belief, in an essay which he wrote, made this broad assertion: "Instead of believing there is no God, I believe that all is God." (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 11: 121.)
DC 88:42 he hath given a law unto all things
Joseph Fielding Smith
This revelation was given long before the scientific discovery of the complicated atom with its electrons, protons and neutrons. It was far in advance of scientific discovery, yet how true this has proved to be! All of the laws of nature are the laws of God whether they apply to the universe as a whole or in any of its parts. It is true of the electron as well as the atom or the combination of atoms in any of their structures. They are all subject to and controlled by law. These laws are eternal. No man can change a law of nature. If he tries he is not justified. (Man, His Origin and Destiny [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 169 - 170.)
DC 88:45 the earth rolls upon her wings
We all take the earth's rotation for granted, but should we?
"What would happen if the Earth stopped spinning?
"... If the Earth stopped spinning suddenly, the atmosphere would still be in motion with the Earth's original 1100 mile per hour rotation speed at the equator. All of the land masses would be scoured clean of anything not attached to bedrock. This means rocks, topsoil, trees, buildings, your pet dog, and so on, would be swept away into the atmosphere." (http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/ask/q1168.html)
DC 88:47 any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power
Gordon B. Hinckley
"Can any man who has walked beneath the stars at night, can anyone who has seen the touch of spring upon the land doubt the hand of divinity in creation? So observing the beauties of the earth, one is wont to speak as did the Psalmist: 'The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.' (Ps. 19:1-2)
"All of beauty in the earth bears the fingerprint of the Master Creator." (Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 90)
Marion G. Romney
The Psalmist exclaimed: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." (Ps. 19:1.) In 1887 the English physicist, Lord Kelvin, wrote: "If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God."
Countless scientists have confirmed this judgment.
Dr. Henry Eyring, our own world-renowned scientist, has said that the two most famous modern mathematicians, Sir Isaac Newton, the Englishman, and Carl Friederick Gauss, the German, were both believers "in an all-wise Creator of the universe. . . . " (Henry Eyring, The Faith of a Scientist, p. 74.)
He has further said that "in the autumn of 1957, in Houston, Texas, the Welch Foundation invited the top nuclear physicists and chemists from all over the world to a symposium. At a dinner, twelve of the most distinguished were seated at a table. . . . Mr. Malone, a trustee of the foundation, said, 'Dr. Eyring, how many of these gentlemen believe in a Supreme Being?' I answered, 'I don't know but I'll ask.'
. . . twelve people were asked and every one said, 'I believe.' All of these students of the exact sciences-two of them Nobel Prize winners-saw in the universal order about them evidence for a Supreme Being." (Ibid., p. 147.)
Dr. Thomas J. Parmley, another of our own eminent scientists, has eloquently written:
"The moon and stars in the night sky, one hundred million suns with their attendant planets, space, oceans, earth and nature, the flight of a bird, the wonder of a flower, the intricate design and unbelievable coordination of the human body, all of these and countless other creations proclaim the handiwork of God." ("Proclaim the Handiwork of God," The Instructor, July 1967, p. 272.) (Conference Report, October 1967, Afternoon Meeting 135.)
DC 88:49 the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God
"These passages speak of man seeing the face of God and even comprehending him (which means understanding him), and of man himself knowing all things. Such accomplishments are not by intellectual learning or by research alone, great as these are as aids to arriving at the truth. A careful reading of the above passages shows clearly that man obtains great spiritual heights and privileges only by having an eye single to the glory of God, obeying the commandments, hearing the voice of the Spirit, and being 'quickened' by the Lord. This is not secular but spiritual. To obtain these blessings, man must lift his thoughts from nature (the things that are created) up to nature's Author (the Creator). This is the special role of revealed religion and the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Robert J. Matthews, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 1: The Doctrine and Covenants, ed. by Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 346.)
DC 88:51-61 I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field
In most parables, the field represents the world. In this parable, the field represents the universe with twelve servants in twelve different areas representing twelve inhabited planets of our universe. Our earth is one of these twelve worlds.
"John Taylor quoted, and thereby sanctioned, a statement from the Times and Seasons that the twelve kingdoms in the above parable 'are governed by the same rules, and [are] destined to the same honor.' In referring to this parable, Elder Taylor said:
It is further stated in this section [of the Doctrine and Covenants]: "Therefore, unto this parable will I liken all these kingdoms, and the inhabitants thereof; every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season; even according to the decree which God hath made."-Verse 61.
That is, each kingdom, or planet, and the inhabitants thereof, were blessed with the visits and presence of their Creator, in their several times and seasons.
"Two points in the above parable seem to indicate that the worlds which Christ is depicted as visiting are temporal spheres in need of redemption to glory: First, He visits these spheres that He might be glorified in the inhabitants thereof, and that they might be glorified in Him. It appears, therefore, that these worlds and their inhabitants are passing through a mortal state at the time of His visitation and are not at that time glorified. The fact that He visits them to extend the power of His glory unto them indicates that His atonement operates in their behalf, for it is only on the basis of the atonement that man is glorified in Christ.
"The second point of evidence that these are temporal spheres is that Christ is portrayed as withdrawing from one sphere in order to visit the next. Orson Pratt reasoned:
Why is it necessary that there should be a withdrawal of the presence of the Lord in visiting the different worlds? I think it was necessary, so far as mortality is concerned, and indicates that the inhabitants of these different planets are fallen, as we are. . . . If they were immortal beings and celestial in their nature, the Lord would not act with them thus, for then they would always be in his presence, whether they are beings of one world or another, or whether the worlds upon which they dwell are as numerous as the sands upon the sea-shore; when they become celestial the veil that obscures the view of mortals is removed, and it makes no difference whether a world be a million, a hundred million, or a million million of miles distant from another, if the veil is taken away, they are still in each other's presence.
(Hyrum L. Andrus, God, Man, and the Universe [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1968], 417.)
Inquires one-"Do you mean to say that other worlds have fallen as well as ours?" Yes, man is an agent; intelligence cannot exist on any other principle. All beings having intelligence must have their agency. Laws must be given, suited and adapted to this agency; and when God sends inhabitants on various creations he sends them on the great and grand principle of giving them an opportunity to exercise that agency; and they have exercised it, and have fallen. Is there anything revealed to prove that other worlds have fallen as well as ours? Oh yes, read some of the other revelations. I might quote you one which now occurs to my mind, given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, revealing anew that which was formerly revealed to Enoch, before the flood, concerning the vastness of the creations of the Almighty, and many other things. After speaking of these innumerable creations, Enoch exclaims-'Thou has taken Zion to thine own bosom out of all the creations thou hast made.' Why would the Lord take Zion from all these creations? Because all of their inhabitants were not worthy. The very expression shows that there were only a few on each of these creations that he could denominate Zion... Does not that show that they have fallen? If they had not transgressed, but had always been obedient, the Lord, as an impartial Being, would have redeemed all the inhabitants of these creations and taken them all to his own bosom. But it seems that only a few had the privilege of being gathered into the bosom of God. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 17: 331 - 332.)
DC 88:57 then he withdrew from the first that he might visit the second
Says the interrogator-"I do not comprehend this idea of the Lord's withdrawing from one and going to another." In order to comprehend this let us come back to our own globe. Do we not expect that the Lord will, by and by, come and visit us and stay a little while, about a thousand years. Yes, and then we shall be made glad with the joy of the countenance of our Lord. He will be among us, and will be our King, and he will reign as a King of kings and Lord of lords. He will have a throne in Zion, and another in the Temple at Jerusalem, and he will have with him the twelve disciples who were with him during his ministry at Jerusalem; and they will eat and drink with him at his table; and all the people of the globe who are counted worthy to be called Zion, the pure in heart, will be made glad by the countenance of their Lord for a thousand years, during which the earth will rest. Then what? He withdraws. What for? To fulfill other purposes; for he has other worlds or creations and other sons and daughters, perhaps just as good as those dwelling on this planet and they, as well as we, will be visited, and they will be made glad with the countenance of their Lord. Thus he will go, in the time and in the season thereof, from kingdom to kingdom or from world to world, causing the pure in heart, the Zion that is taken from these creations, to rejoice in his presence.
But there is another thing I want you to understand. This will not be kept up to all eternity, it is merely a preparation for something still greater. And what is that? By and by, when each of these creations has fulfilled the measure and bounds set and the times given for this 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 for ever, 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 from any special celestial kingdom where the Lord our God shall dwell, they will be able to see him at all times. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 17: 332.)
DC 88:63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you
Sheri L. Dew
There are no disclaimers or exceptions in His invitation. We are the ones who determine whether or not we will come unto Him. The drawing near, seeking, asking, and knocking are up to us. And the more we know about the Lord-meaning the more we experience His mercy, devotion, and willingness to guide us even when we may not feel worthy of His direction-the more confident we become that He will respond to our petitions.
As we increase our interaction with Him, we learn for ourselves that He will never betray us, never turn away, never change His criteria for coming unto Him. His attention is riveted on us, His brothers and sisters.
There are many ways to draw near, seek, ask, and knock. If, for example, your prayers offered to Heavenly Father in the name of Christ have become a little casual, would you recommit yourself to meaningful prayer, offered in unrushed solitude and with a repentant heart? If you have not yet come to appreciate the peace and the power of temple worship, would you partake of the ordinances of the house of the Lord as often as your circumstances allow? If you have not yet found that immersion in the scriptures increases your sensitivity to the Spirit, would you consider incorporating the word of God into your life more consistently? Tonight would be a wonderful time to begin. ("Are You the Woman I Think You Are?" Ensign, Nov. 1997, 92)
DC 88:64 whatsoever ye ask...it shall be given you, that is expedient for you
Marvin J. Ashton
How do we know when something is expedient, appropriate, good, or fitting for us? Again we are counseled, "Ask the Father in my name, in faith believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men." (D&C 18:18; emphasis added.)
I want you to know that I know God hears and answers prayers. He has answered many of mine. I have lived sufficiently long on this earth to see that some of the prayers which I concluded were not answered were answered for my best good. I am still trying to recognize a "no" answer. I am still trying to recognize and accept silent answers.
I have total confidence and faith in the wisdom and omniscience of a loving, merciful Heavenly Father. To be dependent on Him, yet to communicate with Him, I must make faithful personal effort on a never-ending basis. ("Know He Is There," Ensign, Feb. 1994, 54)
Neal A. Maxwell
"We may at times, if we are not careful, try to pray away pain or what seems like an impending tragedy, but which is, in reality, an opportunity. We must do as Jesus did in that respect-also preface our prayers by saying, 'If it be possible,' let the trial pass from us-by saying, 'Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt,' and bowing in a sense of serenity to our Father in Heaven's wisdom, because at times God will not be able to let us pass by a trial or a challenge. If we were allowed to bypass certain trials, everything that had gone on up to that moment in our lives would be wiped out. It is because he loves us that at times he will not intercede as we may wish him to. That, too, we learn from Gethsemane and from Calvary. (But for a Small Moment, p. 445)
Neal A. Maxwell
Our prayers will be better if they are in fact inspired prayers. (Men and Women of Christ, p. 98)
DC 88:66 my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth
David B. Haight
Jesus is the Christ. I have heard His voice because I have felt of that Spirit as He explains to us, "My voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth" (D&C 88:66). I know that is true. ("Live the Commandments," Ensign, May 1998, 8)
DC 88:67 if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light
James E. Faust
The Lord has said, "If your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you" (D&C 88:67). The Apostle James warned that "a double minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8). And Orson Hyde said, "Let the mind be concentrated, and it possesses almighty power. It is the agent of the Almighty clothed with mortal tabernacles, and we must learn to discipline it, and bring it to bear on one point" (in Journal of Discourses, 7:153). ("The Voice of the Spirit," Ensign, Apr. 1994, 8)
Gordon B. Hinckley
As we look with love and gratitude to God, as we serve him with an eye single to his glory, there goes from us the darkness of sin, the darkness of selfishness, the darkness of pride. There will come an increased love for our Eternal Father and for his Beloved Son, our Savior and our Redeemer. There will come a greater sense of service toward our fellowmen, less of thinking of self and more of reaching out to others. ("And the Greatest of These Is Love," Ensign, Mar. 1984, 5)
DC 88:68 sanctify yourselves... and the days will come that you shall see him
Harold B. Lee
You may ask me, how does one sanctify himself, and make himself holy so that he is prepared to walk in the presence of the Lord? In that same great revelation the Lord says this, "And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same" (D&C 88:34). What law? The laws of the Lord as contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ, the keeping of which laws and ordinances are the ways by which we are purified and made holy. The keeping of every law that the Lord has given us is one step closer to receiving the right to enter one day into the presence of the Lord. He has given us in another revelation the formula by which we can prepare ourselves as the years pass. "Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am" (D&C 93:1). Simple, isn't it? But listen again. All you have to do is to forsake your sins, come unto Him, call on His name, obey His voice, and keep His commandments, and then you shall see His face and shall know that He is.
There it is. You read it again and again, if you want the key as to how you may prepare yourselves to be so sanctified that you can enter into the presence of the Lord. (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 166.)
Boyd K. Packer
I do not invite anyone to become a seeker after a sign, but to prepare a mind and a heart and a body that is clean.
"Therefore," the Lord has said, "sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will." (D&C 88:68.)
I bear witness that the revelations are true. I have tested them. There sit before us in this conference the General Authorities of the Church, fifteen men among them called and ordained as apostles, as special witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. I bear witness that he lives. I have that witness. ("We Believe All That God Has Revealed," Ensign, May 1974, 95)
Dallin H. Oaks
The principle stated in that revelation applies to every communication from our Heavenly Father: "It shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will." We cannot force spiritual things. ("Teaching and Learning by the Spirit," Ensign, Mar. 1997, 11)
DC 88:69 remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you
"These were not idle promises to be passed over lightly. They were and are real covenants that the Lord made with his Saints. A fulfillment of this 'great and last promise' was recorded by John Murdock in his journal. Referring to a prayer meeting held in the Prophet Joseph Smith's quarters at the Newell K. Whitney store in Kirtland, Ohio, Brother Murdock wrote: 'In one of these meetings the Prophet told us, if we could humble ourselves before God, and exercise strong faith, we should see the face of the Lord. And about midday the visions of my mind were opened, and the eyes of my understanding were enlightened, and I saw the form of a man, most lovely, the visage of his face was sound and fair as the sun. His hair a bright silver grey, curled in most majestic form, His eyes a keen penetrating blue, and the skin of his neck a most beautiful white and he was covered from the neck to the feet with a loose garment, pure white, whiter than any garment I have ever before seen. His countenance was most penetrating, and yet most lovely. And while I was endeavoring to comprehend the whole personage from head to feet it slipped from me, and the vision was closed up. But it left on my mind the impression of love, for months, that I never before felt to that degree.'" (Leon R. Hartshorn, Dennis A. Wright, and Craig J. Ostler, eds., The Doctrine and Covenants, a Book of Answers: The 25th Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1996], 133 - 134.)
DC 88:70 tarry ye in this place, and call a solemn assembly
"The Lord instructed the Prophet to call a solemn assembly of the 'first laborers in this last kingdom.' This was to be held in Kirtland (once the temple was built) and was to include a spiritual manifestation to those who were worthy. Much needed to be done in anticipation. They were to prepare their hearts and minds, rid themselves of idle thoughts and of excess laughter. Those expecting to be invited to attend were to organize themselves and sanctify their lives, purify their hearts and cleanse their hands and feet, in order that they would be 'clean from the blood of this wicked generation' (vv. 69, 74, 75).
"The instruction to hold a solemn assembly comes immediately following the promise that the day will come when the faithful will see the face of the Lord, and thus it is clear these two circumstances are related. That the Lord would show himself to his servants and give them the transcendent joy that accompanies a personal visit from their Savior is called 'the great and last promise' (vv. 69, 75), and the Lord said he would fulfill it if his people would prepare themselves." (Robert J. Matthews, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 1: The Doctrine and Covenants, ed. by Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 348 - 349.)
DC 88:73 I will hasten my work in its time
Delbert L. Stapley
There is an urgency in his work. Time is getting short. This sense of urgency in promoting the Lord's kingdom in these last days does not arise out of panic, but out of a desire to move swiftly and surely to establish and strengthen his kingdom among all people who are seeking the light and truth of the gospel, which is God's plan of life for all his children.
God will hasten his work by opening the heavens and sending heavenly messengers to his prophets to warn his children to prepare themselves to receive their Lord at his second coming. ("To Make a People Prepared for the Lord," Ensign, Nov. 1975, 49)
Russell M. Nelson
The Lord said, "I will hasten my work in its time." (D&C 88:73.) Surely anyone observing the recent growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is keenly aware of that hastening process. This should make us humbly grateful for the Lord's omnipotent hand. Obstacles that seemed insurmountable have proven to be merely challenges for the faithful, for "with God nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1:37.) ("Drama on the European Stage," Ensign, Dec. 1991, 7)
Neal A. Maxwell
When God hastens His work, He hastens it on both sides of the veil simultaneously. No wonder holy temples, such a central feature of the Restoration, are so crucial, especially at this juncture in human history. Whenever, as is now happening, we open to gospel proselyting new nations on this side of the veil, we have simultaneously opened the door to thousands of one-time citizens of those nations who are now living beyond the veil of death. Vicarious ordinances provide that precious spiritual linkage of love. (Lord, Increase Our Faith [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], 79.)
DC 88:78 teach ye diligently... that ye may be instructed more perfectly
Gordon B. Hinckley
We need to do a more thorough job in the teaching process to get the Spirit down into the hearts of the people. It is more than intellectual, it is more than a mental assessment. It must be a thing of the heart, a thing of the spirit...
We must strengthen ourselves and our people to get our teachers to speak out of their hearts rather than out of their books, to communicate their love for the Lord and this precious work, and somehow it will catch fire in the hearts of those they teach. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 619 - 620.)
Jeffrey R. Holland
To teach effectively and to feel you are succeeding is demanding work indeed. But it is worth it. We can receive "no greater call." ... For each of us to "come unto Christ," to keep His commandments and follow His example back to the Father, is surely the highest and holiest purpose of human existence. To help others do that as well-to teach, persuade, and prayerfully lead them to walk that path of redemption also-surely that must be the second most significant task in our lives. Perhaps that is why President David O. McKay once said, "No greater responsibility can rest upon any man [or woman], than to be a teacher of God's children." (Ensign, May 1998, 25)
David O. McKay
We are a Church of teachers... Now, the great obligation upon a teacher is to be prepared to teach. A teacher cannot teach others that which he himself does not know. He cannot make his students feel what he does not feel himself. (Gospel Ideals: Selections from the Discourses of David O. McKay [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953], 424.)
Bruce R. McConkie
Teach the doctrines of salvation; supply spiritual food; bear testimony of our Lord's divine Sonship-anything short of such a course is unworthy of a true minister who has been called by revelation. Only when the Church is fed the bread of life are its members kept in the path of righteousness. (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 2:178)
DC 88:79 things both in heaven and in the earth...
James E. Talmage
Within the gospel of Jesus Christ there is room and place for every truth thus far learned by man, or yet to be made known. (Morris S. Petersen, "I Have a Question," Ensign, Sept. 1987, 28)
Russell M. Nelson
We regard one's education as a religious responsibility with everlasting reward. ("Combatting Spiritual Drift-Our Global Pandemic," Ensign, Nov. 1993, 106)
The First Presidency
He who invades the domain of knowledge must approach it as Moses came to the burning bush; he stands on holy ground; he would acquire things sacred; he seeks to make his own the attributes of Deity, the truth which Christ declared he was (John 14:6), and which shall make us free (John 8:32), free of the shackles of time and space, which shall be no more. We must come to this quest of truth-in all regions of human knowledge whatsoever-not only in reverence, but with a spirit of worship.
In all his promises and commandments about gaining knowledge, the Lord has never withheld from our quest any field of truth. Our knowledge is to be coterminous with the universe and is to reach out and to comprehend the laws and the workings of the deeps of the eternities. All domains of all knowledge belong to us. In no other way could the great law of eternal progression be satisfied. (James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 6: 231, Nov. 14, 1945)
Spencer W. Kimball
It is clear that the Lord expects his people to have a wide variety of information so that we might have breadth and depth in our lives.
"Things ... in heaven" might be the study of astronomy and related subjects. To know and appreciate the wonders of the heavens cannot but increase our appreciation of God and his great wisdom and power. Parents may wish to learn about these wonders and teach their children by putting into their hands materials suited to their age and development.
The counsel to learn of things "in the earth" echoes the commandment given to Adam and Eve to replenish the earth and subdue it. The Lord has also said in these last days, "The fulness of the earth is yours, ... Yea, all things which come of the earth ... are made for the benefit and the use of man. ... And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man." (D&C 59:16, 18, 20.) To understand the soil and the seasons is a fascinating study for all families as well as for scientists. A garden for every home, even if only a window box, can furnish beginning knowledge for all ages.
Subduing the earth also involves the engineering sciences as well as biology, geology, and other sciences that study the earth's land, air, and water. The study of land and water must also consider that which is "under the earth" and all the potentials of nature and its elements.
To study "things which have been" is to delve into history, a lifetime challenge. In addition, current events, or history in the making, should give us concern for careful study.
To learn of "things which are at home" could mean a great invitation to all Latter-day Saints to become masters in the science and art of home building and homemaking; husband and wife relationships; parent and child relationships, training, leadership, teaching, and felicity; and all that is associated with family life, in order that we might become masters in loving and teaching others throughout eternity.
The "wars and perplexities of the nations" is a great concern to us now that the world is a large community. Perplexities afflicting one people affect the lives of others distantly removed.
Gaining "a knowledge of countries ... and kingdoms" will be found in a study of political and physical geography, languages, and customs.
But how will we obtain this knowledge? We expect the Saints to gain such knowledge naturally, as a result of righteousness and by study and faith... Perspiration must precede inspiration; there must be effort before there is the harvest. We must take thought, work, be patient, acquire competence.
...As a people, we Latter-day Saints have been encouraged by the Lord to progress in the learning of God as well as in the sound learning of the earth. Too many of us spend far too much time watching the television or in habits and activities that do not enlarge ourselves or bless others. Would that we might lift ourselves to higher visions of what we could do with our lives! There should be no people who have a higher desire to obtain truth, revealed and secular, than Latter-day Saints. ("Seek Learning Even by Study and Also by Faith," Ensign, Sept. 1983, 5-6)
DC 88:81 Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people
Henry B. Eyring
That command and warning of danger was given to those called as missionaries at the start of the Restoration. But the duty to warn our neighbor falls on all of us who have accepted the covenant of baptism. We are to talk with nonmember friends and relatives about the gospel. Our purpose is to invite them to be taught by the full-time missionaries who are called and set apart to teach...
...The Lord would not use the word warn if there is no danger. Yet not many people we know sense it. They have learned to ignore the increasing evidence that society is unraveling and that their lives and family lack the peace they once thought was possible. That willingness to ignore the signs of danger can make it easy for you to think: Why should I speak to anyone about the gospel who seems content? What danger is there to them or to me if I do or say nothing?
Well, the danger may be hard to see, but it is real, both for them and for us. For instance, at some moment in the world to come, everyone you will ever meet will know what you know now. They will know that the only way to live forever in association with our families and in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, was to choose to enter into the gate by baptism at the hands of those with authority from God. They will know that the only way families can be together forever is to accept and keep sacred covenants offered in the temples of God on this earth. And they will know that you knew. And they will remember whether you offered them what someone had offered you. ("A Voice of Warning," Ensign, Nov. 1998, 33)
DC 88:84 to bind up the law and seal up the testimony
The words "bind" and "seal" are priesthood terms. The law will be bound and the testimony sealed by one who holds the appropriate priesthood keys. The binding and sealing signifies the end of God's great patience and mercy. At that point, His long-suffering will suffer no longer (see Rev. 6:12-17). Then "cometh the testimony of earthquakes...thunderings...lightnings...tempests," etc. (v. 89-90)
Before we came to the Rocky Mountains, I had a dream. I dreamed of being in these mountains, and of seeing a large fine looking temple erected in one of these valleys which was built of cut granite stone, I saw that temple dedicated, and I attended the dedicatory services, and I saw a good many men that are living today in the midst of this people. And I saw them called of God and sent forth unto the United States and to Babylon, or what is called the Christian world, to bind up the law and seal up the testimony against the nations of the earth, because they had rejected the testimony of Jesus, and of the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 21: 300.)
When the servants of God bind up the law and wash their feet against the people... the judgment is passed. They do not know it; but they will find it out when they wake up from the long sleep of death and reckon their history. They will find out that away back at a certain time a servant of God washed his feet against them. Ah! there the die was cast; there their doom was sealed; there they were barred out against coming into the kingdom of God. That was the important moment when salvation passed from them. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 6: 312.)
DC 88:85 the desolation of abomination... both in this world and in the world to come
The Desolation of Abomination refers to the slaughter of the Jews which occurred at the hands of the Romans in AD 70, and to similar events which will be repeated just prior to the Second Coming (see commentary for D&C 84:17, Luke 23:28-30). However, this scripture speaks of a desolation of abomination "in the world to come," signifying the judgments of God upon the wicked in spirit prison. Their punishment in spirit will be as awful as the punishment suffered in mortality by those who suffered the desolation of abomination "in this world."
DC 88:87 the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man
Bruce R. McConkie
As a prelude to our Lord's glorious return, such transcendent events shall occur, both in heaven and on earth, that there is no language known to mortals, nor any imagery or illustration, which can convey to them the wonders of that dreadful day.
The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard" (Isa. 24:20), causing such an earthquake as has never before been known (Rev. 16:17-21), and it shall appear to man on earth as though the stars in the sidereal heavens are falling. And in addition, as here recorded, some heavenly meteors or other objects, appearing as stars, will fall "unto the earth." Indeed, the events of that day shall be so unprecedented and so beyond human experience, that the prophets are and have been at an almost total loss for words to describe those realities pressed in upon them by the spirit of revelation. And we can envision only in small measure the great events which they saw and understood by the power of the Spirit; that is, we are so limited unless and until we enjoy the same Spirit and see the same things which that God who is no respecter of persons revealed to them. (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 487.)
DC 88:89-90 after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes... thunderings...
Gerald N. Lund
The plagues, the famines, the thunderings and lightnings, the hail and the earthquakes are all necessary, for the children of men will not otherwise heed the warning voice of the Lord. In these times of chaos and catastrophes which are coming, the missionaries of the Church will be called home, and the Lord will preach his own sermons to the people. (The Coming of the Lord [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1971], 42.)
"Do you think there is calamity abroad now among the people?" Not much. All we have yet heard and all we have experienced is scarcely a preface to the sermon that is going to be preached. When the testimony of the Elders ceases to be given, and the Lord says to them, "Come home; I will now preach my own sermons to the nations of the earth," all you now know can scarcely be called a preface to the sermon that will be preached with fire and sword, tempests, earthquakes, hail, rain, thunders and lightnings, and fearful destruction. What matters the destruction of a few railway cars? You will hear of magnificent cities, now idolized by the people, sinking in the earth, entombing the inhabitants. The sea will heave itself beyond its bounds, engulphing mighty cities. Famine will spread over the nations, and nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and states against states, in our own country and in foreign lands; and they will destroy each other, caring not for the blood and lives of their neighbours, of their families, or for their own lives. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 8: 123 - 124.)
Orson F. Whitney
And what is the purpose-the ultimate purpose of it all? Destruction? No, a thousand times no, except in so far as destruction must at times precede reconstruction, and is necessary to preserve what is worth preserving. The world's welfare is the object in view. God's wrath, however fiercely it burns, is not comparable to petty human anger. His work and his glory is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man," and if, in the process, He uses the powers of destruction, as well as the powers of contruction-for "all power" is his, "in heaven and in earth"-it is because such a course has become necessary and is for the best. However severe his chastisements, we can rest assured of this: Hatred of humanity has no place in the heart of Him who "so loved the world" that he "gave his Only Begotten Son" to save it from eternal damnation. (Saturday Night Thoughts [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1921], 201.)
DC 88:91 men's hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people
Neal A. Maxwell
Latter-day Saints need to remember that we who live now are being called upon to work out our salvation in a special time of intense and immense challenges-the last portion of the dispensation of the fulness of times during which great tribulation and temptation will occur, the elect will almost be deceived, and unrighteous people will be living much as they were in the days of Noah.... The special spirits who have been reserved to live in this time of challenges and who overcome will one day be praised for their stamina by those who pulled handcarts. (Notwithstanding My Weakness, pp. 18-19.)
Dallin H. Oaks
I am grateful for the Book of Mormon promise to us of the last days that "the righteous need not fear," for the Lord "will preserve the righteous by his power." (1 Ne. 22:17.) I am grateful for the protection promised to those who have kept their covenants and qualified for the blessings promised in sacred places. ("Bible Stories and Personal Protection," Ensign, Nov. 1992, 40)
Mark E. Petersen
I believe that. In the midst of all these tribulations God will send fire from heaven, if necessary, to destroy our enemies while we carry forward our work and push that stone until it fills the whole earth!
Your destiny is to do that very thing, and this is the kind of protection you will have. You do not need to fear about world conditions. You do not need to fear about anybody. Just serve the Lord and keep his commandments and build the kingdom, and as you do so you will be protected in these last days. God will have his hand over you, and you can plan your lives in confidence. (Conference Report, October 1960, pp. 81-83)
DC 88:93 there shall appear a great sign in heaven
The great sign in heaven as described in this verse must be the same described in Matthew, "then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn." (JS-Matt. 1:36) But the inhabitants of the earth will not see his face yet. From section 88 we learn that the Lord will unveil his face a little later (v. 95), so what is the sign spoken of? Most probably, the sign is a great light "as the light of the morning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, and covereth the whole earth." (JS-Matt. 1:26) Yet the inhabitants of the earth will know that this great light is not the sun. The scriptures compare it to lightning but the manifestation will be greater than any flash of lightning (Matt. 24:27). This sign will be so great and marvelous as to fill their hearts with fear, knowing that the judgments of God are upon them. As Orson Pratt has stated, "the light of the sun is nothing to be compared with the glory of that personage who shall appear when the heavens shall be unveiled, or unfolded like a scroll. The light of the sun will dwindle away, and he shall hide his face with shame." (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 8: 51 - 52.)
However, many other smaller signs will be seen in the heavens before the coming of Christ. Wilford Woodruff saw some of these in vision.
I was in Tennessee in the year 1835, and while at the house of Abraham O. Smoot, I received a letter from Brothers Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, requesting me to stay there, and stating that I would lose no blessing by doing so. Of course, I was satisfied. I went into a little room and sat down upon a small sofa. I was all by myself and the room was dark; and while I rejoiced in this letter and the promise made to me, I became wrapped in vision. I was like Paul; I did not know whether I was in the body or out of the body. A personage appeared to me and showed me the great scenes that should take place in the last days. One scene after another passed before me. I saw the sun darkened; I saw the moon become as blood; I saw the stars fall from heaven; I saw seven golden lamps set in the heavens, representing the various dispensations of God to man-a sign that would appear before the coming of Christ. (Journal of Discourses, 22:332-33.)
This personage taught me with regard to these things. Among other things he showed me were seven lions like burnished brass placed in the heavens. I asked the messenger what they were for. He said they were representatives of the different dispensations of the gospel of Christ to men, and they would all be seen in the heaven among the signs that would be shown. After this passed by me, he disappeared. (Millennial Star 67:612, October 19, 1896)
DC 88:94 he shall sound his trump both long and loud
There must be something connected with the sounding of this trump that is miraculous in order that all nations may hear it. Any sound that can be produced by mortal man does not reach, generally speaking, over about thirty miles from where it originates, which is a very small space indeed. But there will be something connected with the sounding of the trump of the first of the seven angels which will manifest a power which we know nothing of. The sound of that trump will be heard by all people, nations, kindreds, and tongues in the four quarters of our globe. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 16: 328.)
DC 88:95 there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour
Whether the half hour here spoken of is according to our reckoning-thirty minutes, or whether it be according to the reckoning of the Lord we do not know. We know that the word hour is used in some portions of the Scriptures to represent quite a lengthy period of time. For instance, we, the Latter-day Saints, are living in the eleventh period of time; and for aught we know the half hour during which silence is to prevail in heaven may be quite an extensive period of time. During the period of silence all things are perfectly still; no angels flying during that half hour; no trumpets sounding; no noise in the heavens above; but immediately after this great silence the curtain of heaven shall be unfolded as a scroll is unfolded. School children, who are in the habit of seeing maps hung up on the wall, know that they have rollers upon which they are rolled up, and that to expose the face of the maps they are let down. So will the curtain of heaven be unrolled so that the people may gaze upon those celestial beings who will make their appearance in the clouds. The face of the Lord will be unveiled, and those who are alive will be quickened, and they will be caught up; and the Saints who are in their graves, will come forth and be caught up, together with those who are quickened, and they will be taken into the heavens into the midst of those celestial beings who will make their appearance at that time. These are the ones who are the first fruits, that is, the first fruits at the time of his coming. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 16: 328.)
DC 88:98-103 The resurrection of the just and the condemnation of the wicked
No other scripture explains so clearly the relationship between the resurrection of the dead and the kingdom they will finally inherit. These few verses are critical to understanding the timing and sequence of the resurrection of the dead.
Groups to be resurrected
The first fruits (v. 98)
Christ's at his coming (v. 99)
Spirits under condemnation (v. 100-101)
Those who shall remain filthy still (v. 102)
Morning of the first resurrection
"Afternoon of the first resurrection"
Resurrection of the unjust (John 5:29)
Resurrection of the unjust (John 5:29)
Descend with Christ
Resurrected at the beginning of the Millenium
Resurrected after the Millenium
Resurrected at the great and last day
D&C 76:50-70, 92-96; D&C 88:20, 22, 29.
D&C 76:71-80, 91; D&C 88:23, 30.
D&C 76:81-90, 98-112; D&C 88:24, 31.
D&C 76:31-38, 43-49; D&C 88:24, 32-35.
DC 88:98 They are Christ's, the first fruits
There are three groups that will merge into one at this momentous occasion. Those descending with Christ will be joined by the righteous mortals who are caught up to meet them. The third group are the righteous dead who are resurrected to a celestial glory and are also caught up to meet Him in the clouds.
Anthon H. Lund
When Christ shall come the Saints that are upon the earth will be quickened, and caught up unto Him. They will not have to be laid in the grave and undergo death in the ordinary way, but all the change pertaining unto death will come unto them, even if it be as the apostle said, "in the twinkling of an eye." The Lord's power will be made manifest-for He holds the keys of the resurrection, He knows all concerning our physical organization, and He is able to accomplish this great wonder of the resurrection. So when the time comes the faithful of the Saints will be quickened and caught up to meet Him and the many thousands that are coming with Him... This, brethren and sisters, is something worth working for. We desire to live so that when this event shall come, whether we be on the earth or in the grave, that this sound may be heard by us-that we may come forth and join that happy throng. (Conference Report, April 1904, First Day-Morning Session 97.)
Bruce R. McConkie
Christ's, the first fruits-who are they? They are all those who were with him in his resurrection. They are all those of Enoch's city, a righteous people who first were translated and who then gained full immortality when Christ rose from his tomb. They are all those of ages past who have burst the bands of death. They are the living saints who are quickened by the power of God and are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. They are the righteous dead who shall come forth in this, the morning of the first resurrection, to receive an inheritance of eternal life and to be one with their glorious Lord. All these shall have an inheritance of exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 636.)
DC 88:99 those who are Christ's at his coming
Joseph Fielding Smith
After the Lord and the righteous who are caught up to meet him have descended upon the earth, there will come to pass another resurrection. This may be considered as a part of the first, although it comes later. In this resurrection will come forth those of the terrestrial order, who were not worthy to be caught up to meet him, but who are worthy to come forth to enjoy the millennial reign.
It is written that the second angel shall sound, which is the second trump, "and then cometh the redemption of those who are Christ's at his coming; who have received their part in the prison which is prepared for them, that they might receive the gospel, and be judged according to men in the flesh."
This other class, which will also have right to the first resurrection, are those who are not members of the Church of the Firstborn, but who have led honorable lives, although they refused to accept the fulness of the gospel.
Also in this class will be numbered those who died without law and hence are not under condemnation for a violation of the commandments of the Lord. The promise is made to them of redemption from death in the following words: "And then shall the heathen nations be redeemed, and they that knew no law shall have part in the first resurrection; and it shall be tolerable for them." (D&C 45:54) These, too, shall partake of the mercies of the Lord and shall receive the reuniting of spirit and body inseparably, thus becoming immortal, but not with the fulness of the glory of God. (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 2: 297.)
DC 88:100 then come the spirits of men who are... found under condemnation
The first resurrection is a judgment day for all who have inhabited the earth. Those spirits who do not participate in the first resurrection will still be brought forth. They will be judged and found under condemnation. They will see the happiness of those already resurrected and will feel the guilt and pain of their wickedness. After they have been brought forth, they will be sent back to spirit prison to live there another thousand years and more. While the righteous enjoy the presence of Christ and a terrestrial sphere, the wicked will await the resurrection of the unjust at the end of the earth.
DC 88:102 There are found among those who are to remain... [those] who shall remain filthy still
Among the spirits brought forth by the third trump will be the fourth and most wicked group. This trump announces that among the group of wicked spirits will be a group even more wicked. They will be "filthy still" meaning that they will not be redeemed from the Fall even after they are resurrected. The Lord "saves all except them-they shall go away into everlasting punishment" (D&C 76:44). These are they who suffer the second death, the sons of perdition.
They are filthy still because they choose not to be redeemed. As with everyone else, their knees shall bow and their tongues confess that Jesus is the Christ, but having made this confession, they still choose Satan to be their Master. The Prophet said that such a man "has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it... You cannot save such persons; you cannot bring them to repentance." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 358) They are "not meet for a kingdom of glory... because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received... Therefore, they must remain filthy still." (D&C 88:24-35)
DC 88:103-104 the fifth angel who committeth the everlasting gospel
Of the seven angels listed in this section, we can determine the identity of only two, the fifth and the seventh (v. 112). The fifth angel is Moroni who John saw flying "in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people." (Rev. 14:6)
Bruce R. McConkie
"And now, verily saith the Lord, that these things might be known among you, O inhabitants of the earth, I have sent forth mine angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel, who hath appeared unto some and hath committed it unto man, who shall appear unto many that dwell on the earth.
And this gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.
And the servants of God shall go forth, saying with a loud voice: Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come;
And worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters-
Calling upon the name of the Lord day and night, saying: O that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence." (D. & C. 133:36-40.)
From this revelation we learn two things relative to the identity of the angel John saw "fly in the midst of heaven":
- The angel (Moroni) had by that date already come, and the gospel message in the Book of Mormon was then on earth and would without fail go forth to all of its inhabitants; and
- The angel of the restoration was yet, in the future, to "appear unto many that dwell on the earth."
Thus Moroni brought the word, or at least that portion found in the Book of Mormon, for that record summarizes and teaches... what men must do to be saved. (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 3: 530-531.)
DC 88:105 another angel shall sound his trump... the sixth angel saying: She is fallen...
John described this angel in Revelation 14:8 and then again in the 18th chapter.
"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies." (Rev. 18:1-3)
DC 88:106 the seventh angel... The Lamb of God that overcome and trodden the wine-press alone
Later in the section, we learn that the seventh angel is "Michael... even the archangel" (v. 122). There is some beauty in understanding that Michael is the messenger of the Savior's victory. As Adam, thousands of years before, his transgression subjected all mankind to death and sin. The effects of this, though necessary, would bring pain and suffering to billions of souls. How could Adam save his children? He could not. No other individual who had ever lived on this earth could be more overjoyed at the message that the Savior's atonement had overcome The Fall. In the justice and mercy of the Almighty, the great archangel Michael, would carry this message to his children.
Michael would deliver the message to all below him, but Jesus would be the one to tell the Father:
"When Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work;
When he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying: I have overcome and have trodden the wine-press alone, even the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God." (D&C 76:106-107)
DC 88:107 the saints shall... receive their inheritance and be made equal with him
To become a joint heir of the heirship of the Son, [one] must put away all [one's] traditions.
What is it? To inherit the same glory, power, and exaltation, with those who are gone before.
[You will] enjoy the same rise, exaltation, and glory, until you arrive at the station of a God.
They are exalted far above principalities, thrones, dominions, and angels, and are expressly declared to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, all having eternal power. (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 155.)
George Q. Cannon
There is nothing that the Savior has attained unto that God's faithful children are not promised. They are promised the same blessings, the same power, the same authority, the same gifts, the same graces... He will give us an equal interest in all this power and authority. (Roy W. Doxey, comp., Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 3: 274.)
DC 88:108-109 the secret acts of men
Man sleeps the sleep of death, but the spirit lives where the record of his deeds is kept-that does not die-man cannot kill it; there is no decay associated with it, and it still retains in all its vividness the remembrance of that which transpired before the separation by death of the body and the ever-living spirit. Man sleeps for a time in the grave, and by-and-by he rises again from the dead and goes to judgment; and then the secret thoughts of all men are revealed before Him with whom we have to do; we cannot hide them; it would be in vain for a man to say then, I did not do so-and-so; the command would be, Unravel and read the record which he has made of himself, and let it testify in relation to these things, and all could gaze upon it. If a man has acted fraudulently against his neighbor-has committed murder, or adultery, or any thing else, and wants to cover it up, that record will stare him in the face, he tells the story himself, and bears witness against himself. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 11: 77 - 80.)
Spencer W. Kimball
There are no corners so dark, no deserts so uninhabited, no canyons so remote, no automobiles so hidden, no homes so tight and shut in but that the all-seeing One can penetrate and observe. The faithful have always known this. (The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], chap. 8)
DC 88:110 there shall be time no longer
"In this setting, 'time no longer' may refer to the beginning of the Millennium, when time as we understand it with our calendar, seasons, hours, minutes, and seconds no longer exists. This seems to be the manner in which two revelations (Rev. 10:6, D&C 88:110) use the phrase 'time no longer': 'The Lord hath redeemed his people; and Satan is bound and time is no longer. The Lord hath gathered all things in one. The Lord hath brought down Zion from above. The Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath' (D&C 84:100) (Donald W. Parry and Jay A. Parry, Understanding the Book of Revelation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 129.)
Joseph Fielding Smith
After the temporal existence of the earth is finished, it will again go back on celestial time, and there shall be "time no longer." This does not mean that the inhabitants of the earth, who will be celestial beings, will not reckon by time, but by a different time-Kolob's time which the Lord says is his time. (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 81.)
I simply understand by this, that so far as we are concerned, time will be no more when we shall be merged into eternity, and we cease to reckon our periods by the diurnal revolutions of the earth, and the changes of the moon, etc.; when we shall enter into a sphere where we can mingle with the Gods and become acquainted with their reckoning, and the eternal periods or cycles of revolutions of numberless creations in space. (Roy W. Doxey, comp., Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 3: 203 - 204.)
DC 88:113-114 then cometh the battle of the great God
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Rev. 20:7-10)
The battle of Gog and Magog will be after the Millenium. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 280)
DC 88:117 call your solemn assembly
"Solemn assemblies were restored in this dispensation as a part of the 'restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by thy mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.' (Acts 3:21.) In ancient Israel, these assemblies were held in connection with feasts, sacrifices, and the dedication of Solomon's Temple. On these solemn occasions, Israel gathered and came before the Lord in a state of ritual holiness.
"In our dispensation, a solemn assembly was first mentioned in connection with the commandment to build the Kirtland Temple. The Lord instructed the Saints to 'sanctify [themselves] that [their] minds [would] become single to God,' and to 'cast away [their] idle thoughts' and their 'excess of laughter.' He then commanded them to call a solemn assembly of 'the first laborers in this last kingdom.' (See D&C 88:68-70.) In verse 117 of the same section, the Lord again commanded the Saints to hold a solemn assembly; and in verse 119 he commanded them to build a house of God-the Kirtland Temple. In Doctrine and Covenants 95:7, the Lord explained the purpose of that solemn assembly-'that your fastings and your mourning might come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.'
"From these revelations, we can see that solemn assemblies are held to enhance the Saints' spirituality and to give added emphasis to the importance of the assembly's purpose. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, 'We must have all things prepared, and call our solemn assembly as the Lord has commanded us, that we may be able to accomplish His great work, and it must be done in God's own way. The house of the Lord must be prepared, and the solemn assembly called and organized in it, according to the order of the house of God.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 91.)
"Heber C. Kimball recorded the Prophet's instructions to the elders before that solemn assembly: 'We had been commanded to prepare ourselves for a solemn assembly. At length the time arrived for this assembly to meet; previous to which the Prophet Joseph exhorted the elders to solemnize their minds, by casting away every evil from them, in thought, word and deed, and to let their hearts become sanctified, because they need not expect a blessing from God without being duly prepared for it, for the Holy Ghost would not dwell in unholy temples.' (Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 3d ed., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1967, p. 91.)" (Robert J. Norman, "I Have a Question," Ensign, Dec. 1988, 53)
DC 88:118 seek learning even by study and also by faith
Gordon B. Hinckley
It is never too late to learn. I believe this with all my heart. Sister Hinckley and I are growing old. We are in our mid-80s. I am constantly amazed at what a voracious reader she is. She reads two newspapers a day, goes through magazines, is an ardent student of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, and I saw her the other evening reading a lengthy biography.
I know of no other practice which will make one more attractive in conversation than to be well-read in a variety of subjects. Said the Lord to you and to me: "Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith. ... Organize yourselves. ... Cease to be idle" (D&C 88:118-119, 124).
The best books are the scriptures. Said the Lord: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). Read the Church magazines. There are many other worthwhile things to read. Reading will sharpen your mind. It will clean up your intellect. It will improve your speech to get into the thoughts of the great men and women of the ages, including those of our own age. ("A Conversation with Single Adults," Ensign, Mar. 1997, 62)
Ezra Taft Benson
With the abundance of books available today, it is a mark of a truly educated man to know what not to read. Of the making of books there is no end. In our reading, we would do well to follow the counsel of John Wesley's mother: "Avoid whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, ... increases the authority of the body over the mind."
The fact that a book or publication is popular does not necessarily make it of value. The fact that an author wrote one good work does not necessarily mean that all his books are worthy of our reading. Many novels and modern publications are corrupters of morals or distorters of truth. ("In His Steps," Ensign, Sept. 1988, 5)
DC 88:119 establish a house, even a house of prayer... a house of God
Thomas S. Monson
Where could any of us locate a more suitable blueprint whereby we could wisely and properly build a house to personally occupy throughout eternity? Such a house would meet the building code outlined in Matthew-even a house built "upon a rock," a house capable of withstanding the rains of adversity, the floods of opposition, and the winds of doubt everywhere present in our challenging world.
Some might question: "But that revelation was to provide guidance for the construction of a temple. Is it relevant today?"
I would respond: "Did not the Apostle Paul declare, 'Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?' " (1 Cor. 3:16)
Perhaps if we consider these architectural guidelines on an individual basis, we can more readily appreciate this divine counsel from the Master Builder, the Creator of the world, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. ("Building Your Eternal Home," Ensign, Oct. 1999, 2)
Thomas S. Monson
Let the Lord be the general contractor for the family-even the home-we build. Then each of us can be subcontractors responsible for a vital segment of the whole project. All of us are thereby builders. Hence, I speak to all participants and provide guidelines from God, lessons from life, and points to ponder as we commence to build. ("Heavenly Homes, Forever Families," Ensign, Oct. 1991, 2)
DC 88:121 cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter...
"Again, we are told to 'cease from all ... light speeches, from all laughter ... and light-mindedness' (D&C 88:121) and to 'cast away ... your excess of laughter far from you' (D&C 88:69). It would not be wise to attempt to define 'excess of laughter' or 'much laughter' in terms of decibel levels or time limits. It would also be presumptuous to define the line between the sublime and the ridiculous. However, we may profitably consider types of humor that may detract from spirituality.
"Loud laughter, light-mindedness, and flippancy often betray a state of mind that is lacking in seriousness. 'Empty levity,' as Brigham Young called it, detracts from the dignity of those who indulge in it to excess. Such people 'have little sense, and know not the difference between a happy smile of satisfaction to cheer the countenance of a friend, or a contemptuous sneer that brings the curses of man upon man.' (Journal of Discourses 9:290.) A person given to such frivolity would find it difficult to follow the Lord's counsel to 'look unto me in every thought' (D&C 6:36) or to 'let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds' (D&C 43:34). He would be impaired in receiving revelation and would be weakened in the hour of temptation. C. S. Lewis has written that 'if prolonged, the habit of flippancy builds up around a man the finest armour plating against [God] that I know. It is a thousand miles from joy; it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practise it.' (Screwtape Letters [New York: The MacMillan Co., 1962], p. 52.)" (Peter B. Rawlins, "A Serious Look at Humor," New Era, Aug. 1974, 48)
Robert S. Wood
Our words and external expressions are not neutral, for they reflect both who we are and shape who we are becoming... In the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord counseled us to avoid "light speeches" and an "excess of laughter." He associated such expressions with defects of the heart-"lustful desires," "pride," and "light-mindedness"-that finally proceed to "wicked doings" (D&C 88:69, 121). I take "light speeches" to refer to irreverent and demeaning language and "light-mindedness" to what the Lord has called trifling with sacred things (see D&C 6:12).
...I recall when I was in a freshman English class and the professor was insisting that, to describe a situation, one of the students must substitute a crude expression for one gentler. I was jarred at an expression which I had seldom heard and never in harmonious circumstances. Years later in graduate school I had a conversation with a friend who argued that one should be, as he called it, direct, even if rude and insensitive to others' feelings. Unfortunately, the spirit animating these incidents has taken firm hold on society and is found even among the Saints. Over the years, there has been an increase in sexual innuendos, raucous humor, violent expressions, and great noise in talk, in music, in gestures. Much around us is crude and rude, with a corruption of moral behavior and sensitivity. Society has not been improved by our "light speeches" and our "light-mindedness." Instead, our expressions have polluted our communities and corrupted our souls.
President Spencer W. Kimball warned of vulgarity of speech and expression and particularly counseled against speaking of sex glibly, which he associated with immodesty. "Lewd talk and jokes," he said, "constitute another danger which lurks seeking as its prey any who will entertain it as the first step to dirtying the mind and thus the soul" (The Miracle of Forgiveness , 228).
What we say and how we present ourselves not only betray our inner person but also mold that person, those around us, and finally our whole society. Every day each of us is implicated in obscuring the light or in chasing away the darkness. We have been called to invite the light and to be a light, to sanctify ourselves and edify others. ("The Tongue of Angels," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 83-84)
DC 88:122 let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time
Often, the councils of the Church at the local level forget this counsel. There are sometimes two or three conversations going on at once during Ward Council or Bishop's Youth Council. Such behavior is disrespectful to the head of the council and to others who may be distracted.
Council members should be paying attention to the subject before them, not participating in distracting commentary. The ancients took their councils seriously. We should follow their lead.
In ancient days councils were conducted with such strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the council by the Spirit, was obtained, which has not been observed in this Church to the present time. It was understood in ancient days, that if one man could stay in council, another could; and if the president could spend his time, the members could also; but in our councils, generally, one will be uneasy, another asleep; one praying, another not; one's mind on the business of the council, and another thinking on something else. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 69.)
DC 88:121-126 The Nine Commandments of Godliness
Sometimes lists help us catalog certain principles, retain them longer in memory, and apply those concepts. The commandments contained in this chapter seem to direct us towards greater godliness-to carry ourselves in a more divine manner. They could be considered "the nine commandments of godliness."
- Cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, from all your lustful desires, from all your pride and light-mindedness, and from all your wicked doings.
- See that ye love one another;
- Cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires.
- Cease to be idle;
- Cease to be unclean;
- Cease to find fault one with another;
- Cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.
- Clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.
- Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come.
DC 88:124 cease to sleep longer than is needful
Joe J. Christensen
[When Marion G. Romney was called as a General Authortiy] he felt that he needed some advice, so he went to Elder Harold B. Lee, a relatively new member of the Quorum of the Twelve and a former contemporary as a stake president. Elder Romney asked him for advice about how to be successful as a General Authority.
Elder Lee spoke about the necessity of receiving personal revelation in order to be effective and said: "If you are to be successful as a General Authority, you will need to be inspired. You will need to receive revelation. I will give you one piece of advice: Go to bed early and get up early. If you do, your body and mind will become rested, and then in the quiet of those early-morning hours, you will receive more flashes of insight and inspiration than at any other time of the day."
President Romney said: "From that day on, I put that counsel into practice, and I know it works. Whenever I have a serious problem, or some assignment of a creative nature with which I hope to receive the influence of the Spirit, I always receive more assistance in the early-morning hours than at any other time of the day. Following that counsel has helped me a great deal through the years." ("Ten Ideas to Increase Your Spirituality," Ensign, Mar. 1999, 59)
Boyd K. Packer
I counsel our children to do their critical studying in the early hours of the morning when they're fresh and alert, rather than to fight physical weariness and mental exhaustion at night. I've learned that the dictum, "Early to bed, early to rise" is powerful. When under pressure-for instance, when I was preparing this talk-you wouldn't find me burning the midnight oil. Much rather I'd be early to bed and getting up in the wee hours of the morning, when I could be close to Him who guides this work. ("Self-Reliance," Ensign, Aug. 1975, 89)
DC 88:125 clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle
Barbara B. Smith
I see a mantle as many of you care for each other in acts of tender compassion, ever striving for the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love-the pure love of Christ. Charity, or the pure love of Christ, is not synonymous with good deeds or benevolence. But kind, thoughtful, loving acts are the way Jesus has directed us to express our love-both our love for him and our love for others. If we have the sustenance, he says we are to give to those in want. If we are thoughtful, warm, and caring to those who are sick, those who mourn, those who are fatherless, those we love, and those who despitefully use us, then we have charity, for we are moved to act with compassion.
In Spanish the word charity means "the love that never ceases to be." In Micronesia the word love translates into "the power to change lives." These tender nuances give us a better understanding of the pure love of Christ. As we serve with the single desire to nurture all life, we come to know what charity means. ("The Bond of Charity," Ensign, Nov. 1980, 103)
DC 88:127-137 The School of the Prophets
"The first such school met on January 23, 1833, in Kirtland, Ohio, in response to a revelation (D&C 88:119-133) instructing the Church to prepare priesthood members to carry the gospel to the world. Following prayer and an outpouring of spiritual gifts, the Prophet Joseph Smith invited each man present to receive the ordinance of washing of feet and a blessing. They ended their daylong fast by partaking of the Lord's Supper, after which they sang a hymn and were dismissed.
"The School of the Prophets met in Kirtland through the winter and early spring of 1833, usually in a room above Newel K. Whitney's store. Joseph Smith presided, and Orson Hyde was the instructor. Enrollment was limited to selected priesthood holders and probably never exceeded twenty-five. In accordance with the revelation about the school, members were initiated through the washing of feet, then reaffirmed their commitment and mutual goodwill by exchanging a formal salutation at the commencement of each class. School usually convened at sunrise and dismissed in late afternoon. Instruction focused on scripture and doctrine, though some time was devoted to secular topics such as grammar. During the February 27, 1833, meeting, Joseph Smith received the revelation known as the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89), which thereafter was binding upon members of the school.
"The school ended in April 1833, when spring weather permitted active missionary work to begin, and never reconvened. Instead, a series of educational efforts expanded on the original idea and took on added responsibilities. Two of these later schools, known as the School of the Elders or School of the Prophets, convened in Jackson County, Missouri, during the summer of 1833 and in Kirtland, Ohio, from late fall to early spring in 1834-1835 and 1835-1836. These had larger enrollments than the first School of the Prophets and, in addition to the spiritual preparation of priesthood members, taught students an expanded secular curriculum, including penmanship, English, Hebrew, grammar, arithmetic, philosophy, literature, government, geography, and history. These later schools did not observe the earlier initiation rite and formalized salutation. Parley P. Pratt led the Missouri school, and Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, and William E. McLellan taught in Kirtland. During the 1834-1835 school year, students in Kirtland heard the lectures later published in the Doctrine and Covenants as the Lectures on Faith." (Steven R. Sorenson, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1269.)
DC 88:138-141 the ordinance of the washing of feet
The ordinance of the washing of feet is performed today by the Prophet of the Church. On occasion, when the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve meet in the Salt Lake Temple, this ordinance is performed. The significance of the ordinance is that an individual so ordained is cleansed from the blood and sins of this generation and is sealed up unto eternal life by the power of the priesthood.
This winter [1832-33] was spent in translating the Scriptures; in the School of the Prophets; and sitting in conferences. I had many glorious seasons of refreshing...
On the 23rd of January, we again assembled in conference; when, after much speaking, singing, praying, and praising God, all in tongues, we proceeded to the washing of feet (according to the practice recorded in the 13th chapter of John's Gospel), as commanded of the Lord. Each Elder washed his own feet first, after which I girded myself with a towel and washed the feet of all of them, wiping them with the towel with which I was girded... At the close of the scene, Brother Frederick G. Williams, being moved upon by the Holy Ghost, washed my feet in token of his fixed determination to be with me in suffering, or in journeying, in life or in death, and to be continually on my right hand; in which I accepted him in the name of the Lord.
I then said to the Elders, As I have done so do ye; wash ye, therefore, one another's feet; and by the power of the Holy Ghost I pronounced them all clean from the blood of this generation; but if any of them should sin wilfully after they were thus cleansed, and sealed up unto eternal life, they should be given over unto the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption. Having continued all day in fasting, and prayer, and ordinances, we closed by partaking of the Lord's supper. I blessed the bread and wine in the name of the Lord, when we all ate and drank, and were filled; then we sang a hymn, and the meeting adjourned. (History of the Church, 2:322-323)