DC 35 Biographical Sketch: Sidney Rigdon
Joseph Fielding Smith
[Sidney Rigdon] was born February 19, 1793 in St. Clair township, Alleghany County, Pennsylvania. He was the youngest son of William and Nancy Rigdon. His father died when he was seventeen years of age, and his mother passed away about nine years later. In his twenty-fifth year he became a member of the "Regular Baptists," and shortly after left the farm for the ministry. In May, 1919, he went to Trumbull County, Ohio, where he married Phebe Brook and later moved to Pittsburg becoming a very popular preacher. He became greatly disturbed, because he could not harmonize the current teachings of the clergy with the doctrine in the Bible. He became acquainted with Alexander Campbell, a native of Ireland, and Walter Scott, a native of Scotland. After leaving the Baptist church, these three men met together and discussed religious problems which resulted in the organization of a society which they called "Disciples," known today quite generally as "Campbellites." (Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 1: 146 - 147.)
B. H. Roberts
Mr. Rigdon left Pittsburg in 1826, and went to Bainbridge, Geauga county, Ohio, where the people urged him to preach for them. He did so, following in his teachings that line of doctrine which in his consultation with Messrs. Campbell and Scott they had considered essential to Christian spiritual life, viz.: faith in God, repentance of sins, baptism by immersion in water for the remission of sins, and holiness of life-a godly walk and conversation. Mr. Rigdon continued to labor in Bainbridge for about one year, when the people of Mentor, in the same county, but some thirty miles distant from Bainbridge, invited him to reside among them and preach. This he consented to do, and notwithstanding he at first met with some opposition, he prevailed against it and extended his labors into surrounding townships and counties until he had in a number of places a large following. Such were his circumstances and such his labor when the message of "Mormonism" found him. (A Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1930], 1: 228 - 229.)
DC 35 Historical Background
In the fall of 1830, Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, Jr., and Ziba Peterson began on a mission to the Lamanites (see commentary for D&C 32). Their travels took them through Elder Pratt's home country of Ohio. Previously, Elder Pratt had been acquainted with Sidney Rigdon, a preacher of the Campbellite persuasion, whose faith was so pure that Elder Pratt hoped to persuade him to believe in the Book of Mormon.
Elder Parley P. Pratt had been a preacher in the same church with Mr. Rigdon, and resided in the town of Amherst, Loraine county, in Ohio... The belief that there were many in the church with which he had formerly been united, who were honest seekers after truth, induced Elder Pratt; while on his journey to the west, to call upon his friends, and make known the great things which the Lord had brought to pass.
The first house at which they called in the vicinity of Kirtland, was Mr. Rigdon's, and after the usual salutations, they presented him with the Book of Mormon, stating that it was a revelation from God. This being the first time he had ever heard of, or seen, the Book of Mormon, he felt very much surprised at the assertion, and replied that he had the Bible which he believed was a revelation from God, and with which he pretended to have some acquaintance; but with respect of the book they had presented him, he must say that he had considerable doubt. Upon this, they expressed a desire to investigate the subject, and argue the matter. But he replied, "No, young gentleman, you must not argue with me on the subject; but I will read your book, and see what claims it has upon my faith, and will endeavor to ascertain whether it be a revelation from God or not."
After some further conversation they expressed a desire to lay the subject before the people, and requested the privilege of preaching in Mr. Rigdon's chapel, to which he readily consented. The appointment was accordingly published, and a large and respectable congregation assembled. Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt severally addressed the meeting. At the conclusion, Mr. Rigdon arose, and stated to the congregation that the information they had that evening received was of an extraordinary character, and certainly demanded their most serious consideration; and as the Apostle advised his brethren to "prove all things, and hold fast that which is good," so he would exhort his brethren to do likewise, and give the matter a careful investigation, and not turn against it without being fully convinced of its being an imposition, lest they should, possibly, resist the truth.
A few miles from Mr. Rigdon's home in Mentor, at the town of Kirtland, lived a number of the members of his church. They lived together and had all things common-from which circumstance has risen the idea that this was the case with the Church of Jesus Christ. To that place the Elders immediately repaired, and proclaimed the Gospel unto them, with considerable success; for their testimony was received by many of the people, and seventeen came forward in obedience to the Gospel.
While thus engaged, they visited Mr. Rigdon occasionally, and found him very earnestly reading the Book of Mormon,-praying to the Lord for direction, and meditating on the things he heard and read; and after a fortnight from the time the book was put into his hands, he was fully convinced of the truth of the work, by a revelation from Jesus Christ, which was made known to him in a remarkable manner, so that he could exclaim "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto me, but my Father which is in heaven." Accordingly he and his wife were both baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ; and, together with those who had been previously admitted to baptism, made a little branch of the Church, in this section of Ohio, of about twenty members. (History of the Church, 1:121-125)
DC 35:2 that they may become the sons of God...that we may be one
When you grow up in Primary singing, "I am a Child of God," it becomes hard to understand scriptures which talk of becoming a son or daughter of God. Most members think, "Am I not already a child of God?"
The answer is yes and no. Yes, all men are spirit sons and daughters of Heavenly Father. However, by virtue of the Fall of Adam, we lose our natural inheritance as a son or daughter of God. In essence, we become an enemy to God (Mosiah 3:19). This concept is poorly understood but is crucial to understand why the scriptures speak about becoming a son of God. The privilege and inheritance must be re-earned by being born again, "because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you...ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters." (Mosiah 5:7)
If we keep the baptismal covenant and submit to the Father's will, then we become one with Jehovah and Elohim. This was one of the last wishes of Jesus before his death. He prayed the apostles saying, "that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us...that they may be made perfect in one." (John 17:21-23)
S. Dilworth Young
In these statements to Orson Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, and Edward Partridge the Lord seems to be saying: How much do I love you? I gave my life that you might have a way to become my sons, and thus also sons of God. What more love could one have than that, to give his life for his friends? ("What Joseph Smith Teaches Us of Christ," Ensign, Dec. 1973, 43)
DC 35:3 my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers
"We acknowledge that the sincere, dedicated efforts of teachers and ministers of other faiths accomplish much good in the world. For example, Sidney Rigdon served as a minister of another church before becoming acquainted with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. After his conversion, the Lord said to him, 'My servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers, and prepared thee for a greater work.' (D&C 35:3.)
"Sidney Rigdon had obviously rendered a valuable service in his previous ministry but was able, after accepting the restored gospel and receiving divinely restored priesthood power, to go forth in a 'greater work,' teaching the revelations of God and administering the saving ordinances of the gospel.
"Surely promoters of righteousness, which include many ministers of other churches, are among the honorable men and women of the earth. Yet revelation reminds us that even the 'honorable men of the earth' will be among those who fall short of exaltation in the celestial kingdom if they have not accepted the principles and saving ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which are available only through his restored church. (See D&C 76:75-78.)" (Hoyt W. Brewster Jr., "I Have a Question," Ensign, July 1987, 66)
DC 35:4 Behold thou wast sent forth, even as John, to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah
Matthias F. Cowley
The labors of Sidney Rigdon, referred to in the quotation, must have alluded to his ministry in the Campbellite church, for he had been in the Church of Christ only about six weeks when this revelation was given, having embraced the Gospel at the hands of Parley P. Pratt and fellow missionaries near Kirtland, Ohio, late in October or early in November, 1830.
As is well understood, the followers of Alexander Campbell preach faith, repentance and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. These views Sidney Rigdon espoused as being better than what he already had, and when the true Gospel, in its fullness, with authority from God to administer the ordinances thereof, found him, he gladly obeyed the same. In about three weeks from the time Brother Pratt and co-laborers entered Kirtland, 127 persons were baptized. Subsequently the numbers were augmented to about 1,000 souls. In the providences of the Lord, Kirtland soon became the gathering place of the Saints, the facilities there being greatly enhanced by so many people embracing the Gospel and thus making a foothold for the prophet Joseph Smith and the Saints who should follow him from the East. There the Kirtland Temple was built. There the Savior, Moses, Elijah, Elias and other ancient worthies appeared to the prophet. There the endowments were given, and the Spirit from on high was poured out in the last days, as upon the day of Pentecost.
All these subsequent events, of such a glorious character, show how distinctly the Lord's hand was manifest in the mission and labors of Sidney Rigdon before he embraced the Gospel. Such instances serve as pointed lessons to the youth of Israel, teaching us to be broad and generous in viewing the labors of those not of us, so that if the hand of Providence is manifest we shall not be oblivious thereto, nor be found in the ranks of those who have not charity. (Cowley's Talks on Doctrine [Chattanooga: Ben. E. Rich, 1902], 168-169.)
DC 35:5 Thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost
So far we are agreed with other Christian denominations. They all preach faith and repentance. The gospel requires baptism by immersion for the remission of sins...But I further believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Evidence by Peter's preaching on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:38. You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half-that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost. (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5: 499.)
DC 35:8 I will show miracles, signs, and wonders, unto all those who believe
If Joseph Smith had been an imposter and his revelations consequently not genuine, would he have dared to make promises like those contained in the foregoing? Could anything have proven more disastrous to his schemes than to promise people gifts which were not in his power to give? If he was not a servant of God would he not studiously have avoided to connect the Lord with any of his schemes in such a way? Could he imagine that God would sanction his doings by pouring out his gifts and blessings upon people who were being deceived by a wicked imposter? Certainly not. If Joseph Smith was not called of God he would have had to re-echo the old, old sectarian song from the dark ages: These things (the gifts and blessings following the believer) have ceased, because they are no longer necessary. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 2, Jan. 16, 1891)
DC 35:9 they shall casts out devils; they shall heal the sick
Bruce R. McConkie
Miracles are one of the great evidences of the divinity of the Lords work. They are the signs which always follow the true believers. (Mark 16:14-20; Morm. 9:20-25.) Where there are true miracles, there is the true Church; where these miracles are not, there the true Church is not. (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 507.)
Spencer W. Kimball
A question often asked is: If miracles are a part of the gospel program, why do we not have such today?
The answer is a simple one: We do have miracles today-beyond imagination! If all the miracles of our own lifetime were recorded, it would take many library shelves to hold the books which would contain them.
What kinds of miracles do we have? All kinds-revelations, visions, tongues, healings, special guidance and direction, evil spirits cast out. Where are they recorded? In the records of the Church, in journals, in news and magazine articles and in the minds and memories of many people.
The rationalist continues: Many people are administered to and are not healed. That is true, as it has been in all times. It was never intended that all should be healed or that all should be raised from the dead, else the whole program of mortality and death and resurrection and exaltation would be frustrated.
However, the Lord does make specific promises: Signs will follow them that believe. He makes no promise that signs will create belief nor save nor exalt. Signs are the product of faith. They are born in the soil of unwavering sureness. They will be prevalent in the Church in about the same degree to which the people have true faith. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 499.)
Gordon B. Hinckley
The history of this Church is replete with miracles of healing. I know that. I am confident of that. I recall once when I arrived in Hong Kong I was asked if I would visit a woman in the hospital whose doctors had told her she was going blind and would lose her sight within a week. She asked if we would administer to her and we did so, and she states that she was miraculously healed. I have a painting in my home that she gave me which says on the back of it, "To Gordon B. Hinckley in grateful appreciation for the miracle of saving my sight." I said to her, "I didn't save your sight. Of course, the Lord saved your sight. Thank Him and be grateful to Him." (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 343.)
Howard W. Hunter
As a result of the many miracles in our lives, we should be more humble and more grateful, more kind and more believing. When we are personal witnesses to these wonders which God performs, it should increase our respect and love for him; it should improve the way we behave. We will live better and love more if we will remember that. We are miracles in our own right, every one of us, and the resurrected Son of God is the greatest miracle of all. He is, indeed, the miracle of miracles, and every day of his life he gave evidence of it. We should try to follow after him in that example. (The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 115.)
DC 35:11 without faith shall not anything be shown forth
Joseph Fielding Smith
These blessings would be poured out in greater abundance if the members of the Church had the perfect faith which they are commanded to have. The Gospel is not intended for those who have not faith, or who are not willing to take a course which will develop perfect faith. When doubts arise in the mind, it is a signal for humility and prayer that through study and faith all doubts may be removed. The gift of the Holy Ghost is given to members of the Church that they may walk in faith and have knowledge, for it is the mission of the Holy Ghost to teach us in all things, but this cannot be done unless we are obedient to every commandment. "For without faith," saith the Lord, "shall not anything be shown forth except desolations upon Babylon the same which has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." (Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 1: 148 - 149.)
DC 35:13 I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised
L. Aldin Porter
The Lord Jesus Christ directs His work on the earth by revelation through the Holy Spirit. The power of this revelatory Spirit moves and motivates an army of more than 52,000 missionaries who take the gospel message to the four corners of the earth. When they are successful in their work, it is because of the witness they bear, a witness accompanied and confirmed by the power of the Holy Ghost.
The Lord describes His emissaries as weak, unlearned, and despised. But He promises that through their efforts He will "thrash the nations by the power of [His] Spirit."
When President Hinckley returned from the British Isles last fall, he told us of an interview he had with a member of the British Broadcasting Company Radio Services. The reporter asked President Hinckley, "How do you expect people to listen to these callow youth?" President Hinckley had to explain to some of us that callow meant immature, inexperienced, and lacking sophistication. Then he pointed out to this reporter that "people do receive them and listen to them. They are wholesome. They are bright, they are alert, they are ... clean."
And then at the general conference priesthood session held in October of last year, he said, speaking of the missionaries: "They are a miracle. ... They speak out of their hearts, with personal conviction. Each is ... an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their power comes not of their learning in the things of the world. Their power comes of faith, and prayer, and humility." ("The Spirit of Prophecy," Ensign, Nov. 1996, 9-10)
L. Aldin Porter
Notice [according to D&C 35:13] that it is not really the messenger who will do the thrashing, but rather the Holy Spirit, through whose power we weak things can become instruments in the Lord's hand to "thrash the nations."
We must understand that there is a supreme power by which missionary work is done. Effective missionaries work hard, very hard. They focus virtually every waking hour on proclaiming the message. But after all the days, hours, and minutes of their labor, they must recognize that it is the testimony of the truth borne on the wings of the Spirit that is the key to bringing conviction and conversion into the souls of men and women. This marvelous power can be obtained only from the Lord, and it is his to give to those he has called. ("Be Ready for the Call," Ensign, Mar. 1994, 12)
Bruce C. Hafen
Unless we live in such a way that our natural talents are enhanced "by the power of [his] spirit," we are not of much use to the Lord's cause, no matter how gifted we may seem. But if we do live worthy of divine help, even those who may seem weak and unlearned can be given power to "thrash the nations" with such strength that their arms become the Lord's arms in wielding the weapons of truth. (The Believing Heart, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1990], 84.)
DC 35:14 they shall fight manfully for me...and I will let fall the sword in their behalf
"Thy hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off." (3 Ne. 20:17) While preparing commentary for 3 Nephi 20, the author considered the preceding verse and wondered if the saints of Zion would ever have to engage in mortal combat in the conflicts preceding the Second Coming. Would the armies of Israel assemble as they did in the days of Moses and Joshua? Would they destroy their enemies by the power of God?
When the Lord says, "they shall fight manfully for me," what does he mean? An exhaustive search of the scriptures revealed the comforting truth that the saints of Zion will not, as a group, have to physically fight for their survival. The Lord has declared, "For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil-I will fight your battles." (D&C 105:14)
Any mortal combat the Lord will fight for us, but the Lord is also speaking of the battle for righteousness-the spiritual battle against evil, "Behold, I have commanded my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., to say unto the strength of my house, even my warriors, my young men, and middle-aged, to gather together for the redemption of my people, and throw down the towers of mine enemies, and scatter their watchmen." (D&C 105:16) Such is the spiritual battle against the forces of Satan. The battle is real. The consequences grave, and the warriors clothed in the whole armor of God. The captain of the host is the Lord God Jehovah who "will let fall the sword in [our] behalf."
DC 35:16 learn the parable of the fig-tree, for even now already summer is nigh
Neal A. Maxwell
...the Savior gave to His disciples, and to us all, the parable of the fig tree. He said that just as when the fig tree puts forth its leaves, we may know that "summer is nigh," so we may be warned by certain signs that His second coming is nigh. (Matthew 24:32.) The "summer" Jesus cited is now upon us, and you and I must not complain of the heat. Nor, indeed, should we let that heat, as Alma counseled, wither our individual tree of testimony. If we neglect to nourish the tree, "when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it," it can prove fatal. (Alma 32:38.) (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 123.)
DC 35:18 if not, another will I plant in his stead
Charles W. Penrose
There is still, you will see, the opening left that if Joseph was not true and faithful and worthy of his calling, another might be appointed in his stead. But I want you to mark this point: there was not to be another appointed in his stead if he abided in the Lord. It was only if he transgressed and became unworthy of his calling that he should have power to appoint another. Just put that down in your minds. So if dividers declare that somebody else was appointed to take the place of the Prophet Joseph, then they announce that the Prophet did not abide in the Lord, that he transgressed, and therefore another had to be appointed in his stead.
In a revelation given to the Church September 11th, 1831, the Lord said:
"I will be merciful unto you, for I have given unto you the kingdom.
And the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom shall not be taken from my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., through the means I have appointed, while he liveth, inasmuch as he obeyeth mine ordinances." (D&C 64:4-5)
Here the promise was made to the Prophet Joseph Smith that he should have those keys as long as he lived, if he obeyed the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.
Our testimony is that he lived and died a prophet of God, and that he sealed his testimony with his blood. (Conference Report, October 1905, Second Day,-Morning Session 97.)
DC 35:20 thou shalt write for him
"Sidney Rigdon...sought out the Prophet in Fayette, New York, and prevailed upon him to enquire of the Lord as to his assignment in the Church. The reply came in what is now known as D&C 35, dated December 1830, verse 20 of which stipulates that Brother Rigdon is to write for the Prophet, "and the scriptures shall be given, even as they are in mine [the Lord's] own bosom." In view of the fact that Joseph Smith was engaged in making an inspired translation of the Bible at this time, and had been engaged in it since June of that year, this call to Sidney Rigdon as a scribe is easily recognized as a specific injunction to assist with the translation of the Bible. This is also verified by the manuscript, which at this point changes from the handwriting of Brother (John) Whitmer to that of Sidney Rigdon.
"Brother Rigdon began recording for the Prophet the great revelation on the preaching of Enoch that is now found in the JST Genesis chapter 7 (Moses 7)." (Robert J. Matthews, "Plain and Precious Things Restored," Ensign, July 1982, 16)
"To Moses, the Lord had said, 'In a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou [Moses] shalt write, behold, I will raise up another like unto thee; and they shall be had again among the children of men-among as many as shall believe.' (Moses 1:41.)
"It is clear that Joseph Smith was raised up to do this work. The Lord instructed him to 'translate' the Bible (D&C 35:20; D&C 45:60-61)-a task that occupied much of his time from June 1830 until 2 July 1833. When time was available, he reviewed the manuscript, and he continued correcting passages until his martyrdom in 1844. An outgrowth of this inspired work was the restoration of portions of ancient texts not then available to the world and numerous related revelations, many of which can now be found in the Doctrine and Covenants." (George A. Horton Jr., "Ancient Gifts for a New Dispensation," Ensign, Jan. 1993, 11-12)
DC 35:20 the scriptures shall be given, even as they are in mine own bosom
"[The JST] was a work that would result in the delivery of scriptural writ as the Lord himself understood that holy word. Further, the translation was more than helpful commentary on scripture, even more than a major part of the spiritual education of the Prophet Joseph Smith himself-it was for the 'salvation of mine own elect,' for the blessing and exaltation of the members of the Church. In a revelation given to Frederick G. Williams on 5 January 1834, the Lord explained: 'Now I say unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, Jr. is called to do a great work and hath need that he may do the work of translation for the salvation of souls.'" (Robert L. Millet, Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint History: New York., ed. by Larry C. Porter, Milton V. Backman, Jr., and Susan Easton Black [Provo: BYU Department of Church History and Doctrine, 1992], p. 218-219)
"In the words of Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915-85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 'The Joseph Smith Translation, or Inspired Version, is a thousand times over the best Bible now existing on earth.' The JST is a significant part of those scriptures 'given, even as they are in mine own bosom, to the salvation of mine own elect,' declared the Lord (D&C 35:20). The JST is a special gift given of the Lord. It is one of the great evidences of the Prophet Joseph Smith's divine calling. (Andrew C. Skinner, "Restored Light on the Savior's Last Week in Mortality," Ensign, June 1999, 21)
DC 35:24 Keep all the commandments and covenants...and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good
See also D&C 21:6.
Mark E. Petersen
We are living in perilous times. We are face to face with every kind of difficulty. In the midst of these times, would you like to have the assurance that the gates of hell will never prevail against you? In these perilous times, would you like to have the confidence that the very heavens will shake for your good? You may have these blessings by keeping this commandment. (Conference Report, April 1959, Afternoon Meeting 86.)
DC 35:25 Israel shall be saved...and by the keys which I have given shall they be led
Three important sets of priesthood keys are required for the gathering and salvation of Israel. In 1830 when this revelation was given, Joseph had not yet received the keys in question. The Lord declares that he had already given them but to whom?
Moses, whose ministry included gathering Israel both spiritually and temporally, held the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth (D&C 110:11). Elias held the keys of the dispensation of Abraham through which we receive the blessings of the new and everlasting covenant and exaltation (D&C 110:12). Elijah held the keys to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers (D&C 110:13). In less than six years, Joseph would receive the keys to gather, seal, and exalt the entire House of Israel.
DC 35:26-27 Fear not, little flock, the kingdom is yours until I come
Chieko N. Okazaki
[Jesus] is our advocate with the Father. And the Father is not a stern judge who has to be placated and negotiated with and talked around. The Father's good will is to give us the kingdom (Luke 12:32). He wants us to have it. He's on our side too.
Jesus also told the Saints of Joseph Smith's day: "Lift up your hearts and be glad, your redemption draweth nigh. Fear not, little flock, the kingdom is yours until I come" (D&C 35:26-27).
Isn't that beautiful? He is promising that our redemption is near and coming closer. He is coming closer. We do not need to be afraid. We are in his kingdom already, not anxiously waiting for the big computer in the sky to machine-score our multiple-choice tests of mortality and morality to see if we can squeak by. Jesus is saying his disciples should act out of abundance-an abundance of love, an abundance of joy, an abundance of faith and trust and confidence in him and in our Heavenly Father. (Disciples [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 243.)
Our power, our salvation, our exaltation, our redemption, our glory and our preparation for the coming of the Son on Man, depend entirely upon our own acts. As was said today, if we are not united, we shall be chastised by the power of God. But the Lord said: "Fear not, little flock, the kingdom is yours until I come." No matter if earth and hell combine against us, we are in His hands, and He has said that He will guide and direct the affairs of the Kingdom. The Lord is no different today from what He was in the days of Adam, of Enoch, of Christ, of Joseph, of Brigham. The Latter-day Saints should seek for the Spirit of God. We have great power and great blessings given unto us. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 1, March 3, 1889)