Section 131

DC 131 Historical Background

The beautiful doctrines of 130 and 131, given six weeks apart, are both tied to the home of Benjamin F. Johnson.  The Prophet trusted Benjamin and felt free to teach the higher doctrines of the priesthood to him. At this time, the Prophet did not feel he could reveal all priesthood doctrines to some of the saints. In this matter, he was both careful and selective.

Joseph Smith

Tuesday, [May 16, 1843].-At eleven o'clock, with George Miller, William Clayton, Eliza and Lydia Partridge and J. M. Smith, I started for Carthage where we tarried about half-an-hour conversing with different individuals, when we started for Ramus; arrived about half-past three, p.m., and stayed at William G. Perkins for the evening; then went to Benjamin F. Johnson's with William Clayton to sleep. Before retiring, I gave Brother and Sister Johnson some instructions on the priesthood; and putting my hand on the knee of William Clayton, I said:

Your life is hid with Christ in God, and so are many others. Nothing but the unpardonable sin can prevent you from inheriting eternal life for you are sealed up by the power of the Priesthood unto eternal life, having taken the step necessary for that purpose.

Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation, by the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood, they will cease to increase when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection. But those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory. The unpardonable sin is to shed innocent blood, or be accessory thereto. All other sins will be visited with judgment in the flesh, and the spirit being delivered to the buffetings of Satan until the day of the Lord Jesus.

The way I know in whom to confide-God tells me in whom I may place confidence.

In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; and in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood, [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage;] and if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom: he cannot have an increase.

...Wednesday, 17.-Partook of breakfast at Brother Perkins'; after which we took a pleasure ride through Fountain Green.

At ten a.m. preached from 2nd Peter, 1st chapter and showed that knowledge is power; and the man who has the most knowledge has the greatest power.

Salvation means a man's being placed beyond the power of all his enemies.

The more sure word of prophecy means a man's knowing that he is sealed up into eternal life by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the holy priesthood. It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.

Paul saw the third heavens, and I more. Peter penned the most sublime language of any of the apostles.

In the afternoon attended council, and afterwards rode with Benjamin F. Johnson's family.

In the evening went to hear a Methodist preacher lecture. After he got through, offered some corrections as follows:

The 7th verse of 2nd chapter of Genesis ought to read-God breathed into Adam his spirit [i. e. Adam's spirit] or breath of life; but when the word "rauch" applies to Eve, it should be translated lives.

Speaking of eternal duration of matter, I said:

There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We cannot see it, but when our bodies are purified, we shall see that it is all matter.

The priest seemed pleased with the correction, and stated his intention to visit Nauvoo. (History of the Church, 5:391-393)

The priest mentioned was named Samuel Prior, a Methodist minister.  He wrote about the corrections given to him by the Mormon Prophet as follows:

"Elder Smith, who had attended, arose and begged leave to differ from me in some few points of doctrine, and this he did mildly, politely, and affectingly; like one who was more desirous to disseminate truth and expose error, than to love the malicious triumph of debate over me.  I was truly edified by his remarks, and felt less prejudiced against the Mormons than ever." (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2001] 4:34)

DC 131:1 in the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees

"In my Father's house are many mansions," the Savior said (John 14:2).  This can mean that there is more than one kingdom in heaven.  It can also mean that there are gradations within the celestial.  The streets are gold for everyone but not every mansion is the same size. Not all are the same in the celestial kingdom.  Is the same true in the other kingdoms?  Are there different degrees in the terrestrial and the telestial?  Of the telestial, it is written, "for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world" (D&C 76:98). Therefore, we know there are different degrees within the celestial and within the telestial.  No scripture suggests different degrees within the terrestrial, but we may likely infer they exist.

What are the conditions upon which souls inherit the second and third degrees of the celestial?  We don't know.  The scriptures don't say.  Perhaps they are those of whom the Savior taught saying, "in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." (Matt. 22:30; D&C 132:15-17)  Perhaps they are those who died before the age of accountability, for "all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven" (D&C 137:10). We should be careful, however, not to engage in such speculation-especially when the word of the Lord is silent on the subject.

Bruce R. McConkie

There will be on the one hand those who are servants, who are ministering angels; there will be on the other hand exalted and glorified personages. The difference between these two categories-the one on the one hand, and the other on the other-the difference is the continuation of the family unit in eternity. By definition and in its nature, exaltation consists in the continuation of the family unit through all ages yet to be. If the family unit continues, if husband and wife go into the spirit world as a married couple and come up in the resurrection continuing as husband and wife, then exaltation is assured. If they go there separately and singly-either not having entered into this celestial order or, having entered into it, having not kept the terms and conditions and laws that appertain to it-they will have immortality only and not eternal life. (Conference Report, April 1957, Afternoon Meeting 20)

DC 131:2 In order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order

Russell M. Nelson

The highest ordinances in the house of the Lord are received by husband and wife together and equally-or not at all!

In retrospect, I see that the most important day of my life was the day when my sweetheart, Dantzel, and I were married in the holy temple. Without her I could not have the highest and most enduring blessings of the priesthood. Without her I would not be the father to our wonderful children or grandfather to our precious grandchildren.

As fathers we should have love unbounded for the mothers of our children. We should accord to them the gratitude, respect, and praise that they deserve. Husbands, to keep alive the spirit of romance in your marriage, be considerate and kind in the tender intimacies of your married life. Let your thoughts and actions inspire confidence and trust. Let your words be wholesome and your time together be uplifting. Let nothing in life take priority over your wife-neither work, recreation, nor hobby.

An ideal marriage is a true partnership between two imperfect people, each striving to complement the other, to keep the commandments, and to do the will of the Lord. ("Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women," Ensign, May 1999, 39)

Boyd K. Packer

No man receives the fulness of the priesthood without a woman at his side. For no man, the Prophet said, can obtain the fulness of the priesthood outside the temple of the Lord.  And she is there beside him in that sacred place. She shares in all that he receives. The man and the woman individually receive the ordinances encompassed in the endowment. But the man cannot ascend to the highest ordinances-the sealing ordinances-without her at his side. No man achieves the supernal exalting status of worthy fatherhood except as a gift from his wife. ("The Relief Society," Ensign, May 1998, 73)

Bruce R. McConkie

Thus celestial marriage is the gate to exaltation. It opens the door. Those who have a continuation of the family unit in eternity have exaltation. If the family unit does not continue in eternity, there is no exaltation, or in other words, there is no eternal life. By definition, eternal life is God's life. It is the type, kind, status, and quality of existence which he enjoys as an exalted being. (April 20, 1960, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1960, p. 4)

DC 131:2 the new and everlasting covenant of marriage

"The new and everlasting covenant is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The sum of all gospel covenants that God makes with mankind is called 'the new and everlasting covenant' and consists of several individual covenants, each of which is called 'a new and an everlasting covenant.' It is 'new' when given to a person or a people for the first time, and 'everlasting' because the gospel of Jesus Christ and Plan of Salvation existed before the world was formed and will exist forever (MD, pp. 479-80).

"Baptism, marriage, and all other covenants from God necessary for salvation are new and everlasting (D&C 22:1; 45:9; 66:2; D&C 132:4-7)." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1008)

Joseph Fielding Smith

What is the new and everlasting covenant? I regret to say that there are some members of the Church who are misled and misinformed in regard to what the new and everlasting covenant really is. The new and everlasting covenant is the sum total of all gospel covenants and obligations, and I want to prove it. In the 66th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, verse 2, I read:

"Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel, sent forth unto the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days, as it was written by the prophets and apostles in days of old."

More definitely stated is the definition of the new and everlasting covenant given to us in section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Now I am going to say before I read this that marriage is not the new and everlasting covenant. If there are any here that have that idea I want to say that right to them. Baptism is not the new and everlasting covenant. Ordination to the priesthood is not the new and everlasting covenant. In section 22 of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord says that baptism is "a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning." Marriage in the temple of the Lord for time and for eternity is "a" new and everlasting covenant. (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 156)

DC 131:3-4 if he does not, he cannot obtain it... he cannot have an increase

Spencer W. Kimball

He cannot have an increase! He cannot have exaltation! That means worlds without end. After a person has been assigned to his place in the kingdom, either in the telestial, the terrestrial or the celestial, or to his exaltation, he will never advance from his assigned glory to another glory. That is eternal! That is why we must make our decisions early in life and why it is imperative that such decisions be right. (The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], chap. 17)

Spencer W. Kimball

This is the word of the Lord. It is very, very serious, and there is nobody who should argue with the Lord. He made the earth; he made the people. He knows the conditions. He set the program, and we are not intelligent enough or smart enough to be able to argue him out of these important things. He knows what is right and true.

We ask each Latter-day Saint to think of these things. Be sure that your marriage is right. Be sure that your life is right. Be sure that your part of the marriage is carried forward properly. (Marriage and Divorce: An Address [Salt Lake City: Desert Book Co., 1976], 30)

Lorenzo Snow

There is no Latter-day Saint who dies after having lived a faithful life who will lose anything because of having failed to do certain things when opportunities were not furnished him or her. In other words, if a young man or a young woman has no opportunity of getting married, and they live faithful lives up to the time of their death, they will have all the blessings, exaltation, and glory that any man or woman will have who had this opportunity and improved it. That is sure and positive. (The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, comp. Clyde J. Williams, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984, p. 138).

DC 131:5 The more sure word of prophecy means a man's knowing that he is sealed up to eternal life

2 Peter 1:2-19 reads:

Jesus our Lord... hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ...
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Joseph Smith

Now, there is some grand secret here, and keys to unlock the subject. Notwithstanding the apostle exhorts them to add to their faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, &c., yet he exhorts them to make their calling and election sure. And though they had heard an audible voice from heaven bearing testimony that Jesus was the Son of God, yet he says we have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light shining in a dark place. Now, wherein could they have a more sure word of prophecy than to hear the voice of God saying, This is my beloved Son, &c.

Now for the secret and grand key. Though they might hear the voice of God and know that Jesus was the Son of God, this would be no evidence that their election and calling was made sure, that they had part with Christ, and were joint heirs with Him. They then would want that more sure word of prophecy, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God. Then, having this promise sealed unto them, it was an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast. Though the thunders might roll and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble and tribulation. Then knowledge through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the grand key that unlocks the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.

Compare this principle once with Christendom at the present day, and where are they, with all their boasted religion, piety and sacredness while at the same time they are crying out against prophets, apostles, angels, revelations, prophesying and visions, &c... Then I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it. (History of the Church, 5:388-389, emphasis added)

Bruce R. McConkie

Those members of the Church who devote themselves wholly to righteousness, living by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, make their calling and election sure. That is, they receive the more sure word of prophecy, which means that the Lord seals their exaltation upon them while they are yet in this life. Peter summarized the course of righteousness which the saints must pursue to make their calling and election sure and then (referring to his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration with James and John) said that those three had received this more sure word of prophecy. (2 Pet. 1.)

Joseph Smith taught: "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 shall 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 election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter." To receive the other Comforter is to have Christ appear to him and to see the visions of eternity. (Teachings, pp. 149-151.)

Thus, as the prophet also said, "The more sure word of prophecy means a man's knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy through the power of the Holy Priesthood." (D. & C. 131:5.) Those so favored of the Lord are sealed up against all manner of sin and blasphemy except the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and the shedding of innocent blood. That is, their exaltation is assured; their calling and election is made sure, because they have obeyed the fulness of God's laws and have overcome the world. Though such persons "shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation." (D. & C. 132:26) (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 110)

Marion G. Romney

I should think that all faithful Latter-day Saints "would want that more sure word of prophecy, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God." (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5:388.)

As I read the sacred records, I find recorded experiences of men in all dispensations who have had this more sure anchor to their souls, this peace in their hearts.

Lehi's grandson Enos so hungered after righteousness that he cried unto the Lord until "there came a voice unto [him], saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed." (Enos 1:5.) Years later Enos revealed the nature of this promised blessing when he wrote:

"I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father." (Enos 1:27.)

To Alma the Lord said, "Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life." (Mosiah 26:20.)

...In this dispensation many have received like assurances. In the spring of 1839, while the Prophet Joseph and his associates were languishing in Liberty Jail, Heber C. Kimball, our president's grandfather, labored against great odds caring for the Saints and striving to free the brethren who were in jail. On the sixth of April he wrote:

"My family having been gone about two months, during which time I heard nothing from them; our brethren being in prison; death and destruction following us everywhere we went; I felt very sorrowful and lonely. The following words came to mind, and the Spirit said unto me, 'write,' which I did by taking a piece of paper and writing on my knee as follows: ...

"Verily I say unto my servant Heber, thou art my son, in whom I am well pleased; for thou art careful to hearken to my words, and not transgress my law, nor rebel against my servant Joseph Smith, for thou hast a respect to the words of mine anointed, even from the least to the greatest of them; therefore"-listen to this-"thy name is written in heaven, no more to be blotted out for ever." (Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, Bookcraft, 1975, p. 241; italics added)

To the Prophet Joseph Smith the Lord said:

"I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father." (D&C 132:49; italics added.)

...And I bear further witness that every such person who, having come this far, will follow the Prophet's admonition to "continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 150), may obtain the more sure word of prophecy. ("The Light of Christ," Ensign, May 1977, 45)

DC 131:6 It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance

Hugh B. Brown

We believe that being saved involves education, that man cannot be saved in ignorance (D&C 131:6) any more than he can be saved in sin, for as the glory of God is intelligence, or light and truth (D&C 93:36), so the degree of our intelligence will be the measure of our glory. Neither the ignorant nor the sinner would be comfortable or at home in heaven. This concept glorifies intelligence as well as righteousness. But let us not confuse mere knowledge with intelligence. The knowledge of which we speak must seek enlightenment and be applied with wisdom. The knowledge that will save us is not mere know-how, certainly not cunning or mental agility or sagacity; it is not just erudition. The wise man may not be learned, and the learned are not always wise. The intelligence which is the glory of God is all knowledge (and knowledge is power) applied with supreme wisdom and total righteousness.

Time will not permit a further discussion of our teachings with respect to some of the things that Dr. O'Dea has mentioned. Suffice it to say that Mormonism, among other things, is an eternal quest for knowledge which is power, for truth which is joyous because it makes us free, for intelligence, which is the glory of God (D&C 93:36), and for the righteousness which will enable us to feel at home in his holy presence. (Conference Report, April 1956, pp. 103-106)

John A. Widstoe

There are of course many kinds of knowledge; some of lesser, some of higher value. When Joseph Smith said that a man cannot be saved in ignorance, he meant naturally ignorance of the laws which all together lead to salvation. Such knowledge is of the highest value. It should be sought after first. Then other kinds of knowledge may be added to support and amplify the more direct knowledge of spiritual law. For example, it is a duty of the Church to preach the gospel to all the world. This however requires the aid of railroads, steamships, printing presses, and a multitude of other things that make up our civilization. A knowledge of the gospel is the missionary's first need, but the other needs, though lesser, help him perform better the divine injunction to teach the gospel to all people (Evidences and Reconciliations, arr. G. Homer Durham [1987], 224).

John Taylor

Man, by philosophy and the exercise of his natural intelligence, may gain an understanding, to some extent, of the laws of Nature. But to comprehend God, heavenly wisdom and intelligence are necessary. Earthly and heavenly philosophy are two different things, and it is folly for men to base their arguments upon earthly philosophy in trying to unravel the mysteries of the kingdom of God. (The Gospel Kingdom, sel. G. Homer Durham [1987], 73)

Bruce R. McConkie

Now the truths about God and salvation are not gained by the wisdom of men. They are not to be found by the research of the world. They are not found in the creeds of men, for the Lord has said that those creeds are an abomination in his sight (JS-H 1:19). God stands revealed, or he remains forever unknown. Knowledge about God and about the divinity of Jesus Christ and the great atoning sacrifice which he worked out is had in the world today by us, because God has spoken in this day, and has given these truths again, by the same direct revelation that he gave them in times of old.

The Holy Ghost has been given to righteous men from the beginning so they could certify of the truths about God and salvation. He has been the companion of those who have presided over the Church and the kingdom in every age, and by his power they have received revelation and given guidance to the people of the Church and to all people in the world. And when these brethren speak, these brethren, the First Presidency and the Twelve who are prophets, and seers, and revelators, it is by the power of the Holy Ghost and what they say is the mind and the will of the Lord (D&C 68:4)...

The Holy Ghost is a revelator. He will reveal to any person who is honest and God-fearing and diligent in seeking truth, the fact that this is the Lord's work, that Joseph Smith is his prophet; that he is the greatest witness of Christ that there has been in the world since the day that Christ himself proclaimed that he was the Son of God. And there is not any reason or any excuse why anyone who is upright and honest should not have this knowledge. Every Latter-day Saint should have it. (Conference Report, April 1953, pp. 74-76)

DC 131:7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter

Erastus Snow

The spirit is also an element. It is not an immaterial nothing as some imagine. We read about material and immaterial things, and such terms are used by men for the want of more suitable language to correctly represent ideas; but in truth there is no such thing as immaterial substance. Though we are told that God is an immaterial substance, and you read the philosophic descriptions of the Deity by some of these learned divines, and it is all simmered down to an immateriality or nothing at all. But there is no such thing as immaterial substance in the strict sense of the word; and immateriality when rigidly defined is another definition for nothing at all. (Journal of Discourses, 19:272)

Charles W. Penrose

Spirit is a substance, it is not immaterial; it may have some properties that are different from that which we see and handle, which we call matter, but it is a reality, a substantial reality. And spirit can understand spirit and grasp spirit. A spiritual person can take the hand of another spiritual person and it is substantial. A person in body could not grasp a spirit, for that spirit has different properties to those of our bodies, and it is governed by different laws to those that govern us in this sphere of mortality. A spiritual substance, organized into form, occupies room and space just as much in its sphere as these natural particles occupy in this sphere. (Journal of Discourses, 26:22)

Brigham Young

I once heard one of the finest speakers America has ever produced say [the following], when speaking on the soul of man. After laboring long on the subject, he straightened himself up-he was a fine looking man-and said he, "My brethren and sisters, I must come to the conclusion that the soul of man is an immaterial substance." Said I, "Bah!" There was no more sense in his discourse than in the bleating of a sheep or the grunting of a pig. (Journal of Discourses, 14:198)

DC 131:7 All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure

"This truth has also been discovered by scientists today who say that matter cannot be created or destroyed-only its form may be changed." (Robert J. Woodford, " 'In the Beginning': A Latter-day Perspective," Ensign, Jan. 1998, 16)

Joseph Smith

In tracing the thing to the foundation, and looking at it philosophically, we shall find a very material difference between the body and the spirit; the body is supposed to be organized matter, and the spirit, by many, is thought to be immaterial, without substance. With this latter statement we should beg to differ, and state the spirit is a substance; that it is material, but that it is more pure, elastic and refined matter than the body; that it existed before the body, can exist in the body; and will exist separate from the body, when the body will be mouldering in the dust; and will in the resurrection, be again united with it. (Susan Easton Black, Doctrines for Exaltation: The 1989 Sperry Symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants, 67)

Orson Pratt

There was dwelling in each of the tabernacles of Adam and Eve a personage of spirit, formed of more refined materials than flesh and bones-materials that were intelligent, immortal, and eternal. Immaterialists of the present day may object to this:  but we do not believe in an immaterial substance.

The spirits that dwelt in our first parents were capable of thinking, feeling, understanding, perceiving, acting, possessing a will and a judgment: in other words, they were a part of that great substance of life, or Spirit, which fills the immensity of space, that is in all things, and through all things. (Journal of Discourses, 7:254-255)

Parley P. Pratt

Matter and spirit are the two great principles of all existence. Everything animate and inanimate is composed of one or the other, or both of these eternal principles. I say eternal, because the elements are as durable as the quickening power which exists in them. Matter and spirit are of equal duration; both are self-existent,-they never began to exist, and they never can be annihilated... Matter as well as spirit is eternal, uncreated, self existing. However infinite the variety of its changes, forms and shapes;-however vast and varying the parts it has to act in the great theater of the universe;-whatever sphere its several parts may be destined to fill in the boundless organization of infinite wisdom, yet it is there, durable at the throne of Jehovah. And eternity is inscribed in indelible characters on every particle. (History of the Church, 4:55)