Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

What Is God’s Work and What Brings Him Glory?

             My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to the books of Moses and Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. The Old Testament is the oldest book of canonized scripture, and the Pearl of Great Price is the most recent one. The books of Moses and Abraham cover the same time period and material found in first part of Genesis, but they both add more information.

            The book of Moses is the first part of Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the Bible. The book of Abraham was revealed to Joseph Smith while he was working with Egyptian papyri. The two books provide more information about Moses and Abraham as well as other prophets that is not found in the Bible. For more information about the book of Moses can be found here. More information about the book of Abraham can be found here

            Moses 1 starts with an explanation that Moses was “caught up into an exceedingly high mountain” (Moses 1:1), and the next verse states that Moses “saw God face to face, and he talked with him” (Moses 1:2). This vision took place after God spoke to Moses at the burning bush but prior to the time when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the Red Sea.

            The Personage who spoke to Moses was Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament as well as the premortal Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is one with Heavenly Father, and He sometimes speaks as if He were God the Father (see Moses 1:6). Christ’s vested authority to speak for and on behalf of the Father is known as divine investiture (see also Doctrine and Covenants 29:1, 42, 46). President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876-1972) wrote the following explanation.

All revelation since the fall has come through Jesus Christ, who is the Jehovah of the Old Testament…. He is the God of Israel, the Holy One of Israel; the one who led that nation out of Egyptian bondage, and who gave and fulfilled the Law of Moses. The Father has never dealt with man directly and personally since the fall, and he has never appeared except to introduce and bear record of the Son (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie [1954], 1:27). For examples of the Father bearing record of the Son, see Matthew 3:16-17; 17:5; John 12:28; 3 Nephi 11:6-7; Joseph Smith-History 1:17 (Pearl of Great Price Student Manual [2017]).

            After Moses spoke with God (Moses 1:1-11), he was left in a weakened physical condition, and Satan appeared, claiming to be the Only Begotten and ordering Moses to worship him. Moses became afraid and saw “the bitterness of hell” (Moses 1:20). However, he called upon God and received enough strength to command Satan, “In the name of the Only Begotten, depart hence, Satan” (Moses 1:20-21). Satan was not happy, but he departed. Moses bore record that this information was not available to the children of men “because of wickedness” (Moses 1:23). After Satan departed, God appeared once again to Moses.

24 And it came to pass that when Satan had departed from the presence of Moses, that Moses lifted up his eyes unto heaven, being filled with the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son;

25 And calling upon the name of God, he beheld his glory again, for it was upon him; and he heard a voice saying: Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.

26 And lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days; for thou shalt deliver my people form bondage, even Israel my chosen (Moses 1:24-26).

            Moses then saw the earth – every particle – by the Spirit of God as well as the inhabitants (Moses 1:27-28). He beheld many lands – all of which were called earth – and the inhabitants of them. Moses spoke to God face to face and asked Him how He made all the earths, and God told him: “For mine own purpose have I made these things…. And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. And worlds without number have I created … for mine own purpose … and by the Son” (Moses 1:30-33). He explained that He created “Adam, which is many” (Moses 1:34).

            God did not teach Moses about the many other earths, but He gave him “an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof” (Moses 1:35). He explained that he created many worlds, which had passed away and many that now stand, “but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them” (Moses 1:35). Moses asked God to teach him about this earth, and this is what God told him.

37 And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine.

38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.

39 For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:37-39).

            God told Moses to “write the things which I shall speak. And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou 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 1:40-41).

            God’s words were taken from the book that Moses wrote, but they were restored to mankind through another prophet, even the Prophet Joseph Smith. As to God’s work – the bringing to pass “the immorality and eternal life of man,” three latter-day Apostles explained the meaning of the words.

            Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915-85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote, “Immortality is to live forever in the resurrected state with body and spirit inseparably connected” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 376). This means that every child of God who came to earth and obtained a mortal body will eventually be resurrected and obtain an immortal physical body (see 1 Corinthians 15:22).

            President Joseph Fielding Smith taught, “Eternal life is to have the kind of life that God has. All those who become servants will have immortality, but they who become sons and daughters of God will have the additional gift of eternal life, which is the greatest gift of God” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie [1955], 2:8).

            President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) taught that “eternal life is to gain exaltation in the highest heaven” (“An Eternal Hope in Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 72). The quotes from the three Apostles are from the Pearl of Great Price Student Manual [2017].

            If God’s work is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man,” then our work should also be to help our brothers and sisters here on earth to know about God and His plan for the happiness of all His children. Those of us who know His plan have the responsibility to share the knowledge with those who have not heard of it. This is the reason The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sends out missionaries.

My husband, my two sons, and three sons by marriage all served in the mission field. My oldest grandson returned from a mission earlier this year, and my oldest granddaughter is currently on a mission in Norway to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people in that nation. I hope and pray that many of my grandchildren will serve missions. This is the reason I am so diligent about writing essays for this blog. I want to do my part to share this message as far as possible. I may even have an opportunity in the future to serve in the mission field. Only God knows what the future holds.

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