John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions
Joseph Smith taught us how we are to understand this verse, "My text is on the resurrection of the dead, which you will find in the 14th chapter of John-'In my Father's house are many mansions.' It should be-'In my Father's kingdom are many kingdoms,' in order that ye may be heirs of God and joint-heirs with me. I do not believe the Methodist doctrine of sending honest men and noble-minded men to hell, along with the murderer and the adulterer...There are mansions for those who obey a celestial law, and there are other mansions for those who come short of the law, every man in his own order." (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Alma P. Burton [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 157)
The final state of almost all men is to live eternally in one of three kingdoms of glory. The many mansions refer to kingdoms of different glories and to differences between individuals of the same glory. Gordon B. Hinckley noted, "In the life to come we shall not be arbitrarily divided into two fixed groups-inhabitants of heaven and hell. Jesus stated, 'In my Father's house are many mansions.' There will be various grades and stations." (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 451.)
The goal of our religious devotion is to qualify for a crown in the celestial mansion prepared by Jesus. The terrestrial and telestial mansions will be impressive, but that is not the goal. Only those who receive a celestial abode will be masters of their own house, for recipients of the telestial glory will remain as servants, 'they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared; And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come' (DC 76:112).
Spencer W. Kimball
"The age-old concept of heaven and hell is erroneous. It is not true that there is but one dividing line between heaven and hell and that all who barely fail to reach heaven will be doomed to a fire and brimstone hell, and conversely untrue, that all who are just a little better than the condemned ones will go to a common heaven, there equally to play harps or to sing praises eternally. This is a false concept. The scriptures have made it clear that every soul will pay penalties for evil deeds and receive rewards for good deeds and all will be judged according to their works. They will not be put into two categories but in as many as there are individuals who have different degrees of accomplishment and performance, and this is just. Think for one moment how unjust it would be to put all law-breakers-the murderer, adulterer, thief, and car-parking violator-in the same penitentiary with the same punishments, deprivations, and the same period to serve; how unjust to put in the same world [of] development and happiness and glory the person who has merely confessed the name of Christ with all those who not only confessed it but lived his every commandment and perfected their lives and became godlike in all their attributes. God is just." (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 47.)
"One of the greatest errors in the teachings of the Christian religions is the doctrine of one heaven and one hell, so that all who go to heaven share and share alike, and all who fail to go to heaven are sent to hell where they share and share alike.
"This thought has led many to feel that while their lives may not be all they should be, they are as good as, or better than, the average. Thus they feel that all will be well with them. If this doctrine be true, it is obvious that a line would have to be drawn somewhere, and the closer one came to the line the less would be the difference or distinction between those who would cross the line and enter heaven and those who would not quite qualify, and therefore would be sent to hell. Such a doctrine does not have the motivating and stimulating power to impel or encourage men to do the best they can, but rather to satisfy themselves by doing as well as the average man. Such a doctrine places no value on anything more than average devotion and obedience to the commandments of the Lord, or the development of one's talents and their useful devotion to his service." (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, 253.)
Stephen L. Richards
"This great revelation confirms our faith in the order and justice of the laws of God which control the universe. It assures us that there are compensations and just rewards for righteous adherence to these laws. There are preferential stations in the hereafter as here, and it is in the nature of man to desire to attain the best. In this glorious concept, lofty ambition in goodness and virtue has assurance of reward. We are made aware that the whole gospel plan is designed to give men the opportunity to attain and lead them to the achievement of their highest destiny in the presence of God.
"The gospel makes provision for men to enter the highest or celestial glory." (Where Is Wisdom? [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1955], 106.)
Sterling W. Sill
"We can imagine beauty, luxury, and elegance that would cost billions of dollars, but Paul says that it has never even entered into man's heart the things that God has prepared for those who love him. And while we cannot imagine the glories of heaven, yet I think that we ought to try. We should also try to imagine what kind of people will live there. The scriptures speak of God's glory. We are told that the magnificence of his presence is so great that a man in his natural state cannot live in his presence. I am sure that the heaven where God dwells will not resemble a hippie camp, nor will that be the kind of people who dwell there. The people who inhabit God's mansions will be godly people. And by using God's own standards that we should judge a tree by its fruits, we can be perfectly sure that God loves beauty, cleanliness, morality, order, and righteousness. We also know that he has great ability as a designer, and that he loves harmony, color, and fragrance. We also know that God loves truth, honor, goodwill, and has in mind an eternal happiness for us; otherwise he would not have gone to such great lengths in recommending that we adopt these traits in our lives. In fact, God has included in us a natural, inborn quest for excellence on an instinctive basis, so that it gives us great joy when these qualities are made a part of our lives and activities." (Principles, Promises, and Powers [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973], 93.)
John 14:3 I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also
George F. Richards
"More than forty years ago I had a dream, which I am sure was from the Lord. In this dream I was in the presence of my Savior as he stood in mid-air. He spoke no word to me, but my love for him was such that I have not words to explain. I know that no mortal man can love the Lord as I experienced that love for the Savior unless God reveals it unto him. I would have remained in his presence, but there was a power drawing me away from him, and as a result of that dream I had this feeling, that no matter what might be required at my hands, what the gospel might entail unto me, I would do what I should be asked to do, even to the laying down of my life.
John 14:4 whither I go ye know, and the way ye know
To the Pharisees, Christ declared, 'Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come' (Jn 7:33-34). The Pharisees, by virtue of their disbelief, would never make it back to the Father. To his faithful disciples, the message is different. In essence, he declares, "I am going to the Father, I have shown you the way to return to him. You must follow me, for I am the way, the truth, and the life."
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me
Robert E. Wells
"Christ said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.' (John 14:6.) In declaring this, he is also telling us that no other way, no other road, no other system, no other name will bring salvation. The old saying 'All roads lead to Rome' is a statement that is not true when applied to the pathway to eternal life. Christ declared, 'I am the door [or gate]: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.' (John 10:9.)
"When the Savior says that he is the door, the gate, the path, he is not saying that he is a parallel route or that he is an alternate route. He is most emphatic when he states that he is the only way. Therein lies the major choice of this life. We must find Christ. We must come unto him in the way that he has commanded. There will always be those who say they need more freedom, or that commandments are old-fashioned, or that in this modern day of men on the moon and stations in space we should not be so strict with commandments and doctrines and ordinances or insist that they be performed exactly the same way as they were two thousand years ago. The Savior himself says, however, that his way is the only way-it is his way then and now. If we desire the blessings that are promised to the obedient, we must make the choice to follow him and not procrastinate or waver." (The Mount and the Master [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 189)
Boyd K. Packer
"When the Lord was upon the earth He made it very clear that there was one way, and one way only, by which man may be saved. 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me' (John 14:6). As we seek to proceed on that way, two things emerge as being firmly fixed. First, in His name rests the authority to secure the salvation of mankind, 'for there is none other name under heaven given... whereby we must be saved' (Acts 4:12). And next, there is an essential ordinance-baptism-standing as a gate through which every soul must pass if he would obtain eternal life.
"The Lord was neither hesitant nor apologetic in proclaiming exclusive authority over those processes, all of them in total, by which we may return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. This ideal was clear in the minds of His Apostles also, and their preaching provided for one way, and one way only, for people to be saved." (Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], 44.)
Ezra Taft Benson
"The road lies before us. It is clearly marked. The means to travel it are richly provided. We must follow the path set for us by the Son of God in all that we desire, think, and do." (So Shall Ye Reap, compiled by Reed A. Benson [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1960], 178.)
David O. McKay
"'I am the way, the truth, and the life.' (John 14:5-6.) And so he is! He is the source of our comfort, the inspiration of our life, the author of our salvation. If we want to know our relationship to God, we go to Jesus Christ. If we would know the truth of the immortality of the soul, we have it exemplified in the Savior's resurrection.
"If we desire to learn the ideal life to lead among our fellowmen, we can find a perfect example in the life of Jesus. Whatsoever our noble desires, our lofty aspirations, our ideals in any phase of life, we can look to Christ and find perfection. So, in seeking a standard for moral manhood, we need only to go to the Man of Nazareth and in him find embodied all virtues that go to make the perfect man." (Conference Report, April 1968, First Day-Morning Meeting 7)
John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also
The Savior taught, "If ye have seen me, ye have seen the Father," not because they are the same Personage but because Jesus was the perfect reflection of his Father in thought, action, teaching, and mission. You can't accept Jesus and reject his Father. You can't love God the Father and hate his Son. It doesn't work. Worship, love, and praise for one is worship, love, and praise for the other. It's a "package deal." They are one God. Those who reject Jesus reject his Father.David A. Bednar
We come to know the Father as we come to know His beloved Son. A grand objective of mortality is not merely learning about the Only Begotten of the Father but also striving to know Him. Four essential steps that can help us come to know the [Father] are exercising faith in Him, following Him, serving Him, and believing Him. ("If Ye Had Known Me," Ensign (Nov. 2016): 103.)
John 14:9 he that hath seen me hath seen the Father
Christendom would interpret this scripture to mean that Jesus and the Father are the same personage. Mormonism declares the universal truth that the Son's body of flesh and bones was created in the 'express image' of his Father, Elohim-that someone who has seen the face of Jesus knows what the Father looks like. What does Paul mean by the phrase 'express image of his person' (Heb. 1:3)? He means that Jesus looks like Elohim, just as Seth looked like Adam, 'he (Seth) was a perfect man, and his likeness was the express likeness of his father, insomuch that he seemed to be like unto his father in all things, and could be distinguished from him only by his age' (DC 107:43).
Jesus looks like the Father. He talks like the Father. He acts like the Father. And he loves like the Father.
"Though the scriptures tell us little of the Father, in a comparative sense, they tell us much of the Son-and to know the Son is to know the Father. The example and doctrine of one is the example and doctrine of the other. Christ constituted a living, moving, breathing revelation of his Father. 'The Son can do nothing of himself,' Christ said, 'but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.' (John 5:19.) Again, 'I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.' (John 8:28.) And yet again, 'If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.' (John 14:7.)" (Joseph F. McConkie, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 6: Acts to Revelation, ed. by Robert L. Millet [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], 193.)
Bruce R. McConkie
"So the Son appears and is in all respects like his Father; and conversely, the Father looks and acts and is in all respects like the Son. Their physical appearance is the same, both possess the attributes of godliness in their fulness and perfection; each would do and say precisely the same thing under the same circumstances." (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 294-295.)
John 14:12 He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also
Often, missionaries will be faced with the Christian doctrine of salvation by grace. The sectarians will quote passages like, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved' (Acts 16:30-31). The missionaries are then told that the only requirement for salvation is the momentary acceptance of Jesus Christ. When confronted with such doctrine, the missionary scurries through his scriptures to find passages about the importance of salvation by works. But the missionary can find the same sectarian doctrine in his Book of Mormon, 'all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God' (2 Ne. 25:13). The question then becomes, "what does it mean to believe in Christ?" John 14:12 gives us the answer, 'he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.' Christ's works include righteous living, service, and baptism.
You can't confess the name of Jesus Christ, commit heinous sin, and declare that you believe in Christ. True belief presupposes true discipleship. True belief (or faith) cannot be separated from action.
George Albert Smith
"It is not enough to verbally accept the Lord. The Lord has not only said unto us, 'In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you' (John 14:2), but in the day and age in which we live the Lord has described the very places to which his children may hope to go. He has explained to us that there are various degrees of glory, has described to us certain requirements which must be complied with if we would enjoy those degrees of glory. The man who drinks with the drunken, and who lives an immoral life, and who gives himself up to evil things should not hope to go into the celestial kingdom of our Heavenly Father, for the Lord has said he cannot go there. But the people of the world do not understand that. There are those who profess Christianity, who believe that even the murderer who has imbrued his hands in the blood of his innocent victim may, by saying the words, 'I believe in Jesus Christ,' be ushered into the presence of the Redeemer of mankind. This is false doctrine and I am thankful that this people are not deceived by such teachings, but that on the contrary we are placed in a condition to know how we may obtain the blessing of celestial glory, and not be disappointed." (Conference Reports, October 1923, p. 71.)
John 14:12 greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father
"All these sayings put together, give as clear an account of the state of the glorified saints as language could give. The works that Jesus had done they were to do, and greater works than those which he had done among them should they do, and that because he went to the Father. He does not say that they should do these works in time; but they should do greater works because he went to the Father. He says, in the 24th verse- Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory. These sayings, taken in connection, make it very plain that the greater works which those that believed on his name were to do, were to be done in eternity where he was going, and where they should behold his glory." (Lectures on Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 7:12.)
John 14:13-14 whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do
The Book of Mormon version of this doctrine is rendered with an important addition, 'whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you' (3 Ne. 18:20). Presumably, these righteous eleven apostles would not ask for that which was against the Father's will. In this respect they were like Nephi who was commended for following God's will, 'for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will' (Hel. 10:4-5).
This promise is a marvelous promise with grand and eternal implications too often taken for granted. It is taken for granted because the reader does not really believe what the Lord has promised. This is the famous tendency to believe in Christ but not to believe Christ, "The real question is 'Do we believe Christ?' It is one thing to believe in him and quite another to believe him." (Book of Mormon Symposium Series, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 178).
Indeed, we should remember the words of Enos, that God could not lie (Enos 1:6). When the Lord promises to give us whatever we want, which is right, as long as we ask in faith believing in his name, he means what he says. We have no reason to doubt, no reason to waver-else we become like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed (James 1:6). The great secret to obtaining such a great blessing is to bring our own will in subjection to the Father's. How is this done? As Elder Maxwell noted, "Our prayers will be better if they are in fact inspired prayers." (Men and Women of Christ, p. 98)
David E. Sorensen
"As our Bible Dictionary states, 'The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them' (p. 753). In other words, prayers bring our desires and the desires of our Father into harmony, thus bringing us both the blessing we are seeking and also the blessing of greater unity with the Father...The greatest blessing and benefit is not the physical or spiritual blessings that may come as answers to our prayers but in the changes to our soul that come as we learn to be dependent on our Heavenly Father for strength...The very act of praying will improve us. (Ensign, May 1993, pp. 30-1 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 437)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Granted, finite minds do not fully understand the infinite mind of God. We are not fully comprehending when our agency brushes against His divinity. Yet we should trust Him as our provincial petitions meet His universal omniscience.
"...It is necessary for us thus to place our desires and needs genuinely and unselfishly before God in prayer. It is in this process of placing our desires before Him, to a greater extent than we usually do, that we can listen and learn concerning His will. Such could not be done if we were ritualistically submissive or only partially involved.
"Of course, after we place our petitions before Him we are to be submissive: 'Thy will be done.' But this is the last part of the process of petition, not the first.
"Learning to pray is, therefore, the work of a lifetime. If we keep on praying, we will keep on discovering." (That Ye May Believe, p. 179)
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)
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments
Marvin J. Ashton
"How hollow, how empty if our love is no deeper than the arousal of momentary feeling or the expression in words of what is no more lasting than the time it takes to speak them. A group of college students recently indicated to me their least favorite expression to come from us as the older set is, 'If there is ever anything I can do to help you, please let me know.' They, as do others, much prefer actions over conversation.
"We must at regular and appropriate intervals speak and reassure others of our love and the long time it takes to prove it by our actions. Real love does take time. The Great Shepherd had the same thoughts in mind when he taught, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments' (John 14:15; italics added) and 'If ye love me feed my sheep' (John 21:16; italics added). Love demands action if it is to be continuing. Love is a process. Love is not a declaration. Love is not an announcement. Love is not a passing fancy. Love is not an expediency. Love is not a convenience. 'If ye love me, keep my commandments' and 'If ye love me feed my sheep' are God-given proclamations that should remind us we can often best show our love through the processes of feeding and keeping." ("Love Takes Time," Ensign, Nov. 1975, 108)
Neal A. Maxwell
"There is a difference between loving God and merely believing that we ought to love him!
"As indicated in the beginning, the test is and always has been, 'how much do we love him?' We know how much he loves us. The test he has given us is, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments.' (John 14:15.) We may say quite sincerely and even accurately [think] that we are doing reasonably well in this regard. Let us ponder, however, that episode with the decent young man who told the Savior that he too had kept the commandments from his youth. Jesus then gave him an added and very personalized challenge: to go and sell all that he had and give the proceeds to the poor and then 'take up the cross, and follow me.' This, said the Savior to the young man, was the 'one thing thou lackest.' (Mark 10:21.) In my case, would that it were just one thing, but for you and me, being conscious of that which we yet 'lack' becomes an additional test and spur-along with the keeping of the commandments and the performance of our duties. Though we may have already proved we can play checkers, are we now ready to play chess? Are we willing to let the Lord lead us into further developmental experiences or do we shrink back? There isn't much growing in shrinking!" ("The Christ-Centered Life," Ensign, Aug. 1981, 14)
Gordon B. Hinckley
"...because our Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith. But what shall we use? No sign, no work of art, no representation of form is adequate to express the glory and the wonder of the living Christ. He told us what that symbol should be when He said: 'If ye love me, keep my commandments' (John 14:15).
"As His followers, we cannot do a mean or shoddy or ungracious thing without tarnishing His image. Nor can we do a good and gracious and generous act without burnishing more brightly the symbol of Him whose name we have taken upon ourselves.
"Our lives must become a symbol of meaningful expression, the symbol of our declaration of our testimony of the living Christ, the Eternal Son of the living God.
"It is that simple, my brethren and sisters. It is that profound, and we should never forget it." ("Our One Bright Hope," Ensign, Apr. 1994, 5)
John 14:16 I pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter
"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)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"It is pointed out in this discourse by the Prophet that the companionship of the Second Comforter cannot be obtained only by the most faithful adherence to every principle of righteousness. '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, which the Lord has promised the saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27 verses.' This great gift has been received by many of the prophets. Nephi and Jacob testify of this visitation. Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Elijah and many others anciently were so blessed. There have been some in our own dispensation besides the Prophet Joseph Smith who have realized the blessing of this promise." (Church History and Modern Revelation, 4: 35.)
John 14:17 the Spirit of truth
The most correct interpretation of the term "Spirit of truth" is that it refers to Jesus Christ, not the Holy Ghost. Although, the verse can be applied to the Holy Ghost, this is not what is meant.
Bruce R. McConkie
"...as spoken by Jesus, as recorded by the Beloved John, and as interpreted by the Prophet Joseph Smith, the verse (John 14:17) has application to Jesus himself. 'I am the Spirit of truth,' is his latter-day declaration (D. & C. 93:26)" (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3: 341.)
John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you
What does it mean when the Lord says, 'I will come to you'? Joseph Smith taught:
"Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions-Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 150-151)
'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' (DC 93:1).
What occurs in this face to face interaction with Jesus? The Lord promises the individual that he or she will receive eternal life. This means that their calling and election is made sure. It means that their temple covenants have been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise (DC 132:19-27). The Lord's sublime promise of eternal life, then, becomes a great comfort to the individual-for they know that they have lived a life which has been pleasing to the Lord. They know that the Lord trusts them. Herein lies the greatest peace and comfort of being a faithful disciple of Christ. Elder Marion G. Romney said, '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.' (Conference Report, October 1965, 20.)
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.)
John 14:23 we will come unto him, and make our abode with him
'John 14:23-The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man's heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.' (DC 130:3)
If the promise of a personal visitation was given to the ancient apostles, we might wonder whether modern day apostles have enjoyed the same privilege. The answer is that if they have-and they most assuredly have-they are not going to share the experience casually. Those who know the doctrine and listen to the Spirit understand the significance of an apostle who declares "I know that Jesus lives." He may well have said, "I know that he lives because I have seen his resurrected body in a personal visitation too sacred to relate." Boyd K. Packer once testified, "I have a witness that Jesus is the Christ. He lives."
"As people heard him (Boyd K. Packer) bear witness of the Savior, there were those who wondered, even asked, 'Have you seen Him?' To these and all others he gave public answer, as his friend Elder Marion G. Romney had once given private answer in Boyd Packer's hearing: 'I do not tell all I know. If I did, the Lord could not trust me.'
"Elder Packer's public answer was given to the Church at large in general conference:
"Have you seen Him? That is a question that I have never asked of another. I have not asked that question of my brethren in the Quorum, thinking that it would be so sacred and so personal that one would have to have some special inspiration, indeed, some authorization, even to ask it...I have come to know what the Prophet Alma meant:
'It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.' (Alma 12:9-10.)
"There are those who hear testimonies borne in the Church, by those in high station and by members in the wards and branches, all using the same words-'I know that God lives; I know that Jesus is the Christ,' and come to question, 'Why cannot it be said in plainer words? Why aren't they more explicit and more descriptive. Cannot the Apostles say more?'...
"Some seek for a witness to be given in some new and dramatic and different way... To one who is honestly seeking, the testimony borne in these simple phrases is enough; for it is the Spirit that beareth record, not the words.' (Ensign, June 1971, pp. 87-88.)" (Lucile C. Tate, Boyd K. Packer: A Watchman on the Tower [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1995], 179.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Humbly, as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I say to you not only that Jesus lived, but that he lives-with all that those words imply!" ("Our Acceptance of Christ," Ensign, June 1984, 69)
James E. Faust
"Those of us who hold the holy apostleship always wish to fulfill our responsibility by testifying of the divinity of the Savior. I feel compelled to do so. I have had a testimony all of my life. Recently, however, there has come into my soul an overpowering witness of the divinity of this holy work. This sure witness is more certain than ever before in my life." ("The Weightier Matters of the Law: Judgment, Mercy, and Faith," Ensign, Nov. 1997)
Boyd K. Packer
"I come to you now as one of the Twelve, each ordained as a special witness. I affirm to you that I have that witness. I know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ. I know that though the world 'seeth him not, neither knoweth him,' that he lives. Heartbroken parents, lay claim upon his promise: 'I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.' (John 14:17-18.) In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." (Conference Report, October 1970, Third Day-Morning Meeting 122.)
John 14:26 the Holy Ghost, shall...bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you
Who was the scribe among the apostles? On this somber evening, when the Savior's heart was heavy and he taught them the profound doctrines of the kingdom, do we imagine John carefully writing everything down in shorthand? How do we have a word for word account of the Sermon on the Mount? How do we have such a perfect record of Christ's teachings and ministry? We have these things by the Spirit. It is doubtful that any of the Apostles were writing things down until after Christ was resurrected. Their accounts of his ministry were by memory and, more importantly, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
The same power which aided the apostles in remembering and recording Jesus ministry can help us in understanding the scriptures. At times, the Lord communicates with us by bringing a certain scripture into our minds. These instances are those in which the Holy Ghost is bringing to our remembrance the things the Savior has taught us.
Gene R. Cook
"[Referring to reasons why members do not study their scriptures] These concerns are fairly common to many of us. But in the end I am afraid they're more excuses than legitimate reasons. I don't suppose these excuses would sound very convincing to the Lord if we used them to explain why we did not give more time and effort to studying his holy words.
"In addition, I believe the Lord has given us an answer to each of these objections. For instance, if we struggle to remember what we read, the Lord promises to quicken our memories. In John 14 he says,
'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.' (V. 26.)
"What a great promise! If we are struggling to remember the things of God, we can pray to the Lord specifically for help with our scripture reading. He will help us to learn how to better apply and internalize what we're reading-and he will help us to not forget what we're learning." (Searching the Scriptures: Bringing Power to Your Personal and Family Study [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 37-38.)
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you
David O. McKay
"All through his life peace was on his lips and in his heart, and when he came forth from the tomb and appeared unto his disciples, his first greeting was, 'Peace be unto you. . . .' (John 20:21.)
"Peace as taught by the Savior is exemption from individual troubles, from family broils, from national riots and difficulties. Such peace refers to the person just as much as it does to communities. That man is not at peace who is untrue to the whisperings of Christ-the promptings of his conscience. He cannot be at peace when he is untrue to his better self, when he transgresses the law of righteousness, either in dealing with himself by indulging in passions or appetites, in yielding to the temptations of the flesh, or whether he is untrue to trust in transgressing the law.
"Peace does not come to the transgressor of law, Peace comes by obedience to law, and it is that message which Jesus would have us establish among men-peace to the individual that he may be at peace with his God; perfect harmony existing between his Creator and himself, perfect harmony existing between himself and law, the righteous laws to which he is subject and from which he never can escape peace in the home, families living at peace with each other and with their neighbors." (Conference Report, October 1965, First Day-Morning Meeting 10.)
Russell M. Nelson
Marion G. Romney
Peace has been variously defined, but perhaps we might think of it as "harmony within one's self, and with God and man." This conception includes all elements in the dictionary definition.The condition opposite to peace and harmony… is characterized by conflict, contention, disputation, strife, and war…
Earth life is a period of trial for every person of two mighty forces pulling in opposite directions. On the one hand is the power of Christ and His righteousness. On the other hand is Satan and his fellow travelers. Mankind, in the exercise of their God-given moral agency, must determine to travel in company with the one or the other. The reward for following the one is the fruit of the Spirit—peace. The reward for following the other is the works of the flesh—the antithesis of peace. (Hope [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], “The Price of Peace”)
John 14:27 not as the world giveth, give I unto you
Dennis E. Simmons
"It should be noted that Jesus promised His peace-not the peace that the world gives. The world cries out for freedom from war, from violence, from oppression, from injustice, from contention, from disease and distress. That the Savior did not expect such worldly peace is clear from His concluding remark as He finished His special teaching to His Apostles: 'These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world' (John 16:33; emphasis added).
"In mortality tribulation would continue. But in the midst of that tribulation His followers would have peace in Him. In other words, even if all the world is crumbling around us, the promised Comforter will provide His peace as a result of true discipleship. Ultimate total peace will come, of course, because He overcame the world. But we can have His peace with us irrespective of the troubles of the world. His peace is that peace, that serenity, that comfort spoken to our hearts and minds by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, as we strive to follow Him and keep His commandments.
"'Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me' (D&C 19:23).
"'He who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come' (D&C 59:23)." ("His Peace," Ensign, May 1997, 31)
Bishop Robert L. Simpson
"Brothers and sisters, the world giveth differently from the way Christ giveth, and when we partake of the world as the world giveth, we start reaching for our tranquilizers. But as we reach for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and as we reach for the standard works of the Church and the truths revealed therein, then I say we are going to have joy in our lives, and we can promise to all men there will be happiness in their lives. We can further say that theirs will be a peace of mind that will bring a surety to their souls and give them the happiness to which all Heavenly Father's children are entitled." (Conference Report, April 1965, Afternoon Meeting 134.)
John 14:27 Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid
Jeffrey R. Holland
"In the moonlit silence of that Near Eastern night, every acute pain, every heartfelt grief, every crushing wrong and human hurt experienced by every man, woman, and child in the human family was to be heaped upon his weary shoulders. But in such a moment, when someone might have said it to him, he rather says to us, 'Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.' (John 14:27.)
"'Ye shall be sorrowful,' he said-sad, lonely, frightened, and sometimes even persecuted, 'but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. ... Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.' (John 16:20, 33; italics added.)
"How can he speak that way? Of good cheer and joy? On a night like this? With the pain he knew was just ahead? But those are the blessings he always brought, and that is how he always spoke-to the very end." ("He Loved Them unto the End," Ensign, Nov. 1989, 25)
Bishop Joseph L. Wirthlin
"Yes, there may be war, there may be famine, there may be the disturbances of nature, nations may crumble into dust at our feet, but I promise you that our Redeemer, the Prince of Peace, will keep his covenant with us. He will give us hope and assurance, and whether it be in death, or whether it be in life, he will receive us." (Conference Report, October 1952, Morning Session 109 - 110.)
"[Those with] that more sure word of prophecy...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." (Teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith, 298)
John 14:30 the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me
Harold B. Lee
"So powerful was he in the Master's day that the Master referred to Satan as 'the prince of this world,' but he added, 'the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.' (John 14:30.) We must be able to say, though the power is evil on every side, 'As for me and my house, we shall serve the God of this land.' The prince of this world is coming to tempt every one of us, and the only ones who will stand through these evil days are those who have founded their houses upon the rock, as the Master said: when the storms descended and the winds blew and the rains came and beat upon the house, it fell not because it was founded upon the rock. That is what the Lord is trying to say to us today." (British Area Conference Report, Aug. 1971, p. 135.)